Monthly Archives: April 2014

UPDATE: Antiseen’s Joe Young R.I.P.

Joe Young



North Carolina punk scene mourns the destructo-rock guitarist’s passing.


Friends and fans of Joe Young, longtime guitarist for the equally long-running NC punk band Antiseen, which recently marked its 30th anniversary, are in shock today at the sudden news of Young’s death this morning (April 30). The cause has not yet been announced.

His bandmate, vocalist Jeff Clayton, posted the news on Facebook, writing, “Today we lost my friend and partner of 30 years. Thank you for all the years of love and support that you all have given us. Please keep our brother Jeff Young in your thoughts and prayers. RIP Mighty Joe Young. I love you.”

Meanwhile, NC’s Michael Pilmer, a stalwart of the regional punk scene (and DEVO extended family member) posted to his Facebook page this testimonial:”I loved him like a brother even though I only saw him once or twice a year. He welcomed me, a little kid interested in learning more about this “punk rock” thing I’d heard about, into his group of friends way back in 1983. He was the most friendly & inviting member of ANTiSEEN…and taught me how to play guitar the first few months we knew each other. He changed my life and I will always cherish his memory. R.I.P., brother.”

Young and Clayton, of course, commenced operations as Antiseen back in the early ‘80s and remained the core of the band through innumerable rhythm section changes and an ongoing “evolution,” musically, that encompassed everything from hardcore to garage rock to metal. Essential to the sound were Clayton’s signature vocal growl and Young’s buzzsaw power chord fretwork – no frills, and definitely no filler. They dubbed it “destructo rock” and, indeed, early shows (many of which I was present for) did involve ritual destruction of stage sets and, on Clayton’s part, real blood. The group has remained active throughout the years… until now, I guess.

I’ll have a feature/tribute to Young and Antiseen in the near future, but just to add a personal note here: Like I mentioned above, I was on hand for scores of Antiseen performances, having lived in Charlotte from 1983-1992, and I also worked with Young in my capacity as Music Editor for Creative Loafing newsweekly in Charlotte; Young freelanced for the paper, and he and I collaborated on a number of stories, frequently attending shows together. We’d also hang out at the record store where he worked, and for a guy who helped create such a chaotic scene onstage, offstage he was one of the nicest and most thoughtful, introspective guys I knew during my entire time in Charlotte. Even after I moved away we kept in touch from time to time, either when I was working on a story about Antiseen or just to catch up on local politics, of which he was never less than vocal. (Later, he became a Libertarian and campaigned actively.)

Rest in peace, Joe. You were one of a kind and we will all miss you terribly.

According to the Antiseen Facebook page, memorial service/concert takes place in Charlotte at Tremont Music Hall on Sunday, May 18 at 3 p.m.

UPDATE 5/1: After much searching I found the raw transcript of an interview I did with Joe back in 2003, on the eve of Antiseen’s then-upcoming 20th anniversary. He reflected on the entire career, and I will be publishing the conversation in a few days, but meanwhile, here’s one of my favorite quotes from Joe. “The wildest Charlotte show was at the old Yellow Rose, down on Tyvola. That was the first time I saw Jeff juice himself – bloody himself up – and I had no idea he was gonna do it. I think he was mad because he saw this girl in the front row, maybe he wanted to be with her but she was with somebody else, and it made so mad he busted a Gator Ade bottle and gouged himself in the head then started slinging his head from side to side. I don’t know whether it was the loss of blood or from slinging his head, but he then collapsed on the side of the stage! He just lay there so I kept playing ,and at the end of the song I walked over and kicked him in the head. He finally opened his eyes, and I said, ‘Man, are you gonna finish or do we have to take you to the hospital?’ He got up and said, ‘Naw, I’m all right, let’s finish.’ And we did it. He had blood on every square inch of his face. There was blood on the ceiling, blood on the right of the stage, the left – he slung blood in 20 feet every direction! There was a pretty big crowd there, 200-300 people crammed into that little club, and I’m sure nobody had ever seen anything like that.”



Listen to Unreleased (not anymore…) Arcade Fire Song


Get right with the Fire before they get past you… ahem. Above: non-judgmental looks from the band with their mentor, Stephen Colbert.

By Barbi Martinez (BLURT intern)

It’s apparently called “Get Right” and it’s apparently an unreleased song by Arcade Fire that was teased in an ad last year for Reflektor and it’s also apparently just now posted up by Arcade Fire Tube. Check it out, below, in a live incarnation. (Thanks to Pitchfork for alerting everyone to this.)

Wu-Tang Clan Bitch-slapping Contest Escalates


Niggas be workin’ things out… NOT.


 I love all things Wu. My dad was an early street team member, in fact, back in the mid ‘90s. Which is why I have been increasingly bummed, in a daily OMG/WTF/OFU sense, about the unfolding soap opera over at the Wu-Tang Clan camp, about the on-again/off-again A Bette Tomorrow album.

 I won’t bore you with my spin on it. [Thanks! – Anti-spin Ed.] And don’t even get me started on that “one copy of the LP” stuff. Instead, here is the latest DUH-RAH-MAHH going on, courtesy Stereogum. Please excuse the ‘gum’s occasional “urban” lingo, it just be white folk tryna sound… um, urban.

In recent months we’ve been witness to an escalating feud between Wu-Tang Clan members RZA (who’s desperately trying to assemble one last group LP called A Better Tomorrow) and Raekwon (who declared himself on strike from the Wu because he thinks RZA is an out-of-touch control freak). RZA tried to win Rae over with kindness Monday, telling Hot 97, “When you form Voltron, you need every piece. We need [Raekwon] there. I want him there. I ask him over and over to be there. Let’s just come together.” Now, in an interview with SI Now, RZA has laid down an ultimatum: If Raekwon doesn’t come on board within the next 30 days, the new Wu-Tang album won’t come out. RZA told host Maggie Gray that A Better Tomorrow is slated to come out in July and that as things stand currently he’ll have to decide whether to shelve the album or release it without Raekwon. Because RZA can’t imagine releasing a Wu-Tang album without every living member, he said the more likely scenario is that the record will never see the light of day. He did say he believes he and Rae will work things out, but given the trajectory of this conflict so far, that seems like wishful thinking.Will either of these gargantuan egos budge? Should they? Does Raekwon have an opinion about Once Upon A Time In Shaolin? Is there any chance A Better Tomorrow could possibly live up the heightened expectations that come with so much drama? Stay tuned.

Thanks, Stereogum, for leaving me totally depressed. I am going to go listen to my limited edition Wu-Tang 45 a hundred times in a row. I may even hold my breath until I turn blue.

Robert Plant on Chances Of a Led Zep Reunion: “Zero!”


Jimmy Page remains politely coy on the matter,  however…

 By Uncle Blurt

 Your ol’ Uncle saw Led Zeppelin numerous times back in the day, and as I have always tried to point out to all you young whippersnappers reading this publication, life WAS a fuck of a lot cooler when I was growing up. Think of all those pre-designer drugs I was taking and all that unprotected sex I was having…. But I digress.

 Today on the BBC both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were interviewed about the upcoming bonus track-laden reissues of the first three Led Zep albums—you can hear some previously unreleased music at the BBC report—and at the end of the broadcast the following exchange took place when the interviewer floated the inevitable reunion question.

Page says [in faux-innocent, polite, coy tone of voice] “I’m sure people would love to hear it. I’m not the one to be asking, I don’t sing.”

    Plant, however, is unequivocal. The chances of the band performing live again are, he says rolling his eyes, “zero”. So fans will have to content themselves with the reissued albums. And Robert Plant has one piece of advice for them.

   “These things aren’t to study. They’re to turn up very loud and say, hey, once upon at time, everything was just as easy as this.”

Dang, Percy. I was looking forward to taking drugs and boffing nubile young maidens like I did as a teenager…

Incoming: New Arto Lindsay Album


“It’s a bizarre collision between delicate Brazilian song and filth guitar.  Lindsay, clearly enjoying himself in an intimate club, gets full marks for bravely melding  two apparently incompatible genres, but the best moments are non-vocal, focused instrumental splatter.”
– Clive Bell, The Wire

The first CD which makes up Encyclopedia of Arto (May 20, Northern Spy) includes the tracks that the legendary Arto Lindsay has chosen from his solo albums of the period between 1996 and 2004, “O Corpo Sutil”, “Mundo Civilizado”, “Noon Chill”, “Prize”, “Invoke” and “Salt”, tracks that he wrote with the likes of Amedeo Pace (Blonde Redhead), Marisa Monte, Caetano Veloso, Kassin, Vinicius Cantuaria, as well as the faithful Andrés Levin and Melvin Gibbs.


 In the second CD there a solo performance of Arto, voice and guitar, a naked, cutting sound where the vocal melodies and the atonal guitar playing manage to epitomize all his “musical poetics”. Besides an unreleased track titled “Pony”, there  are tracks from the aforementioned solo albums, including covers of Prince and Al Green, which revolutionize the studio versions recorded on “Mundo Civilizado.” Not to mention unreleased covers by Chico Buarque and also of the tradition of carioca Samba “Maneiras” (lead to success in Brazil by Zeca Pagodinho) and of the Samba Reggae “O Mais Belos Dos Belos” of Bahia.

It’s an Arto world, and the rest of us just live in it…



Chapel Hill’s Spider Bags Inks Deal with Merge


It’s a Tarheel marriage, part webby, part shotgun, all good!

Spider Bags frontman Dan McGee gushed forth recently about his band’s signing with tastemaker (and fellow NC institution) Merge Records:

 “On a bright clear day sometime in the near or distant future, Quetzalcoatl will come to Earth. Upon arrival, he will scorch a tract of barren land and draw a line in the ash with his terrible talon. On one side of the line he will place Merge; on the other, everything else. Those on the Merge side will then take hold of the mighty winged serpent’s scales and fly with him to live among the stars. They will know all the color and magic of existence, happy and free forever. Those on the other side? Well… we’re glad we’re with Merge.”

 McGee formed Spider Bags in 2006, and the band now includes Rock Forbes on drums and Steve Oliva on bass. We look forward to releasing Spider Bags’ first full-length record for Merge later this summer, but in the meantime, listen to a couple of tracks from 2012’s incredible Shake My Head at Odessa Records. Keep up with the band at their newly-launched websiteFacebook page.

Blurt review of the band’s Shake My Head is right here, bubba!

Omnivore Readies Soundtrack To Harry Dean Stanton Film


Partly Fiction gets the colored wax treatment to boot…

  Harry Dean Stanton: 250 films and counting. Oh, and vocalist? The many facets of Harry Dean Stanton are explored in Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, a critically acclaimed documentary directed by Sophie Huber that has been screened at more than 50 festivals, both internationally and in the U.S. (including its stateside premiere at SXSW in 2013). It documents the iconic actor in his intimate moments and features film clips, as well as Stanton performing his own heartbreaking renditions of country and folk songs. The film explores Stanton’s enigmatic outlook on his life, his unexploited talents as a musician, and includes scenes with David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Sam Shepard, Deborah Harry, Kris Kristofferson, and others.

On June 3, Omnivore Recordings will release this intimate soundtrack recording (recorded in Harry Dean’s living room) on CD, digital and LP (first pressing on limited-edition orange vinyl) to bring Stanton’s musical talents to light. Stanton is accompanied by Jamie James on all tracks, and Don Was on select tracks.

 [The release contains both tracks from Omnivore’s Record Store Day 7” picture disc, which solod out immediately: a cover of the 1983 George Jones hit “Tennessee Whiskey” and a new version of “Canción Mixteca,” the Mexican folk song Stanton originally recorded with Ry Cooder for Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas.]

 Other classic covers in the set are “Blue Bayou,” “Danny Boy,” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” written by Stanton friend (and contributor to the film) Kris Kristofferson.

 According to director Huber, “Harry Dean Stanton and I met in the ’90s and we have been friends ever since. Years before I came up with the idea to make this portrait, I started recording songs with Harry Dean. There were hardly any recordings ever made with him, even though he had been invited by renowned musicians to record in their studios. I went up to his house with a microphone and a laptop and started recording songs with him there, where he felt most comfortable.”

 The film, released theatrically late last year, will be released on iTunes in the U.S. in early May and on DVD (simultaneously with the soundtrack) on June 3.

 Track List:

1. Blue Bayou
2. Everybody’s Talkin’
3. She Thinks I Still Care
4. Canción Mixteca
5. When I Get My Rewards
6. Promised Land
7. He’ll Have To Go
8. Help Me Make It Through the Night
9. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
10. Tennessee Whiskey
11. Hands on the Wheel
12. Danny Boy

It’s Moogfest, Bitch!



By Barbi Martinez (Blurt intern)

This week, some of the greatest artists in music past, present and future will converge on Asheville for Moogfest 2014. Not attending? Maybe this unforgettable lineup featuring Kraftwerk 3D, M.I.A., Pet Shop Boys, and dozens more will convince you. It is hand’s down the best, most progressive one slated for the entirety of 2014, and if you don’t believe that, you haven’t noticed that all the U.S. festivals this year feature the same acts, over and over and over. See ya there!

Brace Yourself, It’s a New OFF! Video


Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall) and Brian Posehn (Mr. Show), play fascists who get what they deserve. Cameos by Danny Carey, Dale Crover, David Yow and Jack Grisham, no less.

 By Barbi Martinez (Blurt Intern)

 My father used to tell me you always get what you deserve in this life, and that comes through loud and clear, and then quite LOUD AND CLEAR, in the new video from punk rock soon-to-be-legends OFF!. The band is made up of already-legends of the punk world, and the song “Red White and Black” comes from the new OFF! album Wasted Years.

This information comes from the OFF! camp:

 “Following the release of their barn-burning new album Wasted Years, OFF! have released a video for album track “Red White and Black” starring Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall) and Brian Posehn (Mr. Show) directed by The Admiral, with cameos by Danny Carey (Tool), Dale Crover (Melvins), David Yow (Jesus Lizard), and Jack Grisham (TSOL). The video depicts a raucous fascist music rally at a bar staffed by OFF!, who tip off a group of community activists ready to shut the party down by any means necessary. Cue the choreographed fight sequences.”

 As our editor is prone to writing, “Well, all right then!” I should add that I am personally waiting for David Yow to make his debut as a leading man in a major Hollywood feature.

 Current tour dates below. The band also has a special limited edition Record Store Day 7” release in stores this coming Saturday, April 19.

 4/15 – Neurolux – Boise, ID

4/16 – The Loading Dock – Salt Lake City, UT

4/18 – Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO, NM

4/19 – Marquis Theater – Denver, CO

4/21 – Club Congress – Tucson, AZ

4/22 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ

4/23 – The Roxy – Los Angeles, CA

5/7 – Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN

5/8 – Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL

5/9 – Small’s Bar – Detroit, MI

5/10 – Lee’s Palace (CMW) – Toronto, ON

5/12 – Asbury Lanes – Asbury Park, NJ

5/15 – Ottobar – Baltimore, MD

5/16 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, PA

5/17 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY

5/18 – Middle East – Boston, MA

5/20 – Exit/In – Nashville, TN

5/22 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX

5/23 – Club Dada – Dallas, TX

5/24 – Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM

5/26 – Punk Rock Bowling – Las Vegas, NV

10/2 – The Exchange – Bristol, UK

10/3 – Oslo – London, UK

10/4 – Queens Social Club- Sheffield, UK

10/5 – King Tuts – Glasgow, UK

10/7 – Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds, UK

10/8 – The Haunt – Brighton, UK

10/10 – Nouveau Casino – Paris, France

10/11 – AB Club – Brussels, Belgium  

10/12 – 013 Small Hall – Tilburg, Holland

10/14 – Logo – Hamburg, Germany

10/15 – SO36 – Berlin, Germany

10/17 – Conne Island – Leipzig, Germany

10/18 – OO7 – Prague, Czech Republic

10/19 – A38 – Budapest, Hungary

10/21 – Strom – Munich, Germany

10/22 – Komplex Klub – Zurich, Switzerland

10/23 – Gebaude 9 – Cologne, Germany

10/25 – Debaser Strand – Stockholm, Sweden

AC/DC To Split; Malcolm Young’s Health Cited


UPDATE: The band reportedly will tour this year with a temporary replacement guitarist.

Rhythm guitarist/band founder rumored to have had a stroke, and possibly has Alzheimer’s.

 By Fred Mills

 In terms of band breakups, this one’s huge: this morning the Australian media kicked into a frenzy after Perth radio station 6PR read an email from a person calling himself “Thunderstruck” floating the rumor that AC/DC was on the verge of splitting up:

 “I have extremely good contacts in Europe that are very close to AC/DC. I have it on very good authority that one of the band members is quite ill and has returned to Australia with his family. AC/DC members have previously made a pact that no band members will be replaced should someone need to leave the band. No more is currently being said, however the particularly ill member of AC/DC’s son has stated that AC/DC may well be over.”

 The member in question is Malcolm Young, who in the past has been rumored is afflicted with early onset of Alzheimer’s, although no confirmation of that has occurred. In the current situation, Young is rumored to have suffered a stroke that left a blood clot on his brain, but that has yet to be confirmed as well. AD/DC headquarters Albert Music has not issued a statement yet. (Go here to read a lengthy report on Young, including presumed details about the stroke.)

 Meanwhile, back in February it was reported that the band would be going into the studio in May, additionally planning a 40th anniversary tour, although in reports around that time vocalist Brian Johnson acknowledged that one of the members was indeed very ill. Johnson is quoted as saying, “We didn’t like to say anything, and we’re very private about things like this, so we didn’t wanna say anything. But I think we’ll be going in the studio in May in Vancouver.”

 Full details as they emerge.