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Video Premiere: “Boom Boom Boom” – NC Musicians’ Tribute to James Olin Oden

“i gotta confess”: Putting the “pow” back in “empowerment” – and supporting the home team when a fellow rocker can benefit from the collective energy of peers and friends. Everybody pogo!

By Fred Mills

Back in October we posted news about Raleigh, NC, musician James Olin Oden’s hospitalization and battle with a rare cancer — and of the immediate and loving response from the Triangle music community, which found a slew of Oden’s peers convening at his hospital room and performing an impromptu jam session. Oden and these guys are friends of all of us here at BLURT, and and is was doubly inspiring to learn that the musicians decided to take that energy and turn it into a recording and video session in tribute to Oden. I’d call it, support the home team. Who can argue with that?

Joining organizer Billy Warden, frontman for the Floating Children, at Michael Graziano’s Thread Audio studio in Raleigh to cut the “Boom Boom Boom (In The Emergency Room)” track  was an all-star cast: the Floating Children’s rhythm guitarist Jeffro Holshouser (also of Hank Sinatra), drummer Jody Maxwell (formerly of A Number of Things and The Sex Police), lead guitarist Sam ‘Sammy Doddy’ McDonald (also of Uglyography), bassist/key-tarist Matt Thomas (also of Uglyography), and go-go queen Tracey Brown. Also on hand were fellow locals guitarist/co-writer Sam Madison of Hank Sinatra and The Bleeding Hearts, guitarist Larry Burlison of Demon Eye, bassist Steve ‘Stevey-E’ Eisenstadt, saxophonist F.O. Finch of Sidecar Social Club, vocalist Rose Higgins of Back Stabbeth, singer/guitarist Caroline Mamoulides, singer Will Warden of Warehouse Bastards, bassist/graphic artist Jer Warren, and trombonist David ‘Pops’ Wright of Squirrel Nut Zippers and Countdown Quartet.

Now you can check out the all-star results – including a cameo from Oden near the end of the video:

Commented Warden, “The song is about putting the ‘pow’ in empowerment, about using the power of music, love and humor to hit back at whatever life hurls at you. That’s what James did. The key line is simple and true: ‘Music is the elixir / Love’s the ultimate fixer.’ It’s about living with the volume up when the chips are down.”

“Plus, you can dance to it — or at least pogo,” added Holshouser. “Everyone who was part of the recording grabbed onto the spirit of the song right away. The band laid down the basic track in the morning, and then guests started pouring in, whooping it up and casting their own brand of voodoo. Including James, of course.”  (Below: Warden and Holshouser of the Floating Children in full flight.)

The video itself was directed by David Iversen of BriteSpot Collaborative Studios.

And we’d remiss if we didn’t report some extremely good news: According to James, after intense chemotherapy and other treatments, his cancer is in remission. We got your back, good sir.j And we’ll never view a hospital stay in quite the same fashion after having this video for consultation…

 

Below: Rose Higgins, Jeffro Holshouser, James Olin Oden

2017 Vinyl, Cassette Sales Figures Surge In US

No comment from Goodwill and the Salvation Army on whether they still had any decks in their inventory…

By Blurt Staff

Nielson Music, which has been tracking music sales by format since 1991, reports that in 2017, vinyl sales had a respectable increase of 20% over the previous year. Cassette sales, however, are what raised eyebrows, jumping by a whopping 35% – that translates as 174,000 copies of an inferior music format, audio quality wise, sold to hipsters and their parents. That tally, though, comes with a caveat: It’s only 0.10 % of all album sales (LP, cassette, CD, downloads, streaming), and only 0.17 % of all physical albums.

Driving the increase? Guardians Of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and the Stranger Things soundtrack, both guaranteed millennial bait.

 

 

2017 Vinyl Sales Hit 16-year High In UK

Spin the black circle…

By Blurt Staff

The Vinyl Factory reports that, according to the BP, 2017 saw the sale of 4.1 million vinyl albums in the UK last year, which represents in the neighborhood of 3% of total music sales (vinyl, CD, streaming, downloads).

The 2017 Top Ten, sales-wise, is below – note the number of catalog titles, however, and the Beatles, Nirvana, Bowie, and Queen also figure prominently in the overall Top 25.

 

  • Ed Sheeran – Divide
  • Liam Gallagher – As You Were
  • Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix 1 Original Soundtrack
  • Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
  • Rag’N’Bone Man – Human
  • Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
  • Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Oasis – What’s The Story Morning Glory
  • David Bowie – Legacy

 

Incoming: Moon Duo 12″ Covering Suicide, Stooges

By Blurt Staff

The Sacred Bones label’s dynamic duo – that would be Moon Duo – is set to drop a new 12″ single on which they cover Suicide’s “Jukebox Babe” and the Stooges’ “No Fun.” Vinyl hounds will have plenty of reason to cheer: it will be available on both white vinyl (with a bonus poster included) and standard black vinyl, for a total of 2000 copies.

According to the band,

“We started playing ‘No Fun’ after BBC6 Radio asked us to record an Iggy song for his 70th birthday. We added it to our set to work it out for the session and kept playing it every night because everyone loves that song. We worked up a version of ‘Jukebox Babe’ because our sound engineer Larry got it stuck in his head and was singing it all the time. We figured, we may as well play it if we’re going to hear it all the time.

“The Stooges and Iggy, and Suicide/Alan Vega/Martin Rev, are all huge influences on us. But we never want to do faithful covers of great songs, because what’s the point. So we tried to push both of the tracks in less obvious directions, incorporating other influences, like California psych and cosmic disco, giving them more of a summer vibe. We knew Sonic Boom was working outside of Lisbon, so we asked him to produce the tracks, recording them in August for maximal summer heat.”

Based on the Suicide track alone, which is streaming at the Sacred Bones site, it’s a killer platter. Moon Duo are pros at limited edition releases, incidentally; last year’s two-part Occult Architecture EP was available as two colored vinyl pieces, and most of their other records have had some collectible element such as numbered, colored vinyl, bonus 7″, etc.

Moon Duo kick off a UK tour at the end of January.

Spacemen 3’s Dreamweapon Gets Fresh 2LP Reissue

Drone on! (blurted in Human Torch voice…)

By Blurt Staff

This just in from the estimable Superior Viaduct label – pretty much speaks for itself:

August 1988, Spacemen 3 embark on one of the strangest events in the band’s already strange history. Billed as “An Evening Of Contemporary Sitar Music” (although consciously omitting the sitar), the group would play in the foyer of Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford, Middlesex to a largely unsuspecting and unsympathetic audience waiting to take their seats for Wim Wenders’ film Wings of Desire.

Spacemen 3’s proceeding set, forty-five minutes of repetitive drone-like guitar riffs, could be seen as the “Sweet Sister Ray” of ’80s Britain. Their signature sound is at once recognizable and disorienting – pointing as much to the hypnotic minimalism of La Monte Young as to a future shoegaze constituency.

On the Feb. 23 double LP reissue from Superior Viaduct, Dreamweapon is augmented by studio sessions and rehearsal tapes from 1987 that would lead up to the recording of Spacemen 3’s classic Playing With Fire album. “Spacemen Jam,” featuring Sonic Boom and Jason Pierce on dual guitar, is a side-long mediation on delicate textures and psychedelic effects.

Recall that Dreamweapon originally appeared in 1990 as a 12″ EP with two long tracks or as a CD with a single 45-minute number, “An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music.” It was recorded live in ’88 in London. Over the years it has been reissued a number of times, including on the Sympathy label in the US with different artwork, and on the band’s on Space Age label for CD and LP. This new one apparently brings things up to date with all the material that has been released previously, although no bonus music is added.

MP3: Download Prophets of Rage 10/28/17 Show

Clear the way, yo.

By Uncle Blurt

One of the best albums of 2017 was the self-titled debut from Prophets of Rage, and the rock/hip-hop supergroup has steadily amassed a formidable reputation as a live act over the course of the last year and a half. Additional audio proof arrives via the band’s Voodoo Music festival appearance back in October, an HDTV webcase, which the archivists at Big O zine have kindly posted for free download along with printable artwork.

MP3: Prophets of Rage – Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. Wisner Stage, City Park Festival Grounds, New Orleans October 27, 2017

It’s a heavy-ass show, as befits the musicians who hail from the estimable ranks of Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, and Rage Against the Machine. Songs from all three groups’ back catalog are featured prominently in the setlist – a midset hip-hop medley of PE and Cypress material is one of the concert’s high points – which you can view, below.

      Track 01
. Prophets of Rage (Public Enemy cover) 4:21
      Track 02
. Testify (Rage Against the Machine cover) 3:39
      Track 03
. Take the Power Back (Rage Against the Machine cover) 7:01
      Track 04
. Hail to the Chief 4:19
      Track 05
. Bullet in the Head (Rage Against the Machine cover) 6:21
      Track 06
. Rap Medley 5:46
Hand on the Pump (Cypress Hill cover)/Can’t Truss It (Public Enemy cover)/Insane in the Brain (Cypress Hill cover)/Bring the Noise (Public Enemy cover)/I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That (Cypress Hill cover)/Welcome to the Terrordome (Public Enemy cover)
      Track 07
. Jump Around 6:48
(House of Pain cover)/Sleep Now in the Fire (Rage Against the Machine cover with Audioslave’s “Cochise” outro)
      Track 08
. Like a Stone (instrumental dedicated to Chris Cornell) 4:07
      Track 09
. Hands Up 3:05
      Track 10
. Know Your Enemy (Rage Against the Machine cover) 5:25
      Track 11
. How I Could Just Kill a Man (Cypress Hill cover) 3:57
      Track 12
. Bulls on Parade (Rage Against the Machine cover) 5:15
      Track 13
. Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine cover) 6:30

Toubab Krewe Returns w/New Album, PledgeMusic Campaign

 

By Fred Mills

North Carolina Afro-beat/world music/surf rockers Toubab Krewe, who burned brightly on the Asheville indie scene for a number of years then went on hiatus before resuming operations last year, has set a March 2 release date for their third studio album, Stylo. The quintet has also started a PledgeMusic campaign for the record and is offering a number of limited edition goodies and pledge packages. According to the band:

In celebration of our first album release in 7 years, we are offering some exclusive and limited edition Toubab Krewe items and experiences that you won’t be able to get anywhere else, while also helping out our friends at Seed Programs International. A portion of all proceeds will support SPI, a non-profit organization focusing on alleviating global hunger and poverty by gathering, packaging, and sending vegetable seed packets to impoverished communities worldwide.

You can check out the items available at the band’s PledgeMusic page, everything from digital and vinyl editions of the new album to a special “seed garden” collectors’ box to signed posters to private guitar lessons to house parties. You can also check out the pitch video Toubab Krewe put together for the campaign.

The group will be touring extensively in support of the new album starting in the spring. Read the 2010 BLURT feature and interview “Is There A Kora In the House?” here, and there is also an extended review of the group’s Live at the Orange Peel album here.

MP3: Download Heartbreakers 11/29/17 NYC Show

By Uncle Blurt

Who else queued up to grab that limited edition Heartbreakers album on Record Store Day’s Black Friday Sale? The Lure/Burke/Stinson/Kramer LAMF Live at the Bowery vinyl-only platter recorded in November of 2016? Well, if you did not score a copy, and eBay prices seem daunting, we’ve got a treat for you: a free download of the Heartbreakers – this time, it’s Walter Lure, Clem Burke, Mike Ness, and Glen Matlock, plus guest Jesse Malin – doing the LAMF and other gems associated with Johnny Thunders, at the Bowery Electric a few weeks ago, on Nov. 29.

MP3: Heartbreakers – Bowery Electric, New York City, November 29, 2017

As originally posted to Dime A Dozen, the audience recording is now up at the Big O zine complete with downloadable artwork, so what are you waitin’ for, punk? Full tracklisting is below.

      Track 01
. Intro 0:35
      Track 02
. Born To Lose 3:49
      Track 03
. Baby Talk 3:35
      Track 04
. All By Myself 4:05
      Track 05
. I Wanna Be Loved 5:20
      Track 06
. It’s Not Enough 3:18
      Track 07
. Chinese Rocks 2:18
      Track 08
. Get Off The Phone 5:05
      Track 09
. Pirate Love 3:11
      Track 10
. One Track Mind 3:12
      Track 11
. I Love You 3:30
      Track 12
. Goin’ Steady 3:55
      Track 13
. Let Go 5:38
      Track 14
. Can’t Keep My Eyes on You 2:32
      Track 15
. Do You Love Me 2:48
      Track 16
. Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory 3:29
      Track 17
. So Alone 5:35
      Track 18
. Steppin’ Stone 4:03
      Track 19
. Too Much Junky Business 2:47

Listen to FIFTH King Gizzard Album of 2017

By Uncle Blurt

Seems like it was just last week I was purchasing the fourth album of 2017 by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. But that was SO last week… today the Aussie psych monsters dropped the followup to Polygondwanaland.

it’s titled Gumboot Soup, and you can hear it streaming at Bandcamp. Check it out, below; the eleven songs will play successively The vinyl edition – no doubt available in multiple colored wax limited edition iterations, and you can view two of them at their site as well as preorder them –  will arrive in April via the band’s Flightless label. No word yet if it will also be released on the group’s American label, ATO.

 

Keeping Up With The Gizzard Wizards

By Uncle Blurt

By any measure – Robert Pollard, Ryan Adams, even the Kardashian loonies – Australia’s King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard has had a, ahem PRODUCTIVE 12-month period. No, they didn’t announce pregnancies across the board, or sundry thin-skined beefs with fellow rockers, or a slate of one-off side projects – although those could be forthcoming in 2018, who knows.

But what they DID do is release no less than four (4, count ’em) new records during 2017, most in them in multiple formats and a dizzying array of colored vinyl iterations, with the mindbending Polygondwanaland (ask us about our special clear-vinyl copy…) arriving late in the year. But wait – did we say late in the year?

There have also been no less than four new singles:”All Is Known,” “Beginner’s Luck,” “Greenhouse Heat Death” – and now, “The Last Oasis.” Check it out, below, followed by the other three. We can’t even predict what will drop next week as 2018 unfolds…