One reason Jon Stewart probably misses The Daily Show: the occasional musical guest. Such as Wednesday night, when Sturgill Simpson dropped by to do a cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” along with “Call To Arms,” which appears on the just-released A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. Check ’em out, below.
This weekend the mighty Charles Bradley – who was recently the subject of a pretty great Blurt feature photo gallery by John Boydston – appeared on CBS This Morning Saturday, talking about his career and influences as well as performing three songs. Check out the clips over at the show’s website.
We say, “rule!” Who in the indie world is not geeking out over this? Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster – you may have heard of the comedy duo, not to mention such cultural touchstones as “The Best Show” and Superchunk/Mountain Goats – are on this week’s The Simpsons show. As Pitchfork reports, in the episode the duo play a pair of scientists settin up a mission to Mars that Lisa signs up for.
Tight ‘n’ twangy little track from upcoming album, due in April.
By Barry St. Vitus
Well, these guys certainly clean up nice for their close-up for their late night cable TV debut on Conan the other night. Playing “Berlin Got Blurry,” with its cowpunchy guitar riff, off of their upcoming Human Performance album, watch for its arrival 4/8 on Rough Trade. This superlative work really pushes them up to new heights, as well as stretches them out in new directions….again. Following their odd Monastic Living EP a few months back, with mostly instrumental content (read the Blurt online review, Parquet Courts-Monastic Living), which they described as a much needed ‘palate cleanser,’ Human Performance is not only a return to form, but has taken a powerful stride, striking out in a new direction, making it their most inciting and insightful release to date. While many bands seem creatively milked dry after a few albums, PQ is only getting more creative and exciting.
Catching the Who last year on the band’s 50th anniversary tour was every bit as fun as seeing them back in the day – and yer ol’ Uncle here saw ’em at least 20 times, starting in 1971. The tour continues apace in 2016, and Thursday night they stormed the gates of NYC at Madison Square Garden. As Rolling Stone reports, they also kicked off the evening with a video tribute to the late David Bowie:
“David Bowie. Friend of The Who. Son of New York. Tonight we will distinctly miss David Bowie, longtime fan of The Who. He’s told the story of how he climbed the fence at London’s Roundhouse to sneak backstage and give Pete Townshend a copy of his new 1969 album, David Bowie. He covered ‘I Can’t Explain’ and ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ on his Pin Ups album. Nearly every year at MSG, he sat in the first row right beside the stage. We’ll miss our friend, a true icon of music and art, and a brilliant innovator.”
Then last night on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Pete, Roger and the gang stormed the TV gates with a nearly 7-minute version of “Who Are You” that practically had Fallon wetting his pants in delight. Watch the clip, below.
It’s called “InstaMiniSeries” and, as you might have deduced from that name, it’s an Instagram video-powered “channel” similar to a TV series. As Pitchfork reports, “Last fall, David Bowie gave the channel early access to his album ★ for a set of visual interpretations of its tracks, titled UNBOUND: A ★ InstaMiniSeries. Bowie invited interpretations ‘with no limits or preconditions’ [in order to take the] audience on a journey of evocative images inspired by the moods suggested in the album’s music, lyrics and artwork. The series is propelled by a focus on this visual interpretation of the ★ album as opposed to a literal, linear narrative.”
Starring in the 16-episode series will be Tavi Gevinson, actor Patricia Clarkson, and others. Nikki Borges (director) and Carolynn Cecilia (writer) produced and Lawrence Peryer co-produced.
Last night Blurt fave (and our 2015 Artist of the Year) Courtney Barnett was totally on a tear on the Stephen Colbert program, performing “Nobody Really Cares If You Go to the Party or Not,” which of course is a standout track on her latest album, the equally wordily titled Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Check out the clip, below.
At least Jethro Tull wasn’t nominated for Best Heavy Metal Album this time around…
By Fred Mills
It’s a strange day when the BLURT braintrust agrees completely with industry pundit and blogger Bob Lefsetz, but here we are. His recap starts off thusly, and it pretty much summarizes our feelings as well: “Taylor Swift was insufferable, LL Cool J was jive, the Weeknd soared and the Eagles sounded like angels ferrying Glenn Frey to heaven.”
To that we’d add Kendrick Lamar’s performance, which was as stunning as the Eagles/Jackson Browne tribute to the recently departed Glenn Frey was emotional. Below, watch those performances. The list of key winners follows.
Lefsetz continues, “But what struck me most was the changing of the guard. The baby boomers, the rockers, they’re in the rearview mirror, it’s a pop world run by young people and if you’re waiting for the classic rock era to come back I can only quote Pete Townshend…that song is over. How did this happen? Wasn’t the business supposed to crater when the legends crapped out?
“The business may be run by old men, but soon they’re going to be gone too and it will be a whole new era. One in which separating the seeds from the stems in your gatefold cover will be completely history, just like waiting for your favorite song to come on the radio and knowing every track on a mediocre album because you bought it and can’t afford another.”
Amen, brutha Bob.
(below: Lamar performance clip from a fan video, will post complete one as it turns up)
Best rap album
“2014 Forest Hills Drive”: J. Cole
“Compton”: Dr. Dre
“If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”: Drake
“To Pimp A Butterfly”: Kendrick Lamar *
“The Pinkprint”: Nicki Minaj
Best country album
“Montevallo”: Sam Hunt
“Pain Killer”: Little Big Town
“The Blade”: Ashley Monroe
“Pageant Material”: Kacey Musgraves
“Traveller”: Chris Stapleton *
Song of the year
“Alright”: Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears and Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
“Blank Space”: Max Martin, Shellback and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
“Girl Crush”: Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)
“See You Again”: Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth and Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
“Thinking Out Loud”: Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran) *
Best new artist
Meghan Trainor *
Album of the year
“Sound & Color” by Alabama Shakes
“To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar
“Traveller” by Chris Stapleton
“1989” by Taylor Swift*
“Beauty Behind the Madness” by The Weeknd
Record of the year
“Really Love” by D’Angelo and the Vanguard
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars*
“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift
“Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd
Best dance recording
“We’re All We Need”: Above & Beyond featuring Zoë Johnston
With “Random Name Generator” from Wilco (a key track from their recent Star Wars album) and a sweet lullabye from Jeff Tweedy, last night Stephen Colbert was sitting pretty pretty. Watch both clips from the broadcast, below.
Blurt Video Exclusive: Twinkle Star "Wasting Life Together"/"Release Yourself"
A Blurt Video Boot Exclusive: Vieux Farka Toure - live in Beijing 1/15/17)
Blurt Exclusive: James Johnston "Heart and Soul" (live)