First new album in nearly eight years from the talented songbird.
By Blurt Staff
Here name is Leslie Mendelson, and her previous album, Swan Feathers, not only caught music critics’ attention, it captured the imagination of the music industry and the public at large, earning comparisons to Rickie Lee Jones and notching her a Grammy nomination. But a combination of business and personal factors temporarily derailed her career—among them, losing a record and management deal, followed by the passing of her producer Joel Dorn was producing her.
She has since fought her way back with a new record, Love & Murder, which drops April 14 via Royal Potato Family. The label notes that it “reflects both the darkness and light she encountered in the ensuing eight years.” Produced by Mark Howard and co-written by Steve McEwen (whose writing credits run from James Blake to Roger Daltrey), it also includes covers of Bob Dylan, Jimmy Newman and Roy Orbison (the latter’s “Blue Bayou” was done as a duet with none other than Bob Weir, who had heard her do the Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” and was duly smitten).
“This collection is just about the songs and my voice,” she noted, in a statement. “That’s what people can connect with. It shows where I am right now as an artist and where I want to go.”
You can check out an acoustic performance of the song “Jericho” below. Meanwhile, keep track of her at her official website. (Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews)
Just in case you don’t recognize the name Derrick Anderson, consider where you might have actually seen him: playing bass for the Bangles starting in 2008, and more recently with the Kinks’ Dave Davies. (Or maybe even earlier on the L.A. club scene circa 1995-2004 with The Andersons.) The virtuoso musician is now prepping a solo album, A World of My Own for an April 1 release via Omnivore, and we are quite chuffed to be able to unveil a video for the track “Happiness.” Check it out:
If you listened closely, you might have spotted some guitar licks from none of than Matthew Sweet. Meanwhile, also guesting on this gorgeous collection of pop and rock gems are Vicki Peterson, Debbi Peterson and Susanna Hoffs, as well as Kim Shattuck and a Cowsills trio of Bob, John and Susan Cowsill.
Commenting on the album sessions, Anderson notes, “I have to say, it’s a beautiful thing to have such talented friends orbiting in my musical universe that I could call on once I started making this album. It was a long time coming, waiting for folks to ‘turn in their homework’ as it were, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Vicki Peterson(Bangles) listened to the record in its entirety and called it ‘timeless’ which was such a fantastic compliment, especially coming from her!”
Go HERE to view the official album trailer from Omnivore. Find Anderson on the web at his Facebook page.
N.C. outfit also opening for Modern English in April, with more national dates t.b.a. soon. Listen to a key track, below.
By Blurt Staff
A couple of weeks ago we dropped the news that respected indie label Second Motion Records was changing its name to Schoolkids Records, which (not so coincidentally) is also the name of the North Carolina indie record store chain that’s the BLURT magazine sister business. Now comes the official announcement of ‘90s shoegaze legends The Veldt signing with us and prepping a new EP for a June 2 release. Titled The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, you can check out the track “Sanctified,” below.
The Veldt will open for Modern English at several shows in April; dates below. Meanwhile, here’s what you need to know about the band — and to our friends in The Veldt, welcome to the Schoolkids family. Plenty of good memories from all those shows in the ‘90s, and even some contemporary memories, too.
The band formed in the late 80’s in Raleigh, North Carolina amongst the royalty of the legendary North Carolina music scene, including bands such as Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, The Connells, Dillon Fence, The dB’s, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Ryan Adams and many more
Initially signed to Capitol Records in 1989 and eventually finding their way to Mercury Records, The Veldt embarked on a musical journey that changed their lives. Soon, they were in the studio with dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie, playing American concert halls with Cocteau Twins, and opening for The Jesus and Mary Chain in England. They worked with leading producers Lincoln Fong of Moose on their debut album Marigolds and Ray Schulman (Bjork, Sugarcubes, The Sundays) on Afrodisiac. The Veldt were a sensation from the start as they became a part of a movement of innovators, who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.
Apart from Robin Guthrie, they have collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def, The Jesus & Mary Chain and Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and most recently A.R.Kane. They have shared the stage with The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis and Living Colour, among others.
The band reformed in 2016 and immediately received incredible enthusiasm upon their return. Their new EP started to make the rounds with a vinyl release via Leonard Skully Records last year, resulting in significant press attention, including an outstanding feature in The Guardian (UK), who wrote “the new songs invite paradoxical praise: serenely assaultive and vertiginously soothing.” The band participated in an East coast mini-tour with The Brian Jonestown Massacre this past spring, embarked on two central Canadian tours, and continued to tour Europe last summer, in addition to playing multiple festivals in Italy, Spain, France, the UK, USA, Sweden and Denmark.
Tune culled from new digital EP, out next week; see tour dates, below.
By Blurt Staff
Hailing from Virginia and together since 2010, rootsy/indie-rockin’ five-piece Annabelle’s Curse have, to date, served up three highly-regarded albums and have a new one slated for release in June. In the meantime, though, they’ve got a brand new stopgap digital EP titled Here and Now that was produced by Bill Moriarty and Zach Goldstein and arrives Feb. 17, and you can get an advance listen of the title track right here and right now, so check it out:
The band —Tim Kilbourne (Voice, Guitar, Banjo), Zack Edwards (Guitar), Carly Booher (Mando, Voice), Travis Goyette (Drums), and Tyler Luttrelle (Bass) —is not only musically prolific, they are also monsters when it comes to touring, and have become festival favorites at several major musical gatherings in their region of the world. They’re currently on a winter tour that kicked off last weekend in Asheville, NC, and will wind its way up to Philly then back down to Chattanooga; consult the dates, below.
Kilbourne notes, of his band’s musical evolution, “When things first started, the goal was to write good music with a positive message. It was all about the craft of songwriting, and never really about anything more. It just kind of grew from that. We’re still doing the same thing on a slightly bigger scale. We’re still focused on making better music as we go along.”
Adds Edwards, “We have kind of strayed from our roots a little more with each new album, leaning a little more on the electric side of things. That’s also allowed for us to get weirder with our effects and textures. With each album, we’ve put a lot more effort and a larger budget towards the sound production. Over time, we’ve gained more conviction, confidence and certainty in our sound. The music has kind of grown up along with us.
“We’ve been able to share a piece of ourselves with the world. We’ve met fans that have used our music to get through hard times. Plus, we get to play music together with our best friends. What more could anyone want?”
Indeed – boy howdy to that. Catch ‘em at a friendly venue near you – and you can hear a ton of music, both live and studio, at their Soundcloud page.
It’s called Silver/Lead and it arrives March 31: that would be the mighty Wire’s followup to 2016’s acclaimed Nocturnal Koreans. Below listen to the melodically buzzsawing “Short Elevated Period” from the album. And incidentally, March 31 was not a date the band chose randomly; it will be the 40th anniversary of their first UK gig.
April 21 will bring an eagerly-anticipated new Ray Davies project, Americana, featuring the Kinks mainman backed up by Americana godfathers the Jayhawks, fittingly enough. It’s the long-awaited followup to 2008’s Working Man’s Cafe. Listen to first single “Poetry” at NPR, below.
Sun Ra, Tom Glazer/Dottie Evans, Attilio Mineo all get special releases.
By Blurt Staff
Friday the 13th has arrived, so the estimable Modern Harmonic label is in full celebration mode, natch. What, you don’t celebrate lucky Friday? We here at BLURT do a special “vinyl dance” each time Friday the 13th rolls around. At any rate, call Modern Harmonic’s event the first official “Winter In Space” bash, with a handful of space themed records.
Initially, there was the special Sun Ra release for Record Store Day’s “Black Friday” event in November, At Inter-Media Arts April 1991, and response was massive, particularly for the special triple vinyl version of the 2CD set. That was followed by the first-ever collection of the Ra Arkestra’s vocal tracks, The Space Age is Here to Stay, a single-CD or single-LP limited edition. Now comes The Sun Ra 7” Singles Series, a trifecta of wax featuring classic Ra recordings on the A-side and unissued material on the B-side.
But wait, there’s more. Dig the first ever vinyl LP reissue of Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans’ Space Songs, a record created for children in the 60’s but coveted by adults today, and Attilio Mineo’s Man In Space With Sound, a platter of beautifully textured space sounds with period-perfect narration (created for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair), which will be reissued on a custom colored vinyl LP and deluxe CD with a coloring book style insert. Check out the “Winter In Space” collection trailer below, followed by release info on the aforementioned titles.
Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans – Space Songs – LP The first ever vinyl reissue of an extraordinarily unique space age educational LP on red vinyl. Includes the oft covered “A Shooting Star Is Not A Star” and “Why Does The Sun Shine?”, popularized in recent years by They Might Be Giants. The album features Leo Leonni cover art and pressed from the original atomic-era 1959 master tapes. The music was written by Hy Zaret and sung by famed folk singers Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans. Zaret (co-author of “Unchained Melody”) turned his attention to educational children’s music in the late 1950s, collaborating with Lou Singer on a six-album series called “Ballads for the Age of Science.” Space Songs stands alone as the most essential volume in a series that also featured songs about energy and motion, experiments, weather, and nature.
Attilio Mineo – Man In Space With Sounds – LP / CD Taxi to tomorrow with this saucer of space-age sounds! Created for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle (famed for the unveiling of the iconic Space Needle), this album bundles beautifully textured interstellar sounds with period-perfect narration. In anticipation of the World’s Fair, Attilio mined these pieces from his archive and paired them with out-of-this-world narration to guide the journey. Featuring an inebriated burlesque of circus organs, tipsily galloping bongo beats and electronic hydrazine expectorations, the unearthly musical tracks were released in 1959, but its roots go as far back as 1951 when Mineo carved out many of the uncanny melodies. The narration is a milky way of recognizable sound bites that have been widely sampled over the years. Available on a choice of cosmic swirly green and yellow vinyl and packaged in a stunning gatefold jacket or a CD with a coloring book style insert; this is the kind of future the Seattle State World’s Fair promised!
Sun Ra & his Interplanetary Vocal Arkestra – The Space Age Is Here To Stay Double Album The Space Age Is Here To Stay contains over 75 minutes of vocal performances – audible perfection. This is the very first collection of Sun Ra’ s vocal tracks — two albums’ worth of mind-blowing tunes from the mind of the Man from Saturn. Featuring album art interpreted from the work of “the father of modern space art,” Chesley Bonestell, including extensive liner notes from Charles Blass of Sun Radio. It is available on CD or a double LP: cue this one up and get ready to visit other worlds in Sun Ra’ s jazz rocket ship!
The Modern Harmonic Sun Ra 7” Singles Series
Modern Harmonic has created a set of three 7” Sun Ra singles for the “Winter In Space” event, featuring six collectable interplanetary releases featuring art from the cream of the crop of science fiction illustrators. The singles will all be issued on colored vinyl, packaged in custom made space-age style envelope sleeves with liner notes by Charles Blass of Sun Radio and cover artwork by icons of the Sci-Fi world including Dune artist John Schoenherr and “the father of modern space art” Chesley Bonestell, each adapted for Modern Harmonic by John Sellards. The 7”singles will feature a celebrated Sun Ra recording on the A-side with an unissued track on the B-side.
Is a full length in the offing? As the artist himself notes, “I thought it might be easier to only give people a couple things to chew on, just to get my name around again. Hence, a 45.” Um, we keep your name around, so don’t worry about that, brutha!
By Fred Mills
What would you say to a new record from Peter Holsapple? Maybe you’d think, “Awesome! I love the dB’s!” Or possibly even, “Awesome! I love the Continental Drifters!” Or maybe you’re kinda like yours truly, and the rest of the North Carolina-based braintrust of BLURT, and you simply say, “Hell yeah, support the home team!”
Our fellow Tarheel and Durham resident (not to mention Winston-Salem ex-pat) Holsapple is self-releasing a new vinyl 45 record, “Don’t Mention the War” b/w “Cinderella Style”on his ownHawthorne Curve Records. The single drops Feb. 4, and while we presume you will be of a vinyl inclinations, the songs will also be available for purchase as digital downloads at the usual online kiosks.
The details, courtesy the Holsapple camp:
“Don’t Mention the War” is a poignant look at one man’s post-traumatic stress syndrome and how it affects his adoring nephew. With low, somber brass (Mark Daumann on tuba) and echoes of battles past, this is another engaging Holsapple story-song, steeped in dark emotions and vivid character assessment.
“Cinderella Style” doesn’t sound like a typical Peter Holsapple song, but then again, is there such a thing? This delicate tune visits a darkened sewing room for a look around and a quick reminisce. Rising star Skylar Gudasz lends her flute to the recording, and the whole thing is light, clean and just a little foreboding.
Joining Holsapple are James Wallace (Max Indian, Phil Cook) and Mark Simonsen (The Old Ceremony). They had convened in Simonsen’s studio last year to record “hi-fi versions” of tracks the songwriter had previously put out on the Radio Free Song Club podcast. “James and Mark were willing to take the plunge and make this record with me,” says Holsapple. “They brought years of recording and arranging experience to the project, and we’re all well pleased with how the songs turned out.”
Boy howdy to that, sir. We’ll be making space on our record shelf beside the P.H. “Big Black Truck” 45 and “dB’s In A Can” album come Feb. 4. Meanwhile, let’s review:
You won’t be just making time with this particular visit to the wayback machine….
Archival specialists Numero Group continues its creative roll (raise your hand if you grabbed any of the label’s recent offerings, among them the definitive Scientists box set, A Place Called Bad; and the delightful various artists soul/funk compilations The 123s of Kid Soul). Aiming to make the new year a psych-rock year supreme, Numero has compiled for the first time ever the complete studio recordings of the English ’60s legends the Creation. The 2-CD set titled Action Painting will be released March 17. Let’s just cut to the chase and view the official album trailer:
Here’s the lowdown:
All 42 tracks the group recorded between 1965-1968 have been remastered from the original tapes by Shel Talmy, and given fresh stereo mixes where previously unavailable. New essays by music historians Dean Rudland and Alec Palao tell the Creation story while scores of previously unpublished photographs adorn the accompanying 80-page hardbound book. Numero Group has rounded out the package with four tracks by pre-Creation freakbeat quartet the Mark Four, making Action Painting the definitive collection of this legendary U.K. band.
The Creation were a dynamic quartet with an equally engaging image. They would burn brightly for just two years, yet would leave an indelible mark upon music history. With producer du jour Shel Talmy at the helm (The Who, Kinks, Easybeats, Cat Stevens, et al.) the Creation went on an incredible two-year tear of singles, including “Making Time,” “How Does It Feel to Feel,” “Tom Tom,” and “If I Stay Too Long.” By 1968 the paint was dry and the band split. Eddie Phillips’ trademark guitar bowing would be nicked by Jimmy Page and Boney M would cheese up “Painter Man,” the band’s highest-charting single.
Over the nearly five decades since, the Creation has seen a tremendous resurgence in interest. First it was the Jam flossing “Making Time” on the inner sleeve of All Mod Cons. A few years later Alan McGee formed the band Biff Bang Pow and his Creation record label. By the turn of the century a new generation had discovered the band via a strategic placement in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore.
According to legendary producer Talmy, “My biggest regret is that they didn’t achieve the standing they should have. I truly believe they could have been as big as the Who.”
With Action Painting, overdue recognition might be just around the bend.
Collector-geek alert! Separate from the 2-CD/2-LP collection, Numero will release a limited edition, break away spindle 45 featuring the Creation’s “Making Time” backed with a previously unissued instrumental version.
1 Making Time
2 Try and Stop Me
4 Biff Bang Pow
5 Sylvette (edit)
6 If I Stay Too Long
8 Life Is Just Beginning
9 Through My Eyes
10 How Does It Feel to Feel
11 Tom Tom
12 Can I Join Your Band
13 Midway Down
14 The Girls Are Naked
15 Bonie Maronie
17 For All That I Am
18 Uncle Bert
19 Cool Jerk
20 I Am the Walker
21 Ostrich Man
22 Sweet Helen
23 How Does It Feel to Feel (US version)
1 THE MARK FOUR – Hurt Me If You Will
2 THE MARK FOUR – I’m Leaving
3 THE MARK FOUR – Work All Day (Sleep All Night)
4 THE MARK FOUR – Going Down Fast
5 How Does It Feel to Feel (US version) New stereo mix
6 Biff Bang Pow New stereo mix
7 For All That I Am New stereo mix
8 Can I Join Your Band New stereo mix
9 Through My Eyes New stereo mix
10 Tom Tom New stereo mix
11 Midway Down New stereo mix
12 Nightmares New stereo mix
13 Life Is Just Beginning New stereo mix
14 Painter Man New stereo mix
15 If I Stay Too Long New stereo mix
16 How Does It Feel To Feel (UK version) New stereo mix
17 Cool Jerk New stereo mix
18 Hey Joe New stereo mix
19 Like a Rolling Stone New stereo mix
20 Making Time (backing track) take 1 Previously unissued
21 Sylvette (full length)
22 Instrumental 1
23 How Does It Feel to Feel (version 1) (backing track – Previously unissued
Sleater Kinney – Roundhouse, London 23/03/15 | Photo by Jason Williamson
Record drops end of this month on vinyl, CD, and digital.
By Barbi Martinez
Touring Europe last Spring in support of their No Cities To Love album, Sleater-Kinney reportedly put on a riotous-grrrl performance in Paris at the Cigale venue (March 20). Now, due on Jan. 27 from Sub Pop, is Live In Paris, which will feature a bakers-dozen tracks covering that album and others from the trio’s back catalog. Below, check out “Surface Envy” and following that you can also view the way-inspiring, recently-gone-viral live clip of the band, joined by Spoon’s Britt Daniel and members of the Thermals, doing Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve.
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