Monthly Archives: April 2009

Joe Boyd Hosts Nick Drake Tribute Show

Also curating a
Fairport Convention reunion and a tribute to Incredible String Band.


By Fred Mills


Legendary producer, Witchseason Production/Hannibal Records
founder and author (‘60s memoir White
) Joe Boyd will be curating a series of concerts in England,
starting May 16. On that day at the Town Hall in Birmingham, Boyd hosts Way To Blue: The Music of Nick Drake. It’s the first of two planned
“Witchseason weekends.”


According to Boyd it will be “a bit more than a tribute
concert [and] will feature performances by Martha Wainwright, Graham Coxon,
Beth Orton, Robyn Hitchcock, Vashti Bunyan, Boris Grebenchikov and Harper
Simon. Kate St John is musical director and Robert Kirby will be on hand to
conduct both his original string parts from Nick’s recordings, but some newly
written arrangements as well. Legendary bassist Danny Thompson, who played on
many of Nick’s recordings will anchor the house band, along with pianist Zoe
Rahman, Neil MacColl and Leo Abrahams on guitars and Martyn Barker on drums.”


Boyd, of course, was Drake’s producer and has been instrumental
in helping keep the Drake fan fires burning all these years. He offered many
fond, funny recollections of the late singer/songwriter in White Bicycles, a book well-worth reading. (We interviewed him a
few years ago about the book – go HERE to see excerpts from the interview.)


Continues Boyd, “Those who attended the Nick Drake panel at
the Barbican 10 years ago will remember our special guest, Robin Frederick.
Robin not only busked with Nick during the summer of 1967 in Provence, but she
now teaches songwriting in California and can explain exaclty what makes Nick’s
music so brilliant. She will take part in the concert and take part with Joe
and Robert Kirby in a seminar after the concert. One of the songs performed
during the evening will be by Molly Drake, Nick’s mother and Robin will discuss
her effect on her son’s music.”


The following afternoon, May 17, Boyd will appear at the
Town Hall, telling tales from his book and accompanied by his pal Robyn
Hitchcock on guitar.


Then on July 18 at the Barbican in London comes an all-star reunion of the
surviving members of the early Fairport Convention incarnations. Boyd produced
the Fairports, and he promises that material from the first five albums will be
performed. That’s to be followed the next night, July 19, also at the Barbican,
for the second part of “Witchseason Weekend” will be a tribute to the
songs of the Incredible String Band.


Start booking those airline tickets, folks.





My Morning Jacket – Still Moving by Sam Erickson


A Blurt world exclusive! Herein view a video montage announcing
photographer and filmmaker Sam Erickson’s upcoming exhibit of his My
Morning Jacket images. The six-week exhibition kicks off May 22 at
NYC’s Morrison Hotel Gallery (313 Bowery Street, location of the old
CBGB Gallery).


You already know Erickson’s iconic images, of
course: he’s been doucmenting the band since 2002. The exhibit will
include shots taken during the recording of MMJ’s It Still Moves, Z, Evil Urges and live album Okonokos.

A Request from Neutral Milk Hotel

Pony up and cast those
votes to help out on this very worthy project…


By Blurt Staff


This just in from the good folks at Neutral Milk Hotel….




The Paragon Carousel is
a beautiful machine that has been my dear neighbor for many moons.
 Now 81 years old, it is in need of a little love and attention in order
for it to survive. 



It is my sincere wish for the Paragon Carousel to
be a part of the magic of long seaside summer afternoons for many years to
come.  But it might not get to. 



Unfortunately, we live in a world where the great
whirling contraptions of mechanical music and light are not as profitable to
operate as other things, and carousels are worth much more taken apart and sold
in pieces to museums, where one must pay to look at them behind glass,
rather than having them simply existing in the world that we now all



I spoke with Jeff and Scott and Jeremy about this and
they agreed that I should, on behalf of Neutral
Milk Hotel
, make an appeal to the good people who might have enjoyed
the music made over the years, because we think you’d understand especially,
and want to help. 



We humbly ask you to vote!



The Paragon Carousel is competing with 24 other historic
Massachussettes buildings for a grant of  $100,000. The historic site with
the most votes wins, and anyone anywhere can vote. We would love it if by our
collective effort we could ensure the continuation of this grand place.
 It only takes a moment and you can do so here



are allowed to vote once a day untill May 17th . Your vote means a
great deal to all of us at Elephant Six. Places like this are so special.
They deserve to exist in the same world that we do. So we can visit them with
our bodies, not just our memories and dreams.



We’d like to thank you for your help and for spreading
the word.



 ~Julian Koster with
Jeff Mangum on behalf of Neutral Milk Hotel




Exclusive: Wayne Coyne on Teeshirtgate


Coyne, bloodied by
unbowed: “Then, I double-checked and I was like ‘You’ve really gotta be kidding.'”


By Fred Mills


Coming tomorrow at BLURT: an exclusive interview with
Flaming Lips mainman Wayne Coyne in which he discusses the flap that ensued
this week around Lips song “Do You Realize?” being selected, then rejected,
then ultimately reinstated by Oklahoma governor Brad Henry as his state’s official
State Rock Song.


By now everyone has heard about what went down:  The Lips had been selected for the honor
following their topping an online vote last year sponsored by the Oklahoma History Center
and the Oklahoma Film and Music Office. But after the Oklahoma Senate voted
last month 46-0 on a resolution honoring the song, last Thursday the House
voted 48-39, thereby making it fall short by three votes – this in the wake of some
rather silly complaints by a few lawmakers concerning how the Lips’ Michael
Ivins had worn a hammer-and-sickle teeshirt to the House and the way Coyne used
so-called “foul language.”


Right. Nobody should use foul language. Like, what the fuck?


Then the governor, presumably sane and sober, stepped in and
declared he would sign an executive order naming “Do You Realize?” as the
Official State Rock Song (and nicely putting the Lips in the rarified company
of Woody Guthrie and Bob Wills, whose “Oklahoma Hills” and “Faded Love” are,
respectively, the official State Folk Song and State Country & Western
Song. Gov. Henry signed the order on Tuesday, April 28, at the Oklahoma History Center
near the capitol, in a ceremony
attended by about 300 people. (Ivins,
incidentally, wore a “Ghostbusters” teeshirt.)





One fun tidbit: in the middle of all this, a popular
Oklahoma-based liberal blog, The Lost Ogle, published photos taken back in early March of the Lips posing with Oklahoma
senators and representatives – including some who ultimately voted against them
in the House. Note that Ivins is wearing the hammer and sickle tee in the photo, but apparently nobody had any problems
with him at the time, when they were getting a free photo-op out of the deal; the assumption is that some hard-ass top Republican later
spotted it and decided to stir up some of the troops.




“Initially,” Coyne tells BLURT, “when I was told that they
wanted to take it away from us, I thought ‘Well, I can kind of see. We are
weirdos and there are a lot of conservative people in the legislature.’ But
when they said it was the T-shirt, I was like ‘You’ve gotta be kidding.’ Then,
I double-checked and I was like ‘You’ve really gotta be kidding.'”


But with the governor coming to the band’s defense,
everything is right in the world now, says Coyne. “The governor signed this
proclamation making it Flaming Lips Day as well, so at about 3:30 in the
afternoon, suddenly, the rest of the day was Flaming Lips Day, which was sort
of absurd. I’ve met the governor a couple other times so it wasn’t that weird
but it was a big deal. People were quite overjoyed, really, and I think the
opposition almost made the comeback that much grander.  Everybody really felt that they were fighting
for a much bigger cause, not just their love of the Flaming Lips but this idea
that hey, who are the State legislators to take this thing away from us.”


You can read the complete Coyne interview tomorrow at BLURT.





Vid Exclusive: MM Jacket Photo Exhibit!

First-time view
of career-spanning images from famed photographer and band intimate Sam
Erickson will be displayed at NYC’s Morrison Hotel Gallery. We’ve got a video
preview, too.


By Nancy Dunham


A rare, insider’s look at the growth of My Morning Jacket – from
fledgling musicians to major musical icons – will debut May 22 at The Morrison
Hotel Gallery, located in the building that formerly housed CBGB, the legendary
landmark club for punk musicians including Blondie.


You can take in a visual sneak preview via a special video trailer,
“Still Moving,” that BLURT is currently hosting in our video kiosk. Just scroll
down to that section, or go straight in HERE.



The six-week, 21-image exhibition of work by photographer and filmmaker
Sam Erickson shows the growth of the band from 2002 to 2008. Photographs show
everything from live concert images to the band’s recording of its last three
studio albums including It Still Moves, Z and Evil Urges. Erickson’s long-term
project allowed him to record private images of the band, many of which have
never been viewed by the public.



“Sam is one of the new emerging talents in
the music visual media arena. I
was impressed with his technical and artistic ability as a photographer,” said
Peter Blachley of Morrison Hotel Gallery. “Combined that with Sam’s ability to
capture the very talented and critically acclaimed band, My Morning Jacket from
early on in their career to present. That appealed to me and I anticipate will
appeal to our audience.” 



The Morrison
Hotel Gallery is located at 313
Bowery St. in New York City. The show is free and the hours
will be as follow:


– 7:00 Sunday to Wednesday

– 9:00 Thursday to Saturday


more details, contact the Gallery by phone at 212-677-2253, or on the web at .





CSS Ceases Touring, Performing


Brazilian dance/rock
outfit’s vocalist got “very stressed.”


By Fred Mills


This week in Britain’s NME,
CSS vocalist Lovefoxxx (real name: Luisa Hanae Matsushita) has disclosed in an
that she’s retiring from touring temporarily, which means – if you’re
even remotely familiar with the Brazilian band’s dynamic, at times chaotic,
stage show – essentially means that CSS is up on blocks for the time being.


Apparently the group’s touring regimen wore Lovefoxxx down
until it was no longer any fun. “I’m not thinking about music at the
moment,” she told the magazine. “I don’t like making music now. Touring is
great but if you’re doing too much it sucks your soul. When I’m on tour I’m
very stressed, it got to the point where it was quite hard.”


CSS will work on a followup to last year’s acclaimed Donkey album, and plans are to resurface
in 2010 – but operating within new (or without, take your pick) parameters. “”When
we did Donkey we were thinking about
the live show, it was all we had in mind,” she outlined. “Next time
we’re going to do something crazy and very ‘dance’. I think it’s going to be
more experimental. We’ll just go crazy and not worry about how to do it live.”


[Photo Credit: Roberta Ridolfi; Lovefoxx is 2nd from



Watch CSS – “Rat Is Dead (Rage”) video at BLURT.




I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Ten-year Old Kids
with Mohawks


You know what’s cool about a 10-year-old kid sporting a


Not a damn thing.


At the risk of coming off like a 30-something Andy Rooney,
I’m going to start off this blog with a rant and a final plea to save punk rock.
The argument I’m putting forward is certainly not new, but worth being made at
least one last time.


I was at an outdoor festival in Atlanta this weekend and
lost count of how many pre-teens I saw walking around with Mohawks and Ramones
shirts. When did punk become just another accessory for the Sponge Bob set?
Mohawks and anarchy symbols used to scare the crap out of parents, now they’re
just another cute look for little Dylan and Kara, by couples desperate to be
thought of as the cool parents (and don’t think I haven’t been there. I have
two little girls and my wife was the only voice of reason that kept me from
buying Sex Pistols onsies off of Ebay). And putting a Clash sticker on the back
of your minivan doesn’t make it any more cool to be seen in (again, I speak
from experience).


 Trust me; it’s
safe for old punks to age gracefully. Not all of us can tour the world in
shitty vans and make great music. Leave that to your heroes. Keep rocking the
boat in your chinos and changing the system from the inside, but don’t try and
turn your kids into a punk rock mannequin to prove how cool you still are. 


Which brings me to my second rant… as a freelancer punk
writer, I am about to throw my hands up in defeat. Born in the early 70’s and
coming of age in quite possibly the worst time in the history for music (hair
metal anyone?), I withstood the auditory assault of bands like Danger Danger
and Pretty Boy Floyd for years before finding salvation in the music of Bad
Religion, The Buzzcocks and The Clash. For the past two decades or so I’ve kept
up with the evolving music scene, watching punk move from basement shows and
VFW halls to arenas (not necessarily a bad thing). What once was a mail order
business is now neatly packaged and priced inside your local Hot Topics (again,
not the end of the world. Punk rockers deserve to make money too). You used to
discover new punk bands thanks to poorly dubbed tapes passed on from a friend;
Now you can hear “punk rock” on The Hills (ok, nothing good can come of that).  The most jarring change, however, is
what is currently being peddled as punk rock. I am certainly open to all genres
of music (I, for one, am lobbying for Willie Nelson be added to Mount Rushmore),
but I have a problem with the bait and switch tactics being perpetrated by
publicists and record labels lately.

If you make pop music, be proud of it and call yourself a
pop band. Punk rock was a reaction to crappy, bloated corporate rock of the
70’s (Styx, Journey, etc.). It railed against oppressive authority figures,
racism, sexism and homophobia. It was not 12 mediocre songs about high school
crushes on your self-titled debut, with liberal use of Auto-tune , currently
being peddled under the guise of “pop-punk”. It was about rebelling against the
status quo, wearing homemade clothes with hand-painted messages of defiance,
not wearing those tacky neon-logoed t-shirts and hoodies you picked up at the
mall and pair with matching Ray Bans.


That’s not to say there is not legitimate punk rock being
made right now. Anti-Flag is still fighting the good fight (with a new record
out soon) and the Teenage Bottlerockets might actually be The Ramones reincarnated.


Here’s the deal, if you play punk music, play it loud and
play it proud. If you play pop music, call it what it is, make a ton of money
and be happy.


I’ve admittedly strayed a bit from my general thesis, but
here’s a recap: Aging hipsters, you’re getting older, so deal with it. Don’t
try and turn your kid into Lil’ Johnny Rotten just because you’re getting
fatter and losing your hair. Blare NOFX as loud as you want in the minivan,
just keep the windows rolled up at the stop lights. And kids, don’t try and
pass yourself off as the next Joe Strummer when your punk rock influences go
back no further than Blink 182’s third CD.  You’re in a pop band, no matter what the guy in the fancy
suit tries to tell you. Rock on pop star!   


Music worth listening to this week:


Left Alone‘s self-titled
record (
and Ninja Gun’s “Restless Rubes”


Bjork Gets Multi-Multi-Packaged


Two DVDs include
footage from her live shows in Paris and Reykjavik

and Volta
music videos… Two CDs include live studio performances and remixes of songs
from Volta. What, no Bjorkestra bonus material?


By Blurt Staff



Björk announces a very
special DVD/CD/VINYL recording, Voltaic, to be released in the U.S. by
Nonesuch Records on June 23, 2009. Available in five different physical
configurations, Voltaic is an overview of the past two years of Björk’s Volta activities-her sixth studio album,
which came out in 2007, and the subsequent two-year world tour.



Voltaic DVD 1 contains filmed
highlights from the Volta tour, recorded in Paris
and Reykjavik, with performances of songs from Volta as well as tracks from previous albums
including Hunter, Joga, Army of Me, and Hyperballad.



Björk’s band on
the Volta tour included Mark Bell (LFO)
on computers and keyboards and Damian Taylor on keyboards and programming.
Drums and percussion were played by Chris Corsano (Sonic Youth, etc.); Jónas
Sen played piano, harpsichord, and church organ; and Björk’s all female
Icelandic 10-piece brass section rounded out the group.



Voltaic DVD 2 features all of
the Volta music videos, including the
“Declare Independence” clip directed by celebrated Oscar winning French
director Michel Gondry; the “Wanderlust” video directed by encyclopedia
pictura; and the “Earth Intruders” video directed by renowned French animator
Michel Ocelot.



Voltaic CD 1 is a selection of
songs from the Volta tour recorded live at the legendary Olympic Studios
in London, just
before Björk’s headlining show at the Glastonbury Festival in 2007. It was
recorded in one afternoon, and the whole set was played live and captured in
one take before being produced and mixed by Björk.



Voltaic CD 2 features key
remixes from Volta, with versions of “Earth Intruders,” “Declare
Independence,” “Innocence,” “Wanderlust,” and “Dull Flame of Desire,” by the
likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Matthew Herbert, Graeme Sinden, Ghostigital, and



The recordings
are available in five different packages:


CD 1

CD 1
and DVD 1

CD 1
and 2 plus DVD 1 and 2

CD 1
and 2, DVD 1 and 2, plus a set of three vinyl LPs (with the contents of CD 1
and CD 2)

vinyl LP (with contents of CD 1).




Voltaic Disc 1-CD of songs
from the Volta tour performed live at Olympic Studios


Wanderlust – Live

Hunter – Live

Pleasure Is All Mine – Live

Innocence – Live

Army of Me – Live

I Miss You – Live

Earth intruders – Live

All Is Full Of Love – Live

Pagan Poetry – Live

Vertebrae by Vertebrae – Live

Declare Independence
– Live



Voltaic Disc 2-DVD of live
concert performances


Brennio Pio Vitar – Live in Paris

Earth Intruders – Live in Paris

Hunter – Live in Paris

Immature – Live in Paris

Joga – Live in Paris

Pleasure Is All Mine – Live in Paris

Vertebrae by Vertebrae – Live in Paris

Where Is the Line – Live in Paris

Who Is It – Live in Paris

Desired Constellation – Live in Paris

Army of Me – Live in Paris

Bachelorette – Live in Paris

Wanderlust – Live in Paris

Hyperballad – Live in Paris

Pluto – Live in Paris

Declare Independence – Live in Paris

Pneumonia – Live in Reykjavik

My Juvenile – Live in Reykjavik

Vokuro – Live in Reykjavik

Sonnets / Unrealities XI – Live in Reykjavik

Mouths Cradle – Live in Reykjavik



Voltaic Disc 3-DVD of the Volta videos


Earth Intruders

Declare Independence

Innocence – Version 1 (winner)


The Dull Flame of Desire

6. Innocence – David Saghiri

7. Innocence – Dimitrio Stankowicz

8. Innocence – Etienne Strubbe

9. Innocence – Juliet Himmer

10. Innocence – Laurent Labouille

11. Innocence – Mario Caporali

12. Innocence – Miko o_o

13. Innocence – Misi Park & Pierre Khazem

Innocence – Christiano Leal

Innocence – Roland Matusek



Voltaic Disc 4-CD of
remixes of Volta songs


Earth Intruders – Spank Rock remix

Innocence – Simian Mobile Disco remix 12″

Declare Independence
– Mathew Herbert 12″

Wanderlust – Ratatat remix

The Dull Flame of Desire – modeselektor’s RMX for girls

Earth Intruders – lexx remix

Innocence – Sinden Remix

Declare Independence
– Ghostigital in Deep End Dance Remix 12″

The Dull Flame of Desire – Modeselektor’s RMX for Boys

Innocence – Alva Noto Unitxt Remodel 12″ Version

Declare Independence
– Black Plus mix

Innocence – Simian Mobile Disco dub remix






Willowz Back in the Saddle Again!


New album due in the
summer, previewed w/national tour.


By Fred Mills


Blurt bong ‘n’ boogie faves the Willowz have their fourth
studio album, produced in Dallas
by Stuart Sikes and titled Everyone,
set to arrive sometime in the summer from Dim Mak/Downtown, exact release date
tba. If you need us to introduce the Willowz to you at this point, you are
reading the wrong website, pal.


But since you ask, go HERE for our “version” of the
backstory. Some of it may even be true.


And go HERE to view some prime footage at their official


Meanwhile, the band has a big tour kicking off this week
with the Toadies.


Tour Dates:

May 1- “Salon Royale” at Die Fabrik!, NYC- Solo Date
May 8- Stubbs BBQ, Austin TX w/ Toadies
May 9- The Pavilion at Concrete Street, Corpus Christie, TX w/ Toadies
May 10- Trailer Space Record Shop, Austin, TX – Solo Date
May 11th- The Conservatory Oklahoma City, OK – Solo Date
May 13- Rabb’s Steakhouse Ruston, LA w/ Toadies
May 14- The Warehouse Shreveport, LA w/ Toadies
May 15- Clicks Billiards, Tyler TX w/ Toadies
May18- People’s Court, Des Monies, IA w/ Toadies
May 20- Metro- Chicago, IL w/ Toadies
May 21- Magic Stick, Detroit, Mi w/ Toadies
May 22- Bogarts, Cincinnati, OH w/ Toadies
May 24- The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ w/ Toadies
May 27- Fillmore @ Irving Plaza, New York, NY w/ Toadies
May 29- Black Cat, Washington, DC w/ Toadies
May 30 The Roxy Boston MA w/ Toadies
June 1- Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT w/ Toadies
June 2- Crocodile Rock, Allentown, PA w/ Toadies
June 4 – Exit/In, Nashville, TN w/ Toadies
June 18- Aperture Gallery, New York, NY – Solo Date



Credit: Amanda Milius]




Comin' Clean w/The Ghost is Dancing


Outta the tub and into the fire: Canadian
band is on tour now in preparation for July album release.


By Blurt Staff


BLURT has a new
favorite band, and the band is The Ghost is Dancing. The story thus far:


The Ghost is Dancing began as many bands begin, in a moldy
basement during university. Kevin
Corlis, Jim DeLuca, Jamie Matechuk and Odie Ouderkirk were returning
home via Toronto’s
Spadina Ave,
sweaty and exuberant after a Hidden
Cameras show at the Horseshoe Tavern when they decided that they wanted
to start a band. Jamie had spent the last year learning how to play Modest Mouse songs and Kevin was
always banging away at his collection of keyboards and drums at home, plus Jim
had been wanting his friends to play music with him since they first met in
kindergarten. Gabrielle Nadeau
lived upstairs and picked up an accordion, Eric Krumins eventually joined on
bass, and soon they were asking everyone they knew to join. Somewhere between
all their energies rested dozens and dozens of pop hooks and their first major
battle was to find a way to put it all together.

The first self-titled EP received critical acclaim and the band drew immediate
comparisons to The Arcade Fire, Broken
Social Scene and Modest Mouse. Soon after their EP release they signed
with Sonic Unyon Records and in
June 2007 released The Darkest Spark.Shortly
after their first national tour The Ghost is Dancing shrunk in size. The
economical rigors of touring, rehearsing and living with giant student debts
had taken their toll. Throughout these changes, however, song-writing had
continued and their musicianship had improved. Over the next year, TGID found
themselves invading late-night swimming pools in Kentucky,
barely avoiding head-on collisions in Quebec,
and taking off all of their clothes in the back of a record store in Charlottetown. They would
tour with new songs, new members, craft a tighter, more explosion live act and
finish writing their next record, literally titled Battles On with Chris
Stringer (Rush, Ohbijou, Timbre Timbre, The Coast).

Battles On, due from
Sonic Unyon on July 28, is described as “a record built out of desperation and
the exuberance of holding something special together. Laden with even bigger
pop-hooks than before, but with a go-for-broke attitude and mindfulness towards
the craft of songwriting, the record rarely lets up and delivers on the promise
of a band which has come into its own.”


Well, all right then! Mark yr calendars for July 28.
Meanwhile, the band kicks off a tour TONIGHT…



Tour Dates:


Apr 29 2009 Black Dog Edmonton, Alberta
May 1 2009 The Distrikt Regina, SK w/
Hot Hot Heat
May 3 2009 High Noon Saloon Madison, Wisconsin
May 4 2009 Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, Iowa
May 5 2009 Darkroom Chicago, Illinois
May 6 2009 Melody Inn Indianapolis, Indiana
May 7 2009 Rumba Cafe Columbus, Ohio
May 8 2009 Derby City Espresso Bar Louisville, Kentucky w/ Bedtime
May 9 2009 Al’s Bar Lexington, Kentucky w/ Bedtime
May 10 2009 Garfield Artworks Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania w/ Japandroids
May 11 2009 Wilbert’s Cleveland, Ohio
May 12 2009 Manhattan Room Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 13 2009 Millcreek Tavern Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 14 2009 Goodbye Blue Mondays Brooklyn, New York
May 15 2009 Fontana’s New York, New York
June 12 2009 The Gordon Best Theatre – Gordon Best Music Series Peterborough,
June 13 2009 Zaphod Beeblebrox Ottawa, Ontario