Monthly Archives: August 2010

Black Heart Procession MP3, EP, Tour

 

Band also collaborates
with Lee Scratch Perry

 

By Blurt Staff

 

San Diego’s
The Black Heart Procession are
releasing a limited edition mini-album October
12 called “Blood Bunny /
Black Rabbit” on Temporary
Residence Limited. Along with 3 brand new BHP songs, the 40-minute EP
includes a collaboration with the godfather of dub himself, the immortal Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Additionally, “Blood Bunny / “Black Rabbit” features a titanic
10-minute orchestral reconstruction of “Drugs” by ambient mainstay Eluvium.

To celebrate the release of “Blood Bunny / Black Rabbit”, The Black
Heart Procession will tour this fall with Temporary Residence labelmates the
Books!

Track Listing:

1. Blank Page
2. The Orchid
3. Silence (Remix by Mr. Tube)
4. Devotion
5. Freeze (Remix by Lee “Scratch” Perry)
6. Heaven Below (Remix by Mr. Tube)
7. Drugs (Remix by Eluvium)
8. Drugs (Remix by Jamuel Saxon)

Tour Dates:

Sep 28 @ Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY
Sep 29 @ The Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA w/ The Books
Sep 30 @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC w/ The Books
Oct 1 @ Shaefer Theater, Duke University, Durham, NC w/ The Books
Oct 3 @ Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA w/ The Books
Oct 4 @ Square Room, Knoxville, TN w/ The Books
Oct 5 @ Jefferson Theatre, Charlottesville, VA w/ The Books
Oct 6 @ Rams Head Live!, Baltimore, MD w/ The Books
Oct 21 @ Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA w/ The Books
Oct 22 @ Pearl Street Nightclub, Northampton, MA w/ The Books
Oct 23 @ Cabaret Mile End, Montreal, PQ w/ The Books
Oct 24 @ Capitol Music Hall, Ottawa, ON w/ The Books
Oct 25 @ The Mod Club, Toronto, ON w/ The Books
Oct 26 @ Crofoot Ballroom, Pontiac, MI w/ The Books
Oct 27 @ Ladies Literary Club, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI w/ The Books
Oct 29 @ Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL w/ The Books
Oct 30 @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, MN w/ The Books
Nov 29 @ Music Box At The Henry Fonda, Los Angeles, CA w/ The Books
Nov 30 @ Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA w/ The Books
Dec 3 @ Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR w/ The Books
Dec 4 @ Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA w/ The Books
Dec 5 @ Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, BC w/ The Books

 

Southern Culture On The Skids Returns

 

Not that they ever
actually went away… tour starts this week, new album drops next week.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Back at the Kudzu Ranch recording enclave, Tarheel twang
merchants Southern Culture On the Skids recently put the finishing touches on
their new album. It’s titled, fittingly, The
Kudzu Ranch
, and it’s issued on their own Kudzu label following a
three-album run with the venerable Yep Roc which concluded with 2007’s Countrypolitan Favorites.

 

“The Kudzu Ranch is collection of
10 originals and a couple covers,” said guitarist Rick Miller recently, “songs
about people, places and things – like good friends and crazy neighbors, dry
dirt and pompadoured flirts, busy roads and horny toads – all of them
motivatin’, salivatin’ and procreatin’ to their own crazy beat!”

 

It arrives next week, Sept. 7, via their official website, www.scots.com, and will eventually be
available at retail in early November. Folks who do pick it up directly from
the band will also nab some fun digital freebies, so you have been advised. Meanwhile,
the band heads out for a 3-week trek out west starting this week (the second
leg of their tour will commence in mid October), so BLURT is sitting down with
guitarist Rick Miller tomorrow afternoon for an in-depth yak about all things
SCOTS – including details on their remastered reissue of their 1991 sophomore
platter Too Much Pork For Just One Fork,
which is also due very soon. Watch the BLURT site for the fruits of that
conversation real soon.

 

Yours truly saw the band play about a month ago at the Bele Chere street
festival in Asheville, NC, and I can safely advise that, in the
parlance, “They still got it.” I was almost hit in the forehead with a chicken
wing in the process of formulating that assessment, in fact. So don’t miss ‘em.

 

Tour Dates:

 

Fri 9/3/2010     Los
Angeles, CA        The
Echo

Sat 9/4/2010    Ventura, CA   Ventura
Fairgrounds

Sun 9/5/2010   Lockwood, CA
          Hungry Flats Diner

Tue 9/7/2010   San Jose, CA
  The Blank Club

Wed 9/8/2010             Petaluma, CA
McNears Mystic Theatre

Thu 9/9/2010   Santa Cruz, CA
          Moe’s Alley

Fri 9/10/2010   Crystal Bay, NV         Crystal
Bay Club Crown Room

Sat 9/11/2010 San Francisco, CA      Great
American Music
Hall

Sun 9/12/2010             Bakersfield, CA          Fishlips

Wed 9/15/2010           Tucson, AZ
    Plush

Thu 9/16/2010             Phoenix, AZ
   Rhythm Room

Sat 9/18/2010 San Diego, CA
           Casbah

Fri 10/8/2010   Richmond, Va
            Plaza Duckpin Bowl

Sat 10/9/2010 Washington, DC
        9:30 Club

Sun 10/10/2010           Harrisburg, PA
           The Abbey Bar

Tue 10/12/2010           Marietta, OH
  The Adelphia (at the Galley)

Wed 10/13/2010         Pittsburgh, PA
           Diesel Club

Thu 10/14/2010           Philadelphia, PA
        World Cafe Live

Fri 10/15/2010             Brooklyn, NY             The Bell House

Sat 10/16/2010            Hoboken, NJ
  Maxwell’s

Fri 10/29/2010             Johnson City, TN
       Casbah

Sat 10/30/2010            Buford, GA
   Hell On Wheels Beer Festival

Sun 10/31/2010           Birmingham, AL
        Zydeco

Fri 11/26/2010             Kill
Devil Hills, NC    Port O’ Call

Sat 11/27/2010            Kill Devil Hills, NC
   Port O’ Call

 

 

 

Report: Paul McCartney Live in Philly

 

On August 14 at the Wells Fargo
Center, Macca digs deep
into all three catalogs – his, Wings’ and of course the Fab Four’s – and serves
up a 180 minute marathon. Our reviewer goes the distances with him. Photo by
Scott Weiner.

 

By A.D. Amorosi

 

After three hours and 41 songs/fragments of much of his
finest moments and memories, Paul McCartney, 68, looked refreshed. Perhaps it
was the vitality of a consummate performer or consummate material – most of
which came from his pen. Maybe he enjoys jamming with guys half his age and
soaking in applause (he did the latter without a doubt). By the time 180
minutes passed, McCartney seemed to have just gotten started.

 

Unlike previously recent McCartney shows within the last
twelve years, this tour had a large dollop of rare and hit (and oft maligned)
Wings songs (perhaps) due to the fact that his solo catalog will soon get a
sonic upgrading courtesy Concord Records. Bravo that – if you haven’t heard
“Jet” or “Venus and Mars” since their initial release, this show was a
sensational even shocking re-introduction. While I wasn’t crazy about the
slapdash blues of “Highway,” from his alter ego The Fireman (2008’s Electric Arguments) I was happy he
included their art-slop aesthetic in this program. While “Hey Jude” and “Let it
Be” seemed a wee rote, had he not done them I would’ve shed the teardrops I did
that night in joy because he did do them. I wasn’t wild about him having
performed Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” to end a gorgeously dramatic version
of “A Day in the Life,” McCartney’s tale of hanging with the quiet Beatles and
Paul’s take on the George Harrison-penned “Something” – started quietly on
Harrison’s axe of choice, the ukulele and finished as a roaring elegant epic
-was awe-inspiring and tender. Dag, the guy even picked up an electric and
hammed on Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” with fire and invention and granted one
request, for “Ram On” from the 1971’s Ram with wooly country cool.

 

What else you got Sir Paul?

 

Cuts Notes:

 

*The “Venus and Mars” “Rockshow” medley as a starter: from
supple acoustic guitar licks to swooping synth-whistling arena opera, good
choice. Love the wood block and the band’s lush harmonies. There’s no point in
me repeating this over-and-over. These guys have McCartney’s vocal counterpoint
down, and sweetly, without the fear of aping the Fab Four or Wings.

 

*”Jet” : McCartney and Co. slammed right into this after
“Rockshow” and made it into a stammering soul-glam smash complete with its
chucka-chucka bridge.

 

*”All My Loving”: speeding jangly Beatles songs, hooray.
Thanks Paul for the duck paddling bass line.

 

* “Letting Go”: 
blues-ish pop with that vaguely Asian-themed break. Weird, but
effective. Thinking back on this, McCartney’s Wings era used that nuance quite
a bit. McCartney’s voice has a nice gravelly edge here as opposed to the
sprightliness of his Beatles bit before this…….or after…

 

* “Got to Get you Into My Life”: – McCartney sounds very
kiddish here. Weird because the background is that Beatles Rock Band video
stuff.

 

*”Highway” : Eh.

 

*”Let Me Roll It”: Aww hell no with the big organ rolling
blues – this is damn near Charles Earland. Lots of echo on McCartney’s high
voice. Real stadium-70s-blues and a perfect grouchy fit into…

 

* “Foxy Lady” : The cute one can play an evil sexy guitar
when he feels like it.

 

*”The Long and Winding Road”: Paul switches to piano and
gets all pastoral and pretty with some C&W jazz lines thrown in. Odd that
he comes off like early early Randy Newman here.

 

* “1985” (or “Nineteen Hundred Eighty Five”) : No. Fucking.
Way. This is one of my very faves in his catalog, but stuck as it is at the end
of #Band on the Run# it gets overlooked. Glam-soul-ish and quick shuffling with
McCartney’s voice all clear yet with the tiniest rasp – it’s as if he joined 10
CC for The Original Soundtrack. I can
dream.

 

*”Let ‘Em In”: “Cute. Nice military drum and fife bit.

 

*”My Love” : A corny ballad for sure, but its chords were
contemporary, cool and lovely. Real heart-on-your-sleeve stuff.

 

* “I’m Looking Through You”: Very mod organ. Very jauntily
country-billy. Buck Owens would be proud.

* “Two of Us” : Another favorite – humble tom tom galloping, easy-close harmony
filled plucked pop-grass acoustic number. “You and I have memories longer than
the road that stretches out ahead.” Poignant in so many ways. Plus he
whistled live at the tune’s finale. Awesome.

 

*” Blackbird”: Stark and simple – but most effective tune of
evening – solo acoustic candle-flickering affair. You hear this cliché a lot
but really, the audience’s collective heart stopped and the room fell quiet.

 

* “Here Today”: Acoustic. McCartney wrote this as an
imaginary conversation for John after Lennon’s death. Effective.

 

*”Dance Tonight”: Can’t remember.

 

*”Mrs. Vandebilt” : Wings-McCartney at his character-driven
chamber pop finest.

 

*”Eleanor Rigby”: Beatles-McCartney at his character-driven
chamber pop finest.

 

*”Ram On*: As soon as he picked up the uke you figured he
was heading into a Harrison tune.

Instead, he went sweetly into the Bacharach “Raindrops”
sweep of “Ram On”.

 

*Something”: Else.

 

*”Sing the Chances” : Don’t remember.

*”Band on the Run” then “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La Da”:  just fun to hear.

 

*”Back in the U.S.S.R” – Swift kicking and gutsy.

 

* “”I’ve Got a Feeling” – Slow kicking and gutsy, really
rangy.

 

 

[BY THE WAY, HAS
ANYBODY NOTICED: McCARTNEY HAS A REAL SOLID AND GENUINE MANNER IN WHICH HE
PAIRS LIKE-SOUNDING SONGS TOGETHER. THAT MAY SEEM OBVIOUS, BUT I DARE YOU TO
COUNT ON ONE HAND HOW MAY ARTISTS VET OR NOVICE WHO UNDERSTAND PACE AND
THEMATICS.]

 

 

*”Paperback Writer”: Delirious fun.

 

*”A Day in the Life”/”Give Peace a Chance”: see above.

 

*”Let it Be”: above.

 

*” Live and Let Die”: the grand spy-portion of the program
where all the olds in the front row get frightened by fireworks. Nicely played.

 

*”Hey Jude”: above. McCartney does though still have THE
BEST SCREAM in rock. EVER.

 

*”Day Tripper” then “Lady Madonna” then “Get Back”: Go
ahead, Max Martin and Dr. Luke – pop’s current go to guys. Write enduring
roaring melodies like those back to back.

 

*”Yesterday”: sweet and simple.

 

*”Helter Skelter”: Genuinely manic and shockingly corrosive.
Again with the scream.

 

* Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” into “Carry
That Weight” into “The End”: epic epic epic epic.

 

 

Good night.

 

 

 

Weezer: It’s Not, no it IS about Lost’s Hurley

It’s a mystery almost
as compelling as the entire run of the TV series Lost!

 

By Fred Mills

 

You can tell it’s a slow news day when not only blogs but
mainstream music media outlets like Billboard are jumping what’s got to be pretty marginal stuff with equal vigor. The latter
is reporting that the new Weezer album, due Sept. 14 on Epitaph and titled Hurley (as in, the character “Hurley” on
Lost – see internet mock-up of
proposed album art, above), was in fact not inspired by that show’s Jorge
Garcia but rather by Hurley International, a surf-skate company.

 

Billboard  and New
York Magazine
cite as proof a recent interview with Weezer guitarist Brian
Bell about the origin of the album title. Bell
is quoted as saying:

 

 

“The inspiration came
from a surf company called Hurley, that was funding the record at the beginning
of the recording process. And we actually did some sort of advertisement … I
don’t even know how they’re tied in so much, although, we got some clothes and
we did a photo shoot where we’re wearing these clothes, and I think we’re
selling these clothes in malls. So how that’s tied in, I don’t know. I think
it’s this whole like … tying in different medias,and then using Hurley, the
character from
Lost, which I’ve never seen
in my life, as our mascot almost, for this record, is somewhat postmodernistic
maybe. I hope people don’t look at it as too jokey. Cause it certainly comes
across that way, without reading into it a little more deeply. That’s it as far
as the name and the album cover goes.”

 

Then this morning New
York Magazine
turned around and revealed that after the quote circulated, Bell wound up posting a
retraction on the band’s website:

 

“Recently I did an
interview in Denver
where I was asked why we called the album Hurley. I mistakenly said that Hurley
funded the album. I later found out that it wasn’t true at all. Weezer paid for
every penny of this recording. The reason the record is called “Hurley” is
because Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is on the cover. We thought about leaving the
record untitled for the fourth time, but that causes a lot of problems and he
knew people would end up calling the record “Hurley” anyway. We got no money
for calling the record “Hurley.”

 

So there you have it. We can all rest easy now.

 

 

 

Weezer: It's Not, no it IS about Lost’s Hurley

It’s a mystery almost
as compelling as the entire run of the TV series Lost!

 

By Fred Mills

 

You can tell it’s a slow news day when not only blogs but
mainstream music media outlets like Billboard are jumping what’s got to be pretty marginal stuff with equal vigor. The latter
is reporting that the new Weezer album, due Sept. 14 on Epitaph and titled Hurley (as in, the character “Hurley” on
Lost – see internet mock-up of
proposed album art, above), was in fact not inspired by that show’s Jorge
Garcia but rather by Hurley International, a surf-skate company.

 

Billboard  and New
York Magazine
cite as proof a recent interview with Weezer guitarist Brian
Bell about the origin of the album title. Bell
is quoted as saying:

 

 

“The inspiration came
from a surf company called Hurley, that was funding the record at the beginning
of the recording process. And we actually did some sort of advertisement … I
don’t even know how they’re tied in so much, although, we got some clothes and
we did a photo shoot where we’re wearing these clothes, and I think we’re
selling these clothes in malls. So how that’s tied in, I don’t know. I think
it’s this whole like … tying in different medias,and then using Hurley, the
character from
Lost, which I’ve never seen
in my life, as our mascot almost, for this record, is somewhat postmodernistic
maybe. I hope people don’t look at it as too jokey. Cause it certainly comes
across that way, without reading into it a little more deeply. That’s it as far
as the name and the album cover goes.”

 

Then this morning New
York Magazine
turned around and revealed that after the quote circulated, Bell wound up posting a
retraction on the band’s website:

 

“Recently I did an
interview in Denver
where I was asked why we called the album Hurley. I mistakenly said that Hurley
funded the album. I later found out that it wasn’t true at all. Weezer paid for
every penny of this recording. The reason the record is called “Hurley” is
because Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is on the cover. We thought about leaving the
record untitled for the fourth time, but that causes a lot of problems and he
knew people would end up calling the record “Hurley” anyway. We got no money
for calling the record “Hurley.”

 

So there you have it. We can all rest easy now.

 

 

 

Wowee Zowee, It’s a Pavement Book!

 

Recently-published tribute to the band’s oft-overlooked,
confusing 1995 album, via Continuum’s most excellent 33 1/3 series, natch,
and penned by Bryan Charles.”Unnerving hipster bullshit: courtesy Gerard Cosloy; classic LP sleeve, BLURT hero Steve Keane.

 

By Rev.
Keith A. Gordon

 

Pavement
was, without a doubt, one of the most interesting and influential bands of the
1990s. The band’s so-called “slacker aesthetic,” distinctive lo-fi
sound, and the songwriting genius of frontman/guitarist Stephen Malkmus made
Pavement the flag-bearers for the decade’s indie-rock revolution. The band
released five brilliant albums over the course of a decade, each experiencing
varying encouraging levels of sales, but with their 1995 album Wowee Zowee, Pavement created the kind
of classic album that often outshines a band’s legacy.

 

At the
time of its release, Wowee Zowee confused and infuriated fans and critics alike. Although the album’s material
didn’t veer far from the musical blueprint that Pavement had written with Slanted and Enchanted, the band’s
phenomenal 1992 debut, or 1994’s Crooked
Rain, Crooked Rain
, the 1995 album’s expanded number of songs and
shotgun-blast style of incorporating disparate elements of folk, country, and
jazz music into Pavement’s typical rock ‘n’ roll chaos was met with tentative
elation by the band’s hardcore fans.

 

Count
writer Bryan Charles among those who were initially underwhelmed by the charms
of Wowee Zowee. As he outlines in his
insightful, highly personal account of the album – one of Continuum’s
wonderfully entertaining 33 1/3 book series – it was a couple of years after
the album’s release before he really gave Wowee
Zowee
a fair listen, at which time it “went through me like a blast of
pure light.” It became Charles’ favorite album, its complex and textured
musical and lyrical construction revealing new secrets with each hearing.

 

As such,
Charles approaches his book on the album with the serious intent of the music
journalist and the gleeful abandon of the adoring fanboy. In creating his
narrative on the album, Charles rounded up interviews with all of the major
players, from band members Stephan Malkmus, Scott Kannberg (a/k/a “Spiral
Stairs”), Mark Ibold, Bob Nastanovich, and Steve West to Chris Lombardi of
Matador Records, Warner Music exec Danny Goldberg, Memphis studio engineer Doug
Easley, and album cover artist Steve Keene. In lively prose, Charles manages to
paint a detailed portrait of the making of this classic album that juxtaposes
his own ruminations on the work with the memories and opinions of those
involved in its making.

 

True to
form, the notoriously curmudgeonly Gerard Cosloy of Matador provided Charles a
non-interview, answering his considered questions by email with nonsensical non
sequiturs and unnerving hipster bullshit. In retrospect, Charles would have
been better off holding a séance with the hellbound spirit of Cosloy’s old
buddy G.G. Allin to ask him his opinion of Wowee
Zowee
. Cosloy’s insulting lack of effort rattled Charles’ confidence and
almost derailed the project; luckily Charles carried on and managed to pull an
engaging story out of his other interviewees, even if some of the band members
seem bemused that anybody cares after a decade and a half.

 

Then
again, that’s been the story with Wowee
Zowee
all along…underrated and misunderstood at the time of its release; the
album’s reputation has only grown during the ensuing years. While it remains
the lowest-selling of Pavement’s first four (Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain being the band’s best-selling), Wowee Zowee remains the album of choice
for the band’s enduring faithful. With his entertaining and informative look
behind the scenes, Bryan Charles has enhanced the album’s status as one of the
landmark releases of the 1990s.

              

 

 

 

DJ HERO® 2 Reveals Track Listing

 

Over 100 hits get
the remix treatment for all you aspiring scratchers ‘n’ knob-twiddlers…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Activision has revealed the track listing for the upcoming DJ HERO® 2
game, which arrives Oct. 19. Among the big-name artists included this time
around: Eminen, Lady Gaga, Lil’ Wayne and Dizzee Rascal/Arman Van Helden. Check
out the full list, along with a trailer for the game, below.

 

 

 

  • 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman – “California Love Remix”
  • 50 Cent – “In Da Club”
  • Adamski – “Killer”
  • Afrika Bambaataa and The Soul Sonic Force – “Planet Rock”
  • Armand Van Helden – “I Want Your Soul”
  • A-Trak – “Say Whoa”
  • B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars – “Nothin’ On You”
  • Basement Jaxx – “Where’s Your Head At”
  • BlakRoc feat. Pharoahe Monch & RZA – “Dollaz & Sense”
  • Busta Rhymes – “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”
  • Calvin Harris – “I’m Not Alone”
  • Chamillionaire – “Ridin'”
  • Chic – “Good Times”
  • Chic – “Le Freak”
  • Clinton Sparks,
    DJ Class, & Jermaine Dupri – “Favorite DJ”
  • Daft Punk – “Human After All”
  • Damian Marley – “Welcome To Jamrock”
  • David Guetta & Chris Willis – “Love Is Gone”
  • David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi – “Memories”
  • David Guetta vs. The Egg – “Love Don’t Let Me Go (Walking Away)”
  • Deadmau5 – “Ghosts N Stuff”
  • Deadmau5 & Kaskade – “I Remember”
  • Deee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart”
  • Dillinja and Skibadee – “Twist ‘Em Out”
  • Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden – “Bonkers”
  • DJ Qbert – “Super Battle Breaks”
  • DJ Shadow – “Midnight In A Perfect World”
  • DJ Shadow feat. Q-Tip and Lateef The Truth Speaker – “Enuff (DJ Fresh
    Remix)”
  • Donna Summer – “Bad Girls”
  • Edwin Starr – “War”
  • Eminem – “Not Afraid”
  • Estelle feat. Kanye West – “American Boy”
  • Flo Rida – “Low”
  • Flo Rida feat. Will.I.Am – “In The Ayer”
  • Gorillaz feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack – “Stylo”
  • Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Duke
    Bootee – “The Message”
  • Harold Faltermeyer – “Axel F”
  • House Of Pain – “Jump Around”
  • Iyaz – “Replay”
  • Janet Jackson
    – “Nasty”
  • Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.”
  • Justice – “Waters Of Nazareth”
  • Kanye West – “Heartless”
  • Kanye West – “Love Lockdown”
  • Kaskade & Deadmau5 – “Move For Me”
  • Kelis – “Acapella (David Guetta Extended Mix)”
  • Kool & The Gang – “Jungle Boogie”
  • Lady Gaga – “Lovegame”
  • Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”
  • Lady Gaga feat. Colby O’Donis – “Just Dance”
  • Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz feat. Ying Yang Twins – “Get Low”
  • Lil’ Wayne – “Go DJ”
  • Lil’ Wayne
    feat. Static Major – “Lollipop”
  • LL Cool J – “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”
  • M.I.A. – “Galang”
  • M|A|R|R|S – “Pump Up The Volume”
  • Major Lazer feat. VYBZ Kartel – “Pon De Floor”
  • Malcolm McLaren – “Buffalo Gals”
  • Metallica – “The Day That Never Comes”
  • Missy Elliott – “Get Ur Freak On”
  • MSTRKRFT feat. N.O.R.E. – “Bounce”
  • Nas feat. Keri Hilson – “Hero”
  • Naughty By Nature – “O.P.P.”
  • Nelly – “Hot In Herre”
  • New Boyz – “You’re A Jerk”
  • New Order – “Blue Monday”
  • Newcleus – “Jam On It”
  • Nightcrawlers – “Push The Feeling On (MK Mix 95)”
  • Orbital – “The Box”
  • Pirate Soundsystem – “Bashy Bashy”
  • Pitbull – “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”
  • Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes – “Don’t Cha”
  • Rihanna – “Pon De Replay”
  • Rihanna – “Rude Boy”
  • Robin S – “Show Me Love (Stonebridge Radio Edit)”
  • Salt N Pepa – “Push It”
  • Sam Cooke – “Chain Gang”
  • Sam Sparro – “B&G” a/k/a “Black & Gold”
  • Sean Paul – “Infiltrate”
  • Sean Paul – “Get Busy”
  • Snoop Dogg – “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?”
  • Snow – “Informer”
  • Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em – “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”
  • Sparfunk & D-Code – “Apocalypse”
  • Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”
  • Talib Kweli – “Get By”
  • The Chemical Brothers – “Leave Home”
  • The Chemical Brothers feat. Q-Tip – “Galvanize”
  • The Crystal Method – “Busy Child (Still Busy After All These Years
    Remix)”
  • The Jackson
    5 – “ABC”
  • The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Mase & Diddy – “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems”
  • The Prodigy – “Omen”
  • The Prodigy – “Firestarter”
  • Tiësto – “Speed Rail”
  • Tiësto & Sneaky Sound System – “I Will Be Here”
  • Tiësto vs Diplo – “Come On”
  • Tiga – “You Gonna Want Me”
  • Timbaland feat. Drake – “Say Something”
  • Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson & D.O.E. – “The Way I Are”
  • Tweet feat. Missy Elliott – “Oops (Oh My)”
  • Walter Murphy – “A Fifth Of Beethoven”
  • Warren G feat. Nate Dogg – “Regulate”
  • Wayne Smith – “Under Mi Sleng Teng”
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix )”
  • Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West – “Put On”

 

 

Zola Jesus EP, Tours Coming

 

Like blonde on blonde, but better…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Zola Jesus will
release a new EP Valusia on
October 12, 2010 via Sacred Bones Records. Zola Jesus will also do a full US this
fall tour including three weeks supporting The xx. In addition to turning 21 recently, she also graduated
college with a double major, and left her home of Wisconsin
for Los Angeles.
Zola Jesus additionally attained
some crucial career milestones since her last EP. She will be heading out on
her first proper tours this fall, (three of them back-to-back, actually)
supporting Fever Ray and Xiu Xiu abroad and The xx stateside.

 

She has also worked with a producer (Chris Coady) for the
first time, the fruits of which labor appear here on the first track, “Poor
Animal” – featuring Cult of Youth
member Christiana Key on violin.
Gone are the morose, gothic lo-vibes and in their place is an airy almost dance
track that still sounds as true to form as other endeavor Danilova has ever
undertaken. An old hit and recent show-stopper live track, “Sea Talk” has been
re-recorded as well and this new well mic’d version is breathtakingly good.
There will be a video coming for that soon too directed by Jacqueline Castel.
Closer, “Lightsick” is a straight piano ballad. Not synth, real piano. And for
her darker fans, “Tower” still has that Mad Maxian apocalypse creep we know and
love. Additionally the artwork for this record presents a softer, blonder ZJ as
photographed by her mother in the woods near their home.

 

 

 

TRACK LISTING

1. Poor Animal

2. Tower

3. Sea Talk

4. Lightsick

 

 

** CD will include bonus videos for “Night” off the
previously released Stridulum and “Clay Bodies” from The Spoils both
directed by Jacqueline Castel

 

 

TOUR
DATES

 

09.22 Los Angeles, CA
@ Hollywood Palladium*

09.23 Oakland, CA
@ Fox Theater*

09.24 Portland,
OR @ Holocene

09.25 Seattle,
WA @ Paramount Theatre*

09.28 Chicago,
IL @ Chicago Theatre*

09.29 Detroit,
MI @ The CAID

09.30 Toronto,
ON @ The Garrison

10.01 Montreal,
QC @ Place Des Arts Maissoneuve*

10.02 New York,
NY @ United Palace Theatre*

10.04 Philadelphia,
PA @ Merriam Theatre*

10.05 Washington
DC @ 9:30 Club*

10.06 Atlanta,
GA @ Tabernacle*

10.07 Memphis,
TN @ Hi-Tone Cafe

10.08 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theatre*

10.09 Austin, TX @ Red 7

10.11 Phoenix,
AZ @ Trunkspace

10.13 San Diego,
CA @ Soda Bar

 

* w/
The xx

 

 

PLAY FOR TODAY: VIDEO GAMES / AARON BURGESS

Column #9: Mafia II, Kane & Lynch 2:
Dog Days, And Yet It Moves, Grease The Video Game, Ivy The Kiwi?, Madden NFL
11. Incidentally, don’t miss the debut of “Play For Today – The Print Version”
in the Fall 2010 issue of BLURT, due on newsstands in mid September.

 

By Aaron Burgess

 

Mafia II

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Developer: 2K Czech / Publisher: 2K
Games

ESRB Rating: M

 

Becoming
a wiseguy ain’t all it’s cracked up to be: For every step you take toward
made-manhood, there’s a bigger chance you’ll be betrayed, ripped off or whacked
by the up-and-coming gangsters beneath you. So when you step into the shoes of Mafia II‘s complex, conflicted lead
character, Vito Scaletta, you do so with the accompanying
psychological weight of being in “the family.”

 

The
sequel-in-name-only to 2002’s 1930s-era hit Mafia, Mafia II starts in the
winter of 1945, when Vito, home on leave from the service, is an immigrant son
looking to get his family a piece of the American dream. And, with help from a
few friends with ties to La Famiglia,
that’s just what he does over the ensuing years during which the game takes
place, in just the crooked ways any Goodfellas fan would expect. (Unlike Henry Hill, however, Vito is a surprisingly
sympathetic character.)

 

The
game’s fictional city, Empire Bay,
comes to life with period detail that extends from the snippets of anti-Hitler
propaganda heard on the radio to the gaudy ’50s-era decor that gives Vito’s pad
a touch of, er, class. Though the basic story is typical Mafia fare – young
gangster moves up in the business, evades whacking along the way-the realism
with which it’s conveyed pulls you into Vito’s story. Add top-notch animation
and voice acting, and you feel like you’re in the sandbox with Scorsese. Until
you get to the gameplay, at least.

 

 

Though
it has all the trappings of a sandbox game, Mafia
II
is organized around missions, which means you can free-roam your way
through Empire Bay only insofar as it gets you to the next job-or, depending on
how good you are at evading the law, the next police stop. This causes
frustration when you’re itching to interact with your environment and end up
hitting an invisible wall instead.

 

Divided
by some incredible cutscenes, the action in Mafia
II
is standard third-person shooter fare, which means you’ll spend your
time shooting, punching, hiding and crouching (not to mention driving-a whole
lot of driving) to complete missions. You’ll do a lot of mundane stuff just to
make it through the day, of course-and it’s the inherent potential of these
routine activities that, explored to its fullest, could help the next Mafia become more than just a great
shooter.

 

Rating: 8

 

 

 

 

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Developer: IO Interactive / Publisher: Square Enix

ESRB Rating: M

 

The
uneven (and, in some cases, controversial) critical response to 2007’s Kane
& Lynch: Dead Men
made it seem as though the nascent franchise might ironically realize its title
right out of the gate. So consider it surprising that Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is arriving so soon after its
predecessor-particularly since the game doesn’t fix the wonky fundamentals that
hampered Dead Men‘s potential.

 

Aesthetically,
Dog Days hits all the right buttons,
amplifying the grimy world of Adam “Kane” Marcus and James Seth Lynch
through intentionally amateurish camera work that makes it feel as though you’ve
stumbled into a bootleg documentary on the two criminals. (Depending on the
scenario, you may also feel like you’re watching a torture video.) Set in Shanghai’s underbelly, Dog Days magnifies the city’s seedier
aspects to a nauseating degree, and adds enough profanity, gore and wanton
violence to make even a sociopath feel dirty behind the controls. Unpleasant
stuff, to be sure-but it really works in making the game get under your skin.

 

 

You
play the basic campaign as Lynch, re-teaming with estranged partner-in-crime
Kane for the proverbial “one last job” that, of course, takes you
both 180 degrees from what’s expected. Despite an attempted emotional subplot,
neither character has gotten any more likable since the Dead Men days-and the basic strategy of “shoot, kill, don’t
look back” doesn’t instill much depth in either. Compounding things, your
enemies pack frustratingly smart AI and a cover system that rivals your own,
and with a few exceptions (hint: go for the shotgun), your weapons don’t live
up to their promise. You wind up on a playing field that feels unnecessarily
level, especially since there’s nowhere else to go beyond it.

 

Luckily,
Dog Days‘ single-player repetition
gets broken up with a handful of co-op, multiplayer and Arcade modes, the best
of which (the returning Arcade mode “Fragile Alliance“) finds you playing the subtleties
of a tenuous multiplayer relationship that could turn traitorous at any moment.
It’s a fun way to get mileage out of the single-player campaign, so here’s
hoping the game’s developers decide to add more of this type of substance to
their style the next time around.

Rating: 6

 

 

And
Yet It Moves

Platform: Wii
(WiiWare)

Developer: Broken Rules

ESRB Rating: E

 

Already available on PC, And Yet It Moves delivers a new
experience-whose tactile feel arguably comes closer to the game’s intent-in its
newly released WiiWare form. The award-winning indie game, whose title lifts
from the Galileo quote “Eppur si muove,” plants you in a fantastical world
that literally looks like remnants cobbled together from an artist’s studio:
Pencil-drawn figures, ripped-paper backgrounds, cardboard scraps and crumpled
textures abound.

 

Physics, meanwhile, is the science that
makes And Yet It Moves‘ art truly,
well, moving. As you run and jump in standard left-right formation throughout
the platformer, you can rotate your entire world up to 180 degrees to reach
seemingly unattainable goals. What sounds easy in theory turns into quote the
challenge in execution: Your momentum stays constant no matter which way your
world turns (no easy braking system here, pal) and you can easily do yourself
in by miscalculating the degree to which your world turns.

 

Rating: 8

 

 

Ivy
the Kiwi?

Platforms: Wii, Nintendo DS

Developer: Prope / Publisher: XSEED
Games

ESRB Rating: E

 

Do one thing very well: That’s the concept
Ivy the Kiwi? developer Pope seems to
have taken with this unique little platformer, and it pays off in the game’s
Zen-like simplicity. You don’t play so much “as” the game’s titular
character as with her-Ivy is a cute kiwi hatchling in search of her mum, and it’s
your job to guide her from point A though points B, C and beyond by “drawing”
vines on the screen. (In the DS, you do this with your stylus, while the Wii
version lets you use your Wii Remote to point and click.)

 

Hazards abound, of course, so Ivy’s
journey is beset with creatures and pitfalls of all shapes and sizes-but beyond
merely drawing paths around these dangers, you can create obstacles and simple
machines that send Ivy over and around them. The basic game is simple enough
that even novices can pick it up and start playing, but you can add up to three
friends in multiplayer mode to enjoy deeper challenges and team up for even
more inventive obstacle-dodging fun.

 

 

Visually, the game is just as delightful,
thanks to an artistic vision that grafts the warm, hand-spun feel of an A.A. Milne storybook onto the kooky platforming style of Kirby:
Canvas Curse
.
However, despite any similarities to worlds we’ve seen before, Ivy the Kiwi? offers a new experience,
complete with new challenges whose complexity (the later levels in particular
will test your dexterity’s limits) is couched in simple pleasure.

 

Rating: 8

 

 

Madden NFL 11

Platforms: Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3, PS2, PSP,
PC, Nintendo DS, iOS

Developer: EA Tiburon / Publisher: EA Sports

ESRB Rating: E

 

The
annual release of a new Madden title
is as much an event as the Super Bowl that defines the game’s money shot-more
so, if you consider that Madden NFL 11 will keep you busy long after Feb. 6 has come and gone.

 

As in
years past, developer EA Tiburon has packed enough obsessive detail and
(artificial) intelligence into this year’s Madden to rival the experience of running your own NFL franchise. Of all the nuances,
play calling gets the most attention in Madden
NFL 11
, via the new “GameFlow” option that draws its logic from actual NFL game plans as well as
from the real-life tendencies of each team. Though it’s less a cheat sheet than
a new layer of realism, GameFlow significantly cuts your time in the huddle,
which means games that previously took an hour-plus can be wrapped in half an
hour.

 

 

The
ultra-realism also extends to the most basic player controls, thanks to tweaks
that fine-tune everything from your sprinting speed to the capability of your blockers.
This, of course, is just the view from your end of the controller-with a new Online Team Play experience (just one of Madden NFL 11‘s online features), up to
three players can share responsibility for winning the game-or getting
smack-talked out of it.

 

Rating: 9

 

Grease: The Official Video Game

Platforms: Wii, Nintendo DS

Developer: Zoë
Mode
/Big
Head Games
/ Publisher: 505
Games

ESRB Rating: E10+

 

If a
video-game version of Grease never existed, would we need to invent
one? Probably not, but when you get past its oddball premise, Grease: The Official Video Game works
well enough as a simple party game to be, er, the one that you want.

 

Combining
karaoke-style play with simple mini-games and calorie-burning events, Grease casts an ambitious net across
generations and playing styles. Sure, you’ll appreciate the game more if you
already have a social context for the world of Pink Ladies and T-Birds (Mom and
Dad, we’re looking at you), but the variety of challenges ensures that even Grease newbies can find an outlet at
Rydell High.

 

Feel
like channeling your inner John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John? Pick up your
Wii-compatible USB mic and start belting. Got an urge to do the hand jive? The
dance competition awaits you. Ready for a race? Hit Thunder Road and go, go, Greased
Lightnin’. Replay value may not be stellar, but for those who tend to break out
their consoles primarily for special occasions, Grease is the word.

 

Rating: 7

 

 

***

 

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

 

 

 

Blurt’s Video Game Guide #9

 

Announcing the latest installment in our
“Play For Today” series of video game reviews. This time out we take on Mafia
II, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, And Yet It Moves, Grease The Video Game, Ivy
The Kiwi?, Madden NFL 11. Incidentally, don’t miss the debut of “Play For Today
– The Print Version” in the Fall 2010 issue of BLURT, due on newsstands in mid
September.

 

 By Blurt Staff

 

Head over to
BLURT blogger Aaron Burgess’ “Play For Today” blog – he’s just posted some
action-packed (term used relatively and literally) reviews of a slew of more
top-rated games. Included are his own ratings plus screenshots – like the ones
below – and trailers. Game on!

 

(above) Grease

 

Mafia II

 

Kane & Lynch
II: Dog Days

 

Ane Yet It Moves

 

Ivy the Kiwi?

 

Madden NFL 11