Paying tribute to the rocker and singer/songwriter who is BLURT’s Artist of The Year 2013. Go here to read our interview with Isbell.
BY FRED MILLS
In my capacity as editor of this magazine I’ve had the privilege of interacting with Jason Isbell on several occasions. (The first time actually predates BLURT: backstage at the 2006 Warren Haynes Christmas Jam in Asheville, NC, prior to a set from the Drive-By Truckers, I ran into Jason, chatted briefly, and had him sign one of my DBT record sleeves.) Then in July of 2008 he came to the Grey Eagle club in Asheville, NC, with his 400 Unit guitarist Browan Lollar, to do an acoustic show. That afternoon I and Associate Editor Andy Tennille interviewed Isbell for series of video clips for the BLURT website, the two musicians additionally playing “In A Razor Town” and “The Magician.” Both in front of and away from the cameras, Jason was engaged and thoughtful, preferring to talk more about songcraft and musical heroes than himself. (He also inscribed a tour poster to my young son: already a fan of Isbell’s, he proudly displayed it on his bedroom wall.) Continue reading
Smell the glove and make the sign of the umlaut, kids: announcing the first installment in our latest genre study, with Carcass, Windhand, Satyricon, Ihsahn, Motörhead, Mastodon and much more.
BY METAL MIKE TOLAND
You’d think a subgenre with a forbidding name like doom would be the loneliest of ghettos – who the heck wants to sample music with connotations of death and dread simply by its categorical title? But doom metal aficionados know better – the sensual power of the slow, heavy wash of melodic distortion and dinosaur stomp can scratch an itch you didn’t even know you had. Just ask Black Sabbath how much mileage it’s gotten over the past four decades. Continue reading
In our resident crate digger’s latest “Sonic Reducer” column, he sings the praises of one of our premiere archival indie labels.
BY CARL HANNI
In their first decade + of existence, Dust-to-Digital Records from Atlanta (www.dust-digital.com) has quickly moved up to the increasingly crowded front of the reissue label pack based on the audaciousness and top-shelf quality of their archival releases. Their first release was a six CD set of rare gospel recordings, packaged in a pine box with a 200 page book. Since then they have released a steady stream of high quality, high volume releases of everything from rare Asian and Middle Eastern recordings to a massive John Fahey collection and obscurities from the outer reaches of the American musical vernacular, often in multiple CD sets with lavish, fully illustrated books serving as liner notes. Continue reading
Hey there, tall, dark and handsome—come here often? Wanna slip back to my pad and see my etched records and picture discs? Let me buy this next round…
BY TIM “45 ADAPTER” HINELY
I see you people and I like what I see. It’s seems that you are finally coming to your senses now. Oh sure, it took six previous columns of 7” genius to make this happen, but better late than never. If I give you all a multiple choice test with words like “stylus’ and “vinyl” on it I have no doubt you’d all get 100s on the test! This makes me so proud, because, after all, you are all like my little children. Every last one of you (scary thought, huh?). No longer will I call you chowderheads behind your back. Nope… you’re my kids and I love every last one of ya’. Now go get ‘em, tiger! Continue reading
The Clash icon and Mescaleros frontman passed away eleven years ago this month, on Dec. 22. By way of tribute, we present this story from the archives.
BY FRED MILLS
On December 22, 2002, unexpectedly and tragically, Joe Strummer died, apparently from a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect. I had interviewed Strummer twice in 2001, once over the phone from England and then again in person when he appeared at New York’s Irving Plaza for an October concert with his band The Mescaleros. Portions of those interviews subsequently saw publication in the Phoenix New Times and Magnet Magazine, and in a surreal twist, a few video snippets of me interviewing Strummer in NYC would turn up in the 2005 Strummer documentary Let’s Rock Again! by filmmaker Dick Rude (who I vaguely recalled having been present with a camera during the interview). At any rate, as today marks the anniversary of Strummer’s death, it seems like as reasonable a time as any to share with readers a vastly expanded version of my Strummer story, combining material from both interviews. Continue reading
We never looked better! Above: porn star and rocker Sasha Grey.
By Uncle Blurt
Over the holiday weekend I was thumbing through some of this magazine’s back pages and was struck by the sheer, lithesome pulchritude of the visions of femininity displayed below. I have no idea what “lithesome pulchritude” means but it sounds sexy, so that’s my term and I’m sticking with it. At some point between 2008 and 2009 each of these young ladies took time out from her busy day to disrobe (!) and don an official BLURT shurt, clearly willing and eager to, er, promote our wares. That’s OUR wares, pal, get your mind out of the gutter! And if that earlier sentence sounds blatantly sexist, well, keep in mind the old Spinal Tap dictum about sexy and sexist, then note that this is a rock ‘n’ roll mag, not a buncha politically correct crud like Mother Jones. Continue reading
From a windshield, through a scream…
By James McMurtry
There are probably more gas wells and oil wells in the western part of Rio Blanco County, Colorado, than there are year round human residents. In a barren little valley just north of the town of Rangely, utility wires stretch in all directions, carrying electricity to run the oil pumping units and the “quads”, tan cubicle things about the size of small walk in coolers, that separate the natural gas from whatever else comes up with it. Multiple pipe lines and flow lines hang suspended above a creek just west of the highway. In the evening, the motel parking lots, empty during the day, fill completely up with welding rigs and white company pickups bearing the logos of various oil field service companies. Halliburton trucks are plentiful here, as are those of a company called Total Safety. Continue reading
The clock strikes analog, and once again, you’re outta time unless you’re hip to the wax, Jack…
BY TIM “45 ADAPTER” HINELY
Wha…? You talkin’ to me?Don’t look at me like that. What’d I do to you? You know what? The only crime I’ve ever committed is to try and write about some 7” singles here and folks are holding it against me. Fine, ridicule because I don’t have an Ipod and don’t know how to download something, but you know what? When push comes to shove and the deity of your choice is bringing folks up to heaven who do you think he’s gonna take, me or you? The answer is ME because even God has a turntable! That’s right, you’ll be waiting by the pearly gates with your broken Ipod why me and the big man and spinnin’ these 7” records. So long. Continue reading