Monthly Archives: March 2014

Flaming Lips Stream “Immersive Companion Piece” To Floyd’s Dark Side

Lips

Coming next: similar treatment of the classic bootleg Dark Side of the Moo…

 By Blurt Staff

 It’s the sonic gift that keeps giving! Pink Floyd’s classic ’73 album Dark Side of the Moon, that is. When the Flaming Lips covered it in its entirety with a host of guests (among them, Rollins and Peaches) in 2009, nobody suspected that the Lips had even more extensive plans. Ergo, this press release:

 Designed as an immersive companion piece to the original 1973 album, DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, listeners are encouraged to listen to the new LIPS album while listening to DARK SIDE at the same time. FLAMING SIDE OF THE MOON was also carefully crafted to sync up perfectly with the 1939 film, THE WIZARD OF OZ. For ideal listening conditions, fans are encouraged to seek out the original Alan Parsons’ engineered quadraphonic LP mix of DARK SIDE, but it will work with the album on any format. Available now through all participating digital outlets. A limited edition 100 vinyl copies will be distributed to friends and family of THE FLAMING LIPS.

 Check out the stream, below.

Now-Again Delivers “Wild Psych Rock Gem” by Heitkotter

Heitkotter

Did we mention it’s a wild psych rock gem?

 By Uncle Blurt

 Dear, revered BLURT-ers: as you know, we toss stuff out to you in a mixture of editorial verbiage, cut /n/ paste commentary, and outright press release hype, depending on the topic at hand. Sometimes we tell you which is which; sometimes we don’t, presuming you can figure it out on your own based on the position of italics and quote marks; and sometimes, we just feel honored to offer up the entire, unvarnished press release provided by the label, band, or public relations flack. If you are a music lover and collector, you don’t always need us as a filter – but if we can serve you as a conduit in the interest of sharing the wealth then our mission is secure.

 So here we go. The artist is Stephen David Heitkotter, the album is Black Orckid, and it is to be released by the archivists at Now-Again Records, whose work thus far we have long admired and frequently expressed our admiration for in print. This one looks to be no exception….

 ***

 From Now-Again:

 Psychedelic rock record collectors have been repeating the name Heitkotter as if it were a mantra ever since the first copy of a hand-made demo LP turned up in a Los Angeles music publisher’s reject bin, with nothing more than that word scrawled across a plain white jacket.
 
The venerated record dealer Paul Major – he behind the “real people music” phenomena, and a wizard of deciphering lost and fuzzy sounds, capable of bringing them into a context that a lay-person might understand – lost a battle in his analysis of the LP in the early ’90s. His words still ring true today, as he calls Heitkotter a “banging garage downer LP from the twilight zone [with] wasted up-all-night vocal shrieks and mumblings… Totally fucked up sounding, drives me crazy within minutes.”
 
Now-Again Records embarked some years ago on what seemed like a fruitless crusade – to find out more about this Heitkotter, his music, his story. In the process, we’ve visited the house where this confounding album was recorded, found Heitkotter’s musicians, rescued the demo-recordings that paved the way for this album, uncovered unpublished photos and paintings by the man behind the album, and are now ready to present the definitive look into a musical vision equal parts dangerous and peaceful, nihilistic and optimistic. It’s safe to say the world has never heard something like Heitkotter – it is a unique piece of art unlike anything that came before or has come after it.
 
Stephen David Heitkotter was a Fresno, California kid who came of age in mid ’60s. He was the drummer for the Fresno garage wunderkinds the Road Runners, and even wrote a song for the band, ‘Pretty Me’, for one of their lauded 7-inch singles. Nobody really knows what happened after the band split up, victims – like many garage rock bands – of the Vietnam War draft.
 
Stephen never made it to Vietnam – some say his meeting with the draft board is when he first started showing signs of mental illness. He stayed in Fresno and became a bedraggled post hippie who left the Age of Aquarius defiantly proclaiming that he would become a singer, songwriter and visual artist: Black Orckid.
 
The bizarre LP known as Heitkotter – recorded in around 1971 and pressed in a run of less than twenty five copies –  was culmination of his artistic career. Ross Dwelle, Stephen’s childhood friend and the drummer on the record, describes the bedroom sessions in a handsome Craftsman home in Old Fresno as this young trio “trying to play five songs written by a man losing his mind… probably stoned the whole time.”
 
Stephen’s schizophrenia worsened in the ’70s. Towards the end of the decade, his parents – loving yet exhausted – institutionalized Stephen, and he has been the State of California’s ward ever since. His older brother William – who licensed Heitkotter for release on Now-Again –  still sees his Stephen once a month, but he never mentions Heitkotter or its legend to him  – Stephen himself is incapable of fathoming it in context, and it might tear him away from the fragile rope that still moors him to this earthly reality.
 
Heitkotter, this time issued as Black Orckid, as we assume Stephen would have wanted it –  is too complicated to be written off as a symptom of a greater ill, or lionized by a few (and dismissed by the majority) as “outsider” art. It’s a rare and vital look at 60s and 70s American rock through the sad story – and incredible music – of an untethered soul. And as we hope to show in enlightening more of Stephen’s backstory, it can also be considered sweet, kind and optimistic. The Heitkotter tale is cautionary, but Stephen’s music is as close to the sublime as American rock has ever ventured.

 

Listen to a Track from the Upcoming Mirah Album

Mirah

It’s a breeze!

The new Mirah album Changing Light will be touching down May 13th on Mirah’s own self-funded label called Absolute Magnitude Recordings (which is being distributed through K Records, a unique arrangement to say the least. Call it an iconoclastic label serves as a key patron for an iconoclastic artist and you won’t be too far off. Here’s an early peek at the track “Oxen Hope”:

Album guests include Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Mary Timony, Heather McEntire (Mount Moriah), and others, and producer Eli Crews co-produced several tracks with Mirah in her new hometown of Brooklyn. This is her first full length release since the 2011’s Thao & Mirah collaboration, and 2009’s (a)spera.

Watch New Video from Sylvan Esso

Sylvan

NC up and comers Sylvan Esso will have their self-titled debut LP release May 13 on Partisan, and the “Coffee/Dress” 12” single is already out. We’ve been listening to an advance of the album nonstop around the BLURT penthouse and the consensus is: awesome. Here’s the equally awesome, crazy-ass new video for “Coffee.” And you can catch the band on tour this spring with tUnE-yArDs as well…

Tour dates:

 5/26 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Concert House *
5/27 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge *
5/28 Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre *
5/30 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater *
6/3 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom *
6/5 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre *
6/7 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
6/13 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
6/15 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
6/16 Boston, MA – Royale Boston *
6/18 Montreal, QC – La Tulipe *
6/22 New York, NY – Webster Hall *
6/23 New York, NY – Webster Hall *

* w/ tUnE-yArDs

Merge Records’ 25th Anniversary Festival Details

Merge

Tickets now on sale, yo.

 A message from the good folks of Merge Records:

 Merge Records invites you to North Carolina to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary at Merge 25, a music festival featuring Wye Oak, The Clientele, Destroyer, Caribou, Lambchop (performing Nixon), Neutral Milk Hotel, The Rock*A*Teens, Ex Hex, Bob Mould, The Mountain Goats, Superchunk, The Love Language, and many more.

Tickets for the individual Merge 25 shows at Cat’s Cradle and the outdoor party in Carrboro are on sale via the Cat’s Cradle website. Limit of 2 tickets per customer to each Cradle show and 4 tickets per customer for Saturday’s outdoor party. Children under 10 get in free to the outdoor party when accompanied by an adult ticket holder.

Full band line-ups and more information about other Merge 25 festivities coming soon!

Wednesday, July 23
Baldwin Auditorium
at Duke University, Durham
Lambchop performs Nixon, with more Merge artists to be announced soon!
$35 (on sale April 22 through Duke Performances)

Thursday, July 24
Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro

Superchunk, The Rock*A*Teens, The Clientele, and more!
$49 

Friday, July 25
Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro

Destroyer, Wye Oak, The Mountain Goats, and more!
$49 

Saturday, July 26
Outdoor Party, Carrboro

Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Bob Mould, Ex Hex, The Love Language, and more!
$59 through June 1 / $65 thereafter

Due to the club’s capacity, there are fewer tickets available for Thursday and Friday’s Cat’s Cradle shows than for Saturday’s outdoor show. Tickets to the festival’s opening night at Baldwin Auditorium will go on sale Tuesday, April 22, through Duke Performances.

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Joseph Arthur To Release LP of Lou Reed Songs

Joseph

Watch video of the late rocker’s best known song, below.

 Joseph Arthur recently set about to record his own interpretations of his favorite Lou Reed songs, performing and recording them by himself in his home studio. The results, Lou, will be released on May 13th and marks his debut on Vanguard Records.
The first track out is the classic “Walk on the Wide Side” (Joseph will perform it on  the Letterman show next week, on April 2nd). Check it out:

Comments Arthur, “It’s odd dancing around death, odder still if the death you are dancing around is that of a legend. You just never know what’s appropriate and what’s not, what to share and what to keep inside. There is no blueprint. I loved Lou and we were friends. The last thing I would want to do is turn his life into an opportunity, but at the same time, what better way to honor the man and his music than to celebrate it and sing it and record it?”

 Tracklisting:

1. Walk on the Wild Side
2. Sword of Damocles
3. Stephanie Says
4. Heroin
5. NYC Man
6. Satellite of Love
7. Dirty Blvd.
8. Pale Blue Eyes
9. Magic and Loss
10. Men of Good Fortune
11. Wild Child
12. Coney Island Baby

 78379_Joseph-Arthur_Arthur_Lou__Wo__Stkr__border

Tour Dates:

4/19 – Ringwood, NJ – House Concert
4/30 – Philly, PA – Tin Angel
5/1 – Baltimore, MD – WTMD
5/6 – Chicago, IL – City Winery
5/8 – New York, NY – City Winery
May 10 – Tampa, FL – Heatfest
May 12 – Saratoga, NY – Café Lena
May 14 – Quebec City, QC – Theatre Petit Champlain
May 16 – Eastman, QC – Cabaret Eastman
May 17 – Lavaltrie, QC – La Chasse Galerie
May 22 – Madrid, Spain – Boite Live
May 23 – Santander, Spain – Escenario
May 24 – Sarautz, Spain – Cinema/Theatre Modelo
May 26 – Brussels, Belgium – Les Nuits du Botanique Festival
May 27 – Paris, France – Trabendo

Whoah, it’s ANOTHER Damn Nirvana Book!

CARRIE BORZILLO NIRVANA

Guaranteed to make all the usual suspects’ claws come zinging out… ah, shit. It’s just a reprint of an old book, that wasn’t all that great in the first place. Whatever, nevermind.

 By Uncle Blurt

 We love any Nirvana news here at BLURT. We love any Kurt Cobain news here at BLURT. We even love any Courtney Love news here at BLURT. Why? Because those names are ding-dong search engine catnip and we see our web stats skyrocket everytime we mention ‘em. So here we go once again… guarantee: all press release info reported verbatim.

 ***

 Carlton Books has announced the re-issue of author/journalist Carrie Borzillo’s first book, 2000’s Eyewitness Nirvana: The Day by Day Chronicles, with a new cover, title, and design as Nirvana: In The Words of the People Who Were There on April 1, 2014 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Kurt Cobain.

            The reissued book, which comes in a new 5.5 x 8-inch format, is available everywhere books are sold, including Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Borzillo is also selling a limited number of signed copies direct to the fans via her official website, http://carrieborzillo.com/books.html for $35 (U.S.) and $45 (International), including free shipping. A percentage of each autographed book purchased direct from the author will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org).

            “We lost one of the greatest artists of our generation when Kurt Cobain took his life on April 5, 1994 and it’s a sadness that I still deeply feel today. I have very strong feelings about suicide and mental health issues and wanted to do a small part to give back by donating a percentage of the books I sign and sell to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” says Borzillo.

            Originally released in 2000 as Eyewitness Nirvana: The Day by Day Chronicle, the book has since been released by multiple publishers in a multitude of formats, titles, countries, and languages, including Italian, German, and Spanish. Along with the newest version, Nirvana: In The Words of the People Who Were There, out on April 1, other recent re-issues include the Spanish-language version, Kurt Cobain: La Historia de Nirvana, released on March 18, 2014 by Libros Cúpula and Kurt Cobain: The Nirvana Years, released in October 2013 via Carlton Books. The only truly updated version of the book, however, is the 2003 reissue as Nirvana: The Day to Day Illustrated Journals, which featured more photos and captions and came in the coffee-table size.

 Etc. Okay, let’s get on with those meta-tags, kids! And please, make sure you link back to your good ol’ uncle here, okay?

Jon Langford Serves Up Stream of New LP

Jon L

Pictured above: Mr. L at the recent Blurt day party, which he curated, in Austin during SXSW, taken by Susan Moll.

 Here Be Monsters, the new album by Jon Langford & Skull Orchard, finds the band scanning the outskirts of popular culture, its title born of medieval cartographers’ term for the dragons, sea serpents, and other mythical beasties that reside beyond the boundaries of the known universe.  Earlier today, The New York Times premiered the full album stream a week before its release date on April 1st.  Check it out HERE.

 “There’s a lot of explosive stuff on the record,” Langford said.  “I don’t know if I was fashioning songs to exploit that, but I definitely wanted to make a band album.  It’s not just me strumming an acoustic guitar, sitting ‘round in my basement.”  Jon continued, “It just turned into a really great band.  We existed and it seemed like a time to get everybody fully involved rather than it just being me.”

 Langford plots a clear-eyed, sharp-elbowed course through such far-flung subjects as alternative hierarchies and astronomy, perpetual war for perpetual profit, the culture of detachment, middle age, fatherhood, fame, and the fleetingness of love.  Songs like “If You Hear Rumors” and the rather glorious power ballad, “Sugar On Your Tongue” are provocative and playful, with the hard-charging Skull Orchard kicking out genre-agnostic rock ‘n’ roll as rich and surprising as anything found in Langford’s far-reaching canon.  Added sonic color comes courtesy of New Orleans’ Bonerama Horns, who contribute big brass to “What Did You Do In The War?,” while Leeds’ own Barkley McKay (The Waco Brothers, The Pretty Things) adds Hammond B3 licks to the cheeky “Lil’ Ray O’ Light.”  A seething, stem-winding broadside, “Drone Operator” suggests that raining death from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles named “Reaper” and “Predator” might create a few “boundary issues” in their joystick-wielding, computer-jockey pilots.  It reaches its own frontier with “Don’t Believe,” a declaration of true faith penned and first performed by Langford’s longtime friend, musician/filmmaker/punk icon Viv Albertine.

 “She’s a pal,” says Langford. “I just thought it was such a great song, it said a lot of things that really fit with my subject matter for this album.  It’s kind of like a star map of things not to believe in alongside a star map of things that are solid and tangible and real.  ‘I believe in corrugated iron’ – just fantastic.”

 Best known for his work in The Mekons and the Waco Brothers, Langford has been a leading pioneer in the assimilation of folk/country music into punk rock since the genre’s first evolution over 30 years ago.  Also a renowned and prolific visual artist, he will include individual artwork images specific to each track on the album, marking this release as the most complete unification of his dual creative careers.

 For the upcoming seventh annual Record Store Day on April 19, he will release an exclusive 7″ titled Days & Nights which will feature two brand new studio tracks, “Days & Nights” along with B-Side “Here’s What We Have.”  Langford also recently released a FREE EP via Noisetrade that includes demo tracks from both releases and the studio version of the first single from Here Be Monsters, “Mars.”

Jon

 Tour Dates:

April 3 – Cambridge, MA @ Atwoods Tavern
April 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Bell House
April 5 – Rehoboth Beach, DE @ Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats
April 6 – Arlington, VA @ IOTA Club & Cafe
April 7 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
April 8 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird
April 9 – Newport, KY @ The Southgate House Revival
April 14 – Berwyn, IL @ FitzGerald’s w/ Dave Alvin
April 15-17 – Chicago, IL to Portland, OR @ Roots on the Rails w/ Dave Alvin
April 18 – Portland, OR @ White Eagle co-headline w/ David Olney
April 19 – Seattle, WA @ The Stables
April 20 – Vashon Island, WA @ The Cone Gallery (Free Acoustic show with art)
April 21 – Port Townshend, WA @ The Cellar Door
May 1 – New Orleans, LA @ Le Mieux Gallery (Free show)
May 17 – Portland, ME @ Last Church on the Left
May 18 – Peace Dale, R.I. @ Roots Hoot House Concerts

MP3: Download Rolling Stones’ 3-night March Tokyo Concerts

Stones

Have you heard about the midnight ROIO…

 By Uncle Blurt

 Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking… the Rolling Stones are old, old, old men, close to wheelchair age in fact. Hmph. Well, I’ll grant you that they ain’t as spry as, I dunno, Vampire Weekend. But ask yourself: what would you rather listen to, a smoking version of “Sympathy For the Devil” or one of Vampire Weekend’s whiny little ditties?

 So our friends over at Big O Zine have collected recordings of the Stones’ 3-night run earlier this month at the Tokyo Dome in Japan (as part of their “14 On Fire” tour), and for the most part the MP3s are top notch. Of the Feb. 26, March 4 and March 6 shows, the final one has the best sound, so since the setlists are very similar for each night, if you only nab one of ‘em, grab March 6.

 Big O has each night set up as a two-CD set for download, complete with tray panel and booklet PDFs for download as well. You can see all the details for the third night, for example, below.

 RS14tokyoFr

 RS14tokyoBk

  Disc 1

Intro 2:18 (3.9MB)

Start Me Up 4:20 (7.3MB)

You Got Me Rocking 3:38 (6.1MB)

It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (But I Like It) 5:00 (8.4MB)

Tumbling Dice 5:10 (8.7MB)

Angie 4:10 (7.0MB)

Doom And Gloom 5:00 (8.4MB)

Silver Train (Fan Vote – with Mick Taylor) 5:20 (9.0MB)

Honky Tonk Women 4:20 (7.3MB)

Band Introduction 4:00 (6.7MB)

Slipping Away (with Keith Richards on lead vocals; Mick Taylor joining on guitar) 5:28 (9.2MB)

Happy (with Keith Richards on lead vocals) 5:02 (8.5MB)

Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor) 11:32 (19.4MB)

66 mins

 Disc 2

Miss You 8:04 (13.6MB)

Paint It Black 5:14 (8.8MB)

Gimme Shelter 7:02 (11.8MB)

Jumpin’ Jack Flash 5:32 (9.3MB)

Sympathy For The Devil 7:02 (11.8MB)

Brown Sugar 7:08 (12.0MB)

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with the Senzoku Freshman Singers) 8:50 (14.8MB)

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (with Mick Taylor on acoustic guitar) 9:08 (15.3MB)

Here are the links to each collection of MP3 downloads:

 Tokyo Dome, February 26, 2014

 Tokyo Dome, March 4, 2014

 Tokyo Dome, March 6, 2014