Monthly Archives: December 2010

Watch Flaming Lips NY Eve Show Online

 

Also, Gogol Bordello
live show on Jan. 1.

 

By Fred Mills

 

If you’re too snowed in to travel or simply didn’t make
plans to spend your New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma
City, you can still take in tonight’s big
ring-in-the-new bash being hosted by the Flaming Lips, which was predicted by
Wayne Coyne
to be a “freakout.”

 

RollingStone.com and iClips will be streaming the concert
tonight
starting at 10 pm EST, which means you’ll get the main show as well as
the full performance of 1999’s The Soft
Bulletin
at midnight. If you miss it (because you’re out at a party or a
club, duh), no worries – they’ll re-stream the show Sunday night, Jan. 2, at 9 pm
EST.

 

Meanwhile, tomorrow, on New Year’s Day RS will also be
streaming
some live swag, with a “special artist to be announced” for the 6 pm
time slot, followed by Gogol Bordello at 9pm playing live at NYC’s Terminal 5.

 

 

 

 

M.I.A. Offers Free Mixtape Download

 

All the world is
asking, Who is Vicki Leekx? Hint: say it out loud, rapidly, in a fake German
accent.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Sure, M.I.A. was one of 2010’s more annoying celebrities,
sticking her foot where a microphone should be more often than not. And sure,
her 2010 album Maya was easily one of
the worst releases of the year, a musical mess on par with the new Hole album.
(How bad was it? We bought it on sale at Target for $9.99 then traded it in at
the local Disc Exchangers store a week later and we were happy to get $3.50 in trade
credit that we could apply to a live Clash bootleg.)

 

But none of that should hold you back from nabbing the
freebie M.I.A. posted online today as a New Year’s Eve gift: the Vicki Leekx mixtape is available for the
price of an email addy over at the new VickiLeekx.com webpage. (Thanks to
Pitchfork for the tip.) As you can see from the image below, if features an
array of ace producers including M.I.A. herself and includes unreleased
material along with Maya outtakes.
Hey, maybe they’re better than the original album tracks!

 

Boney M’s Bobby Farrell 1949-2010 RIP

 

Passed away following
concert in Russia.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

The BBC is reporting that Roberto “Bobby” Alfonso Farrell,
frontman for ‘70s/’80s disco/pop hitmakers Boney M, has passed away at the age
of 61 from as-yet-undisclosed causes. Farrell’s body was found today, Dec. 30,
in his St. Petersburg, Russia, hotel room; he had
apparently “complained of breathing problems” both prior to and after a show on
Wednesday night.

 

While Boney M (“Daddy Cool,” “Rivers of Babylon” and
perennial holiday favorite “Mary’s Boy Child”) broke up in the mid ‘80s, in
recent years Farrell revived the group as Bobby Farrell’s Boney M and toured
regularly. The past decade saw a slew of best-selling Boney M compilation CDs,
and the group frequently cropped up on disco “hits” collections as well.

 

[Photo Credit: Erwin Winkelman/ via Wikimedia Commons]

 

Listen to Rare Early Live R.E.M. at NPR

 

Listen to NPR special
on “Radio Free Europe” as well as a rare early
recording.

 

By Fred Mills

 

You can call it an indie rock success story, and then some:
this year the Library of Congress welcomed R.E.M.’s seminal ’81 debut “Radio
Free Europe” – the Hib-Tone 45, not the later album version – to the archives
as one of the National Recording Registry’s 25 annual selections. “Historic and
aesthetic” importance are the core selection trivia, and there’s no doubt that
song qualifies.

 

The band’s in pretty impressive company, too: among the pop rock
artists to be honored in 2010
are Patti Smith (Horses), Loretta Lynn (“Coal Miner’s Daughter), Willie Nelson (RedHeaded Stranger), Little Richard (“Tutti
Frutti”) and 2Pac (“Dear Mama”).

 

Meanwhile, recently over at NPR’s award-winning “Studio 360” there
was a feature on R.E.M. being selected for the Library recently, with DJ Mike
Henry, producer Mitch Easter and bassist Mike Mills included with the
interviews. You can download or listen to a 7-minute podcast of the broadcast
at the Studio360.org site.

 

But wait, there’s more: they also have uploaded to the site
a stream of one of R.E.M.’s earliest concerts, recorded live in 1981 at Tyrone’s
in Athens.
Clocking in at around 75 minutes, it’s never been officially released, although
a tape of the show has been in circulation for ages. Yours truly first got a
copy in ’82 and it was a mainstay in tape trading circles ever since. With good
reason: as a very early AND a high-quality soundboard recording, it’s long been
considered by fans and collectors to be a key piece of the R.E.M. puzzle.

 

Black Angels Confirm Austin Psych Fest

Among the performers are a who’s-who
of cranium-crunching avatars:
The Black Angels, Spectrum, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dead Meadow,

Atlas Sound, Prefuse 73 and more.

 

By Blurt
Staff

 

With the Black Angels’ 2010 album Phosphene Dream still ringing and
buzzing loudly in the ears of fans, the band recently announced, along with the
Reverberation Appreciation Society, the dates, location and initial lineup for
Austin Psych Fest 4. The 4th annual festival will be held at The East Side
Drive In, an outside venue in the heart of downtown Austin from April 29 – May 1, 2011.

 

Spanning the full range of the psych
sounds, the festival honors the past while also magnifying the modern vanguard
of mind-expanding music. The festival grounds will feature a multi-stage setup
and wide-open spaces for you to stretch out and enjoy live performances from
these bands and many more to be announced:

 

The Black Angels

Spectrum

Black Moth Super Rainbow

Dead Meadow

Atlas Sound

Prefuse 73

Crystal Stilts

Sleepy Sun

Black Ryder

Tobacco

The Growlers

White Hills

Fresh and Onlys

Pontiak

The Night Beats

The Cult of Dom Keller

Vacant Lots

 

On January 13, the second round of
lineup announcements, info on discounted early bird tickets and a new website
with detailed festival information will be issued. A DVD is of Austin Psych
Fest 3 is available now. It features highlight performances from the 2010
festival. Bands in the film include The Raveonettes, The Black Angels, Silver
Apples, Warpaint, Spindrift, The Warlocks, Pink Mountaintops, Headdress, Ringo
Deathstarr and more.

 

The film was shot in multiple formats
including HD, Super 8, and the PXL cam. Packaging and design was created by by
Christian Bland and Rob Fitzpatrick and features the posters from the three-day
series. It was produced and directed by Oswald James with live audio recorded
and mixed by The Pirate Studio.

 

More details: www.austinpsychfest.com

 

 

Dubious Rumor Dept.: ABBA Reunion

 

What are the odds,
indeed?

 

By Fred Mills

 

In a masterstroke of preemptive spin, NME.com today floated
a rumor
– or, more accurately, “created a rumor by placing a quote out of
context” – that ABBA might reunite in the near future. They quote vocalist
Agnetha Faltskog as saying in an interview with M Magazine,

 

“A reunion, an
occasional opportunity, maybe in connection with a charity event, I believe we
could consider it. We would not reunite for a tour like The Rolling Stones and
other old bands do now. However, I could see us doing something together in the
future. It is just a feeling I have that it would be fun to get together, talk
a bit about the past and maybe perform together.”

 

The fine print: Agnetha hasn’t actually talked to the other
erstwhile ABBA embers Bjorn Ulvaes, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Prinzessin
Reuss von Plauen. Hey, 1 out of 4 ain’t bad! NME goes on to note that British oddsmakers are giving odds
of 66-1 for ABA
playing the Royal Wedding on April 29.

 

Feelies Prepping New Album

 

Pictured above, left to right are:
Glenn Morrow (Bar/None Records), Sean Kelly, Glenn Mercer and Bill Million.

 

 

By
Blurt Staff

 

 

New Jersey indie legends the
Feelies have completed mixing their new album, working  at Water Music in Hoboken. Sean Kelly engineered and Bill
Million and Glenn Mercer are producers. Some of the new songs recorded include
“Nobody Knows,” and “Should Be Gone.” 
The as-yet-untitled album will be released on Bar/None in late March.
This will be the first new Feelies’ album release since 1991’s Time For A Witness.

 

The classic Feelies lineup of Glenn Mercer,
Bill Million, Dave Weckerman, Brenda Sauter, and Stanley Demeski reunited at
Battery Park in NYC on July 4th, 2008 opening for Sonic Youth, performing their
first show since 1991 and this is the line-up that’s recorded the new album.

 

To
celebrate the 30 anniversary of the release of Crazy Rhythms, The Feelies performed their debut album at the All
Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in Monticello NY in 2009.  Crazy
Rhythms
and The Good Earth were
re-released by Bar/None Records that same month.

 

MP3: New Album Track by Acid House Kings

Fifth studio album to arrive on
March 22. Check out free MP3, below.

 

By Blurt
Staff

 

It’s been
nearly 6 years since Sweden’s
Acid House Kings released their Sing
Along With Acid House Kings
classic. Now word arrives that the long-overdue
followup is due for March 22, titled Music
Sounds Better With You,
on Labrador.

 

 “We’ve allowed ourselves to be extremely
self-critical. Songs good enough for any of our other albums have been
discarded repeatedly,” says bandmember Johan Angergård. Acid House Kings first
started the recording of Music Sounds Better with You in 2008, but after
three months and with more than half the album finished they decided to scrap
it. The reason? The trio wasn’t completely sure they would top their previous
album and considered the songs too dark and not melodic enough for The Kings. Member
Niklas Angergård (Johan’s brother) states, “The old saying good songs sound
good on an acoustic guitar’ holds true. Most songs never enter the studio, they
are scrapped in the living room sofa!”

 

After taking a break from recording,
Johan went on to record the much darker album Over and Over with The
Legends, while Niklas continued to polish his song writing for the Kings. In
the beginning of 2010 Acid House Kings once again had Johan’s full attention
and he returned with new inspiration, a brighter mood and numerous newly penned
songs. According to the band, the new album is “sharper, catchier and livelier”
and a “goodbye to genre obligations”.

 

MP3:

      Are We Lovers or Are We Friends

 

 

The new album was temporarily named A
Family Affair
, and a first taste from the album, “Are We Lovers or Are We Friends?” was released on December 7th and became an immediate success. Click on the link above to download the track.

 

 

 

 

Ari Up Memorial Set for Jan. 16

Fiery Slits singer
will be feted by a who’s-who of underground luminaries.

 

By Fred Mills

 

A benefit in honor of the memory of Slits/True Warriors
frontwoman Ari Up (a/k/a Ariane Forster) will take place Jan. 16 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg
in Brooklyn. The flamboyant musician passed
away, reportedly from cancer, on October 20; read the Blurt obituary as well as
a lengthy interview conducted with her several years ago. The event will be a
benefit for Ari’s family.

 

Vivien Goldman, Dunia Best, Aram Sinnreich and friends are
throwing a “PUNKY REGGAE PARTY” featuring a host of musicians: original and
current members of the Slits, including Tessa Pollitt, Hollie Cook, Neneh
Cherry and Anna Ozawa; Bruce Smith of PiL and the Slits; members of the
Slackers, Brave New Girl, and Band Droidz;  legendary Beefheart guitarist
Gary Lucas, Afro-Punk avatar Tamar-Kali, King Django, Felice Rosser of Faith,
Honeychild Coleman, Barbara Gogan, Sherelene Nubro, Lisa Samuels and many
luminaries from the punk and reggae worlds. They’ll be backed by the True
Warriors performing classic Slits hits and dancehall originals by Ari Up. Also
taking place will be lyrical Readings
by Michael Patrick McDonald and Greg Tate.

 

Details and ticketing info http://bit.ly/ariupshow .

 

 

Coltrane On Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews

(Chicago
Review Press)

 

www.chicagoreviewpress.com

 

BY JOHN SCHACHT

 

In the 1960s, Ralph J. Gleason’s All That Jazz public television series typically kicked off with
the renowned jazz critic conducting a brief interview leading into the featured
guests’ half-hour televised sets. But for the John Coltrane Quartet’s 1963
appearance, Gleason told the audience that Coltrane “feels that the music
itself speaks far more fluently than any human ever could,” and the quartet
then launched into “Alabama,”
the saxophonist’s elegy to four girls murdered in a KKK church bombing that
year. Over the next five minutes, it was clear to anyone with ears: a more
eloquent epitaph could never have been written with words.

 

Unlike some of his jazz giant contemporaries — Charles
Mingus and Miles Davis, for starters – John Coltrane never penned an
autobiography before he died of liver cancer at the age of just 40 in 1967. In
fact, Coltrane was a reluctant, if polite, interview subject in general. Still,
for fans of a musician whose playing seemed to emanate straight from some
universal soul, there is an insatiable desire to know more about Coltrane. That
remains true for every successive generation of fans who discover a musician
whose creative and spiritual search was embodied in the music he played.

 

So for fans of the man and legend, Coltrane On Coltrane (Chicago Review Press) — an anthology, edited
by Chris DeVito, of Coltrane’s known interviews, personal writings, liner notes
and reminiscences from friends and family — should supply at least a few
answers. Presented chronologically, this is Trane in his own words, in
interviews and feature stories with notable American jazz writers like Leonard
Feather, Ira Gitler and Nat Hentoff, and a host of European and Japanese
interviewers; in letters to fans (!) and family; and in liner notes to LPs like
A Love Supreme and Meditations.

 

Over 350-plus pages, we read Coltrane expound on:

 

His
admiration for forebear Charlie Parker
: “The first time I heard Bird
play, it hit me right between the eyes. … (Parker) had me strung up. He was
way ahead of me and I had trouble just to keep up with him. Parker did all the
things I would like to do and more – he really had a genius, see. He could do
things and he could them melodiously so that anybody, the man in the street,
could hear – that’s what I haven’t reached.” (Interview with Bjorn Fremer,
1960)

 

How
religion and philosophy affected his playing
: “I think the majority
of musicians are interested in truth, you know – they, well, they’ve got to be
because a thing, a musical thing, is
a truth. If you play and make a statement, a musical statement, and it’s a
valid statement, that’s a truth right there in itself….so in order to play
those kinds of things, to play truth, you’ve got to live with as much truth as
you possibly can. (Interview with August Blume, 1955)

 

“I want to be a force for real good. In other words, I know there are bad forces. You know, I
know that there are forces out here that bring suffering to others and misery
to the world, but I want to be the opposite force. I want to be the force which
is truly for good.” (Interview with Frank Kofsky, 1966)

 

On race
as a factor in jazz
: “This problem … is not at the racial level but
at the individual level. I don’t know any criteria that can differentiate a
white musician from a back one; in any case, I don’t believe they exist…it has
nothing to do with questions of skin color.” (Interview with Jean Clouzet and
Michel Delorme, 1962)

 

On his
embrace of more avant-garde jazz
: “The real risk is not
changing. I have to feel that I’m after something. If I make money, fine. But
I’d rather be striving. It’s the striving, man, it’s that I want.” (Interview
with Newsweek, 1967)

 

On the
criticism he received from jazz writers for turning to avant-garde jazz
: “In
this article in Down Beat, I asked, I
asked if any of you men were interested in, you know, trying to understand,
let’s get together and let’s talk about it, you know? I felt if they were
really genuinely interested or thought there was something here, that they –
instead of just condemning it, what you don’t know about it, if you want to
discuss it, let’s talk about it. But no one ever, you know, came forth…I said,
‘Well, it could be a real drag to a cat’s career, if he figures this is
something that he won’t be able to cope with and he won’t be able to write
about,’ you see, and if he can’t write about it, he can’t make a living at
this; and then I realized that, so, I quieted down. I didn’t, I wouldn’t allow
myself to become too hostile (laughs)
back, you know, in return.” (Kofsky, 1966)

 

Equally compelling, if not more so, are quotes from Coltrane
that render the legend human. Like his confession that he wished he had “three
times the sexual prowess” he did, or how his turn to vegetarianism helped him
get command of his “passions and emotions.” What comes across page after page
is Coltrane’s genuine humility. He has only kind things to say about his
contemporaries, whether they are traditionalists like Coleman Hawkins and Ben
Webster, or more adventurous players and composers like Mingus and Albert
Ayler. 

 

Still, there is little here that hasn’t been covered in the
biographies – the best of which are probably J.C. Thomas’ Chasin’ the Trane and Cuthbert Simpkins’ Coltrane: A Biography.  There
is also a fair amount of redundancy in the interviews, and an awful lot of
insider information that won’t mean much to casual admirers, and enough technical
talk to dumbfound those who don’t play music. 
Because he was in essence a very private man, there is precious little
about Coltrane’s debilitating heroin and alcohol dependencies that got him
kicked out of Davis’
first great quintet, and eventually caused him to sober up. Additionally,
including liner notes for readers who presumably already own A Love Supreme and Meditations is really just wasting paper.

 

A slightly fuller portrait of Coltrane emerges in these
pages, but what held true then holds true now: Coltrane’s music says everything
you need to know about the man.