Monthly Archives: October 2012

How NOT To Review a Divine Fits Concert!

 

1 venue (Pearl Street, Northampton, Mass.,
October 19), 2 stages, 3 bands, 7 excuses…20 chords and the truth. Plus one
lovely concertgoer flipping her hair in the air like she just don’t care! (Pictured
above: the REAL Divine Fits, staring out the window in hopes that the BLURT
reviewer will turn up to chronicle their concert prowess.)

 

By
Jennifer Kelly

 

I spent
all of last Friday night at the wrong show. 

 

I’d
planned to catch the Divine Fits, the new sparse, electro-funky super
collaboration between Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade’s Dan Boecker, New Bomb
Turks’ Sam Brown and Alexi Taylor. I’d been listening all week to A Thing Called Divine Fits, in fact, and
was kind of excited about seeing it in real life. But oh, terrible thing,
Divine Fits was downstairs and Conspirator, a Disco Biscuits electronic dance
side project, was upstairs, and I followed the crowds without thinking, up to
the big room, where a big synthesized bass drum was thumping already, four on
the floor loud enough to rattle your esophagus…as it would thump for the rest
of the night. I stayed up there for roughly three hours, in the vain hope that,
somehow, what I was hearing would align with what I expected to hear, and
sadly, figured it out only around midnight, when Divine Fits had already
finished.

 

How could
I be so stupid? How could I not know the difference? Here are seven excuses,
all pretty lame:

 

1.     
A Thing Called Divine
Fits
is
by far the most electronically rooted thing that Britt Daniel has ever
done…maybe he really likes drum ‘n bass and wanted to tour with bands like
that?

2.     
The
opening band is something called Strobe Horse, which is a mostly electronic
local band…the kind of outfit that could
very well
use laptops and
keyboards and drum machines.

3.     
There’s
a drum kit behind the mountains of speakers, which I look at hopefully
throughout the evening, as one act after another relies on programmed and
sampled beats. (Conspirator uses live drums.) 

4.     
If
Britt Daniel were ever to dress up
in sun-glasses, a furry top-hat and feather boa, don’t you think he’d look sort
of like this?

 

 

5.     
My
main problem with Spoon live has always been how much it sounds like the
records. How can I complain if Divine Fits sounds completely different from the record?

6.     
Electronic
bands are, apparently not big on between-songs banter. I don’t think any of
them said anything all night, not
even, “We’re X band. Buy our records.”

7.     
Isn’t
it possible that scads of scantily clad late-teenagers, all hands up in the air
and making sexy swimming-dance movements, one of them flipping her waist-length
hair continually in my direction (and occasionally in my face), I think more as
a territorial thing than a come-on…Isn’t it just imaginable that these kids
might have turned out for Divine Fits? Well, maybe not.

 

 

So with
apologies to Divine Fits – and if you want to read know more about them, you
should definitely check out BLURT’s Alli Marshall’s feature – here’s what I saw and
heard at the Conspirator show last Friday. 

 

 

 

 

As I get
there, ABAKUS is in the middle of
one of two sets. ABAKUS is one guy with a laptop,
playing pounding, pummeling beats and bathed in blue light. The crowd is
sparse, so far, but noticeably young. There are two girls, decked out in
multicolor tights and swoopy scarves, doing some sort of semi-choreographed
dance near the front of the stage, lunging and twirling and curling their limbs
with the music. There is lots of room for this, early on, most of the audience
still hanging out just past the blue lights that spill off the stage, watching
the girls dance and waiting for things to get underway. ABAKUS, I find out
later, is Dave Davies’ son.

 

There’s a
break, and a lot of set up, just a massive amount of plugging wires into boxes
and boxes into outlets, as a set-up of one synthesizer keyboard deck and one
guitar emerges. An aquamarine-colored feather boa hangs from the mic
stand. 

 

This is
the arrangement for BoomBox, a
Muscle Shoals-based duo with Russ Randolph behind a massive rig of
synthesizers, samplers, keyboards and computer equipment, Zion Rock Godchaux on
guitar.

 

 

 

 

BoomBox
pulls all kinds of elements into their beat-centric sound, layering laid-back
licks over boom-cha beats, scents of reggae, Afro-beat, blues, funk, kraut and
disco wafting over belly-shivering rhythms. We seem to be on kind of a roll
with people’s kids here – both Godchaux’s parents played with the Grateful Dead
in the 1970s.

 

(By the
way, on the subject of kids, it is about this time that a nice young man comes
over and asks me if I’ve got children at the show….)

 

So, after
some initial confusion, I am pretty sure that Boombox is not Divine Fits, but I
have not quite given up on them being Strobe Horse and for Divine Fits to
eventually come out and take over the guitar-bass-drum-electronic set up that
is clearly waiting for the final act. ABAKUS does another set, this time to a
much larger, more packed and participative crowd. There are lots of arms waving
around, and one girl climbs up onto the stage to dance in front of an amp. The
girl with the hair is beckoning, siren-style to the guy taping down set lists.

 

 

 

A boy
standing near by notices that I am not really getting into things, and says,
“Are you ever going to dance?” I shake my head, and he says, “Well, what are
you doing here?” And I tell him I’m taking some photos and then I’m going to
move back. It occurs to me that house/rave/electronic girls are much less
conflicted about their bodies than indie rock girls, more convinced that the
show is about them, and the way they move, rather than about the music being
made. “Could you move over?” says my friend with the long, much-tossed hair,
because, you know, she owns that part of the floor. She does a backbend so that
her hair drapes over the stage in a shimmery fan.

 

So, I wait
for the DJ set to be over, and for the main band to start. Which I hope will be
Divine Fits. I am really, really excited about live drums by this point,
anything but the BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM that’s been playing all night. Then Conspirator comes out, and I realize
what an asshole I am.

 

 

 

 

 

Because,
even though there is a real drummer, even though he has kind of a punk-ish
Mohawk, he is definitely not Sam Brown, and beefy guitarist Chris Michetti cannot,
in any way, be taken for Britt Daniels. Dan Boecker is a skinny, indie-looking
guy, isn’t it? He’s not here either.

 

Conspirator,
as it turns out, is an electronic/house/dance offshoot of the Disco Biscuits,
formed in the mid 00s by bassist Marc Brownstein (he plays a six-string) and
keyboard player Aron Magner. They start with “So Much More” a hard-rhythmed,
piano banging trance inducer interspersed with shreddy guitar solos. You can
hear all kinds of stuff in the cuts that follow – space rock, fusion, metal,
jazz and arena-sized guitar riffs. I move back, because I’m getting the fish
eye from the girl in front, and also because the sound is a little muddy right
by the stage, but it’s not much better further away.

 

And from
there, it’s not such a big move to slip out the door and down to the ticket
area, where I can just see someone emerging from the smaller, downstairs facility
with a vacuum. “Was there another show tonight?” I ask, as I head for the door.
“Yes, but it’s been over for a while.”

 

Upstairs,
Conspirator is just getting started.

 

2012 Warren Haynes Jam Lineup, Details

 

Annual event taking
place this year on December 15 features Haynes Band, Blind Boys of Alabama,
Sheryl Crow, String Cheese Incident, Trombone Shorty and tons more.

 

By Fred Mills

 

It’s back – as has been for the past 23 years. The 24th Annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam will Dec. 15 at the Asheville Civic Center
(going now by the name of the US Cellular Center or something corporate like
that), and performing will be the above listed artists along with Anders Osborne
and perennial Haynes guests Mike Barnes and Kevn Kinney. More will be
announced, as per tradition, and there will also be the traditional pre-Jam Jam
the night before (Friday, Dec. 14) at the Orange Peel club.

 

You can read plenty of our previous Haynes Jam coverage
elsewhere on the BLURT site of course. Tickets for this year’s event are already
on sale and you can get ‘em along with more details at t http://www.cidentertainment.com/home/xmasjam2012.php.

Peter Gabriel’s Real World Re-launches

 

Classic titles en route from Joseph Arthur,
Blind Boys of Alabama,
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (pictured above), Michael Brook and others.

By Blurt Staff

Since its founding by Peter Gabriel in 1989 – springing from the early WOMAD
festivals – Real World Records has evolved into one of the foremost and most
highly respected labels of diverse, world-class music from around the globe. The
label’s catalog now numbers nearly 200 titles, many of which have been out of
print for some time in the U.S.
market.

 

Enter Real World Gold, a series of classic catalog re-issues
being launched this fall by Real World/Entertainment One — along with a string
of new releases. See a list of some of the initial titles, below.

 

About the new partnership, Real World label manager Amanda
Jones states, “Real World is delighted to be back in the hands of true music
enthusiasts. Over the last 20 years we have created what we feel is a unique
collection of diverse and wonderful music from many corners of the world. eOne
is part of the still-vibrant indie community in North America
and we are excited to be working together with them to keep the sounds of Real
World out there.”

REAL WORLD GOLD


The Real World Gold series kicks off on September
25 with two catalog gems by American artists — The Blind Boys of Alabama’s
first Grammy winner, Spirit of the
Century
(featuring David Lindley, John Hammond and Charlie Musselwhite) and
alt-rock singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur’s Come
To Where I’m From
– followed on October 2nd by genre-bending Indo-UK
songstress Sheila Chandra’s beloved retrospective collection, Moonsung. Also set for October 2nd
release is Go Tell It On The Mountain,
the Grammy-winning Christmas album bThe Blind Boys of Alabama.

On October 16, the label will roll out two titles from the late, legendary
Pakistani qawwali master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Mustt Mustt and his acclaimed collaboration with Canadian
guitarist/composer Michael Brook, Night
Song

Two African releases are set for October 30 – Uganda’s Geoffrey Oryema with Exile, and Congolese star
Papa Wemba’s standout, Emotion.

Also coming this fall
from Real World are four new releases making their U.S. debut:

September 25: GUZO, the debut solo
album by young Ethiojazz piano prodigy Samuel Yirga

October 2: JUNKYARD HEARTS by Joseph Arthur – four EPs sold only on his 2002
tour

October 16: IN TRANCE by JuJu – Robert Plant guitarist Justin Adams &
Gambian griot virtuoso Juldeh Camara, in their second collaboration

October 30: ADDIS THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Ethiopian all-star collective
Dub Colossus, the brainchild of Nick Page (aka Dubulah, of TransGlobal
Underground and Temple of Sound acclaim)

Sneak Preview: Blurt #13

 

It’s almost here…

 

We were tempted
to skip #13 and jump straight from 12 to 14 – but then realized that people who
claim to be “superstitious” are just pussies. So here we go: your first look at
the new issue of BLURT, due on newsstands in less than two weeks. Keep your
eyes peeled, and we’ll have more details about it in our biweekly newsletter,
too.

 

By the way, a massive thanks to the dedicated staff, contributors and ad reps – plus design guru Jim Horan, natch – who made this possible. There’s literally no way we could function without them. Well, the 50 interns running manically around the office here every day is a plus, too, but still… Credit where credit is due, ya know? –Fred Mills, editor; Stephen Judge,
publisher.

Last Waltz Trib Concert Set for Nov. 24

 

Members Of Antibalas,
Dr. Dog, Vetiver, Warren Haynes Band And Others To Perform All 41 Songs Played
At The Original Concert. Actors From Mad Men, Two Broke Girls And House Of
Cards To Perform Spoken Word Segments Originally Performed By Lawrence Ferlinghetti And Michael McClure.
(No Word Yet On Whether The Great “Neil Young-With-Cocaine-Wad-In-His-Nose”
Scene Will Be Re-created, However.)

 

By Blurt Staff

 

On November 24 a star-studded lineup of musicians will pay
tribute to the historic concert and legendary film by The Band: The Last Waltz. Entitled The Complete
Last Waltz
, the concert will take place at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre
and will feature all 41 songs originally performed The Band along with a long
line of legendary guests in San Francisco on Thanksgiving night 1976. Here’s a familiar glimpse (courtesy of the
1978 Scorcese film):

 

 

 

Already confirmed to perform are Stuart Bogie, Jordan
McClean and Aaron Johnson of Antibalas, Dave Dreiwitz of Ween, Erick Slick of
Dr. Dog, Ira Elliot of Nada Surf, Andy Cabic of Vetiver, Alecia Chakour of the
Warren Haynes Band, Cass McCombs and more. (See below for complete list) Sam
Cohen (Yellowbirds, Apollo Sunshine) will serve as musical director.
Additionally, actors Michael Gladis (Mad Men), Beth Behrs (Two Broke Girls) and
Mike Kelly (House of Cards) will be on hand to read the spoken word portion of
the evening originally performed by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Michael McClure
and others. More artists will be announced soon.

The concert marks the first produced by Golden Gate Presents, a company founded
in 2012 with the goal of mounting singular, once in a lifetime collaborative
music events bringing together a wide range of musicians. A portion of the
profits will be donated to the ‘Save the Barn’ fund to save Levon Helms’ home,
barn and studio, and to continue his popular Midnight Ramble Sessions.

“Golden Gate Presents is truly thankful to all the artists coming to
perform and celebrate The Band in much the same way The Band paid homage to
their influences in the original,” comments Ramie Egan of Golden Gate,
“It’s going to be a great time!”

Artists Confirmed as of Oct 19:


Stuart Bogie (Antibalas)
Jordan McClean (Antibalas)
Aaron Johnson (Antibalas)
Cass McCombs
Jocie Adams (The Low Anthem)
Joe Russo (Furthur)
Erick Slick (Dr Dog)
Scott McMicken (Dr Dog)
Dave Dreiwitz (Ween)
John Roderick (The Long Winters)
Ira Elliot (Nada Surf)
Ian Ball (Gomez)
Andy Cabic (Vetiver)
Alecia Chakour (Warren Haynes Band)
Marco Benevento
Scott Metzger (Wolf!)
Sam Cohen (Yellowbirds)
Eric Johnson (Fruit Bats)
Trixie Whitley
Blake Hazard (The Submarines)
Josh Kaufman (Yellowbirds)
Rob Burger
John Van Deusen (The Lonely Forest)

 

 

MP3: Saint Etienne Remixes El Perro del Mar

 

“Walk on By” in a
luscious remix, the second of three.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

El Perro del Mar’s latest single
“Walk on By” was remixed last week by W. Pontonen (of Miike Snow), and now
there’s a version by Britain’s
Saint Etienne. A third remix is en route.

 

 


El Perro Del Mar – Walk On By (Saint Etienne Remix) by El Perro Del Mar

 

 

The song is from Pale Fire, out Nov. 13 via Control Group
(the album is reviewed in the latest print edition, #13, of BLURT). It’s Sarah
Assbring’s fourth album as EPdM, and she noted, in a press release, “In
this world, you think you have no reason to believe in love or in anything
much. Then one day, when you least expect it, a light appears on the far
horizon. It’s a flickering light, begging you to come, telling you to stay
away. It’s the pale fire. The promise of love and hope – all consuming and
elusive. Yet for a moment, it brings clarity in the darkness, future to the
ruins and power to the fight.” 

 

Here’s the original version of
the song:

 

Video: Major Lazer making-of New Track

 

Catch ‘em on a handful
of in-demand tour dates this weekend and into next week.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Major Lazer – Diplo, Walshy Fire & Jillionaire – are talking
to dancehall legend Johnny Osborne. In their words, “The 2 year Flux Pavillion
collab… hoping the Kingston
revolution occurs!”  Their new single is
“Jah No Partial,” out tomorrow (October 22), with the album Free the Universe set to arrive next
February. The group is currently in the middle of a guerilla run across America (tour
dates below).

 

 We’ll have an interview with the group early next
year, talking about all this and more. Meanwhile, check out
the “Making Of: Jah No Partial”:

 

 

 

 

 

Major Lazer Tour
Dates:

Thu  10/25   Washington
DC  –  9:30 Club

Fri   10/26   Boston, MA
 –  House of Blues

Sat  10/27   New
York, NY  –
 Terminal 5

Tue  10/30   Las
Vegas, NV  –
 1OAK

Sat   11/3   Los
Angeles, CA  –
 Hard Haunted Mansion

 

 

 

Kickstarter Pick: Tucson’s Billy Sed

 

He’s made music with local legends
like Rainer, Howe Gelb, Dave Seeger, Rich Hopkins, Dan Stewart, Van Christian
and many more, a founding member of a scene that produced bands like Naked
Prey, Green On Red, Giant Sand and more.

 

By Fred Mills

 

The beauty about Kickstarter projects is you don’t have to
even pretend to be nonpartisan – which, in the current political climate,
actually seems all the more valuable. So let this be considered a brief but
absolutely sincere endorsement from ye olde BLURT editor, okay? (I realize that
Kickstarter has become so ubiquitous nowadays that it risks attaining
jump-the-shark status among folks who tend to tune all the media and internet
static out, so apologies for adding to the white noise.)

 

I lived in Tucson,
Arizona, for 10 years, and for at
least 5 years before that, I had fallen in love with the music scene;
ultimately, the place got under my skin, bottom line. Among the musical icons I
encountered before, during and after my 1992-2001 tenure there was longtime
rocker Billy Sedlmayr. He’s one of the champs. Now, Gabriel Sullivan, another
musician who I have come to admire – after having lived there, but with no less
enthusiasm (read my previous profile of Sullivan right here) – is set to
produce Billy Sed’s debut solo album, and Sullivan along with some other
Tucsonans, including longtime BLURT blogger and contributor Carl Hanni, have
established a Kickstarter program to fund the project.

 

According to the Kickstarter description (which includes a smart video):

 

“Billy Sedlmayr has some stories he needs to tell, and that need to be
heard. For over three decades now Billy Sedlmayr has been deep in the fabric of
Tucson music, from his early days as an underage
musician playing dusty bars long since gone with punk rock pioneers The Pedestrians,
then playing with Giant Sandworms, laying down the blueprint for Tucson music. Over the
years Billy’s made music with local legends like Rainer, Howe Gelb, Dave
Seger, Rich Hopkins, Dan Stewart, Van Christian and many more, a founding
member of a scene that produced bands like Naked Prey, Green On Red, Giant Sand
and more.

 

“This project is the culmination of a now 2 year collaboration of Billy
Sedlmayr and Gabriel Sullivan. The two began playing music together in the
legendary Tucson
dive, The Red Room, and have since been working towards recording a solo
record of Billy Sedlmayr’s music. Gabriel will be producing the record and will
be recruiting his own band, Taraf de Tucson, to back Billy for the
recordings. The Create Co. (headed by Bryce Myhre) has been documenting
the sonic endeavors of Billy and Gabriel and will be filming the entire
recording process of the upcoming record.”

 

So there you have it. If you are intrigued, please check out the Kickstarter
page
and then direct yourself accordingly. ‘Nuf sed.

 

So to speak.

Read: New Peter Criss (KISS) Memoir

 

BLURT’s advice: pick up
the new Neil Young memoir and tuck this guilty pleasure inside that one when
reading it out in public. Out next week via Scribner books.

 

By John B. Moore

 

Man, Peter Criss must have just been seething behind those drums for
decades. Sitting on his stool watching Gene $immons do that creepy tongue thing
night after night between blood spits and fire breathing; checking out Paul
Stanley stroke his guitar between his legs like it was a six-stringed cock; and
Ace doing… well Ace doing whatever it is he does, but clearly drunk and
stoned  while doing it. Judging from his
new book Makeup to
Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss
(co-authored with Larry “Ratso” Sloman), Criss was one pissed off
kitty cat.

 

 

Makeup to Breakup doesn’t really blow the
doors of any preconceived notions we have of Kiss -those were all shattered
years ago by various books by fellow band members include Ace Frehley’s
contribution to the cannon earlier this year.  Criss rehashes many of the same observations
we’ve heard before: Gene Simmons is an egotistical man whore who loves women as
much as he hates showering; Paul Stanley can be just as bad as Gene, just
busier with all of the visits to his shrink; and Frehley loved his booze and
drugs. But Criss seems to spend a great deal of his book reveling in his
distaste for his band mates (Frehley gets off a little easier, as Criss
actually considered Ace a friend for a few years after they went AWOL from the
Kiss Army). He tries hard to paint Stanley
as gay, despite never seeing him with a man and even gleefully recounts Frehley
making out with a male friend on tour during the late ‘70s. There is a funny,
if petty, anecdote about Stanley
stuffing his pants (a la Spinal Tap)
on their endless reunion tour.

 

It is
also remarkable how oblivious Criss has become even when strolling down memory
lane. The sappy ballad “Beth,” Criss’ best known contribution to the band and a
punch line to many hard rock followers of the band, is a masterpiece in his
world and a feat he has tried to top throughout the remainder of his career (dammit,
it won a People’s Choice Award!). He also breathlessly recounts his time with
groupies, telling with no hint of shame, about stripping one poor girl naked,
covering her with ketchup, mustard and lunch meat before throwing her on the hotel
elevator and hitting the button for the lobby. Just chapters
later he goes on and on about how much he loves his daughter (clearly these
groupies are all orphans).

 

Much like
Kiss’s music, Makeup to Breakup is a
guilty pleasure. You know there are little redeeming qualities, but if “hard
Luck Woman” or “Cold Gin” came on in your car, you would make sure the windows
are rolled up tight and then sing right along. This book is a bit like that.
You may roll your eyes and shout “come on!” out loud while reading it, but you
can’t help but read every single page. 
My advice: pick up the new Neil Young memoir and tuck this book inside
that one when reading it out in public. 

 

Like many
of his former hard rock contemporaries that religious groups once pegged as
devotees of Satan (Alice Cooper, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine), Criss himself
closes the book relaying his recently-found tight relationship with God. If
these bands really did sell their souls to the devil years ago, Satan has
clearly dropped the ball as a band manager. 

 


 

Watch Video: New Maldives Track

 

Short film directed by
Sandy Wilson, the track is from the band’s brand new release.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

“Blood on the Highway,” the debut video for The Maldives and
taken from the northwest band’s new album Muscle
For the Wing
(Spark & Shine), depicts the story of a man who struggles
with thoughts of exacting revenge on his father’s killer after having witnessed
the murder as a young boy.  Set in the dark edges of memory and
reality this short film is a collaboration from Seattle’s s thriving film and music
communities. It was directed/written by: Sandy Wilson (Undefeated,
Your Sister’s Sister, Wheedles Groove) and stars The
Maldives, Julian
Gavilaines
 (Fat Kid Rules the World), Davidson
Hart Kingsbery
Carollani
Sandberg
, and Richie Zapata.  It was filmed by Nathan
Miller
 (Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister).

 

 

 

The Maldives “Blood On The Highway” from sandy wilson on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

Tour Dates:

SAT 10/20    Seattle,
WA @ City Arts Festival/Neumo’s*

THUR 11/1   Portland,
OR @ Mississippi
Studios w.  Petunia & The Vipers

FRI 11/2       Yakima,
WA @ The Seasons Performance Hall
w. Kithkin

SAT 11/3      Bellingham,
WA @ The Green Frog w. Kithkin

THUR 11/29 Brainbridge, WA
@ Treehouse Café w.  Bobby
Bare Jr.

 

*The Maldives with My Goodness, The
Grizzled Mighty, and Davidson Hart Kingsbery