Monthly Archives: December 2014

Michael Stipe Plays Brief Live Set @ Patti Smith Show


Covers Smith, Perfume Genius, Vic Chesnutt and some band called R.E.M….
By Blurt Staff
Monday night (Dec. 29) erstwhile R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe turned up unannounced at Patti Smith’s Webster Hall (NYC) concert to do a six-song opening set. As Slicing Up Eyeballs reports, he was “joined by two other musicians [and] performed R.E.M.’s “Saturn Return” and “New Test Leper,” plus covers of Vic Chesnutt’s “Lucinda Williams,” Smith’s own “Wing,” Perfume Genius’ “Hood” and “New York, New York,” popularized by Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra.” Er, those “two other musicians” would be Jesse Paris Smith (Smith’s kid, natch) and Andy LeMaster from Athens band Now It’s Overhead. Below, check out some of the tunes.

Belle & Sebastian Prep Special Colored Vinyl for New LP


Sad bastard music for clear wax bastards!
By Blurt Staff
Belle & Sebastian fans still in afterglow mode from the news back in October about the Jan. 20 release by Matador of Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance now have even more reason to cheer: a special limited edition clear vinyl version of the album.
It will be available from Newbury Comics (who’ve recently done a slew of classic colored wax reissues from Jeff Buckey, Big Star, the Velvet Underground and even John Coltrane) in a small pressing of just 1500 copies. This is different from the previously announced 2LP album and the 4LP vinyl box. Better get hopping, collectors, as this will probably sell out in pre-orders.

“Black Dynamite” Toon Takes on Police Brutality Issue


black dynamite

Badu, Tyler, Nelson, Smoove and others participate in episode.

By Blurt Staff

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s going to be an awesome ‘toon on Adult Swim called “Black Dynamite” which springboarded off the even more awesome Blaxploitation sendup Black Dynamite (details HERE), which itself – for all you funk/soul bruthas and sistas out there – had equally awesome Adrian Younge theme music and an accompanying, Wax Poetics-approved, soundtrack.

Upcoming is a one-hour episode, due Jan. 10, via Adult Swim and titled “The Wizard of Watts” featuring Erykah Badu, Tyler The Creator, Tim Blake Nelson and J.B. Smoove, that deals with some of the recent, high-profile police brutality and racial issues in America. According to Pitchfork, the show “follows a crime-fighting title character whose job it is to keep his city safe from, among other threats, ‘ninjas, a young Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby and Richard Nixon’ (it takes place in the 1970s)… Black Dynamite… attempts to take a vacation, during which time police start patrolling the streets and a riot breaks out. Black Dynamite is then hit in the head with a brick, which causes him to hallucinate into the Magical Land of Oz-Watts, where he is called upon to defend the community from the police.”

Director and co-writer Carl Jones commented, “As a comedy writer, I feel it’s my job to make people laugh while using constructive social criticism to evoke thought and inspire dialogue.” (Via Pitchfork) Below, watch some great shit:


Grateful Dead Manager Rock Scully 1941-2014 R.I.P.

Rock Scully

Helped the band pioneer its unique brand of zen-based rock ‘n’ roll.

 By Blurt Staff

Following a lengthy bout with lung cancer, original Grateful Dead manager Rock Scully has died at the age of 73. Scully served as the band’s manager until 1984, then battling drug addiction and, later, cancer. The date of his passing was December 16; the news was only made public today. Rolling Stone reports that “one of Scully’s vocal cords collapsed in September, leaving him unable to speak,” adding that the Dead’s Bob Weir wrote in a tribute to Scully at the band’s website, “He put in the miles with us. He knew the words to all the songs. He knew the right things to say, to tell people, to let them know what we were all about without ever actually explaining anything, because he knew it couldn’t be explained. We bowled ahead and made history together – the kind people write books and make movies about. Rock was a big part of it all.

“When last we spoke, [Scully] was as full of wonder and curiosity as when we first met him back at the Acid Test. His mischievous sense of adventure made him a perfect candidate for the position of manager for a band with similar sensibilities and an equally similar disregard for the way things were supposed to be done.”



Incoming: Soul Jazz Overview of ‘70s Akron Punk


The Motor, er, Rubber City is burning once again…

By Blurt Staff

Veteran archival label Soul Jazz’s new upcoming installment in their Punk 45 series drops Jan. 26 and is titled Burn, Rubber City, Burn. You guessed it: the set charts the rise of the music scene in the midwest city of Akron, Ohio, at a time when the city and the rubber industry it was associated with was in deep decline. Notable Akron groups spotlighted include Devo (natch), The Bizarros, Rubber City Rebels, Jane Aire, Chi-Pig, The Waitresses and more.

The album comes complete with extensive text as well as exclusive photos and original record artwork. CD comes with outsize large booklet and thick slipcase. Vinyl edition is on deluxe gatefold double-vinyl with free download code.

The album follows on from Soul Jazz’s earlier Punk 45 albums about USA and British punk (Kill The Hippies! Kill Yourself! and There Is No Such Thing As Society) as well as the cover art book Punk 45. And Burn, Rubber City, Burn coincides with the release of as a second album about Ohio’s early punk scene, Extermination Nights in the Sixth City – featuring the music scene of nearby Cleveland.

Below, check out some of ye old editor’s fave bands from that era and locale (he informs us that he used to write about most of ’em back in his punk fanzine days during the late ’70s so he may know of what he enthuses)… and watch this space for his Bizarros retreospective, coming soon.

Ardent Studio’s John Fry 1945-2014 R.I.P.


Memphis legend also worked collaboratively in the studio with Big Star.

By Fred Mills

Called by some “the rock of Memphis music,” John Fry of Ardent Studio passed away yesterday following a heart attack. The Commercial-Appeal reports, “The 69 year-old Mr. Fry died on Thursday afternoon at Methodist East hospital, where he was taken after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Germantown home.”

Ardent, of course, played host to everyone from Led Zep and ZZ Top to R.E.M. and the White Stripes — and a local Memphis outfit called Big Star. Fry had started the studio originally in his parents’ garage, later moving it to a series of locations until building a new complex at 2000 Madison Ave. He also launched his fledgling Ardent label, eventually connecting with Stax Records for distribution and the release of Big Star’s #1 Record.

The rest is history. “If you acquire knowledge or skill or even wisdom, and you just keep it, then when you die, that dies with you,” Fry is quoted as saying in 2006. “But if you share that with other generations — who in turn will share it and share it and share it — you’re doing something that lasts.”

Go HERE to read the full Commercial-Appeal report.

Listen to 2 New Oneohtrix Point Never Tracks


Early Christmas gift to fans.

By Blurt Staff

Daniel Lopatin – that’s Oneohtrix Point Never to you, pal – has just stealth-released a pair of new tracks currently streaming or available for download at Soundcloud. They are titled “Rush” and “Bubs,” the former originally slated for 2013’s R Plus Seven album, with the latter a new “holiday special” that he and A.G. Cook of PC Music cooked up.

“Its [sic] been a ruff [sic] year for planet earth,” he tweeted, “and music sometimes feels like a slightly absurd vocation but i hope this increase joy by _%.”

Video: Stipe on “Colbert Report,” Sold w/Other “Junk”


O, everybody hurts indeed!

By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern

As we prepare to say a fond farewell to raconteur and pundit Stephen Colbert – the final “Colbert Report” airs tonight, in case you’ve been living in a cave – we REALLY enjoyed last night’s episode in which his pal Michael Stipe, often featured on the show, was put for sale with a bunch of junk that Colbert explained he’d accumulated over the years and had no more use for. The price tag on Stipe’s bald pate? A whopping 25 cents…. Pretty sure that Captain America fig went for more than that.

Below, watch the video of the junk sale….

Best “sad bastard music… ever!”: New Video from Belle & Sebastian


The new video for Belle & Sebastian’s latest single, “Nobody’s Empire,” premiered recently on the band’s site. The opening track of their forthcoming album Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, Stuart Murdoch says “it’s absolutely the most personal [song] I’ve ever written.”

The video combines footage from the album cover shoot – with actor and cover model Tamzin Merchant taking on the role of Stuart Murdoch in this tale of Murdoch’s health problems as a younger man – with over 100 clips received from B&S fans, as well as archival clips from the Scottish Screen Archive at the National Library Of Scotland and the Prelinger Archives.

Girls In Peacetime Want to Dance
will be released on January 20th, 2015 via Matador. The ninth studio album from Belle and Sebastian was produced and mixed at Maze Studios in Atlanta by Ben H. Allen III, (Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, Deerhunter). Additional mixing took place in Glasgow with longtime collaborator Tony Doogan before being mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road Studios.

 Track Listing:

  1. Nobody’s Empire, 2. Allie, 3. The Party Line, 4. The Power of Three, 5. The Cat with the Cream, 6. Enter Sylvia Plath, 7.The Everlasting Muse , 8. Perfect Couples, 9. Ever Had a Little Faith? 10. Play for Today , 11.The Book of You, 12. Today (This Army’s for Peace)

Tour Dates:

January 26 – Laneway Festival, Auckland, New Zealand

January 28 – The Tivoli, Brisbane, Australia

January 29 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia

January 31 – Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia

February 1 – Palais Theatre, Melbourne, Australia

February 3 – Astor Theatre, Perth, Australia

February 12 – AX Club, Seoul, Korea

February 16 – Hostess Club Taipei @ Legacy, Taipei, Taiwan

February 21 – Hostess Club Weekender, Studio Coast, Tokyo

March 30th: USA, Cambridge, House of Blue

April 1st: Canada, Toronto, Massey Hall

April 2nd: USA, Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak

April 3rd: USA, Riviera, Chicago

May 3 – St. David’s, Cardiff, Wales

May 4 – Colston Hall, Bristol

May 5 – Guildhall, Portsmouth

May 7 – Corn Exchange, Cambridge, England

May 8 – Open, Norwich, England

May 10 – Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England

May 11 – Westminster Central Hall, London

May 12th: UK, Westminster, Central Hall

May 15th: UK, Manchester, Albert Hall

May 14 – Albert Hall, Manchester, England

May 16 – City Hall, Newcastle, England

May 18 – Opera House, Buxton, England

May 19 – City Hall, Leeds, England

May 22 – Hydro Arena, Glasgow (with the Scottish Festival Orchestra)

May 24 -Sound City, Liverpool, England

June 10 – Radio City Music Hall, New York

July 2-4 – ATP Iceland, Keflavik, Iceland