It’s not exactly Lykke, Bjorn & John, but we’ll take it: LIV is a new group featuring Lykke Li, Björn Yttling, producer/main squeeze Jeff Bhasker, plus Andrew Wyatt and Pontus Winnberg from Miike Snow, according to Pitchfork, which adds that the bands are members of a collective formed in 2012, Ingrid. Listen to LIV’s first aural offering HERE. Meanwhile, read our review of Lykke Li’s 2014 album I Never Learn as well as a 2011 interview she did with Blurt HERE.
“Maneater” and “Bizarre Love Triangle” like you don’t remember ’em…
By Barbi Martinez
It may be an era of ’80s Hell – who needs an Electric Lunch for a couple of hours when your coworkers force Throwback Thursday on you week after week – but once in awhile something comes along you just wanna throw your arms up in the air like you just don’t care. Below, listen to Lower Dens (aka Jana Hunter & Co.; that’s the recently shorn Hunter in full Sinead mode, above) and Sugar for Sugar (aka Scarlett Johansson & Co.) tackle a couple of choice tracks from Hall and Oates and New Order, respectively. They are taken from The Time is Now charity compilation, assembled by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. The record will also feature Phantogram and Metric, among others.
Incidentally, Lower Dens recently unveiled their “new jam” titled “Real Thing” and an accompanying video. Meanwhile, go HERE to read our 2012 interview with Hunter, and HERE to read our review of the group’s breakthrough album Nootropics.
Since we are always on the lookout for cool new vinyl, this one definitely caught our attention: the Drive-By Truckers’ classic 5th release, The Dirty South, out this week as a special limited edition – only 300 copies – from collector specialists Newbury Comics in conjunction with New West. Get a look of those two different colored platters and prepare to drool…
Promoting new album and celebrating the venerable A-fest tradition!
By Uncle Blurt
Seems like all our rowdy friends hotfooted it over to Nashville last week for the annual Americanafest, leaving us to tend the Tarheel homefires all by our lonesome. What happened over there? Well, at least we got updates via Twitter and Facebook from some of those rowdy friends, or we would have no earthly idea, as the national music media, us included, appears to have been largely out of the loop. (Rumor has it that Jason Isbell was celebrated at the Americana Music Association awards ceremony, and that T Bone Burnett gave an impassioned keynote speech, so that’s a good sign.)
Luckily, though, a slew of great performances have surfaced online so us normal citizens can check out the tunes, which of course is the stuff that counts; YouTube was blowing up this weekend in particular. And the ever-diligent archivists at the Big O zine kindly posted MP3s of Dwight Yoakam’s live webcast.
Engaging and enigmatic song culled from recently-released second album.
By Blurt Staff
It’s called Here The Blue River, the sophomore outing from singer-songwriter Haroula Rose, who’s been compared to both Judee Sill and Townes Van Zandt. High praise indeed, and we’re jazzed to be able to allow a glimpse of the chanteuse’s gifts via the track “Moon And Waves”—this being a remix of the album track by The Hood Internet. Check it out:
Commenting on her second full-length (on Thirty Tigers/Little Bliss; she’s also released a couple of Eps to date), Rose noted, “This album took a while not only because I was working on films but also because I was trying to figure out what story I want to tell, what’s most important to me, and how to do that with more dynamic arrangements.”
The album was cut with southern iconoclast Jim White, Zac Rae (currently touring with Death Cab for Cutie, and who has collaborated with the likes of Alanis Morrisette, Gnarls Barkley, Fiona Apple, My Brightest Diamond, Sara Lov, and Pedestrian), and Luke Top (Fool’s Gold, Cass McCombs), and it represents a sound that Rose feels has “evolved” and broadened from the traditional acoustic folk of her debut These Open Roads. “This is definitely a relationship record,” she adds. “It’s about how our relationships are also about how we relate to ourselves, to nature, how we are alienated from it, how we seek to understand these mysteries that surround us….how as human beings we create and we destroy things.”
Incidentally, Rose is also a screenwriter, filmmaker, and actress; most recently she wrote, starred in, and wrote music for No Love Song, which co-stars Rosanna Arquette, now being distributed by TV4. She also was associate producer and musical supervisor for the award-winning Fruitvale Station. Currently Rose is developing a screenplay adaptation novel Once Upon A River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell, which Rose will also direct.
Incidentally, below you can watch the video for “Moon and Waves” and hear the original album version of the song.
As the process of becoming jaded in the music biz these days is practically a given, the opportunity to step outside that psychological straitjacket and actually enjoy a fresh new face, without a single preconception or expectation, is to be cherished. So I would kindly like to introduce everyone to indie-rock newcomer Bornstars, essentially a one-man ensemble straight outta Atlanta. At least for now it’s a solo project; the sound is rich enough to suggest that the tour will find Mr. Max Boydston bringing in more than a few pals to help him flesh out what is clearly an expansive musical vision.
Boydston, a recent Berklee graduate (and the son of veteran BLURT photographer/contributor John Boydston, full disclosure), is prepping the release of his debut album It Is Whatever You Say It Is – details at his Facebook page, natch – and he’s got an initial video that will give you an audio-visual preview par excellence. The clip is dazzling in its own right, so you might need to wear some form of eye protection, fyi…. Check out “Lockdown,” below:
Putting the “L” back in both legend and Little Diesel… And the “P” back in both punk and The Pump…
By Fred Mills
Attendees at the recent Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC, were treated to quite a show by the legendary Television, and it was made even more special because the opening act was NC’s Sneakers, that Winston-Salem-spawned/Chapel Hill-reared, group of pre-punk era Tarheels who would later turn into random members of the H-Bombs, dB’s, Secret Service, and Let’s Active. Go HERE and HERE to see just a few of our friend’s comments and photos of the Sneakers set.
Now word arrives that Sneakers, along with W-S ’70s-era compatriots Little Diesel, will be appearing at Durham’s Motorco venue on October 20. Rather than proselytize – you can read some of my observations on a number of the musicians elsewhere on the Blurt site – allow me to simply direct you to what Motorco is saying in regards to why you might want to consider picking up tickets and making the road trip. See ya there, kissy boys, and don’t try to tell me that you can’t attend simply because love is like a Cuban crisis….
SNEAKERS: Before The dB’s and Let’s Active, there was Sneakers! Stamey, an icon of indie pop, and friend Mitch Easter began to explore recording techniques in Winston-Salem, NC, during their youth. In 1976, Chris and his band, Sneakers (including drummer Will Rigby, with appearances from Easter), released a single on Stamey’s own Carnivorous Records. The sessions were engineered by Don Dixon, who would eventually produce bands like R.E.M. (with Easter) and The Smithereens. Stamey & Rigby would go on to form The dB’s and Easter would reappear in Let’s Active—but the Sneakers single remains vital in not only independent record history, but music in general. [Above photo by Larry Tucker, from the Hopscotch show]
LITTLE DIESEL: In 1973, when most of teenage Winston-Salem lay intoxicated by the sound of mellow southern rock, one select group of insouciant, incendiary Reynolds scalawags took a sharp left turn, clutching Mott the Hoople and New York Dolls albums and started LITTLE DIESEL, the Twin City’s first punk rock band. Fueled by cases of Mickey’s, LITTLE DIESEL took their audiences hostage and exposed them to anarchic rock heretofore unknown in these parts. Bob Northcott’s stylized and soulful vocals were augmented by a formidable dual guitar fusillade from Tom Eshelman and Peter Holsapple and underpinned by bassist Phil Thomas and powerhouse drummer Will Rigby. The die was cast, and the legend was born. If you saw the band then, likely as not you’ve never forgotten it. And now 43 years later, the original LITTLE DIESEL reunites for another show, opening for NC legends SNEAKERS OCTOBER 20 at MOTORCO in DURHAM NC. The snarling attitude and powerful sound is intact and revitalized, and LITTLE DIESEL rises again. [Above photo from Holsapple’s blog]
A bold new incarnation for Hey Negrita’s Felix Bechtolsheimer featuring everything from Krautrock to folk to jazzy gothic noir.
By Fred Mills
Given how easy it is to become jaded as a music writer, what with the weekly deluge of music, those times when a new release grabs you by the throat, throttles you properly, and leaves you in a pulpy puddle on the floor begging for more are to be cherished. Such is the case with the forthcoming self-titled, 4-song, 12″ vinyl EP by London’s Curse of Lono, due October 14 on the Submarine Cat label. The band is the brainchild of Felix Bechtolsheimer, who previously performed in the much-loved Hey Negrita, which toured extensively and released four albums prior to Felix deciding it was time to move on and test out some new sounds and textures. Somewhere along the way he encountered the ’83 Hunter S. Thompson mini-memoir The Curse of Lono—a kind of Hawaiian-misadventures variation on the truth-in-loathing angle—and liked the name.
The music dips into everything from Krautrock to folk to jazzy gothic noir, and they are apparently also the soundtrack for an Alex Walker-directed short film starring Grant Masters and Marta Hermida, Meanwhile, the group has been filming a series of live-in-studio performances intended to visually enhance their material, and the intimate videos can be viewed at their Facebook page or YouTube channel. By way of a teaser for the forthcoming review here at BLURT, check out a couple of those clips, below.
Austin is BLURT’s favorite city on the planet, yo…from the group’s latest album.
By Blurt Staff
A. Sinclair from Austin, Texas, released their sophomore album Get Out Of The City via Dangerbird Records in May of this year and have a brand new video titled “Liars in the State of New York” to show off! Check out our exclusive unveiling for all you BLURT readers (including our many friends from the Lone Star State that we meet each year at our day party during SXSW):
According to the band, the video “stars our good friend ‘Magic Mike’ as the magician at the pool table. The video spins around a club where a lot is going on from the beginning.”
From there the group finishes off their set and then the video rolls into them greeting fans and getting drinks at the bar.
Check ‘em at their Facebook page, natch. Coming to a town near you very soon. See ya in Austin in March, guys!
A Blurt Boot Video Exclusive: Simon Bonney & Bronwyn Adams (Live NYC) 5/14/2019 WARSAW
Filmed by Jonathan Levitt. Check out Bonney's latest record "Past, Present, Future" http://smarturl.it/SimonBonney
A Blurt Boot Exclusive: Psychedelic Furs "Only You and I" (Live Costa Mesa CA 7-19-18
Tribute: Tony Kinman (R.I.P.) and Rank And File - Video from "Long Gone Dead"
Blurt Audio Exclusive: Thin White Rope "The Fish Song" (from 2018 remaster of The Ruby Sea