Monthly Archives: April 2016

Track Premiere: Sharks in the Deep End “Love in Reverse”

Lone Star State continues to pump out the quality rock ‘n’ roll!

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By Blurt Staff

They’re called Sharks In The Deep End, and they hail from BLURT’s favorite city on the planet, Austin. With their debut album Killin’ Machine slated to drop this week, April 22, we felt it was a timely, er, time to unveil a track for you, the discriminating BLURT readership. Check out “Love in Reverse” from the album:

“Love in Reverse was actually the spark that lead us into the studio” explains frontman Tucker Jameson. “We had grand visions of recording the entire album in reverse, each song would be another piece of the puzzle. Eventually we realized that not only was that impractical, but that the story would actually be most impactful as its own entity.

“It’s a very personal song, near and dear to my heart, I’m rewinding through my relationship, left in awe at how wonderful the sum of it is. Realizing that whether the moments were bitter or sweet, I’d do it all again. Looking back at those moments is like time travel for the soul.”

Amen. Everybody, let’s go swimming. The album was mostly recorded in Brooklyn with producer Dan Drohan, subsequently wrapping in Austin and ultimately being mixed by Grammy-nominated engineer Mark Needham. While the band has described itself as “new wave” let’s just call it stellar rock ‘n’ roll.

On the web:

http://www.sharksinthedeepend.com/

https://twitter.com/sharksinthedeep

https://www.instagram.com/sharksinthedeepend/

https://www.facebook.com/SharksInTheDeepEnd/

Tour Dates:

4/22 The Sidewinder, Austin, TX

4/23 Bear’s Den, Conway, AR

4/24 Hi-Tone,Memphis, TN

4/27 The New Vintage, Louisville, KY

4/28 Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN

4/30 The Brass Rail, Ft. Wayne, IN

5/02 Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, IA
5/05 Middle Of The Map Fest, Kansas City, MO

05/11 Last Exit Live, Phoenix, AZ
05/12 The Green Room, Flagstaff, AZ

Photo credit: Todd Wolfson

Listen to Miracle Legion Track from Record Store Day LP

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“Accidentally On Purpose” a key song from the newly-reissued album.

By Blurt Staff

Ready for Record Store Day this Saturday (April 16)? Yeah, us too. Among the many vinyl offerings, that Miracle Legion reissue, a limited edition LP version of their ’96 gem Portrait of a Damaged Family, looks pretty damn tasty. If you need any encouragement, read our recent review of the album – and while there, take a listen to one of the best tracks on the record, “Accidentally On Purpose.” (We also have it displayed for your ongoing sonic pleasure on the homepage’s left margin, in the “Spotlight” section, FYI.)

Big thanks to Miracle Legion and Mezzotint Records for setting this up. Mark, Ray, Dave, Scott – best of luck on the tour this summer (dates HERE). Hope to see all our fellow fans at one of the shows.

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Hear the Blurt-Schoolkids Record Store Day Playlist

 

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By Fred Mills

Most of you know by now that our sister business is NC’s Schoolkids Records, an indie record store chain with locations in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. (And yes, I used to be a proud card carrying S-kids worker.) With the annual Record Store Day looming this weekend, Saturday April 16, you can bet we’ll be up early, keeping the bins stuffed while all the vinyl fanatics go… kinda crazy, if past events are any indicators.

As previously announced, we’ve also got some special live entertainment slated for the afternoon at the Raleigh and Durham locations. In honor of that, we’ve created a special Spotify playlist featuring tracks from most of those performers, so check it out – the Spotify player is on the homepage in the right margin of the BLURT homepage.

That Led Zeppelin-Spirit “Stairway” vs. “Taurus” Court Case to Proceed

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At stake: potentially millions. Listen to both tracks, below.

By Uncle Blurt

By now everyone knows about the “Stairway to Heaven” controversy: via trustee Mick Skidmore, the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy California (Randy Wolfe) sued Led Zeppelin – specifically, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant – for allegedly ripping off Spirit’s “Taurus” for the intro to “Stairway.” California, of course, was the composer of the Spirit song in 1967, and the estate could have quite a sizable settlement awaiting. Led Zep dug in their heels, however, claiming that the chord progression in question that the songs share was very common. This despite the fact that the two bands obviously crossed paths in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and that it’s pretty likely Page had heard “Taurus” at some point.

Randy California 1979

On Friday, US district judge Gary Klausner in Los Angeles ruled that the case can go forward, noting that the similarities between the two songs were striking enough to warrant a jury trial. It’s slated for May 10.

Wrote Klausner, “While it is true that a descending chromatic four-chord progression is a common convention that abounds in the music industry, the similarities here transcend this core structure. What remains is a subjective assessment of the ‘concept and feel’ of two works … a task no more suitable for a judge than for a jury.”

Go HERE to read a fascinatingly detailed account of the lawsuit’s arc to date, along with other related Zeppelin commentary, at Bloomberg.

Feel the Bern, er, the KA-CHUNK: It’s National 8-Track Day!

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Some days we write the news, others the news writes itself…

By Uncle Blurt

From NationalDayCalendar.com, this somewhat awkwardly-written but self-explanatory newsbyte:

Observed each year on April 11 is National Eight Track Tape Day.   This is a day to remember listening to great music of the sixties and seventies on eight-track tapes.Popular from the mid-1960s through the early 1980s, eight track tapes are a magnetic tape sound recording technology. Eight track tape, also called Stereo 8, was created in 1964 by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation along with Ampex, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Motorola and RCA Victor Records and released in 1965.

It was in September of 1965 that Ford Motor Company introduced factory installed and dealer installed eight track tape players as an option to buyers on three of its 1966 models, the Thunderbird, Mustang and Lincoln.  All of the Ford’s vehicles offered this tape player upgrade option on the 1967 model.   Through the 1980s optional eight track players were available in many cars and trucks. Eight track cartridges were phased out in the retail stores in the United States by late 1982.  Some titles were still available as eight track tapes through various mail order clubs until late 1988.

Many of the late period eight track tape releases are highly collectible today.

Indeed. Still got four of those suitcase-like carrying cases that hold 48 cartridges per. Man, nothing like the memories…. jamming a matchbook cover or a stray piece of trash under the tape because it was mistracking in the player and playing two channels at once (the original mashup, yo)… kicking back in my best pal’s Mustang out in the woods, some killer microdot just about to come on, when my favorite 20-minute psychedelic jam suddenly gets interrrupted by a loud KA_CHUNK! as the track changes channels midway, thereby freaking the shit out of me and my pals… and folks ask me where their ol’ Uncle got all the grey hairs prematurely. Now you know.

MP3: Download/Stream Yo La Tengo’s 4/9/16 NJ Concert

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Never sweeter a sound…

By Uncle Blurt

We do love us some Yo La Tengo here in the back of the BLURT shag-lined boogie van. 8-track, preferably, considering today is National Eight-Track Day. Just the same, we’ll take our Ira, Georgia and James any way we can get ’em, which is why our hat is doffed to the diligent archivists at NYCTaper.com, who have posted high-quality live Yo La Tengo digital files for free download – and with the band’s blessings, apparently – in MP3, FLAC or ALAC formats. Or, should you simply opt for on the run streaming, via handy Soundcloud files, at least as long as Soundcloud is still with us, which might not be much longer.

Yo La Tengo – Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre, 4/9/16

It’s all suitable for transferring to iPods, burning to CDRs, and possibly even moving over to 8-track if you (like I do) own an ancient 8-track recorder and player. Did I mention the stereo in my boogie van? Here’s the tracklist, and check the above link for photos, a nice review of the show, and recording specifics.

Tracks [Total Time 2:13:34]
Set One – Acoustic
01 My Heart’s Not In It [Darlene McCrea]
02 Periodically Double or Triple
03 Rickety
04 Automatic Doom [Special Pillow]
05 Did I Tell You
06 Black Flowers
07 Somebody’s In Love
08 I’ll Be Around
09 Deeper Into Movies
10 I Feel Like Going Home

Set Two – Electric
11 [intro jam]
12 Sugarcube
13 Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House>
14 Shaker
15 Before We Run>
16 Big Day Coming
17 Sudden Organ>
18 Autumn Sweater>
19 Decora>
20 Ohm
21 Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind
22 [encore break]
23 Drug Test
24 Too Late [Wire]
25 Tom Courtenay (acoustic)

Nashville Music Biz Now in the Crosshairs of LGBT-bills Backlash

Nashville

Another option on the table that some artists are considering: going through with their scheduled performances, but making a show of solidarity by donating their proceeds.

By Uncle Blurt

Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “equality/tolerance/respect for the LGBT community?” If you said, “Music City USA,” go directly to the back of the bus, bubba, ‘cos you be one lyin’ sumbitch.

With that in mind, an interesting new front in what I’ll charitably call the “bathroom access/religious freedom wars” opened today, following the Springsteen-cancels-NC-concert uproar (which we reported on the other day) and the subsequent Bryan-Adams-cancels-MS-concert incident. (There was also a Jimmy-Buffet-hedges-his-bets-in-NC deal going down that at least bears monitoring.) According to Rolling Stone:

“This morning in Nashville Chris Carmack and songwriter/producer Desmond Child joined GLAAD and the Tennessee Equality Project to speak out against two other similarly discriminatory measures. If signed into law, Tennessee House Bill 1840 would allow the state’s mental health professionals to refuse treatment to LGBT patients, and the Tennessee Senate Education Committee’s HB 2414 would require local transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their designated sex at birth, not how they chose to identify. Miley Cyrus, Emmylou Harris, Chely Wright and Ty Herndon, along with Viacom and CMT, have already spoken out against the bills, and now GLAAD is urging the rest of Nashville and the country music industry to follow suit.”

“GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis challenged Nashville’s music industry to rally against these bills, in the same way the entertainment industry joined together to collectively pressure Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal to veto the state’s “religious liberty” bill. “We need big voices in this industry,” Ellis sais, “like Sony Nashville, Big Machine Records, Universal Music Group, RCA, Curb Records, Warner Brothers and others to speak out. We need the many, many businesses that thrive on the music industry to speak out. I am here today to call on the music industry to stand with us, alongside television networks and film studios who stood with us in Georgia, in a united front against discrimination.””

More as this develops.

 

 

Watch Charles Bradley on “CBS This Morning”

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By Blurt Staff

This weekend the mighty Charles Bradley – who was recently the subject of a pretty great Blurt feature photo gallery by John Boydston – appeared on CBS This Morning Saturday, talking about his career and influences as well as performing three songs. Check out the clips over at the show’s website.

Schoolkids Recs Announces Record Store Day Performances

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A plethora of pop, a bevy of boozers, and a roundup of rock – that’s how we roll.

By Blurt Staff

Record Store Day 2016: you might have heard about it. This year it happens at choice indie record stores across the land on Saturday, April 16, and as usual our sister business Schoolkids Records – which now includes stores not only in Raleigh, NC, but in nearby Durham and Chapel Hill as well – will be participating. To sweeten the pot we’ve also got a full afternoon’s worth of terrific live performances at the Raleigh and Durham locations. Check out the poster above, and here’s the lineup. See ya there!

RALEIGH

1pm- Hank Sinatra

2pm – John Howie Jr.

3pm – Temperance League

4pm- Made of Oak

5pm – Tonk

6pm – Eric Ambel

***

DURHAM

1:30pm – Shirlette Ammons

2:30pm – Dexter Romweber

3:3pm  – Eric Bachmann

4:30pm – Skylar Gudasz

Tony Conrad 1940-2016 R.I.P.

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A stalwart of the avant-garde, he worked with everyone from members of the Velvet Underground, LaMonte Young, krautrockers Faust, Rhys Chatham, Jim O’Rourke and Genesis P-Orridge.

By Fred Mills

There’s not a lot of detail that’s been disclosed as of this writing, but what we know is sad enough: limits-testing music/film pioneer Tony Conrad apparently passed away early this morning, April 9, from complications related to pneumonia and his ongoing battle with prostrate cancer. He was 76.

According to The Buffalo News (Conrad was a professor at the University of Buffalo’s media studies department), “An event honoring Conrad’s career and retirement had been planned for May 2 in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts… a press release announcing that event [stated] ‘Tony Conrad cannot be put into a box. Best known as an experimental musician and filmmaker, he is also a painter, writer, video and performance artist, and eminent mentor and teacher. In 1966, Conrad made Flicker, a seminal work in structural and phenomenological film. Other prominent works include Coming Attraction and Straight and Narrow (1970), Articulation of Boolean Algebra for Film Opticals (1975), Phonograph andCycles of 3’s and 7’s (1977), Hail the Fallen (1981), and In Line (1986). While his films often examine perceptual issues, he also explores narrative structures in his video works. In the 1970s and 80s, Conrad began investigating socio-cultural power structures, which led to the creation of Squeaky Wheel and various community focused projects (Studio of the Streets, Homework Helpline).’”

 More details as we learn them.

Photo Credit: Via Wikipedia Creative Commons, by Seth Tisue; Conrad is pictured in 2003.