Monthly Archives: April 2016

Watch Sturgill Simpson on the Daily Show


Roll over Waylon and tell Kurt Cobain the news…

By Uncle Blurt

One reason Jon Stewart probably misses The Daily Show: the occasional musical guest. Such as Wednesday night, when Sturgill Simpson dropped by to do a cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” along with “Call To Arms,” which appears on the just-released A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. Check ’em out, below.

Prince 1958-2016 R.I.P.


No cause of death has been revealed yet.

By Blurt Staff

Prince’s death is has been prompting everything from fan tributes (such as gathering outside Paisley Park Studios, or at NYC’s Prince Street subway connection) and celebrity testimonials (including social media posts and musical creations) to curiously negative reactions (like this one from professional douche Justin Bieber) and outright racist activity (hackers reportedly changed, briefly, the Prince Wikipedia page’s title to read “Dead Jehovah’s Witness Negro”). Wait – Prince is dead?!?

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning,” publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said.

The whole world is trying to process the how and why of Prince Rogers Nelson’s passing earlier today at the age of 57. He was found at his Paisley Park recording compound in Minneapolis suburb Chanhassen.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “After a frantic 911 call from an unidentified man who said Prince appeared to be dead and that the people at the scene were “distraught,” emergency responders found the musician, unresponsive, in an elevator, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office reported. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. They performed CPR but were unable to revive him. The cause of death was not known. An autopsy will be conducted Friday by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Anoka County.”

Nothing has been said yet about the cause of death. All that’s known is about the recent publicity surrounding his having been stricken by the flu and subsequently canceling an Atlanta concert that was subsequently rescheduled and performed — but then, while returning home, his airplane made an emergency landing so Prince could be taken to the hospital for an undisclosed reason.

More details as they emerge. Below, listen to a particularly inspiring version of “Purple Rain” from a near-legendary 2000 show that has turned up in many fans’ collections… the complete show can be found HERE, on the little musical island known as France…

Watch Clips from Miracle Legion Reunion Show

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.41.12 AM

The family is damaged no more.

By Fred Mills

With the upcoming reunion tour and the Record Store Day reissue of their final album, Miracle Legion is justifiably on a lot of people’s minds – we here at Blurt even ran a review of the record, Portrait of a Damaged Family, and posted an MP3 from it. Now, over at Stereogum, they’ve posted some clips and photos (including the one above) from a warm-up show the band did Tuesday night. Writes Stereogum, “They played their first show in two decades to warm up for the tour at the Cake Shop in NYC. Check out some fan footage of “The Backyard” and “Snacks And Candy” below.”

Can’t wait for the summer, gents!

North Carolina Musicians Mount anti-HB2 Concert in May


By Blurt Staff

The poster – designed, incidentally, by erstwhile Whiskeytown member Skillet Gilmore – above pretty much speaks for itself. On May 15 at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw (near Chapel Hill) a who’s-who of prominent Tarheel musicians will band together as North Carolina Musicians United For Equality and kick out the jams from noon until the wee hours of the morning.

A big Blurt salute to the likes of Brett Harris, the dB’s, Southern Culture on the Skids, Jon Heames, the Love Language and the Connells  – and the many, many more who are taking part in the event. More details and tickets are HERE.



Video Premiere: Be “I Get High (On You)”


New album features Ken Stringfellow of the Posies, no less.

By Blurt Staff

The band is Be, and it’s the brainchild of musician/painter David Hawkins, whose second album You arrived on April 8 (and streaming HERE), bringing with it a sense of gorgeous melancholy and buoyant melodies and oftentimes jazzy rhythms. We are rather chuffed to be able to serve up a video for album track “I Get High (On You)” for our esteemed readership, too – check it out:

Hawkins commented on the track, saying,

“This song speaks to the supremacy of Love and praise for its power. It’s both a personal love note and a prayer to the Goddess for persevering and staying positive in the face of life’s struggles, which is a common theme on the album. The song came right at a time when I needed to hear it’s message, which happens a lot in my songwriting; like a dialog with my Soul. The first line floored me when it came. “She came in from above, with her precious bird of love / we can make it all come true, with our little girl and me and you.” A couplet; one line to Spirit, one to Earth. And it spoke right to what I was going through and gave me the answer I needed at the time. It was mysterious and perfect. The rest just flowed from there. I think we captured the transcendent feeling of the song in the recording, and in the video, perfectly. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album.”

Now living in Los Angeles, Hawkins grew up in Central Illinois, not far from where Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) went to high school, both of who would influence him greatly. (A pivotal moment was hearing R.E.M.’s Murmur for the first time, which in turn led him to discover the Velvet Underground.) Following a stint in Maine he wound up back in the Midwest, in Chicago, where he formed the band Hawk. Nowadays, he’s also operating as Be, and he’s picked up a significant following in Europe. The new album was mostly recorded at his rural Michigan hideaway, a barn that he converted to a recording studio on 14 wooded acres, as well as at studios in Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.

You also sees Ken Stringfellow (R.E.M., Big Star and the Posies) joining the eclectic group of musicians that make up Be. Stringfellow is also currently recording parts with Hawkins along with drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Elliot Smith) for the 3rd Be album, the next Hawk album, as well as a new project of Hawkins’, tentatively entitled Here Be Dragons.

Hawkins, incidentally, is also an acclaimed abstract painter and co-founder of the avant-garde ‘happening’ group The Black Mountain Collective inspired by the “happenings” orchestrated by John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg and others from Black Mountain College in the 1950s.

On the web:

AndrewHarvey_The Eternal Wine




Father John Misty on NC anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill: “Obviously Bullshit”


Statements don’t get much more grammatically declarative than this….

By Uncle Blurt

Well spoken, ol’ chap. While Father John Misty’s musical output has, to date, been rather hit or miss (as has his selection of album artwork), there’s no missing his hit on the state of North Carolina earlier today when he announced that, yes, he’s still going to fulfill his commitment to perform in Charlotte next week, on April 27, but no, he’s not going to do it quietly. As FJM, aka Josh Tillman, told Rolling Stone, he wants to make a statement by not boycotting (as Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco, Ringo Starr, Boston and others have done), but playing and advocating. In this instance, he plans to donate proceeds to Time Out Youth  which is a Charlotte-based LGBT support center. Oh, and also to speak out against the now-internationally-infamous HB2, aka the anti-LGBT “bathroom bill.” Noted Tillman:

“The bill is obviously bullshit. [If] I thought playing a show for my fans in North Carolina was in any way some tacit endorsement of this fearful, petty, ignorant nonsense, I wouldn’t. I also play states that have oppressive drug laws designed to imprison the disenfranchised, rig elections, deny women their dignity, defend the reckless and insane practice of selling guns and sustain a permanent underclass with hypocritical, opportunist readings of archaic documents written by land-stealers who never intended political privilege to extend past their buddies. These are obviously all huge systemic problems. But for me, this show represents a start in investing in the plight of other Americans.”

MP3: Download an Awesome Joanna Newsom 4/2/16 Show


Listening to the show is almost as much fun as photographing it!

By Uncle Blurt

More than one contributor to this publication has been raving about how brilliant indie harpstress Joanna Newsom has been on her current American tour (last October she released the album Divers). Sadly, the staff has not yet been able to attend, and one of our photographers had planned to shoot a concert but ultimately cancelled those plans due to the ultra-restrictive contract that photographers are required to sign beforehand. At any rate, apparently the April 2 show in Salt Lake City was particularly noteworthy, for according to Big O zine:

Somewhat unusual setlist for a Joanna Newsom show, “crowdsourced” as she puts it, with a rare appearance of “The Things I Say”, as well as a requested “Go Long” and a requested-but-eventually-nixed “Sawdust and Diamonds” because by the end of the show, Jo had lost her voice. Show notable for a broken string during “Go Long” which led to an impromptu Q&A session after Jo figured out that she did not have that specific replacement string available and would have to fashion one out of a different string. In the midst of this, she called for a “Bulgarian Something Or Other” from Ryan Francesconi to entertain the crowd, and was pretty blunt with a few audience members who asked about her personal life. The harmonies with Robin Pecknold on the last few songs (especially “Time, As A Symptom”) are really beautiful.

MP3: Joanna Newsom – The Depot, Salt Lake City, UT; April 2, 2016

Go to the above link at Big O to snag a free download of the entire show, in excellent audience-sourced sound quality. There’s downloadable artwork as well. Below is the tracklist.

Disc 1

      Track 101
. Bridges And Balloons 5:30 (9.3MB)
      Track 102
. Anecdotes 5:50 (9.8MB)
      Track 103
. Divers 7:41 (12.9MB)
      Track 104
. Go Long 7:36 (12.8MB)
      Track 105
. [broken string Q&A session] 2:29 (4.2MB)
      Track 106
. Bulgarian Something Or Other [impromptu] 7:03 (11.9MB)
      Track 107
. The Things I Say 4:14 (7.1MB)
      Track 108
. Emily 11:39 (19.6MB)
      Track 109
. Sapokanikan 5:38 (9.5MB)

Disc 2

      Track 201
. Leaving The City 4:29 (7.5MB)
      Track 202
. Have One On Me 10:22 (17.4MB)
      Track 203
. Peach Plum Pear 5:32 (9.3MB)
      Track 204
. Cosmia 7:48 (13.1MB)
      Track 205
. Time, As A Symptom 5:40 (9.5MB)
      Track 206
. Good Intentions Paving Company 9:51 (16.6MB)
      Track 207
. On A Good Day 2:13 (3.7MB)
      Track 208
. Baby Birch 9:19 (15.7MB)


Sexual Abuse Allegations Mount for Afrika Bambaata


Hip hop pioneer and Zulu Nation founder accused by “several men.”

By Blurt Staff

On April 9 the New York Daily News reported that Afrika Bambaata had been accused by activist and erstwhile music company executive Ronald Savage of sexually abusing him in 1980; Savage was 15 at the time. The paper wrote that Savage “broke his silence in recent weeks with the release of a self-published memoir entitled Impulse Urges and Fantasies… Savage says he’s speaking out because he wants to change New York’s statute of limitations, which bars child sexual abuse victims from pursuing criminal charges or civil penalties after their 23rd birthday.”

Bambaata subsequently issued a statement through Rolling Stone, saying, “I, Afrika Bambaata, want to take this opportunity at the advice of my legal counsel to personally deny any and all allegations of any type of sexual molestation of anyone,” he said in a statement. “These allegations are baseless and are a cowardly attempt to tarnish my reputation and legacy in hip-hop at this time. This negligent attack on my character will not stop me from continuing my battle and standing up against the violence in our communities, the violence in the nation and the violence worldwide.”

Rolling Stone also reported that “Savage provided the newspaper [New York Daily NewsI] with an audiotape of what he claims contains a conversation between himself and two members of the Zulu Nation who offered him $50,000 to keep his allegations quiet. “Neither of the two men were given authority to speak on Bam’s behalf,” Bambaata lawyer Vivian Kimi Tozaki said, adding that she had no knowledge of the taped conversation.”

Today the plot thickened. The newspaper is reporting that more men have come forward with similar accusations against Bambaata: Hassan Campbell, now 39; “Troy,” age 51; and “several others,” not yet identified. Campbell reported told the paper that he had met with Bambaata, who apologized to him and promised to get counseling.

The Bambaata camp has not yet commented on the new allegations.


2016 Punk Rock Bowling for Vegas, Asbury Park & Denver


May and June shaping up to be bowled over…

By Tim Hinely

Blowing through Sin City (that’s Las Vegas kids) in it’s 17th year is the annual orgy of the three P’s- Punk rock, Pabst and bowling (ok, so two out of three ain’t bad). Bring your bowling ball, a clean bowling shirt and something that’s gonna help you stay up ‘til the wee hours as this years annual P.R.B. fest promises to be a scorcher.

Taking place in Vegas on May 26-30th this year’s lineup will see Flag, The Descendents and Flogging Molly as headliners for each of the three weekend gigs but wait, folks from the U.K. make an appearance in the name of The Buzzcocks, The Exploited (please tell Wattie I said hello) and The Subhumans.


One thing that’s got the kids (and old farts alike) blabbering is the reformation of Dag Nasty who are playing on Monday evening (with original singer Shawn Brown on vocals). In addition to all of this also on the bill are The Dwarves, Strung Out, The Bronx, Dillinger Four, Youth Brigade, Face to Face and plenty more. In addtition there’s also, yes, bowling plus poker tournament, pool parties, movie screenings, etc. (donkey races? Probably not).

…but P.R.B. is expanding, my friends. This year they’re heading east as well. To the lovely hamlet of Asbury Park, NJ. This takes place June 10-12th at the PRB Stone Pony Summer Stage and which has some of the sames bands listed above (Descendents, Dag Nasty, Flag) but in addition adds in Agnostic Front, Cock Sparrer, H2O, 88 Fingers Louie, The Slackers, Anti-Nowhere League (so what) and plenty more.


Will The Boss make an appearance? Who the hell knows.

…but wait people. You think they’re done? No way…..P.R.B. rolls into the Mile High City. Yup it drops into Denver on June 2nd-4th for three nights at the Summit Music Hall. Some of the bigger names on this bill include Flag, The Buzzcocks, The Briefs, D.O.A., Millencolin, Anti-Nowhere League and plenty more.

They’ve got all the bases covered here, the west coast, the east coast and even one smack dab in the middle. You have no excuses this year, punker. You don’t make one of these P.R.B. festivals and we revoke your hardcore card. Got it (and we tell The Boss)?