Category Archives: Track premiere

Video Premiere: Tarrant – “Cheap Shit from China”

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Some red-hatted types want to make America grate (on your nerves) again. Luckily, we have this awesome Richmond band who feels your pain….

By Blurt Staff

Update March 22: As it turns out, Fox harbors a deep affection for Donald Trump, because they objected to some film footage used in the clip and subsequently had the video removed. Who knew an indie band, and by extension BLURT, could rattle cages with such aplomb! So the band has re-edited it, and we are duly re-posting it. Enjoy!

It’s a reasonable question the band asks: “From The Snuggie to the The Clapper, America loves a bargain. But does America really need any of this stuff?”

That would be Tarrant, rockers from Richmond, Virginia, in their new video “Cheap Shit from China,” and if the song title alone doesn’t pretty much tell the story to you, then bubba, we’ve got a Trump steak we wanna sell you. The rest of you, however, just settle in and check out the clip. We are confident it will, er, resonate:

It’s not just about American consumerism, however, as the images of Trump crap – both Donald’s ties, shirts, and hats, and Ivanka’s clothing line – suggest. Did ya notice all those “made in China” tags? As the band notes, “Think of this video as an artistic rebuke to President Trump’s populism. A creative ying to Trumps’ erroneous wire tapp (sic) yang [and] baseless late night Twitter posts which culminate in an endless series of terrifying CNN Breaking News updates each day. Or more succinctly: A NEW LOW! SAD!” Put another way, hashtag style: #WeUnderstandThatAsCorporateEntitiesOurPresenceInCertainDiscussionsIsNotAlwaysRequiredSoWeWillStriveToLimitOurActivitiesToJustSellingYouShit

Tarrant is notching plenty of acclaim for their debut EP, Lazarus, and for their dynamic, roots-rock-raveup stage presence. The lineup includes lead singer/guitarist/primary songwriter Jordan Tarrant, guitarist/mandolinist Jared Pool, drummer Dusty Simmons, and bassist Kai Eason, plus auxiliary member Craig Harmon playing Hammond B-3, Wurlitzer and steel guitar. With Jordan Tarrant’s friend and producer Russell Lacy helping to steer the ship in the studio, they’re clearly poised to break nationally.

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The single for the song drops this Friday, March 17, via the Funzalo label. You can get more info about the band and their plan on the web:

https://www.facebook.com/tarrantmusic/

http://funzalorecords.com/

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Track Premiere: Paul Collins “All Over the World”

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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:

http://www.thepaulcollinsbeat.com

https://www.facebook.com/Paul-Collins-Beat-46392812761

Photo Credit: Joy Whalen

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Spring 2017 Tour Dates:

U.S.

3/11 – Voltage Lounge – Philadelphia, PA w/ Protex

3/16 – Firehouse 13 – Providence, RI w/ The Dazies

3/18 – The Footlight Bar – Queens, NY w/ The Dazies

4/22 – Page One – Glen Cove, NY w/ The Rockinghams

FRANCE

5/6 Clermont-Ferrand @ Bombshell

5/8 Toulouse @ Dispensary

5/10 Rouen @ 3 Pieces

5/12 Paris tbc!

ENGLAND

5/13 London @ The Finsbury

BELGIUM

5/16 Kortrijk @ Den Trap

NETHERLANDS

5/17 Rotterdam @ V11

5/18 Haarlem  @ Patronaat

GERMANY

5/19 Düsseldorf @ The Tube

5/20 Berlin @ Cortina Bob

5/21 Hamburg @ Monkeys Music Club

SWEDEN

5/23 Malmo @ Folk & Rock

5/24 Gothenburg @ Liseberg Amusement Park Power Pop Festival w/ Psychotic Youth/Kurt Baker Combo

5/25 Eskilstuna @ Ölkultur

5/26 Karlskoga tbc

5/27 Stockholm @ Pet Sounds record shop show!

SPAIN

5/30 Madrid @ Fun House

6/2 Zarragoza @ Teatro Arbolé

6/8 Barcelona @ A Wamba Buluba

 

Video Premiere: 20 Minute Loop “Mercury Vapor”

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Beloved band also playing the Noise Pop festival this week in SF.

San Francisco popsters 20 Minute Loop celebrate 20 years as a band this week with their first new album in eight years.  Feb. 24 brings the release of Songs Praising the Mutant Race, and we are honored to premiere a delightfully twisted video for the track “Mercury Vapor” for the ever-erudite BLURT readership. Check it out:

“The video for ‘Mercury Vapor’ was a fun project that I put together using found royalty-free footage from a fire safety video from the early 70s,” says Atkins. “It was fun to imagine the fire in the video as a petulant child singing ‘I don’t care if I die, if I wind up dead!’, one of the lyrics in the song’s chorus.”

The band appears this week—tomorrow, in fact, Feb. 21—at hometown music fest Noise Pop and will no doubt be showcasing a ton of new material (eight years is a long time) from the album, their sixth. But it may sound uniquely familiar at the same time: the album offers up stripped down and reinvented versions of ten favorites from the 20 Minute Loop catalog, one cover song, and one never-before-released tune.

The group was formed in 1997 by Greg Giles (vocals, guitar) and Kelly Atkins (vocals, keys, flute). Fans may have thought they’d gone away for good in recent years, something the band attributes to “impossible scheduling, newborn children, and brain-rotting graduate studies.” (We can identify with all of the above, indeed.)

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Inspired by the reactions of longtime fans at a series of intimate house concerts that 20 Minute Loop performed upon initially reforming in 2014, Songs Praising The Mutant Race finds the group recording as a trio in very similar circumstances: live in the room at Ninth Street Opus studios in Berkeley. Here we have the songs and singers laid bare, accompanied by overdubs from mostly acoustic instruments, including viola, trumpet, flute, accordion, wineglass organ, and more. And its one of those longtime fans who has become a co-conspirator: Kevin Seal – “I like Radiohead more than 20 Minute Loop, and that’s basically it,” he jokes – sat in on piano and vocals for the living room shows, and has now joined in on the reinvention of these tunes in the studio. They also brought in Caitlin Tabancay Austin for a third harmony on “Mercury Vapor.”

“I don’t know why this song has a country hop to it,” Giles says, of the reimagined tune, “but let’s just say 20 Minute Loop has always enjoyed mixing jubilant music with lyrical fatalism. I guess we’re syncopating tones, sweet and sour, joy and loneliness, truck axles and eiderdown.”

Incidentally, all us vinyl-loving BLURT folks will be stoked to learn that Songs Praising The Mutant Race to be its first album issued on vinyl, and they are doing it with style. In addition to the usual formats, fans can purchase a beautiful vinyl edition of the album with a jacket illustrated by Sara Lautman.

More details online (hint: don’t go to 20minuteloop.com unless you are needing financial advice – instead, go here): http://www.20minloop.com/

https://www.facebook.com/20minuteloopofficial/

 

Video(s) Premiere: Chinese Band Twinkle Star

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Back to fist city: Group has a highly anticipated new album set for release this month.

By Jonathan Levitt

Beijing-based alternative rock band Twinkle Star, whom we at BLURT covered last year in a special interview with the band, are set to release their latest record entitled Full Of Hope on the 23rd of this month.

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Until then, the band have kindly offered us the exclusive premiere of their two new videos “Wasting Life Together” and “Release Yourself” – the latter was shot in Hong Kong. Check them out, below.

The band will be touring outside Beijing and will then return to killer rock venue, Yugong Yishan, for a homecoming concert set for May 6th. Rumor has it Uncle Blurt might make it out here for the show, if he can find his dentures and Depends, cuz that flight is a killer. [Jonathan, I can barely hold it in during my daily cross-city bus ride to Biff’s Pub & Grille —don’t even ask about the return trip— so I doubt the airline will let me have a carry-on large enough to pack all that soft, absorbent goodness. Maybe you could videotape part of the show for me and the gang? – U.B.]

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Wasting Life Together:

Release Yourself:

Video Premiere: Derrick Anderson “Happiness”

Song from upcoming album due early April.

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By Blurt Staff

Just in case you don’t recognize the name Derrick Anderson, consider where you might have actually seen him: playing bass for the Bangles starting in 2008, and more recently with the Kinks’ Dave Davies. (Or maybe even earlier on the L.A. club scene circa 1995-2004 with The Andersons.) The virtuoso musician is now prepping a solo album, A World of My Own for an April 1 release via Omnivore, and we are quite chuffed to be able to unveil a video for the track “Happiness.” Check it out:

If you listened closely, you might have spotted some guitar licks from none of than Matthew Sweet. Meanwhile, also guesting on this gorgeous collection of pop and rock gems are Vicki Peterson, Debbi Peterson and Susanna Hoffs, as well as Kim Shattuck and a Cowsills trio of Bob, John and Susan Cowsill.

Commenting on the album sessions, Anderson notes, “I have to say, it’s a beautiful thing to have such talented friends orbiting in my musical universe that I could call on once I started making this album. It was a long time coming, waiting for folks to ‘turn in their homework’ as it were, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Vicki Peterson (Bangles) listened to the record in its entirety and called it ‘timeless’ which was such a fantastic compliment, especially coming from her!”

Go HERE to view the official album trailer from Omnivore. Find Anderson on the web at his Facebook page.

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Track Premiere: Annabelle’s Curse “Be Here Now”

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Tune culled from new digital EP, out next week; see tour dates, below.

By Blurt Staff

Hailing from Virginia and together since 2010, rootsy/indie-rockin’ five-piece Annabelle’s Curse have, to date, served up three highly-regarded albums and have a new one slated for release in June. In the meantime, though, they’ve got a brand new stopgap digital EP titled Here and Now that was produced by Bill Moriarty and Zach Goldstein and arrives Feb. 17, and you can get an advance listen of the title track right here and right now, so check it out:

The band —Tim Kilbourne (Voice, Guitar, Banjo), Zack Edwards (Guitar), Carly Booher (Mando, Voice), Travis Goyette (Drums), and Tyler Luttrelle (Bass) —is not only musically prolific, they are also monsters when it comes to touring, and have become festival favorites at several major musical gatherings in their region of the world. They’re currently on a winter tour that kicked off last weekend in Asheville, NC, and will wind its way up to Philly then back down to Chattanooga; consult the dates, below.

Kilbourne notes, of his band’s musical evolution, “When things first started, the goal was to write good music with a positive message. It was all about the craft of songwriting, and never really about anything more. It just kind of grew from that. We’re still doing the same thing on a slightly bigger scale. We’re still focused on making better music as we go along.”

Adds Edwards, “We have kind of strayed from our roots a little more with each new album, leaning a little more on the electric side of things. That’s also allowed for us to get weirder with our effects and textures. With each album, we’ve put a lot more effort and a larger budget towards the sound production. Over time, we’ve gained more conviction, confidence and certainty in our sound. The music has kind of grown up along with us.

“We’ve been able to share a piece of ourselves with the world. We’ve met fans that have used our music to get through hard times. Plus, we get to play music together with our best friends. What more could anyone want?”

Indeed – boy howdy to that. Catch ‘em at a friendly venue near you – and you can hear a ton of music, both live and studio, at their Soundcloud page.

On the web: https://www.annabellescurse.com/

https://www.facebook.com/annabellescurse/

Tour Dates:
02.03•The Mothlight (Asheville, NC)
02.04•Local 506 (Chapel Hill, NC)
02.09•Martin’s (Roanoke, VA)
02.11•Ortlieb’s (Philadelphia, PA)
02.17•The Willow Tree (Johnson City, TN)
02.18•The Garage (Winston-Salem, NC)
02.24•Preservation Pub (Knoxville, TN)
02.25•Clyde’s on Main (Chattanooga, TN)
03.18•The Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC)

Photo credit: Loch and Key

Track Premiere: Cyborg Asylum “My Metallic Dream”

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Track taken from upcoming album due in April.

By Blurt Staff

They’re called Cyborg Asylum, and the NYC-based producer-singer duo of David Varga and John Tumminia serves up a heady, intoxicated mélange of what they describe as “electro post-industrial alt-rock.” Indeed – that’s a pretty apt description of the music on their forthcoming long-player, Never Finished, Only Abandoned. We’re honored to have a preview for the readership, too. Check out “My Metallic Dream”:

Tumminia says, of the track, “‘My Metallic Dream’ explores the thoughts of a being who may not be able to recognize, process or clearly describe the experience of dreaming.”

With the album due out April 18, the two men are looking towards a busy year. They’ve been hailed for their “sharply crafted beats and grooves blended with beautiful melodies and harmonies [that take] listeners on an emotionally charged, alluring, and at times, ominous journey.”ca

They’ve got the background to bolster up those assertions, too. Tumminia grew up in a music family in Philadelphia, eventually moving to NYC to become a manager of Electric Lady Studios. He also worked extensively with the bands God Is Black and Fringehead prior to hooking up with Varga as Cyborg Asylum.

Varga, for his part, has scored commercials, TV, film and video games, and when it came time to create a complete, standalone album of his music, he tapped his friend Tumminia’s talents. Upon completion of their sessions, they sent the material to Phil Jones (a cousin of Varga) in England to add the guitar parts. Edd Mann also added some guitar, and Rachel Varga contributed violin.

On the web: https://www.cyborgasylum.com/

 

Video Premiere: The Two Tens “Keeping Hope Alive” 45

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L.A. rockers submit second full length in July but step up with limited vinyl single right now.

By Blurt Staff

You could call the BLURT braintrust massive fans of Adam Bones and Rikki Styxx,, aka Los Angeles duo The Two Tens—a couple of years ago we turned you, the gentle readers of this fine publication, on to their kickass video “Watching Me” (from the fourth installment of their 2015 EP series), then again in February of 2016 with the track “Dreams,” one of the key tunes from their debut longplayer Volume. Now, with The Two Tens prepping a July release of their as-yet-untitled sophomore album, they have a stopgap single dropping, and a vinyl one at that. The A side is “Keeping Hope Alive” (the flip is an ace cover of Little Richard’s “Bama Lama Bama Loo”) and you get to preview it right here, prior to the 45’s Feb. 10 street date. Adam and Rikki’s instincts for video treatments continue to serve them well, without a doubt. Check it out:

Rikki spills the beans on the clip, explaining, “We wanted the video to just be a representation of the ridiculous amount of fun we have as a band.  Running around being complete nerds together. It was actually shot at The Federal Bar which was the venue where we played our very first show. Even though the song is a love song (which I’ll leave that to Adam to explain), we didn’t want to portray that in the video. The song is a bit different from the songs on the first album because it’s the poppiest of them all. We were fortunate enough to work with producer John Fields in Minneapolis and we decided to go with a little different production approach than we have in the past.”

Adam, indeed, explains further: “’Keeping Hope Alive’ is a song about a hopeful hopeless romantic. I think that’s what I am when it all comes down to it. It’s based on a personal experience. And it’s a positive love song, for a change. Recording it with John Fields was a great experience. I really liked his pace in the studio. It was fun to watch how fast he worked. It was interesting to see his process and I learned a lot.”

Seriously cool. If you ain’t hooked on these cats by this point, c’mon—unhook that respirator and get out once in awhile, or at least by July 14, because you need to be in line that day at your local indie store. The band signed with Man Della Records and they recorded in Minneapolis with producer John Fields (Dollyrots, Andrew WK, Pink), subsequently heading back home to Los Angeles and finishing the album with the Volume team of producer Bruce Duff (also their manager, and we are advised this is now “making him an Andrew Oldham-style control freak” which ain’t such a bad thing if you think about it), engineer Paul Roessler (punk demigod/L.A. studio maven) and mastering engineer Jim Diamond (Dirtbombs, Sonics, White Stripes, the entire garage rock universe, etc.).

Order the wax right here, jack: https://thetwotens.bandcamp.com/album/keeping-hope-alive

And then consult the online resources thusly:
Band website: http://thetwotens.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetwotens

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Tour Dates:

Feb 11 – Redwood Bar & Grill – Los Angeles, CA (“Keeping Hope Alive” Single Release Show!)

Mar 10 – The Museum Club – Flagstaff, AZ

Mar 12 – Goosetown Tavern – Denver, CO

Mar 16 – Reggie’s – Chicago, IL (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 17 – Melody Inn – Indianapolis, IN (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 18 – The Avenue – Lansing, MI (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 19 – Rockstar Pro Arena – Dayton, OH (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 20 – Rumba Cafe – Columbus, OH (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 21 – Southgate House – Newport, KY (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 22 – The Fubar – St. Louis, MO (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 23 – Three Links – Dallas, TX (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 24 – Satellite – Houston, TX (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 25 – Bang Bang – San Antonio, TX (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 26 – Sidewinder – Austin, TX (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 28 – The Rebel Lounge – Phoenix, AZ (w/ The Dollyrots)

Mar 29 – The Hideout – San Diego, CA (w/ The Dollyrots / Go Betty Go)

Mar 31 – The Hi Hat – Los Angeles, CA (w/ The Dollyrots / Go Betty Go)

Apr 01- Slidebar – Fullerton, CA (w/ The Dollyrots / Go Betty Go)

Apr 21- Punk Rock BBQ 2017 @ Dive Bar – Las Vegas, NV

 

Photo Credit: Chris Barber

Track Premiere: Blackfoot Gypsies “I Had a Vision”

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Also check out the official trailer for the forthcoming new album from the band.

By Blurt Staff

Blackfoot Gypsies is Matthew Paige (vocals, guitar), Zack Murphy (drums), Dylan Whitlow (bass, vocals) and Ollie Dogg (harmonica). The band have shared bills with everyone from the Alabama Shakes and Trampled by Turtles to Futurebirds, The Ettes and The Carolina Chocolate Drops. And now they’ve dropped the first single from their new 2017 album To the Top for Plowboy Records, “I Had a Vision,” which we are proud to unveil for the BLURT readership. Check it out:

“This song is a declaration of our need, as a people, to be free – describing the vision of an equal land where real justice would be honored,” said band frontman Paige, about the track. Added drummer Zach Murphy, “It’s a song for the times. These times call for everybody to come together and remember the original vision we had as humans and unite against the negativity that this life forces down all of our throats.”

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Online: http://www.theblackfootgypsies.com/ / https://www.facebook.com/blackfootgypsies

Photo Credit: Jeff Fasano / Tour Dates:

Friday, January 27th at Tonic Room in Chicago, IL
Saturday, January 28th at Tanner’s Sports Grill & Bar in Kimberly, WI
Thursday, February 9th at A Frame in Bowling Green, KY
Friday, February 10th at The Burl in Lexington, KY
Saturday, February 11th at Black Circle Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, IN
Friday, March 10th at Syndicate Lounge in Birmingham, AL
Friday, April 7th at Star Bar in Atlanta, GA
Saturday, April 8th at Revelry Room in Chattanooga, TN
Friday, April 14th at Little Harpeth Brewery Nashville, TN (To The Top CD release show)

 

 

Video Premiere: Israeli Singer Maytal Michaeli “Heart”

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Acclaimed contestant on the first season of “The Voice of Israel” in 2012 pays tribute to her late mother and preps for album later this year.

By Blurt Staff

Although Maytal Michaeli has already notched a notable profile for herself via “The Voice of Israel” and subsequent performances that have earned her comparisons to everyone from Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones to Leonard Cohen and Bon Iver, she’s earnestly bearing down on a new album for 2017. The project, which she calls, not so coincidentally, I Am Project, was, in her words, “born on a balcony in Tel Aviv. It started to build up as a concept, before the songs were even written. I was in that period of time before a romantic break up, when you know it’s the right thing to do, but it is still very difficult to actually make a move and leave. I have a tattoo on my neck- “I AM”. These are the initials of my parents’ names. I put it there ‘because they always watched my back and always saved my neck, and I really needed something to save my neck and get me out of that situation. Music has the ability to be my secret special key in and out of where I am. ”

There’s a sad twist, however: Michaeli’s mother passed away suddenly during the singer’s recording and album preparations; there was no opportunity for a formal goodbye. So she felt no choice but to work through the loss and craft a posthumous farewell with this video titled “Heart”:

Offers Michaeli, “’Heart’ is a song that was written about the passing of my mother. The last time I spent time with her was my 29th birthday, as a birthday present she gave me a hand-written notebook with all her recipes. On the first page she wrote a few personal words and signed: “With love, Mom.”- in Hebrew.

“I decided to get a tattoo of these words in her hand writing. The director of the video clip spent the whole day with me, documenting. This was a very emotional and very important experience for me. ‘Heart’ came straight from my heart, in a very difficult moment of grief. It is a sad song but it is also filled with love. You can feel that secure, loving, supportive place I had, and I still have it inside of me, even though she is not here anymore. Together, the video and the song, tell a story about the important aspects of life—loving, longing, missing, needing, having, cherishing and losing.”

There’s a rare beauty contained herein that we hope the BLURT readership will appreciate, and by all means share. Maytal, we hope to see you touring these shores on the near future!

On the web: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MaytalMusic/