Category Archives: Music News

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”.

TOURDATES:
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.

 

Add Moog Music to List of Manufacturers Screwed by Trump’s Tariff War

Subject header pretty much speaks for itself.

By Blurt Staff

Asheville, NC, television station WLOS – owned, ironically, by right-wing broadcast group Sinclair – reports:

A local company is pushing back against a tariff imposed by the Trump administration. The 25 percent tax on circuit boards is expected to take effect July 6. Officials at Moog Music said the tariff will drastically increase the cost of building instruments. They said the tax could also force the company to lay off workers or move manufacturing overseas.

Moog is asking supporters to write elected officials and ask them to recognize the tariffs are harmful to American businesses.

 

Incoming: Massive Joe Strummer 4LP/2CD/7″ Deluxe Box Set

Gentleman Joe’s non-Clash career receives a worthwhile tribute as Joe Strummer 001.

By Uncle Blurt

It should go without saying that the subject header, above, has prompted an adrenalin rush for yer ol’ uncle here; the entire BLURT staff consider themselves massive Joe Strummer/Clash fans, and the assumption is that pretty much anyone who frequents this website and/or read our magazine is a fan as well. (For a lengthy, heartfelt tribute, read “Remembering Joe Strummer,” which our editor penned in 2013, recounting his 2001 summit with Joe in New York City.)

Word now arrives that the Ignition label is prepping a retrospective zeroing in on Strummer’s non-Clash work – Mescaleros, 101ers, Earthquake Weather, etc. – that will be available in 4 distinct formats: 2CD set, deluxe edition 2CD, 4LP set, and deluxe edition 4LP set (the latter includes both CDs, a bonus 7″, and some choice memorabilia – it’s pictured above, while the deluxe 2CD version is below). As of this writing, all four iterations are available for preorder via PledgeMusic. Rather than wax nostalgic, I’ll just copy the product description for you, just in case the photos aren’t enticement enough. The collection will be available starting September 28.

Joe Strummer 001,’ is the first compilation to span Joe Strummer’s career outside of his recordings with The Clash. ‘Joe Strummer 001’ includes fan favourites from his recordings with the 101ers and The Mescaleros, his solo albums, soundtrack work plus an album of unreleased songs.

Punk pioneer, singer, songwriter, recording artist, activist, musical and political inspiration for a generation and mighty diamond Joe Strummer was the most charismatic and passionate frontman to emerge from the punk explosion of the late seventies.

After Joe’s untimely death in December 2002 it was discovered that Joe had been an archivist of his own work, having barns full of writings and tapes stored in his back garden. The archiving of this material and compiling of ‘Joe Strummer 001’ was overseen by Joe’s widow Luce and Robert Gordon McHarg III. All tracks have been restored and mastered by Grammy Award winner Peter J. Moore at the E. Room in Toronto, Canada.

This release features new remasters and the previously unreleased material includes an early demo of ‘This Is England’ entitled ‘Czechoslovak Song/Where Is England,’ a solo demo of ‘Letsagetabitarockin’ recorded in Elgin Avenue in 1975, outtakes from ‘Sid & Nancy’ featuring Mick Jones and unreleased songs ‘Rose Of Erin,’ the biographical and mythical recording ‘The Cool Impossible’ and ‘London Is Burning’ one of the last songs Joe recorded.

Super Deluxe Boxset – Limited edition collector’s box with Wibalin wrap, containing both the deluxe CD book as well as the 4LP vinyl product. All audio restored and remastered by Grammy award winning Peter J Moore.

• 2CDs and 4LPs containing rare and unheard audio – restored and remastered by Peter J Moore.
• 64-page hardback book featuring rarely seen and previously unpublished memorabilia from Joe’s personal collection as well as historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums.
• Additional 7” single of previously unreleased demos of This Is England (Side A) and Before We Go Forward (Side B)
• Cassette of previously unheard and unreleased U.S North (Basement Demo) – with artwork replicated from the original cassette recording from Joes’s archive.
• Envelope containing a screen print, a high quality image of Joe, two original art prints, and a sticker sheet.
• Replica of Joe’s Californian driving license.
• Enamel Pin badge

The artwork was curated by Robert Gordon McHarg III who previously worked on the Clash ‘Sound System’ box set with Paul Simonon, the John Cooper Clarke compilation. ‘Anthologia’ and curated the Black Market Clash Exhibition.

Gordon says, “The idea behind the book is that it’s an A4 notebook done as if Joe had designed it himself, telling his story. Hopefully it is an insight into his workings and includes hand written lyrics with personal notes and scribbles.

Tracklisting

CD1:
1. Letsagetabitarockin’ (2005 Remastered Version) – The 101ers – 00:02:08
2. Keys To Your Heart (Version 2) [2005 Remastered Version] – The 101ers- 00:03:08
3. Love Kills – Joe Strummer – 00:03:59
4. Tennessee Rain – Joe Strummer – 00:02:55
5. Trash City – Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War – 00:04:11
6. 15th Brigade – Joe Strummer – 00:02:40
7. Ride Your Donkey – Joe Strummer – 00:02:21
8. Burning Lights – Joe Strummer – 00:02:43
9. Afro-Cuban Be-Bop – The Astro-Physicians – 00:02:53
10. Sandpaper Blues – Radar – 00:04:44
11. Generations – Electric Dog House – 00:05:30
12. It’s A Rockin’ World – Joe Strummer – 00:02:25
13. Yalla Yalla – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:06:57
14. X-Ray Style – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:04:34
15. Johnny Appleseed – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:04:02
16. Minstrel Boy – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:05:42
17. Redemption Song – Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer – 00:03:24
18. Over The Border – Jimmy Cliff & Joe Strummer – 00:03:51
19. Coma Girl – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:03:48
20. Silver & Gold / Before I Grow Too Old – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:02:39

CD2:
1. Letsagetabitarockin’ (Strummer Demo) – Joe Strummer – 00:01:49
2. Czechoslovak Song / Where Is England – Strummer, Simonon & Howard – 00:03:49
3. Pouring Rain (1984) – Strummer, Simonon & Howard – 00:03:29
4. Blues On The River – Joe Strummer – 00:04:37
5. Crying On 23rd – The Soothsayers – 00:02:52
6. 2 Bullets – Pearl Harbour – 00:03:11
7. When Pigs Fly – Joe Strummer – 00:04:06
8. Pouring Rain (1993) – Joe Strummer – 00:04:06
9. Rose Of Erin – Joe Strummer – 00:04:12
10. The Cool Impossible – Joe Strummer – 00:04:32
11. London Is Burning – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:03:14
12. U.S. North – Joe Strummer & Mick Jones – 00:10:32

VINYL 1:
A1. Letsagetabitarockin’ (2005 Remastered Version) – The 101ers – 00:02:08
A2. Keys To Your Heart (Version 2) [2005 Remastered Version] – The 101ers – 00:03:08
A3. Love Kills – Joe Strummer – 00:03:59
A4. Tennessee Rain – Joe Strummer – 00:02:55
A5. Trash City – Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War – 00:04:11
A6. 15th Brigade – Joe Strummer – 00:02:40

B1. Ride Your Donkey – Joe Strummer – 00:02:21
B2. Burning Lights – Joe Strummer – 00:02:43
B3. Afro-Cuban Be-Bop – The Astro-Physicians – 00:02:53
B4. Sandpaper Blues – Radar – 00:04:44
B5. Generations – Electric Dog House – 00:05:30

VINYL 2:
C1. It’s A Rockin’ World – Joe Strummer – 00:02:25
C2. Yalla Yalla – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:06:57
C3. X-Ray Style – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:04:34
C4. Johnny Appleseed – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:04:02

D1. Minstrel Boy – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:05:42
D2. Redemption Song – Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer – 00:03:24
D3. Over The Border – Jimmy Cliff & Joe Strummer – 00:03:51
D4. Coma Girl – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:03:48
D5. Silver & Gold / Before I Grow Too Old – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:02:39

VINYL 3:
E1. Letsagetabitarockin’ (Strummer Demo) – Joe Strummer – 00:01:49
E2. Czechoslovak Song / Where Is England – Strummer, Simonon & Howard – 00:03:49
E3. Pouring Rain (1984) – Strummer, Simonon & Howard – 00:03:29
E4. Blues On The River – Joe Strummer – 00:04:37
E5. Crying On 23rd – The Soothsayers – 00:02:52
E6. 2 Bullets – Pearl Harbour – 00:03:11

F1. When Pigs Fly – Joe Strummer – 00:04:06
F2. Pouring Rain (1993) – Joe Strummer – 00:04:06
F3. Rose Of Erin – Joe Strummer – 00:04:12
F4. The Cool Impossible – Joe Strummer – 00:04:32
F5. London Is Burning – Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – 00:03:14

VINYL 4 (12″ Single):
A1. U.S. North – Joe Strummer & Mick Jones – 00:10:32

VINYL 5 (7″ Single):
A1. This Is England – Strummer, Simonon & Howard – 00:03:04
B1. Before We Go Forward – Strummer, Simonon & Howard – 00:02:49

CASSETTE
A1. U.S. North (Basement Demo) – Joe Strummer & Mick Jones – 00:06:29

MP3: Download Khruangbin’s 1/11/18 Live @ KCRW Webcast

By Barbi Martinez

Among indie rock’s recent success stories, Houston world-music-tilting, psychedelic 3-piece Khruangbin has been one of the more unique rising stars. Featuring Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald Ray “DJ” Johnson Jr. on drums, their recent album, Con Todo El Mundo, has charmed the critics and filled the clubs – you can check out some of the tunes on the frankly brilliant record HERE and pick it up HERE as well – and it would seem that Cali’s venerable KCRW-FM is in their corner as well. Several months ago they did a live set broadcast over the airwaves and webwaves, and now the archivists at Big O zine have posted the performance (via Dime A Dozen) for free download, along with downloadable artwork:

MP3: Khruangbin on Morning Becomes Eclectic. KCRW FM. Santa Monica, CA; January 11, 2018

Check out the show, and the full tracklist is below.

      Track 01
. Intro (/Como Me Quieres 3:52
      Track 02
. Maria Tambien 3:11
      Track 03
. Friday Morning 6:15
      Track 04
. Interview 10:11
      Track 05
. Mr White 4:33
      Track 06
. Two Fish And An Elephant/Dern Kala 7:40
      Track 07
. Ha Fang Kheng Kan (Teun-Jai Boon Praraksa cover) 2:36
      Track 08
. Outro 2:58

 

Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks on CBS This Morning

By Blurt Staff

With the new Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks album Sparkle Hard album out now, CBS This Morning was the curious scene of a promotional stop from the erstwhile Pavement mainman. There was an interview with Anthony Mason followed by a performance of “Solid Silk,” below, for “Saturday Sessions.” Check it out:

Adolescents/Agent Orange’s Steve Soto 1954-2018 R.I.P.

Ace bassist/guitarist justifiably considered an American punk legend.

By Barbi Martinez

In an era when we increasingly – and sadly, but respectfully – take note of the passing of musical elders from all genres, it still remains a shock when we lose someone from the punk era, since those ranks are, for the most part, not even remotely considered old and infirm. But word arrived today that the 54-year-old Steve Soto died yesterday, June 27. The cause of death remains unclear as of this writing.

Soto was a ground zero West Coast punk, having been an original member of both Agent Orange and the Adolescents, as well as Manic Hispanic, Joyride, 22 Jacks, the Twisted Hearts, and more. Most recently he had been touring with the Adolescents that wrapped last weekend in New York. Tributes have subsequently poured forth on social media from scores of contemporaries and fellow punk musicians.

On Twitter, the Adolescents posted, “with heavy heart i share the passing of steve soto, my friend and bandmate since 1979. i dont know what to do. or to say. goodbye my brother.” And on Facebook, is friend Greg Antista initially announced Soto’s passing, writing, “I’m sorry to break such bad news in such an impersonal way but the family of Steve Soto would like everyone to know that he passed peacefully in his sleep today. I’m sure this is a terrible blow to all of you. He will be missed. We will be posting details on a memorial as plans are finalized.”

My Bloody Valentine Debuts 1st New Song in, Like, a Million Years

Bloody loveless, is all we can say, mate… (Photo credit: we have no idea, it was just on the web. Let us know if we need to take it down or, otherwise, who to credit.)

By Barbi Martinez

My all-time fave band My Bloody Valentine is making me sick right now – Friday night they performed a brand new song during their set at the London Meltdown Fest, which was curated by (ahem) someonen named Robert Smith. OMG. Check it out, below.

MP3: Download Nick Mason’s 5/23/18 Pink Floyd Show

And yes, before you ask, our dear ol’ Uncle saw the Floyd many times back in the day…

By Uncle Blurt

I saw the Floyd many times back in the day, and I must say… whoops, we are being redundant with this post already. Let’s just point ourselves at the sky and tune in to Big O zine’s post of a sweet audience recording of drummer Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets outfit doing a saucerful o’ Floyd in London on May 23:

MP3: Nick Mason’s Saucerful of SecretsHalf Moon, Putney, London, UK; May 23, 2018

The full tracklisting for the dynamite show is below, and it probably needs no commentary from moi. How about vous? Okay, well, maybe we should discuss the presence of Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp on guitar – and nevermind the New Romantics, here’s the Psychedelics! Download away, and grab corresponding artwork at the Big O.

      Track 101
. Soundscape 29:38
      Track 102
. Interstellar Overdrive 6:57
      Track 103
. Astronomy Domine 4:54
      Track 104
. Lucifer Sam 3:25
      Track 105
. Band introductions 2:42
      Track 106
. Fearless 5:41
      Track 107
. Obscured By Clouds and When You’re In 7:38
      Track 108
. Arnold Layne 3:28
      Track 201
. The Nile Song 4:32
      Track 202
. Green Is The Colour 4:41
      Track 203
. Let There Be More Light 6:16
      Track 204
. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 10:16
      Track 205
. See Emily Play 3:25
      Track 206
. Bike 3:01
      Track 207
. One Of These Days 7:54
      Track 208
. A Saucerful Of Secrets 7:37
      Track 209
. Point Me At The Sky 3:51

Lineup:
Nick Mason – drums
Guy Pratt – bass, vocals
Gary Kemp – guitar, vocals
Dom Beken – keyboards
Lee Harris – guitar