Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ranaldo & Ribot For Ellnora Guitar Fest

Paying tribute to silent film heroes Buster Keaton and
Charlie Chaplin.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo will
perform a solo suspended guitar score for Buster Keaton’s 1922 silent
film Cops at the upcoming Ellnora Guitar Festival, Sept. 9 in Urbana, Illinois.

 

Ranaldo’s score will feature
the suspended guitar phenomena of this American musician/record producer/visual
artist, while Ribot (Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, John Zorn, etc.) will
share the bill, performing his score to Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, which
was commissioned by the New York Guitar
Festival. The opening titles to Chaplin’s 1921 masterpiece describe
the story as “a picture with a smile, and perhaps a tear,” and the film is
notable for its bittersweet combination of comedy and drama. 

 

Ribot returns to the festival
later that evening for a set featuring his band Los Cubanos Postizos. Other artists appearing at ELLNORA include Calexico, My
Brightest Diamond, Richard Thompson, Daniel Lanois’ Black
Dub, Sharon Isbin, Taj Mahal, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Adrian
Belew, Robert Randolph, The Tony Rice Unit, Cindy Cashdollar, and many
more.

 

The Ellnora Guitar Festival
at Krannert Center runs Sept. 8-10 – more details at
www.ellnoraguitarfestival.com .

 

 

Ranaldo & Ribot For Ellnora Guitar Fest

Paying tribute to silent film heroes Buster Keaton and
Charlie Chaplin.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo will
perform a solo suspended guitar score for Buster Keaton’s 1922 silent
film Cops at the upcoming Ellnora Guitar Festival, Sept. 9 in Urbana, Illinois.

 

Ranaldo’s score will feature
the suspended guitar phenomena of this American musician/record producer/visual
artist, while Ribot (Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, John Zorn, etc.) will
share the bill, performing his score to Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, which
was commissioned by the New York Guitar
Festival. The opening titles to Chaplin’s 1921 masterpiece describe
the story as “a picture with a smile, and perhaps a tear,” and the film is
notable for its bittersweet combination of comedy and drama. 

 

Ribot returns to the festival
later that evening for a set featuring his band Los Cubanos Postizos. Other artists appearing at ELLNORA include Calexico, My
Brightest Diamond, Richard Thompson, Daniel Lanois’ Black
Dub, Sharon Isbin, Taj Mahal, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Adrian
Belew, Robert Randolph, The Tony Rice Unit, Cindy Cashdollar, and many
more.

 

The Ellnora Guitar Festival
at Krannert Center runs Sept. 8-10 – more details at
www.ellnoraguitarfestival.com .

 

 

Lingua Musica/Blurt Say: Brian McGee!

 

Taped Thursday, May 26
at the Grey Eagle club in Asheville,
NC.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Here’s a good ‘un you should check out: our good buddy and
collaborator Joe Kendrick, of the Lingua Musica web show, interviewing
Asheville-based Americana artist Brian McGee
about his upcoming 3-week national tour,
the Kickstarter campaign he mounted to fund his recent album The Taking Or the Leaving and more. It
was filmed by Jesse Hamm.

 

The album was produced by McGee and Pete James of the
Honeycutters at venerable Asheville studio Echo Mountain
(Avett Brothers, Band of Horses, etc.) and is well-worth investigating. Check
out McGee at his website, BrianMcGeeMusic.com.

 

The videotaped conversation marks the third in the new
Lingua Musica Interviews series and we’re looking forward to many more in the
very near future. (Previous installments include Dehlia Low and Ryan
Montbleau.) BLURT is a proud co-sponsor of Lingua Musica and you can expect to
see our on-camera participation at various points to boot (you have been
warned). Please visit the LinguaMusicaAlive.com
website
, and meanwhile, check out the video!

 

[Photo credit: Sandlin Gaither]

 

 

Jello Biafra Covers the Deviants on EP

 

Enhanced Methods of Questioning out this week as 12″
EP, also on CD and digital.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Jello Biafra
and his band the Guantanamo School of Medicine follow up 2009’s Audacity of Hype album with a new EP, Enhanced Methods of Questioning (Alternative Tentacles). The
five new originals include the delightfully titled “Invasion of the Mind
Snatchers” and “Miracle Penis
Highway.” Get a load of that Jim Altieri and
Michel Langevin (Voivod) cover art.

 

The band describes the tunes
as “space-punk” and “spy music on meth” with “industrial excursions into metal
percussion,” and they are bolstered by a scorching cover of legendary British
biker punks The Deviants. “Metamorphosis Exploration On Deviation Street
Jam” is a transmogrified 18-minute version “Metamorphosis
Exploration” originally on the the import-only compilation Portobello Shuffle- A Testimonial to Boss
Goodman and Tribute to the Deviants and Pink Fairies
.

 

The band: Biafra, Ralph
Spight (Victims Family, Freak Accident, Hellworms), Jon Weiss (Sharkbait,
Horsey), Billy Gould (Faith No More), & Kimo Ball (Freak Accident,
Carneyball Johnson, Mol Triffid, Griddle).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: The Whines & More Live in Mass.

 

Sore
Eros, Fantasies, The Whines, Gimlet Slip and Gracefully Aging Hippie Soloists
take the stage at Easthampton’s
Flywheel venue on May 23 for an evening of DIY surprises.

 

Text/Photos by Jennifer Kelly

 

A Monday night bill at Easthampton’s
Flywheel offered girl-powered SST punk, beat-box frat punk, luminous
electrified freak folk, dreamy lo-fi and a surprise appearance by Eric Gaffney.
Eclectic?  Hell, yes. Uniformly
excellent?  God, no. But definitely worth
the price of admission, which was $6, by the way.

 

 

The evening opened with Gaffney’s band, Gracefully Aging Hippie Soloists. That’s a name he’s been using
since the late 1980s, then with Boss Hog’s Charles Ondras (who passed away in
1992). Tonight’s band seems more casually put together, a bassist and a drummer
who have done time in local outfits like Claudia Malibu and the Drunken
Stuntmen. The set list is all covers, apparently, though the bass player
suggests a couple that might be originals and Gaffney rejects them, saying
“That’s not on the setlist yet.” So maybe, in time, there were will be some
original material, but for now, there’s a Flipper cover, and a meandering story
about a Flipper show. The band is pretty good though, confident in a carefree
sort of way, tossing off tightly wound garage riffs and esoteric guitar effects
(Gaffney with a big pedal board) with an unmistakable joy.

 

 

 

Next is Gimlet Slip,
an all female hardcore punk band that impressed me a few weeks ago opening for
the Obits. Led by their bass player, Diane, the band rips into a couple of
fast, hard, one-two-driving punk songs. Diane and the guitar player, Christina,
shout-sing, their voices almost subliminal over the thrash and clatter. Then
Christina breaks a string and utters the words that no one wants to hear – or
say – at a five-band show. “Does anyone have an A string?  Or a guitar?” Gaffney, it turns out, has an A
string, but the momentum has been killed dead as a doornail by the time the
music resumes.

 

Gimlet Slip charges right back in, blond, pixie-haired
drummer Rene, pounding and clashing away at her kit, arms flung nearly vertical.
The two others stand stock still, one hip cocked out, as they pick and scrub
out rapid-fire eighth note riffs.  Near
the end, they try a new song, which starts in a strung-out swing rhythm on ride
cymbal, picking up sleepy, loopy bass and slow sustained guitar notes. A jazz
experiment?  Not to worry, the song blows
up in the middle with a rabid, speed-addled barrage of drumming, not 16th notes but 32nds, and an equally blur-speed guitar break.

 

 

 

I’m really here to see the
Whines
, a lo-fi garage band out of Portland,
OR, that seems, at least from
what I’ve heard, to meld the sludgy aggression of 1990s grunge to the dreamy
indefinability of girl-led bands like Black Tambourine. There’s a little bit of
country in there, too, and a shade or two of Neil Young, though filtered
through a rough, chaotic punk aesthetic. In a recent interview at Victim of Time, bassist/singer Karianne
mentioned the Meat Puppets, Lee Hazleton and Nancy Sinatra and Pink Reason as
influences, and somewhere in that triangle is exactly what they sound like. The
Whines have been kicking up a bit of dust lately with their debut full-length Hell to Play,  which was recorded with the help of lo-fi
mainstays from Eat Skull and Meth Teeth and which, apparently, made Ty Segall’s
2010 year-end list.

 

The Whines are a three-piece. Jesse, the guitar player, is
skinny, flannel-shirted and intense, wandering as far as his cord will allow,
back and forth, looking for a spot where he can hear the rest of the band. If
there’s a shred of country in this band (and there is) it comes from Jesse, who
veers from garage-rock power chords into splintery, glittery bouts of rustic
contemplation. Blonde-haired, waifish Karianne is bundled up in a big jacket,
looking very young behind a thatch of bangs, singing coolly above the murk. And
Bobby, behind the drums, is the punkish wild card, banging hard, punchy rhythms
under the band’s storm and swirl.

 

The band’s sound is evolving, moving from straight-on lo-fi
punk into something more complex and structured. I’ve done some minimal prep
beforehand, relistening to an old single “Insane OK” that a friend put on a mix
tape years earlier, plus a few songs from Hell
to Play
. “Insane OK”, which they play midset, is all primitive stomp and
drone, minimal and heavy, with only the shimmer of Karianne’s vocals to lighten
the load. “It’s Raining”, a more recent song, borrows a Kim Deal bass line
(four notes on one string, four notes on the other, rinse and repeat) and
builds tension through restraint. “Vacation”, also from the 2010, brings the
Nirvana connection to the fore — a bleary roar of guitar over tumbling,
clattering drums, it’s an off-cut from Bleach with a girl singing. The sound isn’t great – you can hardly make out the vocals
at all – but there’s something exciting about the way this band splices chaos
to lyricism, blistering aggression to lucid pop serenity.

 

 

 

The next band is Fantasies,
a local duo whose beat-box-backed, double-guitared punk rock is loud but
unremarkable. The singer does get the sound girl to turn up the vocals, though,
so that the evenings’ least interesting band is the one that you can hear the
best.

 

 

 

The final slot belongs to Sore Eros, an altered folk project headed by Robert Robinson, a
sometime member of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, who has also played with
Panda Bear, Kurt Vile and Gary War. You can hear shades of all these artists in
Robinson’s eerie songs, the spectral echo and shimmer of Ariel Pink, the
unaffected directness of Vile, the choral complexities of Panda Bear. There is
also a good deal of the freak folksiness that runs in the water locally. You
could make a connection to MV+EE, clearly, or the recent, acoustically tempered
J. Mascis.

 

All of which is to say that Robinson transmutes the purest,
simplest, most nature-driven kind of folk music into something luminously
strange. He uses effects to turn his high murmuring voice into ghostly layers
of sound. The guitars, too, are filtered so that ordinary strumming and picking
emerges as silvery filaments of sound.  Like Woods, he favors a trebly, falsetto
sound, but his is much more unearthly and less grounded.

 

For this show, Robinson has brought along a full band, a
bass player, an additional guitarist and drummer, and this allows him to layer
additional string-based complexities onto his sound. At one point, he, the
other guitarist and the bass player are all playing eighth notes together,
generally in unison but with occasional, subliminal touches of dissonance. There’s
something wild in the way their tones build, intersect and conflict with one
another. And, Robinson, unlike many electronically-engaged folk players, is not
afraid to let things get loud. In a song late in the set, lyrical intervals
culminate in big cymbal-crashing climaxes, the drummer bent nearly double
against the kit as he flings his arms up and down in tom fills and clatters.

 

Sore Eros ends the night on a spiritual note, filling the
small space with disembodied “ooh-oohs,” and surreal, crystalline textures of
guitar. It’s been an unpredictable evening – an unconventional covers band,
girl punk, lo-fi garage, drum-machine punk and the freakiest of freak folks –
but a good one. In a world where interests are so narrowly defined and marketed
to that no one ever has to hear anything challenging, isn’t that a good thing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: Jackson Browne in Ft. Lauderdale

 

Amid shouted song
requests and a multitude of moistened sighs from the females in the audience,
the Dorian Gray of rock ‘n’ roll took things easy, his way, on May 21 at the
Au-Rene Theater.

 

By Lee Zimmerman

Jackson Browne makes it look so easy. One could almost
begrudge the fact that playing an acoustic concert that allows him to select
songs on the fly is a really effortless way to earn a paycheck, and a hefty one
at that. Seated on the stage of the sumptuous Au-Rene Theater and fronting a
line-up of no less than 17 guitars that stood at the ready (the majority of
which were apparently tuned but never used), Browne made a point of noting that
his sets are spontaneous and never wholly planned in advance. Instead, he
noted, they were based on the vibe conveyed by the different audiences he
encounters every night. Not surprisingly then, the entire evening Browne was
peppered by requests shouted out from the far reached of the multi-tiered
auditorium as well as notes handed him from the first row.

 

Ever the charmer – and the eternal lady’s man, given that
the sighs from the females were audible throughout most of the night – Browne
appeared to pay heed, casually commenting on the suggestions and offering
anecdotes between most of the selections. No sooner had he finished a song
before he was up and out of his chair and sauntering over to his guitar arsenal,
carefully considering his next instrument of choice. Oftentimes he opted to sit
at the electric piano, where he positioned himself for at least half of the
two-dozen or so songs in his set. The nearly sold-out audience seemed thrilled
with the majority of his choices, particularly following the intermission when
he rolled out a veritable roll call of crowd pleasers, from “For Everyman,”
through “Running on Empty,” “Sky Blue and Black,” “Rosie,” “For a Dancer” and
eventually culminating in what is ultimately the most requested song of the
night – and one of the few upbeat entries at that – “Take It Easy.”  When he remarked that his pal Don Henley
chose that tune to join in an impromptu duet a few weeks earlier, Browne
expressed his astonishment and the rest of us secretly envied the fact we
hadn’t been as fortunate.

 

The fact is, most of the material keeps to a uniformly
melancholy malaise, written by a poet still in his early twenties at the time
and flush with idealism even as he was attempting to balance the optimism of
the ‘60s spirit with the hard reality that the age of innocence had begun to
fracture in the face of growing responsibility, external strife and, of course,
the struggle to retain romance in a world so determined to tear it asunder. Yet,
Browne’s songs continue to inspire despite their downcast sentiments, serving
as anthems for the disenfranchised and benchmarks for an entire generation
still struggling to find its way in the world. The stripped down, bare boned
treatments – a striking contrast to the rich arrangements accorded the studio
versions – often only hinted at the more familiar renditions and gave ample
cause for the audience to fill in the missing elements on their own. “I’m in
need of a drummer,” Browne confessed at one point, and the crowd offered a
collective nod in agreement. At another juncture, during the sing-along chorus
of “Running On Empty,” the crowd offered up the obligatory shout-out “I don’t
know about anyone but me,” which Browne was apparently ready to omit due to the
constraints of singing it solo. Hearing it referenced, he smiled with
amusement. Indeed, after two consecutive South Florida appearances playing solo
(he last played Miami Beach’s Fillmore in the same manner), it would be nice to
catch him next time with a band in tow.

 

Browne later referred to the fact that the show is in fact
generally open-ended, a seemingly effortless performance that embraces
approximately two dozen songs (including the two saved for the encore) all of
which suggests he barely works up a sweat. (For the record, he sat the entire
time save approximately 30 seconds where he briefly stood in deference to the
rocking refrain of “Take It Easy” before quickly retaking his chair. “So is
there any difference between hearing these songs here or hearing them in my
house?” he asked rhetorically. “Here I’m less likely to stop in the middle of a
song to get up and make myself a sandwich.”

 

Remarkably though, however off-handed, Browne’s lost none of
the youthful timbre that’s continues to characterize his vocals. Listening to
some bootlegs of concerts recorded early on in his career during our drive to
the show, it’s striking to note how much he sounds the same, and for that
matter, how little his approach has changed over the past 40 years. Browne is
the Dorian Gray of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and watching him from the back rows of the
lower orchestra, he still seems to closely resemble that youthful minstrel with
the pageboy hairdo that graced the cover of his eponymous debut. For a man of
62, he gives the men in his audience – most of which are approaching the same
age – reason for both envy and astonishment.

 

 

 

           
 

 

 

 

Report: The Whines & More Live in Mass.

 

Sore
Eros, Fantasies, The Whines, Gimlet Slip and Gracefully Aging Hippie Soloists
take the stage at Easthampton’s
Flywheel venue on May 23 for an evening of DIY surprises.

 

Text/Photos by Jennifer Kelly

 

A Monday night bill at Easthampton’s
Flywheel offered girl-powered SST punk, beat-box frat punk, luminous
electrified freak folk, dreamy lo-fi and a surprise appearance by Eric Gaffney.
Eclectic?  Hell, yes. Uniformly
excellent?  God, no. But definitely worth
the price of admission, which was $6, by the way.

 

 

The evening opened with Gaffney’s band, Gracefully Aging Hippie Soloists. That’s a name he’s been using
since the late 1980s, then with Boss Hog’s Charles Ondras (who passed away in
1992). Tonight’s band seems more casually put together, a bassist and a drummer
who have done time in local outfits like Claudia Malibu and the Drunken
Stuntmen. The set list is all covers, apparently, though the bass player
suggests a couple that might be originals and Gaffney rejects them, saying
“That’s not on the setlist yet.” So maybe, in time, there were will be some
original material, but for now, there’s a Flipper cover, and a meandering story
about a Flipper show. The band is pretty good though, confident in a carefree
sort of way, tossing off tightly wound garage riffs and esoteric guitar effects
(Gaffney with a big pedal board) with an unmistakable joy.

 

 

 

Next is Gimlet Slip,
an all female hardcore punk band that impressed me a few weeks ago opening for
the Obits. Led by their bass player, Diane, the band rips into a couple of
fast, hard, one-two-driving punk songs. Diane and the guitar player, Christina,
shout-sing, their voices almost subliminal over the thrash and clatter. Then
Christina breaks a string and utters the words that no one wants to hear – or
say – at a five-band show. “Does anyone have an A string?  Or a guitar?” Gaffney, it turns out, has an A
string, but the momentum has been killed dead as a doornail by the time the
music resumes.

 

Gimlet Slip charges right back in, blond, pixie-haired
drummer Rene, pounding and clashing away at her kit, arms flung nearly vertical.
The two others stand stock still, one hip cocked out, as they pick and scrub
out rapid-fire eighth note riffs.  Near
the end, they try a new song, which starts in a strung-out swing rhythm on ride
cymbal, picking up sleepy, loopy bass and slow sustained guitar notes. A jazz
experiment?  Not to worry, the song blows
up in the middle with a rabid, speed-addled barrage of drumming, not 16th notes but 32nds, and an equally blur-speed guitar break.

 

 

 

I’m really here to see the
Whines
, a lo-fi garage band out of Portland,
OR, that seems, at least from
what I’ve heard, to meld the sludgy aggression of 1990s grunge to the dreamy
indefinability of girl-led bands like Black Tambourine. There’s a little bit of
country in there, too, and a shade or two of Neil Young, though filtered
through a rough, chaotic punk aesthetic. In a recent interview at Victim of Time, bassist/singer Karianne
mentioned the Meat Puppets, Lee Hazleton and Nancy Sinatra and Pink Reason as
influences, and somewhere in that triangle is exactly what they sound like. The
Whines have been kicking up a bit of dust lately with their debut full-length Hell to Play,  which was recorded with the help of lo-fi
mainstays from Eat Skull and Meth Teeth and which, apparently, made Ty Segall’s
2010 year-end list.

 

The Whines are a three-piece. Jesse, the guitar player, is
skinny, flannel-shirted and intense, wandering as far as his cord will allow,
back and forth, looking for a spot where he can hear the rest of the band. If
there’s a shred of country in this band (and there is) it comes from Jesse, who
veers from garage-rock power chords into splintery, glittery bouts of rustic
contemplation. Blonde-haired, waifish Karianne is bundled up in a big jacket,
looking very young behind a thatch of bangs, singing coolly above the murk. And
Bobby, behind the drums, is the punkish wild card, banging hard, punchy rhythms
under the band’s storm and swirl.

 

The band’s sound is evolving, moving from straight-on lo-fi
punk into something more complex and structured. I’ve done some minimal prep
beforehand, relistening to an old single “Insane OK” that a friend put on a mix
tape years earlier, plus a few songs from Hell
to Play
. “Insane OK”, which they play midset, is all primitive stomp and
drone, minimal and heavy, with only the shimmer of Karianne’s vocals to lighten
the load. “It’s Raining”, a more recent song, borrows a Kim Deal bass line
(four notes on one string, four notes on the other, rinse and repeat) and
builds tension through restraint. “Vacation”, also from the 2010, brings the
Nirvana connection to the fore — a bleary roar of guitar over tumbling,
clattering drums, it’s an off-cut from Bleach with a girl singing. The sound isn’t great – you can hardly make out the vocals
at all – but there’s something exciting about the way this band splices chaos
to lyricism, blistering aggression to lucid pop serenity.

 

 

 

The next band is Fantasies,
a local duo whose beat-box-backed, double-guitared punk rock is loud but
unremarkable. The singer does get the sound girl to turn up the vocals, though,
so that the evenings’ least interesting band is the one that you can hear the
best.

 

 

 

The final slot belongs to Sore Eros, an altered folk project headed by Robert Robinson, a
sometime member of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, who has also played with
Panda Bear, Kurt Vile and Gary War. You can hear shades of all these artists in
Robinson’s eerie songs, the spectral echo and shimmer of Ariel Pink, the
unaffected directness of Vile, the choral complexities of Panda Bear. There is
also a good deal of the freak folksiness that runs in the water locally. You
could make a connection to MV+EE, clearly, or the recent, acoustically tempered
J. Mascis.

 

All of which is to say that Robinson transmutes the purest,
simplest, most nature-driven kind of folk music into something luminously
strange. He uses effects to turn his high murmuring voice into ghostly layers
of sound. The guitars, too, are filtered so that ordinary strumming and picking
emerges as silvery filaments of sound.  Like Woods, he favors a trebly, falsetto
sound, but his is much more unearthly and less grounded.

 

For this show, Robinson has brought along a full band, a
bass player, an additional guitarist and drummer, and this allows him to layer
additional string-based complexities onto his sound. At one point, he, the
other guitarist and the bass player are all playing eighth notes together,
generally in unison but with occasional, subliminal touches of dissonance. There’s
something wild in the way their tones build, intersect and conflict with one
another. And, Robinson, unlike many electronically-engaged folk players, is not
afraid to let things get loud. In a song late in the set, lyrical intervals
culminate in big cymbal-crashing climaxes, the drummer bent nearly double
against the kit as he flings his arms up and down in tom fills and clatters.

 

Sore Eros ends the night on a spiritual note, filling the
small space with disembodied “ooh-oohs,” and surreal, crystalline textures of
guitar. It’s been an unpredictable evening – an unconventional covers band,
girl punk, lo-fi garage, drum-machine punk and the freakiest of freak folks –
but a good one. In a world where interests are so narrowly defined and marketed
to that no one ever has to hear anything challenging, isn’t that a good thing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Best Kept Secret: Butter, from N.C.

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 pick for our Blurt/Sonicbids “Best Kept Secret”: it’s Butter,
from Durham, North Carolina, our 16th BKS selection since commencing
the program of spotlighting new and under-the-radar artists back in 2008.

 

“Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”: it might be a
purloined lyric – in this instance, overheard from the rock/funk/jazz trio’s
hepcat anthem “I’ve Got Your Back” – but it’s a pretty good summary of the
combo’s musical prowess. Comprising Tarheel indie scene mainstay Brad Newell on
guitar and vocals (raise your hand if you remember the late, great ‘80s college
rock outfit The Graphic; Newell is also a producer, studio operator and film
scorer of considerable note), bassist Ken Vint and drummer Ryan McKellar,
Butter has earned not-undeserved comparisons to Medeski, Martin and Wood, and
word has it that the sonic pulchritude of ‘70s legend Lee Michaels and jazz
virtuoso John Scofield figures heavily in the group’s toolbox of influences.

 

That cool, WTF?!? musical vibe, you ask? Newell’s guitar, we
are advised, “is going through several devices that mix the
guitar sound with a distorted Hammond
organ sound that we call the “Gorgan”.

 

Monstrous.

 

We’ll have an interview with the band posted to the site
shortly in which we let them fill you in on all this and more. Meanwhile, check
out their MySpace page
for additional details as well as song samples. 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 2009 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 2010 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
, from Boston

 

>Our June Best Kept Secret: The Rebel Set,
from Phoenix

 

 >Our August Best Kept Secret: Alice Austin,
from Los Angeles

 

>Our October 2010 Best Kept Secret: Doug McCurry,
from Charlotte

 

 

>Our January 2011 Best Kept Secret: Drunken Prayer,
from Portland

 

 

>Our April 2011 Best Kept Secret: Preachers Son, from Dublin, Ireland

 

 

 

 

Tupac Not Dead Yet!

Controversial rapper
reportedly had “simply retired from da game” and had taken a position with the
janitorial service that cleans the PBS offices’ New Zealand bureau.

 

By Perez Mills

 

It’s been a shitty weekend for the folks at PBS: according
to a report at CNN, online activist group The Lulz Boat “pirated the PBS
website and posted a false story claiming the rapper Tupac Shakur — who has
been dead for almost 15 years — is alive and living in New Zealand.”
In addition to that whopper, the fake news report suggested that Biggie Smalls
(who is equally dead) had been living in a small town there as well.

 

The hack attack came after the network broadcast the
documentary “WikiSecrets” last week on their “Frontline” program. Apparently
displeased by the coverage, The Lulz Boat decided to take action. They are
quoted as saying “[We] decided to sail our Lulz Boat over the PBS servers for
further… perusing.”

 

Read the full report here. Meanwhile, this just in: we saw
Jesus at McDonald’s at midnight, and he was having fries and a shake with
Elvis.

 

 

Watch: Primal Scream Screamadelica Live DVD

 

Issued this week by Eagle
Vision, it’s damn near close to being at the actual show. You can view footage from
the Nov. 26 concert, below.

 

By Fred Mills

Paint it black, you devils.

 

Primal Scream fans unlucky enough not to be able to attend
the British band’s pair of Screamadelica concerts last November 26 and 27 in London were still served reasonably well,
first by the BBC (which aired most of first evening live) and later by assorted
music blogs (that posted downloads of the show, in some cases within a few
minutes of the final notes – see our report elsewhere on the BLURT site about
this). And of course audience-shot videos started surfacing fairly speedily on
YouTube as well. The visceral thrill one may have gotten upon listening to MP3s
and watching clips of the Screamadelica set, however, is no match for the combined adrenal-shock therapy and Ecstasy drip
supplied by the official Screamadelica
Live
(Eagle Vision), a DVD/CD package.

 

The audio disc showcases the live rendition of the classic
’91 album, but the DVD serves up the entire show from the 26th including the 8-song “Rock and Roll” set that opened the concert. (There’s also
a Blu-ray edition that adds the “Classic Albums” documentary about the making
of Screamadelica.) Following a brief
POV sequence whereby “you” arrive at the Olympia Grant Hall and pick up your
ticket at box office, it’s a full-tilt swan-dive into the melee as the band,
abetted by a thoroughly disorienting blast of strobe lights, is thrashing
through the punk-powered “Accelerator” like it’s 1969 all over again and
they’re onstage in Detroit instead of London. Here the band – a
delightfully pedigreed lineup of frontman Bobby Gillespie, guitarists Andrew
Innes and Barrie Cadogan, keyboardist Martin Duffy, drummer Darrin Moody and
the inimitable Mani on bass – resembles nothing if not a thundering, swaggering
amalgam of the Stooges and MC5, with frontman Bobby Gillespie, in his long
straight hair and serpentine moves, channeling the young Iggy Pop. And the
material, from the throbbing, funky “Jailbird” and the “TV Eye”-esque
psychedelia of “”Burning Wheel” to the anthemic manifesto (right down to
Gillespie’s partial “heil” hand salutes) that is “Swastika Eyes” and pounding
set-closer “Rocks,” doesn’t let up for a moment. The accompanying trippy light
show reinforces the impression that all assembled have been transported back in
time to the Motor
City’s Grande Ballroom or
either coast’s Fillmore.

 

(The audio, incidentally, is superb, boasting a clean,
full-spectrum mix that, given the options of Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby
Digital 5.1 or DTS Surround, should serve the viewer well on pretty much any
form of entertainment center. If you happened to download the MP3s of the BBC
broadcast, like I did, you’ll be impressed by the sonic upgrade.)

 

 

The evening’s second set is, of course, Screamadelica, the band changing into fresh stage outfits for the
occasion, and if the rock set represented an homage to Iggy & Co., then this
segment finds the band morphing into nothing less than the Rolling Stones,
joined onstage by a 3-piece horn section and a 5-person gospel mini-choir.

 

Due mention should be made of visual artist Jim Lambie’s films.
Projected onto a massive three-paneled backdrop, they include giant globs of
paint streaming downward and cornea-shearing multicolored bull’s-eyes that seem
to leap outward. Along with assorted bursts of lasers and fit-inducing strobes,
the cumulative effect is hypnotically immersive and thrilling. For the DVD,
director George Scott, editor Phil McDonald and photography director Grant
Fleming weren’t shy about showcasing these visuals, either; your home viewing
experience comes remarkably close to what it must have been that night in the
Olympia.

 

“Movin’ On Up” opens the set, as it did the album in 1991,
followed by a kinetic reading of 13th Floor Elevators’ classic “Slip
Inside This House” and an uber-funky “Don’t Fight It, Feel It” featuring guest
Mary Pearce recreating Denise Johnson’s ramalama-fa-fa-fa album vocal parts for
the occasion. Yet in a canny move, Primal Scream shuffles the record’s original
song sequence around in order that the middle portion now focuses on the
dreamier ballads and atmospheric material while powerhouse tracks “Loaded” and
“Come Together” close things out. It proves to be a not-insignificant strategy,
altering the entire dynamic of the album and effectively recasting it as a bold
new artistic statement, one that by some reckonings may actually be stronger
than the studio incarnation. By the time the final half hour – of a nearly
80-minute Screamadelica set – rolls
around, the whole room is a psychic pressure cooker itching for release, rather
than the gentle come-down that marked the LP.

 

And the band does not disappoint, churning out wave after
wave of deeply-felt grooves, cresting dynamics and propulsive bliss-out.

 

The celebration kicks into high gear near the end of “Higher
Than the Sun,” as cortex-massaging deep dub becomes an extended psychedelic jam
(it includes Innes’ interpolation of the key riff from Funkadelic’s “Mommy,
What’s a Funkadelic?”) en route to the familiar Wild Angels/Peter Fonda soundbyte
intro for “Loaded.” The song unfurls purposefully, and with its signature
classic soul bassline, bongo/tabla percussion loop, recurring piano riff and Gillespie’s
impromptu “whoo-wooh” vocal chant, “Loaded” could very well be “Sympathy For
the Devil Mk. 2011; the horns and gospel singers help seal the deal, all 14
minutes of it. By the time “Come Together” begins to materialize in the mist,
the entire Olympia
is one swaying, heaving organism, mouthing this love, peace & happiness
call to arms en masse. The looks on
the faces of the band members say it all: mission
accomplished
.

 

A few moments before the end of “Come Together” the camera
pans into the audience to focus on an attractive young couple right when the
guy is wrapping his arms around the girl and leaning in for a kiss. The camera
lingers on her face momentarily, and intentionally or not, she beams and purses
her lips as if to blow a kiss at you, the viewer.

 

A tiny, but telling, detail. Come together, indeed.