Category Archives: Festivals

Beale Street Music Festival 5/4-6, 2018, Memphis

Dates: May 4-6, 2018

Location: Memphis, TN

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MARK JACKSON

The Beale Street Music Festival is an annual music festival that takes place in downtown Memphis, with the backdrop of the mighty Mississippi River and the iconic symbols of the Bass Pro Shop Pyramid, and the Tennessee/Arkansas Bridge. Every year this is one of my favorite festivals for many reasons, first being the staff. Memphis holds a month long celebration every year for the month of May and celebrates a different country each year (this year was the Czech Republic), including events such as the music festival, BBQ cook off contest, Great American River Run, exhibits, and more.

This festival always has a great mix of rock, alternative, rap artist, and a blues tent that only has blues artist for the entire three day event. This festival is always packed, but this year sold out completely on Sunday by five o’clock. I think it may have had something to do with having a “Rockstar” artist who is all over the radio and Youtube with hit after hit. You may have heard of him, he goes by Posty aka Post Malone. If Post alone was not enough, Sunday also had Juicy J, Young Dolph, Delbert McClinton, Dram, Erykah Badu, The Flaming Lips, Flor, Andrew W.K., and a band who I was especially excited to see live called Misterwives an indie pop band based in New York City. The lead singer, Mandy Lee, reminds me of Haley Williams from Paramore, with her onstage presence and dance moves. Misterwives had the crowd jumping, dancing, and everyone singing along.                                                                                                                                      Other great acts from the weekend included Alanis Morrisette, Third Eye Blind, Margo Price, North Mississippi Allstars, Queen of the Stone Age, Kaleo, Clutch, Tyler, The Creator, Cake, Chevelle, Gov’t Mule, David Byrne, Ludacris, Al Kapone, Logic, and of course Jack White, who once again banned the photographers with a closed pit with no photos allowed (as he has done many times in the past). Jack also kept low blue lighting for the entire show, which I assume was to not allow fans to have any photos as well.

We want to send a special thank you to the promoters and staff of the Beale Street Music Festival for having me and Blurt back for the fourth year in a row – I can’t wait to see who’s playing next year!

Among the artists who performed:

ACTION BRONSON

AL KAPONE

ALANIS MORISSETTE

ANDREW W.K.

CAKE

CHEVELLE

CLUTCH

DAVID BYRNE

ERYKAH BADU

FLOR

JUICY J

KALEO

KINGFISH

LOGIC

LUDACRIS

MISTER WIVES

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS

POST MALONE

FLAMING LIPS

THIRD EYE BLIND

TYLER THE CREATOR

VANCE JOY

YOUNG DOLF

 

Rock On The Range 5/18-5/20, 2018, Columbus OH

Dates: May 18-20, 2018

Location: Columbus, OH

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MARK JACKSON

This year’s Rock On The Range was bigger than ever with 140,000 people attending over the three day festival. This year marked the 6th consecutive sellout for Rock On The Range, and with names like Tool, Alice In Chains, Avenged Sevenfold, A Perfect Circle (pictured at top), Greta Van Fleet, Machine Gun Kelly, Stone Sour, Three Days Grace, And Stone Temple Pilots (just to name  a few of the nearly 60 bands who played this year), you can see why this is the biggest and best rock festivals of the year!

The festival did have a weather delay on Saturday and a three hour mandatory evacuation due to lighting in the area. This had many festival goers worried that the festival would be canceled for the day or at least miss many of their favorite bands, but this was not the first time that the promoters and staff have had to deal with Mother Nature. The promoters were able to get an extension on the city curfew, and with a few set trimmings and only having to cut Bullet For My Valentine’s set completely, all other bands were able to perform.

I love festivals because you get to see so many great bands in one weekend while enjoying the festival atmosphere. To me the atmosphere is totally different than that of a single concert where everyone is trying to get in and get out as quickly as possible. A single “big name band” night also means that most of the people skip the opening bands. In my opinion, you miss the up and coming bands that could very well be your next year’s favorite new band. When you attend a festival you get to experience these bands through out the day.

A couple of the new acts that I caught this year included joyous Wolf and The Fever 333. Both of these bands not only sound great but have a unique and wild stage presents. Some of the highlights for me from the weekend were Machine Gun Kelly who never fails to deliver. Stone Temple Pilots who are back and better than ever with a new singer whom sounds and moves a lot like Weiland, but you can tell he is his own front man who should continue to make hits with this seasoned powerhouse band behind him. Cory Taylor is always a great show. Cory’s voice is amazing wheatear he is pushing the limits of his voice with Slipknot or hitting the sweet spot while fronting Stone Sour.

Sunday’s lineup was a full schedule, with all three stages giving the crowd more rock than they could handle! Greats included Shaman’s Harvest, Red Sun Rising, We Came as Romans, I Prevail, Code Orange, Stone Temple Pilots, Godsmack, and of course Tool, just to name a few of the 21 acts.

And that’s not counting The Comedy Tent. The Comedy Tent also brought the funny this year with Taylor Tomlinson, Big Jay Oakerson, JB Smoove, and my favorite of the weekend Jay Armstrong! We even got a little Rap Rock this year with Jelly Roll, Tech n9ne, Body Count, Yelawolf, and Machine Gun Kelly.

Music fans from around the world even got to join in on the action this year as LiveXLive live streamed performances and backstage interviews through out the weekend. One of the busiest attractions on the grounds was A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson — America’s Oldest Harley Dealer, who had a motorcycle demo that festival goers who have never been on a motorcycle could get a little taste of the feeling of riding a Harley Davidson. While the bike was safely locked into a vise, it allowed the rear wheel to move freely and the rider could shift gears and use the throttle. This made for a lot of smiling faces. On Sunday A.D. Farrow also hosted a bike run with over one hundred motorcycles in attendance to raise money for the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial.

I would like to thank the following for allowing us to once again cover this great event. Rock On The Range, AEG Presents and Danny Wimmer Presents. Thank you for another great year and I can’t wait to see who makes the lineup next year! If you want to be in attendance I suggest you get your tickets early as this event will surely sell out for the 7th year in a row!

Among this year’s performers:

10 YEARS

A PERFECT CIRCLE

BIG JAY OAKERSON

BLACK VEIL BRIDES

ICE T & BODY COUNT

BREAKING BENJAMIN

CODE ORANGE

GODSMACK

GRETA VAN FLEET

I PREVAIL

JAY ARMSTRONG

JELLY ROLL

JOYOUS WOLF

MGK

RED SUN RISING

SHAMAN’S HARVEST

STONE SOUR

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS

TECH 9

THE FEVER

THREE DAY’S GRACE

WE CAME AS ROMANS

YELAWOLF

Preview: 2018 Montreal Jazz Festival

Returning for Its 39th Year and Bending Its Boundaries Yet Again

By Alisa B. Cherry

Anyone who has ever been to Montreal can attest to the fact that there’s no need for an excuse when it comes to making it part of one’s travel plans. It’s rich in history, a remarkable confluence of cultures and home to some of the most remarkable restaurants and interesting architecture found in the whole of North America.

Nevertheless, those that do need incentive would be wise to consider the annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which takes place from June 28 through July 7, one of summer’s most memorable musical events. Offering a variety of talent that incorporates jazz (natch), folk, rock and experimental ensembles — around 150 concerts altogether, some entirely free — within theaters, clubs and a spacious pedestrian mall, it’s easy, accessible and pedestrain friendly.

Montreal is the ideal setting for this  annual event because as a beacon for international tourism, it makes the international variety practically a given. As it approaches its 39th year, the festival has attained the same stature as Montreux, Newport and New Orleans as a beacon for great music, with an additional additive in its accessibility that welcomes aficionados near and far.

While the headliners are, of course, the main reason for attending, the venues themselves are well worth noting as well, from the sprawling confines of the performing arts center — a combination of three world-class concert halls (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Maison Symphonique De Montreal and Theatre Maisonneuve) — to the array of clubs and cabarets that dot the nearby streets. This year’s festival will feature any number of artists with worldwide appeal — Ian Anderson at the helm of Jethro Tull’s 50th anniversary tour, Boz Scaggs, Herbie Hancock, Ry Cooder, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Bobby McFerrin, Carla Bley, Soft Machine, My Brightest Diamond, John Medeski, Marc Ribot, along with numerous other internationally known artists and up and coming performers clearly on the verge of future success.

Consequently, over the course of ten days or so, attendees can get an entertaining lesson in a wide range of musical invention, as well as a sense of this spectacular city.  Audiences get an opportunity to enjoy a wide array of innovation and invention, artists that find a common bond with tradition while also setting a course towards the future.

This year for the first time, the festival will extend its offerings by filming several of the concerts and broadcasting them live worldwide. A partnership with Mezzo Live HD which will allow Bela Fleck & The Flecktones to be shared with worldwide audiences on Sunday, July 1. Other concerts scheduled for broadcast will be announced later.

Tickets for the 39th Festival International de Jazz de Montréal are on sale now.

 

 

Shaky Knees Festival 5/4/18-5/6/18, Atlanta

Dates: May 4, 5, and 6, 2018

Location: Atlanta, GA

BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Above: Courtney Barnett kicks out the jams. All photos copyright 2018 by John Boydston; many more photos of each band up on his website. https://www.facebook.com/Johnboydstonphotos/ / https://jobo.smugmug.com/

Day 1 – Friday May 4th, 2018

This year’s Shaky Knees Fest was located on 4 stages in Atlanta’s Central Park area – with an amazing array of musical performers from the two large Stages (Peachtree and Piedmont) and 3 days of generally more indie-rockers on two smaller stages (Ponce de Leon, and Criminal Records, both of which provided for shade, the former with a tent and the latter with trees, so these were a ‘cool’ place to be always.)  Photos in no particular order except by performer, and no day is an all-inclusive photo collection – couldn’t get to all stages.  People were forced to make tough choices, which is probably a good problem to have at a festival, but you could generally see some of anyone you wanted if you were up for the walk.

***

David Byrne – Peachtree Stage

Courtney Barnett – Peachtree Stage

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Criminal Records Stage

Japandroids – Ponce de Leon Stage

Waxahatchee – Ponce De Leon Stage

Ghost of Paul Revere – Criminal Records Stage

LA Witch – Criminal Records Stage

The Frights – Ponce de Leon Stage

 

***

Day 2 -Saturday May 5th, 2018

Greta Van Fleet –  Peachtree Stage
Prediction – Jimmy Page sues this band to prove paternity, panicked GVF attorney settles out of court, band agrees to tour with Page as often as he wants as part of the settlement. Page could do a lot worse. All Zep issues aside, this band rocks and it was fun to hear such a young group cranking out such a big-sounding and joyous thunder. Huge mid-day main stage crowd. Heard several people say this band made their weekend.

Broncho – Piedmont Stage.
A newish indie-rock band many people were excited about and Broncho did not disappoint after getting a late main stage upgrade. They are original and quirky enough to be be huge.

Bully – Peachtree Stage
Nashville melodic pop-rockers carried the big stage like they were born to be there.

Andrew W.K Ponce de Leon Stage

Circa Survive – Ponce de Leon Stage.
The fans were ready.

The Distillers – Peachtree Stage.
Crowd digging ‘em before the band started.

***

Day 3 – Sunday May 6th, 2018
Tenacious D – Piedmont Stage.
Gotta start with a few the D –  They could headline festivals like this all summer. Tenacious D’s loyal followers showed up for this fun in the Funday fest. Sorry I didn’t get the full-frontal Jack Black jump. Most of us were heading out of the photo pit when he surprised us with 3 of these classic D moves.
  
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Ponce de Leon Stage
 
Menzigers – Criminal Records Stage
We’ve got another jumper.
 
Basement – Criminal Records Stage
 
Basement crowd – on that well-shaded and breezy Criminal Records stage.
 
 

 

Incoming: Shaky Knees Festival Photos, Reviews

“This is your brain on drugs. Or my music.” – David Byrne.

By Barbi Martinez

We’ve deployed the Blurt gang to Atlanta this weekend to chronicle the annual Shaky Knees festival, which is never less than awesome. Our men on the ground, scribe Jeff Clegg and shutterbug John Boydston, will do the deal, so keep tuned. Meanwhile, if you want a sneak peak at some images from the event’s first day, hop over to Boydston’s website where he has a gallery started. (The two pics here are by Boydston.  Below: Waxahatchee.)

 

YOUR BIG EARS ARE QUITE BECOMING: Big Ears Festival 2018

Once again Prof. Rosen makes his pilgrimage to Knoxville. Check out his 2014 report, as well as 2015, not to mention 2016 and 2017. We sense a trend here. Warning: musical hallucinations ahead. (Pictured above: Steve Gunn)

BY STEVEN ROSEN

One of my favorite events at the annual Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tenn. — and I’ve now gone to five of the six — is the Kick Off Event. I’ve come to enjoy the way that festival head Ashley Capps and Mayor Madeline Rogero always work a Captain Beefheart reference into their opening remarks. Capps, whose AC Entertainment founded Tennessee’s famous Bonnaroo festival, once operated a Knoxville venue called Ella Guru’s, named after a track on Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica album. Rogero was a frequent patron.

Rogero didn’t disappoint when welcoming attendees to Big Ears 2018, held March 22-25. After first noting she had been given a note in big capitol letters that said “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” Capps, she said she would do it anyway — a jokey reference to some idiot thing, one of too many to remember clearly for more than a day or two, that President Trump had done that week. And then she congratulated “our Spotlight Kid, Ashley Capps,” working in the title of Beefheart’s sixth album, a 1972 release.

In last year’s Big Ears coverage, I mentioned how I thought Capps, for all his love of the rock radicalism embodied by the late Beefheart’s work, now seemed more attuned to the more carefully expressed intellectual experimentalism of an American New Music composer like Frederic Rzewski, who at age 78 appeared at Big Ears 2017 to perform on piano his 1975 “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!,” a political composition based on a Chilean folk song. Capps wrote to correct me: He was attuned to both equally — he had wide tastes. “Big ears,” so to speak.

Fair enough. But after attending much of this year’s festival’s four days, I might list some additional musical interests for Capps — the free jazz movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and also Appalachian folk music.

The latter was not a retreat into traditionalism or regionalism, certainly not when it was best embodied by the duo of Anna & Elizabeth, who were celebrating the pending release of their first “major label” record, The Invisible Comes to Us on Smithsonian Folkways Records. If that doesn’t seem like a major contemporary label to you, but rather a historical throwback, you’re not on the same wavelength as Anna Roberts-Gevalt. “That’s the nerdy-est, best-est label to be on if you’re like us, if you like the old weird stuff,” she told a hushed, enraptured audience of several hundred on Friday afternoon at the beautiful St. John’s Cathedral, one of Big Ears’ many venues.

She and Elizabeth LaPrelle search for and revive older, forgotten Appalachian ballads, often ones by women. And at the concert, they sang such songs as Margaret Shipman’s “Here in the Vineyard” and Victoria Morris’ “John of Hazelgreen” with soulful purity. But there’s also an element of the art project, of experimentalism, in their work that is groundbreaking. Besides the stringed instruments they both play, LaPrelle also uses a self-made “crankie” to project mysterious silhouetted images and sometimes woodcuts, as visual accompaniment. She also uses a small, harmonium-like shruti box to inject a drone into their sound.

They ended their show in an unexpected way, walking down a church aisle to be among the audience and start singing a simple but darkly evocative refrain: “I don’t want to die in the storm/Let the wind blow east/Let the wind blow west/Lord, I don’t want to die in the storm.” Asking the crowd to join in, people unselfconsciously responded — transporting themselves, in the process, into the minds and fears of someone in the past, perhaps isolated in an Appalachian winter, struggling to survive another day. It was a theatrical yet completely, unpretentiously natural ending, and marked Anna & Elizabeth as artists to watch.

As for the more traditional Appalachian music events that Big Ears programmed, such as the Square Dance and Fiddler’s Convention presentations at Knoxville’s outdoor Market Square, I didn’t hear much discussion of them. It’s possible the chilly, rainy weather cut down on participation, but it’s more possible that Big Ears attendees go there for something else. With such a full slate of avant-garde artists, especially those with roots in Free Jazz, who has time to square dance?


There were the jazz elders, the giants of progressivism, and all of them gave terrific performances. The 76-year-old drummer/percussionist Milford Graves, sometimes holding his sticks in such an off-handed, almost-sideways manner that one had to wonder if he would be able to strike a direct hit on his instrument. (He could.) He played with energy, precision, propulsion and — rare for drummers — melodicism during his Saturday afternoon show at the filled-to-capacity Bijou Theatre. He got so worked up he sometimes seemed to be talking to his instruments. He was matched by pianist Jason Moran, who was pushed by his older partner to play with the kind of commanding, demanding, exciting sense of purpose that recalled (the now late) Cecil Taylor. The work seemed improvised, with the two responding to each other and enjoying what they were creating.

Graves was followed at the Bijou by Roscoe Mitchell, one of the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s founders, currently enjoying the success of one of his best-received albums, Bells for the South Side. With a large ensemble (playing as a set of trios), he worked through music that had a quietly alluringly dissonant artfulness (a spacey, fusion-y fluttering reminiscent of Miles Davis’ 1970s-work, only without the rock overtones). He played soprano, sopranino, alto and bass saxophones, sometimes letting James Fei also join in with his own dynamic sax work. Craig Taborn’s keyboard work was blistering, and the young Tyshawn Sorey contributed blurringly fast drum work and some piano. The concert, like the album, built to a version of Art Ensemble’s cathartic “Odwala” that was turned to 11, as Spinal Tap’s Nigel might say. You could see audience members in total thrall, unable to sit still as if they wanted to testify to a higher power. (Sorey, by the way, is a recent winner of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and on early Sunday afternoon played a set with his own trio that had a very classical New Music feel.)

Also notable among the jazz performers was the Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista, part John Cage and part Spike Jones, who with his Banquet of the Spirits group could get engaging sounds from any object that came near him. You watched him and his group and wondered, “Is he playing that through his nose?” or “Is that a swimming-pool noodle he’s waving around?” His musical interests are omnivorous, and it’s as much a pleasure to hear what he plays as to watch how he makes his sounds and beats.

Evan Parker, the prolific, 74-year-old British saxophonist who has recorded with Anthony Braxton, Peter Brotzmann, Steve Lacey and Roscoe Mitchell, was indefatigable during a Friday solo show at St. John’s Cathedral. (Free Jazz is such a good use for a historic church.) And, in one of Big Ears’ loveliest surprises, the 78-year-old Jon Gibson and a young band performed his 1973 masterpiece Visitations in its entirety at the same church on Friday night. It was originally released on Philip Glass’ label because Gibson, a flutist and saxophonist, was a member of Glass’ ensemble. It reminded me of Paul Horn’s Inside in its pristine, isolated and meditative respect for sonic clarity, but also had such modern touches as synthesizer and accompanying video imagery.

While I wasn’t able to see the full late-Friday night set by The Thing, a squealing, rocketing Scandinavian trio that plays Free Jazz as if it was scronky rock ‘n’ roll (Albert Ayler meets MC5), what I did catch was enough for me to want them for my next dance party. Saxophonist Mats Gustafsson has a friendly, celebratory relationship with the audience that reminds me of Jon Langford — he’s a guy who so obviously gets off on what he’s doing that he spreads joy all around him.

I also saw some uneasily categorized acts. A couple were disappointing: Norwegian singer Jenny Hval’s vocals got lost amid the conceptual theatrics of her Friday presentation at the Bijou; neither the singing nor the playing sounded very good at the highly anticipated Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda: The Ashram Experience concert on Saturday at St. John’s Cathedral.

But others really stood out: Pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn clearly can play anything (she accompanied Anna & Elizabeth at their concert), and her solo show at The Standard on Thursday night was a tour de force. She confidently played compositions by Astor Piazzollo, French composer Olivier Messiaen (the solemn and sacred “And I await the resurrection of the dead”) and her own beautiful work-in-progress that she had yet to name. Alcorn, herself, with her smile and poetically anecdotal introductions to her music, communicated a kind of beatitude. Her pedal steel was her church organ.

Jenny Scheinman (above) plays both violin and fiddle, by which I mean she plays contemporary jazz with Bill Frisell, Nels Cline and others, and she makes Americana albums, writing reasonably conventionally structured songs that she sings while accompanying herself in the folk tradition.

She had a perfect project for her latter persona with Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait, which she presented at the Bijou on Saturday afternoon and for which she was accompanied by Robbie Fulks on guitar and banjo and Robbie Gjersoe on guitars. This is a revelatory project: Duke University commissioned her to create accompanying live music for short silent films that H. Lee Waters shot from 1936-1942 in Kannapolis, North Carolina and nearby towns. The footage is a valuable document of everyday life — for the town’s blacks and whites, men and women, adults and children — during some tough years. That’s valuable enough, but Waters also experimented with film technique, giving the end result an avant-garde dimension.

Lyrically, Scheinman’s accompanying songs dwelled on the subject of anti-nostalgia; they sometimes seemed to be commenting on our act of watching rather than on what we saw. I’m not sure the film needed that extra conceptual layer, but her melodies were striking. Fulks’ solo number, “I’ll Trade You Money for Wine,” from his album Gone Away Backwards, was especially strong.

The Saturday night concert at the historic Tennessee Theater (above), celebrating its 90th year and so spectacular in scale that it’s the state’s official theater, is the marquee time-slot for Big Ears. This year, that slot was occupied by Diamanda Galas, a daring choice.

Dressed in black, with long black hair and the deepest, gravest voice imaginable, she is a Goth for the ages, but she’s also something more. Whereas “Goth” was a music trend of the New Wave 1980s, an atmospherically gloomy attitude that was a form of youthful romanticism, Galas treated it as a worldview of life-and-death urgency. Her severe singing became a requiem for those lost to AIDS, a cry to not forget.

Now, at age 62 and playing the piano solo before a reasonably large crowd in the 1,600-seat theater, she chose and then vocally deconstructed her songs to make sure listeners got the full gravitas of their sadness, fear, loss, despair. Yet the show was not a downer — her artful control, her knack for heightening a song’s inherent tension, is too enthralling. She’s a radical interpreter of pop music. She began with the traditional country song, “Pictures from Life’s Other Side,” popularized by Hank Williams (who recorded it as Luke the Drifter). She followed with B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” virtually stripped of the familiar melody in order to emphasize the stark desperation inherent in the title. She later did Johnny Paycheck’s “Pardon Me, I’ve Got Someone to Kill,” perfect for her oeuvre.

But the highlight was a long, moaning and hypnotic version of Ralph Stanley’s “O Death,” drawn out like Patty Waters’ jazz vocals of the 1960s. To paraphrase one of Joni Mitchell’s most famous lines, Galas stokes the grief-making machinery of the popular song. She’s a national treasure, speaking truth to that popularity.

My Saturday night ended late — at the Bijou, the Rova saxophone quartet, along with a small orchestra of additional players including percussionist Baptiste, guitarist Cline, rockin’ synthesizer/electronics player Yuka Honda and more, began their “electric” version of John Coltrane’s 1966 cosmic Free Jazz classic Ascension at midnight and didn’t end until close to 1:30 a.m. It was a “reimaging” of the work — players were free to riff on the work in-between the beginning and end. The most remarkable thing about this, aside from the pure space-is-the-place otherworldliness of the untethered work, was the way you could hear every player, despite the volume. The mix was perfect.

After it was over, I walked back to my hotel and found a well-dressed older man in the lobby, clutching two fluff dogs — one in each arm — to his chest. I thought I was hallucinating, after that Rova’s set. I still think I might have been.

 

Photos courtesy of Cora Edwards, Eli Johnson, LK Feliu, Andy Vinson. (Individual credits can be viewed in the photo titles.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SXSW 2018: The Blurt Photo Gallery

Our gal on the ground survived yet another week of Austin madness and even got a few pics in the process. Pictured above: Nikki Lane during her SXSW showcase.

By Sadie Claire

MARCH 9

A Quiet Place Movie Premiere: Emily Blunt & John Krasinski

American Animals Movie Premiere: Blake Jenner / Bart Layton

MARCH 10

Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky

MARCH 11

Balloons cast: director Dave Franco plus Abbi Jacobsen

MARCH 12

This Is Us cast: Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley

MARCH 13

Actor/Director Ethan Hawke

MARCH 14

Hearts Beat Loud premiere: Brett Haley, Nick Offerman

Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Mohawk

MARCH 15

Paradox movie premiere: Daryl Hannah & Neil Young

Chico Chico at the Elephant Room

MARCH 16

Joshua Burnside at BD Rileys

Keith Urban

Lo Moon at Radio Day Stage

Neuman at Sounds From Spain

Common Deer at Swan Dive

Shane Cooley & the Midnight Girls at Rachael Ray’s Feedback House

Blaze Movie premiere and concert at Paramount Theater: (top to bottom) Ethan Hawke, Ben Dickey, Gurf Morlix, Joe Ely, Alynda Segarra, JT Van Zandt, Nikki Lane

MARCH 17

Mint Field at Antones

Francobollo at British Music Embassy – Latitude 30

Otzeki at British Music Embassy – Latitude 30

Jaimee Harris at the Driskill Hotel Victorian Room

Jourdan Thibodeaux et Les Ros Et Ailleurs at Antones

Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble at Antones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Sadie Claire at the Sadie Clair Photographer Flickr page.

Triangle Psych Fest Set for June in Raleigh

23 bands across three days, June 7-9.

By Blurt Staff

Organizers are touting it as a gathering of “bold, mind-bending and manic” music for three “unhinged, unforgettable nights”: Raleigh, NC, Thursday, June 7 at Kings, Friday, June 8 at the Wicked Witch and Saturday, June 9 at the Pour House. That would be the Triangle Psych Fest, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most eclectic music fests all year.

As co-organized by Daniel Chavis, of Carolina psych/shoegaze legends The Veldt, the event will feature his band, the Floating Children, Dead Leaf Echo, Timothy Eerie, Giant Red Panda, Heaven, Dex Romweber and plenty more. Both veterans and newcomers will be showcased over the course of the three days. (Full schedule below.) Chavis, commenting on the music scene, noted, “For a long time there’s been a steady stream of left field pop and rock pioneers in North Carolina who haven’t been recognized and celebrated as a closely knit community and a vital part of our state’s musical legacy. People easily associate Athens with ‘jangle pop’ or Germany with ‘krautrock’ or San Francisco with ‘Summer of Love rock.’ We’re shining a long overdue spotlight on North Carolina’s ‘psych rock’ scene.”

Explained co-organizer Mike Allen, the event aims to “build cross-generational collaborations and reinforce the comradery between purveyors and fans of experimentation and discovery.” And fellow co-organizer Pierce Clawson added, succinctly, “We’re the festival that’ll free, blow and expand your mind — and do it year after year.”

Ticketing details are below as well.

Pre-Psych Party, Kings, 6/7

Doors 6:00 / Show 7:00 p.m.

Curtains 1:00 a.m.

 

Midnight – Politburo

https://politburo.bandcamp.com/

11pm – Your 33 Black Angels

10pm – Night Battles

9pm – Micah Gaugh

8pm – Charlie Horse

7pm – Stray Owls

 

Wicked Witch, 6/8

Doors 8:00 p.m. / Show 9:00 p.m.

Curtains 2:00 a.m.

 

1:00am – Timothy Eerie

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1049069141774824&ref=content_filter

Midnight – Giant Red Panda

https://m.facebook.com/giantredpandaband/

11:15pm – Lazaris Pit

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=493949864134032&ref=content_filter

10:30pm – Tide Eyes

https://tideeyes.bandcamp.com/

9:45pm – Laser Witch Queens

https://m.facebook.com/LaserWitchQueens/

9pm – Andie L

DJ Pangean

https://m.facebook.com/DJPangean/

 

The Pour House, 6/9

Doors 1:00 p.m. / Show 2:00 p.m.

Curtains 1:15 a.m.

 

Midnight – The Veldt

https://www.facebook.com/VeldtThe/

11pm – Dead Leaf Echo

https://deadleafecho.bandcamp.com/

10pm – Heaven

https://www.facebook.com/HeavenbandNYC/

9pm – Lacy Jags

https://www.facebook.com/lacyjagsnc

8pm – Eyeball

https://www.facebook.com/eyeball.ensemble/

7pm – Pretty Odd

https://www.facebook.com/prettyoddnc/

6pm – Floating Children

https://www.facebook.com/floatingchildren/

5pm – Morning Bells

https://www.facebook.com/morningbellsband/

4pm – Dex Romweber

https://www.bloodshotrecords.com/artist/dex-romweber

3 pm – The Quarter Roys

https://www.facebook.com/thequarterroys/

2 pm – Double Quarter Panda

https://www.facebook.com/doublequarterpanda/

 

Tickets:

 

Two-day passes

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/triangle-psych-fest-2-day-pass-tickets-43290523120

Special Pre-Party at Kings

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/triangle-psych-fest-pre-party-kings-tickets-43290437865

Night One – Wicked Witch

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/triangle-psych-fest-night-one-wicked-witch-tickets-43286163079

Night Two – The Pour House

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/triangle-psych-fest-night-two-the-pour-house-tickets-43286216238

 

 

 

SXSW 2018 In Photos & Words

And the BLURT brigade was in the house: Forty indie, rap, punk, classical, country, dance and pop acts, complete with robots, puppets and wrestlers, that you definitely needed to see. Raise your hand if you did… Check out some exclusive videos below. (Pictured above: Los Chinchillos Del Caribe)

BY JASON GROSS

After about 20 years of going to this Texas fest, you may know your way around Austin but there’s always the ever-present temptation to pig out on not just BBQ but also pig out on music and wear yourself out, which I always do.  While recuperation time is in order, if you keep a good written/photo diary, you can at least remember, “Oh yeah, that was a good time!”  This year, I clocked in about 70 acts, 40 miles of walking around, and enough cooked meats to clog up my arteries for years.

Sad to say, years after getting over the 2014 car chase that killed four people, Austin and SXSW were rocked by a bomber who thankfully came to justice not long after the fest, but not before another bomb threat stopped the Roots’ traditional closing night party.  Good thing that, along with Austin keeping Weird, it’s also resilient.

Otherwise, along with some steady indie band stand-bys, I also found plenty of good newer acts that are worth supporting, either by going to their shows or buying their music or getting their merch (that’s a non-subtle hint, mind you).  Hopefully, in this mix of forty indie, rap, punk, classical, country, dance and pop acts, complete with robots, puppets and wrestlers, you’ll discover SOMETHING that you like.

You’ll also see SX interviews coming from Robin Cook of some of the artists below soon here- Anna Burch, Fragile Rock and more.

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A Place To Bury Strangers at Cheer Up Charlie’s (3/17/2018): One part My Bloody Valentine (screeching noise over sweet melodies), one part Butthole Surfers (smashed their instruments after the first song), one part Lightning Bolt (played part of the set in the middle of the crowd).  Secret weapon: power drummer Lia Simone Braswell.

Abhi the Nomad at Tap Room (3/16/2018): You might not know this Indian rapper who was West Coast (and sounds it) and now an Austinite but you should- he put out one of the catchiest albums of ‘18 and tours with a good drummer and singer.

Andrew W.K. at Hotel Vegas Patio (3/14/2018): Don’t you feel a little better just knowing he’s still out there partying?  Sure, there’s plenty of drunk kids ready to mosh with him but still…

Lee Bains III + The Glory Fires at Sidewinder Outside (3/13/2018): A garage version of Springsteen from Alabama, complete with progressive politics and a wild guitarist = a sweaty stage show.

Anna Burch at Valhalla (3/13/2018): Sweet voiced indie-folkie who deserves your attention.  Indelible tunes and great teeth to boot (admittedly jealous).

Cadence Weapon at Swan Dive Patio (3/14/2018): Not chart competition for Drake but this impressive Canadian rapper still has a great jam in the form of “My Crew (Woo).”

Canshaker Pi at Waller Ballroom (3/14/2018): The Dutch invasion?  The catchy, raw indie rockers might led the way for it.

CGBG’s Panel (3/16/2018): Featuring Tina ‘n’ Chris (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club) and Richard Lloyd (Television) reminiscing about the golden age of punk, plus giving props to Terry Ork who (despite Hilly’s rep) was the real hero/booker of the club.

Cut Chemist at Palm Door on Sabine (3/14/2018): Well-named classic turntablist did his thing with the help of cartoon, old-school graphics screening behind him

Lucy Dacus at Scoot Inn (3/13/2018): One of the most talked about acts at SX, this sad (but not miserable) indie girl’s best song is “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” which should tell you something about her.  And in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “DAY-kus.”

Davie at St. David’s Sanctuary (3/15/2018): Very appropriate that this R&B singer bared his soul in a church setting.

Jesse Dayton at Hotel San Jose (3/14/2018): A former X member and Waylon band member who kicks up some rockabilly dust is someone you’d wanna follow.

DMC at Clive Bar (3/16/2018): Still the King of Rock and bearing a Motorhead T-shirt, he trotted out the old school classics and right wondered why if no one asks Springsteen when he’s gonna retire, why should they ask him?

Doctor Octagon at Cedar Street Courtyard (3/14/2018): A real treat, not only to have the bizarre hip hop Dr. on call again but to have him perform alongside Dan the Automator and QBert.

Dual Core at Karma Lounge (3/17/2018): Nerdcore (the funny, indie backpack set) was represented well by this Austinite.  Didn’t hurt that he bought shots for the whole crowd, which probably helped us with the singalongs.

Eureka California at Beerland (3/16/2018): Actually hailing from Athens, GA, this boy/girl garage duo has a better drummer than Meg White and comes on more fiercely and with less roots than Jack White, which hopefully means that they won’t get a drunk frat-boy crowd like JW.

Jad Fair at Hotel Vegas (3/13/2018): Brandishing a flexible neck guitar that led him to do some wonderfully bizarre wailing, this indie legend romped through a set of classic Half Japanese songs.

Ezra Furman at Parish (3/17/2018): This mewling wear-it-on-your-sleeve indie guy in dresses still has Jonathan Richman’s irascible side to him but with much more urgency than JoJo.

 

FAVX at BD Riley’s (3/15/2018): A Spanish garage rock trio with an arty, post-punk tinge to ‘em, they might offend purists but they also put out one of the best records of ‘18.

 

Francine Thirteen at the Hideout (3/17/2018): Technically from Dallas but definitely on another planet vibe, this chanteuse/shaman performed a ritual-laden performance with help from her sister on harp. Her motto is “Magic of sacred virgins & holy whores” and she makes you believe it.

 

Fragile Rock at Maggie Mae’s (3/14/2018): Calling them the best puppet emo band ever might sound great until you can’t think of other puppet emo bands but these guys & gals are a hoot- think the Muppet’s Dr. Teeth meet Spinal Tap.

 

Gold Casio at Friends (3/17/2018): I feel bad for anyone who doesn’t have a soft-spot for a glammed-out dance pop band with good tunes and that’s what this Portland quartet serves up.

 

Great Good Fine OK at Sidewinder Outside (3/14/2018): With such a casual name, you’d think that they’re blasé but this rainbow-clad dance act had strong enough tunes to have the crowd sing along so they’re doing something right.

Steve Hauschildt at Central Presbyterian Church (3/17/2018): Ambient night in a religious setting is worth attending but most of the bill was kind of snoozy except for this dynamic composer who’s not afraid of beats or melodies.

 

Idles at Latitude 30 (3/14/2018): They’re jokers for sure but also deadly serious and rabid punks, just this side short of hardcore but barely less intense, with one of 2017’s finest platters too.

 

Durand Jones at Scoot Inn (3/13/2018): Ran across him while waiting for another act but it was some good serendipity there as he’s a soul man who deserves the press/credit that fellow SX act Lee Fields gets, not to mention Nathaniel Rateliff (also at SX).

 

Topaz Jones at 800 Congress (3/15/2018): A NJ native who was pleasantly surprised to find many Jersey peeps at the show. Disappointing not to hear this R&B/rap act’s wonderful “Toothache” single but he was plenty of other sensuous grooves to spare (plus a cool Miles T-shirt).

Khalid at Trinity Warehouse (3/15/2018): Wasn’t totally sold on his R&B star but this packed-house show proved that he not only had the songs but also the stage presence (love that pink suit) to pull it off.

Kino Kimino at Sidewinder Outside (3/16/2018): Kim Talon is a musical threat for sure- not just film making but also Sonic Youth connections and a lively stage presence.

Life at Latitude 30 (3/15/2018): Like Oasis, they’re led by a pair of bro’s but they’re much more bloke-ish than big-headed jerks, which is how you’d want a UK punk combo to be. Singer Mex is a hoot with weird stage moves, including bar walks and speaker crawls.

Living Museum at Waller Ballroom (3/13/2018): Think of it more as a strange NC-17 performance art series than a music act per se.  Let’s just say that these Dutch artists weren’t afraid to bare it all in action painting, tech-controlled music, laser light performing and some completely hairless writhing woman lying on a bar.

Los Chinchillos Del Caribe at the Speakeasy (3/16/2018): They call themselves a Cumbia (Spanish dance) act but it’s more spot on to say that they’re a Puerto Rican luchador (wrestling mask) rap act that’s as fun as a ring match.

Lung at Swan Dive (3/17/2018): A power duo of a cellist and drummer mixes prog rock, metal and classical the way that King Crimson did in the good ol’ days, even without Uncle Bobby’s guitar.

Tunde Olaniran at Side Bar (3/14/2018): The pride of Flint Michigan (which he reminds us is still under a govt-induced health threat), this Afro-Futurist is always a snappy dresser and has a dancer duo that are his version of the SW1’s.

Ponytrap at the Hideout (3/16/2018): A string duo with a trio of giant robot drummers sounds like a novelty but they pull it off well enough that they should earn a spot on a Bang on a Can marathon (hint, hint).

Pussy Riot at the Main (3/13/2018): I preferred the stirring theatre piece that they did at SX last year but to see this harassed Russian punk-dance group persist was inspirational enough.

Shame at Barracuda (3/15/2018): In the new Punk-Brit sweepstakes, they also have a stand-out, acrobatic frontman like the others but are much more active on stage than their most trad-Brit-pop album would make you think.

Shamir at Sidewinder Outside (3/13/2018): First R&B, now kind of rock, he proved his credentials with his own guitar/bass/drums trio and a homemade Velvet Underground jacket to boot.

Shopping at Volcom (3/15/2018): For my money, the best post-punk revival group around now, especially with Rachel Aggs’ dance moves and the way that they trade off shouted vocals that boosts all their songs.

Superchunk at the Main (3/13/2018): The ol’ indie rock standby happened to be put out not just their best album of their career but one of the best of ‘18 and celebrated with a blazing show, featuring Sabrina Ellis (Sweet Spirit/A Giant Dog) who is headed for stardom herself.

Superorganism at Stubb’s (3/14/2018): One of the fest’s buzz bands for sure, this weird little UK dance-pop troupe provided some danceable fun.

Thick at Side Bar (3/16/2018): Brooklyn punk grrls make good noise.

Trail of Dead at Swan Dive Patio (3/14/2018): Now a quartet but with extra members in tow to bring them up to a sextet, they did a set of songs they only performed once before.  You’d never know it- it sounded like well-thrashed out material they harnessed over years.

Touts at Latitude 30 (3/13/2018): Irish punk lads (and Clash/Jam fans) who sound it, especially when they address the crowd in a thick brogue and feature a song like “Bombscare.”  Nice mod haircuts too.

Waco Brothers at Shangri-La (3/15/2018): It just wouldn’t be SXSW without these alt-country cut-ups, who provided bits of Hawkwind and George Michael covers along with a full version of the Small Faces’ “All or Nothing” in tribute to raconteur and Austin homie Ian McLagan. (Ed. note: As Jon Langford is essentially the Patron Saint of Blurt SXSW Past, having designed posters and curated an annual day party during SXSW for us for a number of years, we would like to take this space to extend a hearty “two pints up!” in Jonboy’s direction.)

Kelly Willis at Hotel San Jose (3/14/2018): Now finishing the 3rd decade of her career, this new traditionalist (think George Strait, not Devo) still has that great, booming voice that makes her a country legend.

 

***

Longtime BLURT contributor Jason Gross is also publisher of the most excellent Perfect Sound Forever online music magazine.