On March 23rd, keeper-of-the-krautrock-flame Groenland will be releasing Cinema, an overview of Holger Czukay’s solo work and collaboration. Included will be Canaxis 5 (1969), Movies (1979), On The Way To The Peak Of Normal (1981), Full Circle (1982), Der Osten Ist Rot (1984), Rome Remains Rome (1987) and Radio Wave Surfer (1991). This five-LP set features a 36-page booklet, DVD of a movie starring Czukay for which he also made the soundtrack as well as a “vinyl video.”
It ain’t cheap – $135. (Peak of Normal was reissued on vinyl not long ago, incidentally.) But to have all of this under one cover isn’t a bad way to get your springtime record collecting off to a nice start….
Quite possibly the most moving song of the still-young new year…
By Fred Mills
Due Feb. 9 via esteemed roots/folk/archival label Tompkins Square: The Two Worlds, from Irish singer-songwriter Brigid Mae Power, whose 2016 eponymous debut notched acclaim throughout the UK (including the tastemakers at Mojo and Uncut), additionally making Stateside inroads. Here’s the utterly stunning first single from the new album, “Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely),” which is remarkably appropriate for the times we find ourselves in:
We’ll leave it to Power to fill out the rest of the brief about this chilling song and the new album, which was produced by Peter Broderick:
Most of these songs were written in the last year in Ireland and they’re all about the different feelings I had at the time. Last year I moved back to Galway, Ireland where I mostly grew up and I was feeling and noticing again the repressive and oppressive environment. So I revisited a song I had half written a few years previous called ‘Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely)’ and I found that moving home, I had the ammunition to finish it. I had actually tried to record this song in Portland, Oregon the previous year but at the time it just did not work. It was the wrong atmosphere, it was summer and a sunny day and just was not repressive enough in the way that it can be here! So I didn’t really feel real singing it as I didn’t feel held back at all! It felt like singing to a brick wall and it wasn’t going anywhere… So when I moved back I had the idea to go up to an analogue studio in the North of Ireland and specifically record that song there, so we booked in some time at the studio and I hurried to finish some other scraps of songs I had lying around with the idea of recording them live and just seeing what happened.
I had been thinking about my Grandmother a lot, so there are a couple of songs about her.. I’d been thinking about lost friendships. I’d been thinking about how to balance being settled and also being up in the clouds. I’d been thinking a lot about cutting out the crap and letting go of things that don’t serve you, so I feel like these songs are pretty direct. I wanted them to sound direct too and the studio Analogue Catalogue was the perfect place and had a great sound and live room…. When we went up there the second time to record the other batch of songs, it was a very busy time in our life and I hadn’t finished writing the lyrics to a lot of them. Not as a choice – I just literally didn’t have time. So when we got there I thought I would just try them out anyway and as a natural procrastinator I was much happier with the sound of the result of being pushed to the last minute. Peter added in different instruments really naturally and then mixed and mastered the record. ‘I’m Grateful’ was written in Oregon and for me I can tell that it wasn’t written in Ireland. The rest of the album feels quite like what my environment looks like here at the moment out of my window.
Inscrutably enough, Will Toledo’s 2011 album ‘Twin Fantasy’, has been re-recorded and re-imagined for release on February 16th via Matador. Yeah, us neither. But Car Seat Headrest fans are already having seizures on social media, and there’s already a new video for the track “Nervous Young Humans” here so lucky for them, we’ve got the scoop. Here’s what Peyton Thomas reports to the media:
Toledo always knew he would return to ‘Twin Fantasy’. He never did complete the work. Not really. Never could square his grand ambitions against his mechanical limitations. Listen to his first attempt, recorded at nineteen on a cheap laptop, and you’ll hear what Brian Eno fondly calls “the sound of failure” – thrilling, extraordinary, and singularly compelling failure. Will’s first love, rendered in the vivid teenage viscera of stolen gin, bruised shins, and weird sex, was an event too momentous for the medium assigned to record it.
Even so, even awkward and amateurish, ‘Twin Fantasy’ is deeply, truly adored. Legions of reverent listeners carve rituals out of it: sobbing over “Famous Prophets,” making out to “Cute Thing,” dancing their asses off as “Bodys” climbs higher, higher. The distortion hardly matters. You can hear him just fine. You can hear everything. And you can feel everything: his hope, his despair, his wild overjoy. He’s trusting you – plural you, thousands of you – with the things he can’t say out loud. “I pretended I was drunk when I came out to my friends,” he sings – and then, caught between truths, backtracks: “I never came out to my friends. We were all on Skype, and I laughed and changed the subject.”
You might be imagining an extended diary entry, an angsty transmission from a bygone LiveJournal set to power chords and cranked to eleven. You would be wrong. ‘Twin Fantasy’is not a monologue. ‘Twin Fantasy’ is a conversation. “You know,” he sings, “that I’m mostly singing about you.” This is Will’s greatest strength as a songwriter ; he spins his own story, but he’s always telling yours, too. Between nods to local details – Harper’s Ferry, The Yellow Wallpaper, the Monopoly board collecting dust in his back seat – he leaves room for the fragile stuff of your own life, your own loves. From the very beginning, alone in his bedroom, in his last weeks of high school, he knew he was writing anthems. Someday, he hoped, you and I might sing these words back to him.
“It was never a finished work,” Toledo says, “and it wasn’t until last year that I figured out how to finish it.” He has, now, the benefit of a bigger budget, a full band in fine form, and endless time to tinker. According to him, it took eight months of mixing just to get the drums right. But this is no shallow second take, sanitized in studio and scrubbed of feeling. This is the album he always wanted to make. It sounds the way he always wanted it to sound.
It’s been hard, stepping into the shoes of his teenage self, walking back to painful places. There are lyrics he wouldn’t write again, an especially sad song he regards as an albatross. But even as he carries the weight of that younger, wounded Toledo, he moves forward. He grows. He revises, gently, the songs we love so much. In the album’s final moments, in those “apologies to future me’s and you’s,” there is more forgiveness than fury.
This, Toledo says, is the most vital difference between the old and the new: he no longer sees his own story as a tragedy.
A few years ago we reviewed Nashville-by-way-of-Ohio rocker Erica Blinn’s masterful Lovers in the Dust album, our own Lee Zimmerman enthusing, “Blinn packs enough smoldering sensuality into her material to light up a football stadium.” Amen to that.
Now she’s set to release Better than Gold, on the Curry House label, as previously. Check out the awesome new single and video:
According to the label, of the new record, “It was her third time working with producer/engineer Mike Landolt (Maroon 5, Blues Traveler), but her first time recording in Nashville, TN. Blinn relocated from her hometown of Columbus, OH to the incredible music community of East Nashville, TN in the Fall of 2015.
Adds Blinn, “About half of the record was done in Columbus [OH] and about half of it in Nashville. This album features a lot of the new friends we’ve made in Nashville, but the most special part for me was having my Dad in the studio. He came up with the bass part for ‘Suzie’ and drove down to Nashville to play it on the record.”
The aforementioned track’s origins a night of fun at a gig and a bottle of tequila, remembers Blinn. “I was heading into the bathroom when I heard a guy say, ‘Hey! When I’m with Suzie, I do what I want!’ I immediately went home and made up almost the whole song. Then I took what I had to my friend Caitie Thompson and we tweaked some words and came up with the third verse.”
And so a new album unfolds. More details at her website. Stay tuned – and meanwhile, check out this fan-filmed video of a smokin’ cover of Blinn and her band doing “Sympathy for the Devil” last September:
The Sacred Bones label’s dynamic duo – that would be Moon Duo – is set to drop a new 12″ single on which they cover Suicide’s “Jukebox Babe” and the Stooges’ “No Fun.” Vinyl hounds will have plenty of reason to cheer: it will be available on both white vinyl (with a bonus poster included) and standard black vinyl, for a total of 2000 copies.
“We started playing ‘No Fun’ after BBC6 Radio asked us to record an Iggy song for his 70th birthday. We added it to our set to work it out for the session and kept playing it every night because everyone loves that song. We worked up a version of ‘Jukebox Babe’ because our sound engineer Larry got it stuck in his head and was singing it all the time. We figured, we may as well play it if we’re going to hear it all the time.
“The Stooges and Iggy, and Suicide/Alan Vega/Martin Rev, are all huge influences on us. But we never want to do faithful covers of great songs, because what’s the point. So we tried to push both of the tracks in less obvious directions, incorporating other influences, like California psych and cosmic disco, giving them more of a summer vibe. We knew Sonic Boom was working outside of Lisbon, so we asked him to produce the tracks, recording them in August for maximal summer heat.”
Based on the Suicide track alone, which is streaming at the Sacred Bones site, it’s a killer platter. Moon Duo are pros at limited edition releases, incidentally; last year’s two-part Occult Architecture EP was available as two colored vinyl pieces, and most of their other records have had some collectible element such as numbered, colored vinyl, bonus 7″, etc.
This just in from the estimable Superior Viaduct label – pretty much speaks for itself:
August 1988, Spacemen 3 embark on one of the strangest events in the band’s already strange history. Billed as “An Evening Of Contemporary Sitar Music” (although consciously omitting the sitar), the group would play in the foyer of Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford, Middlesex to a largely unsuspecting and unsympathetic audience waiting to take their seats for Wim Wenders’ film Wings of Desire.
Spacemen 3’s proceeding set, forty-five minutes of repetitive drone-like guitar riffs, could be seen as the “Sweet Sister Ray” of ’80s Britain. Their signature sound is at once recognizable and disorienting – pointing as much to the hypnotic minimalism of La Monte Young as to a future shoegaze constituency.
On the Feb. 23 double LP reissue from Superior Viaduct, Dreamweapon is augmented by studio sessions and rehearsal tapes from 1987 that would lead up to the recording of Spacemen 3’s classic Playing With Fire album. “Spacemen Jam,” featuring Sonic Boom and Jason Pierce on dual guitar, is a side-long mediation on delicate textures and psychedelic effects.
Recall that Dreamweapon originally appeared in 1990 as a 12″ EP with two long tracks or as a CD with a single 45-minute number, “An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music.” It was recorded live in ’88 in London. Over the years it has been reissued a number of times, including on the Sympathy label in the US with different artwork, and on the band’s on Space Age label for CD and LP. This new one apparently brings things up to date with all the material that has been released previously, although no bonus music is added.
North Carolina Afro-beat/world music/surf rockers Toubab Krewe, who burned brightly on the Asheville indie scene for a number of years then went on hiatus before resuming operations last year, has set a March 2 release date for their third studio album, Stylo. The quintet has also started a PledgeMusic campaign for the record and is offering a number of limited edition goodies and pledge packages. According to the band:
In celebration of our first album release in 7 years, we are offering some exclusive and limited edition Toubab Krewe items and experiences that you won’t be able to get anywhere else, while also helping out our friends at Seed Programs International. A portion of all proceeds will support SPI, a non-profit organization focusing on alleviating global hunger and poverty by gathering, packaging, and sending vegetable seed packets to impoverished communities worldwide.
You can check out the items available at the band’s PledgeMusic page, everything from digital and vinyl editions of the new album to a special “seed garden” collectors’ box to signed posters to private guitar lessons to house parties. You can also check out the pitch video Toubab Krewe put together for the campaign.
The group will be touring extensively in support of the new album starting in the spring. Read the 2010 BLURT feature and interview “Is There A Kora In the House?” here, and there is also an extended review of the group’s Live at the Orange Peel album here.
it’s titled Gumboot Soup, and you can hear it streaming at Bandcamp. Check it out, below; the eleven songs will play successively The vinyl edition – no doubt available in multiple colored wax limited edition iterations, and you can view two of them at their site as well as preorder them – will arrive in April via the band’s Flightless label. No word yet if it will also be released on the group’s American label, ATO.
Watch the album trailer and listen to a track, below.
By Fred Mills
Slated for release by Omnivore on Jan. 12: Live at Lafayette’s Music Room, by Big Star, a performance in Memphis in the spring of ’73 a few months prior to the notorious Memphis Rock Writers Convention in May of that year. The concert originally appeared as Disc 4 of Rhino’s acclaimed 2009 Big Star box set Keep An Eye on the Sky but this marks the first time it will be available in all formats: CD, digital, and 2LP vinyl. It will also boast new packaging and has been remastered. Included will be a download of a ’72 interview with the late Alex Chilton and Andy Hummel originally conducted by Memphis DJ Jon Scott.
When My Baby’s Beside Me
2. My Life Is Right
3. She’s A Mover
4. Way Out West
5. The Ballad Of El Goodo
6. In The Street
7. Back Of A Car
9. The India Song
10. Try Again
11. Watch The Sunrise
12. Don’t Lie To Me
13. Hot Burrito #2
14. I Got Kinda Lost
15. Baby Strange
17. There Was A Light
18. St 100/6
19. Come On Now
20. O My Soul
Tune taken from upcoming studio album, due next week.
By Blurt Staff
Mark “Porkchop” Holder has been a favorite around the Blurt Magazine break room since his time in the blues punk band Black Diamond Heavies. So when we had the opportunity to introduce you guys to his latest, “Coffin Lid” via a Blurt premiere, we clocked back in powered up the computer.
“‘Coffin Lid’ comes from a long bar-room conversation with a merchant marine whose stories got wilder the longer we drank. It falls somewhere between street corner boasting and the literary device of the unreliable narrator.” Holder reveals to Blurt.
All that backed with a sludgy Blues riffs that sticks with you for hours.The track is off the Chattanooga-based musician’s sophomore studio album,Death and the Blues, out November 3rd via Alive Natural Sound Records It follows his acclaimed solo debut, Let It Ride, from earlier this year.
It’ll be available on limited vinyl, as well as CD, digital and streaming formats. Go HERE to order the starburst vinyl.
MARK “PORKCHOP” HOLDER TOUR DATES:
October 27 at Big Apple Cafe – Murray, KY
October 28 at Barking Legs Theater – Chattanooga, TN
November 2 at BT’s – Radford, VA
November 3 at Acoustic Coffee House – Johnson City, TN
November 4 at O’mainnin’s Pub (w/Moose Roberts and Monkey Paw) – Bristol, TN
November 10 at JJ’s Bohemia (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW!!) – Chattanooga, TN
November 17 at Rooster’s Blues House – Oxford, MS
November 18 at Sidetracks (w/ Southern Culture on the Skids) – Huntsville, AL
November 20 at JJ’s Bohemia (w/ 20 Watt Tombstone) – Chattanooga, TN
November 25 at Levon’s – Clarksdale, MS
November 26 at The Door – Dallas, TX
November 28 at Art Obscura – Las Cruces, NM
November 29 at The Loud House – Tucson, AZ
December 1 at The City Pub – San Diego, CA
December 8 at The Wildwood Hotel – Willamina, OR
December 11 at The Treehouse Cafe – Bainbridge Island, WA
December 19 at Leftwoods – Amarillo, TX
December 20 at Firehouse Bar & Grill – Abilene, TX
April 14, 2018 at Off Broadway (War Goat Festival) – St. Louis, MS
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizzard leak their own album, "Gumboot Soup," due 4/13 on colored vinyl (ATO)!
Hear new MOON DUO cover of Suicide's "Jukebox Babe (out now on white vinyl via Sacred Bones
A Blurt Boot Exclusive: Chuck Prophet, Stephanie Finch & The Mission Express - Tom Petty's The Waiting (San Francisco Oct. 6, 2017)
A Blurt Boot Exclusive: Husker Du - MC5's Ramblin' Rose (Hoboken 4/11/86), from Complete Covers Collection
Blurt Video Exclusive: Twinkle Star "Wasting Life Together"/"Release Yourself"