Monthly Archives: September 2017

MP3: Download 33 Cover Tunes by Husker Du

 

By Uncle Blurt

With that super-duper Husker Du box set of early material from Numero Group looming for a November release, for all the Husker dudes and dudettes make plans to camp out for the box set, here’s a little something you can download and spin at the tailgate party, courtesy the Big O. A whopping 33 cover tunes the group performed 1983-87, ranging from the expected (8 Miles High, I Wanna Be Your Dog, Love Is All Around) to the just plain gonzo, for them at least (Don’t Fear the Reaper, Do Ya, La Grange, and, uh, 99 Bottles of Beear). Sound quality inevitably varies, but still… man, this is fun to listen to.

According to the enterprising fan who compiled the collection, “Rather than take a chronological approach I have designed the first 23 tracks for repeated play with all the best sounding stuff steadily improving from half decent AUDs at the beginning to the SBDs at the end. All the worse AUDs and little snippets and crowd singalongs are from track 24-33 for completeness’ sake. I’ve used cross fades on the first 23 tracks and tried to even out the volume levels to make this as smooth a listen as possible. The rest of the tracks I just used fade ins and fade outs at the beginning and end of each track, the volumes levels were fairly consistent anyway.”

Tracklisting:

      Track 01
. Unknown – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 1:35
      Track 02
. Look Through Any Window (The Hollies) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 2:36
      Track 03
. Don’t Fear The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 1:32
      Track 04
. Fast Cars (Buzzcocks) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 2:11
      Track 05
. Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 2:22
      Track 06
. Blue Wind (Jeff Beck) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 1:57
      Track 07
. Train Kept A-Rollin (Johnny Burnette) – Folk City West, NYC 27-Apr-83 3:28
      Track 08
. Wild Thing (The Troggs) – Psychedelly, Bethesda 06-Oct-84 2:26
      Track 09
. I Wanna be your Dog (The Stooges) – Psychedelly, Bethesda 06-Oct-84 2:07
      Track 10
. Birthday (The Beatles) – G.S. Vigs, Madison 10-Mar-84 1:54
      Track 11
. Little Bitty Pretty One (Thurston Harris) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis 04-Dec-87 1:25
      Track 12
. Ramblin’ Rose (MC5) – Maxwell’s, Hoboken 11-Apr-86 2:47
      Track 13
. Sunshine Superman (Donovan) – Kennedy’s, Denver 29-Oct-83 1:45
      Track 14
. Sweet Jane (Velvet Underground) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis 07-Jul-84 3:26
      Track 15
. Chinese Rocks (Ramones) – Longhorn Bar, Minneapolis ?79 1:46
      Track 16
. Gilligan’s Island (The Wellingtons) – Longhorn Bar, Minneapolis 17-May-80 1:50
      Track 17
. You’re So Square Baby I Don’t Care/The Wit & The Wisdom (Elvis Presley) – 1st Ave, Minneapolis 28-Aug-85 3:53
      Track 18
. Helter Skelter (The Beatles) – 1st Ave, Minneapolis 30-Jan-85 5:02
      Track 19
. Ticket to Ride (The Beatles) – 1st Ave, Minneapolis 30-Jan-85 2:03
      Track 20
. Love is All Around (Sonny Curtis) – City Gardens, Trenton 11-May-85 1:38
      Track 21
. Eight Miles High (The Byrds) – Pinkpop Festival, Barlo 08-Jun-87 4:02
      Track 22
. Sheena is a Punk Rocker (The Ramones) ? The Ritz, NYC 17-Oct-87 2:51
      Track 23
. Louie Louie (The Kingsmen) – The Stone, San Francisco 01-Mar-85 4:54
      Track 24
. Iron Man (Black Sabbath) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis ?81 5:40
      Track 25
. Paranoid (Black Sabbath) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis ?81 2:00
      Track 26
. Do Ya (The Move) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis ?81 3:52
      Track 27
. I Can’t Explain (The Who) – Toad’s Place, New Haven 18-Oct-87 1:33
      Track 28
. Pretty Woman/Statues (Roy Orbison) – 7th St Entry, Minneapolis 12-Feb-84 4:03
      Track 29
. I Fought The Law (Bobby Fuller Four) – Ralph’s, Worcester 02-Oct-84 2:00
      Track 30
. 99 Bottles of Beer (Traditional) – Ralph’s, Worcester 02-Oct-84 1:17
      Track 31
. Amazing Grace (Traditional) – Psychedelly, Bethesda 06-Oct-84 0:59
      Track 32
. La Grange (ZZ Top) – Psychedelly, Bethesda 06-Oct-84 0:29
      Track 33
. We Wish You A Merry Xmas (Traditional) ? Studio Dec-86 1:00

Charles Bradley 1948-2017 R.I.P.

The Screaming Eagle of Soul brought soul and funk to a new contemporary level and introduced it to an entire new generation. Photo above by Susan Moll. Below photos by John Boydston.

By Fred Mills

Last October, soul singer extraordinaire Charles Bradley saddened the music world with the news of a recent cancer diagnosis, writing at Facebook in a statement,   “In the past few months, I have had to cancel a number of shows due to illness, taking me away from my beautiful fans. My doctors recently discovered a cancerous tumor in my stomach. I’m getting the best medical care and we are all extremely optimistic. I will fight through this like I’ve fought through the many other obstacles in my life.”

Sadly, earlier this month Bradley was forced to cancel yet more tour dates, and last night we learned that he finally succumbed to the cancer yesterday (Sept. 23). He was 68. The BBC reports that his publicist issued a statement that read, “Mr Bradley was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on.” An outpouring of condolences and grief quickly followed the announcement, from fans and peers alike: producer Mark Ronson tweeted, “So sad that Charles Bradley has left us, what a voice & spirit. My heart goes out to his family-both blood & musical https://t.co/vQ0Pyq8Xes” while Daptone labelmates Antibalas offered, “RIP to our dear brother Charles Bradley. Your heart was too big for this planet. See you on the other side. We love you.”

To those sentiments, we here at BLURT wish to add our own farewell. I’ll never forget seeing Bradley steal the show in Austin during SXSW 2013. Onstage at the Moody Theatre during the Daptone Soul Revue, he was an “explosive, spins-and-knee-drops reincarnation of James Brown (he capped the set by crawling into the crowd in front of the stage and giving out hugs to everyone in the vicinity).” More recently, our man in Atlanta, photographer John Boydston, had this to say about Bradley’s performance in March of 2016,

“Man, can this guy let out a soul scream…. My appreciation for the soul greats was second-hand until way too late in life, meaning I mostly grew up listening to white rocker-crooners paying tribute.  Meh. My bad.  I’ve been making up for lost time of late, devouring all the Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown records I can find.  So along comes Charles Bradley, and suddenly it’s not a nostalgia thing anymore.  He is the real deal soul man like the greats who came before.  He is also a great; not a revivalist or a retro act paying tribute. He’s Charles Bradley, and he’s bringing his world to new audiences.” (Follow the above link to view Boydston’s photo gallery from the show.)

Aside from the incendiary, sweat-drenched performances and near-brilliant recordings (such as on 2013’s Victim Of Love and 2016’s Changes), perhaps what I’ll remember most about Bradley was that closing-show ritual of wading into the crowd and hugging ecstatic fans. This wasn’t meet-and-greet handshakes, autographs and selfies at the merch table—this was literally demolishing the artist-fan, stage-audience barrier, a visual and deeply emotional expression of gratitude on his part for the love and enthusiasm those fans were giving him. Talk about a positive feedback loop. (The last video below will give you a sense of that scene.)

You can read about Bradley and his late-in-life success that was so inspiring elsewhere (such as at his Wikipedia page). Meanwhile, check out some choice videos below, and also, go check out “The Spotify Sessions” over at Spotify – it’s another SXSW performance, this one from 2016 – as well as that year’s NPR showcase performance, available for free download at the Big O Zine, where they also have smokin’ sets from 2012 and 2013.

Tyler Childers Takes His “Purgatory” On the Road

From out of Lawrence County, Kentucky….

Tyler Childers released his debut album “Purgatory” last month and after its drop it has received nothing but positive reviews, and it should. Deep within the Kentucky mountains, Tyler is from a small county in Kentucky with a population just around 15,000 people. “Purgatory” is the album that tells the story of his life in those mountains. With production help from Grammy award-winning Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, the songs—about drug fueled nights where you wake up in the morning with a shiner on your eye—will make you feel like you and Tyler were as thick as thieves.

In the past couple of years the Americana market has surged with acts like Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Jason Isbell. Tyler Childers should be an act to follow those acts as they take over what many country artists cannot relate to. The actual walk-the-walk mentality is in Childers’ songs, and you can hear it throughout the entire album.

“Get me drinkin’ that moonshine/ Get me higher than the grocery bill/ Take my troubles to the highwall/ Throw ‘em in the river and get your fill”

Tyler Childers is currently on tour with Colter Wall, and with the two of them selling out venue after venue. Coming up this week are dates in Charlotte, Carrboro, and Gallipolis, OH. Worth noting: in October, Tyler will be holding down a residency where he will be playing three nights at The Burl in Lexington, Kentucky, all making for an unstoppable evening of songs that will leave you drunk off country music—and possibly moonshine.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

September 20th – Charlotte at Neighborhood Theatre *
September 21st – Carrboro at Cat’s Cradle Back Room (Sold Out) *
September 23rd – River Rat Beer and Music Festival, Gallipolis OH
September 24th – Hazard, KY at The Forum +
September 25th – Nashville, TN at The Basement (Sold Out)
September 28th – Columbus, OH at Newport Music Hall *

* w/ Colter Wall
+ w/ Drive By Truckers

Full list of dates can be seen here: https://tylerchildersmusic.com/tour/

Grant Hart 1961-2017 R.I.P.

A gifted musical and visual artist leaves us once again.

By Fred Mills

Hüsker Dü: without the Minneapolis band’s ’80s efforts, modern punk would have no doubt evolved far differently. Guitarist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton, and drummer Grant Hart blazed a trail across the Amerindie underground and even helped make major labels respectable in terms of their hosting punk bands.

Today we learned that Hart passed away last night at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. The cause of death is listed as complications from liver cancer and hepatitis. Hart was 56.

Erstwhile bandmate Mould, with whom Hart clashed near the end of the band’s tenure (HD broke up in 1988), penned a heartfelt tribute at his Facebook page, writing the following:

“It was the Fall of 1978. I was attending Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. One block from my dormitory was a tiny store called Cheapo Records. There was a PA system set up near the front door blaring punk rock. I went inside and ended up hanging out with the only person in the shop. His name was Grant Hart.

“The next nine years of my life was spent side-by-side with Grant. We made amazing music together. We (almost) always agreed on how to present our collective work to the world. When we fought about the details, it was because we both cared. The band was our life. It was an amazing decade.

“We stopped working together in January 1988. We went on to solo careers, fronting our own bands, finding different ways to tell our individual stories. We stayed in contact over the next 29 years — sometimes peaceful, sometimes difficult, sometimes through go-betweens. For better or worse, that’s how it was, and occasionally that’s what it is when two people care deeply about everything they built together.

“The tragic news of Grant’s passing was not unexpected to me. My deepest condolences and thoughts to Grant’s family, friends, and fans around the world.

“Grant Hart was a gifted visual artist, a wonderful story teller, and a frighteningly talented musician. Everyone touched by his spirit will always remember.

“Godspeed, Grant. I miss you. Be with the angels.”

Hart embarked upon a post-Husker career than included both solo albums and under the name Nova Mob, and he also worked as a visual artist, as Mould notes. According to NPR, his final show was “July 1 at the Hook and Ladder Theater in Minneapolis [and] was actually a surprise tribute to him that featured Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, Babes In Toyland’s Lori Barbero and others: ‘I carried my guitar in, and it was like this sea of faces turning to me with great affection. There’s not too many big surprises that have been successfully thrown at me, but that was definitely one,’ Hart is quoted as saying.”

Below, revisit some choice video memories of Hart.

Incoming: Thai Rockers Slot Machine

Band’s “The Mothership” concert held to a rapturous response.

 By Jonathan Levitt

Slot Machine, who worked with legendary British producer Steve Lillywhite for their 2016 record, have taken Asia by storm. Their infectious blend of rock and pop plus their good looks have led them to be plastered across many a bedroom wall. With their hit record Spin the World recently released by Sony Records, the band has continued to break countless sales records, both in Thailand and across Asia.

Their dynamically staged, sold out show known as the “Mothership” bodes well for them to remain darlings of Asia’s mega-arena scene for a long time to come. Below, watch their energized, bordering-on-U2-theatrical video for “And We Go,” from Spin the World, and check them out at their official website.

Fishin’ for some fresh post-punk? Try Koi Division!

Meet Ian Clownfish: vocals, Hook: Bass, Bernard Salmon: Guitar, Steve Moray: Drums.

By Barbi Martinez

What would you say to the iconic tune “Love Will Tear Us Apart” as “Lures Will Catch Us a Carp,” or Transmission” as “Trout Fishin’?” How about “Dead Souls”  as “Dead Soles” with lyrics that go “they keep trawling me, keep on trawling me”?

Sounds pretty fishy, right?

Koi Division is the latest outfit to be swimming against the current in oh-so-trendy Los Angeles, and as the LA Weekly described the quartet in a recent profile, “Donning black clothes and plastic fish masks, they wind their way through Joy Division covers with modified lyrics that explore the daily, often baleful, goings-on of the sea. Their shows incorporate a bubble machine and display a beachy version of the iconic Unknown Pleasures album art behind them. Though it might seem as if they’re mocking, there is a reverence behind the humor.”

Not much I can add to that, so in lieu of a deep critical analysis…

Jessi Zazu (Those Darlins) 1989-2017 R.I.P.

 

 

An immense loss to the indie rock world – and the music world, period.

By Fred Mills

One of our favorite bands here at BLURT, of the last decade, has to be Nashville’s Those Darlins, and if you don’t recognize that name then you are clearly on the wrong website. Put simply—or, as we put it in a 2013 feature on the band—the group served up “tough, fully realized songs; muscular, rocking playing; smart arrangements; convincing singing—the whole package.”

So today brings the sad news that one of Those Darlins’ two frontwomen, Jessi Zazu, has passed away from cancer. The gifted, witty musician was only 28.

Zazu was born into a musical family (her uncle was country star Steve Wariner), telling us, in that 2013 interview, “I was born in Nashville, and grew up in Kentucky and Indiana, pretty much been in the south and rural areas my whole life. There’s always been music I my life. I grew up in a family of musicians. I always knew that it would be a path I’d go down. I was encouraged in my home to be creative and do what I wanted to do. My grandfather taught me how to play guitar. I started taking lessons from him when I was nine.”

It was a public battle with cancer, for sure. Zazu put together a teeshirt design reading “Ain’t Afraid” in order to raise both awareness and medical bill funds, and as Those Darlins had been one of Nashville’s most popular indie rock groups, the fanbase responded accordingly. A recent John Prine tribute concert in Nashville even wound up being a Zazu fundraiser—those Darlins had previously appeared on a Prine tribute album—when the organizers announced they were donating the proceeds to her medical fund. The band broke up about a year ago, and Zazu turned to her art; according to The Tennessean, she mounted a display in June at the Julia Martin Gallery that included works from her mother Kathy Wariner.

BLURT will have a tribute to Jessi shortly. In the meantime—rock:

 

Photo credit: ALYSSE GAFKJEN

Watch the New Dream Syndicate Video

Something about cars and Norwegians… New album drops Sept. 8.

By Fred Mills

With comeback album How Did I Find Myself Here set to arrive this week on Sept. 8 via Anti-, Dream Syndicate is now   ewrHreleasing a video for “Filter Me Through You,” the leadoff track. The above still is from the video, the four musicians driving a 1968 Pontiac Bonneville under the midnight sun on the streets of Vadsø, Norway.

You can check out the video below, and if you visit the band’s SoundCloud page you can hear the title track and the tune “Glide.” (Fun fact: Also at the SoundCloud page are streams of the out of print live albums The Day Before Wine and Roses and The Complete Live at Raj’s—the latter is about to get a limited edition colored vinyl re-release, also this week, complete with bonus tracks.

Incoming: Early-era Husker Du Box Set from Numero Group

WWSSTS? (What would SST say?)

By Blurt Staff

In the interest of efficiency and accuracy, we will dispense with any editorial insights here, and instead simply republish the Numero Group label’s product info and description. If you aren’t familiar with Husker Du and the Minneapolis trio’s cultural importance, you clearly landed on the wrong news item at the wrong music website….

Hüsker Dü

SAVAGE YOUNG

•4 LPs or 3CDs
•Tip on jackets or die cut sleeves
•108-page or 144-page hardcover book
•Linen-finished slipcase
•69 songs, 47 previously unissued
•Flyerography
•40 previously unpublished photographs
•12,000 word essay by Erin Osmon
•Sessionography by Paul Hilcoff
•Remastered from the original analog tapes

Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould—three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground. Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983 via a 108-page hardbound book crammed full of photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs, 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued, and includes In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart , and an alternate Land Speed Record.

We’ve also pressed up a limited edition bonus 7” for mail order customers. Extra Circus gathers five previously unissued songs from the January 1983 Metal Circus sessions and is packaged in a full color sleeve, as designer Grant Hart intended.

Incoming: 2017 Louder Than Life Festival

You still have three weeks to buy your tickets to the best damn festival of the year!

BY MARK JACKSON

It is going to be the rock weekend you won’t forget—we’re talking, naturally, the annual Louder Than Life Festival, held in Louisville. Who else could bring you Ozzy, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, Prophets of Rage, Stone Sour, and many more! If the music wasn’t enough, throw in some man sized gourmet food and lots of Bourbons. (After all Louisville, KY is the heart of Bourbon country.) Some of this year’s sponsors include: Jack Daniels, Monster Energy, Zippo, and Miller Lite is of course onboard again this year.

See the full lineup on the poster above and go here for tickets and more info. See you there!

Editor’s Note: Mark Jackson (@markjacksonphotography1) has previously covered the event for BLURT. To read his reviews and check out his photo galleries:

Louder Than Life Festival 10/1-2/16, Louisville KY

 

Louder Than Life Festival 10/3-4/15, Louisville KY