Monthly Archives: April 2014

Best. Song. Now. Listen to Power Pop Gem from Nine Times Blue

Nine Times Blue

Sometimes we say things that we do not mean… but not this time. Thinking about making the “Best. Song. Now.” a recurring feature here. The Atlanta band makes for the perfect debut…

 By Fred Mills

 Jeezus… this is the best song I’ve heard in… what the hell, gonna go out on a limb and say in at least the last year. Not. Kidding. That’s a lot of fucking tunes, my friends, but I know my power pop and I know when I hear something classic, and potentially timeless. It’s called “Falling After You” and it’s by Atlanta combo Nine Times Blue (yeah, Google that band name for a reference; you’ll get a pretty cool secret thrill, just like I did). I cannot get this one out of my head, and I’m not ashamed to testify to that. Dig:

The album is titled Matter Of Time and it is currently in heavy rotation around the BLURT space station. Song after song here connects, on the same level that—and yes, I repeat other writers’ praise and comparisons here, so sue me—Smithereens, ‘mats and Gin Blossoms, or earlier, Big Star and dB’s. Maybe even some Don Dixon and fellow Atlanteans The Producers as well. The album is that immediate, that infectious, and it dropped a few weeks ago via the Renegade Recordings label. Here are the links you need for the time being. Your path is clear.

https://www.facebook.com/ninetimesblue

Holy Shit, Are Those Mike Cooper Reissues on the Horizon?

Mike Cooper

This record label knows of what it enthuses over…

 By Blurt Staff

 Paradise of Bachelors is set to offer up, on June 17, the first artist-sanctioned reissues-and first-ever vinyl reissues-of iconoclastic English-born, Rome-based folk and experimental music legend Mike Cooper’s classic trio of early 1970s avant-folk-rock records: Trout Steel (1970), Places I Know (1971), and The Machine Gun Co. with Mike Cooper (1972), out June 17th. The latter two titles are presented for the very first time as the definitive double album, as Cooper originally intended them to be released.

 Here’s the background story, courtesy of the estimable archivists at PoB:

 With the oddly evocative choice of his third solo album’s title, appropriated from Richard Brautigan’s 1967 surrealist-pastoral novel Trout Fishing in America, Mike Cooper might very well have been describing his own mercurial musical practice.  “Trout Steel” suggests a reflective, highly mutable, quicksilver riverine element, an apt metaphor for the lap steel runs summoned from his trademark National resophonic guitars and his restless, constantly evolving development as a singer, composer, interpreter, and improviser.

 By the time the Rolling Stones invited him to join the band in the early ’60s, and he politely declined (true story; Brian Jones took the gig), he had already progressed far beyond the circumscribed bounds of their early, hip-histrionic Albionic blues. By the time he was rumored to have retired from music in the mid ’70s, disappearing from his home in Southern England into Southern Spain to become a fisherman (an amusing fiction; he suffers from seasickness), he had already moved beyond his heady homebrew of progressive, free jazz-framed songcraft into increasingly less conventionally structured frontiers of open improvisation and later, electronic composition.

 The molting began in 1970 with Trout Steel, on which Cooper took a decisive step away from the folk and blues scenes in which he was well-known-he had toured with Michael Chapman and traveled in the same circles as Bert Jansch, Wizz Jones, and Davey Graham, among others-toward the New Thing jazz of Pharaoh Sanders, Sonny Sharrock, and Derek Bailey, without sacrificing any of his lyrical songwriting or forsaking his established roots in the soil of the American Southern vernacular.

 The Machine Gun Co. band (named for the 1968 Peter Brötzmann album) coalesced around Cooper’s desire to continue the improvisatory path forged on Trout Steel in a more sustainable manner, with a steady core group of likeminded musicians able to buttress its daring, long-form improvisatory vaults with a bedrock foundation. The sessions veered from the impeccable conceptual folk-rock artistry of Places I Know to the utterly singular “songmaking” deconstructions of the more radical The Machine Gun Co., wherein the band erects lapidary arrangements reminiscent of Tim Buckley, only to dismantle them into virtuosic passages of Beefheartian free-jazz scree and skronk.

Check out the song “The Singing Tree” from Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co. With Mike Cooper. Check that out right here.

  TROUT STEEL (1970)

A1. “That’s How” 4.22

A2. “Sitting Here Watching” 3.14

A3. “Goodtimes” 3.29

A4. “I’ve Got Mine” 11.22

A5. “A Half Sunday Homage to a Whole Leonardo da Vinci (without words by Richard Brautigan)” 1.36

B1. “Don’t Talk Too Fast” 3.24

B2. “Trout Steel” 2.25

B3. “In the Mourning” 5.21

B4. “Hope You See” 4.20

B5. “Pharaoh’s March” 7.16

B6. “Weeping Rose” 3.23

PLACES I KNOW/THE MACHINE GUN CO. WITH MIKE COOPER (1971-72)

A1. “Country Water” 3.04

A2. “Three Forty-Eight (Blues for or Against Andalusia)” 3.49

A3. “Night Journey” 5.09

A4. “Time to Time” 8.27

B1. “Paper and Smoke” 3.55

B2. “Broken Bridges” 4.38

B3. “Now I Know” 4.57

B4. “Goodbye Blues, Goodbye” 4.53

B5. “Places I Know” 2.25

C1. “Song for Abigail” 9.02

C2. “The Singing Tree” 5.36

C3. “Midnight Words” 3.28

D1. “So Glad (That I Found You)” 15.19

D2. “Lady Anne” 5.15

Watch Disguised Drake Interview Men-On-The-Street About… Hisself

Drake

Chickenhead?!?

 By Barbi Martinez (Blurt intern)

 I used to LOOOOOOVE Drake… until he beat up his girlfriend. Wait, that was Chris Brown. Okay, reboot: I used to LOOOOOOOOVE Drake, until he got  drunk and urinated in public. Or so the folks at Jimmy Kimmel told us the other night. If it’s on TV (and subsequently on the internet), it must be true! Don’t worry, you’ll understand in a moment. Hint: wait for the “reveal” at the end. The “chickenhead” comment was okay, but not really viral-worthy. That sex tape might be worth watching soon, but not if he’s in the beard. We’re all about the Tigers fan, though… PS to Drake: Those weren’t Ray-bans, love, ur fren, Barbi.

Art Rocks Athens Festival May 23-25; Kickstarter Campaign Winding Up

Kate

Just a few days left for the Kickstarter… full details below, along with a video of the B-52s’ classic“Private Idaho”.

 By Blurt Staff

 It’s The Bit-52’s of YouTube Rock Lobster fame! They have reunited to promote the Art Rocks Athens Festival and Kickstarter with a delightful cover of “Private Idaho” by the B-52’s.  Check it out:

Meanwhile, the May 23-25 Art Rocks Athens Festival will celebrate the Athens art explosion that predates the music scene of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. According to the organizers, “The musicians who came after were deeply connected with the featured artists. The exhibitions and performances happening in Athens, Georgia on Memorial Day Weekend 2014 explore the art of Athens from this time and the connection to the famous music scene that came after.”

 You can pledge to the ARA Kickstarter campaign right here – as of this writing, there are 6 days left to go in the campaign. Heck, you should click on that link anyway just to view some of the images and artifacts and read about the Athens scene! From the Kickstarter page: “Art Rocks Athens is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the preservation and celebration of art in Athens and its influence on music. The purpose of the current Kickstarter is to raise funds for our flagship 2014 exhibitions, primarily in May, with many scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. Artists have been uploading digital images of their art for collection in a museum-quality database, where the work is being cataloged. Graphic artists have been uploading images in staggering numbers of posters, flyers, album cover art and other ephemera.  Additionally, Art Rocks has located many rare artifacts [such as B-52s member Ricky Wilson’s guitar, below] from this time period.”  

  Guitar

Additionally, Kate Pierson of the B-52s (pictured at the top of the page with Cindy Wilson) offered her own observations about Athens and its storied heritage:

 When I moved to Athens in 1973 to do a ‘back to the land’ thing, I had no idea what wonders were in store for me. I lived in a tenant farmer’s shack, owned by Eloise Maxwell, that had no running water or heat, for $15 a month.Certainly, there was no big music scene in Athens yet, and downtown had two feed stores, the Farmer’s Hardware, and a bizarre used shoe store featuring a huge pile of old shoes in it’s center. Most famously, there was The Potter’s House Thrift store – a treasure trove of mystery and delight.

       After a year of living off the land I finally got a job in town, and met the ‘bohemian underground of Athens’, partly fueled by the Art School at the University of Georgia. There was a strong fraternity and sorority element at the school but my new friends ran with the wild crowd! Together, we formed a creative group of people including art students, poets, writers, experimental musicians, storytellers and true eccentrics. We crashed parties for free beer, crashed the Circus, the only disco in town, and danced crazy. When UGA showed Fellini’s films, Jeremy Ayers hosted a Fellini party where blazing cocktails were served and Felliniesque costumes were required.

       We had Parties where we would dance to ‘silent music’ at the secret garden on UGA campus – we’d dance in the cemetery and at John Taylor’s house. Once, out in the cow pasture by my house, we listened to an African tribal music tape on loan from the UGA music library. Ricky Wilson placed his boom box in the field where we drew a circle of cows around us who bobbed their heads to the music while we danced. Everything we did was for ‘art’ and for pure amusement, since we had to make our own fun. Everyone was interesting and we all in the ‘deadbeat club’ had time to listen and cherish the moment and each other. Anyone could join in, as long as they were open to all possibilities. The mantra was, ‘everyone is a genius’ ! Or, as Megan Timberlake famously said, ‘Together we’re a genius’ !

       This scene was truly the beginning of many imaginative endeavors, including the birth of the B-52s. This creative atmosphere, born in part from the Art School, and UGA film series and music library, sparked ’the scene’ that was to become the new Athens, GA.”

Jesse Winchester 1944-2014 R.I.P.

Jesse Winchester

One of the great godfathers of the current Americana scene.

By Fred Mills

Quintessential songwriter Jesse Winchester passed away Friday morning (April 11) in his town of Charlottesville, VA, following a long battle with cancer. He was 69.

NPR Music commented on Winchester’s Americana godfather status, stating, “Winchester ranks among the elite group of singer-songwriters who can captivate an audience with just his words, his voice and an acoustic guitar. The musician is revered by everyone from James Taylor and Lyle Lovett to Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris.”

In addition to being a huge influence upon a couple of generations of songwriters, Winchester also demonstrated a strong moral compass. In 1967, when the Vietnam War was raging, he opted to relocate to Montreal, Canada, in order to avoid being drafted into the army, and he was subsequently granted amnesty by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, allowing him to return to the United States. However, at times his reputation as a draft-dodger damaged his ability to tour extensively. Just the same, he released a slew of well-regarded albums and even had a Top 40 hit in ’81 with “Say What.”

Go here to download a terrific 1982 concert, and meanwhile, check out the clips, below.

Nightmares On Wax Preps Best-of LP, Rare US Tour

Nightmares pic

As the saying goes, now is the time for the dude’s resurgence.

 By Blurt Staff

  The Nightmares on Wax story is one that spans decades and genres. The moniker of George Evelyn, he stands as Warp Records’ longest serving artist with both celebrating their 25th anniversary in existence this year. To mark this occasion NOW is releasing N.O.W. Is The Time, a 2-disc best of release comprising the greatest hits as well as a special edition box set Deep Down: Remixes & Rarities which also features unreleased material, new and classic remixes, and a book of memorabilia and interviews. It’s all set for June 17 via Warp.

Nightmares

 Nightmares on Wax came up in the ‘80s UK B-Boy and graffiti scene enamored with New York Hip Hop and was an innovator in merging those sounds and feelings with the popular sounds of the UK at that time to pioneer the mashup of hip-hop, funk, dub and soul – what became dubbed ‘trip-hop’. He released classic albums such as Smokers Delight and Carboot Soul and worked with the likes of De La Soul and Roots Manuva. His recent Boiler Room DJ Set has over half a million views and after his successful US tour following the release of his most recent record Feelin’ Good he is about to embark on his largest US tour to date.

 JUNE

18 – Neumos, Seattle, WA

20-22 – What The Festival?, Dufur, OR

21 – Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA

22 – Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

23 – House Of Blues, San Diego, CA

24 – Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ

26- Belly Up, Aspen, CO

27 – Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO

28 – Gothic Theatre, Denver, CO

JULY

1- Majestic Theatre, Madison, WI

3 – Concorde Music Hall, Chicago, IL

4 – The Parish (DJ Set), Austin, TX

5 – Magic Stick, Detroit, MI

6 – Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH

9 – Irving Plaza, New York, NY

10 – Paradise, Boston, MA
11 -13 – Hudson Project, Saugerties, NY

12 – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA

16 – Asheville Music Hall, Asheville, NC

18-20 – Forecastle Festival, Louisville, KY

19 – Georgia Theatre, Athens, GA

20 – Terminal West, Atlanta, GA

21 – Grand Central, Miami, FL

Thee Silver Mt Zion Has a Message 4 U

Silver Mt

Remix EP as followup to most recent full-length.

 By Blurt Staff

 Following their Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everythingreleased in January, Constellation Recs’ Thee Silver Mt Zion dusted off an old chesnut from their 2005 album Horses In The Sky and coat it in glitter and shards of glass; not remixes really, but brand new recordings that use set-closing live favourite “Hang On To Each Other” as a launching point for some rather glorious dancefloor excursions.

The EP will be available in stores April 29, and from the band directly during their upcoming North American tourLISTEN: “Birds Toss Precious Flowers”

 ***

 It’s like that famous quote that Emma Goldman never said = “DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION”! Somewhere around 1964 or thereabouts, we wrote a tune called “Hang On to Each Other”. Acapella mostly, with just a few chords on harmonium. Recorded the thing in the woods ’round a campfire = heady times.

    The chords to that tune are like house music chords, and we figured we’d re-record it someday, thusly and EARNESTLY. 4-on-the-floor. Drum machines and arpeggiators. Pink lasers and grape-flavored smoke machines. Most important thing = No irony.

    Because we love that kind of music, and impromptu dance parties too.

    Guess it took a long time to manifest, but this past x-mas we finally rustled up the necessary gear and holed up in the snow to loop thee joyful noise = 808, Oberheim Two-Voice, bright yellow toy keyboard, low pass filter, auto-wah bass guitar, wooden drone-box, squeaky tape delay, broken oscillator, string machine, distortion pedal, and violin. No guitar. We let the machines yell at each other until they were hoarse and wheezing. With a baby in her belly, Ariel Engle of AroarA did the kind of singing that we can’t, and we are thankful. Outside of the studio, the city was frozen, and thin tendrils of fine snow whisped across the ice like dragons.

    We made this thing like a for-real disco 12-inch, for to give to d.j.’s to play because we live in the kind of town where some d.j.’s maybe will. Much respect and much love to thee sweaty dancers, and the lost ones, and the ones who fell away.

    – xoxoxox thee silver mt. zion memorial orchestra

Download Free Girl Talk and Freeway Mix EP

Girl Talk

“Sample obsessed” and “dynamic high powered flow” indeed. Warming: Parental Advisory! Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be deejays.

 By Barbi Martinez (Blurt intern)

 We are totally loving the new Girl Talk & Freeway’s “Broken Ankles” EP today (download here). It is a followup to last week’s “Tolerated ft. Waka Flocka Flame” video, which itself was a followup, in a sense, to Girl Talk’s 2010 release All Day. Yesterday (April 8) there was also a new track leaked, “I Can Hear Sweat ft. Jadakiss.”

 About the GT/F EP: “Combining both artists’ distinct, high-energy styles, the “Broken Ankles” EP reflects the meticulous nature of Girl Talk’s prior work while setting a fitting pace for Freeway’s dynamic, high-powered flow, and keeping in line with the Girl Talk aesthetic, the varied range of songs are all tied seamlessly together. Over the past several months as the two have put the finishing touches on ‘Broken Ankles,’ they’ve enlisted guest verses from Young Chris and the aforementioned Waka Flocka and Jadakiss.”

  “Broken Ankles” EP for free download: http://www.datpiff.com/Girl-Talk-Freeway-Broken-Ankles-EP-mixtape.594399.html

 “Broken Ankles” sample list can be found at http://bit.ly/1kHaX25

Listen to Special Moogfest Mix in Advance of Festival

Moog

This is way more interesting than Coachella, IMHO…

 BY BARBI MARTINEZ (Blurt Intern)

 Moogfest is just over 2 weeks away in Asheville, NC, and as you already know—if you don’t know, yer a putz—it features Kraftwerk, Moderat, Bernie Worrell, Janell Monae, Pet Shop Boys, Flying Lotus, M.I.A., Giorgio Moroder and tons more spread across the April 23-27 blowout.

 And the 11th installment of the acclaimed Moogfest Mixes series has been posted to the event’s interactive Tumblr page. The 28-minute mix is pretty awesome. It had me itching to do a disco-themed pole dance for my boyfriend. I just might, at that! *squeal!*