Monthly Archives: July 2011

Watch New Animated Mountain Goats Video

 

“Estate Sale Sign” comes from this
year’s All Eternals Deck album.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

The
Mountain Goats kick off tour dates with Bright Eyes today with the release of
an animated music video for “Estate Sale Sign,” from recent album All Eternals Deck (Merge).

 

The Mountain Goats – Estate Sale Sign from Merge Records on Vimeo.

 

Directed by Brooklyn-based animation team Awesome and Modest and edited by Sean
Donnelly, the video was made using mixed media and handmade techniques to craft
the eerie landscapes and anthropomorphic creatures at war over a snow globe.

 

Tour
Dates:

7/27 – Lewiston, NY @ Artpark *
7/28 – Gilford, NH @ Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion *
7/29 – Shelburne, VT @ The Green At Shelburne Museum *
7/30 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
7/31 – Baldwinsville, NY @ Papermill Island Amphitheatre *
8/2 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues*
8/3 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Meijer Gardens *
8/4 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room *
8/5 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
9/24 – Maximum Ames Festival @ Ames, IA #
12/2-4 – All Tomorrow’s Parties curated by Jeff Mangum @ Minehead, UK

* = with Bright Eyes
# = solo show

 

New Feist LP Yields 2 Video Previews

 

Metals will arrive in
October. Check out the video clips, below.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

On October 4th, Feist returns with her highly
anticipated new album, Metals,
out on Cherrytree/Interscope. It’s the follow-up to her 2007 breakout The Reminder.

 

Recorded in Big Sur,
California, Feist co-produced the
album with longtime collaborators Chilly Gonzales and Mocky, as well as
newcomer Valgeir Sigurðsson (Bjork, Bonnie “Prince” Billy). The label
describes the album as “astoundingly intimate, yet often exuberant; rife with
transcendent and unforgettable pop gems.” But in the case of Feist, we’ll
choose to believe the hype.

 

The album will be teased with 12 unique vignettes, each
hinting at a different element of the record. Fans can follow their release on listentofeist.com.

 

Watch two video previews for the album below. In the top
video, watch Feist, Gonzales, Mocky, and Sigurðsson at work on the album,
and hear a snippet of new music.

 


Listen to Exclusive Juno Reactor Remix

 

Check out our
review of the remix album as well.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Juno Reactor’s new remix album, Inside the Reactor, is out now [reviewed here] via the Metropolis
label
. The band has provided us with this exclusive non-album track — a rare
remix of  “God is God” by
electro-pioneers Front 242, restored and remixed for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

 


Juno
Reactor “God Is God – Front 242 Godzilla (Juno Reactor remix)”
by Reybee

 

Juno Reactor on the web: www.junoreactor.com

 

 

 

Report: Fresh & Onlys, Woods in Portland

Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, July 25: and
indie and garage rock feast.

 

By Tim Hinely

I had been
itching to see the Fresh & Onlys for quite some time, especially since I
had missed them here last year and their latest record, 2010’s Play it Strange, was one of my
favorites. They did not disappoint. These four unique looking individuals seem
like they were meant to be together. To meet, become friends, to make music
together and that if they had not found each other to play music with well, all
would not have been right in the universe.

 

Not only are
they all very good players but they seem to play so well off of each other. The
drummer (who resembles Crispin Glover, a bit) and bassist are a runaway
locomotive heading in your general direction. It’s controlled but just barely
while the lead guitarist (seemingly on some kind of Nikki Sudden trip) appears like
he could play anything you asked him to on the spot. Meanwhile, up front,
singer/guitarist/leader Tim Cohen keeps things moving, muttering things to the
crowd, pushing his head back in between words with his eyes rolling around as
if he’s about to peak any second. Musically it’s a healthy mix of all that is
good in rock music: psych, pop, punk, some surf, a bit of dusty western and
it’s all hooked on to a garage rock motor.

 

If they come to
your town drop your other plans because remember, when these four are on stage
in front of you, all is right in the world.

 

 

Woods, not to be
confused with The Woods, had a look of their own as well. The rhythm section
looked like a few college kids stoked to be on tour but the vocalist/singer
appeared to be heir scrawny professor (Jeremy Earl), albeit one with the best
falsetto in rock these days and the guy on tape loop/samplers had this thing in
his mouth (like a mask, sort of). It distorted his vocals but not in a Peter
Frampton mouthpiece sort of way, more like the vocal equivalent to the
Theremin.

 

This band, like
Fresh & Onlys seem to take decades of rock/pop music history and make it
their own. I’ve read comparisons to both The Band and Rain Parade and I heard
elements of both of those as well as The Byrds, Guided by Voice and others  and Woods seem to have a fresh approach to
the pop/rock thing.  I recognized songs
from their last two records, 2010’a At
Echo Lake
and this year’s Sun and
Shade
and it’s nice to see a band not afraid to include their influences
but also bring something new to the table. Well worth your hard-earned dough to
check out.

 

 

First Look: New Jesse Sykes Album

 

 

Marble Son, released
next week by Station Grey/Thirty Tigers, is a remarkable foray into freak-folk
and psychedelia that’s considerably removed from the group’s early alt.country
sound.

 

By Michael Toland

 

Singer/songwriter Jesse Sykes and her combo the Sweet
Hereafter have been the darlings of the modern alt.country scene for a decade
now. But the band’s restless, creative minds will hardly sit still in one place
for long. On Marble Son, Sykes and
the Hereafters fold layers of gauzy acid folk, swirling psychedelic guitar
noise and haunted atmospheres into her droning Americana. It’s as if she discovered LSD
while hanging out with the art metal overlords in Sunn 0))) and Boris (on whose
collaborative LP Altar she appears) –
even her lyrics have grown more enigmatic and searching.

 

Marble Son encompasses the ethereal folk of “Birds of Passerine” and “Be It Me, Or Be It
None” as snugly as the dramatic acid grunge of “Hushed By Devotion” and
“Pleasuring the Divine,” while still finding room for the straightforward roots
rock of “Come to Mary.” Guitarist Phil Wandscher emerges as an equal partner
here, as his dynamic riffs and lysergic textures duet with Sykes’ soulful
vocals – he even gets his own instrumental showcase, the swelling epic “Weight
of Cancer.”

 

For all the new sonic waves undulating through this record,
however, the band’s distinctive identity still shines – there’s no mistaking Marble Son for the work of anyone else,
and it’s the ability to evolve while still remaining true to core values that
makes Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter great.

 

Bonnaroo Tops Latest Blurt Poll

 

Yes, but have
festivals jumped the shark?

 

By Perez Mills

 

We polled, you voted, we listened: Bonnaroo is the festivale du choice for the
discriminating BLURT reader. In our last poll we listed a slew of the annual music
festivals ranging from Sasquatch back in late May through Treasure Island that
occurs in October, and by a wide margin, Bonnaroo is the “must attend” event of
the year.

 

Well, “wide margin” is somewhat nebulous; out of all the
votes cast, Bonnaroo took in 14% of the tally. And then there was a clusterfuck
near-tie for second place, with Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, ATP, Treasure Island,
Austin City Limits and Camp
Bisco all earning in the
7 to 10% range. After that it was a clusterfuck near-tie for third place.

 

 

What does it all mean, oh great and powerful Oz? Who the
hell knows! Have festivals jumped the shark, or do people just take ‘em for
granted? We’ll find out next year when we repeat this exact same exercise…

 

Meanwhile, check out our latest poll, located along the left
margin of the homepage: with a slew of new releases about to drop, vote for the
artist whose upcoming album you’re most looking forward to.

 

Listen to New Polvo Single

 

 

From forthcoming
album, title and date tba.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Legendary Chapel Hill band
Polvo recently announced the arrival of a new limited edition 7″ single, “Heavy
Detour” b/w “Anchoress,” via Merge. They’re now streaming the A-side for your
musical edification.

 

 


Polvo – Heavy Detour by MergeRecords

 

Recorded in North
Carolina and mixed by Mitch Easter, “Heavy Detour” is
from Polvo’s upcoming Merge album. The licorice-colored vinyl goodie will also
net you a free demo version of the B-side if you order it direct from Merge.
Polvo, who lasted from 1990-97 then got back together again in 2008, released
their previous album, In Prism, in
2009. They are set to do a short European tour starting next week.

 

Tour Dates:

 

Aug 03 Sondrio, Italy Arena Sonica Festival
Aug 05 Berlin, Germany
Puschen Festival
Aug 06 Katowice, Poland
Off Festival
Aug 08 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Paradiso
Aug 09 Copenhagen, Denmark
KB 18
Aug 10 Stockholm, Sweden Debaser

 

 

Photos: Warped Tour 2011

Get yr punk on!

 

Photos By Scott Dudelson

 

The summer’s most enduring annual festival, The Warped Tour,
returned this year for its 15th consecutive event with headliners Against Me!,
A Day to Remember and Hellogoodbye.   The roaming festival runs through
August 14th and concert photographer Scott Dudelson was on hand to capture the sights at the Ventura, CA
tour stop.

 

(above) MC Lars  – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

A Day to Remember – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Against Me! – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Asking Alexandra – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Blood on the Dance Floor – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Devil Wears Prada  – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Expendables  – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Fear – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Go Radio – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Hellogoodbye – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Lionize  – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Lucero  – Live @ Warped Tour 2011


Relient K – Live @ Warped Tour 2011 

 

The Aggrolites – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

The Sheds – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

The Wonder Years – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

Unwritten Law – Live @ Warped Tour 2011

 

 

Report: Fresh & Onlys, Woods in Portland

Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, July 25: and
indie and garage rock feast.

 

By Tim Hinely

I had been
itching to see the Fresh & Onlys for quite some time, especially since I
had missed them here last year and their latest record, 2010’s Play it Strange, was one of my
favorites. They did not disappoint. These four unique looking individuals seem
like they were meant to be together. To meet, become friends, to make music
together and that if they had not found each other to play music with well, all
would not have been right in the universe.

 

Not only are
they all very good players but they seem to play so well off of each other. The
drummer (who resembles Crispin Glover, a bit) and bassist are a runaway
locomotive heading in your general direction. It’s controlled but just barely
while the lead guitarist (seemingly on some kind of Nikki Sudden trip) appears like
he could play anything you asked him to on the spot. Meanwhile, up front,
singer/guitarist/leader Tim Cohen keeps things moving, muttering things to the
crowd, pushing his head back in between words with his eyes rolling around as
if he’s about to peak any second. Musically it’s a healthy mix of all that is
good in rock music: psych, pop, punk, some surf, a bit of dusty western and
it’s all hooked on to a garage rock motor.

 

If they come to
your town drop your other plans because remember, when these four are on stage
in front of you, all is right in the world.

 

 

Woods, not to be
confused with The Woods, had a look of their own as well. The rhythm section
looked like a few college kids stoked to be on tour but the vocalist/singer
appeared to be heir scrawny professor (Jeremy Earl), albeit one with the best
falsetto in rock these days and the guy on tape loop/samplers had this thing in
his mouth (like a mask, sort of). It distorted his vocals but not in a Peter
Frampton mouthpiece sort of way, more like the vocal equivalent to the
Theremin.

 

This band, like
Fresh & Onlys seem to take decades of rock/pop music history and make it
their own. I’ve read comparisons to both The Band and Rain Parade and I heard
elements of both of those as well as The Byrds, Guided by Voice and others  and Woods seem to have a fresh approach to
the pop/rock thing.  I recognized songs
from their last two records, 2010’a At
Echo Lake
and this year’s Sun and
Shade
and it’s nice to see a band not afraid to include their influences
but also bring something new to the table. Well worth your hard-earned dough to
check out.

 

 

Report: 2011 Mariposa Folk Festival

 

Acclaimed music bash
kicks off its second 50 years in style, July 8-10 in Orilla, Ontario.
Pictured above: Emmylou Harris.

By Lee Zimmerman / Photos by Alicia Cherry

In Canada they really do say “Eh” — as in “How’s it going,
eh?” or “They’re pretty good, eh?” The expression pretty much turns every
statement into a question, while also ensuring that no matter what the
declaration, the listener has the final say by voicing either a yay or a nay.

 

That’s practically the only cliché that can be bandied about
regarding our neighbor to the north, and it also exemplifies the all-round good
vibe that the Canadians exude, both amongst one another and to visitors as
well. And it certainly personifies the genuinely good vibes that accompany an
event like the Mariposa Folk Festival, which just concluded its 51st year of operation this past July 8 – 10. Be assured, there was nothing clichéd
about this line-up.

 

Held in Tudhope Park in Orilla, Ontario – approximately two
hours north of Toronto and on the shores of beautiful Lake Couchiching — the
festival belies its branding by giving equal credence to both traditional
folkies – with tireless troubadours Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary),
Murray McLauchlan, John McDermott, Stan Rogers and Ron Hynes representing the
old guard – and dynamic young rockers – Josh Ritter, Jim Bryson and the
Weakerthans, the Beauties, and Yukon Blonde, among them – performing on behalf
of the new guard. In between, there were those who bridged the divide –
Saturday night headliner Emmylou Harris and mystery guest Ron Sexsmith in
particular. And there were plenty of newbies as well – Amelia Curran, Brett
Caswell and the Marquee Rose, Katherine Wheatley, David Myles, Del Barber and
Reid Jamieson being among the best.

 

With the activity spread among more than half a dozen
smaller stages, a massive main stage for the headliners, and a beer tent —
which, not surprisingly, provided the most boisterous venue of all — there was
plenty of diversity and variety to choose from when it came to indulging one’s
musical preferences. But overall, the vibe was generally mellow, fueled not
only by the festival’s family-friendly tradition, but also the idyllic locale,
which was generally hassle-free and easy to navigate.

 

(Josh Ritter)

 

 

Friday night provided an exhilarating intro, given that the
initial offerings generally cater to a younger crowd. A riveting performance by
Toronto-based band The Beauties set the scene, and by the time Jim Bryson and
the Weakerthans took the stage at 9, the crowd was already geared up for an
electric evening. Bryson and the Weakerthans previously made their own
individual music, but drawing songs largely from their recent collaboration, Falcon Lake Incident, the combination
proved potent, with material divvied between bittersweet ballads and hook-heavy
rockers. Still, all was forgotten when Josh Ritter and his Royal City Band
capped the evening’s offerings. Ritter was nothing if not mesmerizing, and his
songs took on an auspicious aura that imbued a powerful sway. The set climbed
from peak to peak, and bathed in the multicolored hues of the spotlight, Ritter
was absolutely riveting, awing the crowd with his powerful presence.
Unfortunately, a horde of bugs and mosquitoes also opted to swarm around the
spotlight, prompting Ritter to lament the fact that “all the insects got in
free,” while vowing to keep playing, “even if we end up as skeletons.”

 

(David Myles)

 

 

(Katherine Wheatley w/the author)

 

 

 

Saturday beckoned with the first full day of entertainment
possibilities, and the choice to begin with some upbeat bluegrass seemed the
logical way to go. David Myles, a tall, lanky, good-natured singer/songwriter,
hosted the genteel Katherine Wheatley and the instrumental ensemble Hard Ryde
on the shady Estelle Klein Stage and got the festivities off to a boisterous
start. Bryson and the Weakerthans followed, repeating their previous night’s
set, but adding an intimacy that eludes most artists on the main stage. This
being Canada, and the fact that the spotlight falls overwhelmingly on natives
sons and daughters, the next showcase set was devoted entirely to
interpretations of Gordon Lightfoot songs from the likes of Katherine Wheatley,
Reid Jameson and John McDermott, a former member of the Canadian Tenors whose
lusty vocals, and the fact he was originally discovered during an impromptu
recital of “Danny Boy,” made him a somewhat obvious additive for a folk festival.
The homage to Lightfoot was only natural, given the fact that he hails from
Orillia and that one of his last major appearances was as last year’s festival
headliner. Reid’s take on “Summer Side of Life” and Wheatley’s “Early Morning
Rain” offered impressive reminders of why Lightfoot is not only a Canadian
institution but a veritable singer/songwriter phenomenon as well.

 

(Reid Jameson)

 

 

Opting for a break in order to stroll through the stalls and
find some nourishment, we found ourselves making hard choices as to which
showcases to check out next. A return to the Estelle Klein Stage in late
afternoon was rewarded with a double set of round-robin performances, the first
featuring Amelia Curran, David Myles, a solo Jim Bryson and a slightly more
subdued Josh Ritter each trading original songs. The second starred Katherine
Wheatley, Reid Jameson, Garnet Rogers and veteran folkie Marie-Lynn Hammond
singing songs they wish they had written, or at least that’s how the session
was billed. Among the highlights: Jamieson’s version of “Everybody’s Talkin'”
and Wheatley’s cover of “Someday Soon” by Ian Tyson, another native son.

 

(John McDermott)

 

 

(Ron Sexsmith)

 

 

 

Our introduction to Saturday night’s main stage line-up
began with 3 Gars su’l Sofa, a good-natured French Canadian combo whose jaunty
Cajun-flavored tunes helped spur the evening’s energy. John McDermott followed
next, and his stoic presence loaned a certain austerity to the proceedings just
as his renditions of “Loch Loman” (“I’ll take the high road, while you’ll take
the low road…”), “My Bonnie” and, of course, “Danny Boy” drew a hush from the
crowd, which was clearly swayed by McDermott’s reverential readings. When the
so-called surprise special guest was announced afterward, few in the audience were
actually surprised when Ron Sexsmith ambled on stage to play a solo set.
Appearing boyish and shy, despite his prolific 25-year career, Sexsmith
admitted he was amazed by all the anticipation. “I didn’t think it would be
much of a surprise,” he said meekly. “You might have thought it was Bob Dylan
or something.” His set was typically low-key and low gazed, leaving it to
headliner Emmylou Harris, to pull out the firepower.

 

(Emmylou Harris)

 

 

 

“Sorry, I don’t speak Canadian,” Harris joked on taking the
stage, “But I once married a Canadian.” She then proceeded to entice the
audience with a supple set of songs that highlighted her exquisite new album, Hard Bargain. Like the night before, the
bugs swarmed as she defiantly carried on, even though she noted that several
seemed to be attracted to her tea. “Good nutrition,” she joked as she marveled
at the infestation. Nevertheless, there was a certain solemnity to her set,
particularly when she sang the album’s two mournful centerpieces, “New
Orleans,” an ode to that devastated city, and “My Name is Emmett Till,” the
tragic tale of a young black boy murdered in Mississippi by merciless white
mob. Not surprisingly, Sexsmith was brought back onstage to duet on “Hard
Bargain,” the track he contributed to Harris’ current effort, and a beguiling
version of Lucinda Williams’ “Sweet Old World,” a song that easily accommodated
both artists’ appreciation for tender sentiment. Harris’ rousing take on the
rugged gospel number “John the Baptist” and “Born To Run” wrapped the set up in
style.

 

(Brett Caswell & the Marquee Rose)

 

 

(The Rucksack Willies)

 

 

 

Sunday proved equally daunting in terms of choices,
particularly since we had already decided that we’d leave prematurely due to
our hosts’ determination to avoid the final evening’s rush. Consequently, we
began our day early in the beer tent, which found the ever-energetic Brett
Caswell & the Marquee Rose trading their rowdier numbers with the Rucksack
Willies, a fiddle-fueled bluegrass outfit whose two female singers looked like
half the front line from the Mamas and Papas. We then made our way to the
outlying Ruth’s Stage to enjoy a folksy solo set by David Myles, resplendent
once again in a white suit and broad rimmed fedora. Prefacing a cover of an
Anne Murray song, he told a story about being in China and chancing into a bar
with a wall of photos saluting their take on Rock ‘n’ Roll royalty. There were
the usual suspects – John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix, and somewhat surprisingly,
Anne Murray. “I must have missed that,” he remarked.

 

(Peter Yarrow)

 

(Garnet Rogers)

 

 

Still, the highlight of the afternoon proved to be a
showcase set featuring Peter Yarrow, Murray McLauchlan and Garnet Rogers.
McLauchlan began with a pithy take on his own “Sweeping the Spotlight Away,”
the title track from one of his early albums, followed by a raucous rap/rant
from Rodgers that was charged with political venom. “Oscar Wilde once said that
an artist has to suffer for his art,” Rogers observed. “Now it’s your turn.” It
was then left to the exceptionally earnest Peter Yarrow to put the performance
back to the rails, or at least induce some solemnity. Deadpanned and
determined, he seemed unable – or unwilling – to respond in kind to Roger’s
cynical sense of humor. Instead, he reminisced about Peter, Paul and Mary,
recasting a version of “Stewball,” one of the trio’s early standards. The next
round of traded tunes took a sadder turn however, and Rogers’ song about two
estranged brothers found most of the crowd reduced to tears. Yarrow coaxed the crowd
into a sing-along of “If I Had a Hammer” and afterwards idled over to the side
of the stage where he and McLauchlan greeted fans and admirers, Yarrow happily
embracing each devotee like a benevolent grandfather who’s been reunited with
his flock.

 

(Murray McLauchlan w/the author)

 

 

After taking a break from the proceedings, mainly to regain
our composure, finish our shopping at the merch tent and get something to eat,
we decided to end our day at the beer tent for a final set by Brett Caswell and
crew. It was an excellent opportunity to see the band in their own element and
there again they excelled. They’re a rollicking and talented young outfit,
adept at swapping instruments and upping the energy with songs drawn from their
impressive self-titled debut. It was a high note on which to end our festival
stay and one of many exceptional moments that made Mariposa 2011 an exceptional
showcase for Canada’s musical craft and creativity.

 

Damn impressive, eh?

 

(Ukulele Workshop: David Newland, Reid Jamieson, David
Cella, Magoo)