Monthly Archives: December 2013

Watch New Video/Track from Stone Jack Jones

STone Jack Jones

Haunting memory poem recast in an equally haunting clip.


By Blurt Staff


Tell my children, daddy’s gonna work in the hole,” murmurs Stone Jack Jones, born into the fourth generation of coal miners in Buffalo Creek, West Virginia. Jones himself escaped the mines and worked a series of odd jobs – carny, escape artist, ballet dancer, lute player, strip club owner and finally Nashville singer songwriter – but his memories of rural coal country shape the shadowy contours of Ancestor, his third full-length album. The main character in the video for “Black Coal,” directed by Zach Spigel, is West Virginia, its misty dirt roads and weathered old houses creating a dreamlike backdrop for Jones’ mournful folk song.

Black Coal from Madison Rowley on Vimeo.


Ancestor was produced with Roger Moutenot (known for his work with Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney, They Might Be Giants, and others) and features collaborations with Patty Griffin, members of Lambchop, and Courtney Tidwell. Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner called the album “long and languid, moving none too fast, there’s alcohol and rope in the air. There ought to be a place, a bar, or barn, where this music plays from p.a. suspended in the middle of the room like those ones they used in the civil defense strapped to polls in the neighborhoods of the 60s, 50s…Fan shaped horns arranged in a center cluster…there’s nostalgic allusion and ghostly nods to a world only Jack knows, and perhaps his god knows.”


The album comes out March 4th on Western Vinyl Records.  

School of Seven Bells’ Benjamin Curtis R.I.P.


Also enjoyed acclaim with Tripping Daisy, UFOFU and Secret Machines. He’s pictured above with So7B bandmate Alejandra Deheza. Below, watch their awesome car-chase video for “Scavenger,” from their 2012 album Ghostory.

 By Fred Mills

 Benjamin Curtis of School of Seven Bells—not to mention the above-listed groups—passed away last night, December 29, in New York at the age of 35. He had been battling cancer following a diagnosis of T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.

 The Dallas Observer reports, “Though a native Oklahoman, Curtis was a Dallas resident and treasured member of the local music scene from the ’90s well into the 2000s. In the mid-’90s, Curtis and his brother Brandon were members of local rock outfit UFOFU with Joe Butcher, before Ben left to spend a few years playing drums for Tripping Daisy. In 2000, the Curtis brothers started the spacey three-piece Secret Machines. Their debut full-length project, 2004’s Now Here Is Nowhere, broke nationally to much critical acclaim. It will long be remembered as a Dallas classic.”

 Later, Curtis moved to New York and put together School of Seven Bells, subsequently notching an impressive international reputation. After his cancer diagnosis was announced a host of indie rockers from across the nation took part in several fundraisers for the much-loved musician.

Here’s the Art for the Paul Westerberg Vinyl Reissue


Surprise! It’s just like the old CD art!

 By Blurt Staff

 For reasons known only to Paul Westerberg and the record label Plain Recordings, his second solo album 1996′s Eventually, will be reissued before his first solo album, 1993’s 14 Songs. No matter; while 14 Songs is essential Westerberg and Eventually is generally considered a lackluster effort, both will be welcome additions to the vinyl canon, particularly considering that they first appeared precisely when the record industry was doing its level best to kill off vinyl and rake in profits via compact laser discs. Perfect sound forever, and all that rot.

 The ’96 album arrives for the first time on vinyl on Jan. 21, and its predecessor is expected to drop not too long afterward. Both will be on 180-gm audiophile wax, natch. 14 Songs will have cover art—pictured above—that duplicates the original cover art of the limited edition version of the CD, which came packaged as a hardback book. (via Slicing Up Eyeballs)

Bono To Get Bono Award

Bono Bono

 No, that is not a typo. And hey, why not?

 By Perez Mills

 Some days we write the newzzz, some days it writes itself… The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Bono with the Bono Visionary Award… okay, to technically it’s U2 receiving the  Sonny Bono Visionary Award at its annual Awards Gala, but we like our headline better. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Steve McQueen, Thomas Newman, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and the cast of American Hustle. It will be held this Saturday, January 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  The Festival runs January 3-13, 2014.

 “We normally present the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to a director, but for our 25th anniversary we wanted to take the occasion to celebrate U2, a visionary group and the world’s premier rock band, for their unparalleled humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.  “Their latest song ‘Ordinary Love’ from the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is an ode to Nelson Mandela, who had such a powerful impact on our world, and a man whom the band worked with in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa.  The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2014 Sonny Bono Visionary Award to U2.”

New Springsteen Album “Leaks” Online, Briefly, Sorta… Well, Not Really…

Springsteen High Hopes

FLAC files? We don’t need no steenkin’ FLAC files!

 By Uncle Blurt

 Dammit. The one weekend your Uncle Blurt is away from his computer and unable to binge on shopping specials turns out to be the weekend that the new Bruce Springsteen album, High Hopes, gets released via Amazon… weeks early. What happened, according to Billboard, was that the record, a covers/outtakes collection, and due in stores and digitally on Jan. 14, “became available on Saturday for purchase as individual tracks in MP3 format. Although Amazon subsequently removed that option, presumably recognizing its mistake, the album has already made its way onto file-sharing websites through those who purchased it from the online retailer.”

No comment from the Bruce or CBS camp, natch.

 Okay, kids, start your engines, and head over to the file sharing sites, such as this one that has a torrent of the album front and center. 


1.”High Hopes” (Tim Scott McConnell) …………4:57
2.”Harry’s Place” ………………………….4:04
3.”American Skin (41 Shots)” ………………..7:23
4.”Just Like Fire Would” (Chris Bailey) ………3:56
5.”Down In The Hole” ……………………….4:59
6.”Heaven’s Wall” ………………………….3:50
7.”Frankie Fell In Love” ……………………2:48
8.”This Is Your Sword” ……………………..2:52
9.”Hunter Of Invisible Game” ………………..4:42
10.”The Ghost of Tom Joad” ………………….7:33
11.”The Wall” ……………………………..4:20
12.”Dream Baby Dream” (Martin Rev, Alan Vega) …5:00

Listen to “Beale Street Caravan”’s Alex Chilton Tribute


Rousing concert recorded at JazzFest.

 By Fred Mills

 This week’s syndicated “Beale Street Caravan” program, which celebrates all things Memphis ‘n’ music, focused on native son Alex Chilton via a rousing tribute concert to the late Box Tops/Big Star icon. Timed to coincide with what would have been Chilton’s 63 birthday, the show was recorded earlier this year at JazzFest and featured songs encompassing the legend’s entire career.

 Listen to the broadcast here:

Previously Unreleased ’76 Talking Heads Song Surfaces

Talking Heads

Track appears on a tape of a live show from CBGB.

 By Blurt Staff

 A website in the Netherlands devoted to the Talking Heads has posted “a recently surfaced live recording of [the original 3-piece] Talking Heads playing live in New York on July 30, 1976 [that] features a yet unknown track.” (Via Slicing Up Eyeballs.) Apparently the instrumental was played a couple of times during the early show and was introduced by David Byrne thusly: “This is an instrumental.” An audience member then shouts, “No title?” Byrne shoots back, “We call it ‘Theme,’ but then we just keep it to ourselves.”

Steve Earle Resumes Songwriting Tutoring at Camp Copperhead

Steve Earle

Happens this summer in upstate New York. Check the classic “Copperhead Road” video below.

 By Blurt Staff

 In 2000, Steve Earle presented a songwriting course at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. He fine-tuned that material in 2012, presenting classes as part of Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch workshop. This summer (July 7 – 11, 2014), Earle will be hosting Camp Copperhead, described as “a fully immersive learning experience,” at the Full Moon Resort, about 30 miles west of Woodstock in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Earle will be the sole instructor at Camp Copperhead, with about 100 students in attendance. This once-in-a-lifetime experience offers students uniquely intimate access to a true master craftsman. It’s open to people of all levels of skill and enthusiasm


 Discussing his vision for Camp Copperhead, the Grammy-nominated artist says, “It’ll be an intensive, all-day-long songwriting workshop, which I’m going to teach every minute of. I love to teach. I have fun doing it.” Each morning, Earle will present a class on a specific aspect of writing. There’ll be workshops in the afternoons—time when students can pair up to work on their assignments under Earle’s supervision. There’ll be an open-mic every night after dinner, offering students the opportunity to play the brand-new. “I can’t teach anyone to be a songwriter,” he admits. “But I can teach the things that I’ve learned—from doing it—that make you a better songwriter if you already are one. Even if you weren’t put on the planet to be a songwriter, I think you’ll appreciate and understand songwriting better through taking this course.”

Video: Bono & Glen Hansard Busk for Charity on Xmas Eve

Bono 2

And nothing says “Christmas” like a Slade song!

By Uncle Blurt

My heart just grew three sizes: Bono hit the streets of Dublin once again on Christmas Eve to busk for charity. He was joined by none other than Glen Hansard of Frames/Swell Season fame. Watch a somewhat shaky but still watchable fan video of the pair doing “O Come All You Faithful” and Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody.”

Watch !!! Tear it Up at Moog Sound Lab


Spell out the name when googling….

By Blurt Staff

The other day dance phenoms !!! premiered a new video recorded not long ago in Asheville at the Moog Music Factory’s Moog Sound Lab. It’s a reprise/remake/remodel of their tune “One Boy/One Girl,” from their THR!!!ER album released this year. Band leader Nic Offer told Rolling Stone, “We literally just dropped in at the Moog factory, ’cause it was down the street from where we were grabbing coffee on a day off. The next thing we knew we were sending out MIDI through all the latest Moog stuff.”