Monthly Archives: May 2014

Billy Corgan Becomes a LOLcat; Preps Pumpkins’ “Machina” Reissue

Billy C organ

Above: the musician poses with his two cats for a Chicago magazine published recently.

By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern

This week Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins posted news at the band’s official website about his working on an elaborate reissue of 2000′s Machina/The Machines Of God.As Stereogum points out, the albumhad lots of conceptual trappings and was originally intended as a double-LP, but after Adore’s poor performance Virgin forced the Pumpkins to pare Machina down to a single disc. After the band broke up, Corgan rolled out an elaborate online marketing campaign including narrative writings called Glass And The Machines Of God, an alternate reality game, and eventually an album of unreleased material called Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music.”

Some diminishing returns to be found in there, clearly, but at any rate diehard fans will still have some nice Machina redux to contend with in the near future. Wrote Corgan at the Pumpkins site,

“Looking forward to the eventual reissue of a restored and recompiled MACHINA, work has begun on transfers from the original 24 track tapes, as well as a host of select live shows. The effort will be unprecedented for Smashing Pumpkins et al, as Billy Corgan has indicated plans to put the album not only in it’s original and intended double/triple album sequence, but has designs on commissioning new remixes of all materials as well. The intention he says is clear: to present MACHINA in the original form in which it was written; or in his words, ‘as a theatrical narrative.’

 Other possibilities of coalescing the story exist: including the addition of extant materials such acoustic alternates, re-contextualized soundtrack pieces, and use of spoken word to create an immersive experience.”

 “I’m also not opposed to asking current artists to participate, singing songs as such on the compositions meant for other character’s voices,” Billy adds. “Finishing what the band started so long ago, and we just didn’t have the strength to end.”

Grab Free Download of Morrissey’s 2014 Denver Show

Morrissey Denver

Special guest appearance by “fan” who almost drags Moz into the audience!

By Uncle Blurt

True confession time: never much cared for The Smiths. While I dug Johnny Marr’s groundbreaking alterna-guitar stylings, vocalist Morrissey just got on my fuckin’ nerves (I was more of a Jeffrey Lee Pierce kinda guy), and when I saw those photos of the flowers stuck up his ass, well… let’s just say my disinterest heightened. Still, I’m always up for listening to something new and different even if it’s unlikely it will change my opinion.

Ergo, this pretty decent (if slightly distant in places) audience recording of the May 17 Moz show at Denver’s Ellie Caulkins Opera House. You can nab MP3s of the entire concert over at our good friends The Big O Zine, and they’ve even posted some downloadable artwork should you be inclined to transfer the tracks to CDR. Sweet! The show spotlighted portions of the upcoming July album World Peace Is None of Your Business (notably the title track) along with selected solo and Smiths faves—not to mention some pointed digs aimed at the nearby Denver Zoo serving as his introduction to “Yes, I Am Blind.” Some things never change with the dude, eh?

Download the tunes and artwork right here.

Intro 1:56 (3.3MB)
Hand In Glove 3:19 (5.6MB)
Speedway 4:28 (7.5MB)
Ganglord 4:51 (8.2MB)
I Have Forgiven Jesus 4:20 (9.3MB)
I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris 2:46 (4.7MB)
World Peace Is None Of Your Business 5:55 (9.9MB)
Yes, I Am Blind 4:56 (8.3MB)
Life Is A Pigsty 8:02 (13.5MB)

The Bullfighter Dies 3:03 (5.1MB)
To Give (The Reason I Live) 3:45 (6.3MB)
Meat Is Murder 7:35 (12.8MB)
Everyday Is Like Sunday 4:13 (7.1MB)
Earth Is The Loneliest Planet 4:44 (8.0MB)
Trouble Loves Me 5:52 (9.9MB)
I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday 6:21 (10.7MB)
Asleep 3:59 (6.7MB)
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell 6:34 (11.0MB)


Train’s Pat Monahan to Front Led Zep?!?


Could the timing of this headline be any better?

 By Uncle Blurt

Okay, okay… yeah, just fishing for eyeballs. It’s a fantasy floated by industry pundit Bob Lefsetz. But you gotta admit that headline above made you click through to the news article. Led Zep’s in the news every day, so you can’t blame Lef for trolling for eyeballs himself, particularly since Robert Plant has firmly nixed the idea of an actual Zeppelin reunion.

Here’s part of his most recent “Lefsetz Letter” blog post, and you can click through that link to read the whole thing… Oh, and below, also check out the video clip of Pat going all Zep on your ass.

The guy from Train.

 Did you listen to his vocals on the Gregg Allman tribute album?

 Deep and resonant, perfectly suited for Jimmy’s work. Furthermore, Pat’s got a history of singing Zeppelin stuff, does it in concert, most famously “Ramble On.”

 And the truth is even if Plant went out, he can’t hit the notes. His voice has changed. And Queen keeps going out with different singers to huge demand.

 But they call it Queen, and Freddie Mercury was the star.

 But Jimmy Page was always as big as Robert Plant. Everybody knew it was Pagey’s band.

 So how ’bout it Jimmy?

 Don’t say you tried this once before, with the Black Crowes. Timing is everything, in music as it is in tech. And you were just too early….

 But now, with Arnel Pineda successfully fronting Journey, and Pat Monahan already having a name, the audience is ready to be dazed and confused.

Meow! Cat Fight Ensues in Against Me! vs. Arcade Fire

Against Me

Sometimes a Hollywood move is simply a Hollywood move designed to utilize Hollywood star power, Dr. Freud. And sometimes it ain’t. As Stan Lee might say, ‘nuf said.

By Fred Mills

Against Me!’s Laura Grace, aka the artist formerly known as Tom Gabel, has called Arcade Fire out on the carpet for some real or imagined slight regarding transgender issues, stemming from the recent video for the band’s Reflektor track “We Exist.” It stars Andrew “Spider Man” Garfield as a cross-dressing man “in the throes of an identity crisis.”

Despite Arcade Fire’s obviously well-intentioned foray into what is currently a hotbutton issue in the U.S., there’s no question that “hotbutton issue” equals “sensitive subject” and Grace/Gabel clearly has a stake in said issue—some might even say the Against Me! musician has a marketing angle therein, considering how the band’s recent Transgender Dysphoria Blues, a killer punk rock album by any measure, generated a good deal of press early on but unfortunately has failed to generate much in the way of retail sales (particularly compared to some of the group’s previous releases).

My opinion: Sometimes, though, in today’s uber-politically correct climate, we find offense and discern slights where, upon measured reflection, there clearly are none. Gender and sexual politics are especially under the microscope these days, so it’s easy to get distracted away from the real battle, which is at the state legislative level, not at the rock-band-video-level.

Grace/Gable grouses, via Twitter, and it is certainly his right to complain:

Laura Jane Grace        @LauraJaneGrace  Follow Dear @arcadefire , maybe when making a video for a song called “We Exist” you should get an actual “Trans” actor instead of Spider-Man? 12:08 PM – 22 May 2014

Here’s the video. Decide for yourself if this is much ado about nothing.


Listen to Bullion Mash-up J Dilla & Beach Boys


Wouldn’t it be nice to listen to this in a club? God only knows!

By Blurt Staff

While it’s not—as the good folks at point out—a traditional mashup album along the lines of Danger Mouse’s infamous The Grey Album, which merged the Beatles’ White Album with Jay-Z’s Black Album—it does hold immense potential along similar fan-enjoyment lines. That would be Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee, aka British deejay Bullion’s “Beach Boys vs J Dilla” project that is finally available on LP.


For the sessions, Bullion (born: Nathan Jenkins) “took snippets of songs from the Beach Boys’ classic and chopped them up with snippets from the late J Dilla’s catalog to create a new school beats masterpiece.” Or so says, singling out “Don’t Talk,” “You Still Believe in Dee” and “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times,” but upon listening to some of the preview samples posted at the online retailer’s site, we gotta agree. Where’s our corporate credit card?

Below, listen to a couple of tracks that fans have posted online.

Video: Veruca Salt Plays the Conan Show



Prepare to be underwhelmed.

By Uncle Blurt

Does anyone really care that ’90s alterna-pop strumpets Veruca Salt are back together? Does anyone actually wish that ANY of the crap alterna-pop bands that dominated the ’90s would reunite? You kids, you just don’t know how good you got it, not having to live through that godforsaken and decidedly non-musical decade…

Anyhoo, while I was sleeping off my six-pack last night, apparently the Veruca gals turned up on Conan O’Brien’s show to do a couple of songs, their old “Seether” hit plus a recent composition, “Museum of Broken Relationships. Watch ’em below — unless of course you’d rather chug a six-pack and take a snooze, which might seem to be the more attractive option.

NC Indie Store Harvest Recs Announces Transfigurations II Festival

Harvest Transfigurations 2

Among the players in August: The Clean, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Mudhoney, Michael Hurley, Sonny & The Sunsets, Moon Duo, Angel Olsen, Mount Eerie, Endless Boogie, Reigning Sound, The Sadies, Steve Gunn, Bassholes, Hiss Golden Messenger, Disappears, Kevin Morby, Quilt, Sir Richard Bishop, Pete Swanson, William Tyler, Fountainsun, Wooden Wand, EDJ, Bitchin Bajas, Axxa/Abraxas, Container, Profligate, Dylan Golden Aycock, and Nest Egg. 

By Blurt Staff

Mark your calendars for Thurs-Sat August 28-30 and book your flights to Asheville Regional Airport, indie fans: that’s when Asheville’s Harvest Records—“one of the best freakin’ indie record shops on the planet… nah, make that universe!” sez our magazine’s editor, who lived in the NC mountain burg for a decade—will be hosting the second installment of their Transfigurations music festival in order to mark their 10th anniversary. It’s the followup to their 5th anniversary bash, with Transfigurations I happening back in 2009 to many huzzahs from the music community.

More than 25 artists personally selected by Harvest’s owners Mark Capon and Matt Schnable will be performing that weekend at venues in both Asheville and nearby Marshall, and if the notion of catching Mudhoney, The Clean, Lee Fields, Reigning Sound and Angel Olsen over the course of a few days floats your boat, you’re going to be embarking upon a dream cruise come August 28. See the full list below.

Capon and Schnable offered the following statement: “In all honesty, if we look back on our earliest hopes, dreams and visions of what Harvest Records could become, it would mirror what actually ended up happening. Since our college days together, the idea was consistent: Open a record shop, yes, of course . . . but don’t let it stop there. Create a space dedicated to the discovery of music, the exchange of ideas, and a place for broader discussions about community. Book shows for artists that normally wouldn’t come to town; host art on our walls from local artists who haven’t shown much before; start a record label and release recordings of sounds that may have not otherwise been produced physically. And it all happened.” –

The Thursday and Friday concerts for Transfigurations II will be held at the Grey Eagle and Mothlight in Asheville, while Saturday’s will be held at Blannahassett Island in Marshall, NC. A limited amount of weekend passes will be available beginning this Friday, May 23rd at 10am ET; those passes include a $20 gift certificate to Harvest Records, a limited Transfigurations II screen-printed poster and a weekend screen-printed Harvest canvas bag filled with free goodies. (Tickets for individual shows will be available beginning in June.)


The Clean

Lee Fields & The Expressions


Michael Hurley

Sonny & The Sunsets

Moon Duo

Angel Olsen

Mount Eerie

Endless Boogie

Reigning Sound

The Sadies

Steve Gunn


Hiss Golden Messenger


Kevin Morby


Sir Richard Bishop

Pete Swanson

William Tyler

Fountainsun (Daniel Higgs + Fumie Ishii)

Wooden Wand

EDJ (Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats)

Bitchin Bajas




Dylan Golden Aycock

Nest Egg


Ugly Beats Prep Next Full-Length

Ugly Beats CD

Austin comes outta the garage…

Following up on 2010’s MOTOR!, Austin’s premiere garage heavyweights the Ugly Beats have committed 12 new songs to wax, Brand New Day. Due June 24, it’s the band’s fourth full-length for venerable garage label Get Hip. The material ranges from the full-tilt rock of Brand New Day and Up on the Sun, to the hook-heavy power pop of I Want That Girl and Gone for Good, to the lush folk-rock of All of the Things, and  Long Row. The band even flexes their country muscle this time around with a over of If I Were a Carpenter and the Bakersfield-meets-Beatles Beataroo. The record boast stellar production by Michael Crow and a great cover by renown Austin pop illustrator M. Guerrero.

The Ugly Beats have been making a glorious, ‘60s garage-fueled racket for a dozen years in their hometown of Austin, and across the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Spain. The band wound the clock all the way back to 1966 before striking their first note in 2003 and have left it there ever since. A force to be reckoned with live, they have also released three full-length albums on Get Hip as well as a handful of singles for different labels in the US and Spain.

Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 w/Special June Benefit Concert



June 26th show to feature Jeff Bridges (above), Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr., Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and more.

Austin City Limits (ACL) announces KLRU Presents: Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years, an all-star benefit concert on Thursday, June 26th featuring some of the brightest stars in the show’s history returning to the Austin City Limits stage. The evening, hosted by Jeff Bridges and Sheryl Crow, will feature Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr., Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, Kris Kristofferson, Lloyd Maines, Bonnie Raitt, T Bone Burnett, Jimmie Vaughan, Grupo Fantasma and Doyle Bramhall II along with musical performances from Bridges and Crow.

Commemorating the music series’40th Anniversary, the evening will benefit KLRU-TV, the Austin PBS station that created the show in 1974 and continues to produce the show today. The concert will take place at ACL’s home, ACL Live at The Moody Theater, and will be taped as part of a two-hour PBS primetime special, Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years, airing Friday, October 3rd, 9–11pm ET, during PBS Arts Fall Festival. ACL continues its remarkable run, kicking off its milestone 40th year with the series season premiere on October 4th. The complete broadcast episode schedule for Season 40 will be announced at a later date.

Photo credit: Scott Newton

Listen to Led Zep “Live” TODAY From Paris

led zep

Unreleased Companion Audio From Deluxe Editions Of First Three Albums To Be Premiered At Event this afternoon.

Jimmy Page will be on hand as a special guest at L’Olympia in Paris on Wednesday, May 21 to premiere unreleased companion audio for the upcoming deluxe editions of the first three Led Zeppelin albums. The event begins at 2:30PM ET and will be streamed live at the following link: . L’Olympia first hosted Led Zeppelin for a live concert on October 10, 1969, which is featured as the companion audio on the upcoming Deluxe Edition of the band’s debut album.

With the June 3 release of deluxe editions of Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, and Led Zeppelin III, the band will launch an extensive reissue program of all nine of its studio albums in chronological order, each remastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page. Led Zeppelin will also open its vaults to share dozens of unheard studio and live recordings, with each album featuring a second disc of companion audio comprised entirely of unreleased music related to that album.