Monthly Archives: January 2009

Antony, Fennesz, Glass at Big Ears Fest



Amazing lineup
next weekend includes Antony,
Philip Glass, Michael Gira, Fennesz, Dan Deacon and Negativland.


By Fred Mills



Holy crap. While everybody’s busy pissing themselves
over the (admittedly stellar) lineup for this year’s Langerado Festival that
takes place in Florida March 6-8, clued-in hipsters know that the 2009 festival
season officially begins a month earlier in, of all places, Knoxville, TN.


That’s right: next week, Feb. 6-8, marks the inaugural
BIG EARS 2009 festival in Knoxville, and as the organizers put it, “The
festival will offer an exciting and dynamic platform of musical and artistic
discovery, presenting a variety of adventurous, exploratory concerts and
performances, installations, discussions, and interactive experiences by
artists possessed of singular and unique visions that stand apart from the


Boy howdy to that – just glom onto this list of
artists set to appear:

Philip Glass w/ Wendy Sutter
Antony and the Johnsons
Jon Hassell + Maarifa Street
The Necks
Michael Gira
Fennesz collaborating with Mark Linkous and Scott Minor (of Sparklehorse);
Pauline Oliveros
Neil Hamburger
Dan Deacon + Baltimore Round Robin
Burning Star Core (C Spencer Yeh)
San Agustin
David Daniel
Luminescent Orchestrii
Sxip Shirey
Fence Kitchen
Nicolas Collins
Larkin Grimm
Ned Rothenberg
The Shaking Ray Levis



I mean, a festival with Antony,
Negativland, Dan Deacon, Christian Fennesz (making an incredibly rare U.S.
appearance), Philip Glass and The Shaking
Ray Levis
?!? WTF!! (While we’re on the subject, let us all congratulate the
Shaking Ray Levi society for over 20 years of service and dedication…)


Events will kick off Friday at 5 pm (Sat/Sun shows
begin at noon) at venues around Knoxville’s
downtown area, with the big shows taking place at the storied Bijou Theatre.
While festival passes are being sold (see below for details), individual
tickets for the Bijou concerts are also on sale at the box office
(865-684-1200) or the Big Ears website.




 Those shows



Fennesz Friday, February 6, 2009 at 8pm

Jon Hassell + Maarifa Street
Friday, February 6, 2009 at 10:30pm

Philip Glass Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 3pm

Antony &
The Jonhsons Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 8pm

The Necks Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 11pm

Negativland Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 2:30pm

Festival Finale: Michael Gira & Fennesz/Linkous/Minor and Larkin Grimm Sunday,
February 8, 2009 at 7pm

There will also be various workshops taking place
throughout the weekend, including the “Mooglab” (hosted by the Bob Moog
Foundation), a lecture by Pauline Oliveros, the “Hardware Hacking” workshop
with Nicolas Collins and a drum workshop by the Levis. For all the details, schedules and
ticketing, go to the official website at




Two weekend festival passes are available:

The Inner Ear Pass:
A limited number of Inner Ear festival passes are available for $195. An
Inner Ear festival pass entitles you to admission to ALL festival events
during the Big Ears weekend. This includes first-tier reserved seats to all
theater performances, including Philip Glass w/ Wendy Sutter, Antony and the Johnsons, Fennesz (solo), Jon Hassell + Maarifa Street, The Necks, Negativland ³It¹s All In Your Head,² and others.

The Outer Ear Pass:
A limited number of Outer Ear festival passes will also be offered for $100. Outer Ear passes include admission to all Big Ears performances (excluding Philip Glass w/ Wendy Sutter, Antony
and the Johnsons, and Michael Gira & Fennesz/Linkous/Minor with Larkin Grimm).


Blurt Exclusive: Elvis Found In Seattle!


A legion of King
acolytes pull on their jumpsuits and get up on stage, and we were there.


By Fred Mills


Needless to say, it’s not every day you get to see Elvis
perform, much less a dozen-odd Elvi. (Emphasis on “odd.”) But that’s exactly
what our Seattle
correspondent – and resident Elvis fanatic – Gillian G. Gaar did the other
night, and we’ve got the text and photos to prove it.


The photo above (taken by Ms. Gaar) is just a taste – scroll
down to our concert reviews section or go directly in via this link to see, and
we do mean see, exactly what went
down at the 12th Annual Elvis Invitationals, which are kinda like a
drag race minus the cars and emphasis on “drag.”


As Gaar puts it, “You wouldn’t mistake any of the Elvi at
the Invitationals for the real thing, but that didn’t stop anybody from having
a King-sized good time.”



Meanwhile, our friend Mojo Nixon wants you to know that
“Elvis Is Everywhere.” Sing along, y’all:




Black Mountain Sets W.Coast Tour


Still “high” on last
year’s album…


By Blurt Staff



Last year Black
Mountain released their
critically-acclaimed album “In the
“, hailed by critics as one of the best of 2008.  “In the Future” was shortlisted for
the prestigious Polaris Prize – an award for the best full-length Canadian
album based on artistic merit. Black
Mountain performed
“Stormy High” for the tall red-haired gentleman Conan O’Brien and his
audience in February during their “Friendship Tour Two Thousand and
Great” with Bon Iver.



Here’s what we had to say about the album:



The Canuck quintet
clears the bong and coughs up another masterpiece. Once more devoted, but not
bound, to the psychedelic aesthetic, Stephen McBean and crew weave a tapestry
of trippy tunes both heavy and deep. Opener “Stormy High” couches big dumb
riffs in ominous organ and Amber Webber’s moans, which dovetail with McBean’s
own Young-meets-Osbourne yowl. Black Mountain also shows its gravitas by
employing both profundity and puissance in its tunes, like “Bright Light”: a
17-minute epic that starts as a quiet lament/rumination and builds to a
900-foot tall (though also subterraneanly equidistant) jam where guitar and
organ do a perverse West Side Story knife
dance ritual as pointless as it is significant. Coming after 250 shows behind
2005’s Black Mountain, it’s a tight, intense ride-all
sound and fury signifying awesome.




2008 saw some significant travel: SXSW, Coachella, All
Tomorrow’s Parties, The Glastonbury Festival, Brazil, the Czech Republic, and
many more festivals and countries.  Much of it was chronicled in bassist
Matt Camirand’s excellent blog:

The band’s friends and brothers in Canuck-dom, The Sadies, will be joining the
band on a West Coast tour in late March following Black
Mountain’s tour in Australia. 

All dates will be performed with The

03/20/09 San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Shop: BUY

03/21/09 Los Angeles, CA – The Echoplex: BUY

03/22/09 San Diego, CA – Casbah: BUY

03/23/09 Santa Cruz, CA – The Crepe Place: BUY

03/25/09 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre: BUY

03/26/09 Bellingham, WA – The Wild Buffalo  
03/27/09 Seattle, WA – Neumos: BUY




Dee Snider Wants YOU!


Twisted Sister
frontman announces casting call for “every guy and girl with tattoos and big
holes in their ears”; NC-17 horror movie, set to begin production later this
year, will be set in the world of body modification.


By Blurt Staff



Dee Snider, frontman of heavy metal legends Twisted Sister,
is set to begin production on the feature film Strangeland:  Disciple later this year, the
much-anticipated follow-up to Strangeland (1998), which he wrote and
starred in as antagonist Captain Howdy.



His partners in the project, Nehst Studios, have put out an
open casting call through to be
a part of the film starring Snider and Robert Englund (Freddie Kruger of the Nightmare
On Elm Street

“We are conducting a national casting call to find actors
and extras to be in the film with Dee,” explains
Nehst head Larry Meistrich. “This is the best way for people to audition. The
goal of this talent search is to give aspiring actors access to participate and
work on a really high-profile project.”

“It’s like a national outreach project,” explains Snider.
“We will be looking for talent in the body modification and fetish world.
Everywhere I go now, every guy and girl with tattoos and big holes in their
ears wants to be in my movie!”

Parts of Strangeland: Disciple will take place in a
secret society whose inhabitants party hard and strange at an aptly-named
dungeon called The Torture Garden. “It’s a hardcore body modification and
fetish scene, filled with all kinds of freaks,” Snider says of the venue.
“We’re shooting for an NC-17 rating right out of the box. I want enthusiasts
from all over the country to be a part of it!”





David Bowie: No, No, No. (“Poppycock!”)


Music legend not
appearing in long-rumored Jim Carrey “answer film” either.


By Fred Mills



With media reports recently bearing down on David Bowie
about the erstwhile glam rocker prepping a revival of his Ziggy Stardust
persona and album for this year’s Coachella as well as doing some recording in
Berlin for his long-overdue followup to 2003’s Reality – the latter info surfaced via Twitter, of all places –
Bowie has gotten his spokespersons fired up to refute any and all Bowie-related


This morning’s has Bowie categorically denying it all, citing a
message at the diva’s official website,



“The story goes
that David Bowie was in talks to perform his Ziggy Stardust album at the
festival this year, the rumour really took hold and the ‘news’ was reported
online around the globe and in the English press.

“You may have already seen the denial over at NME.COM, but I’m sure the
majority of you saw this tale for what it was anyway: poppycock!

“However, we feel duty-bound to deny this particular story here too, lest
members be fleeced of their hard-earned.

“While we’re about it, David Bowie does not have a Twitter account.”



Well, all right then! Let’s hear it for all the sensible
folks of the world who have better things to do than screwing around on



Blurt’s “Exclusive” Kelly Clarkson Pics!



Nobody in our office
wrote that headline, honest.


By Fred Mills



With the entire friggin’ planet reeling from the news that the
video for Kelly Clarkson’s hit song “My Life Would Suck With You” had been
taken down at YouTube – it was posted to the video sharing site last night but
quickly removed per the request of her record label, since plans are for it to
officially debut tonight during American
– BLURT staffers gathered ‘round the boardroom table and anxiously
debated whether this type of juicy controversy would be sufficient to write up
a, you know, snarky news item.


A few hours later we sobered up, rubbed our eyes and said,
collectively, “Naaaah….


But we do have a coupla stills from the shoot that the label
leaked to the press prior to the brou-ha-ha….




Don’t you feel better now? Somebody buy us a drink, please.




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.






Wednesday, January


11:00 VH1 Classic Albums: Phil Collins Face Value

4:00 VH1 Classic Concerts:Pink Floyd live Dark Side of the

6:00 Sundance: Spectacle – Elvis Costello With… the Police

7:00 Sundance: Spectacle – Elvis Costello With…Rufus

8:00 Sundance: Spectacle – Elvis Costello With…Kris
Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Norah Jones, John Mellencamp

9:00 Sundance: Spectacle – Elvis Costello With… Renee

10:00 Sundance: Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man

11:30 CBS David Letterman: Menwe

11:35 NBC Jay Leno: Neville Brothers

12:05 ABC Jimmy Kimmel: Disturbed

12:35 NBC Conan O’Brien: Cold War Kids

1:35 NBC Carson
Daly: Katy Perry



Thursday, January 29:


7:30 AM: Sundance: Robyn Hitchcock Sex, Food, Death &

11:00 VH1 Classic Albums: Sex Pistols Never Mind the

5:00 VH1 Classic: Brucs Springsteen Live In NYC

7:00 VH1 Classic: Mudcrutch

9:00 VH1 Classic: Backbeat (Beatles biopic)

11:00 VH1 Classic: BBC Electric Proms – Paul McCartney

11:30 CBS David Letterman: Graham Nash

11:35 NBC Jay Leno: Franz Ferdinand

12:05 ABC Jimmy Kimmel: Kraak & Smaak

12:05 Sundance: Spectacle – Elvis Costello With… Renee

12:35 NBC Conan O’Brien: Mike Birbiglia


20th Annual GLAAD Noms Announced


Musicians in the
running include Sam Sparro, Magnetic Fields, Jay Brannan, k.d. lang, Hercules
and Love Affair.


By Fred Mills


“How our lives are portrayed in the media doesn’t make a bit
of difference, it makes all the difference.”


So says Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) president
Neil G. Giuliano, and in this post-Bush milieu, his words couldn’t be any
truer. It’s no coincidence that one of the finest – if not THE finest – current
films is Milk, the Harvey Milk biopic
starring Sean Penn in the title role, and since there has to be a yin for every
yang we’ve got the horrendous passing of Proposition 8 in California. Which
taken into the context of Giuliano’s comment, of course, means that we as a
nation espousing tolerance and equality still have a helluva long way to go.


This week the annual GLAAD Media Awards Nominees were
announced – “Fair. Accurate. Inclusive. And Impossibly Glam.” goes their
tagline – and just a glance at the entire list of nominees, from Outstanding
Film (Milk is there, of course, but
were you expecting Nick and Norah’s
Infinite Playlist
?) to Outstanding Drama Series (likewise, there’s The L Word, but you gotta admit
including True Blood is awfully cool,
too) to the scores of other categories in the entertainment business and
electronic/print media, is akin to viewing a microcosm of who we, as Americans,
are culturally.


The Awards ceremony will be held March 28 in New York – this will be
the 20th year GLAAD has presented its awards, and the categories
continue to expand as the organization recognizes those people and institutions
that are going above and beyond.


Big props, incidentally, to Billy Elliot: The Musical book and lyrics by Lee Hall, music by Elton John (Outstanding New York Theater:
Broadway & Off Broadway category); “Gay in Wasilla” by Julie
Bolcer, (Outstanding Digital Journalism Award – take THAT, Sarah
Palin); “I Don’t Judge” IKEA (Outstanding Advertising – Electronic);
and “Will You Marry Me?” Absolut Vodka (Outstanding Advertising –



Oh, and also to:



Jay Brannan, goddamned
Hercules & Love Affair, Hercules & Love Affair
k.d. lang, Watershed
The Magnetic Fields, Distortion
Sam Sparro, Sam Sparro



‘em out at their MySpace pages and hear some tunes; they’re all amazing
musicians, and we salute ‘em. This has been a public service announcement –
with rainbow-hued guitars – from BLURT.



and Love Affair:






Check out the Hercules and Love Affair vid for “You Belong”: