Monthly Archives: October 2013

Conny Plank and Can’s Holger Czukay Ride Again!

conny_holger 2

And we’ve also got a nice little Halloween hat-tip of a video clip to share with you…

 By Fred Mills

 It’s not one, but TWO reissues that’ll thrill your little krautrockin’ hearts: Holger Czukay’s On The Way to the Peak of Normal, the legendary Can bassist’s 1981 solo album; and Conny Plank’s Les Vampyrettes, hailing from 1980 and an obscure-yet-riveting gem by the Can producer/engineer that also features Czukay as Plank’s key collaborator. They’re both due December 9 from the Groenland label, and by way of an oddball teaser, there’s the following (brief) home movie of Plank (who passed away in ’87) getting all “scary” set to Les Vampyrettes audio.

Conny Planck Halloween Special klein from Grönland Records on Vimeo.

The two Germans made quite a team, and these two releases mark the first in what’s to be an ongoing archival series from Groenland. Writes Czukay, “Conny Plank was certainly one of the most unusual producers that I ever met and it took some years till we stood vis-a-vie. He told me how much he had laughed about an article I had published in a technical magazine for musicians where I maintained how to fire a tone engineer in order to save money. Conny said, ‘You are right.’  It was the beginning of a close friendship. At that time ‘Conny’s studio’ together with the can studio (former inner space studio) became the no.1 addresses among bands and musicians who wanted to reach out for unknown horizons.”

 On Les Vampyrettes we are advised by the label, “’Watch where you stand / Watch where you step / All day and all night / Someone’s got you in their sight…’ A metallic and ghostly voice in a state of nocturnal intoxication welcomes us to a sonic backdrop of hallmark krautrock pings, drones, susurrations and clatters. A half year later Kraftwerk would casually declare computer surveillance a clear fact of life – ‘Daten da’? Yes, they are ‘holding our data’! – whereas, as Les Vampyrettes, Czukay and Plank slip into the comic-like guise of ‘biomutants’… Back in 1980, the record foreshadowed what the world came to realize just this year thanks to Edward Snowden. They take us to an acoustic world where ‘Plastic and plasma mutate’ and ‘The mutants dance’. A menacing world where data flows like blood and e-waste poisons Mother Earth.”

 Wait, what?

 Meanwhile, On the Way to the Peak of Normal is highlighted by the track “Witches’ Multiplication Table” which “superbly fits the occult mood created by Les Vampyrettes, humorously turning numerology and witchcraft into the culmination of an unexpected, psychedelic krautpop journey – featuring Conny Plank on synthesizers.”

 Yessir! Check out the artwork, below, and mark your calendars.



Watch New Lost In The Trees Video


Track culled from forthcoming 2014 album.

 By Blurt Staff

 It’s called Past Life, and it’s the upcoming album fron North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees, due out Feb. 18 via Anti-. Check out the first new track, “Rites,” and the accompanying video. In it, we are advised, “there’s no dialogue, no narrative and no real visual effects. And that’s exactly the point: the North Carolina band decided to strip back their sonic sprawl on the new album, and they’ve applied that same aesthetic to their video.”

Download Primo Lou Reed Live ’74 & ’80 Concerts

Lou Reed 74

We are talking primo…

 By Uncle Blurt

 By way of paying tribute to the legendary Lou Reed and acknowledging his unexpected, tragic passing this week, our friends over at The Big O have made available a couple of free downloads, and they are pretty damn sweet.

 The first concert hails primarily from Dayton, Ohio in ’74 and covers all the bases, from Sweet Jane and Walk on the Wild Side to Sally Can’t Dance and Kill Your Sons: “Live at the Palace Theatre, Dayton, OH; October 27, 1974. With parts from: The Felt Forum, New York, NY October 9, 1974; and patched audio in Heroin from The St. Bernard Civic Auditorium, Chalmette, LA; November 8, 1974. Excellent soundboard.”

 The lineup:

Lou Reed – vocals, mayhem
Danny Weiss – guitar
Michael Fonfara – keyboards
Peter ‘Mouse’ Johnson – drums
Prakash John – bass on the NY tracks maybe all the others
Peter Hodgeson – bass maybe on the others besides NY

 Lou Reed

 The other one is Firenze, Italy, 1980, from the Growing Up In Public tour, and has a totally different setlist, everything from Street Hassle, Real Good Time Together and Coney Island Baby to The Kids, Caroline Says II and The Power of Positive Drinking: “Live at the Parco delle Cascine, Firenze (Florence), Italy; June 14, 1980. Very good TV or FM broadcast.”


Lou Reed – vocals, guitar
Stuart Heinrich – guitar
Chuck Hammer – guitar
Ellard “Moose” Boles – bass
Michael Fonfara – keyboards
Michael Suchorsky – drums

 All you rock ‘n’ roll animals out there, check out the shows at the links provided. Each track can be downloaded as an individual MP3.

U2 Does 10” Single for RSD Black Friday


Don’t worry, collectors—10,000 copies are being pressed.

 By Blurt Staff

 U2’s hopping on the Record Store Day Black Friday bandwagon this year via the 10” “Ordinary Love” b/w “Breathe” single. The A side is from the upcoming Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom film and the flip is the so-called “Mandela Version” of their 2009 No Line on the Horizon album. You can hear part of “Ordinary Love” here:

 Head over to the RSD website for a full list (or at least what has been announced thus far) of exclusive titles you’ll be able to score at indie record stores on Nov. 29.

Track Premiere: Pretty Boy Thorson & The Falling Angels


From November full-length, natch. And yes, ladies and gents, they are indeed some kick-ass rock ‘n’ rollers

 By Blurt Staff

 Here’s first new song from Pretty Boy Thorson & The Falling Angels (feat Jesse Thorson of The Slow Death) titled “Blameless” off the band’s upcoming new album An Uneasy Peace out November 12th on Kiss of Death Records. Thorson and his band will be touring w/The Slow Death next month as well.

The backstory: Jesse Thorson formed Pretty Boy Thorson in Minneapolis, MN with Dan Johnson in 2005. They initially formed to play one show in Fargo, ND for a festival their friend was setting up, found a rhythm section and started playing shows more regularly. The band released their first self titled 7″ in 2005 on The Party’s Over records from Seattle. The rhythm section quit so Thorson took over on bass and Casey Raub joined on drums in 2006. They self released their first full length “Ain’t it Funny…”.later re-released by A.D.D. Records. Dave Strait and Matt Englestad joined the band which went on to tour the u.s. three times, and in 2008 followed it up with their second record “Take it Easy…” also on A.D.D.

 The band went on to release over a dozen 7-inches on multiple labels “…too many to name.” remembers Thorson. “We broke up in 2010 due to Casey and Dan moving to Brooklyn and Portland, OR respectively. Me and Dave started The Slow Death, more of a straight ahead punk band. In 2011 Dan moved back and we played a one off reunion show, we all got too drunk to remember playing so we booked another one. We had fun so we decided to get back together and make another record. We decided to make a more mellow country record. We spent six months writing together, and working on the tunes whereas I had written most everything in advance and we just learned them, this time we arranged everything as a band. We took a lot of time making this record, and now it is done.”

 Tour dates:

Nov. 7 Milwaukee, WI Frank’s Power Plant
Nov. 8 Chicago, IL Township
Nov. 9 Ft. Wayne, IN The Brass Rail
Nov. 10 Columbus, OH 15th St. Haus (early show)
Nov. 10 Dayton, OH Blind Bob’s (late show)
Nov. 11 Lancaster, PA The Hunk Bunker
Nov. 12 Brooklyn, NY COCO66
Nov. 13 Bethpage, NY Mr. Beery’s
Nov. 14 Boston, MA O’BRIENS
Nov. 15 Albany, NY Valentines
Nov. 16 Philadelphia, PA J.R.’s (early show)
Nov. 16 New Brunswick, NJ Court Tavern (late show)
Nov. 17 Baltimore, MD C.C.A.S. (early show)
Nov. 17 Washington, DC Casa Fiesta (late show)
Nov. 18 Richmond, VA BP House
Nov. 19 Durham, NC Motorco
Nov. 20 Asheville, NC The Odditorium
Nov. 21 Atlanta, GA 529
Nov. 22 Chattanooga, TN Sluggo’s
Nov. 23 Lexington, KY Green Lantern
Nov. 24 St. Louis, MO The Demo

Will Oldham Bypasses Labels, Distributors; Puts New LP in Stores

Bonnie Prince Billy

Putting the “I” back into “D.I.Y.”

 By Fred Mills

 The new Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy album, titled bonnie ‘prince’ billy (Palace) and bearing virtually no other information other than that name/eponymous title and a tracklisting, has been slipping into independent record stores over the last few weeks. Could be any other indie release, right? Except it’s friggin’ Will Oldham, an icon and hero to more than a few aficionados of indie music—and because for his latest album he opted to bypass the label system, the distribution system, the download system, hell, pretty much every damn system on the planet other than The Oldham System.

BPB album

 The limited edition LP, which also comes as a CD or cassette, both presumably limited as well, is being sold strictly and directly by Oldham himself to indie record stores. You won’t find it at Amazon, you won’t find it at Best Buy, you won’t even find it at a small chain. Nope, nada. But if you are fortunate enough to live near an indie shop, you just may be in luck, if said shop learned about the album in time to order it direct from Oldham via his esteemed Royal Stable Music label (,

 Such as Raleigh, NC, indie shop Schoolkids Records, which happens to be the sister business of BLURT, and whose yours truly happened to answer the phone the other day when Oldham called, very casually introduced himself to me, and inquired if we might be interested in stocking his record. Needless to say I was dropping a check in the mail the very next morning. (Will, if you are reading this, the posters and BPB ballcap included in the package of LPs, CDs and CTs was a nice touch. Displaying proudly at the store as I write this.)

 This is called grassroots, and it is greatly admired by us at the record store and the magazine.

 Meanwhile, pop over to the Alan Bumstead blog and read a track-by-track review of this gorgeous, understated, all-acoustic release. And to fans looking to obtain copies, know that gougers have already taken to eBay with the record, such as this sonofabitch trying to get 60 bucks for it already despite the fact that it shouldn’t be selling for more than $16 or $17 absolute tops in stores. Just fair warning. Support indie record shops.


I Heard Of A Source

Lessons From Stony

I Will Not Be Born Again

Make It Not An Evil Mark

The Spotted Pig

This Is My Cocktail

Bad Man

Ending It All (As I Do)

Royal Quiet Deluxe

Moogfest 2014 Announces Circuit Bending Contest


Now THIS is what Moogfest is supposed to be all about. The celebrated event returns after a two-year layoff, taking place April 23-27 in downtown Asheville, NC.

 Moog Music was born when a young Bob Moog, started tinkering with electronic circuitry. As a boy, Moog built small radios, amps, and theremins in his basement workshop with his father and the rest is history.  This experimentation with the inner workings of electronic devices to create new sounds and effects has been developed into an art form known as circuit bending.  

 Circuit bending is a creative medium that combines technology, sonic artistry and creativity. By altering the internal circuitry of electronic devices such as keyboards, drum machines, and children’s toys, circuit benders are able to produce new sounds not intended in the original design. In celebration of this creative curiosity that fueled a young Bob Moog and all of those that follow in his footsteps, Moog is sponsoring its 4th annual circuit bending challenge. 

 This year, Moog’s circuit bending contest is challenging entrants to take a battery powered device and circuit bend it into an instrument capable of creating new and unique sounds for a total budget of $70 or less. 

 Entrants will create and post videos on YouTube featuring their completed instruments and documenting the process of their creation. Moog will select three finalists and invite them to showcase their creations at Moogfest in April of 2014 where Moog’s judges and the general public will decide a winner of the contest.

 Grand Prize: Moog Sub Phatty & Two Passes to Moogfest 2014

2nd Place:    Moog Slim Phatty & Two Passes to Moogfest 2014

3rd Place:     Moog Minitaur & Two Passes to Moogfest 2014

 About Moogfest:

Since 2004, Moogfest has been a gathering for the musicians that worked closely with Bob and his instruments.  In 2014, Moogfest is amplifying its vision and becoming a 5-Day event dedicated to the synthesis of technology, art and music. Moogfest honors the inventiveness of Bob Moog and the legacy of the analog synth with an experimental line up of daytime conference programming and landmark nightly performances. Moogfest takes place April 23-27th, 2014 in downtown Asheville, NC. To learn more, visit and


BLURT goes to Moogfest 2012:

BLURT goes to Moogfest 2011:

Capnolagnia Alert! New Major Lazer Video

Major Lazer

Or, as the hairy palmed set refers to it, “smoking fetishism.” Fanboys, do not call your mothers about this video.

 By Blurt Staff

 Directed by Grizz Lee, produced by Douglas Riggs and Harrison Lippman and featuring colorist: Jaime O’Bradovich, it is the “wildly trippy” new Major Lazer video for the Free The Universe track “Jet Blue Jet.” As the M.L. crew’s p.r. handlers quip, “Can’t imagine Jet Blue using this for promo anytime soon” but it “does bring new meaning  to the mile ‘high’ club.” That, and of course, how it sets off a round of kinks…

 The track itself is pretty awesome, actually.

Mogwai Announces New Album for Sub Pop


Record will arrive in January.

 By Blurt Staff

 Mogwai will release Rave Tapes, their 8th studio album in 19 years, on January 20th in Europe via Rock Action and January 21st in North America via Sub Pop. The album features 10 tracks and was produced by the band with returning associate Paul Savage (Mogwai’s Young Team; Delgados, Arab Strap). You can now hear “Remurdered,” the leadoff track from Rave Tapes, via Soundcloud/YouTube.

Mogwai has scheduled a short European tour in late January of 2014, including a two-night stand January 24th and 25th in London, UK at Royal Festival Hall and All Tomorrow’s Parties “End of An Era” edition on December 1st. And in related news, Mogwai recently soundtracked the French supernatural thriller, Les Revanants, Its stateside debut as The Returned on The Sundance Channel begins October 31st at 9pm ET (more info here).

1. Heard About You Last Night
2. Simon Ferocious
3. Remurdered
4. Hexon Bogon
5. Repelish
6. Master Card
7. Deesh
8. Blues Hour
9. No Medecine For Regret
10. The Lord Is Out Of Control

 Late Fall + Winter 2013/2014 Tour Dates:
Nov. 28 – Cambridge, UK – Junction
Dec. 01 – Camber Sands, UK -All Tomorrow’s Parties “End of Era”
Jan. 22 – Newcastle, UK – Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre
Jan. 24 – London, UK – Royal Festival Hall
Jan. 25 – London, UK – Royal Festival Hall
Jan. 27 – Manchester,, UK – Bridgewater Hall
Jan. 28 – Glasgow, UK – Royal Concert Hall
Jan. 30 – Amsterdam, NL –  Paradiso
Feb. 01 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique
Feb. 02 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique
Feb. 03 – Paris, FR – Olympia
Feb. 04 – Frankfurt, DE –  Batschkapp
Feb. 05 –  Munich, DE –  Backstage Werk
Feb. 06 –  Berlin, DE –  Temperdrome
Mar. 23 – Gotherburgh, SE – Konserthuset
Mar. 24 – Stockholm, SE – Cirkus
Mar. 25 – Copenhagen, DK- Koncertsalen
Mar. 26 – Hamburg, DE – Grosse Freiheit
Mar. 27 – Zurich, DE – Volkshaus
Mar. 29 – Nimes, IT – Paloma
Mar. 30 – Bologna, IT – Estragon
Mar. 31- Milan, IT – Alcatraz
Apr. 1 – Karlsruhe, DE – Substage
Apr. 2 – Cologne, DE – E-Werk
Apr. 3 – Lille, FR – Aeronef