Category Archives: Music News

NC’s 6 String Drag w/PledgeMusic Campaign for Reissue & New Album

North Carolina twangers prepping vinyl reissue of classic album while planning out a new studio record as well for a spring ’18 re;ease/ Above photo by Michael Traister.

By Fred Mills

Cutting to the chase: Raleigh, NC, combo 6 String Drag has long been a favorite throughout the BLURT diaspora, dating back to the hard-twanging Americana combo’s ‘90s heyday, which included a Steve Earle-produced gem from 1997, High Hat. Much more recently, the group resumed operations following a lengthy hiatus, resulting in a wave of terrific live notices as well as considerable praise for 2015 comeback album Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll (Royal Potato Family), which was stuffed to the gills with choice power pop, rockabilly, ‘50s-ish rock, and stately blues.

The group is soldiering on with a twinned campaign to get High Hat re-released for the first time on vinyl (a 20th anniversary, limited edition white wax at that) and to release a brand new studio effort in March. Over at the 6 String Drag PledgeMusic page you can view the specifics along with the various tiers of involvement for pledgers, ranging from springing from digital, CD, and vinyl versions of High Hat, to all manner of rare memorabilia and house concerts fans can avail themselves of.

Do yourself a favor and check out these guys—our friends—and consider jumping in. By way of full disclosure, the High Hat reissue will be appearing under the label name of our sister business, Schoolkids Records (formerly Second Motion). Hopefully that gives you a sense of what a kickass band we think 6 String Drag has always been, and continues to be. It’s clobberin’ time, kids.

Video: Wu-Tang Clan w/The Roots on Fallon Show Last Night

By Blurt Staff

Last night (Oct. 13), the Wu-Tang Clan appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and with The Roots as the backing group, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna, and Steven Latorre did “My Only One” from the new album Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues. Watch a video of it, below.

Photo by Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Indie Music Industry Sexual Assault Updates

Alex Calder, Gaslamp Killer, Ducktails, Decapitated have their chance in the Weinstein seat. And no, neither than nor the headline intended to be flippant – it’s to get you to pay read the damn news item in the first place and then, hopefully, have you pay attention and think about it.

By Fred Mills

It’s not, as some clowns on Twitter may have asserted, “open season on males.” These are the times we live in, my friends – not “seasons,” as in “this, too, will pass.” Women from all walks of life and in all areas of employment are mad as hell, have been for some time, and now feel – hopefully – that they can state publicly they are not going to suppress it anymore, much less take it anymore.

Below are several current dispatches from the indie music sector that I encourage you to check out thoroughly, both for reasons of enlightenment and also to preempt the usual social media frenzies that typically accompanies potentially explosive breaking news – because sometimes the news turns out to be incomplete and premature, if not necessarily inaccurate. Big props to Stereogum for getting ahead of the stories and getting them into the mix before the weekend started unfolding with all its attendant distractions. The headlines are theirs. Follow the links for the complete reports.

***

Item No. 1: Matt Mondanile Departed Real Estate Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The Ducktails musician and Real Estate co-founder didn’t simply leave the latter to focus on Ducktails, as previously assumed; he was fired when his bandmates learned of “allegations of inappropriate conduct of women.”

Item No. 2: Alex Calder Dropped From Captured Tracks After Sexual Assault Allegation

An August-announced album from the Canadian musician is not being released on Oct. 20 by Captured Tracks, which announced Calder is no longer with the label due to “an allegation of sexual assault” (The Stereogum report also displays tweets from Calder alluding to the label situation, tweets that have now been deleted.)

Item No. 3: The Gaslamp Killer Responds To Allegations That He Drugged And Raped Two Women

William Benjamin Bensussen, aka Gaslamp Killer, was recently accused via Twitter post by @chelseaelaynne of a sexual assault that took place four years ago, and while he has denied the allegations, a number of business associates, including his label, Brainfeeder (home to Flying Lotus), and the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (where he was set to perform last night at Low End Theory, a performance that was cancelled), have taken steps to distance themselves from him.

Item No. 4: Members Of Decapitated Charged With Rape, Kidnapping

Waclaw Kieltyka and Michal Lysejko of Polish metal band Decapitated have been formally charged with rape and kidnapping. It was initially alleged that the band gang raped a woman on their tour bus following a Spokane show in August show, which led to the band being arrested in Los Angeles in September.

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More details on all these as they emerge.

MP3: Listen to Mark Lindsay do Raiders, Other ’60s Songs

Still trying to find his kicks, ‘cos he’s HONGRY….

By Uncle Blurt

Raise your hand if you are a fellow unapologetic Paul Revere & the Raiders fan. I’ve still got all the original 45s and LPs, and I’ll put much of the band’s oeuvre up with any ’60s garage-rockin’ Nuggets head you’d care to name – the Raiders were just lucky enough to have hit after hit after hit.

Mark Lindsay was the voice of the band, of course, and the heartthrob frontman, sporting the kind of classy ponytail that makes all you man-bun-sporting millennials out there look like cavemen headed off your job at the rock quarry. Lindsay is still performing (Paul Revere also still takes a contemporary version of his Raiders out on the road), and the mighty Big O zine has posted a complete Pasadena concert from August clearly demonstrating what a great voice he still has. There’s a little cheese and schmaltz here and there, but in between the many Raiders classics and a handful of covers like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone,” the dude still delivers. Check it out at the Big O. Full tracklist is below.

      Track 01
. intro 1:34
      Track 02
. Where The Action Is 0:30
      Track 03
. Steppin’ Out 3:55
      Track 04
. Just Like Me 2:38
      Track 05
. Hungry 3:54
      Track 06
. Louie Louie 5:12
      Track 07
. Treat Her Right 3:18
      Track 08
. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling 5:02
      Track 09
. Born To Be Wild 4:52
      Track 10
. Cinderella Sunshine 5:28
      Track 11
. The Great Airplane Strike 4:59
      Track 12
. intro 2:55
      Track 13
. Good Thing 2:46
      Track 14
. Arizona 3:45
      Track 15
. What’s It Gonna Be, Him Or Me 3:49
      Track 16
. Ups And Downs 3:14
      Track 17
. intro 3:05
      Track 18
. I’m Not Your Stepping Stone 3:09
      Track 19
. Indian Reservation 4:46
      Track 20
. Kicks 4:44
      Track 21
. Let Me 4:59
      Track 22
. Baby Please Don’t Go 6:59

Watch Courtney Love Go Off on Harvey Weinstein in ’05

Above: La Courtney in 2005.

By Barbi Martinez

TMZ posted video earlier today of Courtney Love telling a reporter that young women should stay away from Harvey Weinstein – you may have heard something about the Hollywood heavyweight recently in the news. Love, attending the 2005 Pamela Anderson roast hosted by Comedy Central, was asked on the red carpet,  “Do you have any advice for a young girl moving to Hollywood?”

Her succinct reply, after a slight hesitation, “I’ll get libeled if I say it,” she says, presumably intending to mean she could get sued for libel, then drops the bomb. “If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the Four Seasons, don’t go.”

A couple of hours after TMZ posted the video, Love issued a clarifying statement via Twitter: “Although I wasn’t one of his victims, I was eternally banned by CAA for speaking out against Harvey Weinstein.”

Watch the video clip, below.

Riot In Cell Block NC: 1st Flat Duo Jets Recordings Reissued

 

Dexter, Crow, and even Tone raving things up for your edification.

Finally arriving on the heels this week (Oct. 20), of that outrageously cool Wild Wild Love vinyl box set from NC’s legendary Flat Duo Jets, released by Daniel 13 for Record Store Day 2017,  is the 2CD version for the, er, less obsessive Dex Romweber fan. But no less discriminating—this ‘un  has all 13 original Flat Duo Jets tracks, including “Wild Wild Love,” which they played in a career-making 1990 performance on Late Night With David Letterman; plus all six tracks from the 1984 cassette-only mini-album (In Stereo). CD Two adds a baker’s-dozen outtakes from recording sessions hand picked by the band’s original producer, Mark Bingham.

As an added bonus, the Wild Wild Love CD package also includes a link to download a 78-page digital PDF booklet filled with vintage show flyers and photographs, plus liner-note essays by Mark Bingham, Josh Grier and music critic David Menconi. The booklet was originally a centerpiece of the aforementioned limited edition vinyl box, which of course went out of print pretty much original.

MP3: Download 33 Cover Tunes by Husker Du

 

By Uncle Blurt

With that super-duper Husker Du box set of early material from Numero Group looming for a November release, for all the Husker dudes and dudettes make plans to camp out for the box set, here’s a little something you can download and spin at the tailgate party, courtesy the Big O. A whopping 33 cover tunes the group performed 1983-87, ranging from the expected (8 Miles High, I Wanna Be Your Dog, Love Is All Around) to the just plain gonzo, for them at least (Don’t Fear the Reaper, Do Ya, La Grange, and, uh, 99 Bottles of Beear). Sound quality inevitably varies, but still… man, this is fun to listen to.

According to the enterprising fan who compiled the collection, “Rather than take a chronological approach I have designed the first 23 tracks for repeated play with all the best sounding stuff steadily improving from half decent AUDs at the beginning to the SBDs at the end. All the worse AUDs and little snippets and crowd singalongs are from track 24-33 for completeness’ sake. I’ve used cross fades on the first 23 tracks and tried to even out the volume levels to make this as smooth a listen as possible. The rest of the tracks I just used fade ins and fade outs at the beginning and end of each track, the volumes levels were fairly consistent anyway.”

Tracklisting:

      Track 01
. Unknown – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 1:35
      Track 02
. Look Through Any Window (The Hollies) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 2:36
      Track 03
. Don’t Fear The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 1:32
      Track 04
. Fast Cars (Buzzcocks) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 2:11
      Track 05
. Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 2:22
      Track 06
. Blue Wind (Jeff Beck) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 1:57
      Track 07
. Train Kept A-Rollin (Johnny Burnette) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 3:28
      Track 08
. Wild Thing (The Troggs) – Psychedelly, Bethesda 06-Oct-84 2:26
      Track 09
. I Wanna be your Dog (The Stooges) – Psychedelly, Bethesda 06-Oct-84 2:07
      Track 10
. Birthday (The Beatles) – G.S. Vigs, Madison 10-Mar-84 1:54
      Track 11
. Little Bitty Pretty One (Thurston Harris) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis 04-Dec-87 1:25
      Track 12
. Ramblin’ Rose (MC5) – Maxwell’s, Hoboken 11-Apr-86 2:47
      Track 13
. Sunshine Superman (Donovan) – Kennedy’s, Denver 29-Oct-83 1:45
      Track 14
. Sweet Jane (Velvet Underground) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis 07-Jul-84 3:26
      Track 15
. Chinese Rocks (Ramones) – Longhorn Bar, Minneapolis ?79 1:46
      Track 16
. Gilligan’s Island (The Wellingtons) – Longhorn Bar, Minneapolis 17-May-80 1:50
      Track 17
. You’re So Square Baby I Don’t Care/The Wit & The Wisdom (Elvis Presley) – 1st Ave, Minneapolis 28-Aug-85 3:53
      Track 18
. Helter Skelter (The Beatles) – 1st Ave, Minneapolis 30-Jan-85 5:02
      Track 19
. Ticket to Ride (The Beatles) – 1st Ave, Minneapolis 30-Jan-85 2:03
      Track 20
. Love is All Around (Sonny Curtis) – City Gardens, Trenton 11-May-85 1:38
      Track 21
. Eight Miles High (The Byrds) – Pinkpop Festival, Barlo 08-Jun-87 4:02
      Track 22
. Sheena is a Punk Rocker (The Ramones) ? The Ritz, NYC 17-Oct-87 2:51
      Track 23
. Louie Louie (The Kingsmen) – The Stone, San Francisco 01-Mar-85 4:54
      Track 24
. Iron Man (Black Sabbath) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis ?81 5:40
      Track 25
. Paranoid (Black Sabbath) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis ?81 2:00
      Track 26
. Do Ya (The Move) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis ?81 3:52
      Track 27
. I Can’t Explain (The Who) – Toad’s Place, New Haven 18-Oct-87 1:33
      Track 28
. Pretty Woman/Statues (Roy Orbison) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis 12-Feb-84 4:03
      Track 29
. I Fought The Law (Bobby Fuller Four) – Ralph’s, Worcester 02-Oct-84 2:00
      Track 30
. 99 Bottles of Beer (Traditional) – Ralph’s, Worcester 02-Oct-84 1:17
      Track 31
. Amazing Grace (Traditional) – Psychedelly, Bethesda 06-Oct-84 0:59
      Track 32
. La Grange (ZZ Top) – Psychedelly, Bethesda 06-Oct-84 0:29
      Track 33
. We Wish You A Merry Xmas (Traditional) ? Studio Dec-86 1:00

Charles Bradley 1948-2017 R.I.P.

The Screaming Eagle of Soul brought soul and funk to a new contemporary level and introduced it to an entire new generation. Photo above by Susan Moll. Below photos by John Boydston.

By Fred Mills

Last October, soul singer extraordinaire Charles Bradley saddened the music world with the news of a recent cancer diagnosis, writing at Facebook in a statement,   “In the past few months, I have had to cancel a number of shows due to illness, taking me away from my beautiful fans. My doctors recently discovered a cancerous tumor in my stomach. I’m getting the best medical care and we are all extremely optimistic. I will fight through this like I’ve fought through the many other obstacles in my life.”

Sadly, earlier this month Bradley was forced to cancel yet more tour dates, and last night we learned that he finally succumbed to the cancer yesterday (Sept. 23). He was 68. The BBC reports that his publicist issued a statement that read, “Mr Bradley was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on.” An outpouring of condolences and grief quickly followed the announcement, from fans and peers alike: producer Mark Ronson tweeted, “So sad that Charles Bradley has left us, what a voice & spirit. My heart goes out to his family-both blood & musical https://t.co/vQ0Pyq8Xes” while Daptone labelmates Antibalas offered, “RIP to our dear brother Charles Bradley. Your heart was too big for this planet. See you on the other side. We love you.”

To those sentiments, we here at BLURT wish to add our own farewell. I’ll never forget seeing Bradley steal the show in Austin during SXSW 2013. Onstage at the Moody Theatre during the Daptone Soul Revue, he was an “explosive, spins-and-knee-drops reincarnation of James Brown (he capped the set by crawling into the crowd in front of the stage and giving out hugs to everyone in the vicinity).” More recently, our man in Atlanta, photographer John Boydston, had this to say about Bradley’s performance in March of 2016,

“Man, can this guy let out a soul scream…. My appreciation for the soul greats was second-hand until way too late in life, meaning I mostly grew up listening to white rocker-crooners paying tribute.  Meh. My bad.  I’ve been making up for lost time of late, devouring all the Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown records I can find.  So along comes Charles Bradley, and suddenly it’s not a nostalgia thing anymore.  He is the real deal soul man like the greats who came before.  He is also a great; not a revivalist or a retro act paying tribute. He’s Charles Bradley, and he’s bringing his world to new audiences.” (Follow the above link to view Boydston’s photo gallery from the show.)

Aside from the incendiary, sweat-drenched performances and near-brilliant recordings (such as on 2013’s Victim Of Love and 2016’s Changes), perhaps what I’ll remember most about Bradley was that closing-show ritual of wading into the crowd and hugging ecstatic fans. This wasn’t meet-and-greet handshakes, autographs and selfies at the merch table—this was literally demolishing the artist-fan, stage-audience barrier, a visual and deeply emotional expression of gratitude on his part for the love and enthusiasm those fans were giving him. Talk about a positive feedback loop. (The last video below will give you a sense of that scene.)

You can read about Bradley and his late-in-life success that was so inspiring elsewhere (such as at his Wikipedia page). Meanwhile, check out some choice videos below, and also, go check out “The Spotify Sessions” over at Spotify – it’s another SXSW performance, this one from 2016 – as well as that year’s NPR showcase performance, available for free download at the Big O Zine, where they also have smokin’ sets from 2012 and 2013.

Tyler Childers Takes His “Purgatory” On the Road

From out of Lawrence County, Kentucky….

Tyler Childers released his debut album “Purgatory” last month and after its drop it has received nothing but positive reviews, and it should. Deep within the Kentucky mountains, Tyler is from a small county in Kentucky with a population just around 15,000 people. “Purgatory” is the album that tells the story of his life in those mountains. With production help from Grammy award-winning Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, the songs—about drug fueled nights where you wake up in the morning with a shiner on your eye—will make you feel like you and Tyler were as thick as thieves.

In the past couple of years the Americana market has surged with acts like Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Jason Isbell. Tyler Childers should be an act to follow those acts as they take over what many country artists cannot relate to. The actual walk-the-walk mentality is in Childers’ songs, and you can hear it throughout the entire album.

“Get me drinkin’ that moonshine/ Get me higher than the grocery bill/ Take my troubles to the highwall/ Throw ‘em in the river and get your fill”

Tyler Childers is currently on tour with Colter Wall, and with the two of them selling out venue after venue. Coming up this week are dates in Charlotte, Carrboro, and Gallipolis, OH. Worth noting: in October, Tyler will be holding down a residency where he will be playing three nights at The Burl in Lexington, Kentucky, all making for an unstoppable evening of songs that will leave you drunk off country music—and possibly moonshine.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

September 20th – Charlotte at Neighborhood Theatre *
September 21st – Carrboro at Cat’s Cradle Back Room (Sold Out) *
September 23rd – River Rat Beer and Music Festival, Gallipolis OH
September 24th – Hazard, KY at The Forum +
September 25th – Nashville, TN at The Basement (Sold Out)
September 28th – Columbus, OH at Newport Music Hall *

* w/ Colter Wall
+ w/ Drive By Truckers

Full list of dates can be seen here: https://tylerchildersmusic.com/tour/

Grant Hart 1961-2017 R.I.P.

A gifted musical and visual artist leaves us once again.

By Fred Mills

Hüsker Dü: without the Minneapolis band’s ’80s efforts, modern punk would have no doubt evolved far differently. Guitarist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton, and drummer Grant Hart blazed a trail across the Amerindie underground and even helped make major labels respectable in terms of their hosting punk bands.

Today we learned that Hart passed away last night at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. The cause of death is listed as complications from liver cancer and hepatitis. Hart was 56.

Erstwhile bandmate Mould, with whom Hart clashed near the end of the band’s tenure (HD broke up in 1988), penned a heartfelt tribute at his Facebook page, writing the following:

“It was the Fall of 1978. I was attending Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. One block from my dormitory was a tiny store called Cheapo Records. There was a PA system set up near the front door blaring punk rock. I went inside and ended up hanging out with the only person in the shop. His name was Grant Hart.

“The next nine years of my life was spent side-by-side with Grant. We made amazing music together. We (almost) always agreed on how to present our collective work to the world. When we fought about the details, it was because we both cared. The band was our life. It was an amazing decade.

“We stopped working together in January 1988. We went on to solo careers, fronting our own bands, finding different ways to tell our individual stories. We stayed in contact over the next 29 years — sometimes peaceful, sometimes difficult, sometimes through go-betweens. For better or worse, that’s how it was, and occasionally that’s what it is when two people care deeply about everything they built together.

“The tragic news of Grant’s passing was not unexpected to me. My deepest condolences and thoughts to Grant’s family, friends, and fans around the world.

“Grant Hart was a gifted visual artist, a wonderful story teller, and a frighteningly talented musician. Everyone touched by his spirit will always remember.

“Godspeed, Grant. I miss you. Be with the angels.”

Hart embarked upon a post-Husker career than included both solo albums and under the name Nova Mob, and he also worked as a visual artist, as Mould notes. According to NPR, his final show was “July 1 at the Hook and Ladder Theater in Minneapolis [and] was actually a surprise tribute to him that featured Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, Babes In Toyland’s Lori Barbero and others: ‘I carried my guitar in, and it was like this sea of faces turning to me with great affection. There’s not too many big surprises that have been successfully thrown at me, but that was definitely one,’ Hart is quoted as saying.”

Below, revisit some choice video memories of Hart.