Monthly Archives: January 2014

Incoming (in May…) New Swans Album

Swans

Due May 13 via Young God and Mute, natch. The band’s founder explains, below… In the photo above, Gira celebrates the near-end of recording in December with Dallas studio whiz John Congleton.

 

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A NOTE FROM MICHAEL GIRA:

January 13, 2014

 

Hello There,

 

We (Swans) have recently completed our new album. It is currently being mastered at the time of this writing. It is called To Be Kind. The release date is set for May 13, 2014. It will be available as a triple vinyl album, a double CD, and a 2XCD Deluxe Edition that will include a live DVD. It will also be available digitally. In addition, I am thinking of releasing it as a USB “stick” / flashdrive (with special packaging), so that this ultimate, high quality version can be listened to from beginning to end, without interruption  (the album is a little over 2 hours long).

 

The album was produced by me, and it was recorded by the venerable John Congleton at Sonic Ranch, outside El Paso Texas, and further recordings and mixing were accomplished at John’s studio in Dallas, Texas. We commenced rehearsals as Sonic Ranch in early October 2013, began recording soon thereafter, then completed the process of mixing with John in Dallas by mid December 2013.

 

A good portion of the material for this album was developed live during the Swans tours of 2012/13. Much of the music was otherwise conjured in the studio environment.

 

The recordings and entire process of this album were generously and perhaps vaingloriously funded by Swans supporters through our auspices at younggodrecords.com via the release of a special, handmade 2xCD live album entitled Not Here / Not Now. See details here: http://bit.ly/1igMi70

 

The Swans are: Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris, Christopher Pravdica.

 

Special Guests for this record include (among many others): Little Annie (Annie sang a duet with me on the song Some Things We Do, the strings for which were ecstatically arranged and played by Julia Kent); St. Vincent  (Annie Clark sang numerous, multi-tracked vocals throughout the record); Cold Specks (Al contributed numerous multi-tracked vocals to the song “Bring the Sun”); Bill Rieflin (honorary Swan Bill played too many instruments to list here, ranging from additional drums, to synthesizers, to piano, to electric guitar and so on. He has been a frequent contributor to Swans and Angels of Light and is currently playing with King Crimson)…

 

I love you! Michael Gira

Folk Legend Pete Seeger R.I.P. 1919-2014

Seeger

Singer/songwriter was on hand for virtually every significant musical event of the 20th (and 21st) century.

 By Fred Mills

 Pete Seeger passed away yesterday (Jan. 27) at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital at the ripe old age of 94, and the music world genuinely mourns his passing. But there’s great reason to cheer as well because we can celebrate the folksinger’s legacy and immense contributions to the American—hell, make that international—musical tapestry. So rather than editorialize, I’d rather submit some of his music for consideration. At the bottom is a clip from his appearance last September at the annual Farm Aid concert, which would turn out to be one of the great man’s final live performances.

 Go to the Seeger Wikipedia page for a superb summary of the man, his life and his times: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Seeger (photo also from Wikipedia, 2007 by Anthony Pepitone)

DnC’s Kevn Kinney Scores Unique “Archer” FX Series Soundtrack Album

Kevn

Calling all Cherlene fans… Kenny Loggins devotees, too!

 

FX’s award-winning animated half-hour comedy smash Archer is spawning a 12-track album, Cherlene, featuring original music, which will be released on all digital platforms on Monday, February 17. All are produced and most composed by Kevn Kinney, lead singer of Drivin N Cryin and feature vocals by Jessy Lynn Martens, with Kenny Loggins joining on Danger Zone. The new CD will feature three new songs original to Archer and previously unreleased, including It’s All About Me, I’ll Burn it Down and Gypsy Woman. Other songs include Chattahoochie Coochie Man, Midnight Blues, Straight to Hell, 40 Miles of Mountain Road, Swing Shift (formerly titled Coming Round Again), Cherlene’s Broken Hearts & Auto Parts (formerly titled Broken Hearts & Auto Parts), East Bound & Down, Baby Please Don’t Go, and Danger Zone. 

 

The album will be highlighted by a duet with Cherlene and Loggins. Cherlene is the reimagined alter ego of Archer‘s Cheryl Tunt, also referred to as Carol Tunt. She and Loggins join forces in the previously-released song Danger Zone (also a favorite Sterling Archer catchphrase). A world premiere video of the tune will play in Episode 6 of Archer‘s fifth season the night of Feb. 17. Season 5 of the series launched on January 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, marking the show’s move to a new night.

 

Cherlene’s backstory: “She has long been known as both Cheryl and Carol, the loquacious secretary to Malory Archer (Jessica Walter). Wealthy, maniacal, not altogether well, she is renowned for becoming sexually aroused from being choked and enjoys sniffing and drinking rubber cement.”


The Archer album will be distributed across digital platforms including Apple iTunes, Amazon Digital Services Inc., eMusic, Google Music, MediaNet, Nokia, Rhapsody, SoundCloud, Spotify, Touchtunes, YouTube and many others.

 

Incidentally, Drivin N Cryin has just released Songs For The Turntable, the fourth and final EP in their series of indie Eps. Check it out!

Afghan Whigs Sign to Sub Pop, Reveal New Album Art

Whigs

To Release Their First New Album In Sixteen Years On Their Old Label.

 Sub Pop just announced that The Afghan Whigs will mark their return to the label with Do To The Beast, their first new album in 16 years, on April 14th in Europe and April 15th in North America. Additional release information will be available soon. Meanwhile, the band had already announced that they will perform at this year’s sold-out Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on Friday April 11th and Friday April 18th, 2014.

Watch New Video from Brother Dege

Brother Dege

Track hails from the Louisiana roots-rocker’s acclaimed recent album.

 By Fred Mills

 It was one of our fave albums from late last year, How to Kill A Horse by Brother Dege. Yours truly was heard enthusing in these very pages, “Comparisons can be made to the likes of Chris Whitley, J.J. Grey & Mofro, Rocco DeLuca and Rainer Ptacek, most obviously due to Dege’s prominent wielding of resonator guitar, its twinned atmospheric-yet-earthy qualities signifying mystery and spirits alongside elegance and conviction. Too, his vocals, part bluesman’s haunted howl and part folkie’s reassuring croon, convey a remarkable range of emotions that perfectly suit his character-driven tales.”

 Now you can check out a new video from B.D., album track “River.” It was filmed during the bluesman’s recent European tour.

Says Dege, of the song, “It’s just a little meditation on life and everything around you kind of moving but seemingly not changing. But it’s changing all the time – at times quickly, other times microscopically slow. It’s strange how one’s perception of time changes as you get older…the years whip by…next thing you know, you’re in an old folks home.” 

 He adds, talking specifically about the clip, “Like 90% of my other videos, this one was made for pretty much no money. We shot it on iPhones and a cheap video camera while I was on tour in Europe in 2013. I used the most of the same footage to make a short film titled FLUX as well. I like to have a good time. If I see something cool, walk over and shoot it. Figure out what to do with it later.” 

 Photo credit: Adrien Berthet

Seriously – Do YOU Give a S**t about Nicki Minaj (or Natalia Damini)?

Natalia

“Stunning brunette” + hip-hop hoe = hoe squared, perhaps?

By Perez Mills

Lord, we were just about to post a commentary about Justin “DWI” Bieber’s current legal problems, then this news item came through. Without further adoo, er, adieu:

Going through Nicki Minaj withdrawals? Well, here’s a little something to satiate your Boss Ass Bitch cravings until her next track drops. The prolific femcee makes a surprise appearance on Natalia Damini‘s new LP Beautiful. Who? The stunning brunette is popular pop diva in Brazil with a taste for American hip-hop.

The ladies join forces on a slinky jam called “Hot Fire”, which finds both vixens bragging about their inimitable sex appeal. Nicki kicks off the song with a quick intro before returning for an odd car salesroom-themed verse towards the end. It’s not brilliant but I’ve heard a lot worse. 

Underage P by any other name, eh?

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Preps Record Store Day 12”; Tour Dates Announced

JSBX by Anthony Batista

Are you READY for some Beasties-meets-Link? Huh? ARE YOU?!?

 By Uncle Blurt

 What is this hype: “The raw, the rhythm, the rock, the rebel without a pause…” Oh wait – that’s a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion promo blurb, so it ain’t no hype. It’s the honest truth, Ruth! In addition to some just announced upcoming dates that include a rare, one-off show at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar next month, and then their first appearance at Coachella Festival on two consecutive weekends (full itinerary below), glom onto this, rekkird nerds:

 Are you ready for Record Store Day, April 19th??  The JSBX will be dropping an old-school, bad-ass 12″ single of their Beastie Boys-Link Wray mash-up “She’s On It-Jack The Ripper,” which has terrorized and astounded audiences LIVE the world over. And very soon, the Blues Explosion will re-enter the recording studio to continue work on their next Long Player!

Get those vinyl itches scratched in about 3 months, yo. The band’s most recent album Meat and Bone was reviewed at your dear ol’ uncle’s employer awhile back, which enthused thusly: “… possibly the band’s best album to date. The Explosion breaks everything down to its root and reconstructs it all in a perfect way; it should show a generation of cool kids that may have missed him the first time around that Jon Spencer is among garage rock’s main guitar slingers.  Do not snooze on Meat and Bone: it is out of this world and as addictive as Heisenberg’s Blue Sky meth.”

Boy howdy!

Tour Dates:

February 15 – Brooklyn Night Bazaar – Brooklyn, NY
April 10 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
April 11 – Coachella Festival – Indio, CA
April 12 – Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV
April 14 – Slim’s  – San Francisco, CA
April 15 – Blank Club – San Jose, CA
April 17 – Casbah  – San Diego, CA
April 18 – Coachella Festival – Indio, CA
April 19 – Club Congress – Tucson, AZ

Sax Legend Gary Windo (w/Soft Machine, Pink Floyd Members) Gets Reissued

Gary Windo

Robert Wyatt and Nick Mason…

 Gonzo Multimedia is releasing three rare albums by sax legend Gary Windo, one of which features Robert Wyatt and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason. The albums are 1976’s Steam Radio Tapes (w/Wyatt and Mason), 1979’s Dogface) and 1987’s Deep Water.

 The backstory:

 Windo was involved in the Seventies with many icons of the British jazz and rock genres, including the Canterbury scene. Born in Brighton in 1941, in March 1970, he took part in Graham Bond’s all-star Sun Festival, with Jack Bruce, Mitch Mitchell, and Brian Auger. In the same year, he joined Keith Tippett’s 50-piece orchestra, Centipede, and Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath. In 1971, he and Robert Wyatt formed Symbiosis, a prog-rock jamming band featuring Mongezi Feza, Nick Evans and Roy Babbington.

 By 1973, Windo was playing pub gigs with Ray Russell’s heavy-rock trio The Running Man, and working with Robert Wyatt on the jazz quartet WMWM, with pianist Dave MacRae and bassist Ron Matthewson. He played on Hugh Hopper’s album 1984, and was about to join Wyatt on his new Matching Mole group when Wyatt had his accident. The Wyatt-Windo collaboration continued on Wyatt’s subsequent solo albums, Rock Bottom (1974) and Ruth Is Stranger than Richard (1975).

 In November of 1975, Windo formed Gary Windo & Friends for a one-off gig at Maidstone College of Art, with his wife Pam Windo on piano, guitarist Richard Brunton, and the rhythm section of Bill MacCormick, Nick Mason, and Laurie Allan. This group was the precursor to Windo’s Steam Radio Tapes project, recorded between 1976 and 1978 but, until now, never released. Among other participants on the album were Julie Tippetts, Robert Wyatt, Mike Hugg, and Hugh Hopper.

 In 1976, Windo played on Hopper’s Hoppertunity Box, and in 1977, joined The Carla Bley Band for the European Tour. In 1979, the Windo family immigrated to America, where Windo continued performing with Carla Bley. He also recorded the album Loaded Vinyl with Pam Windo, Steve Swallow, and D. Sharpe, which again remained unreleased. He also appeared on Daevid Allen’s New York Gong album, About Time.

Slow News Day? Try the Supertramp 9/11 Conspiracy Theory On!

Front-Cover-Supertramp

We also have a bridge we wanna sell ya….

 By Uncle Blurt

 My BLURT news-gathering minions are ever-diligent, as you might have surmised from our comprehensive news coverage here, and today is no exception. To wit: UK pomp/classic rockers Supertramp – a longtime guilty pleasure of yours truly – have apparently been implicated in a 9/11 truther conspiracy theory! It seems that their 1979 album Breakfast In America is rife with prophetic clues if you scrutinize the record sleeve closely. Or at least if you equate that glass of fresh orange juice superimposed on the image of the Twin Towers with an orange fireball…

 Thanks to contributor Rev. Keith Gordon of the mighty Blues.about.com blog for the tip! Oh, and by the way: Paul is dead, kids, and the CIA killed Jimi Hendrix. Meanwhile, let’s sing us some Supertramp:

Incoming: New Album from Semi Precious Weapons

Semi Precious Weapons_credit Ryan Aylsworth

Watch teaser trailer, natch, below…

 By Blurt Staff

 You read the header right: the LA-by-way-of-NYC band have announced they will release their new full-length, studio album titled Aviation this April via RedZone Records. The band recently completed a new music video for “Aviation High” and is giving fans a behind-the-scenes first look now:

Semi Precious Weapons recently relocated from New York City to Los Angeles where they began collaborating with Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum, mega-hit maker “Tricky” Stewart (Beyoncé, Rihanna, Frank Ocean) on new material, before signing to his new RedZone Music label venture, RedZone Records. The band worked with Tricky writing and recording, for much of 2012 and 2013, before putting the finishing touches on what the band calls “the album we had always hoped to make.”

“Our goal for this new album was to just write the best songs we could, and have the sound be whatever it needed to be to serve each song,” says singer Justin Tranter. “Working with our dream producer Tricky Stewart gave us the inspiration to use textures from all the different kinds of music we love, not just straight up rock and roll, which was really freeing. It made it so we didn’t have rules while writing, it was just about what felt right. The sound of the band is one that appreciates the greatness of all genres of music. Their records are made organically and what’s heard is unobstructed to the fans,” says Stewart. “This is absolutely one of the most important projects of my career. It gives you a glimpse not only into my past – but my present, and future. I feel like we’ve created something special that will stand out in the world!”

Semi Precious Weapons formed in 2006 and released their debut album We Love You in 2008. Their follow-up full length was You Love You. They are currently: Semi Precious Weapons is Justin Tranter on vocals, Cole Whittle on bass, Dan Crean on drums, and Stevy Pyne on guitar.

Tracklisting:
1) Aviation High
2) Look to the Stars
3) Drink
4) Never Going Home
5) Scream to the Sky
6) Young Love
7) That’s My Friends
8) Healed
9) Cherries on Ice
10) Free Booze
11) Vegas
12) Hands Up