Monthly Archives: March 2015

Track Premiere: Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano Solo!

Johnette_mirror.

Forthcoming EP only available at concerts as a precursor for album this fall.

By Blurt Staff

We have another hot exclusive for Blurt-ers: it’s a track from the new solo EP, Naked, from Johnette Napolitano—she of course cofounder of the mighty Concrete Blonde. While a Naked full-length is slated for release in September, this is a special release that will only be available on her upcoming tour (dates below) and will be a signed and limited edition of just 500 copies. If there are any left it will subsequently sold via CD Baby, as well as digitally at iTunes. Take a listen to this tasty teaser:

Napolitano commented on the EP, noting “Naked is a CD — or what they used to call an EP back in the day— three songs, just guitar and voice. It sounds like there’s a lot more going on but there isn’t. I’ve been spending more time on the road in the last year working out a solid solo show which I’m planning to shoot for DVD at some point but I still haven’t decided on a location, also live vs. soundstage setting. I’ve been selling my book (Rough Mix) on the road for awhile now and people have been asking for music, and I’ve been playing some new songs live so I thought I’d knock it out for the fans before dates this Spring. “Memory Go” “Jazz on Vinyl” and “Here” are the three tracks.”

She’ll continue to prep the full-length, but meanwhile there is that brief East Coast and Midwest tour starting April 16, for which she’ll be accompanied by Laurie Sargent, of Twinemen fame. “I dare say my most talented touring companion, Laurie Sargent, is a bit of a legend herself and a most learned horsewoman,” says Napolitano. “We have a damn good time on the road. The Twinemen opened for Concrete Blonde many times and are good friends; I was happy to have a chance to have Laurie out with me.”

Johnette-EP cover

Tour dates:

Thurs., April 16 SOMERVILLE, MA  Johnny D’s  w/Laurie Sargent
Fri., April 17 WILMINGTON, DE  The Grand  w/Laurie Sargent
Sat., April 18  NEW YORK, NY  City Winery   w/Laurie Sargent
Sun., April 19 WASHINGTON DC  Gypsy Sally’s  w/Laurie Sargent
Wed., July 8  CLEVELAND, OH  Music Box Supper Club  w/Laurie Sargent
Thurs., July 9   CHICAGO, IL  City Winery  w/Laurie Sargent
Fri., July 10  MILWAUKEE, WI  Shank Hall  w/Laurie Sargent
Sat., July 11  MINNEAPOLIS, MN  Dakota Jazz Club   w/Laurie Sargent

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialjohnettenapolitano

 

Track Premiere: L.A.’s Late Night Friends

Late Night Friends

New platter coming in June…

By Blurt Staff

Up and coming L.A. band Late Night Friends is prepping for their longplaying debut What I Think I’m Not, due June 30 via our pals at Limited Fanfare Records. Produced by Steve Kille of Dead Meadow, it’s a steamy blend of ‘60s psych, ‘70s punk and ‘90s indie, and you, the discriminating BLURT reader, is hereby privy to an exclusive advance listen by way of album track “We Are Okay.” Check it out:

Some background deets, which may or may not be 100% accurate but still seem to convey the group’s sense of musicality and playfulness:

“Founding members Jonathan Baron and Barrett Shuler started awkwardly constructing songs sometime around Christmas 2013. At first, Shuler didn’t appreciate Baron’s affinity for ‘60s psychedelia and ‘70s punk. Baron, in retaliation, smugly dismissed Shuler’s enthusiasm for obscure instrumental bands and Jeff Tweedy. The two buried the hatchet over a shared love for several ‘90s bands and have cohabitated politely since.

“Mutual friend and drummer Keith Roenke always joked that they should start a band because “the marriage of their styles would either work really well or not at all.” LNF was shaped up once Barrett recruited his former [Coral Springs, FL] Little League teammate Alex Gallner to play bass.”

Well, all right then! Rawk, y’all. The song is also the first single, available at some or maybe even all of the usual outlets…

Track Premiere: George Usher & Lisa Burns

Usher-Burns 3 pc Spencer Gordon

Ace tune culled from forthcoming album, due in early April…

By Blurt Staff

New York songwriters George Usher and Lisa Burns are prepping the release of their song-cycle collaboration, The Last Day Of Winter, due April 7 on Near and Dear Music. We’re able to exclusively premiere a new song from the album, “The Ferryman’s Name.” Check it out:

Usher has been a fixture on the NY scene since the early ’80s, when his band the Decoys were mainstays of CBGBs and Village club scene. While putting in time with local legends Beat Rodeo, the Bongos, and the Schramms, Usher formed House Of Usher and the George Usher Group, releasing many well-received albums. As a songwriter, he’s also made his mark with songs recorded by Laura Cantrell, Richard Barone and Edward Rogers. Burns, meanwhile, has also been a consistent presence in New York music circles since the late ‘70s. Her Lisa Burns (MCA) album was produced by Craig Leon, and stints followed with Velveteen and country-folkers The Lovin’ Kind. In recent years, Burns has released a series of critically acclaimed folk-pop albums.

Their collaboration emerged under, in Usher’s words, difficult circumstances: Unable to use his hands or play any instruments for over two years due to the chemo treatments from his long battle with cancer, he composed 12 song lyrics full of reflection and reverie that Burns has put to music. The Eric Ambel-produced set is, to say the least, delightfully eclectic, essaying folkrock, country and stripped-down, intimate pop.

Bonus beats: Watch the video for new song “More Than That I Cannot Say”:

On the web:

www.georgeusher.com

www.facebook.com/pages/lisa-burns/78601230475

www.facebook.com/pages/george-usher/11634332770

www.thelastdayofwinteralbum.com

https://twitter.com/GeorgeUsher

 

Jimi Hendrix to Get His Own Park!

Hendrix

Have you ever been parksperienced?

By Uncle Blurt

It’s not exactly Strawberry Fields, but at least it’s not, I dunno, Tupac Terrace: construction on the somewhat blandly-named Jimi Hendrix Park is expected to start next month in Seattle. I am not making this up. Rather than comment further—although it does occur that possibly “Electric Ladyland” would have been a bit catchier- I’ll just let you read the official press release, which follows after the schematic diagram of the proposed green. And yes, as you will surmise from the discussion below, they are actively soliciting donations (www.jimihendrixparkfoundation.org) to keep the project moving forward. Whether or not you think of it as a “worthy” cause it up to you. But it’s definitely one of the more intriguing ones!

park

After four years of planning and fund-raising, Jimi Hendrix Park took a major step closer to realization with the winning rebid of the development to ERRG, Inc. The City of Seattle is pursuing a contract with the company. ERRG, Inc. was chosen from among five bidders to transform an open green space in Seattle’s Central District into a celebratory space worthy of its namesake, hometown rock icon Jimi Hendrix. Construction at the 2.5-acre park, located adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum, is expected to begin in April, with opening of the new park features projected this fall.

“The Jimi Hendrix Park is the culmination of years of hard work, collaboration, creative input, and generosity invested in something we all believed in and constructed to commemorate an amazing human being. It is our hope that for generations, it will exist as more than an attraction or point of interest, but a place of homage to one of Seattle’s own. The landscaping, the artistic design, and the ambience all mimic the vibe of the persona of Jimi, whom this park honors,” says Janie L. Hendrix, Founder and Director of Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation.

Following a year-long public design process, the non-profit Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation and the Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park launched a capital fund-raising campaign in 2012 that raised more than $1.4 million to finance construction of the first phase in a two-part project. The park plan aims to create an engaging space that celebrates the life, music and legend of Seattle native Jimi Hendrix.

Phase 1 of the park development, designated “Little Wing,” will include a new stairway and grand entrance at the southeast corner of the park at 25th and Massachusetts, paved pathways, a chronological timeline of Jimi’s life and career, enhanced landscaping with trees and native plantings, seat wall benches, improved fencing, ADA accessible walkways, rain infiltration gardens, a butterfly garden, and a central plaza for community gatherings and performances.

“The Northwest African American Museum looks forward to the opening of the new Jimi Hendrix Park. Together we form a premier cultural destination that celebrates African American art, history and culture, and the living legacy of an iconic musician who helped the world expand its definition of “black music” and continues to influence musicians today,” remarks Rosanna Sharpe, Executive Director of the Northwest African American Museum.

Fund-raising continues to construct phase 2 of the park project including: additional pathways, pedestrian lighting, improved fencing, the installation of a central shelter and the centerpiece feature, a “shadow wave wall” depicting iconic silhouette images of Jimi Hendrix. The unique landscape design by Murase Associates of Seattle is expected to draw visitors from around the world as well as to serve as a local neighborhood gathering space.

Peter Hook & The Light UK Show w/Joy Division Tracks to Benefit Epilepsy Society

So This Is Permance Christ Church Macclesfield Final Poster Medium Res

Tour accurately billed as “35 Years On – So This Is Permanence”; special show takes place May 18 in England. See tour poster with all North American dates listed below.

Peter Hook & The Light return to Christ Church, Macclesfield on May 18th to perform the complete works of Joy Division. Hooky and The Light will play every single track ever written and recorded by the band at this singular concert at the beautiful 18th Century place of worship in the centre of the town where the group was founded. Both Unknown Pleasures and Closer, along with sundry singles and EP tracks, will be featured. As has become their live staple, The Light will perform both studio albums sequentially and in full at the event while the night will also see the band perform Joy Division’s final release, Still – a collection of material released posthumously in October 1981, just under one year after Ian’s death.

“So This Is Permanence” takes its name from the lyrics of “Twenty Four Hours”, an album track from the second side of Closer. Both the venue and the town hold great resonance for the event as Joy Division used to rehearse regularly at the nearby Talbot Pub in Macclesfield, although they never actually performed live in the town. As is well known, Macclesfield is the hometown of both Ian Curtis & Stephen Morris and in another coincidence, Christ Church was attended by Ian in his youth.

All proceeds from “So This Is Permanence” are to be donated to The Epilepsy Society and The Churches Conservation Trust with the donation to the CCT earmarked for the redevelopment of Christ Church.

Go HERE at Blurt to read an earlier live review of the band.

 

USA 2015 Final Poster Feb 2015

Incoming: 6LP Johnny Cash Vinyl Box

Johnny Cash

Entire American Recordings collection in one package; earlier CD box also out of print.

In the 1990s, Johnny Cash entered a professional renaissance after signing with Rick Rubin’s American Recordings where his label debut launched a fertile, decade-long creative period that saw him record a variety of songs that crossed different genres and spanned nearly a century. On March 24 Universal will release Johnny Cash’s complete American Recordings Vinyl Box Set featuring all six of that label’s albums:  American Recordings, American Recordings II: Unchained, American Recordings III: Solitary Man, American Recordings IV: The Man Comes Around, American Recordings V: A Hundred Highways and American Recordings VI: Ain’t No Grave.

LP1 – American Recordings (1994)

Released in 1994, American Recordings is a raw, stripped-down album recorded in a living room with just Cash and his acoustic guitar. The album ranks No. 366 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, has earned a GRAMMY® Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album Including Best Ethnic or Contemporary Folk Recording and hit No. 23 on the Country Albums chart and No. 110 on the Billboard Top 200. American Recordings not only features Cash-penned tracks such as “Redemption,” “Like a Soldier” and “Drive On,” he also puts his stamp on a wide variety of covers such as Glenn Danzig’s “Thirteen,” Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire,” Tom Wait’s “Down There by the Train” and Nick Lowe’s “The Beast in Me.”

LP2 – American II: Unchained (1996)

In 1996 Johnny Cash teamed up with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and recorded American II: Unchained which earned a GRAMMY® Award for Best Country Album in 1997 and hit No. 26 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and No. 170 on the Billboard 200. Included are tracks such as “Country Boy,”  “Mean Eyed Cat” and Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents.” Other songs are cover versions of Beck’s “Rowboat,” Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage” and “The Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea” written by June, Anita, Helen and Mother Maybelle Carter.

LP3 – American III: Solitary Man (2000)

Once again teaming up with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,Solitary Man was released in 2000 and earned Cash a GRAMMY® Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his rendition of Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man.” The album reached No. 11 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart and No. 88 on the Billboard 200. Other songs presented are Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” U2’s “One” and “Field of Diamonds” featuring backing vocals by June Carter.

LP4 (Double Album) – American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002)

Released in 2002, The Man Comes Around is the last studio album released by Johnny Cash before his death in 2003. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and No. 22 on the Billboard 200. The Man Comes Around earned a Country Music Association Award for Album of the Year and features the single “Give My Love to Rose” which won a GRAMMY® Award for Best Country Male Vocal Performance. Also featured is his re-defining cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt,” which won a 2003 GRAMMY® Award for Best Short Form Video and 2003 Country Music Association Award for Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year. It was nominated for six MTV Awards, winning in the Best Cinematography category. “Hurt” also reached No. 33 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, No. 56 on the Country Singles chart and No. 34 on the Hot Digital Songs chart.

LP5 – American V: A Hundred Highways (2006)

Cash’s highly anticipated posthumous album A Hundred Highways was recorded in 2002-2003 and released in 2006. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Country Albums and Top Internet Albums charts consecutively, with the track “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” earning a GRAMMY® Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 2007. Other performances include a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Further On (Up the Road)” and Cash’s last original, “Like the 309,” a song about a train taking his casket away.

LP6 – American VI: Ain’t No Grave (2010)

In 2010 American Recordings/Lost Highway Records released American VI: Ain’t No Grave, an album featuring music recorded during the American V: A Hundred Highways sessions. It debuted at No. 1 on the Top Digital Albums chart, No. 2 on the Top Country Albums chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200 becoming Cash’s third Top 10 in the U.S. Featured are tracks such as “I Corinthians 15:55,” “Redemption Day” written by Sheryl Crow, “Cool Water” by Bob Nolan, and “Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound” by Tom Paxton.

The American sessions continued up until shortly before Cash died in 2003. To this day, the raw honesty of Cash’s music and lifestyle continues to captivate and resonate with generations of fans of many different styles of music.

 

Ryan Adams Announces 6-LP Live Boxed Set

ryan

By Blurt Staff

It’s a 6LP 180G Vinyl Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set (with HD Download Card) released on April 21, and it’s called Ryan Adams: Live at Carnegie Hall (Pax-Am). Culled from Adams’ sold-out shows last Nov. 15 and 17, it will feature a whopping 42 songs including unreleased tracks “This Is Where We Meet In My Mind” & “How Much Light.”

The vinyl pressing is a one-time deal, but there will also be a single-LP distillation, Ryan Adams: Ten Songs from Live at Carnegie Hall, out June 9.

Tracklistings:

LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL:

1.    Gimme Something Good
2.    Oh My Sweet Carolina
3.    Damn, Sam (I Love A Woman That Rains)
4.    My Winding Wheel
5.    Trouble
6.    Nobody Girl
7.    On Broadway
8.    Halloween
9.    New York, New York
10.  Please Do Not Let Me Go
11.  Rats In The Wall
12.  Why Do They Leave
13.  Sylvia Plath
14.  Crossed-Out Name
15.  This Is Where We Meet In My Mind
16.  If I Am A Stranger
17.  Amy
18.  English Girls Approximately
19.  Avenues
20.  Come Pick Me Up
21.  Oh My Sweet Carolina
22.  My Winding Wheel
23.  Dirty Rain
24.  My Wrecking Ball
25.  New York New York
26.  Friends
27.  Am I Safe
28.  Ashes And Fire
29.  Gimme Something Good
30.  Why Do They Leave
31.  Off Broadway
32.  The Hardest Part
33.  The Rescue Blues
34.  Lucky Now
35.  Dear Chicago
36.  Desire
37.  How Much Light
38.  Firecracker
39.  Kim
40.  Call Me On Your Way Back Home
41.  Black Sheets Of Rain
42.  Come Pick Me Up

TEN SONGS FROM LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL:

1.    Oh My Sweet Carolina (11/15)
2.    Nobody Girl (11/15)
3.    New York, New York (11/15)
4.    Sylvia Plath (11/15)
5.    This Is Where We Meet In My Mind (11/15)
6.    My Wrecking Ball (11/17)
7.    Gimme Something Good (11/17)
8.    How Much Light (11/17)
9.    Kim (11/17)
10.  Come Pick Me Up (11/17)

Track Premiere: Bloodhounds’ RSD Contribution to Alive 2LP Set

Bloodhounds

Song and album both come bearing the official TMOQ stamp of approval, yo.

By Blurt Staff

Easily one of the more exciting new bands we got turned on to last year was L.A.’s Nuggets-powered Latino rockers the Bloodhounds—the Blurt braintrust was so goddam Bloodhounds crazy that we even took the bait when a full digital stream of their Let Loose album was offered by their label Alive Naturalsound for the website. As our reviewer put it in his comments about the record, for “a band this young, that kind of open-mindedness [makes] Bloodhounds more than just a retro revivalist bar band and Let Loose! an auspicious debut.”

Speaking of debuts: we got another one for ya. Titled “La Coauhuila” it’s an unreleased track that is slated to appear on Alive Naturalsound’s upcoming Record Store Day exclusive 2LP set Rock & Roll Is A Beautiful Thing. Mighty stoked to premiere it today:

Frontman Aaron Piedraita explains, “‘La Coauhuila’ takes place in Tijuana, Mexico. I was down south for a couple months and a friend kept talking about this raunchier Las Vegas, an anything goes type of deal. All I had to do was get down there and I could get anything my heart desires. Oh I got mine!”

Incidentally, the aforementioned double LP features a cross-section of the record label’s acts, in celebration of Alive Naturalsound’s 20th anniversary, including The Black Keys, T-Model Ford, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Andre Williams, Outrageous Cherry, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires and many others. Below, check out the sleeve artwork—it’s by none other than legendary underground artist William Stout, whose body of work includes covers for the infamous ’70s Trademark of Quality bootleg record label, movie posters such as Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, production design for movies (Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Mist, etc), and some acclaimed paleontological art. His illustration for the album is part of the current exhibition Revolutions 2: ­ The Art of Music (Forest Lawn Glendale Museum).

Alive_Anniversary_Cover_Page_1 crop

The Bloodhounds’ Piedraita also commented on his band’s relationship with Patrick Boissel (founder/owner of Alive Records), saying, “Patrick and the Alive Records family have been the best label we could’ve asked for. We have a good relationship with Alive, they’ve been very kind to us. As a musician you dream of having an album out. Well, they not only made that dream come true for us, they put it out on a pink marble vinyl as well! They’ve helped us push our music out nationally and internationally. Arthur Alexander [from Sorrows, who produced our Let Loose! album] told us that Patrick doesn’t usually sign bands out of LA so we’re glad we were the exception. We’re proud of being a part of the Alive Records family!”

Video Premiere: New NC Documentary Series About Southern Musicians

Southern Songs and Stories logo

First episode: Tarheel musician Aaron Burdett.

By Fred Mills

Longtime readers of Blurt may recognize the name Joe Kendrick—he’s a close buddy of mine and one of the main deejays at WNCW-FM, the community radio station located at Isothermal College in Spindale, NC (near Asheville). For several years I collaborated with him, along with some fellow music nuts, on a daily music talk show for WNCW called “What It Is,” later working with him on the early episodes of his online video program (about music, natch), “Lingua Musica.”

So it was with great interest when I learned of Joe’s new project, a music documentary series called Southern Songs and Stories with Tony Preston of Moonlight Mile studio. According to Joe, the series “explores the music of the South and the artists who make it in documentaries showcasing music performances, interviews and scenes from their lives and those around them. It’s a way of discovering what makes an artist unique, and how their story fits in with their community and the South.”

Aaron

Blurt is very honored to unveil the half-hour pilot episode of SSaS, featuring the inordinately talented Americana artist Aaron Burdett (above) of Saluda, who wields a mean axe and sings like the bastard offspring of Doc Watson and Hank Williams. It features footage of Burdett on the Lingua Musica Show from earlier this year as well as recent performances (there’s one in the studio with Anya Hinkle of Tellico), scenes from Organic Records and more. Check it out:

Adds Joe, “Tony Preston and I are partners in producing the series; we plan on funding future episodes this spring via crowd sourcing campaigns while we work to attract potential sponsors and network platforms. For more info, contact us at southernsongsandstories@gmail.com.”

Nick Cave/Bad Seeds’ “Push…” LP Reissued on Colored Wax

Nick Cave

Wait, it’s already gone?!? WTF!

Another brand new Newbury Comics colored vinyl exclusive has been announced: Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Newbury’s version of this 2013 release (the first with Barry Adamson as a member in over 15 years) is pressed on “fetching Smokey Clear vinyl” and is limited to only 500 pieces.

Out on 3/24 and… and… uh oh, too late punters. This message appeared on the Newbury site even before we finished writing this news item:

“This Newbury Comics Colored Vinyl Exclusive Pre-order is now sold out on newburycomics.com.”

Sorry. As consolation, let’s check out this monumental, epically profane video of the band doing “Stagger Lee” on the Push tour.