Monthly Archives: August 2012

It's Clint, Bitch!

 

With apologies to Britney, natch…

By Uncle Blurt

So – the RNC was a clown pile-up; that much has already been determined by liberal and conservative pundits alike. (Just ask Fox News.) The challenge for the DNC, then…

… is to come up with a more entertaining speaker than Clint Eastwood. Because if the election were held today, 9 out of 10 doctors suggest that Clint would be our next president…. he was that entertaining. Not necessarily RIGHT, but still… just sayin’, Dems.

 

 

 

Report: Jason Isbell Live in Denver

 

 

At the
Bluebird on August 28, a third thing was added to the two things you have to do
in life: pay taxes, see Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and then die. Amen.

 

By Tim Hinely

 

It’s been amazing to see the trajectory of ex-Drive-By Truckers
guitarist Jason Isbell since he left that band a few years ago. Both his
records and live shows have consistently gotten better (and the crowds,
bigger). On this particular night at Denver’s
Bluebird Theatre the band was armed and ready. Having the same group, the 400
Unit, that have been with him for a few years now (bassist Jimbo Hart,
keyboardist Derry Deborja and drummer Chad Gamble; guitarist Browan Lollar left
the band a year or so ago) and as much time as these guys spend on the road,
they now sound like a well-oiled machine – and a real band, too, not just a
backing combo for Isbell’s songs.

 

Opening with “Try” the band played a generous helping of
tunes off all three of their records including a few from last year’s brilliant
Here We Rest (“Go It Alone”, “Alabama
Pines”, etc.) as well as a few oldies (“Goddamn Lonely Love,” “In a Razor
Town,” “Dress Blues”,  etc.) . They paid
homage to some of their heroes by throwing in a few covers , too (Hendrix’s
“Stone Free” and Neil Young’s “Like A Hurricane,” “Heart on a String”) and even
a few from the Drive-By Truckers’ catalog (“We Ain’t Ever Gonna Change,”
“Decoration Day”) and a set-ending song about The Band’s Richard Manuel title,
simply, “Danko, Manuel.”  The band came
out for a few encores and called it a night. All in all they were in great
spirits and hammered and hammered some more, pouring and wringing every bit of
heart and soul into their set. It’s not a stretch to call Isbell one of our
country’s finest songwriters.

 

There has been a third thing added to the two things you
have to do in life: pay taxes, see Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and then die. Amen.

 

[Photo via Isbell’s Facebook page]

 

 

Prince Announces Chicago Residency

 

Why not Minneapolis?

By Fred Mills

on Sept. 24, Prince will not only make his first Chicago appearance since 2004 – which, truth be told, isn’t that newsworthy, since about 99% of all the other cities in America haven’t seen His Purpleness, either – but also kick off a residency at the Union Center, with a series of as-yet-to-be-revealed dates to follow. He has also announced that the shows are in alignment with Rebuild the Dream, which is a start-local/go-global economic initiative.

Check it out at the link; meanwhile, you’ll be able to order tickets (and presumably, for more than just the 24th) starting Sept. 6 at the Union Center; but be forewarned, as the “buy tickets” link will take you to Ticketbastard.

 

Incoming: Leonard Cohen Biography

 

 

The bard gets booked!

 

By Blurt Staff

 

I’M YOUR MAN: The Life
of Leonard Cohen
is set to hit bookstores on September
18,  via Harper Collins. It’s by veteran
music journalist Sylvie Simmons, includes exclusive interviews with Cohen
himself, and is “the definitive work on Cohen’s life and career.” (Watch for
another Cohen book next year compiling key interviews from over the years,
including one conducted for BLURT by longtime contributor Gillian G. Gaar.)

 

Simmons  spoke to over
a hundred key figures in Cohen’s life – among them Cohen’s main muses, the
women in his life, close childhood friends, producers and artists who have
worked on his albums, and contemporary artists that have worked with Cohen or
have been influenced by his work (such as David Crosby, Philip Glass, Judy
Collins, Rufus Wainwright, Jackson Browne and many more).

 

Starting in Montreal, Cohen’s
birthplace, and where he first found fame as a poet in the fifties, the book follows
his trail, via London and the Greek island of Hydra,
to New York
in the sixties, where Cohen launched his career in music. From there it traces
the arc of his prodigious achievements to his remarkable retreat, when in the
mid-nineties, on the cusp of marriage to a beautiful actress and enjoying the
success of his best-selling album to date, he entered a monastery on a rocky
mountaintop-returning to find his bank accounts bled dry and forced back onto
the road, at age seventy-three, for a wildly successful three-year world tour.

 

 

It’s Clint, Bitch!

 

With apologies to Britney, natch…

By Uncle Blurt

So – the RNC was a clown pile-up; that much has already been determined by liberal and conservative pundits alike. (Just ask Fox News.) The challenge for the DNC, then…

… is to come up with a more entertaining speaker than Clint Eastwood. Because if the election were held today, 9 out of 10 doctors suggest that Clint would be our next president…. he was that entertaining. Not necessarily RIGHT, but still… just sayin’, Dems.

 

 

 

Listen: McMurtry, Isbell on Mtn. Stage

 

Contemporary Americana par excellence –
it’ll cure what ails ya.

 

By Fred Mills

 

The good folks at Mountain
Stage
and NPR Music have made available audio streams of BLURT faves James
McMurtry (also a BLURT blogger) and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit performing
live on the long-running show. As originally aired last December and recently
rebroadcast, the Isbell crew kick out the jams on a selection of Here We Rest tracks, including “Alabama
Pines,” “Go It Alone” and “Codeine” plus a smoking version of Neil Young’s
“Like A Hurricane.” Meanwhile, McMurtry serves up gems such as “Just Us Kids,” “Turtle
Bayou” and his all-time classic “We Can’t Make It Here.”

 

Check out the McMurtry stream right here, and the Isbell
stream right here.

 

 

 

Photos of McMurtry and
Isbell: Brian Blause/Mountain Stage (via NPR.org)

Rapper Busted, Earth Tilts on Axis

 

“Failure to file tax returns” is the
new “drive-by shooting.”

 

By Uncle Blurt

 

Chris Schwartz,
CEO of hip-hop label Ruffhouse Records, today announced his ongoing support of Beanie
Sigel following the Philadelphia rapper’s arrest
this morning during a traffic stop in Essington,
PA. Sigel was arrested one day following the release of his Ruffhouse
Records debut album, This Time. The “master
lyricist” has been on a media blitz promoting the album, and is scheduled to
report to federal prison Sept. 12 to
begin serving a two-year sentence for failure to file tax returns.

 

“Obviously,
we’re very disappointed,” commented Schwartz. “However, Beanie has done nothing
but display the utmost professionalism in all the initiatives related to the
promotion of his new release. Beanie obviously has been struggling with some
personal issues, and we continue to support him now and throughout his
impending incarceration.”

 

  “We are
awaiting the immediate outcome regarding the machinations of his current legal
status before we can comment further about his future promotional schedule,”
said Schwartz.

 

We ALL are awaiting word on said machinations. Here’s hoping
Sigel doesn’t get fucked wit’ in the joint. Tax evasion ain’t exactly the way
to build up one’s street cred in the hip-hop world.

Austin City Limits TV Kicks Off Oct. 6

 

And that would be
Radiohead above, natch.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Austin City Limits (ACL), opens its 38th season on October 6th, with Radiohead in a rare full-hour
television performance.  Here’s a preview
of the band doing “Morning Mr. Magpie”:

 

 

Radiohead on Austin City Limits “Morning Mr Magpie” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

 

The upcoming season will feature the likes of Bon Iver, Bonnie
Raitt with Mavis Staples, The Shins, and The Civil Wars and tons more taped
live before a concert audience at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin.  And for the second consecutive year, Austin
City Limits will travel to Nashville
to capture highlights from
performances at the 2012 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards
ceremony. Held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville,
this special presentation of Austin City Limits will showcase Americana music, which is American roots
music based on the traditions of country and other musical styles.

Season 38 Current Broadcast Schedule
(seven additional episodes/artists to be announced)
:
October 6, 2012 Radiohead
October 13, 2012 Bon Iver
October 20, 2012 Bonnie Raitt with Mavis Staples
October 27, 2012 The Shins | Dr. Dog
November 3, 2012 The Civil Wars | Punch Brothers
November 10, 2012 | ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2012 (Hosted by Jim
Lauderdale and featuring performances by Carolina Chocolate Drops, Richard
Thompson, Patty Griffin, Alabama Shakes, Lifetime Achievement Honoree Bonnie
Raitt and more)

(The complete line-up for the full 13-week season, including seven episodes to
air beginning January 2013, will be announced at a later date.)

Iggy Gets His Own Bobblehead

 

Peanut butter jar optional, apparently.

 

By Uncle Blurt

 

Limited to 1000 bobbing, throbbin’ heads – and, rumors
abound that another key anatomical part that will throb as well – is the upcoming
Iggy Pop bobblehead from our good pals at Aggronautix. Yes, the same folks that
brought you the shit/blood-stained GG Allin and the spike-titted Wendy O.
Williams figurines. So don’t say we didn’t warn you.

 

Above is the swag – here’s the product info. It’s due in
early October.

 

 Since his raucous
proto-punk, peanut butter smearing days with The Stooges, few “street
walking cheetahs” have mastered the maniacal with as much grit, gusto and
flair as Iggy Pop. This rare figure is hand-numbered and limited to 1000
pieces. It stands 7-inches high and is made of durable polyresin. Get yours
today as they are sure to go fast…