Monthly Archives: September 2011

2012 Rock Hall Nominees Announced


It’s back to the future time once again, kids!

By Fred Mills

The envelope please…. whoops, too soon. But we do have the nominees for next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Up this year: the Cure, Eric B. & Rakim, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Guns N’
Roses, Heart, Rufus with Chaka Khan, the Small Faces/the Faces (see if you can understand that distinction), the
Spinners, and Freddie King.

Also in the mix are previous nominees Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura Nyro, Donovan, War, and Donna Summer.

Not the strongest crop this year, but we’ve seen worse….


Ólöf Arnalds To Release Covers EP


Arthur Russell meets Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen?!?


Ólöf Arnalds upcoming covers EP
Ólöf Sings is due November 8 on One Little Indian Records.  The five-track EP includes recorded
explorations of road-tested covers from her live set and is her first recording
performed entirely in English. Ólöf Sings reinterprets Arthur Russell’s “Close My Eyes”, a medley of
Gene Clark’s “With Tomorrow” and Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”,
Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man”, Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs To Me” and Caetano
Veloso’s “Maria Bethânia”.


Ólöf Sings follows Arnalds acclaimed 2010 One Little Indian release
Innundir skinni. The album, which
Pitchfork described as “a rich and musically complex experience,” was one of Uncut Magazine’s Top 50 albums of 2010
and the song “Madrid” was named iTunes UK’s Song of
the Year. The album also earned Ólöf a Songwriter of the Year gong at the
Iceland Music Awards.


Ólöf released her U.S. debut Við Og Við in 2009. The
album caught notice of international press including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, NME and SPIN. Time Out New York described her having “… the kind of voice that can silence a room, such is its
sweetness,” while Rolling Stone described her songs as
being “fragile as tiny china swans.” Meanwhile, Paste magazine would call Við Og Við “impossibly lovely” and voted it Number 38 in its Top 100 Albums list. eMusic named it among the 100 Best Albums of the Decade, while at home, the
album accrued a host of accolades including, Best
Alternative Album at the Iceland Music Awards and a Record of the Year nod from Iceland’s principal daily newspaper, Morgunblaðið.



Report: Epicenter Festival in Irvine, CA


September 24
brought the noise: Limp Bizkit, Staind, Papa Roach and the rest of the cr


Jose Martinez

it was all about the “rock” in Southern California
at the Epicenter daylong concert. For 12 hours, over a dozen bands brought the
onslaught. The lineup included headliners Limp Bizkit, as well as Staind, Papa
Roach, Buckcherry, Puddle of Mudd, Five Finger Death Punch, Skillet, Everlast,
Red, P.O.D., Asking Alexandria, Redlight King, Middle Class Rut, Crossfade, and
Drive A.


who’s-who line up rock bands from 10 years ago, the day saw a lot of older
rockers bleary-eyed from a day’s worth of boozing, reliving their glory days
when their favorite bands were actually relevant.


“There’s a ginormous (sic) void in the
world of rock,” said Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. “It’s missing fun, excitement,
and that infectious, in-your-face energy that turns rock music into a party you
definitely cannot get enough of. We’ve conditioned ourselves to settle for
whatever smooth melodic rock hit that comes along to be as close to the edge as
we could possibly be. Well, Limp Bizkit is back, more dangerous and contagious
than ever with our original lineup.”


In fact, the Epicenter show was the
band’s first Southern California show in over
a decade and its first American live performance of 2011.


“After [Epicenter], you won’t need another rock concert for
quite a while,” Durst promised. “We’re coming to bring it back.”


While last year’s Epicenter show was a two-day event and
featured Eminem and KISS as headliners, along with Blink-182 and 30 Seconds to
Mars, it proved to have its pulse on the scene a lot better than this year’s
lineup. But it also wasn’t 110 degrees like last year, and the cool
70-something degree-day proved blissful for a day of loud, aggressive music.


While a sparse crowd witnessed local upstarts Drive A
deliver its brand of punk-inspired rock, a steady crowd built in front of the
second stage for the likes of Asking Alexandria and P.O.D. While mainstagers
Puddle of Mudd, Papa Roach, Buckcherry and Staind delivered by-the-numbers
performances keeping things safe and predictable, headliners Limp Bizkit proved
to be the crowd favorite. Rock purists and elitists hate Fred Durst for his
braggart ways but the beer-swilling crowd at Epicenter loved him. Call him a
blowhard or a bombastic yahoo, Durst caters, although some may say ‘panders,’
to his audience and encourages an interactive response. Indeed, a Limp Bizkit
show is boring.


Opting not to perform a single new song off its new Gold Cobra release, Limp Bizkit
delivered a greatest hits set that satiated the rabid audience. While fans may
not have been witnessing the scene’s most explosive or pertinent artists, it
definitely got its collective rocks off, which isn’t a bad way to spend a day.



Win Tickets: Yonder Harvest Music Fest



Yonder Mountain String Band invites
one and all to Ozark, Arkansas on Oct. 13-16. Watch teaser video,
below. But keep those nitrous tanks at home, kids…


By Blurt Staff


The words “Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas” might not spring to mind
automatically when you are pondering your annual outdoor music festival
options,  but for those in the know – and
who have attended the Wakarusa Festival there – it’s a choice destination for
all lovers of good, rootsy, jammy string-bending and tale-spinning. Enter the
Yonder Mountain String Band of Nederland, Colorado, and their Yonder Harvest Music Festival, coming
up on Oct. 13-16 at the Mulberry Mountain Lodging and Events site.



YMSB’s Harvest Festival @ Mulberry Mountain 2011 from Brandon Sloan on Vimeo.


There will be a mind-bending (in addition to the sting-bending part…) lineup
this year that includes YMSB, of course, plus Bela Fleck and the Flecktones,
Railroad Earth, 7 Walkers, Trampled by Turtles, James McMurtry, David Lindley, Cornmeal,
the Travelin’ McCourys, Steep Canyon Rangers, he Greencards, David Lindley and
tons more. Literally a who’s who of contemporary roots ‘n’ jam music and
alt-bluegrass. The entire lineup can be found right here, while the day-by-day
schedule can be viewed here.


You can win two tickets to the Yonder Harvest Music Festival at BLURT. You
have to get yourself there but once you do we will get you and a companion into
the event. Head over to the BLURT contest page and just fill out the form to be
entered into the drawing.


In addition to the music there will be other activities at the festival that
weekend. For example, there’s to be the First Annual Fiddlin’ and Pickin’
Contest featuring four competitions (mandolin, banjo, flat picking, fiddle)
that anyone attending can enter. Info on that, other matters, links to the
official fan forum of the festival and, of course, ticketing details can be
found at the main page of the official website.


R.E.M. Unveil Greatest Hits Tracklisting

Two CD set will
include new, unreleased material as well.


By Blurt Staff


R.E.M. ignited the blogosphere on September 21st with the news that
they had decided to “call it a day as a band” via a statement on
their website, the band have announced that they will release their final
album, R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part
Truth, Part Garbage, 1982 – 2011
, on Warner Bros. Records on
November 15th. The album is a 40-song career-spanning retrospective
that collects, for the first time ever, songs from R.E.M.’s entire back
catalog, including the pioneering American band’s years on both the IRS label
(1982 to 1987) and Warner Bros. Records (1988 to 2011). A brand-new song,
“We All Go Back To Where We Belong,” goes to radio and will be
available for sale on October 18th.


your eyes out for the new print issue of BLURT in which we pay tribute to
R.E.M. via reflections and essays penned by the group’s contemporaries, peers
and even fellow bandmates..


through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a
journey,” says Mike Mills of choosing the songs that appear on R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part
Garbage, 1982 – 2011
. “We realized that these songs seemed to
draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together.”


addition to liner notes written by band members Berry, Buck, Mills, and Stipe,
the album also features three new songs that R.E.M. finished after they
completed their last album, Collapse Into
: “A Month of Saturdays,” “We All Go Back To
Where We Belong,” and “Hallelujah,” which were recorded over the
summer in Athens with Accelerate and Collapse Into Now producer,
the estimable Jacknife Lee.




Disc 1:
Gardening At Night
Radio Free Europe
Talk About The Passion
Sitting Still
So. Central Rain
(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville
Driver 8
Life And How To Live It
Begin The Begin
Fall On Me
Finest Worksong
It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
The One I Love
Pop Song 89
Get Up
Orange Crush
Losing My Religion
Country Feedback
Shiny Happy People



Disc 2:
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
Everybody Hurts
Man On The Moon
What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
New Test Leper
At My Most Beautiful
The Great Beyond
Imitation Of Life
Bad Day
Leaving New York

Living Well Is The Best Revenge
Supernatural Superserious
Oh My Heart
A Month of Saturdays
We All Go Back To Where We Belong




Watch New John Cale Video


Track hails from new EP Extra Playful.

By Fred Mills

It was with great delight we took in the news a couple of months ago that erstwhile Velvet Underground musician and producer/solo artist John Cale had a new EP in store. Titled Extra Playful, it’s out now digitally on Domino imprint Double Six and arrives on 12″ vinyl this week. Now he’s got a video to share for the track “Whaddaya Mean By That?”. Enjoy!


Ryan Adams Tour Dates, Album Stream


October and December
for fans everywhere…


By Blurt Staff


With his Glyn Johns-produced Ashes & Fire album due to drop Oct. 11, Ryan Adams has
announced a string of October and December tour dates. Prior to that, on
October 10, he’ll be appearing on the Conan O’Brien show.


He’s also got the album streaming over at NPR Music right


Tour Dates:


10/11 San Diego,
CA – Balboa Theater

10/13 Big Sur,
CA – Henry Miller Library

10/14 San Francisco,
CA – Herbst Theater

10/15 Napa,
CA – Uptown Theater

10/17 Santa Cruz, CA – The Rio

10/18 Sacramento,
CA – Crest Theatre

10/20 Eugene,
OR – The Shedd

10/21 Seattle,
WA – Benaroya

12/2 Philadelphia, PA – Academy
of Music

12/4 Baltimore,
MD – Lyric Opera House

12/6 New York,
NY – Carnegie Hall

12/8 Boston,
MA – Orpheum Theatre

12/10 Toronto,
ON – Winter Garden Theatre

12/11 Chicago,
IL – Cadillac Place

12/13 Minneapolis,
MN – State Theatre




Report: Wild Men of Rock Live in Houston


Andre Williams, Archie
Bell, Roy Head, and Little Joe Washington descended upon Houston’s Continental Club on Sept. 3 and
proceeded to tear some shit up.


By Steven Rosen

At age 74, Andre Williams (pictured above) is just coming
into his own as a Great American Singer. He’s part Leonard Cohen and part James
Brown, capable of expressing in the most impassioned way possible his primal
needs of the moment, yet also willing to step back with cool romantic, poetic
demeanor and consider the effect his words of love have on his enthralled


Take, for instance, the version of “Let Me Put It In” he performed,
with backing from Allen Oldies Band, at Houston’s
funky, spacious Continental Club, where he headlined a “Wild Men of Rock” revue. Looking dapper and calm in a white
double-breasted suit, wearing a smiling Buddha-like countenance as well as a fine
mustache, he introduced the song to his fans, many college age or just modestly
older, with an aside about past trouble with police trying to perform it.


Then he intoned the song’s title pleadingly, softly
promising that “I’ll buy you a car” to his imaginary subject. And then, WHAM!
He screamed out the title line, again and again, as if it was the only thing
that mattered in the world. He dropped to his knees as the band slashed out its
supporting rock with all the power it could muster. It was soul music, raw and
unpretentious, and the crowd pushed forward to the stage as if pulled by a
giant magnet. And then Williams let up, returned to his quiet pleading, looking
slightly amused at his power over the masses. And then he did it all again. It
was pure dynamism and he knew it.


He was the headliner of this show, and was treated like
royalty. When he eventually left the stage, after “Mustang Sally,” the band
offered him shouts of “Hallelujah.” Williams has been around rock and soul’s
edges for a long, long time. He recorded for Michigan’s Fortune Records in the 1950s, his
songs having enough of a naughty edge (“Jailbait”) to not get much airplay then
but to appeal to collectors today. He wrote a couple 1960s classics (“Shake a
Tail Feather” and “Twine Time”) for others, fell into hard times in the 1980s,
and then started to find his way back in the 1990s.


Often working with bluesy punk-soul acts on songs that
sometimes had sexually explicit lyrics, he developed a cult following. He has
used that to grow in popularity, through a series of fine Bloodshot albums and
even a book, Sweets and Other Stories. What’s
critical to know about Williams is that, unlike Blowfly or Clarence Carter
vamping through “Strokin,'” Williams “dirty” material isn’t a smutty joke. It’s
his take on the rawness of real life and sexuality’s place in it. He just omits
the jive and politeness. As a result, the tunes he performed in Houston, like “Agile, Mobile and Hostile,” “Bacon Fat” and
Goin’ Down to Tijuana,”
come off as serious as a heart attack. They’re soul tunes without compromise.


But, then, there’s also a detachment that lets you know he’s
the artist working the crowd. For example, with a smile on his face, looking
cool, calm and collected, Williams stood on stage while the band (“four of the
best motherfuckers I’ve ever played with,” he announced) worked through a
pleasant instrumental turn. At the right moment, Williams stepped forward,
hands gesticulating like a serene conductor, and sang “Pussy stank/but so do marijuana,” It’s beyond criticism.


Of the others on the bill, the diminutive, gray-dreadlocked
and -bearded Little Joe Washington, who opened, is a Houston favorite, a blues
guitarist who slowly works up his energy to show off some dazzling, tricky
guitar work. And Archie Bell, a Texan whose Drells had a couple classic
dance-tunes-with-attitude-hits in the 1960s like “Tighten Up”, does a solo act
now where he doesn’t mind letting you know how hard he’s working. His voice
wasn’t the best, but he handled the crowd well and was proud he can still do
it. “I’m 67 years old and I still know how to ‘Tighten Up,”’ he announced at
one point, and the words were inspirational to the older members of the
audience who were there because they “Can’t Stop Dancing” (the title of another
Drells hit). And he also did “Mustang Sally.”


One of Houston’s
favorite sons and a soul-shouting wild man, Roy Head of “Treat Her Right” fame,
supposedly was appearing to perform from a new album – his first of new
material in decades. He was the night’s second act. But he did nothing to
promote it nor were copies for sale, so it remains a mystery if that album is
out there or not. Head, at 68, obviously is a little older and slower (and
bigger) than the thin gymnast who memorably did splits and tossed and turned
about like a jumping bean on television appearances in 1965, when “Treat Her
Right” was a hit. He wore a green paisley shirt and sweated as much as he
smiled, apologizing for a frog in his voice between songs. But it didn’t
noticeably diminish his volume as he squealed and roared his way through the
likes of “Lucille,” “Just a Little Bit” and “She’s About a Mover” as the Allen
Oldies Band pushed him on.


He also did some scary-thrilling microphone-twirling toward
the band and crowd – scary because an advance in the local arts paper warned
he’s been known to have faulty control and once almost robbed a watching critic
of his family jewels; thrilling because he kept control. Considering that
Head’s forte is rootsy, sweaty, roadhouse rock, it was surprising he tackled
Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.” It wasn’t maybe the best kind of song for his
persona, but there was honesty when he sang “Here I am, back on the road
again.” You felt for Head. He was still doing it.


By the way, Head took a break before finishing with a
no-holds-barred “Treat Her Right,” and his son Sundance came out to sing a few
blues-rock standards with the Allen Oldies Band behind him. And wouldn’t you
know it? One was “Mustang Sally.” Three times in one night. That’s wild,




Videos: Radiohead on Saturday Night Live

Why are these men smiling? (Hint: Alec Baldwin just told them a joke about Tina Fey…)

By Fred Mills

They came, they played, they conquered. Radiohead opened the new season of Saturday Night Live this weekend, with Alec Baldwin hosting. They did “Lotus Flower” plus “Staircase.” Keep your eyes peeled for their hourl-long appearance on “The Colbert Report” on September 26.

Wilco Live Webcast This Sunday Night


Nick Lowe’s opening set also will be broadcast.

By Blurt Staff

With Wilco’s awesome new LP The Whole Love set to drop next week, the band is on the road and, on Sunday night, Sept. 25, will broadcast a concert live over the web.

NPR Music is the host, and you can tune in to the concert being aired direct from Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD, near D.C., staring around 7pm ET. That’s when opener Nick Lowe is slated to perform, followed by Wilco around 8:20.

Full details at NPR Music.


The Whole Love is currently streaming at NPR Music as well.