Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Heavy: Nurtz to Newt's Song Theft

 

Would YOU steal a song from a gal wielding an axe like that? Another politician who wishes he could have
licensed “Born In The USA”
bites the dust.

 

By Blurt Colbert

 

So we all dig UK funk/soul/garage combo The
Heavy, right? And their song “How You Like Me Now?” rocks, right? And everyone
knows that Republican presidential aspirant (rhymes with: expectorant) Newt
Gingrich is a major tool, right?

 

Figures, then, that the Newtster’s campaign would borrow the
tune for use at a recent political rally. As Prefix Mag is reporting, “You
think [politicians] would at least double-check with the artist and/or their
label first [before using music without permission]. But nope, they’re still
pulling shit like this, with the latest example coming four days ago during
Republic presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s rally in Tampa, Fla.”

 

Needless to say, The Heavy issued a statement condemning the
action:

 

Counter Records/Ninja Tune artist The
Heavy has been wrongfully affiliated with a political campaign without their
consent. Their song ‘How You Like Me Now?’ was used – without permission – in
Newt Gingrich’s recent rally in Tampa
on January 23, 2012. The majority of media has mistakenly credited it as a Toby
Keith song of the same name. 

 

Counter Records/Ninja Tune would like
to officially state that The Heavy do not endorse this usage, nor do they wish
to be associated with any political party without consent. The band has
requested that this usage stops immediately. 

 

 

A Montreal music publishing company,
Third Side Music, has sent a cease-and-desist order to the Gingrich camp,
asserting its rights to the song in North America.
“Neither us, nor the band have particularly approved the usage of it,” said
Third Side’s Jeff Waye, to Montreal’s Global News.

 

As you probably know, the Keith track in question, “How Do You Like Me Now?”, would clearly be Newt-esque, or at least
highly Republican-esque, given TK’s right-tilting legacy. The Heavy tune,
however, would be awesome to hear at an Obama rally. Check out both original songs,
below.

 

 


Report: Tommy Keene Live in San Fran

The veteran rocker who once decried the
power-pop label as “wearing a bull’s eye painted on your t-shirt”
dazzles S.F.’s Rickshaw Stop on January 25. (Go here to read the recent BLURT
interview
with Keene.)

 

By Jud Cost

 

Tommy Keene may
have been playing what some people call “power pop” for about 30
years now, but there is no sign whatsoever of coasting, of taking his foot off
the gas after all these years. On a Wednesday night, he’s drawn 85 people to
the Rickshaw Stop, a bottom-rung San
Francisco club hidden near the corner of Market and
Van Ness. Maybe to discourage an overflow of patrons, the joint has no visible
sign outside to identify itself. But Keene
couldn’t have put on a more energetic show if he’d been booked into Davies
Symphony Hall or Herbst Theatre, two blocks away.

 

Keene’s songs,
as the dreaded (by him, anyway) power pop label would suggest, have the kinetic
energy of a city bus without brakes, as well as ear-catching bits of melody
scattered in all the right places. The Washington
D.C. native takes great care with
a set list that makes each song sound new, fresh and different. It doesn’t take
long for Keene’s fine ear to evoke the prolific
muse of Robert Pollard (Keene
and Pollard have apparently recorded under the name the Keene Brothers).

 

Dressed in an old
blue shirt, a plain black T and black pants, Keene looks like he’s been sent by
central casting for a commercial shoot looking for “a workingman’s rock
‘n’ roller.” His guitar playing is energetic, a perfect foil to the man on
his left, an effective if less spectacular player. At one point during their
55-minute set, the two are trading riffs like the glory days of Tom Verlaine
and Richard Lloyd. The drummer is very busy, slamming away at powerful fills
like he’s playing Whack-a-Mole with his kit. He’s just what Keene’s vigorous songs demand.

 

By the end of
the night, the comparisons to great rock bands from the past are inescapable:
the Velvet Underground, Dream Syndicate, Television, the Mumps, True West,
Guided By Voices and the Raspberries.

 

When some small
detail goes awry, Keene
is quick to apologize, “Sorry, we just woke up.” The cry of an infant
at the back of the house startles the singer who chuckles, “Is that a
baby? I’m attracting younger fans all the time,” then launches into a song
that summons the ghosts of the Byrds covering Dylan’s “Chimes of
Freedom.” Best of all, Tommy Keene knows exactly when to get off stage,
playing a Lou Reed finale that could have been one of his own. Thou shalt leave
’em wanting more is a commandment all but forgotten in the day of instant,
nonstop digital gratification.

 

The Bye Bye
Blackbirds from Oakland, playing tonight as a
quartet, were just what Keene’s
doctor might have ordered to warm the slim house. Lead singer Bradley Skaught
apologizes for the band using an electric 12-string, “generally known as a
psychedelic instrument, except when
you’re on psychedelics and trying to tune it.” It brought a momentary
flashback to the endless between-song delays when S.F.’s Flamin’ Groovies used
no fewer than three of the infernal things onstage, back in the ’80s. All’s
forgiven, of course, when it coaxes goose bumps with its magic
jingle-jangle. 

 

The Blackbirds
(perhaps named after a favorite standard of Miles Davis’ early quintet with
John Coltrane), characterized themselves before their set as “power pop
with a little bit of country.” Tonight, the honky tonk was all but
invisible, unless a few fumes from the tour bus of Beachwood Sparks might have
invaded the premises. “This song is a mean one, meant to be enjoyed, but
it’s not about you,” warns Skaught. “Tommy Keene is one of very few
guys we’d open for, even at 3:00 am during a snowstorm,” he adds. An
intrepid lot, Keene’s
devotees, no doubt, feel exactly the same way.     

 

 

Photo Credit: Chris Rady

 

 

Obama’s Al Green Song Prompts Big Sales

 

Jump of 490%…

By Fred Mills

By now everyone’s seen the viral video of President Obama singing a snatch of Al Green classic “Let’s Staty Together” Jan. 19 at a fundreaiser at NYC’s Apollo Theater. The Rev. Green himself was in the audience, no doubt prompting the bit. If for some reason you haven’t seen it, check it out, below.

Meanwhile, Billbaord reports that in the aftermath, the original recording of the song experienced a massive sales surge – 16,000 downloads in the week ending Jan. 22, a 490% increase. That represents “the best sales week for the song since SoundScan began tracking downloads in 2003.”

Coming soon to a political event near you: heritage artist’s handlers lobbying with major polititicians to have their clients’ songs pop up in speeches…

 

 

8CD/4DVD Roxy Music Box En Route

 

Massive box set
replaces and elaborates upon previous 1995 box.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Roxy Music fansite Roxyrama reported this week that Roxy
Music will release a deluxe box-set entitled ‘Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982’ on April 2
in the UK.
It’s to celebrate 40 years since the release of the band’s eponymous debut
album in 1972 and is the first of a major reissue campaign with Virgin Records.
Included is a selection of non-album singles, B-sides and remixes, some of
which are available on CD for the first time ever will also be included.
Artwork for the box has not yet been revealed.

 

Recall that in 1995 Virgin issued, in England, a 4CD
box, The Thrill of It All. Now out of
print and fetching upwards of $250, it included key tracks from the group’s
back catalogue spread across the first three discs and, on the 4th,
17 remixes and rarities:

 

1. Virginia
Plain         

2. The Numberer        

3. Pyjamarama            

4. The Pride And The Pain    

5. Manifesto (Remake)

6. Hula Kula   

7. Trash          

8. Your Application’s Failed

9. Lover          

10. Sultanesque           n

11. Dance Away (Ext. Remix)          

12. South Downs       

13. Angel Eyes (Ext. Remix)

14. Always Unknowing         

15. The Main Thing (Ext. Remix)      

16. India
        

17. Jealous Guy

 

 

 

Those songs appear to be included on this new box but sprinkled
across the 8 discs. More details on the new box:

 

‘Roxy Music: The
Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982’,
an 8 CD + 4 DVD deluxe box set, will
feature all eight Roxy Music studio albums – Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure, Stranded, Country Life, Siren,
Manifesto, Flesh And Blood, Avalon.
In addition, a (Each album will also be
represented on DVD format as high-resolution audio, transferred digitally from
the original analogue masters.)

 

 

Among the tracks previously never released before on CD: the
USA 7″ mixes of ‘Do The Strand’ ‘Love Is The Drug’ and ‘Take A Chance With Me’,
two edits of Country Life opening track ‘The Thrill Of It All’, plus its B-Side
‘Your Application’s Failed’ (the only track to date written by Thompson), 7″
and the 7″ single versions of ‘Oh Yeah’ (from Flesh And Blood) and ‘Avalon’.

 

 

TRACKLISTING

 

CD1: Roxy Music

1. Re-make/Re-model

2. Ladytron

3. If There Is Something

4. 2HB

5. The Bob (Medley)

6. Chance Meeting

7. Would You Believe?

8. Sea Breezes

9. Bitters End

 

Bonus Tracks:

10. Virginia
Plain

11. The Numberer

 

 

CD2: For Your Pleasure

1. Do The Strand

2. Beauty Queen

3. Strictly Confidential

4. Editions Of You

5. In Every Dream Home A Heartache

6. The Bogus Man

7. Grey Lagoons

8. For Your Pleasure

 

Bonus Tracks:

9. Pyjamarama (Island Mix)

10. Pyjamarama (Polydor Mix)

11. The Pride And The Pain

12. Do The Strand (USA 7″ Mix 3:19) **never been available
on CD before**

 

 

CD3: Stranded

1. Street Life

2. Just Like You

3. Amazona

4. Psalm

5. Serenade

6. A Song For Europe

7. Mother Of Pearl

8. Sunset

 

Bonus Track:

9. Hula Kula

 

 

CD4: Country Life

1. The Thrill Of It All

2. Three And Nine

3. All I Want Is You

4. Out Of The Blue

5. If It Takes All Night

6. Bitter Sweet

7. Triptych

8. Casanova

9. A Really Good Time

10. Prairie Rose

 

Bonus Tracks:

11. The Thrill Of It All – 1977 Greatest Hits Edit (4’20) )
**never been available on CD before**

12. Your Application’s Failed

13. The Thrill Of It All (USA 7″ Mix 3:20) **never been
available on CD before**

 

 

CD5: Siren

1. Love Is The Drug

2. End Of The Line

3. Sentimental Fool

4. Whirlwind

5. She Sells

6. Could It Happen To Me?

7. Both Ends Burning

8. Nightingale

9. Just Another High

 

Bonus Tracks:

10. Love Is The Drug (USA 7″ Mix 3:00) **never been
available on CD before**

11. Sultanesque

12. Both Ends Burning (7″ Mix 3:58) **never been available
on CD before**

13. For Your Pleasure – Live **never been available on CD
before**

 

 

CD6: Manifesto

1. Manifesto

2. Trash

3. Angel Eyes (***rock version***)

4. Still Falls The Rain

5. Stronger Through The Years

6. Ain’t That So

7. My Little Girl

8. Dance Away (***ballad Version***)

9. Cry, Cry, Cry

10. Spin Me Round

 

Bonus Tracks:

11. Trash 2

12. Dance Away (Single Version)

13. Dance Away (Canadian Extended 12″ Mix)

14. Angel Eyes (Single Version)

15. Angel Eyes (12″ Single Version)

 

 

CD7: Flesh And Blood

1. The Midnight Hour

2. Oh Yeah

3. Same Old Scene

4. Flesh And Blood

5. My Only Love

6. Over You

7. Eight Miles High

8. Rain Rain Rain

9. No Strange Delight

10. Running Wild

 

Bonus Tracks:

11. Oh Yeah (7″ Version) **never been available on CD
before**

12. Manifesto (Remake)

13. South Downs

14. Lover

15. Jealous Guy

16. To Turn On You (1981 B-Side Version) **never been
available on CD before**

 

 

CD8: Avalon

1. More Than This

2. The Space Between

3. Avalon

4. India

5. While My Heart Is Still Beating

6. The Main Thing

7. Take A Chance With Me

8. To Turn You On

9. True To Life

10. Tara

 

Bonus Tracks:

11. Avalon (7″ Single Version) **never been available on CD
before**

12. Always Unknowing

13. Take A Chance With Me (7″ Single Version) **never been
available on CD before**

14. Take A Chance With Me (USA 7″ Mix) **never been available
on CD before**

15. The Main Thing (12″ Single Version)

16. The Main Thing – Remix **never been available on CD
before**

 

 

Cotton Mather Reunites for Special SXSW Show

 

Also news of Future
Clouds & Radar’s return.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Among aficionados of ‘90s pop – the type cut from classic ‘60s
cloth but filtered through an ‘80s college rock and DIY sensibility – one of
the brightest lights of the era was Austin’s Cotton Mather, who issued three
full-lengths and a pair of EPs, all highly regarded, before the music industry’s
crush on corporate alt-rock and nü-metal eventually doomed them and other
likeminded outfits. Bandleader Robert Harrison enjoyed considerable fame during
the next decade fronting Future Clouds &Radar (profiled here at BLURT), and while that band has been relatively dormant
the past couple of years, he’s been working on new material and promises a
re-emergence sometime this year.

 

Meanwhile, though, he’s also been busy assembling a 2CD
Deluxe Edition of Cotton Mather’s classic 1997 album Kontiki, which, with its wash of Beatlesque harmonies, jangly-but-scorching
guitars that wouldn’t be out of place on Big Star or Superdrag records, and the
kind of dense, headphone-beckoning arrangements that’d make Todd Rundgren and
Andy Partridge blush, earned the accolades of such diverse tastemakers as Britt
Daniels of Spoon and the Gallagher brothers of Oasis (who took the band out on
tour in England that same year. For the reissue, Harrison
presented the original album along with a bonus disc of outtakes and early
demos, plus a thick booklet containing the entire story of the making of the album
and the history of the band.

 

Keep your eyes peeled for our review of Kontiki soon. A wildly successful Kickstarter campaign funded the reissue – check out the awesome, and hilarious, video (watch for the celeb cameos) that was created for the campaign right here. Then check this trailer that was made for the reissue:

 

 

 

To further seal the deal, Harrison
and fellow C.M. alumnus Whit Williams have been, Harrison
tells BLURT, “hanging out a lot and at the guitars
again – we want to give Kontiki a proper American release.” A
special Cotton Mather reunion concert is being planned for March at SXSW in
which the entire album is performed. Says Harrison, ‘Most if not all of the
people who played on Kontiki will be
there and it will be the first C.M. show since Lyon
10 years ago this May!”

 

You can
bet yours truly will be at the show, front and center.

 

Harrison
adds that Future Clouds & Radar along with his Star Apple Kingdom label are officially
reactivated. “I had to shut the label down and sell the studio house back in
2009 because our funding didn’t survive the economic ‘down-turn’… But slowly
I’ve put it all back together – built a new studio space and label HQ in the
woods, behind my house in the country.

 

“The Kontiki project seemed like a good place to start a new creative chapter and draw energy back into the label.”

 

 

 

 

U2 Announces Tracklisting for New Album

 

Available exclusively
to fan club members and not available in stores.

 

By Fred Mills

 

A couple of months ago the U2 fanclub announced the upcoming U22 double CD, comprising songs from the
group’s entire catalog that were performed and recorded on the 360 Tour. A
22-track collection, it has the unique twist of being fan-curated: members of
the group’s U2.Com club could vote on the songs they wanted for the set.

 

The votes are in, the product is being made as a 24-page
large format book, and it will be available very soon – but only if you had
already subscribed to the fan club. As an email from U2.Com this morning read, “‘U22’,
which won’t be on sale in the shops or online, is now going into production.
Meantime, anyone who’s already subscribed to U2.com for the coming
year
will be able to download one of the winning tracks in the next
few days… Check out the 22 tracks and listen to a clip of each one.

 

 

Here’s that list of tracks:

 

1. Bad  
2. Where The Streets Have No  Name
3. Magnificent
4. One
5. Ultraviolet
6. Even Better than The Real Thing
7. With or Without You
8. Beautiful Day
9. City of Blinding Lights
10. The Unforgettable Fire
11. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
12. All I Want is You/Love Rescue Me   
13. Moment of Surrender  
14. Until The End of the World  
15. The Fly
16. One Tree Hill  
17. Stay (Faraway, So Close)
18. Walk On
19. Zooropa
20. Elevation
21. Out of Control
22. Mysterious Ways

The Heavy: Nurtz to Newt’s Song Theft

 

Would YOU steal a song from a gal wielding an axe like that? Another politician who wishes he could have
licensed “Born In The USA”
bites the dust.

 

By Blurt Colbert

 

So we all dig UK funk/soul/garage combo The
Heavy, right? And their song “How You Like Me Now?” rocks, right? And everyone
knows that Republican presidential aspirant (rhymes with: expectorant) Newt
Gingrich is a major tool, right?

 

Figures, then, that the Newtster’s campaign would borrow the
tune for use at a recent political rally. As Prefix Mag is reporting, “You
think [politicians] would at least double-check with the artist and/or their
label first [before using music without permission]. But nope, they’re still
pulling shit like this, with the latest example coming four days ago during
Republic presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s rally in Tampa, Fla.”

 

Needless to say, The Heavy issued a statement condemning the
action:

 

Counter Records/Ninja Tune artist The
Heavy has been wrongfully affiliated with a political campaign without their
consent. Their song ‘How You Like Me Now?’ was used – without permission – in
Newt Gingrich’s recent rally in Tampa
on January 23, 2012. The majority of media has mistakenly credited it as a Toby
Keith song of the same name. 

 

Counter Records/Ninja Tune would like
to officially state that The Heavy do not endorse this usage, nor do they wish
to be associated with any political party without consent. The band has
requested that this usage stops immediately. 

 

 

A Montreal music publishing company,
Third Side Music, has sent a cease-and-desist order to the Gingrich camp,
asserting its rights to the song in North America.
“Neither us, nor the band have particularly approved the usage of it,” said
Third Side’s Jeff Waye, to Montreal’s Global News.

 

As you probably know, the Keith track in question, “How Do You Like Me Now?”, would clearly be Newt-esque, or at least
highly Republican-esque, given TK’s right-tilting legacy. The Heavy tune,
however, would be awesome to hear at an Obama rally. Check out both original songs,
below.

 

 


Bitchin’ Brew: Miles Davis Gets Stamp!

 

The Dark Magus rises.
Up next: Johnny Thunders.

 

By Fred Mills

 

It’s not every day a horn-blowin’, heroin-shootin’, woman-punchin’
jazz icon gets a stamp in his honor, but that’s exactly what appears to be in
the works with the United States Postal Service. Rolling Stone is reporting that this year Miles Davis “will be immortalized in a collection of
musically-themed stamps that will also honor the singer Edith Piaf… in
partnership with the French postal service, La Poste.”

 

“This is a fitting honor,” said Lee Barham,
chairman of the steering committee for the Miles Davis Jazz Celebration.
“Before Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, there was Miles Davis.”

 

We
already know what stamps we will be affixing to our official BLURT Christmas
cards next year. Of course, this isn’t the first time to the well for Davis vis a vis a stamp,
internationally speaking:

 

Disney Kills Joy Division Mickey Tee

What would YOUR parents say if you came home wearing an iconic design linked to a nihilistic musician who hanged himself, kids?

By Fred Mills

Earlier this week a marketing kerfluffle kicked in when word got out about a Joy Division-inspired teeshirt being sold by Disney – the singular “Unknown Pleasures” LP sleeve art was adapted into the shape of Mikckey Mouse’s head, as you can see above – although that’s not specifically how the sales blurb went:

“Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’
album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey’s image
within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That’s appropriate given
few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!”

Billboard reports that Disney had now halted sales of the shirt, with a representative telling reporters that “As soon as we became aware there could be an issue, we pulled it
from our shelves and our online store to review the situation
further.”

Erstwhile bassist Peter Hook weighed in, telling the Los Angeles Times.
“I take it as a compliment. If I had a pound for every time someone bootlegged Joy Division,
I’d be as rich as Disney. But it’s interesting in a kitsch way. It’s
this cross between something very adult and this well-known image
of childhood.”

At presstime the shirt was doing hot action at eBay: At least one shirt, like this one , is already fetching bits topping 200 bucks.

 

UPDATE: It’s currently reached $255 in the bidding.

 

 

Incoming: New Loudon Wainwright III

 

Album arrives April
17.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Older Than My Old Man
Is Now
is the prophecy-fulfilling title of the upcoming album from veteran
troubadour Loudon Wainwright III. It’s due April 17 from 2nd Story
Sound Records and is the followup to 2010’s 10
Songs For the New Depression
as well as last year’s career-spanning box 40 Odd Years.

 

Of that collection, BLURT reviewer Steven Rosen noted, “The
singer-songwriters who came of age in the 1960s and early 1970s are the
Boomers’ major contribution to the Great American Songbook, and Loudon
Wainwright III ranks with the very best. How many have spent so long displaying
the guts Wainwright has shown in turning his family and professional life – its
failures and triumphs – into material for public consumption?
And how many have the talent to make such consistent, enduring art out of that
material?”

 

The new album finds the legendary Grammy-winning songwriter,
now 65 years old, reflecting on the fact that he’s older than his father ever
was, featuring contributions from all four of his children – Rufus and Martha
Wainwright, Lucy Wainwright Roche and Lexie Kelly Wainwright – as well as two
of their three mothers, Suzzy Roche and Ritamarie Kelly. 

While his musical career is well known, it’s less common knowledge that Loudon
is also an accomplished comedic actor, including parts in The 40-Year-Old
Virgin, Knocked Up and on M*A*S*H, as well as recent cameos in Undeclared and
Parks and Recreation.