Monthly Archives: September 2016

Big Jesus: Making of Oneiric Part 3 (Video)


Atlanta rockers conquer the universe (or at least the BLURT galaxy and its neighbors…).

 By Daniel Matti

A few weeks ago we published an interview conducted with Atlanta’s aptly-named Big Jesus – they had just performed at the Wrecking Ball fest – and following that we served up an exclusive video about the making of their new album Oneiric. We continue running with that baton for Part 3, so check it out:

Don’t forget to check the gents out  at their Facebook page too.

“I’d say the overall experience of Big Jesus going to Los Angeles to record our new material was one of the best experiences I’ve had playing music in my life” – Spencer Ussery

The final part of the Making of Oneiric video series takes us back to Matt Hyde’s personal studio “The Hydeaway” where vocals were laid down and final thoughts were mended as they wrapped everything up.

Oneiric is out next week, Sept. 30, via the Mascot Label on CD/LP/Digital.

Incoming: New LP by Rikk Agnew Band.


Living legend is still living – and finally cutting fresh material.


A literal legend in hardcore circles, veteran guitarist Rikk Agnew has been on the punk scene since the late ‘70s. Some may recall him from, variously, his stints in Social Distortion, the Adolescents, D.I., and Christian Death (he also popped up in a reunited 45 Grave in 2004-05). Yet he’s also consistently proven his mettle as a solo artist, starting in 1982 with All By Myself, released on the influential SoCal Frontier label.

Fast-forward to 2016: Agnew’s new effort, Learn is on Frontier, appropriately enough, given that label’s consistent support over the years of sundry mavericks of the American punk milieu. It comes on the heels of Agnew getting sober a few years ago, having succumbed to serious drug abuse for an extended period of time. (Check the album art below- it’s a pretty chilling visual depiction of the proverbial “ravages of drug use.”


Learn, due Oct. 14, is crammed with political punk for both the new and the older generation. In a forthcoming review, BLURT’s very own Uncle Blurt – a survivor of the early ‘80s pit wars himself – calls it “a seamless collision of galloping hardcore and riotous punk… It all sounds like a time capsule from 3 ½ decades ago, yet there’s also no denying the rush one gets in the realization that just as relevant now as it would have been back then.”

In the band with Agnew: Sam Hare, Justin Parnell, Gregory Watson, and Agnew’s Christian Death pal Gitane DeMone.


Incidentally, the album will be available on thick 180 gram vinyl, download code included. You know what format we here at BLURT recommend…


MP3: Listen to New Pop Group Single


UK outfit is clearly beyond good OR evil on their new album…

By Blurt Staff

Hopefully we don’t have to re-introduce you to Britain’s Pop Group—but if so, you can bring yourself up to speed via this 2014 review of their Cabinet of Curiosities/We Are Time archival release. Contributor Michael Toland explained, of the late ‘70s postpunk legends, “An almost textbook example of that nebulous genre known as postpunk, the Bristol quintet deftly combined nervous funk with clanging punk rock and performed it with a loose sensibility that has as much in common with free jazz as rock & roll. Jagged and dissonant but with enough respect for tune to be just this side of accessible, fiercely political but still in thrall to the joy of simply making music.”

More recently, the group returned in 2015 with Citizen Zombie, and in a review of it Toland again sang the group’s praises, writing, “It goes without saying that Citizen Zombie won’t sound exactly like the influential postpunk band did in its late 70s glory – too much time has passed for that. Yet in its own way, the LP picks up where the Group left off – like the Clash’s Combat Rock, it represents a musical evolution while keeping the same spirit.”

Amen to that. Now the outfit has another new album, Honeymoon On Mars, cut earlier this year with dub legend Dennis Bovell and Bomb Squad member Hank Shocklee. It’s due on their Freaks R Us label on October 28, and the first single, “Zipperface” precedes it. Check it out:

The Pop Group did tour behind Citizen Zombie, playing the UK, Japan, Australia, Europe and the US. UK and European dates have already been lined up for November, with more hopefully to come.

Tuesday 15 November 16 – UK Brighton Komedia

Thursday 17 November 16 – UK Cardiff The Globe

Friday 18 November 16 – UK Leeds Wardrobe

Saturday 19 November 16 -UK Manchester Deaf Institute

Sunday 20 November 16 – UK Newcastle Think Tank

Tuesday 22 November 16 – UK Cambridge Portland Arms

Thursday 24 November 16 – UK London The 100 Club

Saturday 26 November 16 – France Boulogne-Billancourt BBmix

Sunday 27 November 16 – Netherlands Amsterdam Paradiso Nord

Tuesday 29 November 16 – Denmark Copenhagen Jazzhouse

Thursday 1 December 16 – Germany Berlin Volksbuhne


Brian Eno Embarks Upon New Film Project


And it’s not necessarily an oblique strategy for the chrome-domed one…

By Blurt Staff

According to The Quietus, Brian Eno’s latest album, The Ship (Warp Records), has now gotten a companion film. According to Warp, it is “a generative film” that “explores various historical photographic images and real time news feeds to compose a collective photographic memory of humankind.”

The film is a collaboration between Eno and Dentsu Lab Tokyo – the latter “is engaged in the development of new forms of expression through the use of new forms of technology.”

The film can be viewed here. Below, watch the trailer, then listen to the original track “The Ship.”

Synth Pioneer Don Buchla 1937-2016 R.I.P.


Was a peer of Robert Moog.

By Uncle Blurt

Don Buchla, who along with Robert Moog was one of the great electronic music grandfathers, passed away on Sept. 14 at the age of 79. According to the Guardian, the modular synth inventor “was considered a true iconoclast with an uncompromising vision of what synthesizers could be. His impact on electronic music was vast; Buchla independently invented the first modern synthesizer, at the same time as Robert Moog, in 1963. Although Moog is often credited with having invented the first modular synthesizer, Moog even admitted during his lifetime that Buchla was the first to have a full concept of how to put all the modules together to add up to an instrument.

“He invented a whole new paradigm for how you interface with electronics – much more human, and a whole new thing,” says Buchla’s close friend Morton Subotnick.

“He was a genius and an adventurer – an adventurer in the real sense of the word,” says his friend, musician Bob Ostertag. “Almost everything he made was unprecedented.”


Read more about Buchla at the Guardian story and at the Buchla Wikipedia page. Below, hear some music. After that you can check out an interview with the inventor.


Video: Sophe Lux & the Mystic “Love Is Waiting”


Track plucked from Portland outfit’s August debut LP. (Above photo: Julian Tobon)

By Blurt Staff

The band used to be called Sophe Lux, but more recently expanded as Sophe Lux & the Mystic. Well, the name itself “expanded”. Where previously frontwoman Gwynneth Haynes operated the group, starting in 2002, as a vehicle for her self-described “cabaret-informed operatic-glam pageantry” and frequently tapped the talents of fellow Portlandians who were members of the Decemberists and Steven Malkmus’ The Jicks, her more recent iteration is a solo vehicle. SL&TM’s debut All Are One arrived August 19, and the new video from the album is a must-view. Check out “Love Is Waiting”:

The album was co-produced by Haynes and veteran studio maven Larry Crane. According to the Haynes camp,

“The album’s sound arose organically and intuitively, primarily using analogue instruments. Haynes wrote the songs, sang all vocals, played piano, B-3 Organ, synthesizer, and vintage drum machines and created intricate string and operatically flavored vocal arrangements. Crane laid down bass lines, programed drums, and played Fripp & Eno inspired e-bowed guitar.  He manipulated all this to create psychedelic sound collages full of surreal sonic nuances. Paul Pulvirenti (touring and session drummer for Elliot Smith), came in one day and laid down beats that became loops that were then interwoven with programmed drums. Dan Lowinger (Western Centuries) added guitar to “Love is Waiting” and “Your Wonderland.”

Incidentally, Haynes has been making music since her early teens, and there’s artistry in her DNA: her brother is acclaimed film director Todd Haynes.


On the web:

Listen to New Single from NC’s Amigo: “I Wanna Live”


Tarheel rockers serve up peace, love and understanding on terrific new single.

By Fred Mills

So as most of you probably know, BLURT is based in North Carolina, as is our sister business, Schoolkids Records, an indie record chain with stores in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill/Carrboro. As you also probably know, the Tarheel State is in the middle of a political and cultural shitstorm, and there’s been a ton of collateral damage as a result of that shitstorm.

So we’re pretty lucky to have so many gifted, creative bands here who continue to keep the faith amid these negative times, in the process helping to raise everyone’s spirits—among those bands, Charlotte, NC, indie rockers Amigo, who I had the pleasure of seeing them perform a couple of years ago at the Raleigh Schoolkids. These guys are tuneful as hell, with a hint of twang here and there as well as no shortage of hi-nrg mojo. I think a friend of mine called ‘em “10 feet tall and bulletproof,” so who am I to argue with that, because their music speaks for itself.

The band has a brand new track they’ve just recently unveiled, one which is not necessarily going to be on the next Amigo album, the followup to 2014’s outstanding Might Could. (It’s one-half of a split single with Greenville, SC, combo The Long Canes, who represent their own city with plenty of panache as well. via their track “Do You Remember?”.) Check out “I Wanna Live (‘Cause I Don’t Wanna Die)” below, which is a vibrant blend of Tom Petty/Byrds-styled Americana and full-on garage-rock twang that’ll have you humming it to yourself well into the wee hours. Check ‘em out if they come anywhere near ya—hell, just make the road trip if they don’t—and in the meantime grab the 45 while it’s available.

Gearfest Set to Rock Sacramento This Week


Music by Pat Todd & the Rank Outsiders, Leesa G, Red Planet, Roxy Suicide and the Troublemakers.

By Blurt Staff

This week, Sept. 24 to be exactly, will mark the latest Gearfest, hosted by the venerable Gearhead fanzine. Get ready, Sacramento!  According to the organizers:

Gearfest 2016 is right around the corner and it looks to be another day when all the space junk and stars align. Sept. 24, 2016 is the date, 6 pm is the time and The Blue Lamp is the place. If you drive a hot rod, get there early for Rock Star parking in front of the club and across the street at the host hotel The Red Lion. Fans can view the cars before doors open at 6:30 pm. Rolling Rock, our beer sponsor for the evening, will be on hand with surprises and cheap beer to keep the fans lubricated. Event sponsors Sacramento Tattoo and Piercing, one of Sacramento’s oldest tattoo shops and Asphalt Rodeo, an Elk Grove based hot rod and customs builder will be hanging out talking tattoos and hot rods.

Buy your ticket online at the link.


7pm The Troublemakers — Sacramento-based garage-punkers kick things off!
8 pm The Roxy Suicide — a glam-pop punk band from Fort Collins, CO (featuring Dave Mansfield from The Mansfields)
9 pm Ms. Gearhead Contest (see below for description and entry details)
10 pm Red Planet — the long-loved Bay Area power pop outfit performing for the first time after a fifteen year hiatus
11 pm Leesa G — former front-woman of the 80s punk band The Creamers performing several Creamers songs with The Rankoutsiders backing her
11:30 Pat Todd and the Rankoutsiders — bluesy balls-out country-punk from Los Angeles
For more information about the bands and schedule, click here!

Fallon Lobs Softballs at Trump, But the Roots Get Their Say

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0327 -- Pictured: (l-r) Donald Trump during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on September 11, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

The only song that would have been more appropriate is “Lyin’ Ass Bitch,” but of course that’s reserved for wingnut Michelle Bachmann.

By Barbi Martinez

No one expects Jimmy Fallon to jump in any of his guests’ shit, of course, but when Donald Trump appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” the other evening he was ridiculously fawning. When rubbing a guest’s hair is what passes for an outre moment in an interview, you know you’re in suck-up land. And Fallon sucked up to Trump so hard that it left white stains on his suit jacket.

But house band The Roots came through, luckily, when they played “20 Feet Tall” by Erykah Badu as Trump’s entrance music – the song includes the lyrics, “Then you, you built a wall/ A 20-foot wall so I couldn’t see.” No word as to whether Trump picked up on it, but pretty much everyone on the internet did. Check out a video of the show below, and pay attention at the 11 1/2 minute mark when the Roots launch into their sonic editorial.

Watch New Video by Lisa Said


By Blurt Staff

The album is titled No Turn Left Behind and that is truth-in-titling: Americana songstress Lisa said grew up in Memphis as the child of Egyptian expatriates, but she would eventually wind up in Chattanooga, then NYC, then Asheville, NC, and then in Washington, DC. Such wanderlust informs her debut album, which was cut in studios in the larger DC area with producer Don Zientara. We are advised thusly:

“This body of songs represents the conflict that is core to Lisa’s journey caught between a Bedouin mother and a Pharaonic father and a lot of dramatic chorus, growing up “ethnic looking” in the middle of Tennessee, between being an artist to needing to make a living, between small town and big city, moving and staying, the push and pull, crossing bridges and burning bridges, and sometimes that nagging feeling of just wanting to live remotely and be alone…with Elvis,  Bob, Mick, Keith, Pete, Marc, Neil, Rod, Ray, Chrissie, Nick, Patti, Johnny, and the other Elvis.”

Indeed; check out the first video from the album, which was released Aug. 26 on Lisa’s own label:

“The album was recorded over the course of a year and a few months starting in February 2015 with Andrew Toy laying down the foundation on drums at Inner Ear—ten songs recorded over 2 days in the studio. Then came the other layers locally, followed by the remote add-ons of Seth Kauffman (Floating Action), then local additions by Jon Carroll (Starland Vocal Band) in between touring, then violin added remotely by Kip Jones, then songs were mixed remotely by Jason Kingsland and Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses), and mastered locally by Don Zientara.”

Photo credit: Lynda Meier.

On the web: