Monthly Archives: May 2012

Watch: Alice Cooper Live ’79 DVD

 

The
Strange Case of Alice Cooper: Live 1979 – The Madhouse Rock Tour, recently
released by Shout! Factory, is 72 minutes of ghoulish, hard rocking fun.

 

By Lee Zimmerman

Alice Cooper has a drinking problem, or so says Vincent Furnier — Alice’s real life
alter-ego — in the prelude to the video version of the over-the-top tour de
force that marked the 1979 Madhouse Rock tour. An exercise in theatrical excess
and outrageous spectacle, it goes to show how durable Alice has always been, so durable in fact that
he currently has a featured role in the Johnny Depp remake of Dark Shadows, looking every bit as
ghastly and ghoulish as he did back in the day. No matter, then, that the
character has an abuse problem or a psychopathic disorder; the enduring icon is
in peak form in this intriguing period piece, one that finds him and his band
surrounded a variety of loony characters and enough special effects to mount a
Broadway extravaganza. Furnier’s ability to mine his muse for nearly four
decades has turned Alice’s road show into a
handsome paycheck, and unlike Kiss, his closest competition, Alice has never shed his make-up or attempted to suppress the quirkier aspects of his character’s
persona.

 

 

 

As a result, Alice’s
oddities are never more evident than they were here, as the demented star
pleads, cajoles and generally bares his fears and fantasies for an approving
audience. Using songs from his then-current album From the Inside to guide the narrative, the 72-minute video takes
him from an insane asylum to a stage shared with dancing bottles of booze of an
international variety. He’s accompanied by a ghoulish cast of creepy caretakers
and all manner of ghastly accoutrements – among them, disembodied heads, his ever-ready
straight jacket and, naturally, Alice’s
pet boa constrictor.

 

 

 

And of course, there’s also an ample stash of hits – “Welcome to My
Nightmare,” “Only Women Bleed,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” “No More Mr. Nice
Guy,” “I’m Eighteen” and, naturally, his signature song, “School’s Out,” all
sung with typical Cooper cachet. The ageless Alice regales the crowd in full freak frenzy,
as strangely stunning as ever.

 

 

 

New Best Kept Secret: Wolf Ram Heart

 

Latest pick of cool
emerging artist in our ongoing collaboration with Sonicbids.

 

By Fred Mills

 

The BLURT staff put our heads (and ears) together and we
have the latest pick for our Blurt/Sonicbids “Best Kept
Secret”: it’s Wolf Ram Heart, from Columbus,
Ohio. This makes our 19th BKS selection since commencing the program of spotlighting new and
under-the-radar artists back in 2008.

 

The group is described in its bio thusly: “Wolf Ram Heart is
an American pop group whose members are split between the Appalachian foothills
of southeastern Ohio and the urban metropolis
of Columbus.
This is a band bent on marrying art with popular music. Retro-futuristic best
defines their sound that straddles neo-psychedelia and dark art synthesizer
pop. The music is an all encompassing hybrid of pop’s faded echoing
sensibilities, molded into a modern space, and created in a sound that allows
these hauntings to occur and transform.”

 

 


Viewgirls by wolframheart

 

 

That description
just about nails it, and I’ll just note that the group additionally slots in
wonderfully with the contemporary dream-pop movement (Beach House et al) while retaining a visceral
originality that suggests a cinematic approach to songwriting. An eventual liaison
with Hollywood
seems all but inevitable, given the widescreen vibe and rampant eclecticism;
these folks seem to share a sensibility with veteran film scorers as diverse as
Ry Cooder, Calexico and even director David Lynch. With one album to date,
2011’s Betrayal of Hearts, and kudos
from a press chorus that includes Magnet,
Under the Radar
and The Big Takeover
one journalists rightly called it a “headphone masterpiece” – the potential for
the future seems equally wide open.

 

Wolf Ram Heart:

David James – Vocals, Guitar, and Keyboards
Jessica Barnes – Vocals, Bass and Keyboards
Ryan Stolte-Sawa – Vocals, Violin and Keyboards
Eric Buford – drums and percussion
Rob Cave – keyboards

 

 

We’ll have an interview with the band posted to the site
shortly in which we let them fill you in on all this and more. Meanwhile, check
out their official website or Facebook page for additional details as well as
song samples. They’re one of the good ‘uns,
trust us.

 

***

 

Bands, go to www.sonicbids.com/blurtonline to submit and have us review your materials for feature consideration.

 

 

>Our November ‘08 Best Kept
Secret: The
Handcuffs, from Chicago.

 

>Our December Best Kept
Secret: Black
Swan Green, from Brooklyn

 

>Our January 2009 Best Kept
Secret: stephaniesI­d,
from Asheville

 

>Our March Best Kept Secret: Polly Mackey
& the Pleasure Principle, from England

 

>Our June Best Kept Secret: Wiretree, from
Austin

 

>Our August Best Kept Secret: Bulletproof
Vests, from Memphis

 

>Our November Best Kept
Secret: The
Vivs, from Boston

 

>Our January 2010 Best Kept
Secret: The
Public Good, from D.C.

 

>Our February Best Kept
Secret: Dirty Dancing, from
Austin

 

>Our April Best Kept Secret: Jenny Dee
& the Deelinquents
, from Boston

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

>Our June 2011 Best Kept
Secret: Butter, from Durham, NC

 

 

>Our August 2011 Best Kept
Secret: Dark Circles,
from Nashville, TN

 

>January
2012 Best Kept Secret: The Glimmer, from Australia

 

Report: Dressy Bessy Live in Denver

 

May 25 at the Gothic Theatre, with
opening act Sauna.

 

By Tim Hinely

I tried to get
there early enough to catch The Buckingham Squares which apparently has a few
members of The Fluid but was not to be. As I was walking in they were tearing
down and I swear I saw one of the band member utter the words, “Bite me,
Hinely!” Gulp.

 

Sauna is a Denver quartet who
apparently is in high school (or maybe just got out). Whatever, the 2 guys
(bass and guitar) and 2 gals (vocals/keyboard and drums) put on one helluva
show. One song I was reminded of Bratmobile then another I thought of the
B-52’s (some great yelps) then another song it was The Pipettes and…well, I
think you get the picture. The drummer was terrific as was the guitarist (he of
many, many pedals) while the bassist was more than able and the vocalist
brought some excellent energy (and cuteness) to the stage. Catch ‘em before
they grow (or break) up.

 

I was hoping,
upon moving to Denver,
that some Dressy Bessy gigs would be a consistent thing but I hear they haven’t
been playing out much and this was a reunion of sorts (only they never broke
up). Their last record was in 2008, but I hear they have a new ep coming out
sometime soon. It’s the same four folks (Tammy on vocals, John on guitar, Rob
on bass and Craig on drums, who replaced Darren Albert who happened to be in
attendance) with a gal added on keyboards/percussion/backing vocals (regarding
this extra member, Tammy said “She’s in town for a visit so we put her to
work.”).  They played a generous amount
of tunes from all of their records and the band seemed in good spirits with
Tammy looking like a mix between Lene Lovich, Nina Hagen and Roxy Epoxy while
John Hill still has that perpetually stoned grin throughout the set. Bassist
Rob Greene is looking a bit professorial these days with the thick glasses and
crazed ‘fro (sorry, I didn’t get a good enough look at Craig to size him up).
Opening with Live to Tell All”  and
onward we heard “Little TV”, “Shoot”, “Baby Six String”, “Headphones”, “She
Likes It” and plenty more. They ended the set with “Extraordinary” then popped
back out for a two-song encore of “Better Luck” and “Electrified.”

 

The band seems
to have taken a bit of a harder, more rock approach to their songs these days
(as evidenced in the live set, a well) and while I do miss the twee-er aspects
of their songs, the hooks are still there and hey, the bands seems happy,
right? Side note: I’m not quite sure why this gig was a venue of this size
where it was maybe a third to half full, I think they could have completely
packed the Larimer Lounge or the Hi-Dive.

 

[Photo credit:
courtesy the band’s Facebook page]

 

 

 

Video: Howard Devoto Rejoins Buzzcocks

 

Well, for one night in
Manchester, at
least…

 

By Fred Mills

 

Howard Devoto was a guest of the Buzzcocks in Manchester the other
night (May 25) during the band’s “Back to Front” concert featuring material
culled from different eras of its back catalog – and performed, logically, by
members culled from different eras, too. As Slicing Up Eyeballs reported, Devoto
joined for the evening’s closing set, 1977’s legendary Spiral Scratch EP (“Breakdown,” “Time’s Up,” “Boredom” and “Friends of Mine”), plus an encore
of the Troggs’ “I Can’t Control Myself.” It was the first tie in 33 years
Devoto had shared a stage with the band. Check out some video clips, below.

 

Elsewhere during the show, Steve Garvey and John Mayer
played with mainstays Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle (as the “classic” 1978-79
period Buzzcocks), while current members Danny Farrant and Chris Remington were
on hand for other numbers.

 

 

 

Video: Neil Young's God Save the Queen

 

Video description is seemngly self-explanatory…

Here’s an exclusive preview from Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s new
album Americana – out 4 June, a cover of God Save The Queen. No not The
Sex Pistol’s song but the British national anthem and the de facto
national anthem of the United States before the official adoption of The
Star Spangled Banner in 1931.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “God Save the Queen”

 

 

 

UPDATE: Doc Watson in Critical Condition

 

UPDATE: According to the Associated Press, Watson had colon surgery today and is “resting and responsive,” although he is still listed as being in critical condidtion.

 

 

Grammy winning picker is
89.

 

By Fred Mills

 

North Carolina country/bluegrass
legend Doc Watason, who was admitted to a hospital in Watauga
County (in western NC) earlier this
week for an infection, has been transferred to Baptist Medical
Center in Winston-Salem and is in critical condition.
Media reports indicate that a spokesperson for the hospital have confirmed that
condition but declined to elaborate on other details.

 

It has been reported that Watson, 89, may be suffering from
pneumonia and possibly kidney failure, and that he was originally admitted
after suffering a fall. “He is a stout man who has lived 89 years with very
little sickness and always been quite healthy,” his performing partner David Holt
told the Raleigh
News & Observer
Thursday
afternoon. “So we’re hoping.”

 

 

Video: New A Place to Bury Strangers

 

 

“You Are The One” taken from forthcoming album Worship, due June 26 on Dead Oceans.

Directing duo Matt Moroz & Tracy Maurice are behind the new video from A Place to Bury Strangers. deliver a twisted nightmare in
this grindhouse-esque clip produced by Greencard Pictures. Shot on 16mm film,
their dark, experimental style expertly mirrors the mood of APTBS’s track
and elevates the music video to a cinematic noir thriller.

 

(If the video below does not play, go to this link or view it over at Spin.)

 
Moroz and Maurice’s creation recalls a 70s-era, B-movie that is definitley
Not Safe For Work. The duo says, “We
really loved the song. The video evoked something extremely dark, weird and
disturbing.” In it, the viewer follows a mysterious figure as he
visciously beats total strangers, leers at nubile young girls at an underground
club, and initiates a blood-soaked make-out session.

 

 

The National Unveil New Song for Thrones

 

Brooklyn band continue to make their “fantasy” come true…

By Blurt Staff

The song is “The Rains of Castomere” and it’s a track on the soundtrack for hit TV program Game of Thrones. As Pitchfork notes, this is their second plum placement with a fantasy outlet: last year they had another new track, “Exile Vilify,” appear in the video game Portal 2. Check out “Castomere,” below.

 

 

 

MP3: New Saint Saviour

Song “I Call This Home”
taken from upcoming album Union.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

London-based Saint Saviour, aka Becky Jones, is prepping to
release her long-playing debut, Union, following a pair of critically acclaimed EPs as
well as an impressive stint as co-writer and de-facto front woman for Groove Armada. The
album is due July 24 on her own Surface Area Records, and you can check out a
stream of lead track “I Call This Home”:

 

 


I Call This Home by Saint Saviour

 

 

Jones explains that she took her traditional music background
and harnessed it to a burgeoning love of electro and production skills,
inspired by the works of Factory Records and the seminal producer Martin
Hannett, while nodding in the direction of everyone from M.I.A. and Robyn to
Antony Hegarty and Carole King. “I never ever write about my own experience, my
family life or relationships,” said Jones. “I’m not really interested in
badgering on about my own life, I’d rather write about daydreams and the news,
stuff that’s important rather than being self-indulgent.”

 

And as long as we have your attention, check out her awesome Siouxsie and the Banshees cover as well:

 

 


Happy House (Siouxsie and the Banshees Cover) Saint Saviour by Saint Saviour

 

 

Numero Group Announces Power Pop Series

 

It’s pop – with power!

 

By Fred Mills

 

The good archivists at Chicago’s
Numero label has announced an ambitious series of power pop reissues aiming to
build upon the momentum of (and across-the-board enthusiasm for) their Yellow Pills: Prefill compilation. That
one was nearly a decade ago and it soon went out of print, but apparently there
had been plans all along to continue the power pop excavations. Now, on July
17, comes Buttons: From Champaign to
Chicago
, and Buttons: Starter Kit,
and expectations are high. Below see the Numero product descriptions and tracklistings – if you are a power pop
fan, prepare to start salivating…

 

 

 

 

Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago

 An homage to the prairie state Numero calls
home, From Champaign To Chicago is a 19-track survey of Illinois’ Cheapest
Tricks. Reaching back to 1973 and Peoria outliers the Jets and ending in 1987
with Romeoville’s Julian Leal and his Dick Clark approved “Get Away,” From
Champaign to Chicago
 connects, via map, pins, and string, the various
scenes that pockmarked the face of the Land of Lincoln.

 

Prettyboys – I Wanna Make You! (Chicago)
Julian Leal – Get Away (Romeoville)
All-Night Newsboys – She’s Gone Hollywood (Chicago)
Names – It’s A Miracle (Rockford)
Kevin Lee & Heartbeat – Tonight (Chicago)
Band Jocks – At Practice (Chicago)
Vertebrats – Diamonds In The Rough (Champaign)
Nines – Holiday (Champaign)
Jerks – So Lifelike (LaSalle)
Northshore – School Yard (Chicago)
Paul – I Have Always Loved You (Oak Park)
Tom Orsi – Where Are You Now (Desplaines)
Kind – Total Insanity (Chicago)
Eyz – Midnight Girls (Desplaines)
Shoes – In My Arms Again (Zion)
Loose Lips – Kyle (Chicago)
Lay-Z – More And More (Joliet)
Jets – Be For Me (Pekin)
Contraband – See You Tonight (Champaign)

 

Buttons: Starter Kit

 Our entry-level power pop compilation features 20
songs from the original 004, plus two bonus cuts, new liners, tons of sleeve
scans, photos, and ephemera, all housed in a spot varnished, brick-thick
gatefold sleeve.

 

A

Luxury – Green Hearts
Tweeds – I Need That Record
Colors – Rave It Up
Kids – Hey Little Girl
Trend – (I Feel Like A) Dictionary

B

Toms – (I Wanna Be A) Teen Again
Tommy Rock – Dream Rocker
Randy Winburn – Somebody Else’s Girl
Luxury – One In A Million
Tweeds – She’s The Girl (Who Said No)
Randy Winburn – Sunshine U.S.A

C

Bats – Not Easy For Me
Sponsors – In And Out Of Love
Treble Boys – Julie-Anne
Colors – All I Want
Toms – Domestic/Imported

D

Trend – She’s Hi-Fi
Kids – There Goes My Heart Again
Bats – Not My Girl Anymore
Treble Boys – One Kiss
Sponsors – Love I Can’t Wait
Tommy Rock – High School