Monthly Archives: February 2009

DMX Plays The Badass Card Again

 

 

Fool be buggin’ out
over a cafeteria food tray…

 

By Fred Mills

 

Earl Simmons, a/k/a rapper DMX, was sentenced to prison time in Maricopa County, Arizona, last month for various felonies,
including drug possession, felony theft and animal cruelty. It was only a
90-day sentence, however, which if you consider how strict the authorities can
be in Maricopa (home to both Phoenix and Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s notorious “tent
city” brand of incarceration), is what we call “gettin’ off with a wrist slap” –
by way of comparison, one of BLURT’s Arizona friends was convicted of DUI and
received more than 90 days.

 

But stupid is as stupid does, and DMX is not known for
making wise life choices. Ergo, he’s already tested the waters twice in a bid to see if he can rack up
yet more time in the slammer. According to a report at AZCentral.com, the first
incident came on Feb. 8 when he “launched into a profanity-laced tirade”
against a prison supervisor stemming from his refusing to report for a work
assignment and to take his medication. Then Sunday he was booked on “suspicion
of aggravated assault charge” after he reportedly threw a food tray at a
corrections officer at the prison.

 

Well, at least all the other prisoners know he’s truly a badass now. Heaving a tray is
the new drive-by.

 

Somebody apparently forgot to tell DMX that the Bush era is
over and it’s time for everyone to grow up and act like adults. Maybe we’ll all
get lucky and he’ll do something even more counterintuitive that’ll net him 8
years and we won’t have to worry about the dumbass during the interim.

 

 

Jesus Lizard Singles Box En Route

 

 

A day without a sweaty
upper torso photo of David Yow is like a day without sunshine…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

First comes word of the Jesus Lizard reuniting in order to
play All Tomorrow’s Parties in England
in May (plus a Chicago
show next November). Now the good folks at Touch & Go inform us of a
special Jesus Lizard singles box set for April 18, Record Store Day. Details
from the label below….

 

***

 

From Touch & Go:

 

As
you have likely heard by now, the Jesus Lizard, known in some circles as the
greatest live band EVER, is reuniting the original line up to perform in 2009.
You may have also heard that April 18, 2009 marks the return of Record Store
Day, an event to support the independent record stores we know and love. 
So we got to thinking…what better way to celebrate two things we wholeheartedly
believe in than by bringing them together?  So with that in mind, we’re
excited to announce INCH from the
Jesus Lizard, a special release Touch and Go is offering up for sale on Record
Store Day only. 

 

INCH is a collection of all the 7″
singles The Jesus Lizard released on Touch and Go, lovingly remastered by Bob
Weston and enclosed in a foldable clear plastic package, suitable for both
compact storage and bedroom wall display.  Adding to the allure is the
fact that each 7″ has been out of print for over six years, so finding any one
single (let alone all of them) at a store has been near impossible.  Also
included here is a 7″ of “Puss”, the Jesus Lizard’s side from the long-gone
split with Nirvana. Still not enough?  INCH also contains the “Gladiator” single, originally given away
exclusively at a Jesus Lizard Brixton
Academy show in London back in 1992 and nowhere else. 

 

INCH Tracklisting:

 

“Chrome”
b/w “7 vs 8”

“Mouthbreather”
b/w “Sunday You Need Love”

“Wheelchair
Epidemic” b/w “Dancing Naked Ladies”

“Gladiator”
(live) b/w “Seasick” (live)

“Puss”

Lash
3×7″ containing

           
“Glamorous” b/w “Deaf as a Bat”

           
“Lady Shoes” (live) b/w “Killer McHann” (live)

           
“Bloody Mary” (live) b/w “Monkey Trick” (live)

“(Fly)
On (the Wall)” b/w “White Hole”

 

This
collection of singles is merely the first thing to hit from the Jesus Lizard in
2009.  The band is set to perform at ATP: The Fans Strike Back festival in
England
on May 8-10.  Additionally, the band has just confirmed another date in London on May 11th at The Forum. Ooh wee child, get your pads and cup ready because the real deal
is about to blast you like Jimmy
“Superfly” Snuka coming off the top turnbuckle
.

More tour dates will be announced shortly as well as details on the catalog
reissues.

 

 

 

 

Dirty Projectors Prep 5th Album

 

 

June release preceded by multiple shows at
SXSW plus a UK
tour.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

Dirty Projectors
are set to release ‘Bitte Orca’,
their 5th full-length album and first for Domino Records on June 9.  It’s
their followup to 2007’s Rise Above,
a healthily-hyped but ultimately insubstantial “reimagining” of the Black Flag
album of the same name. This new platter was recorded in Portland, OR and on their
home turn in Brooklyn, NY in 2008 and will be available on CD, LP
& digital. David Longstreth formed Dirty
Projectors in 2002 and the group now consists of Angel Deradoorian, Amber Coffman, Brian
Mcomber and David as principal members. 
Lead single ‘Stillness Is The
Move’
will precede the album on April 21st in North
America and will be available on 12″ and digital, with
b-sides and a remix by Lucky Dragons.

 

 

Dirty
Projectors will also be introducing an
expanded 6 member live lineup with the addition of bassist Nat Baldwin and vocalist
Haley Dekle for a number of dates this winter and spring. The dates include a
very special show at the Walker Arts Center
in Minneapolis
on March 6th, a number of SXSW performances, a UK Arts Council headline tour
and more.

 

 

Tracklists:

 

Bitte Orca

 

1. Cannibal Resource

2. Temecula Sunrise

3. The Bride

4. Stillness Is The Move

5. Two Doves

6. Useful Chamber

7. No Intention

8. Remade Horizon

9. Fluorescent Half Dome

 

 

Stillness Is The Move

 

A1 Stillness Is The Move (Album
Version)

A2 Stillness Is The Move (A
Cappella Mix)

B1 Stillness Is The Move (Lucky
Dragons Remix)

B2 Wave The Bloody Shirt

B3 Bitte Bitte Orca

 

 

Tour Dates:

 

3/6 – Walker
Arts Center
– Minneapolis, MN

3/19 – SXSW – NPR Party @ The
Parish

3/19 – SXSW – Windish Agency
Showcase @ Emos Annex

3/20 – SXSW – TBA

3/21 – SXSW – TBA

3/24 – Rescue Rooms – Nottingham, UK

3/25 – Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff, UK

3/27 – Black Box – Belfast, Northern
Ireland

3/38 – Crawdaddy – Dublin, Ireland

3/29 – ABC2 – Glasgow, Scotland

3/31 – Komedia – Brighton, UK

4/1 – Mint Lounge – Manchester, UK

4/2 – Scala – London, UK

4/3 – Arnolfini – Bristol, UK

4/4 – Taylor Johns House – Coventry, UK

 

 

 

 

Dolly Parton’s A Cracker (Barrel)!

 

 

Potentially
unfortunate career and p.r. move for the country superstar.

 

By Fred Mills

 

 

 

It’s not every day we have Dolly Parton news to report, and
even rarer still are the opportunities to exploit what some might term
“unfortunate, or at least slightly uncomfortable” coincidences in the daily
news cycle. At any rate, a press release just slipped over the BLURT transom
informs us that Dolly is partnering with the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® restaurant chain to release a special
“Collectors’ Edition” of Parton’s recent album Backwoods Barbie. It’s to include new art plus three previously
unreleased bonus tracks and will be sold exclusive at Cracker Barrels.

 

All cool there; you can read the full press release below.
Meanwhile, as one of the interns observed when we were discussing the Parton
news, “In light of the Howard Stern shit, do you think that Dolly hooking up
with Cracker Barrel is the smartest move?”

 

Good point. For those with short memories, about a year ago
there was this big flap surrounding a Parton audio track that was aired on the
Howard Stern show. Apparently the Stern crew employed some mixing and tape
splicing wizardry to essentially do a mashup of Parton quotes taken from an
audio book to make it sound like she was spewing a litany of racist epithets
(and no shortage of “big wang” comments, too). Parton subsequently had to go on
the defensive and released a statement saying, “I have never been so shocked,
hurt and humiliated in all my life. I cannot believe what Howard Stern has done
to me. In a blue million years, I would never have such vulgar things come out
of my mouth. They have done editing or some sort of trickery to make this
horrible, horrible thing. Please accept my apology for them and certainly know
I had nothing to do with this. If there was ever going to be a lawsuit, it’s
going to be over this. Just wanted you to know that I am completely devastated
by this.”

 

The offending Stern show audio clip appears to have been
removed
from most websites, but some diligent searching can probably unearth an
MP3 of it somewhere.

 

And that’s the problem: with the Internet, everything lasts
until eternity, which means someone who doesn’t know the backstory here might
come across Parton’s so-called racist rant and take it at face value.

 

Which brings us to Cracker Barrel: how many of you out there
still consider the chain’s name as synonymous with “racist”? It was very, very
long ago, nearly 20 years ago in fact, that those lawsuits alleging Cracker
Barrel had engaged in minority discrimination
and refusing to serve black
customers were first filed, and they’ve also been long since settled (to the
tune of $8.7 million). The chain has subsequently gone to great lengths to
rebuild its public image, but it goes without saying that deeply negative image
is hard to ever fully erase in the minds of most people. To this day, the
ongoing joke remains, “Did ya ever wonder why they call it Cracker Barrel?” (Denny’s has a similar public relations problem
regarding a perception of insensitivity, too.)

 

Humans can be stupid. And memories can be both long and
short. But you can’t change human nature, so here’s hoping that the
Parton-Cracker Barrel move won’t result in all sorts of media attention (like
the bit you’re reading right now) that tries to spin it in a negative
direction. We LOVE Dolly, just to be perfectly clear.

 

Like we said, just one of those uncomfortable coincidences
we sometimes encounter while scouring the world for music-related news. Hey,
come to think of it, it’s still Black History Month, too….

 

***

 

Parton Press Release:

 

 

LEBANON, Tenn. – (February 27, 2009)
– She’s an international star, a prolific songwriter, and a beloved
philanthropist, but Dolly Parton is also just an old-fashioned Tennessee girl,
and that’s why Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® is pleased and
proud to be the exclusive source of a new Collectors’
Edition
of Dolly’s latest CD, Backwoods
Barbie
. The album will feature three new tracks that have never been heard
before and are available only on this disc, and the CD will also feature brand
new photos and artwork. This Collectors’ Edition goes on sale exclusively at
all Cracker Barrel locations on March 23rd.

 

 

The
three new songs on this disc, Rose of My Heart,”Hallelujah
Holiday,”
and “
Berry Pie” were
selected by Dolly herself from her extensive catalog.  “I wanted the songs I chose specifically for
this release to reflect how I feel about Cracker Barrel and all the good things
you can find there,” said Dolly.  “I
think it’s important for there to be an authentic connection to the heritage
that Cracker Barrel and I share.”

 

 

Dolly
Parton is considered to be the most successful female country music artist,
having released 42 top-10 country albums and earned 25 number-one singles. She
has won seven Grammy® awards and received 42 Grammy® nominations. She has also received seven awards from the Academy of Country Music
and 10 Country Music Association awards, and is one of only five female artists
to win the CMA’s highest honor, “Entertainer of the Year.” Dolly is also an
acclaimed movie and television actress, and her literacy program, Dolly
Parton’s “Imagination Library,” is now in 566 counties in 36 states.  It started in her home town in Sevier County, Tennessee,
just up the road from Cracker Barrel’s home town of Lebanon,
Tennessee.  “The woman is one of our national treasures, so
let’s cherish her for as long as we’ve got her…this is one Barbie who has
always been for real,” wrote Newsweek in 2008.

 

 

 

“Dolly
Parton is an extremely popular and appealing entertainer, and our guests are in
for some wonderful sounds when they listen to this Collectors’ Edition of Dolly’s latest CD, Backwoods Barbie,” says Peter Keiser, Vice President of Marketing
for Cracker Barrel. “We are especially pleased that Dolly herself selected the
three new exclusive songs for this album and honored that these songs reflect
her feelings about Cracker Barrel.”

 

 

The
Collectors’ Edition of Backwoods Barbie with 15 tracks,
including three new songs, goes on sale exclusively at all Cracker Barrel
locations on March 23rd, at a retail price of 11.99.

 

 

The
Collectors’ Edition of Backwoods Barbie is the latest project
in an impressive collection of exclusive music available only at Cracker
Barrel. It follows a number of exclusive releases in 2008 –  November’s release of Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Hymns, the August release of Kenny Rogers: 50 Years, the July
release of Ricky Skaggs’ The High Notes and
the April release of Aaron Tippin’s He
Believed. 
Over the last few years,
Cracker Barrel has released exclusive CDs featuring Alison Krauss & Union
Station, Josh Turner, Amy Grant, Sara Evans, and Charlie Daniels.

 

 

 

About Cracker Barrel

Cracker
Barrel Old Country Storeâ restaurants provide a friendly home-away-from-home in their old
country stores and restaurants.  Guests
are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and
shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s
country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious,
home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as
well as its signature biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old
country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and
self-indulgences.

 

 

Cracker
Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn.
and operates 588 company-owned locations in 41 states.  Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days
a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and
Saturday, 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.  For more
information, visit: crackerbarrel.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamond Dave Assteroidz Game Launches!

 

Good clean arcade fun
never goes out of fashion.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Proof that David Lee Roth ain’t just diamond, he’s perennial
GOLD, came back in December when we brought you word of a DLR-themed website whereby you could click through and receive a veritable choruses of short Roth
audio clips (“Oh God!” “Whooo!” “You know, UHHH!” etc.). Seriously good twisted
fun, and the site appears to still be operative.

 

This one’s even better: a Van Halen Asteroids game – or,
more accurately, Diamond Dave Edition
Assteroidz
. It utilizes the typical keyboard controls (up arrow for thrust,
L-R arrow to rotate, space bar to fire the blasters), but instead of the
familiar chunky asteroids we all know and love from back in the early ‘80s, the
objects floating through space that you have to destroy are assorted Van Halen
logos, disembodied Eddie Van Halen heads, a roly-poly looking alien, and more.

 

Your icon that’s doing the blasting? None other than
depiction of a leaping, split-legged Roth, natch. Sound effects include, quite
logically, random Roth utterances.

 

Watch out for that head of Sammy Hagar that goes zipping
past ya! He can’t drive just 55!

 

 

 

 

Wheat Returns w/Reissue, New LP

 

Forthcoming album the
followup to 2007’s Everyday I Said a
Prayer for Kathy and Made a One
Inch Square.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

The beloved Massachusetts
group Wheat’s last album was 2007’s Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made
a One Inch Square
, for the Empyrean label, and although an EP was
mooted for last year, it never materialized, making this forthcoming project as
well as the reissues hotly anticipated. Read on….

 

 

Wheat plans a reissue of their two first records – “Medeiros
and “Hope and Adams.” The
double CD also includes a third bonus disc, titled “30 Minute Theatrik” featuring
unreleased songs and demos. 

Wheat entered the scene with their 1998 debut, “Medeiros” (produced by Brian Deck, pre-Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine). The album hit
big across the pond where NME named “Death Car” as Single of the Week and a
limited-edition seven-inch sold out within days. 

The follow up, “Hope and Adams,” secured
the band’s place in indie-rock history with its “melodic poise and
impressive ache” (Rolling Stone). Or, as our
friends at Magnet observed, “If the off-kilter,
impressionistic feel of “Medeiros
was ambitious, Hope and Adams’ sense
of cinematic abandon is profound.” The expansive Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips,
Mercury Rev)-produced album made numerous End of Year lists.

After releasing only one major-label record “Per Second, Per Second, Per Second-Every Second” (Aware/Columbia),
the band became disenchanted with the major label process and retreated. After
avoiding the spotlight for a few years, Wheat are preparing to re-emerge in 2009
with a new record entitled “White Ink, Black Ink.”  

The band will be playing new tracks at Brooklyn’s Union Hall on February 12th and at South By Southwest, with “White Ink, Black Ink” to be
released later in the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maria Taylor: Sexy New Video, Tour

 

Girls, and this BLURT-approved
songbird, just wanna have fun…steal a few bottles of wine… flirt with the guys…
you know, girl stuff.

 

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

As we told you previously, Maria Taylor, of Saddle Creek’s Azure Ray, is gearing up to release her
third solo album titled Ladyluck on
March 31. Teaming up with producer friends Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes, Azure Ray and a host of Saddle Creek label mates), Mike Mogis and Lukas Burton and
featuring collaborations with Michael Stipe, Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes and Mckenzie
Smith of Midlake, LadyLuck showcases Taylor’s ability to pull at your heart
strings while proving she’s not a woman down on her luck. 

Already available on iTunes, “Time Lapse
Lifeline” is about how fast life moves and how in a moment everything can
change. Appropriately, the song is punctuated by both a driving beat and
lingering, plaintive vocals The video for “Time Lapse Lifeline”
features Maria alongside friends from local bands Har Mar Superstar,
Whispertown 2000, Tilly
and the Wall, and The Donnas – check
it out below.

 

 

The album’s second track, “Cartoons and Forever
Plans” will be released on iTunes on March 17. As on previous albums, she
works with Now It’s Overhead’s Andy LeMaster as well as new contributor, REM’s
Michael Stipe. 

After touring Europe with Joshua Radin in March, Maria Taylor
returns to tour the US
in April with Whispertown 2000 on the following dates: 

April 04 – Gainesville, FL – Common Grounds 
April 05 – Orlando, FL – The Social 
April 06 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits
April 07 – Birmingham, AL – Bottle Tree 
April 08 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl 
April 09 – Carrboro, NC – Local 506 
April 10 – Washington, DC – Rock N Roll Hotel
April 11 – Philadelphia, PA –
Barbary 
April 12 – Brooklyn, NY – Bell House 
April 13 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s 
April 14 – Boston, MA – Great Scott 
April 16 – Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place 
April 17 – Toronto, ON – El Mocambo 
April 18 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop 
April 19 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig 
April 20 – Chicago, IL – Schuba’s 
April 21 – Madison, WI – High Noon 
April 22 – Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar 
April 24 – Omaha, NE – Waiting Room 
April 25 – Denver, CO – HI Dive 
April 26 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
April 28 – Seattle, WA – Vera
Project 
April 29 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir 
May 01 – San Francisco, CA –
Café Du Nord 
May 02 – Visalia, CA – Cellar Door 
May 03 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour 

 

“Time
Lapse Lifetime”:

 

 

 

 

Britain’s Shockwaves Awards: No Shocks

 

Britain’s
Shockwaves Awards Fail to Shock

2-26-09

 

Hey, quit raggin’ on
the Jonas Brothers, ya Meanies!

 

By Fred Mills

 

Though Barack Obama took Hero of the Year honors and his
predecessor George W. Bush was handed the Villain of the Year trophy, last
night’s Shockwaves NME Awards ultimately held no real surprises other than the
fact that the NME & Co. bothered
to make a half-ass reference to world politics. Elsewhere, it was business as
usual, with many of the usual suspects getting nods, including the Cure (the
annual Godlike Genius award), Oasis for Best British Band, the Killers for Best
International Band and Pete Doherty (pictured) for Best Solo Artist.

 

In addition to the Killers, some fairly unoriginal thinking
was on display when it came to the Brits’ choice du jour for Americans: Kings
Of Leon won Best Album, and MGMT nabbed Best New Band and Best Track. Not to
get catty or anything, but if the Killers, the Kings and MGMT are the best acts
we can send across the pond, maybe it’s time to concede that the domestic music
industry is in fact in the toilet and finished as many have been predicting for
some time. (Raise your hand if you can remember a time when U.S. bands like
the Long Ryders and Mudhoney were making the cover of the NME.)

 

The Jonas Brothers, naturally, were hailed as Worst Band and
Worst Album, clearly a reactionary-vote-by-design. This only goes to prove that
people who live in glass houses might should consider not throwing stones: the
UK track record of serving up so-called prefab teen pop stars with critical
cred isn’t particularly good, folks, so watch who you’re bashing.

 

 

 

Winners List:

 

Godlike
Genius: The Cure

Best British Band: Oasis supported
by Shockwaves
Best Internationsl Band:
The Killers
supported by 4music
Best Solo Artist: Pete
Doherty

Best New Band: MGMT supported
by Bench
Best Live Band: Muse supported
by Red Stripe
Best Album: Kings Of Leon
‘Only By The Night’
supported by HMV
Best Track: MGMT ‘Time To Pretend’ supported by NME Radio
Best Video:
Last Shadow Puppets ‘My Mistakes Were Made For You’
supported by NME
TV

Best Live Event:
Glastonbury 2008

Best TV: ‘The Mighty
Boosh’

Phillip Hall Radar Award:
The Big Pink

Best Dancefloor Filler:
Dizzee Rascal featuring Calvin Harris and Chrome – ‘Dance Wiv Me’

Best DVD: Arctic Monkeys
– ‘Live At The Apollo’

Best Band Blog: Oasis’ Noel
Gallagher

Best Venue: London
Astoria

Best Album Artwork Muse ‘HAARP’
Hero Of The Year: Barack
Obama

Villain Of The Year: George
W Bush

Best Dressed: Alexa Chung
Worst Dressed: Amy
Winehouse

Worst Album: The Jonas
Brothers – ‘A Little Bit Longer’

Worst Band: the Jonas
Brothers

Sexiest Male: Muse’s Matt Bellamy
Sexiest Female: Paramore’s
Hayley Williams

Best Website: YouTube

 

 

 

Anthrax Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em!

 

Scarey-looking
bald-headed dude with tattoos rustles himself up some high stakes heavy metal
with Jerry Cantrell, Vinnie Paul, Kirk Hammet and Slash.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Wow. Here’s something you don’t see in the news every day.
Personally we’re holding out for the Phish Phrisbee Tourney, but hey….

 

 

Scott
Ian, frontman for Anthrax, is also a
poker pro and a member of the UltimateBet online team. And, in that capacity,
Ian will host “Scott Ian’s Home
Game,” an exclusive online poker tournament where you can check,
raise and bluff rock stars and poker pros, and be eligible for a $10,000 prize
pool, if you’re one of 20 lucky players to secure a spot. Leading online poker
site UltimateBet has just launched online poker qualifiers for this
once-in-a-lifetime Texas Hold’em tournament – for full details and a complete
tournament schedule, log onto: http://www.ultimatebet.com/poker-promotion/scott-ian-home-game (click
on the “Free Download” button at the top of the page, then sign up to
win a seat).

Slated to play in “Scott Ian’s Home Game” online poker tournament are
Ian, Jerry Cantrell of Alice
in Chains, Vinnie Paul of Pantera, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and rock legend
Slash. Also playing will be 11-time World Series of Poker winner Phil Hellmuth,
and World Poker Champion Annie Duke. Online poker players will be able to chat
with the rock stars and poker legends through the UltimateBet software’s chat
feature.

“I am really excited about my Home Game on UB,” said Scott Ian,
currently in the studio mixing the new Anthrax album “Worship Music,”
due out this summer. “With all of our crazy schedules, we’re never in the
same city so it’s not often that I get to play Hold’em with all my friends.
UltimateBet has provided the venue for us to play together and I can’t wait to
welcome some UB players to the table and get to know them a little more
personally.”

2009 marks the 25-year anniversary of the release of Anthrax’s debut album,
1984’s “Fistful of Metal, and over the course of that 25-years, the band
has remained one of heavy metal’s all-time great acts. Along with Slayer,
Metallica and Megadeth, Anthrax is credited with co-founding the thrash genre.
This summer, Megaforce Records will release “Worship Music,”
Anthrax’s first new studio album in six years. The new album will mark the
studio debut of new singer Dan Nelson, who joins long-time members Ian (rhythm
guitar), Frank Bello (bass), Charlie Benante (drums), and Rob Caggiano (lead guitar).

 

 

Pylon’s Randy Bewley RIP: 1956-2009

 

Guitarist for the
beloved Athens
band unexpectedly passes away on Wednesday.

 

By Fred Mills

 

The Amerindie world is in shock and the Athens, GA,
musical community is in mourning today as word gets out about the passing of
Pylon guitarist Randy Bewley. Apparently he was driving his van on Monday when
he suffered a heart attach and his van went off the road and flipped.
Yesterday, he died at the Athens
Regional Medical
Center. He was 53. As of
this writing the funeral arrangements have not been announced.

 

It’s a given, however, that said Athens community will be out in full force
for Bewley’s funeral or memorial. When Bewley and bassist Michael Lachowski assembled
Pylon in early ’79 with drummer Curtis Crowe and singer Vanessa Briscoe, they
quickly vaulted to the forefront of the Athens music scene, peers with the
B-52s as well as up-and-comers like Love Tractor, the Method Actors and a
little ol’ band called R.E.M. Pylon’s edgy brand of thumping post-punk,
dubbed-out funk and wildly danceable pop was one of the era’s signature sounds,
Bewley’s angular, minimalist fretboard squall in particular helping carve an
utterly unique identify for the band. To say that Pylon was an inspiration to
both fans and fellow musicians would be a gross understatement.

 

Speaking to me in December of 2007 for Harp magazine around the time of the DFA label’s expanded reissue
of Pylon’s 1980 debut Gyrate, Vanessa
Briscoe reflected on her group’s initial tenure and legacy along with their
subsequent reunions, first in 1988 and then again in 2004. “Pylon is the four
of us; it is not one guitarist who used to be in Pylon along with three people
he auditioned and brought in,” she said, affirming the personal and artistic
bond the members shared. “It is these particular four people, so if one of us
didn’t want to do it, it wasn’t going to be Pylon anymore. So… [laughs] we broke up! And we all went on
to our separate lives there for awhile.

 

“We’ve always been really good friends, we really have. Like any friends, if
you think about it, you’ll ebb and flow like the tide; sometimes you get to see
each other a lot and sometimes not at all. That’s what it’s like, and we’ve all
known each other since we were about 20 years old. That’s a long time! We don’t
reap the financial rewards, but you know, money’s not everything; and we’ve
seen the worst and the best of each other and we’re all still friends.

 

“These guys are like my brothers.”

 

***

 

 

In a statement posted to both Pylon’s MySpace page and
Facebook page, the band paid tribute to Bewley, writing:

 

 

This past Monday
evening, Randy Bewley had a heart attack while driving his van on Barber Street in Athens, GA.
He was taken to Athens
Regional Medical
Center. Today, our
bandmate and brother passed away at a little before 5 p.m. with his family and
friends at his side. He will be missed, even as we celebrate his life and
creativity. His guitar sound was as special as he was and always will be.
Randy’s guitar work defined not only a generation of sound but Randy himself.
His visual art, painting and photos, combined with his signature sound formed a
loose set of boundaries that helps understand him. His quiet devotion to family
and friends will become a benchmark for those he leaves behind.

 

 

R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe is a longtime friend of the Pylon
gang (early on, R.E.M. opened for Pylon, and later, when R.E.M. became stars,
they returned the favor by having Pylon open for them) gave a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, saying,
“We are so very saddened to hear the news of Randy’s passing. Pylon have always
been an inspired catalyst to R.E.M. and the Athens music and art scene, and beyond.”

 

 

And on a personal note, I’ll just add that those times I saw
Pylon perform in the early ‘80s were among some of the most fun shows lodged in
my memory. That’s something anyone who attended a Pylon concert will tell you –
they were so much fun, even the geekiest person in the room couldn’t help but
get up and dance. Plus, the group had an undeniable chemistry, and they exuded
a sleek, sexy charisma impossible to fake. Listening to their records now, I
can say without a doubt that they are stone classics that have stood the test
of time – go listen, now, to some of their signature songs, like the pulsing,
throbbing “Cool” or the droning, yet impossibly poppy, “Crazy.” You’ll see
(hear) what I mean.

 

 

BLURT extends out deepest condolences to Bewley’s family, to
his friends, and of course to Pylon.