Monthly Archives: February 2014

Incoming: Reissue of Afro-Funk Legend Harry Mosco (of The Funkees)

Harry Mosco Funkees

Long-lost solo debut from ’78 finally restored to print by Secret Stash.

 By Blurt Staff

 One of Nigeria’s biggest musical sensations in the late ’70s and early ’80s was Harry Mosco. Mosco first rose to fame as the guitar player and chief songwriter in The Funkees, an explosive Nigerian funk-rock band whose two mid-’70s albums helped popularize Afro-Funk and went on to become on of the biggest bands in Nigeria.

 Almost immediately after The Funkees broke up, Mosco released his first solo LP, For You Specialy [sic] in 1978. The album’s combined the boogie sound and funk grooves of The Funkees with a danceable, hard driving beat but was a commercial failure – possibly because it was on the virtually unknown Taretone label, whereas The Funkees had been on EMI.

 Although the album helped to define him as a solo artist and laid the groundwork for critical and popular acclaim in Africa and the UK, where he would go on to have major hits up through the early 1980s with songs like “Country Boy” (one of the all-time biggest hits in Nigerian music), “Sugar Cane Baby,” and “Heartbreak,” it was all but lost until recently – in fact, Mosco himself had forgotten about the album’s existence until asked about it in an interview before his death with Uchenna Ikonne. (Ikonne is known for his support of classic Afro-Funk and boogie in the US, and the man greatly responsible for the behind-the-scenes work that brought critically acclaimed compilations Who Is William Onyeabor? and Brand New Wayo to light.)

 Well aware of the Secret Stash’s history of classic Afrobeat and Afro-Funk reissues, Ikonne brought For You Specialy to the label and now, 36 years after its release, this album has been restored and re-mastered (although the original typo “Specialy” on the album’s cover remains) and is seeing its first re-release (and first ever release in the US).

 The album will be available on blue vinyl and housed in a  matching hand-pulled, screen printed jacket for the first 350 pre-orders; the standard black vinyl edition (with beige jacket) will be available through all regular online and retail outlets on March 25th. More details at www.secretstashrecords.com.

Echo & the Bunnymen: New Album, Tour Details

Echo-The-Bunnymen

Due out in the UK in April but not until June for North America.

By Blurt Staff

As leaked previously, Echo & the Bunnymen are prepping a new album, and now we’ve got a title, tracklisting, artwork and even the first round of tourdates. Meteorites will be released April 28th in the UK and June 3 in the US on 429 Records. Produced by Youth (Killing Joke, The Verve), the album contains ten new songs written by Ian McCulloch and features McCulloch and Will Sergeant along with Gordy Goudie (guitar) and Stephen Brannan (bass). In conjunction with the album’s release, the band will embark on a tour of Europe and the UK beginning in May (see confirmed dates below).

The album is described as “an intimate song cycle,” with McCulloch commenting, “’Meteorites’, the new Bunnymen album…at long last we’ve made the worthy successor to ‘Crocodiles,’ ‘Heaven Up Here,’ ‘Porcupine’ and ‘Ocean Rain.’ ‘Meteorites’ is what Echo and the Bunnymen mean and are meant to be—up there in heaven–untouchable, celestial, beautiful and real. It has changed my life.”

Tracklisting:

1) Lovers On The Run
2) Is This A Breakdown
3) Holy Moses
4) Meteorites
5) Explosions
6) Icarus
7) I Loved The Devil
8) Constantinople
9) Market Town
10) New Horizons

Tourdates:

5/2 Leamington Spa , UK Assembly Rooms
5/6 Paris, France Alhambra
5/7 Antwerp, Belgium Trix
5/8 Utrecht, Holland Tivoli
5/10 Oxford, UK Academy
5/11 Wolverhampton, UK Wulfrun Hall
5/13 Newcastle, UK Tyne Theatre
5/14 Manchester, UK Ritz
5/16 Edinburgh, UK Queens Hall
5/17 London, UK Shepherd’s Bush Empire
5/18 Bristol, UK Academy
5/20 Liverpool, UK Philharmonic Hall

Southern Culture On The Skids Gets NC Southern Folklife Collection Exhibit

SCOTS crop

Slated to perform a special opening evening of the display as well.

 By Fred Mills

 NC’s resident sleaze/geek/food/roots rockers Southern Culture On The Skids has been operative for three decades and now the trio is about to be celebrated at UNC Chapel Hill’s Southern Folklife Collection via a new exhibit smartly dubbed “Lard Have Mercy! 30 Years of Southern Culture on the Skids.” It’s slated to open March 14 at Wilson Library on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill, and that night the band is also scheduled to play a at the Playmakers Theater venue. According to the organizers:

 “Lard Have Mercy” traces the history of Chapel Hill’s “Legendary Bards of Downward Mobility,” Southern Culture on the Skids (SCOTS). Formed in 1983. SCOTS embody a raucous, sleazy, good-natured, good-time take on Southern traditions and traditional music playing a unique hybrid of Americana, surf, R&B, rockabilly, and swamp pop, driving fans into ecstatic, sweat-drenched paroxysms of joy.

     Featuring photography by Kent Thompson and Michael Benson as well as instruments, posters, recordings, and other ephemera from the SCOTS collection in the Southern Folklife Collection.

As a veteran of numerous SCOTS gigs going all the way back to the mid ‘80s, I can personally testify to those sweat-drenched paroxysm of joy, for sure. The exhibit will open at 6pm that night at Wilson then the band will perform over at Playmakers at about 7:30. More details can be found right here. Meanwhile, let’s review:

 

Watch New Video from Brianna Lea Pruett

Brianna

Track comes from her recent album on Canyon Records.

By Fred Mills

One of our favorite albums of last year was Gypsy Bells by Cali songbird Brianna Lea Pruett. As our reviewer enthused, “Comparisons could be made to Gillian Welch, Hope Sandoval and another Native American, Buffy Sainte Marie, mostly due to a certain shared intimacy. Circumspect, serene and with a decidedly low gaze, Gypsy Bells rings with its own elegiac intrigue.” 

Now she’s got a video for the signature track “Shine For You.” Check it out, below.

Springsteen Preps 12” EP for Record Store Day 2014

Bruce

Vinyl rules, natch.

 By Blurt Staff

 Coming in a couple of months will April 19 which we all know is the day before Easter this year, but the big news is that it will also mark Record Store Day 2014. Among the artists participating this year: da Boss, aka Bruce Springsteen, with a 4-song 12” EP of originals not included on the recent High Hopes album.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, producer Ron Aniello commented on the provenance of three of the tracks, indicating they were originally recorded for High Hopes but ultimately shelved: “Well, there’s a song called “Cold Spot” I really liked, but it didn’t make it. There’s a song called “Hey Blue Eyes” that I also loved, but it didn’t make it. Another was called “American Beauty” and there was also “Mary Mary.” Those are the ones that come to mind. There might have been five more.”

 American Beauty EP Tracklist

1.  “American Beauty”
2.  “Mary Mary”
3.  “Hurry Up Sundown”
4.  “Hey Blue Eyes”

Watch New NSFW Video from Xiu Xiu

Xiu Xiu by James Wood

For once those 4 letters are accurate… Photo credit; James Wood

 By Blurt Staff

 Earlier this month, Xiu Xiu released their latest record, Angel Guts: Red Classroom on Polyvinyl. Inspired by an erotic Japanese horror film by the same name, it’s now getting its own horror movie treatment with the video for “El Naco.” Directed by John Clark, the video is described as “a dark tribute to the album’s roots in dark erotica.” (Not coincicentally it premiered at horror movie central Bloody-Disgusting.com.) Check it out:

El Naco Music Video from jamie stewart on Vimeo.

Watch New Video From Indie Sensation Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby

Acclaimed recent album was released by Woodsist.

 By Blurt Staff

 Indie rocker and recent L.A. transplant Kevin Morby fast became a fave around the BLURT adobe retreat here in the desert last year (we own properties in several geographical locales, just to keep the employees entertained), and his NYC-centric album Harlem River subsequently generated a revealing interview and feature for us.

 Now the mainman for The Babies (also bassist for The Woods) has releasd a video for key track “If You Leave and If You Marry” which features, according to his label, “Super 8 footage shot by Kevin’s grandfather in Scottsbluff, Nebraska during the 50s and early 60s. The video loosly follows his Aunt Carol from childhood to her high school graduation, and along the way you are introduced to his father, uncle, and grandmother, amongst many other extended family members, most of whom he has never met.” Morby adds these details:

 In loving memory of Larry Anderson & Dorthy Fletcher. – Kevin Morby

 Intro: Bessie Johnson – Great Reaping Day

Outtro: Kid Prince Moore – Sign of the Judgement

Here’s the video, along with tour dates:

 02/22 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel *
02/23 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Crepe Place *
03/11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda ^
04/19 – Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music #
04/20 – Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music #
04/25 – Brooklyn, NY- Rough Trade %

* = w/ Magic Trick
^ = w/ Real Estate, The Shilohs
# = The Mountain Goats
%= w/ Steve Gunn

How Can You Resist an LP Titled “Mexican Coke”?

Denney

Riding the rails, so to speak.

 By Blurt Staff

 The name is Denney and The Jets (that’s not a misspelling, no), and it’s the nom du rawk of one Chris Denney (get it now?). He is releasing a record with the frankly awesome title of Mexican Coke via Burger/Limited Fanfare on April 8. Here’s an advance listen via track “Bye Bye Queenie”, and below that is one of the best – admittedly hyperbolic, and quite likely somewhat fabricated – artist bios submitted by a label that we have read in years. Enjoy!

 https://soundcloud.com/limitedfanfare/bye-bye-queenie

 “For born-and-bred Nashvillian Chris Denney, it all began at age nine; stealing pills from his Grandma’s medicine cabinet, smoking two packs a day and eventually graduating to marijuana by age thirteen. It wasn’t until about five years ago that Denney started channeling his life experiences into vivid tales of what he knows best: sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Denney and The Jets’ debut LP, Mexican Coke (out April 8th via Burger Records and Limited Fanfare Records) was recorded and mixed in just five days at The Bomb Shelter in East Nashville on to 2″ tape by Andrija Tokic (producer of Alabama Shakes’ Boys and Girls) and Denney himself with help from friends Clear Plastic Masks (Serpents and Snakes Records and Dine Alone Records) who backed Denney in the studio and co-produced. There’s something for the degenerate in all of us on Mexican Coke. The album explores smokin’, drinkin’, cocaine, youth, rodeo clowns, fucking around, acquittal, the blues, family, being broke, pain pills, hangovers, strength, getting high, addiction, living and dying.”

Incoming: ANOTHER Kid Millions Team-up

Kid Millions

This one will have him as Man Forever, collaborating with So Percussion.

 By Blurt Staff

 Just a couple of days ago word arrived that the J. Spaceman-Kid Millions live summit from last fall would be released as a special Record Store Day 2014 vinyl title. Meanwhile, it was just announced that Millions (whose mom knows him as John Colpitts) is hooking up with So Percussion for a project. Millions will operating under his Man Forever moniker, in fact, and the record is called Ryonen, due April 8 on Thrill Jockey.

 Some details, courtesy the label:

 Man Forever has hosted an impressive list of guest performers, but few have been as specially qualified to perform Colpitts’ technically challenging meditative workouts as So Percussion, the United States’ premiere contemporary percussion ensemble. So Percussion has commissioned and premiered new compositions by Steve Reich and their interpretations of John Cage have revolutionized the legendary composer’s cannon. Following a collaborative performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in June of 2013, So and Colpitts entered the studio together to record Ryonen, two pieces that combine the former’s precision and ingenuity with the latter’s restless punk spirit. While previous Man Forever records were inspired by blissful, overwhelming confusion, Ryonen derives its power from its clarity and immediacy.

The two pieces on Ryonen are rhythmically seductive and instantly exciting while retaining the experimental legacy that Man Forever has cultivated over several albums and relentless touring. “The Clear Realization” is an exploration in polyrhythm performed on two drums sets, two sets of bongos (an instrument Colpitts rediscovered while performing with Yo La Tengo on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), a concert bass drum, snares, crash cymbals, and vocals. Each instrument is performing in a different time signature at the same tempo, creating a beat that is both propulsive and nonpredictive. “Ryonen” is more chaotic on the surface, but repetitions and rhythms hidden beneath the surface emerge with close listening. The drums are tuned to resonate with each other, creating a series of overtones that hover over the music and provide a baseline drone for the ensemble to harmonize with during the piece’s dramatic climax.

Bonnaroo 2014 Lineup Announced

Bonnaroo

Kanye West, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elton John, Phoenix, Disclosure, Skrillex, Arctic Monkeys, Frank Ocean, the Flaming Lips, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, James Blake, Damon Albarn, Lauryn Hill, Janelle Monáe, Danny Brown, Real Estate, Chvrches, Deafheaven, Mastodon, Chromeo, Chance the Rapper, Darkside, Bobby Womack, Phosphorescent, Ty Segall, Pusha T, Cloud Nothings, Omar Souleyman, Cut Copy, Drive-By Truckers, Washed Out, Cass McCombs, Warpaint, Broken Bells, Ice Cube, A$AP Ferg, Okkerivil River, Sam Smith, Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory, Little Dragon, Wiz Khalifa, Poliça, King Khan and the Shrines, Classixx, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Die Antwoord

 By Blurt Staff

 Last night Bonnaroo live-streamed the official announcement for this year’s festival, which will take place June 12-15 in Manchester, TN. A partial list is above, and you can view the official video, below. Oh, and here’s an interesting tidbit: the live stream was also hosted at selected indie record stores around the country, including our sister business Schoolkids Records of Raleigh, NC. it made for quite the festive event. As the acts were announced, most of the names were greeted with loud cheers – with the exception of Kanye West, who was roundly booed. Sigh. It’s a hard knock life, bro. But people have long memories of your last appearance at Bonnaroo, and they aren’t fond ones…