Meanwhile, popular music website cleans house… photo looks remarkably like Moz, no?
By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern
TMZ has reported that Morrissey’s erstwhile bodyguard Bradley Steyn is suing Moz for being fired because he failed/refused/wisely ignored the erstwhile Smiths icon’s demand (through one of his handlers, natch) to put a hit on one “DavidT” who was behind Moz fansite Morrissey-solo.com. Yeah, this news item is that lame.
Stereogum is reporting that “Steyn says that Morrissey’s tour manager asked if the fan “could be gotten rid of” and tried to get him to find the fan’s home address…. Morrissey has had problems with this particular fan site (and this particular fan) since as early as 2003. The fan in question, who goes by the username DavidT, received a cease and desist letter from Moz’s lawyers after posting an unsubstantiated rumor that the band and crew hadn’t been paid for a leg of a 2002 tour. Over the past decade, the site has continued to run and post news and rumors about Morrissey’s activity.”
Wait, are you sure this isn’t a Prince news item about bootlegs? [No. — Moz fan Ed.] [Yes –Prince tape trader Ed.] [No — all three of you are fired. – Ed.]
With the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza escalating by day and dominating international news, Brian Eno has now weighed in with the court of opinion, calling Israel’s Gaza incursion a “one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing” while condemning America for its “blind support.” Pitchfork reports that David Byrne has published a letter from his friend Eno, saying he received it from the musician and after sharing it around the office, “We all felt a great responsibility to publish Brian’s heavy, worthy note.”
Read the entire letter titled “Gaza and the Loss of Civilization” at Byrne’s website in order to get the accurate context; note that he’s writing out of horror at the violence, and that he has traveled to Israel in the recent past so he has witnessed the Israeli-Arab tensions firsthand. Among the comments Eno makes:
“Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don’t get it. I really hate to think its just the power of AIPAC… for if that’s the case, then your government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I don’t think that’s the reason… but I have no idea what it could be… ‘Arab’ equates with ‘vermin’ – straightforward old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant, shameless swagger that the good ole boys of Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our taxes are defending. It’s like sending money to the Klan.
“The America I know and like is compassionate, broadminded, creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. All of you symbolise those things for me. But which America is backing this horrible one-sided colonialist war? I can’t work it out: I know you’re not the only people like you, so how come all those voices aren’t heard or registered? How come it isn’t your spirit that most of the world now thinks of when it hears the word ‘America’? How bad does it look when the one country which more than any other grounds its identity in notions of Liberty and Democracy then goes and puts its money exactly where its mouthisn’t and supports a ragingly racist theocracy?
“Like it or not, in the eyes of most of the world, America represents ‘The West’. So it is The West that is seen as supporting this war, despite all our high-handed talk about morality and democracy. I fear that all the civilisational achievements of The Enlightenment and Western Culture are being discredited – to the great glee of the mad Mullahs – by this flagrant hypocrisy. The war has no moral justification that I can see – but it doesn’t even have any pragmatic value either. It doesn’t make Kissingerian ‘Realpolitik’ sense: it just makes us look bad.”
From The Frost and Ursa Major to key roles in Lou Reed and Alice Cooper’s bands, he was the hard rock sound of the Motor City.
By Fred Mills
That’s him at the clarion call beginning of Lou Reed’s epochal Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal live album, peeling (pealing?) off the introductory licks to “Sweet Jane”: and thus it was, the mighty Dick Wagner, who has been heard over the years on records by Reed and Alice Cooper, even Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, Hall & Oates and Kiss – not to mention his early work with proto-punk acts The Frost and Ursa Major. Wagner passed away today, July 30, at the age of 71.
Rolling Stone reports that he had been hospitalized in Scottsdale, Ariz., for respiratory failure, having undergone a cardiac procedure two weeks ago.
Wagner got his start in Detroit where, having worked with Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison and subsequently spotted by Cooper, wound up on key tours for the School’s Out and Billion Dollar Babies albums. That led to the gig with Reed, which paired him with Steve Hunter, and the aforementioned live recordings. The rest is history.
Cooper issued a statement that read, “Even though we know it’s inevitable, we never expect to suddenly lose close friends and collaborators. Dick Wagner and I shared as many laughs as we did hit records. He was one of a kind. He is irreplaceable. His brand of playing and writing is not seen anymore, and there are very few people that I enjoyed working with as much as I enjoyed working with Dick Wagner.
“A lot of my radio success in my solo career had to do with my relationship with Dick Wagner. Not just onstage, but in the studio and writing…. There was just a magic in the way we wrote together. He was always able to find exactly the right chord to match perfectly with what I was doing. I think that we always think our friends will be around as long as we are, so to hear of Dick’s passing comes as a sudden shock and an enormous loss for me, rock & roll and to his family.”
A memorial is being planned for Detroit. Wagner had moved to Arizona in 2005, eventually publishing a memoir titled Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes From the Heart of a Rock Musician. His family issued a statement saying on his website, “Dick had a huge heart, which is perhaps why it gave him so much trouble, it was simply too full of love, of music and life. His creativity and passion will live on forever in the legacy he has left for us, in his music and his words. We have so much of him to celebrate.”
Dum Dum Girls have scheduled a North American fall tour in support of Too True, their critically acclaimed (read the BLURT review below) 3rd album on Sub Pop. The tour begins October 19th in Denver, CO at Larimer Lounge and ends November 15th in Pioneertown, CA at Pappy & Harriets, Preceding the tour, Dum Dum Girls have scheduled a few festival appearances including Saturday August 2nd in Santa Ana, CA at the Observatory for Burger A-Go-Go, August 9th in San Francisco, CA at Outside Lands, and September 20th in Denver, CO at Riot Fest.
Aug. 02 – Santa Ana, CA – Burger-A-Go-Go @ The Observatory
Aug. 09 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
Sep. 20 – Denver, CO – Riot Fest & Sideshow
Oct. 19 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
Oct. 20 – Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
Oct. 22 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line
Oct. 23 – Madison, WI – High Noon
Oct. 24 – Chicago, IL – Metro
Oct. 25 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
Oct. 26 – Toronto, ONT – Opera House
Oct. 27 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
Oct. 30 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
Oct. 31 – Philadelphia, PA – Making Time PURE Halloween @ Union Transfer
Nov. 01 – Washington, DC – Burger Records Caravan of Stars @ Black Cat
Nov. 02 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern
Nov. 03 – Raleigh, NC – Kings
Nov. 05 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Nov. 07 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada
Nov. 09 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
Nov. 11 – Albuquerque, NM – Sister
Nov. 12 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
Nov. 13 – Pheonix, AZ – Crecent Ballroom
Nov. 15 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s
Pulsing with an ‘80s New Wave vibe and recalling everyone from Blondie to Berlin to Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Dum Dum Girls’ followup to 2011’s Only In Dreams is an auralgasm par excellence for fans of lush, sensual femmepop. The group’s essentially a vehicle for Dee Dee Penny’s (aka Kristin Welchez) songwriting, having started in ’08 recording at home; the Dum Dum Girls have gone through quite a few members over the years, among them fellow dreampopper Frankie Rose, and also have a sturdy touring lineup currently in place. But in the studio, for Too True it was just Penny along with co-producers Richard “An Instant Record” Gottehrer and Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes (who also contributes drum/synth programming and additional guitars). Considering the Wagner-Gottehrer partnership has also yielded stellar results for the Raveonettes, it’s no surprise that both the Raveonettes and the Dum Dums offer a contemporary twist upon Phil Spector’s girl-group wall-of-sound, crafting lush cocoons of noise that, while at times edgy and crackling with tension, envelop rather than assault.
And Penny’s clearly found her comfort zone, notably on kinetic jangler “Evil Blooms” and the terse, spiky “In the Wake of You.” Elsewhere Penny’s love for early ‘90s UK shoegaze is on display: the arpeggiated guitars and throbbing, dubby low end of “Too True to be Good” suggest a marriage of Echo & the Bunnymen and Ride, while album standout “Rimbaud Eyes,” in its anthemic swagger and classic melody, could pass for a distaff Stone Roses. Mea culpa: the first few listens, before I’d actually looked at the name of the song, I had thought Penny was crooning “bimbo eyes,” in the recurring line “You’ve got Rimbaud eyes,” figuring she was lyrically clawing at a female rival or something like that in classic girl-group pop fashion. Sorry.) At a half hour, Too True might seem brief, but Penny makes the most of every minute.
Queer memories of when opposite crusaders The Frogs dropped “noise” album…
By Uncle Blurt
We like controversy. We LOVED The Frogs (look ‘em up). We USED TO LOVE Michelle Shocked, but not after her 2013 meltdown at Yoshi’s in San Francisco in which she decided that rainbow was not the new orange, or black, or… you get the idea. (If you don’t, I’ll spell it out: Michelle Shocked has a problem with gays. Spelling it out a bit more, I have a problem with people who have a problem with gays, because two of my family members are gay, and as the saying goes, “I have a lot of friends who are gay.” Sorry to be so blunt. But seriously: the singer/songwriter said, onstage, “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back. You can go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates [homosexuals].'”
God ain’t necessarily a fan of your albums, so methinks one shouldn’t cast stones. You’ve gone to the dogs.
Wait – that last statement can be taken literally. Read on. Not to be outdone by her 2013 self, Ms. Shocked has just released a music-free album called, tellingly, Inaudible Woman. Reports Billboard.com:
“Taking a page from the Vulfpeck playbook, folk singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked has released an album consisting of silent songs that are named mostly after executives in the digital music world… The 11-track album, titled Inaudible Women, is available for purchase on cdbaby.com, with silent tunes — most clocking in at less than a minute — named after such high-ranking digital music execs as SiriusXM executive VP/general counsel Patrick Donnelly and Clear Channel executive VP/general counsel Robert Walls…. [It] also features a song named after journalist Chris Willman, a contributor to Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter who wrote about Shocked’s anti-gay comments at a San Francisco concert in 2013.
“In a bizarre video posted on Vimeo, Shocked explains that the high-pitched frequencies on Inaudible Women can be heard by dogs, and that money raised from the album will help fund an upcoming tour: ‘I decided that I was going to make a high album — in fact, the highest album ever made, just so that my friends Spot and Rex can hear it, not audible to human ears,” she says while sitting next to two dogs. ‘And to raise money for my fall tour.’”
Hey Michelle, here’s a buck, go buy your pooches some food and then go away. Love, BLURT.
Original album deemed one of the ‘90s key artifacts by pretty much every friggin’ critic on the planet…
By Uncle Blurt
If you don’t know Jeff Buckley’s landmark ’94 album Grace you’re probably not a music fan (and probably aren’t reading this news item, for that matter). It would mark a high point in a tragically short career, as he drowned in Memphis in May of ’97. Several posthumous collections have been released, of course, and Grace itself has seen several iterations in reissue format. Now, though, Boston music retailer Newbury Comics has a very special reissue for the record’s 20th anniversary.
Grace is due August 26 as a limited edition, foil-stamp numbered edition (only 2000 copies will be manufactured), and it is also on 180-gram, lilac swirl vinyl. Seriously – does a record get any prettier than this? See the image above….
David J (who appeared at our SXSW day party this year and also released a superb new album, An Eclipse of Ships) will leave the record bins and arrive on bookshelves come Oct. 15: that’s when Jawbone Press publishes his “Who Killed Mister Moonlight?: Bauhaus, Black Magick and Benediction” memoir. According to Slicing Up Eyeballs, it’s “a no-holds-barred account of (Bauhaus’) rapid rise to fame and glory in the late ’70s, their sudden dissolution in the ’80s, and their subsequent — and often strained — reunions” that includes his early band and presumably stories about his subsequent combo, Love & Rockets, his solo career and even his “exploration of the occult.”
Slicing Up Eyeballs also posted an excerpt that David J had on his Facebook page; involving Ian Curtis and Joy Division, about which he writes, of an encounter after a Bauhaus show: “On one of those rainy Soho nights, we were visited by an icon of this as-yet-unnamed melancholic subculture when Ian Curtis appeared at the end of a set during which a wild and abandoned Murphy had laid waste to a wall of mirrors. We had always felt that there was a sympathetic resonance between Joy Division and us. The tall, gangly singer told us that he had come with Factory Records boss Tony Wilson, who had apparently left after the first number as he strongly objected to bands that wore makeup.”
Multiple CD, Vinyl, And Digital Formats, Including Limited Edition Super Deluxe Boxed Set, Available October 28
BY BLURT STAFF
The Led Zeppelin reissue campaign finally commenced in June with expanded editions of Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III, each produced and remastered by Jimmy Page. He has has now prepared the reissues of 1971’s Led Zeppelin IV (aka Zoso, the third best-selling album in U.S. history) and 1973’s Houses Of The Holy. As with the previous deluxe editions, both albums are accompanied by a second disc of companion audio comprising unreleased music related to that album.
Full tracklistings are below. Go HERE to read our recent discussion about the first round of reissues and the band’s 1970 tour.
Once again there will be multiple formats:
Single CD – Remastered album packaged in a gatefold card wallet.
Deluxe Edition (2CD) – Remastered album, plus a second disc of unreleased companion audio.
Single LP – Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl, packaged in a sleeve that replicates the LP’s first pressing in exacting detail.
Deluxe Edition Vinyl (2LP) – Remastered album and unreleased companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
Digital Download – Remastered album and companion audio will both be available.
Super Deluxe Boxed Set – This collection includes:
*Remastered album on CD in vinyl replica sleeve.
*Companion audio on CD in card wallet featuring new alternate cover art.
*Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl in a sleeve replicating first pressing.
*Companion audio on 180-gram vinyl in a sleeve with new alternate cover art.
*High-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit.
*Hard bound, 80 page book filled with rare and previously unseen photos and memorabilia.
*High-quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered.
The Led Zeppelin IV deluxe edition includes unreleased versions of every song heard on the original album including alternate mixes of “Misty Mountain Hop” and “Four Sticks,” mixes of “The Battle Of Evermore” and “Going To California” heavy with guitar and mandolin, and the fabled, alternate version “Stairway To Heaven,” mixed at the Sunset Sound Studio in Los Angeles which lets fans hear one of the most revered songs of all time as they have never heard it before.
For Houses of the Holy the seven unreleased tracks on the companion audio disc include rough and working mixes for “The Ocean” and “Dancing Days” that reveal a deeper look inside the recording sessions of these classic songs. Other standout recordings include the guitar mix backing track for “Over The Hills And Far Away” and a version of “The Rain Song” without piano.
Led Zeppelin IV
1. “Black Dog”
2. “Rock And Roll”
3. “The Battle of Evermore”
4. “Stairway To Heaven”
5. “Misty Mountain Hop”
6. “Four Sticks”
7. “Going To California”
8. “When The Levee Breaks”
Companion Audio Disc
1. “Black Dog” – Basic Track With Guitar Overdubs
2. “Rock And Roll” – Alternate Mix
3. “The Battle Of Evermore” – Mandolin/Guitar Mix From Headley Grange
4. “Stairway To Heaven” – Sunset Sound Mix
5. “Misty Mountain Hop” – Alternate Mix
6. “Four Sticks” – Alternate Mix
7. “Going To California” – Mandolin/Guitar Mix
8. “When The Levee Breaks” – Alternate UK Mix
Houses of the Holy
1. “The Song Remains The Same”
2. “The Rain Song”
3. “Over The Hills And Far Away”
4. “The Crunge”
5. “Dancing Days”
6. “D’yer Mak’er”
7. “No Quarter”
8. “The Ocean”
Companion Audio Disc
1. “The Song Remains The Same” – Guitar Overdub Reference Mix
2. “The Rain Song” – Mix Minus Piano
3. “Over The Hills And Far Away” – Guitar Mix Backing Track
4. “The Crunge” – Rough Mix – Keys Up
5. “Dancing Days” – Rough Mix With Vocal
6. “No Quarter” – Rough Mix With JPJ Keyboard Overdubs – No Vocal
Con man had promised investors that he was putting together a high-profile benefit album that would include Springsteen, Petty, Gaga, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Arcade Fire and others.
By Fred Mills, BLURT Editor
When news broke last week about Portland-based singer-songwriter Kasey Anderson, 34, being sentenced to prison for fraud, it was pretty much “news” only in the Northwest; the Seattle Post-Intelligencer posted a pretty straightforward accounton Tuesday, July 22 that detailed how Anderson had convinced investors to pony up close to $600,000 over a roughly three year period for a West Memphis Three benefit compilation, Trapped Like a Ghost, that was to feature the above-listed artists, among many, contributing songs in order to raise funds for the West Memphis Three Legal Defense Fund (which has been a pet project among rock musicians, notably Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder).
Then as the word slowly trickled out to music websites the story got more and more coverage, and by the weekend it had essentially gone viral. That’s where yours truly comes in: as soon as I read about it on Saturday, I realized that BLURT had perhaps inadvertently played a part in helping make Anderson appear credible to the people he ultimately bilked.
During that same time period, Anderson was also a blogger for us, posting a series of columns we dubbed For The Sake of the Song. For the blog, Anderson interviewed fellow musicians and songwriters, noting in his first installment, penned in Portland, on April 5, 2010, that the column would be about “songs that made lasting impressions, and the people they made the impressions on. For as long as Blurt will allow me to, I’ll be interviewing fellow songwriters, journalists, novelists, actors, comedians, friends, and enemies about the songs that burrowed into their memories – about what the songs might mean, and what the songs mean to them.”
Indeed – “for as long as” we allowed him to. Anderson subsequently submitted, and we published, a handful of columns in 2010. Among the folks he interviewed were Peter Case, Rachel Flotard, Matthew Ryan and Adam Duritz—the latter now seems opportunistic, since Anderson’s band The Honkies had been tapped to open for County Crows.
Then he disappeared for a year or so, going silent on us. Then he resurfaced in 2012, asking to relaunch the column, which we did because, after all, it had seemed like a good effort. “Unfortunately,” he wrote in his comeback column, “after a few installments, and for any number of reasons, everything fell by the wayside.”
By “everything” he meant, specific to BLURT, the blog. But in retrospect the “for any number of reasons” was deeply cryptic, yet revealing, because with the time-line in the benefit album fraud case now available, it looks like Anderson also had his hands very full working his marks.
At the time, this is how we billed Anderson to the BLURT readership: Kasey Anderson is a songwriter, singer, dog owner and bacon enthusiast from Portland, Oregon. His three albums, Dead Roses (2004), The Reckoning (2007), and Nowhere Nights (2010) have earned plenty of praise from critics (No Depression, USA Today, The Onion) but, unfortunately, have not as yet yielded the Swedish Fish endorsement Anderson so badly desires. If you’d like to have Kasey Anderson sing, play harmonica and strum a guitar at you, you’ll find him on tour all spring and summer (dates and info available at www.kaseyanderson.com), or if you’d simply like to read on as Anderson discusses various songs with other artists, writers, friends and cohorts, you’re in the right place.
Er, right. What’s interesting is that initially Anderson had promised us a very compelling range of interviews that included the very BLURT-worthy Case, Jason Isbell, and Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz. Wrote Anderson, “The folks kind enough to lend their time and song choices to the interviews, you’ll have heard of but many you may not have. To that end, I’ll keep it simple. I write songs and make records. Maybe you’ve heard ‘em, maybe not. For the purposes of this column, that’s really neither here nor there. My job, as it applies to Blurt, is simply to allow some of my favorite artists and writers a platform to discuss some of their favorite songs. Where it goes from there, is up to them. Or, more accurately, up to the songs.”
Who knows how much was fantasy and how much was fact on Anderson’s part while he was a member of the BLURT blogging staff, which has included such stellar artists as James McMurtry, Coco Hames of The Ettes and metal goddess Otep. Maybe we were hoodwinked by Anderson, maybe not; he was a decent enough writer. But obviously there was a whole lot more to him than what he portrayed on the surface, eh?
Methinks Anderson will be thinking about a specific song genre for the next four years, with such timeless delights as “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Back on the Chain Gang” at the top of the list. At the bottom of the page you can find links to most of Anderson’s BLURT pieces, followed by a YouTube clip of him in 2010 performing a song titled, propetically enough, “Don’t Look Back.” Meanwhile, to recap the man’s legal saga, here’s a summary that media reports have detailed:
*In January of 2013 Anderson was arrested on fraud charges and made an initial appearance in the U.S. District Court in Seattle.
*The following August he pled guilty to the federal fraud charges, saying that he was “driven by mental illness and substance abuse,” specifically citing sleeplessness, depression, compulsive lying and “spending money recklessly.”
*Last week he was sentenced by Judge Ronal Leighton to nearly four years in prison and remained in custody following the sentencing hearing.
*Anderson had pursued investors by promising that Springsteen and other superstars would be on the aforementioned West Memphis Three benefit album, and that he next “impersonated a well-known Seattle tour manager” who claimed to have “firm agreements” from Tom Petty, Pearl Jam and Johnny Depp to appear at a companion benefit concert.
*Later he claimed that he was waiting for a Springsteen-Lady Gaga collaboration, forged an email from the wife of one of the West Memphis Three defendants (in matters relating to the Springsteen-Gaga song), and he also impersonated a music industry lawyer while trying to pass off previously released Springsteen material as a Springsteen-Arcade Fire collaboration.
*Anderson obtained money under false pretenses from two friends after he was arrested and also “lied about his aging father” to get money from the friends.
*In a letter to the court Anderson admitted, ”I lied to myself and others, and believing those lies, I told myself consistently that whatever was going on with me … I could fix it on my own. I convinced myself that it was normal… I am a deeply flawed and mentally ill person who made some terrible choices, causing so much emotional and financial damage to others. But I believe I have much to offer my community…. I am so sorry for what I’ve done and want so badly to make it right.”
A bit late for that, bro. The sad thing is that Anderson is a pretty decent musician, worthy of the public’s attention. Clearly things spiraled out of control at some point, however, and he lost sight of who he should be and where his true gifts resided.
To anyone reading this and, especially, to anyone who was defrauded by Anderson, I would just like to apologize on the behalf of BLURT if at any point Anderson also used his so-called “status” as a published writer/blogger for us to impress people and, in theory, give him additional credibility.
Kasey Anderson at Blurt (list includes reviews of his records):
A number of years ago Jack White departed Detroit for Nashville, for while he cut his musical teeth (and came to fame) in Motor City USA, things eventually got a little too close to comfort, and he’s subsequently thrived in Music City USA (where, among other activities, he established the beloved Third Man Records label and store). Now, though, he plans to return to Detroit for a mini-homecoming: on Tuesday (July 29), he’ll throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the Tigers-White Sox game.
As Rolling Stone points out, on Friday White announced over Twitter he’ll be doing the deed,, and RS additionally reports that “White also revealed that he’ll be bringing along the Third Man Rolling Record Store van, which will be parked at the stadium from 4 – 7 pm that day. On their website, Third Man Records noted that they’ll be getting in on the action that day as well all the way from Nashville by celebrating “Tiger Tuesday” in the shop. Any customers coming in sporting Detroit Tigers gear will get a 15% discount on purchases…. his Detroit baseball roots run deep. In 2009, he was rumored to be the anonymous donor behind a $170,000 gift to help restore the baseball field at his hometown’s Clark Park, where he spent his childhood playing the game. White also happens to have two stops on his Lazaretto tour scheduled for his hometown on July 28th and 30th.”