Monthly Archives: July 2012

WHY? w/EP, LP, Tour

Details of ‘Mumps,
etc.’ LP, due Oct. + Ready ‘Sod in the Seed’ EP & International Tour.

 

As WHY? readies their first release since 2009, the ‘Sod in the Seed’ EP due out August 13
(EU) / 14 (US) on Anticon / City Slang, the trio announces details of their ‘Mumps, etc.’ LP, slated for October 8th
/ 9th, and plan their international tour with labelmates Doseone, Serengeti,
Jel, Sodapop, and more. You can check out an MP3 for the “Sod in the Seed”
track right here:

 


WHY? – “Sod In The Seed” by anticon

 

 

And also take a peek at a video for the album cover shoot
right here:

 

‘Mumps, etc.’ Album Cover Shoot.

 

 

 

Tourdates:

08-24 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note *&
08-25 – Norman, OK – Opolis *&
08-26 – Santa Fe, NM – SOL @ Santa Fe Brewing *&
08-27 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom *&
08-28 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex *#
08-30 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall ^*#
08-31 – Arcata, CA – Arcata Playhouse *#
09-01 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom *#
09-02 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot Festival
09-03 – Boise, ID – Reef *%
09-04 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue *%
09-05 – Englewood, CO – The Gothic *%
09-06 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room *%
09-07 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada *%
09-08 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center ^*%
09-09 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall ^*%
09-10 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom ^*%
09-11 – Ithaca, NY – The Haunt^*+
09-12 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East^*+
09-13 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg ^*+
09-14 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer ^*+
09-15 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall ^*+
09-16 – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle ^*+
09-17 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl ^*+
09-18 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge ^*+
10-05 – Dusseldorf, Germany – New Fall Festival
10-06 – Evreux, France – L’abordage
10-07 – Paris, France – Maroquinerie
10-08 – Brighton, UK – Old Market
10-09 – London, UK – Electric Ballroom
10-10 – Manchester, UK – Central Methodist Church
10-11 – Bristol, UK – Fleece
10-12 – Glasgow, UK – SWG3
10-13 – Oxford, UK – The Bullingdon
10-15 – Berlin, Germany – Volksbuhne
10-18 – Cincinnati, OH – Lois & Richard Rosethal Center for Contemporary
Art Black Box Theatre
10-20 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar
10-24 – Richmond, VA – Canal Club
10-25 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt
10-26 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits
10-27 – Orlando, FL – The Social
10-28 – Tampa, FL – Crowbar
10-29 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
10-30 – Mobile, AL Alabama – Music Box
10-31 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
11-01 – Houston, TX – Walter’s
11-02 – Dallas, TX – Sons of Hermann Hall
11-03 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
11-05 – St. Louis, MO – Luminary Arts 
 
* w/Serengeti
^ w/Doseone
& w/DJ Tony Trimm
# w/dj sodapop
% w/Jel (DJ Set)
+ w/DJ Thanksgiving Brown 

 

Grandaddy’s Lytle Preps New Solo LP

 

Meanwhile, the band
itself is doing selected shows starting next week.

 

Jason Lytle’s new album Dept Of Disappearance is set for an Oct. 16
release via Anti-Lytle, of course, first made an impact with his band Granddaddy.
After breaking up in 2006, the revered group has now returned for a series of
intensely buzzed about reunion shows which will be followed by Lytle solo dates
in the Fall.

 
As a solo artist, Lytle has built a catalog of inventive and evocative works. Dept.
Of Disappearance
follows up his critically heralded 2009 release Yours Truly, the Commuter.

 
Some details from the label: With a lab
full of burbling beakers, flasks and test tubes, Lytle’s records may have
permanently one-upped Stereolab for best employing the sound of chemical
experimentation and
Dept. Of
Disappearance is no exception. “I have a lot of gear, from conventional
and traditional to super-fucked and broken. And once those sounds get into the
computer, it opens a whole other realm of ‘tweakery,'” he says. 


 
The obvious home for Lytle’s latest feels like the silver screen. On “Last
Problem Of The Alps” he labored long and
hard to create, “a violent and howling blizzard on a dark and rocky
mountain top in sub-zero temps. And when I close my eyes, that’s exactly what I
see.” One of the album’s high points, “Your Final Setting
Sun,” is soaked in the indelible ink of “film noir.” Its
hypnotically dangerous vibe, says Lytle, comes from “the raw and unflinching
writings of Cormac McCarthy, whose sun-bleached, tough-as-nails characters have
a ‘this could be you’ feeling. It’s the one song on the album that had a film
playing along in my head as I was writing it. The chorus came to me while I was
driving down a deserted Montana
road into a beautiful and spooky sunset.”  

Lytle compares the songs on his new album Dept.
Of Disappearance to a roomful of
“strange, brilliant autistic kids with very peculiar social skills. But
there are a few conventional, good-looking ones who go out and shake hands and
get the good jobs. Then they come home and help take care of the other weird,
wonderful ones,” he explains. He then concludes: “Perhaps I will
figure it all out someday, but for now I’m OK with it still being one big,
elusive journey.”
  

 

Well, all right then!

Grandaddy Live Dates:

 8-8   Big Sur, Henry Miller Library
8-11 San Francisco, Outside Lands Festival
8-12 San Francisco, The Independent
8-13 Los Angeles, The Fonda

Spin Magazine to Fold?

 

Scenario floated
whereby it “migrates online.” The good news: Kim Kardashian might finally get
that Spin cover she’s been coveting.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Longtime readers of Spin who have been perplexed, of late, by the music magazine stalwart’s recent
forays into faux-Andy Warhol’s Interview
Magazine
-dom (translation: short, incomprehensible music features bookended
by endless pages of some art director’s idea of fashion layouts, plus an
oversized, expensive cover format) while relying on the brand name for
rapidly-dwindling circulation stats, were still shocked yesterday to learn that
the 1985-founded publication had let go most of its employees and will be going
on hiatus.

 

According to the New York Times:

 

“Two weeks after its takeover
by an online media company
, Spin magazine’s future as a print publication
was cast further into doubt on Friday when 11 employees – a third of the staff
– were laid off and publication plans for the bimonthly magazine were
suspended…. The next issue, dated September/October
and featuring the rapper Azealia Banks on the cover, will come out in late
August. But according to a statement on Sunday by Spin’s new owner, Buzzmedia,
there will be no November/December issue while the company figures out what
form a printed Spin might take given the magazine’s expansion online. ‘Buzzmedia
and Spin are committed to moving forward with print, but we are still
determining exactly how print fits in with Spin’s multiple distribution points
and growth initiatives,’ the statement said.”

 

Just dismissed: Editor-in-Chief Steve Kandell and managing
editor Catherine Davis. (Those two positions are always the first ones to go
when print media outlets consolidate or circle the wagons, by the way.) Still
in the fold: longtime Spin-ster
Charles Aaron, the editorial director, and online ed-in-chief Caryn Ganz. The magazine’s
new owners have indicated that the online presence is to be beefed up as it
chases the ever-elusive online ad dollar.

 

 

 

Buzzmedia, incidentally, owns trend-seeking websites
Idolator, Stereogum and AbsolutePunk – plus, reports the Times, sundry celebrity sites – including a Kim Kardashian portal.

 

We can see where this is all headed…

 

Tom Waits Announces… Something?!?

 

Arrrr!!! Well, at lease we know SOMETHING is coming August 7 from the master media manipulator.

By Fred Mills

As hundreds of media portals are reporting right now, earlier this morning the Tom Waits camp sent out an email containing the above photo, plus the subject header “Tom Waits: Permission to Come Aboard.”

So there you have it. Let the speculation begin

OTC’s Bill Doss 1968-2012 R.I.P.

 

Co-founder of Olivia
Tremor Control passes away from causes as yet unknown.

 

By Fred Mills

 

This morning it was announced that Olivia Tremor Control
singer-guitarist Bill Doss has passed away, but no cause of death is known yet. A post at the band’s official website reads, “We are devastated by the
loss of our brother Bill Doss. We are at a loss for words.”

 

Olivia
Tremor Control was a key player on the Athens
scene’s Elephant 6 collective that also included Neutral Milk Hotel, whose Jeff
Mangum had co-founded OTC with Doss. It lasted from the early ‘90s until 2000,
yielding several records including the 1996 classic Dusk at Cubist Castle. The group subsequently reunited intermittently
for performances, and it’s been rumored that Doss had been preparing a new OTC
album for the near future.

 

Doss had
also done solo work and with a post-OTC band, Sunshine Fix.

 

Ministry’s Jourgensen Collapses Onstage

 

Dehydration and heat
exhaustion cited.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

At a concert at Bataclan in Paris Saturday night (July 28) Ministry’s Al
Jourgensen collapsed onstage and was sent to the hospital. Loudwire reports that Sunday’s performance at the L’Etaples France Rock en Stock
festival was subsequently cancelled.

 

A statement on Ministry’s Facebook page cites a
“full-system collapse due to extreme dehydration and heat exhaustion
intensified by the lack of ventilation on stage at the venue.” Jourgensen
added, “I will make it up to you, somehow. I love Paris, I love the Parisian people. I’m so
sorry …but, shit happens and the shit hit the fan for me last night.”

No excessive alcohol or drugs have been mentioned as contributing
factors.

 

Read our recent concert review of Ministry live in
Chicago on June 29.

 

New Marco Benevento LP + Tour

 

Just say grrrr!

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Marco Benevento joins the deluge of artists releasing
new records on September 11 – it’s called TigerFace,
due from The Royal Potato Family. And to ensure he doesn’t get lost in the
flood, he hits the road that week for an extensive two-month tour. You can view
the itinerary, below.

Live video footage has also just been released of Benevento
performing an instrumental version of “This Is How It
Goes” during a recent show at Signal Kitchen in Burlington, VT.
[Watch here]

Tour Dates:

September 14 | Terrapin Crossroads | San Rafael, CA
September 19 | Water Street Music Hall | Rochester, NY ^
September 20 | Nietzsche’s | Buffalo, NY ^
September 21 | Beachland Ballroom | Cleveland, OH
September 22 | Martyr’s | Chicago, IL ^
September 23 | Cafe Paradiso | Fairfield, IA ^
September 24 | Vaudeville Mews | Des Moines, IA ^
September 25 | Record Bar | Kansas City, MO ^
September 26 | Old Rock House | St. Louis, MO ^
September 27 | Headliner’s Music Hall | Louisville, KY ^
September 28 | Woodland’s Tavern | Columbus, OH ^
September 29 | Rex Theatre | Pittsburgh, PA ^
October 11 | TT & The Bears | Boston, MA
October 12 | Bowery Ballroom | New York, NY
October 13 | The Blockley | Philadelphia, PA
October 14 | Bridge Street Live | Collinsville, CT
October 17 & 18 | The Press Room | Portsmouth, NH
October 19 | Higher Ground | Burlington, VT #
October 20 | The Iron Horse | Northampton, MA #
November 07 | The Southern | Charlottesville, VA
November 08 | Pisgah Brewery | Black Mountain, NC
November 09 | Ciderhouse | Knoxville, TN
November 10 | New Earth Music Hall | Athens, GA
November 11 | The Pour House Music Hall | Raleigh, NC
November 12 | Casbah | Charlotte, NC
November 13 | The Soapbox | Wilmington, NC
November 14 | Jewish Mother | Virginia Beach, VA
November 15 | Capital Ale House | Richmond, VA
November 16 | U Street Music Hall | Washington, DC
November 17 | 8×10 | Baltimore, MD

^support Mike Dillon Band
#support Superhuman Happiness

 

 

Video: New A City On A Lake (Alex Wong)

 

Provocative “Oceanside” clip comes
from Wong’s new album.

 

By
Blurt Staff

 

 

We
here at the BLURT security compound have been holed up and watching the new
video from A City On A Lake – which you may have heard is Alex Wong’s latest
project. The album was released on July 17 and the video/first single is “Oceanside.” The clip was
created by Lawrence Chen and Hagan Wong and features Mexican star – and
Wong’s touring keyboard player – Ximena Sariñana. Check it out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

According
to Wong, “The song uses the imagery of gated communities in Southern California as a metaphor for how we like to
create our own realities, keeping in the things we want to see and blocking out
the things we don’t.  The music video for Oceanside is a surreal journey through the
subconscious. I travel through a series of fantastical worlds, chasing the
unobtainable, with each seemingly happy memory just outside my grasp.

 

“I met the
directors Lawrence Chen and Hagan Wong through their work on Delta Rae’s “Bottom of
the River” video
(the single off the LP I produced for the
band).”

 

 

[Photo
Credit: Emily Raw]

SONIC REDUCER / CARL HANNI

 

Searching
For The Wrong Eyed-Jesus

 

By
Carl Hanni

 

In
2003 filmmaker Andrew Douglas shot this Southern travelogue featuring the
singer and songwriter Jim White. If you don’t know Jim White, you should: he’s
released a series of idiosyncratic records on David Byrne’s label, Luaka Bop,
including an early one from 1997 called The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted
Wrong-Eyed Jesus!
that led Douglas to
White in the first place. 

 

White
is to Americana
as Flannery O’Connor was to American writing: in it and of it, but with a
totally unique take that couldn’t be further from conventional twang and weepy
infidelity. His records are smart, literate, sonically adventurous, and filled
with voluminous, complex and overtly spiritual lyrical leanings, and have
absolutely nothing in common with either commercial, NASCAR country music or
straight-up Americana ala Lucinda/Dwight/Allison etc. It’s more akin to
Southern Gothic literature, as filtered thru the Carter Family and the Bible,
but played for a post punk audience. The man is a true original. He’s also one
of the best tour-guides a filmmaker (or an audience) could ever hope for.

 

I
don’t know what sort of a film Douglas set out
to shoot, but I’m willing to bet that he got more than he bargained for.
Whatever the original inspiration, Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus is
so perfectly pitched and so right in so many way that I need to be careful to
not go all hyperbole over it while still hoping to convey whys it’s well worth
one hour and twenty-two minutes of your time. So, I’ll just say it now: for
anyone with an interest in arcane American music and in the socio-spiritual-religious
fabric of the American South, you will be well rewarded. 

 

White
spent most of his childhood in the South, leaving as a teenager and returning
many years later after living and traveling all over the world. Beset with
mixed feelings about the South as a young man, he returns with fresh eyes. As
such, he comes back as a tour guide with a worldly perspective: “Until you get
away from it, you can’t see it.”

 

The
film opens in the Louisiana
bayou, where he picks up the right car to travel the backroads of the deep
South, a low-slung, white 1970 Chevy with big primer patches. Next he buys a
statue of Jesus, which rides, partially wrapped, hanging out of the trunk of
the car for the duration of the film. In a typically pithy exchange, the seller
asks for $500; White offers $60, and they settle on $65. Meanwhile, White’s
buddy Johnny Dowd plays a deathly dirge from the hood of a junker.

 

The
film is a journey into the deep vastness of the Southern spiritual psyche, and
White states his own right up front: “I’ve chose my divinity, rather than my
divinity choosing me.” But this is not an aimless narrative; it’s a series of
set pieces, cut in and through with musical interludes, as White stops to talk
to coal miners, bikers, evangelists and locals of all stripes, and makes
extraordinary trips into a prison, a couple of Pentecostal churches, a
roadhouse bar on a Saturday night and a truck stop diner dedicated to saving
souls. It’s beautifully shot and edited, with outstanding sound and not a
moment than doesn’t work. It’s just right.

 

The
appearance of Johnny Dowd, writer of songs of unmitigated starkness, is the
first of many by like minded souls. Eventually The Handsome Family, David
Eugene Edwards, Melissa Swingle, Lee Sexton, the Singing Hall Sisters, Johnny
Dowd & Maggie Brown and David Johansen all show up, and White throws in a
couple of numbers himself. But the first to make an appearance is the
formidable writer Harry Crews, dressed in black and strolling a bayou backroad
with a cane and a few stories to tell. Crews appears as a sort of swamp savant,
delivering stories and monologues with a delivery that’s simultaneously
inviting and intimidating, and cuts right through skin to the bone. You sense
that he could smell bullshit while asleep, and would not suffer fools or
phonies lightly. Some of it may be persona, but that makes it no less real, and
it’s fascinating and a little scary. 

 

David
Eugene Edwards (of the terrific 16 Horsepower) wanders in next, strumming
a  banjo and singing a spooky as hell version of “Wayfaring Stranger.”
It’s as backwoods as a front porch in a West
Virginia holler; moonshine whiskey practically sweats
out of the sky. 

 

And
with Dowd, and then Crews and Edwards, followed by the rest, the filmmaker sets
up a central mystery of the film that he toys with from beginning to end,
namely: how much of this is set up and choreographed, and how much is
spontaneous and unrehearsed? Things that first appear to be spontaneous –
Johnny Dowd strumming his guitar in a barber shop full of locals getting buzz
cuts – are revealed to be set pieces; a music video, basically. But how much?
Was it just invented on the spot, or written out in advance? Others, like the
scenes in the bar, diner, prison and churches, are clearly unrehearsed,
spontaneous, and shot with a hand held camera. Other’s seem to split the
difference. But it’s an interesting set-up that, whether intentional or not,
keeps us a little unsettled while in no way messing with the flow of the film.

 

 

Jim White, slumped in a booth, talking
to Johnny Dowd. “Whataya been doin’?”

Dowd: “Killin’ time.”

Pause.

Dowd: “It won’t die.”

White: chuckle. 

 

 

Douglas takes his camera into an
unnamed jail or prison. Everyone is skinny, white, and looks meth ravaged. He
gets the inmates to talk about their crimes, their time, their regrets, their
histories. The prisoners are hanging out, bored, restless, full of regret and
bluster, letting their guard down a little. Crime, to them, is just a way and a
part of life that they understand, or don’t. Opening line from an unseen
prisoner: “Its the bad. Bad’s exciting.” Later, White sums up the options
available to the restless and broke-ass in small town America: “Let’s
DO something, even if it’s something wrong.” You never see this kind of stuff
elsewhere on film. It’s incredibly sad, and moving, and a rare look into a
world that the outside world would generally like to forget about. Jim White
doesn’t forget about them. 

 

Next
up: The Handsome Family doing their catchy, minimalist classic “Cold Cold
Cold.” Are these guys down-home, or hipster faux down-home? Hard to say: he
looks hipster, with his tall hair, lip thatch and thick rimmed glasses. She
looks hipster in her thrift shop print dress. Can they hunt, fix a truck, cook
meth? Who knows, but boy they sure write killer songs and deliver them with
pleasing, molasses slow deliberation. They’ve got the stuff. 

 

Then
on to Slim’s, what White calls a ‘cut and shoot bar,’ hanging with the locals
on a Saturday night. What do the locals want to talk about? Sin and salvation, the
church and the bar, Jesus Christ, how great Slim’s is, the fraternity of the
local drinkers, what time they’re going to church tomorrow, how wasted they
are. White, meanwhile, has moved on to a drive in burger joint where he turns
eating an ice-cream cone into an entire small town sociological set-piece. I am
not, not, making this up. 

 

After
Saturday night comes Sunday morning, and one of the most remarkable pieces of
filmmaking you will ever be lucky enough to witness, as Douglas and White are
somehow able to film a service in a Pentecostal church. “Things happen (t)here
that defy explanation,” is how White sets it up. If you’ve never seen anything
like this before, it’s utterly mind-blowing. Witnessing a group of well
dressed, ordinary locals speaking in tongues, going into convulsions, weeping
and laughing hysterically, leaping and falling about, dancing and quaking and
shaking is something that just might change move your perspective a few degrees
in another direction. The band and choir, led by the preacher Rev. Gary
Howington, burns a white hot gospel rock beat, with multiple electric guitars
and crashing drums channeling and directing all the madness at their feet. I
defy you to watch this and not be moved in some way. White understands the
necessity of the church as an antidote to much of the outside world: “In a poor
world like this, gravity seems a lot stronger, it’s pulling you down, into the
earth, and everyday is a fight to not disappear.” 

 

And
his own divinity? He’s “Looking for the gold tooth in God’s crooked smile.” Eat
that, Pat Robertson. 

 

And
then there’s a dark trip to Sheffield’s
roadhouse diner, where the sign proclaims Jesus Is Lord, and where the locals
trade morbid tales over bbq and catfish and hear of one sinners exit into hell as
he’s dying in prison. As White says, “It’s so wrong it’s right.” And also,
“These hills here are so full of spirit, no wonder everyone’s thinking about
eternity and hell.” And Crews: “The most ordinary conversation in the South has
a theological basis.”

 

There’s
more, lots more, including a stop at a coal mine where the resident banjo
picker, Lee Sexton, plays “The old, lonesome sound;” Melissa Swingle bending
some serious musical saw on “Amazing Grace;” and David Johansen and Larry
Saltzman in a hotel room busting out with Gesshie Wiley’s much revered “Last
Kind Words.” Dowd, The Handsome Family and Crews all make more appearances.
There’s also a scene with a tiny, rather remarkable looking tele-evangelist as
she appeals to everyone to save their souls before damnation is upon them. It’s
unsettling and absolutely mesmerizing. 

 

And
finally, as he drops his Jesus off along side the road somewhere and heads off
into the Southern night, White leaves us with a final pointed comment: “If you
want to know the secrets of the South, you’ve gotta get it in your
blood.” 

 

Your
wise blood.

 

 

***

 

Carl Hanni is a music writer, music publicist, DJ, disc jockey,
book hound and vinyl archivist living in Tucson, AZ. He hosts “The
B-Side” program on KXCI (streamed live on Tuesday nights 10-12 pm at
KXCI.org) and spins around Southern Arizona on
a regular basis. He currently writes for Blurt and Tucson Weekly.