I can report that David Christmas has so far been a complete success. Some pictures can be found here, and here. Pictures of the great $100, who also played, can be found here. Thanks to everyone who helped us out - everyone from Sonic Boom, Simone for all the art and labour, Steve for putting together the warm up players, all those dudes, Lauren for help with the photos, Kevin for the 7" stuff, and everyone who showed up.
Last October at Pop Montreal we played Year of the Pig for the first time - here is the video. We had played it that afternoon on a radio show, but this is the first time live. We did it again in Toronto a few weeks later and that has been it so far. Thanks to Dan Edge for hooking this video up, and Jennifer Sim for shooting the footage. As well, thanks to Kevin for the show, Jennifer and Simone for playing, and Dan Seligman for dealing with us that week.
By the way, I work in a lightbulb factory. You can read an interview about it on Stereogum HERE.
Chuck the Canuk from just plain east, Canada writes: what a bunch of whining losers. with a name like f***kd up, they were shocked and so on??? they themselves should be sued for the name of their band, for allowing kids to think it is proper and ok to say the F word in public. complete morons. get your heads out of your collective butts you idiots and get a real job in the real world, not your little f'kd up, crack fueled lives. punk is the right word i guess.
Hi - some of you apparently didn't get your copy of your santa photo on saturday - if this is the case please get in touch with David Eliade who is dealing with this matter: vibrationandhum @ hotmail.com
Speaking of David, he just wrote a piece for the Observer Music Blog in the UK about the process of recording David Christmas (speaking of that, it's sold out so don't ask! Rotate This records in Toronto will have copies in store late this week):
When I explained to the band Fucked Up, a band I managed to wrestle creative control of several years ago, that this year they would be recording a special Christmas 45rpm single, boy were they upset with me. The day started with me flying into Toronto, their home town in Canada. When I woke them all up at 5am to begin the day of recording, they had hardly even gotten down to bed from the intense mind melting from the previous evening. Gulag, their rhythm guitar player (by the way, the band all take "punk names" to displace their given names) had become entangled in the rope I had installed in their flat in order for them to maintain top fitness levels. Upon waking up he immediately began protesting the idea on the grounds that he is Jewish, but also that the idea was "lame". Hoping to save the discussions for later, I loaded them all into the taxi and we made our way to the gym. Every great manager knows that all good recording sessions begin with a fast and an intense workout regimen. Having spent the previous week on a strict diet of beet juice and grade B maple syrup, the band was now completely divested of epicurean influence and were now ready to tone their bodies in a similar fashion. In order to produce the most striking and wholesome notes in the studio, I believe it necessary for the body to be drained of sleep, food, and then to be shaken violently through vigorous exercise into a state of heightened awareness verging on uncontrollable fear. After 3 hours of laps and push ups, their bodies were as hollow as used toilet paper tubes, and I could already hear the music reverberating inside their deep mental cavities. Exhausted to the point of paranoia, the band entered the studio at around 3pm, at which point I immediately forced "Pink Eyes", the singer, to start cold-calling a finely tuned list of celebrities whose phone numbers I had amassed from years of living life on the finest edge of civilization. While one phone would be connected to Jarvis Cocker, the next would be dialing the late Peter Greene - all in the interests of securing their holiday greetings for the project. Pink Eyes was visibly nervous to be talking to such luminaries to the extent that he began shaking uncontrollably while the phone rang through to Dennis Pennis, it was all worth it in the end as the collection of stars that made it onto the record would make the Queen herself gasp in jealousy. The bside completed, the band was ready to record the music that would become the song "David Christmas", the 2nd in a series of numbers in deference to yours truly. I could tell that they were excited to be paying tribute to me in such a creative way, even though I wrote all the music and the lyrics and told them if this wasn't picked as the aside to the 7" that they would have to forgo even the beet juice for the next 3 weeks and would have to live on a healthy but lean diet of bee pollen. As the music rose out from their enfeebled bodies, as take after take was cut short by tears or fainting, as the music became so loud and forceful that it became like a wind that blew the band around the control room like leaves in a gust of winter air, I knew that indeed it was that special time of year again. To everyone who hears these joyful carols, these instant classic seasonal offerings, to everyone who sits down by the fire with a loved one to these modern bells of hope and love, it is from the bottom of our spent bodies that we wish you a David Christmas one and all.
Speaking of which, if you are one of the a-list celebs who appeared on the record and need a few copies, please send your home address and cell numbers to David.
Our friend Greg has been working on a DVD of those shows we, along with many other bands, played back in October:
This morning Rolling Stone was served with the following letter, co-signed by the labels Kill Rock Stars, Touch and Go, and a few others I've never heard of, regarding last weeks uncovering of the Indie Rock Universe debacle:
"An Open Letter to Rolling Stone"
We, the undersigned independent record labels, wish to share our indignation regarding Rolling Stone's November 15th pull out editorial, which featured the names of our artists in conjunction with an ad for Camel cigarettes. This editorial cartoon gives every impression of being part and parcel of the advertisement wrapped around it.
The use of an artist's name to promote a brand or product should be done only with the artist's explicit consent, something that was neither solicited nor obtained from the labels or bands.
When questioned, Rolling Stone has referred to the "Indie Rock Universe" pull out section as an "editorial", but it hardly seems accidental that this editorial content is wrapped in a giant ad from R.J. Reynolds announcing their support for independent artists and labels. The idea that this was a coincidence in any way seems dubious at best. There are two other pull out sections in this same issue of Rolling Stone. Both are wrapped in advertising, but neither of these ads could be construed as part of the editorial content within.
Many of the bands named, and the labels that represent them, are very unhappy with the implication that they have any involvement with R.J. Reynolds and Camel cigarettes. We ask that Rolling Stone apologize for blurring the line between editorial and advertisement, and in doing so, implying that the bands named support the product being advertised.
Kill Rock Stars, Touch and Go, Skin Graft, Lovepump United, Lucky Madison, 5RC, Audio Dregs, and Fryk Beat.
Bands - if you were involved in this piece, please get in touch.
Meanwhile - The Star just wrote a think about us, and it.
Stay tuned dudes!
Meanwhile - make sure to bring a non-perishable food item for the show on Saturday. Don't be late.
Hey have you guys ever tried smoking? It's amazing. Recently we were featured, along with many other denizens of this crazy thing we call the Indie Rock Universe, in an ad campaign called The Indie Rock Universe. In a joint project between Rolling Stone, Camel Cigarettes and its parent company the Sheinhardt Wig Corporation, "The Farm" was created to serve the online needs of millions of smoke cigarettes indie rock fans across the world and indeed the galaxy. You can take a look at this smoke cigarettes online-pullout ad right here:
Here is a New York Times article about the fiasco. Here is another one.
Frankly we are glad to be included in this great project - here are some more great products we are happy to endorse:
123 Nej The Montreal Expos In N Out Burger Patriot brand Dumpsters Guitar Hero Mcdonalds Beer (and cigars) Ice Cream (and techno) Here is part of an interview we did about this issue:
First, what was your reaction to being included in this advertorial? I understand that anger is one reaction, but was there confusion first or even a moment where you thought this was exciting?
It was definetely a "wtf" moment. We were confused because we had seen the pullout online a few weeks prior and just thought it was some Rolling Stone article, because the online version isn't connected to any advertisment. We got an email from our friends AIDS WOLF a few days ago saying that all these bands were in a Camel ad but that no smoke cigarettes one knew what it looked like. It took a bit of searching to figure out that the pullout was the ad. We didn't think it was exciting, just lame. I mean its hard to explain how you react to something like this - I wasn't so much angry, just bummed out. It's just so typical that this would happen, and there is nothing you can really do about it. I know that Camel is being sued now by US states, but ours is a different issue and almost has nothing to do with Camel - there are so many levels that things like this happen through, its hard to even figure out who to be mad at.
What exactly bothers you about this? Some could argue (and maybe already have) that this is "free exposure" for his or her band. How do you view this and what is in FU's "politics" (for lack of a better word) that is so bothersome about this to you?
Well we are connected to this through downloading - Deranged and Jade Tree have a deal with Rhapsody, where they stream our music online smoke cigarettes and we get money. No big deal. The problem is that purportedly Rhapsody made these songs available for the ad without permission. I have seen our Deranged's contract with them and they aren't allowed to use songs for promotional purposes. I'm sure there is some loophole we dont know about that lets them to this legally though. I don't care about free exposure, we have been in those magazines before, it doesn't amount to anything. The thing that is bothersome about this is that the three companies involved must have known going in that this was such a fucked up thing to do, but that they could get away with it. I know that "The farm" or whatever got shut down, and that Rolling Stone is being sued, but so what? Nothing is going to happen to Rhapsody. You have all these bands that are mostly to small and insignificant to do anything about it (ie pay for legal fees) but are like hip enough for them to want to associate with, so they can do it.
The fact that it "has come to this" where disgusting corporations are trying to co-opt either independent music or the culture inherent behind it...there's something there that smoke cigarettes we both know is not right. Do you have any comments on that? Did you expect anything like this when you joined up with Jade Tree/publicists.
I mean the irony is the song they used was from Epics in Minutes, which wasn't on Jade Tree. It is really wierd though. I didn't really understand that "The Farm" thing fully, just that it was some website that you went on to find out about your favorite bands. Who thinks this stuff up? It's just so bizzare. Like in the age of myspace and like millions of message boards, why the fuck would Camel think that people even needed a website like this? Maybe if they could design a website where you could go to NOT find out about fucking millions of bands every 2 seconds, they would be onto something. I would sign up for that. As far as the co-option part, it sucks, but what are you going to do. How many people do you see at a show smoking? I'm surprised this hasn't been done sooner - indie and punk kids smoke. Just because you think its lame that all your favorite bands got poached for a ciggarette ad doesn't mean that every concert you go to isn't already a huge smoking ad by accident anyway. The irony is that Camel thought it needed to spend smoke cigarettes money on an ad campaign on smoking in the first place. All the cool kids already smoke.
SOME OTHER NEWS The David Christmas 7" is sold out. Thanks to everyone who ordered one, or two or ten. If you still need to get on the best way would be to get a copy from us at the show this Saturday. We will have plenty of copies.
Meanwhile, Pink Eyes is DJ-ing this event which you should come to if you are able. He will be playing his favorite bands - Face to Face, AFI, and NOFX.
We have a preliminary schedule for SXSW: WED MARCH 12 - Secret downtown show THU MARCH 13 - Secret official showcase FRI MARCH 14 - Secret boat show FRI MARCH 14 - Secret Solid PR show SAT MARCH 15 - Secret waterloo park gig
The David Christmas 7" is now up for pre-order HERE. Please go and grab it. For now it is just at Insound because it's the easiest way to move these things out in time for xmas, but expect it at a few stores in New York and Toronto after the 15th, and possibly a few other distros. We are also sending 100 to the UK that will be available from Rough Trade soon. Remember, ALL proceeds from this record are going to George Herman House - the records are retailing from all stores and from us for $10 - and these distros are giving us at least $9.00-$9.50 as a wholesale rate for each record, which means almost all of the money spent on each record will actually get to the charity. We also got donated studio time from Chris Hegge at Audiolab, and donated labour from Simone at Punchclock.
We are doing all we can to make it possible for everyone who orders or buys one of these to have it before December 25th, because that's a big day apparently. Apart from Insound, the easiest way to make that happen for yourself is to get it from us on Dec 15th - here is some more info about that action packed weekend:
Friday, December 14 @ Sneaky Dees 9pm, $10 HITS AND MISSES XMAS PARTY with THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW BRUTAL KNIGHTS THE VAPIDS ULTRA VIOLENCE RAY
Saturday December 15th @ Sonic Boom Records Cost: Non-perishable food donation 3-5pm: Get your picture taken with Santa, listen to xmas tunes performed by a bunch of people 5pm-6pm: Fucked Up performs xmas style set with some guests, etc
6:30pm-9:30 Go see John Waters at the Phoenix
11am-1am: Watch Sleepless in Seattle 10 times
Saturday December 15th @ Adrift 9pm cost TBA All Ages TYVEK QUEST FOR FIRE plus a few surprise bands
ALSO Here are those UK dates for Feb - we will confirm a few more in the next few days. This tour is with GALLOWS, which explains why all the venues are so small:
15 Feb 2008 Norwich UEA 16 Feb 2008 Birmingham Academy 18 Feb 2008 Cardiff University 19 Feb 2008 Nottingham Rock City 21 Feb 2008 Manchester Academy 2 22 Feb 2008 Newcastle Academy 23 Feb 2008 Glasgow ABC 24 Feb 2008 Leeds Met University 26 Feb 2008 Exeter Lemon Grove 27 Feb 2008 Portsmouth Pyramid 29 Feb 2008 London Astoria