Category Archives: Music News

MP3: Download Mac DeMarco’s 5/8/17 Brooklyn Show

By Uncle Blurt

A few nights after the May 5 release of his new album This Old Dog, Mac DeMarco commandeered an undisclosed location in Brooklyn for a live webcast showcasing mostly his new material. It’s now circulating on the web and of course the Big O zine in MP3 form, including downloadable artwork.

MP3: Mac DeMarco Live in Brooklyn, New York; May 8, 2017.

And a good time was clearly had by all, especially the artist. Full tracklisting is below.

      Track 00
. Setting up 2:16
      Track 01
. Dreams from Yesterday 5:42
      Track 02
. This Old Dog 5:51
      Track 03
. A Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothes 3:48
      Track 04
. For the First Time 3:25
      Track 05
. Happy Birthday (for Andy) 2:26
      Track 06
. My Old Man 5:22
      Track 07
. One More Love Song 8:23
      Track 08
. On the Level 7:17
      Track 09
. Moonlight on the River 11:04

 

Watch Naomi Yang-directed Video from Heather Trost

Naomi Yang directs the accompanying Sixties throwback video.

By Blurt Staff

En route is Agistri, the first full length album from Heather Trost, otherwise one half of the duo A Hawk and a Hacksaw, who was joined in the sessions by Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeremy Barnes on drums and bass, Deerhoof’s John Dieterich on guitar, and Drake Hardin and Rosie Hutchinson of cult New Mexico band Mammal Eggs. We are advised that “the new album comprises a song cycle of freely formed pop songs touching upon Soul, Samba, and Pop of the 60’s and 70’s, with a subtle shading of psychedelia.  Ambient and melancholic sounds interweave with Hammond organs and 70’s Italian synthesizers.”

Below, watch the first video from the album, for the track “Agistri.” It was directed by Naomi Yang of Galaxie 500/Damon & Naomi fame.

Continued Fallout in PWR BTTM Sexual Abuse Allegations

Punk band’s frontman accused by multiple individuals of abuse and predatory behavior.

By Barbi Martinez

Recently, punk queer band PWR BTTM’s Ben Hopkins was accused of “sexual abuse, predatory behavior, and anti-Semitism” (read about it at Pitchfork), with Hopkins and the band’s Liv Bruce subsequently responding in a Facebook post in which they didn’t completely discount or deny the allegations, saying they “come as a surprise,” but going on to note that they have set up an email hotline for fans who want to discuss the matter privately.

Whether or not Hopkins did “initiate inappropriate sexual contact with people despite several ‘nos’ and without warning or consent,” now a new person has surface who, in an interview with Jezebel magazine, makes similar allegations, in particular stating that Hopkins “made sexually aggressive advances and started having sex with her without permission while also refusing to wear protection.” The individual also commented on Hopkins and Bruce’s online statements, saying, “The statement that they made, I know for a fact, is an actual lie because I know they did know. The statement they made is 100 percent false.”

Blowback has been significant, to say the least. As Pitchfork reports, a record release show at Rough Trade was cancelled, the band’s management dropped them, acts slated to open for the band on tour have pulled out, and “two touring members of PWR BTTM [are] distancing themselves from the band.”

The story continues to develop.

Let’s Watch Some Live Veldt Clips

North Carolina band continues to reach for the stars – and grabs ’em.

By Fred Mills

A few months ago we announced that legendary Tarheel shoegaze/dreampop auteurs The Veldt had signed to our sister business, Schoolkids Records, and were prepping a new EP for a June release, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation. Meanwhile, they also released the four-song “Sanctified” in early April as well as a limited edition 7″ single for “Sanctified” that arrived on Record Store Day. We’ll keep you updated on the band, which also has been touring steadily, including shows with Modern English and Brian Jonestown Massacre.

In the interim, then, if you’re a Veldt fan you will enjoy this. Below, watch a pair of live clips from March of this year in Chicago – the audience-shot video quality is just average, but the audio is outstanding. After that you can check out the official video for the son “Symmetry.”

 

Video Premiere: Calan’s “Kân”

Track taken from new album that drops this week.

 By Blurt Staff

Traditional Welsh folk music group Calan aren’t your everyday “traditional” outfit. Despite the ancient roots of Calan’s music, this brash, young group is composed of a new generation of ambassadors, striving to take their sound to new audiences, raising some eyebrows with their deliberate presentation, while also raising the international profile of traditional Welsh music. Get used to this: Accordion, Fiddle, Pipes, Harp, and the percussive sound of Clogs are the new Guitar, Bass, and Drums.

We’re very proud to unveil a video from the group, whose new single is Kân,” a patriotic song about the future of the Welsh language and culture. It’s taken from their new album, Solomon, due out this week (May 12, Sain Records). Check it out:

Explains the group, “In the song we sample the voice of the late poet Nigel Jenkins, father of our fiddle player, Angharad Jenkins, reading an extract of his poem, ‘The Creation.’ The chorus of this song is based on the style of traditional psalm chanting popular in west Wales at one time.”

Calan caused a bit of a stir recently, having been held in a detainment cell at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport alongside a death metal band from Estonia. They were subsequently seen onstage performing alongside Sting at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 50th birthday celebration of famed opera singer, Sir Bryn Terfel Jones. And they tour seemingly nonstop, having graduated from busking in the streets of Cardiff to introducing Welsh traditional music to curious music fans in the UK, Belgium, Italy, France, and on several tours of North America, playing festival shows on huge stages to tens-of-thousands, as well as at local folk club shows, unrestricted by sound systems, while standing on tables and jumping off chairs.

Keep your eyes peeled for tour dates in North America – this month they will be all over the UK. Official website: https://www.calan-band.com/

Calan (L-R): Angharad Jenkins, Sam Humphreys, Bethan Rhiannon, Patrick Rimes, Alice French. Photo credit: Richard P Walton. 

Track Premiere: Outrageous Cherry “I Believe in Sunshine”

Crucial new 7” single en route from the Burger braintrust…

By Blurt Staff

Rather than blather on about this publication’s editor’s long-standing admiration for Detroit sonic auteur Matthew Smith—we could wax ebulliently at length about his equally long-standing (like, since the early ‘90s) combo Outrageous Cherry, or his participation in alt-country mavericks the Volebeats, and certainly his myriad production and engineering exploits—allow us to simply introduce the new O.C. track “I Believe in Sunshine,” from the group’s new single that arrives via the estimable Burger label:

Some background follows below. The song at hand was originally done back in 1968 by a band called A Passing Fancy, and if that name fails to sufficiently register, don’t despair—Smith knows his deep cuts, so you can leave the driving to him. Was the psych-pop combo singing about a physical paramour, or perhaps one slightly more lysergic? Who knows! Who cares! You’ll be a believer.

More is en route, we suspect, with this sort of chemical inspiration.

The Backstory: Named after a brilliant red hair dye, Detroit’s Outrageous Cherry mixes garage rock, psychedelic and indie pop into a timeless yet distinctive sound. The band started as a recording project in 1992 but blossomed into a full-fledged group when singer/guitarist/producer Matthew Smith (who also performs in the country tinged Volebeats) began performing live backed by a full band in 1993. Outrageous Cherry’s wistful noise-pop debuted with a limited-edition 7″ of “Pale, Frail Lovely One” on the local Third Gear label. Later came 1994’s Outrageous Cherry and 1997’s Nothing’s Gonna Cheer You Up.  In 1999, the band released Out There in the Dark via Del-Fi’s new music imprint, DF2K. The group moved to Alan McGee’s Poptones label for 2001’s prog- and space rock-influenced The Book of Spectral Projections, which Rainbow Quartz reissued the following year., the band subsequently serving up two 2003 releases for the label, Supernatural Equinox and the Stay Right Here for a Little While EP.

What came next for the increasingly prolific combo? How about 2004’s Why Don’t We Talk About Something Else EP, 2005’s Our Love Will Change the World and 2006’s Stay Happy. In 2009, the band released their ninth album, Universal Malcontents, followed quickly the following year by Seemingly Solid Reality.

Somewhere in the middle of all this the BLURT braintrust caught O.C. at SXSW one year and all those years of record collecting were reaffirmed with one of the most brilliant sets we’d ever witnessed during the annual Austin music fest.

In 2014, Outrageous Cherry returned with Digital Age, a more lo-fi set of songs released by Burger Records. Which brings us up to the new single. Rumor has it we should get ready for a new full-length as well…

Jesus Christ Superstar Announces Plans to Jump the Shark

Classic rock opera sacrificed on the altar of television…

By Uncle Blurt

When I was but a wee Uncle, my Episcopal reverend (yeah, I know that’s a revelation about me, but shoot, read the Book of Revelations and it’s in there… I digress…) loaded up me and a bunch of my fellow teenage longhaired miscreants in a church van and took us to see the traveling stage production of the still-fairly-recent Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice 1970 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. At this late date I can’t recall who played the titular role, although it definitely wasn’t the original concept album vocalist, Ian Gillan, as he was too busy burning down opera houses in Europe with Deep Purple. But it was still an awesome experience.

Since then, I, and presumably many of you who clicked on this news item, have experienced myriad emotions as regards the scores of JCS productions. Where’s Ted Neely and Carl Anderson when you need them? Today’s announcement that the rock opera is now headed to the small screen – or technically, in 2018 – brought back a lot of memories, some awesome, some iffy, some just…

According to the Hollywood Reporter:

“[NBC] has ordered a live production of the Broadway musical Jesus Christ Superstar that will premiere on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who wrote the music and lyrics, respectively, for the 1971 rock opera, will executive produce with Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. While Zadan and Meron have exec produced every one of NBC’s live musical productions going back to The Sound of Music Live! in 2013, this marks a first for Webber, Rice and Platt. The latter most recently exec produced Fox’s Grease Live! in January 2016, which nabbed big ratings and won five Emmys, including one for Platt. (Platt also produced the smash movie musical La La Land.)

“Universal Television will produce with The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions and Storyline Entertainment.”

 

Track Premiere: Jim Jones & the Righteous Mind “Aldecide”

SAMSUNG CSC

New album from the veteran Brit rocker is set on “stun” and arrives this week.

By Blurt Staff

So you say you know Jim Jones, eh? Maybe through, ahem, some of the BLURT coverage over the years—like HERE and HERE and HERE —from Thee Hypnotics to Black Moses to The Jim Jones Review. Now comes Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, the latest manifestation of Jones’ “ever evolving sonic vision,” as we are advised, and not unwisely. The braintrust here is pretty chuffed to let you get a choice peek at brand new album Super Natural, due out this Friday, May 12, via Hound Gawd. Check out “Aldecide” – which, incidentally, is also out as a 10″ single on “ectoplasmic green vinyl” so you know you wanna get to huntin’…

Jones comments, “I wanted something raw, but exotic at the same time; spiritual, but blood and guts earthy too… Super Natural. It’s a tricky balance, but this band really has the chops to make it work.”

No shit. Jones has always delivered the goods, but here he has clearly hit a new and unique peak (listen, for example, to how he phrased that song title, or elsewhere, the sheer force of his howl), roping in elements of all his previous endeavors to forge a powerhouse sound that’s one part primal, one part tuneful, and several parts sheer bloody-minded purposeful. Incidentally, the album artwork is by renowned French illustrator and tattooist Jean-Luc Navette, who previously collaborated with the band on their Boil Yer Blood EP artwork and t-shirt designs.

In addition to Jones on guitar and vox, the Mind is Malcolm Troon (guitar; pedal steel and backing vocals) Matt Millership (keyboards and backing vocals); Gavin Jay (bass guitar, upright bass and backing vocals); Phil Martini (drums and backing vocals). The band has released three EPs from 2015 through 2016. See the link below, also, to check out some pretty choice videos.

Tour Dates:

10th May Petit Bain, Paris, France

13th May The Plug, Sheffield, UK

17th May Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK

18th May Fruit, Hull, UK

19th May The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

20th May The Lexington, London, UK

21st May Waterfront, Norwich, UK

25th May Cinetol, Amsterdam, Netherlands

26th May Sniester Festival, Den Haag, Netherlands

27th May Get Mad Festival, Madrid, Spain

21st July Le Sable Festival, Trouville, France

12th Aug Boomtown Festival, Winchester, UK

***

And you can check in with the Mind all over the place, such as:

righteousmind.co.uk

facebook.com/jjatrm

twitter.com/JJandtheRM

instagram.com/jjandtherm/

youtube.com/channel/UCDB2C6QPxuwUcmWZ7KPWFcQ

 

 

Video Premiere: Raging Fire “Free to Be”

New album from Nashville rockers out this week!

By Blurt Staff

So – what could be better than a Raging Fire retrospective release? How about a NEW Raging Fire release? A year and a half ago we wrote, in this space:

They were called Raging Fire, and they were a bright spot on the otherwise moribund Nashville rock scene in the ‘80s. As the saying goes, while likeminded Nashville insurgents Jason and the Scorchers merged the Sex Pistols with Hank Williams, Raging Fire merged the Clash with Tennessee Williams. Voted “one of America’s best unsigned bands” (along with the Pixies) in 1988 in the annual CMJ readers’ poll, they burned brightly, but by the end of the decade they were done. Now, though, the members have collaborated in order to release a 30th anniversary celebration, Everything Is Roses 1985-1989

That was then, track premiere-wise, but this is now, and NOW we are stoked to offer up a premiere from the revived band. Check out the video for “Free to Be”:

The song is from the new album These Teeth are Sharp, out May 12, and the video is by Robert Johnson (no, not that Robert Johnson).

Explains the band’s Mark Medley, “Interestingly my friend, original Raging Fire guitarist Michael Godsey wrote ‘Free to Be’ in early 2012 as a techno-pop song. He and RF vocalist Melora Zaner were living in Shanghai and they cut what sounded to me like an unfinished demo with Melora and singer Monica Chen on vocals. A few months later, in May 2012, Michael was taken by a heart attack. He was 47. Three years after that, Raging Fire released an anthology LP entitled Everything is Roses 1985 -1989 and played their first show in 25 years to a packed house at Nashville’s Exit/In.

“In the wake of that project we began making recordings for a brand new record. These Teeth are Sharp will be released May 12th and is dedicated to Michael Godsey. The LP features a new version of ‘Free to be’ expanding on its themes of self-responsibility and free will. In reference to the song’s Asian origins most of the third verse in Chinese by Melora. The band was knocked out when we realized ‘Free to Be’ represents a departure –a new twenty-first century sound for Raging FIre.

“We asked a dear friend to make a video of the song –photographer and original Jason and the Scorchers bassist Robert Johnson, also known as Jeff Johnson. Jeff was also the producer of Raging Fire’s first full length LP in 1986 and we’ve enjoyed a sense of homecoming working with him on this project. Using Chinese footage and stills from Melora’s friends in Shanghai, as well as imagery submitted by the band and himself, Jeff said he wanted to capture the spirit of Michael Godsey. We believe he did.”

Indeed he did. The resulting These Teeth are Sharp is a culmination, then—and a beginning. Keep your eyes peeled for tour dates this summer, too.

 

Watch New Michael Rank Video – “Be Alright”

Triple album – you read that right – en route for the early summer.

By Fred Mills

It’s not a particularly close-kept secret that a number of folks here at the BLURT brain trust are staunch fans of North Carolina’s Michael Rank; just put his name into the search box on our home page and you’ll no doubt get more than a few hits, including a review of his most recent album, 2016’s Red Hand. The erstwhile Snatches of Pink frontman is, not to put to fine a point on the matter, prolific.

But with a whopping TRIPLE disc release just about to drop in the coming months, Another Love, surely Rank is draining the proverbial well en route to a well-deserved vacation? Er, not quite, as he just emailed me and noted, “Man, I’m already 5 songs written and recorded for the next record, so no worries on that front!”

If he’s not worried, we’re not worried, so let’s dive right in with the first single off the new album, “Be Alright.”

It’s a classic/classy slice of blue-eyed soul, a bit of a departure from Rank’s frequent forays into twangy Americana. The video also features Brian Dennis (who produced the album with Rank) and Bobby Patterson, both formally of NC Triangle heroes DAG. As Rank explains, “The album plays like my ’70s love letter to Sly Stone, D’Angelo, Curtis Mayfield, Shuggie Otis and Prince.”

No argument there, brutha. We knew you had the ivories skills, but that’s one sweet falsetto, too. Everyone else – enjoy.

Photo credit: Missy Malouff