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.
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:
The above photo displays the handsome new Swamp Dogg album, Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune, which drops Sept. 7 via Joyful Noise. (The photo also shows the limited edition SD flexidisc that is offered to folks in the Joyful Noise VIP program. And yes, before you ask, it will also be available on CD and digital download.) The funk/soul/swamp-rockin’ legend clearly has no intentions of burning out or fading away, to paraphrase Neil Young. According to the label:
Nearly fifty years after his debut release, Swamp Dogg stands on the precipice of another radical reinvention. His latest creation is titled Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune a nine song collection featuring production by Poliça’s Ryan Olson. Love, Loss, and AutoTune finds Swamp Dogg’s bluesy southern soul colliding head-on with 21st Century electronic music production techniques.
You can get more details at the above link. Meanwhile, check out the new video for album track “I’ll Pretend”:
Track taken from Willie’s granddaughter’s combo’s new album, out in June.
By John B. Moore
I’m not sure why we’re getting all worked up about Prince Harry’s wedding, when we’ve got out own Royal Family here in the U.S. to pay attention to. Willie Nelson’s granddaughter Raelyn Nelson (just the latest in a growing line of talented Nelson’s) and Hannah Fairlight have partnered for a new project, mmhmm. The two are pioneers in the Americana Pop genre.
Shortly after moving to Nashville, Fairlight landed a leading role on A&E’s Crazy Hearts: Nashville, released a self-produced EP, and landed the role of Veracity in Pitch Perfect 3. Before co-founding mmhmm, Nelson fronted the appropriately named, The Raelyn Nelson Band.
Their debut album is out on June 8, the first single from it is “Aw Hell” and they were kind enough to let Blurt be the first to share it with the world.
“Aw Hell” is the first song Raelyn and I wrote together, sitting on my back porch in Inglewood, East Nashville,” said Fairlight. “I guess we were just reflecting on real life circumstances and our coming to terms with them. Raelyn’s house burned down, which was INSANE.,. And it gave me and definitely Raelyn new perspective on everything.”
The duo have a handful of dates set up for June:
June 1st at Puckett’s in Lieper’s Fork, TN
June 15th at Lipstick Lounge – Album release show and party in Nashville, TN
Supporting Todd Snider:
June 16th at Paramount Center of the Arts in Bristol TN
Not long ago we published an interview with the adventurous jazz duo Dadalon, our contributor Jonathan Levitt commenting on the NYC combo thusly: “Alon Albagli, guitarist for the group, sounds like a young Bill Frisell, creating heightened states of awareness with his cyclical looped guitar work that builds and builds until there’s an intense emotional payoff for the listener. Daniel Dor, drummer and keyboardist for the group, is able to infuse a rhythmic playfulness into each song that is both supportive of Alon’s guitar playing and propulsive at the same time. The music is an intimate conversation between two friends that is beckoning for you to join in.”
Guarantee: no Muppets were harmed during the filming of this interview.
By Robin E. Cook
Jim Henson, in his wildest fever dreams, could never have imagined the intra-band dramas of Austin’s Fragile Rock Band. Then again, he wasn’t around to witness the rise of emo. For their SXSW show, the band wore their hearts on their felt sleeves while singing songs about Ms. Pac-Man and frontman Milo S.’s new crush, the actress Fairuza Balk. Milo was conspicuously absent for the interview the afternoon before the show, but the rest of the band proved quite lively.
“Having a Rave Up” key track from lysergic new platter…
By Blurt Staff
No, it’s not a Yardbirds (look up that ref…) tribute, but it IS a tribute to ‘60s psych/garage/pop gems of yore: “Having a Rave Up,” from the Boston band’s recently released studio album, Psychsploitation Today (Lolipop and Burger Records). Blurt reviewed their 2015 albumKeep Your Stupid Dreams Alive and this new one’s even more cranium-crunching. We are advised thusly, of the evolutionary genre grinders (yeah, we stole that description): “While the Prefab Messiahs originally started performing their own lo-fi brand of post-punk, psych, garage-pop in the early ‘80s, along with working with ‘outsider psych legend’ Bobb Trimble at the time, it wasn’t until their early music was re-released a few years ago on Burger Records that media and fans alike started to connect the dots from The Prefabs to today’s garage-psych artists such as Ty Segall, Oh Sees, White Fence, King Tuff and others.”
O, what a lucky man: Key track from new album currently out (and being toured as well).
By Fred Mills
This clip is a personal fave: Having followed Chris Smither avidly ever since seeing him in a small blues club in Charlotte, NC (and later having the privilege of hanging with him and sundry other fans and media types during a memorable night of, ahem, music and fun in Tucson, AZ), I can state personally that the cat is the real freakin’ deal —and you, gentle readers, will bear witness with me when you view the following video for “Down to the Sound,” a special solo acoustic performance, filmed in Leverett, MA, of a key track from his superb new album, Call Me Lucky (Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert), which dropped a few days ago, on March 2:
With video production via J. Elon Goodman / www.saltstage.com, this simple-yet-piercing track comes alive, not unlike having the blues/Americana virtuoso sitting across you in your own house.
Smither, on the track: “This song came about from some press interview awhile back when I was in the middle of writing songs for this record. He asked me the question I’ve been asked more times than I care to remember, ‘How do you write songs?’ I think ‘Down To The Sound’ ended up being a suitable answer.”
It’s the Boston virtuoso’s 18th—yes, that makes EIGHTEEN—album to date, and a 2CD set to boot, one which took him to Austin with producer David Goodrich along with players Billy Conway (Morphine) and Matt Lorenz (The Suitcase junket). If you need more convincing, HERE is a video you can also view over at NPR’s World Café.
Or you could just check out the man in concert, because he’s on the road just about constantly for the next couple of months…
Wed., March 7 PORTLAND, OR Alberta Rose Theatre*
Thurs., March 8 EUGENE, OR Shedd Institute*
Fri., March 9 BAINBRIDGE WA The Treehouse Café*
Sat., March 10 VANCOUVER, BC St. James Hall*
Sun., March 11 SEATTLE, WA Tractor Tavern*
Wed., March 14 SANTA CRUZ, CA Kuumbwa Jazz Center*
Thurs., March 15 AUBURN, CA Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center*
Fri., March 16 BERKELEY, CA Freight & Salvage*
Sat., March 17 SEBASTOPOL, CA Sebastopol Community Center*
Fri., March 30 HOUSTON, TX The Mucky Duck
Sat., March 31 AUSTIN, TX Cactus Cafe
Wed., April 4 NEW YORK, NY City Winery NYC*
Fri., April 6 FALL RIVER, MA Narrows Center for Arts*
Sat., April 7 TURNERS FALLS, MA Shea Theater*
Sun., April 8 CAMBRIDGE, MA The Sinclair*
Fri., April 13 AUBURN, NY Auburn Public Theater
Sat., April 14 PHILADELPHIA, PA World Cafe Live
Sun., April 15 BALTIMORE, MD Creative Alliance at Patterson
Fri., April 27 NASHVILLE, TN Bluebird Cafe
Sat., April 28 BATON ROUGE, LA Red Dragon Listening Room
Sun., April 29 NEW ORLEANS, LA Chickie Wah Wah
Thurs., May 10 EVANSTON, IL Evanston SPACE
Fri., May 11 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Cedar Cultural Center
Sat., May 12 ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark
Sun., May 13 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom
Tues., May 15 PITTSBURGH, PA Club Cafe
Wed., May 16 BUFFALO, NY 9th Ward @ Babeville
Thurs., May 17 ROCHESTER, NY Penthouse at One East Ave
Fri., July 20 TELLURIDE, CO Telluride Americana Music Festival
The ever-diligent Dangerous Minds website has unearthed a good-quality half-hour video of the late, great Minutemen performing an unplugged set for Los Angeles public access television in 1985. The footage has circulated quite a bit in the past, including this relatively recent 2013 YouTube upload, but it’s still always a welcome addition to the daily mix. (How unplugged? Drummer George Hurley plays bongos against Mike Watt and D. Boon’s acoustic guitars.)
In addition to certain key Minutemen numbers, the video includes the band’s takes on Meat Puppets, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Blue Oyster Cult. I can personally testify to the latter pair of bands figuring high on the Boon, Watt, and Hurley Top Ten lists. To that I can testify, having hung out with the band for close to a week in 1985, interviewing them and semi-surreptitiously bootlegging their shows opening for REM that fall; BOC was frequently mentioned as an influence on Boon and Watt. The version of BOC’s “The Red and The Black” on this video is classic – all they needed was Will Ferrell to jump onstage and add some more cowbell.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the set has also been bootlegged numerous times, audio-wise, with some M-men fans going to great lengths to clean up and remaster the material. If you hunt, you can find decent quality audio downloads and maybe an actual CD version. How about an official release, gang?
“My God, I’ve been purified, I’m a human vaccine Gonna save my race with my AR 15.”
By Fred Mills
It’s called “Mass Killin’ Gun,” and it’s a new song that Peter Himmelman wrote in direct response to the Parkland massacre and the ensuing heated debate about guns and gun control. With over the top lyrics such as the ones quoted above, it should be clear to everyone except Ted Nugent and Wayne LaPierre that, here, Himmelman’s dripping with sarcasm towards the pro-gun lobby and Americans’ love affair with guns. Check it out:
Um, add YouTube to that list featuring the Nuge and the NRA maniac – as The Wrap points out, Himmelman received a takedown notice from YouTube that indicated he had violated the platform’s community standards. They stuck to their decision even after he queried the specifics of their decision, telling him, “After further review of the content, we’ve determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision.”
The fact that I am posted the video to the site does suggest something had been resolved between this morning and the time of The Wrap’s original post on Feb. 22, of course. But there is the larger issue of exactly what YouTube defines as their standards; overt hate speech and beheading videos would certainly qualify. But a socio-political statement in which the singer is playing a cartoonish character? Even the Parkland shooting survivors would “get it” and they’d probably applaud Himmelman for trying to make a statement; don’t forget, these were the folks who were standing and applauding at the CNN town hall meeting while Senator Marco Rubio was doing his level best to insert his size 10 wingtips into his mouth.
Himmelman told The Wrap, “It was meant to be ironic. Obviously I don’t endorse going around killing people with an AR-15. It wasn’t gun control that spurred the song. I was just trying to imagine someone so derange dand what was going through his mind.
“It’s not a shining moment for YouTube [which] claims it’s trying to give people a voice, but when you of peek behind the curtain all you see is the Wizard of Oz, and it’s just one big machine. They’ve grown so much, they’ve become just another giant bureaucracy, everything they’ve been trying to disrupt has come full circle and now they’re just the man.”
The truly ad part about all this, though, is not that YouTube took down a video by a popular artist just because they feared it might be too controversial – it’s that we have in America a pretty significant percentage of the population who will read the lyrics and not see them as ironic – and be supportive of them as a result. Why is that little voice in my head telling me that Ted Nugent will be covering this song in concert soon?
The right to bear arms is deeper than my bones It shall not be infringed upon, a law set in stone Yeah I know it’s about militias, but details are such a bore And anyway, I’m getting ready for the next civil war…
I’m holding a thing of beauty, an incredible machine Makes me feel like a man, a more powerful human being I keep it oiled, polished to a shimmering sheen I’m in love with my AR 15
I don’t use the thing for hunting I don’t keep it around for fun When society breaks down I’ll grab it and I’ll run I’ll head for the hills when the war’s finally begun You can’t kill en masse if you ain’t got a mass killin gun
There’s so much to hate, so much that is obscene Am I the only man, with no thought that is unclean My God, I’ve been purified, I’m a human vaccine Gonna save my race with my AR 15
I don’t use it for hunting I don’t keep it ’round for fun When society breaks down I’ll grab it and I’ll run I’ll head for the hills when the war’s final years begun You can’t kill en masse if you ain’t got a mass killin gun
I’m holding a thing of beauty More deadly than a guillotine It’s more than a weapon, it’s my semi-automatic wet dream With it I am invincible, I get higher than a shot of morphine You know I love my AR 15
I don’t use it for hunting I don’t keep it ’round for fun When society breaks down I’m gonna grab it and I’ll run I’ll head for the hills when the war’s final years begun You can’t kill en masse if you ain’t got a mass killin gun
A Blurt Boot Exclusive: Psychedelic Furs "Only You and I" (Live Costa Mesa CA 7-19-18
Tribute: Tony Kinman (R.I.P.) and Rank And File - Video from "Long Gone Dead"
Blurt Audio Exclusive: Thin White Rope "The Fish Song" (from 2018 remaster of The Ruby Sea