Subject header fake news alert…. Above, meet the Fab Five.
By Fred Mills
Now that we’ve got your attention, please watch the new Feelies video. It’s for the most excellent song “Gone Gone Gone” from the even more most excellent album “In Between,” to which our reviewer recently awarded a 4-out-of-5-possible-stars review.
Indeed, on the album, the NJ quintet seems wonderfully relaxed, unconcerned with clock-watching, and this makes the gradual upshift over the course of it—from tuneful folk-rock tropes into the noisy fuzzed-out garage motifs heard in “Been Replaced” and “Gone Gone Gone”—feel all the more natural and compelling. I mean, no one’s going to confuse the scholarly—nerdy, even—Feelies for a wooly group of jam-band marauders. But when they feel like putting their feet to the pedal, there’s no stopping ‘em. This track’s a perfect example – and this low key video is a beautifully perverse way of underscoring exactly that.
It’s no secret we’re big Chuck Prophet fans around the old BLURT saloon here – his new album Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins is one of his best recordings ever and yer ol’ Uncle has been on nonstop Spotify shuffle with it in the car since it was released last month. (Go HERE to read a review of his 2014 album Nightsurfer.) Prophet has hit the road behind it as well, and a couple of weeks ago he was in Vienna, where he positively smoked.
The good folks at the Big O zine have posted the set online as a free download, including downloadable artwork.
You can check out the full setlist, below. Note that there’s a hefty sampling of Prophet fan faves (say that phrase real fast 5 times) alongside most of the new album – and it’s an outstanding, audience-sourced recording as well.
. Spoken intro/Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins * 4:38
. Ramona Say Yes 3:47
. Lonely Desolation 4:03
. banter/song intro 1:23
. Bad Year For Rock ‘n’ Roll * 3:47
. Temple Beautiful 4:33
. Alex Nieto * 4:58
. banter/song intro 1:27
. Barely Exist 6:10
. Jesus Was A Social Drinker * 5:06
. You Did (Bomp Shooby Dooby Bomp) 9:56
. In The Mausoleum * 5:48
. Ford Econoline 4:15
. banter/song intro 3:47
. Coming Out In Code * 2:33
. We Got Up And Played * 5:22
. Iodine 4:04
. Summertime Thing 9:15
. band intros/Countrified Inner City Technological Man 4:40
. Wish Me Luck 6:58
. Willie Mays Is Up At Bat 9:25
. Let Her Dance/Mr Pharmacist/band intros 7:00
Not averse to giving music away for free, but isn’t eager to let Spotify rake in the dough. Above photo by John Boydston.
By Blurt Staff
Ty Segall is in the news again, this time coming out against digital streaming – for the record, BLURT is both pro-streaming (that’s often how we get tipped off to new music, and numerous record labels manage to slash their marketing and promotion budgets by only providing digital streaming promos) and pro-physical (our sister business, Schoolkids Records, is a brick-and-mortar record store selling CDs and LPs, so we have a vested interest in seeing physical releases for music). Recall just a few years ago when it was a big deal that his new album was streaming online. But as Stereogum points out, Segall is a Drag City artist, and Drag City is devoutly anti-streaming.
Segall said in an interview with Esquire, “With Spotify and all those streaming services you don’t get paid anything. You have to be like Madonna or something to actually make a real royalty from that. You make better royalties off YouTube than Spotify. Apple Music is the same. The truth of the matter is I don’t have problem with any of those things if they paid better, I would do them. But they don’t, they totally rip off artists. So I don’t want to be a part of it. But YouTube and all that stuff, free music — totally cool, go for it. I’d rather have the music [be] free than get ripped off by Spotify, personally. It’s just funny to me I’ve heard people say, ‘I don’t have the money to buy your album, man. Why isn’t it on Spotify?’ And I want to just be like, ‘Here’s the album for free, dude. I don’t know.’”
Still a badass: Nashville-based songwriter’s label also reissues her erstwhile garage-punk combo’s classic 2006 debut on vinyl.
By Blurt Staff
Although she’s been laying low, musically speaking, for a few years, having gotten married and also concentrating on her Nashville store Fond Object Records (records, natch, plus vintage clothing and furnishings, boutique items, etc.), Late of distaff garage firebrands The Ettes, Coco Hames is now set to make her solo debut bow.
March 31 will bring Coco Hames (Fond Object), a foray into classic country and Americana cut in Nashville at the Bomb Shelter with co-producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes) and featuring Little Jack Lawrence from the Greenhornes and Raconteurs on bass, Julian Dorio of the Whigs on drums, The Weight’s guitarist Adam Meisterhaus, and Reigning Sound keyboardsman Dave Amels. (Sharp eyes who like to connect the dots will note the Reigning Sound connection: in 2010, Hames teamed up with RS mainman Greg Cartwright as the Parting Gifts, whose Strychnine Dandelionis reviewed elsewhere on the BLURT site.)
Below, you can check out a couple of Hames tracks on YouTube that have surfaced in advance of the album. She’s also slated to perform during SXSW in Austin this week on March 16, 12AM at Tap Room At the Market, for which she notes about the new album, “It was this massive leap of faith for me. After being in a band for so long, this time I was on my own—no gang to hide behind or fall back on.”
So don’t miss her—she’s the real deal.
Meanwhile, Ettes fans recently got a surprise gift, also courtesy Fond Object: a vinyl reissue of the trio’s timeless 2006 CD debut, Shake The Dust. Originally recorded by Hames, Jem Cohen, and Poni Silver with Liam Watson in London at Toe Rag Studios and released on the late, great Sympathy For the Record Industry label, it’s now out on super-limited colored vinyl (glom that gorgeous wax, below, punters) as well as black vinyl. It also comes with a download card that will yield a pair of previously unreleased tracks. Grab it while copies last.
Photo Credit: Rachel Briggs/via SXSW.com
Links to sundry Ettes content elsewhere at BLURT are below—note that in our early days, Hames was also a regular blogger for BLURT (“Look At Life”), although, sadly, after our website crashed in 2012 we lost a ton of content, including hers.
As the record label puts it, “First new album from Australia’s favorite misanthropic noise-makers in over 20 (!!!) years.”
By Michael Toland & Fred Mills
When Australia’s great Feedtime reunited in 2012 for a U.S. tour in celebration of The Aberrant Years, Sub Pop’s compilation of the trio’s first four albums from the ‘80s, we Americans thought that was the best it was gonna get. Little did we know that the Sydney avant-noise rockers were hatching plans for new music. Following 2015’s out-of-nowhere new single “Flatiron” b/w “Stick Up Jack,” Gas is the first Feedtime record since 1996’s Billy, and the first one to feature the original lineup since 1989’s Suction (a seminal record for anyone interested in Australia’s noir rock underground, or in great 80s indie records in general). It’s out on vinyl and CD on April 7 via everyone’s scuzz rock-loving pals In the Red Records – info here. (Make sure you look close – the limited edition green vinyl version is sure to sell out on preorder long before the record actually hits stores.) You can find more info on the band’s glory years here.
No single has been announced, but surely “Stick Up Jack” is on it, so here’s the video for that song as a taster. It’s a typical Feedtime track – fuzzed-out slide guitar, repetitive rhythms, pissed-off vocals, a general “fuck off” attitude. In other words, totally great.
BLURT will have a full review of the album around the time of its release. Can one of our legendary tag-team reviews from our resident Oz-rock braintrust be in the making? Meanwhile, though, if you want to backtrack and check out some of our previous coverage, you could do far worse than read “Return of the Prodigal Sons,” a feature/interview published in 2015 and authored by Ye Olde Editor. Discussed are a capsule history of the band, the origins of The Aberrant Years along with the This Is Friday outtakes compilation that the S.S. Records released concurrently with the Sub Pop box, and of course the reunion tour, which subsequently yielded a 2015 Australian tour with the Oblivians. (Fun fact: Editor Mills ran into Greg Cartwright of the Oblivians/Reigning Sound not long ago, and he was proudly sporting a teeshirt with a bright green frog on it—yes, the feedtime frog.)
Celebrating the unveiling of an impressive 18-band roster of Tarheel bands.
By Blurt Staff
Recently a new independent booking outlet, To Be Heard Booking, launched in the North Carolina Triangle area (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) to help N.C. bands hit the road. They’ve already amassed an impressive, diverse, 18-band roster—viewable here—that includes The Veldt and Happy Abandon, the first two artists to sign with our sister business, the Schoolkids Records label (formerly Second Motion). (Below is Happy Abandon.)
To celebrate, To Be Heard is hosting a big launch party this coming weekend featuring 10 of those 18 groups—two parties, in fact. Friday night will be a The Cave in Chapel Hill, then the following evening the bash will be at Raleigh venue Slims. Both shows start at 8:30 and are $5. Details are below, and you can also get the low-down here at the booking agency’s website.
Friday March 17th – Chapel Hill, NC – The Cave
Body Games, Davidians, Al Riggs + The Big Sad, Majestic Vistas, and Ravary
Saturday March 18th – Raleigh, NC – Slims
Naked Gods, WIld Fur, SE Ward, Peter Vance of Happy Abandon (solo), Fluorescence
Classic country duet singing and kickass guitars. Catch ‘em this week at SXSW.
By Blurt Staff
Get set for the debut of Susanna Van Tassel and Dave Gonzalez, whose album Think We’re Gonna Be Alright will be dropping soon. Gonzalez, of course, hails from the Paladins and the Hacienda Brothers, beloved outfits among the roots, blues and Americana camps (the Haciendas took Group of the Year at the ’07 Americana Awards, in fact). He’s joined by Van Tassel, described as “a real honky-tonk sweetheart of the Austin country scene back at the start of the new millennium.” She released a couple of albums then took time off to be with the family and finish up her college degree.
Together the two aim at “reviving the great tradition of country duet singing combined with the blazing sound of baritone and steel guitars.” Meanwhile, they’ll be all over Austin this week during SXSW, so check out the details below if you do plan to be in Texas.
Mar 14 Broken Spoke/ 3201 S Lamar Blvd 6-8pm
Mar 16 Maria’s Taco Xpress/2529 S Lamar Blvd 7pm (25 min)
Mar 18 Continental Club/1315 S Congress Ave 2pm (45 min)
Mar 18 Antone’s Records/2928 Guadalupe St #101 6pm (30 min)
Mar 19 Sam’s Town Point/2115 Allred Dr 2pm (45 min)
Last week we published a review of rocker Jonathan Mudd’s excellent new album Evidence, noting “Power pop still reigns supreme… The album’s also a study in precision, sequencing-wise, Mudd instinctively knowing when to downshift and exploit the record’s dynamics for maximum tension and catharsis. Ultimately, every song on Evidence is a keeper.”
Here’s some additional video evidence as well, as he’s posted a clip for the album track “The Wedge” that you’ll dig. Maybe we should now describe the song as – noir rock? Just maybe… Visit him online: https://www.muddmusic.com/
Info: Mudd on guitars and vocals, Ricky Wise on drums, Patrick Thornton on bass, Daniel Clarke on keyboards, and Mark Kenneth Williams on cowbell (!). Song produced by Jonathan Mudd with Mark Kenneth Williams. Video by Madeleine McCarty Mudd.
Tune culled from the songwriter’s 1985 mini-album classic.
By Blurt Staff
The name Paul Collins won’t catch anyone who frequents the BLURT site on an even semi-occasional basis. The rocker and power pop avatar, with his band Paul Collins’ Beat, is releasing the Long Time Gone / To Beat Or Not To Beat two-fer on April 28 via Lolipop Records (distributed by Cobraside Distribution), and this time it will be on vinyl, cassette, and digital in addition to CD (Wounded Bird did a CD version of the two-record roundup back in 2004—the mini-albums originally came out on 12” vinyl in 1983 and 1985, respectively—but that label’s version suffered from shoddy mastering and horrible sound). By way of preview, we’ve got the track “All Over the World” to share with our readers. Check it out:
Speaking about the To Beat Or Not To Beat track, Collins tells us, “I remember getting an $800 royalty check for ‘All Over The World’ when I was living in San Francisco so I went out and bought a used green Datsun B210! I would always hum ‘All Over The World’ as I drove up and down all those hills in SF!”
Go HERE to read our review of his 2014 album Feel the Noise. Collins will be on tour throughout the spring, including this weekend in Philly. You can find him on the web, natch:
Long-overdue second full-length slated for May 5 release on… the revived Twin/Tone label, which is “forced back into existence.” Boy howdy!
By Fred “Blurt Archival Geek” Mills
Once upon a time there was a ground zero punk combo called the Suicide Commandos: Straight outta Minneapolis, the trio foreshadowed that ‘burg’s subsequent explosion as one of the key Amerindie scenes—think Husker Du, Soul Asylum, Replacements, et al. They only notched a pair of 45s and a full-length, 1978’s Make A Record (issued on Pere Ubu’s Mercury-distributed Blank Records label), earning critical kudos across the globe and going on to become a key artifact of punk, but, as with many similar indie avatars of the era, ultimately bit the dust.
Yours truly was honored to have had the proverbial critical front row seat at the time, though, as the punk fanzine I contributed to (and eventually published), Biohazard Informae, covered the band during its initial run. Wait… did I just write “initial run”?!?
Indeed. The news recently arrived that, against all odds, the Suicide Commandos are on the verge of gearing back up. The members, of course, went on to other pursuits—fans with long memories will fondly recall bassist Steve Almaas and his post-SC proto-Americana combo Beat Rodeo—and it’s been aeons since the name “Suicide Commandos” was uttered aside from discussions about the early Twin Cities scene and the stray one-off reunion gig. But here’s the news:
“[The Suicide Commandos are] readying their first new studio album since the 1978 Blank/Mercury debut, Make A Record. Time Bomb has many of the hallmarks of the band’s original oeuvre, their fast, punky, brainy, fun and often funny rock n’ roll sound – The Ramones meet Eddie Cochran meets ZZ Top – but adds a catchy, pop-ish slant and a modern production flare that brings a freshness to the entire proceedings. The first vinyl pressing will be a limited, numbered edition of 1,000 copies. (It will also be issued digitally.)
“Time Bomb was produced by the Commandos, primarily recorded in their hometown at Master Mix Studios by Kevin Bowe (Jonny Lang, Paul Westerberg, Dan Wilson) and mixed by Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Let’s Active, The dBs) at Fidelitorium Recordings in North Carolina. Though there had been reunion shows over the years, the band hadn’t felt compelled to record again. Why Now? you may ask.
“Guitarist Chris Osgood tells us, ‘After Tommy Erdelyi died, Steve pointed out that The Ramones were all gone and we were all still here, and that we should make a record.’ The group’s New York City-based bass player, Steve Almaas, adds ‘The time was right. I had a couple of songs I thought would sound good with Chris and Dave. Once they started coming up with material, it inspired me to write a few more. Also, in this modern age, it’s much easier to work long distance. That really helped make this possible.’
So far no plans for touring have been announced, but let’s just get to the May 5 release date first. (Local Minneapolis events include a listening party at the Clown Lounge/Turf Club on May 5th and an in-store at Treehouse Records on the 6th.) Oh, and if you noted the subhead above, you probably felt your pulse quicken: the equally legendary Twin/Tone Records label—yeah, that label, the one that gave the world the ‘mats—is also returning from the grave to do the deed. It’s the first record since the Suburbs’ 1994 album Viva! Suburbs! Welcome back, Peter Jesperson and Paul Stark. We’ve missed ya.