It's 10 PM. Do you know if your children are emo?

Sorry I've been so absent lately. I was going to make up some story about how I was on vacation one week and then when I got back I had a really wicked sore throat so I've been staying off the air even though I've been working. But the truth is, I'm just emo. I've been spending my days collecting emo points for bragging rights to use on my friends and on my weblog.

Life is so hard, guys. I just need to be left alone. Thx.

(saw this on idolator.)

The Snake The Cross The Crown are back, baby

the snake cross crown tstctcFollowing the release of Mander Salis in 2004 and subsequent tour, the band quietly put a note up on snakecrosscrown.com that they were taking a "hiatus" (if I remember correctly). Usually, that's what bands say when they don't want to deal with the full fallout of a breakup publicly (see Blink-182). Kinda like Hollywood couples separating but remaining great friends who call each other every night.

Not the case for TSTCTC though, apparently. Just as quietly as they stepped aside two years ago, The Snake The Cross The Crown started playing shows again recently. And last week while I was away, they posted "Behold The River" on the web, from their new record Cotton Teeth, out March 20.

The Snake The Cross The Crown - Behold The River (mp3, right click to download.)

There has been little fanfare to date. I expect that to change soon. This is really good. Really really good. I love this band, I was sad when I thought they were gone, and now that they're back, I'm just tickled pink.

At the moment, it would seem there's only one planned concert, about a week before the album's release, March 11 at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn. Which is a tiny little place (see this pic i took of The Beagle Club there for reference). I'm planning on being there.

(TSTCTC @ purevolume)


The stuff of nightmares

art is resistance nin
Ever since Mr. Reznor did the sound for Quake (the first game I remember actually screaming out loud at out of fright), and really ever since I heard my first NIN record, I've known he could be...dark. But the marketing that's beginning to swell around NIN's Year Zero (out 4/17/07) is some of the creepiest/awesommest shit I have ever seen/read/heard.

What you need to know, I guess, is that Year Zero takes place in a not-so-distant future, in which the American government has taken some extreme measures in the name of freedom and security. See iamtryingtobelieve.com and artisresistance.com to get a sense of what I'm talking about here.

What's cool about this isn't the post-apocalyptic it-can-happen-here thing (okay, that's cool too). It's the way all this is slowly coming together, and how much planning must have gone into it ahead of time. iamtryingtobelieve.com was discovered as a result of some highlighted letters on an overseas tour t-shirt. And then there was a USB thumbdrive discovered in a bathroom at a show containing a song and a strange .mp3 file that sounded like crickets until it was passed through a spectograph analyzer to reveal a phone number: 1-216-333-1810. Call it (be warned, it's extremely disturbing). And from there, head on to uswiretap.com/71839j/ for more insanity.

Imagine putting all this together. Trusting your fans enough to analyze a sound file to get that phone number (okay, so maybe you could have given them hints if they didn't figure it out on their own). I have never seen or heard of anybody promoting a record quite like this.

I've referred you here to a few things. Over at ninwiki.com, they have a much more complete account and more legible transcripts of these pages. I encourage you, fan of NIN or not, to check it out.

Nine Inch Nails - Live -  Beside You in TimeIn other news, NIN has a DVD out very soon of last year's tour, which I caught and somehow failed to blog about. Probably too late now to rave about it, but believe me when I tell you that this will be worth a netflix'ing.

(nin.com), (myspace.com/nin)

This is pretty cool

arcade fire neon bibleNot nearly as cool as having been there (the frustration of the ticketless hoi polloi is well-documented) but this is a very thoughtful consolation prize. The Arcade Fire have very kindly made one of their 5 NYC shows at the Judson Memorial Church available for download via NPR.

Arcade Fire - Live at Judson Memorial Church 2/17/07 (mp3, right click to download)

Josh Pyke - Lines On Palms video

Josh Pyke's new record, Memories & Dust, is out March 10. "Lines On Palms" is the second single, the first track, and candidly, quite good.


The Killers - Romeo and Juliet

It's a dicey proposition covering one of the greatest songs ever written (imho). The safe route is to play it pretty similarly and hope that people just like the fresh take of a slightly different production. The dangerous route is to mess around with it.

So The Killers played it safe. But I don't blame them. And I don't hate this. It's just not as good as the original.

(And since that video was so abysmal that I couldn't get through 1 minute of it, here's a kinda neat live version.)


New Fountains of Wayne!

fountains of wayne traffic and weatherUnfortunately, all I've got for you now is a stream of the first minute or so of one song from Fountains of Wayne's forthcoming April release Traffic and Weather. Which is aggravating. I guess it has the desired effect of leaving me wanting more, but it also has the undesired effect of making me want to strangle someone.

Anyway, the song's called "Someone to Love" and from what I can hear, I like it.

Infuriate yourself.

(via stereogum)


SanDisk CEO Eli Harari replies to Steve Jobs

In an open letter (that reads kinda like a sales pitch) on the SanDisk website, Chairman and CEO Eli Harari responds to Steve Jobs, although he never mentions Jobs, iTunes, or iPods by name:
As a loud debate continues over how digital music is sold and used by consumers, SanDisk believes there is another way to address this issue—an approach less confrontational than that voiced by others in the industry.

The answer is to protect the interests of everyone involved, not to chastise rights holders for trying to safeguard the entertainment they create and support.

As a leader in the digital music industry, SanDisk has always supported freedom of choice for consumers. At the same time, we believe that entertainment companies and artists must be compensated.

Consumers deserve fair use of the digital entertainment they purchase, with the freedom to enjoy content on any device they own. SanDisk’s approach is to let consumers decide how and where they acquire and play back their music.

Proprietary systems, in short, aren’t acceptable to consumers. In recent months, there has been a rising chorus of complaints in Europe about the anti-competitive nature of closed formats that tie music purchased from one company to that company’s devices, and tie that company’s devices to its music service.

SanDisk is already offering an alternative with its Sansa line of MP3 players, which connect to many major online music stores, including Rhapsody, Napster, URGE, Yahoo! Music, emusic and Best Buy Digital Music Store. Users purchasing songs from those services can also play them on many non-SanDisk devices. SanDisk and our partners have full support from the four major music companies, and we believe our offering is no less secure than closed systems.

What’s more, the decision on using digital rights management (DRM) should rest with the music industry, not with device makers.

Time and again, we have seen that open choice prevails. The “walled garden” approach may offer a smoother user experience in the short run, but ultimately restricts user choice. Protecting music doesn’t require confining consumers to a single company’s service or devices. It’s time to tear down the walls.

SanDisk is looking at the big picture, by creating solutions rather than conflict. Building an infrastructure to give consumers fair access to digital content while protecting content creators is vital for the long-term health of the music industry, as well as to our business and to our competitors. SanDisk stands committed to making this happen.

Truth be told, I've been incredibly happy with my ARCHOS since I retired my old iPod a while back. I agree with Harari here about walled gardens. But I think he misses the big picture that Steve Jobs was painting: that DRM simply doesn't work ANYWAY, and that clinging to it is hurting all the content owners, stores, and hardware in this space.

Come on. Really?

Every time Steve Jobs opens his mouth (or types something, I guess) it's awesome for bloggers. And his latest missive about DRM apparently has ruffled some feathers over at Warner Music:
Warner Music chief executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. said in a call with analysts that the argument to drop copy protection also known as digital rights management (DRM) is "without logic and merit. We will not abandon DRM."

Oh Edgar, perhaps you should take a look at Warner Music's SEVENTY-FOUR PERCENT DROP IN PROFIT LAST YEAR and re-think your logic and merit.

This reeks of arrogance and myopia. The walls are CRUMBLING AROUND YOU. These majors are laying off their staffs, placing all their eggs in the baskets of a few huge-selling acts (EMI on Coldplay ring a bell?), and fiddling as the city burns. Get with the program, Edgar. The old ways aren't working any more.


::smacks forehead::

The RIAA responds to Steve Jobs' open letter regarding DRM that was posted yesterday:
"Apple’s offer to license Fairplay to other technology companies is a welcome breakthrough and would be a real victory for fans, artists and labels. There have been many services seeking a license to the Apple DRM. This would enable the interoperability that we have been urging for a very long time."

The validity of whether it would be "a real victory" or not aside, Jobs didn't offer to license Fairplay. He stated why licensing Fairplay would never work in the process of constructing a pretty decent argument for abolishing DRM.

Honestly (and I'm being candid here) there isn't a word for stupid that is strong enough for the RIAA. How do they even still exist? Who in their right mind supports these buffoons? Even if this is a joke (as the LA Times generously suggests), it's not funny.

(via engadget.)


Steve Jobs doesn't like DRM

Steve Jobs adds a pretty deep, bellowing voice to the deafening chorus of people that are pretty darned tired of DRM:
"If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies"

If any one man has the power to bend the will of THE MAJORS (ominous ones, they are), it's Mr. Jobs. He famously refused to be bullied when he set up iTunes in the first place, which is arguably the secret ingredient for its success. (via REUTERS)

In other slightly-heartening-if-you're-into-that-sort-of-thing news, OZZFEST will be free (asterisk) this year.

ToToM - ColdParty - Hunting For Witches In My Place

coldpartyI don't make a habit of telling you about lame mashups that I come across in this hairy, digital jungle, but this is no lame mashup. This one is rad. And when I say rad, I mean totally bodacious.

Head over to MashupTown for more details (that site is awesome for this kinda stuff) and listen to Coldplay's "In My Place" mashed up with the best track from Bloc Party's new record: "Hunting For Witches."

ToTom - ColdParty - Hunting For Witches In My Place (mp3, right click to download.)

Bloc Party's new record A Weekend In The City is out today, btw.


In competition for the worst price

idlewild make another worldBecause I'm obsessed, I just went and checked amazon for the status of the new Idlewild record. Of course, since there's not currently a deal for distribution in the states, if I want this record I have to import it for...$30.99! What a deal.

The world is very, very small (I'm talking to you now, record companies and band management). People who want this in the US aren't going to wait for it to be released here at a reasonable price, and they sure as hell aren't going to be shelling out $30.99 in any kind of huge numbers. If you ever want it to do well in the US, you NEED to release it at the same time everywhere.

I'm bothered because I love this band. I really want them to do well here, so they'll tour here more often, so people won't look at me cross-eyed when I wax rhapsodic about them. But a $30.99 pricetag basically dooms this record to stateside failure.

Here's the tracklisting:

1. In Competition For The Worst Time
2. Everything (As It Moves)
3. No Emotion
4. Make Another World
5. If It Takes You Home
6. Future Works
7. You & I Are Both Away
8. Ghost In The Arcade
9. Once In Your Life
10. Finished It Remains

Game: Blouses.

Everyone from Lefsetz to BrooklynVegan thought Prince was awesome last night, and I have to agree. God, he can wail.

video here: part 1 part 2


Raine Maida - Sex Love and Honey video

I had no idea Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace) was doing solo stuff (last I heard he was producing Avril Lavigne records). This is a pretty cool video, though. And the song is growing on me.

More Moz

morrisseyThis time in text form! What a fascinating guy. A friend and I read this concomitantly, blasting quotes back and forth via IM as we came across good bits. I would relate some of them to you here (in block quotes and everything) but honestly I'd only end up copying and pasting the entire interview to you.

You can smell the fear of the interviewer right through the screen, which is notable because surely writing for LA Weekly this isn't the first big name she's had a chat with. Morrissey, larger-than-life as he is, must be amazingly intimidating to sit down next to. (See the last video on the 8th page for another example). But it seems to me in the interviews I've read and listened to lately, that if the interviewer can simply approach him as a human being and not as something to be poked and prodded, he's incredibly gracious. The sad state of affairs in the media is that those possessing the simple inter-personal skills to properly engage the man aren't as prevalent as they should be.

Ringleader Of The Tormentors

(Previously, an audio interview.)

Addendum: My profound admiration towards Kate Sullivan for naming this feature "Moz the Cat," which I have to assume is an allusion to Mog the Cat, from a book that my mom used to read to me when I was a kid.