Monthly Archives: December 2011

Mothers’ Jim Sherwood R.I.P. 1942-2011

 

Key member of the
original Mothers Of Invention and longtime Zappa collaborator.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Euclid James “Motorhead” Sherwood of Frank Zappa’s Mothers
Of Invention passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 69. Media reports at
this time have not disclosed the cause of death. Sherwood was a
classically-trained multi-instrumentalist whose signature sax playing was an
integral part of the early Mothers albums (notably Freak Out! From ’66, and Weasels
Ripped My Flesh,
1969) as well as Zappa-helmed projects such as Lumpy Gravy and 200 Motels. He was also known for his onstage antics and flashy
style of sax-wielding.

 

Sherwood, a lifelong automobile aficionado, got the nickname
“Motorhead” from his fellow Mothers as an affectionate tribute. In more recent
years he performed with Mothers alumni in the Grandmothers project and projects
by Ant-Bee (Billy James) and Don Preston.

 

Most Awesome Teeshirt Ads… Ever!

 

We’ll take a Lemmy, a Grohl, a Bruce, and two Angus babies…

By Blurt Staff

So we’re thumbing through the latest issue of Britain’s Uncut mag (December, with the Tom Waits cover – not so coincidentally, Waits is our Best Album of the Year 2011 recipient), and in the back of the book, directly across from those XXX Live Sex Chatline ads that we are fond of, uh, analyzing, was a colorful ad for Bathroom Wall teeshirts. The ad depicts ‘toon stylizations of Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen in a kind of Beavis & Butthead motif; for some reason, Frank Zappa is hanging upside down in the corner of the picture too.

At any rate, while we’re not certain if we can afford to order our rock tees all the way from England – particularly since we can order ’em direct from our very own Blurt merchandise store and not worry about airmail postage –  the British company does have some awesome designs and even awesomer ads. For no better reason than we told you to, check out a few of ’em, below.

 

 

 

 

Sam Rivers 1923-2011 R.I.P.

Sax giant was a
leading light among the jazz avant-garde.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Samuel “Sam” Carthorne Rivers, a hugely influential jazz
sax, flute, clarinet and piano musician and composer, passed away on Monday,
Dec. 26, in Orlando, Fla., at the age of 88. According to his
obituary published today at the New York
Times
the cause of death was pneumonia.

 

Rivers cut his teeth in the late ‘50s and ‘60s, working with
the likes of Miles Davis, Tony Williams, Jaki Byard, Herbie Hancock and Freddie
Hubbard, eventually becoming a prominent player within the free jazz movement.
His best known albums were cut circa 1964-1976 for the Blue Note and Impulse
labels, although he recorded on and off during the ‘80s and ‘90s, while earlier
this year he released the album Sam
Rivers and the Rivbea Orchestra – Trilogy
(Mosaic Records), comprising
2008-09 recordings.

 

Wrote the Times, “His
sound on the tenor saxophone, his primary instrument, was distinctive: taut and
throaty, slightly burred, dark-hued. He also had a recognizable voice on the
soprano saxophone, flute and piano, and as a composer and arranger.”

 

[Photo via Wikimedia Commons, by Robert Auclair]

 

 

Howe Gelb Talks Chesnutt, Rainer & More

 

Giant Sand mainman is
never at a loss for words when you’re talkin’ music.

 

By Fred Mills

 

National journalist Frances Figart recently interviewed
Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb about his long, illustrious journey through music. It’s
a lengthy, in-depth discussion – and
well-worth reading at Figart’s blog.

 

Of particular note: Gelb reminisces about two late friends
and collaborators, Tucson slide guitarist
extraordinaire Rainer Ptacek, and Georgia iconoclast Vic Chesnutt.

 

Of Ptacek, Gelb notes, “All Rainer and I ever verbally
agreed to was to make a music that would not embarrass us 20 years into the
future. So we took our cues from strident elements of historical proportions
and mixed them up with a state of exploratory endeavors that would serve the
future the way we noticed it had gone on long before us.” Which, if you know
Gelb (or knew Rainer, as I’m proud to say I myself did), makes absolute sense.

 

Reflecting on Chesnutt, who passed away 2 years ago on Christmas, he says, “Vic was the greatest
American singer songwriter I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was the
only true definition of the term I have ever witnessed. His songs were
monsters, meaning massive wondrous plunks of existence, and his voice was
impossibly enormous and soulful beyond measure.” Amen to that as well.

 

Check out the full interview right here.

 

 

 

More recent Gelb/Giant Sand
at BLURT:

 

The Story of “Chore Of Enchantment”

 

Review of “Chore Of Enchantment” 25th Anniversary
Edition

 

 

 

 

 

A.Fire, Decemberists 4 Hunger Games Sdtk

 

Eagerly awaited teen movie due March 23 via Lionsgate.

By Blurt Staff

Okay, we gotta admit it – while The Hunger Games trilogy has its flaws, that hasn’t stopped us from enjoying the books (we’re about halfway through the third one). And the previews for the film adaptation look pretty swell too, so count us among the fans.

The soundtrack appears to be promising as well: T Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman will be producing it, for which Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars are teaming up for at least one track (“Safe and Sound”), which has already hit iTunes as a best selling single. More recently we learned that the Decemberists and Arcade Fire have both signed on. “We are thrilled to have such a hauntingly beautiful companion album taking shape,” Joe Drake, co-COO of Lionsgate, told Reuters.

More details tba.

 

MP3: Pontiak Shifts Gears

Virginia-based power
trio opts for new approach on
February 21st album, due on Thrill Jockey.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Pontiak has been one of the more prolific indie artists in
recent years, cranking out a new record each year since 2006. But for their
upcoming record they completely re-envisioned their approach to song
writing.  Eschewing the “plug and play” approach of their
previous records (recording hours of jams and then just putting together the
best pieces), they set out to record a proper album, one with a shared mood and
direction.  They rebuilt their entire farmhouse studio in the
process. 

 

The result is Echo Ono and probably one of their most
straightforward and concise records to date.  Their influences are still
present (little bit of Sabbath, little bit of Doors, little bit of southern
rock) but they sound more like themselves then ever before.  If you like
guitar rock – not that limp guitar indie-pop that we can’t seem to get away
from nowadays – that hits hard but isn’t completely lost in a haze of punk
noise or metal posturing, then this note’s for you, pal.

 

 

Cocteau Twins Get White-Vinyl LP Reissue

 

You may be out of luck
if you live in the US,
however…

 

By Fred Mills

 

Back in the summer of 2010 the Cocteau Twins reissued their
first three, seminal albums Garlands, Head Over Heels and Treasure (1982, ’83 and ’84 respectively)
as a limited edition 5LP vinyl box. Now comes word (via Slicing Up Eyeballs)
that Beggars Archive is prepping a white vinyl, 2LP reissue of 2000’s Stars And Topsoil: A Collection (1982-1990) ,
which cherry picked 18 key tracks from the band’s 4AD label era.

 

It’s due Feb. 6. Bizarrely, however, only the UK edition will be on white wax; the
corresponding US
release will be on garden variety black. Bummer. Well, that’s what they made
Amazon.co.uk for, eh fans? And the exchange rate is pretty good at the moment…

 

Tracklisting:

 

LP 1
1. “Blind Dumb Deaf”
2. “Sugar Hiccup”
3. “My Love Paramour”
4. “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops”
5. “Lorelei”
6. “Pandora”
7. “Aikea-Guinea”
8. “Pink Orange Red”
9. “Pale Clouded White”

LP 2
1. “Lazy Calm”
2. “The Thinner The Air”
3. “Orange
Appled”
4. “Cico Buff”
5. “Carolyn’s Fingers”
6. “Fifty-Fifty Clown”
7. “Iceblink Luck”
8. “Heaven or Las Vegas”
9. “Watchlar”

 

 

 

Howe Gelb Talks Chesnutt, Rainer & More

 

Giant Sand mainman is
never at a loss for words when you’re talkin’ music.

 

By Fred Mills

 

National journalist Frances Figart recently interviewed
Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb about his long, illustrious journey through music. It’s
a lengthy, in-depth discussion – and
well-worth reading at Figart’s blog.

 

Of particular note: Gelb reminisces about two late friends
and collaborators, Tucson slide guitarist
extraordinaire Rainer Ptacek, and Georgia iconoclast Vic Chesnutt.

 

Of Ptacek, Gelb notes, “All Rainer and I ever verbally
agreed to was to make a music that would not embarrass us 20 years into the
future. So we took our cues from strident elements of historical proportions
and mixed them up with a state of exploratory endeavors that would serve the
future the way we noticed it had gone on long before us.” Which, if you know
Gelb (or knew Rainer, as I’m proud to say I myself did), makes absolute sense.

 

Reflecting on Chesnutt, who passed away 2 years ago on Christmas, he says, “Vic was the greatest
American singer songwriter I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was the
only true definition of the term I have ever witnessed. His songs were
monsters, meaning massive wondrous plunks of existence, and his voice was
impossibly enormous and soulful beyond measure.” Amen to that as well.

 

Check out the full interview right here.

 

 

 

More recent Gelb/Giant Sand
at BLURT:

 

The Story of “Chore Of Enchantment”

 

Review of “Chore Of Enchantment” 25th Anniversary
Edition

 

 

 

 

 

Vid: Full 3hr 12-21 Guns N’ Roses Show

 

Band performed Dec. 21
in L.A.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Why yes, yes – that IS Axl Rose above, looking like a somewhat
portly cross between Jim Morrison, Kid Rock and the homeless guy who hangs
around near the entrance of Walgreens, asking for spare change so he can get
his “prescription filled.” No matter
– it’s also proof that the Guns N’ Roses mainman is alive and well and still
willing to kick out the jams.

 

The Gunners performed Dec. 21 at the Forum in L.A., and
needless to say the video cameras were out in force, including one wielded by a
YouTuber going by the handle “Mraxlfuckinrose1985,” appropriately enough (he’s obviously
a big GNR fan, given that name, and he’s also got a slew of Slash videos posted
to his YouTube channel).

 

The entire show has been uploaded, if you can believe that. There
are plenty of rough spots here and there, but the video also appears to be the
result of multiple cameras and some quick but serviceable post-event editing.
The sound, for its part, is above-average bootleg quality and quite listenable.
Take a look quick, before it gets taken down… Oh, in case you were wondering: “Sweet Child O’ Mine” kicks in at about the 1 hour and 25 minute mark…

 

 

 

Watch New Ting Tings Video; LP Due March

 

Inspired by the
Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, eh? Check out the video for new single below.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

It’s hard to guage just yet whether or not the sophomore
album from Britain’s Ting Tings (Jules De Martino and Katie White), titled Sounds From Nowheresville (Columbia) and
due out in the US in March (exact date tba), will rank among the proverbial “highly
anticipated” releases of 2012. Since their much-buzzed, heavily-hyped,
Grammy-nominated 2008 debut We Started
Nothing
, featuring hit singles “That’s Not My Name,” “Shut Up And Let Me
Go” and  “Great DJ,” a lot of the buzz
and hype has definitely subsided. And 4 years in the modern era is an eternity;
everyone’s moved on to, like Deadmau5 or something.

 

At any rate, here’s what we are being told about the band
and the album:

 

“The Ting Tings have
fought a hard battle to find themselves back at square one: emotionally,
earnestly and even for a moment, geographically. Despite their mainstream
success, they aimed to stay true to the punk ethos that had always defined and
inspired the music they created together. 
A year and half after making a record (in East Berlin) and scrapping
it,  and making another one (in Southern
Spain) and loving it, they are ready to share what they’ve been fashioning with
their fans. The move from the thawing ice of Berlin
that homed the writing to their first global onslaught to the dustbowl of late
Spring in Murcia, Southern Spain, proved a success and the band were
instantly enthused and cranked into fourth gear.

 

“At the start of 2011,
The Ting Tings were pointed in the direction of the unequivocal classic Beastie
Boys album, Paul’s Boutique. Having played the record many times before, they
were overawed when they delved back into the album and discovered its many
nuances. If they needed a bounce-off point to set their muse free, this was it.
What they had learned most implicitly was a freedom to move around musically.
Hence the title: Sounds From Nowheresville.  Musically, the album has
really let The Ting Tings rip.”

 

 

The current press release goes on to namecheck, in addition
to the Beasties, the likes of OMD, the Tom Tom Club, the Rezillos and, uh, TLC.
Well, 4 out of 5 ain’t bad! First single “Hang It Up” is billed as displaying “their
new, expansive palette, set against a firing two chord guitar riff,” so check
it out, below (it actually does sound like Beastie Boys in place), along with a
Bag Raiders remix for the track “Silence.”

 

A tour is being planned for next spring as well.