Monthly Archives: October 2011

Report: Neil Young’s Bridge Benefit 25

Neil Young, Tony
Bennett, Eddie Vedder and the Foo Fighters bring down the house at Shoreline Amphitheatre
(Mountain View, Calif.) on October 23, 2011.

 

By
JUD COST

 

Unlike
last year when it rained all-day on Sunday, pleasant temperatures in the
high-70s helped make the 25th edition of Neil and Pegi Young’s Bridge School
Benefit Concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre, a real treat. As always, rain or
shine, the genre-bending music, most of it acoustic, was nothing short of
inspirational.

 

After
a brief welcoming spot from Neil and Pegi Young that included “Sugar
Mountain” and “I Am A Child,” Devendra Banhart, a well-deserved
sub for Jenny Lewis, opened the Sunday portion of the two-day affair. With his
shaggy mane trimmed, Banhart seemed to suffer a brief attack of “the
Sampson syndrome,” hitting a couple of vocal clunkers. Maybe you could
chalk it up to nerves, opening for a roster knee-deep in star-power. Once he
shifted gears with a song warbled in Spanish (he spent his youth in Caracas, Venezuela),
Banhart finished his short set in fine style. And he dedicated his last number
to the recently departed Burt Jansch of U.K. folk band Pentangle.

 

Norah
Jones and her fine back-up outfit, the Little Willies, had to look no farther
than downtown Bakersfield for the inspiration to kick-start an air-tight set of
honky tonk. It’s a direction that Jones, Ravi Shankar’s daughter, chose for her
sophomore album, 2004’s Feels Like Home,
for good reason. Wearing a white safari helmet with a turquoise band, she
revealed that the Little Willies had picked that name as a tribute to Willie
Nelson and now, even with its demeaning sexual overtones, they were pretty much
stuck with it.  Jones and the boys
handled Eddy Arnold’s “Tennessee Stud” and Dolly Parton’s
“Jolene” with the same stylistic grace she’d employed on her
critically-lauded pop/jazz debut longplayer, Come Away With Me. And her Floyd Cramer-like ivory-tickling was a
nice fit for Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues.”

 

Beck
didn’t play Hank’s melancholy hit, but he dedicated his powerful set to the
tenth (actually, the ninth) anniversary of Sea
Change
, his career-defining 2002 work whose heartbroken songs helped him
recover from his split with a longtime girlfriend. With a battered, Neil-like
stetson resting on his blonde mop, Beck made good use of a xylophone, whose
glockenspiel-aping top end rode his tunes like a world-class surfer perched on
a 30-footer at Mavericks, just over the hill near Half Moon Bay.

 

“Neil
Young was one of the first to reach out to a new artist. He was right
there,” said a grateful Beck, who was joined onstage by Young for the
latter’s relatively obscure “Pocahontas.” The show’s host had sat in
Saturday on the same tune without telling Beck ahead of time. “If I’d
known he was going to do that, I’d have played that song last,” Beck noted
on Sunday. In keeping with the family vibe of this series, Beck brought his
young son, Cosimo, up front to bang a tambourine on “Two Turntables and a
Microphone.” One of the day’s warmest moments was the peewee hightailing
it offstage afterwards with his long curls bouncing in the light breeze.

 

Mumford
& Sons, a British acoustic folk act touted by Kinks frontman Ray Davies on
his recent album of celebrity duets, got a great introductory response,
presumably from all those who’d seen them play on Saturday’s bill. They seem to
cause the same kind of crowd havoc as U.S. stars the Avett Brothers, but the
Avetts do the “Civil War-style punk rock” thing with only half the
volume (and maybe twice the excitement). “It’s so much nicer to see you
all while the sun’s still out,” said frontman Lewis Mumford, before Neil
Young joined in for a rousing version of his Crazy Horse-tailored crowd
favorite “Dance, Dance, Dance.”

 

The
most surprising Bridge School 25 moment occurred when Carlos Santana played a
set with Los Invisibles, a band he co-founded recently with his wife (and the
band’s drummer) Cindy. They opened with ’50s pop standard “Autumn
Leaves,” done up to West Coast Jazz perfection with Carlos magically
playing the part of Los Angeles guitarist Barney Kessel and Dave Matthews
superbly filling the shoes of pianist Russ Freeman (with an occasional Erroll
Garner flourish). I’d loved to have seen them continue in that vein, but they
quickly shifted gears to a terrific Tito Puente-influenced Afro-Cuban big band
sound. Most of the younger crowd who’d been on their feet for Mumford &
Sons, sat slouched in their plastic seats for the jazz stuff. Santana thanked
Neil Young for “being an architect of compassion” before returning to
the more traditional Santana ballroom vibe of “Oye Como Va.”

 

Eddie
Vedder, solo, was easily the day’s biggest unexpected treat. I’d briefly
considered getting something to eat during his set. But I’m very glad I didn’t.
Accompanied by nothing more than an expensive version of that plastic
dime-store ukulele you may have been given for Christmas, the extroverted Pearl
Jam frontman preceded his set with an entertaining tale. “Last night I
opened with a Neil Young song. I’m not gonna do that tonight. Big mistake. Neil
told me, ‘The only mistake was not telling me. We could have fucked it up
together.’ Oops, sorry about swearing in front of the [Bridge School]
kids [seated onstage]. Neil and Pegi don’t use the ‘f-word.”

 

Vedder
made amends by dedicating the great death-rock classic, J. Frank Wilson’s
“Last Kiss,” to one of the Bridge
School graduates who’d
recently earned a pair of degrees from UC Berkeley. “That’s two more than
I have,” added Vedder, who further stoked the campfire-like feel with a
heartwarming rendition of Patience & Prudence’s “Tonight You Belong To
Me,” accompanied vocally by Arcade Fire’s Regine Chassagne. He also
brought out Jerry Hannan for a soundtrack gem from the Sean Penn-directed film
Into The Wild. Next on Vedder’s celebrity check-list was a real surprise.
“Here’s my friend Beck Hansen,” said Vedder before they lit up a fine
take of the Everly Brothers’ “Sleepless Nights” with Beck on harmony.
Vedder concluded his amazing program accompanied by Neil Young on Young’s
“Don’t Cry No Tears Around Me.” Whew!

 

The
Foo Fighters ignited a NASA-like liquid nitrogen response under those in the
audience of a certain, Nirvana-worshipping demographic. The 35-year-old in
front of me was almost as much fun to watch as Dave Grohl & Co.,
themselves. He’d throw his left fist upward three or four times towards the
stage, then punctuate it with the famous rock-star point to the heavens. At the
height of Nirvana’s fame, 20 years ago, Grohl (the trio’s last drummer) said he
felt “this is going to end, and I’ll have to get a job. You can’t do both:
have a family and play music. And then I met Neil Young and found that you can
do both at the same time.” Grohl had told late-night TV host Conan O’Brien
recently that they immediately regretted picking “Foo Fighters” as
the new band’s handle, but were now prepared to live with it.

 

The
always superb Tony Bennett seemed like the perfect way to end a fine day. It
takes real stamina to make it through to the end of a nine-hour extravaganza
like this. Bennett recently celebrated his 85th birthday by releasing an
excellent duet album with current stars Lady Gaga (“She’s such a great
singer,” said Bennett) and the late Amy Winehouse, as well as evergreens
Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson and others. Tonight, Bennett played his normal
set with his brilliant backing quartet. No guest stars, none needed. “I
Got Rhythm” and “Who’s Got The Last Laugh Now” (“They all
laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round/They all
laughed when Edison recorded sound”), both chestnuts penned by George and
Ira Gershwin, dug a groove that just wouldn’t quit.

 

Bennett’s
four-piece band showcased stellar pianist Lee Musiker and excellent guitarist
Gray Sargent along with Marshall Wood on upright bass and percussionist Harold
Jones, described by Bennett as “Count Basie’s favorite drummer.”
Bennett, a true national treasure who was the favorite singer of no less than
Frank Sinatra, wound things up with the always popular tribute to that city 30
miles to the north, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.” And he got a
hearty laugh from the crowd for the same line he’s been using lately:
“I’ve been doing this for 50 years. No, I’ve been doing this for 60
years!” One story he didn’t repeat because he didn’t play the song tonight
concerned his cover of Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart,” one of
Bennett’s earliest chart hits. He got what he thought would be a “thank
you” call from Williams, he told an SF JAZZ audience last May. Instead, it
was Williams asking him why he’d screwed up his song. Here’s hoping Tony
Bennett can one day tell an audience, “I’ve been doing this for 75
years.” He deserves nothing less.

 

 

Classic Royal Trux Box Reissued

 

Rarities collection
gets rescued from eBay purgatory.

 

By Fred Mills

 

The date was Nov. 4, 1997, and now the date is Nov. 8, 2011:
Singles, Live, Unreleased was a
32-song, 3-LP, deluxe box set odds ‘n’ sods collection from skronk-punk duo
Royal Trux, and now it returns from the grave courtesy Drag City after more
than a decade of being out of print. Loaded with rarities, including some
genuinely oddball covers (such sa the “M.A.S.H.” theme and a Grace Slick-penned
Jefferson Airplane tune), it was a twisted favorite among Trux aficionados and
collector-scum indie rock kids en route to becoming eBay catnip. Yours truly
was working in a record store at the time of its initial release and it
disappeared faster than the manager’s morning coffee.

 

The original tracklisting tells the tale:

 

Side
one

“Esso Dame” – 1:51

“Mercury” – 3:50

“No Fixed Address” – 3:29

“Red Tiger” – 5:12

“Lucy Peaupaux” – 3:44

 

Side
two

“June Night Afternoon” – 3:54

“Steal Your Face” – 3:10

“Back to School” – 4:12

“Faca Amolada” (Ronaldo Bastos/Milton Nascimento)
– 4:39

“Luminous Dolphin” – 3:16

“Spike Cyclone” – 3:59

 

Side
three

“Vile Child” – 3:44

“Law Man” (Grace Slick) – 2:53

“Shockwave Rider” (Mike Fellows/Hagerty/Herrema) –
3:59

“Chairman Blow” – 7:02

“Womban” (Larry Kessler) – 3:49

 

Side
four

“Cut You Loose” – 2:58

“Baghdad
Buzz” – 4:08

“Hero/Zero” – 2:28

“Statik Jakl” – 4:03

“Gett Off” – 2:41

“Teeth” – 4:21

 

Side
five

“Cleveland”
– 4:00

“Theme from M*A*S*H” (Johnny Mandel/Mike Altman) –
2:11

“Strawberry Soda” – 1:50

“Sunflavor” – 3:08

“Love Is…” – 3:00

 

Side
six

“Ratcreeps” – 4:47

“Hair
Beach” – 3:42

“Sometimes” – 1:33

“Signed, Confused” (Hagerty/Herrema/Rian Murphy)
– 5:56

“Aviator Blues” – 4:11

 

 

Get those credit cards ready, kids. As the label puts it
ever-so-eloquently:

 

You may never
understand unless you sit in a crouch for three days, on the balls of your feet
with the keens pointing out like arrows before you. And then MAYBE you’ll know
how it feels. Some people in this life have no choice, they’ve been Indians
since the day they were born. Others take it upon themselves. This was Royal Trux.

 

Flaming Lips 24-Hour Song Now Streaming

 

The skull’s the thing!

 

By Fred Mills

 

Got $5000 to spare? That’ll get you the new Flaming Lips
album, or more accurately, their new 24-hour “song” titled “7 Skies H3.” As the
picture suggests, there’s a small hard drive encased in an actual human skull.
But act fast – only 13 copies reportedly have been made.

 

Or if you are not quite so well-heeled you can simply listen
to it streaming over at the band’s FlamingLipsTwentyFourHours.com.

 

Fascinatingly, at the moment this news item is being
written, 977 people are listening to the track (so the counter at the Lips site
indicates), with a maximum of 999 allowed at any given time. Not sure what all
that means, come to think of it.

 

Video Exclusive: New Mia Doi Todd

 

Directed by Grace
Oh, “Canto de Iemanja” dips into sacred rituals and pays tribute to our oceans.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Mia Doi Todd’s version of “Canto de Iemanja,” one of the
original Afro-Sambas by the great Brazilian songwriters Vinicius de Moraes and
Baden Powell, appears on her record Cosmic
Ocean Ship
and on the new Red Hot +
Rio2
compilation.  Now Todd has shot
a video for the song, directed by filmmaker Grace Oh, and we’re stoked to
present it for your viewing pleasure:

 

 

Iemanja is the Orisha or Goddess of the Ocean in the
Yoruba, Candomble, and Santeria traditions. 
She represents divine consciousness, healing unconditional love,
feminine creativity and the essence of motherhood.  The video pays homage to the rituals that
take place in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
at the Praia de Iemanja every year on February 2nd, her special saint’s
day.  Devotees bring flowers, watermelons
and perfume for the Goddess and make altars for her on the beach.  These offerings are then taken out to the
Ocean with prayers and wishes alongside the statue of the Goddess in a small
boat.  The belief is that if the
offerings are accepted by the Ocean and do not tumble back to shore, wishes
will be granted.

 

Featuring choreography and dancing by Kimberly Miguel-Mullen
and costumes by Mia Doi Todd, the Oh-directed video aims to capture the sacred
essence of these rituals and celebrate the majesty and mystery of the Ocean
which is currently so endangered by global warming and pollution. Shot in Baja California on the Pacific Ocean,
the video is an outpouring of love, devotion, community and creativity, in
honor of Iemanja.

 

[Photo
Credit: Carl Lindstrom]

 

Lou Reed, Metallica Talk Lulu Album

 

Now THAT is media
friendly!

 

By Blurt Staff

 

If you’re waiting for the new print issue of BLURT to drop
then you must be a Lou Reed or Metallica fan – we’ve got a big interview with
the artists about their out-of-the-blue collaboration that has yielded the new
Warner Bros. album Lulu. It’s due out
next week, and the magazine will be on newsstands in a couple of weeks.

 

Meanwhile, the Loutallica camp just issued a 13-minute video
interview as an EPK for the media, so you can check it out below and get the
scoop on the album right from the horses’ mouths…

 

 

R.E.M. Unveils One Video, Two Versions

 

See also: our R.E.M.
special in the new print edition of BLURT.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe and co-director Dominic
DeJoseph (who has directed previous films for R.E.M.) recruited actress Kirsten Dunst to star in one of the
videos for “We All Go Back To Where We Belong.” Dunst is a Golden
Globe-nominated performer who has starred in such movies as Sophia Coppola’s The
Virgin Suicides
, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Marie
Antoinette
, and the Spider-Man trilogy. She recently received the
Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for her role in the current film Melancholia,
directed by Lars von Trier.

 

 

 

The other film stars iconic and legendary Dial-A-Poem
artist/poet/activist John Giorno.
Over the course of his notable career, Giorno has collaborated on several
acclaimed projects with such luminaries as William S. Burroughs, Patti Smith,
Laurie Anderson, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Glenn Branca. His work
includes several books and multimedia poetry experiments and events. A
career-spanning collection of his poems, entitled Subduing Demons in America:
Selected Poems 1962-2007
was published in 2008. His first one-person
gallery show, entitled Black Paintings and Drawings, was mounted at the
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York
in 2010.

 

 

 

Both black and white films for “We All Go Back To Where
We Belong” capture their subjects in stark relief using a strong key light
and shot with a stationary camera, an effect that Stipe describes as lending
“gravity and beauty” to the proceedings.

 

These videos arrive on the heels of last years’ successful Collapse
Into Now
Film Project, which featured films by artists for every song on
the album. Stipe said of the new project, “To be able to work with John
and Kirsten was a dream I carried since we recorded the song, and their
participation completes the song for me.”  

 

“We All Go Back To Where We Belong” is one of three new
tracks to be included on R.E.M.’s upcoming final album R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth,
Part Garbage, 1982 – 2011,
out Nov. 15. See the new print issue (Wilco cover) of
BLURT for a special R.E.M. feature.

 

 

Listen to new Austra Remix

Toronto synth-drama group plays Moogfest tonight.
List of tour dates below.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Following a sold out headlining show at the Bowery Ballroom
in New York earlier this month, Austra
kicked off a full North American tour last night in Philadelphia. The Toronto band’s debut
album Feel It Break and Sparkle, the follow-up remix
12″, are both out now via Domino
Records. All tour dates, including Europe and Australia, below.

 

Download or stream this previously unreleased Baron Von Luxxury remix of a Feel It Break track, “Spellwork”:

 

 


Austra – Spellwork (Baron Von Luxxury Space Cathedral Remix) by DominoRecordCo

 

 

Tour Dates:

 

Oct 28 Asheville
NC – Moogfest

Oct 30 Atlanta
GA – The Earl^

Nov 01 Orlando
FL – Backbooth^

Nov 02 Miami
FL – Grand Central^

Nov 04 New Orleans
LA – The Saint^

Nov 05 Houston
TX – Fitzgerald’s^

Nov 06 Austin
TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest

Nov 08 Phoenix
AZ – Rhythm Room^

Nov 09 Costa Mesa
CA – Detroit Bar^

Nov 10 San Diego
CA – The Casbah^

Nov 11 Los Angeles
CA – The Echo^

Nov 12 San Francisco CA – Great
American Music
Hall^

Nov 14 Portland
OR – Holocene^

Nov 15 Seattle
WA – The Crocodile^

Nov 16 Electric Owl – Vancouver
                             

Nov 17 Cactus Jacks – Kamloops
                              

Nov 18 The Brixx Bar & Grill – Edmonton                            

Nov 19 HIFI Club – Calgary
                         

Nov 22 Amigos Cantina – Saskatoon                                      

Nov 23 The Exchange            –
Regina                                   

Nov 24 West End Cultural Centre – Winnipeg                                   

Nov 25 The Aquarium – Fargo,
ND@                                  

Nov 26 Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN @                     

Nov 28 Empty Bottle Chicago, IL@                        

Nov 29 Pike Room at the Crofoot Ballroom  Pontiac,
MI@            

Dec 01 Phoenix Concert
Theatre – Toronto
                            

Dec 01 The Pheonix – Toronto                                    

Dec 02 Cabaret du Mile
End – Montreal                                 

Dec 03 Ritual Night
Club – Ottawa                            

Dec 06 Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands                         

Dec 07 Rotown – Rotterdam, Netherlands                           

Dec 08 La Laiterie – Strasbourg, France          
                       

Dec 09 Charlatan – Ghent, Belgium                          

Dec 11 Les Docks – Lausanne, Switzerland                          

Dec 12 BOAT – Bordeaux, France                            

Dec 14 Sterolux – Nantes, France                              

Dec 15 La Maroquinerie
– Paris, France                                

Dec 17 La Trinitaires –
Metz, France                         

Dec 30 Scheune – Dresden, Germany                                   

Dec 31 Palladium – Riga, Latvia                               

Jan 01  Volksbuhne – Berlin, Germany                                 

Jan 28  Laneway
Festival – Brisbane, Australia                                  

Jan 30  Laneway
Festival – Auckland, New Zealand                                     

Feb 04 Laneway Festival
– Melbourne, Australia                               

Feb 05 Laneway Festival
– Sydney, Australia                                    

Feb 10 Laneway Festival
– Adelaide, Australia                                  

Feb 11 Laneway Festival
– Perth, Australia                            

Feb 12 Laneway Festival
– Singapore, Singapore                               

^ with Grimes

@ with Young Galaxy, Tasseomancy

 

 

 

MP3/Video: Joseph Arthur New OWS Song

 

Free download of “We Stand As One” below, also a video for
his new Occupy Wall Street
tribute song.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Rocker Joseph Arthur posted a new
song to the web yesterday titled “We Stand As One,” an elegant,
piano-and-guitar powered elegy for the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street
movement. You can download a free MP3 of the track and, meanwhile, we’ve got the
video for you here as well. Check it out, and then read what Arthur has to say
about the nature of protest songs (a topic we also explored recently at BLURT),
along with his lyrics. Arthur additionally mentioned that should you feel like
donating to OWS, here is a good link to follow.

 

 

 

From Joseph Arthur:

 

Protest songs should be open and
somewhat naive

They can’t help but reference Bob
Dylan referencing Woody Guthrie

They usually speak in somewhat
general terms

And to be effective at all,

they say things that even those
coming from a similar space,

may not fully agree with.

They are easy targets for the
venom of music critics (because of all the reasons above)

And yet still sometimes

They are necessary.

So with that I am happy to present
you

“We Stand As One.”

I hope you love it

Or hate it

Or love to hate it

Or let yourself

Hate to love it

but either way,

In some small way,

I hope that it helps.

– Joseph Arthur

 

# # #

 

“We Stand As One” – lyrics

 

We occupy wall street

Take back our soul

Take back our country

Take back control

Take back our health care

Take back our mind

Take back our freedom

Give up the grind

We occupy wall street

No more fear

No more acceptance

Of insanity’s sneer

No more division

No more restraint

Our canvas is freedom

Your blood is our paint

we stand as one

You who have robbed us

You who have lied

You who were greedy

While the needy ones died

You who believed

You were better than them

Who sat in the flower

Ignoring the stem

You who denied them

Doctors and care

Humanity’s basics

As if death were their share

You who denied

The struggles of most

Like a pig you consumed

And like a pig you will roast

we stand as one

We occupy wall street

The system has failed

As the innocent ones

Are beat down and jailed

The criminal minds

have stolen this land

By taking our freedom

And binding our hand

To the cuff of misfortune

To the cuff of our need

To the cuff of self pity

To the cuff of a seed

Lost in the desert

No chance to survive

No love to nurture

No water to thrive

we stand as one

A season of murder

The body and soul

Dreams being shattered

The damnation control

Give back our country

We come to defend

Our right to inspire

To love and befriend

Our right to be healthy

Our right to believe

In a country of equals

Of a chance to receive

A chance to develop

A chance to forgive

A chance to dignify

The way that we live

we stand as one

A chance education

A chance to secure

A place for our families

Our right to a cure

The disease is insane

The disease is just greed

The disease is your pain

Ignoring their need

The disease is your reason

Your will is unchecked

But the blood is all over

The lives you have wrecked

But blessed are the meek

For we stand as one

We stand against

The crimes you have done

we stand as one

We stand against

Your desire for more

Hear how we knock

Soon there won’t be a door

And what you won’t share

Will be ripped from your hands

Your body destroyed

The way fire lands

Burning your homes

The privilege you snake

The payback beyond

Anything you could take

Naked you’ll be

And full of regret

And the way they were treated

You’ll long to forget

we stand as one

You’ll wish you could go back

and undo whats been done

You’ll wish you were never

Insanity’s son

You’ll wish you were fair

You’ll wish for compassion

But it will be late

And long out of fashion

Strung up you’ll bleed

Like the pig you became

A symbol of hatred

And one with no name

And our country will come back

Belonging to us

Regain it’s spirit

Regain our trust

we stand as one

Regain it’s standing

Regain the world

The dream of our fathers

A new and bold world

Where people have chance

And can live with respect

And people can dance

Beyond their neglect

Where health is a right

And education within

The grasp of the poor

Who may still one day win

We occupy wall street

So that we may begin

To live in a country

Of freedom again.

we stand as one

 

 

WELCOME TO… Moogfest 2011

 

It’s happening this
weekend, with appearances by the Flaming Lips, St. Vincent, Brian Eno, Moby, TV
On the Radio, Roedelius, Terry Riley, Passion Pit, Suicide, Tangerine Dream  and tons more.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Last year, Halloween weekend, the Asheville, NC,
streets were alive with the sound of… Dr. Robert Moog, and his legions of
disciples – not to mention several thousand fans, many of them bedecked out in
their finest costumes. (Hey, who the heck was that dude in the bunny rabbit
outfit
that kept popping up in photos?) That would be Moogfest.

 

The BLURT staff was no exception, as we fanned out to catch
as many Moogfest bands, workshops, panels and related events – the  Sunday afternoon free concert in the park was
pretty awesome –  as possible. From our
wrap-up of the 2010 event: “We were zipping back and forth all over the
downtown area of Asheville
for 2 ½ days and nights, plus change. We ran into old friends, made new ones,
compared notes with fellow journalists, and even hoisted an ale or two with
some of the artists who wound up next to us in venues, cheering on their peers.
And the one consistent thread that emerged was exactly what MoogFest was
intended to be all about: celebrating the wide-open, boundary-less spirit of
musical diversity and exploration that Robert Moog pioneered.

 

“The folks behind MoogFest have apparently already begun sketching
out next year’s event – I’d reckon that makes it a success. Sure looked, felt
and smelled like it.”

 

So – it came true; next year’s event is now this year’s event.
Moogfest 2011 happens this weekend, Oct. 28-30, and it’s a whopper, as the
lineup of acts, below, clearly reveals. (There’s also a series of Moogfest
related stories online at the local
alternative weekly paper The Mountain Xpress
as well as daily newspaper The
Asheville Citizen-Times
.)

 

 

 

Check that name at the very bottom of the lineup: Brian
Eno’s 77 Million Paintings “visual music” art installation
is opening in Asheville during Moogfest weekend (at the YMI Cultural Center in
downtown Asheville), and it’s only the third time it has been displayed in the
US, following openings in San Francisco and Los Angeles. (Previous exhibitions
have been in Sydney, Milan
and Venice.)
What’s more, Eno – no stranger to Moog and other analog synths, as the photo
above might suggest – will also be on hand to present (separately) one of his
“Illustrated Talks” on Saturday afternoon at Moogfest.

 

About 77 Million Paintings:  “Conceived
by Eno as ‘visual music,’ it is a constantly evolving sound and image-scape
born from his exploration of light as an artistic medium and his interest in
the aesthetic possibilities of generative software. Presented on a uniquely configured
constellation of video monitors, 77 Million Paintings is a serene and
beautiful work, slowly evolving and transforming in time such that no two
instants are quite the same. It is art that encourages the viewer to slow down
and enter a contemplative state, reflecting on the uniqueness of a passing
moment that has almost certainly never existed before.”

 

Last night (Oct. 27) the Eno installation was previewed for
Moogfest guests and the press; following that was a press conference with the
artist, who was alternately erudite, informative, thoughtful and just downright
funny. We’ll have more on Eno as well as thoughts on his lecture next week during
our Moogfest wrapup.

 

 

***

 

Getting back to the music, this year the roster of venues
had expanded considerably. In addition to the Asheville Civic Center Arena, the
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and the Orange Peel club (all of them with considerable
audience capacity), there will also be shows held at the relatively intimate
Diana Wortham Theatre and the Asheville
Music Hall, along with
selected performances happening at the Moogaplex and the Moog Store itself. And
just to up the ante, they’ve taken over the parking lot of downtown hotel The
Renaissance and dubbed the outdoor stage The Animoog Playground (that’s where
the Lips will be playing, for example). Here’s hoping the weather holds up, as
the latest forecast is calling for rain on Friday and then pretty chilly
temperatures at night all weekend. (Hey, this IS October in the mountains.)

 

Speaking of the Moogaplex: that’s where the panels and
workshops will be held, and they were consistently interesting last year. Among
the topics slated to be covered this time around: “Convergence: Software and
Hardware Integration in the 21st Century” (Friday); “Sound Design”
(Saturday); Dan Deacon & Tara Busch’s Moogerfooger Mayhem” (Saturday);
“Journey to the center of the Theremin with Neon Indian, Dorit Chrysler and
Albert Glinsky” (Sunday); “Sun Ra and Beyond: Exploring Rare Recordings from
Bob’s Archives” (Sunday – there was also a Sun Ra discussion in 2010 that was
fascinating).

 

Meanwhile, there are to be all sorts of Moogfest-related
happenings in and around the city. The Moogseum, for example, located in the
same building as the Moogaplex, will display a portion of the late Dr. Moog’s
archives – books, gear, prototypes, and more. Then over at venerable indie store Harvest
Records
at noon on Saturday they will be hosting a special listening party
for Brian Eno’s new Panic of Looking EP that’s slated to be released by Warp on Nov. 8, and attendees will be able
to buy the record early. There will also be a pair of Moogfest-related in-store
performance: today (Friday, 28th) Stockholm’s The Field will do a
set at 3pm, while on Sunday The Drums will be doing a free gig at 4pm.

 

Visitors to Asheville
are advised to follow a few Twitter feeds for updates and last minute (i.e., “secret”)
event announcements. Follow #Moogfest, as well as these accounts:

 

@Moogfest   

@MFSpaceman   

@MoogMusicInc

 

 

Also, text MOOG to 73378 if you want text updates throughout
the weekend.

 

So… we’re off. If you’re in town, have fun, and if you’re
not, follow some of the happenings via the above Twitter feeds, the official Moogfest Facebook page, and even the
BLURT Twitter for some random babblings from us over the weekend:
@BlurtMagazine  

 

***

 

Some of our picks to
click – and speaking of clicking, click on the links for the full hour-by-hour
schedule for each day…

 

 

FRIDAY, OCT. 28:

 

Matthew Dear
Animoog Playground, 5:15

Austra – Orange Peel,
6:00

Beak> – Thomas
Wolfe Auditorium, 6:30

Atlas Sound
Orange Peel, 7:30

Tangerine Dream
TWA, 8:00

Mimi Goese & Ben
Neill
– Diana Wortham Theatre, 8:30

Holy Fuck – Civic
Center Arena, 9:00

Chromeo – Animoog
Playground, 9:30

Grimes – Asheville Music Hall, 10:30

Moby – Civic
Center Arena, 10:30

Lunzproject – Dian Wortham Theatre, 11:30

Flying Lotus
TWA, 12:00

TV on the Radio
Civic Center Arena, 12:30

Anika – Orange
Peel, 12:45

 

 

SATURDAY, OCT. 29:

 

Roedelius – Diana
Wortham Theatre, 5:00 (read our Roedelius
feature here
)

Dan Deacon
Animoog Playground, 5:30

CANT – Orange
Peel, 6:30

SBTRKT – Civic
Center Arena, 6:30

Terry and Gyan Riley
TWA, 6:30

Twin Shadow
Orange Peel, 8:00

Adrian Below – Diana Wortham, 8:00

Flaming Lips
Animoog Playground, 8:30

Amon Tobin
Civic Center Arena, 10:15

Cloudland Canyon – Asheville Music Hall,
10:30

St.
Vincent
– TWA,
10:45

Suicide – Orange
Peel, 11:30

Moon Duo – Asheville Music Hall, 12:00

Battles – TWA,
12:45

KODE9 – Orange
Peel, 1:00

 

 

SUNDAY, OCT. 30:

 

Oneohtrix Point Never – Orange Peel, 5:00

Active Child
Civic Center Arena, 5:30

The Drums – TWA,
6:30

Fareed Haque &
MathGames
– Orange Peel, 6:30

Neon Indian
TWA, 8:00

Baths – Asheville Music Hall, 8:30

Special Disco Version
feat. James Murphy & Pat Mahoney
– Civic Center Arena, 8:30

Passion Pit
Animoog Playground, 9:00

Umphrey’s McGee
TWA, 10:00

Ghostland Observatory – Civic Center Arena, 10:30

Gold Panda
Orange Peel, 11:30

 

 

 

 

 

MP3: Meet Thee Cormans & Happy Halloween!

 

They’re a modern
stoneage family! Sorry, kids, ya gotta be over 17 to check ‘em out…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

In the grand tradition of Frankie Stein & his Ghouls and The
Deadly Ones, In The Red is releasing Thee Cormans’ Halloween Record w/ Special Effects – a bonafide Halloween
rock n’ roll album. The first 200 copies are pressed on glow in the dark vinyl
(download card included).

 

 

Southern Californian biker/surf instrumental combo Thee Cormans
have been bashing out their brand of Davie Allan & The Arrows meets the
Ventures on meth thrash for several years now. Theirs is a sound informed by
scratched up 60’s instrumental records, KBD punk records and exploitation B
movies chock full of monsters, bikers and mayhem. What this group of weirdos
does to the surf instrumental genre is very similar to what The Mummies did to
Pacific Northwest 60’s rock back in the 90’s: they speed it up, drag it through
the mud, pour a can of politically incorrect attitude over the top of it and
call it a pie. In this case the pie is filled with rubber bats, plastic fangs
and novelty shrunken heads.

 

 


Thee Cormans – “Open The Gates” by forcefieldpr

 

 

The label describes Halloween Record w/ Special Effects as “spine-chilling sounds guaranteed
to make you shiver! Flesh-ripping guitar playing! Skull pulverizing drum beats!
Gore-spattering bass lines! Spooky, hair-raising sound effects! The bloody
horror of this record is positively sinister!”

 

 

Well, all right then!

 

 

In The Red adds, in an ominous note that may or may not be for
real, “no one under 17 will be allowed to purchase this record without written
permission from a parent or guardian.” So just write your Uncle Blurt and we’ll
be glad to forge that note for ya.