Don’t forget that Lovely Creatures box set, either…
By Blurt Staff
With Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds fans in full salivation mode over the Lovely Creatures box set finally arriving on May 5 after a 2 1/2 year delay — full title: Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 1984-2014; it comes in multiple iterations, from a 2CD version to a super deluxe edition including DVD and 250-page hardback book, not to mention a 3LP vinyl edition (below) — it seems like now’s a perfectly appropriate time to unleash more Cave-related collectibles and maximize the, er, commercial potential.
To wit: As pictured at the top of the page, a gorgeous, multi-color vinyl limited edition 1996 classic Murder Ballads, which contains some of the Bad Seeds’ most popular songs (“Stagger Lee” in particular) and also featured guests PJ Harvey and Kylie Minogue appearing on it. It’s shipping this weekend via Newbury Comics (which specializes in these limited edition reissues), so you can look for it at your favorite independent record retailer or order it direct.
Raise your hand if you are hoping for the Cud revival to kick in as a result of the release. Meanwhile, listen to the lead track by the eternally brilliant Pooh Sticks, below.
By Uncle Blurt
While veterans of the indie indie wars are likely to tout with pride their owning an original copy of the legendary c86 cassette that the New Musical Express gave away to its readership in, you guessed it, 1986 — yes, I still have mine, safely tucked away in the vault, a guard standing outside 24/7 — a lot of punters don’t think 1988 was so bad, either. Among them, the archivally-minded Cherry Red label is putting its muscle where its mouth is with c88. Instead of a 90 minute cassette, however, it’s a three-CD box set boasting a whopping 72 songs, due in stores June 30.
Artists on c88 include the Stone Roses (but of course!), Pooh Sticks (whose timeless track “On Tape,” above, kicks off the collection), Sea Urchins, Kitchens of Distinction, Darling Buds, Pale Saints, and, er, Cud, among others. The full tracklisting is below, and luckily the twee-to-psych factor is relatively low. Worth noting: this is the followup to the label’s c87 box from last year, which of course was a sequel to Cherry Red’s expanded take on c86. Here’s hoping that by the time they get to the early ’90s the series will taper off before we get to Britpop, as that’s when all things British began to jump the shark.
The Cherry Red product description reads thusly:
C88 is another celebration of the Eighties Indie scene, documenting a golden era when tuneful guitar-based bands made records on shoestring budgets, often issued on small labels with hand-made artwork, with little hope of mainstream exposure. This 3-CD box set follows previous best-selling collections C86 (2014) and C87 (2016). C86 expanded the NME’s genre-defining compilation (initially a cassette, later a vinyl LP on Rough Trade) with 50 extra tracks from the period. C87 was an imaginary sequel, picking up the story a year later. Disc 1 is devoted to artists who haven’t previously graced this series, who – for the most part – first made an impact in 1988. The Stone Roses, Carter USM, Pale Saints and The Mock Turtles would all enjoy mainstream success. Others like The Pooh Sticks, The Man From Delmonte, Bridewell Taxis were cult indie favourites. Sarah Records – which came to epitomise a certain type of Indie Pop – are represented by The Orchids, Another Sunny Day, The Sea Urchins and The Poppyheads (whose ‘Cremation Town’ debuts on CD here). Other key indie labels also figure, such as Creation (Apple Boutique, Pacific, The House Of Love, Emily), 53rd & 3rd (The Groovy Little Numbers, The Vaselines) and The Subway Organization (The Clouds, Rodney Allen, The Flatmates, Bubblegum Splash, etc. ). Disc 2 revisits many of the bands who appeared on C87 with later singles or B-sides, such as the likes of Bob, Cud, The Darling Buds, Kitchens Of Distinction, The Shamen, The Heart Throbs, The Bachelor Pad and other staples of the late 80s Indie scene. New names to the series who appear on C88 include Choo Choo Train, Moss Poles, The Snapdragons, The Wilderness Children, Fat Tulips, Annie & The Aeroplanes, Thrilled Skinny, Murrumbidgee Whalers and many others. Numerous tracks have never been on CD before. The deluxe clamshell package includes a weighty booklet full of illustrations, with an 9,000-word sleeve-note and band-by-band biographies by C86 co-compiler Neil Taylor.
1. On Tape – the Pooh Sticks
2. Elephant Stone (7″ Version) – the Stone Roses
3. Where Do You Go (Flexi Version) – the Popguns
4. (Will Nobody Save) Louise – the Man from Delmonte
5. Are You Happy Now? (Molesworth Version) – the Charlottes
6. The Things You Want – the Snapdragons
7. A Sheltered Life – Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
8. One Summer – Moss Poles
9. Lies – Bridewell Taxis
10. Defy the Law – the Orchids
11. Happy Like Yesterday
12. The Groovy Little Numbers
13. Julie Christie – the Driscolls
14. High – Choo Choo Train
15. Cremation Town – the Poppyheads
16. Tattered, Tangled and Torn -Bradford
17. So Happy to Be Alive-Thrilled Skinny
18. Sister Goodbye – the Prayers
19. Anorak City – Another Sunny Day
20. She’s Gone – the Train Set
21. Barnoon Hill – Pacific
22. Forever Holiday (Ediesta Version) – Blow-Up
23. Mary’s Garden – the Mock Turtles
24. The Pennine Spitter – King of the Slums
25. Colours and Shapes (Demo) -Pale Saints
26. The Ballad of Jet Harris -Apple Boutique
1. The Hill – the House of Love
2. Dying for It – the Vaselines
3. Kirsty – Bob
4. Slack Time – Cud
5. Please Rain Fall – the Sea Urchins
6. Shame on You – the Darling Buds
7. Prize – Kitchens of Distinction
8. Too Many Shadows – the Heart Throbs
9. Do It for Fun – the Bachelor Pad
10. They Fell for Words Like Love – Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters
11. Giving Way to Trains – Murrumbidgee Whalers
12. What’s Going Down – the Shamen
13. Heaven Knows – the Flatmates
14. Spell It Out – the Waltones
15. Mrs Susan Spence – the Wilderness Children
16. Yesterday – the Nivens
17. Real World – Baby Lemonade
18. Village Green – the Clouds
19. Fire Escape – Rote Kapelle
20. Mad Dogs – Emily
21. The 18:10 to Yeovil Junction – Bubblegum Splash
22. Michael Furey – Metro Trinity
23. Theme from Cow – Inspiral Carpets
1. Sun, Sea, Sand – the Revolving Paint Dream
2. Surfaround – the Fizzbombs
3. Plaster Saint – the Church Grims
4. Crush the Flowers (Demo) -The Wake
5. Sunshine Thuggery – the Siddeleys
6. Clear – Whirl
7. A Million Zillion Miles -Annie & the Aeroplanes
8. You Opened Up My Eyes – Fat Tulips
9. Cincinnati – Holidaymakers
10. The Camera Loves Me-Would-Be-Goods
11. Anywhere But Home – the Caretaker Race
12. Who Works the Weather
13. The Great Leap Forward
14. Cubans in the Bluefields-East Village
15. Bythesea Road – the Haywains
16. The Old Road Out of Town (12″ Mix) – the Wishing Stones
Although distaff rockers Warpaint have kept a somewhat low profile the past few months, they earned the right to do whatever the eff they wanna do last year with the release of Heads Up, one of 2016’s hands-down best albums. As our reviewer put it, the album “elaborates upon the Warpaint signature dreampop while bringing in purposeful elements of dance-pop and post-rock… look for the band to be headlining larger and larger venues along the way.”
It would appear that prediction is coming true, as the group will be on a fairly huge tour this summer as opening act for Depeche Mode. Meanwhile, though, the ladies made a stopover at the Ellen show yesterday (April 25) in order to play DeGeneres’ personal request, “Whiteout,” from the 2016 album. Check it out, below — everybody looks more than just a little stoked, the perfect summit.
Fire dance with me: you might say it’s somewhat NFSW…
By Fred Mills
Sex, witchcraft, human sacrifice, Satanic rituals — just another day in the life of the Afghan Whigs, whose new album Spades drops next week, May 5. Just another video too, eh? This time around, though, with director Amy Hood at the helm, it’s decidedly more surreal and almost drug-informed than any previous surreal/druggy Whigs vids. Take a look at “Oriole” below. It follows last month’s “Demon In Profile” video, which had its own elements of spookiness and sexuality.
If you’re like most of us, this past Saturday you were either in line or crowding the bins at your favorite local independent record store—April 22 being Record Store Day, natch. So you might have missed the NPR segment that day featuring Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater-Kinney, Portlandia and NPR itself (for awhile she was a music and pop culture commentator), in which she outlined her history with and enduring love for record stores.
Brownstein singled out Seattle’s old Rubato Records shop as being hugely influential to her evolution as a music lover and, eventually, player, noting, I”n the center of the store [were] two rows of vinyl, and that became this light in the middle of the room that I gravitated towards. I just remember that feeling when you first put your fingertips on the top of the vinyl.
“I just spent about two hours literally looking at every single record they had in that store. I felt like I had discovered a treasure chest, and I dove in.”
Treasure chest, indeed. Familiar feeling, that—being a record lover and collector cuts across gender, ethnicity, age, even religious affiliation. And Brownstein, of course, would go on to become one of the most respected musicians (not to mention comedic actress) in the U.S. Maybe those bins of records she discovered all those years ago were the springboard.
Listen to the entire interview segment at the NPR website. Below, appropriately enough, watch the all-time classic Sleater-Kinney video for 2006 track “Modern Girl.”
It’s directed by Matt Yoka, stars Ty Segall, features guest appearances by Fred Armisen, Henry Rollins and Jack Black, and centers around destroying guitars. Just another day in the life of indie rocker Segall, eh? Watch the new Drag City video for Segall’s “Break A Guitar,” below.
#freeAssange apparently destined to become a trending topic…
By Blurt Staff
It’s no secret that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is a polarizing figure; aside from whether or not someone views Wikileaks as a danger or a boon to democracy, even his supporters have been known to express discomfort when the topic of the Swedish sexual assault allegations dogging Assange come up. And, indeed, some partisans claim he’s being railroaded, while others press for a courtroom resolution of the matter. Assange, of course, remains in exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, claiming political asylum.
As it turns out, a number of well-known artists, musicians, and media personalities are opting to come down on Assange’s side and plan to appear at a raft of June 19 events in order to mark the fourth anniversary of his entering the embassy. Slated to appear in 14 different cities are Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Brian Eno, Laibach, Noam Chomsky, Vivienne Westwood, Ai Wei Wei, Ken Loach, Jean Michel Jarre, Amy Goodman and Slavoj Žižek, just to list some of the more prominent names. Visit the Free Assange Now website for complete details on the day, which will include events in New York City, Paris, Berlin, Athens, Madrid, Belgrade and Buenos Aires.
Watch the GoFundMe campaign video below. Above: Cave at SXSW in 2013, by John Boydston (exclusive to Blurt)
By Fred Mills
Although World Suicide Prevention Day is not until September 10 (details at the International Association for Suicide Prevention), citizens are always encouraged to pitch in with the effort 365 days a year. Apparently Nick Cave is also taking that to heart, for the other day he announced his support for the crowdfunding campaign for the Kurdiji 1.0 app, aimed at heading off suicide among the indigenous residents of Australia. The campaign was started by the Warlpiri community of Lajamanu, located in the Tanami desert (Northwest section of Australia).
Commented Cave, “With Aboriginal people committing suicide on an unprecedented scale, a group of elders are creating an app based on ceremony story and law. Join them in fighting for lives of young Aboriginal people and let’s show Aboriginal Australia we believe in them.”
Details on the app and campaign is here at the GoFundMe site: ” It is a community-led and community-empowering initiative, with indigenous elders providing all of the app’s content. They have partnered with an expert team to develop the app and roll it out across the whole of Aboriginal Australia.”
“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.”
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.
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