Thursday, August 13, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures affirm role as gatekeeper

See or hear any good song clips from Them Crooked Vultures lately?

In a move that saw the band flexing its copyright muscle, a handful of unauthorized videos have been excised from the Web.

Two high-definition videos shot by a fan while attending the only gig so far by Them Crooked Vultures have been removed from Youtube. In place of each is an explanation:
This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Joshua Homme .
The two high-definition videos had been viewed a total of 14,826 times in about 24 hours. Both videos featured clear footage of John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme playing their instruments, although obscured by some heads in the way.

Probably more troubling for the band is that both videos also contained a decent audio recording of songs that have not yet been released in any form.

Four fan-shot concert videos, believed to be the first uploaded to Youtube, contain highly overloaded sound and their music is barely discernible. These four videos remain on Youtube, evidently not selected for removal in this first wave of deletions.

The two high-definition videos were removed from Youtube on Aug. 12 but were uploaded a second time each, this time with a notation pleading with the band:
C'mon Josh, it's awesome music, don't delete it, just show to us more amazing TCV!
Only one promotional video has made its way onto the video-sharing site courtesy of Them Crooked Vultures. That video, called "Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I," matches 14 seconds of audio with an animated sequence starring some swooping vultures and three scourge doctors. It has so far been played 32,600 times.

Also removed from YouTube on Aug. 12, with the same explanation of "a copyright claim by Joshua Homme," is a supposed Them Crooked Vultures video that turned out to be a hoax. It claimed to feature a full instrumental demo by Them Crooked Vultures of a track called "Paved Death" from an upcoming album.

A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office record reveals a filing date of July 29 for the phrase "Them Crooked Vultures" by a Delaware-based limited liability company of the same name. The trademark extends to "entertainment activities" and the "production of audio and video recordings."

The band is attempting to exercise exclusive control of the release of not only its new music but also all details relating to an upcoming tour schedule.

Daily updates from the band direct Twitter users to images of the earth, each day zooming closer to a destination many assume will ultimately reveal the location of the next Them Crooked Vultures gig.

So far, the imagery appears to be closing in on a location in the North Atlantic, playing into a rumor that Them Crooked Vultures will appear at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium on Aug. 20, giving way to further festival dates in Europe by the end of the month. (Update, 1:32 p.m.: The image at the left centers just east of the United Kingdom and is expected to pan farther east as it hones in on the location.)

The Pukkelpop Festival announced on Aug. 6 that a so-called "surprise act" had been booked to perform on the festival's opening day, Aug. 20. The act is to go on around 9 p.m. on the Marquee stage and play for an hour, the announcement says.

Many users of the festival's Web site have guessed the secret act's identity is Them Crooked Vultures.

Whether or not they're right is something the festival says it will not confirm until the time of the show.

"Do not expect any hints, tips or clues from us," reads the festival's announcement. "We can only promise that you will be astounded by our 100% surprise act."

The band has also been mentioned in connection with the Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands on Aug. 23 (Update, Aug. 15: Now Belgium and the Netherlands look even more like a possibility. Click here to view a map of the locations of these festivals.), the Leeds Festival in England on Aug. 28, the Reading Festival in England on Aug. 29, and Rock en Seine in France on Aug. 30.


  1. Think this will interest you ;)

    Melkweg Amsterdam 19 august

  2. I have to say... thank you!

    Whoever posted this, thank you.

    Maybe it was just another fan just like me who happened to be on it.

    Or maybe it was one of the gatekeepers!

    Either way, I had a post up about this about two minutes before Them Crooked Vultures posted it to Twitter.

    Beating the gatekeepers at their own game! How gratifying!

  3. Them Crooked Vultures marketing mentality has just been analyzed as a case study at


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