SoCal kings of cool serve up another winner – not to mention a stunning looking slab o’ wax.
By John B. Moore
If Blurt had a house band, there’s a pretty good chance the laidback, LA-based Indie Pop band GospelbeacH would be in the running. No less than our editor Fred Mills called last year’s sumptuous sophomore platter,Another Summer of Love, “not only perfectly titled, it’s a study in both perfect conception and perfect execution”; longtime contributor Barry St. Vitus described 2015’s Pacific Surf Line as a classic release as“viewed through the lens of the Buffalo Springfield, Flying Burrito Brothers, Chris Darrow and others who pioneered the sound and glorified So-Cal’s gilded palace of sin and sun with a country spin early on.”
So imagine how stoked we were to be asked to premiere the song “ Runnin’ Blind,” off their soon-to-be-released Another Winter Alive.
“‘Runnin’ Blind’ is our attempt to blend Krautrock with The Everly Brothers…lyrically it’s one of those prophetic songs that weren’t real at the time but life ended up imitating art,” said singer-songwriter Brent Rademaker.
The album features five previously unreleased studio tracks recorded during the band’s sessions for Another Summer Of Love plus five live songs recorded in London during their California Fantasy tour, revisiting stripped-down live versions of songs from their debut album Pacific Surf Line.
GospelbeacH’s Another Winter Alive will be available on Limited Edition Vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats on November 30th via Alive Naturalsound Records.
Picture Robert Duvall leading a cast of country legends… with Tom Cruise in attendance. (Above photo NOT from the show, but from the actor’s star turn in the film The Apostle.)
By Fred Mills, Blurt Editor
During drivetime today, during NPR’s daily All Things Considered broadcast, they presented their latest in their wonderful “American Anthem” series of classic American songs that have been deemed, well, anthems worth memorializing and frequent celebrating. Ergo, the Americana country-gospel standard “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” which in the seamless report from contributor Jewly Hight, puts things this way:
The song’s ability to help people feel emotionally, spiritually and musically connected to their present-day communities and those who have died, whether legendary musicians or loved ones, has made it a go-to ritual everywhere from worship services to family memorials, gospel sings, bluegrass picking parties, Americana award show finales and the annual Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Indeed. I had my up close and personal encounter with the song one memorable evening in January of 1990, involving Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, June Carter Cash, Jessi Colter, Robert Duvall… and Tom Cruise. From my notes (and you can read the entire story here as well):
In January of 1990 Tom Cruise had finished filming his race car flick Days of Thunder at the Charlotte Motor Speedway…Early in the evening, co-star Robert Duvall arrived at the party with four very special friends in tow: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, June Carter Cash and Jessi Colter. Holy shit. I soon enough ditched my undercover-journalist guise and turned into a gushing fanboy, going over to welcome them to Charlotte and shake their hands. Soon enough, Cash and Jennings got up onstage to play with the band [local group the Belmont Playboys] for a couple of songs, followed by their wives, and then by Duvall. Before it was all done, Duvall was leading the entire room in an extended chorus of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” The looks of pleasure on Jennings and Cash’s faces were priceless—as was the million watt smile Cruise flashed when I wandered over to him to “casually” ask what he thought of the band and the guests. “Man, they were rockin’!” he replied. Looks like I scored an interview, not to mention one of those once-in-a-lifetime, gonna-tell-the-grandchildren-some-day moments.
Words escape me. When I finally got to see him perform live in Austin, about a decade ago at SXSW (Antone’s, if anyone is interested), I was absolutely flattened. To shake the hand of a hero of mine since the ’60s, well… he had no idea what a fanboy he was looking at through those thick black sunglasses of his.
Vinyl collectors, and maybe even a few cassette nuts, start your saliva engines!
By Barbi Martinez
The well-regarded music collectors’ portal Discogs – which operates as a user-friendly alternative to eBay and other online marketplaces – has been for months teasing it would be launching its Discogs Exclusive companion site. As The Vinyl Factory details:
The new platform, now in its beta phase, will sell a range of rare and limited release vinyl and cassette offerings including test-pressings, special editions, out of print fare and warehouse finds. So why start a separate marketplace for these items? Discogs’ Jeffrey Smith explains:
“We would have intense conversations with people working within the indie/major label communities; people who were Discogs devotees and passionate collectors themselves. There was a common story evolving. They have access to something neither we nor the Community have access to: test pressings or tiny amounts of out-of-print stock that can be hard to find — even in our own Marketplace. It felt like there had to be something we could do to help bring this stuff into the open for collectors everywhere, not just those with connections.”
Among the initial offerings (some of which have already sold out): limited cassette box sets of filmmaker/scorer John Carpenter, and White Stripes vinyl test pressings. (Guess which sold out immediately….)
VIDEO INTERVIEW BY KIM PHOUNG (more photos/videos: @the_real_kimder)
Ed. note: Our resident Thee Hypnotics fan on the ground in Paris, Kim “Cold Blooded Love” Phoung, recently posted an awesome photo gallery documenting the UK legends’ September 19 performance at Petit Bain in Paris, and now we have the astute correspondent’s post-gig video interview with the group. Check it out below, and special thanks to longtime BLURT staffer Jonathan “Justice in Freedom” Levitt for being our official T.H. liaison and getting this rolling. (Go HERE to read a vintage interview with the band, and HERE for an interview and look at one of the band’s classic albums.)
Young Music City indie rock quartet submits dreamy standout from recent debut album.
By John B. Moore
The Nashville-based foursome Fine Lines technically may still be the new kids in town – together for under two years – but damn, have they managed to zero on an impressive sound during that short period of time. Made up of refugees from the Alabama and Indiana music scenes, the band’s members came together in Music City, USA and quickly got to work on their debut record, Contact.
After listening to this stellar album, we are stoked to premiere a video for their single “Morning Sun.”
“”Morning Sun” is a song I wrote one snowy weekend while visiting my hometown of Indianapolis,” says singer/guitarist Chris Probasco. “It’s about leaving a place that was once familiar and returning to feel like a stranger. It’s about finding companionship in that loneliness.
The video was shot live in the East Nashville home studio of Don Bates as a part of his “Around the House” series. Don, who was also the engineer on our album, Contact, set the band up in his living-room-turned-studio and operated a single camera, capturing the band in a completely unique setting.”
Along with Probasco, Fine Lines also includes bassist Dustyn Roth, singer/songwriter and guitarist B.L. Reed, and drummer James Thompson.
The band has two upcoming shows, November 9th at Ghost Train Brewing Co. in Birmingham, AL and December 16th at Reggie’s in Chicago. Tour dates and more: https://finelinesband.com/home
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.
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…
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.
“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…
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