Monthly Archives: November 2009

Spiritualized w/intriguing L&G Contest

 

Chance To Personalize Spiritualized Box Set Ends At Midnight PST.

 

By Blurt staff

 

The opportunity to get your own name, or
name of your choosing printed on the prescription certificate that accompanies
each of the 1000 collectors edition units of ‘Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’ numbered and signed
by Jason Spaceman ends tonight, November 30th at midnight
Pacific Standard Time on www.lagwafis.com

 

ATP Recordings / Spaceman are offering the
very limited collectors edition of this release for £125 plus pp, although the
unlimited, somewhat more affordable version of the reissue, was released in the
UK
today.

 

The limited edition includes 12 x 3″ Mini
CD”s of the complete album track-by-track, a homage to the original
release and will be accompanied by 2 bonus discs (for tracklisting see
www.lagwafis.com). For those who don’t wish to open the blister pack, each unit
will come with a code to download the original album in MP3 format. Limited to
just 1000 units, each collector’s edition will come with a prescription
numbered out of 1000 and signed by J Spaceman.

 

The ‘Ladies
and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’
Collectors edition will be sent out
worldwide from the UK
on December 16th. It is now 12 years since ‘Ladies
And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’
made a profound impact in the
summer of 1997, both critically and commercially, with its psychedelic
soundscapes and heart-rending lyrics. It has influenced a whole range of
musicians ever since. It was NME‘s
album of the year for 1997 and reached No.4 in the official charts. Originally
packaged as a giant pill offering a written prescription, the concept was
creatively inspired reflecting the depth of emotion and trauma laid bare on
this truly remarkable work.

 

The album will be re-released with new
artwork on special limited edition formats with 2 CDs of bonus content. These
bonus tracks give a valuable insight into the artist’s work-in-progress; and
include demos, instrumental versions and session mixes which highlight an aim
for perfection prior to recording the definitive version.

 

 

 

 

Who Is Super Bowl Halftime Show

 

Let’s examine the history of those halftime performances to
date… we’ve come a long way since that memorable Carol Channing appearance…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

The Who will do the
halftime show at the Super Bowl (officially it is going by the name “The
Bridgestone Super Bowl XLIV Halftime Show”). The event will be broadcast on CBS
Sports at Dolphin Stadium in South Florida on
Sunday, February 7.

 

We are advised that “The
Bridgestone Super Bowl halftime show is one of the most anticipated musical
events of the year. More than 151 million viewers in the U.S. watched
last year’s show.  The Super Bowl and
halftime show will be broadcast worldwide in more than 230 countries and
territories.”

 

Well, there ya go – only
a chump would pass up the gig, and recent non-chumps include Bruce Springsteen
& The E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling
Stones, Paul McCartney, U2, and, uh, Janet Jackson’s tit. Last year the
Who became the first rock band ever to be awarded the prestigious Kennedy
Center Honors.

 

HISTORY
OF SUPER BOWL HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT

 

SUPER BOWL

HALFTIME

I

Universities of Arizona
and Michigan
Bands.

II

Grambling University.

III

“America
Thanks” with Florida
A&M University.

IV

Carol Channing.

V

Florida A&M
Band.

VI

“Salute to Louis Armstrong” with Ella Fitzgerald, Carol
Channing, Al Hirt and U.S.
Marine Corps Drill Team.

VII

“Happiness Is…” with University of Michigan
Band and Woody Herman.

VIII

“A Musical America”
with University
of Texas Band.

IX

“Tribute to Duke Ellington” with Mercer Ellington and Grambling University Bands.

X

“200 Years and Just a Baby” Tribute to America’s
Bicentennial.

XI

“It’s a Small World” including crowd participation for
first time with spectators waving colored placards on cue.

XII

“From Paris to the Paris of America”
with Tyler Apache Belles, Pete Fountain and Al Hirt.

XIII

“Super Bowl XIII Carnival” Salute to the Caribbean with
Ken Hamilton and various Caribbean bands.

XIV

“A Salute to the Big Band Era” with Up with People.

XV

“A Mardi Gras Festival.”

XVI

“A Salute to the 60’s and Motown.”

XVII

“KaleidoSUPERscope” (a kaleidoscope of color and sound).

XVIII

“Super Bowl XVIII’s Salute to the Superstars of the Silver
Screen.”

XIX

“A World of Children’s Dreams.”

XX

“Beat of the Future.”

XXI

“Salute to Hollywood’s
100th Anniversary.”

XXII

“Something Grand” featuring 88 grand pianos, the Rockettes
and Chubby Checker.

XXIII

“Be Bop Bamboozled” featuring 3-D effects.

XXIV

“Salute to New
Orleans” and 40th Anniversary of Peanuts’
characters, featuring trumpeter Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw & Irma Thomas.

XXV

“A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl”
featuring New Kids on the Block.

XXVI

“Winter Magic” including a salute to the winter season and
the winter Olympics featuring Gloria Estefan, Brian Boitano and Dorothy
Hamill.

XXVII

“Heal the World” featuring Michael Jackson and 3,500 local
children. Finale included audience card stunt.

XXVIII

“Rockin Country Sunday” featuring Clint Black, Tanya
Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna & Naomi Judd. Finale included flashlight
stunt.

XXIX

“Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye”
featuring Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, the Miami Sound
Machine and stunts including fire and skydivers. Finale included audience
participation with light sticks.

XXX

Diana Ross celebrating 30 years of the Super Bowl with
special effects, pyrotechnics and stadium card stunt. Finale featured Diana
Ross being taken from the stadium in a helicopter.

XXXI

“Blues Brothers Bash” featuring Dan Akroyd, John Goodman
and James Belushi. Also featuring “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown and ZZ
Top.

XXXII

“A Tribute to Motown’s 40th Anniversary”
including Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Martha Reeves and The
Temptations.

XXXIII

“Celebration of Soul, Salsa and Swing” featuring Stevie
Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and tap dancer Savion Glover.

XXXIV

“A Tapestry of Nations” featuring Phil Collins, Christina
Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton and an 80-person choir.

XXXV

“The Kings of Rock and Pop” featuring Aerosmith, *N’SYNC,
Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly

XXXVI

U2

XXXVII

Shania Twain, No Doubt and Sting

XXXVIII

Janet Jackson,  Kid
Rock, P. Diddy, Nelly and Justin Timberlake

XXXIX

Paul McCartney

XL

The Rolling Stones

XLI

Prince

XLII

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

XLIII

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

XLIV

The Who

 

 

 

 

Most Embarrassing Album Sleeves… Ever!

 

That’s “peinliche
plattencover” to you, my bilingual brethren… what does “I Want A Walmart Girl” or
“Fistful of Chicken” translate as?

 

By Fred Mills, Blurt Managing Editor

 

What do The Great Kat, Stryper, Scatterbrain, Manowar and
Lawnmower Deth have in common? Okay, sure, they all play heavy-ass music (some
would even call it “overwrought metal,” but for the sake of argument let’s just
call it “hard rock”). But our compatriots at Germany’s Spiegel Online have
apparently been scrutinizing more than just the artists’ sonic aesthetic, and
recently published a list of the 44 Most Embarrassing Album Sleeves.

 

Why 44 and not 50? Don’t ask us – we don’t speak German! Below
is a sampling, and yeah, they’re pretty awful. Fun fact: an editor of Blurt
once performed in a Manowar tribute band!

 

Some artists actually appear on the list more than once –
classical metallist The Great Kat actually has FOUR entries. Seriously, you
have to see this to believe it, and then to wonder the eternal, “What were they
thinking?” in terms of how the bands, their labels and their sleeve artists
came up with these hideous visual concepts. Another fun fact: the Scatterbrain
sleeve was done by the legendary Robert Williams, and it is alone among the 44
sleeves as actually qualifying as “art.”

 

You can view the entire rogues’ gallery here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive: Franz Nicolay Speaks (EP, Too)

 

Hold Steady mainstay follows
up
Major General with 10″ EP – read
the Blurt interview, conducted by A.D. Amorosi, below.

 

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Hold Steady and World / Inferno Friendship Society member Franz Nicolay will
begin a two-week tour of Germany
and Austria tomorrow with Sweden’s Moneybrother. The mustachioed
multi-instrumentalist is playing shows in support of his new solo offering, St. Sebastian of the Short Stage, issued
by Team Science.

 

The four-song EP is available in both 10-inch vinyl and
digital formats. The label has pressed 500 copies (200 clear, 300 black) and
each record includes a free mp3 download for all the songs, plus a pullout
poster insert and an exclusive new short story by Nicolay entitled
“Paraska Mikhailivna Is A Witch.” To grab a copy of the 10-inch, go here.
Or if you prefer mp3s, you can take a quick trip to iTunes for a digital version of the EP.

 

Featuring artwork by Nicholas Gazin, St. Sebastian Of The
Short Stage
comes on the heels of Nicolay’s acclaimed solo debut, Major
General
. The four brand new tracks include a collaboration with the Dresden
Dolls on a cover of Jonathan Richman’s “New England,”
a Watchmen-inspired tribute to a retired superhero, and two songs
self-described as “bleeding heart weepies.”

 

Nicolay is currently streaming two songs from the EP on his Myspace page.
You can check out tour dates there too.

 

 

Meanwhile, about a year ago prior to the release of Major General in the December 2008
digital-only issue of BLURT, we ran an interview with Nicolay. For your reading
pleasure, we repeat it (this time, in vastly expanded format) below. Enjoy!

 

***

 

Franz Nicolay’s Words
of Wisdom

 

By A.D. Amorosi

 

Franz Nicolay isn’t just another pretty face with a handlebar mustache
that happens to play the accordion. (Franz plays the accordion. Not the
mustache.) He’s the most debonair multi-instrumental Brooklyn-based composer
famous for playing tickling ivories for his pals in the frenetic cabaret act
The World/Inferno Friendship Society and the equally fevered-but-poppier The
Hold Steady. Plus Nicolay’s played a bunch with The Dresden Dolls, recently co-founded the
Anti-Social Music (an avant-garde composer/performer collective) and become
part of the gypsy-klezmer outfit, Guignol. But Nicolay isn’t so busy that he
can’t finish the solo cycle he demo-ed on his show-sold 2007 CD
Black Rose
Paladins. Nicolay then dropped Major
General on Pennsylvania’s
Fistolo label with Dresden
Doll drummer Brian Viglione and pals from Demander, Nanuchka, and World/Inferno
assisting.

 

NICOLAY: I picked up the accordion after my father’s German
grandfather brought him one from the homeland in the early 50s so grandson
could play him polkas and waltzes. As a good child of his times, my dad
rebelled – to the point where he sliced the bellows with a butcher knife to
keep from going to lessons. To his credit, he kept the thing around, and I
picked it up in high school when I got obsessed with (Dylan’s) Basement Tapes.

 

I never really had an opportunity to play the accordion in a
band until I joined World/Inferno in 2001. I joined as a keyboard player, but
after two rehearsals, I thought, “You know, this is the kind of band that
could really use an accordion”. They said yes immediately and then I faked
it until I could play it for real.

 

Most bands, I find, don’t know that they need an accordion
until they hear it on their songs, then they crave it everywhere.

 

What kind of man does it take to grow my sort of a mustache?
One very secure in his self-image. Who’d’ve guessed Greg Norton was the
straight guy in Husker Du? The mistake most hipster-come-latelys to the
handlebar scene make is that you can’t just grow it, you have to organize your
whole wardrobe around it. It doesn’t work with Converse. I’m looking at you,
Nick Gazin.

 

My brand of moustache wax is Cowboy Stache Wax from Montana. I had been
experimenting with brands for years – regular pomade; Clubman the name brand
you could find it in old-school drug stores. The problem with them, for a
performer, is that once you started to get hot and sweaty, they’d melt. My
then-girlfriend vacationed at her family’s ranch in Montana and picked up a tin at this car dealership-slash-saddle
store somewhere in the middle of nowhere and brought it back for me to try.
I’ve been ordering it from them online ever since.

 

There is virtually nothing that I wouldn’t do. As the great
John Barrymore once said, “A man is not old until regrets take the place
of dreams.” And I’ve made a life where all my regrets are ones of action,
not inaction.

 

I co-founded Anti-Social Music. No. It’s not so doggone
anti-social. The idea is that the music we’re playing – new chamber music – has
a reputation as a room-clearing racket. We thought, metal, free jazz, all this
extreme music has lost its cachet as parent- and friend-alienator, what if you
showed up at your holiday party and put on Diamanda Galas? Or Xenakis? And,
while you’re at it, come to our show and have a drink or ten.

 

Our meetings are productive at the beginning and
increasingly less productive as they continue – they tend to trail off toward
the end. A good meeting – World/Inferno rehearsals used to be like this too –
is more like a scheduled drinking bout with friends you’d just as soon be
hanging out with anyway, with the added benefit of you occasionally get some
work done. Jean Cook is the most likely to bring cake. Pat Muchmore is the most
likely to bring a pint of Jack. Andrea La Rose is the most likely to bring
ocarinas in five keys.

 

I don’t have the foggiest idea what the The Hold Steady boys
or World Inferno think of my solo stuff. They came to see one show I did in Hoboken while we were
making Stay Positive but never said
word one about the record. One guy just got stumbling drunk and told my friend
he was the most famous guy in her cell phone. Not the most communicative bunch,
those boys. Terricloth said he always gets emotional when he hears other people
singing his lyrics. Hess said he only wanted to hear “World/Inferno”
once through, which I said was sort of the point.

 

I’m not afraid of losing 
the momentum THS garnered in 2008. We took a step back already when Tad
got sick in October. But I don’t think this will affect THS touring and
scheduling in the slightest – I’m small potatoes in that organization. I just
told our booking agent to go ahead and assume that I’ll tour whenever the Hold
Steady is off. It’s not like I’m the main story in the Hold Steady novel, you
know?

 

The biggest shock regarding how big Hold Steady was came
when I got the text from Tad that we’d be opening for the Rolling Stones. They
are one of the small handful of bands that still have that “wow”
factor.

 

I was a strange little child – I grew up in almost complete
cultural isolation, in a mountain cabin in New Hampshire with no electricity or
plumbing. I really didn’t hear pop music until about 1989 or so.

 

I had cassette series of “Lives of the Great
Composers” – narrated biographies interspersed with clips of the greatest
hits – that I listened to obsessively, and decided I’d grow up to be a Great
Composer, capital G, capital C. I’d cover my ears when my dad put classic rock
radio on. “Ow, Dad, this is too loud.” “Someday, son, I bet
you’ll like rock music.” “No way, Dad!”

 

I think you’re exaggerating how many opening dates we do,
but the reality is, being a full-time musician really means FULL TIME. You
gotta keep working. It’s a strange lifestyle that operates somewhere at the
nexus of art, craft, and factory job. You can be precious about it, but you
still gotta show up.

 

I missed the shows where THS opened for the Get Up Kids. I
hear that was a culture clash. I’d have to say the Kings of Leon in London was a difficult
band to open for – for a band whose press styled them as
straight-outta-the-hills Southern boys they sure had the most rock-star
attitude of anyone I’ve ever dealt with. Their security team – they had a
bodyguard for each band member – locked us in our dressing room because
“The band needs the stairs”. And their front row was all bored
models. Not very rock, boys.

 

I’m not surprised theater festival organizations like the
Fringe Festival love us. How many nascent theatrical productions can promise an
instant crowd of hundreds of teenagers? On the other hand, though, what do you
do with hundreds of drunk teenagers in a seated theatre – they don’t always
think as hard about that.

 

I believe Major
General
me fresh perspectives on what I do with THS and W/IFS. And I don’t
care if it does or doesn’t. And I am being selfish. I think it’ll help me blow
off some steam. I think it’ll keep me from playing live with Inferno, probably,
this year, just for scheduling reasons. It’s frustrating being sort of the
George Harrison of the Hold Steady, especially when it’s become such an
all-consuming time commitment, so it’s already good to have another outlet for
my songs, which, let’s face it, are not always in the main stream of the Hold
Steady river. I may have to count the first THS B-sides collection as a Franz
Nicolay record.

 

I never wake in a cold sweat trying to figure out which of
my ideas fit what ensemble. It’s usually pretty obvious. And sometimes I can
treat it like a project, like, “Ok, time to sit down and write three songs
for the new Hold Steady record. Oh, only two make it? OK, let me see if I can
re-purpose that one and see if someone else will bite. No song left
behind!” In theory, it’s ideal to have multiple outlets and die with every
(decent) note recorded.

 

I was a average-to-mediocre baseball player and skiier until
I moved to New York.
I’ll kill you at ping-pong.

 

Dresden
Dolls? We’ve been friends for an awfully long time – I think I saw their
second-ever show in New York, at a cabaret night my friend Professor Jef used
to run, for maybe thirty people, then my girlfriend hit on Amanda – or was it
vice-versa? – and it was buddies thereafter. We share an aesthetic, musically
and sartorially. They’re serious and focused people. And I think sometimes it
helps them to have a neutral third party as a foil. One time I flew to Paris
with them to play one song on one show, a showcase for European promoters –
their label boss had happened to see me do the Jacques Brel song
“Amsterdam” with them at a coffeeshop at Bennington College, and
said, “Bring the accordion guy. I’ll pay for it.” Same guy who funded
the Inferno acapella project, incidentally. I shared a bottle of champagne with
their manager and never really got on top of the jetlag.

 

Viglione is someone I always knew wanted to do a record or
six with. He and Yula are the greatest rhythm section that never happened in a
regular band. Both of them are among the most extraordinary musicians I’ve ever
met – on any instrument, without obvious effort, and with an unerring
generosity and fierce drive for perfection regardless of circumstance. We would
watch the Dolls and wonder if Amanda knew what she had in Brian. Still
sometimes do.

 

One singularity I wish someone had on tape was myself,
Terricloth, and the Dolls doing Kurt Weill’s “Tango Ballad” at Bowery
Ballroom five years or so ago. What a performance. Jack and Amanda were born to
do that song.

 

The last book that inspired me to madness was Good Night, Sweet Prince, a biography of
John Barrymore by his boon friend, my favorite writer, the fantastically purple
Gene Fowler.

 

The biggest differences sonically and spiritually between Black Rose Paladins and Major General is that Paladins is demos for the record:
one-take solo run-throughs of the songs so I’d have something to give the band,
and something to sell at the shows. Major
General
is the proper record. That said, I’m keeping BRP available in digital form because there are a few songs that
didn’t make it on Major General, and
because I’ll be touring without a band and maybe people who see that would want
to hear the songs done that way.

 

I knew I wanted to start doing solo shows again – if only so
I’d never have to turn down a gig again.

 

I knew that if I ever did a record my dream band included
Brian Viglione and Yula. Jared was kind of the x-factor; I knew him from
Demander but I knew his band mates way better, and it wasn’t until we did
“Jeff Penalty” that I realized the kind of spark he could be. A very
strange fellow.

 

In regard to “Jeff Penalty” – sometimes a great band is
about more than who’s standing the front of it.

 

Major General. I
knew I had limited time to make a record, and wanted to turn that into a virtue
by trying to capture that elusive moment when really talented musicians are
just figuring out their part on a song they don’t know very well, but before
it’s really crystallized. We did two day-long rehearsals, a chaotic show at the
Brooklyn DIY warehouse Death By Audio, and
three days of tracking and feasting – the studio has an apartment upstairs, so
we could stay and cook a proper family-style dinner each night. And mostly, we
got it.

 

In the future, Major General will be a signifier – if it’s
Franz Nicolay, it’s just me; if it’s Franz and Major General, I’m bringing a band. I can’t promise Brian, Jared,
and Yula; everyone’s got a lot on their plates. But it might be a woodwind
quintet. Or barbershop. Don’t assume I’m kidding – you should hear my demo for
“Two-Handed Handshake”.

 

Everyone always likes the pre-reknown band better, you know,
“Oh you like The Hold Steady? Lifter
Puller
There’s always a reason one band succeeds in one way while other
bands succeed in others. Nothing ever burns down by itself. Every fire needs a
little bit of help.

 

On “Do We Not Live in Dreams” I think this might be cribbed
from Wordsworth. I was on a Brazilian music kick when I wrote this; I was
learning all those Jobim chords.

 

You can be whoever you want to be, sure, but some roles fit
better than others. Excess is not excessive when it is conceived in principle.
Except when it gets excessive. That’s “Confessions of an Ineffective Casanova.”

 

“Note on a Subway Wall” is the saddest story ever told. We
will never run into one another on trains.

 

Dexys Midnight Runners is one of the great underrated bands
of their generation. My string parts are my homage to “Celtic Soul
Brothers”.

 

Some of these songs were old songs that I rewrote the lyrics
to, because as a 31-year-old sometimes you can’t sing the lyrics you wrote as a
22-year-old. This one I felt I had to leave alone in deference to the old me who
took himself so seriously. You can’t get that back, you know?

 

“This World Is an Open Door” is a reminder to myself.
Somebody once said ‘I don’t get it, what’s so special about hardwood
floors?” Clearly you’ve never gone apartment-hunting in New York.

 

Am I really “Done Singing”? Not ‘til they pry the banjo from
my frozen claws.

 

My last words for 2008? Why is there so much month left at
the end of the money?

 

 

 

Meat Beat: Morrissey to Work W/McCartney

 

 

The headline, though
deliberately misleading, is absolutely true.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Reports out of Britain this morning have ex-Beatles
Paul McCartney’s designer daughter Stella partnering with ex-Smiths singer Morrissey
to create a line of leather free shoes. McCartney has already been working with
singer Leona Lewis on a line of clothing designed to appeal to vegans and vegetarians.

 

“I’m working with Morrissey on a line of leather-free shoes
which I’m really excited about,'” McCartney told a reporter for the Daily Mail. “We are still in the early
stages but the shoes could be launched next year.”

 

Hmmm…. “leather free” shoes…. What a radical concept. Wait,
here’s an idea: Maybe make them out of FABRIC and call them SNEAKERS?

Heaven knows we’ll be miserable of they go for some leather-like material but
don’t figure out how to make the dang things breathe. Ye old BLURT managing
editor Mills tells us that he sold shoes for 10 years and knows about this
stuff…

 

 

 

Spiritualized w/intriguing L&G Contest

 

Chance To Personalize Spiritualized Box Set Ends At Midnight PST.

 

By Blurt staff

 

The opportunity to get your own name, or
name of your choosing printed on the prescription certificate that accompanies
each of the 1000 collectors edition units of ‘Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’ numbered and signed
by Jason Spaceman ends tonight, November 30th at midnight
Pacific Standard Time on www.lagwafis.com

 

ATP Recordings / Spaceman are offering the
very limited collectors edition of this release for £125 plus pp, although the
unlimited, somewhat more affordable version of the reissue, was released in the
UK
today.

 

The limited edition includes 12 x 3″ Mini
CD”s of the complete album track-by-track, a homage to the original
release and will be accompanied by 2 bonus discs (for tracklisting see
www.lagwafis.com). For those who don’t wish to open the blister pack, each unit
will come with a code to download the original album in MP3 format. Limited to
just 1000 units, each collector’s edition will come with a prescription
numbered out of 1000 and signed by J Spaceman.

 

The ‘Ladies
and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’
Collectors edition will be sent out
worldwide from the UK
on December 16th. It is now 12 years since ‘Ladies
And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’
made a profound impact in the
summer of 1997, both critically and commercially, with its psychedelic
soundscapes and heart-rending lyrics. It has influenced a whole range of
musicians ever since. It was NME‘s
album of the year for 1997 and reached No.4 in the official charts. Originally
packaged as a giant pill offering a written prescription, the concept was
creatively inspired reflecting the depth of emotion and trauma laid bare on
this truly remarkable work.

 

The album will be re-released with new
artwork on special limited edition formats with 2 CDs of bonus content. These
bonus tracks give a valuable insight into the artist’s work-in-progress; and
include demos, instrumental versions and session mixes which highlight an aim
for perfection prior to recording the definitive version.

 

 

 

 

My English Major Beat the Crap Out of Your Rockstar

Lately, I grumble a little less every time a school loan payment is due — even though, nearly 15 years later, I’m still paying the bugger off.

Who knew that a degree in Fiction Writing would be so handy? Not just English but English with a relatable plot, a storyline rooted by emotion/connection?

Now that everything’s online, compelling equals currency. Suddenly, we’re all micro-broadcasters. And writing counts. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, newsletters… the clever manipulation of the written word, when used to communicate both information and persona — i.e., meaning — has become increasingly valuable. Not only do you have to make great music, you have to learn to write about it.

Four overarching writing components to keep top of mind:

1. Present valuable information/idea []

A Triple-A radio programming veteran, Kate has served as Music Director of the Loft at XM, Midday Host at WYEP, Evening Host at both WNCS and WUIN, as well as Content Supervisor for Pump Audio. Currently, she’s the CEO of Outlandos Music, a new-music discovery service for grown-ups. Kate has been nationally recognized for her ardent presentation of music and her ability to champion talented, compelling artists.

Costello’s Spectacle s.2 Guests Named

 

Bono, the Edge, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Lyle
Lovett, Richard Thompson, Neko Case, John Prine, Ron Sexsmith, Neko Case, Jesse
Winchester, Ray LaMontagne, Nick Lowe, Levon Helm, Allen Toussaint among the
guests. New season stars Dec. 9.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Sundance Channel will launch
the second season of its critically acclaimed music/talk original series
“Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…” on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at
10:00pm et/pt with an episode featuring U2’s Bono and The Edge.
“Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…” combines the best elements of
talk and music television and lets viewers in on intimate conversation
and performances with host Costello and his guests, who range from legendary
performers to promising new artists. The series, executive produced by Sir
Elton John, includes one-on-one interviews, unprecedented pairings and group
discussions, as well as extraordinary performances, from impromptu
“illustrative” moments to full band (and even multi-band)
productions. Among the confirmed guests for the seven-part season are: Bono,
The Edge, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Ron
Sexsmith, Neko Case, Jesse Winchester, Ray LaMontagne, Nick Lowe, Levon Helm,
Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint.

“We’re thrilled to launch a second season of ‘Spectacle’ on Sundance
Channel,” said Sundance Channel EVP and GM, Sarah Barnett. “The
series offers viewers unusually close access to artists through its mix of
candid conversations and exciting musical performances. This season’s A-list
line-up is a testament to the tremendous respect that artists feel for Elvis
Costello as a musician and entertainer.”

“I am delighted that we can continue where we left off–making
intelligent, and informative music programming,” said Sir Elton John, one
of the series’ executive producers.

Elvis Costello commented: “In the words of the great Joe Strummer, ‘Let’s
rock again!'”

The program’s eclecticism and depth reflect its uniquely qualified host. Costello
is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; a Grammy and Ivor Novello
Award-winning (and Oscar®-nominated) songwriter and performer comfortable in
almost every genre imaginable; a musicologist of formidable breadth and
knowledge; a contributor to Vanity Fair magazine; and a noted wit whose
stint as guest host on The Late Show with David Letterman won rave
reviews.

“Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…” is taped in front of a live
audience at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater in New York City and The Masonic
Temple in Toronto, Canada. The series will also air on CTV in Canada.

The schedule for Season Two of “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with
…” is as follows:

 


December 9th at 10:00pm “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bono and The
Edge”
Elvis Costello conducts an intimate
and revealing conversation with U2’s Bono and The Edge. Recorded at the Masonic Temple
in Toronto, Ontario, during their current 360 world
tour, Bono and Edge discuss the writing and recording process behind some of
their most famous recordings, perform rarities, as well as a show-ending
mash-up with Elvis and The Imposters.

December 16th at 10:00pm “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Sheryl Crow,
Neko Case, Ron Sexsmith and Jesse Winchester”
Elvis Costello is joined by guests Neko Case, Sheryl Crow, Ron Sexsmith and
Jesse Winchester for an old fashioned “guitar pull” — a swapping of
songs and stories — amongst this amazing group of singer/songwriters.
Highlights include Crow’s “If it Makes You Happy,” a unique rendition
of a song from Neko Case’s acclaimed “Middle Cyclone” album, a
Sexsmith and Elvis duet on a Costello classic; and Jesse Winchester reducing
the audience (and his cohorts) to tears with his gentle lyrics and voice.

December 23rd at 10:00pm “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Levon Helm,
Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint”
Elvis Costello literally builds a band in front of the audience’s eyes and
ears. Joining him for this once-in-a-lifetime jam session are his former record
producer, Nick Lowe, on bass; legendary New Orleans producer/pianist Allen
Toussaint; U.K. guitar giant/songwriter Richard Thompson; and, from The Band,
drummer Levon Helm.

December 30th 6:00 – 10:00pm “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…”
marathon
A marathon of five previous episodes of “Spectacle: Elvis Costello
with…”.

January 6th at 10:00pm “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Elvis
Costello”
In this very special edition of Spectacle, Elvis Costello slides from the
host chair to guest chair for a revealing conversation with actress/music
journalist Mary Lousie Parker. While it’s impossible to cover all of Costello’s
30 year plus musical journey in an hour, he performs a wide selection of his
material.

January 13th at 10:00pm “Elvis Costello with Lyle Lovett, Ray
LaMontagne, and John Prine”
Elvis Costello explores the role of the singer/songwriter with three of
music’s best: the legendary and highly influential John Prine, four-time Grammy
winner Lyle Lovett, and the critically acclaimed Ray LaMontagne. Each stands
alone in the spotlight to perform and sits for an intimate chat with Elvis on
their craft.

January 20th at 10:00pm “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bruce
Springsteen part 1”
January 27th at 10:00pm “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bruce Springsteen
part 2”
Elvis Costello sits down with Bruce Springsteen for a special two part
episode and, with his guitar in hand, he opens up about his pre-E Street Band
bands, his early and current inspirations, and the resurgence of New Jersey. E
Street Band members Nils Lofgren and Roy Bittan sit in for a couple of songs.

The inaugural season of “Spectacle” featured an extraordinary and
eclectic roster of legendary musicians and fascinating personalities including:
Sir Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel, Smokey Robinson, The
Police (Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers), James Taylor, Herbie
Hancock, Rufus Wainwright, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Diana Krall, John
Mellencamp, Jakob Dylan, She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), Norah
Jones, Jenny Lewis, Renée Fleming and President Bill Clinton.

Season one of “Spectacle” is now available on iTunes, and a
DVD/BluRay box set was released in the U.S. on November 17, 2009.

 

Watch: New Theresa Andersson Video

 

“Birds Fly Away” from acclaimed Hummingbird, Go! album.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

At the end of a successful year
for Swedish songstress Theresa
Andersson, she decided to make a video for single, “Birds Fly Away.”  A single from
acclaimed 2008 album Hummingbird,
Go!
, the video, directed by Miranda Penn Turin, invites viewers to
the energized streets of her hometown, New
Orleans.  You can check out the “Birds Fly Away” video, now
playing at Blurt TV
.

 

BLURT enthused about the album,
writing, in part,

 

“Even for New Orleans,
which with its myriad musical hybrids is arguably the birthplace of the mashup,
the notion seems improbable: marrying contemporary Swedish indiepop to Crescent City traditionalism. And though Swede expat/N’awlins
resident Theresa Andersson tilts more in the direction of the former than the
latter, there’s an undeniable earthiness and primal power on
Hummingbird, Go! that you won’t find on, say, offerings from
Lykke Li, Peter Moren (of Peter Bjorn and John), Jens Lekman or El Perro Del
Mar (just to name a handful of Swedish musicians – all good, incidentally –
with recent, heavily hyped releases). That she created the album entirely in
her own kitchen and played 99% of the instruments is all the more impressive.”

New Orleans
locals will have one more chance to see Andersson perform live before heading
into the studio to work on her next record.  You can catch her performing
a benefit concert at the New
Orleans Contemporary
Arts Center
on December 9.