New Saint Etienne Album Coming in June

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Grab the limited editions and score some S.E. swag. Below, listen to a track from the album.

By Blurt Staff

It’s going to be called Home Counties and it’s by the beloved – and veddy English – band Saint Etienne. The new S.E. album, due June 2 from Heavenly, is already in preorder mode, and if you are familiar with the band’s operating habits, you already know that preordering is the best way to make sure you get whatever limited edition elements being offered.

Indeed, the album will be available in three formats: CD, cassette, and double vinyl LP w/download card. The limited editions come with goodies such as special art and stickers, and there’s also a special bundle edition including all three formats plus an art print signed by the bandmembers. Full details are here at the Saint Etienne store.

The 19 track album is, according to the band, “inspired by our bitter-sweet relationship with the eponymous shires that have always been part of our lives.”

Sarah Cracknell says: “We had so much fun writing for this album, drawing influence from our teenage years growing up in the home counties. Bob, Pete and I led almost parallel lives while I was in Windsor and they were in Surrey, developing our passion for music and London. [Co-producer] Shawn Lee was a joy to work with, he’s a wonderful multi-instrumentalist who seemed to have some kind of telepathy with us and translated our ideas perfectly. The record is quite varied in styles and brings together a little something from all our past albums whilst sounding completely new.”

Bob Stanley adds: “Suburbia’s anonymity is exactly why it’s a source of inspiration. They said it couldn’t happen here – and it didn’t.”

Pete Wiggs concludes: “We took a ride and ran with the dogs.”

Below, listen to album track “Heather” and check out the upcoming tour dates in the UK. The band is also plotting a rare US tour in September and October.

UK Tour Dates:

Fri May 26 Hebden Bridge Trades Club

Sat 27 Oxford Common People Festival

Wed 31 Barcelona Primavera Sound

Fri June 02 London Royal Festival Hall

Sat 03 Cardiff Tramshed

Sun 04 Birmingham Town Hall

Tue 06 Bexhill De La Warr

Thu 08 Newcastle Sage

Fri 09 Edinburgh Queens Hall

Sat 10 Sheffield City Hall Ballroom

Sun 11 Manchester RNMC Concert Hall


Southern Songs & Stories Doc Series w/Jon Stickley Trio at Albino Skunk Fest


Southern Songs and Stories logo

Documentary series also mounts Patreon crowdfunding campaign for fans.

By Fred Mills

A good friend of the BLURT gang, Joe Kendrick (also a mainstay of WNCW-FM community radio in Spindale, NC), has been working on a music documentary series for some time now, teaming with filmmaker Aaron Morrell of Grae Skye Studio for Southern Songs and Stories. To date they’ve produce docs on acclaimed Western North Carolina artists Aaron Burdett and The Honeycutters, describing their work as “a documentary series which blends live performance with a look at the artists’ lives and relationship with our region and the South at large… [Upcoming selections] will have a different look and feel than the previous episodes, but will focus on many of the same themes: music as a bridge to family, community, culture and history.”Stickley

Boy howdy to that. What’s on the horizon? Next weekend, April 6-8, the team will be at The SkunkFarm’s SpringSkunk Music Fest (aka the Albino Skunk Music Festival) to work on a documentary about the festival as well as one on the ever-brilliant Jon Stickley Trio (right), who will be performing that weekend. (Other performers will include Darrell Scott, I See Hawks in LA, Nikki Talley, Shinyribs, and Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, among many.)

Meanwhile, Kendrick and Morrell are mounting a crowdfunding campaign through the Patreon platform, offering a number of different pledge tiers ranging from early access to the Southern Songs material, to thanks in the video credits, to an invitation go be on set during the filming, etc. You can find out more about the series at their Patreon page and also watch video clips that the pair have produced over the years. Don’t forget to consider pledging!

Incoming: Max’s Kansas City 1976 & Beyond 2LP Set


This is your brain on Suicide, New York Dolls, the Stillettos, the Offs, the Senders, Philip Rambow, VON LMO, Iggy Pop, Knots, Roland Alphonso, Cherry Vanilla, Nico, Joy Ryder, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers…

By Blurt Staff

You know the name Max’s Kansas City if you are even remotely familiar with the NYC punk scene of the mid/late ‘70s. The iconic LP of the same name is now being reissue via Jungle/MVD, greatly extended to 40 tracks on a double-CD and a selection of 25 tracks on a double-LP. The extended collection features Suicide, The Fast, Wayne County, New York Dolls, the Stillettos, the Offs, the Senders, Philip Rambow, VON LMO, Iggy Pop, Knots, Roland Alphonso, Cherry Vanilla, Nico, Joy Ryder, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers and Sid Vicious amongst many others.

It includes many previously unreleased tracks and rarities. Compiled by Peter Crowley, who also contributes notes detailing the history of the album. Writer, musician and Max’s scenester Jimi LaLumia provides historical overview sleeve-notes along with biographies of the artists in a 20-page booklet. Look for the album on May 5.

The backstory:

The New York club had closed in 1974, then reopened in 1975 under new management, and Peter Crowley was hired as music director. The new young bands he booked helped spawn, in tandem with CBGBs, the New York City punk scene. In 1976 Peter compiled a studio album of acts associated with the club, Max’s Kansas City 1976, to help promote the club. It featured the first released recordings of Suicide, The Fast and Warhol-era veteran Wayne County, whose title-track gave a roll-call of many of the famous acts who’d regularly performed there. A Vol. 2 was subsequently released a few years later.

Above: Sleeve art from the original LP; below, sleeve art from Vol. 2.



View Photos from the Music From Big Pink and Beyond Concert


Live at the Alex Theatre this past weekend, it was a songwriters’ songwriters love fest of epic proportions. According to the organizers: “Benefit-concert producers the Wild Honey Foundation present The Band’s first two records Music From Big Pink and The Band, plus bonus songs, performed by a star-studded house band and guest singers. The event will benefit the Autism Think Tank.”


Go HERE to view our complete photo gallery of the event. Below: selected images include The Band’s own Garth Hudson, plus Victoria Williams and Van Dyke Parks.




Damn, It’s the Damned, Ready to Tour America


Trek kicks off next week in celebration of the punk band’s 1977 debut.


Ladies and gentlemen, The Damned are coming back to America to complete your Spring (or ruin your day). Yes, the iconic British punk band, at it for over 40 years now, will be doing a full tour of America, hitting just about every part of the country.

The tour begins on April 6th in Los Angeles and will end on May 21st in Phoenix, hitting parts far and wide; half of the dates will be with opening act Bleached, while the other half will have The Bellrays as support). See the itinerary, below.

The band, including co-founders Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible along with longtime members Monty Oxymoron, Andrew “Pinch” Pinching and Stu West, are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut lp, Damned Damned Damned and decided to throw a party, or several of them, of sorts. 7830627d4e434ab3912f6c58cca47b73

To say that the band’s classic debut (produced by Nick Lowe and the first British punk album) has been a huge influence on every punk band worth their salt is an understatement. With classics like “Neat Neat Neat,” “Fan Club,”  “New Rose” and too many others, the record rips from start to finish. Last month BMG released a special remastered edition of the record complete with a special booklet and liner notes by John Ingham, and thus the band decided to hit the road and show everyone how it’s really done.

In addition the band are working on a new record to be released later this year. It will be their first since 2008’s So, Who’s Paranoid?

Personally, the last time I caught the band was at Denver’s Riot Fest in 2015 and they delivered a stunning set complete with songs spanning their extensive catalog (I still think that they were the best band of that particular Riot Fest).

If you’ve never seen the Damned before or if you’ve seen them countless times this tour promises to be an event, so in the words of Classy Freddie Blassie, don’t miss it.

More details at the band’s official website, of course.

The Damned 2017 Tour Dates

4/06 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Belasco Theater
4/07 – San Diego, Calif. @ House Of Blues
4/09 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ House Of Blues
4/11 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Fillmore
4/12 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace Of Spades
4/14 – Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom
4/15 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ The Commodore
4/16 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox
4/18 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ The Depot
4/19 – Denver, Colo. @ Summit Music Hall
4/21 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Delmar Hall
4/22 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ Fine Line
4/23 – Chicago, Ill. @ House Of Blues
4/24 – Louisville, Ky. @ Mercury Ballroom
4/26 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ Deluxe at Old National Ctr.
4/27 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Bogart’s
4/28 – Cleveland, Ohio @ House Of Blues
4/29 – Detroit, Mich. @ St. Andrews Hall
4/30 – Toronto, Ontario @ Phoenix Theatre
5/02 – Montreal, Quebec @ Club Soda
5/04 – Boston, Mass. @ Paradise Rock Club
5/05 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Warsaw
5/06 – Asbury Park, N.J. @ Stone Pony
5/07 – Philadelphia, Pa @ TLA
5/09 – Baltimore, Md. @ Sound Stage
5/11 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Masquerade/Heaven
5/12 – Lake Buena Vista, Fla. @ House Of Blues
5/13 – St, Petersburg, Fla. @ State Theater
5/14 – Fort Lauderdale, Fla. @ Revolution
5/16 – New Orleans, La. @ House Of Blues
5/17 – Houston, Texas @ House Of Blues
5/18 – Dallas, Texas @ House Of Blues
5/19 – Austin, Texas @ Mohawk Outdoors
5/21 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Marquee Theater

Track Premiere: Parson Red Heads’ “Coming Down”


Tune culled from upcoming album due in June.

By Blurt Staff

Over the years we’ve sung the praises of Portland rockers The Parson Red Heads, including a review of 2013’s Orb Weaver and a profile, also in 2013, of the band. So we were pretty stoked to get the news that there’s a new album from the band, due June 9 via Fluff & Gravy Records (US) / You Are The Cosmos Records (EUR). Now we’ve got an exclusive early look at Blurred Harmony—the first single is “Coming Down,” so check it out:

Blurred Harmony is a musically diverse record – it is a distillation of the sounds and styles that the Parsons, as a band, love. It is the overdriven jangle of Teenage Fanclub and Big Star power-pop, the skewed psychedelics of the Paisley Underground, the bittersweet energy of New Zealand’s “Dunedin Sound” movement, and the muted twang of Cosmic Americana, all crammed into 44 minutes.


A full roster of tour dates will be announced late, but they have scheduled several already in and around their home territory:

June 7 – Old St Francis School – Bend, OR
June 8 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
June 10 – Conor Byrne – Seattle, WA

You can find out more about the band at the official website, and you can also pre-order the album on LP / CD:



Getting Ready for Bonnaroo?


June 8-11, 2017 this year on the farm Manchester, TN – see the lineup, above.

By Mark Jackson

This year is set to be another huge year for Bonnaroo! With non other than U2 co-headlining with Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Weeknd, this just might push record breaking ticket sales for the festival.

Bonnaroo has always been know for a great mix of music and breaking new acts and this year is no exception with EDM acts such as Marshmello, Getter, Major Lazer, Flume and Nghtmre. Back again this year is the late night jam session known as Superjam and the Blue Grass Situation Superjam Hosted by Ed Helms and friends.

Last year was the debut of the “Real Bathrooms” and was received with great reviews. Perhaps they will even be able to add more this year, it could come in real handy with sponsors Cherokee Distributors bringing tons and tons of Miller Lite Products to Centeroo.

My tips for Bonnaroo this year are:

  1. Buy your tickets as early as possible.
  2. IF camping double check your packed items to ensure you have all necessities.
  3. Bring a camelback or water bottle into Centeroo. There are several location to fill up for free.
  4. Bring a hat and or bandana and wet bandana often.
  5. Bring a great attitude or stay home
  6. Practice your high fives and work those arm muscles.
  7. Last but not least bring sunscreen!

Shaky Knees Festival 2017: Daily and Late-Show Lineups Announced


Big 5th anniversary bash for the Atlanta musical blowout…

By Jeff Clegg

Atlanta’s biggest summer music festival is returning for its fifth anniversary this year and is taking place May 12-14 at Centennial Olympic Park. The XX, LCD Soundsystem, and Phoenix are headlining the event, which also includes the likes of The Shins, Ryan Adams, Sylvan Esso, Pinegrove, Pixies, Wolf Parade, Warpaint, Car Seat Headrest, Hamilton Leithauser, Cloud Nothings, PUP, and Cymbals Eat Guitars. This marks the first time that the event has stayed in the same location consecutive years, which is great considering the event allows re-entry and is located conveniently next to several hotels and attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, College Football Hall of Fame, World of Coca-Cola, and SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel (just to name a few).

The late-night shows have just been announced, which notably includes sets by artists not on the main festival bill such as Slowdive and Sampha. Tickets for the festival can be purchased here and tickets for the late-night shows can be purchased here. Check out the lineups below:



In addition, the EDM-focused Shaky Beats Festival from the same organizers is returning for its second anniversary this year and will be held at Centennial Olympic Park the weekend before Shaky Knees, May 5th-7th. Check out the festival lineup below and purchase tickets here.



Record Store Day Titles – Including Schoolkids Records’ Bettie Serveert LP & Veldt 45


Our sister business gets in the, er, business of limited edition vinyl for this year’s event…


That’s why they call it Record Store Day — because it’s the one day of the year you definitely need to get your ass out to your local independent record dealer. How do we know this? Because we are partnered up with North Carolina indie chain Schoolkids Records, of course! Our sister business will be busy as hell, like usual, on April 22, helping you, the discriminating music consumer score all that limited edition vinyl you live and die by.


Which, this time around, will include our very own RSD release – beloved Dutch rockers Bettie Serveert will have their Damaged Good vinyl LP released on the Schoolkids Records label, and it’s a good ‘un, limited to 100 copies. Below, you can hear a couple of tracks from the album.

We also have an exclusive Schoolkids release from NC’s The Veldt, the “Symmetry” / “Slow Grid” 7″ 45, limited to 450 copies. Need I say it’s a good ‘un as well? Check the official video for the A side:

Meanwhile, what else will be dropping this year? How about David Bowie, unreleased Smiths, live Springsteen, Iggy and Lou Reed, Prince 12”ers, Spacemen 3, Patti Smith, Madonna, the Fall, Fleetwood Mac, the Chemical Brothers, Neil Young, The Chills, Sun Ra, Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus (no, not together), Jason Isbell, Sharon Jones, Air, Motörhead, Ramones, the Cure, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, Cocteau Twins, the Sex Pistols, U2, the Raincoats, Priests, Hudson Mohawke, Art of Noise, Elastica… whew. Go to the link for the full, downloadable list: here for the U.S. and here for the UK.

And in addition to the Bettie Serveert tracks, you might want to check out this, um, quirky Funny or Die video from St. Vincent, who is the official Ambassador for RSD 2017. Or maybe that’s the country of Recorstorda…


James Cotton 1935-2017 R.I.P.

James Cotton

Blues harp master was one of the last living links to The Blues’ heyday. Above photo: Christopher Durst (via the web).

By Blurt Staff

A giant of classic—and contemporary—blues passed away March 16: James Cotton, harmonica legend, at the age of 81, from pneumonia. Fittingly enough, he died in an Austin hospital while the SXSW musical throngs clogged the clubs in the streets below.

The Delta-spawned bluesman influenced untold players from multiple genres—blues, rock, folk—and aside from the many blues peers he performed with over the years, he also worked with everyone from Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton to Janis Joplin and Keith Richards. He got his start as a vocalist in the ‘50s, at Sun Records of all places, then wound up as a featured performer with Muddy Waters before starting his own James Cotton Blues Band.

The Washington Post and the New York Times both have key summaries of the man’s career. Meanwhile, check out some of his music, below.