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File: February 2008

| January 30, 2008

EMI’s E-M Ergency

In what could be mistaken for a climate-change exercise, lifeboats are circling the offices of EMI Recordings, home to Capitol, Virgin, and Astralwerks Records among others. Nearly 2,000 jobs have been cut — take that, downloaders! — and the fallout isn’t limited to staff.

A change of chairmen has thrown the company’s direction into so much doubt Robbie Williams (who’s level with David Beckham to the rest of the planet), Coldplay, and The Verve have allegedly threatened to withhold new albums until they can be convinced it’s worth their while to proceed. Radiohead, Paul McCartney, and Sparklehorse (way to go!) have already splitsky.

In a bit of piling on, The Rolling Stones are expected to walk (before they make them run) as well and are widely reported to have a one-album deal in the offing with Universal. It’ll only be the soundtrack to the Scorsese-helmed Shine A Light concert film due in March, but that’s a lotta money EMI’s missing.

Pulling Punches

The indie rock world, only tangentially interested in Pete Doherty’s daily parole violations, found itself feverishly checking celebrity-news blogs on January 6th. Marty Crandall, multi-instrumentalist/interpretive dancer for cuddly closet prog rockers The Shins, found both himself and his girlfriend jailed for domestic violence against the other.

Most of the info sprang from her side, as former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Elyse Sewell blogged, “On the drive home (home?) from Albuquerque to Portland, my ex-boyfriend got shitfaced and roughed me up in a Sacramento hotel.” Sewell posted pictures of bruises and expounded on her own arrest, claiming bitemarks on Crandall were made in self-defense. Before anything else happened, however, Sewell removed the post and charges against both, according to a Sacramento District Attorney speaking to The Portland Mercury, “[were] rejected due [to] insufficient evidence.” Sewell then promised never to speak of it again, though it remains to be seen how big a bruise this will leave on The Shins.

— Steve Forstneger

Always Room For One More

Chicagoland is bursting with so much new talent, we can’t fit it all in one issue. Or that’s the official explanation for why we foolishly left Yea Big And Kid Static (above) out of January’s “Best Of Around Hear.” Apologies to YBKS and writer Max Herman:


In less than two years working together, Yea Big And Kid Static produced an album that made this progressive hip-hop duo sound like they had been collaborating for ages. Static, a dynamic MC formally of The Cankles, and Big, an experimental instrumentalist, share a restless energy and penchant for pushing boundaries that makes their self-titled debut tough to turn off. And, as seen in the action-packed video for their glitch-laden single, “The Life Here,” the duo’s hyper presence isn’t contained to studio sessions. (

— Max Herman

Appearing: February 7th at Darkroom in Chicago.

Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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