Category Archives: Music News

Videos: Thee Hypnotics Back In Action!

By Fred “Shakedown” Mills and Jonathan “Soul Trader” Levitt

As we noted not all that long ago, Britain’s erstwhile Detroit-torch-carryers, Thee Hypnotics, have gotten back together for a reunion tour and a career-spanning box set. The BLURT braintrust has been throbbing in anticipation ever since. And this weekend the hard rock mavens kicked out the proverbial jams in front of a gobsmacked Leicester audience, as the fan-generated video clips below amply demonstrate. (FYI, the top clip is the best-sounding one; the other two have some significant audio distortion.) Americans, you have been duly warned. Here’s the evening’s setlist:

Thee Hypnotics Leicester 2018 from Hansten Klork on Vimeo.

Unreleased Early Kurt Cobain Demos To FINALLY See Release (on RSD!)

Kurt wings

Better late than never: the late Nirvana frontman’s rumored childhood demos, previously authenticated but delayed by record company politics, will finally arrive in stores in time for Record Store Day 2018.


A couple of years ago, in a BLURT exclusive report titled “Pre-Nirvana Kurt Cobain Demos Unearthed,” we outlined how a 30-track collection of cassette tapes reportedly dating back to the Nirvana frontman’s childhood had been discovered and were being estimated as being worth “seven figures” or more. At the time of the report there was more than a little speculation that it was all a hoax or, at very least, wishful thinking on the you-gotta-believe segment of the Cobain/Nirvana fanbase (and trust us, that is a HUGE segment).

Subsequently, though, the tapes were authenticated and production shifted into high gear, with a target release date of April 19, 2014 – Record Store Day. It was to be a limited-to-1000-copies numbered set of cassettes, titled The KDC Tapes, released by Geffen/Universal and housed in a deluxe “cigar box” styled packaging and featuring Cobain-derived memorabilia that includes faux-syringes, cigarette packs and snippets of lyrics scribbled on napkins. The artwork was reportedly derived from the recently published photos of the Cobain suicide crime scene. Following the exclusive RSD title there were also going to be non-limited CD and vinyl editions released by the summer.

Kurt scene 1

Kurt scene 4

And then… nothing. Nada. April 19 came and went, and then the summer came and went as well, with no Cobain release, no Nirvana release, nothing. Not even a peep from the Nirvana camp or from their record label. Speculation among the fan community was rampant: were there copyright issues blocking the release, or did the label get cold feet and back off from what could be considered, by sensitive or politically correct types, distasteful, or was there even second guessing along the lines of “what Kurt would’ve wanted” (e.g., were he still alive, would he have wanted his earliest, naive rumblings as a musician made public)? Or PERHAPS COURTNEY LOVE WAS BLOCKING THE RELEASE?!? After all, that batshit gal could be capable of ANYTHING – she proved it when she had El Duce of the Mentors offed

Not to worry, long suffering Cobainirvana acolytes: none of the above turns out to be the case; it was simply a situation where the people behind the release wanted to “get things right.” BLURT has learned from our record industry sources that issues arose primarily surrounding the aforementioned packaging and artwork, with snags in the production including not only having to negotiate with the authorities for the original crime scene photos but also getting the rights from the cigarette manufacturer and the medical supply house (which made the specific type of syringes Cobain preferred, a kind of “reverse hydraulic” feature that facilitated easy injection when not using a tie-off around the arm) to create reproductions of the original items. Those hurdles finally overcome, Geffen has announced that the limited edition cassette box set, still bearing the name The KDC Tapes but now with a more fan-friendly production run of 3000 copies, will be available on this year’s Record Store Day, which falls on Saturday, April 21.

Expect a bit more than the usual frenzy at your local indie record store this year, kids.

From our original report, let’s recap:

A trove of dusty Phillips cassettes purchased by a self-styled “junker” at an Aberdeen, Wash., garage sale have turned out to be early demo recordings by the late Kurt Cobain. It marks the first time since the 2004 Nirvana box set With the Lights Out that heretofore unheard Cobain material has surfaced, and Nirvana experts are hailing the 30-plus tracks – some of them full songs, others just “sketches” – as likely representing the earliest known Cobain material in existence.

The individual who bought the box of tapes initially got curious when he spotted the initials “KDC” (as in, “Kurt Donald Cobain”) scrawled in black magic marker on the side of each cassette. Upon listening to them he contacted a music industry lawyer, who in turn contacted representatives of Cobain’s estate and Cobain’s record label; the tapes were subsequently verified by noted music producers Jack Endino and Butch Vig (who both worked with Nirvana) as being legitimate. The finder is reportedly now in negotiations to sell the tapes to the estate and label.

One industry observer estimates the potential value of the tapes as being “in the seven-figure range.”

Cobain, who was born in 1967 and attended high school in Aberdeen while living there with his mother, apparently recorded them on a vintage 3M Wollensak mono tape deck when he was in elementary school – presumably about the age of 8 or 9, as several of the song titles focus on people and events circa 1974-75: “Nixon Must Die (Or Resign)”; “I Wanna Be Just Like a Weatherman”; “Carlos the Jackal”; “Shazam!”; and the collection’s lone cover, a ukulele version of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker.”

According to a source who has heard the material, the tunes are “mostly singalongs” performed on acoustic guitar or the aforementioned ukulele, along with some rudimentary percussion performed by an unknown additional musician, “There’s nothing there that would really give a blindfold test listener the sense that Cobain would go on to form one of the biggest bands on the planet, although it is worth noting that even at that age you could hear the initial stirrings of his trademark rasp – kinda like any kid sounds after he’s been punched in the throat a couple of times, actually.

“With that said, however, a few recurring lyrical motifs, somewhat precocious on one level and disturbing on another, do provide ad hoc foreshadowing. At least three songs contain the word ‘vagina,’ each part of some childlike rhyming scheme, one of them being ‘your mama’; and there’s an unusual fixation on firearms too, such as in ‘…Weatherman’ where he sings in a kind of taunting tone of voice, ‘You’ll wish you were dead/ When I point my gun at your head.’ That’s followed by the popping sound of a kid’s cap gun.”

Genuine historical artifact, or merely a curio for hard-core Cobain and Nirvana fans? With interest in both the artist and the band never having waned since his death in 1994, it’s likely that “The KDC Tapes,” as they’re being referred to in industry circles, will eventually anchor several archival releases: a CD of cherry-picked highlights, a collection of DJ remixes, and the inevitable big-ticket boxed set – possibly even a DVD documentary outlining the finding-of, the cleaning-up-of and the marketing-of the tapes. [Editor’s note: the latter info was obviously premature. See the second paragraph above for the current status of the release.]

Also likely: the unknown percussionist will turn up wanting his cut of the profits. Already, the Cobain estate has reportedly been contacted by several individuals claiming – rather implausibly, and without credible documentation – to be the percussionist. As Cobain’s mother, Wendy, told a Seattle newspaper reporter, “Kurt really was a surly, unpleasant child to be around, and while he’s been characterized as being the type of musician who didn’t like to play with just anyone, it was actually the other way around – nobody wanted to play with him.


As noted above, both Vig and Endino had initially verified the tapes’ existence and likely provenance, but as time went by and the tapes failed to be released, speculation was rampant that it had all been a hoax, and Vig and Endino’s subsequent silence on the matter seemed to justify that conclusion. In early 2014, however, at a press conference at the Universal Music Group’s offices in Los Angeles, the two producers appeared jointly to announce the impending release, implicitly giving their blessings. “We are pleased and proud to be part of this project,” the pair offered, in a statement. “Kurt impacted our lives in so many ways, this is just our way of ‘giving back’ to the Cobain community.”

In the 2014 press release originally circulated by Universal, it was noted that both the surviving members of Nirvana as well as Cobain’s widow Courtney Love had given their blessings to the project but were not directly involved with the new box set. More recently, however, it appears that in the wake of the protracted delay, Nirvana drummer (and Foo Fighters frontman) Dave Grohl has gotten involved with some last minute remastering of the tapes, utilizing the original mixing board from Sound City Studios (the same facility that he feted in his 2012 documentary about the legendary studios), which he had obtained a few years back. “Kurt would’ve dug that,” Grohl tweeted. “[He] loved [going into] Sound City, sometimes just to fuck around with [all the] vintage gear.”

@FooFightersDave Kurt would’ve dug that, total studio rat, loved Sound City, sometimes just to fuck around with vintage gear

Watch BLURT for a review of the Cobain box shortly after Record Store Day, per our usual roundup of choice titles the staff and contributors score. Hopefully yours truly will have a workable cassette deck in time for RSD…

Additional reporting can be viewed here. Check out a teaser video trailer for the Cobain box right here.

Top Photo Credit: A.P. Rilfuul, RETNA Images Inc.


An Open Letter to Josh Homme

Requesting the rocker (pictured above, in the rear) to finally step up and do the right thing regarding Eagles of Death Metal bandmate Jesse Hughes’ cruelty this week towards the Parkland massacre survivors.

By Fred Mills

Dear Josh Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, and in particular Eagles of Death Metal:

Your silence thus far (as of this writing, at 7:25PM, 3/28/18) regarding your Eagles of Death Metal bandmate Jesse Hughes’ recent, reprehensible stroke of cruelty inflicted upon the survivors of the Parkland massacre – literally, younger, smaller, weaker humans than Hughes – has been deafening. As a fan and supporter of yours going way back to dusty desert rock days (I was living in Arizona and circulating around the Southwest during the same time you were getting your own career off the ground in the region), I can understand the urge to steer clear of socially- and politically-charged areas, as it’s the music that is both our focus.

But sometimes you have to step up (I started to say “man up,” but I’ve decided that’s no longer an appropriate epithet; Parkland survivor Emma González is braver and has a bigger heart than I’ll ever be able to lay claim to) and do the right thing. Loyalty to a band member is understandable, but common human decency and a willingness to call out affronts to that decency has to trump mere “loyalty.” (It was heartening to see your friend Mark Lanegan stepping up to condemn Hughes earlier today. Perhaps he’ll inspire you to do likewise? I noticed that both Piers Morgan and Danko Jones weighed in recently as well. And my journalistic peers at Britain’s NME had a few choice words about Jesse.)

With that noted, a friend of mine and I are offering this open letter to you in the spirit of combating the aforementioned cruelty. We propose that you publicly issue the statement, below, regarding Hughes’ recent actions, or at very least, a statement containing similar sentiments. I think it speaks for itself.

I hope your fellow band members in the Eagles of Death Metal, in Queens of the Stone Age, and in Them Crooked Vultures, along with your management, booking, and promotional teams (Silva Artist Management, the Richard De La Font Agency, Inc., Nasty Little Man, WME Entertainment, The MGMT Company, etc…. probably several I’ve missed here), will applaud your response as regards Hughes. Put in less emotional and more prosaic, commercial terms: the longer you or any of your business partners are associated with Hughes, the more it will hurt everyone’s brand. And that’s something that, judging by the thousands of comments I’ve read on social media this week, isn’t to be taken lightly. If you’re uncertain about that, or think I’m bluffing/exaggerating, I suggest you go check out the thousand-plus comments that have been logged at the most recent posting at the Eagles of Death Metal Facebook page (the one dated March 24, from your recent concert in Tempe, Arizona). That’s more than a thousand comments at one single FB post. Check out some of the comments at your QOTSA page while you’re online, as well.

Below is a draft statement for you to issue through the appropriate channels. I sincerely hope you will consider issuing such a statement.

All regards,

Fred Mills/ human/ editor, Blurt Magazine


From Josh Homme, Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age, & Those Crooked Vultures:

As you know, I have defended my former bandmate in the past and even called him my friend. But his statements this week involving the Parkland kids and their supporters has crossed a line and our friendship will not continue nor will our musical collaboration.

As a human, I am torn and still will support any effort to see that Jesse gets the mental and physical care he needs to re-enter society. With that noted, I will only do so by having no direct contact with him.

As a show of good faith, I will donate 10% of all my future shares in any of my upcoming musical projects to fight the sale of assault rifles, to promote the imposition of gun sale background checks, and to declare the National Rifle Association an illegal terrorist organization.

And I would like to personally extend an apology to the Parkland survivors for the emotional pain they have experienced at the hands of Jesse Hughes.

Thank you,

Josh Homme

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

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

Midnight – Giant Red Panda

11:15pm – Lazaris Pit

10:30pm – Tide Eyes

9:45pm – Laser Witch Queens

9pm – Andie L

DJ Pangean


The Pour House, 6/9

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

Curtains 1:15 a.m.


Midnight – The Veldt

11pm – Dead Leaf Echo

10pm – Heaven

9pm – Lacy Jags

8pm – Eyeball

7pm – Pretty Odd

6pm – Floating Children

5pm – Morning Bells

4pm – Dex Romweber

3 pm – The Quarter Roys

2 pm – Double Quarter Panda




Two-day passes

Special Pre-Party at Kings

Night One – Wicked Witch

Night Two – The Pour House




Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes Can Go Fuck Himself

Perhaps it’s also time for Josh Homme (above, in the rear) to walk away from the douchebag.

By Fred Mills

You’ve already heard the news: Yesterday Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal decided for some reason to go off on the March For Our Lives kids via five scathing, sarcastic, and overtly cruel Instagram posts. (His Instagram handle is @fatherbadass.) No explanation was given, and unlike another incident that occurred over the weekend (in which Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike also appeared to take the marchers to task via a video that NRA TV put into the spin cycle, necessitating a clarification and an apology from Mike), it doesn’t appear very likely that anyone will be particularly “understanding” of Hughes if and when he does offer an explanation.

Put another way: Go fuck yourself, Jesse Hughes. I don’t care if you were drunk, high, off your depression meds, or pulling some kind of perverse publicity stunt or performance art piece. You’re an asshole, and I take back any sympathetic or empathetic comments I might have made about you and your band in 2015 following the Bataclan tragedy in Paris.

Do I have a problem with someone who deliberately picks on and acts cruelly towards someone who’s smaller, younger, and weaker? Particularly without prior provocation? You’re goddamn right, I do.

Over at The Guardian there’s a pretty good breakdown of the social media posts and a timeline of Hughes’ actions. To summarize, though: Hughes posted images along with commentary, including a “joke” equating turning in guns to stop violence to chopping off penises to stop rape; an already-discredited hoax-Photoshopped image of Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez ripping up a copy of the US Constitution; a taunt that “our guns aren’t going anywhere”; a pro-Second Amendment patch; and a ceramic eagle. Three of the offending posts have already been deleted, but not before plenty of Instagrammers grabbed screenshots. The Guardian was able to preserve the images and text for posterity as well.

Among Hughes’ choicest comments was one in which he chastised the Parkland kids for  “exploiting the death of 16 of our fellow students for a few Facebook likes and some media attention”, along with “Long Live Rock’n’Roll….. and may everyone of these disgusting vile abusers of the dead live as long as possible so they can have the maximum amount of time to endure their shame….and be Cursed….”

Hughes also, bizarrely, played the victim card — for himself, referring to the Bataclan massacre: “As the survivor of a mass shooting I can tell you from first-hand experience that all of you protesting and taking days off from school insult the memory of those who were killed and abuse and insult me and every other lover of liberty by your every action.”

It takes a major douchebag to try to pull off a cruel crack like that. But then, Hughes is no stranger to douchery, having mocked France’s stringent gun control regulations after the Bataclan tragedy shortly after it happened, and then a few months later claimed that the Bataclan security team was complicit.

Hughes eventually apologized for the latter comments. But in light of his latest rant, that apology now seems pretty insincere, the sound of someone who was told by management he needed to do some damage control, and fast. I don’t think he’ll be able to apologize his way out of this one.

Appropriately enough, at the most recent post to the Eagles of Death Metal Facebook page, dated March 24 about the band’s recent show in Tempe, Arizona, the comments section, as of this writing, had hit 257 individual comments and 38 shares, nearly all of them negative. “Kiss your careers goodbye, schmucks” is one of the top comments, and I’ll just close here by saying, “Amen.”

After Josh Homme comes out of his daze and realizes it’s time to walk away from this clown, maybe Hughes can form a band with Ted Nugent and Kid Rock. They could call themselves The Douches of Death Metal, or Eagles of Douche Metal, or even, I dunno, The Amboy Douches…

Here’s some contact info that perhaps we can all put to good use:

Official site:
Twitter: @EODMofficial | @jesseEODM
Instagram: @EODMofficial | @fatherbadass
General Manager
Marc Pollack & Brian Tomasini | The MGMT Company:
Booking agent
U.S.: WME/Robby Fraser: | INTERNATIONAL: X-Ray Touring/Steve Strange:

Killer Mike Apologizes for NRA Flap; El-P Issues Statements

By Barbi Martinez

We’re huge fans of Run the Jewels here at Blurt, so it was troubling, to say the least, when the NRA posted an interview video Saturday – coinciding with the March For Our Lives rally in Washington and at smaller rallies across the US – that made it appear as if Mike was taking the marchers to task. You can watch the clip below.

As it turns out, though, the NRA was putting their own spin job on the interview with Mike, subtly removing the specific context within which he was framing his remarks – he was talking about gunowners and gunowners’ rights in the African-American community and some of the realities of living in that community. Inevitably, a significant backlash ensued, so on Sunday he issued a clarification and an apology.

Explained Mike in a pair of  social media videos, “I did an interview about black gun ownership in this era. That interview was used a week later by NRA TV to disparage a very noble campaign which I actually support.” And to the marchers, he noted, “I wanna say first, I’m sorry guys. I’m sorry that an interview I did about a minority — black people in this country — and gun rights was used as a weapon against you guys. That was unfair to you and it was wrong… “Keep organizing. Lead the way. I do support the march, and I support black people owning guns. It’s possible to do both.”

Not long afterwards, his partner in Run The Jewels, El-P, also issued a statement via Twitter, stating that while the pair often have differences (“he stumbles and he makes bad decisions sometimes,” he said, of Mike), he “can not and will not ever turn my back on this man. He wouldn’t turn his on me.” El-P then expressed intense praise for the March For Our Lives marchers and the Parkland survivors, saying he was “incredibly inspired and blown away by the bravery and emotion of an entire generation of young people standing up and trying to change the world.” You can read the twofold statement at the above link. (More coverage here.)

Arcade Fire Takes Album of the Year at Junos, Performs Live

By Barbi Martinez

Arcade Fire was up for four Everything Now-related Juno awards this year: Album of the Year, Alternative Album of the Year, Group of the Year, and Single of the Year (for “Everything Now”). They took home the Album of the Year trophy and also performed at the ceremony. Below, watch a clip of that performance.

Some of the others also getting awards: Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, Shawn Mendes (Fan Choice and Single of the Year), late Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie (Artist of the Year),  and Jessie Reyez (Breakthrough Artist).

Belle & Sebastian for Summer North American Tour

By Barbi Martinez

This is no BS – Belle & Sebastian arrive in America on June 5 for a monthlong North Amerian tour that will include 17 shows in the US, Canada, and Mexico, ultimately finishing off in Portland, OR, on June 30. It follows a May tour of Australia plus the Primavera Sound Festival in Spain and is in support of the new How To Solve Our Human Problems set of 3 EPs. Below, check out the tour itinerary as well as brand new video for Problems track “Poor Boy.”

June 5 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
June 6 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
June 8 – Queens, NY @ Forest Hills Stadium
June 9 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
June 10 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
June 11 – New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre
June 14 – Mexico City, Mexico @ Venue TBA
June 16 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater
June 17 – Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory
June 19 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater
June 20 – Sundance, UT @ Sundance Amphitheater
June 22 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
June 23 – Pasadena, CA @ Arroyo Seco Weekend
June 25 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
June 28 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
June 29 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
June 30 – Portland, OR @ Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre



Watch Trippy Trailer for New Oneohtrix Point Never Show

By Barbi Martinez

Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, is plotting a unique show for the Red Bull Music Festival in NYC on May 22 and 24. He calls it MYRIAD and describes it as “a medium-spanning installation and four-part epochal song cycle.” Whatever that means. Below you can watch a trailer for the live show, which will feature a live band, special guests, and more. No word yet whether it will feature all-new music or include earlier material, such as Garden of Delete (his 2015 album for Warp) or his soundtrack for the film Good Time.

Full details are here.

Shaky Knees Fest 2018 Daily & Late Show Lineups

Jack White, The National, and THE DISTILLERS, oh my!

By Jeff Clegg

Also, in case you missed it, Atlanta’s sixth annual Shaky Knees Music Festival takes place May 4-6 with headliners Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, and The National. Other notable acts of this year’s lineup include David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Courtney Barnett, Cake, The War on Drugs, Manchester Orchestra, and the first The Distillers performance in 12 years, among many others. Due to Atlanta’s plan to renovate and expand Centennial Olympic Park, this year’s festival will move back to Atlanta’s Central Park, where Shaky Knees called home in 2015. Information on hotels close to the event can be found on the Shaky Knees website.

Check out the full 2018 lineup below and be sure to grab your tickets! And the late-night shows for Shaky Knees 2018 have just been announced as well, which notably includes sets by artists not on the main festival bill such as The Whigs and The Melvins, as well as additional sets by The War on Drugs, Circa Survive, The Distillers, Fleet Foxes, and Japandroids. Tickets for the festival can be purchased here and tickets for the late-night shows can be purchased here.

Check out the full list and schedule below: