Monthly Archives: September 2013

Poets Of Rhythm Serve Up Deep-Funk Archival Message

Poets of Rhythm

German (!) soul/funk crate diggers found meaning in the original architects (see: James Brown et al) and proceeded to run with the ball over the course of one very productive decade.

 By Uncle Blurt

 Let’s just let the headline and dek (above) serve you notice and dispense with the journalistic blather; a BLURT review of The Poets of Rhythm’s absolutely amazing Anthology 1992 – 2003 comes out this week on Daptone Tues 10/1, on CD (with 20-page hard-cover booklet) and gatefold 2-LP, both which feature extended liner notes.

 How about listening to a track? “August, GA” was originally released in ’93:

Or maybe a video? Check out the “Poets of Rhythm x EDAN” promo clip:

Got all that? Discuss. This has been a public announcement—with FUNK.

Tucson Space-Rock Legends Black Sun Ensemble Release Final Album

Jesus

Due out this fall; final recordings of late guitarist, whose March obituary is reprinted below.

 By Fred Mills

 The incredibly sad news this past March of the passing (from a heart attack) of Black Sun Ensemble founder, frontman and virtuoso guitarist Jesus Acedo now gets tempered by the impending release of the band’s final release. Behind Purple Clouds, on the band’s longtime label Slowburn Records. In addition to the full-length there’s a split 7” with the Dead Chiefs.

 According to Slowburn: “The remaining members of Black Sun Ensemble were awarded the New Works Grant from the Tucson Pima Arts Council, for the completion and duplication of both the Behind Purple Clouds CD and the 7″.  The project features several guests artists, including Al Perry, Carl Hall, Michael Henderson and former BSE members Bridget Keating and Otto Terrorist….  Jesus Acedo truly was Black Sun Ensemble, without his presence and his incredible fret skills, they band could never be the same.  SlowBurn Records plans several Black Sun Ensemble releases in the future, that Acedo and Black Sun Ensemble have left behind. With Acedo’s passing, a unique vision and musical language was lost – lucky for us, recordings are forever.”

 The remaining members of BSE continue on as Cobracella. More details at the Slowburn website (along with BSE and Acedo information): http://www.slowburnrecords.net/black-sun-ensemble/

***

 Ed. note: due to our website crash and subsequent rebuild in late March, a great deal of content was lost, unable to be restored. Below is our March 3, 2013 obituary for Jesus Acedo.

  Tucson musician Jesus Acedo, of legendary, often mystical-tinged Black Sun Ensemble, died this past Sunday, March 3. According to the Tucson Weekly the cause of death has not yet been reported, although in the online comments following the obituary, one reader wrote that “Jesus called my old man on Saturday, saying he was suffering from a ‘panic attack’.”[It was later determined to be a heart attack. – Ed.]

 Acedo had experienced ongoing bouts with mental illness and substance abuse – as yours truly can personally testify to, having worked with him on several occasions during my 1992-2001 tenure in Tucson (I wrote some liner notes and press releases for him), not to mention seeing him perform in varying states of sharp lucidity and utter incoherence. But the music he made while fronting BSE, a simultaneously retro and futuristic brand of psychedelia that drew upon the modal templates of the Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service while reaching towards the cosmos via the progressive and freeform visions of  Hendrix, John McLaughlin and Miles Davis, was like nothing else ever to emerge from the desert. In a sense, he was celebrated more outside of Tucson than inside; I first heard of him via an article in English rock ‘zine Bucketful of Brains, and he was clearly more of a critics’ favorite than a commercial success. But he was very, very unique.

 Writes Stephen Seigel of the Weekly:

“Acedo, a masterful and unique guitarist, performed with his on-and-off psychedelic rock band Black Sun Ensemble (or Black Sun Legion, as it was sometimes called) since its formation in the mid-1980s. Black Sun Ensemble’s releases received fervent praise in magazines such as Rolling Stone and by tastemakers like famed music critic and musicologist Byron Coley, who wrote the liner notes for the 2001 reissue of the band’s 1985 self-titled debut album. The band opened for Camper Van Beethoven on its Key Lime Pie tour in 1989 and performed at showcases at South by Southwest several times.

“But, despite his band’s innovative music and the loyal cult-fandom it inspired, Acedo — who often identified himself by an ever-changing list of monikers: Bolt of Apollo, Psycho Master El, Prince Master Blaster, Dada Gaga, etc. — suffered from mental illness that led to substance abuse and landed him in and out of jail and psych wards repeatedly, all of which was difficult to witness for anyone who knew him to be the kind, sensitive soul he was.”

The latterday lineup of BSE, which included members of another highly regarded, psych-leaning outfit, Sun Zoom Spark, had been working on a new recording at the time of Acedo’s passing. A Facebook page called Jesus Acedo Memorial has been established for friends, family and peers to communicate at.

Here’s that Half-hour Live Arcade Fire Video

Arcade Fire beach

From last Saturday night…

By Fred Mills

Following up on our post from yesterday with the 3 Saturday Night Live clips from the weekend, it looks like NBC has now made available the post-SNL dance party/concert by Arcade Fire – check it out, below. It’s even got a title, Here Comes the Night Time and it’s directed by Roman Coppola. Watch for all the celeb cameos, some of them actually quite funny.

Videos: Watch Superchunk on the Fallon Show

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Amazing airborne above photo taken from their Riot Fest appearance in Denver, however… just had to share it with ya!

By Blurt Staff / Photo by Greg Jacobs

It’s Superchunk – any questions? They appeared the other night on the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon show doing “Void” (from I Hate Music) and “Driveway to Driveway” (from 1994’s Foolish).

The Church’s Marty Willson-Piper Unveils new Collaboration MOAT

MOAT_LP_COVER_Final

Album arrives Oct. 2 as a Swedish release.

 By Blurt Staff

 The project is called MOAT and it features guitarist/singer and songwriter Marty Willson-Piper (of The Church fame, naturally) and composer/multi-instrumentalist Niko Röhlcke, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, film/TV composer and member of Swedish indie pop rock band Weeping Willows. (Willson-Piper himself has lived in Stockholm for 10 years.) Their self-titled vinyl-only album (w/enclosed CD) is released Oct. 2 on Swedish label brus & knaster

 According to the artists, “The idea for the collaboration was that of producer/engineer Sigge Krantz. He imagined that together they would be able to create something special. Sigge loved Marty’s last solo release ‘Nightjar’, but as Marty played most of the instruments, Sigge’s idea was to make an organic record using a band, whist combining Niko and Marty’s creative vision and talents.”

 The duo started writing together in the fall of 2010, followed that up in the summer of 2011, and Willson-Piper also guested onstage with the Weeping Willows at a Stockholm concert. They subsequently convened in a studio last year (“beside a beautiful lake in a wonderfully restored Gamla Tvätteriet”) along with Weeping Willows drummer Anders Hernestam and Anders Graham Paulsson on bass. Anders H played on Marty’s fifth solo album ‘Spirit Level’, whilst Anders GP used to run Marty’s Stockholm studio. Special guests on the album who will also perform in the live line-up include virtuoso Malin-My Wall on violin, maestro percussionist Torbjörn Svedberg and Swedish-Polynesian chanteuse Tiare Helberg.

 Tour dates tba.

 

Ecstacy the Culprit For UK Death + Hospitalizations?

Warehouse

All “E’d” up? Photo from venue’s website. Sadly, we’ve seen this before over the course of 2 ½ decades…

 By Fred Mills

 Friday night at The Warehouse Project rave in Manchester, England, at a show by Axwell and Arman van Helden, one 30-year old fan died and five more were sent to the Manchester Royal Hospital, presumably due to ingestion of ecstasy. According to a BBC report, the dead man (Nick Bonnie, of Stroud) initially collapsed, while four those who were taken to the hospital were apparently friends of his; the fifth person was “unconnected with the group” but indications are that the drugs all had taken came from just two sources.

According to a statement: “Everyone at The Warehouse Project are devastated about the news and our condolences are with his family. We are assisting the police with their ongoing inquiries surrounding the circumstances of the man’s death. The Warehouse Project operates a zero tolerance policy with regards to drugs, however if you have taken something and start to feel unwell please tell a member of staff.” The venue added that they keep a trained medic on site at all events.

According to a police department spokesman, “If people buy drugs in these circumstances, you really don’t know what you’re getting and it could be fatal the first time you take it. I don’t think it’s worth the gamble and people need to be aware of the dangers. We have seen different drugs from different suppliers.One has sadly led to the death of someone – someone else has been seriously ill – so there is a really chance that if you take these drugs, you could become very ill or die.”

 

Videos: Watch Arcade Fire on “SNL”

AF 3

More songs about being trapped in mirror boxes and food… plus a post-show NBC special!

 By Fred Mills

 Last night Arcade Fire hit a glam slam, initially loading the bases on the Tina Fey-hosted  Saturday Night Live with a pair of disco-tilting Reflektor tracks (the title song—featuring Regine Chasson performing for part of the song inside a mirrored box—and “Afterlife,” notable as much for the hypnotic music as for Win Butler’s David Bowie-meets-Madonna face paint) plus participation in a skit (faux game show “New Cast Member or Arcade Fire,” which boasted a Robert DeNiro impression from Butler, if you can dig that). And yes, the band did resemble, at times, Talking Heads during their giant-ensemble days.

 After SNL closed they migrated onstage for an elaborate and theatrical bonus half-hour set that included new tracks reportedly titled “Here Comes the Night Time,” “We Exist” and “Normal Person.” In on the action: Zach Galifianakis (!), Bono, Rainn Wilson, Ben Stiller, Michael Cera, James Franco, Aziz Ansari, Eric Wareheim, Bill Hader. You may have heard of some of them….

Video Flashback: The dB’s “Living A Lie” (1982)

deebs

Boasting one of the earliest-known examples of rick-rolling…

 By Fred Mills

 It’s no secret we’re big dB’s fans around here at BLURT; we’ve reviewed them, interviewed them, and even hosted them at our annual SXSW day party. So naturally, when someone sends us a dB’s related link, we gotta share it. Below watch an absolutely jaw-dropping (in more than one way) promotional video for the song “Living A Lie,” taken from the band’s 1982 album Repercussion. The song itself is terrific, and the video is eminently watchable even though there are a few, er, elements that probably “seemed like a good idea at the time”—like that little Rick Astley dance Peter Holsapple does midway through, and the way the green screen technology employed in the video isn’t quite simpatico with Will Rigby’s Hawaiian short. But hey, it’s 1982! Watch the clip, below.

Commenting on Facebook, Holsapple seemed stunned: “We made this with some film students in New York, and honestly, I don’t think anyone knew it had even been completed. This is a total shock to me, to say the very least. ‘Who’s the girl?’ She was brought in to film the video, we ‘made out’ for the camera (not really though) and she was outta there. Again, I have no idea who that might be; perhaps she’ll recognize herself and ‘fess up.”

Soul Legend Donny Hathaway Gets 4CD Rhino Box

DonnyHathaway_NeverMyLove_Cover

Anthology features the singer-songwriter’s essential solo tracks and duets with Roberta Flack along with two discs of previously unreleased studio and live recordings. Listen to some key tracks, below.

 A gifted musician, imaginative arranger and powerful singer, Donny Hathaway created a formidable musical legacy during an intensive three-year period that was punctuated by a string of pop and R&B hits – several as a solo artist, as well as a series of unforgettable collaborations with singer Roberta Flack. Although Hathaway’s promising career was sadly derailed with his tragic passing in 1979, his lasting influence on popular music remains immeasurable today.

To underscore Hathaway’s continuing impact, Rhino will release a four-disc retrospective, Never My Love, on Nov. 12 that combines the singer-songwriter’s essential studio and live tracks with 23 previously unreleased recordings. (The boxed set also includes an essay about Hathaway’s life and music written by noted music journalist Charles Waring as well as rare photos.)

The first disc retraces the arc of Hathaway’s career, which began in St. Louis, where he grew up entertaining church audiences across the Midwest with his soulful renditions of sacred songs. Years later, he scored arrangements and played sessions for Curtis Mayfield’s record label, an experience that eventually led to his first single, “I Thank You Baby” – a song he wrote with Mayfield and performed with June Conquest. Appropriately, it’s featured here as the set’s first song. The rest of the disc includes selections from three studio albums – Everything Is Everything (1970), Donny Hathaway (1971) and Extension of a Man (1973) – and the soundtrack Hathaway recorded for Come Back Charleston Blue (1972). Among the standout tracks are: “Giving Up” featuring saxophonist King Curtis, his signature cover of Leon Russell’s “A Song For You,” the rare promo edit of “Thank You Master (For My Soul)” and Hathaway’s final hit single, “You Were Meant For Me.”

The next disc uncovers 13 unreleased studio recordings spanning a full decade (1968-1978) including several tracks from the mid to late 1970s, often thought to be a period of musical hibernation for Hathaway. Among the unheard gems are: “Never My Love,” a song recorded shortly after the sessions for Extension of a Man; “A Lot Of Soul,” a Nashville-flavored track that recalls Hathaway’s arrangements for Willie Nelson’s Shotgun Willie; plus “Zyxygy Concerto,” an epic classical piece that features piano and a full orchestra.

The third disc expands upon the gold-certified album Live (1972), a widely acclaimed collection of Hathaway’s electrifying performances recorded in clubs in L.A. and New York. A few performances left off the original album have surfaced over the years, but nothing like the trove featured on NEVER MY LOVE. The set includes 10 previously unissued live recordings from Hathaway’s residency at The Bitter End in New York’s Greenwich Village. These tracks include a brilliant version of the soul anthem “What’s Going On” and an incendiary take on “Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything).”

The final disc covers the many memorable hits recorded by Hathaway and Roberta Flack, one of the 1970’s most successful musical partnerships. They scored three certified-gold singles together in the ’70s: “You’ve Got A Friend” (#8 R&B/#29 pop) and “Where Is The Love” (#1 R&B/#5 pop) from the bestselling LP Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, plus the immortal “The Closer I Get To You” (#1 R&B/#2 pop) from Blue Lights In the Basement. And in 1980, a year after Hathaway’s death, they returned to the charts again with “You Are My Heaven” (#8 R&B/#47 pop) and “Back Together Again” (#18 R&B/#56 pop), two tracks from Roberta Flack featuring Donny Hathaway.

Track Listing:

Disc One: The Life and Music of Donny Hathaway
1.    “I Thank You Baby” – June & Donnie
2.    “Just Another Reason” – Donny Hathaway & June Conquest
3.    “The Ghetto – Part 1”
4.    “The Ghetto – Part 2”
5.    “Thank You Master (For My Soul)” – Promo Edit
6.    “Voice Inside (Everything Is Everything)”
7.    “Tryin’ Times”
8.    “To Be Young, Gifted And Black”
9.    “I Believe To My Soul”
10.    “This Christmas”
11.    “A Song For You”
12.    “Magnificent Sanctuary Band”
13.    “Giving Up”
14.    “Come Back Charleston Blue” – Donny Hathaway With Margie Joseph
15.    “Little Ghetto Boy” – Studio Version
16.    “Valdez In The Country”
17.    “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”
18.    “Lord Help Me”
19.    “Come Little Children”
20.    “Love, Love, Love”
21.    “Someday We’ll All Be Free”
22.    “You Were Meant For Me”

Disc Two: Unreleased Studio Recordings
1.    “Never My Love” *
2.    “A Lot Of Soul” *
3.    “Let’s Groove” *
4.    “Latin Time” *
5.    “Tally Rand” *
6.    “Memory Of Our Love” *
7.    “Sunshine And Showers” *
8.    “After The Dance Is Done” *
9.    “Don’t Turn Away” *
10.    “Always The Same” *
11.    “Brown Eyed Lady” (Instrumental) *
12.    “The Sands Of Time” *
13.    “Zyxygy Concerto” *

Disc Three: Live at The Bitter End 1971
1.    “What’s Going On” *
2.    “Sack Full Of Dreams” *
3.    “Little Ghetto Boy” *
4.    “You’ve Got A Friend” *
5.    “Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)” *
6.    “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” *
7.    “Jealous Guy” *
8.    “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” *
9.    “Hey Girl” *
10.    “The Ghetto” *

Disc Four: Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway Duets
1.    “I (Who Have Nothing)”
2.    “You’ve Got A Friend”
3.    “Baby I Love You”
4.    “Be Real Black For Me”
5.    “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”
6.    “For All We Know”
7.    “Where Is The Love”
8.    “When Love Has Grown”
9.    “Come Ye Disconsolate”
10.    “Mood”
11.    “The Closer I Get To You”
12.    “You Are My Heaven”
13.    “Back Together Again”

* Previously Unreleased

Arcade Fire’s Saturday “SNL” Appearance Followed by Short Concert on NBC

Arcade Fire

That’s “Saturday” as in “tomorrow night” as in “September 28”…

 By Kerrie Kinnamon, Blurt Intern

 So earlier today Arcade Fire posted this brief-but-fascinating, bemasked YouTube video clip—all 32 seconds’ worth—labeled “Here Comes The Night Time” along with the following text:

Hey guys,
If anyone feels like getting into the spirit and throwing a costumed viewing/dance party for our post-SNL special, please send us your best photos or videos of the night and we’ll share them somewhere 🙂
Remember to turn it up loud!!
Love,
AF

 As the entire blogosphere is reporting, then, there is to be a half-hour concert from the band tomorrow night (Sept. 28) on NBC directly following Saturday Night Live—and of course, Arcade Fire is the musical guest. All you kids out there, get ready!

 Below is the SNL promo for the band, featuring episode host Tina Fey. You may have heard about her… and her love for Coldplay…