Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Negotiations Stall to Digitize/Itune Beatles' Catalogue

My favorite quote: "EMI want something we're not prepared to give 'em. It's between EMI and The Beatles I think - what else is new?"

Sir Paul McCartney has said he wants The Beatles' catalogue to appear on Apple's iTunes store, but that negotiations have currently "stalled."

"We'd like to do it," Sir Paul told BBC News. "We are very for it, we've been pushing it. But there are a couple of sticking points, I understand."

He said "heavy negotiations" were going on with their former record label EMI.

"EMI want something we're not prepared to give 'em. It's between EMI and The Beatles I think - what else is new?"

The band's music is not currently available to download legally.

"Last word I got back was it's stalled at the moment," Sir Paul said. "But I really hope it will happen because I think it should."

EMI, which owns the Beatles recordings, must agree a deal with Apple Corps, the company set up by the band to look after their classic catalogue.

The various parties involved have been unable to reach agreement but we really hope everyone can make progress soon

An EMI spokesperson said: "We have been working hard to secure agreement with Apple Corps to make the Beatles' legendary recording catalogue available to fans in digital form.

"Unfortunately the various parties involved have been unable to reach agreement but we really hope everyone can make progress soon."

Sir Paul was speaking as he launched a new album under the name The Fireman, his collaboration with producer Youth.

The album, Electric Arguments, has seen the former Beatle take an experimental twist and has garnered glowing reviews.

It was released on Monday and, along with solo work by all four members of the legendary British band, is available to buy on iTunes.

The vast majority of major acts have now signed up to sell their songs on iTunes, with only AC/DC, Kid Rock and Garth Brooks also holding out.

There were hopes that Beatles songs would become available after Apple Inc - which owns the download store - ended a trademark dispute with Apple Corps last year. (Source)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Win a Shopping Spree at IKEA with....Pavement?

The PR people at Matador Records are either incredibly creative or incredibly mental, I can't determine which yet. One thing's for sure, obviously none of them have ever tried the Swedish Meatball lunch.

Win A Date To IKEA With A Member Of Pavement • You need to submit a photo and "short essay" explaining why you should be the one who wins iMeem and Matador's $500 Brighten The Corners IKEA shopping spree with "a member of Pavement." There's no word which member, but the winner gets a free "Swedish Meatball lunch," so you ought to be happy even if it's Bob Nastanovich. Enter at iMeem until 12/6 (winners announced 12/9). (Source)

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Order recall poor quality reissues

Did you buy the latest New Order reissues? Find the sound to be rather shite? Well buck up camper, it seems you can trade yours in for reissues of the reissues shortly...

New Order have announced that they will reissue their latest reissues, after complaints over their sound quality. People who have already purchased collector edition copies of the band's first five albums will be able to exchange these for the new versions – that is, if they even noticed the problems.

"Warner Bros UK, Rhino and New Order regret that the initial pressings of the collector editions of Movement, Power, Corruption & Lies, Low Life, Brotherhood and Technique contain some minor audio problems on the bonus discs," yesterday's statement announced. "We are now in the process of correcting the problems, but it should be noted that due to the age and condition of some of the original source tapes, the sound quality may vary."

Though the albums were released in the UK last month, fan furore over sound quality only won a response after the US release this week. And despite fans' loud online complaints, major publications like Q, Mojo and Pitchfork didn't seem to notice the sound issues in their reviews.

Then again, New Order bassist Peter Hook did. "This is a very difficult one," he wrote on his MySpace blog. "We are aware of the problems and because we did not have finished product to listen to [before-hand] it has, shall we say ... slipped through the net?"

Hook went on to promise that his "great friend" and New Order biographer Claude Flowers would "sort this mess out personally".

New Order's collector edition reissues each include a bonus disc of B-sides, instrumentals, remixes and rarities. It's mostly these tracks that aroused listeners' ire, with fans documenting as many as 300 errors. Pops and crackles on the recordings suggested that the songs were transferred from commercially available vinyl recordings – the same ones many fans already own - rather than coming from original master tapes.(Source)

Airborne Toxic Event Tour Blog; Drummer Daren Taylor Talks to Animals

This is one of the video blog posts that The Airborne Toxic Event is doing during their "30 shows in 30 days" tour throughout England this month.

Let's hope Mark Wahlberg's radio has been tuned to something besides KROQ all this time. You know, for drummer Daren Taylor's sake.

(See the rest of the tour video posts here.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Show Review: The Whigs @ DAR, Washington, DC (11-10-08)

The Whigs are a band whose barrage of energy never ceases to amaze me. They opened for We Are Scientists and Kings of Leon recently, and shook the old bones of the Daughters of American Revolution Hall (DAR) to its core.

The second and most recent release by this Athens, GA three-piece, (Mission Control) is a powerful and ear-splitting cacophony of sound full of poppy goodness. While some bands have mixing help when recording, or play louder to cover the fact they really can't play their instruments, Parker Gispert (lead guitar/vocals), Julian Dorio (drums), and Tim Deux (bass) are each stellar in their playing abilities, who rip addictive melodies out and weave them seamlessly into each other.

(Parker Gispert)

(Julian Dorio)

(Tim Deux)

Gispert pogoed and stomped around the stage when he wasn't singing, so energetically at times he almost fell into Dorio's drum kit at least twice. Deux started out all stoic and calm compared to Gispert's always-in-motion-ness, but then broke out into a Rod Stewart/Mick Jaggar strut from time to time, standing on the speakers. Then there's Dorio who was the vortex around which this stage chaos swarmed. Dorio is a jackhammer of sound, a younger Keith Moon with long red hair that flailed around as uncontained as Dorio's drumming. As hard as he plays, it shocks me that Dorio doesn't break more sticks. Or passes out. He was visibly panting after many of the songs.

This DAR show is the third time I've seen The Whigs, and every time, they've blown me away with the amount of energy and intensity they play with, night after night. Much like another passionate showman, The Whigs can be summed up in two words: Raw Power. Don't look for any smooth songs for the lovers here.

(See the rest of the photos of The Whigs DAR show here)

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Springsteen Album Set For January 27

Some say this will be the last one with the E Street Band...let's hope it's as good as "Magic" and "The Rising," for a nice wind-up trifecta...

It’s a dream come true for fans of Bruce Springsteen: the blue-collar bard of Asbury Park, N.J., will release his newest album, “Working on a Dream,” on Jan. 27, days before he plays the Super Bowl halftime show, his publicist said in a press release. The new album, recorded with the E Street Band, will be the 24th of Mr. Springsteen’s career, and the fourth to be produced by Brendan O’Brien, who also produced Mr. Springsteen’s recent albums “The Rising,” “Devils and Dust,” and “Magic.” Among the 12 songs (plus two bonus tracks) included on the album are the title song, which Mr. Springsteen first performed at a Columbus, Ohio, rally for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in October, as well as “The Wrestler,” from the Darren Aronofsky movie of the same name. Mr. Springsteen and the E Street Band are scheduled to play the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla. (Source)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Seen Your Video: A Place to Bury Strangers Live in Amsterdam

NYC's A Place to Bury Strangers is true sonic annihilation for the ears and the mind. I first discovered APTBS at the Monolith Festival in September this year and they completely blew me away.

The sheer power and rumbling intensity of their live show, APTBS was one of the two best sets I saw at Monolith. You know when they demolish casinos in Vegas, how loud it is? APTBS is that times about 40.

I caught them again recently at the 930 Club here in DC and it was the same thing. Their stage presence is amazing. Like catch-your-breath, oh-my-god-are-you-watching-this amazing.

(See the rest of APTBS photos from the 930 Club here.)

The only downside to discovering this band in a live setting was that it's so loud you can't make out the lyrics. And being a writer, I like to know words. So I was pretty psyched to come across one of their live shows, the Paradisio-Small Hall (5-26-2008) in Amsterdam, via Fabchannel, a neat site that shows various concerts from many music genres, all in streaming video. Now there's a one-stop shop for seeing this incredible band live AND checking out their lyrics.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anthony Kiedis' Life is Basis for New HBO Series

The NY Post reports today about a series currently in development that is loosely based on Red Hot Chili Peppers' lead singer Anthony Kiedis' adolescence. It's good they already have a title ("Scar Tissue") as Californication is already taken. Wonder who'll get the lead role?

CABLE truly is different than broadcast TV. HBO is developing a series with Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis "based on his unconventional, rock 'n' roll childhood," Variety reports. But blogger Ron Mwangagu hunga points out that Kiedis' 2004 memoir, "Scar Tissue," "has a disturbing amount of bragging about sex with underage girls. One of the girls, he confesses, grotesquely, was a 14-year-old dolled-up like Marilyn Monroe . . . another was a 15-year-old, Ione Skye . . . has the statute of limitations for statutory rape expired?" An HBO spokesman said, "We did not buy the rights to his book, and we are not dramatizing the book. This project is focused on Anthony's life as an adolescent. The title, now tentatively called 'Scar Tissue,' does not refer to the book, but to the song." The HBO show will focus on Kiedis and his father, "who sold drugs and mingled with rock stars on the Sunset Strip," Variety reports.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Morning Benders Exclusive Itunes EP Released Today

The Morning Benders are releasing their very own live session (iTunes Exclusive) EP, available today on the homepage of the iTunes store. The five-song session includes three alt versions of songs from their debut album 'Talking through Tin Cans', the exclusive debut of a brand new song called ‘back & again’, and one extra special cover from the Disney movie, The Jungle Book.

The track listing is as follows:

damnit anna (supersoul version)
i wanna be like you (jungle book cover)
back and again (big echo preview)
i was wrong (nico version)
doctor doctor (alt version of 'patient patient')

Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) - EP on the iTunes Store can be found here.

In conjunction with the release of the Live Session, their debut album 'Talking Through Tin Cans' will be sold at a discount price this week only here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wayne Coyne Directs a Christmas Movie for the Whole Family

Wayne Coyne, frontman for the flamboyant The Flaming Lips, talks about "Chrismas On Mars: A Fantastical Film Freak-Out Featuring the Flaming Lips," his directoral debut, that's out tomorrow on DVD. Being Wayne Coyne's neighbor must be either really cool or a giant pain in the ass. [Source]

You could fly to Mars and back in less time than it took for Wayne Coyne, the theatrical frontman of experimental psych rock band the Flaming Lips, to finish his film, "Christmas On Mars: A Fantastical Film Freak-out Featuring the Flaming Lips." His directorial debut is out Tuesday on DVD.

Coyne, who built most of the set in the back yard of his Oklahoma City home, began filming in 2001. The trippy sci-fi flick about an isolated, depressed colony on Mars, stars Coyne as an alien and Lips drummer Steven Drozd as Major Syrtis, who wants to celebrate Christmas as life on the Red Planet hangs in the balance.

As the settlers deal with major malfunctions, they await the birth of a baby - who is growing in a bubble. The mute alien arrives in a ball of light (a la Glenda the Good Witch in "The Wizard of Oz"), dons the Santa Claus suit and saves the day with a feel-good dose of holiday inspiration. It's a B-movie inspired feature made for the midnight movie circuit. It's weird, but the tender moments manage to draw you in a real, not other-worldly, way. The Post talked to Coyne, 47, on Election Day.

Will people see "Christmas on Mars" because you directed it?

You probably have to know who I am to even want to care about the movie. If you care about a director, you want to see what came out of his mind. That made me think, 'I'm free to do whatever I want.'

Are there benefits to filming for seven years?

We'd work on it for few months and then go do something else, so we'd lose the lose . . . the preciousness.

When I'd go back and see a scene, I'd say, 'That's pretty good. I thought was gonna be a bunch of sh - -, but it's pretty good.' Or, we'd do a scene and I'd think it's cheap and amateurish, but seeing it three years later, it didn't seem cheap and amateurish. It was really cool. Then I didn't start to worry about it as much.

So you felt overwhelmed at times?

You go at it with confidence - I have six or seven ideas I want to piece together somehow. But then you get in there and everything is a moment. It's like writing a novel. You just don't go from chapter three to chapter four. You have to write every f - - - ing word in between.

This movie seems ripe for interpretation.

[Laughing] It totally is. It's made in some of these clich├ęd arty bulls - - t ways that help. It's black-and-white. It deals with vague, vaginal-istic weirdness, religion vs. science and what is the meaning of happiness. Once it's made, you see those things in it.

Why did you cast yourself as the savior/alien?

For our annual Christmas card, I took a Polaroid of myself. From that, my wife, [an artist], painted a picture of me as an alien in a Santa suit. Everyone who gets the card says, 'I love your alien Santa Claus.' I was in the mode of making a movie and I didn't know what my character would be, but then I knew it'd be a Martian that turned into Santa Claus.

Most difficult thing to shoot?

There was a 20-foot ladder straight up to the grain elevator to walk up. There were spots up there that you could fall through - 110 feet to your death - that were just covered with duct tape. We first got up there and thought 'This is really dangerous,' but you do it a couple times and it doesn't seem as dangerous.

The pigeon sh - - at the top of this elevator had been there since 1945. Pigeon sh - - piles up pretty thick [he indicates the height of a foot or so], so we literally dug it out.

Problems with taking seven years to film?

We joke about it, but Steven [Drozd], in one scene, is at the height of his heroin addiction - weighing 175 pounds. Four years later he weighs 230 pounds, and he walks through a door as a whole new guy. We also thought it was absurd in a way. He was at the height of being at death's door. He could die after we shoot this. To me, this made it better and more meaningful. That's how you do it - with your life going on.

Can someone who's over 40 and not in an altered state enjoy this at home?

You could put it on and not even know who the Flaming Lips are or anything and go, 'Oh, this looks like some crazy sh - -, I'll watch this.' It's even better watching it and relaxing at your house and answering the phone if you need to. To me it really does roll along. It's funny. It's got action.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Show Review: The Happy Hollows @ The Red and the Black, Washington DC (10-28-08)

Given my penchant for the various earobic goodies that keep coming from the Silver Lake music scene, I'm always thrilled to see the live version when one of the bands happens to make the trek east. This thrill gets even more amped when it's a long-time favorite such as The Happy Hollows/MSPCE who played here last week at The Red and the Black. The Hollows, a three-piece who play rhythmic indie-pop songs punctured with jagged rock edges, had been namechecked to me countless times by bands and reviewers from that scene, and all with the same comment: "great live show." And boy, were they right.

Leading this musical geothermal friction was lead singer/guitarist Sarah Negahdari. There's a cool dichotomy in terms of stage presence between her and her band mates, bass guitarist Charley Mahoney and drummer Chris Hernandez, in that the guys provide a calm background to the female Jekyll/Hyde pairing that is Negahdari on stage. While off-stage she's soft-spoken and well, sweet (an adjective I'm sure she's sick of hearing about herself, but she really is), onstage she seems to channel another personality altogether, one that stomps and screams and seriously rocks her face off.

The way the Hollows played their hearts out at TR&TB, it was obvious that this is a band that thoroughly enjoys playing music. Be it playing for 20 people in the crowd, like it was at TR&TB, or 200 people like it is for them typically back home, the Hollows play with the same level of enthusiasm and intensity all the time. Hell, these guys probably rock out in their practice space just playing by themselves. It's easy to play an invigorated show in a venue filled with friends and fans; it's much harder to do that in a room 3,000 miles from home, to a crowd of 20, where maybe two people have heard of you. And while that's something you should probably be able to do if you're in a band, that's not something every band does.

The Happy Hollows may have only played to 20 people at TR&TB, but their obvious enthusiasm for playing definitely captured those people enough that they happily tossed themselves against their jagged rock edges, and walked out as new listeners to the Happy Hollows siren call.

See more photos from the Happy Hollows show here.

Listen: Vietnam-The Happy Hollows

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reason #987987987 to Like Obama....

...right after Obama's big speech in Grant Park last night, after the "West Wing" theme song-like music played as the Obama's and the Biden's hugged, waved to the crowd, and walked off stage, what immediately came over the loudspeakers to a jubliant crowd dancing and singing along?

The Rising by Bruce Springsteen.

Like Obama, hate Obama, but you have to agree that the man does have some good music taste!

Saturday, November 1, 2008