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Video Premiere: Brett Newski “Life Upside Down”

Title track from the indie wunderkind’s album of the same name—guaranteed to make you feel great and NOT anxious, yo. (Go HERE to read Newski’s awesome 2016 essay for Blurt, “The 7 Best Countries & 3 to Avoid for Traveling Musicians.”)

By John B. Moore

Brett Newski, along with being wildly talented, Willie Nelson-level prolific and a favorite here at Blurt Magazine, is also the epitome of DIY (we’re talking 1980’s hardcore punk rockers who booked their own shows, handmade their merch and cut, pasted, folded and packed every album they every made-type of DIY). The kid is making his bones, regularly trekking across the globe  to play shows in some dude’s living room or getting snagged by someone like the Violent Femmes or The new Pornographers to open their shows. So when he asked us if we’d be cool hosting the video for the title track off his new album, Life Upside Down, we said “Fuck that! We’re gonna interview you as well.”

So as he packed for a  long tour that will take him across Europe and back to the U.S. for a slew of shows, he sighed (I’m assuming – this was all handled via e-mail) and said “sure thing. What do you want to know?” (Again, assuming here. It’s not like we’re Bob Woodward with endless hours of tapes here).

It seems like your last EP, The Stars Are As Good as A Nightlight, just came out. Are you just having a wildly prolific period at the moment
I hit burnout two years ago after playing some 600 shows in three years. After a break and finding a girl who really stabilized my brain, I’m ready to get after it again. I had to get back to the reason I started doing this in the first place, catharsis and fun.

Sonically “Life Upside Down” is a very ’90s sounding record channeling a few of my first influences (early Weezer, early Green Day, Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra, early BNL, old school BECK)…and more recent influences (Nada Surf, Frank Turner, New Pornographers, Delta Spirit, BEN Kweller, Manchester Orchestra)

You have not been shy in the past of  talking about your anxieties (thank you for that, by the way). Do any of the songs on this new record address those feelings?

There are a few “anti-anxiety songs” on every record. Now as the number of songs in the world moves toward infinity, I want the songs on “Life Upside Down” to have utilitarian value as well. If they are disposable, I am not doing my job.

You’ve been kicked out of Wal-Mart for playing and recording and successfully played a Dollar Store, if I remember correctly. Any other retail sites on your bucket list? 

 Yes, sir. Kmart, Best Buy, Aldi, IKEA, McDonald’s and the neighborhood Greek restaurant. We get kicked out of almost every pop up show we do. We call this series DORK ROCK BUM RUSH. Most people enjoy it, but the staff typically wants us dead.

You seem to be constantly be on the road. How much time off have you taken the past few years?
I don’t take off-time other than a lazy Sunday here and there. Work is a medicine that combats my worries and keeps them in check. However it’s important to not work too much, because you generally hit a point of diminishing returns after 8-10 hours of work per day. Once you do that, you’re hurting yourself professionally and also in your brain and your relationships.

You’re about to tour Europe. What’s next for you?
Johnny B! Coming to visit you in Philly, November 15! We have a pretty hectic ‘n long Euro and US tour on the books. I’m working with my friend Paul Langton in America. He’s a brilliant radio promoter from Boston and we have a very similar taste pallette in music.
Plans for any additional new music?

I’m working on my first book actually!

One of my dream albums is to post up in Cuba for a month and make a lo-fi album with only a cell phone. Would that be neat? Also I have been working with my drummer/collaborator SPATOLA on more albums. He is amazing and he looks just like Dave Grohl.

 

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Brett is in Europe for the next few weeks and then will kick off US dates starting October 26 with a special album release show in Milwaukee. Check out his official website for upcoming dates (https://brettnewski.com/)… or don’t. Suit yourself; It’s not my fault if you don’t like good music.

Video Premiere: Paul Collins’ “Go”

Killer track by the power pop auteur plucked from upcoming album, due out Sept. 28. We think they got it…

By John B. Moore

As tough a facade as we occasionally put up here at BLURT, even we can’t resist a Sweet, perfectly-crafted power pop song. So, when Paul Collins—musician, producer, and author—asked us if we wanted to premiere “Go,” from his newest album, Out of My Head, we said “hell, yes!” Check it out:

“’Go” is the second video we have shot for the album and, like the record, it’s straight from the hip,” said Collins, who of course played in pioneering outfits The Nerves and The Beat before going solo. “Our good buddy, Derek Davidson, rented a high-end video camera and we knocked it out in three hours. We wanted something live and fresh, kinda like Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ but without all the production. I think we got it!”Paul Collins’ Out of My Head will be available on limited edition vinyl, CD, digital, and streaming formats September 28th, via Alive Naturalsound Records.

And for wax fans, here’s a link to order the beautiful, limited starburst vinyl. It’s limited to just 200 copies, so don’t procrastinate…

Conway Savage of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 1960-2018, R.I.P.

Gifted Aussie keyboardist had a long, illustrious tenure with the Bad Seeds since the early ’90s. He’s pictured above, second from right. Below, watch a pair of videos and listen to a unique vocal performance with the Bad Seeds.

By Fred Mills

Having been fortunate enough to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds twice in recent years, it hits hard to learn of their veteran keyboardist Conway Savage’s passing yesterday (Sept. 2) from a brain tumor. He was only 58. Savage had been diagnosed in 2017 with the illness, and it prevented him from performing with the band for much of the Skeleton Key tour.

At the NickCave.com site, the following announcement was posted:

Our beloved Conway passed away on Sunday evening. A member of Bad Seeds for nearly thirty years, Conway was the anarchic thread that ran through the band’s live performances. He was much loved by everyone, band members and fans alike. Irascible, funny, terrifying, sentimental, warm-hearted, gentle, acerbic, honest, genuine – he was all of these things and quite literally “had the gift of a golden voice,” high and sweet and drenched in soul. On a drunken night, at four in the morning, in a hotel bar in Cologne, Conway sat at the piano and sang Streets of Laredo to us, in his sweet, melancholy style and stopped the world for a moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Goodbye Conway, there isn’t a dry eye in the house. Love, Nick and the Bad Seeds.

An extensive biography for Savage, that also details his numerous solo albums and other bands over the years, can be found here. Meanwhile, check out a few choice video moments, below – note that the third clip, a Bad Seeds montage, is for “The Willow Garden,” originally the B-side for “Where The Wild Roses Grow,” which was sung by none other than Savage himself. R.I.P., good sir.

Watch Raucous New Vid from Japan’s King Brothers

HOUND GAWD! RECORDS

“No Want” from the garage monsters’ new album “Wasteland,” due this month from Hound Dawg Records. Think: every band that aspired to be on Nuggets but was deemed “too insane.”

By Uncle Blurt

Subject header says it all: this Japanese garage outfit returns for a 20th anniversary celebration, after a considerable absence from the record store bins, on September 28 via the estimable Hound Dawg! label, straight outta Germany. Wasteland is the title, and you will need no convincing that this album (on both black and limited edition gold vinyl) is worth lining up for at your local independent record dealer’s doors. Just check out the INSANE video for key track “No Want.” It’ll have you stage diving from the relative safety of your living room…

Pre-Drive By Truckers Band Adam’s House Cat 1990 LP Gets Vinyl Release

Album arrives Sept. 21 via ATO.

By Blurt Staff

This just in from ATO Records:

Before Drive-By Truckers, Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood formed Adam’s House Cat in the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama in 1985. Their songs and friendship became the foundation on which DBT was built. Their one and only “lost” album from 1990 was remixed by David Barbe, remastered by Greg Calbi and is now available for the first time with archival photos and extensive liner notes from Patterson Hood.

Town Burned Down is hitting stores on September 21 on vinyl, and the yellow wax version is available for pre-order now. Below, check out a few tunes that had previously found their way to YouTube.

Track Premiere: Wyves’ “Mar-a-Lago” Trumptrib… not!

Phoenix outfit takes a l’il sonic vacation to sunny Florida and hops in a tanning booth….

By Blurt Staff

sure if you’ve heard this yet, but the guy currently squatting in the White House is a real asshole – I mean, seriously, a racist, misogynistic, egotistical dullard appealing to the worst instincts of humanity – so, not a cool guy. The Phoenix-based band Wyves may have caught on to him as well, as they just put out a stellar, rollicking slice of satire with their new single, Mar-a-Lago,” is a sweet little tune written in the first person as Donald Trump.

“Instead of just talking about how horrible or absurd he is in literal terms, I wanted to take an approach like “A Day In The Life” or “Sympathy For The Devil” to highlight his ridiculous ways by boasting about his base loves about him,” says Wyves singer Corey Gloden  “This includes him going to Mar-a-Lago on the weekends to play golf with world leaders and business partners. I wanted the chorus to read like a brochure and like an 80’s tropical beach song in a major key, like “Kokomo”, offset with dark cryptic lyrics.”

The band was cool enough to let us bring it to you for the premier.

The song is off their new record, R U OK? Listen to “Mar-a-Lago”:

Wyves formed in 2015 and released their debut album, Spoils of War, the next year. That first single (sharing a name with the album title) was named #1 single of 2016 by the Phoenix News Times. Over their three years of existence, the band has shared the stage at festivals and as direct support with acts such as Gary Clark Jr, Dr. Dog, Govt. Mule, Juliette Lewis, and many more.

Track Premiere: Chris Stamey “Greensboro Days”

North Carolina indie rock godfather serves up a gem of a flashback. (Photo credit: Daniel Coston)

By Fred Mills

As North Carolina’s Chris Stamey quips, “Here it is, the followup to my first single, ‘The Summer Sun’—after only 41 years!”

The songwriter/rocker/producer is talking about “Greenboro Days,” which we here at BLURT are honored to be able to present to our readership. I’ve been a fan ever since the mid ‘70s, when he emerged as one of indie-rock’s earliest movers and shakers with his outfit Sneakers. Since then he’s consistently delivered the sonic goods, and this new track is no exception, so check it out:

The folk-pop tune’s available now at Spotify as well as Amazon. It was produced by Chris and Jeff Crawford and features Dan Davis (drums) and Jason Foureman (acoustic bass), plus John Teer from Chatham County Line on fiddle and mandolin, and Peter Holsapple from The dB’s (who also has a new record out, the Omnivore-issued Game Day album) on harmony vocals. (The tune will tweak the memories of longtime Stamey/Holsapple watchers who have the pair’s Mavericks collaboration from the ‘90s.) According to Chris, “’Greensboro Days’ is a folk-rock lament about traveling from summer into autumn, on steel wheels.” Those steel wheels can be viewed in the accompanying lyric video, which is considerably more than just a typical “lyric video”:

“Greensboro Days,” then, makes for a fitting followup to Chris’ “Summer Sun” single from ’77. It’s released on Stamey’s recently reactivated Car Records label, which released some true gems in the late ‘70s from Holsapple, Stamey and The dB’s, Big Star’s Chris Bell, and Sneakers. It’s more than appropriate, considering the back pages Chris recently thumbed through in his A Spy in the House of Loud musical memoir. The city of Greensboro is just a few miles from where Chris grew up, in Winston-Salem, and it played an influential role during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s when the North Carolina indie scene—and Stamey himself—was establishing its musical footing. And speaking of the Car label: He also has plans to release a new solo album, The Great Escape, via Car in early 2019, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Incidentally, fans wanting to dive a bit deeper into “Greensboro” can snag a free download of Chris’ sheet music for the song at THIS LINK that he kindly provided. The sheet music is from his songbook New Songs for the 20th Century.

 

 

 

 

Incoming: Album from Nashville’s Sour Ops / In Hand: Promo 12″

Rockin’ two-track advance teaser for Nashville band’s upcoming full-length.

BY FRED MILLS

Self-described as “a collaborative rock & roll effort,” Nashville-based Sour Ops here serves up a righteously rockin’ slab of 12” wax, “Phonograph” b/w “Mind Like Glue” courtesy Feralette Media. On the “Phonograph” A-side, the group is paying tribute to, you guessed it, the joys of recording for, pressing up on, and listening to, vinyl. Gee, how’d they figure out BLURT might be predisposed to liking this ditty?—which, sonically speaking, is a tight-but-loose chip-off-the-ol’-Stooges/MC5-block. (Listen close, and you might also here a couple of sneaky Stones licks in there as well.)

Over on the flip, “Mind Like Glue” picks up the baton and bolts with it via a crunchy, riff-powered progression that marks the band as latterday sons of Nuggets. Which comes as no huge surprise, considering the bandmembers list Panther Burns, Snakehips, the Upstairs Party, Botswanas, and Sixty-Nine Tribe on their collective C.V. Led by guitarist Price Harrison (who also heads up the Feralette label, which has previously brought us music from Snakehips, Marshall Chapman, Boo Ray, and Palmyra Delran), Sour Ops has a full length, Family Circuit, due out in late October, and this limited edition single makes for quite a fine teaser.

 

Prince Legit Promo of ‘Black Album’ Breaks Online Selling Record

Resident Blurt editor also has direct experience with legendary title’s sales history…

By Uncle Blurt

The news about a Canadian copy of Prince’s The Black Album, from 1987 and cancelled for release by The Artist and Warner Bros., selling on music marketplace Discogs.com for $27,500 did not escape our attention. As Noisey.com reports:

“This record-breaking copy of The Black Album isn’t the most expensive Black Album ever sold—a sealed copy went for $42,298 earlier this year—but it is special. It was salvaged from the vinyl slaughter by a pressing plant employee in Canada, who had no idea of its value until five sealed American copies of the album surfaced in 2016. The unnamed man then contacted Jeff Gold, a former executive VP at Warner who now runs a music memorabilia store.”

Indeed, the aforementioned Prince vinyl has always been a sought-after artifact in its original, unreleased state, and a hot item among vinyl and CD bootleggers, not to mention digital file swappers. (It’s readily available these days among  file traders despite Prince and his estate’s efforts to the contrary.) No less than Blurt Editor Fred Mills reports, “A number of years ago, long before the record saw official release on CD, I had bought a vinyl bootleg of it, complete with solid black artwork and sticker title, at a record swap show. Ultimately, during a purge of my record collection – I had always thought of Black Album as more of a curiosity than a ‘real’ Prince album, what with so many throwaway tunes, and that Prince himself had made the right call in yanking it – a ‘friend of mine, whose name I forget’ sold that bootleg copy for in the neighborhood of $400. Gee, who was that? I must have been drunk when I loaned it to him/her… And that was just for a bootleg. i would venture a guess that $27k for an actual copy of the real deal, while excessive by my personal budget standards, is about right.”

Available at random download sites, depending on the state of Prince estate whack-a-mole efforts…