Category Archives: Audio stream

Track Premiere: Chris Price “Hi Lo”

“Weird chords” abound in key track from new album, due in May.

By Blurt Staff

It’s called Stop Talking but anyone who’s been privy to a preview of LA songwriter and producer Chris Price’s forthcoming album is probably urging him to keep going. As good as Price’s 2012 solo debut Homesick  was, the expansive, luminous pop and rock dotting Stop Talking (due May 19 via  Omnivore marks a quantum leap in songwriting and arranging for the musician. We’re privileged to unveil the first single from the album, “Hi Lo,” so please check it out:

Price talks about the song, noting, “I wrote this in Berlin half asleep, immediately after many hours of travel to get there. I was sitting in a hotel room, it was late, but I couldn’t fall asleep and I was more than a little delirious. And these chords just came. It kinda felt like I was channeling something from a place I don’t always have access to, but that could definitely just be the insomnia talking.

“The acoustic guitar I wrote it on broke immediately after I played it through for the first time, which is…something? It’s got a lot of ‘weird’ chords in it, which is always a great thing to get to say about a song.”

The product of several years’ worth of on-and-off work and representing the cream of nearly 50 songs that were recorded during those years, Stop Talking was also influenced by Price’s outside work: producing comebacks by Linda Perhacs and Emitt Rhodes, playing in Tal Wilkenfeld’s band and opening for The Who, and writing with Jellyfish/Beck mainstay Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. Those experiences clearly assisted Price in forming a holistic perspective for his own work—although, as Price is quick to quip, “I really should stop talking and let the music speak for itself.”

 

Incoming Vinyl: Limited Reissue of Michael Cerveris’ 2004 “dog eared”

400 copies only, 2LP set, 180-gram wax – make your plans accordingly. Below, listen to a key track from the album.

By Blurt Staff

In 2004, singer Michael Cerveris, former frontman of British band Retriever as well as American outfit Lame, released his solo debut dog eared. It went on to become a cult favorite, notching critical kudos everywhere, such as at Magnet magazine, which lauded the “Anglophile balladry and fuzzbox raunch recalling Big Star and Guided By Voices in equal measure…call it sloppy art for sloppy hearts, it’s damned swell.”

As produced and mixed by veteran studio whiz Adam Lasus, the album featured the performing talents of Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss, Ken Stringfellow, Steve Shelley, Norman Blake (one of the album’s best tracks was Teenage Fanclub’s “Can’t Feel My Soul”), Laura Cantrell, Anders Parker and others, so it was also a bit of an indie rock super session. Cerveris certainly has amassed a following on both sides of the Atlantic over the years, for in addition to the aforementioned bands he was touring guitarist/vocalist for Bob Mould on the 1998 Dog and Pony Show tour, starred in Sweeney Todd on Broadway as well as the title role in Tommy during the late ‘90s, and starred in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on London’s West End, in New York Off Broadway, and in Los Angeles. He also won a Tony Award in 2016 for Fun Home and in 2004 for Assassins on Broadway at Studio 54.

Still, in certain quarters it’s that 2004 album that continues to quicken heart rates—you can check it out at Spotify and find out exactly why. It is truly a lost gem that has lost none of its pop lustre in the decade-plus since it was originally released.

Long out of print physically, it’s now being resurrected for the first time as a limited edition, 2 LP set, pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Just 400 copies have been pressed up by the Azucar label, a boutique, vinyl-only label dedicated to releasing limited edition pressings of classic albums from the past 30 years. dog eared was remastered for vinyl and comes in gatefold packaging with printed inner sleeves and a poster containing lyrics and unseen photos from the recording sessions. You may recall Azucar’s vinyl handiwork last year on Ken Stringfellow’s 2001 album Touched, an impressive title on all counts. Expect no less with the Cerveris project.

 

 

Track Premiere: Seth Glier “For What It’s Worth”

Yes, indeed, the Buffalo Springfield classic… officially released tomorrow, April 21.

By Blurt Staff

If you’re a regular BLURT reader, you’ll be familiar with the name Seth Glier, a Grammy® Nominee and Independent Music Award-winner who we’ve featured a number of times in the past, including a video premiere not long ago and a number of album reviews, including one of his killer Things I Should Let You Know. Returning to the Glier well once again—and for reasons that will become immediately obvious—we want to unveil a new recording he’s done of Steven Stills’ eternally-relevant “For What It’s Worth,” which of course the Buffalo Springfield originally did in ’66, the tune going on to be revived numerous times in the years that followed. Check it out:

Glier, commenting on his version of the song, notes, “We have found ourselves, our values, & our leadership in a time of cognitive dissonance. Our age of information has been turned into an age of entertainment. I believe that people everywhere are beginning to say: there’s something happening here.” 

That’s for sure. It’s a remarkably powerful—primal, even—take on the tune, a bluesy and genuinely relevant anthem for these troubled times. And the artist is no stranger to activism—he’s served as a spokesperson for ChildFund International, Rock The Vote, Autism Speaks, and has been a TEDx speaker.

Glier will have a new album titled Birds (MPress) out this summer, the follow-up to 2015’s exquisite If I Could Change One Thing. You can catch him on tour right now and throughout the summer—tour dates at his official website. (You can also nab the track at his website.) He’s currently one of the top trending sessions on Daytrotter and his song, “The Next Right Thing” was just used in Nescafé’s International Women’s Day video commercial, “Meninas Fortes“.

Track Premiere: Matthew Edwards “When We Arrived at the Mountain”

Matthew Edwards

Tune from forthcoming June album by the California-by-way-of-Birmingham (England) rocker.

By Michael Toland

Do you remember what it’s like to discover an artist that you had been waiting for your entire life but didn’t realize it? An artist who may have been around for a while but somehow eluded your notice, and makes you wonder how that could have ever happened? An artist who answers all the questions you didn’t know you had about music?

We had that revelation about British singer and songwriter Matthew Edwards a few years ago. The late, great Nikki Sudden published a review of The Words We Say Before We Sleep, the debut full-length album by Edwards’ then-band the Music Lovers, in Bucketful of Brains, and we had to track it down. It was love at first spin, and it felt like a love that had been there all along, just waiting to be awoken from its unknown slumber. The San Francisco band’s lovingly constructed blend of British guitar pop, pre-rock balladry, sardonic wit and emotional impact felt tailor-made for anyone looking for that perfect rock & roll balance of craft and heart.

The Music Lovers split after three albums, and Edwards formed his current band the Unfortunates, releasing that combo’s debut The Fates in 2012. We covered that album here, noting that it had “a new emotional urgency” that “elevates it into the sphere of an artist’s greatest statements.” Now we at last have Folklore, the long-awaited follow-up, written and recorded after Edwards left California for his hometown of Birmingham, England. As with The Fates, Folklore hews closely to Edwards’ established m.o., while expanding on its sonic possibilities. The rockers rock harder, the ballads dig deeper and the production pushes the music nearly into the realm of the psychedelic. Folklore is that rare album that keeps to tradition while also presenting a step forward, a diamond in the sea of coal.

Blurt is proud to bring you “When We Arrived at the Mountain,” a track equally representative of Edwards’ songcrafting excellence and the Unfortunates’ evolving sonic palette. Check it out:

Folklore comes out June 2 via Gare du Nord. The band has the following dates lined up, with UK festival dates and U.S. dates coming soon. Catch ’em online as well: http://www.matthewedwardsandtheunfortunates.com/

Sunday 14th May @ Come Down & Meet the Folks, The Apple Tree, Clerkenwell

Saturday 3rd June @ Centrala, Digbeth, Birmingham

Saturday 2nd September @ Moseley Folk Festival (2PM)

 

Track Premiere: Cowbell “Haunted Heart”

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London outfit preps kickass new album for early June release.

By Fred Mills

Take a little bit of Eddie Cochran-as-filtered-through-The-Cramps, stir in some vintage girl group harmonies, then douse liberally with the classic British Invasion/Nuggets ‘tude and you’ve got… Cowbell! The London-based duo of Jack Sandham and Wednesday Lyle serve up a nigh-on unimpeachable brew of high-energy R&B, soulful garage, and dirt-road psychobilly, and these rock ‘n’ roll miscreants have no problem with holding a double barrel shotgun to BLURT’s head until we unveil this new track for the readership, the title track to their forthcoming album Haunted Heart. Everyone get ready—duck!

“There’s a bit of a Hammer Horror atmosphere to this one,” explains Sandham, of the track. “We love The Cramps and both got really excited when we got that rumbling psychobilly groove happening, we thought it set the tone for the album.  I can’t decide whether I’m pitying, comforting or lambasting the protagonist, maybe all at the same time. I particularly like the way it jumps into a girl group groove for the bridge.”

Bloody well right, mate. The album, which arrives June 2 via the estimable Damaged Goods label, offers everything from dark West Coast psychedelia to Memphis gospel soul, in addition to the aforementioned influences. It’s simultaneously primal and percolating, testimony to the two musicians’ eight-year tenure, which has seen two albums, numerous singles, and mucho roadwork. Recommended: 2012 debut Stampede and 2014’s Skeleton Soul. Also recommended: catching the group live, as they have consistently wowed the critics, deejays (BBC 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins hailed them as “one of the best live bands I’ve seen in a long time.”) and punters alike.

Cowbell CD

More details, tour dates (they play April 21 in London), etc. at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cowbelltheband/ Or at their official website: http://www.cowbelltheband.co.uk/Cowbell/page.html

As the saying goes, “More, Cowbell.

Incoming: 15th Album by the Black Watch; Listen to New Single

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Plus something to read, too!

By Blurt Staff

John Andrew Fredrick is setting himself up to be a busy dude very soon. First, on April 21 the new album by his long-tenured band the Black Watch, The Gospel According to John, arrives. Watch this space for a review this week.

Then, on July 11, his new book about Wes Anderson is published, and as Fredrick is perhaps the most literate guy in indie rock today, it should be a stellar read.

Below, listen to the killer first single from the Black Watch album, “Whence.” It’s a heady melange of tingly pop and kosmiche shoegaze.

Track Premiere: Parson Red Heads’ “Coming Down”

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Tune culled from upcoming album due in June.

By Blurt Staff

Over the years we’ve sung the praises of Portland rockers The Parson Red Heads, including a review of 2013’s Orb Weaver and a profile, also in 2013, of the band. So we were pretty stoked to get the news that there’s a new album from the band, due June 9 via Fluff & Gravy Records (US) / You Are The Cosmos Records (EUR). Now we’ve got an exclusive early look at Blurred Harmony—the first single is “Coming Down,” so check it out:

Blurred Harmony is a musically diverse record – it is a distillation of the sounds and styles that the Parsons, as a band, love. It is the overdriven jangle of Teenage Fanclub and Big Star power-pop, the skewed psychedelics of the Paisley Underground, the bittersweet energy of New Zealand’s “Dunedin Sound” movement, and the muted twang of Cosmic Americana, all crammed into 44 minutes.

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A full roster of tour dates will be announced late, but they have scheduled several already in and around their home territory:

June 7 – Old St Francis School – Bend, OR
June 8 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
June 10 – Conor Byrne – Seattle, WA

You can find out more about the band at the official website, and you can also pre-order the album on LP / CD:
US:  http://www.theparsonredheads.bandcamp.com
EUR: http://www.youarethecosmos.com/artist/the-parson-red-heads

 

 

Roger Waters Does “Immersive Companion Piece” To Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka

Zaieeka

Psychedelia icon pays unexpected tribute to Oklahoma-based Floyd acolytes.

 By Elaine Miller

 Several years ago, when the Flaming Lips covered Pink Floyd’s classic ’73 album Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety with a host of guests (among them, Rollins and Peaches) in 2009, absent from the conversation was what the surviving members of the Floyd actually thought of the gesture. Then the Lips upped the ante, releasing a new digital recasting of Dark Side designed as what they cheekily termed “an immersive companion piece” to the album in which fans would synch up the original P.F. album with the new Lips recording, additionally claiming that their Flaming Side of the Moon (pictured below) would also sync up with the Wizard Of Oz film. (You no doubt get that reference by now.)

Lips

Now, belatedly but certainly not unwelcomed, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters shocked the music world this morning with the release of his Pink Side of the Lips, a Floydian-styled recasting of the Lips 1997 “difficult album” Zaireeka. In a press release the Waters camp offered:

 It’s designed as an immersive companion piece to the original 1997 album ZAIREEKA, listeners are encouraged to listen to the new WATERS album while listening to ZAIREEKA at the same time. Pink Side of the Lips was also carefully crafted to sync up perfectly with the 1964 film ZORBA THE GREEK. For ideal listening conditions, fans are encouraged to seek out the original Paul B. Cutler-engineered binaural LP mix of ZAIREEKA but it will work with the album on any format. Available now through all participating digital outlets. A limited edition 100 vinyl copies will be distributed to friends and family of UK band the Television Personalities.

 Waters

Check out the stream of the Waters album right here.

Track Premiere: Paul Collins “All Over the World”

Paul Collins3_JoyWhalen

Tune culled from the songwriter’s 1985 mini-album classic.

By Blurt Staff

The name Paul Collins won’t catch anyone who frequents the BLURT site on an even semi-occasional basis. The rocker and power pop avatar, with his band Paul Collins’ Beat, is releasing the Long Time Gone / To Beat Or Not To Beat two-fer on April 28 via Lolipop Records (distributed by Cobraside Distribution), and this time it will be on vinyl, cassette, and digital in addition to CD (Wounded Bird did a CD version of the two-record roundup back in 2004—the mini-albums originally came out on 12” vinyl in 1983 and 1985, respectively—but that label’s version suffered from shoddy mastering and horrible sound). By way of preview, we’ve got the track “All Over the World” to share with our readers. Check it out:

Speaking about the To Beat Or Not To Beat track, Collins tells us, “I remember getting an $800 royalty check for ‘All Over The World’ when I was living in San Francisco so I went out and bought a used green Datsun B210! I would always hum ‘All Over The World’ as I drove up and down all those hills in SF!”

Go HERE to read our review of his 2014 album Feel the Noise. Collins will be on tour throughout the spring, including this weekend in Philly. You can find him on the web, natch:

http://www.thepaulcollinsbeat.com

https://www.facebook.com/Paul-Collins-Beat-46392812761

Photo Credit: Joy Whalen

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Spring 2017 Tour Dates:

U.S.

3/11 – Voltage Lounge – Philadelphia, PA w/ Protex

3/16 – Firehouse 13 – Providence, RI w/ The Dazies

3/18 – The Footlight Bar – Queens, NY w/ The Dazies

4/22 – Page One – Glen Cove, NY w/ The Rockinghams

FRANCE

5/6 Clermont-Ferrand @ Bombshell

5/8 Toulouse @ Dispensary

5/10 Rouen @ 3 Pieces

5/12 Paris tbc!

ENGLAND

5/13 London @ The Finsbury

BELGIUM

5/16 Kortrijk @ Den Trap

NETHERLANDS

5/17 Rotterdam @ V11

5/18 Haarlem  @ Patronaat

GERMANY

5/19 Düsseldorf @ The Tube

5/20 Berlin @ Cortina Bob

5/21 Hamburg @ Monkeys Music Club

SWEDEN

5/23 Malmo @ Folk & Rock

5/24 Gothenburg @ Liseberg Amusement Park Power Pop Festival w/ Psychotic Youth/Kurt Baker Combo

5/25 Eskilstuna @ Ölkultur

5/26 Karlskoga tbc

5/27 Stockholm @ Pet Sounds record shop show!

SPAIN

5/30 Madrid @ Fun House

6/2 Zarragoza @ Teatro Arbolé

6/8 Barcelona @ A Wamba Buluba