"It's been a long, long time coming/but I know a change gonna come," sang Sam Cooke in 1964. It was a time of big change, wild-eyed revolution, and cultural upheaval. And those are the words that came dog paddling through my head during the Mercury's recent change of ownership. As you might've read on page 11, we are now under the helm of Dandy Warhols singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor, who took over the magazine this week with the grace of a gazelle and the ruthlessness of Darth Vadar.

His Majesty has decided to keep me on the payroll—even after the... situation back in October, when I reported that His band might be parting ways. The rest, as they say, is history and we now live in better times—thanks to Him. So. Yeah. Local music news...

First off, James Squeaky's (Sex with Girls, the Alarmist) new band, Argumentix, whoops ass. His debut record, Hoarse Whisperer, is a collection of sampled tape loops with free-roaming vocals pasted over them. It's a heavy piece of music—all apocalyptic psychedelia and disturbing low-end rumbles. James celebrates Hoarse Whisperer's release December 22 at Food Hole.

In get-rich-or-die-trying news, the Decemberists have signed with Capitol Records. Singer Colin Meloy tells www.pitchforkmedia.com, "It just felt like we had tapped out the resources of Kill Rock Stars." Also, Viva Voce's song "Wrecking Ball" is now on a Pontiac commercial.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Stereotype Records bossman Philip Golden says he's relaunched Stereotype as an "anti-label." "We're trying to reinvent the entire idea of what an indie should do since the traditional routes are (clearly) falling apart for everyone," says Philip. "First off, we try to tear down the commerce wall between listeners and artists by making every song on every release available for free [as a] download from our site."

He calls the idea "cartoonishly dumb," but says it pays off for the artists. Deal is, if listeners like what they hear they can buy tracks at iTunes or get the CD directly from the site and the artists get 80 percent of the CD sales and 50 percent from iTunes. Check out www.stereotyperecords.com

So that's it for now. Taylor-Taylor willing, we'll be back next week with all the local music news you can toss a big, fat lawsuit at.

Talk-talk: adam@portlandmercury.com