Category Archives: Album Announcement

Incoming: Jon Stickley Trio’s 3rd Full-Length

JS3_about

Jamming North Carolina outfit explores the outer limits.

BY BLURT STAFF

Asheville’s Jon Stickley Trio – guitarist Stickley, violinist Lyndsay Pruett, and Patrick Armitage on drums – dropped a surprise EP, Triangular, back in December, a stopgap followup to 2015’s outstanding Lost at Last. Now they’re prepping a new full-length for a May 12 release. Titled Maybe Believe, it was cut at Echo Mountain Studios with producer Dave King of the Bad Plus, who enthuses, “The latest record from the Jon Stickley Trio flexes new and strong muscles, utilizing more progressive structures and deeper pockets than ever before. All the while, the group retains its place as a modern-thinking acoustic ensemble with one foot in tradition and the other in a bluegrass honored future that allows for the avant garde, punk, and be bop to mix in freely and tastefully.”

It’s the second time to the well with the Trio and King, and it marks yet another phase in the group’s evolution – anyone who’s ever seen them play knows that “bluegrass” barely describes the sound, which to BLURT’s ears is akin to a fusion outfit covering Sonic Youth, if Sonic Youth were a bluegrass band. Maybe David Grisman guest-starring as well. It’s that unclassifiable, pure high energy and sonically challenging, yet deeply melodic and with irresistible rhythms.

Stickley says, “We had just gotten to know Dave last time and had such a good time. Bringing him in again takes the whole thing up a notch. It was a completely different experience, after traveling all over the place touring [in 2016 the Trio drove over 50,000 miles], over time we’ve developed a cohesion as a band where we intimately know each other and can feel where each other is wanting to go and respond. It’s developed into a tight musical relationship.”

Below, check out a video of the band during recording sessions, along with upcoming tour dates and album tracklisting – of the latter, can we assert that it’s unlikely you’ll ever come across an album with songcredits for both Bill Monroe and Aphex Twin?

Track Listing:

1. Jewels 2:03
2. Playpeople 4:36
3. Almost With You 3:39
4. Slow Burn 4:47
5. Jerusalem Ridge (Bill Monroe) 5:36
6. Avril 14th (Richard James a.k.a. Aphex Twin) 1:59
7. Cecil 4:36
8. Microbruise 3:19
9. The Price of Being Nice (Lyndsay Pruett) 3:39
10. Mt. Sandia Swing 4:23
11. Birdland Breakdown (John Reischman) 3:54
12. Lady Time (Lyndsay Pruett) 3:44

Tour Dates:
3/15 Wed – The Station Inn – Nashville, TN *w/ The Dustbowl Revival
3/16 Thu – The Earl – Atlanta, GA w/ The Dustbowl Revival
3/17-18 Fri-Sat – Anastasia Music Festival @ St. Augustine Amphitheater – St. Augustine, FL
3/21 Tue – Taos Mesa Brewing – El Prado, NM
3/22 Wed – House Concert – Albuquerque, NM
3/23 Thu – Last Exit Live – Phoenix, AZ
3/24 Fri – Coconino Center For The Arts – Flagstaff, AZ
3/25 Sat – Seven Grand – San Diego, CA
3/29 Wed – Throckmorton Theatre – Mill Valley, CA
3/30 Thu – Neck of the Woods – San Francisco, CA
3/31-4/1 Fri-Sat – WinterWonderGrass – North Lake Tahoe, CA
4/6 Thu – The Stage at KDHX – St. Louis, MO
4/7 Fri – Rhythm and Blooms Festival – Knoxville, TN
4/8 Sat – Albino Skunk Festival – Greer, SC
4/12 Wed – Willie’s Locally Known – Lexington, KY
4/13 Thu – The Fire Pit’s Side Bar – Milwaukee, WI
4/14 Fri – Mid West Music Festival – LaCrosse, WI
4/15 Sat – Two Brothers Roundhouse – Aurora, IL
4/29 Sat – WV Craft Brew Fest – Lewisburg, WV
5/12-13 – Fri-Sat – LEAF – Black Mountain, NC
5/19 Fri – Lower Town Arts & Music Festival – Paducah, KY
5/20 Sat – Moonshiner’s Ball – Berea, KY
5/26 Fri – Rooster Walk – Martinsville, VA
6/8 Thu – Founders Brewing – Grand Rapids, MI
6/9 Fri – Parliament Room at Otus Supply – Ferndale, MI
6/10-11 Sat-Sun – NorEastr Festival @ County Fairgrounds – Mio, MI
7/15 Sat – Red Wing Roots Music Festival – Mount Solon, VA
7/29-30 Sat-Sun – FloydFest – Floyd, VA

Incoming: New Coco Hames (The Ettes) Solo LP

Coco

Still a badass: Nashville-based songwriter’s label also reissues her erstwhile garage-punk combo’s classic 2006 debut on vinyl.

By Blurt Staff

Although she’s been laying low, musically speaking, for a few years, having gotten married and also concentrating on her Nashville store Fond Object Records (records, natch, plus vintage clothing and furnishings, boutique items, etc.), Late of distaff garage firebrands The Ettes, Coco Hames is now set to make her solo debut bow.

March 31 will bring Coco Hames (Fond Object), a foray into classic country and Americana cut in Nashville at the Bomb Shelter with co-producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes) and featuring Little Jack Lawrence from the Greenhornes and Raconteurs on bass, Julian Dorio of the Whigs on drums, The Weight’s guitarist Adam Meisterhaus, and Reigning Sound keyboardsman Dave Amels. (Sharp eyes who like to connect the dots will note the Reigning Sound connection: in 2010, Hames teamed up with RS mainman Greg Cartwright as the Parting Gifts, whose Strychnine Dandelion is reviewed elsewhere on the BLURT site.)

Below, you can check out a couple of Hames tracks on YouTube that have surfaced in advance of the album. She’s also slated to perform during SXSW in Austin this week on March 16, 12AM at Tap Room At the Market, for which she notes about the new album, “It was this massive leap of faith for me. After being in a band for so long, this time I was on my own—no gang to hide behind or fall back on.”

So don’t miss her—she’s the real deal.

Meanwhile, Ettes fans recently got a surprise gift, also courtesy Fond Object: a vinyl reissue of the trio’s timeless 2006 CD debut, Shake The Dust. Originally recorded by Hames, Jem Cohen, and Poni Silver with Liam Watson in London at Toe Rag Studios and released on the late, great Sympathy For the Record Industry label, it’s now out on super-limited colored vinyl (glom that gorgeous wax, below, punters) as well as black vinyl. It also comes with a download card that will yield a pair of previously unreleased tracks. Grab it while copies last.

Shake the Dust

Photo Credit: Rachel Briggs/via SXSW.com

***

Links to sundry Ettes content elsewhere at BLURT are below—note that in our early days, Hames was also a regular blogger for BLURT (“Look At Life”), although, sadly, after our website crashed in 2012 we lost a ton of content, including hers.

“The Most Fucked Up Thing I’ve Ever Seen” (by Coco Hames)

“Power Ball” (2009 interview)

“The Blurt Auto-Interview” (Hames interviews herself, 2010, a la the classic Trouser Press magazine self-interviews)

“Badass” (2011 interview)

Video Unveiling of “You Were There” (2013, from the Wicked Will album)

 

 

 

 

Oz Legend feedtime Returns w/In The Red LP

feedtime

As the record label puts it, “First new album from Australia’s favorite misanthropic noise-makers in over 20 (!!!) years.”

By Michael Toland & Fred Mills

When Australia’s great Feedtime reunited in 2012 for a U.S. tour in celebration of The Aberrant Years, Sub Pop’s compilation of the trio’s first four albums from the ‘80s, we Americans thought that was the best it was gonna get. Little did we know that the Sydney avant-noise rockers were hatching plans for new music. Following 2015’s out-of-nowhere new single “Flatiron” b/w “Stick Up Jack,” Gas is the first Feedtime record since 1996’s Billy, and the first one to feature the original lineup since 1989’s Suction (a seminal record for anyone interested in Australia’s noir rock underground, or in great 80s indie records in general). It’s out on vinyl and CD on April 7 via everyone’s scuzz rock-loving pals In the Red Records – info here. (Make sure you look close – the limited edition green vinyl version is sure to sell out on preorder long before the record actually hits stores.) You can find more info on the band’s glory years here.

feedtime_cover_1024x1024

No single has been announced, but surely “Stick Up Jack” is on it, so here’s the video for that song as a taster. It’s a typical Feedtime track – fuzzed-out slide guitar, repetitive rhythms, pissed-off vocals, a general “fuck off” attitude. In other words, totally great.

BLURT will have a full review of the album around the time of its release. Can one of our legendary tag-team reviews from our resident Oz-rock braintrust be in the making? Meanwhile, though, if you want to backtrack and check out some of our previous coverage, you could do far worse than read “Return of the Prodigal Sons,” a feature/interview published in 2015 and authored by Ye Olde Editor. Discussed are a capsule history of the band, the origins of The Aberrant Years along with the This Is Friday outtakes compilation that the S.S. Records released concurrently with the Sub Pop box, and of course the reunion tour, which subsequently yielded a 2015 Australian tour with the Oblivians. (Fun fact: Editor Mills ran into Greg Cartwright of the Oblivians/Reigning Sound not long ago, and he was proudly sporting a teeshirt with a bright green frog on it—yes, the feedtime frog.)

Okay gents, ball’s in your court—live dates?

frog

 

 

 

 

Return of… Minneapolis Punk Legends the Suicide Commandos

SC2

Long-overdue second full-length slated for May 5 release on… the revived Twin/Tone label, which is “forced back into existence.” Boy howdy!

By Fred “Blurt Archival Geek” Mills

Once upon a time there was a ground zero punk combo called the Suicide Commandos: Straight outta Minneapolis, the trio foreshadowed that ‘burg’s subsequent explosion as one of the key Amerindie scenes—think Husker Du, Soul Asylum, Replacements, et al. They only notched a pair of 45s and a full-length, 1978’s Make A Record (issued on Pere Ubu’s Mercury-distributed Blank Records label), earning critical kudos across the globe and going on to become a key artifact of punk, but, as with many similar indie avatars of the era, ultimately bit the dust.

Yours truly was honored to have had the proverbial critical front row seat at the time, though, as the punk fanzine I contributed to (and eventually published), Biohazard Informae, covered the band during its initial run. Wait… did I just write “initial run”?!?

SC

Indeed. The news recently arrived that, against all odds, the Suicide Commandos are on the verge of gearing back up. The members, of course, went on to other pursuits—fans with long memories will fondly recall bassist Steve Almaas and his post-SC proto-Americana combo Beat Rodeo—and it’s been aeons since the name “Suicide Commandos” was uttered aside from discussions about the early Twin Cities scene and the stray one-off reunion gig. But here’s the news:

“[The Suicide Commandos are] readying their first new studio album since the 1978 Blank/Mercury debut, Make A RecordTime Bomb has many of the hallmarks of the band’s original oeuvre, their fast, punky, brainy, fun and often funny rock n’ roll sound – The Ramones meet Eddie Cochran meets ZZ Top – but adds a catchy, pop-ish slant and a modern production flare that brings a freshness to the entire proceedings. The first vinyl pressing will be a limited, numbered edition of 1,000 copies. (It will also be issued digitally.)

Time Bomb was produced by the Commandos, primarily recorded in their hometown at Master Mix Studios by Kevin Bowe (Jonny Lang, Paul Westerberg, Dan Wilson) and mixed by Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Let’s Active, The dBs) at Fidelitorium Recordings in North Carolina. Though there had been reunion shows over the years, the band hadn’t felt compelled to record again. Why Now? you may ask.

“Guitarist Chris Osgood tells us, ‘After Tommy Erdelyi died, Steve pointed out that The Ramones were all gone and we were all still here, and that we should make a record.’ The group’s New York City-based bass player, Steve Almaas, adds ‘The time was right. I had a couple of songs I thought would sound good with Chris and Dave. Once they started coming up with material, it inspired me to write a few more. Also, in this modern age, it’s much easier to work long distance. That really helped make this possible.’

So far no plans for touring have been announced, but let’s just get to the May 5 release date first. (Local Minneapolis events include a listening party at the Clown Lounge/Turf Club on May 5th and an in-store at Treehouse Records on the 6th.) Oh, and if you noted the subhead above, you probably felt your pulse quicken: the equally legendary Twin/Tone Records label—yeah, that label, the one that gave the world the ‘mats—is also returning from the grave to do the deed. It’s the first record since the Suburbs’ 1994 album Viva! Suburbs! Welcome back, Peter Jesperson and Paul Stark. We’ve missed ya.

Online:  SuicideCommandos.com  TwinToneRecords.com  

U2 Announces New Deluxe “Joshua Tree” 30th Anniv. Reissue

U2T71595

Timely follow-up to the 2007 reissue…

By Blurt Staff

In conjunction with today’s marking of the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, U2 has announced a fresh reissue of the 1987 album that essentially blows the roof off the sucker, product-wise. According to AtU2.com, the June 2 release will arrive as several different iterations, notably the “Super Deluxe 7LP Box Set”:

*7 pieces of original, live and unreleased recordings on 12″ 180gm vinyl, 3.5 hrs of audio content/49 tracks (25 unreleased tracks: 17 live, 7 new mixes 1 archive track)

*The Joshua Tree double album (gatefold)

*The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden double album 1987 (gatefold)

*The Joshua Tree Remixes

*The Joshua Tree Outtakes

*The Joshua Tree B-Sides

*The Joshua Tree – Photographs by The Edge. An 84-page hardback book of personal never-before-seen photography by The Edge, taken during the original Mojave Desert Joshua Tree shoot, 1986

*A folio of eight rare 12″ Anton Corbijn colour prints

U2T71595-1

You can visit the U2 store to place preorders on this or the other versions, which include a single or a 2CD set, 4CD box, a single vinyl LP, or even bundled versions with a teeshirt or record bag.

New Track Alert: NC’s Temperance League “All There Is”

TL

Tarheel rockers prep fifth longplayer for 2017 release.

By Blurt Staff

Hoist a pint and down a shot in honor of Charlotte, NC, combo the Temperance League, who you might remember from our previous coverage—such as last year’s Day of the Dove album, of which we noted thusly:

 “[The band’s dedication to] rock ‘n’ roll, whatever the long acclaim odds, and whatever the shrinking rewards, says as much about the art form’s pull as it does its Quixotic practitioners. With producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement) overseeing recording at his Fidelitorium studio, Temperance League has slightly reframed its earlier references—which have ranged from working class Springsteen anthems and rebellious Heartbreakers’ singalongs to Ramones fuzz and the Byrds’ jangle—into a work whose sonic depth matches that of its lyrics.”

So frontman Bruce Hazel now lets us know that the group’s fifth platter—presumably destined to be on vinyl, and colored wax at that, if past efforts are any gauge—is in the pipeline, called Space Aquarium, and they are chuffed to give everyone an early taste. Check out first single “All There Is”:

Hazel, commenting on the track, tells us, “I think ‘All There Is’ was the first song I wrote for this project. It’s a perfect first sample of Space Aquarium. The lyric and sound of this track epitomize the meaning and feeling of this album. Once again we worked with Mitch Easter at his Fidelitorium.

“Each time we work there I feel we have evolved. This record has a different tone than any of our previous releases. We reached for something and I think we achieved our goal. The vocals are warmer and more honest. This is a big step for us. I’m proud of this work.”

Boy howdy to that. More details to follow. You can read/hear more about/from Temperance League simply by plugging their name into the little search box at the BLURT homepage. Don’t forget to check out our 2013 interview with Hazel conducted by his fellow Charlottean and longtime supporter John Schacht.

Can’t wait for the full-length, gents.

Watch New Leslie Mendelson Video

meelvis

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)

Video Premiere: Derrick Anderson “Happiness”

Song from upcoming album due early April.

derrick-anderson

By Blurt Staff

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.

cd

Incoming: New EP from The Veldt; Signed to Schoolkids Records

theveldt2017

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.

skids-logo

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.

***

THE VELDT supporting MODERN ENGLISH

April 10: Washington DC – Rock & Roll Hotel

April 11: Philadelphia PA – Johnny Brenda’s

April 13: Boston MA – Brighton Music Hall

April 14: Brooklyn NY – Rough Trade

 

Track Premiere: Annabelle’s Curse “Be Here Now”

annabelles-curse-by-loch-and-key

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.

On the web: https://www.annabellescurse.com/

https://www.facebook.com/annabellescurse/

Tour Dates:
02.03•The Mothlight (Asheville, NC)
02.04•Local 506 (Chapel Hill, NC)
02.09•Martin’s (Roanoke, VA)
02.11•Ortlieb’s (Philadelphia, PA)
02.17•The Willow Tree (Johnson City, TN)
02.18•The Garage (Winston-Salem, NC)
02.24•Preservation Pub (Knoxville, TN)
02.25•Clyde’s on Main (Chattanooga, TN)
03.18•The Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC)

Photo credit: Loch and Key