Learning Something New Every Day

Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan is being interviewed on WNYC’s “Soundcheck” at this very moment by John Schaefer.

Earlier in the program, a researcher from the University of Leicester was asked to characterize the typical Yo La Tengo fan.  He presumed that he or she would be highly educated, not particuarly highly-paid, and most curiously, not a pet owner.

With all due respect, what the fuck?

If You Made Bob Rock’s Kids Cry, Shame On You

Surely you don’t need an excuse to read Blabbermouth.net several times a day?

Producer Bob Rock recently told Reuters that he feels “20 years younger” after his split with METALLICA, whose albums he had produced since 1991.

The Canadian producer parted company with the metal titan earlier this year and is now devoting his energies to other artists and a return to his own recording career.

According to the 52-year-old Rock, “My life is now about my wife and kids, and recording other bands.”

Rock first teamed with METALLICA for its self-titled 1991 album (aka “The Black Album”). The Elektra set debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 281 weeks. Rock helmed METALLICA’s subsequent albums, through 2003’s “St. Anger”.

A behind-the-scenes look at that tumultuous project was featured in the following year’s unflinching documentary “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”. A petition that some 1,500 fans signed subsequently was posted online calling for METALLICA to dump Rock, claiming he had too much influence on the band’s sound.

“The criticism was hurtful for my kids, who read it and don’t understand the circumstances,” Rock says. “Sometimes, even with a great coach, a team keeps losing. You have to get new blood in there.”

People, Let Him Get Even More Off His Chest – Paul Stanley Update

Say what you want about Kiss’ Paul Stanley, but he can never be accused of not knowing where his contributions measure against rock’s other legends. From Billboard’s Gary Graff :

Stanley confirms that one of the ideas being discussed is a traveling version of the orchestral shows Kiss played in 2003 in Australia, which resulted in the “Kiss Symphony” CD and DVD releases.

“It’s not out of the realm of possibility,” says Stanley, who welcomed his second son, Colin, with wife Erin on Sept. 6. “Anything’s possible, but we’re far away from conforming or committing to something like that. I’ll let you know when it’s true.”

New Kiss music is another matter, however. Stanley says as far as he’s concerned, trying to make a new album in the shadow of Kiss’ classic repertoire is, at the very least, a challenge. “The fact is, [fans] may tolerate the new songs, but it’s the old ones you want to hear,” he notes. “I think Jimmy Page and Robert Plant found that out. The [Rolling] Stones certainly know it. The Who certainly know it. So unless you’re willing to go into the studio accepting that how your album will be received will never match your expectations, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.”

Cat Power – Tickets For Taping of PBS’ “Austin City Limits”

(poster art from an LA show that was rescheduled, designed by Francesca Montanari)

Cat Power and The Memphis Rhythm Band are hitting my adopted hometown of Austin, TX for this weekend’s sprawling Austin City Limits Festival (Cat Power on Friday, The New Pornographers on Sunday. Not appearing : Color Me Badd) with an addition show at Stubbs’ Barbecue Sunday evening.

And like they say during the daily casualty briefings, “but wait, there’s more.” Chan and the Memphis Rhythm Band will be taping a studio performance for PBS’ “Austin City Limits” this coming Monday (September 18) at 8pm.   A limited number of tickets are being made available to the public this Friday at noon at the studios of KLRU.

KLRU is located on the University of Texas campus at the corner of Dean Keeton and Guadalupe. Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. There is a limit of two tickets per person. Please note that Austin City Limits cannot guarantee admission, even if you hold a ticket, probably because they’re smart and would like to avoid liability.

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

From the AP :

Britain celebrated its first Roald Dahl Day on Wednesday to mark the 90th birthday of the much-loved author of children’s classics “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda” and “James and the Giant Peach.”

Children and parents across Britain participated with parties and book-readings this week to celebrate the writer, who died in 1990.

A special train ferried fans from London to Great Missenden, 35 miles west of the city, where Dahl lived for more than 30 years.

Guides from the Roald Dahl Museum conducted tours of the town, stopping to read passages from stories and pointed out landmarks that inspired scenes from Dahl’s books, including the library where Matilda reads and Sophie’s orphanage from the “BFG,” the Big Friendly Giant.

Dahl is survived by sons Jeff and Bobby.

In a completely unrelated story, U.S. authorites have cancelled “Ann Marlowe Day” and are investigating links to the author’s works and outbreaks of projectile vomiting.

At Least It Beats The State Fair Circuit

from Reuters :

Second Life, the fast-growing online site where hundreds of thousands of people play out fantasy lives online, has suffered a computer security breach that exposed the real-world personal data of its users.

Linden Lab, the San Francisco-based company behind the Second Life site, said in a letter to its 650,000 users this weekend that its customer database, including names, addresses, passwords and some credit card data, had been compromised.

Blurring the line between a multiplayer game and an online business, the popularity of the site has spurred Fortune 500 corporations such as Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., along with architects, authors, and musicians to erect virtual outposts of their organizations or personas.

Retailer American Apparel has created a business to sell clothing for the Second Life avatars users create to represent themselves inside the online world. Musicians such as Duran Duran and Suzanne Vega have held concerts inside Second Life.

I’m not sure which part of the above I find more troubling — the massive potential for identity theft, or the fact that Matador bands have such a terribly low profile in virtual worlds. Seriously, fuck your ACL, Vegoose, ATP, etc., call me back when you’re headlining Planet Dork.

I’ll Watch Anything For Laughs, But I Won’t Watch That (Again)

Biopic of iconic figures from our own lifetime are usually fraught with peril. In the rare case of an interesting reading (Gary Oldham as Sid Vicious, Anthony Hopkins as Richard Nixon), it’s almost impossible to escape the shadow of the real persona. In the more common example of a poorly conceived, badly written, sloppily directed and hopelessly miscast project (Michael Chiklis as John Belushi, Dwayne Adway as Dennis Rodman, Powers Boothe as Jim Jones, Steve Railsback as Charles Manson) even the lowest of expections are left unfullfilled.

VH1’s “Meat Loaf : To Hell & Back” — witnessed on a JetBlue flight from New York to Austin the other night — doesn’t just fall into the latter category, it might be the Grandaddy Of All Shit Made-For-Cable movies. Factual mistakes galore. Lots of screaming. Inexplicable plot twists. The biggest collection of crap haircuts ever displayed outside of Williamsburg.

(Incredibly, the film is not redeemed one iota by the small screen prescence of David Kleiler, the former Sorry/Volcano Suns guitarist turned video and film director.)

Anyhow, with this black mark on the reputation of Marvin Lee Aday squarely in mind, I share with you the EPK for the new Meat Loaf opus, ‘Bat Of Out Hell III : The Monster Is Loose’ (quicktime required).

Biff, Bamn!, Pow – Post Foodie On The “Crap-o-matic”

Though he couldn’t pack Chris Lombardi’s lunch when it comes to gourmet journalism, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo (above) did a fine job yesterday of imposing a death sentence on Bamn!, St. Marks Place’s attempt at recalling the Automats of yesteryear.

If its mostly vile $1-$2 delicacies – from chicken nuggets to peanut-butter-and-jelly empanadas – were sold in a deli, they wouldn’t draw a fruit fly. They are possibly the worst foodstuffs ever offered for human consumption outside a famine zone.

But automats have a Freudian hold on New Yorkers’ imaginations, even among those too young to have ever seen one. Bamn!’s clever owners saw how popular automats are in Japan and some European cities. Let’s launch a 24/7 operation serving instant junk food to boozers from the ‘burbs! Let’s put the stuff behind a wavy pink wall of plastic windows! Let’s use an exclamation point!

Chicken “teriburgers,” devoid of teriyaki flavor, come slathered in pink, mayo-like goo; roast pork buns conceal ghastly pools of pig matter.

Beware above all peanut-butter-and-jelly empanadas. Bite into the leaden dough with utmost care, lest a tide of purple-brown matter spew forth like a backed-up toilet.

Bamn! has a “consulting chef” – poor Kevin Reilly, who once did a good job at SoHo’s Zoe, but whose most recent local gig was comically bad Silverleaf Tavern, which gave up and converted itself into a lounge.

Bamn! should convert, too – perhaps to a phone booth, which could take your quarters but not pay you back with acid reflux.

Cat Power – New iTunes Exclusive, Plus The Latest On The Greatest

Dear Friends,

On September 12, Matador is re-releasing the most recent Cat Power album, ‘The Greatest’. The reissued version of the album, which you might’ve already learned via our print advertisements, feature 3 different slipcase covers. The album also carries a reduced list price of $9.98.

We’d like to stress the following points :

a) there are no additional songs on this version of the album
b) though we will not try to stop you from purchasing the new slipcase edition if you already own ‘The Greatest’, this endeavor is really directed at persons who’ve not checked out the album yet.
c) said scheme and accompanying fancy art were prepared with the full cooperation of Chan Marshall.

If you’re of the opinion that dropping the list price on ‘The Greatest’ is a curious way to reward the serious Cat Power fans that bought the album the day it came out, well, you’re right. Except we did acknowledge that portion of the audience with a bonus track on release. And they got to hear this terrific album for months and months, which isn’t a bad deal, either.

Anyhow, we know this is a sensitive subject. We’re not intent on gouging Cat Power fans, but we are trying to be creative and competitive in a marketplace where it is becoming increasing hard to maintain the shelf life of a title for more than a couple of months. We really believe in Chan and are of the opinion that ‘The Greatest’ is one of those life affirming records that we have to get into the hands and heads of as many people as possible.

For those of you already down with the program, thank you. Seriously. We hope you’ll be as excited as we are by the contents of the new Cat Power Live Session, an iTunes Music Store exclusive, available today.

track listing :

1. Love and Communication (Acoustic Version)
2. House Of The Rising Sun
3. Wild Is The Wind
4. Who Knows Where The Time Goes

Product Tampering Craze Threatens Socialite’s Sideline

From the BBC :

Hundreds of Paris Hilton albums have been tampered with in the latest stunt by “guerrilla artist” Banksy.

Banksy has replaced Hilton’s CD with his own remixes and given them titles such as “Why am I Famous?”, “What Have I Done?” and “What Am I For?”

He has also changed pictures of her on the CD sleeve to show the US socialite topless and with a dog’s head.

A spokeswoman for Banksy said he had doctored 500 copies of her debut album Paris in 48 record shops across the UK.

She told the BBC News website: “He switched the CDs in store, so he took the old ones out and put his version in.”

But he left the original barcode so people could buy the CD without realising it had been interfered with.

Banksy is certainly capable of the improbable – finding a creative use for the Anti-Nowhere League, for instance (Quicktime required)

Who’s Your Daddy?

(probably not Daddy Yankee)

From Billboard.com’s Ayala Ben-Yehuda.

Reggaeton superstars rarely make it to Hardeeville, S.C. So last month, local music fan Richard Martinez gladly forked over $100 at the door for a Daddy Yankee concert that had been advertised on local radio.

But after a three-hour wait, Daddy Yankee was nowhere in sight. Martinez and other witnesses say a woman selling tickets then got into what she claimed was the rapper’s limousine and screeched out of the parking lot with the money.

When the hundreds of fans in attendance caught on to the scam, all hell broke loose. “They were about to burn the club down. They started throwing bricks, glass, everything at the club,” Martinez says.

That melee followed one of the latest alleged scams reported to law enforcement by management for Daddy Yankee, who is not currently on tour. Bergen County, N.J.-based prosecutor John Molinelli has issued an arrest warrant for a suspect — believed to be in the Dominican Republic — who received a wire transfer of $100,000 to produce Daddy Yankee for a recent concert in New Jersey.

“They’re definitely allegations against the same person,” Molinelli says, referring to a possible connection among incidents in South Carolina, New Jersey and three other locations.

A statement on Daddy Yankee’s Web site provides an E-mail address for fans to report suspected fraud. “Every day there are new scams,” Yankee publicist Mayna Nevarez says. In October, says Nevarez, investors for a Daddy Yankee date in New York were ripped off for $75,000; more recently, a San Antonio investor called before sending money to Daddy Yankee’s management for a non-existent concert.

Eh. Same thing happens in lower Manhattan at least once a year with someone claiming to be Chain Gang.

Dean Expelled

New Times, indeed. Best wishes to Robert Christgau, who today joined the ranks of the unemployed.

In an unrelated note, there’s no truth to the rumor that all future Matablog postings will be handled out of an office in Phoenix that will also be responsible for label blog content from 5 or 6 other mid-size indies looking to cut costs. We thought about it for a few days but apparently we’ll save a lot of money by purchasing fewer ads in regional arts weeklies.

Pity The Poor Telemarketers

(man conducting a survey on whether or not Phil Esposito lookalikes can thrive in the workplace gets his comeuppance)

The telemarketing wage slaves that have the misfortune of calling me at home used to be peppered with questions like, “what are you wearing right now?” That joke was really funny…until I got someone who was all to happy to tell me what they were wearing.

Anyhow, as befitting someone named Creative Bastard, there are more imaginative, though less salacious ways of dealing with this modern problem (link courtesy Boing Boing)

Jennifer O’Connor – Daytrotter Session

While we’re still reeling from the recent pile of crazy press for Jennifer O’Connor’s ‘Over The Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars’ (eg. “Sister”, being hailed today by Pitchfork’s Stephen Deusner as “one of the most genuinely affecting pop songs you’ll hear all year”), we’re even happier to share the following : 4 of the album’s gems, recorded in stripped-down form for The Daytrotter Sessions.

the following live dates were just confirmed :

September 7 – Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI
September 8 – The Canopy, Urbana, IL
September 9 – House Of Blues, Cleveland, OH
September 10 – Mr. Small’s Theatre, Millvale, PA
September 12 – Drake Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
September 14 – The Space, Portland, ME
September 15 – Pearl Street, Northampton, MA
September 16 – Avalon Ballroom, Boston, MA
September 19 – Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC
September 21 – Freebird Cafe, Jacksonville, FL
September 22 – Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale, FL
September 23 – Common Grounds, Gainsville, FL
September 24 – The State Theatre, St. Petersberg, FL
September 28 – Walter’s On Washington, Houston, TX
September 29 – Gypsy Tea Room, Dallas, TX
September 30 – Stubbs BBQ, Austin, TX

(above dates supporting Mason Jennings)

October 11 – North Star Bar, Philadelphia, PA
October 13 – Mercury Lounge, NYC, NY
October 14 – Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ
October 15 – Bar Night Club, New Haven, CT

(above dates supporting Portastatic)

Early Man – Philly, NYC Dates With Venom

(Mike Conte of Early Man, photo by Cars-R-Coffins)

Early Man
will be playing the following Eastern USA dates supporting Venom.

September 5 – Irving Plaza, NY
September 8 – Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA

Goatwhore will be 2nd on both nights.

Early Man at MySpace
Early Man – “Death Is The Answer” video
Early Man – “Evil Is” (mp3)
Venom – Live At City Gardens (mp3, link taken from WFMU’s Beware Of The Blog)

“It’s Not 1978 Anymore”

from Billboard.com’s Jonathan Cohen :

Kiss vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley has inked with Universal’s New Door imprint for the release of his first solo album since his self-titled 1978 debut (above). “Live To Win” is due Oct. 24; Stanley will support it with a club tour this fall.

“It’s not 1978 anymore,” Stanley told Billboard.com of the album last November. “It’s certainly the same mentality, and certainly I’m a better singer today. My perspective and where I’m at in my life at this point, and what I’ve experienced and seen, brings something else to the table that wasn’t there then. But I still look back on that album as a really great snapshot of who I was and what I was doing then.”

Though I’m sure I am not alone in the Matador family in wishing Paul the best of luck with his new recordings, I do fear that no matter how awesome solo album no. 2 is likely to be, it will pale in comparison with Postpunk Junk’s sadly no-longer-available ‘People Let Me Get This Off My Chest’ zip file, an inspiring collection of P.S.’s patented brand of between-song spiel.

I don’t wish to tell the talented people at Universal how to do their jobs, but I am certain if they were to include ‘People…’ as a bonus CD with initial quantities of Paul’s latest opus, their first week sales would crack four figures.