Monthly Archives: September 2014

Speaking of R.E.M., It’s Another Pete Buck 45

Pete 1

Meanwhile, let’s listen to some Charlie Pickett!

By Uncle Blurt

Now we talking. In addition to that recent R.E.M. archival news, Peter Buck (or as yer ol’ uncle likes to call the erstwhile R.E.M. guitarist, Uncle Pete) has a new 45 just hitting stores. It’s a 4-song EP titled Opium Drivel but it’s anything but opiated, or drivel… well, you might enjoy partaking of some opium or a similar combustible as you spin the wax, but I digress. The tracks are as follow, and watch for a review very soon: “Portrait of a Sorry Man,” “If This Is Love Can I Have My Money Back?” (cover of Charlie Pickett & The Eggs, from 1981), “Drown With Me,” “Welcome to the Party”

Pete 2

Pete 3

 

 

Meanwhile, as long as we are talking Charlie Pickett, here’s a live version of the legend himself:

New Book on Power Pop Just Out!

 

Power_Pop_cover_low_res

Don’t forget that it was the Raspberries’ “Go All the Way” spotlighted in the Guardians of the Galaxy film—and that Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” was in the series finale of Breaking Bad…

By Blurt Staff

Noted music journalist and author Ken Sharp has just published Play On! Power Pop Heroes: Volume One (Jetfighter), which is the first installment of a three-volume series. In it Sharp — no stranger to the genre, having penned books on the Raspberries and Cheap Trick — “honors the musical innovators who built the genre’s foundation.”

Sharp explains that the term power pop took root via a quote from Pete Townshend back in ’67 when describing the Who’s new 45 “I Can See for Miles.” Sharp notes that a slew of classic tunes appeared in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s to help cement the description, while earlier examples only served to make the foundation all that much stronger: “A Hard Days Night”…”You Really Got Me”…”Glad All Over”…”Feel A Whole Lot Better”…”Pictures of Lily”…”She’s Not There”…”Carrie-Anne”…”Walk Away Renee”…”Tin Soldier”…”Happy Together”… “Lies”…”Do Ya”…”Open My Eyes”…”Go All the Way”…”No Matter What”…”September Gurls”

“These classic songs share one common thread,” says Sharp. They contain all the ingredients that make up a musical form known as ‘power pop.’ From the ’60s to present day, power pop music has gone on to mean different things to different people. For some, the term conjures the guitar crunch of Badfinger and Cheap Trick; for some, it’s the intricate orchestrated melodicism of the Beach Boys, the Zombies or Jellyfish; while for others it epitomizes the quirky jagged pop tread by acts like Squeeze, XTC and Fountains of Wayne. But the stylistic glue that welds it all together into one thrilling two-to-three-minute musical joyride is a collective reverence for a picture-perfect melody that will take your breath away and a supersonic hook, the size of the Empire State Building, that’s near impossible to forget.”

The 480-page book includes a foreword by Eric Carmen of Raspberries plus extended interviews with 20 artists that defined the genre, including members of the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Hollies, the Dave Clark Five, the Zombies, Bee Gees, the Turtles, the Left Banke, Small Faces, the Move, Jeff Lynne and others. Also covered in this volume are representatives of the first generation of dedicated acolytes who followed the progenitors’ trail: Badfinger, Raspberries, Big Star and Emitt Rhodes. Track-by track commentary is provided about seminal albums including Pet Sounds (the Beach Boys), There Are But Four Small Faces (Small Faces), The Nazz (Nazz), Side 3 (Raspberries) and Emitt Rhodes (Emitt Rhodes) plus select artist commentary about classic recordings from members of The Zombies, The Turtles, The Hollies, The Knickerbockers and Badfinger.. Illuminating conversations with renowned producers George Martin (the Beatles), Shel Talmy (the Who) and John Fry (Big Star), engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott (the Beatles), and songwriters Tony Asher (the Beach Boys), Graham Gouldman (the Hollies) and Garry Bonner (the Turtles) add to the inside story of this influential genre.

 Play On! Power Pop Heroes: Volume One is available exclusively until the end of October from http://www.ken-sharp.com/power_pop/index.html . Two additional volumes will be published in 2015.

 

Here’s What’s NOT On That Upcoming “REMTV” DVD

SP1433896R3CoverWrap

An admittedly stellar release, though…

By Uncle Blurt

It’s titled REMTV and it’s being hailed in some corners as the “holy grail” for aficionados of REM live footage as “seen” through the eyes of MTV and VH1. Well, that’s true if your R.E.M. experience essentially starts in the early ‘90s, nearly a decade after the group debuted. And to be fair, there are a couple of nods to the band’s eighties on the six-disc DVD collection, due Nov. 24, including the celebrated ’84 appearance on the MTV-spawned (and Peter Zaremba-hosted) I.R.S. Cutting Edge show, plus the two-song Livewire appearance from ’83.

One gaping omission, however: MTV’s Rock Influences, filmed June 9, 1984 at Passaic’s Capitol Theatre, featuring the band performing for about 75 minutes (less than an hour was broadcast) and featuring, at the end, guest Roger McGuinn on two songs (“So You Want To Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Gloria”) and John Sebastian on one (“Do You Believe In Magic”). Also notable was the first song of the set, a cover of the Velvets’ “Pale Blue Eyes.” Go HERE for a full discussion/dissection of the concert (you can unearth the entire thing on YouTube, and right HERE is s good starting point) and meanwhile, check out a video of “Gloria”:

At any rate, the full tracklisting of the upcoming official release is below.

According to the band’s manager, Bertis Downs, “It occurred to us that there’s all this footage of some of the band’s absolute career highlights sitting in some MTV vaults in London and New York– and thanks to a lot of effort and digging and arranging, this is our chance to share that music with various generations of R.E.M. fans in a pretty unique release. And Alexander Young’s documentary is a fine way to tell the story of R.E.M. through its various twists and turns, as captured in real time by MTV’s cameras– it has some great funny bits too!”

Added Viacom’s Bill Flanagan (Viacom is MTV’s parent organization), “This is the first DVD project to unite material from all across Viacom’s networks. Not only are we drawing from the vaults of MTV – domestic and international – but from VH1, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. I don’t think anyone realized just how much terrific R.E.M. footage we were sitting on. To gather the best of it in one collection is pretty overwhelming. R.E.M. started great, stayed great and ended great – here’s the evidence.”

Fair enough, gents—so as long as everyone is busy digging around in the archives, how about coming up with some real rarities? Maybe some of the material that the fan community already knows is stored away safely in the archives, like the Oct. 10, 1982     concert at Raleigh, NC, club The Pier (a professionally shot video that has since been posted to YouTube in bite-sized segments by an enterprising individual), or perhaps the Sept. 25 & 26, 1984 shows at Duke University’s Page Auditorium that were professionally recorded by Reflection Studios (portions of which were bootlegged back in the day, but at a slightly incorrect speed)? Just sayin’…

Disc 1

UNPLUGGED 1991
(04/10/91)

Half A World Away
Disturbance at the Heron House
Radio Song
Low
Perfect Circle
Fall on Me
Belong
Love is All Around
Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Losing My Religion
Pop Song 89
Endgame

OUTTAKES 1991

Fretless
Swan Swan H
Rotary Eleven
Get Up
World Leader Pretend

UNPLUGGED 2001
(05/21/01)

All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star) *
Electrolite
At My Most Beautiful *
Daysleeper *
So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
Losing My Religion
Country Feedback
Cuyahoga
Imitation of Life *
Find the River

OUTTAKES 2001

The One I Love
Disappear *
Beat a Drum *
I’ve Been High *
I’ll Take the Rain *
Sad Professor *
The Great Beyond *

Disc 2

VH1 STORYTELLERS
(10/23/98)

Electrolite
Daysleeper *
Losing My Religion
Perfect Circle
Sad Professor *
Fall On Me
I’m Not Over You *
The Apologist *
Man On The Moon

STORYTELLERS – OUTTAKES

New Test Leper
Parakeet *
(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville
Suspicion *
Walk Unafraid *
At My Most Beautiful *

THE CUTTING EDGE
(06/14/84)

(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville
Driver 8
Wendell Gee
Smokin’ In The Boys Room
Time After Time (Annelise)
Driver 8

LIVEWIRE
(10/30/83)

So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)

MTV 10th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
(11/10/91)
Featuring members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Losing My Religion

VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS 1993
(09/02/93)
Including Brian Harris and Duane Saetveit

Everybody Hurts
Drive

VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS 1995
(09/07/95)

The Wake-Up Bomb

EUROPEAN MUSIC AWARDS 1998
(11/12/98)

Daysleeper *

EUROPEAN MUSIC AWARDS 2001
(11/08/01)

Imitation Of Life *

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION 2007
(03/12/07)

Begin The Begin
Gardening At Night
Man On The Moon

THE COLBERT REPORT
04/02/08)

Supernatural Superserious *

Disc 3

R.E.M. IN DALLAS
(09/19/95)

I Took Your Name
What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
Crush With Eyeliner

R.E.M. UPLINK AT BOWERY BALLROOM
(10/28/98)

Losing My Religion
Lotus *
Daysleeper *
E-Bow The Letter
The Apologist *
So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
Walk Unafraid *
Man On The Moon
Radio Free Europe

LIVE IN COLOGNE
(05/12/01)

All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star) *
The Lifting *
Imitation Of Life *
The One I Love
She Just Wants To Be *
Walk Unafraid *
Losing My Religion
Man On The Moon
Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

LIVE IN COLOGNE OUTTAKES

What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
Cuyahoga
Electrolite
I’ve Been High *
Find The River
I’ll Take The Rain *
At My Most Beautiful *
So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)

Disc 4

R.E.M. AT THE TABERNACLE, LONDON
(03/02/99)

Losing My Religion
Daysleeper *
Walk Unafraid *
Man On The Moon
What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

MTV SONIC MILAN
(05/02/01)

Losing My Religion
The Great Beyond *
What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
Daysleeper *
All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star) *
The Lifting *
I’ll Take The Rain *
I’ve Been High *
Man On The Moon
She Just Wants To Be *
Imitation Of Life *

ROCK AM RING
(06/03/05)

What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
Leaving New York *
Imitation Of Life *
Electron Blue *
Man On The Moon

ROCK AM RING OUTTAKES

I Took Your Name
Bad Day
Drive
The Outsiders *
Leave
Me In Honey
Wanderlust *
Everybody Hurts
Electrolite
Orange Crush
The One I Love
Walk Unafraid *
Losing My Religion
Imitation Of Life *
The Great Beyond *
Animal *
I’m Gonna DJ *

Disc 5

LIVE AT ROLLING STONE, MILAN
(03/18/08)

Living Well Is The Best Revenge *
Drive
Accelerate *
Hollow Man *
Electrolite
Houston *
Supernatural Superserious *
Bad Day
Losing My Religion
I’m Gonna DJ *
Horse To Water *
Imitation Of Life *
Until The Day Is Done *
Man On The Moon

LIVE AT OXEGEN FESTIVAL
(07/12/08)

What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
Drive
Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Man-Sized Wreath *
I’m Gonna DJ *
Supernatural Superserious *
Man On The Moon

R.E.M. IN ATHENS, GREECE
(10/05/08)

Living Well Is The Best Revenge *
What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
Drive
Man-Sized Wreath *
Bad Day
Electrolite
(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville
The Great Beyond *
The One I Love
Losing My Religion
Let Me In
Orange Crush
Imitation Of Life *
Supernatural Superserious *
Man On The Moon

Disc 6

R.E.M. BY MTV

DELETED SCENES

Peter
Politics
Golf
The Hornblower Affair
The Year 2000

 

 

Let’s Download That New Thom Yorke Album

Thom Yorke

By Uncle Blurt

Okay, so I think I’m actually going to spring for the LP version of Radiohead/Atoms For Peace frontman Thom Yorke’s new, abruptly-released album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes; I have trouble figuring out all this newfangled BitTorrent downloading stuff anyway. I only learned how to program my Betamax recorder last year. Plus, the non-digital release is on white vinyl and and is, according to the York site, “printed with a metallic silver laminate then multi-tone black and a striking neon green; the whole is enclosed in a bespoke anti-static shield bag – a metallised laminated material usually used by the electronics industry for protecting components from electrostatic interference. The bag is printed with neon green on both sides, and has a resealable grip closure.”

Talk about collector catnip. Radiohead fans aren’t exactly known for their resistance to collectible artifacts. It was released with only minimal warning yesterday (Sept. 26) and reportedly sold over 30,000 copies in just a few hours.

Download the record here and at the site as a BitTorrent bundle; you’ll also have the options to get it for free or pay/donate $6.00 which, let’s face it, is a more-than-fair price. Go here for the vinyl ordering page. The LP costs 30 British pounds, or about $49 in U.S. funds.

Below you can read a message from York about the motivation behind doing the record release this way. Meanwhile, every blogger in the dang blogosphere has been weighing in with opinions and observations, including industry pundit/gadfly Bob Lefsetz, who at his “Lefsetz Letter” last night wrote a scathing editorial that read, in part, “Atoms For Peace didn’t do so well the second time around, what makes Thom Yorke think people are waiting for his new solo album, never mind interested in paying for it? If you like Radiohead and its elements, if you’re listening, if Thom’s happy, I’ve got no problem. But Thom can’t keep bitching as fewer and fewer people listen to his music and he looks more like a crybaby Luddite than a cutting edge savant. [The musician’s job] is to create great art, not to change the business model. Because the truth is the business model has been changed not by the techies or the labels but the consumer.”

Meow!

From Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich:

As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record.

The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files..

The files can be anything, but in this case is an ‘album’.

It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around …

If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work.

Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves.

Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.

If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.

The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or ‘cloud’ malarkey.

It’s a self-contained embeddable shop front…

The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network.

Oh yes and it’s called

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.

 

 

 

Video: Chuck Prophet Gets Some “Luck” (not…)

Chuck

And no, before you ask, that ain’t Chuck pictured above…

By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern

Chuck Prophet is one of our eternal faves around here, so it’s a no brainer to post this new video from Mr. P. Titled “Wish Me Luck,” it’s from his just-released album Sun Surfer (Yep Roc), of which our reviewer enthused, “It’s not that Chuck Prophet needs any guideposts to find his way; indeed, after 30 years – five with seminal psychedelic band Green On Red, the remainder on his own – he clearly commands his own signature style. Still, there’s no denying the influences that abound here, as strung through the ricochet rhythms of “Countrified Inner City Technological Man,” the robust rocker “They Don’t Know About Me and You,” the kinetic strum of “Ford Econoline,” and the relentless tempo igniting “Felony Glamour.”

Watch the video, below. It was directed by Ryan Browne and stars Robert Longstreet.

 

Watch Film of Dream Syndicate Live at Bumbershoot

DS

By Fred Mills

KEXP-FM was on hand to film the reunited Dream Syndicate last month in Seattle during the Bumbershoot fest, resulting in a 30-minute special posted to the web. The tracks are “Tell Me When It’s Over,” “That’s What You Always Say,” “John Coltrane Stereo Blues” and “The Days of Wine and Roses”. Check it out:

The band is in Atlanta this weekend (recall that we recently had a special ticket offer for BLURT readers) and then there will be a couple of shows in Brooklyn and L.A. – and that’ll be it for 2014. Make sure you’re one of the folks who can say you saw ’em…

Sept. 26: The Earl, Atlanta
Sept. 27: The Earl, Atlanta
Nov. 15: Rough Trade NYC, Brooklyn, NY
Nov. 22: The Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA

Video Premiere: Elijah Ocean Takes a “Ride”

Elijah Ocean by Chell Stephen

Gifted young artist with new album arriving early next month.

By Blurt Staff

He’s a stellar singer songwriter with feet equally in Americana, folk and country — think Gram Parsons, Neil Young, The Band—and his new album is titled Bring It All In (Oct. 7, New Wheel). We’re already fans of Elijah Ocean, so we’re doubly pleased to unveil his new video for the track “Ride it Out”:

The new record comes on the heels of Ocean’s 2009 debut The Wind or the Wine and 2012’s Tumble & Fall. According to the Ocean camp, “The opportunity to record this new group of songs at Waterfront Studios was a dream come true for the blossoming singer. Built by producer Henry Hirsch (Lenny Kravitz, Mick Jagger) inside a nineteenth century church in Hudson, the analog studio provided the perfect space for Ocean’s thoughtful songs to come to life. He brought in seven of his best friends for a weekend of live tracking with engineer Greg Di Gesu, and together they captured the eight songs that make up Bring It All In. The open sound of the room paired with the natural arrangements of piano, fiddle, and pedal steel create a comfortable bed for Ocean’s earnest vocals, which were caught live on the floor with Sarah Durning singing harmony on a shared mic.”

Ocean will be performing next week, on Sept. 30, at the 5 Spot in Nashville. Then he makes a cross-country move to L.A. where, to celebrate his new home, will appear Oct. 24 at Hotel Café.

Elijah

Here’s That “Raw, Naked, Personal” New U2 Album Sleeve

U2

Truth-in-describing…

By Blurt Staff

Bono doth speak (technically, write, at the U2 website): “We’ve always been about community in U2, about family and friends. Songs Of Innocence is the most intimate album we’ve ever made. With this record we were looking for the raw, naked and personal, to strip everything back… how holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder than holding on to someone else’s.”

To that end, the above sleeve art, featuring drummer Larry Mullen and his son, in an image caught by photographer Glen Luchford.

Songs of Innocence – you may have heard of it, or discovered it lurking on your iPhone – arrives in stores Oct. 13.

MP3: Download ANOTHER New Replacements Show

mats 1

This one from Forest Hillls Sept. 19.

By Uncle Blurt

Pretty much everyone we know is on a Replacements high of late, what with the short-but-sharp appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show, the riotous and high-profile show a few weeks ago on home turf in Minnesota, and of course the Rolling Stone-powered rumor of a new studio album being sketched out by Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson. We’ve been listening nonstop to that Sept. 13 St. Paul show, in fact, having downloaded the MP3 of it off the interwebs and discovered much to my pleasure that it is insanely good quality.

Now another great-sounding ‘mats show has surfaced for free download over at, natch, Big O Zine, billing the Sept. 19 Forest Hills Stadium (Queens, NY) concert as “a solid, raucous performance.” As if you’d expect anything else from the band. They’ve kindly provided downloadable artwork as well, along with some nice quotes from Rolling Stone about the show itself.

Grab the swag HERE.

mats 2

Writes Charles Aaron, “[There were] Replacements-like moments in the show by a band billed as ‘the Replacements,’ which featuring Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson, plus two competent sidemen (guitarist Dave Minehan and drummer Josh Freese), performing Replacements songs Queens’ Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, 20-plus years after the band broke up… During ‘Left of the Dial,’ the ’80s-era summing-up-of-our-way-of-life-as-Replacements-fans anthem that has the specificity and off-the-cuffness that only the unconsciously blessed artists can produce, Westerberg couldn’t begin to puff himself up to the challenge and sang the same verse twice and generally looked overwhelmed and just happy to be upright onstage. It was exactly the 50-something version of how he used to smirk his way through radio-gold ’70s throwaways like ‘Hitchin’ a Ride.’ And oh yeah, the band’s cover of the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’ has improved, though it’s still a drunk-punk shitshow.”

Go HERE if you want to read what a certain member of the BLURT braintrust had to say about experiencing the Replacements firsthand not long after the release of Let It Be.

Disc 1

      Track 101
. Intro/West Side Story 2:31
      Track 102
. Favorite Thing 2:26
      Track 103
. Takin’ A Ride 2:33
      Track 104
. I’m In Trouble 2:33
      Track 105
. Don’t Ask Why 2:07
      Track 106
. I’ll Be You 3:45
      Track 107
. Valentine 3:55
      Track 108
. Waitress In The Sky 2:18
      Track 109
. Tommy Talks 0:52
      Track 110
. Tommy Got His Tonsils Out/3rd Stone From The Sun 2:28
      Track 111
. Take Me Down To The Hospital 4:01
      Track 112
. I Want You Back 1:24
      Track 113
. Color Me Impressed 2:27
      Track 114
. Tommy talks some more 1:20
      Track 115
. Nowhere Is My Home 3:29
      Track 116
. If Only You Were Lonely 3:13
      Track 117
. Achin’ To Be 3:30
      Track 118
. Kiss Me On The Bus 3:31
Disc 2
      Track 201
. Androgynous 3:19
      Track 202
. I Will Dare 3:55
      Track 203
. Love You Till Friday/Maybelene 4:48
      Track 204
. Merry Go Round 3:44
      Track 205
. All Shook Down 1:47
      Track 206
. Tommy yet again 0:30
      Track 207
. Swingin’ Party 3:42
      Track 208
. Love You In The Fall 3:04
      Track 209
. Can’t Hardly Wait 3:08
      Track 210
. Bastards of Young 3:54
      Track 211
. Jet Song White and Lazy 2:33
      Track 212
. Left of The Dial 3:30
      Track 213
. Alex Chilton 4:21
      Track 214
. Unsatisfied 4:28

 

Listen to THREE Versions of the New Neil Young Song

Neil

Stand up and be counted, yo. Above: Young at Farm Aid Sept. 13 in Raleigh.

By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern

Neil Young has released a brand new studio recording titled “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?,” via his own NeilYoung.com, but you can check it out below — in three versions, no less: solo acoustic, live w/Crazy Horse, and with a 92-piece symphony and choir. It was debuted this year during live shows with the Horse and Young did it at Farm Aid earlier this month (listen to his entire Farm Aid set elsewhere on the BLURT site).

“I’d like to make a record with a full-blown orchestra, live — a mono recording with one mic,” Young told Billboard earlier this year. “I want to do something like that where we really record what happened, with one point of view and the musicians moved closer and farther away, the way it was done in the past. To me that’s a challenge and it’s a sound that’s unbelievable, and you can’t get it any other way.”

Neil Young single

The song will appear on Storeytone, due this November on Reprise, and is billed as a “plea to end our dependence of fossil fuels and realize our responsibility to protect our earth’s fragile eco systems to ensure the quality of life for future generations.” To learn more visit: http://www.neilyoung.com/news/

lyrics

Photo Credit: Dave Brainard, for BLURT