Monthly Archives: March 2012

SXSW 2012: The Photos

 

In which we offer a
gallery of some of our favorite moments from Austin the other week – among
them, shots taken at the BLURT day party held at the Ginger Man pub.

 

Photos By Susan Moll / Text by Fred Mill

 

(above) Best
Coast

 

Andrew Bird

 

 

Beach Fossils

 

 

Bear In Heaven

 

 

Chairlift

 

 

The Wedding Present

 

 

Best
Coast

 

 

 

BLURT Day Party:

 

JC Brooks

 

 

 

Peter Buck

 

 

 

Tommy Stinson

 

 

Chris Stamey of the dB’s

 

 

Peter Holsapple of the dB’s

 

 

Mitch Easter (guest bassist, dB’s)

 

 

dB’s Setlist

 

 

Chuck Prophet

 

 

Big Star Tribute: Jon Auer, Ken Stringfellow, John Doe

 

 

 

Full Record Store Day Swag Announced

The date, of course,
is April 21. Coming to a reputable indie shop near YOU.

 

By Fred Mills

 

2012 marks the fifth anniversary of Record Store Day – and
if you don’t know what RSD is, you are definitely reading the wrong website.
Each year the organizers manage to make our jaws drop with the exclusive
offerings they’ve managed to wrangle out of artists of all stripes on both
major and indie records, and this year is no exception.

 

Head over to the RSD website and click on the links for the
PDF list as well as the pull down menu showing details and artwork. They’ve got
all the exclusive releases as well as “limited run/regional focus” titles plus
the “Record Store Day First” titles, so check ‘em out, and spend some time on
the site because the collective list is MASSIVE.

 

There’s everything from Abba, Animal Collective and Arcade
Fire to The Flaming Lips, Widespread Panic and Townes Van Zandt, with the likes
of Small Faces, Mike Watt, Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen, Iggy & the Stooges,
Carolina Chocolate Drops, Devo and Captain
Beefheart sprinkled somewhere in the middle. (We are especially hot for the
Pete Townshend Quadrophenia Demos Part 2 ten-inch vinyl, as we picked up Part 1 last November during the RSD “Black Friday” offshoot.)

 

Equally cool: they’ve released a special RSD app for
iPhone/iPad and Android that offers the latest news, store directory/store
finder, special events happening at various indie stores (not restricted to
just April 21, either), and a list of various contest available via mobile
devices. There are also insta-links to the RSD Twitter feed and Facebook page.
The app uses GPS to locate you in relation to the nearest RSD-registered store,
so there’s no way you can not wind up
in the record bins of your choice on April 21.

 

***

 

Oh, and incidentally: if you happen to be anywhere near
Raleigh, NC, that day, drop by Schoolkid’s Records at 2114 Hillsborough Street – several of the BLURT staffers will be hanging out, scoring cool vinyl,
checking out the live music, etc. Come up an introduce yerself!

 

 

Video Premiere: New Kevin Devine

 

“11-17” comes from the
singer-songwriter’s latest album Between the Concrete & Clouds. Ace
videography by Aaron Powell, no less.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

We were stoked to catch Kevin Devine in Austin for SXSW the other week when he
appeared at the BLURT day party at Ginger Man – great sound, great response
too. Now we’re doubly stoked to be able to present his brand new video,
“11-17,” one of the more haunting and luminous tunes to come down the pipeline
in ages. Check it out:

 

 

 

 

Notes Devine, of the video, “This is the second time
we’ve worked with Aaron Powell, who uses public archive stock footage to make
these singularly beautiful and evocative videos.  They’re more like visual
tone poems; he uses a song’s themes and feel as a springboard for his own
interpretations, his own read.  I loved the work he did on ‘Another Bag Of
Bones’ from Brother’s Blood, which
was, within his style, more literal – for ‘11-17′ he took a more abstract path
to no less realized results. 

 

“This is a song about the nagging feeling that you chose the
wrong things, or that you can’t trust yourself enough to even know what the
right things are.  It’s a song about the beartrap of memory and the
clouding agent that is nostalgia.  It’s in some ways a fog song, a lost
song, and Aaron, I think, expressed that gray area in a very moving way.”

 

Devine is currently on tour as direct support to Say
Anything.  Full tour dates can be found at www.kevindevine.net.

 

 

 

 

Video Premiere: Live John Wesley Harding

BLURT’s favorite
raconteur, provocateur and litera-teur weighs in with some caffeinated musings.
And what about that interactive Google map?

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Musician and novelist John Wesley Harding has released a new
live video for “There’s a Starbucks (Where the Starbucks Used to Be),”
from his 2011 Yep Roc album The Sound of
His Own Voice
(reviewed here). The video is a live performance filmed
recently at the Bell House in Brooklyn. The
original video, shot on location in Manhattan,
features Harding in front of various Starbucks locations in the city. Check ‘em
out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with the video comes an interactive Google map showing the locations of each of the
Starbucks
with commentary about the shooting of the video.

 

Recently, Harding’s variety show entitled the Cabinet
of Wonders was asked to do a three show residency at New York’s City Winery. The variety show is
curated and hosted by Harding himself is not only named for his recent release,
but also includes collaborators from the worlds of music, literature,
and comedy. Upcoming guests include Edie Brickell, the Punch Brothers, Josh
Ritter, Sarah Vowell, Sondre Lerche, Fred Armisen, and Janeane
Garofalo. The Cabinet of Wonders variety show is joining
together with NPR to record, broadcast and exclusively
distribute the show beginning this spring.

 

Meanwhile, read the recent BLURT interview with Harding,
conducted by Contributing Editor A.D. Amorosi.

 

Upcoming tour dates:

 

3/29 – Eddie’s Attic – Atlanta,
GA

3/30 – Local 506 – Chapel
Hill, NC

3/31 – The Stage Door Theatre – Charlotte, NC

4/20 – Tin Angel – Philadelphia,
PA

4/28 – City Winery – New
York, NY (Cabinet of
Wonders)

 

 

 

SXSW 2012: A Veritable Smorgasbord

 

 

Blurt’s Senior Editor
chimes in with his picks for SXSW 2012 including Gary Lucas, Wo Fat, The Pimps
of Joytime, Patricia Vonne, Donovan, Thee Oh Sees, Garland Jeffreys and the
Jesus and Mary Chain.

By RANDY HARWARD

 

Wednesday

 

After three hours of sitting on the runway at Dallas/Forth
Worth International Airport with no A/C and really annoying seat buddies, a quick dinner and early bedtime sounded better than
diving right into the evening showcases. El Sol y La Luna – Blurt’s favorite Mexican food stop
(R.I.P. Las Manitas) was handy, and someone was tuning up onstage, so it kinda
qualified as seeing something. Anything.
Then Robert Rodriguez walked in.

 

At least it looked like the guy who made so many of Blurt’s favorite films (El Mariachi, Desperado, Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn). It was tough to
tell, ‘cause he stayed for about 30 seconds, then hit the road. We entertained
thoughts of chasing him down, but didn’t wanna lose our table. Then someone
familiar started checking her mic.

 

You don’t mistake Patricia
Vonne’s
sultry, high-lonesome voice. She’s a deadly draw, and to watch her
is to stare down the barrel of a gun you want to blow you away. And she does, with story songs – like her tribute to Joe Ely,
“Joe’s Gone Ridin’” – that fuse dusty Americana
with a Latin influence and, at times, a Gun Club darkness. And although Salma
Hayek is the one and only Santánico Pandemonium, Vonne gives her a run for her
money when she brings out the castanets and dances. If you weren’t already
agape from her songs and her voice, her moves seal the deal.

 

So when you see your favorite filmmaker* walking out the
door, along with your only chance to meet him, Vonne is the reason you stick
around. Like Alejandro Escovedo says, “She plays castanets/She works without a
net.”

 

(*It had to be him; Vonne’s his sister. She also played
Zorro Girl in Sin City.)

 

PATRICIA VONNE – “JOE’S GONE RIDING”

 

 

Energized, and prodded by Blurt managing editor Fred Mills, who serendipitously appeared for
some of Vonne’s set and an itinerary full of made decisions, the night
continued.

 

We caught about half of The
Wedding Present’s
set at Swan Dive, watching from the back bar. Although we
could only see bassist Pepe, so it was a bit like listening to the recordings,
we knew we’d catch the Weddoes on Saturday at the Blurt party at The Gingerman Pub.

 

THE WEDDING PRESENT – “FLYING SAUCER”

 

 

From there it was on to the Red 7 Patio where we meant to
see Lee Fields & the Expressions but instead were treated to Thee Oh Sees. Turns out the band was
late, so we got to see the whole set, which was a feast of manic, reverby
surf-noise. Frontguy John Dwyer worked a sweet acrylic body/aluminum neck
guitar that looked like, but may not have been, the work of the Electrical Guitar
Company’s Kevin Burkett. Either way, it was like fuckin’ Excalibur in Dwyer’s
hands. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Carson Daly jumped
onstage, at Dwyer’s behest, to play drums – and crushed it. Who’da thunk it? If
Daly has such good taste, how can he stand hosting The Voice? Didn’t he already do his time with TRL?

 

THEE OH SEES – “MEAT STEP
LIVELY”

 

 

Anyway, after that display of rock majesty, at least one of
us was pooped. Luckily, there was music to be heard at the hotel: UK
quintet The Dunwells on the
Creekside annex of the Hilton Garden Inn, and Freedy Johnston on the 18th floor of the HGI proper. Too
bad they had the same time slot. Three songs of The Dunwell’s Mumford-esque set
went down smooth, almost like lullabies. Likewise, Freedy Johnston’s sedate
acoustic power pop. Got there just in time to catch two favorites, “This
Perfect World” and “Bad Reputation,” Johnston’s
first and biggest hit. The story of the first time FJ heard it on the radio –
in a convenience store with no one around except an oblivious employee – was a
fine way to lead into the song, which was a sublime end to the evening.

 

FREEDY JOHNSTON
– “BAD REPUTATION”

FREEDY JOHNSTON – “BAD REPUTATION”

 

 

Thursday

 

After trawling the trade show booths for free candy to
supplement another El Sol breakfast, there were only two shows to hit as far as
Thursday went. Sure, there was plenty of good stuff on the sked, but
opportunities to see Garland Jeffreys and The Jesus and Mary Chain don’t
come along frequently enough.

 

Jeffreys, playing Day Two of Blurt’s series of Gingerman parties, rocked the house with a tight
set of hits from “Modern Lovers” to “Wild in the Streets” to his cover of “96
Tears” by Question Mark and the Mysterians. We clapped like toddlers every time
Jeffreys jumped off the stage and onto the picnic tables, treating the
Gingerman patio like an arena. Talk about giving it all.

 

GARLAND JEFFREYS
– “MODERN LOVERS”

 

 

 

The Jesus and Mary Chain’s midnight
set time at The Belmont left plenty of time to kill, so it was off to the
Reeperbahn Festival party at Downtown Burgers. It was one hell of a long line
for the free food, but it was totally worth it. People-watching netted a rare
sighting of an ostensible weirdo in orange spandex with a cowboy hat and a Cortez-meets-Rollie
Fingers ‘stache. So that was nice.

 

Jordi, a new friend from Spain,
proffered a CD by a band called Seward,
about whom he waxed rhapsodic while we waited for our Reeperburgers. Turns out he’d
gone to a club back home intending to see maybe 15 minutes of Seward’s set, and
wound up staying the entire night – previous engagements be damned. Then he insisted
they allow him to manage them.

 

Everything Seward does, he said, is counterintuitive in
these days of social networking and self-promotion. No Facebook, no MySpace. Barely
a website. And that disc he dropped? He had to talk them into recording them
for SXSW, as they were content to wait until their new platter, produced by
Matt Pence (Centro-matic, American Music Club), was done. Jordi said the band wants
people to come to the shows, then spread the word via old-school word-of-mouth.
They were playing at The Hideout on Friday night, but it conflicted with
something else. Days later, driving around back home, the CD backed up Jordi’s
near fanaticism. He’d mentioned a hypnotic live performance, and threw out tags
like “progressive” and “indie folk.” Listening to the band, a sextet wielding
acoustic and electric instruments – with a singer that channels Kermit the Frog,
Tiny Tim and Baby Dee (it sounds fucked up, but it’s not), you get goosebumps.
It’s an odd flight that manically dips and soars and, like some strange things,
is ultimately beautiful and transcendent.

 

SEWARD – “SWEET KICK”

 

 

 

On the way out, the orange dude caught me. Turns out we had
a mutual friend and, when Alexander Antebi produced a trading card showing him
with laser eyes and fuzzy Commie headwear, he was suddenly familiar. On a
late-night search for an obscure late-nineties Scottish AOR band, YouTube
recommended a video by an LA band called Conquistador.
Antebi fronts the band, which is an amalgam of Bowie, Queen, P-Funk, 80s pop
and synth-pop, disco, psych, gypsies, pirates – conquistadors, of course – and
the introspection of a sensitive oddball who’s been told many times he doesn’t
fit in, but is actually more normal than most people.

 

CONQUISTADOR (stream five tracks, download one): http://www.conquistador.net/

 

CONQUISTADOR – “FRUIT LOOPY”

 

 

When a band like the Jesus and Mary Chain plays SXSW, you
need to arrive early even if it means skipping other stuff you wanna see. Best
intentions aside, we still spent too long standing stupidly in the cash-only
proletariat line, watching them set up a JAMC merch table and listening to a
band that sounded better with every song. Once inside among hundreds of folks
who had the same early-entry idea, we learned the band on stage was Arkells, from Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada.
The 80s-influenced indie pop songs – with a definite Spoon-y streak – kept
getting better, too, until the bouncy, anthemic “Kiss Cam” sealed the deal:
They were an uxpected SXSW miracle and a new Blurt favorite. Catch them touring the States through May 25.

 

ARKELLS (full album stream): http://arkells.ca/media/

 

ARKELLS – “KISS CAM”

 

 

Now, back to the Jesus
and Mary Chain
. Not to tempt fate, but it’s a wonder they’re even bothering
to attempt a reunion (if that’s what they’re calling it), given the Reid
brothers’ concept of brotherly love is, shall we say, non-traditional. The band
stalked in through the bar-side entrance, heads down, noticed only by the fans
populating a long white bench while Titus Andronicus played. Just the way, one
reckons, they wanted.

 

When they took the stage, they hardly acknowledged the
fervent applause and whistles. Nobody expected otherwise, and the adulation
swelled as the band started to play. It wasn’t long, just a few songs, before Jim
R. cursed and stopped twice to tell William he needs to tune his instrument.
Chalk it up to being part of the show; a lot of bands have pyrotechnics – the
JAMC just does it differently. Everyone else was hanging on the songs, anyway. The
first strains of “Head On,” for example, were met with delirious cheers.

 

Those are the best SXSW shows. The ones where everyone
there, regardless of the role they play in the “industry,” is reduced to a
fanboy/girl. The ones where you have to
show up early – the SXSW version of the lost tradition of camping out the night
before tickets go on sale – in order to get in, and you’re rewarded many times
over. The ones where several songs elicit the reaction afforded “Head On.” The
ones where you don’t mind that your glimpses of the band come between bobbing
heads and swaying hands.

 

The walk home, Psychocandy T-shirt in hand, was soundtracked by a reprise of the song already
mentioned, now impossible to silence in one’s head: “And the way I feel
tonight/I could die and I wouldn’t mind…”

 

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN – “HEAD ON”

 

 

 

Friday

 

Friday is always the day where your feet are sore and the
whole SXSW experience flirts with drudgery. Run-walking from venue to venue
gets old and some parties and showcases lose their allure. Well, not our party. (Whew… nice save, right?)
Funny how it’s this same day/night, when you somewhat reluctantly drag yourself
out of bed and hit the bricks, that you see some of the best shows. If you
hurry.

 

Latino indie pop group Y
La Bamba
made a good first stop in the air-conditioned Convention Center.
But seeing this band live makes you love their album Court the Storm – and singer Luzelena Mendoza’s heavenly voice –
even more. It was a short set, maybe four songs, over far too soon.

 

Y LA BAMBA – LIVE AT THE HOTEL CAFÉ 3/23/2012

 

 

The dB’s set at Blurt’s day-three party almost was a
casualty of ennui and fatigue – the Gingerman was packed and even Blurt staffers had to heed the “one-out,
one-in” policy. Luckily it wasn’t a long wait, and I caught most of the set
(albeit from a couch in back of the venue). That’s another type of SXSW show
where each song is a memory and, as with the JAMC last night and The Posies and
American Music Club in years past, there’s a sense of fellowship among fans. Again
heads bobbed and necks craned, as everyone tried to glimpse Chris Stamey and
Peter Holsapple as they traded their signature jangly power pop songs.

 

THE DB’S – “AMPLIFIER”

 

 

You may already have heard about the giant, Rick-rolling
Doritos vending machine in the parking lot of high-falutin’ Italian restaurant,
Carmelo’s. It was more than a little vulgar, with partygoers dumping giant
quarters into the machine in hopes of winning a prize (usually a bag of the new
product) and doing so for the Doritos cameras. And with the stage occupying the
place where the goodies are usually dispensed – making each act a sort of
“prize,” well, that was tough to swallow. BTW, thanks for killing the best
fajita stand in Austin.

 

It was best just to focus on the music. Chali 2na of defunct hip-hop legends Jurassic 5, crushed it like a
bag of free chips. The self-proclaimed “verbal Herman Munster”
served up rhymes about freedom, revolution and graffiti as well as some J5
classics (“Quality Control”) and a smokin’ version of the Jackson
5 hit “I Want You Back” – with keyboardist Anthony Brewster from backing band
the House of Vibe doing a note-perfect Michael Jackson vocal impression.

 

CHALI 2NA – “GUNS UP”

 

 

 

 

From there, it was a race to the Beauty Bar Backyard to see
another Blurt favorite, The Pimps of Joytime. If you like
old-school funk like Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, pre-Around the World in A Day Prince – and
his protégés The Time, Sheila E.’s trademark Latin percussion and just a taste
of new-school electronic music, then you need the Pimps in your life. Frontguy-guitarist Brian J is a full-on star, with
chops and presence to rival anyone mentioned above. They had that little white
backyard tent sweating like pigs – and clapping like toddlers for ice cream –
by the time the set was over. Alas, there wasn’t a merch table in sight –
otherwise, they would have sold out of everything.

 

THE PIMPS OF JOYTIME – “JANXTA FUNK”

 

 

 

That would’ve been the time to go out on top, but SXSW just
isn’t SXSW without a heaping plate of stoner rock. This year, Texas
trio Wo Fat takes the prize for
balls-out, fucking awesomeness. Crammed into the Headhunters Patio, the trio
played their horror-film inspired jams literally in the fans’ faces. Singer-guitarist
Kent Stump wrung giant
Godzilla riff after Godzilla riff from his wood-finish Gibson Thunderbird and
played solos so sick you wanted to complain that he didn’t have a stage – fuck
that, a skyscraper – to play on so
he’d look as big as he sounded. It just didn’t seem right to be looking down at the guy while he rocked
everyone’s faces off.

 

After that one-two punch, it was quittin’ time.

 

WO FAT – “BAYOU JUJU”

 

 

 

Saturday

 

There was only one way for this day to start, and that’s
with a screening of Coffin Joe’s This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse with
a live score by Gary Lucas
. Lucas, you may already know, is the guitar
maestro behind Jeff Buckley. And Captain Beefheart, Nick
Cave, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and a
veritable shitload of other huge talents. Lucas, notwithstanding his
associations but also by them, is no slouch his own self. The man plays guitar
like he is one, and that’s something Blurt reveres. That, and horror films.

 

The Coffin Joe flicks, directed by and starring Brazilian
auteur José Mojica Marins, focus on the exploits of it titular character – a
demented perv in undertaker’s garb with thick, disgusting fingernails. By now
his motivations are cliché: He wants to sire a successor and he’s looking for
the right woman – one without fear – to carry Joe Jr. Each film is a creepy
blend of exploitation, acid trips and German Expressionism. That is to say, for
horror and exploitation fans, they’re heartrending works of art.

 

Juxtapose it with Lucas’s guitar work – ranging from tense
electric slide squalls to dusty acoustic desert-twang – and it’s… fuckin’
magical. And in the cool, posh, spacious Alamo Ritz theater on a hot, muggy day
in Austin, you can’t do much
better. That’s why you don’t wait for the late-night version, where SXSW Music
badgeholders can get in for free. The ten bucks to attend the SXSW Film
screening was more than worth it, and left plenty of scratch to hit Lucas’s
overflowing merch table afterward.

 

GARY LUCAS PLAYS THIS
NIGHT I WILL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE

 

 

From there it was a walk on clouds to the Gingerman for day
four of the Blurt festivities. We
strolled in just in time to see a couple of songs by The Hobart Brothers (Freedy Johnston, Jon Dee Graham and Susan
Cowsill), then a repeat performance by The
Wedding Present
– a full set this time, with a better view. The Weddoes
packed the place, and everyone stuck around to see Tommy Stinson – late of the Replacements, current bass player of
Guns N’ Roses – play a solo set that left one wondering why the dude’s been a
second banana for so long. Maybe he’s just good at it. But this set proved he’s
good at a lot of things.

 

Every year there’s an actor band at SXSW, but Creed Bratton had to be different. The Office curmudgeon/fearsome lunatic
was a member of the 1960s band The Grass Roots and has been putting out solo
stuff for years. At the slightly out-of-the-way Palm Door that night, the crowd
alternated between “I wonder if this guy’s gonna be any good” and “Can you
believe fucking Donovan is playing
next?”

 

Bratton looked like a dignified elder statesman of rock ‘n’
roll, kind of a hybrid of Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits) and Alan Thicke – you
know, that sort of debonair dad-rocker. Nobody expected him to be psycho-Creed,
the character, but it was certainly different to see him playing breezy,
slightly twangy rock tunes – along with the occasional anthem like the song we
know only as “One Guitar.” It was a fun little fist-pumper amid a set that was
novel and just north of ‘decent.’

 

Then again, that could have been the Donovan anticipation talking. From what we heard, the legendary
folkie was a late addition to the bill – a big surprise to a lot of people, who
stayed past Creed, jettisoning whatever plans they had for the 9pm time slot. Again, it was totally worth
sticking around. Donovan played wall-to-wall hits, including the requisite
“Mellow Yellow” and a raucous, set-closing version “Season of the Witch” –
where he was joined by Eric Burdon. Everyone knew he’d be back for the fake
encore, though, as “Hurdy-Gurdy Man” had been conspicuously absent. He came
back, played it, and it killed.

 

DONOVAN – “SEASON OF THE WITCH”

 

 

 

 

Afterward, White
Denim
was rocking the vending machine, more and more betraying a Rush
influence – a good thing, especially since they’re not losing that garage-indie
edge, either. We didn’t stay long, though, ‘cause The Henry Clay People and The
Sheepdogs were playing elsewhere. Sadly, the tiny Soho Lounge was unappealingly
hot and packed – so no THCP this time. No Sheepdogs, either, because some of
us, won’t say who, were too drunk to find the venue which, it turns out, was
right under our red noses.

 

WHITE DENIM – “AT THE FARM” (LIVE AT THE GHOST ROOM)

 

 

 

Good thing we stay at the same place every year, and the
Easy Tiger venue is right there. Peter
Case & Paul Collins,
those legends of power-pop, held court there in
the midnight slot of the Get Hip
showcase. It would’ve been worth seeing that entire lineup, but if there’s one
act to see – especially if you missed them at your own damn party on Friday, it’s these guys. Between the two, they
played the hits of the bands there were in together as well as post-breakup:
The Nerves, the Birminghams, the Beat and The Plimsouls. It was like seeing
four bands at once. Too bad they couldn’t hold it together. ( /news/view/6122/)

 

But damned if that’s not a good way to call it a year.

 

PETER CASE & PAUL COLLINS – “A MILLION MILES AWAY”

 

First Look: New Paul Weller LP

 

Sonik
Kicks, out next week on Yep Roc, reaffirms the Modfather’s primacy.

 

By Lee Zimmerman

Whew… A person can become breathless trying to keep up with
Paul Weller’s chameleon-like persona. It was 35 years ago that he first made
his debut with the Jam, a throwback to the halcyon days of the Who, the Kinks,
the Small Faces and other iconic Brit pop standard-bearers of the mid to late ‘60s.
After that, the so-called “Modfather” switched direction and went all jazzy and
cabaret with the Style Council, which culminated in his decision to go solo
some twenty years ago.

 

Since then, Weller’s demonstrated a restless ambition that’s
defied any notion of him as an archetypical throwback to an earlier era, as
he’s abandoned the retro references and ventured instead into the bold new
world of techno, funk and abstract ambiance. This of course is nothing new;
over the past decade Weller’s made freeform exploration and hints of world
rhythms standard additives on each of his recent albums. His public seems to
approve; gold record awards and all manner of prestigious plaques have likely
taken over his mantle place.

 

 


Paul Weller – Around The Lake by floweringtoilet

 

 

Nevertheless, Sonik
Kicks
may prove his most intriguing effort yet, an album awash in
psychedelic suggestion, cosmic noodling and swooping, soaring performances
driven by fresh enthusiasm. It’s oftentimes confounding, particularly when it
comes to the abstract instrumentals that occasionally fill the spaces between
songs. Yet in the midst of the synthesized set-ups, Weller’s knack for melody
and ebullient emotion manages to turn such tunes as “The Attic,” “Dragonfly,”
“Paperchase” and “Be Happy Children” into a series of emotional juggernauts
that find every pulsating tempo and each twist of a phrase turning those tracks
into a veritable tour-de-force. Given its title, Sonik Kicks proves a point about the worthiness of truth in
advertising, and indeed, with that being the case, Weller gives his listeners
yet another impressive jolt.

 

 

Splitsville for Peter Case, Paul Collins

 

UPDATE: The LA Times has a report on the split that includes this quote from Case originally posted to Facebook: “Collins was continually abusive to the band and others supporting the
tour, and when I stuck up for them, he repeatedly showered me with loud
abuse. That road doesn’t go through anymore. This is a problem that went
back to Day 1 of the tour and never improved for long but got worse.
It’s amazing that we were able to get through as many shows as we
did….The Nerves didn’t work out in the seventies and they couldn’t
now. I wish him well in all things, but we have to be on separate
paths.”

 

 

Musical differences
conspire to kill the joint tour.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

We here at BLURT were stunned and saddened to receive the
following press release yesterday:

 

“Due to unforeseen
circumstances Paul Collins will not be performing any of the remaining shows
with his former bandmate from The Nerves and The Breakaways, Peter Case. Case
cites ‘the usual musical differences’ as the reason for the departure of
Collins.”

 

Less than a week ago we were in Austin for SXSW, and at one
of our day parties held at the Ginger Man, the Case-Collins band had a packed
venue full of jaws dropping – among them, Peter Buck, Chuck Prophet, Greg
Humphreys and Amy Ray, all of whom had stuck around for the set and were
singing along just as loudly as any of the regular fans to such
Nerves/Beat/Plimsouls gems as “Hanging On the Telephone,” “Don’t Wait Up For Me”
and “Million Miles Away” (the latter with Buck guesting on 12-string). Among
pop aficionados, the pairing of the two erstwhile bandmates was one of the year’s
most anticipated reunion tours.

 

Still, occasional flashes of tension between the two were
evident in Austin,
such as when they were conferring to determine whose song they’d perform next.
So “the usual musical differences” probably isn’t merely a party line the press
release is spouting.

 

It goes on thusly:

 

“The good news is that
Peter Case, along with his touring band of bassist Timm Buechler and drummer
Amos Pitsch, will continue to deliver their own visceral rock & roll
performances for the remaining tour dates in support of The Plimsouls’ recently
released live album Beach Town Confidential. The band will be delivering
high-energy, hook-laden numbers from Peter’s previous bands, The Plimsouls and
The Nerves, such as “A Million Miles Away,” “Zero Hour,”
“Now,” “Hanging On The Telephone,” “One Way
Ticket,” “When You Find Out” and many other favorites that have
been firing up venues and fans alike since the beginning of the tour earlier
this month.”

 

Good luck to both Case and Collins, and here’s hoping that
they can mend fences and resume the project. Based on the Austin show, the duo definitely has a unique
kind of chemistry – tension notwithstanding.

 

Flaming Lips & Friends for Rec Store Day

 

 

Somebody’s been
consulting their Screaming Lord Sutch albums…

 

 

In between one-off shows scattered around the world
in the past several months the Flaming Lips have still found time to record a
series of unique and experimental sessions for an album featuring a diverse cross-section
of heavy friends from every corner of the musical cosmos. THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS
includes vocal and musical assistance from such disparate playmates as Yoko
Ono, Nick Cave, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Bon Iver, Ke$ha and many more.  

 

 

Some of these tracks have already appeared on
previously released, extremely limited edition color vinyl 12″ EPs
released in past months, which sold out as soon as they became available. Most
of the tracks on the album are being released here for the first time and will
surprise even the most ardent LIPS fans.  

 

 

THE FLAMING LIPS AND
HEADY FWENDS
will be pressed on two high-quality, multi-color vinyl discs housed in separate
custom art jackets and poly bagged together. No two discs will look exactly alike.
This double album will be very limited and released exclusively for RECORD STORE DAY. Once it’s gone, it will not be repressed again making THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS the
most anticipated RSD release
this year.    

 

 

Tracklisting:

 

 

Side 1:

 2012 (featuring
Ke$ha and Biz Markie)

 Ashes In The Air
(featuring Bon Iver)

 Helping The
Retarded To Know God (featuring Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)

 

 

Side 2:

Supermoon Made Me Want
To Pee (featuring Prefuse 73)

Children Of The Moon
(featuring Tame Impala)

That Ain’t My Trip
(featuring Jim James of My Morning Jacket)

You, Man? 
Human?  (featuring Nick
Cave)

 

 

 Side 3:

 I’m Working At
NASA On Acid (featuring Lightning Bolt)

 Do It! (featuring
Yoko Ono)

 Is David Bowie
Dying? (featuring Neon Indian)

 

 

Side 4:

The First Time Ever I
Saw Your Face (featuring Erykah Badu)

Thunder Drops (featuring
New Fumes)

I Don’t Want You To Die
(featuring Chris Martin of Coldplay)

 

 

As previously announced,
the band will also have this highly sought-after title available on Record
Store Day:
The
Flaming Lips
/ Mastodon
: “A Spoonful
Weighs A Ton” (7″ baby pink
vinyl single) The mighty Mastodon faithfully covers the Lips classic “Spoonful Weighs a Ton,”
from The Soft Bulletin album.

 

 

A2IM Nominations Now Open

 

Awards event takes
place in June.

 

A2IM is now accepting
nominations for the 2012 American Association of Independent Music Libera
Awards (“The Libbies”), the first award show for independents, BY
independents, taking place June 21st at New
York’s Le Poisson Rouge, and capping off A2IM’s Indie
Week 2012.

 

Nominations will be managed via a partnership with
Official.fm and can be submitted by all U.S. independents for the below
categories.  Additionally, the A2IM Libera Award for “Up &
Comer Artist presented by eMusic” will consist of two awards, determined
by two separate votes: one by the A2IM member community and another by an
eMusic member vote – giving both the music industry and music fans the
opportunity to choose the next breakthrough independent artist(s). 

 

Award:
Independent Album of the Year presented by Official.fm

 

Award:
Indie Label of the Year Award (5 Employees or less worldwide)

 

Award:
Indie Label of the Year Award (6 Employees or more worldwide)

 

Award: Up and
Comer Award presented by eMusic
 – celebrating the next
independent label superstar artist; to qualify artist must have total career
sales not exceeding 5000 full length albums or 25,000 tracks (combined)

 

Award: Video of
the Year

 

Award: Best Sync Usage – for
the most creative or most impactful use of independent music in a film/tv/ad
campaign

 

Award:
Music Supervisor of the Year 
– for the music
supervisor/licensing person who was especially supportive of independent music
labels and artists in the last 12 months

 

Award: Light
Bulb Award
 – celebrating the most innovative/creative marketing
campaign by an independent label or artist in the last 12 months

 

Award:
Road Warrior of the Year
 – celebrating the independent label
band/artist that worked hardest at their job in the last 12 months

 

Award: 21st
Century Award
 – celebrating the service provider or platform
that was most beneficial to independent labels and artists in the last 12
months

 

Award:
Creative Packaging Award (Physical or Digital)
 – celebrating
the best or most creative packaging – including bundled packages, premium
offerings or artwork/design packaging – from an independent label or artist in
the last 12 months

 

The A2IM Libera Awards recognize the growing support and
market share for independent artists by celebrating the accomplishments of
independent artists and the independent labels that support them.

 

 

Tanlines Unveil New Video

 

Dig that
Mighty Boosh connection….

 

Brooklyn, NY’s Tanlines – composed of Eric
Emm (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Jesse Cohen (drums, keyboards, bass) –  released their
highly-anticipated debut Mixed
Emotions
via True Panther
Sounds yesterday, and have announced that the video for their latest
single “All of Me” will be
premiering on Adult Swim . Check
it out HERE.

 

The video, which marks the music video directorial debut of UK
comedy legend Julian Barratt of The Mighty Boosh and was produced by Framestore, will be Tanlines’
second video off of the album (and the first not in 360 degrees). The
collaboration between Barratt and the band was a combination of brazen wishful
thinking and good luck. Tanlines, who are influenced by Barratt, toyed with the
possibility of listing the Mighty Boosh as a creative partner in their liner
notes. Word reached Barratt, who after listening to an early version of the
album realized “All of Me” served as a perfect musical counterpoint
to some of the imagery he was interested in exploring, and an opportunity to
experiment making music videos. So shockingly, he dove in. 

 

 

Barratt says, “At the time I wrote the treatment, I was
watching a particular film by Fabrice Du Welz called ‘The Ordeal’ which is a
really good, strange, macabre film with some really interesting movement and
dance bits in that…I’m always trying to do anything between comedy and
horror.  Because you have such a strong flavor with Tanlines’ music, it’s
quite fun to offset that with bleak imagery.”

 

 

The video stars the band performing on an old-timey late-night
television show to an elderly crowd jiltedly moving together, doing something
just short of dancing. It is mysterious, funny, macabre and a definite must-see.

 

 

In addition, fans can now get an inside look at what went on
behind the scenes by watching the “Making of” footage HERE, which was directed
by Matt Bowron and produced by Richard Carter. 

 

 

You can listen to Emm and Cohen talk about the new record on NPR’s Morning Edition HERE and stream the album HERE.