Monthly Archives: July 2012

Incoming: Patterson Hood Solo LP + Tour

Both happen the second
week of September.

 

By Fred Mills

 

As previously announced, Drive-By Truckers dude Patterson Hood’s
third solo record. Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance, drops September 11th on ATO Records. Hood”s now
announced a North American trek with his new touring band – which closely
resembles his other touring band if you check the personnel – he’s calling The
Downtown Rumblers. Along with hood on vocals and guitar the group includes Jay
Gonzalez on piano, Brad Morgan on drums and Jacob Morris on cello. (Opening the
shows will be Hope For Agoldensummer, also from Athens.)

 

 

Preview “Come Back Little Star” (with Kelly Hogan) from the
album: http://emailunlock.com/ato_records/patterson-hood-feat-kelly

 

 

Tour dates:

 

Sep
14            Jomeoke
Music and Arts Festival – Pinnacle, NC

Sep
15            The
Southern Cafe and Music Hall – Charlottesville,
VA

Sep
16            World Cafe
Live Downstairs – Philadelphia,
PA

Sep
17            Bowery
Ballroom – New York, NY

Sep
18            Paradise
Rock Club – Boston, MA

Sep
20            Club Helsinki – Hudson,
NY

Sep
22            City
Winery – Chicago, IL

Sep
23            City
Winery – Chicago, IL

Sep
24            Fine Line
Music Café – Minneapolis, MN           

Sep
27            Star
Theater – Portland, OR

Sep
28            Star
Theater – Portland, OR

Sep 29           
Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver,
BC

Oct
1             
Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA

Oct
2             
Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA

Oct
6             
Masonic Lodge @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery
– Los Angeles, CA

Oct
7             
Anthology – San Diego, CA

Oct
10            Cactus
Café – Austin, TX

Oct
11            Cactus
Café – Austin, TX

Oct
12            Austin City
Limits Festival – Austin, TX

 

Supporting all shows except
ACL Festival will be Hope For Agoldensummer.

 

 

Coal Porters Return w/5th Album

 

Produced by British folk veteran John Wood, the
album will hit U.S.
shores on September 18. Includes left-field
cover of Bowie’s
“Heroes.”

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Our London-based (but Kentucky-bred) buddy Sid Griffin, late
of the Long Ryders and a published author of numerous music biographies, has
been making a name for himself in recent years with his alt-bluegrass combo the
Coal Porters. Along the way he and the group have become mainstays of Britain’s Americana
scene. They’re set to roll out their new album on Sept.
18, titled Find the One,
via Prima Records and produced by English folk-rock legend John
Wood
(Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Beth Orton, Squeeze). Two
installments of a ten-minute film about the Coal Porters will be uploaded to
YouTube in August. Tour dates will be announced soon as well.

 

Recorded in north London
studios once used by the likes of the Clash and Queen, the new album contains
five new Griffin
songs. Guitarist Neil Robert Herd added three tunes, and fiddler Carly Frey
contributed two songs that, according to Griffin,
“wed acoustic folk with the Left Banke’s ‘Walk Away Renee.'” The band’s
longtime encore “Paint It, Black” finally got recorded. Also included is an
acoustic, campfire-style take on David Bowie’s “Heroes.”

 

In addition, two legendary guests make appearances on Find the One.
Folk-rock guitar hero Richard Thompson plays on Sid’s new song “Hush U Babe,” a
harrowing tale of escape from Dixie via the
Underground Railroad. And British DJ Brian Matthew, most familiar to Americans
as the voice introducing The Beatles on more than a dozen of their live
sessions for BBC radio, performed the same chore for the Coal Porters,
introducing Griffin’s
song “Ask Me Again” on Find
the One
.

 

The backstory: The
Coal Porters started as an electric band, “kinda a Long Ryders-Lite” according
to Griffin. But
a decade ago Griffin produced an album for U.K. folk-rockers Lindisfarne
and he caught the acoustic folk music bug. With guitarist Herd riding shotgun
the duo revamped the Coal Porters as a mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar and
doghouse bass act – no amps, no drums but lots of harmonies and hot soloing.
“Our live fees went up, our gig calendar became crammed . . . I dunno, why I
didn’t think of it earlier?” laughs Griffin
today. “My music has the same passion it always did,” states Griffin, “It is still anthemic as it was when
I sang ‘Looking for Lewis & Clark.’ But now I find myself playing to
audiences who are intensely listening, and who pay rapt
attention.

 

“For any artist such devout attention is so terrific. It is
such a blessing. I am grateful to receive it. With Find the One the Coal Porters are
paying back that devotion. And I hope you can hear it on the record too.”

 

 

Report: Ray Davies Plays Kinks in S.F.

 

With
the hopes of a full-blown Kinks reunion fading, Ray Davies, backed by L.A. combo the 88, play
red-blooded versions of Kinks Klassics at the Fillmore on July 19.

By Jud Cost

I swore to myself that, for once, I’d just go to the Fillmore, soak it all in
and have a good time. And that I did, but the journalist inside me wouldn’t
stop thinking of things to say about this glorious performance by Ray Davies,
whose songwriting genius has gathered enough steam by now to pull into a
virtual dead-heat with Lennon & McCartney.

The last time through town, in 2009, Davies had converted a houseful of skeptical devotees who weren’t too sure how Kinks songs
would stack up, backed by a large choral group instead of a blistering rock
band. With Davies’ astute choice of material (including sensitive numbers like
“Days,” “See My Friends” and “Waterloo Sunset”)
it was one of the most enjoyable nights of the year, the modern equivalent of a
night at the opera.

With the Kinks’ fabled singer/songwriter fronting simpatico Los Angeles combo
the 88, the show tonight sounded like a slam-dunk, maybe as close as we’re
likely to ever get to a reformation of the original Muswell Hill quartet that
also featured Ray’s brother Dave Davies on guitar (still recovering from a
stroke), their late bassist Pete Quaife and drummer Mick Avory. It was even
superb tonight in ways you never would have anticipated.

The first eight songs, six of them Kinks nuggets, were performed by Ray Davies
and his longtime accompanist, Bill Shanley, both on beefed-up acoustic guitars.
The surprise element was the crowd, in magnificent voice, chiming-in at all the
right places. Who the hell could have ever seen this coming? That enough people
knew the arrangement of “Dead
End Street” to add the “hey hey”
accent line at just the right moments (and volume). It almost felt like they’d
rehearsed their part.

The set began with “I Need You,” a terrific, flag-waver that slipped
through the cracks of the Kinks’ repertoire in their early years. It has all
the buzzsaw energy of their first two U.S. hits, “You Really Got
Me” and “All Day And All Of The Night,” with none of the
notoriety. 

“I never would have thought I’d be playing the Fillmore again,”
Davies reminisced, even though the Kinks never actually worked the venerated
hall, abandoned by Bill Graham in 1968 for the larger Carousel ballroom,
renamed the Fillmore West. As Davies noted, the Kinks were banned from playing America for
four years. When they finally returned to the U.S. in 1969 to tour for their Village
Green Preservation Societ
y LP, it was the Fillmore West where they first
played locally.

After a brief nod to longtime San
Francisco pals Mike and Trish Daly, Davies announced,
“This is where I belong.” And, of course, burst into the song of the
same name, another obscure single the crowd knew like the back of its
collective hand. “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” with its “when
he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight” line titillating the
crowd, as always, was a rousing hit. The massed voices were right there again
to chime in on “telling’ tales of drunkenness and cruelty” on major
Kinks smash “Sunny Afternoon.”

“Apeman,” from 1970’s overlooked masterpiece Lola Vs. Powerman And The
Moneygoround
, cleared up one point, once and for all. When the song became
a turntable hit on S.F.’s KSAN-fm, they played a dubbed version that went,
“I look out the window but can’t see the skies/the air pollution is
a-foggin’ up my eyes” to placate the FCC. Davies made it loud and clear
tonight that the air pollution was no less than “a-fuckin’ up” his
eyes.

And that was just for openers. The 88 wandered onstage during “Dead End
Street” and helped Davies rip through “Till The End Of The Day,”
the third (and possibly best) retooling of “You Really Got Me.”
Surprisingly, the mob really got into “Where Have All The Good Times
Gone” from their third U.K.
longplayer, The Kink Kontroversy. I once mentioned to Davies, during one
of our four interviews over the past 20 years, that “I’m Not Like
Everybody Else” might serve as a proper epitaph for his tombstone. It was
the only awkward moment we’ve ever had. Great tune, nevertheless, whether
carved in marble or lighting up a musty old dance hall.

During a more recent chat with Davies, I asked him to consider singing my
favorite verse of “Celluloid Heroes,” (“If you covered him with
garbage, George Sanders would still have style/And if you stamped on Mickey
Rooney, he’d still turn ’round and smile”) and he said he would. But not
yet. He did, however, rescue the Marilyn Monroe line and swap it out for the
one with Bette Davis in a previous verse. By the way, one astute Kinks fan
nearby identified an instrumental break, played by the 88 without Davies, as
the backing track for “Celluloid Heroes.” Nice catch. 

“Victoria,”
a highlight of the Kinks’ Arthur album, was good enough to lead off the
stellar 1972 best-of compendium, The Kink Kronikles, curated and
annotated by noted rock scribe John Mendelsohn. “20th Century Man”
ratcheted the theme of “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” to the breaking
point. “This is the age of machinery, mechanical nightmare/The wonderful
world of technology: napalm, hydrogen bomb, biological warfare.” Davies’
bottom line was, “I’m a 20th century man, but I don’t want to be
here.” And things haven’t changed much well into the 21st century with its
morning headlines spilling out the abhorrent pedophilia of Penn St. football coach Jerry Sandusky
and the recent mass murders at a Colorado
cinema showing a Batman movie.

Revived by its double-barreled shotgun blast, “You Really Got Me” and
“All Day And All Of The Night” should have sent everyone packing into
the damp San Fran fog with a warm glow. Since I had a train to catch to Seattle the next day, it
did for me. Apparently, I missed the encore, a song that (along with Tony
Bennett’s “I Left My Heart”) should be made San Francisco’s municipal anthem:
“Lola.”

The thing that will keep people coming back to hear this same perfectly-forged
lineup is the Kinks’ marvelously fertile back catalog, accurately sung by the
man who penned the stuff. Davies could have played 25 completely different
songs tonight, and the show would have been every bit as exciting. Name another
artist, short of Paul McCartney, who could pull that one off.

He Cares A Lot: New Mike Patton

 

On Luciano Berio:
Laborintus II (out this week on Patton’s own Ipecac Recordings), the
avant-indie Renaissance-man sculptor-of-sound
dives headlong into the oeuvre of experimental, provocative classical Italian
composer Luciana Berio – and with stunning results.

 

By Steven Rosen

Mike Patton showed he cared a lot about Italian music with
2010’s glorious Mondo Cane, in which
he boldly and expressively sang with molto
bella
contemporary Italian pop songs with support from the Filarmonica
Arturo Toscanini, back-up singers and band. It was a tour de force, or however they say that in Italy. His love for
Italian music, as well as the language, came about as a result of his marriage
to an Italian woman – and settling down in Bologna – during the 1990s, according
to Wikipedia. That love has outlasted the marriage.

 

And so has his dedication to experimentalism, evident on Luciano Berio: Laborintus II (Ipecac
Recordings), a venture into the work of the provocative classical composer
Luciana Berio, who died in 2003 at age 77. Patton is the narrator – a turn that
requires dramatic, oratorical swings in expression and intonation – on a
recording of a concert performance of “Laborintus II,” a composition that Berio
and Edoardo Sanguineti wrote in 1963-1965 to honor Dante’s 700th birthday. (Berio had been commissioned by French and Italian radio; Sanguineti
was a Dante scholar and poet.)

 

 

This slightly-more-than-half-hour work was recorded at the
2010 Holland Festival, with the Belgian Ictus ensemble, Nederlands Kamerkoor Chorus under Klaas Stok, plus three
female soloists (Annet Lans, Margriet Stok and Karin van der Poel.) Berio,
himself had conducted a performance of “Laborintus II” at the same festival in
1973; this recreated that to honor him.

 

Berio
was Italian, yes, but he was also part of the international avant-garde that
included John Cage – especially in the 1960s, when he composed “Laborintus II”
and also turned folk songs into classical music. He was reportedly an influence
on the Beatles and his close collaborator and former wife, operatic singer
Cathy Berbarian, recorded an album of Beatles arias, Revolution.)

 

He
was like a more academic version of the filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni, whose
artistic progressivism at the time got him invited to Britain (for Blow-Up) and the U.S.
(Zabriskie Point) to make cinematic
sense of his times. Berio was teaching at Oakland’s
Mills College – an outpost for experimental
New Music – while composing “Laborintus II,” and his students there included
Steve Reich, Louis Andreissen and Phil Lesh.

 

He
viewed this project as a kind of abstract-expressionist opera – Sanguineti’s
libretto featured his own poetry as well passages from other 20th Century poets, Dante’s writings and the Bible. (There is a snatch or two of
English in the spoken-word parts.) It has a true operatic feel in the first
movement, as the male and female voices shout, wail and confide – separately
and in unison – while the music grows eerily cacophonous and dynamically
exciting. You can also hear how it grows out of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,”
as does so much of mid-20th Century classical music.

 

 


Laborintus 3 by Jay Homeless Mind Theory

 

In
the second movement, Berio’s interest in free jazz moves to the fore as the
trumpets, trombones and clarinets of Ictus start to rise and fall and the drums
kick up a storm. Patton and choir members shout as if they are falling ever
deeper into the frightening Afterlife, and it’s gripping. It raises the kind of
ruckus Art Ensemble of Chicago would admire; it’s modern classical music
responding to other music of its time. And there appears to be use of echoing,
vibrating electronics here that’s chilling.

 

The
short third part serves as a mournful elegiac coda, a reflective ending to what
has been – like its source material – a profound journey.

 

Bat For Lashes – Naked!

 

And of course all the
hairy-palmed indie lads are busily at work, doing their, um, business as they
stare at the photo.

 

By Perez Mills

 

Eyebrows raised across the indie nation (er, well, there’s a
lotta major label input here, but indier-than-thous shall have their say, eh?)
yesterday when Natasha Khan, aka Bat For Lashes, “unveiled” her the artwork to
her forthcoming album The Haunted Man. It’s hardly NSFW, unless you work at, say, Chick-Fil-A, but at any rate, the
full album arrives Oct. 23 on Capitol, and it is preceded by a video for the
first single, “Laura,” which you can check out below. And don’t worry, kids:
you can sling those chik’n sandwiches while watching the vid on your
smartphones without fear of getting canned….

 

Billy Corgan Assails Pitchfork, Radiohead

 

Former is about
“whether you’re wearing the right t-shirt”; latter stands for “pomposity.”

 

By Blurt Staff

 

With both a new Smashing Pumpkins album (Oceania) and a deluxe,
expanded reissue (of Pisces Iscariot)
in stores recently, mainman Billy Corgan has been doing press. And, in
typically Corgan fashion, he’s not being shy about voicing his opinion on
non-Pumpkins matters.

 

Gigwise reports (via Antiquiet) that Corgan took on the
issue of Radiohead versus classic rock: “” I can’t think of any people outside
of Weird Al Yankovic who have both embraced and pissed on Rock more than I
have. Obviously there’s a level of reverence, but there’s also a level of
intelligence to even know what to piss on. ‘Cause I’m not pissing on Rainbow.
I’m not pissing on Deep Purple. But I’ll piss on f*ckin’ Radiohead, because of
all this pomposity. This value system that says Jonny Greenwood is more
valuable than Ritchie Blackmore. Not in the world I grew up in, buddy. Not in
the world I grew up in…. I’m attacking the pomposity that says this is more
valuable than that. I’m sick of that. I’m so fucking sick of it, and nobody
seems to tire of it.”

 

Meanwhile, biting the proverbial hand that doth feed, Corgan also tackled
the thorny issue of Pitchfork and hipsterdom, as Gigwise (via Daily Beast) also
reports:
“Let’s say you’re the next Kurt Cobain. You will be appropriated on
your first album by the Pitchfork community. Your record company will rally
round that idea because that’s your marketing platform. But the minute you’re
in that world you’re frozen. Those Pitchfork people are very much about social
codes, about whether you’re wearing the right t-shirt. That orthodoxy is no
different than the rigidity of the football team at school. You can’t break the
social order if you’re preaching to the choir – and the choir already has cool
haircuts!”

 

Er, we feel a sudden urge to go get our hair cut…

Report: OFF!/Refused Live in Brooklyn

 

July 18 at the Europa Club: after a
hastily-rejiggered amphitheatre show was moved indoors (due to thunderstorms)
to a smaller venue, a packed house received the proverbial
sledgehammer-to-cranium from two of the best punk bands on the planet.

 

By Evan Haga

One of the
grossest untruths about punk bands is that they can’t play. If you care to put
that lie to rest, check out one of the remaining dates of the tour featuring
the reformed Swedish hardcore band Refused and OFF!, the SoCal-based hardcore
quartet fronted by Keith Morris. Both bands’ sets at Brooklyn’s Europa Club on Wednesday
were evidence of experience and elbow grease. Prog-rockers would have had a
hard time putting them down.

 

There is some
backstory to this gig. Originally booked at the new, amphitheater-sized Williamsburg
Park
venue in Brooklyn,
thunderstorms caused the Refused-headlined event to be cancelled and refunds to
be issued. Very quickly, OFF! secured the relatively nearby club, and an
admission-free, first-come-first-serve show was organized as a kind of
replacement. An incident-free feeding frenzy ensued, and several hundred people
were treated to two explosive hours of music in a sauna-like room.

 

Since its
formation in 2009, OFF! has made much of its members’ time in other excellent
bands, but it doesn’t need to. Morris, of course, was the first singer in Black
Flag and the frontman for Circle Jerks; guitarist Dimitri Coats is a member of
Burning Brides; bassist Steven McDonald is of Redd Kross fame; and drummer
Mario Rubalcaba’s credits include Earthless, Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes and others. All of which really adds
up to the idea that these men have accrued a lot of stage time, because OFF! is
its own entity, despite how much it leans on Morris’ early work as its guiding
light.

 

Before the set
began, McDonald tooled around with the bassline from the Led
Zeppelin-associated “Dazed and Confused.” It provoked a few chuckles from the
crowd, but the reference made good sense. OFF! plays earthy, blues-natural
hardcore with an unshakable pocket. The band ripped through more than 20 songs
in about 40 minutes-well over half of their recorded oeuvre-as if they were
part of some extended punk-rock suite; if well-rehearsed bands are “tight,”
OFF! was impenetrable. Coats’ low-slung single-note riffing and power-chording
seemed to flow from instinct rather than memory, and his performance offered a
tutorial in drawing and directing feedback in meaningful ways. Evocative of
Keith Moon in the Who, Rubalcaba thrusted along with his bandmates rather than
relegate himself to static backbeats. His sound was huge and splashy yet
somehow melodic; he and Morris formed an axis.

 

Morris, probably
due to the tight schedule, curtailed his trademarked between-song dialogue,
except where it counted. He thanked
the audience and the venue; he paid homage to his deceased friend Jeffrey Lee
Pierce of the Gun Club; he gave some political background regarding “Borrow and
Bomb.” Elsewhere, his lyrics embodied disaffection and apprehension in
uncertain terms. The bigger point was that this was a terrific rock and roll
band.

 

The same could
be said for Refused. In the 1990s, they built their reputation as a thinking
man’s hardcore group, musically curious and politically audacious. After they
disbanded in 1998, their legend grew thanks to a fantastic album released that
same year, The Shape of Punk to Come.
They’re playing mostly from that canonical record on this year’s reunion tour,
and headlining venues they might have been lucky to open at in the ’90s. Here,
the quintet sounded stupendous, and the audience was combustible. Certain
moments gave the crowd serious bragging rights: Cro-Mags singer John Joseph
joined Refused’s smiley vocalist Dennis Lyxzén for two classic hardcore covers:
“We Gotta Know,” by Cro-Mags, and Bad Brains’ “Attitude.” And then there was
the closer, “New Noise,” whose opening line the majority of the room shouted in
unison.

 

 

[Photo of OFF! via the band’s Facebook page]

 

 

Watch Orb/Lee Scratch Perry Video

 

It’s almost fluffy!

 

The Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry unleash a brand new video in
anticipation of forthcoming single ‘Golden Clouds’, out July 30th (digital EP)
and September 3rd (7″) on Cooking
Vinyl. Check out the track, which references the band’s classic ‘Little Fluffy
Clouds.’

 

 

The ‘Golden Clouds’ video was filmed and directed by Volker Schaner from Fu
Foo Film, with additional footage and editing by Mike Coles of Malicious
Damage. It includes scenes from the forthcoming movie ‘Lee Scratch Perry’s
Visions of Paradise’, also directed by Volker Schaner.

 

Watch Mark Sultan "fecal nihilism" Vid

 

Split single with the Black Lips, too! Now THAT’s
nihilism.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Mark Sultan is extremely
proud to have filmmaker Zondervan Bronte lending talent to his latest video,
which the director himself calls ‘a gift of fecal nihilism to the iconoclasts’.
‘Oh, Summertime’ is a sneak peak at a new batch of 20+ numbers Mr. Sultan will
be releasing in the next year, both solo, and with the newly reformed King Khan & BBQ Show. ‘Oh,
Summertime’ will be released in the next month or two on a split 45 with Black
Lips, courtesy of Hozac Records.
Check it out:

 

 

Oh Summertime by Mark Sultan from Zondervan Bronte on Vimeo.

 

On Bronte: he currently lives
between Hollywood, CA
and Berlin,DE. Credited with starting the ‘Dark Scat’
scene in LA in the late 90s, he soon exported his signature style to Germany where critical acclaim followed,
allowing him to open his gallery ‘Fiedlerstr Acht’, in Berlin. His first film, ‘The Radish’ (2003)
garnered zero praise in Northern Europe, but
was lauded for its stunning visuals. His second film, ‘Cyst’ (2005), starring
future collaborator and life-partner Stan Suntache, cemented his vision and
reputation, screening and winning awards throughout Europe and Asia. ‘Cyst’ influenced a burgeoning Neo-Copro cinema
scene in France.
Both Sunstache and Sultan are expected to star in Bronté’s next opus, ‘Shit
Frankenstein’, which will commence filming in late 2012.

 

Yep.