Category Archives: Music News

Eric Church Gets Dixie Chicked for NRA/Vegas Comments

Shut Up And Play Your Guitar Dept.: Apparently for SOME staunch 2nd Amendment people, the 1st Amendment is irrelevant….

By Fred Mills

In a remarkable new Rolling Stone interview titled, appropriately enough, “The Defiant One,” country star Eric Church was interviewed at his Nashville home, and over the course of the conversation he disclosed that while he owns several guns and is pro-2nd Amendment, he felt the Las Vegas massacre last year at a country music festival (where he had performed two days earlier) should be partly blamed on the NRA:

“There are some things we can’t stop. Like the disgruntled kid who takes his dad’s shotgun and walks into a high school. But we could have stopped the guy in Vegas.” As for why nothing’s been done? “I blame the lobbyists. And the biggest in the gun world is the NRA.”

The social media backlash was immediate, severe, and, as of this writing, sustained.

It was a striking flashback to 2003, when the Dixie Chicks criticized President Bush from a London Stage about the Iraq invasion, with now-former fans expressing support for the NRA, damning/mocking all the “libtards” like Church, planning on dumping their Church CDs in the trash, and predicting his career to be over. Apparently rabid support for the 2nd Amendment doesn’t rule out a general disdain for the 1st Amendment among some people.

But as one commenter – me, apparently a lonesome voice out of nearly 2000 comments – noted at Church’s Facebook posting about the RS story, “Eric, a lot of us are proud of you. Just because you’re getting Dixie Chicked all over the place by NRA stooges doesn’t mean we aren’t out here too, and we’ll have your back. They were wrong in 2003, and they’re wrong now.”

It won’t come as a huge surprise that commenters immediately began commenting on my comments – maybe I should play a drinking game and take a shot each time I get called a libtard; it would be a fun day. Meanwhile, though, the Dixie Chicks still have their careers, while all their haters – with the exception, perhaps, of certain fellow country stars – have slipped back into obscurity or under their rocks. It’s not hard to predict a similar trajectory for Church. And we need more stars like him.

Check out Schoolkids Records’ New Spotify Playlist of Label’s Gems

We got da rawk!

By Blurt Staff

Longtime – as in, more than 4 decades longtime – North Carolina indie record store chain Schoolkids Records is Blurt’s sister business, and awhile back our other sister business, indie label Second Motion Records, also become Schoolkids Records, as in, Schoolkids Records label. With artists as noteworthy as Tommy Keene, Buffalo Tom, The Church, Bettie Serveert, and 6 String Drag populating the roster thus far, it has been a solid run ever since founder (and Blurt majordomo) Stephen Judge started the label 10 years ago.

Stephen has put together a terrific Spotify playlist which spotlights his (our) label, so check it out.

Peter Holsapple (dB’s) “Game Day” Album Almost Here; Watch Trailer

New album arrives this week.

By Fred Mills

Given the enthusiasm we’ve heard for NC’s The dB’s over the ten years BLURT’s been around, we suspect that more than a few of our readers will be ready to snap up longtime member Peter Holsapple’s new solo album, Game Day (Omnivore Recordings), coming this Friday, July 27. Fans and friends got a kind of advance taste last year when Peter released a terrific 7″ single, “Don’t Mention The War”; read our review elsewhere on the site: 

“A richly melodic, midtempo slice of pure pop; the tune’s subtly contrasting sonic elements help lend gravitas to the unsettling lyrical character study.”

And then check out the trailer for the new album. This man’s a Tar Heel treasure… an a national treasure, too.


Track Premiere: Kevin Gordon “Right on Time”

Brooklyn, NY – November 17, 2017 – Portrait of musician Kevin Gordon.
Photo credit: Jacob Blickenstaff

Rock ‘n’ roller transcends labels and genres – and he’s right on time, at that. From his new album, Tilt & Shine, out July 27.

By Blurt Staff

Though often tabbed as a songwriter or an Americana artist, Kevin Gordon is really a rock & roller. He proudly flies the rock & roll flag on “Right On Time,” a three-and-a-half-minute, tongue-in-cheek ode to the road. And Blurt is proud to be the one to introduce this track to you.

Gordon captures the strangeness of missing loved ones, the road as an in-between space of disconnection, the nerves of trying to make a sound check six hours away, as the guitars keep pushing. It’s a track from his vivid, swampy new album and artistic high water mark ‘Tilt & Shine,’ out July 27 on Crowville Media.

Gordon says, “I did a lot of driving when touring in support of the Gloryland and Long Gone Time records. The song is triggered from little moments—a morning in a motel in Marion, Virginia opens the story. The van I had at the time had 185,000 miles on it — and three out of four speakers blown — when I bid it goodbye. It was also an acceptance of that life—the over- romanticized ‘road,’ which I still love but which has become extremely familiar.”

He adds, “And being who, and what, I am, it’s easy to feel alienation in that literal distance from your family—distance that becomes metaphorical, in a fearful way. I also felt the challenge of writing a song with such a familiar phrase as its title and refrain. With my friend Gwil Owen, hopefully we crafted something that’s real, and fresh.”

July 23 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3
July 24 – Washington, D.C. – Pearl Street
July 27 – Nashville, TN – City Winery
July 29 – Charleston, WV – Mountain Stage at Charleston Center Theater
September 20 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic
September 21 – Charlotte, NC – River Jam
September 28 – Baton Rouge, LA – Red Dragon Listening Room
September 29 – Houston, TX – McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
September 30 – Austin, TX – Sam’s Town Point

Track Premiere: Smash Fashion “Rompus Pompous”

By Blurt Staff

Now that the smell of burnt fireworks and Lee Greenwood-led jingoism has finally faded,  we thought it was about time to focus on some West Coast explosion of talent. Blurt is proud to offer the song premiere of Smash Fashion’s new track “Rompus Pompous,” in all its glitter-encrusted frenetic glory.


The song is the title track from the LA.-based glam/punk/power-pop band’s latest album (their fourth to date, for those counting) Rompus Pompous, which came out just 2 days after the nation’s anniversary, July 6th.

“Our title track ‘Rompus Pompous’ is a case of textbook narcissism… which seems to be running rampant!” says front man Roger Deering. Along with Deering, the band is made up of ex members of London Quireboys, Smack and Rock City Angels.


Eaux Claires Fest Prompts Unique Bon Iver/The National Collab

Indie rock clusterfuck dept.

By Blurt Staff

Just done: the  fourth annual Eaux Claires festival, the Wisconsin bash curated by Aaron Dessner  (the National) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). Over the weekend both Vernon and Dessner performed, including a collaboration that featured the National’s Bryce Dessner, Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, , Bradley Cook, Julien  Baker, T Bates, Gordi, Ben Lanz, and Kyle Resnick. Check it out, below.

Gun-wielding Man Prompts Cancellation of Avett Bros Show

Maybe it was the proverbial “good guy with a gun”? The Edgefield venue, located in Troutdale, Oregon, was cleared Saturday night (July 7) after a man with a gun, stopped at entry, still proceeded into the venue.

By Blurt Staff

A further sign of these fraught times was demonstrated this weekend when the Avett Brothers had to cancel their Oregon show shortly before it was scheduled to start. The band posted a statement on their website that detailed how a person who presented a badge and identified himself as a police officer (not from Oregon) was stopped at the security entrance because he had a gun, then subsequently proceeded into the crowd while the security team discussed what to do; he could not be located after that, so the band was informed and they decided they had no choice but to cancel the show.

The band posted the following explanation:

This evening, during the admission process at our show at the Edgefield McMenamins in Troutdale, Oregon, an individual passing through the metal detector was found to be carrying a gun. When confronted by the security guard and informed of the no-firearm policy of the venue, the individual stated that he was an out-of-state police officer and showed a badge. The security guard then asked the individual to wait for the manager so his entry could be confirmed. The individual disregarded her instructions and ventured immediately into the size-able audience. After an exhaustive search of the venue by the security staff of both the band and the venue, the individual was not located.

Due to the obvious threat posed by someone in the audience with a firearm, regardless of his (unconfirmed) claim of being a member of law enforcement, we were obligated, for the safety of everyone present, to cancel the performance.

It was unfortunate that such action had to be taken, but we have no regret in being in a position to make a decision which helps to keep our fans safe.

We look forward to making this performance up at the earliest possible juncture. Once the details are sorted for this, we will get the word out immediately.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter, and much love to you all for the continued support, love, and consideration…

The Avett Brothers



Good Summer Read: Flamin’ Groovies’ George Alexander’s Memoir


By Fred Mills

It’s always good news when some Flamin’ Groovies news arrives. Let’s add Slow Death: My Life with the Flamin Groovies, a new memoir from George Alexander, erstwhile bassist for the Groovies. An original member of the beloved power pop and garage rock icons, he describes the book thusly:

The following pages represent my thoughts, feelings, reflections and experiences garnered mostly from my posts on social media and centered around my time as a member of the Flamin Groovies. I interject much of my own philosophical and moral beliefs, between the pages I have written concerning the history of the band, to add context and insight into my idealized and admittedly imperfect personality as the writer of this account.

The self-published book is currently available at Amazon and it offers some terrific behind-the-scenes moments about the band, along with equally terrific photos. (Photos here are from Alexander’s Facebook page.)

Listen to New Tracks by The Chills


Tourdates announced so far are at the bottom.

By Blurt Staff

New Zealand indie stalwarts The Chills will be releasing Snow Bound on September 14 via Fire Records and through their Bandcamp page – the followup to 2015’s Silver Bullets, it will be available on CD, digital, black vinyl, and limited edition clear splatter vinyl. According to Fire, “On ‘Snow Bound’ lost heroes are lamented, relationships are re-evaluated, atonement is sought, mortality is mulled over and fake news is undercut. It’s serious stuff, the thoughts of a dysfunctional 50-something wrestling with maturity and discovering that their post-punk DIY beliefs still have a real voice that resonates between the fans of their early years and which can now pass down to the next generation.”

Below, listen to both “Complex” and “Lord of All I Survey”.

09/14 Hamilton, NZ @ Altitude
09/15 Gisborne, NZ @ The Dome
09/16 Hawke’s Bay, NZ @ Haumoana Hall
09/20 CHCH, NZ @ Blue Smoke
09/21 Dunedin, NZ @ 50 Gorillas
09/22 Wanaka, NZ @ Water Bar
09/27 Wellington, NZ @ San Fran
09/28 New Plymouth, NZ @ Mayfair Theatre
09/29 Palmerston North, NZ @ The Globe
09/30 Paekakariki, NZ @ St Peter’s Hall
10/04 Whangarei, NZ @ Butter Factory
10/05 Leigh, NZ @ Sawmill Cafe
10/06 Auckland, NZ @ Galatos
10/07 Waiheke Island, NZ @ Artworks

Richard Swift 1977-2018 R.I.P.

Indie rock maven was noted for his music, his collaborations, his production work, and his dips into the film industry.

By Blurt Staff

Multi-instrumentalist, producer, and all-around Renaissance dude of the indie world Richard Swift has passed away, tragically, at the age of 41. According to Pitchfork, the cause of death has not yet been announced; his “life-threatening condition” had him hospitalized of late at a Tacoma, Wash., medical facility.

Read about Swift’s productive life HERE, and meanwhile, check out some choice music he left behind for the rest of us. Our condolences to his family and friends – and his many fans, including the BLURT community  Oh, and by the way – the top photo comes from the gent’s always lively Facebook page. We are confident he would have approved.