Monthly Archives: May 2014

Blink! Whoah, You Missed that Ltd. Ed. Spoon Colored Vinyl Reissue LP!


Yes, it is sold out, does the term “limited edition of 500 copies” resonate?

By Uncle Blurt

Everyone probably knows by now that your ol’ Uncle has a serious jones for colored vinyl, having been smitten back when I was but a wee uncle-in-the-making and came across a copy of Dave Mason’s first solo album Alone Together pressed on marbled wax. So when word came that Newbury Comics was issuing another one of its colored vinyl exclusives (like the Fleet Foxes record we reviewed at Blurt not long ago) for popular indie rock band Spoon, I immediately called my bank, verified my credit card balance, and logged on to the interwebs to pre-order my copy of the Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga LP on transparent red vinyl.

spoon lp

Sob! I wasn’t fast enough. According to a message posted at the Newbury order page, “This Newbury Comics Colored Vinyl Exclusive Pre-order is now SOLD OUT on Limited quantities will be available at Newbury Comics Locations on the release date.”

Checking the original listing I also spotted this notation: “This exclusive vinyl pre-order is limited to (5) per customer and will be available while supplies last.” Dang. So if I had been the 99th or even the 100th customer I would have been able to score 5 copies of the red vinyl, limited-to-500 copies platter? I gotta be more quick on the draw next time. If someone is going to be in Boston around the June 24 official release date, please get in touch with me….

Benefit Show to Feature NC Bands’ Reunions, incl. Let’s Active


Takes place over two nights, August 8 & 9, at the venerable Cat’s Cradle club.

By Fred Mills

It’s a Tarheel music scene fan’s wet dream: in August, for two nights, a slew of beloved NC groups will be joining forces for a good cause, and among those groups will be the Pressure Boys, Connells, Dex Romweber Duo, A Number of Things, a kind of NC “supergroup” called Cheryl Parkers 116th Dream — and a revived Let’s Active, whose founder, Mitch Easter, has performed as a solo act in recent years but certainly not under the LA name.

As you will note from the concert poster above, the show is being dubbed “Be Loud! ’14” and is a benefit for the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, which supports adolescent and young adult cancer patients, along with their families, being treated at UNC Hospitals. (Go here to find out more details on the Foundation.) There will be three separate shows over the course of August 8 and 9, including a Saturday matinee, all hosted by Carrboro’s venue Cat’s Cradle:

Friday Night
The Pressure Boys
The Connells
Dex Romweber Duo

Saturday Night
The Pressure Boys
Let’s Active
A Number of Things
Saturday Matinee
Tom Maxwell
Cheryl Parkers 116th Dream (featuring members of Satellite Boyfriend, The Popes and Dillon Fence)
Sacrificial Poets
Cosmic Punk

Regarding Let’s Active, it’s not known just yet who will be joining guitarist Easter onstage, although it’s rumored that original drummer Sara Romweber, who currently plays with her Brother Dex, may be holding down kit duties; original bassist Faye Hunter passed away, tragically, a year ago. Regardless, it will be a rare treat to hear classic LA material live once again after all this time. Below, take a mini-flashback. Check this link for the Facebook invite page with more details.

Download a Recent Lee Ranaldo & the Dust Euro Show

Lee Ranaldo

May 25 in Belgium, and you can be there now too! Below you can also watch a video clip of Ranaldo playing live.

By Fred Mills

Lee Ranaldo and his new band The Dust—featuring his erstwhile Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley along with fellow guitar whiz Alan Licht and bassist Tim Luntzel—have been in Europe recently, touring behind his 2013 opus Last Night On Earth, getting rave notices from the fan community. So it’s no surprise that some high quality recordings have been surfacing, including last week’s show at De Kreun, Kortrijk, Belgium on May 25.

The good folks at Big O Zine have now made the entire concert available as a free MP3 download, along with corresponding artwork should you want to burn the tracks to disc. It’s a solid audience recording with some slight boominess in places but, overall, a must-hear show if you are a fan of Ranaldo (or, of course, Sonic Youth), highlighted by the LNOE material as well as a killer cover of Wire’s “Mannequin.”

Full setlist is below, and you can get it here: Lee Ranaldo Belgium 5/25/14

Ambulancer 6:28
Last Night on Earth 5:29
Angles 3:27
Lecce, Leaving 7:51
Home Chds 8:27
Off The Wall 3:18
Key/Hole 10:39
Xtina As I Knew Her 7:57
The Rising Tide 13:42
Mannequin [Wire] 2:33
Fire Island (Phases) 7:05
Late Descent #2 3:55
Blackt Out 14:16

Incoming: CSNY Box Set of Legendary ’74 Tour


Summer of love, Laurel Canyon style, hailing from 40 years ago. Watch a classic video clip, below.
By Blurt Staff

Forty previously unreleased tracks recorded forty years ago comprise CSNY 1974, due July 7 from Rhino. The box set includes all 40 tracks, a 188-page booklet of never before seen tour photos, and a bonus DVD of previously unreleased concert footage; the box is available as a 3CD/DVD set or Pure Audio Blu-Ray (192kHz/24-bit)/DVD set.

While the outdoor stadium tour that spanned more than two months, and included 31 concerts in 24 cities (with combined audiences of over a million people) has yielded a number of highly regarded bootlegs over the years, this marks the first official release of the material. Produced by Graham Nash and Joel Bernstein, the box set mirrors the electric/acoustic/electric format that the band followed each night on stage, representing an idealized version of a show from the tour.

The box set includes some of CSNY’s best-known music; songs like “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Helpless,” “Wooden Ships,” and “Teach Your Children.” During the 1974 tour, CSNY also introduced new songs that emerged later on various albums, like Crosby’s “Time After Time,” Nash’s “Fieldworker,” and Stills’ “First Things First.” Several songs by Young are previously unreleased, including “Traces,” “Love/Art Blues,” “Goodbye Dick,” and “Hawaiian Sunrise.”

CSNY 1974 will be available in multiple configurations:

•    CSNY 1974 (3CD & Bonus DVD)  – Boxed set with 40 audio tracks on 3 CDs, a bonus DVD of 8 previously unreleased, restored archival video performances & a 188-page booklet
•    CSNY 1974 (Pure Audio Blu-Ray & Bonus DVD) – 40 high-resolution 192kHz/24-bit audio tracks on a Pure Audio Blu-Ray disc, plus the bonus DVD & a 188-page booklet
•    CSNY 1974 (Digital) – All audio tracks will be available for download.
•    CSNY 1974 (Single CD)- 16 tracks, electric and acoustic, selected from the collection
•    CSNY 1974 (Starbucks Exclusive – US & Canada) – 12 acoustic/semi-acoustic tracks on a single CD, plus full album digital download.
•    CSNY 1974 (Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set) – Individually numbered edition of 1,000 copies, available exclusively through CSNY. Housed in custom wood box featuring:- All 40 tracks on six 180-gram 12″ vinyl records, housed in hardbound LP folio case.
– 40 high-quality audio tracks on a Pure Audio Blu-Ray disc
– Digital download of full 40 tracks.
– Bonus DVD
– Coffee Table size book of never before seen photos from the 1974 tour.


Here’s A Track From The Upcoming Bishop Allen Album


New record will arrive in August.

By Blurt Staff

The new Bishop Allen record, Lights Out, drops Aug. 19 on Dead Oceans and is the follow-up to 2009’s Grrr… Luckily, you don’t have to wait until August to hear the opening track, “Start Again.” Check it out:

Thus far the band, with ten years under its belt, has released three albums and 12 EPs, additionally scoring the films Bully and Mutual Friends, as well as an Anderson Cooper 360 special. Here’s who worked on Lights Out: Justin Rice (vocals, guitar, synths), Michael Tapper (drums, backing vocals, synths), Darbie Nowatka (vocals), Dave Lerner (bass, additional guitar, backing vocals), Christian Rudder (additional guitar), Matthew Cullen (additional guitar), Eli Walker (additional bass), Ken Cook (backing vocals), Anne Cunningham (backing vocals), and Jon Natchez (horns).  It was produced and mixed by Matthew Cullen in Bishop Allen’s hometown of Kingston, NY.

Meanwhile, the band will tour in support of the album this fall, dates tba.




Watch New Video from Soulman Lee Fields


Killer new album it’s culled from drops next week.

By Blurt Staff

Soul vet Lee Fields & The Expressions will release new album Emma Jean next Tuesday, June 3 on Truth & Soul Records and the latest video from the album for “Just Can’t Win” was just released today. Directed by Raj Debah, the video features Fields as a boxing coach guiding Boardwalk Empire’s Margot Bingham to victory. It was shot throughout New York City including the Coney Island Boardwalk, Fight Factory in Brooklyn and Jimmy’s Corner in Times Square.

Emma Jean is the follow up to Fields’ widely praised first two Truth & Soul albums—2009’s My World and 2012’s Faithful Man. His band will be touring extensively behind the record—check dates, below.

May 29 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom *Record Release Show

Jun 04 London, UK – XOYO

Jun 05 Paris, France, La Maroquinerie

Jun 07 Erfurt, Germany – Franz Mehlhose

Jun 08 Gent, Belgium – Balzaal

Jun 09 Raalte, Netherlands – Ribs & Blues Festival

Jun 10 Hamburg, Germany – Mojo

Jun 12 Stockholm, Sweden – Nalen

Jun 14 Bergen, Norway – Bergenfest

Jun 21 Philadelphia, PA – Make Music Philly at Penn’s Landing

Jun 27 San Francisco – The Fillmore

Jun 28 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour

Jun 30 San Diego, CA – Casbah

Jul 02 Victoria, BC – Upstairs Cabaret

Jul 03 Vancouver, BC – The Imperial

Jul 04 Seattle, WA – Neptune

Jul 05 & 06 Portland, OR – Waterfront Blues Festival

Jul 12 Chicago, IL – West Fest

Jul 25 Calgary, AB – Calgary Folk Music Festival

Jul 26 Edmonton, AB – Interstellar Rodeo

Aug 03 Johnstown, PA – Flood City Music Festival

Aug 08 Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany – Haldern Pop Festival

Aug 09 Bad Windsheim, Germany – Weinturm Open Air Festival

Aug 24 Burlington, VT – WYSIWYG Festival at Burlington College

Aug 28 – Aug 30 Marshall, NC – Transfigurations II

Sep 11 Fredericton, NB – Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival

Sep 12 – Sep14 Telluride, CO – Telluride Blues & Brews


Track Premiere: Indie-rock Brilliance from Tucson’s La Cerca

La Cerca

Currently topping the BLURT playlist of essential album advances… Sunrise for Everyone LP arrives in July via Fort Lowell label (link below).

By Fred Mills

The name of the band is La Cerca, they toil under the bad crazy desert sun of Tucson, Arizona, and I’m proud to say that I’ve been a fan of frontman/songwriter Andrew Gardner for some time now (dating back to when I lived in Tucson in the ‘90s). So when word arrived that the group was prepping a new album, Sunrise for Everyone, for a July 29 release on NC’s Fort Lowell label (which also used to be based in Tucson), you can bet I was stoked get a listen to an advance of the music. Viva la Old Pueblo. Viva La Cerca.

I’m equally pleased to be able to unveil key tracks “Weather Festival” and “Sorry XO” for our readers, with the former also available as a free, exclusive-to-BLURT, download: “Weather Festival MP3

Gardner told me a little about the album, noting, “When we started to make Sunrise For Everyone, we wanted to make something that sounded big, but had gentle aspects, a calm, wonder, regret and optimism. The themes are about ordinary aspects of life in the desert. Strange weather it is, sometimes unbelievable and unpredictable, sometimes the most beautiful, harsh and very difficult.”

Indeed. More to the point, Sunrise for Everyone is a remarkable musical achievement, and not just for Gardner’s evolution as a songwriter. Here I betray my own knowledge of his roots, since we used to swap ideas, passions and influences back in the day, hanging out at a local record store and at club shows; but I suspect he won’t mind the “betrayal.” Gardner is a deep-roots lover of the global indie-centric music revolution stretching back to mid ‘80s Flying Nun bands (and certainly even further back, to the Velvet Underground milieu… should we also hoist a salute to Australia’s Go-Betweens as well, hmm?) and the then-concurrent rise of Amerindie college rock that made that era so fertile; his grasp of the jangly/strummed guitar imperative, and the psychological oomph of a well placed soaring chorus, not to mention emotionally pungent lyrical twists of fate, is inspiring.

Of “Weather Festival,” Gardner adds that it’s “another song about young love. I didn’t have a car any longer so I would ride my bicycle to my girlfriends house, but I got caught in the rain and the long distance riding was difficult to keep up, especially when the monsoons would hit and I was caught somewhere in between. You can hear a thunderstorm at the break of the song with the hollow body electric guitar storming and crying. It’s about more than just that, it’s layered with emotions.”

In addition to Gardner, the band currently includes Bill Oberdick, Chris Pierce and Roger Reed; a host of Tucson notables also appear on the album, which was produced by Gardner and Jim Waters at the well-known Waterworks West studio in Tucson.La Cerca CD 7-29

Incidentally, you can pre-order Sunrise for Everyone from Fort Lowell at

Watch “new” Led Zep Video for Unreleased Track


“Whole Lotta Love (rough mix with vocal)” Synched to Composite Concert Footage.

By Fred Mills

With the expanded reissues of Led Zeppelin’s first three albums due in stores next week (and the advances on heavy rotation ‘round the BLURT countryside cottage), Swansong/WEA has unveiled a “new” video. Watch it, below.

The details, per the Led Zep camp:: The video is a composite of several classic Led Zeppelin live performances, some well-known and others rarely seen. The “Rough Mix With Vocal” version of “Whole Lotta Love” is featured on the deluxe edition of Led Zeppelin II . John Paul Jones, Page and Robert Plant each commented on the companion audio version of “Whole Lotta Love.”

Jones said: “‘Whole Lotta Love’ must have been very early on its life, so it probably hadn’t developed into the juggernaut that it became in later years. But it’s fresher, I think.”

Page commented: “This version of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is the mix down from the night that we recorded it, so it doesn’t have any of the overdubs that everyone will be familiar with, because when they hear this they’ll think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the original’ and all of a sudden they’ll go ‘No, it’s not.'”

Plant added: “You can see how songs grow. There must have been five or six other takes of that, which are not present. So the shaping of these things is very interesting and you can hear with this particular version that we haven’t quite reached the point yet, and that it’s very, very close.”

Whoop, another crappy live Lana Del Rey video… but hey, a new song!


By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern

You thought that Lana del Rey was, like, sooo 2011, right? Everyone’s over her? Not if the Lana camp has any say-so. Or at least her hardcore fans, one of whom was in Vancouver the other night (May 25) and made a pretty awful audience-shot video clip of her performing a brand new song, apparently the title track “Ultraviolence” from her upcoming album. Enjoy.

Alphaville’s Martin Lister R.I.P. 1962-2014


Synth-pop maestro passes away.

By Fred Mills

Very sad news for fans of Germany’s Alphaville and ‘80s/’90s New Wave synth-pop: keyboardist Martin Lister passed away last Wednesday (May 21), from as-yet-undisclosed causes, reports Slicing Up Eyeballs. Lister, though not an original member (he joined the group, which formed in the ‘80s, in 1995, and went on to record and tour with the band extended to the group’s 2010 comeback Catching Rays on Giant), has been described as Alphaville’s musical director, with bandleader Marian Gold going on to talk about him on Facebook as “a marvelous keyboard player, a competent and gifted composer of music and a most precious friend.”

From Alphaville:

Dear friends, it is my sad duty to inform you that Alphaville member Martin Lister passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 21st. We have lost a marvelous keyboard player, a competent and gifted composer of music and a most precious friend.
We are all speechless and shocked. Alphaville will never be the same again. Martin, we miss you, miss you, miss you… Rest in peace.

        Marian Gold, David Goodes, Jakob Kiersch, Maja Kim, Crew & Management