Hey Chicago: Double Your Love of Diagrams Action

If you live in the Windy City (or thereabouts), you're in luck! Not only are Love of Diagrams opening for Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at the Metro, but they are also playing another gig that night at the Hideout! Here's the details on the latter:

Love of Diagrams with Life During Wartime DJ's
doors at 9PM, band on at 11 PM
$8 before, $5 after 11 PM

The Hideout is one of the best venues in Chicago, if not the best, if you ask me! So head on out and have fun!

Land of the Free, Home of the Metal Names

Note to recently proud papa Adam Farrell: maybe Ella's nickname should be 'TimesNewViking?' What do you think? From our friends at the Associated Press:

Metallica may be a cool name for a heavy metal band, but a Swedish couple is struggling to convince officials it is also suitable for a baby girl.

Michael and Karolina Tomaro are locked in a court battle with Swedish authorities, which rejected their application to name their six-month-old child after the legendary rock band.

"It suits her," Karolina Tomaro, 27, said Tuesday of the name. "She's decisive and she knows what she wants."

Although little Metallica has already been baptized, the Swedish National Tax Board refused to register the name, saying it was associated with both the rock group and the word "metal."

Tomaro said the official handling the case also called the name "ugly."

The couple was backed by the County Administrative Court in Goteborg, which ruled on March 13 that there was no reason to block the name. It also noted that there already is a woman in Sweden with Metallica as a middle name.

The tax agency appealed to a higher court, frustrating the family's foreign travel plans.

"We've had to cancel trips and can't get anywhere because we can't get her a passport without an approved name," Tomaro said.

Ironically enough, if I recall correctly, original Metallica bassist Cliff Burton met his untimely demise in the home country of Jesper Eklow, so Swedish National Tax Board, if you're listening/reading and asking "For Whom the Bell Tolls," well it tolls for thee.

Lovin’ Love of Diagrams in the City of Brotherly Love

Love of Diagrams

Love of Diagrams (above) opened the first date of their opening stint with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists last night in Philadelphia at TLA, and this correspondent reports that it was an amazing show. Totally packed house, great opening set by Love or Perish (which I just realized is also the title of a poem by W.H. Auden, thanks google!), cold Yuenglings and good times and great music all around as Matador's favorite Aussies got some Illadelphians dancing up front. If you're, y'know, a sentient being residing in the lower 48, please do yourself a favor and go see them on this tour. Dates are here: Matador tour page. Tonight's show in D.C. sold out weeks ago, though, but they're playing pretty much everywhere else, so go!  

More Proof that New York Is Getting Soft

Our good friends at the New York Post are reporting this morning that Limelight, the once-infamous nightclub, will be resurrected as a mini-mall:

December 19, 2006 — The former Episcopal church that once housed the sacrilegious Limelight nightclub will be born again – as a retail mini-mall.

300px-Club_formerly_known_as_Limelight_NYC.jpg

Now known as the Avalon nightclub, the legendary 12,000-square-foot venue on Sixth Avenue at West 20th Street will shutter its doors in early 2007.

"The landlord has decided that he doesn't want to go forward with another nightclub," said broker Frank Terzulli, of Winnick Realty Group.

"He's going to cut it up for retail tenants and a restaurant with patio seating."

Terzulli added, "The area is becoming more upscale with high-priced condos and stores, and that will make it more difficult to get permits from the community board" for a nightclub…

Sources say international discount-clothing retailer H&M is the likely main tenant for the space, which features triple-height ceilings and mezzanine levels.

A representative for Winnick would not confirm any specific names, since no leases have yet been signed.

Limelight, founded in the deconsecrated church in 1983, hosted some of clubland's wildest parties in the '80s and early '90s under now-deported club king Peter Gatien (above).

In 1996, federal agents charged that Limelight was a "drug supermarket" and shut it down.

Gatien was acquitted of racketeering and drug charges but convicted of tax evasion. He spent time in jail and was eventually deported to his native Canada.

That same year, one of the club's flamboyant promoters, Michael Alig, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing Angel Melendez, a club regular and reputed drug dealer over a money dispute. He's still in jail.

Limelight reopened under new management but was shuttered again in 2002.

It came back to life in November of that year as the short-lived Estate. Avalon followed a few months later.

My only memory of the place is seeing Mogwai play there last year, but I'm sure other Mata-folks would be happy to share anything they might possibly remember (as long as the statute of limitations are up).

More Burma Tour News: Eugene, Oregon Scene Report

Bringing it back to the days of Maximum Rock n’ Roll style DIY, yet keeping it current with today’s (Rupert Murdoch-owned) technology, our good friends at Fenway Recordings have just shared the following amazing news regarding Mission of Burma’s engagement at Eugene, Oregon’s WOW Hall on Sunday, September 17 with 50 Foot Wave:

Mission of Burma recieved a message on Myspace a couple of weeks ago from a high school band called The Tunnel Kings. They stated that they were huge fans and would like to open for them for the 17th of Sept in their home town; Eugene, OR.

Roger Miller checked them out and liked what he heard. As of yesterday- the Tunnel Kings are confirmed. Here is the original email from The Tunnel Kings:


Hey,

My name is River Donaghey and my band, The Tunnel Kings (above), and I are huge fans. We’re all sophmores in high school in Eugene, OR and we just noticed that you are heading down here for a show at the WOW Hall on September 17th. If there is any way you guys might consider letting us open for you, it would be a amazing opporitunity for the band. So go listen to our stuff and if you like what you hear throw me a message back.

Thanks!

River
—–

The Tunnel Kings’ Myspace site is at the following URL: www.myspace.com/thetunnelkings. Congratulations to River and his crew for taking the initiative!

Boston.com, Pitchforkmedia.com Boost Burma, Billions Burst

Mission of Burma

Despite our strange attempts at Variety-style alliteration, it has come to our attention that www.boston.com – the online version of the Boston Globe – is running a nice big page about the 2006 Boston Music Awards, 2006:

http://www.boston.com/ae/music/boston_music_awards_2006/

We here at Matador Records are proud to note that Mission of Burma is nominated for awards in the following categories:

Album of the Year (Indie)
Male Vocalist of the Year – Clint Conley

A full list of nominees is here:

http://www.nemoboston.com/index.php?PID=45

We heartily encourage Mission of Burma fans to – in the words of former Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley – “vote early, vote often.” Of course, only one vote per email address is allowed, but if you’re living in the modern world like the rest of us (or at least me), you’ve probably got 5 or 6 addresses (and no, we don’t think they’re cross-checking email addresses with www.mlb.com‘s All-Star ballots).

The Boston Music Awards are curated by NEMO, which you can learn about here: http://www.nemoboston.com/index.php?PID=38. NEMO is “dedicated to giving back to the musical community of New England,” but there’s nothing I can find on the site detailing when the Nashua Music Awards will be held. So maybe next time, Granite-Staters. Live Free Or Die, dudes.

Additionally, boston.com is running a photo gallery that asks the burning question: Who is the most influential punk band ever?

http://www.boston.com/ae/music/gallery/influential_punk_bands/

Burma’s listed first along a list of pretty heavy hitters, such as the Stooges, the Velvet Underground, and, uh, the Clash.

And last but not least: West Coasters, get ready to rock on the following dates…

Friday, Sept. 15 – Seattle, WA – CROCODILE CAFE
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Portland, OR – DOUG FIR*
Sunday, Sept. 17 – Eugene, OR – WOW HALL*
Tuesday, Sept. 19 – Sacramento, CA – HARLOW’S*
Wednesday, Sept. 20 – San Francisco, CA – GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL*
Friday, Sept. 22 – Los Angeles, CA – TROUBADOUR*
Saturday, Sept. 23 – San Diego, CA – BRICK BY BRICK*

*with 50 FOOT WAVE

As earlier noted, West Coast show attendees can get some cool posters by sending their ticket stubs to Matador. Do it to it, folks.

OH AND BEFORE I FORGET (really, my short-term memory is terrible lately), Burma’s own Roger Miller will be sharing his thoughts (and hopefully his haberdashery tips) with the world via tour diary form through those loveable rapscallions at www.pitchforkmedia.com starting this very Friday! Why, by jove, that’s the same day the West Coast tour starts! Funny how that works, innit?

It’s Official: Las Vegas Is Really Freakin’ Weird

This past weekend I took a break from the hustle and bustle of New York City to work on achieving one of those fantastic feats I’ve been aiming for my whole life: that’s right, I visited my 47th state out of 50, the lovely state of Nevada. And not only did I visit just any ol’ place in Nevada, I went the entire crapshoot route and touched down in Las Vegas for a weekend of debauchery, buffets and, uh, Jimmy Buffett (that’s right, the Margaritaville franchise store is still in full effect on the Strip).

First impressions always help us new arrivals, and Vegas says, “What better way to impress than with slot machines right out the gates?” Resisting the temptation to play my odds (as I’d just ridden JetBlue, I figured I’d already taken enough risks for the day), I went on to my hotel of choice, The Venetian. And really, while in an artificial town in the middle of the Great American Desert, why not stay at a recreation of Italy’s famous city that’s crumbling into the sea? Makes sense, right? Can’t recommend this hotel enough, especially the plush bathrobes (available for you to take home for only a $85 charge).

So many great things happened this past weekend, it’s hard to keep track of ’em all. Highlights would have to include the visibly methed-out homeless population, the incredibly bad tattoos I saw on tourists of all ages while walking down the Strip, and the fact that if you don’t own a car, you’re not going anywhere. Another Vegas highlight has to be the ridiculous 9/11 tribute fountain at the foot of the fake Statue of Liberty in front of New York, New York that combines quotes from Nelson Mandela, Eleanor Roosevelt and George W. Bush:

New York, New York, old palm trees

Seriously, though, the Pinball Hall of Fame was awesome – after many games of Paperboy, Simpsons Pinball Party and many others, I was ready to take on PUNK! – unfortunately, it wasn’t that impressive:

Punk! the pinball game

Figuring that something more “high stakes” than pinball was necessary to try, I later hit the blackjack tables ($5 minimum, that’s how we roll) at the dingy Las Vegas Club. Finding myself playing at a table with a guy from Albuquerque with a gigantic bandage on his arm, and two guys from Texas (one drinking a mudslide out of a plastic football) has to be one of the highlights of my life. No, really, it was fun, I broke even and had many free drinks courtesy of one of the most haggard-looking waitresses I’ve ever seen (but she was really nice! honest!). I really recommend checking out some of the downtown (and downtrodden) Vegas casinos – they have their own particular charm, apart from the smell of desperation and crushed cigarettes.

And for those of you reading this who happen to live in Vegas (if you made it this far through my observations on your charming city), don’t forget that Pretty Girls Make Graves play there November 25th with She Wants Revenge.

More Fun from the World of Music Journalism

Those bastions of corporate journalistic integrity – that’s right, MTV News (a division of Viacom, Inc.) – are reporting the following hilariousness involving the new Mastodon album:



There’s a certain English journalist that Mastodon’s drummer, Bränn Dailor (above), would love to meet. But there’d be no handshake between the two men, given the Brit is the one behind the online leak of the Atlanta metallers’ forthcoming album, Blood Mountain, last week.

“Hopefully one day, he’ll introduce himself,” Dailor joked about the journalist, who claimed he was one of the band’s biggest fans. “[Our record label] traced it back to the guy who did it, and he got fired from wherever he was working. It’s just so stupid. And it’s such a sh—y copy. It sounds like sh–. I’m not concerned with record sales, because I think that if anyone’s looking for it online to download it and listen to it, when it comes out [on September 12], they’ll buy it anyways. They’re fans.

“My problem is, I can equate it to when I was 11 years old,” he continued, relaying a story about discovering his Christmas presents in his mother’s closet a month before the holiday. “I wrapped it all back up, and then Christmas came, and I went downstairs, and I knew everything I was going to get. And that sucked. It totally ruined the whole thing. Up until then, I had never done that before and I was always really excited to wake up and open that first present. But that wasn’t awesome, and I never did it again.

“When I was a kid, you had to wait for that Iron Maiden record,” he recalled. “The whole thing was, this is the day it comes out, and you cannot have it before that day. But these days, with the Internet, everything just leaks. I urge people not to download it if they see it there, but I understand if they do. I want people to be excited for it and to hear it for the first time and hear it the way it was supposed to be heard.”

I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the new Mastodon, as are a lot of people, but I can wait. Though if it is anything like the Christmas Day when my mom got me the G.I. Joe USS Flagg Aircraft Carrier and the damn thing was missing half the parts, I can wait.

Furthermore, the MTV.com story has this hilarious tidbit about their recent video shoot:

Mastodon traveled 1,000 feet below the ground to complete the video inside Ruby Falls, and when it begins airing next month, expect to see lots of yetis, sasquatch and Dailor banging away on his drum kit under a 100-foot-tall, blood-red waterfall. Rej even shot footage atop Atlanta’s Stone Mountain, with “a bunch of people in crazy yeti costumes and sh–,” Dailor said. “We’ve cornered the market on the sasquatch and the yeti. No other band can use it.”

Defunct yet totally awesome mid-1990s NYC band Ruby Falls and super-great Yeti publisher Mike McGonigal were unavailable for comment.

Takin’ It to the Streets: Pretty Girls Make Graves on Tour

Much like another of my favorite bands, the Doobie Brothers* (except with no Rerun bootlegging the show), Pretty Girls Make Graves are takin’ it to the streets this Fall all over these United States, with She Wants Revenge, Monsters Are Waiting, A Gun Called and many others soon to be announced. And not to be outdone in the grand ol’ U.S. of three-hours-to-board-a-plane-with-no-water A., PGMG fans in Mexico can also catch them rock at the beggining of September:

Saturday, Sept. 2: Mexico City, MX – Toreo Cuatro Caminos

Sunday, Oct. 29: Milwaukee, WI – Mad Planet w/ A Gun Called Tension
Monday, Oct. 30: Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock w/ A Gun Called Tension
Tuesday, Oct. 31: Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom w/ She Wants Revenge
Wednesday, Nov. 1: Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom w/ She Wants Revenge
Thursday, Nov. 2: DAY OFF
Friday, Nov. 3: Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle w/ A Gun Called Tension
Saturday, Nov. 4: Toronto, ON – El Mocambo w/ A Gun Called Tension
Sunday, Nov. 5: Montreal, QC – Club Lambi w/ A Gun Called Tension
Monday, Nov. 6: DAY OFF
Tuesday, Nov. 7: Brooklyn, NY – Northsix w/ A Gun Called Tension
Wednesday, Nov. 8: Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
Thursday, Nov. 9: Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Friday, Nov. 10: Charlottesville, VA – Satellite Ballroom w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Saturday, Nov. 11: North Myrtle Beach, S.C. – House of Blues w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Monday, Nov. 13: Orlando, FL – The Club At Firestone w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Tuesday, Nov. 14: Atlanta, GA – Earthlink Live w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Wednesday, Nov. 15: Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theater w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Thursday, Nov. 16: Houston, TX – Meridian w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Friday, Nov. 17: Austin, TX – Stubb’s BBQ w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Saturday, Nov. 18: Dallas, TX – Gypsy Ballroom w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Monday, Nov. 20: Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Tuesday, Nov. 21: San Diego, CA – House of Blues w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Wednesday, Nov. 22: Anaheim, CA – The Grove of Anaheim w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting
Saturday, Nov. 25: Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues w/ She Wants Revenge and Monsters Are Waiting

Go see them, they’ll rock your socks (and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter’s moustache) off!

*Discerning music fans of course know that the Doobies were named by none other than the late, great Alexander “Skip” Spence. If you don’t own the complete and utter masterpiece that is his album Oar, well, you should.

UPDATE: Apparently Rog from “What’s Happening” is on MySpace! God bless the internets!

If You’ve Ever Wanted to Cry in a Dark Room, This Movie’s for You

Certainly not to take anything away from the very excellent Not a Photograph:The Mission of Burma Story that I was pleased to see this past Saturday evening at the Walter Reade Theater as part of the “Play It Loud: Rock Docs ’06” festival (btw the second – and last – screening is this Thursday at 9:15 PM – don’t miss it!), but You’re Gonna Miss Me, the documentary on former 13th Floor Elevators frontman Roky Erickson, is just about the most harrowing thing I’ve seen since, well, the Mavs’ NBA Finals meltdown. No, seriously, this movie is one of the most emotionally riveting things I’ve ever seen, and I was glued to my seat. The tale of Roky’s return from the near dead, thanks to his very weird but talented younger brother Sumner Erickson has to be seen to be believed.

New York viewers will be sad to note that tonight’s showing is the last one in the festival, but I’m sure it’ll be screening again sometime very soon. Additionally, those of you not living in the film capital of these United States should be sure to visit the news page on the You’re Gonna Miss Me web site for updated screening information.

Ain’t Nothin’ But a (soon-to-be-put-down) Guard Dog

More weirdness from the Animal Kingdom, this time courtesy of the Associated Press and Comet News:



Dog Destroys Elvis’ Teddy Bear at Museum

LONDON (AP) — A guard dog has ripped apart a collection of rare teddy bears, including one once owned by Elvis Presley, during a rampage at a children’s museum.

”He just went berserk,” said Daniel Medley, general manager of the Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England, where hundreds of bears were chewed up Tuesday night by the 6-year-old Doberman pinscher named Barney.

Barney ripped the head off a brown stuffed bear once owned by the young Presley during the attack, leaving fluffy stuffing and bits of bears’ limbs and heads on the museum floor. The bear, named Mabel, was made in 1909 by the German manufacturer Steiff.

The collection, valued at more than $900,000, included a red bear made by Farnell in 1910 and a Bobby Bruin made by Merrythought in 1936.

The bear with Elvis connections was owned by English aristocrat Benjamin Slade, who bought it at an Elvis memorabilia auction in Memphis, Tenn., and had loaned it to the museum.

”I’ve spoken to the bear’s owner and he is not very pleased at all,” Medley said. [clearly Elvis is alive!]
A security guard at the museum, Greg West, said he spent several minutes chasing Barney before wrestling the dog to the ground.

If the King of Rock (ahem) shot out a television just because Robert Goulet appeared on it, I cringe to think what he’d do to poor Barney.

Hell’s Getting Hotter: Manatee Sighted on the Hudson


(the members of Overkill, visibly excited that Joel remembers them)

Our good friends at the Poughkeepsie Journal hipped us to the following far out news from the world of nature:

A manatee has been seen in the Hudson River near Manhattan.

The gentle behemeth [sic., clearly Vassar needs to step up its literature program!], estimated at 10 feet long and close to 1,000 pounds, is far from home. Most manatees live in Florida and sightings even in Virginia are considered rare.

Watchers tracked this one last month as it swam north — first near Delaware, then Maryland, then New Jersey. Saturday, it was seen at 23rd Street in Manhattan, then later at 125th Street in Harlem.

A manatee was seen near Montauk, on the eastern tip of Long Island, in 1998, but this may be a first for the Hudson.

“As far as I know, the first for the river. We did have one migrate up along Long Island last summer but it never moved inshore,” said Tom Lake, the editor of the Hudson River Almanac. “Pretty exciting stuff.”

Durham called it a “bona fide” manatee sighting, but there isn’t photographic proof. Descriptions by a kayaker and others in the Hudson match grainy video showing a barnacled manatee passing Barnegat, N.J., she said.

Needless to say, even after this the Bush administration will continue to deny the effects of global warming.

Mission of Burma Invade Genteel Lincoln Center, Hold Audience Captive

Well, we’re actually kidding about the invasion part, and maybe “genteel” doesn’t really describe what’s going on there these days (what with all that wacky “modern art”), but formal attire is not required for the upcoming awesome event at the Film Society of Lincoln Center:
If you haven’t had a chance to see Mission of Burma on their current, amp-smokin’-hot tour across the East Coast/Midwest, and you live in New York City, check this out:

http://www.filmlinc.com/wrt/onsale/…photograph.html

NOT A PHOTOGRAPH: THE MISSION OF BURMA STORY

Series: Play It Loud: RockDocs [Aug 2 – 10 2006]
Director: David Kleiler, Jr. & Jeff Iwanicki, Country: USA, Release: 2006, Runtime: 73

NY Premiere
In 1979 a group of young, smart artist/musicians formed a post-punk band The New Yorker would later dub “the most criminally undersung band of the 80s.” Mission of Burma — Roger Miller, Clint Conley, and Peter Prescott mainly — could have been considered ahead of their time, and this film proves that, although they were only together until 1983, their reach was wide: inspiring REM, Sonic Youth, the Pixies, as well as Moby, Nirvana, Blur, Yo La Tengo and Spoon, among others. Influential but not famous, a critical but not a commercial success, this sometimes-quartet (including the mysterious Martin Swope and later Bob Weston as “tape manipulator”) gets its kudos 20 years later when they reunite and play venues they would have never seen decades earlier. Why wouldn’t they reunite, cites one observer, “they all still have good hair.” Filmmakers Kleiler and Iwanicki give us the lowdown and treat us to an unforgettable onstage jam at Irving Plaza, featuring a who’s who line up of Miller, Conley, Thurston Moore, Lee Renaldo, Moby, Richard Baluyut of Versus, Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, and Hugo Burnham of Gang of Four drumming alongside Prescott — a testimony indeed to the “best band you’ve never heard of.”

Not a Photograph is playing as part of the Film Society’s “Play It Loud: RockDocs06″ fest, which has many other films that are worth checking out, as well (I for one will be getting teary watching Roky Erickson tear it up). Screening dates and times for Not a Photograph are:

Saturday, August 5 at 6 PM
Thursday, Aug 10 at 9 PM

You can buy tickets by following that link up top. You might also notice that same picture of Burma on the front page of the Film Society’s site, as well. Not bad for “the best band you’ve never heard of” – though I think such a description might better describe the Endtables or somebody else a little more obscure.