Monthly Archives: August 2008

Brother JT3 Preaches the Jelly Roll Gospel

 

 

 

 

First album in five years by Brother JT’s power trio comin’ atcha Oct. 21.

By Randy Harward

 

Brother JT is the blob! Of jelly, that is. The far-out genius of quote-unquote outsider music has once again assembled the Brother JT3 (with bass player Art DiFuria and drummer Jamie Knerr) to record a new joint called Jelly Roll Gospel. The record–the first by JT’s power trio in five long years–was recorded at Dan’s House Studio and JT’s place in Bethlehem, PA, and Drag City’s putting it out on Oct. 21.

 

 

 

As usual, Brother JT’s preaching his palatable version of the gospel–more uplift mofo party plan than Jeebus-or-Die. Here’s the official word from Drag City:

 

The constant for Brother JT3 over the years is a desire to lift you the listener up; to share reflections from a secret life that, for some, constitutes religion (we prefer the term ‘spirituality’ – but we’re not here to judge – not!) and to deliver the message in rhythmic but exotic rock n roll that has the basic necessities to move us – spiritually, of course, but more to the point – physically, dance-floor style. JELLY ROLL GOSPEL is no exception to the rule.

 

Although Blurt remains non-denominational, some of us adhere to the Bavarian Creme Gospel. But we’ll take Brother JT3 jams any way we can get ’em.

 

Track listing:

 

LIFT YOU UP

ACCIDENT WAITING

RIBBON DRIVER

WAY OUT

BAD VIBRATION

WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

BELLYFAT (BONUS SONG)

DO YA GOOD

THANK YOU FOR BEING ME

EVERYTHING’S ALIVE

 

Leaker of Guns N’ Roses Songs Busted

 

 

The MAN comes a-knockin’ for that Antiquiet kid…
By Fred Mills

We’re not saying that just because BLURT recently published a full-on feature analyzing all the proposed Guns N’ Roses tracks from the forthcoming Chinese Democracy that have found their way to the internet (see “Leaked Peek,” Aug. 1) that it meant the federal authorities ramped up their interest in cracking down on the so-called pirates. At that point there had already been a big dust-up between the Gunners camp and the website Antiquiet (www.antiquiet.com) regarding one of their main bloggers, Kevin “Skwerl” Cogill, who’d posted a number of the high-quality studio tracks to the site; a cease-and-desist resulted in Antiquiet removing the material, and you can read our account HERE.

Yesterday, though, FBI agents placed Cogill, 27, under arrest under suspicion of violating federal copyright laws. Cogill admitted to the agents to having posted the songs to the website, an arrest affidavit reveals. He was taken into custody at his home in Culver City, Calif. and was scheduled for arraignment in a Los Angeles U.S. District Court.

Meanwhile Antiquiet, in a posting titled “Abbie Hoffman, Where Are You?” (accompanied by a pretty funny, over-the-top photo of a SWAT team conducting a military-style exercise), blogger Johnny Firecloud wrote:

“Skwerl got himself hauled in by the FBI today over this whole GNR / Chinese Democracy leak fiasco, which seems to mean that people take this whole copyright thing pretty seriously. We weren’t going to make a big spectacle of this, since it’s obviously a pretty serious situation, but the plankton hacks over at the Los Angeles Times managed to pick up on the story and run it a highly suspicious impressive two hours after the incident went down. So here we are.

“In all likelihood, he’ll be back fighting the good fight from his couch by this evening. But anyone who feels like getting as equally theatrical as the feds (who were anything but quiet and graceful during their ass-crack-of-dawn descent on Skwerl’s sleepy house this morning) can come show their support with Britney and I today at the LA District Court on 255 East Temple. 2 PM. Bring your MP3 players.

“In the meantime, well-wishes in the comments, lawyer-fund donations in the PO Box, and on we rock.”

***

As of this writing there have been over 40 responses posted to the Antiquiet site, most of them expressing support for and solidarity with Cogill. Some of them pointed out the obvious, that he clearly violated copyright laws and this shouldn’t come as any surprise, but just the same… can you spell OVERKILL?

If Axl Rose approved or instigated of all this, and it’s likely that his lawyers had a lot to do with pushing the Feds into acting, then he should be ashamed. Perhaps he should take a lesson from when Metallica’s Lars Ulrich sanctioned the authorities coming down on file-sharers: for a good while, Ulrich was the most despised man in the metal community. Not that Axl Rose gives a shit…

Tijuana Hercules – Down In the Bottom Lines

BLURT’s old pal John Forbes (ex-Phantom 309/Dirt/Mount
Shasta) is at it again – this time with a killer new animated video for his
band Tijuana Hercules. It’s rendered in his signature “ultra modern surrealist
primitive” style, which make sense because Forbes himself is an ultra modern
surrealist primitive!

The tune “Down in the Bottom Lines” comes from Tijuana Hercules’
new platter The Almanack of Bad Luck,
an awesomely thumpin’ slice of minimalist blooze and ragged glory rawk, powered
of course by Forbes’ coal-lungs vocals and larger than life persona. (You can check out the band’s music at www.myspace.com/tijuanahercules,
natch.)

CHANNEL GUIDE: Thursday Music

 

Compiled by Blurt Staff

 

206 digital, satellite and hi-def channels and nothin’ on?
Not likely. Here are BLURT’s top music television picks of the day. The time is
followed by the network/cable/satellite channel, then the name of the program
and/or featured artist(s). All times are EST. For a comprehensive hour-by-hour
listing, go to the VH1 Rock On TV site.
Note that for certain channels, shows frequently repeat during the day on or
subsequent days.

 

 

TIME (EST) / CHANNEL
/ PROGRAM / ARTIST(S)

 

8:30 AM MOJO: London
Live!:  Morrissey , The Futureheads , Phoenix , Pink

 

11:00 AM RAVE HD: Other Voices: Sinéad O’Connor , The Answer
, Juno Falls , Seasick Steve

 

12:00 PM VH1C: Rock Fest: Judas Priest

 

1:30 PM FUSE: Loaded: Kid Rock

 

4:00 PM Biography: *NSYNC

 

4:15 PM Showtime 2: Beastie Boys Awesome; I F**kin’ Shot
That!

 

5:00 PM CSPAN: Democratic National Convention 2008: Michael
McDonald , Stevie Wonder , Sheryl Crow , Will.I.Am , John Legend , Jennifer
Hudson

 

7:05 PM Starz Edge: High Fidelity (2000)

 

9:00 PM RAVE HD: From The Basement: Beck , Jamie Lidell ,
Jarvis Cocker

 

11:00 PM MTV2: Top VMA Opening Moments: Madonna , Bruce
Springsteen , Kid Rock , Britney Spears , Christina Aguilera , Jay-Z

 

11:00 PM Ovation: Bonefish Grill’s Notes From The Road: Ben
Folds

 

11:35 PM NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Missy Higgins

 

12:05 AM ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Staind

 

12:35 AM NBC: Late Night with Conan O’Brien: Lykke Li

 

 

 

 

 

Rodriguez Comes Alive!

 

Does first NYC show ever at Joe’s Pub next week.

By Fred
Mills

 

 

In my recently-published review of
Light In The Attic’s amazing reissue of late ‘60s folk/funk/psych legend
Rodriguez’ Cold Fact album, I noted
that as the songwriter continues to be discovered by new fans and new
generations, he’s gradually found his footing as a performing entity (following
years of obscurity). “Will the American buying public be similarly
tweaked and treated to some of Rodriguez concert magic?,” I mused?

 

Well, as it turns out, following a low-key performance a few
weeks ago marking his first show in the U.S.,
the man will be doing a show in New
York. Next week, in fact: Wednesday,
September 3rd, Rodriguez will play an intimate show at the world famous Joe’s
Pub in New York
as a part of Wax Poetics Magazine
launch party.

 

It takes place at 9:30, and you
better get your tickets in advance: only 150 people will be admitted.
Cratediggers, start your engines!

 

In addition to BLURT, Rodriguez’s Cold
Fact
has already received rave reviews from print publications such as MOJO, UNCUT, Spin, The Fader, and many
more, as well as online music sites like Aquarium Drunkard, Pitchfork, I Rock
Cleveland and You Ain’t No Picasso. Clearly, there is a buzz afoot about this
man and his cult-fave album. That’s a stone cold fact.

Rodriguez on the web:

www.lightintheattic.net/releases/rodriguez/

 

Leaker of Guns N' Roses Songs Busted

 

 

The MAN comes a-knockin’ for that Antiquiet kid…
By Fred Mills

We’re not saying that just because BLURT recently published a full-on feature analyzing all the proposed Guns N’ Roses tracks from the forthcoming Chinese Democracy that have found their way to the internet (see “Leaked Peek,” Aug. 1) that it meant the federal authorities ramped up their interest in cracking down on the so-called pirates. At that point there had already been a big dust-up between the Gunners camp and the website Antiquiet (www.antiquiet.com) regarding one of their main bloggers, Kevin “Skwerl” Cogill, who’d posted a number of the high-quality studio tracks to the site; a cease-and-desist resulted in Antiquiet removing the material, and you can read our account HERE.

Yesterday, though, FBI agents placed Cogill, 27, under arrest under suspicion of violating federal copyright laws. Cogill admitted to the agents to having posted the songs to the website, an arrest affidavit reveals. He was taken into custody at his home in Culver City, Calif. and was scheduled for arraignment in a Los Angeles U.S. District Court.

Meanwhile Antiquiet, in a posting titled “Abbie Hoffman, Where Are You?” (accompanied by a pretty funny, over-the-top photo of a SWAT team conducting a military-style exercise), blogger Johnny Firecloud wrote:

“Skwerl got himself hauled in by the FBI today over this whole GNR / Chinese Democracy leak fiasco, which seems to mean that people take this whole copyright thing pretty seriously. We weren’t going to make a big spectacle of this, since it’s obviously a pretty serious situation, but the plankton hacks over at the Los Angeles Times managed to pick up on the story and run it a highly suspicious impressive two hours after the incident went down. So here we are.

“In all likelihood, he’ll be back fighting the good fight from his couch by this evening. But anyone who feels like getting as equally theatrical as the feds (who were anything but quiet and graceful during their ass-crack-of-dawn descent on Skwerl’s sleepy house this morning) can come show their support with Britney and I today at the LA District Court on 255 East Temple. 2 PM. Bring your MP3 players.

“In the meantime, well-wishes in the comments, lawyer-fund donations in the PO Box, and on we rock.”

***

As of this writing there have been over 40 responses posted to the Antiquiet site, most of them expressing support for and solidarity with Cogill. Some of them pointed out the obvious, that he clearly violated copyright laws and this shouldn’t come as any surprise, but just the same… can you spell OVERKILL?

If Axl Rose approved or instigated of all this, and it’s likely that his lawyers had a lot to do with pushing the Feds into acting, then he should be ashamed. Perhaps he should take a lesson from when Metallica’s Lars Ulrich sanctioned the authorities coming down on file-sharers: for a good while, Ulrich was the most despised man in the metal community. Not that Axl Rose gives a shit…

Animal Collective Pal Rusty Santos in Present

 

Hauling ethos over its shoulder and trampling
musical boundaries.

By Blurt Staff

 

 

The Present
is the new music project of New York
musician and producer Rusty Santos
(Panda Bear Person Pitch, Born Ruffians Red Yellow & Blue,
Animal Collective Sung Tongs). Described by one band who worked
with him as a hyper boy genius, Rusty has always fixed his attention on
producing music that is experimentally rich while remaining accessible. By
attempting to create music that arises unconsciously through improvisation, The
Present’s debut album, World I See, is set for release in the US on LOAF Recordings (The Chap,
Johan Agebjorn/Sally Shapiro, Black Devil Disco Club).

 

 

 

According to the label, the recordhauls this ethos over its shoulders as it tramples on musical
boundaries and preconceptions, whilst leaving an album that is still capable of
relating musically and emotionally to a wide audience.”

 

 

 

After many years and variant modes of collaboration, Rusty
formed together with Jesse Lee and Mina, who bring a plethora of extra
dimensions to the sound of The Present. Mina’s background in classical piano
and the love of Japanese traditional songs meets at intense and imaginative
levels with the expressive attitude of the band, while the long standing
musical partnership between Jesse and Rusty, which began when they were in high
school together, provides the cemented sound giving the songs one voice and the
band the sound of a single instrument.

 

 

Adds the label, “Though the instruments on World I See aren’t necessarily new (the basic elements are piano, guitar and drums), guided
by intuition the band attempt to make timeless music by using the most
minimalist methods in innovative new ways. The result of capturing and
developing these sounds is the beautifully elegant yet emotionally powerful
sound of The Present.”

The Present World I See Track Listing:
1. Heavens On Ice
2. World I See
3. Love Melody
4. Symbols On High
5. Africanized Beatniks
6. The Hunt

 

From the Jam Announces Tour, CD/DVD

 

 

 

 

Meet the Mod-stepfather.

By Randy Harward

 

So scab-staffed reunion tours aren’t just for classic rockers and hair metal bands.

 

Original frontman Paul Weller thinks reuniting The Jam would be “sad” and “embarrasing,” and swears his family would have to be destitute before he considered such a thing. Yet it’s happened. Sorta. In late 2007 and early 2008, founding members Bruce Foxton (bass/vocals) and Rick Buckler (drums)–joined by new members David Moore (guitar, keys) and Russell Hastings (vocals, guitar)–toured in the UK and US as From the Jam. Now they’ve packaged the London show as a CD/DVD titled A First Class Return (Invisible Hands Music). Here’s a clip.

 

 

As usual with these reunions (like The New Cars), From the Jam plays the hits and promises new stuff. Of course, the hits sound good enough–and that’s good enough for some. But to fans, Weller–his songs, his voice, his presence–was The Jam. Though Hastings (shall we call him the Mod-stepfather?) sounds a bit like his predecessor, and sorta looks like him, it’s just not the same.

 

Not that they aren’t trying very, very hard. For this tour, they’ve pared the lineup down to a trio, just like the old days. From the Jam nonetheless feels like Eton shit.

 

Tour dates:

 

09/23:  Foxboro, MA @ Showcase Live
09/24:  Washington, DC @ State Theater
09/25:  Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony
09/26:  New York, NY @ Blender Theater at Gramercy
09/27:  Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
09/29:  Montreal, QC @ Club Soda – Montreal Pop Festival
10/01:  Toronto, ON @ Opera House
10/02:  Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
10/03:  Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
10/04:  Chicago, IL @ Abbey Pub
10/06:  Denver, CO @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
10/08:  San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
10/09:  Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
10/10:  Pomona, CA @ Glass House
10/11:  San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick
(photo: Paul Brown)

THE END CREDITS: The Crazy Homicides

 

 

THE CRAZY HOMICIDES: Twilight of the Old Brooklyn

Waxing nostalgic for a stylish street gang and the spirit of the city they tormented.

 

 

Last
month I took a car service into Manhattan from my neighborhood in
Brooklyn. The driver was a Dominican or Puerto Rican about my age. The
conversation quickly embarked on “the changing of the neighborhood,”
the most common form of small talk in NY since ‘Where were you on
9-11?’ This stroll down memory lane turned into a’Where are they now?’ of a peculiar group of Brooklyn residents in the late 70’s-mid 80’s: The Crazy Homicides.

 

You could easily pick them out all over Park
Slope, Sunset Park and Gowanus, cause they had a specific style. They
all wore Civil War-type, Union cavalry hats–the kind with a small
bill and a flat droopy top, and motorcycle-type leather jackets. My driver gleefully boasted, “My brother was one of their leaders. He
was a very, very funny guy.” I was stunned and shot back, “I was
mugged once by a group of the them, and the one who did all the
talking, was in fact, very, very funny!” The driver, without any
sign of discomfort retorted “yep, that was probably my brother.”

 

He continued with a gushing description of one of his brother’s top
career accomplishments–a victorious battle about eight blocks from where
my recording studio was then, and is now. “[The rival gang] left
the pool hall and were hanging on 10th St. My brother knew that they
were waiting for more guys, so when they were about 30, he sent 20 of
his guys down from 5th Ave., and another 20 up from 4th Ave. He had them
trapped–six or seven of them ended up in the hospital.” Ahhhh–epic
Brooklyn history.

 

So, this is how my own “funny” encounter with The Crazy Homicides went, 27 years ago.

 

I
was walking near my recording studio with Bill Laswell (Material, and
major record producer). He was my studio/roommate at the time. Three
Crazy Homicides approached from behind: “Hello, we’re Brooklyn muggers,
and you have to give us your money.” The put-on announcer voice was
disarming. I turn around to see three guys with big smiles, grasping
big screwdrivers, in Union cavalry hats. The jovial tone made me
decline the demand for money, and we kept walking.

 

Me and Laswell made
the mistake of starting to talk about music. “Oh, artists,” the funny
guy says. “Now we’ll have to throw you in the Gowanus Canal.” The canal
was, and is today, a fetid and toxic body of water on the edge of Park
Slope. I quickly coughed up $40.

 

The mugging really ate Laswell
up. A couple weeks later, we had seminal hip-hop artist Afrika
Bambaataa at the studio. Bam, as everyone calls him, had himself been
the leader of a gang in The Bronx called The Black Spades, that he
later transformed into the pacifist and utopian Zulu Nation. There
always were a handful of young devotees from the group following him
around. Laswell had the vision of a great moment, The Zulu Nation
taking an assertive stand against The Crazy Homicides in a defiant
display of confidence. So, off they all go for “a walk,” unbeknownst to
Bam, to find the Homicides.

 

 

Laswell spots a few of them in a Blimpie.
“Yo, why we goin’ to Blimpie?” Bam inquires.

 

 

Now Bam had quite a
gregarious style, as you might imagine an African king–leopard cap,
lots of  jewelry, a staff. As they walk into Blimpie, the Homicides
turn to face Laswell and Bam in a moment of silence. Then one of them
bursts out: “Yo, it’s Mr. T !” The two watch stonefaced as the
Homicides burst into a torrent of laughter, practically falling out of
their seats. “Hey, Mr. T!”

 

 

(For those too young to remember, Mr T.
was a very popular black action movie and TV star who sported a heavy
gold jewelry style, years before mainstream rappers like LL Cool J and
Run DMC wore heavy gold chains.)

 

 

Back in the cab–2008–two
men from Park Slope, Brooklyn are reminiscing about a neighborhood
that’s practically been erased from memory. I found myself lamenting the
demise of a violent neighborhood gang, who had style and humor, and in
that sense seemed kind of smart. We arrived at my destination, and the
tone in the cab changed.

 

Sadness overtook the driver’s face
as he says, “Sorry about the $40.” I don’t think the look of sadness was
about the $40, because he still charged me $30 for the ride. I think
that in apologizing, it became clear that we’d moved forward, but that
there’s a trade-off. And that part of us that is mythologized with
Jesse James and the OK Corral, and Don Corleone in The Godfather, is
really just below the skin, periodically finding a toehold in our
aspiring utopias.

 

By coincidence, I decided to buy a new lock
for my door tomorrow, because I didn’t feel safe enough. I think that
ties it together nicely.

 

Martin Bisi is an American producer and songwriter. Visit him at
www.myspace.com/theendcredits.

 

 

James Chance & Contortions Reunite!

 

More skronkin’ No Wave
than you can shake Lydia
Lunch’s tailfeather at!

By Fred Mills

 

 

James Chance has
put legendary No Wave combo the Contortions back together for a  gig in New
York this weekend. On Saturday, Aug. 30, at 6pm at
the PS1 Warm Up in Long Island
City (www.ps1.org/warmup) Chance, Robert Aaron, Jody
Harris, Pat Place and Don Christensen will do their first NYC-area show in over a
decade.

 

 

This comes on the heels of the one-off Teenage Jesus and the
Jerks (of which Chance was a founding member) reunion at the Knitting Factory in
June. It’s set to time with the 30th Anniversary of the classic Brian
Eno-produced No New York album
documenting the NYC No Wave scene; sharp-eyed readers will recall that the LP
marked the Contortions’ first recorded appearance. The band plans to perform
all its old “hits” (term used loosely) along with new material being worked up
for a forthcoming album.

 

 

In a statement, James
Chance said that he “would like to dedicate this performance to guitarist Jerry
Agony who died on July 29th. Jerry performed with James White + Blacks and The
Contortions from 1981 – 1997.” 

 

 

Interestingly, there’s been quite a groundswell of attention
of late for the No Wave scene of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s: no less than
three books have been published in the last year, and you can read about them
at the BLURT links below.

 

 

No Wave (by Marc
Masters) and New York Noise (by Stuart Baker and Paula Court)

 

 

No Wave: Post-Punk.
Underground. New York.
1976-1980.
(by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley)

 

 

[Original Contortions photo credit: Kate Simon]