Monthly Archives: April 2009

Iggy's Misleading Insurance Ad Banned


No fun in
Osterbergland… will Iggy be “down on the street” looking for some new car
insurance now?


By Fred Mills



Remember that TV ad Iggy Pop filmed for the Swiftcover car insurance
company? Sure you do! The one where a shirtless Mr. Osterberg, in full gurning
mode, bemoans how important personal papers always seem to go missing (“I haven’t
seen my birth certificate in years,” he mutters – probably not such a bad
thing, if you think about it…), but how, thanks to Swiftcover, at least he’s
got “insurance on my insurance”? It was a pretty eye-catching ad, even by most
eye-catching ad standards. You can refresh yourself at this YouTube link (or
simply see it, along with his second ad for the company, below).


Well, although Iggy is apparently still working for (his image is currently gracing the company’s homepage), it
appears that there has been some sleight-of-hand concerning the man’s actual
coverage. Awhile back it was reported that a number of UK musicians who’d applied for
coverage were advised by Swiftcover that the company deems anyone classified as
an “entertainer” to be ineligible for their insurance.


And today, is reporting that in the wake of a filing
by Britain’s
Advertising Standards Authority claiming that the ad is “deceptive,” the ad “must
never be broadcast again in its current form” – essentially, the Iggy ad has
been banned.


According to the ASA, “Because the policy was promoted
by a well-known musician, which might lead some viewers to believe the policy
covered those who worked in entertainment, when it did not, and because Iggy
Pop did not have a policy with Swiftcover, we concluded the ad was misleading.”


The advertising industry has long used celebrity pitchmen,
of course, not to mention attractive actors who portray regular folks in ads.
And as a culture, we’ve become accustomed to a degree of
suspension-of-disbelief when it comes to whether or not the person in the ad
actually uses the product in question (or, for that matter, actually believes
in the lines he or she is reciting). But the ASA does have a point about the ad
being misleading, and Iggy does state
that he is “Swiftcovered” in the ad. That’s a bit different from just gazing
into the camera and telling the world that the toothpaste you’re holding will
make consumers’ teeth brighter.


No comments yet from the Iggy camp, of course, and nothing
has been posted in the news section of the Swiftcover site either. However,
some clever YouTube “answer ads” to the original Swiftcover ad have been
posted, including the one below.




Comin' Clean w/The Ghost is Dancing


Outta the tub and into the fire: Canadian
band is on tour now in preparation for July album release.


By Blurt Staff


BLURT has a new
favorite band, and the band is The Ghost is Dancing. The story thus far:


The Ghost is Dancing began as many bands begin, in a moldy
basement during university. Kevin
Corlis, Jim DeLuca, Jamie Matechuk and Odie Ouderkirk were returning
home via Toronto’s
Spadina Ave,
sweaty and exuberant after a Hidden
Cameras show at the Horseshoe Tavern when they decided that they wanted
to start a band. Jamie had spent the last year learning how to play Modest Mouse songs and Kevin was
always banging away at his collection of keyboards and drums at home, plus Jim
had been wanting his friends to play music with him since they first met in
kindergarten. Gabrielle Nadeau
lived upstairs and picked up an accordion, Eric Krumins eventually joined on
bass, and soon they were asking everyone they knew to join. Somewhere between
all their energies rested dozens and dozens of pop hooks and their first major
battle was to find a way to put it all together.

The first self-titled EP received critical acclaim and the band drew immediate
comparisons to The Arcade Fire, Broken
Social Scene and Modest Mouse. Soon after their EP release they signed
with Sonic Unyon Records and in
June 2007 released The Darkest Spark.Shortly
after their first national tour The Ghost is Dancing shrunk in size. The
economical rigors of touring, rehearsing and living with giant student debts
had taken their toll. Throughout these changes, however, song-writing had
continued and their musicianship had improved. Over the next year, TGID found
themselves invading late-night swimming pools in Kentucky,
barely avoiding head-on collisions in Quebec,
and taking off all of their clothes in the back of a record store in Charlottetown. They would
tour with new songs, new members, craft a tighter, more explosion live act and
finish writing their next record, literally titled Battles On with Chris
Stringer (Rush, Ohbijou, Timbre Timbre, The Coast).

Battles On, due from
Sonic Unyon on July 28, is described as “a record built out of desperation and
the exuberance of holding something special together. Laden with even bigger
pop-hooks than before, but with a go-for-broke attitude and mindfulness towards
the craft of songwriting, the record rarely lets up and delivers on the promise
of a band which has come into its own.”


Well, all right then! Mark yr calendars for July 28.
Meanwhile, the band kicks off a tour TONIGHT…



Tour Dates:


Apr 29 2009 Black Dog Edmonton, Alberta
May 1 2009 The Distrikt Regina, SK w/
Hot Hot Heat
May 3 2009 High Noon Saloon Madison, Wisconsin
May 4 2009 Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, Iowa
May 5 2009 Darkroom Chicago, Illinois
May 6 2009 Melody Inn Indianapolis, Indiana
May 7 2009 Rumba Cafe Columbus, Ohio
May 8 2009 Derby City Espresso Bar Louisville, Kentucky w/ Bedtime
May 9 2009 Al’s Bar Lexington, Kentucky w/ Bedtime
May 10 2009 Garfield Artworks Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania w/ Japandroids
May 11 2009 Wilbert’s Cleveland, Ohio
May 12 2009 Manhattan Room Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 13 2009 Millcreek Tavern Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 14 2009 Goodbye Blue Mondays Brooklyn, New York
May 15 2009 Fontana’s New York, New York
June 12 2009 The Gordon Best Theatre – Gordon Best Music Series Peterborough,
June 13 2009 Zaphod Beeblebrox Ottawa, Ontario



Back to your (Alternate) Routes

Tour with
Carbon Leaf supports A Sucker’s Dream


Blurt Staff


that blustery – or maybe it wasn’t – February day when The Alternate Routes
released its sophomore album A Sucker’s
? Well they’re hitting the road with Carbon Leaf to promote the disc
which the band’s press folk say is full of “rock and roll grit, ghostly
balladry and seasoned guitar rock anthems.”


out the dates below:


The Alternate Routes and Carbon Leaf will tour in the following cities:


25 – Meriden, Conn. – Meriden Daffodil Festival*

30 – Londonerry, Nh – Music Hall*

1 – Portland, Maine – The Big Easy*

19 – Boston, Mass. – The Paradise

20 – Burlington, Vt. – Higher Ground

21 – Rochester, Ny – Water Street
Music Hall

22 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club

26 – Philadelphia, Pa -World Café

27 – New York, NY – Highline Ballroom

29 – Dewey Beach, Del.  – Bottle &

30 – Richmond, Va. – The National

31 – Pittsburgh, Pa – The Rex Theater

2 – Cincinnati, Ohio – 20th Century

3 – Ann Arbor, Mich. – Blind Pig

4 – Indianapolis, Ind. – Birdy’s

5 – Chicago, Il. – Subterranean

6 – St. Louis, Mo. – Blueberry Hill

8 – Milwaukee, Wisc. – Shank Hall

9 – Minneapolis, Minn. – The Varsity

10 – Madison, Wisc. – The Majestic

12 – Des Moines, Iowa – Vaudeville Mews

13 – Lawrence, Ks. – The Bottleneck

14 – Denver, Co – The Bluebird

15 – Salt Lake City, Utah – Urban Lounge


Alternate Routes only


[Photo Credit: Laura Crosta]




Awesome Black Rio 2 Comp En Route



Brazillian soul power ‘n’ samba soul for the people, yo.


By Blurt Staff


In 2002 the Strut label released the
groundbreaking Black Rio: Brazil Soul Power 1971-1980 album compiled
by London’s DJ Cliffy, a snapshot of the ‘70s
Black Rio soul and funk movement in Brazil. (Cliffy is the man behind London club night Batmacumba; the longest running
Brazilian club night in England,
now enjoying a bi-monthly residency at London’s
Notting Hill Arts Club.)


While Tropicalia had given Brazil’s
musicians and songwriters a powerful political voice during the ‘60s, the Black
Rio movement had to battle the odds – black soul was perceived as not being
authentically Brazilian and the country was under the rule of General Emilio
Garrastazu Medici’s oppressive dictatorship which effectively suffocated
cultural expression between 1969 and 1974. Still, the movement took hold as
disenchanted black Brazilian youth mirrored the struggles of their
contemporaries in the US
with their own potent brew of samba, soul and funk. Black Rio parties attracted
thousands, bands including Banda Black Rio and Uniao Black were created from
the scene and music figureheads like Jorge Ben began exploring more dense, Afro
directions on albums including ‘Africa Brasil’.


comes the second installment in the series, also compiled by Brazillian
specialist Cliffy, due June 23. Vol.
1 brought together pioneers of the movement like Tim Maia and Gerson King
Combo, and Black Rio
2: Original Samba Soul 1971-1980
digs deeper still, exploring more of the
key artists and many of the short-lived bands and smaller labels of the time.
Highlights include the dynamite funk / samba jam ‘Faz Tanta Tempo’ by Renata
Lu, a great funky cover of Gilberto Gil’s ‘Bananeira’ by Emilio Santiago and a rare
slice of breezy soul, ‘Supermarket’, by Pete Dunaway aka Paulistano, one of a
group of artists giving themselves a Western-sounding name at the time. 


Mark those calendars, crate diggers.


New Vid: Rock, Roll & Wrestle!


The mighty Mike Edison
strikes again, this time with a knee drop…


By Fred Mills



Rock ‘n’ roll ‘n’ wrasslin’ has a long, storied (some say
chequered…) relationship, dating back to when NRBQ and Captain Lou Albano were
an item. BLURT buddy Mike Edison now revives the rock/ring tradition via this
extremely hi-tech (term used loosely…) video for Edison’s
band the Edison Rocke Train.


Note the guest ring announcer: Handsome Dick Manitoba, of
the Dictators. According to Edison, the vid
took “two continents and nine years to complete! First sessions in NYC circa
2000 — the video was shot at the Wrestling Baby Blast Fest in France 2007.”


The tune’s called “I Like To Hurt People” and it is indeed
truth in titling. Dig those pom-pom babes, too….


Incidentally, you can read up on Edison’s
fine book I Have Fun Everywhere I Go HERE.




Bjork Gets Multi-Multi-Packaged


Two DVDs include
footage from her live shows in Paris and Reykjavik

and Volta
music videos… Two CDs include live studio performances and remixes of songs
from Volta. What, no Bjorkestra bonus material?


By Blurt Staff



Björk announces a very
special DVD/CD/VINYL recording, Voltaic, to be released in the U.S. by
Nonesuch Records on June 23, 2009. Available in five different physical
configurations, Voltaic is an overview of the past two years of Björk’s Volta activities-her sixth studio album,
which came out in 2007, and the subsequent two-year world tour.



Voltaic DVD 1 contains filmed
highlights from the Volta tour, recorded in Paris
and Reykjavik, with performances of songs from Volta as well as tracks from previous albums
including Hunter, Joga, Army of Me, and Hyperballad.



Björk’s band on
the Volta tour included Mark Bell (LFO)
on computers and keyboards and Damian Taylor on keyboards and programming.
Drums and percussion were played by Chris Corsano (Sonic Youth, etc.); Jónas
Sen played piano, harpsichord, and church organ; and Björk’s all female
Icelandic 10-piece brass section rounded out the group.



Voltaic DVD 2 features all of
the Volta music videos, including the
“Declare Independence” clip directed by celebrated Oscar winning French
director Michel Gondry; the “Wanderlust” video directed by encyclopedia
pictura; and the “Earth Intruders” video directed by renowned French animator
Michel Ocelot.



Voltaic CD 1 is a selection of
songs from the Volta tour recorded live at the legendary Olympic Studios
in London, just
before Björk’s headlining show at the Glastonbury Festival in 2007. It was
recorded in one afternoon, and the whole set was played live and captured in
one take before being produced and mixed by Björk.



Voltaic CD 2 features key
remixes from Volta, with versions of “Earth Intruders,” “Declare
Independence,” “Innocence,” “Wanderlust,” and “Dull Flame of Desire,” by the
likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Matthew Herbert, Graeme Sinden, Ghostigital, and



The recordings
are available in five different packages:


CD 1

CD 1
and DVD 1

CD 1
and 2 plus DVD 1 and 2

CD 1
and 2, DVD 1 and 2, plus a set of three vinyl LPs (with the contents of CD 1
and CD 2)

vinyl LP (with contents of CD 1).




Voltaic Disc 1-CD of songs
from the Volta tour performed live at Olympic Studios


Wanderlust – Live

Hunter – Live

Pleasure Is All Mine – Live

Innocence – Live

Army of Me – Live

I Miss You – Live

Earth intruders – Live

All Is Full Of Love – Live

Pagan Poetry – Live

Vertebrae by Vertebrae – Live

Declare Independence
– Live



Voltaic Disc 2-DVD of live
concert performances


Brennio Pio Vitar – Live in Paris

Earth Intruders – Live in Paris

Hunter – Live in Paris

Immature – Live in Paris

Joga – Live in Paris

Pleasure Is All Mine – Live in Paris

Vertebrae by Vertebrae – Live in Paris

Where Is the Line – Live in Paris

Who Is It – Live in Paris

Desired Constellation – Live in Paris

Army of Me – Live in Paris

Bachelorette – Live in Paris

Wanderlust – Live in Paris

Hyperballad – Live in Paris

Pluto – Live in Paris

Declare Independence – Live in Paris

Pneumonia – Live in Reykjavik

My Juvenile – Live in Reykjavik

Vokuro – Live in Reykjavik

Sonnets / Unrealities XI – Live in Reykjavik

Mouths Cradle – Live in Reykjavik



Voltaic Disc 3-DVD of the Volta videos


Earth Intruders

Declare Independence

Innocence – Version 1 (winner)


The Dull Flame of Desire

6. Innocence – David Saghiri

7. Innocence – Dimitrio Stankowicz

8. Innocence – Etienne Strubbe

9. Innocence – Juliet Himmer

10. Innocence – Laurent Labouille

11. Innocence – Mario Caporali

12. Innocence – Miko o_o

13. Innocence – Misi Park & Pierre Khazem

Innocence – Christiano Leal

Innocence – Roland Matusek



Voltaic Disc 4-CD of
remixes of Volta songs


Earth Intruders – Spank Rock remix

Innocence – Simian Mobile Disco remix 12″

Declare Independence
– Mathew Herbert 12″

Wanderlust – Ratatat remix

The Dull Flame of Desire – modeselektor’s RMX for girls

Earth Intruders – lexx remix

Innocence – Sinden Remix

Declare Independence
– Ghostigital in Deep End Dance Remix 12″

The Dull Flame of Desire – Modeselektor’s RMX for Boys

Innocence – Alva Noto Unitxt Remodel 12″ Version

Declare Independence
– Black Plus mix

Innocence – Simian Mobile Disco dub remix






Willowz Back in the Saddle Again!


New album due in the
summer, previewed w/national tour.


By Fred Mills


Blurt bong ‘n’ boogie faves the Willowz have their fourth
studio album, produced in Dallas
by Stuart Sikes and titled Everyone,
set to arrive sometime in the summer from Dim Mak/Downtown, exact release date
tba. If you need us to introduce the Willowz to you at this point, you are
reading the wrong website, pal.


But since you ask, go HERE for our “version” of the
backstory. Some of it may even be true.


And go HERE to view some prime footage at their official


Meanwhile, the band has a big tour kicking off this week
with the Toadies.


Tour Dates:

May 1- “Salon Royale” at Die Fabrik!, NYC- Solo Date
May 8- Stubbs BBQ, Austin TX w/ Toadies
May 9- The Pavilion at Concrete Street, Corpus Christie, TX w/ Toadies
May 10- Trailer Space Record Shop, Austin, TX – Solo Date
May 11th- The Conservatory Oklahoma City, OK – Solo Date
May 13- Rabb’s Steakhouse Ruston, LA w/ Toadies
May 14- The Warehouse Shreveport, LA w/ Toadies
May 15- Clicks Billiards, Tyler TX w/ Toadies
May18- People’s Court, Des Monies, IA w/ Toadies
May 20- Metro- Chicago, IL w/ Toadies
May 21- Magic Stick, Detroit, Mi w/ Toadies
May 22- Bogarts, Cincinnati, OH w/ Toadies
May 24- The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ w/ Toadies
May 27- Fillmore @ Irving Plaza, New York, NY w/ Toadies
May 29- Black Cat, Washington, DC w/ Toadies
May 30 The Roxy Boston MA w/ Toadies
June 1- Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT w/ Toadies
June 2- Crocodile Rock, Allentown, PA w/ Toadies
June 4 – Exit/In, Nashville, TN w/ Toadies
June 18- Aperture Gallery, New York, NY – Solo Date



Credit: Amanda Milius]




I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Ten-year Old Kids
with Mohawks


You know what’s cool about a 10-year-old kid sporting a


Not a damn thing.


At the risk of coming off like a 30-something Andy Rooney,
I’m going to start off this blog with a rant and a final plea to save punk rock.
The argument I’m putting forward is certainly not new, but worth being made at
least one last time.


I was at an outdoor festival in Atlanta this weekend and
lost count of how many pre-teens I saw walking around with Mohawks and Ramones
shirts. When did punk become just another accessory for the Sponge Bob set?
Mohawks and anarchy symbols used to scare the crap out of parents, now they’re
just another cute look for little Dylan and Kara, by couples desperate to be
thought of as the cool parents (and don’t think I haven’t been there. I have
two little girls and my wife was the only voice of reason that kept me from
buying Sex Pistols onsies off of Ebay). And putting a Clash sticker on the back
of your minivan doesn’t make it any more cool to be seen in (again, I speak
from experience).


 Trust me; it’s
safe for old punks to age gracefully. Not all of us can tour the world in
shitty vans and make great music. Leave that to your heroes. Keep rocking the
boat in your chinos and changing the system from the inside, but don’t try and
turn your kids into a punk rock mannequin to prove how cool you still are. 


Which brings me to my second rant… as a freelancer punk
writer, I am about to throw my hands up in defeat. Born in the early 70’s and
coming of age in quite possibly the worst time in the history for music (hair
metal anyone?), I withstood the auditory assault of bands like Danger Danger
and Pretty Boy Floyd for years before finding salvation in the music of Bad
Religion, The Buzzcocks and The Clash. For the past two decades or so I’ve kept
up with the evolving music scene, watching punk move from basement shows and
VFW halls to arenas (not necessarily a bad thing). What once was a mail order
business is now neatly packaged and priced inside your local Hot Topics (again,
not the end of the world. Punk rockers deserve to make money too). You used to
discover new punk bands thanks to poorly dubbed tapes passed on from a friend;
Now you can hear “punk rock” on The Hills (ok, nothing good can come of that).  The most jarring change, however, is
what is currently being peddled as punk rock. I am certainly open to all genres
of music (I, for one, am lobbying for Willie Nelson be added to Mount Rushmore),
but I have a problem with the bait and switch tactics being perpetrated by
publicists and record labels lately.

If you make pop music, be proud of it and call yourself a
pop band. Punk rock was a reaction to crappy, bloated corporate rock of the
70’s (Styx, Journey, etc.). It railed against oppressive authority figures,
racism, sexism and homophobia. It was not 12 mediocre songs about high school
crushes on your self-titled debut, with liberal use of Auto-tune , currently
being peddled under the guise of “pop-punk”. It was about rebelling against the
status quo, wearing homemade clothes with hand-painted messages of defiance,
not wearing those tacky neon-logoed t-shirts and hoodies you picked up at the
mall and pair with matching Ray Bans.


That’s not to say there is not legitimate punk rock being
made right now. Anti-Flag is still fighting the good fight (with a new record
out soon) and the Teenage Bottlerockets might actually be The Ramones reincarnated.


Here’s the deal, if you play punk music, play it loud and
play it proud. If you play pop music, call it what it is, make a ton of money
and be happy.


I’ve admittedly strayed a bit from my general thesis, but
here’s a recap: Aging hipsters, you’re getting older, so deal with it. Don’t
try and turn your kid into Lil’ Johnny Rotten just because you’re getting
fatter and losing your hair. Blare NOFX as loud as you want in the minivan,
just keep the windows rolled up at the stop lights. And kids, don’t try and
pass yourself off as the next Joe Strummer when your punk rock influences go
back no further than Blink 182’s third CD.  You’re in a pop band, no matter what the guy in the fancy
suit tries to tell you. Rock on pop star!   


Music worth listening to this week:


Left Alone‘s self-titled
record (
and Ninja Gun’s “Restless Rubes”


All Fiery Furnaced Up!


Fiery Furnaces set to burn up the airwaves with new CD.


By Nancy Dunham


Time to think about going away.


The Fiery Furnaces’ eighth album – titled I’m Going Away – is set for July 21


The band’s handlers call the
album “70’s sunshine-glazed piano pop, filled with
cascading note slides, head-nodding grooves and some of the sweetest melodies
in their seemingly endless arsenal of musical ideas.”


hasn’t been working out so well for many bands (hello, Panic at the Disco) but
the siblings Friedberger have this to
say about that!


rock music is a sort of dramatic music. And since the times are tough, it makes
sense to have that ‘drama’ be something more like a version of Taxi than something like a version of
Titanic. We like Taxi better than Titanic anyway.  So we hope that
some of the songs on this record can be used as theme songs to folks’ own
personal versions of Taxi.
Because–ideally–the dramatic setting of the music isn’t provided by the story
or image of the given act or band. It’s provided by the lives of the people who
use–listen to–the music. That’s all kinds of pop music’s promise and problem,
or danger. So be careful and don’t get cancelled.”


Let’s hope the CD works out for them and they break
the anti-retro mode. good people.




“I’m Going Away”

“Drive to Dallas”

“The End is Near”

“Charmaine Champagne”

“Cut the Cake”

“Even in the Rain”

“Staring at the Steeple”

“Ray Bouvier”

“Keep Me in the Dark”

“Lost At Sea”

“Cups and Punches”

“Take Me Round Again”





Tuesday Is For Owl City


Indie electro pop group
headlines tour, plans releases



By Blurt Staff



It’s concert season so everyone’s trying to catch your attention – think
of it like walking through a musical Kasbah.


Indie electro popster Owl City – a/k/a Adam Young – is making bid for
your music dollars by releasing a series of monthly single releases on the first Tuesday of each month
starting with “Hot Air Balloon” next week, on May 5, and leading up to the release
of the Minnesota musician’s new full-length album Ocean Eyes – due out September 1. 


Details, go to the
MySpace page:


Tour Dates:


May 3 – Meadowlands
Sports Complex/Bamboozle -East Rutherford, NJ

May 5 – Café
939 – Boston, Mass.                                 

May 6 – North Star
Bar – Philadelphia, Pa.

May 7 – Bowery
Ballroom – New York

May 9 – Jammin’
Java  – Vienna, Va.

May 11 – Grog Shop
– Cleveland Heights, Ohio

May 12 – The Pike
Room at Crofoot – Pontiac, Mich.

May 14 – Subterranean –
Chicago, Ill.

May 15 – Varsity
Theater – Minneapolis, Minn.

May 23 – Gorge
Amphitheatre/Sasquatch Festival – George, Wash.

May 26 – Glass House, Pomona, Calif.

May 27 – The
Dome – Bakersfield, Calif.

May 28 -The Boardwalk – Orangevale, Calif.

 May 29 – Indigo
District – Eugene, Ore.

May 30 – Wonder
Ballroom – Portland, Oreg.

May 31
-Neumo’s – Seattle, Wash.

June 2 – Knitting Factory -Spokane, Wash.

June 3 – Knitting
Factory – Boise, Idaho

June 4 – Murray
Theatre – Salt Lake City, Utah

June 19 – Rocketown –
Nashville, Tenn.

June 20 – Vinyl –
Atlanta, Ga.

June 22 – The
Orange Peel – Asheville, N.C.

June 23 – Lincoln
Theatre – Raleigh, N.C.

June 25 – Sonar –
Baltimore, Md.

June 26 – Water
Street Music Hall – Rochester, NY

June 27 – The
Basement – Columbus, Ohio

June 29 – Riverside
Ballroom – Green Bay, Wisc.

June 30 – Grandma’s
Sports Garden Bar & Grill – Duluth, Minn.

July 1 –
Cornerstone Farm – Marietta, Ill.

July 2 – Granada
Theatre, Lawrence, Kan.

July 3 – Slowdown –
Omaha, Neb.

July 5 – Summerfest
– Milwaukee, Wisc.