Category Archives: Humor/comedy

Bomb Threat Temporarily Closes Blurt Magazine’s Offices

bomb

Longtime staffer also trolled, harassed; told to “go back where she came from.”

By Bo Oswald

Yesterday afternoon (March 31), at approximately 2:30 E.T., emergency crews and local police in Raleigh, N.C., were summoned to the Blurt Magazine/Blurtonline.com offices, located in the Mission Valley section of the city, following a trifecta of anonymous phone calls that culminated in a bomb scare for the popular music publication. The office suite was evacuated while bomb-sniffing dogs combed the rooms and the immediate surrounding area (which includes the Pamper U 2 day spa and Let’s Get Active gym complex, along with the Raleigh branch of Schoolkids Records (which is also Blurt’s sister business), and the recently-opened Morrissey Philly Steaks ‘n’ Subs shop.

No traces of any explosives were found, and after a couple of hours, employees were allowed back onto the premises.

At the time of the incident, senior editor Daniel Matti, social media overseer/former intern Barbi Martinez, and groundskeepers Jefferson Clegg and Albert Riggs were the only ones present. Publisher Stephen Judge is reportedly honeymooning in Dublin with his new Irish bride, while editor in chief Fred Mills was in Tucson, Ariz., attending a sweat lodge training seminar prior to the annual Blurt Picnic & Renaissance Fayre Games gathering of staffers and contributors. The whereabouts of Blurt wellness coach Uncle Blurt were not immediately known, although Mills, reached via text message in Arizona, commented, “The Unc always disappears this time of year, during Madness, and as he accompanied me on the flight out here, I’m betting he’s in Phoenix, trying to score tickets for the UNC-Oregon game.” (Below: Blurt office located to the left of Schoolkids Records.)418457532594

The drama began unfolding shortly before noon on Friday when Matti noticed strange symbols and characters scrolling across the Blurt website. “At first I thought it was Fred or Uncle Blurt trying to post to Instagram and getting confused,” Matti said. “Neither one of them is very good at the internet or social media stuff – that’s why we brought Barbi on. But then the entire computer screen turned royal blue, with the Duke University logo in the middle, flashing crazily. I’ve got epilepsy, so I quickly shut the computer off before it triggered an attack.”

Staffer Martinez added, “We’ve been hacked before. Once it was during a mini-concert we hosted here at the office by local band Hank Sinatra. We love the band, but they are definitely the most hated group in Raleigh, if not the entire Triangle area. Somebody that didn’t like them probably was trying to disrupt everything. I mean, frontman Jeffro is a bit of a tool, but he’s more or less harmless, so I don’t know why someone would go to that much trouble.

“This time, I’m guessing it had to be a Duke fan, pissed off that the Blue Devils got knocked out of the NCAA tournament and with UNC going to the Final Four. Everybody knows that we are massive Tarheel fans here at the magazine… well, Stephen’s a Wolfpack fan, so we semi-tolerate him. But since he’s been overseas we were able to take down all the NC State paraphernalia he’d put up on the walls, the employee break room, the bathroom – which, I must add, is available to be used by everyone, male, female, straight, queer, trans, even Dookies. So there has definitely been a lot of loud cheering going on here during the tourney, and that may have rubbed a Duke supporter the wrong way.

“Or it might have been someone who bought a Crosley record player from us.” (Below: Hank Sinatra band. Go HERE to view a live video of the Raleigh combo.)

1323211735_HankSinatraPromo-10-sepialowres

Martinez further outlined the second incident, which occurred about 30 minutes after the computer hacking: “The office phone rang and I answered like I always do, ‘Blurt magazine and Blurt online, this is Ms. Martinez, how can I direct your call?’ There was this long silence, and I said ‘hello’ several times, then I heard a series of clicking sounds, and then a low, almost guttural growl like, male voice was saying, ‘Why don’t you goddam foreigners go back to where you came from, to your motherfucking desert, and see how you like living under Sharia law now, brown bitch?’ Well, at that I just burst out laughing – I’ve heard that before, a lot since the Trump campaign and election, and by now I’ve just gotten kinda used to it. I mean, I was born here in North Carolina. My grandparents are from Mexico, so I’m second generation Mexican-American. But I’m definitely not from the Middle East, or a Muslim, and I don’t even look like someone from Syria or Iraq or wherever. It’s just that Trump supporters are such dumbasses, they can’t tell, or don’t bother to find out, the difference.”

Both Matti and Martinez speculated that the subsequent phone call about the bomb was made by the same person, disguising his voice. “It wasn’t all that deep, and the caller had a slight lisp,” explained Matti. “He called about 20 minutes after 2 o’clock and said that a bomb was going to blast us and all our fake news all the way to Haw River, so we called 911 and got the hell out of here. I made sure I grabbed all the U2 stuff first, because Stephen would have fired me on the spot if it got blown up or caught on fire.

“The ironic thing is that… well, we we DO publish fake news, and everybody knows it, we admit it. Fred usually puts it together. But it’s only one day out of the entire year: today, April 1. I’m guessing that the person behind the threat is somebody that fell for one of Fred’s ridiculous hoaxes, like the one about the Kurt Cobain demos, which even got picked up by Spin, or the Captain Beefheart & Magic Band reunion tour, which pissed off Beefheart’s biographer and was briefly part of Beefhart’s Wikipedia page. He reposts that shit almost every year, and every time, somebody swallows it, hook, line, and sinker. Music fans are very, very gullible, and they are also very thin-skinned. They hate getting punk’d. And they definitely hold grudges.”

At presstime, no one had been apprehended by authorities.

2nd Weekend of Coachella Cancelled

Coachella2Coachella

Organizers mum about rumored financial troubles and allegations of a “musical Ponzi scheme.”

 By Blurt Staff

 Festivalgoers eager to kick off the festival season for 2017 got a rude awakening this morning when the annual Coachella festival announced that the second weekend was being cancelled. The event was slated to run April 14-16 and 21-23, but now just the first three days will take place, leaving some ticketholders wondering whether headliners Radiohead, Beyonce, and Kendrick Lamar, along with the xx, Travis Scott, Father John Misty, Future, Bon Iver, DJ Snake, Tove Lo, DJ Khaled and New Order (among many scheduled performers), will honor their commitments, given that the scenario possibly represents a breach of contract on Coachella’s end.

 Coachella organizers cited slow ticket sales for the reason, but stressed that the first weekend would go on as planned, with a number of the artists slated to perform April 14-16now would appear earlier. “The fans did not support it, but continue to embrace the traditional First Weekend event,” said Bill Graham, Jr., in a short press release. The elder son of legendary concert impresario Bill Graham is president of Graham Enterprises, Inc., the promoter behind Coachella.

During an online chat session with fans, it was pointed out that both weekends for Coachella had sold out weeks ago. Coachella spokesperson Melissa Spicer commented, “Technically, yes—but we pool all the funds together, so there actually isn’t a “first” or “second” weekend when we’re talking the ticket sales and money. It all goes into one fund. How do you think we are paying that astronomical guarantee demanded by Beyonce anyway?”

 Spicer indicated that refunds for the second weekend would be given out “sometime in early spring of next year after we’ve collected advance ticket sales money for the 2018 Coachella.” A subsequent investigation by Billboard magazine, the music industry tipsheet, found that several temporary employees of Coachella who had been slated to work the second weekend only to find themselves abruptly unemployed have filed suit in Los Angeles, claiming that the event is “nothing more than an elaborate musical Ponzi scheme and shell game.”

Below, watch an exclusive rehearsal session by Kendrick Lamar – Coachella has set up a series of small soundstages at a Los Angeles studio complex for any of the performers to reserve and work up their festival setlists.

What Your Taste In Classic Rock Says About You

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Word!

By Uncle Blurt

Shameless ripping-off-other-websites dept.: Your ol’ uncle recently took this personality test – no, not that kind; I already knew I was an asshole – at the Playbuzz.com site. The topic was What Your Taste In Classic Rock Says About You, and basically it flashes selection of records and artists, and what you pick in each category determines your personality.

Somewhat surprisingly, I was determined to be The Punk Rocker. While I did pick folks like Mott the Hoople and Roger Daltrey, it was probably my picks for The Clash, Damned, Stooges and Debbie Harry that tilted the scales. According to the results, “As you prefer non-traditional rock n’ roll, you prefer a non-traditional lifestyle as well. You are not afraid to speak your mind about anything from politics to the weather. Although rather intimidating looking, you are a gentle and kind person on the inside. You make interesting and forward fashion choices that always delight and amaze onlookers. As your favorite musicians, you are never afraid to fight for what you think is right!”

Well, I fight for the right to party… Take the test, and enjoy trying to thwart it with contradictory answers!

Blurt Staffer Denies Getting Bit by Opossum at Walmart

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See if you’ll “bite” on this one….

By Blurt Staff

Over the past few days news of BLURT editorial staffer Barbi Martinez supposedly getting bitten by an opossum in the parking lot of the Walmart in the Raleigh, NC, Cameron Village shopping center parking lot shocked the state. According to LAist, the story was first reported by Daniel Matti, a manager at Raleigh’s Schoolkids Records (and, full disclosure, a BLURT contributor). Upon realizing that the “possum” was actually a cat with extreme mange that Martinez had just gotten at the local no-kill cat shelter and was simply brushing its matted fur, Matti took to the Schoolkids’ Facebook page, writing, “We at Schoolkids would like to formally apologize to Barbi Martinez, local Raleigh resident and former writer at Pitchfork media who was definitely not bit by a possum in our parking lot this afternoon,” noting that his original alarm that he posted read, inaccurately, “Barbi, we are taking this situation very seriously and are contracting a team to take care of the recent possum problem. We wish you a speedy recovery and hope you return to shop with us again soon.”

Martinez, reached at the BLURT office, laughed off the incident, but cautioned Matti about jumping the gun via social media. “In the words of William Shatner,” she stated, “Get a fucking life, dude. Go listen to, I dunno, some vinyl records or something. And I know my cat is ugly, but c’mon! A possum?!? WTF?”

In related news,  erstwhile Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon was NOT bitten by a coyote at the Whole Foods in Silverlake, and her former bandmate Thurston Moore was NOT stricken with the 7-year itch during their joint tenure in the group….

Death Explains (via Funny Or Die) Why He Took Prince et al…

Death

Grohl, you have been marked for…. a drum circle in hell! Meanwhile, Brian Eno better watch his back.

By Barbi “Yes, I Used to Be a Goth” Martinez

Death is the Great Divider… but did you also know he’s a fuggin’ music collector? Emphasis on music – because, as you will see in the video posted by Funny Or Die, Death doesn’t really rush out to the record stores to scoop up that new limited edition wax from, what the heck, Between The Buried And Me. But he is a huge fan of Prince. And David Bowie. And Lou Reed. And… drumroll… Dave Grohl, who apparently needs to watch his back. (BTW, don’t miss the Kurt Cobain tribute at the end.)

U2 + Justin Bieber + Demi Lovato? iHeartRadio, Natch!

U2 photographed by John Wright

Sunday, bloody fookin’ Sunday: C’mon, Bono, even after this you can still look us in the face, right?

By Blurt Staff

“Breaking all the rules,” indeed: last night in Los Angeles U2 rubbed shoulders with a creative braintrust that included visionary rockers Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato, cementing the Irish band’s reputation as bridge-builders and generation-bridgers. Or something like that.

As Rolling Stone reports, U2’s Bono and the Edge were on hand to accept their iHeartRadio Innovator Award for doing something or other. After Pharrell Williams asserted the band was breaking all kindsa rules and handed them their trophy, Bono sagely observed, “Innovation, I think it’s something about searching out the future before it’s arrived. [It’s] making ‘what might be’ the ‘what is.'”

In the audience, and prominently featured in photos cheering for his sonic soul brothers: Justin Bieber. Onstage to perform during the ceremony, and earnestly showing off her new line of lip gloss: Demi Lovato. Clearly, a night for rock ‘n’ roll!

The Blurt Guide to Album Review Ratings v.2016

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So you wanna know what we mean when we review some artist’s latest brain fart and assign a “3” rating, do ya? Oh, you are so gonna regret asking….

By Thee Editors

Ed. note: Awhile back, we published the FIRST Blurt Guide to CD Ratings in which official Blurt meta-critic Bill Holmes, having asked us why we assigned starred ratings—at the time, from 1 to 10 stars; no fractions or half stars—to the CDs we review (our kneejerk response ran along lines of, “Somebody eventually had to assign a one-star rating to John Mayer’s last album…”) offered a remarkably lucid breakdown of what one star versus ten stars means, and all those pesky stars in between. In that manner, you, dear readers, were finally able to know what we REALLY thought when you spotted a review on the site or in the magazine without every bothering to read the actual review. In this TMI, OMG, LOL era of 8-second-attention-span Millennials, those so-called “meaningless” stars actually mean something, eh? Why read when you can graze?

Truth be told, however, star ratings sucked then, and they still suck, and we only do it because we have to if we wanna get picked up by aggregators. Although we did take some of the hurt out of it around 2012 when we decided to ditch the unwieldy 10 possibilities and just go with a solid 5. Below, you can see what 1 through 5 mean in the present scheme of things—with a knowing nod and a tip of the critical hat to Holmes, of course, whose original list we have hereby adapted. Enjoy!

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5—An essential classic that will transcend its era. Think BLONDE ON BLONDE or STICKY FINGERS. You’d get in a bar fight to defend your rating years later. (Would you really do that to defend that 5 you gave Lorde?). You consider getting a tattoo of the album title on your bicep. And it’s possibly the apex of an artist’s career (assuming the artist is great – Kenny G’s best album could be a 1), and a no-brainer purchase for fanatics of the genre. Lands on your Best of the Year list without hesitation. And critics: it is understood that you stake your reputation on your choice of ratings, and that 20 years from now, you will still give it a “5” or you’ll otherwise offer to buy back every copy that was purchased during those 20 years on your recommendation.

4—Among the best of the artist/genre; you’d definitely refer to this album when trying to convince someone to give the artist a shot. Not perfect, but the good outweighs the momentary bad parts, and you will never feel like you wasted your money on the purchase. And critics: speaking of money, by giving it a “4” you pledge to hang on to this record regardless of what financial condition you ever find yourself in, and no matter how much it may one day go for on eBay.

3—Enjoyable for fans of the genre, but average for others. Not going to convert the skeptical, but a fan will be glad you made them aware of it. Yes, it’s “average,” but you keep it even though you probably only play it when you come across it in the stack. You won’t look for
it on purpose that often. And critics: by giving it a “3” it is understood that you are hedging your bets and not being too harsh on the artist because you know that at some point in the future you will either encounter the artist (and don’t want to get punched out), or you’ll want to score some more freebies from his publicist or label (so you want to stay on their good side).

2—Momentary pleasures, won’t last – not awful, but in no way memorable. Gathers dust. Borderline bland, dull, or nondescript. You’d sell it if you could only find a sucker. And critics: You are essentially announcing to the world that by giving it a “2” you immediately listed it on Discogs, or you put it in that box you use to collect stuff for taking down to the local used record store in hopes of getting at least 25 cents for it.

1—Real problems, poor effort, lazy release. You are pissed that you spent the money and/or wasted your time, and you make a point to tell everyone it sucks. In fact, you will even label it horrible, embarrassing, and vapid. Hire a lawyer and sue the artist for damages. And critics: On that rare occasion that you actually grow a set of balls and tell it like it is by giving it a “1” you are making it clear that you are either (a) nursing a personal beef with the artist and defiantly using your bully pulpit to get back at him; or (b) you are finally retiring from the music journalism business because after giving enough “1” ratings no record label on the planet would be dumb enough to keep sending you free swag. Forget ever scoring concert tickets, too.

 

 

Video: Watch Scharpling & Wurster on “The Simpsons”

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Yes, but does the episode, rock, rule or rot?

By Barbi Martinez

We say, “rule!” Who in the indie world is not geeking out over this? Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster – you may have heard of the comedy duo, not to mention such cultural touchstones as “The Best Show” and Superchunk/Mountain Goats – are on this week’s The Simpsons show. As Pitchfork reports, in the episode the duo play a pair of scientists settin up a mission to Mars that Lisa signs up for.

Get a Henry Rollins Driving App (well…) for your GPS

Rollins

An idea that would have invented itself had not someone else invented it for us… In this instance, the punk satire site (see below) wins the official Douglas Adams Award for Invention & Writing!

By Uncle Blurt

Would YOU drop and give Rollins 20 if he demanded it? Of COURSE you would; no self-respecting rocker would even attempt to defy the erstwhile Black Flag/Rollins Band vocalist, at least not to his face. Now you can put that ethos into practice 9-5, or at least when you’re in your automobile, via the new RatsEye app for GPS. As TheHardTimes.net reports, the app “gives driving directions to your destination while also shouting knowledge gained from the relentless work ethic of Rollins’ legendary hardcore group, Black Flag. The band’s groundbreaking and hard touring schedule often took them on very nontraditional routes across the country, as the app will frequently remind you.”

Indeed, as anyone who spends even a little bit of time on our nation’s freeways each week, getting from point A to point B can frequently feel like you are engaged in my war and that you often just want to grab a hypo stuff with sedatives and slip in in so you can endure the drive. So this seems pretty timely.

HardTimes advises us that “While trying to drive from Los Angeles to Tucson, one user was directed to ‘Drive five miles to 7-11. Locate the nearest payphone and call Steve. Hopefully he’ll pick up and let you know where you need to be. Otherwise it’s just another overnight with Watt arguing about whatever bullshit he’s got up his ass this time.’ The app seems to be especially popular among millennial musicians who are looking to marry the modern conveniences of the digital age with the rugged authenticity of being an underground musician in the ’80s.”

Meanwhile, in the comments section, a reader calling himself “Tex Ramone” posted several anecdotes from using the app, including this one: “Take the onramp to eastbound I-10. Stay on eastbound I-10 for the next 23 miles. Arrive at your destination in 27 minutes. However I’m going to spend the next 93 minutes telling you about the time Ian MacKaye and I saw Led Zeppelin in 1979. Those pussies in Venom don’t know what real rock and roll is. Part animal. Part machine.”

Pure brilliance, lads! Pure clickbait, too!

Curiously, the BLURT auto department was unable to locate the aforementioned RatsEye app on the web, so just keep that in mind even though we are nowhere near April 1 on the calendar right now…. But we do know that Hard Times specializes in satire

Attention Fellow Music Sites & Blogs: Big Bucks Opportunity!

More retro clipart at http://www.clipartof.com/

More retro clipart at http://www.clipartof.com/

Grammar and spelling correcting will generate an additional fee…

 By Uncle Blurt

Some days we write the news, other days the news writes… you know. Or in today’s instance, the music biz spam emails we get at the BLURT editorial foxhole offers us insta-news items on what is probably gonna be a slow news day. Below, enjoy one such email pitch that just got slipped over the transom. Good god, this is the most blatant come-on I’ve ever seen for a publication to jettison all credibility and journalistic integrity. Hmmm…

Guarantee: all dialogue reported verbatim, with the exception of the redactions (hey, I can be an asshole, but I’m not a cruel asshole), as I am not into calling folks out. Plus, I have a feeling that a lot of you reading this right now probably got the same piece of bulk-email spam today. Oh, and the boldface is my emphasis as well: (1) given the frequency of grammar and spelling errors I detect in the daily deluge of music biz spam and publicity pitches, I am sorely tempted to see what one of these so-called “cleaned up” pieces looks like; (2) given our lean budget here at BLURT, I’m equally tempted to reply with, I dunno, a five-figure cost estimate just to see where negotiations might lead; and (3) oh, the mind boggles… how about naked photos for starters? or courtside seats at next year’s NCAA Final Four? hell, I might even settle for a songwriting co-credit on the client’s next album…

Read on…

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Artist interviews needed for my clients!

 I am looking for several high traffic music blogs that will publish interviews for our clients. I will provide the client with the interview questions and clean up the grammar and spelling after they submit the answers to me. From there, I submit the interview to you for publication.

 Are you interested? If so, what is the cost? Do you have additional submission requirements?

 Take a look at our Twitter page to get an idea of the clients we work with: [redacted]

 Our recent posts will show you the email marketing work we do for our clients. These are the type of artists who would be looking for interviews on various blogs.

 If you need to call, I can be reached at: [redacted]

 Sincerely,

[redacted]