Monthly Archives: December 2015

Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister 1945-2015 R.I.P.

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“Lived to win,” indeed.

By Fred Mills

The end of each year, perversely, seems to bring a host of music world-related deaths, and now we have another one: Motorhead bassist, singer and icon Ian Fraser Kilmister, or as we all know him simply as “Lemmy,” passed away today, Dec. 28, at the age of 70. The cause of death is “an extremely aggressive form of cancer,” we are told, but no other specific details have been disclosed.

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The group’s Facebook page reports:

There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family.

We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.

We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD.
Have a drink or few.

Share stories.

Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.

HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.

Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister

1945 -2015

Born to lose, lived to win.

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This does indeed come as the kind of shock that leaves fans (and media, at times) speechless. We’ll have more soon, but for now… witness the birth of punk and heavy metal, twin-horned siblings from the same womb:

 

 

Video: Andy Shernoff Updates Blondie’s “Dreaming” as “Streaming”

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It’s the next big thing!

By Uncle Blurt

Yer ol’ Uncle has enough years on him to not only remember “record stores” before the era of digital downloads and streaming, I also pogo’d with unashamed glee back in the day to my Dictators and Blondie records. So it’s pretty great to be able to listen to this recently released track from ex-Dictators dude Adny, er, ANDY Shernoff; titled “Streaming,” it’s a remake of Blondie classic “Dreaming” but with new digital-era-appropriate lyrics sung by Tricia Scotti. Check it out, and whether or not your thing is vinyl, CD, MP3 or even friggin’ 8-track, prepare to have your Blondie-lobes excited.

As Shernoff professes, citing the immediacy and convenience of digital life, “I’ve been a professional musician and songwriter for over 40 years. I live and breathe music. I also own thousands of albums and CD’s … but they sit in my closet because… I prefer to STREAM MUSIC!!!!”

Incidentally, watch for our interview with Shernoff, coming soon….

Photo Credit: Doug Ciarelli

Watch Bono, Glen Hansard, Hozier, etc. Busking on Xmas Eve

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U2 frontman has made it an annual tradition since ’09…

By Barbi Martinez, Assistant Ed.

Christmas should be a time of giving, not taking, and for a number of years Bono has made it his business to busk on Christmas Even along Dublin’s Grafton Street and raise money for charities for the homeless in the process. Two nights ago he resumed the tradition following a one-year hiatus (due to that notorious bicycle accident of 2014), and he brought along his frequent busking partner Glen Hansard plus fellow Irish rockers Hozier, the Script, Kodaline, and Imelda May. Below, watch fan-sourced clips from the scene – and don’t miss the one at the bottom, because although the camera work is horrible, it features May, Kodaline and Hansard covering The Pogues’ timeless “Fairytale of New York,” one of the greatest ever Christmas songs of course.

Beatles Music Finally Streaming Online – Some of It, At Least…

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Anthologies, BBC collections and those weird mixes haven’t shown up yet… Below, listen to a stream of a mono version of “Dear Prudence” – while ya can!

By Uncle Blurt

As you might imagine, that breaking news yesterday about the Beatles’ Christmas surprise – as of 12:01 a.m. today, Dec. 24, aka Christmas Eve day, they would no longer be withholding their music from online streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music – pretty much dominated all music news for a full, uh, news cycle. Nine different such services are presumably now offering the Fab Four’s albums for your streaming pleasure, and media outlets are, accordingly, rolling out their own dissertations, although when you think of it, coverage listicles like this one from Billboard about the group’s so-called “non-singles” (wait, what? wouldn’t that be, like, 90% of all the music?) do seem a tad redundant; how many times can you dissect “Norwegian Wood” anyway?

Expect some enterprising bootleggers to have their own variation on all the foregoing very soon. Meanwhile, over at The Verge we actually found a rather helpful story that zeroes in on the Beatles albums that are NOT included in the streaming onslaught. For reasons only known to the Beatles braintrust, these titles, some of them very popular and others not so much, can’t be had, at least just not yet:

*The Beatles Anthology Vols. 1, 2 & 3

*Let It Be… Naked

*Live at the BBC Vols. 1 & 2

*Love

*The Beatles In Mono

The latter in particular seems to be a critical omission (something I can’t imagine ever being said about that silly Love CD, but that’s just me). As The Verge’s Chris Welch duly notes, “When the Beatles catalog was remastered in 2009, the band also released a boxset of its albums in mono. All the same obsessive care had gone into making those recordings sound as good as possible, so why aren’t they here? I’m not about to argue over which version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is better or more “true” to the group’s vision, but the mono recordings should be made available for the fans that want them. There are a few mono tracks on the newly-remastered 1 compilation, but it’s not really the same thing as listening to entire albums that way.”

All that aside, in the final estimation, a huge wrong has been righted, and there’s no longer a disturbance in the rock world’s Force. Stream on, grasshoppers…. Below, listen to The White Album track “Dear Prudence” – in mono. EMI and Apple has managed to block a ton of mono content that is streaming elsewhere online, such as at YouTube, so there’s no telling how long this particular fan’s upload will last. Apologies in advance if my news post here results in a takedown.

Merry Christmas MP3 from Blurt: Unreleased Live ’88 Game Theory

Game-Theory

Special recording from the deep archives of the tapers nation….

By Fred Mills, Blurt Editor

Here’s wishing all the BLURT readership a safe and festive holiday: and we’ve got a free MP3 for you that we suspect you’ll find to be quite the sonic treat:

With the help of our longtime friend in Charlotte, NC, Patrick Richardson, we unearthed an altogether unreleased Game Theory recording of the band live at Charlotte’s Milestone Club on November 11, 1988. They were touring behind their 2LP gem Lolita Nation and all who attended agreed it was one of the best concerts that club had hosted all year. Yours truly was in attendance as well. The song is “24,” originally from 1985’s Real Nighttime.

We’ve been on a huge Game Theory kick of late (Scott Miller, r.i.p.), including getting the news that Omnivore is going to expand and reissue Lolita Nation early next year – we were proud to premiere one of the bonus tracks that will be on it as well. So what can we say? Just one of the greatest American power pop/indie rock outfits ever. Incidentally, while the photo at the top of the page is the official LN promo shot, the one below is a pic that I found online via Vectorix – it’s from the actual ’88 show. Go HERE to see more of his shots of the group.

Happy holidays, folks.

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Best. Christmas. Card. Ever…..! Drag City Records

DC1

Special defacing U.S. currency issue…

By Uncle Blurt

Everybody loves us here at the BLURT tiny home. Yes, we have downsized to a 20′ x 60′ x 13′ space in order to reduce our carbon imprint. Plus, we can now pay way less rent since we are in an RV park. But I digress…

Among the thousands of Christmas cards we get at BLURT each year, virtually none stand out. Oh sure, we love seeing all those hastily-scrawled kudos across the back of an un-used album promo postcard from bands… ask us sometime about how much we scored on eBay for that ’90s Supersuckers autographed Xmas card. But those group photos of publicity agencies, you know, the ones where all the recently hired hot gals ‘n’ guys are pushed to the front row and the fat, greying veterans of the biz pose placidly near the back? Not so much. (NOTE to all our veteran p.r. friends: Just kidding. We look just like you, remember? See you in Austin!)

But once in awhile a much-loved (and ALL OF YOU ARE MUCH-LOVED!) correspondent simply nails it, Christmas-wise.

At the top you can see this year’s holiday card from the mighty folks at Drag City Records. Tantalizing, no? Below, check out what was revealed when we opened the card up:

DC2

And yes, gentle readers, that IS an actual defaced American uno dollar bill. It has already been submitted to the Secret Service and they have verified it is the real deal, worth at least one U.S. samolian, or in layman’s terms, about 67 cents on the open market. And no, in case you are wondering: our favorite Starbucks employee will not be finding this in the tip jar tomorrow morning. It’s going to be displayed proudly on the BLURT Hall of Images.

Good on ya, Drag City. May all your Christmases be…. er, with apologies to Bing Crosby… green. By the way, who the hell IS that stylin’, hat-wearin’ cat in the hat subbing for our man George W?!?

2016: bring it on.

MP3: John Trudell & The Pines “Time Dreams”

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Defiant, righteous songwriter recently died at the age of 69.

By Fred Mills

Native American poet/singer/rocker/activist John Trudell passed away December 8, following a lengthy battle with cancer. We’ll have an appropriate remembrance of him later this week – I was fortunate enough to sit down for a pair of lengthy interviews with him a number of years ago – but in the meantime, check out this song slated to appear on the forthcoming February album by Minneapolis group The Pines. It’s a Trudell poem the band set to music titled “Time Dreams.”

MP3: “Time Dreams”

The remarkable track will be on The Pines’ Above the Prairie, due Feb. 5 via Red House. One of the members of the group originally saw Trudell speak at a rally about a decade ago and was deeply inspired by the man.

 

Listen to Warm the Bell do Classic Peanuts Christmas Song

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North Carolina outfit serves up the Charlie Brown goodness. [5th in our series of 2015 Christmas Songs, collect ’em all: (1) Luxuriant Sedans – “Santa Claus, Baby“; (2) Sleater-Kinney – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”; (3) Southern Culture on the Skids – “Silver Bells; (4) Skylar Gudasz – “The Sounds of Christmas” ]

By Blurt Staff

Everyone knows the original version of “Christmas Time Is Here” written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for, naturally, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now, Asheville, NC, dreampop group Warm The Bell has covered it for a holiday single, and they definitely put their own unique spin on it. Check it out:

Incidentally, you can read a review of Warm The Bell from awhile back elsewhere on the BLURT site. The single and the group can be found at the official WTB website, natch, and they are:

– Sam Brinkley – Drums, Percussion
– Vickie Burick – Vocals, Laughing
– Anthony Dorion – Bass, Percussion
– Sean Robbins – Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Vocals

(Plus guest Wayne Robbins, of the Hellsayers, on Keyboards)

 

Gallon Drunk Co-founding Member Nick Combe R.I.P.

 

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By Fred Mills

We recently profiled great UK band Gallon Drunk as part of our “The Story Behind the Album” series (our contributor Jonathan Levitt talked to co-founder James Johnston about the   From the Heart of Town  record that was released in 1993.

Now comes the sad news that another one of the group’s co-founders, Nick Combe, has passed away. According to a post at the Gallon Drunk Facebook page:

We’ve received the terribly sad news that Nick Combe, AKA Arthur Lager, has died. Friend, filmmaker, bandmate and founder member of Gallon Drunk. Nick was a huge influence, and was the first person I met when I moved to London in the 80’s, living next door to one another in the bedsits of Earl’s Court. So many great memories.
Love and sympathy to all his friends and family. RIP.
James and GD

Our deepest sympathies as well to Combe’s family and friends, and in particular the extended Gallon Drunk family.

 

Bun E. Carlos Sets Record Straight on Cheap Trick Estrangement

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“Me and the singer don’t get along very good.”

By Blurt Staff
In the wake of the band’s pending induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, erswhile Cheap Trick drummer (and co-founding member) Bun E. Carlos is interviewed at Rolling Stone today and he dishes (albeit tactfully, so maybe “dish” is the wrong term) on what went wrong between him and the band. Among the money quotes:

After a falling out in 2010:We just drew up a contract that said, “I don’t tour with the band, but I’m a full member of the band.” We’ve got all these corporations. The touring company said, “If you quit touring, you lose your vote.” I wasn’t going to let that happen. I’m a full member of the band. So we drew up a piece of paper, and a couple years later the check stopped coming. And then I had to sue them in federal court to get my money back. We did a settlement last spring and its all hunky dory. That’s the short story.

On the source of estrangement between Carlos and vocalist Robin Zander: I don’t like doing 25 songs. I think that just kills the audience. I think the show should be 17, 18, 19 songs and encores. Robin [Zander] wanted to do longer shows….The final straw was, we were offered 100 Sgt. Pepper shows in Las Vegas with a huge back-end. He only wanted to do 50. I said, “Why do you only want to do 50?” He said, “[Whiny voice] I have to take my daughter to kindergarten in September. I don’t want her to go to school in Las Vegas.” I smartly replied something like, “We’re scheduling shows around your daughter’s kindergarten classes?” Then he was like, “Fuck you, you fucking asshole.” Then I just hung up the phone. People tell me to get fucked, I hang up. That happened two days in a row.

On the possibility of reuniting beyond the one-off appearance together at the Rock Hall induction: I don’t see it happening. Rick’s kid got a gig here and Dad loves that. I’m sure Rick would rather his kid gets paid than Rick supports his kid. Even besides that, any friendship we had went away when I had to file a federal lawsuit. That cost a bucket of fucking money. Going after these guys wasn’t pleasant. The friendship sort of frittered away there.