Monthly Archives: May 2010

Jeezus Crist, Charlie!


The Florida governor is not just on David Byrne’s


By Fred Mills


They’re not just blowing hot air – Florida governor Charlie
Crist is shaping up to be the biggest flip-flopper since the heyday of that
other political nancy boy, John Kerry. As pointed out yesterday in a
pithy-though-pitiless editorial, Crist’s recent about-faces paint him as beyond
merely opportunistic – “we’re watching a different species of animal here,” as
they put it.


Crist of course famously switched from Republican to
independent so he could run for U.S. Senate. He then indicated he’d be
returning campaign donations from Republicans who’d given him money in good
faith prior to the switch, but subsequently announced that he’d “probably”
return the dough, and then finally decided he’d just keep it, period.


Then yesterday Crist reversed himself on his previously-announced stance on
the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy towards gays. As
points out, “As recently as Monday Crist told reporters that the current
policy, ‘has worked pretty well for America.’ By by Thursday, Crist
said he supports the repeal, [saying] ‘Ultimately, as in all military matters,
I defer to the Pentagon and to the generals and what the Senate is doing today
is giving them the ultimate authority to do what is best for our military. So,
I would be inclined to support the Senate’s action on this.'”


Granted, supporting the ban was wrong, period, and being in favor of repeal
is admirable – the right thing to do. But it sure smacks of licking a finger,
sticking it up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, and then making
a politically expedient decision (since a majority of Americans wanted the
policy repealed).


What’s next, Gov. Crist – using some rock music, I dunno, maybe a Talking
Heads tune penned by David Byrne, without permission in a campaign ad, then
suddenly deciding to stop using it?




Topless Pics of Paramore Singer Hit Web

Personally, we’d
rather see bottomless pics of Iggy Pop…


By Blurt Staff


Folks with their Google Alerts set to “Paramore” or “Hayley
Williams” received a deluge over the past 12 hours or so after the pop/punk
vocalist had her Twitter account compromised and a topless (possibly
intoxicated) Twitpic photo was posted. As MTV news points out, the photo was
removed after Williams and her handlers discovered the incident, but by then
her more than 600,000 followers had seen the image and “the photo [had] made
its way to a gossip sites all across the Net.”


Williams subsequently tweeted, “Well … my night just
changed drastically. Got hacked.” No other official comments have been
issued, which sorta raises the question – where did the photos come from in the
first place, and who hacked the account.


Many of those sites reposted the photo as it originally
appeared, while others, displaying an unusual degree of good taste, opted to
censor it as above.


BTW, for those of you that just can’t stand it and are
determined to see the real deal, you should be warned that some of the sites in
question are also crawling with virus-type gremlins. A certain BLURT editor
picked up a nasty Trojan horse program that, luckily, his virus program caught
and quarantined. Just sayin’….





2nd Dead Confederate Album En Route


Record reportedly “shaped”
but touring stints with Dinosaur Jr and the Meat Puppets.


By Blurt Staff


Confederate has its sophomore record Sugar due on August 24 on TAO Recordings/Old
Flame. It’s the followup to their 2008 debut Wrecking Ball and is
described by the label as “exploring new styles beyond the aching, bleak
psychedelia with which the band originally made their mark.”


Recorded by John Agnello (Hold Steady, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) during a record-setting
blizzard in New Jersey,
the sessions focused on the malleability of the freshly written songs. The
start to this progression was shaped by tours with legends Dinosaur Jr and Meat Puppets, and gave Dead
Confederate an increased appreciation for the early underground bands of the ‘80s
and ‘90s that laid the foundation on which their sound is built. The album also
features a special guest appearance by J.
Mascis on the single “Giving It All Away.”


Splitting songwriting duties
between bassist Brantly Senn and
singer/guitarist Hardy Morris,
each songwriter picked their favorite of the other’s contributions, creating a
complementary collection of songs. Instead of touring the newly penned tracks,
the band (Jason Scarboro, Walker Howle,
John Watkins) spent two days learning 20 songs and a week reworking
them, then laid half of them down.  


Dead Confederate is currently
touring Europe, with a return to the US
in June for Kentucky’s
Forecastle Festival. More US tour dates



Dead Confederate was profiled in December of 2008 by BLURT
right here.



Photos: Rock On The Range 2010


Blurt shutterbug Scott
Dudelson attended the monster metalfest Rock On The Range last weekend in Columbus, Ohio,
and lived to tell about it. Well, he ain’t telling, at least not until certain
statutes of limitations expire. But he was willing to share his photos with us.
Check out his photoblog for BLURT here.


(above) Slash & Myles Kennedy








Bullet For My Valentine



Coheed & Cambria






Drowning Pool











Limp Bizkit






Puddle of Mudd



Rise Against



Rob Zombie









Theory Of A Deadman


First Look: New Kaiser Cartel Album


Secret Transit, out June 8 via the band’s own Daniel Records
label and funded via fan pledges finds the Brooklyn
guy-gal duo upping the ante with an emphatic pop sound.


By Lee Zimmerman


Kaiser Cartel, an unassuming boy/girl duo
comprised of singer Courtney Kaiser and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Benjamin
Cartel, have managed to settle well below the radar, despite an album and
several EPs that have reflected the twosome’s loftier inclinations. Secret Transit more or less ups the
ante, substituting an emphatic pop sound for the low-key ruminations that
defined their previous attempts. The first half of the record refuses to
falter, propelled by a decidedly insistent sound, manifest in the raging pulse
of “Falling,” the harmonies and handclaps of “Around You” and the kinetic
frenzy found in the aptly titled “Ready to Go.” Courtney Kaiser’s chirpy vocals
give the album a girl group persona, especially on songs like “Carroll Street” and
“Worn Out Nervous Condition,” where a giddy unabashed exuberance all but
dominates the proceedings.


That said, the back portion of the album
offers moments of repose, from the eerie, ethereal spin of “Minefield” and “The
Wait” to the somber strum of “Wherever You Go.” No matter though; Secret Transit shows the drive and
determination to bring this pair the larger audience they deserve.


[Photo Credit: Anthony Byrd]



New/Unreleased Neil Young Hits Web


“It’s the same song
over and over again”: well, not necessarily. Young unveils a slew of new songs
on his current tour. See a video clip, below.


By Fred Mills


It’s no secret that when Neil Young decides to go out on a
solo tour he often previews brand new material (not to mention pulling out
older, unreleased rarities). This is certainly the case, in spades, with his
current “Twisted Road” tour, which kicked off May 18 in Albany and runs through
June 7 in Dallas (more dates tba; tonight he’s in Knoxville, and you can view
the dates at his website).


As a pristine-to-the-point-of-perfect recording of the Albany concert that hit
the web a few days ago demonstrates, Young’s being quite generous with the
tunes, as no less than seven brand new ones, along with the obscure-and-unreleased
“The Hitchhiker,” were unveiled for the ecstatic audience at the Palace
Theatre. During the first set, which he performed on acoustic guitar, after
dispensing with a brace of old faves (“My My, Hey Hey,” “Tell Me Why” and
“Helpless”), Young then launched summarily into a trio of brand new vintage”
“You Never Call,” a soft, contemplative number with a subtle waltz feel;
“Peaceful Valley,” a long, 7-minute Americana study; and “Love and War,” an odd
number carrying overtones of both “MMHH” and “Eldorado.”


A couple of songs later, having strapped on the electric
guitar to kick out some solo jams, Young catapults into “The Hitchhiker,” a
droning, druggy, effects-drenched excursion into close-to-Sonic Youth
territory. (“Druggy” indeed: the lyrics concern taking hash, speed, valium,
cocaine and probably more.) After a smoking version of his CSNY classic “Ohio”
(the anniversary of Kent State wasn’t that long ago, remember), two more
unreleased numbers are performed: “Sign Of Love,” with some deceptive “Cinnamon
Girl”-meets-“Mr. Soul” styled slashing chords, and then, with Young moving over
to the upright piano, a somewhat slight, repetitive ditty called “Leia.”


Two more fresh tracks are uncorked by Young after he returns
to his electric guitar a little later in the concert. “Rumblin'” is a series of
intertwining melodies and overtones, darkly psychedelic but with a ballad-like
restraint. Then in the encore comes “Walk With Me,” which with its prolonged
tuning-up intro lasts nearly 8 minutes; the feedback-strafed number is eerie
and discordant, like some bastard descendant of the noisy section of the Arc/Weld album, and featuring Young
blurting the title phrase over and over. Freaky shit. You can see a partial
video clip of the song, below.


The concert as a whole is stuffed with plenty of goodies for
longtime fans, as the setlist, below, and this nice online review, reveals. Anyway,
the entire show, along with the delightful ten-song opening set by Young’s
touring companion, Bert Jansch, it out there on the web at all the usual
download sites. You know how to use Google, right?


Catch Young on tour for this one, folks – it’s a pretty
special one.




Intro/False Start
My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) [acoustic guitar]
Tell Me Why [acoustic guitar]
Helpless [acoustic guitar]
You Never Call * [acoustic guitar w/ pickup])
Peaceful Valley * [acoustic guitar w/ pickup]
Love And War * [acoustic guitar w/ pickup]
Down By The River [electric guitar – Old Black]

Hitchhiker * [electric guitar – Old Black]
[electric guitar – White Falcon]

Sign Of Love * [electric guitar – White Falcon]

Leia * [upright piano]
After The Gold Rush [pump organ]
I Believe In You [grand piano]
Rumblin’ * [electric guitar – Old Black]
Cortez The Killer [electric guitar – Old Black])
Cinnamon Girl [electric guitar – Old Black]
Walk With Me * [electric guitar – White Falcon]
Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) [electric guitar – Old Black]


* = new/unreleased song


Regina Spektor Plays for President Obama


Celebration to honor
Jewish American Heritage Month.


By Blurt Staff


Tonight, May 27, Regina Spektor will perform at The White
House for the first ever White House reception in honor of Jewish American
Heritage Month. Spektor will join President Obama and his wife to “celebrate
the range and depth of the Jewish American heritage and contributions to
American culture.”

“Having moved to America
from Soviet Russia as a child with my family, we dreamed of reconnecting with
our religious traditions and of making America our home” says Spektor,
in a statement. “Having lived here for over twenty years, it is an
unimaginable honor to be invited to the White House by President Barack Obama
and First Lady Michelle Obama, to an event celebrating Jewish Americans, and to
be counted among them. Nothing in the world could make us feel more accepted
and at home!”

The celebration will take place in The White House with guests including a
range of community leaders and prominent Jewish Americans from Olympians and
professional athletes to members of Congress, business leaders, authors and
military veterans.




RATM Organizes AZ Boycott Sound Strike


Among the artists
agreeing to participate: Rage Against The Machine, Street Sweeper Social Club,
Café Tacvba, Kanye West, Conor Oberst, Ozomatli, Massive Attack, Sonic Youth, Rise Against, Tenacious


By Fred Mills


To some of us, we’ve seen it happen before: back in the late
‘80s, the state of Arizona canceled a paid
Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday
for state employees, and in the ensuing
uproar, many boycotts of Arizona
kicked in, with artists ranging from U2 to Steve Wonder criticizing the
situation and pledging not to perform in the state. Point of fact, it was a
boneheaded decision on the part of then-governor (and soon to be impeached
governor) Evan Mecham, a Republican, to cancel the holiday, and not necessarily
a sentiment shared by the majority of AZ residents; but the result was the same
as if it had been a statewide referendum approved by voters, with protests,
cancelled conventions, a drop in tourism, and the aforementioned boycotts.
(Yours truly moved to AZ not long after the flap, and I can say in all
truthfulness that the state was NOT populated by hordes of unreconstructed
racists and wannabe Klansment. Well, there were quite a few of militia types,
but that’s another story. At any rate, the MLK affair was embarrassing to most
folks who lived there as they didn’t like being portrayed by the rest of the
country as being racist.)


So here we are in 2010, and another Republican governor, Jan
Brewer, has stirred up some serious shit by signing into law the now-notorious
immigration bill, AZ SB1070
. You don’t need me to brief you on the law and the
still-unfolding fallout as it’s already made more headlines than the MLK flap.
The music community has gradually been coming together in voicing its opinion –
negative, as you might imagine – about the matter; just a couple of days ago we
brought you word (and an MP3) of Tom Morello and Outernational’s collaboration
on a protest cover
of Woody Guthrie’s “Deportees”.


Morello’s bandmate in 
Rage Against The Machine, Zack De La Rocha, is going even further,
organizing what he calls Sound Strike, which is calling for a boycott of
Arizona by both bands and music fans as well as organizing a online petition
(in both English and Spanish) asking President Obama to take action
(unspecified) to protect the civil rights of Arizona citizens.


You can view and sign the petition here at the Sound Strike site,
while elsewhere on the site you can read De La Rocha’s press release about the
boycott. It reads, in part:



When Rosa Parks
refused to give up her seat, they arrested her. As a result, people got
together and said we are not going to ride the bus until they change the law.
It was this courageous action that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. What if we got
together, signed a collective letter saying, “we’re not going to ride the
bus”, saying we are not going to comply. We are not going to play in Arizona. We are going to
boycott Arizona?!


We are asking artists
the world over to stand with us, and not allow our collective economic power to
be used to aid and abet civil and human rights violations that will be caused
by Arizona’s odious law.



Listed thus far as having agreed to participate in the


Cypress Hill
Conor Oberst
Los Tigres del Norte
Rage Against the Machine
Cafe Tacvba
Michael Moore
Kanye West
Calle 13
Joe Satriani
Serj Tankian
Rise Against
Sabertooth Tiger
Massive Attack
One Day as a Lion
Street Sweeper Social Club
Spank Rock
Sonic Youth
Tenacious D


You can readily imagine what clubland in Arizona would look like this summer if the
boycott effort snowballs…


As an aside, syndicated columnist Gustavo Arellano, who
authors the popular “Ask A Mexican” column that runs in Village Voice and other alternative newsweeklies, recently
expressed his sympathy with folks who would call for a boycott, but he
suggested an alternate strategy too: a boycott,
in which you additionally support (with time, manpower, money, etc.)
organizations who actually get threatened by policies and actions prompted by
the Arizona law. You can read his column about this and about “some of the good
people of Arizona” here
– and indeed, just like I discovered when I moved to
the state years ago, many, if not a majority, citizens living there don’t
necessarily support the law, or at least they don’t support the way it’s likely
to be implemented.



New Arcade Fire LP; MP3s Posted


Album arrives
August 3; new 12″ out today, but MP3s of the songs have already hit the web.
You can listen to them below.


By Blurt Staff


The Arcade Fire is set to release its third full-length studio
album, The Suburbs, on August 3. The
Pitchfork recording artists – whoops, we meant, THE MERGE recording artists
co-produced the record with Markus Dravs, working in studios in both Montreal and New
York. It’s the followup to 2007’s Neon Bible.


The band: Win Butler,
Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah
Neufeld and Jeremy Gara.



A double A side, limited edition 12″ will be available
starting TODAY, May 27, featuring the tracks “The Suburbs” and
“Month of May.” A message from the band at their website indicates
that they “didn’t press that many copies of the single and we sent most of them
to independent record stores.”


However, both songs will be available for immediate download
with pre-orders placed at,


Incidentally, at the website you can view the aforementioned (handwritten)
message, along with lyrics to the song “The Suburbs.” There are also tour dates
listed starting in late June and running sporadically through July and August,
most of them UK and European (but there are three Canadian dates plus the
August 8 show in Chicago at Lollapalooza.


Meanwhile, if you head over to the good folks at One Thirty BPM,
they have posted both songs at their site. “The Suburbs” has an intriguing kind
of Kinks-do-British-dancehall sound (the vintage dancehall, not reggae) with a
droney background, while “Month of May” is a flat-out rocker, kind of manic
glam rockabilly in places that doesn’t sound anything like the more
progressive/atmospheric Arcade Fire sound people may be expecting.


Here they are:




You can stream the songs or download ‘em, but nab ‘em quick as
they might get removed. Quick, start the countdown to when the full album leak
hits the web…





Fear of Flying


By James McMurtry


Yesterday, I flew on Southwest
Airlines flight 420 from Tampa
Florida to Austin Texas. I sat in
a window seat on the left side of the plane. I watched the blue waters of the
gulf go by thirty five thousand feet below. I saw ships kicking up a white
froth at their sterns. I saw a few oil platforms.



An hour or so into the flight,
the platforms increased in numbers and so did the ships. Then the water turned,
in a knife’s edge, from blue to brown and boats and ships were visible
everywhere. In normal times I would have thought the water was brown from silt
pouring out from the Mississippi
into the Gulf, but this brown stain went on further than I could see. Now the
ships and boats left strange dark wakes with no white froth at their sterns.
Even a Mississippi River tow boat kicks up a
white wake. Some of these boats’ wakes showed them to have been turning circles
and triangles in the brown stuff. The brown went on for minutes, hundreds of
miles, and, a ways to the west, I began to see black streaks in the brown


The captain didn’t point out
whatever it was, and none of my fellow passengers seemed to notice, most
consumed with whatever was on their laptops and telling their life stories to
all of us. Ho Hum.


Singer-songwriter James McMurtry lives in Austin, Texas.
When he’s not touring, you can see him at the Continental Club every Wednesday,
‘round about midnight. Full details at his official website. His
latest album, Live In Europe, was released
last year on Lightning Rod Records – read the Blurt review here.