Category Archives: Music News

Incoming: Happy Abandon Full-length; Listen to “Severed Seams”

Album due on the Schoolkids label in late August.

By Fred Mills

We previously announced that Chapel Hill’s Happy Abandon is among the first acts on the recently-established Schoolkids Records label – formerly Second Motion; home to Tommy Keene, The Veldt, and Bettie Serveert; and sister business to both BLURT and the three Schoolkids Records record stores – and will have their new full-length Facepaint in stores on Aug. 25 on vinyl, CD, and digital. (That’s the cover art, above.) The gentlemen just wrapped up a European tour that by all accounts went swimmingly well, and they’ll jump right back into the pool starting next week in NC and GA, followed by a trek out West in the fall – tour dates can be viewed HERE.

If you caught their single “If I Stare” last year, you already have a sense of the group’s ornate, cinematic pop mastery – listen to it HERE at their Soundcloud page – so now it’s time for a taste of the new record. Below, check out “Severed Seams” and prepare to be stunned. For updates and more info, visit ‘em at their Facebook page.

MP3: Download Arcade Fire’s 7/17/17 Milano Concert

 

By Uncle Blurt

Arcade Fire is apparently on the verge of taking a widespread drubbing for their new album Everything Now – it’s released this week, July 28, and already some high-profile early reviews have made it clear that the bloom is finally off the rose for the critical darlings, with extremely lukewarm commentary arriving from Stereogum (here as well as here – the latter for the whole “dress code” silliness) and quite pointed commentary from Brooklyn Vegan (here and, tellingly, here – again, on the dress code flap that had the band lashing out). Pitchfork had already semi-dismissed the title track and first single, doing likewise a few weeks later for second single “Signs of Life” – no small feat, considering it wasn’t all that long ago that Pitchfork served as a de facto fan club for the band. Even Salon, usually a safe harbor of puff pieces, critically speaking, is taking the cynical route by accusing Arcade Fire of being, er, cynical on the record.

So what can a poor boy do, except to… download some live bootlegs in advance of the album release, in hopes of whetting the appetite and as a result being able to ignore the critics. Thanks, then, to Big O zine, for posting the band’s show from Italy last week that was broadcast over the radio and subsequently surfaced at Dime A Dozen.

MP3: Arcade Fire – Milano Summer Festiva. LIppodromo SNAI di San Siro, Milano, Italy; July 17, 2017

You can nab the entire show in MP3 format along with a pre-show interview with Will Butler, plus downloadable artwork. A handful of songs from the new album are spotlighted, along with the expected fan faves. The full tracklisting is below.


      Track 101
. intro 2:00
      Track 102
. Everything Now * 5:11
      Track 103
. Rebellion Lies 5:45
      Track 104
. Here Comes the Night Time 7:14
      Track 105
. Chemistry * 4:31
      Track 106
. Electric Blue * 4:15
      Track 107
. Signs of Life * 4:55
      Track 108
. No Cars Go 6:00
      Track 109
. The Suburbs 7:10
      Track 110
. Ready to Start 4:40
      Track 111
. Tunnels 5:01

      Track 201
. Sprawl II 6:18
      Track 202
. Reflektor 7:08
      Track 203
. Afterlife 5:43
      Track 204
. Creature Comfort * 5:26
      Track 205
. Power Out 7:03
      Track 206
. encorebreak 1:43
      Track 207
. Wake Up 7:08
      Track 208
. Neon Bible 5:15
      Track 209
. radioutro 2:00
      Track 210
. Interview with Will Butler 12:28

Kurt Bloch Unveils New Band The Yes Masters

Album available on sweet colored wax to boot.

By Blurt Staff

Yes, that IS the mighty Kurt Bloch doing his best Townshend upstroke in the photo above. But he ain’t just tilting at windmills – he’s just chuffed over his new project The Yes Masters. You will recall, of course, that the Northwest rocker, late of the Young Fresh Fellows and the Fastbacks, has had his hand in scores of classic albums over the years. Among the bands he’s produced or worked with: Minus 5, Venus 3, Les Thugs, Sicko, Flop, and many more.

And The Yes Masters is described at their Bandcamp page thusly:

“Debut record from this plastic knife-wielding consort who have taken what is rightfully yours, and handed it right back to you, but a little louder.”

Boy howdy to that. Also in the band: Rick Foundation (drums), and Matt Scientist (bass, vocals). At the aforementioned Bandcamp link you can preview the record and then order it in either digital or vinyl format. The latter comes in multiple options, by the way…

2017 Hopscotch Festival Lineup Revealed

Annual event takes place Sept. 8-10 in downtown Raleigh.

Hopscotch 2017 will be happening in Raleigh, NC, and in addition to the usual litany of clubs hosting shows, it is highlighted by the expansion of 3 days at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 10 and introduction of Exhibition Hall A at The Raleigh Convention Center, which is referred to as “The Basement”, to its participating venues.

Red Hat Amphitheater will host Run The Jewels, Rapsody, and Busdriver on Friday, Sept. 8; a six band bill headlined by Solange on Saturday, Sept. 9; and, for the first official programming ever on a Sunday, an all day bill headlined by Angel Olsen. The festival’s outdoor stage in Raleigh City Plaza will host Margo Price, Big Thief, and Skylar Gudasz on Thursday, Sept. 7; Future Islands, The Make Up, and Birds of Avalon on Friday, Sept. 8; Big Boi, iLoveMakkonen, and Body Games on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Go HERE to view or download the complete 4-day schedule. Hopscotch just added thes artists to the lineup:

Kaytranada, iLoveMakonnen, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Blanck Mass, Japanese Breakfast, Songs: Molina, Madame Gandhi, Flock of Dimes, Rafiq Bhatia, Loamlands, Cayetana, Cende, G Yamazawa, Whores, Spaceface, P.A.T. Junior, ZenSoFly, Dylan Earl, The Veldt, Hand Habits, Faye, Black Sage, All the Saints, Beverly Tender, H.O.W., Floor Model, Bask, Jooselord Magnus, Lazer Background, BrassiousMonk, Acid Reign, Dim Delights, WNC String Ensemble, John Saturley

Video Premiere: Station’s “All You Need is a Heartbeat”

The glam-slam of a “perfect summer single” is taken from forthcoming full-length.

By Blurt Staff

Between the sleazy back alleys of hair metal and the squeaky clean streets of power pop lies a path travelled by only an intrepid few. Candy, Starz, the immortal Enuff Z’Nuff – bands that wanted a little more power to their pop, but not so much that it replaced melodic sparkle with sneering attitude. Artists that still shoot for that target are hard to find, which is what makes Station so refreshing. On its latest single “All You Need is a Heartbeat,” the NYC quartet fashions an anthem more about singing along than pumping your fist, without stinting on rock & roll swagger.

“This song has been in the works for a long time,” explains guitarist Chris Lane. “It was actually written when we filmed our very first music video and it’s about the experience of doing so. We’ve loved the song for a while and were excited to finally get into the studio and record it!”

“All You Need is a Heartbeat” is not only a teaser for the band’s forthcoming LP on Rhyme & Reason Records, but a perfect summer single, with lots of snap, plenty of heart and hooks out the ying-yang. Check out the premiere of the video below.

Station’s next show is at New York’s Gramercy Theater on August 24. Ticket info is available here.

MP3: Download The XX’s 7/6/17 Lisbon Concert

By Barbi Martinez

If you couldn’t make it to the NOS Alive festival in Portugal earlier this month, take heart, as much of the fest was broadcast, including the set from The XX. That set is now available for free download in MP3 form at the Big O zine, downloadable artwork included.

MP3: The XX – NOS Alive Festival. Passeio Marítimo de Algés, Oeiras, Lisbon, Portugal; July 6, 2017

It’s a superb-sounding recording, making it clear that despite their reputation as studio auteurs, the band — Romy Madley Croft (guitar, vocals), Oliver Sim (bass, vocals) and Jamie “xx” Smith (beats, MPC, production) — doesn’t slack off when they go onstage. The full tracklisting is below.

      Track 01
. Intro 2:14
      Track 02
. Crystalised 3:42
      Track 03
. Say Something Loving 4:54
      Track 04
. Islands 2:47
      Track 05
. Chained 3:15
      Track 06
. Dangerous/I Dare You 7:24
      Track 07
. Performance 2:49
      Track 08
. Infinity 6:07
      Track 09
. A Violent Noise 4:05
      Track 10
. Brave for You 4:38
      Track 11
. VCR 4:43
      Track 12
. Fiction 4:33
      Track 13
. Shelter/Loud Places 9:47
      Track 14
. On Hold 6:16
      Track 15
. Angels 4:32

DJ Shadow Drops New Video for “Corridors”

New EP and a tour to cure what ails your hip-hop head.

By Barbi Martinez

With a new 12″ EP just out titled The Mountain Has Fallen (it’s the followup to last year’s The Mountain Will Fall), DJ Shadow is also currently on a North American tour slated to wrap August 4 in Nashville. He’ll head to Europe and the UK after that.  Meanwhile, there’s a new video for EP track “Corridors” directed by Dan Emmerson. (The track, incidentally, was co-written between Shadow and Steven Price.) Watch the clip, below.

Watch New Michael Rank Video “Satellite”

By Blurt Staff

We’ve faithfully covered NC’s Michael Rank in the past, so we’re certainly not going to break our streak now—particularly since we are huge fans of (and friends with) the erstwhile Snatches of Pink frontman, now on his umpteenth solo album. The new Another Love is just dropping, and it is a whopping THREE-CD set, this time a gorgeous collection of silky soul jams and throwback funk that departs considerably from his trademark Americana.

We’ll have an interview with Rank shortly. Meanwhile, check out the new video for album track “Satellite,” below. The clip was directed by Daniel Andrews and Rank, and features Zoe Power, Brian Dennis and Tim Smith. It’s the followup to “Be Alright,” which we premiered here at BLURT a few months ago.

 

 

Discogs Mounts Crate Diggers Record Fair and After Party Tour

 

By Uncle Blurt

As you might imagine, the collective BLURT brain trust has done its share of crate-digging—record collecting to all you non-vinyl geeks out there—over the years. Fired up on Jolt Cola and with DJ Shadow’s epochal ode Endtroducing blasting from our Koss headphones, we dig, therefore, we are. So count me in on the first official Discogs Crate Diggers Record Fair and After Party, slated for Portland on August 26. And that’s not all – it will also happen in subsequent weeks in Tokyo, Berlin, London, and Amsterdam, followed by a U.S. encore in Los Angeles on October 14.

Discogs, of course, is “the world’s biggest online music database and marketplace.” According to Discogs:

Record fair by day, after-party by night; Crate Diggers is the ultimate event for record collectors, vinyl-junkies and music fans of all backgrounds. Crate Diggers is free to attend, bringing the unique hybrid of record fair and dance party to cities all around the world.

Buy and sell records, meet with other members of the vinyl and music community, and dance the night away at the afterparty. Local DJs are on the decks while you dig for vinyl during the day, giving way to international headliners turning up the party late into the night.

Crate Diggers Record Fair and After Party Tour 2017

Aug. 26 — Portland, Oregon — White Owl Social Club
Sept. 2 — Tokyo, Japan — Contact
Sept. 23 — Berlin, Germany — Prince Charles
Sept. 30 — London, England — Oval Space
Oct. 7 — Amsterdam, Netherlands — De Marktkantine
Oct. 14 — Los Angeles, California — Lot 613

 

MP3: Download Depeche Mode’s 7/8/17 Lisbon Show

By Uncle Blurt

Let’s electro pop, kids. Depeche Mode is out on tour, supporting their album Spirit, released this past March. Last weekend they performed in Lisbon, Portugal, and the HD television broadcast soon hit the internet, where the good folks at Big O zine scooped it up and now have posted as a free download, along with artwork.

MP3: Depeche Mode – NOS Alive! Palco NOS, Passeio Marítimo de Algés, Oeiras, Lisbon, Portugal; July 8, 2017.

Intriguingly, only a few songs from the new album was spotlighted, as there were plenty of hits and fan faves such as “Personal Jesus,” “Walking In My Shoes” and early gem “Everything Counts.” The full tracklisting is below.


      Track 101
. Going Backwards * 6:12
Track
      102
. Barrel of a Gun 5:51
Track
      103
. A Pain That I’m Used To 4:35
Track
      104
. In Your Room 6:41
Track
      105
. World in My Eyes 5:37
Track
      106
. Cover Me * 5:26
Track
      107
. Judas 6:17
Track
      108
. Where’s the Revolution * 5:05
Track
      109
. Wrong 4:09
Track
      110
. Everything Counts 6:46
Track
      201
. Stripped 5:08
Track
      202
. Enjoy the Silence 8:10
Track
      203
. Never Let Me Down Again 6:11
Track
      204
. encore break 2:13
Track
      205
. Home 7:42
Track
      206
. Walking in My Shoes 7:02
Track
      207
. I Feel You 6:18
Track
      208
. Personal Jesus 6:08
* Tracks from Spirit.