Monthly Archives: July 2015

Vinyl Tuesday Set to Launch in Indie Stores Next Week

Vinyl Tuesday

All sales are final, er, vinyl….
By Barbi Martinez, Blurt Intern
We are excited about Vinyl Tuesday, which will start happening next Tuesday (duh), August 4. So much so that we plan a special review of Death Magic by Health. We are advised that the noise-punk L.A. quartet “combines incredible musicality (vocals, drums, guitars, bass & keys) with visceral electronics to form a sound unlike anything in music today, forging heavy rock and experimental electronic elements.” Our reviewer is pretty chuffed as well.

Health 8-4
Also incoming will be Joan Jett’s classic I Love Rock & Roll as a limited edition double-LP white wax set featuring the original record on disc 1 and a live ’81 show on disc 2. The following week The Replacements have a 4LP box set, The Twin/Tone Years.
Spearheaded by the good folks of Record Store Day as a reaction to the music industry shifting the official new release day from Tuesday to Friday, Vinyl Tuesday “is a way for us to encourage artists, labels, distributors and managers to continue to release physical music on Tuesdays when they can. This allows physical retailers to have something fresh to sell and to talk about during the week, and lets those releases not just get lost on the increasingly crowded Friday/weekend.”
Got all that? Good. Now the next order of business should be to make those darn vinyl records returnable, or at least offer retailers some form of a returns allowance. Once they are able to order plenty of LPs without having to worry about getting stuck with ‘em when they stiff (can you spell “Animal Collective”?) those orders are bound to increase, and fans won’t have to worry about not being able to find their fave artists’ platters, too…
Coming

Track Premiere: NYC singer-songwriter Sara Rachele

Sara Rachelle

B-side of her ace new 7” single.

By Blurt Staff

Ex-Love Willows Sara Rachele, late of Atlanta and currently based in NYC, debuted as a singer-songwriter in 2014 with the well-received Diamond Street, subsequently releasing several attention-getting singles. Her latest? “Crazy Love” b/w “Three,” out shortly, and we are very happy to premiere the latter track here at BLURT today:

The tune is all acoustic guitar and vocals, cut live to two-track tape, a nod to the Georgia native’s folkie heritage. For this cut, Rachele and producer Kris Sampson (Ponderosa, B-52’s, The Coathangers) recorded in a living room-turned-studio in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood. “Kris adds this confidence to my work,” Rachele says. “I always leave challenged—and I think the songs are better for it.”

The A-side of course is a cover of Paul Anka’s 1958 hit “Crazy Love”—here, reverbed-out, slinky number, complete with swaggering electric guitars. Part smoky latenight indie-rock ballad / part soulful girl-group shuffle, it’s nearly unrecognizable as the Anka classic. (You can preorder here:  https://sararachele.bandcamp.com/album/crazy-love .)

The backstory: The daughter of a baby-boomer painter and Italian/Slovak immigrant, Rachele (pronounced ra-kelly) grew up in Atlanta, gravitating to acoustic hotspot Eddie’s Attic where she met countless musicians and writers and fell into bands as a side-player before she even knew how to write a song. While still a teenager, she became backing vocalist and keyboard player for The Love Willows, who promptly signed to Decca/Universal, writing and recording with producer Mike Daly (Whiskeytown, Lana Del Ray, Grace Potter).

Eventually, though, Rachele decided to leave behind The Love Willows’ bubblegum pop sound, moved to Boston and enrolled for a time at Berklee College of Music, before dropping out to live in her newly adopted home of New York City. She subsequently roamed the coffeehouses & nightclubs of the East Village, trading innocence for experience, and word spread quickly about her passionate delivery, her honest, unadorned lyrics and her uniquely Southern sound. Along with sidekick and fellow Atlanta expat Charlotte Kemp Muhl (with Sean Lennon, half of Ghost of the Saber Tooth Tiger), Rachele found a home in New York and wound up cutting Diamond Street as a marriage between her folk-centric upbringing and her rock & roll in NYC. Since then she’s been compared to everyone from Neko Case to Stevie Nicks to Lucinda Williams – with good cause.

Incoming: Massive 6-CD Jam Box Set

Jam

That’s entertainment, yo.

By Blurt Staff

It’s not due until October 30 but Jam and Paul Weller fans are already drooling: that would be the 6-dic Fire And Skill: The Jam Live box, en route via Polydor. It essentially revisits the group’s career via a chronological trawl through the Jam’s concert archive. Full details and tracklisting are as follow:

 

  1. Starting with an early gig at London’s famous 100 Club from 1977, the show featured took place 10 months after they first played the venue in November 1976, and was recorded for broadcast on American radio ahead of the trio’s inaugural visit to U.S. in October 1977 for a six-date tour.

2. A Music Machine show from 1978 featuring most of the band’s 2nd album – This Is The Modern World. This was The Jam’s sixth live show of the year and one of four low-key shows in the capital to fanfare their new “News Of The World” single under the banner ‘The London Blitz.’

 

  1. Reading University – February 1979. Playing material from their breakthrough album All Mod Cons, this was The Jam’s first live appearance of 1979.

 

  1. Newcastle City Hall – October 1980. This show previews songs from The Jam’s forthcoming album Sound Affects. In the time between the show at Reading University (on Disc 3) and this appearance at Newcastle City Hall 20 months later, Setting Sons, their fourth album, had given them the Top 3 UK hit “The Eton Rifles,” which was followed in February 1980 with the stirring No. 1 UK single, “Going Underground.” After three years on Polydor, The Jam had finally become the biggest group in the UK.

 

  1. London’s legendary Hammersmith Palais – December 1981. Part of The Jam’s four consecutive nights, previewing material from the forthcoming final album The Gift.

 

  1. One of the band’s final ever gigs at Wembley Arena – December 1982. Late in 1982 The Jam announced they were splitting up with a 14-date ‘farewell’ tour announced. The centrepiece was a five-night stand at Wembley Arena, the 10,000-capacity shed next to the London football stadium (the recording here is from the second date), the biggest live venue in the capital.

 

* Packaged in mini, lift-off lid box with 72-page, color hard-back book.

* Individual gatefold wallets for the discs, designed as facsimiles of the original tape boxes.

* Includes new essay, period photos, rare memorabilia and set of five postcard prints.

* Remastered at Abbey Road.

* Featuring live versions of all the band’s classic hits, of which only 11 tracks were  previously released.

———————————————————————————————

 

 

Track Listing:

Disc One

Live at the 100 Club – September 11, 1977

  1. I’ve Changed My Address
  2. Carnaby Street
  3. The Modern World
  4. Time For Truth
  5. So Sad About Us
  6. London Girl
  7. In The Street Today
  8. Standards
  9. All Around The World
  10. London Traffic
  11. Heat Wave
  12. Sweet Soul Music (b-side of ‘Modern Word’ single)
  13. Bricks And Mortar (b-side of ‘Modern Word’ single)
  14. In The City
  15. Art School
  16. Back In My Arms Again (b-side of ‘Modern Word’ single)
  17. Slow Down
  18. In The Midnight Hour
  19. Sounds From The Street
  20. Takin’ My Love
  21. In The City (encore)

 

Disc Two

Live at the Music Machine – March 2, 1978

  1. The Modern World
  2. London Traffic
  3. I Need You
  4. The Combine
  5. Aunties And Uncles
  6. Standards
  7. Here Comes The Weekend
  8. Sounds From The Street
  9. News Of The World
  10. London Girl
  11. In The Street Today
  12. Bricks And Mortar
  13. In The Midnight Hour
  14. Carnaby Street
  15. All Around The World
  16. Slow Down
  17. News Of The World (Sound-check – bonus track)

 

Disc Three

Live at Reading University – February 16, 1979

  1. The Modern World
  2. Sounds From The Street
  3. Away From The Numbers
  4. All Mod Cons To Be Someone
  5. It’s Too Bad
  6. Mr Clean
  7. Billy Hunt
  8. In The Street Today
  9. Standards (Originally released on ‘Dig The New Breed’ album 1982)
  10. Tonight At Noon
  11. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
  12. News Of The World
  13. Here Comes The Weekend
  14. Bricks And Mortar / Batman
  15. The Place I Love
  16. David Watts
  17. Heat Wave
  18. ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street

 

Disc Four

Live at Newcastle City Hall – October 28, 1980

  1. Intro
  2. Dreamtime
  3. Thick As Thieves
  4. Boy about Town
  5. Monday
  6. Going Underground
  7. Pretty Green
  8. Man In The Corner Shop
  9. Set The House Ablaze
  10. Private Hell
  11. Liza Radley
  12. Dreams Of Children
  13. The Modern World
  14. Little Boy Soldiers
  15. But I’m Different Now
  16. Start!
  17. Scrape Away
  18. Strange Town
  19. When You’re Young
  20. The Eton Rifles
  21. Billy Hunt
  22. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
  23. To Be Someone
  24. ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street
  25. David Watts

 

Disc Five

Live at Hammersmith Palais – December 14, 1981

  1. The Gift / Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
  2. Man In The Corner Shop (originally released on ‘Live Jam’ album 1993)
  3. Ghosts
  4. Absolute Beginners
  5. Town Called Malice (originally released on ‘Live Jam’ album 1993)
  6. Set The House Ablaze (Originally released on ‘Dig The New Breed’ album 1982)
  7. That’s Entertainment / Tales From The River Bank
  8. Precious
  9. Happy Together
  10. In The Crowd / David Watts
  11. Boy About Town
  12. Pretty Green
  13. Funeral Pyre (originally released on ‘Live Jam’ album 1993)
  14. Circus
  15. Going Underground
  16. Big Bird (Originally released on ‘Dig The New Breed’ album 1982)
  17. Little Boy Soldiers

 

Disc Six

Live at Wembley Arena – 2nd December 1982

  1. Start!
  2. It’s Too Bad
  3. Beat Surrender
  4. Away From The Numbers
  5. Ghosts
  6. In The Crowd
  7. Boy About Town
  8. Get Yourself Together
  9. All Mod Cons
  10. To Be Someone
  11. Smithers-Jones
  12. The Great Depression
  13. Move On Up
  14. When You’re Young
  15. David Watts
  16. Private Hell
  17. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
  18. Mr Clean
  19. Trans-Global Express
  20. Going Underground
  21. The Butterfly Collector (originally released on ‘Live Jam’ album 1993)
  22. Dreams Of Children
  23. The Gift

 

DJ Spooky/Kronos Quartet To Release “Rebirth of a Nation” Score

Spooky

Film and multimedia performance piece is a “remix” of the infamously racist 1915 silent film.

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, has recorded a huge volume of music and collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and composers, among them Iannis Xenakis, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kronos Quartet, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore and many others. His latest release under the DJ Spooky moniker will be the score of the Rebirth of a Nation film, which will be available in physical and digital formats on August 28.

Conceived as a remix and reimagination of director D.W. Griffith’s infamously racist 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation, Rebirth of a Nation, recorded with Kronos Quartet, is
 a controversial and culturally significant project that examines how, in Miller’s words, “…exploitation and political corruption still haunt the world to this day, but in radically different forms.”

Originally commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Weiner Festwochen, and the Festival d’Automne a Paris, the project was Miller’s first large-scale multimedia performance piece, and has been performed around the world, from the Sydney Festival to the Herod Atticus Amphitheater, more than fifty times. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the original film’s release, as well as the sesquicentennial of the end of the American Civil War, which Griffith also depicted in the film. Now, in 2015, and in the wake of tragic events that have sparked a national dialog on race in America, Rebirth of a Nation’s commentary is more relevant than ever.

The Birth of a Nation focused on how America needed to create a fiction of African-American culture,” Miller told the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. “It’s in tune with the fabrication of ‘whiteness’ that under-girded American thought throughout most of the last several centuries, and it floats out in the world of cinema as an enduring, albeit totally racist, epic tale of an America that, in essence, never existed.”

Spooky

“We need now more
than ever to see the context that early cinema offers us,” Miller says today. “As my old friend Saul Williams likes to say: Another World
Is Possible. A remix of a film as deeply important and problematic as The Birth of a Nation reminds us that these issues still linger with us at every level.”

The DVD version of Rebirth of a Nation is from a new print that DJ Spooky uses specifically for live performances, with visual effects by PanOptic’s Gary Breslin and Adam Lewin. On August 28, Cantaloupe Music will release the film’s full soundtrack, which marks the first time the project’s entire score, recorded in San Francisco in 2007 by Kronos Quartet, will be made available on CD and digital streaming services, including Spotify. Artwork and packaging have been designed by the Brooklyn-based Cloud Chamber collective, and feature stills from the original film. Check out the full track list and media page link below.
Track List for the Rebirth of a Nation Soundtrack

1. The Broken Compass (Intro Theme) 1:29
2. A Nation Divided 5:16
3. North Isn’t South 2:58
4. The Most Dangerous Woman in America 3:17
5. Stoneman 3:24
6. Cameron 4:10
7. The Parallax Waltz 4:44
8. Gettysburg Requiem 4:35
9. What Would Moses Say? 6:12
10. Lincoln and Booth Get Acquainted 5:50
11. Dixie As Anti-Utopia 4:13
12. Blackface (We Are All Sharecroppers Now) 5:45
13. Getting Biblical 3:33
14. The Election and Results: The New Montage 3:39
15. Gus, Elsie, Silas and The Klan 6:03
16. Black Militia 2:06
17. Ride of The Klansmen 6:13
18. The Next Election 3:41
19. Ghost of a Smile 2:04

Keith Richards Releases Video from Forthcoming Solo LP

Keef

He is clearly gathering no moss in the “roll out” of the new record…

With the news of Keith Richard’s Sept. 18 release of solo album Crosseyed Heart still fresh, the Stones guitarist has now dropped a video for the record’s initial single, “Trouble.” Directed by Academy Award winning Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom), the track was shot in New York City at Germano Studios where much of the album was recorded. It was first premiered exclusively on Apple Music Connect.

Jon Langford Posts Chaps. 3 and 4 of Mekons Tour Diary

Mekons

“Accused of both rehearsing and limiting our alcohol intake in the cynical service of musical coherence and careerist opportunism.” —Jon Langford. Above: some Mekons on the road.

By Uncle Blurt

Damn those scurvy bastards over at Counterpunch.org! In addition to spilling the real beans on everything from Netanyahu’s back-room dealings to the myth of black churches to why gobbling all those Advils just might kill you after all they have also managed to land the rock ‘n’ roll scoop of the year: the ongoing Mekons tour diary, penned by none other than BLURT hero (and SXSW day party co-conspirator) Jonboy Langford!

Langford just posted the fourth installment today, about their recent, triumphant, gig at the Bowery Ballroom, while Episode Three’s title pretty much tells the story: Where We Thrill Everyone by Playing Like “Utter Bloody Garbage”. And a salute (or at least a pint-hoist) in Langford’s direction is clearly in order just for his being able to scribble down his missives and get them posted over to his CounterPunch editor—the band is not only trying to get from gig to gig intact, it also attempted to cut an album while on the road, so one can imagine time is not necessarily Langford’s best pal at the moment. Notes Langford, of the album session, “Trying to write and rehearse new material on the road is close to impossible, but still the deadline loomed.”

Go HERE to access the queue of diary entries—if ya dare.

Video Premiere: Indie Legends The Black Watch

tbwx4-1

Title track to their latest, greatest album. “Like the Soft Boys in a fight with the Velvet Underground” —Austin Chronicle

By Blurt Staff

Anybody’s who’s paid even a smidgen of attention to the indie rock world over the past couple of decades knows the band The Black Watch, who have issued scores of uniformly excellent records over the years. Go HERE to read a review of 2011’s Led Zeppelin Five and HERE for one of 2013’s The End of When—the latter sings the praises of leader (and literary professor) John Andrew Frederick and the group’s “instantly appealing trademark jangle… channeling Frederick’s trademark romantic frustration into ridiculously accessible music.”

The L.A. combo’s most recent release is Sugarplum Fairy, issued in February by Pop Culture Press and they also just completed a national tour. Now we are stoked to be able to premiere their new video for the title track exclusively for YOU, gentle readers. Dig it:

The band currently does not have any tour dates — Frederick indicates the just-completed one brought out “so many old fans and DJs,” as one would expect for a group of that lengthy tenure — but if you are in the Los Angeles area and spot their name on the bill, definitely queue up for tickets, pronto.

Frederick, incidentally, in addition to the indie rock milieu is also known in the literary world and not just because he teaches. He’s a published author several times over, including 2013’s hilarious novel about the early ‘90s music world, The King Of Good Intentions, which we also reviewed, calling Frederick “a knowing narrator…The world he describes — a habitat for wannabes, weirdos, manic musicians, psycho neighbors, unrepentant bitches and people both pompous and pretentious — is inbred in L.A., but probably familiar to most, especially those whose dreams of glory are barely beyond the initial nightmare stages.” Frederick has the follow-up to that book due out in early September bearing the conciser-than-concise title The King of Good Intentions II: The Continuing and Really Rather Quite Hilarious Misadventures of an Indie Rock Band Called The Weird Sisters. With a handle like that, how can we not be looking forward to it! Stay tuned….

BW CD

San Diego Rocker Steve Rodriguez (Dragons) R.I.P.

Steve

GoFundMe campaign started to help set up a college fund for the much-loved bassist’s son.

By Fred Mills

Sad news for the rock ‘n’ roll world, particularly those based in San Diego: we’ve belatedly learned that Steve Rodriguez, of San Diego’s Dragons (Mario Escovedo’s band; Escovedo is the younger brother of Alejandro and Javier), passed away unexpectedly from a sudden illness on July 21, at the age of 48.

A San Diego native, Rodriguez had been in the punk/roots-rocking Dragons through their 15-year career, 1991-2005, which saw the release of seven full-length. There was also a brief 2014 reunion. According to music site RockandRollJunkie.com, he also had played in the Zeros, MEX and Mad Juana, more recently wielding bass for San Diego’s Saint Shameless.

There is to be a memorial concert spearheaded by the surviving members of the Dragons at San Diego’s Casbah club on August 2. In addition, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Rodriguez’ widow Jamie defray expenses and to establish a college fund for his 15-year old son Jamie. Donations can be made HERE.

Rocker Steve Poltz has penned a lengthy remembrance of Rodriguez at his blog, saying, in part, “Steve was and is an angel. His death reverberates and ripples through our little scene and beyond. He’ll be missed so much.”

And over at the Alejandro Escovedo-led Fauntleroys Facebook page a heartfelt post read, simply, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Steve Rodriguez, so sad to lose him. Viva The Dragons, and we love you Mario Escovedo!” And Mario posted a home video-styled Dragons tribute to Rodriguez at YouTube, “Fade,” adding the words “It breaks my heart to tell you all about the passing of Steve Rodriguez. Steve died on Tuesday July 21st, 2015 at 8:15pm. Too Soon.” Watch it, below.

Scott Morgan GoFundMe Campaign; Video w/The Sights

Scott

A grassroots, crowdsourced affair of more than just good intent—it’s downright essential.

By Fred Mills

If you care about Detroit and its rock ‘n’ roll legacy, then you’ll care about this: Scott Morgan, legendary for the Rationals, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band and various iterations of his solo work such as The Scott Morgan Band and Scott’s Pirates, has spent the better portion of the past four years battling liver cirrhosis and a stomach tumor. Needless to say, the financial burden was huge, and while recovering he also wasn’t able to play much (or tour at all). So a GoFundMe campaign is underway to help the legendary guitarist and songwriter in order to offset some of those medical bills and sundry others. (He’s even on the verge of eviction.)

Needless to say, we here at BLURT are huge fans and would like to encourage everyone reading this to take a look at the GoFundMe page and consider donating. As our own Michael Toland pointed out in his recent review of the Morgan box set Revolutionary Action (Easy Action), “Morgan has restarted his solo career with a self-titled album of hard soul and R&B. Illness may have recently knocked the wind out of his sails, but it didn’t kick him out of the game for good, and Revolutionary Action keeps the faith until Morgan starts the next chapter of his long, extraordinary career.”

Meanwhile, check out a recent video of Morgan backed with his young pals The Sights—our pals, too, as they played the BLURT day party at SXSW 3 years ago and blew everyone’s socks off—on the tune “Radio Revolution,” originally recorded at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit with producer Jim Diamond. That’s followed by a live clip of the musicians, augmented by a number of associates plus MC John Sinclair, for a cover of Motor City classic “Barefootin’”…

Hollis Brown Launches Tour, New Video

Hollis-Brown-2-cr.-Becky-Web

Waiting for that man again…

By Blurt Staff

Last year Alive/Naturalsound rockers Hollis Brown served up a Record Store Day gem in the form of Hollis Brown Gets Loaded, a recreation of the Velvet Underground’s classic Loaded album. Velvets song “Sweet Jane” has long been a mainstay of the band’s setlists, too. Now they’ve got a new Manuel S. Umo-directed video for one of the key tracks off their recently-released 3 Shots album. “Sweet Tooth” is one of the catchiest numbers on the record and they describe it as “depicting the darker, seedier parts of New York City and the thrills of the night – the wondering, searching – getting by and needing that high.”

Now if THAT doesn’t sound like something straight out of the Lou Reed playbook, check out some of the lyrics:

“Out on a corner, Money in my Hand – I place my order to a good friend and now I’m waiting just to get by”.

Check out the video below, along with a list of the band’s fall tour dates – they head out onto the road next week with Counting Crows and will be spotted at numerous festivals and outdoor venues well into the fall.

Tour Dates:
July 30 Bayfront Park Amphitheater Miami FL
July 31 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater FL
Aug 2 St. Augustine Amphitheatre St. Augustine, FL
Aug 3 Chastain Amphitheatre Atlanta GA
Aug 5 Family Circle Stadium Daniel Island NC
Aug 7 West River Park Amphitheater Nashville TN
Aug 10 Uptown Amphitheatre Charlotte NC
Aug 12 Red Hat Amphitheatre Raleigh NC
Aug 13 Wolf Trap Vienna VA
Aug 15 Hot August Music Festival Baltimore MD
Aug 16 Stage AE Pittsburgh PA
Aug 18 Pier 97 NYC NY
Aug 20 State Pier Portland ME
Aug 23 Blue Hills Bank Pavilion Boston MA
Aug 29 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel NJ
Aug 30 Sands Bethlehem Events Center Bethlehem PA
Sept 1 SPAC Saratoga Springs NY
Sept 2 Artpark Buffalo NY
Sept 4 Paramount Theatre Huntington NY
Sept 7 LC Pavilion (Outdoor) Columbus OH
Sept 8 Music Center at the Heights Huber Heights OH
Sept 10 Freedom Hill Amphitheatre Detroit MI
Sept 12 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion Chicago IL
Sept 16 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Denver CO
Sept 17 The Downs of Santa Fe Santa Fe NM
Sept 20 Concord Pavilion Concord CA
Sept 26 WaMu Theater Seattle WA
Sept 27 Cuthbert` Eugene OR
Sept 30 Santa Barbara Bowl Santa Barbara CA
Oct 2 Verizon Wireless Amp Los Angeles CA
Oct 5 Comerica Theatre Phoenix AZ
Oct 7 ACL Austin TX
Oct 8 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Houston TX
Oct 10 Allen Event Center Allen TX
Oct 11 Zoo Amphitheatre Oklahoma City OK