Monthly Archives: March 2009

Head-fucking Lemonheads LP Art Unveiled

Most eye-popping
record art since that Sonic Boom/Spectrum album debut a zillion years ago…

 

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Whoah dude, our eyes hurt. But we heart the new Lemonheads
record sleeve just the same! It’s for Varshons,
due June 23 on The End labels, produced by Gibby Haynes (read all about that
HERE).

 

The artist? The mighty Mark Dagley, of Abaton Book Company.
Hat’s off to ya, Mark!

 

 

 

Richard Swift Dives into Atlantic Ocean

 

 

Take a bunch of genres, add an array of musicians,
and mix together…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

Pop quiz: What do you get
when you have guest artists Ryan Adams, Mark Ronson, Sean Lennon and Wilco’s
Pat Sansone on your CD? In the case of American
singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift, it’s magic.

 

 

Swift’s next CD/LP – The
Atlantic Ocean
– is ready for an April 7 release and it’s a lush musical
banquet of danceable sound that moves from Doo-Wop to pop to ragtime to Motown
with plenty of synthesizers sprinkled throughout.

 

 

So
what does all that mean? Swift classifies the sound as “Prince sitting in
on John Lennon’s Plastic Ono sessions.”

 

 

Check
out the sound yourself on Swift’s Web site, where he has a video for “Lady
Luck” posted — Swift

 

Meanwhile, check out a review of his 2008 album As Onasis 1 & 2 HERE.

 

 

Atlantic Ocean Track List

 

“The
Atlantic Ocean”

“The
Original Thought”

“Ballad
of Old What’s His Name”

“R.I.P.”

“Already
Gone”

“Hallelujah,
Goodnight!”

“The
First Time”

“Bat
Coma Motown”

“The
End of an Age”

“A
Song For Milton Feher”

“Lady
Luck”

 

 

Big Business Don’t Need No Bailout

 

Says ixnay to
government intervention, instead gives away products for free, adopts nomadic
touring lifestyle.

 

By Fred Mill

 

We’ll have extra jalapenos with that LP, thanks.

 

Big Business, from L.A.,
will drop their new album, Mind the Drift,
on May 12 via Hydra Head. And just because they can, they’re already streaming
the record for free online HERE. (Check out the band commentary that goes with the
music.) It’s heavy and it’s cool and it was produced by a shotgun-wielding Phil
Ek. Yow!

 

What’s not to like about a deal like that! See the full
tracklisting, below, along with tour dates: the band will hit the road in April
for an extended trek with their buddies in Tweak Bird that runs into early
June.

 

 

Speaking of band commentary, here’s what they had to say not
long ago about the album:

 

 

“Big Business is
pleased to announce the completion of their new full length album, entitled
MIND THE DRIFT. Big Business are also pleased to announce that they think it
turned out great. Quite a few of those millennial types on the internet have
been asking the band things like: “What’s up with the new album? Why’s it
taking so long? How come you guys don’t play that one song anymore or have
merchandise at your shows?” While Big Business don’t have time to answer
all of those types of questions directly, we at Hydra Head would like to take
this opportunity to present you with some True Facts about MIND THE DRIFT. FACT
#1: Producer Phil Ek (insert famous bands like the Shins here) has again
evolved the band’s grandiose sound and taken the Biz into new sonic
territories! FACT #2: Guitarist and newest band member Toshi Kasai adds new
voice and dimension, and looks good doing it. You can actually hear the
handsome. FACT #3: Most of the instrumental tracks were recorded at AVAST! 2
studios in Seattle, WA. in June and July of 2008. FACT #4: Due
to the busy touring schedule of Big Biz and the Melvins, most of the vocals, as
well as some overdubs and mixing, had to be postponed until late November of
2008. The album was completed in Los Angeles
(well, actually, Burbank
to be precise). (That’s a two-fer.) FACT #5: While recording Jared’s vocals,
Phil Ek kept a loaded sawed-off shotgun in the control room. FACT #6: Hydra
Head Records will be releasing the album on LP/CD/Digital this April. But more
news on that later… If you are internet savvy, you can check out a new, never
before heard track called “Gold and Final” streaming on
myspace.com/bigbigbusiness… NOW!”

 

 

 

“Mind The Drift” Tracklist

1. Found Art
2. Gold and Final
3. Cats, Mice
4. I Got It Online
5. The Drift
6. The Ayes Have It
7. Cold Lunch
8. Theme From Big Business II

 

 

Big Business US Tour w/ Tweak Bird!

 

Apr 22 2009
The Max Dallas, Texas
Apr 23 2009 Red Seven Austin, Texas
Apr 24 2009 Warehouse Live-Studio Houston, Texas
Apr 25 2009 Spanish Moon Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Apr 26 2009 Alabama Music Box Mobile, Alabama
Apr 29 2009 Common Grounds (formerly Covered Dish) Gainesville, Florida
Apr 30 2009 City Limits Delray Beach, Florida
May 1 2009 The Social Orlando, Florida
May 2 2009 Jack Rabbits Jacksonville, Florida
May 3 2009 The Drunken Unicorn Atlanta, Georgia
May 5 2009 Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, North Carolina
May 6 2009 The Ottobar Baltimore, Maryland
May 7 2009 Rock & Roll Hotel Washington DC, Washington DC
May 8 2009 The Note Westchester, Pennsylvania
May 9 2009 Union Pool Brooklyn, New York
May 10 2009 Mercury Lounge New York, New York
May 12 2009 Middle East Downstairs Boston, Massachusetts
May 13 2009 Grog Shop Cleaveland, Ohio
May 14 2009 The Basement Columbus, Ohio
May 15 2009 Headliners Music Hall Louisville, Kentucky
May 16 2009 Small’s Detroit, Michigan
May 17 2009 The Bottom Lounge Chicago, Illinois
May 18 2009 Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 20 2009 Larimer Lounge Denver, Colorado
May 21 2009 Bar Deluxe Salt Lake City, Utah
May 22 2009 Neurolux Boise, Idaho
May 23 2009 Dante’s Portland, Oregon
May 24 2009 Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room Seattle, Washington
May 25 2009 The Big Room Olympia, Washington
May 27 2009 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, California
May 28 2009 Detroit Bar Costa Mesa, California
Jun 1 2009 Troubadour Los Angeles, California
Jun 2 2009 Casbah San Diego

 

 

 

Duofest III Set; Mecca Normal to Play

 

More, as the saying
goes, is definitely less, and that’s a good thing.

 

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

The third annual Duofest is set for April 18 in Durham, NC,
and will feature 16 duos (duh!) playing on two stages from 2:30 to 12:30. With
the high-profile likes of Mecca Normal (pictured above; on their 25 anniversary
tour no less) making the trek to the Tarheel
State this year, it’s
guaranteed to be the proverbial “good time had by all”. See below for the full
itinerary of bands.

 

Now a little info. This has been a public service, with guitars.

 

 

Why Duo: Duofest began in 2007 after Dave Duo and Eleni Binge
realized there were a myriad of duos without a fest to celebrate. Tired of
questions about missing band members, the duo-philes set up an event to
celebrate the artform of more is less. Duofest continues to be relevant in this
economy, the perfect time to trim back your band members to duo.

 

Curious Fact: Every year a three-piece wants to play.

 

What: The 3rd annual festival of all two-pieces. (Pop. Rock. Dance. Fuzz.
Metal. Noise. Off-kilter. Folk n’ Anti-Folk.)

 

When: Saturday, April 18th, 2:30 PM 12:30 AM

 

Where: Bull City Headquarters, 723 N. Mangum St., Durham, NC 27701,
www.bullcityhq.org/ Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

 

Cost: Suggested donation: $5-$10, depending on how long you stay,
how much you have, how much you eat.

 

Event Website: http://www.myspace.com/durhamduofest

 

Event Lineup:

 

2:00 PM — DOORS

3:00Battle Rockets (Chapel Hill)

3:30Sawteeth McTweedy (Durham)

4:00Basalt (Greensboro)

4:30Scientific Superstar (Durham)

5:00Ottvovonbismark (Milford, PA / Wilmington, NC)

5:30Phon (Raleigh)

6:00 Sequoya (Durham)

6:30Victor Victor Band (Philadelphia)

7:00Veg Dinner Break!!
(Potluck-style)

8:00Spacelab (Chapel Hill)

8:30 — Saint Peter
Pocket Veto
(Winston-Salem)

9:00All Your Science (Durham) and Backpack
Drumset (Documentary on All Your Science)

9:45Beloved Binge (Durham)

10:15Mecca Normal (Vancouver,BC)

11:00Veelee(Chapel Hill)

11:30Curtains of Night (Chapel Hill)

12:00– Trophy Wife (DC)

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Maki Tours w/Great Lake Swimmers

 

Howe Gelb-approved
songbird continues to wow the press, and the rest of us…

 

By Fred Mills

 

 

 

Northern Ontario’s
Kate Maki and her band will be opening for the Great Lake Swimmers on their North American spring tour which
begins TONIGHT in Seattle.

 

Her third album, On High, was released in February 2008 to great press
as well as extensive NPR coverage. Since it’s been over a year since the dang
thing came out, let’s just revisit what one, er, astute critic for Harp magazine had to say about it in
2008:

 

 

Kate Maki

On High

(Ow Om)
www.owomrecords.com

 

 

While you might expect
a Canadian songbird to migrate south to escape the frigid Arctic breeze of
winter, in the case of Ontario’s
Kate Maki she beckoned the warmth northward. That would be Howe Gelb, who
arrived bearing desert sunshine and multi-instrumental savvy; Maki guested on
Gelb’s 2005 album Sno’
Angel Like You so for her third solo album he returned the favor by serving as producer and record
label patron.

 

Along with several of
Maki’s longtime collaborators, the pair serves up an eclectic buffet of
old-time folk/blues and country-rock (the twang-shuffle of “Blue Morning” will
make your a.m. anything but) that’s at time very Giant Sand-like in its
idiosyncrasies without sacrificing one whit of Maki’s distinctive personality.
Her sweetly unaffected, breathy warble suggest hints of Lucinda Williams, Madeline
Peyroux and even buzzstress Feist, and when she shares the mic with Gelb-notably
on “Don’t Look Down,” a mostly acoustic number haunted by the ghost of Neil
Young-a hard-to-quantify chemistry begins to bubble. Standout tracks: “Blue Morning,” “White Noise” (Fred Mills)

 

 

Wow, that was an EXCELLENT review! Give that writer a raise.

 

 

On to some
background and p.r. hype, courtesy Maki’s handlers. Luckily, in her case, it’s
all true…. Oh, and be watching the BLURT site for a feature on the Great Lake
Swimmers, coming later this week…

 

 


Co-produced with legendary Tucson,
Arizona phenomenon Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), the album was recorded by
Dave Draves (Julie Doiron) at Little Bullhorn Studios in Ottawa, Ontario over a
period of five days in March 2007, and features Howe on piano and guitar, Dave
on optigan and organ, Dale Murray
(Hayden) on pedal steel and
guitar, and Nathan Lawr (Royal City) on drums. Kate and Howe
met at a show in Toronto, Ontario in 2004 where the young singer made a lasting
impression on the desert rocker, very much like M Ward (Gelb released Ward’s
debut in 2000) did some years back, and Gelb eventually signed Maki to his
label, OWOM. Gelb says of Maki,
“Kate’s a hardy country type of pioneer woman. Her guitar pickin rhythm is
like a drum, and she can belt out, even when she is quiet, like a storm. Her
music carries its own necessity of illuminating and her songs represent what
the Canadians have, a real natural beauty of writing tunes that feel like a
friend you’ve never met, but that you’ve known forever.”

Kate’s debut Confusion Unlimited
and follow-up The Sun Will Find Us
were both recognized as “Album of the Year” at the Northern
Ontario Music & Film Awards in 2004 and 2005. She has appeared
on the cover of such notable publications as NOW, XPRESS, and ECHO, placed original tracks in recent
films Weirdsville
and Wilby
Wonderful, and shared the stage with Hayden, Tegan & Sara,
Giant Sand, and Jason Collett. When Kate is not on
tour, she teaches Science, French and Special Education in her hometown of Sudbury, Ontario,
Canada. Fans
can expect a new album to surface before the end of 2009.

 

 

Tour Dates:

 

 

Tuesday, March 31 –
Seattle, WA: The Tractor Tavern
Wednesday, April 1 – Portland, OR: Doug Fir
Friday, April 3 – San Francisco, CA: Bottom of the Hill
Saturday, April 4 – Los Angeles, CA: Spaceland
Sunday, April 5 – Tucson, AZ: Plush
Tuesday, April 7 – Austin, TX: Stubbs Bar-B-Q
Wednesday, April 8 – Denton, TX: Hailey’s
Friday, April 10 – Atlanta, GA: The Earl
Saturday, April 11 – Asheville, NC: Grey Eagle Tavern
Monday, April 13 – Charlottesville, VA: Gravity Lounge
Tuesday, April 14 – Washington, DC: Black Cat
Wednesday, April 15 – Philadelphia, PA: Johnny Brenda’s
Thursday, April 16 – Northampton, MA: Iron Horse Music Hall
Friday, April 17 – New York City, NY: The Bowery Ballroom
Saturday, April 18 – Cambridge, MA: The Brattle Theater
Monday, April 20 – Newport, KY: The Southgate House
Tuesday, April 21 – Chicago, IL: Schubas
Wednesday, April 22 – Minneapolis, MN: 7th Street Entry
Thursday, April 23 – Madison, WI: High Noon Saloon

 

 

Metric Brings on the Fantasies

 

 

“Help I’m Alive” charts; tour announced

By Nancy Dunham

 

The wait for new
Metric music is over.

 

 

Fantasies, the band’s fourth full-length album, is
available on iTunes starting today. If that’s not enough, note you can grab a
CD April 14 release and buy tickets for the band’s U.S. tour in June.

 

 

All this is
happening just as the album’s first single, “Help I’m Alive,” debuts
at #1 on the FMQB Top 25 Singles Chart for U.S. Specialty (which publicists
couldn’t help but boast beat out music by Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Decemberists).

 

 

Check out the
band’s video and more news at its website: Metric.

 

 

The dates for Metric’s
June US tour:

 

 

June 4 – Seattle
– Showbox

June 5 —
Portland – Wonder

June 6 – San
Francisco – BFD

June 7 – San
Diego – Independence Jam

June 8 – Los
Angeles – Wiltern

June 11 – Denver
– Ogden

June 12 –
Lawrence – Granada

June 13 —
Minneapolis – First Ave.

June 14 –
Chicago – Metro

June 15 –
Detroit – St. Andrews

June 17 – New
York – Terminal 5

June 18 –
Washington, D.C.– 9:30 Club

June
19-Philadelphia – Trocadero

 

 

Check out more
about Metric at Blurt

 

 

[Photo Credit:
Jenny Lewis]

 

 

Corgan Hosts Drumming With The Stars

 

Smashing Pumpkins
seeks new drummer. Is this your shot at fame?

 

 

By Nancy Dunham

 

 

Did you hear the news that drummer Robert “Fish” Fishman was
kicked out of Vesuvius and now…

 

 

Oops, sorry. We’re not talking about the movie “The Rocker.”
I was confused for a minute because real life rockers Smashing Pumpkins and its
one-time ultra-loyal drummer Jimmy Chamberlin are sort of on an adjacent road.

 

 

Those of us who love the Electric Prunes psych/rock songs –
– especially “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night” – can’t understand
Chamberlin’s angst over Billy Corgan’s collaborations with Prunes bass player
Mark Tulin. But hey, ya gotta do what you gotta do and for Chamberlin that
meant giving Corgan the “I’m just not that into you” line.

 

Read the back story here — Blurt

 

 

Ok, now this is where you come in.

 

 

The Pumpkins’ PR folks tell us that on Friday, April 10, the
Pumpkins will hold auditions for a new drummer. All you need is a dollar and a
dream – plus a way to get to LA. First, though send your background info (we
have no idea what that means but do the best you can), photos and performance
Web links by email to pumpkinsdrummer@gmail.com

 

 

And, hey, if you do the audition, drop us a line and let us
know what it was like. We wanna help make you a star!

 

 

 

 

 

Video: New Cursive, w/Tour Dates

 

Buzz clip from the
latest album. And then some.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

With their new Mama,
I’m Swollen
album just tearing things up like nobody’s business – read the
official BLURT review HERE – Cursive has announced a raft of tour dates
starting late April and running through mid May. Full itinerary, below.

 

You know you wanna hear the record before you see the show.
As we advised you, it’s the Omaha
band’s “latest batch of highly bitter and literate indie rock songs. Throughout
this new album frontman Tim Kasher ruminates on themes that have obsessed him
for years — fear of settling, the struggle for artistic release and
accomplishment, society’s insistence that a man grow up.”

 

Nobody around here wants to grow up, we can guarantee you
that. Meanwhile, Cursive has also just unveiled their new video for the tracks
“From the Hips,” and we’ve got it on heavy rotation over in the BLURT video
kiosk. You can surf around until you find said kiosk, or simply click through
HERE and glom onto the tune. Directed by Michael Grodner, it’ll have you
feeling kinda, um, hungry before it’s done…

 

Tour Dates:

 

Apr. 24    St. Louis, Mo       
The Firebird
Apr. 25    Memphis, Tn        Hi
Tone
Apr. 26    Nashville, Tn       
Mercy Lounge*
Apr. 27    Birmingham, Al       
Bottletree*
Apr. 28    Pensacola, Fl       
Sluggos*
Apr. 29    Orlando, Fl        The
Social*
Apr. 30    Orlando, Fl        The
Social*
May 1    Atlanta, Ga       
Variety Playhouse*
May 2    Carrboro, Nc        Cat’s
Cradle*
May 3    Washington, Dc       
Black Cat*
May 4    State College, Pa    The State Theatre*
May 5    Pittsburgh, Pa       
Diesel*
May 6    Detroit, Mi       
    Magic Stick*
May 7    Milwaukee, Wi       
Turner Hall
May 8    Minneapolis, Mn       
First Avenue
May 9    Chicago, Il       
    Bottom Lounge
*With Man Man

 

 

 

Green Day’s “Idiot” Hits Theater

 

Well, here’s hoping it’s more Tommy than Graceland at least… but didn’t we kill off the rock
opera back in the ‘70s?

 

By
Blurt Staff

 

Green
Day won two Grammy Awards – Best Rock Album and Record of the Year – with its
multi-platinum American Idiot, which
sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. Today the band announced plans to
bring that explosive album to the stage by collaborating with Michael Mayer,
renowned director of Spring Awakening, which grabbed eight Tony Awards
including Best Director and Best Musical in 2007. The new show – also titled American Idiot – will receive its world
premiere right in the guys’ backyard at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the
Tony-winning playhouse that launched last year’s provocative rock musical Passing Strange.  Berkeley Rep will
produce the show in association with Tom Hulce and Ira Pittleman, the lead
producers of Spring Awakening. 

 

 

 Mayer and Green Day, along with Olivier
Award-winning choreographer Steven Hoggett, recently completed a workshop of American Idiot in New York, which was also produced by
Berkeley Rep.

 

 

The
show includes every song from the album, as well as several new songs from
Green Day’s upcoming release, 21st Century
Breakdown
.

 

 

American Idiot will run from Sept. 4 –
Oct. 11, opening Berkeley Rep’s 2009-10 season in the state-of-the-art Roda
Theatre. A limited number of seats go on sale today at www.berkeleyrep.org .

 

 

American Idiot follows working-class characters
from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East,
as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration. This high-octane
show will blend an onstage band and an ensemble of 19 young performers.

 

 

“We
are really excited to be working with Michael Mayer on this project,” said
Green Day’s frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, in a statement. “We’d been
thinking of bringing American Idiot to the stage, but knew we needed to find
the right partners. After meeting with Michael to discuss the possibility, he
invited us to see Spring Awakening.
We were so impressed with that production, as well as his vision for American Idiot, that we knew we’d found
the perfect collaborator. Plus, doing it in our hometown at Berkeley Rep was an
obvious bonus. They’re an amazing theatre group, very adventurous, and their
willingness to take chances is in keeping with the spirit of the album. The end
result will be terrific, and we’re really proud.”  

 

 

“When
I first heard American Idiot, I was
struck by its innate theatricality,” Mayer added in a statement. “Here
was a new musical drama begging to be staged. Who would have thought that
one of the most brutally honest, eloquent, passionate, funny, and poetic
theatrical responses to the post 9-11 world would be a Green Day record? The
connection I felt to American Idiot surprised me. I knew and liked Green Day, but had no clue that I would ever
feel so inside their songs. This work of passion and vision and fierce
intelligence seemed to me like the heartbeat of a generation of Americans who
were fed up. I hear in these amazing songs the articulation of their
frustration, anger, longing for a better world – a journey from apathy to
action. Collaborating with Billie Joe and the band is a mind-blowing
thrill, and I can’t wait to begin production at Berkeley Rep, the perfect home
for making a new kind of musical event.”  

 

“Green
Day is a band that we’ve long admired here in Berkeley and championed as one of our
own,” said Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Rep. “American Idiot is an iconic album, and
having the opportunity to bring it to the stage is a bit of a dream come true.
To preserve the original intention of the album while creating a stage-worthy
experience is a challenge that we relish, and bringing a director with the
skill and experience of Michael Mayer into our theatre makes it that much
sweeter.”  

 

 

 

Tickets
to American Idiot are already available
now for preview performances on select evenings early in the run: Friday,
September 4; Saturday, September 5; Wednesday, September 9; Thursday, September
10; and Sunday, September 13. Tickets to these shows are priced at a special
rate – only $32 to $54 – and may only be purchased online at www.berkeleyrep.org.