Monthly Archives: August 2014

Does the New Grimes Video Conjure the Foley Beheading Clip?

G2

Depends on your frame of mind when you watch it…

By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern

Loving Grimes as much as I do (and I know she’s a favorite among the Blurt braintrust as well), I was still taken aback, at least momentarily, when the above scene flashed on the screen during the video for her new single “Go” (feat. Blood Diamonds). Watching her outdoors and kneeling in front of a sword-wielding man, I suddenly had thoughts of the James Foley beheading video. I had also watched that grisly ISIS video -of journalist Foley kneeling in front of a hooded man who, we quickly learned, had been holding a large knife or sword – and it made me sick to my stomach.

Certainly that’s not the intention of Grimes, but the temporal proximity makes the comparison inevitable for some. Luckily the rest of the clip is very arty and colorful and cool, as is the music. But I’ll be curious to see if any other Grimes fans who watch the video will have a reaction similar to mine. Watch it, below. Incidentally, the song “Go” was apparently written by Grimes for Rihanna, for some weird reason.

Neil Young and wife Pegi to Divorce

Bridge School Benefit Day One - Mountain View

Sad news arrives totally out of the blue…

By Blurt Staff

The rock world was in shock this morning as word began getting out that Neil Young had filed for divorce. He’s been married to Pegi Young for 36 years. Rolling Stone reports, “A petition for dissolution of marriage was filed by Young in their hometown of San Mateo, California, on July 29th. A hearing is scheduled for December 12th. A rep for Neil Young had no comment.”

Pegi has been doing club shows in the recent past – she’s released three albums since 2007 – while Neil was on the road with Crazy Horse. And both of them were slated to appear at this year’s Farm Aid (Sept. 13, in Raleigh), but apparently Pegi’s name no longer is listed for the event. No word at this point how any of this may or may not affect the Young’s annual Bridge Benefit concert, usually held in late October at Mountain View, Calif. Below, watch the couple performing at last year’s Bridge show.

Watch New J Mascis Video

J

The godlike genius of J….

By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern

J Mascis has a new album out via Sub Pop titled Tied To A Star, and now he has unveiled a new video to go with it for the track “Every Morning.” You can watch it below or over at the Funny Or Die site.

Directed by Danny Jelinek, the video features funnyman Fred Armisen and rocker James Mercer, and, we are told, “It tells the tale of a religious cult called “The Space Children Of The Forest” and their mysterious disappearance.” J would appear to be perfect for a religious cult member – like the cult of Dinosaur Jr, ha ha!

Flamin’ Groovies Featured in Daily Comic “Zits”

Zits

Roll over Cyril Jordan, and tell Chris Wilson the news. Hell, let Roy Loney know, too!

By Uncle Blurt

If you read the daily comics and included in your queue is the longrunning strip Zits, hoist a frosty mug high: the strip, about a teenager (typical teen and sometime rock star aspirant) named Jeremy and his family and friends, today showed the kid’s dad wearing a Flamin’ Groovies teeshirt. Admittedly, the strip’s creators misspelled the bandname (as “Flaming”), but hey, we’ll still take it as a nice tip o’ the hat to one of our favorite bands on the planet.

And Jeremy apparently has the hippest father in all of comic-dom. Now if he’ll just rock a Mekons shirt in an upcoming strip…. Hey, maybe Jeremy’s band Goat Cheese Pizza could perform at a fundraiser for that Groovies documentary film that’s in the works?

Incoming: New Reissue Series for UK Post-Punks The Pop Group

pop_group

Below listen to the classic “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” from the band.

By Blurt Staff

The Pop Group, one of the most wildly innovative and barrier-shattering bands to emerge from the late ’70s post-punk era, are finally seeing their archives curated and reissued. After spending over a year collating original singles, albums and previously unreleased studio and live recordings, the band will put out a series of albums over time on the new Freaks R Us label via Kartel Label services and Amped. The first two come out October 21: a re-issue of We Are Time, a collection of early live and studio recordings and Cabinet of Curiousities, a brand new, nine-track compilation of radio sessions, live recordings, unreleased studio recordings and a long out of print 45RPM side. The group reformed in 2010 and have been playing key international festivals and gigs (including All Tomorrow’s Parties events, a New Year’s Eve show in London with Sonic Youth, Off Festival, Primavera, Summer Sonic and Celtic Connections), declaring “There was a lot left undone… We were so young and volatile. Let’s face it, things are probably even more fucked up now than they were in the early ’80s…and we are even more fucked off.” The band has just announced an October tour of the UK – details at the website.

The Pop Group was born in Bristol in 1977 out of a disenchantment with punk failing to bust out of its rock origins. While loudly supporting political and social action campaigns such as CND, The Pop Group wrenched back punk’s original mission away from the rock ‘n’ roll traditionalism which now seemed to be swamping it, rekindling a militant fire which had more in common with the Black Panthers and the liberated energy of free jazz. “It’s proper end-of-the-world music,” declared singer Mark Stewart. Finding early gigs supporting kindred spirits Pere Ubu, Patti Smith and This Heat, they progressed very quickly to headlining events such as 1978s Electric Ballroom line up of Nico, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Cabaret Voltaire. The Pop Group’s anarchic live shows alienated many audiences in the grand tradition of early Sex Pistols but was the foremost example of post-punk’s liberating ability to tap into other forms of music to convey a vital message. Later, in 1979, reviewing a Cambodia benefit gig at London University for which the band were supported by Scritti Politti, Nick Kent writing in the NME observed, “They project a very real sense of danger of the sort I’ve not experienced since the Pistols’ 100 Club days. But whereas the Pistols were more into conventional hard rock, The Pop Group are working in territory that is far from orthodox.”

“We wanted to use the energy that we drew from punk and make it more political,” explained Stewart in 1998. “After all the sloganeering of punk, we actually wanted to get actively involved in campaigns; Scrap SUS, the Blair Peach, CND. And the attitude was that if you’re being ‘radical’ with the lyrics, we should challenge the structure of the music, too. Punk was still rock ‘n’ roll based, no one was doing what we were doing. I was really into The Last Poets and the Watts Prophets, and the others were getting into free jazz. We were creating a wall of noise for the lyrics to fight against. It was all part of challenging the production process, disrespecting the studio machines. It may look naïve now, but we were hopeful as much as anything else.”

In March of 1979 they debuted on Radar Records with ‘She Is Beyond Good And Evil’ (declaring love as a revolutionary force) and instrumental flipside 3’38 (both in title and duration), and graced the cover of Melody Maker and Sounds in the same month, following with the release of their first album, Y, in April. The Pop Group followed that up with a single for the Rough Trade label that autumn ,’We Are All Prostitutes’ c/w ‘Amnesty International Report’. Next came March 1980’s For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?, the band’s first release on their own Y label in partnership with Rough Trade. (The album saw the funk element upped to red alert, displaying the influence of On The Corner period Miles Davis.) The aforementioned We Are Time followed later that year. The set rounded up unreleased early gems like ‘Trap’, ‘Genius Or Lunatic’ and ‘Colour Blind’. Stewart reflects on these seminal early recordings, “The Pop Group was mutating so fast right from the start that it was crucial to document those first experiments with this compilation. We Are Time is really ‘the’ teenage Pop Group album.” Sadly, though, the band then imploded, its members going on to such projects as The Maffia, New Age Steppers, Rip Rig and Panic, Float Up CP and Public Image Ltd.

 

Ryan Adams’ (sold out?) “1984” EP Streaming Online

1984

Now that’s what we call hard core!

By Blurt Staff

Not long ago Ryan Adams announced a forthcoming, self-titled album would drop on Sept. 9, and he also dropped the “Gimme Something Good” 45 (additionally performing it on late night TV). Then out of the blue last week he released a 7″ punk EP, 1984, comprising 10 songs and nearly a half-hour’s worth of music. (For those keeping track of these sorts of things, cramming 30 minutes onto two sides of a single does not spell out H-I-F-I-D-E-L-I-T-Y…)

It is reportedly already sold out via Adams’ Pax-Am website, so fans are having to turn to other means to get the music. Ergo, the below stream, which an enterprising and generous fan ripped from the vinyl and posted to the internet. Enjoy… at least until YouTube gets hit by a takedown notice!

Mouse On Mars Announce 21 Again

Mouse

21st Anniversary Double Cd, Out October 31st On Monkeytown Records.

By Blurt Staff

Mouse on Mars celebrate their “coming of age” surrounded by 30 of their peers.

21 again sees them dabbling in laid-back disco funk with Tim Gane (Stereolab / Cavern of Anti-Matter) or spinning jittery dream pop with Scratch Pet Land. Their collaboration with Candie Hank spawned a kind of desert polka, while Modeselektor and Puppetmastaz inspired anthemic hip-hop excursions. Tortoise and Laetitia Sadier take the duo into neo-post-rock territory, Eric D Clark supplies radio-friendly song-writing skills, Funkstörung – reunited for the occasion – deliver broken funk while the song with Junior Boys reinterprets R’n’B as a holographic genre. 21 again is an ode to joy and to the friends of the band, yet also an homage to constant dialogue and diversity.

This willful diversity might cause confusion, but the band’s identity is more about process and agility than any clear-cut self-image. Toma and Werner define their music and themselves through friction and interaction; they freely put their concepts to the test and up for discussion. They each find their reflection in the other, practicing a kind of interactive magnetism. And yet, despite this highly attentive adaptability, a Mouse on Mars sound does exist. There is an immediately recognizable musical signature, conjured up despite the duo’s wealth of different projects and connections. Many different voices, speaking with and over each other, are part of this signature style, complemented by a radical nonchalance and unshakeable anarchy that leaves few musical moves unincorporated. Each noise, each sound, each shattering beat comes with its own comment. Comments that take any shape or guise – a rhythmic hiccup, a wow and flutter in the harmonic arc, an unexpected melodic fragment, a subliminal scratch or two. Mouse on Mars tell us “not to take it all too seriously”; after all, anything could change any minute.

Mouse on Mars 21 Again Festival takes place October 31st and November 1st at HAU 21 Hebbel Theatres in Berlin.

21 Again is out as a double-CD on October 31st via Monkeytown Records.

21 Again Tracklisting:        

CD1:

01. Eli & Mark E. Smith: 21 Again

02. Mouse On Mars & Cavern of Anti-Matter: Fertilized

03. Mouse On Mars & Tortoise: Shoe Fly

04. A Hawk And A Hacksaw & Balàzs Unger: Celebration Song Mouse On Mars & Errorsmith: Errormom

05. Mouse On Mars & Eric D Clark: Lost And Found

06. Mouse on Mars & Modeselektor feat. Mr. Maloke: Purple Fog

07. Mouse on Mars & Siriusmo: Immer Kurz Davor

08. Mouse on Mars & Scratch Pet Land: Splymogym

09. Mouse on Mars & Dodo NKishi: Queen Für Erschein

10. Mouse On Mars & Atom TM: Key My Brain

11. AGF / Delay Team: 21 Momstars

12. Mouse on Mars & Helado Negro: Carca Jadas

13. Mouse On Mars & Laetitia Sadier: My Toe Is On Fire

CD2:

01. Ingrid & Oswald Wiener: Wir möchten auch drauf sein

02. Mouse On Mars & Schlammpeitziger: Ein Leben Wie Heu

03. Mouse on Mars & Junior Boys: Putty Tart

04. Mouse on Mars & Candie Hank: Metaloona Swamp

05. David Michael Digregorio & Sung Huang Kim: We’re Glad You Are Born Today, Unless You Weren’t Born Today

06. Mouse on Mars & Machinedrum – Juice Clr 9

07. Mouse On Mars & Mesak & Claws Costeau: Somiak

08. Mouse on Mars & F.X. Randomiz: Fromm

09. Prefuse 73: 90’s

10. Mouse on Mars & Funkstörung: Bon Djerry

11. Mouse on Mars & Yoshimi: NKANKA

12. Mouse on Mars & Matthew Herbert aka DJ’s Collapse: Double Gum

13. Mouse on Mars & Olivia Block: Pterion

14. Mouse on Mars & Oval: Gitto Ski

15. Mouse on Mars & Tyondai Braxton: Off Sea

16. DJ Sotch Egg: Mouse On Egg (Happy Birthday!)

 

Bill Laswell’s M.O.D. Technologies Releases A Slew of Fresh Titles

MOD

INCUNABULA digital series features Laswell along with Milford Graves, Wadada Leo Smith,  Praxis, Buckethead, John Zorn,  DJ Krush, Bernie Worrell, Method of Defiance 

 and more…

By Blurt Staff

It’s called the INCUNABULA Digital series and it’s the Bill Laswell crew’s way of telling fans to lissen up, yo. M.O.D. Technologies started unleashing titles back in April and now more are on their way on into October. If it has the Laswell stamp of approval, we can dig it. We are advised the series “promises to present rare and unique, one time only captured events, in some cases originally experienced by a fortunate few and recover unusual, lost until now studio recordings. Documenting as far back as the early 80s up to present time. Moments seldom heard or experienced by anyone.” Yup. See details, below, on these digital only releases.

 BERNIE WORRELL  

Phantom Soundclash – Cut-Up Method: Two (Oct. 7) with Bill Laswell, Adam Rudolph, Dr. Israel, Grandmaster DXT

P-Funk legend Bernie Worrell, without a doubt, the most influential and definitely the most emulated and copied electronic keyboardist in modern music. His work totally defined the synthesizer of 80s and 90s hip-hop and can still be clearly recognized in the pop hits of today. Caught here in a classic sound / mush up…that moves from delicate to simply raw, intense and bombastic free-form funkafied filth reloaded. In collaboration with multi-directional percussion virtuoso Adam Rudolph, Brooklyn’s finest DJ / beat generator – Dr. Israel, Bill Laswell and the original Bronx DJ – Grandmixer DXT (Zulu Nation, Wild Style) best known for introducing scratching to the mainstream on Herbie Hancock’s mega hit “Rockit”… Thus spawning a generation of innovative turntablists…The history continues.

METHOD OF DEFIANCE 

Phantom Soundclash  – Cut-Up Method: One (Oct. 7) with Dr. Israel, Garrison Hawk, Bernie Worrell, Adam Rudolph, Graham Haynes, Peter Apfelbaum, Guy Licata, Bill Laswell, Foday Musa Suso

A spontaneous-recombinant, concrete music / sound collage. Electric Miles Davis, avant-funk, dub, reggae, noise, free-jazz and flashes of Africa – endure constnat rhythmic sound blasts, sonic detonations and high energy malfunctions. All past wreckage as raw material to be applied to the construction of completely new forms. Dr. Israel, Garrison Hawk, P-Funk icon – Bernie Worrell, Gambian Griot and kora master – Foday Musa Suso, Adam Rudolph, Graham Haynes, Peter Apfelbaum, Guy Licata and Bill Laswell… To be continued.

DJ KRUSH & BILL LASWELL   

Shuen (Aug. 25)

Turntablist and producer, DJ Krush, is one of the first Japanese artists to be embraced by the global hip-hop world. Beginning by mixing elements  of R & B and Acid Jazz with the big breakbeat backbone of mid- tempo hip-hop. Gradually moving more toward the abstract applying heavy effects and sample manipulation to thick, smart breaks, layered, ambient textures and subtle, inventive scratching. Heard here in duet with ikonoklast bassist/producer Bill Laswell. Shuen shows both musicians seamlessly navigate through the ambient / world beat matrix…a brief journey into sound and rhythm.

PRAXIS

The RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ (Aug. 25) with Buckethead, John Zorn, Bill Laswell

Gothic Futurism, Ikonoklast Panzerism… “In Times of Horror” – a coded message from the gates of hell.The specter of the 90s Earache imprint, collides with intense sound construction detonated with multi layers of fierce industrial textures…contrasting semi controlled chaos. Featuring mutant Guitar virtuoso at his freest, avant-garde Icon – saxophonist/composer John Zorn and Bill Laswell. Trash, hardcore, garbage god metal, chainsaw demolition, IT GROWS.

WADADA LEO SMITH &  BILL LASWELL

 The Stone (out now)

One of the most original and important trumpet players of his generation. His masterful tone opens portals that explore new sonic environments and lost worlds. Ambient space music above with the deep delta blues below. He was born in Leland, Mississippi. And early corroborrator with the AACM in Chicago, has also worked with Anthony Braxton, Marion Brown, Jack DeJohnette, John Zorn and many others. With many documented recordings under his name. A true original. Caught here in duet with Bill Laswell.

MILFORD GRAVES & BILL LASWELL

The Stone (out now)

Iconic Force of Nature, Teacher, Healer, Shaman, Spiritual Rhythmatist… His drums speak in heavy African and Afro-Cuban dialects. Echoes of timeless voices… From his beginnings with Albert Ayler, Sonny Shorrock and others… To the present space / time… Milford Graves has been a profound conductor of healing energy. A true spirit, a legendary African-American voice… Here in uninterrupted dialog with bassist Bill Laswell.

 

 

 

Watch Echo & the Bunnymen on the Letterman Show

Echo

Not quite “Zimbo” but still quite good…

By Blurt Staff

Speaking of Echo & the Bunnymen… rumors or not, they still put on a fine performance the other night on Late Night With David Letterman. The song is “Holy Moses” and it’s from their superb new album Meteorites, which was reviewed HERE at Blurt.

Rumor Of The Week: Echo & Bunnymen Invite Let’s Active to Tour?

1

It’s like déjà vu all over again…

By Uncle Blurt

Okay, so, people like to tell us things… we ARE the press and all that… people like to tell us things mostly off the record because, well, we ARE the press and all that. Ya know? Like in early 1990, when a close friend of ours living in Charlotte, NC, tipped us that movie star Tom Cruise, then married to Mimi Rogers, might be canoodling with his Days Of Thunder co-star Nicole Kidman; the racecar movie, of course, had been filmed in Charlotte, and at that point the Cruise-Rogers marriage was nearing the final stages of divorce, but the Cruise-Kidman liason had not yet been made public. The two went on to marry, of course.

So people continue to tell us things—like the current rumor circulating around NC that Echo & the Bunnymen, riding high on solid reviews for their Meteorites album, have approached Mitch Easter about having his old band Let’s Active join the band’s 2014 tour. Our source tells us that he was told—yeah, we’re deep into hearsay, but c’mon, this stuff is already making the rounds and doesn’t qualify as “off the record” material anymore at this point—that when someone in the Bunnymen camp heard about the recent Let’s Active reunion show, collective heads nodded, and a call or an email was placed.

To be specific: Let’s Active recently reunited for what was presumably a one-off benefit concert at the Cat’s Cradle, with Easter, original drummer Sara Romweber and fill-in bassist Suzi Ziegler (formerly of Game Theory; tragically, original bassist Faye Hunter passed away in 2013) doing a set of Let’s Active classics for the event. Recall, however, that back in 1984 Let’s Active was in fact tapped to be the opening act for the Bunnymen’s tour…. Also, our source tells us that drummer Romweber has disclosed to friends that following the completion of previously-booked dates with her brother (as the Dex Romweber Duo), she’ll be moving on to other musical endeavors. (This news has not yet been confirmed by the band or its label, incidentally.)

Maybe a lasting friendship between the Bunnymen and the Active crew was forged all those years ago? We shall see. What a great tour this might be, though, needless to say. Let the rumor mill kick into gear…