Monthly Archives: June 2010

PLAY FOR TODAY: VIDEO GAMES / AARON BURGESS

 

Column #6: Green Day: Rock Band, Super
Mario Galaxy 2, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Toy Story 3, The Sims 3:
Ambitions; plus Nintendo 3DS.

 

By Aaron Burgess

 

 

Green
Day: Rock Band

Platforms: Xbox
360, PlayStation 3

Developer: Harmonix / Publisher: MTV Games

ESRB
Rating:
T

 

Offer up the Beatles on one end and Green Day on the other,
and odds are good that many current-generation rock fans would have a hard time
picking favorites. (Don’t snigger, pop purists.) So it’s fitting that, for its
second band-themed Rock Band game,
Harmonix has followed up the Fab Four (last year’s mega-popular The
Beatles: Rock Band
) with a game devoted entirely to the Dookie-spawning American Idiot savants. Though less cinematic-and surreal, for that
matter-in scope than its Beatles counterpart, Green Day: Rock Band is everything a fan of the Bay Area trio could
want and then some: 47 playable songs’ worth of classics spanning Green Day’s
evolution from punk brats to stadium-packing, generation-crossing icons.
Unfortunately, for those of us who remember the band before 1994’s breakout Dookie, the set list for Green Day: Rock Band skips the Lookout!
Records era where Green Day not only cut their teeth, but also wrote some of
their catchiest three-minute tunes. (Read
here for more
.) Dookie, 2004’s American Idiot and 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown appear
in their entirety, however, with a smattering of hits from 1995’s Insomniac, 1997’s Nimrod and 2000’s Warning bookending the three albums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gameplay loosely mirrors the storyteller formula of The Beatles: Rock Band, following Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool from their salad days (via the fictional
punk venue The Warehouse) to real-life locales both large (the National Bowl in
Milton Keynes, England) and small (the Fox Theatre in Oakland, California).
Likewise, in addition to standard guitar, bass and drums playability, the
fun-but-tricky three-part harmonies and Career achievements also follow those
of The Beatles: Rock Band, with
troves of MTV archival footage (Green Day, after all, are nothing if not
products of the MTV era) available for the unlocking. Ironically, the games’
similarities tend to magnify the areas where Green Day: Rock Band doesn’t quite meet The Beatles version: fewer
venues, less song diversity, a reliance on realistic visuals where fantasy
would tell a better story (Green Day did, after all, did ride two concept
albums all the way to Broadway).
But if you’re looking for similar levels of pop smarts with a mega-dose of
adrenaline to drive them home-well, you had to see this coming, but welcome to
paradise.  

 

Rating: 8/10

 

 

 

 

 

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Platform: Wii

Developer / Publisher: Nintendo

ESRB
Rating:
E

 

Maybe it’s because of the world in which it lands-a realm of
co-op shooters, rock-band simulators and grave, hyper-realistic realms where faux
physics supplant our own in all manner of settings-but Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the rare videogame that truly feels like a game. If that sounds a bit heady, know
that there’s nothing brain-bending about the game itself-with its objectives
set across multiple wacky 3D planets, SMG2 feels like the logical sequel to 2007’s fun, frivolous adventure starring everyone’s
favorite Italian plumber. (No offense, Luigi.) But it’s the Zen-like simplicity
and childlike sense of wonder with which Nintendo approaches this platformer
that makes it such a standout-that, and the addition of Yoshi, of course.

 

 

 

 

 

Available as a power-up (one of many such boosts to Mario’s
mojo this time out), the lovable, long-tongued dinosaur makes for a delightful
addition to Super Mario Galaxy 2-but
really, he’s as much a symbol of everything that’s right with the game. Bowser,
his captured Princess Peach and a map that takes you further toward them are
the primary catalysts for action, while the incredibly designed levels that
comprise the map are the reasons you’ll lose yourself in the quest. Long,
challenging and beautifully framed no matter which dimension (2D or 3D) you’re
experiencing it through, Super Mario
Galaxy 2
tests your preconceptions about platformer games while holding you
to the basic platformer premise. Even memory (with warm tinges, both visual and
musical, of Mario games dating back to the Nintendo 64 days) plays a role in
how you experience SMG2-and by the
time you finish it, you’ll have carved a new space in your memory bank for this
one.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Platform: PSP

Developer: Kojima Productions / Publisher: Konami

ESRB Rating: T

 

It’s ironic that you can only get Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on Sony’s smallest system.
Infinitely playable, the handheld-only game from MGS series mastermind Hideo Kojima offers huge
potential whether you’re playing it in linear fashion or experiencing the
countless side missions offered as detours. Picking up where Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops left off, the 1970s-era prequel
puts a full-sized console adventure-gorgeous graphics and all-in the palm of
your hand.

 

 

 

 

 

You’re transported, via one of many comic-book-style cutscenes,
into a storyline where Naked Snake,
a.k.a. Big Boss, is leading the private mercenary unit Soldiers without Borders
when fate intervenes to send him on an emotionally riveting mercenary mission
of his own. Stealth and strategy remain key tactics for fighting your way
through Peace Walker, but the
integration of deep RPG elements expands the way you interact with everything
from weapons (which you can develop and upgrade) to enemies. You can develop
your own army by literally plucking soldiers from the field and sending them (this
time via balloon harness) back to your Mother Base for training. Just make sure
you also have some real friends (up to four in co-op mode) along for the ride.
You’ll need all the help you get to make it through Peace Walker‘s more daunting boss battles.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toy
Story 3

Platforms: Xbox
360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PSP, DS, PC

Developer: Avalanche
Productions / Publisher: Disney Interactive
Studios

ESRB
Rating:
E10+

 

You know what to expect from most licensed kids’ videogame
tie-ins before you even crack the shrinkwrap: predictable storylines, simple
challenges and a handful of minigames to help justify the sticker price. However,
just as Toy Story 3 is no mere kids’
movie, the film’s videogame twin isn’t your run-of-the-mill 3D platformer with
a simplified control scheme and seemingly endless string of collectable items.
That’s not to say you won’t find both elements in Toy Story 3, just that once you clobber the game’s eight relatively
easy levels, you still have a whole other videogame to explore.

 

 

 

 

 

Playing as Woody, Jessie or Buzz Lightyear, you run, jump,
chase and object-gather your way through a story mode whose colorful,
action-packed settings play off scenes from the movie. Then, well, you’re
done-at which point it’s time to crack the lid on the game’s Toy Box mode,
which itself is worth the price of admission. The open-world adventure lets you
customize an entire Old West toy town to your liking, embarking in literally
hundreds of side adventures along the way-and, perhaps more importantly, out of
the way. Complete missions to earn gold. Herd cattle or corral townspeople into
buildings of your own silly creation. Or, heck, simply roam through the
sandbox, move stuff around and see how many boundaries you can push. Much like
the experience of play itself, Toy Story
3
‘s Toy Box is alive with possibilities.

 

Rating: 8/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sims 3: Ambitions

Platform: PC

Developer: The Sims Studio / Publisher: Electronic Arts

ESRB
Rating:
T

 

Anyone who’s played a version of The Sims knows that, just as in the real world, work is part of
your pint-sized avatars’ daily lives. Until now, however, your Sims simply
donned their work attire and headed off to do whatever it was they did all day-but
with The Sims 3: Ambitions, you can
experience a veritable “take your creator to work day” that

 

 

 

 

The expansion pack for 2009’s The Sims
3
expands on your ability to choose a Sim’s career by tacking an actual
profession-and its attendant tasks, challenges, hobbies and war stories-onto
it. It’s a subtle difference, but it makes for huge possibilities and,
particularly in the roles of ghost hunter, firefighter and private
investigator, some curious dramatic twists. No matter what your lot in (fake)
life, though-doctor, stylist and architectural designer are among the other
options-you’ll find hours’ worth of adventures to expand your world. Here’s
hoping EA similarly expands the available careers, because the potential here
is just, well, ambitious.

 

Rating: 8/10

 

 

 

 

Moving
in Stereo: Nintendo 3DS

 

Goodbye, fourth wall. It’s like we never knew you. At least
that’s expected to be the reaction next year when Nintendo succeeds its DS
handheld with the 3DS, which will deliver 3D graphics without the need for
glasses. The system will, thankfully, be backward-compatible with your existing
DS and DSiWare titles, and there’s talk that several major movie studios are
working with Nintendo to bring 3D movies to the 3Ds’ 3.53″ stereoscopic
top screen. (The bottom is a 3.02″ touch panel.) Of course, that’s just
the basic visual experience-the 3DS also features beefed-up wireless capability
(including hardware that “talks” with other 3Dses while your system
is asleep) and three cameras for recording your own real-life action. Yeah,
that’s right: three. One for you, and two facing the outside world so you can
capture it in stereo, too.

 

Check out the details, complete with some excellent teaser
video, at Nintendo’s 3DS site.

 

***

 

Our game guru, Aaron
Burgess, lives digitally but dreams in analog down in Round Rock, Texas. Contact him at first2letters@gmail.com  / AIM: First2Letters

 

 

Best Jackson King Of Pop Redux… Ever!

So what were YOU doing
a year ago today? Drinking the Kool-Aid? Here – we’ve finally perfect the
antidote.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Wow – has it been a year already? Well, before you throw up
your arms in surrender and give yourself over to today’s 24/7 airbrushed
eulogizing of Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), how about taking
a deep breath, splash some water on your face, and spend a few sober moments in
reflection via a story we published on Jackson
early last July.

 

Titled “King of Hype” and written by our contributor/blogger
Mark Jenkins, the essay attempts to cut through some of the bullshit and
hysteria that followed immediately in the wake of Jackson’s passing. Offers Jenkins, among
other observations:

 

“The non-trash media-from op-ed pages
to Sunday morning talk shows-have to justify the amount of coverage their
newspapers or networks have given Jacko. If he’s just dance-pop’s equivalent of
a brain-damaged professional wrestler, the attention is unjustified. So MJ must
have been
significant. This yields such straw-grasping punditry
as the claim that “we” all identified with Jackson because he blurred racial and gender
identity. But he did so in a way that was creepy, not inspiring, and
revealed self-loathing, not self- acceptance. Anyone who seriously
identified with the latter-day Jackson
should seek professional help… Selling lots of albums is consequential, but not
in the way Jackson’s
analysts earnestly wish. So maybe it’s time for the legit media to let Jacko
go. He belongs not to history, but to TMZ.”

 

Speaking personally, I enjoyed some of Jackson’s
songs, but couldn’t call myself a fan, and I certainly never drank the Kool-Aid
like a lot of my critical peers. And while I’m always sad to learn of a
musician dying, I couldn’t bring myself to grieve for Jackson. Today, I don’t think I’ll be marking
anything as a result (other than
writing this quick news entry) – I think I’ll go listen to a James Brown album
instead.

 

Meanwhile, you can read the entire article right here at BLURT, and don’t
forget to check out the original readers’ comments at the end. Yes, a couple of
readers accused us of being racist and mean-spirited, just like we predicted
would happen. What else can we say? Just beat it…

 

More Jacko at Blurt:

 

Obituary: /news/view/2463/

Pants Auctioned: /news/view/3716/

Jackson and Phil Spector: /features/view/450/

Review of This Is It: /reviews/view/1597/

Warren Cuccurullo talks about watching Jackson’s
nose fall off: /features/view/637/

 

 

 

Essential Reading: New Neil Young Book

 

Recently published by
Voyageur Press,
Neil Young: Long May You Run – The Illustrated History, by Daniel Durcholz and Gary Graff, doubles
as a classic coffee table volume and a true love letter from and for fans.

 

By Lee Zimmerman

 

There were those who complained – and rightfully so – that
after years of waiting and eager anticipation, Neil Young’s much trumpeted Archives Vol. 1 failed to deliver on its
promise of unearthing its holy grail of all things Neil. Given its hefty cost
and duplication of several volumes that had been given a sneak preview prior to
its release, its wealth of riches seemed severely truncated in comparison to
what had been hoped for.

 

Happily then, Long May
You Run – The Illustrated History
should provide some consolation to the
“Rusties” — as Young’s faithful legions are known – and to all the other true
believers as well. Priced at a mere $30, it’s only a fraction of the cost of
the box set and chock full of its own treasures to boot. Granted, it’s a book
that boasts no music (a bonus disc would have been a nice touch), but the wealth
of archival photos, notes, quotes and memorabilia make it a compelling journey
through the past just the same. Tracing his trajectory from his childhood in
the Canadian heartland and his early attempts at forming his own bands, through
his momentous breakthrough and fractured relationship with the Buffalo
Springfield, and Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and ultimately on to his
longstanding stint with Crazy Horse and a prodigious if unpredictable solo
career, the book manages to survey it all in its picture-packed 224 pages.

 

Granted, the text isn’t nearly as revelatory as that
ultimate Young biography, Shakey (published in 2003 by Jimmy McDonough, and done partly with Young’s
cooperation), and true, it occasionally glances over the more tantalizing
trivia. As an example, the Springfield’s
legendary “lost” album, duly dubbed Stampede,
is pictured but otherwise ignored. Even so, the basic narrative is informative
and at times, illuminating, and a wealth of sidebars on different subjects –
Young’s supposed feud with Lynyrd Skynyrd, a rundown of his many studio
collaborators, the recording of “Ohio” — are equally intriguing and make for
great bathroom reading as well. Not surprising, the various comments about the
subject as offered from the mouths of other musicians are universally fawning,
but skeptics would be reminded they befit a musician of Young’s history and
stature.

 

Still, Long May You
Run
is best viewed as a coffee table tome, one that provides ample rewards
merely by thumbing through its pages and reading various sections at random.
Indeed, authors Durchholz and Graff have done an excellent job of retelling
Neil’s saga and peppering it with posters, record sleeves, rare photos, a
reasonable discography of his commercial releases and the kind of minutiae that
can make a devoted fan gawk and gaze for hours at a time. Both men have lengthy
resumes that make them well suited to the task — Durchholz by virtue of his
editorial stints at Request and Replay magazines and frequent
contributions to Rolling Stone, Billboard, the Chicago Tribune and the Washington
Post,
and Graff via his work with Billboard,
the New York Times Features Syndicate and the volumes he helped pen on Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen.

 

Nevertheless, this is a stunning accomplishment, not so much
for its editorial inclinations, but rather for the fact it’s a genuine fan
offering, one that not only celebrates its subject, but also allows for further
fascination. It can’t be lauded enough.

 

 

 

 

Sammy Hagar To Pen Autobiography

 

Go ahead, you know you
wanna say it… “one foot on the break, one foot on the gas… he can’t write –
fifty-five!!!”

 

By Blurt Staff

 

HarperCollins imprint ItBooks has announced plans to publish
an autobiography by Sammy Hagar next year. The sometime solo rocker, erstwhile
Van Halen frontman and current lead singer for Chickenfoot inked the deal the
other day, saying in a statement, “I’ve been writing
this book my whole life. It’s time to put it between two covers.”

 

San Francisco Chronicle pop critic Joel Selvin has been tapped as co-author because, you know, we can’t
just let these decadent rockers run loose.

 

According to the publisher:

 

Hagar will provide readers with incredible behind-the-scenes
stories from his multi-platinum career, including his rise as a solo artist and
his eleven years with Van Halen, after the controversial departure of original
lead vocalist David Lee Roth. During Hagar’s time with Van Halen, the band released
four consecutive No. 1 albums.  From
worldwide stadium concerts tours to private jets, Hagar enjoyed the trappings
of fame and success with Van Halen until he was, as he puts it,
“unceremoniously fired.”  Hagar later thrived as a solo act, leading his
band, the Cabo Wabos, before returning triumphantly to Van Halen for an
historic reunion tour after which he set off on his own once again.

 

 Honest and compelling, Hagar’s account spares no one,
least of all himself. Hagar’s autobiography reveals the inside story of one of
rock music’s most recognizable voices, from his humble beginnings in the town
of Fontana, California, to his incredible business success with Cabo Wabo
Tequila and the Cabo Wabo Cantinas.

 

It’s rumored that both David Lee Roth and Gary Cherone are
also in negotiations with book publishers to pen their memoirs, but nothing
official has been announced yet…

 

 

 

Conor Oberst Cuts Arizona Boycott Song

 

Joins the growing
chorus of musicians who oppose Arizona’s
illegal immigrant stance.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Just a few days ago we had news about Chuck D recording “Tear
Down That Wall” in protest of the Arizona SB 1070 law and earlier there was news
about the groundswell of support from the music community for Sound Strike, organized by Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against The Machine.

 

TwentyFourBit is now reporting that Bright Eyes mainman
Conor Oberst has recorded a new track called “Coyote Song” that he’s going to
be offering to Sound Strike. He also suggested he was hoping to be involved in “a
series of concerts later this year that will be a chance for people to get together
and find out about the issues, be educated, and also see some of the best bands
play.”

 

Check out a clip Oberst recorded in which he talks about the
tune (he characterizes it as a long song about two lovers) and his motivations
behind it – he makes a point of saying that he has fans and friends in Arizona
and that taking part in the boycott is not an attempt to punish them, but that sometimes
action has to be taken to shake people into awareness. The clip also contains
footage from an actual video he recorded in El Paso at the border for the song.

 

 

Conor Oberst for The Sound Strike from Producciones Cimarrón on Vimeo.

The Rebel Set: Blurt Best Kept Secret

 

Latest pick of cool
emerging artist in our ongoing collaboration with Sonicbids.

 

By Fred Mills

 

The BLURT staff put our heads (and ears) together and we have
the latest (June 2010) pick for our Blurt/Sonicbids “Best Kept Secret”: it’s
Phoenix-area trio The Rebel Set.

 

The band came together a few years ago in Scottsdale via a
mutual love of classic surf music from the early ‘60s, ground-zero ‘70s punk
and ‘90s lo-fi garage  – cited influences
include Link Wray, Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, The Ramones, The
Rezillos, The Drags, and Rocket From The Crypt, so you know these guys ain’t
putzin’ around, pal!

 

In October of 2008 they released a 4-song
EP, Teenage Killer,  and quickly became a Valley club mainstay,
additionally notching an impressive regional rep (they were a hit at the Neon
Reverb Festival in Vegas earlier this year) while prepping material for their
full-length debut. The resulting Poison
Arrow
, which arrived in April courtesy Silver Hornet Records, is not to be
missed if you are an aficionado of the above-mentioned styles and artists.

 

 

The lineup:

 

Joe Zimmerman-guitar, vocals
Chad Kaffer-bass guitar
Jeff Doing-drums

 

 

 

We’ll have an interview with the band posted to the site
shortly. Check out the band’s MySpace and Facebook pages for song samples, tour
dates and more. And congratulations to The Rebel Set. They’re one of the good ‘uns, trust us.

 

***

 

Bands, go to www.sonicbids.com/blurtonline to submit and have us review your materials for feature consideration.

 

>Our November ‘08 Best Kept Secret: The Handcuffs, from
Chicago.

 

>Our December Best Kept Secret: Black Swan
Green, from Brooklyn

 

>Our January Best Kept Secret: stephaniesI­d,
from Asheville

 

>Our March Best Kept Secret: Polly Mackey
& the Pleasure Principle, from England

 

>Our June Best Kept Secret: Wiretree, from
Austin

 

>Our August Best Kept Secret: Bulletproof
Vests, from Memphis

 

>Our November Best Kept Secret: The Vivs, from
Boston

 

>Our January Best Kept Secret: The Public
Good, from D.C.

 

>Our February Best Kept Secret: Dirty Dancing, from Austin

 

>Our April Best Kept Secret: Jenny Dee & the
Deelinquents

 

 

 

Of Montreal Reveals LP Art, Release Date

Athens band will return to the record bins on
September 14. Meanwhile, click link below to get the first song.

 

By Fred Mills

 

As reported previously, Of Montreal has a new Jon
Brion-produced album en route, and now the band’s label, Polyvinyl, has
announced a September 14 street date for it.

 

 

 

 

Titled False Priest
and sporting what’s surely some of the best artwork of any album all year (see
above) – it was recorded in Athens and Los Angeles and features
contributions from Solange Knowles and Janelle Monae. To that end, Pitchfork
reports
that leader Kevin Barnes has cited a strong R&B influence for the
album (“very dancey, very funky songs”), which makes sense considering the
direction Barnes has steadily been headed in.

 

Go here to nab a free download of first single “Coquet
Coquette”. (It’s also streaming at their MySpace page.)

 

You can read our August 2009 interview with Barnes right
here
to bring yourself back up to speed on the group’s trajectory to date.

 

Track Listing:

 

1 I Feel Ya’ Strutter
2 Our Riotous Defects [ft. Janelle Monáe]
3 Coquet Coquette
4 Godly Intersex
5 Enemy Gene [ft. Janelle Monáe]
6 Hydra Fancies
7 Like a Tourist
8 Sex Karma [ft. Solange Knowles]
9 Girl Named Hello
10 Famine Affair
11 Casualty of You
12 Around the Way
13 You Do Mutilate?

 

Tour Dates (so far):

7-25 Jackson, MI
– Land of Nod
Experiment
7-30 Montreal, Quebec
– Osheaga Festival
7-31 Burlington, VT
– Higher Ground
8-02 Asheville, NC – Orange
Peel

 

 

 

 

 

Hives Return To Get Tarred & Feathered

 

Roll over Beethoven
and tell Howlin’ Pelle the news…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

The Hives are back and have completed what they are calling “a
surprise EP release for the fans” titled Tarred
and Feathered
.” It’s three choice cover songs and recorded live to
tape:

 

*”Civilization’s Dying” by the Zero Boys (legendary Indiana hardcore band;
read the Blurt interview with the Zero Boys right here)

 

*”Early Morning Wake Up Call” by Flash and the Pan (equally
legendary Aussie group that featured producers Vanda and Young)

 

*”Nasty Secretary” by Joy Ryder & Avis Davis

 

 

It’s going to be released digitally worldwide on July 2nd and then a 7 inch version will be released on July 9th.  Fans
can go to www.thehivesbroadcastingservice.com and sign up for the mailing list to receive a free song download from the
EP. 

 

Meanwhile, the Hives kick off a European tour this weekend
(no US dates yet) – see the itinerary below.  

Tour Dates:

Jun 25 – Hard Rock Calling Festival  – London, UK
Jun 26 – Askena Rock Festival – Vitoria-Gasteiz, ES
Jul 02 – Peace & Love Festival – Borlänge, SE
Jul 03 – Festival Eurockéennes Territoire de Musiques – Belfort, FR
Jul 04 – Heineken Open’er Festival – Gdynia, PL
Jul 08 – Hultsfredsfestivalen 2010 – Hultsfred, SE
Jul 31 – Putte i parken Festival – Karlskoga, SE
Aug 11 – Sziget Fest – Budapest, HU
Aug 13 – Rocco del Schlacko Festival – Püttlingen/Saarbrücken, DE
Aug 14 – Open Flair Festival – Eschwege, DE
Aug 15 – Taubertal Festival – Rothenburg, DE
Aug 27 – Open Air Festival – Zurich, DE

 

 

 

 

Tesco Vee Tour, Touch & Go Book

 

Legendary ‘70s/’80s
punk zine collected under one cover while TV and his Hate Police jam for
posterity and profit.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

The
Washington Post once called him “a cross between Buddy Hackett and
Johnny Rotten” – so you know we must be talking about Tesco Vee, erstwhile
frontman from the infamous Meatmen. As the saying goes, “fans of scumpunk can
rejoice, he hath returned once again.”

 

Tesco and his
band Tesco Vee’s Hate Police kick off a series of shows with his ‘Summer of The
Cuddly Convict Consort’ Series July 16 in Cleveland
Ohio. Tesco swears this brand
spankin’ new line up to be the “biggest, baddest and beefiest assemblage
of bangers” he has ever put together:

 

Featuring ‘Hairy Pits” Latini on the axe
(recently paroled from Rikers Island for crimes against man, nature, and an
antalope), Freddie ‘Green Sack’ Cobretti on the basso profundo
(recently paroled  from the supermax wing of San Quentin for assault
and buggery, Zip Gun manufacture, and for  delivering repeated  ‘wood
shampoos’ in the cellblock’), and Swarthy ‘Bun Length’ Franklin (just
extricated via late nite chopper commando raid  from the yard of Jackson
Prison, where he spent 7 years for moonshining, bunko, and grifting grannies).
Bands along for the ride at various stops on this cavorting cavalcade
of cockbags, includes Negative Approach, Hellmouth, White Flag, and many others.

 

“This
line up of hardened pricks flat out brings it on stage,” said Mr. Vee,
ever a master of understatement (who as you recall was turned into a bobblehead not all that long ago).

 

 

 

But wait,
there’s more: longtime TV watchers will recall the man’s punk zine Touch and Go, one of the great rock mags
ever to come out of the U.S.
punk scene. He’s now got a new book titled Touch and Go – The Complete Hardcore Punk Fanzine 1979-83. All
22 issues, and 576 pages, of the seminal fanzine in one loud fast volume,
published by Bazillion
Points
.  Many bookstore appearances are also planned where Tesco will
be signing copies. Check the book and music itinerary below.

 

July 16 –
Cleveland

READING @ Visible Voice Books (1023 Kenilworth) 7pm
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ Now That’s Class (11213 Detroit Avenue) with
Hellmouth and White Flag
 
July 17 – Chicago
READING @ Quimby’s (1854 W. North Ave) – 7pm
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE  @ The Abbey Pub (3420 West Grace Street) with
Fester and White Flag
 
July 30 – Oak Park, MI
READING @ Bookbeat (26010 Greenfield) – 7pm
 
July 31 – East Lansing / Detroit
READING @Flat Black & Circular (541 East Grand River)-1PM
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ St Andrews Hall (431 East Congress Street) with
Violent Apathy, Hellmouth, Sorcen, TVHP, Negative Approach
 
August 14 – Pekin, IL
READING and TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ Bottoms Up (431 1/2 Court Street) with
Chelsea Brick
 
August 26 – Pittsburgh
READING @ Eide’s Entertainment (1121 Penn Avenue) – 4pm
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE  @ 31st Street Pub (3101 Penn Avenue) with
Hellmouth
 
August 27 – Philadelphia
READING @ Brickbat Books (709 South 4th Street) – 7pm
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE@ The North Star Bar (Poplar & N. 27th Street) with
American Speedway, Hellmouth and Common Enemy
 
August 28 – New York City
READING @ TBA
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE  @ Santos Party House w/Hellmouth, Negative
Approach, Mind Eraser and tba
 
August 29 – Rehobeth Beach, DE
READING and TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ Double L Bar (622 Rehoboth Ave)
 
August 30 – Richmond, VA
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ Banditos Burrito Lounge (2905 Patterson Avenue)
 
October 7 – Buffalo NY
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ Mohawk Place (47 E Mohawk St) w/Easy Action
 
October 8 – Providence, RI
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ Club Hell (73 Richmond Street) with Easy Action
 
October 9 – New Haven, CT  
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ Cafe Nine (250 State Street) with Easy Action
 
October 22 – Lansing, MI  
TESCO VEE’S HATE POLICE @ The Loft (414 East Michigan Avenue) with Easy Action

 

 

 

 

Converse Hosts “All-star” Summit

Three chords, a pair
of green Chucks, and the truth! Members of Best Coast,
Vampire Weekend and Kid Cudi team up.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Converse – yes, that Converse
– is bringing together three musicians from different genres to form a unique
collaboration known as Three Artists. One Song. The nucleus of this
initiative is a brand new, all original track featuring Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast,
Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend and Kid Cudi that will be released this
July and available to music fans globally via free download at converse.com and
authorized Converse websites around the world. In addition to collaborating on
the track, each of the artists also participated in the creation of the music
video, which will be released later this summer.

“Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino is one of
today’s most hotly-tipped musicians,” said Geoff Cottrill, Chief Marketing
Officer of Converse, in a statement. “She has jumped onto everyone’s radar
within the past six months due to her refreshingly honest and clean musical
style and having her be involved with the new collaboration was a no-brainer.
She brings a west-coast flair and ease to the single and we couldn’t be more
excited to have her participate in the songs creation.”

This film is the first installment in a series of three short films being
released in anticipation of the song’s release, featuring each of the
musicians. It follows Cosentino of Best Coast on her first European tour as she
explores Hamburg, Germany and discusses the west coast, warm weather and the
beachy, sun-kissed songs of the 50’s and 60’s that inspired her to create music
of her own. (You can view the clip right here – check out those green Chuck
Taylors the gal is prominently sporting, natch….)