Monthly Archives: October 2008

Vic Chesnutt/Elf Power on Tour



collaborative record on the road


By Mandy Rodgers



Released on Orange Twin Records this week, Dark Developments is Vic Chesnutt’s new
album featuring Elf Power: Andrew Rieger, Jimmy Hughes, Derek Almstead, Eric
Harris and Laura Carter. Recorded in Chesnutt’s attic studio by Chesnutt and
Almstead, the album possesses an intimate feeling and mixing of Chesnutt and
Elf Power’s musical mainstays, including Carter’s improvising with an accordion
and Hughes and Rieger’s subtle guitar playing. Dark Developments is also Josh Lott’s final appearance as a member
of Elf Power.



The track list creates a range of emotions from Chesnutt’s
past and present with eclectic titles like “Stop the Horse,” “The Mad Passion
of The Stoic,” “Mystery” and “Teddy Bear.”



According to the label, “it’s that friction extant between
Chesnutt’s shadowy worldview and the inventive bounce and bray of Elf Power’s
euphonious intra-band chemistry that buoys Dark
, provides its freshness, and makes for rewarding and repeated



Both reigning from Athens,
Chesnutt and Elf Power are touring cities together this fall. Elf Power will
open the shows with songs from its previous record In a Cave and then join Chesnutt to perform songs from the newest



Tour Dates:


10/29 Oxford,
MS Proud Larry’s

10/30 New Orleans,
LA One Eyed Jack’s

11/01 Dallas,
TX Club Dada

11/02 Denton,
TX Rubber Gloves

11/03 Austin, TX The Parish

11/05 Santa Fe, NM Santa Fe
Brewing Company

11/07 Tucson,
AZ Club Congress

11/08 Phoenix,
AZ Modified

11/09 San Diego,
CA Casbah

11/10 Los Angeles,
CA Echoplex

11/11 San Francisco,
CA Bottom of the Hill

11/12 Sacramento,
CA Blue Lamp

11/13 Eugene,
OR Sam Bond’s Garage

11/16 Seattle,
WA Chop Suey

11/17 Boise,
ID Neurolux

11/18 Salt Lake
City, UT
Kilby Court

11/19 Denver,
CO Hi Dive

11/21 Lawrence,
KS Jackpot Saloon





Lily Allen’s "ethereal" New "Fuck You"


Lily Allen’s “Ethereal” new “Fuck You”




Lily, it’s not you,
it’s us…


By Blurt Staff


This just got slipped over the BLURT transom… honestly, we
don’t make this stuff up – “more ethereal songs” with titles like “Fuck You”?
“I’ve grown up a bit as a person” coming from a potty-mouthed lush like
Allen? You gotta be kidding us! While we’re on the subject, let’s revisit
those “Lily-as-topless-blonde” photos from awhile back:






Whee, she can fly, too! Okay, on to the press release on this artist of unusual diversity!




 On February 10th, 2009, Capitol Records will release It’s Not Me,
It’s You
, the follow-up to Lily Allen’s critically acclaimed
2007 debut, Alright, Still. Recorded at Eagle Rock Studios in Los Angeles, the album
finds Lily in top form, creating a record Blender’s recent “In
The Studio” feature described as “part God, part country and all
middle finger.” Allen wrote and recorded the album’s 12 songs
with producer Greg Kurstin (the bird and the bee), who worked with her on
three songs for Alright, Still – “Everything’s Just
Wonderful,” “Alfie” and “Not Big.”

     “We decided to try and make bigger sounding,
more ethereal songs, real songs,” says Lily, who will be touring
the U.S.
in the spring. “I wanted to work with one person from start to finish to
make it one body of work. I wanted it to feel like it had some sort of
integrity. I think I’ve grown up a bit as a person and I hope it reflects

     On It’s Not Me, It’s You, Lily’s characteristically sharp observations find expression in a variety of musical
styles, with influences ranging from the Jazz Era to country and western to
dance music. “Highlights include ‘Everyone’s at It,’ a synth-pop song
about prescription drugs that features Allen on xylophone; ‘He Wasn’t There,’
which matches emotional lyrics about her absent father to a jazz groove; and
‘Not Fair,’ a saucy country song about an inadequate lover,” said Rolling

    Often called the queen of MySpace – a reference to the
massive interest generated by early demos she posted on her page – Lily was hailed by NME as “the archetypal singer-songwriter for the
iPod generation” while The New York Times observed, “She
symbolizes a new blogging-age, middle-class girl: cockily ambitious,
skeptical yet enthusiastic, technically savvy, musically open, obsessed with
public expression and ready to fight back.” 

     After a release week performance on “Saturday
Night Live,” Alright, Still bowed at No. 20 on The Billboard
in February 2007. Certified Gold in the States, it has sold over 2.5
million copies worldwide. Allen, who was nominated for four Brit
awards, a GRAMMY® award and an MTV Video Music award, toured the U.S.
numerous times and appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay
Leno,”  “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “TODAY.”
A succession of collaborations with artists including Robbie Williams, Mark
Ronson, Common, Dizzee Rascal, Jamie T and the Kaiser Chiefs further enhanced
Lily’s reputation as an artist of unusual diversity.

The track listing for It’s Not Me, It’s You is as follows:

1.    Everyone’s At It
2.    The Fear
3.    It’s Not Fair
4.    22
5.    I Could Say
6.    Go Back To the Start
7.    Never Gonna Happen
8.    Fuck You
9.    Who’d’ve Known
10.    Chinese
11.    Him
12.    He Wasn’t There



Merlefest Announces ’09 Lineup


Still bangin’ and
twangin’ after 22 memorable years. Salute, Doc!


By Fred Mills


Last night during a special broadcast over WNCW-FM in North Carolina the organizers
of the beloved annual Merlefest informally announced the lineup of artists scheduled
to play the 2009 festival – the 22nd such event. Among the big
names: Emmylou Harris, Tift Merritt, the Del McCoury Band, the Waybacks, Rory
Block, BeauSoleil, David Bromberg, the Duhks, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Grascals,
Jim Lauderdale, Ollabelle, festival perennials Sam Bush, John Cowan, Peter
Rowan, and Donna the Buffalo, and of course founder Doc Watson, whose late son
Merle Watson is the festival’s namesake.




The 2009 Merlefest will take place Aprill 23-26 at Wilkes Community College
in Wilkesboro, NC. Go to the official website for complete
details about the festival and the full lineup, along with the tentative
day-by-day performance schedules. Over 90 acts are scheduled to play, and a
tantalizing “TBA” appears in the headlining spot for the closing Sunday night



the Merlefest special John Adair, who handles artist relations for the
festival, and Wilkes
Community College Public Information Officer Christie Hutchens, joined WNCW
host Martin Anderson in talking about some of the artists who will, in the
organizers’ words, “deliver the eclectic mix of traditional, acoustic and
roots-oriented sounds that are the hallmark of the event.” Selected tunes by
the artists were also aired.



is a big deal in Western North Carolina, of
course. It’s been a mainstay of the region since the elder Watson started it in
1988 using the flatbed of a truck as a makeshift stage. It’s also a mecca for
roots music fans – not just bluegrass fans either, as evidenced by the
occasional wild card such as Elvis Costello that lands on the bill. In 2008 the
paid attendance, according to the official website fact sheet, was over 38,000.


go on sale Nov. 11 at the festival website or by phone at 1-800-343-7857.



List of performers (as of Oct.29):


Doc Watson (

Richard Watson

Susana and Timmy Abell (

The Alberti Flea Circus (

Angel Band (


Buffalo Barfield (

Bearfoot (

BeauSoleil (

Rory Block (

Blue Highway (

Roy Book Binder (

Laura Boosinger (

Bob Bovee and Gail Heil (

Broken Wire (

David Bromberg (

Sam Bush

Cadillac Sky (

The Carolina Chocolate Drops (

The Circuit Riders (

Clack Mountain String Band (

T. Michael Coleman (

The John Cowan Band (

Dailey & Vincent (

The Dixie Beeliners (

Donna The Buffalo (

Pat Donohue (

Robert Dotson

The Duhks (

The Farewell Drifters

Flippen Band

Full Throttle Bluegrass Band (

Rayna and Dan Gellert (

The Grascals (

The Gravy Boys (

Great Big Sea

The Greencards (

Mitch Greenhill (

George Hamilton IV (

Emmylou Harris (

Wayne Henderson (

Violet Hensley (

Willette Hinton and Family

Jimmy “Duck” Holmes (

David Holt (

Sierra Hull
and Highway 111 (

The InterACTive Theater of Jef (

Phil Jamison (

The Kruger Brothers (

Jim Lauderdale (

Jack Lawrence (

Mark Lippard (

Jeff Little (

The Local Boys

The Lovell Sisters (

Doug MacLeod (

Andy May (

Del McCoury Band (

Tift Merritt (

Mountain Heart (

Nashville Bluegrass Band (

The Neighbors (

New North Carolina

Ollabelle (

Out on the Ocean

Polecat Creek (

Missy Raines and the New Hip (

Loretta and Lindsay Rice



SXSW Film Fest Announces Speakers



Todd Haynes and
Richard Linklater among the initial confirmations.


By Blurt Staff

For next year’s South by Southwest (SXSW)
Film  Conference & Festival – which takes place March 13-21, partly overlapping
with the Music Conference on March 18-22 – the first round of speakers has been
confirmed. The event will feature acclaimed writer/directors Todd Haynes
and Richard Linklater in conversation together, as well 
as a rare appearance by Col Needham, Founder and Vice President of  IMDb Service Limited to discuss the nature of
information in the  entertainment industry.  Longtime Stanley Kubrick producer, Jan Harlan
rounds out the group and will speak on his vast filmmaking  experience.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with this first round of speaker announcements,
“said Janet Pierson, Producer of SXSW Film Conference and Festival,
in a statement. “These are vital innovators, and true ambassadors
for  the spirit of SXSW.  In these turbulent times we feel this is
more  important than ever as we head further and faster into unknown territory.”

This will be the 16th SXSW Film Conference &
Festival, and the usual Call for Entries is currently open with an early
deadline of November 14, 2008 and a final deadline of December 12, 2008. More information can be found at:


Music Tapes’ Koster Comes Caroling


What’s that sound
outside the house, ma? Why, it’s that cute little Koster boy from down the


By Blurt Staff


Julian Koster of the Music Tapes and Neutral Milk Hotel wants
to come to your house and sing Christmas carols. Specifically, he’s taking his
Singing Saw Symphony on the road in two weeks and is soliciting invites from
YOU, gentle readers. It’s all part of an intriguing promotion
for the SSS’s holiday album, The Singing Saw at Christmastime, which
dropped recently courtesy Merge.



If you sign up for the tour, Koster & Co. will literally
carol you into a state of ecstatic Christmas Cheer – all you have to do is
invite them.  He’ll play songs of The Music Tapes and the Saws will play
their holiday favorites for hosts and their assembled guests.



Households who would like to invite Julian and his friends
to come carol may do so by sending an invitation to  or
by mailing a written invitation to:  




C.O. G.Stewart

175 Talmadge St

Apt 1

Athens, GA 30605



Written invitations will be given priority, as well as
invitations where the invitees indicate that they would be willing to entertain
outside guests on caroling night.  Once the limit on houses on a given
night has been reached, the addresses of each of the houses that will welcome
guests will be distributed via email to all others who wish to attend. The
addresses of the houses will not be posted online.



Check for
updates and further details.



Tentative list of



November 14th   Atlanta,

November 15th   Savannah,

November 16th   Northern Florida

November 18th   Baton Rouge
/ New Orleans, LA

November 19th   Houston,

November 20th   Austin,

November 21st   Denton,

November 22nd   Oklahoma
City, OK

November 24th   Lawrence
/ Kansas City, KS

November 25th   Ames, IA / Iowa City,

November 26th   Minneapolis,

November 28th   Madison,

November 30th   Ann
Arbor, MI

December 1st    Toronto, ON

December 4th    Montreal, QC

December 6th    Bennington, VT

December 7th    Providence, RI

December 8th    Tivoli, NY

December 10th   Northhampton,

December 12th   New
York City, NY 

December 14th   Philadelphia,




Live Exclusives: Magnetic Fields, Laika & Cosmos


All the concert news
‘n’ reviews that’s fit to print.

By Blurt Staff


More concert coverage from your friendly neighborhood BLURT
– this time, we’ve got Laika & the Cosmonauts in San
and Magnetic Fields in Washington, DC.





  • *Jud Cost pulled up his rickshaw at the Rickshaw
    Stop in San Francisco
    Oct. 16 to catch Finnish surf demons Laika & the Cosmonauts on their
    farewell tour. Writes Cost, “With a dramatically executed set-list played by a
    band that, after two decades on the road, is tighter than a well-digger’s
    sphincter, the two hours flew by in a gorgeous Mercury 7 exhaust plume.”



  • *And just two nights ago, on Oct. 26, Zach
    Herrmann was at DC’s George Washington University Lisner Auditorium to see
    Stephin Merritt & Co. (otherwise known as the Magnetic Fields) for a rare
    live performance. “The band sticks to a soft, acoustic format, sans percussion,”
    observes Herrman. “The five-piece band, including vocalist Sally Simms, had
    little trouble filling out the reasonably small theater. But especially with
    each member spaced out across the entire stage, everything aurally and visually
    evident suggested a larger imaginable presence.”


Check ‘em out at the provided links, or simply scroll down
the BLURT front page to the reviews section. We’ve also got new book, DVD and
CD reviews being added daily.







CHANNEL GUIDE: Wednesday – X


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.





7:00 AM NBC: Today: Pink


8:00 AM Rave HD Concerts: The Rapture – Live at the Trabendo
in Paris


9:30 AM Noggin: Jack’s Big Music Show: Laurie Berkner


10:00 AM PBS: Sesame
Street: Sugarland


10:30 AM Comedy Central: The Colbert Report: Yo-Yo Ma


11:00 AM ABC: The View: Duffy


12:00 PM VH1C: Classic 60 Minutes: U2


12:30 PM VH1C: Rock Fest: U2


1:00 PM VH1C: Classic 60 Minutes: Bruce Springsteen


1:30 PM VH1C: Rock Fest: Bruce Springsteen


2:00 PM FUSE: Steven’s Untitled Rock Show: Taking Back Sunday


4:35 PM Starz Edge: Across the Universe (2007)


5:30 PM Noggin: Yo Gabba Gabba!: Sugarland , Biz Markie


6:00 PM BET: 106 & Park: Isaac Hayes


6:00 PM VH1C: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)


9:00 PM FUEL: The Daily Habit: Darker My Love


9:15 PM IFC: The Henry Rollins Show: Marilyn Manson ,


11:30 PM PBS: Tavis Smiley: Raphael Saadiq


11:35 PM CBS: The Late Show With David Letterman: James


11:35 PM NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Cold War Kids


12:05 AM ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Alkaline Trio


12:35 AM NBC: Late Night with Conan O’Brien: The Black


12:37 AM CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: X


1:35 AM NBC: Last Call with Carson Daly: The Knux


3:00 AM BBCA: The Graham Norton Show: Minnie Driver





























Joseph Arthur on Tour


Musician/visual artist
promotes album with shows


By Mandy Rodgers


Joseph Arthur has hit the road this week for a short tour promoting Temporary
released in September. The album is the second with Arthur’s
backing band, The Lonely Astronauts. Four EPs were released before the album
dropped: “Could We Survive,” “Crazy Rain,” “Vagabond Skies” and Foreign Girls.
“Could We Survive” played during TV’s popular medical drama, House last week. The single is available
on iTunes for downloading.



Arthur and The Lonely Astronauts are touring this fall solo
and then join Tracy Chapman’s tour through December opening for the singer,
which Arthur first did in 2003. Said to connect expressionism and graffiti,
along with the music tour, Arthur plans to show a collection of paintings
called “Wig” in Montreal
through Nov. 16.



Joseph Arthur and The
Lonely Astronauts Tour Dates:


Oct 26         Covington, KY
        Molly Malone’s
Oct 28-29    Chicago, IL
Oct 30         Milwaukee,
WI         Shank Hall
Oct 31         Akron,
Nov 1          Toronto,
ONT            Lee’s Palace
Nov 5          Boston,
MA               Middle East
Nov 6          Brooklyn, NY
           Music Hall
of Williamsburg



Joseph Arthur Videos
at Blurt:


“Temporary People”:


“Second Sight”:


“She Paints Me Gold”:




My Brightest Diamond Tour Kicks Off


Shara Worden sharpens
her shark’s teeth once again…


By Mandy Rodgers



My Brightest Diamond’s first record was released in August
of 2006 on Asthmatic Kitty Records, Bring
Me the Workhorse
. This year, the band followed their debut with A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, a more
classical-sounding album with harps, clarinets, French horns and vibraphones. The
critically acclaimed album has created a need for touring, so My Brightest
Diamond kicks off its cross-country set of shows on Oct. 27 in Hamden,
CT and ending in founding member Shara
Worden’s home town of New York
on Dec. 13. Clara and The Reasons is set join the group on tour. My Brightest
Diamond’s new single, “From the Top of the World” is available on iTunes. For
more information on the band, check out the feature on Blurt:



My Brightest Diamond
Tour Dates:


10/28/08            Northampton,
MA @ Iron
Horse Music
10/30/08            Portland, ME
@ Space

10/31/08            Fall River, MA @ Narrows
Center for the Arts
11/2/08             Buffalo, NY
@ Big Orbit’s Soundlab

11/3/08              Oberlin, OH @ Oberlin College
11/5/08             Grand
Rapids, MI @ The Ladies Literary
11/6/08             Danville, IN
@ Royal Theater

11/7/08            Chicago, IL
@ Schubas
11/8/08             Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theatre
– Stage Door
11/11/08            St. Louis, MO @ Cicero’s
11/13/08            Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
11/14/08            Paonia, CO @ Paradise Theater
11/15/08            Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban
11/16/08            Boise, ID @ Neurolux
11/17/08            Kennewick, WA @ The Red Room
11/19/08            Seattle, WA @ Triple Door
11/20/08            Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
11/21/08            Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
11/22/08            San Francisco, CA @ Swedish
American Hall
11/24/08            Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theatre
11/25/08            San Diego, CA @ Casbah
11/26/08            Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe
11/29/08            Flagstaff, AZ @ TBA
11/30/08            Albuquerque, NM @ The
12/3/08             Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
12/4/08             Little Rock, AR @ TBA
12/5/08             Memphis, TN @ TBA
12/6/08             Birmingham, AL @ TBA
12/7/08             Atlanta, GA @ TBA
12/9/08             Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
12/10/08            Charlottesville, VA @ Gravity
12/11/08            Washington, DC @ Rock and
Roll Hotel
12/12/08            Philadelphia, PA @ First
Unitarian Church
12/13/08            New York, NY @ Le Poisson



Blues Label Black Top Catalog Reissued


Music, via Hep Cat
Records, testifies for the blues once again…


By Mandy Rodgers



Founded in 1981 by Nauman S. Scott III and Hammond Scott,
Black Top Records has been an influential blues and R&B record label since
its inception, issuing more than a hundred albums. The label eventually folded
in 1999, and three years after that Nauman Scott passed away. Since then some
of the back catalog has been picked up for reissue, but now Hep Cat Records, an
imprint of reissue specialists Collectors’ Choice, aims for a comprehensive
resurrection of the label.



As Black Top’s first release was Anson Funderburgh & the
Rockets’ Talk to You By Hand (1981),
the  new reissue series begins,
fittingly, with that album and others from James Harman Band, Rick “LA Holmes”
Holmstrom, Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers and Ronnie Earl & the



On October 28, five more singles are joining the list of
those reissued. Some of the albums set to be reissued are Do Not Disturb (James Harman Band), She Knocks Me Out (Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets), Soul Searching (Ronnie Earl & the
Broadcasters) and My Love is Here to Stay (Sam Myers & Anson Funderburgh).


You can pick up the reissues at the Collectors’ Choice
website. Just go to the Hep Cat page.