Monthly Archives: August 2010

Vampire Weekend LP Cover Model Speaks

Meanwhile the legal
flap heats up as various people come out of the woodwork, smelling money…


By Fred Mills


So, that whole Vampire Weekend kerfluffle surrounding the
cover photo of their latest album Contra just gets better and better. Well, not really. But it’s back in the news cycle


Recall how a little over a month ago word arrived of Kirsten
Kennis – a much younger version of whom is indeed the girl on the VW sleeve – filing
a lawsuit over the unauthorized use of her image. (We compared this to the 1991
controversy over Sub Pop act Tad’s 8-Way
record sleeve.) Shortly thereafter, both the band’s label and frontman
Ezra Koenig made some generally noncommittal statements about the matter,
obviously just trying to buy some time in the public mind while the lawyers got
in gear.


So today at, Kennis is interviewed at her
home in Fairfield, CT, by writer Jessica Flint about the Vampire
Weekend deal. In a story titled “Vampire Weekend’s Mutinous Muse” Kennis
discusses how here 13-year old daughter Alex came across a shot of the record
cover in a Barnes & Noble ad. Kennis is quoted as saying, “And I was like,
‘Yeah, that’s strange. That’s me, many years ago,'” Flint adding that Kennis was “momentarily
stunned by the sight of all that beautiful hair. Three weeks earlier she had
completed chemotherapy for breast cancer, and her hair was just starting to
grow back.”


The story goes on to outline how Kennis, a retired catalogue
model, gradually changed from bemusement to anger, and eventually decided to
file a $2 million lawsuit. Kennis is quoted, “It felt like someone was
exploiting me. Who do these people think they are that they can just take my
picture from god only knows where and plaster it everywhere?”


From there the story gets even more interesting, involving
modeling agencies, a photographer with a very seamy background, accusations and
cross-accusations of where the photo actually came from (and therefore who owns
the rights to it), and the refusal of Vampire Weekend to comment amid the
realization that they just might get stuck for a pretty hefty legal bill. Read
the whole thing here
, and see a photo of Kennis in 2010 as well.





First Look: New Vaselines LP


Due out September
14 on Sub Pop, it’s like they never left…


By Tim Hinely


Funny how divine intervention can alter the course of
history. In the case of this obscure, late ‘80s Scottish band who released one
full-length and two singles in their short lifetime, it was the fact that
Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain was a fan and covered three of their songs. Not that the
Vaselines couldn’t have gotten by on their own talent, they certainly could
have (they had it in spades) but this type of fuzzed-out, sexed-up pop has
never been in style (until now, of course, so their timing is impeccable).


The core of the band, Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee are
still here for Sex With an X, joined
by some pals from Belle & Sebastian, and in the ensuing two decades it
doesn’t seem like much has changed. Songs like gleefully bouncy title track,
the soaring “Such a Fool” or the (possible) Lee and Nancy  tribute “Turning It On” are all
pure Vaselines gold. Nice to see talented young upstarts like The Vivian Girls
and Best Coast taking notes, but I prefer the
real thing. Welcome back!  



José González Documentary Unveiled


Musician’s new album Fields,
recorded with his band Junip,  also
arrives on September 14. View the film trailer, below.


By Blurt Staff


Swedish musician José González is the subject of a new
documentary called The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José González, which is now starting to be shown at festivals throughout Europe. The 74-minute film was directed by Mikel Cee
Karisson and Fredrik Egerstrand and produced by Erik Hemmendorff for Plattform
Produktion (Karisson has made videos for González as well as Fever Ray, among



Using video diary, surveillance camera, concert footage,
tour documentation and animation, directors Karlsson and Egerstrand present González
through scenes shot during work on his second album, In Our Nature. Through a diary, based on personal voice recordings, we follow his everyday
reflections from thoughts on a photon’s path from the sun to our eyes to
Darwinism to the struggle to write songs.  Exploring universal themes such
as loneliness, boredom and isolation, The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José González gives us insight into one person’s attempt to manage and
understand his own existence. It was shot over a three-year period on location
in Sweden, Japan, Singapore,
United States, South Africa, England,
Chile and Argentina.


Director Karisson says: “There is something absurd,
fascinating and beautiful in our attempts to find meaning in our existence.
With The Extraordinary ordinary life of José González, we wanted to give
form to the personal artistic process. How personal reflection and everyday
fragments of life shapes our input and output.”


You can view the trailer below.





Photos: Rock The Bells Tour 8/21 in L.A.


Blurt shutterbug Scott Dudelson attended the August
21 Rock The Bells tour show at the NOS Event Center in Los Angeles and we’ve
got a selection of his photos, below. (You can also check out Dudelson’s photoblog
for BLURT elsewhere on our site.)


(above) Slick Rick


Brother Ali






DJ Muggs



DJ Premier



Wu-Tang Clan: GZA & Masta Killa



GZA & Ghostface Killa



Inspectah Deck



Method Man






Ill Bill



Immortal Technique






Lauryn Hill









Street Sweeper Social Club






Technician the DJ



A Tribe Called Quest










Report: DEVO Live in Buff-A-Lo!


The Spudboys take over the Town Ballroom
in Buffalo, NY, on July 8.


Text and photos by April S.


After several
excruciating minutes in a verbal scuffle with a megalomaniac security guard,
the opportunity of seeing one of the best post-punk bands to have stood the
test of time was nearly lost. BLURT vs. men with Napoleon complexes, 1-0. This
victory met a just reward, two hours of entertaining antics and seamless
execution of songs new and old.



It was
refreshing to see that the 1973 quartet attracted fans of every age, especially
those who could not yet walk; one could not help but observe the excited
parents who wheeled their stroller up to Town Ballroom’s doors. A much returned
welcome to the music scene, and Buffalo,
NY, latest album Something For Everyone is Devo’s first
LP in 20 years. (Read about it in the BLURT interview here.) Gerald Casale
later confessed to the audience that it was nearly 30 years since they played
in Buffalo,
their last pilgrimage took place in 1982. So to the packed venue Devo immediately
engaged, and with their faces hidden from the audience, they leapt into “Don’t
Shoot (I’m a Man)” and the energetic night commenced with a loud bang.





Donning their
silver suits, they then took off the masks for the next song and the audience
cheered upon setting sights on Devo. Lead singer, Mark Mothersbaugh, was ever
amusing as he walked on stage on all fours for “Jocko Homo.” As he sang “Are we
not men,” the audience delightfully shouted back, “we are Devo!” He ripped the
famous yellow suits off his band mates during “Planet Earth” and of course
graced the stage as alter-ego Booji Boy for his rendition of “Beautiful World.”
Between Devo’s coordinated moves about the stage and the ever animated Gerald behind
his keyboard the night was full of exuberance.


With constant
costume alterations the audience loved every moment. The most exciting change
came when Mark tore at the yellow suits of the others, exposing their black
shorts and kneepads, and tossed the remnants to the crowd. Eager fans lunged
forward trying to grasp a piece of the suit, tussling with each other for a
piece; and after performing “Whip It” Mark surprised us again by sending
several blue caps flying into the air. But of course, all of this was not over
as Booji Boy did not make his appearance.





After personal
favorite “Freedom of Choice,” Mark disappeared behind the stage as the rest of
Devo entertained us with some music. Then just a suddenly Mark reappeared
dressed in a choir gown, a peculiar bulge beneath his frock and his Booji Boy
mask and glasses. During the lengthy song, “Beautiful World,” Mark talked and sang
in a high pitched voice, much to the dismay of the security in front of me who
incredulously shook his head, and swayed with the motion of the music. Finally,
towards the end of the number, Mark reached down and lifted the gown to reveal
a fanny pack, the infamous bulge, and proceeded to throw smiley faced bouncy
balls off the stage. Yet again delighted fans reached out in an attempt grasp
the flying balls and when all were done flying, Devo waved goodnight to the
ecstatic audience. 


Set List:


Don’t Shoot (I’m
a Man)
Peek a Boo
What We Do
Goin Under
That’s Good
Girl u Want
Whip It
Planet Earth
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Secret Agent Man

Uncontrollable Urge
Jocko Homo
Smart Patrol
Gates of Steel


Freedom of Choice
Beautiful World


Exclusive: New Terrible Things Stream



Self-titled album
arrives next week.


We’ve got quite a swank exclusive for ya today: it’s a
stream from the new Terrible Things album Terrible
, which drops next week, August 31, on Universal Motown. The band’s
practically a supergroup, featuring Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday), Josh
Eppard (Coheed and Cambria) and Andy Jackson
(Hot Rod Circuit).



The song is called “The Arsonist’s Wife” – check it out



Photo Credit: Ryan Russell]



12 Steps to Musical Tolerance


The 12 Steps of Shedding Musical Intolerance (feat. George Clinton & Kanye West)

By Sir Mills D’Voidoffunk

1. I was powerless over my conviction that Kanye West was a douchebag, and in frequently voicing that conviction as an anonymous troll on numerous fan sites my life had become unmanageable.

2. I came to believe that George Clinton could restore me to sanity.

3. I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of Da Funk as I understood Da Funk.

4. I made a searching and fearless inventory of the local record shop.

5. I admitted to Da Funk, to myself and to that annoying Kanye fan who lives next door the exact nature of my wrongs.

6. I was entirely ready to attend a P-Funk concert to remove this defect of character from myself.

7. I humbly asked the Great Thumpasaurus to remove my shortcomings.

8. I made a list of all the Kanye fans I had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. I made direct amends to those people by writing a positive review of a Kanye West concert and posting it prominently and non-anonymously on a public website.

10. I continued to take inventory of the record shop and when I saw a new Kanye record I promptly purchased it.

11. I sought through meditation and dancing to improve my conscious contact with Da Funk as I understood Da Funk, praying only that Da Funk could free my mind in order that my ass would follow.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I am trying to carry this message to other Kanye-haters, and to practice these principles at all musical affairs.


Chico Mann Prepares for Analog Drift


On the Wax Poetics
label, no less.


By Blurt Staff


Chico Mann, aka Marcos García, returns on Oct. 26 with Analog Drift, his second album and first
for Wax Poetics Records.  Over the course
of twelve thumping, impossibly soulful songs, including a cover of Talking
Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime,” Chico Mann introduces the rhythms and guitarisms
of Afrobeat to the music of Cuba, the Latin freestyle flavors of 1980s New York
and Miami, and the synth-heavy electro beats of dance floors across the globe.

“I’ve spent years learning to speak Afrobeat, albeit with a Cuban accent,”
García says. “What I do is engage Afrobeat in conversation with Afro-Cuban
funk, while electro and freestyle set the stage. I’m employing several dialects
to make a larger musical statement. They’re all branches of the same tree.”

Born in New York City to Cuban parents – his mother a pianist and disc jockey,
his father a record label head and producer of merengue records – García
started early, diving headlong into the spheres of guitar, piano, and break
dancing; the works of Willie Colón, Fela Kuti, Lisa Lisa, and Afrika Bambaataa
led the way. Fast forward to the early 2000s. When he wasn’t burning up stages
worldwide with the mighty Antibalas
Afrobeat Orchestra, García was home cooking up a more personal sound,
featuring himself on all the instruments (guitar, bass, keyboards, programming)
and vocals (in Spanish). A debut album emerged in 2007 (Manifest Tone, Vol. 1).


Regarding the new album, the label advises, “At a time when
most artists are blowing smoke in your face, García is blowing soul in your
face. Not to mention truth and feeling. Songs like the searching “Mentirosos”
and the reflective “Hay Que Correr” are guaranteed to get right to the heart of
your matter; plus, synthy rumpshakers like “Anima” and “All That Is Rising”
have been proven to get you movin’. So García’s music is good for your mind and
behind. And it’s always real. The total package.”

As Garcia himself says on “Go to that Place”: “If you want it you can have it /
If you want it, you can take it, you can grab it.”



New Neil Young Tracklist + Cover Art

Previewed most the new
songs in concert on recent tour.


By Fred Mills


As previously announced, Neil Young will drop his new Daniel
Lanois-produced album Le Noise on
Sept. 28. Today the cover art was revealed, along with the tracklisting. Young
recently described the project on his Facebook page thusly:


Le Noise is complete. It is a solo record. Playbacks are
happening now. Release date is Sept. 28. It will be available in Vinyl, CD and
I tunes in the first edition, followed by Blu-Ray, and an APP for I-Phone and
I-Pad a month or so later. The app will be free. It gives you an interactive
album cover. Forgive my use of the word “album”. I am old school. When you buy
the songs/movies from I- tunes they show up in your APP. Peace ny


Young previewed most of the tracks on the album – including Hitchhiker,
Sign of Love, Walk With Me, Peaceful Valley, Rumblin – on the recent “Twisted
Road” tour, and you can read more about that here at BLURT.


Track List:


01. Walk With Me
02. Sign Of Love
03. Someone’s Gonna Rescue You
04. Love And War
05. Angry World
06. Hitchhiker
07. Peaceful Valley Boulevard
08. Rumblin




Fan Dies in Leap at Swell Season Show


Bizarre incident
leaves band and audience shaken.


By Blurt Staff


Last night west coast music blogs lit up with initial
reports of an apparent suicide attempt at a concert by the Swell Season. It
took place at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga,
Calif., a young man apparently in
his mid/late twenties leaping from a roof onto the stage. According to the SF Weekly blog:



“Several witnesses say
that the man climbed up onto the roof, then sprinted and stumbled to the top
before jumping off. He fell approximately three stories, through lighting
rigging, then landed on a speaker on the stage less than three feet from Swell
Season vocalist/songwriter Glen Hansard.”



Subsequent updates at the blog confirmed the man’s death –
read the progression of reports at the blog. The  Swell Season photo above was taken at the show
by BLURT correspondent Steven Bentley just shortly prior to the incident.



This morning added that Swell Season’s Glen
Hansard “put down his guitar and walked over to the man,” with doctors
attempting to revive him as paramedics headed to the stage. Swell Season also issued
a statement that reads, “The band, crew and all involved with them are
shocked and saddened by the unfortunate events of last night. Their hearts go
out to the victim and his friends and family.”