Monthly Archives: January 2016

Paul Kantner 1941-2016 R.I.P.

Paul

Jefferson Airplane/Starship co-founder was an early voice of youth rebellion—and thoughtful dissent. The sci-fi component didn’t hurt, either.

By Fred Mills

God bless you Paul. You were both a teacher and a healer.

Water brother: that’s the word that came to mind for many Jefferson Airplane fans when they heard the news come over the radio that the band’s co-founder—and, by any estimation, the spiritual heart and philosophical mind—Paul Kantner had passed away yesterday (Jan. 28) at the age of 74. The cause of death is “multiple organ failure and septic shock after he suffered a heart attack days earlier.

The gentleman lived a full life, one which included prodigious drug usage from the early days, although it’s known that, for example, his 1980 cerebral hemorrhage was not due to drugs. He experienced a heart attack last year, in March, but was subsequently able to return to performing later that year.

Kantner—who, lyrically, was a ridiculously brainy blend of utopian philosophy (leavened, of course, by the occasional accompanying dystopian cynicism), idealized sci-fi romanticism, and sometimes just plain balls-to-the-wall hippie confrontationalism that mandated people challenge blind authority no matter the level—never surrendered his aesthetic visions regardless of the vicissitudes of the music industry within which he operated. Whether helping steer the vessel through the ‘60s and well into the ‘70s when the Airplane morphed into the Starship, or sitting out the latter group’s mega-commercial period of the MTV-centric ‘80s, or subsequently returning to the fold and going on to helm a latterday Starship/Airplane revival, Kantner retained a certain dignity that ensured he would be—and is—remembered fondly.

Below, a few sonic remembrances.

Video Premiere: Arthur Vint & Associates “Through the Badlands”

Arthur Vint band

Some call it “country jazz.” Works for us – and we’d add, “kickass” to boot. A budding American classic. From the Tucson group’s new album, out this week.

By Blurt Staff

Regular BLURT readers will be familiar with our fondness for Arizona artists – and Tucson, in particular. So anytime we have a chance to showcase some of our Old Pueblo friends, old OR new, we are proud to do so. Welcome, then, our latest exclusive video premiere: it’s from Tucson-by-way-of-NYC Arthur Vint & Associates, the title track from Vint’s new Ropeadope Records album Through the Badlands, released tomorrow, Jan. 29. It’s pretty special, so check it out:

Some backstory: The title track of the album takes its name and inspiration from Marty Robbins’ epic western novella “El Paso.” The galloping drum groove and persistent accompaniment of the panting harmonica should paint a picture of a young Marty Robbins, riding for his life through the Bisti Badlands. (Fun fact: “El Paso” is also Vint’s karaoke song of choice when at the Blue Dog Saloon in Cowtown Keeylocko, Arizona.)

And the video for the track was shot and directed by none other than Matt Bauer – who, we do not hesitate to mention, is also a musical artist of no small note and in fact was recently premiered here at BLURT himself. Bauer and Vint are longtime friends (Vint’s roots are in Tucson, while he’s lived in NYC for the past 9 years, and he also plays in Bauer’s band in New York and appears on the most recent album). As he puts it, “Matt was in Tucson while on tour and shot a bunch of footage there, which he overlaid with shots Brooklyn and the NYC skyline, creating a narrative of my travel east, my involvement in the music scenes in both cities and the complex feelings of homesickness. Having been in New York for almost 9 years, I’ve never forgotten my southwestern roots – which is reflected in both the video and music.”

Indeed. Through The Badlands evokes visions of the western American landscape, with its vast open expanses and rocky terrain.  Rooted in the great American traditions of jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, the album weaves contemporary influences with vintage country as well as traditional Native American spiritual music, drawing on the images and sounds of Vint’s childhood growing up in the Old Pueblo. Vint’s diverse influences on this album range from Neil Young to Thelonious Monk, Marty Robbins to John Coltrane and beyond.

Arthur Vint CD

On the web: http://arthurvint.bandcamp.com

Twitter:

www.twitter.com/arthurvint

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/arthurvintandassociates

 

Video: Neil Young Plays Rarity “Till The Morning Comes” at Private Bash

Neil

“Une setlist impeccable -que des vieux morceaux- et les meilleurs (nos préférés).” Indeed!

By Uncle Blurt

As we are advised by  Rocker Paris,  “Concert secret et privé pour le Fonds de gestion de M. Carmignac, un multi-millionnaire de la finance fan de Rock, qui avait déjà fait venir les ROLLING STONES au Théatre Mogador en 2012, eh oui 4 ans déjà.” Which we think transates as, “Neil Young played a private party last night (Jan. 25) for a rich Frenchman, and in the setlist was the never-before-played-live “Till The Morning Comes” (originally on After the Goldrush) segueing into “Cripple Creek Ferry” (ditto). Or maybe not. Here’s some helpful info:

Neil Young + Promise of the Real @ Théatre Mogador for Carmignac, Paris, Jan 25 2016

Got all that? Go to the Rocker Paris site  for a load of great photos. The one above is by Guino Patrice and we borrow/ost it with all respect. Here’s the video that’s causing such a buzz among Young devotees:

Copenhagen’s Lukas Graham on Seth Meyers Show Wednesday

Lukas 2

Much-loved and -respected band is out “to conquer the American market” much as they already have in their homeland…

Formed in 2011, lead vocalist Lukas Graham Forchhammer, a 27-year old product of “Freetown” Christiania, and the rest of the band – consisting of bassist Magnus “Magnum” Larsson, keyboardist Kasper Daugaard and drummer Mark “Lovestick” Falgren – possess superstar status back home with their latest release “Lukas Graham (Blue Album)”.

Lukas 1

Signed to Warner Bros Records (US) in 2013, Danish born and bred Lukas Graham along with their producers Don Stefano & Morten Ristorp (Future Animals) are currently working on solidifying their soulful funk and pop sounds for a 2016 U.S. album release. (Their latest single, “7 Years” is currently #20 on Spotify’s Global Top 20 and Top 40 on ITunes downloads. In December 2015 they made their first U.S. television appearance on Conan (O’Brien) performing “7 Years” and on TeamCoco / Conan’s website, fans of the show unanimously voted “7 Years” as the best live performance on Conan for 2015. This was accompanied by a #3 placement on Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists for 10 straight weeks combined with a steady add throughout the United States on Triple A, hot adult contemporary, alternative, Sirius XM and other pop formats.)

Fans: they can be seen live on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Wednesday night, January 27th.

For more behind-the-scenes footage check out the 4-Part YouTube documentary “Lukas Graham – US documentary” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei1Ws6EdPLY

Video Premiere: Paul Meadow “Heart of a Dog”

Paul Meadow_Band Pic

Terrific track taken from new 10” EP. Brooklyn continues to rool, OK!

By Blurt Staff

Brooklyn’s slop folk duo—their description, so who are we to dissent?—Paul Meadow just released their Cheap and Easy EP, a five-songer “of jingles for any revolution inspired by Sunset Park, delivery services, long winters, and perpetual war.” Amen! Now they’ve got a video for the single “Heart of a Dog” that is pretty special, a virtual aural swoon that’s dreamysexycool all at once. As you, the discriminating BLURT readership, is about to find out via our latest premiere:

Paul Meadow_Heart of a Dog from Paul Meadow on Vimeo.

Some backstory: Formed out of inspiration and ideas of revolution, songmaster Paul Meadow is the creation of Sunset Park, Brooklyn’s Stirling Krusing and Chris Lee. The results are reflections engulfed in the symbolism of meaninglessness (“Cheap and Easy”) to “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (“Killer of Dreams”). ”I met Chris Lee and Stirling Krusing in a drinking establishment after they lost their jobs writing jingles at a notable advertising firm,” Meadow explains. “After a couple hours of drinking and discussing these matters I decided to work with ‘the boys’ to write songs exclusively for me.”

As Lee also comments, “Life on the street when your hands are your feet…lying doubled over drunk from the meat.  Inspired by these words from Paul Meadow the video was shot on the Pacific coast in Guatemala.”

Incidentally, that EP is pressed up as a limited edition 10” vinyl gem that we suspect all our fellow record nerds are gonna snap up pretty quickly, so don’t sit on the fence, folks.

***

Get the album here:
http://paulmeadow.bandcamp.com/
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/cheap-and-easy-ep/id1052742069#
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0176Q5H2G/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
https://play.spotify.com/album/46UwSKjev62FZRWwgdzZxc

 

Video: Tortoise Unveils New Material in Chicago

Tortoise

Hey kids – rock on.

By Blurt Staff

Tortoise has a new album, The Catastrophist, which we here at BLURT are very eager to hear and review. Meanwhile, though, as Stereogum reports, Friday night the band opened its tour in Chicago and the set included a healthy dose of the record along with old faves and even some stray covers of Yo La Tengo and David Essex. Watch some of the clips accumulated thus far, HERE.

 

 

 

You Can Help Pay for Blowfly’s Funeral

Blowfly 1

Definitely a cause to support, all you funk/soul/rap fans out there.

By Fred Mills

Legendary soulman Clarence Reid, along with his equally legendary (perhaps moreso) godfather-of-rap alter ego Blowfly, passed away last week (on Jan. 17), and his funeral is slated for next Saturday, Jan. 30. His family has established a YouCaring campaign to raise needed funds for that proper burial and headstone. Sister Virginia Lawrence notes on the YouCaring page, “Together with Tom Bowker, Clarence’s manager, we applied for a grant from a prominent music charity to cover Clarence’s funeral expenses. Our award fell far short of the amount needed to give Clarence a dignified burial and funeral. Unfortunately, due to the the size of our grant, we are forced to ask fans of  Clarence Reid and Blowfly once more for help.”

As of this writing they have raised a little over $10,000 with a $14,000 goal. Needless to say, if you are a fan of the man (or the legend), now is the time to pitch in. The fund link is below, and meanwhile, you can also view a pretty sharp photo gallery HERE.

Clarence “Blowfly” Reid Funeral Expenses Fund

Blowfly 2

Ivan Julian (Voidoids, Fauntleroys) Battling Cancer; Benefit 45 Offered

Ivan Julian

If you clicked on this news item you already know that the due is a freakin’ rock legend….

By Blurt Staff

This news in from our friends at Plowboy Records:

Almost immediately after writing and recording The Fauntleroys new single, “Wait For Me”  b/w “All The Way Down (In The City Of Angels)”, Ivan Julian was diagnosed with cancer. The prognosis looks good for Ivan, but for the next 6 months or more, flexibility to do his work will be greatly diminished, which means a direct impact on his income. Those of you working musicians out there know that the music world is a month to month gamble at best, without benefits like disability, paid sick leave found in other professions.

 Plowboy is now offering the single for sale as full resolution downloads with profits going to Julian – not to mention special incentives to pick up vinyl and CD releases, including the band’s debut EP Below the Pink Pony. Go to the Plowboy page set up for Julian HERE to take a look at details on the single, various donation options and a capsule summary of his career to date.

Fleetwood Mac Fest Slated for Feb.

Mac fest

For a good cause, yo. But where is Calexico?

By Barbi Martinez

It’s hard to say which classic rock band takes more stick, the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac – this for their ego-drenched images of coke-fueled SoCal excess, not for any dearth of musical smarts. Point of fact, both bands crafted brillant music in their time, the Seventies, and they are rightly revered for that reason even if any contemporary activities fell strictly into the “greatest hits revue” category.

None of which is preventing Gen X-ers and Millennials from hoisting the proverbial flags, and those aiming to set sail on the good ship Mac next month at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theatre propose to have an F’n good time.

Fleetwood Mac Festtakes place Feb. 9-10 and will feature the great likes of Joanna Newsom, Alison Mosshart, Cold War Kids, Perry Farrell, Sarah Silverman, Lucius and Ruby Amanfu (along with the not-so-great-but-moderately-tolerable Butch Walker, Elvis Perkins, Karen Elson, Will Forte and Ke$ha, Proceeds are for a good cause, too: Sweet Relief and the Sweet Stuff. If you’re not familiar with those organizations, shame on you.

Below, listen to our friends Calexico doing their own accidental Mac tribute… which, by our way of thinking, should make them one of the headliners.

MP3: Listen to new PJ Harvey Track

PJ

“The Wheel” turns anew for the British songstress. Above: Harvey does the Hanky-Panky, Somerset style.

By Barbi Martinez

As previously announced, PJ Harvey’s new album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, her first studio album since 2011’s Let England Shake, arrives April 15 via her longtime label Island. As The Quietus reports, the record “documents her experiences travelling [sic] in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, DC, over a four-year period, with Harvey commenting, ‘When I’m writing a song I visualise the entire scene. I can see the colours, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture. Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with.'”

Blurt 10

Listen to first track unveiled from the album. It’s titled “The Wheel.” Meanwhile, go HERE to read our 2011 cover story (print issue #10 in fact) on Harvey, “Blood Sport.”