Monthly Archives: February 2011

Antony: Swanlights EP for Rec Store Day

10″ vinyl en route… CD will follow
later, however.


By Blurt


Antony and the Johnsons
will release the Swanlights EP digitally
and on 10″ via Secretly Canadian on April 26 – they’re shooting for having the
10″ vinyl available in time Record Store Day, April 16.


The EP comes on the heels of the Swanlights album, issued last fall, and includes a remix of the
title track by Oneohtrix Point Never as well as two exclusive b-sides.  Antony’s sister, Sara
Hegarty, directed the “Swanlights” video.


Antony, incidentally, has
described the concept of swanlights as “the reflection of light on the surface
of the water at night and the moment when a spirit jumps out of a body and
turns into a violet ghost.”






– Swanlights
2 – Find The Rhythm Of Your Love
3 – Kissing Noone
4 – Swanlights OPN edit



Rare Michael Chapman LP Reissued

Are you ready to get


By Fred Mills


Greying musos (such as yours truly) can do a merry
arm-in-arm jig with younger freak-folkers at the recent news from venerable
archival label Light In The Attic: they’ve reissued the legendary British
folkie Michael Chapman
‘s 1970 classic Fully Qualified
, a platter that has long eluded fans on these shores for a good
time now (to date it had only been reissued overseas), and one which the original vinyl has no doubt been wore thin from constant spins over the years. The album’s stature is indeed justified; Chapman, a peer to the likes of John Martyn and Roy Harper, recorded
early on for the Harvest imprint and was championed by no less than BBC maestro
John Peel, who helped make the track “Postcards From Scarborough” a minor hit
in the UK.


Chapman’s four-album run for Harvest earned him a rabidly
devoted following, and although his profile was considerably lower from the
1980s onward, he remains a much-loved icon in the roots and folk community and
continues to record and perform to this day.


And because we feel like LITA’s official product description
for Chappo’s album is absolutely stonkin’, we’re gonna share that with you.
Check it out:



Oh yeah! Are you ready
to get qualified/wp-content/photos Fans of John Martyn, Roy Harper, and Bert Jansch get ready
for a little trip back to England
in 1970 when the Harvest label was playing mother hen to the psych-folk-rock
scene. First time ever on CD in North America, and the first vinyl reissue in
decades, this reissue of Michael
‘s classic 1970 album
Qualified Survivor
sports re-mastered
audio, old school tip-on gatefold jacket, 180-gram vinyl, rare archival photos,
and notes by Mick Houghton (Uncut). And for you CD lovers, better put on your
shades when picking this one up, as the silver foil deluxe Digipak is a real
shiner! Like other Harvest artists, Chapman’s music contains a slightly drugged
out feel, sublime guitar playing and intense lyrics. What makes
Fully Qualified Survivor such a special album (besides being a
vehicle for a young pre-David Bowie Mick Ronson’s mind-blowing guitar heroics)
are the layers of beautiful acoustic guitars, deranged vocals, floating conga
drums, and the cello of Paul Buckmaster, all floating along in a slightly
druggy haze.



Report: Ted Leo at Noise Pop 2011





An arctic blast of wind, rain and cold descended on San Francisco Thursday
night, but inside the packed Bottom of the Hill club, down in front, at Ted
Leo’s second solo show this year – the vibe was warmly defiant.


Damn the brutal conditions outside, the New Yorker played
over an hour-long set of songs from his huge back catalog, marking another
intimate highlight from Noise Pop 2011, the 19 year-old week-long indie music
festival featuring about 100 bands at around 20 venues, including Death Cab’s
Ben Gibbard, Yo La Tengo, No Age and Wavves.


Called a “goddamn national treasure” by Noise Pop writer Kevin Seal, the New
Jersey native has been in the game for 25 years, morphing from punk rocker to
indie rock to his current, stripped down and plugged in act – featuring just
him, a mic, his guitar and amp.


He’s sort of adrift in 2011, he says, and looking to
reconnect. So he’s struck out without his backing band The Pharmacists for one
of his longest solo stints ever
. Whip smart and powder dry, Leo kept his rock
talk terse late Thursday night and focused on song after song of amped up
singer-songwriter storytelling – a less emo Elliot Smith. Reflecting on his
career crossroads, Leo said simply, “Honestly, there are very few things I’d do


Tracks like “Bleeding Powers”, and “Six Months in a Leaky
Boat” came out forceful, confident and raw. The forty-year-old’s voice was both
thin and tight from winter travel and a cold – yet another reason why bands
tour in the Summer. He said he might lose his voice Thursday, screwing his Seattle audience out of a


“Don’t worry, I’ll leave it gasping and bloody on stage. Seattle can deal with the
aftermath,” he said. Then later, “Don’t tell Seattle I said that.”


Cue: “Bottled in Cork”,
“Colleen”, “The High Party Lyrics, “The Gold Finch and the Red Oak Tree” and
numerous others. The crowd of Leo die-hards – some grizzled and bearded, others
still in braces – lapped it all up.


He concluded with a thank you to his opener Kevin Seconds,
who nearly missed his set time after his car died in Southern
California Thursday morning.]


No matter how long artists tour, they remain one breakdown
away from a shitstorm of problems, Leo noted.


“It’s inspiring to see Kevin’s performance after all that
crap. And it’s a privilege to get to do this.”


Tonight: The legendary Kid Koala does things with vinyl
records that no one else can do. And darkwave rock act Tamaryn takes us to a
sinful place.


[Photo Credit: Mattias Corral]


More Ted Leo at Blurt: Brutalist Bricks

Listen to New TV On the Radio Song

Check it out, below….

By Blurt Staff

Over at 107.7 The End they are premiering a new song from TV On the Radio, “Will Do.” It’s from their upcoming Nine Types of Light album, due April 12 via Interscope. (Thanks to Pitchfork for the tip on this.)

They previously announced some North American and European tour dates as well, with many more no doubt to come:

4-08 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
4-09 Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theatre
4-10 Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
4-13 New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
4-16 Boston, MA – House of Blues
4-17 Montreal, Quebec – Metropolis
4-18 Toronto, Ontario – Sound Academy
4-20 Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall
4-23-24 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
4-25 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
5-02 San Diego, CA – 4th and B
6-22 Zagreb, Croatia – T Mobile Inmusic Festival
7-03 London, England – Wireless Festival
7-08 Bilbao, Spain – BBK Live Festival



TV on the Radio – Will Do by 1077 The End

Watch Trailer for New Wild Beasts LP


Followup to the British band’s
acclaimed 2009 platter.



By Blurt



Wild Beasts’ third album, Smother, drops May 10 on Domino Records. It’s the followup to the
Mercury-nominated and critically acclaimed Two Dancers (reviewed here at BLURT).



Born out of an
intense six-week period of writing in East London and a month recording in
remote Wales, Smother was co-produced by the Kendal
four-piece with long term collaborator Richard
Formby. An album, we are advised, of “intense atmosphere, space and
beguiling rhythm,” Smother has ten songs that “linger in the memory, each track pulsing with sensuality… bold,
textured and romantic a deeply personal and immensely affecting record.”



Well, all right
then! Keep your eyes peeled; we’ll have a full preview soon. 



Report: Dan Deacon at NoisePop 2011


Dateline: Tuesday,
Feb. 22, San Francisco,
the NoisePop festival….


By David Downs


Baltimore’s music deconstruction savant Dan
returned to San Francisco
last night to play games and shred minds during his second show back since a
nerve injury put him out of commission last year.


The Tuesday night romp at San Francisco’s The Independent kicked off Noise Pop 2011, a 19-year-old, largely indie music festival sporting about 100
bands at 18 venues over five days including Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard, Yo La
Tengo and No Age. While Yo La Tengo rocked the Fox Theater in Oakland, the small, sold-out Independent
throbbed with Deacon’s new material, and he clearly relished playing solo in
the crowd at the foot of the stage, positioned behind just a card table stacked
with lights and busted up effects gear.


Short, bald, and rotund – Deacon might not be a Grammy
posterboy, but he’s managed to inspire a unique strain of Deacon fever in his
devotees. Holding a degree in composition from the Conservatory of Music at
SUNY Purchase
, he has emerged alongside Girl Talk as the reigning champ of East
Coast laptop apocalypses. But where Girl Talk’s Greg Gillis crotchets a dragnet
of pop hooks, Deacon emits anti-pop radiation on 2009’s Bromst: a mix of
chipmunk vocals, deliriously hyper-processed melody, and earthquake percussion.


A tireless road dog, he brought that delirium to every
live occasion until sciatica finally disabled the 29 year-old dynamo last
. Since then he’s been working on another album, and just announced that
he’ll be scoring a Francis Ford Coppola film. Deacon was a little less animated
than his spastic, righteous live show at Treasure Island in 2009 year, but he
demonstrated his trademark command of the crowd, starting with a “Cecilia” sing
along, then a ‘Jurassic Park vs. What-You-Wish-Avatar-Had-Been-Like’
dance contest between opposing sides of the room.


New Deacon track “Fertile” seemed to channel an bit of
David Bowie’s “Heroes” in the bass line. “Of the Mountains” kicked off a giant
game of Simon Says. “Silence Like the Wind Overtakes Me” had the crowd blowing
kisses at the critics in the balcony.


Deacon had pointed words for Southwest airlines: who lost
his luggage after canceling his prior flight. It appeared as though baggage
handlers had unpacked all his gear, then juggled and dropped it all, and stuck
it back in the bag, creating glitches throughout the night, he said. The “Wham City”
finale flickered as abruptly out of existence as Deacon’s show started, thanks
to what he called a “surge protector solo”.


Hyperminimal hardcore performance artists Ed Schrader’s
Music Beat
opened for Deacon in a bit of back to back B-more. Vocalist drummer
Ed Schrader and bassist backup singer Devlin Rise – both “wage slaves” from the
East Coast who make less than $10/hour – would have made David Byrne and the
Talking Heads proud with their stripped, confrontational act – featuring just
one floor tom, a bass, and the two vocalists screaming things like “Gas station
attendant! / Gas station attendant!”


Brought to San Francisco by
the same people who do Treasure Island each
year, Noise Pop 2011 launches into some rather strong headwinds again this
year. Situated so early in the Summer concert season as to not be in it, weather
plays a role. San Francisco
may get its first bit of snow in 30 years this weekend. About a dozen Noise Pop
shows have already sold out, but the live season as a whole suffered a serious
blow in 2010, when live show revenues dropped 20 percent in some circles. The
average youngster went to zero live shows last year. Record sales have also
as a whole, and CD sales even more so, while digital is not making
up for that lost revenue.


The expense of touring might be boosting the number of
solo acts, which are cheaper than taking a full band on the road. At Noise Pop
they include Ted Leo, Ben Gibbard, Dan Deacon, Max Bemis, Dam Funk, Peanut
Butter Wolf, and Kid Koala. There’s also a lot of two-pieces like No Age, Best Coast
and Wavves. But it works both ways. All across America rents are low, food is
cheap, and the kind of obscure artist Noise Pop trades in have more promotional
power and artistic control than they did under the old “star” system.


But money? Not so much of that lying around.


[Photo Credit: Michael Orlosky (from Coachella)]



Incoming Alert: Krautrock!



From Kriedler and
Faust, to Roedelius and Neumeier/Kawabata, it’s all der rage!


By Blurt Staff


Spring draws nigh, and in spring a young collector geek’s
fancy turns to… krautrock, natch. Check out a few of the more interesting
titles coming down the pike. Guarantee: all blurbs 100% hype free – it’s all



Kriedler – Tank (March 4; pictured above)

The unique
postrock/neo-krautrock quartet KREIDLER from Düsseldorf and Berlin have recorded a new album.
“TANK” sees Kreidler go back to their roots: pattern-oriented rock
music, analogue/electronic and repetitious, yet elegant and distinguished –
Kreidler have refined their unique style still further, and are getting better
with every album. “TANK” was recorded in the Electric Avenue Studio,
with producer Tobias Levin creating a stunning sound that gets as close to Kreidler’s
live energy as it can.




Mani Neumeier &
Kawabata Makoto – Samurai Blues (Feb.

Neumeier (drums) is the founder and head of the legendary Krautrock combo Guru
Guru. Kawabata Makoto is the founder, guitarist and mastermind of the Japanese
psychedelic rock collective Acid
Mothers Temple.
These two true masters of their craft have recorded some stunning psychedelic
improvisations. Tempestuous guitars and thundering drums demonstrate just what
is possible in acid rock in 2011.




Roedelius – Momenti Felici (reissue; March 4)

Since the
early eighties, Roedelius had more or less dispensed with electronics,
focussing increasingly on the grand piano. He also collaborated with various combinations
of musicians to create a new kind of music, vastly different to Cluster and
Harmonia aesthetics. “Momenti Felici” (first released in 1987 on
Venture) is one of the finest examples hereof: an enthusiastic Roedelius
allowed new impressions and discoveries to flow virtually unfiltered into his
music. Includes three previously unreleased tracks.




Roedelius – Piano Piano (reissue; April 4)

Piano” is a very soft, quiet album. Roedelius assumes the role of a fairytale
character with his piano music, transported to a strange, fantastical landscape
where, filled with awe and amazement, he tries to get his bearings. What he
sees, feels and senses here is not always of this world. Many impres­sions come
from the dark within, others from who knows where. What he has to tell us is
indeed whimsical and, at times, wonderful. His ability to awaken images and
dreams in us is nothing short of miraculous.



Faust – Something Dirty (March 4)

The living
Krautrock legend Faust, around for over 40 years now, have recorded a new
album! Jean-Hervé Peron, Zappi W. Diermaier (both founding members), James
Johnston (Gallon Drunk, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds), and Geraldine Swayne
(…Bender) have come up with another archetypical Faust album: inspiring,
innovative, unpredictable, crossing boundaries, anarchic – Faustian!
“something dirty” is a definitive milestone in the long history of
this world-famous musical institution from Hamburg. (See the review in the new print
issue of BLURT.)


Ozzy Named Rec Store Day Ambassador

April 16 also
unofficially christened “Bite A Head off a Bat Day.”


By Blurt Staff


Record Store Day has
made an announcement so improbable it must be true: Ozzy Osbourne is to serve as Record Store Day Ambassador 2011. Quoth
the Ozzman: “I now have the power to command you to attend Record Store Day,
April 16th. Be there!

Go to for a special message from the Ambassador himself.


“The Record Store
Day Ambassador’s main purpose is to claim the mantle of greatness that conveys
the majesty of the amazing array of releases made on the world’s only holiday
devoted to music. We were thrilled when the inaugural position was held in 2009
by the Eagles of Death Metal front man Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes, and was
then followed in 2010 by QOTSA/Them Crooked Vultures’ Joshua Homme,”
says Record Store Day co-founder Michael
Kurtz, “We really didn’t
know who could top this trajectory of camp and circumstance and, needless to
say, we were gobsmacked when Ozzy stepped up to the plate.”


Ozzy fans who come out to support RSD will have the first
chance to purchase a special 7″ vinyl single of Diary of a Madman‘s “Flying High Again” (with a live version
of “I Don’t Know” as the B-side), along with full-length vinyl
versions of the newly expanded 30th anniversary editions of his Blizzard of
and Diary of a Madman albums.



Arcade Fire Mgr. on Grammys Conspiracy

Would that Eminem even had someone
in his organization as  thoughtful and articulate,


By Fred


we took a look
at music industry douchebag, er, veteran Steve Stoute’s recent
open letter to the Grammys and how, among other things, he floated some vague
notion of a conspiracy theory surrounding Arcade Fire’s Best Album win (at the
expense of Eminem, of course, who clearly “deserved” to win). Stoute clearly stirred up some shit, as it was
juicy watercooler talk for several days, and among the commentators who weighed
in was industry watchdog Bob Lefsetz (of “The Lefsetz Letter”), who seemed to
echo Stoute’s suspicions when he wrote, in part:


“Obviously NARAS knew Arcade Fire was gonna win. 
Otherwise, why would they close the show?  And they got two numbers. 
If there was gonna be extra time couldn’t there have been another performer, or
one of those legendary Grammy love-ins featuring Stevie Wonder and a whole host
of legends, maybe playing a classic with Arcade Fire?”


This apparently caught the attention of the Arcade Fire
camp, for today Lefsetz (who is nothing if not fair about allowing both those
who agree AND disagree with him have their say) published a letter from the
band’s manager, Scott Rodger, who very firmly insists that there was “no big
plot” whatsoever, and that in particular the fact that the band played a second
song, at the end and as credits began to roll, was merely because there was
enough time for it.


Rodger’s letter read, in part:


Fire had the final slot on the Grammys as the ratings are low at the end of the
broadcast. It really is that simple. We were one of the least known acts on the
bill for a network audience. Don’t you think I wanted a better slot for the
band? The reason we got a second song was also simple. No big plot. We had no
guarantee of air time, but it was simply to play out the end credits of the
show, if we’re even had that much. The show never runs like clockwork to an
exact time so the end is always loose. As it happened, the broadcast was
covered by sponsors messages and the end credits.”


added that the international broadcast of the show not only cut the band’s main
performance earlier in the evening, the end-title performance was “bastardised.”

Continuing, Rodger noted, “Arcade Fire deserved the win this year. They made
the best album. If the award was named “Album Sales Of The Year” award, there
would be no discussion. Stoute’s letter was a nice piece of self publicity. Did
he see Kanye’s tweets when we won and the praise he gave us?? He needs to tune
in. Eminem made a big selling album but it was far from being his best work.
Katy Perry made a big pop record that simply didn’t have weight or credibility.
Gaga’s repackage, great album but it was a repackage of the main release. I
think everyone felt it was going to be Lady Antebellum’s moment having won 5
out of 6 awards to that point. We all felt that way too.”


Rodger additionally
pointed out that the band “didn’t lobby any organisation for [the Grammy win]
and that they had to pay their “own overhead to do the event, thus the lack of
onstage gimmicks. No label picked up the tab.”


Amen. So
much for the conspiracy theory. Once again, hats off to Arcade Fire. You can
read all about this and more at the Lefsetz Letter.



MP3 + Video: Live Black Dub


“May be the last time,
I don’t know…”: Heavy gospel-swamp-funk from Lanois & Co.


By Fred Mills


Daniel Lanois, frontman for Black Dub and
producer/collaborator extraordinaire (Dylan, Peter Gabriel, U2, etc.), was the
recent subject of an extensive two-part profile at BLURT. Now we’ve got a
couple of musical treats to share as well.




Lanois and his bandmembers Trixie Whitley, Daryl Johnson and
Brian Blade recorded the song live recently on their U.S. tour, and it’s a pretty heavy
duty slice of gospel-swamp-funk. You can also check out their recent appearance
on KCRW-FM’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” (both interview and performance) and a
clip from their performance on the Jimmy
Kimmel Live