Monthly Archives: October 2017

Video Premiere: Michael Rank “Women In Love”

Latest track from the NC musician’s recent, soul-infused album.

By Fred Mills

Back in August we profiled North Carolina’s Michael Rank, the former Snatches of Pink frontman and uber-prolific solo artist, who’d just released his latest album, a triple-disc set (!) called Another Love that finds him immersing himself in classic ’70s-style soul and funk. One of the key tracks is “Women In Love,” of which Rank told me at the time, “It’s just got that thing. It bubbles. It’s sexy. It’s like the sound of wet marbles.

Now we’ve got a remarkable new video for the tune. It was directed by Rank and Daniel Andrews, and it depicts the singer pitching major woo in the direction of his honey, played by Zuri Adimu. Check it out:

Rank talks about the video, saying, “After the disco action and silver sparkle of our ‘Satellite’ video I wanted this final clip to be a different beast. It’s such a sexy and chill track that I really wanted a heavy blue-light minimalist vibe. Where the smallest gestures and smiles and darts of the eyes are what create all the big action. I wanted to place a look that recalled a fashion print ad, like those old Calvin Klein ’70s wood paneled basement rec-room shots that always felt a little unsettling and awkward and yet still always sexy. To flip the traditional male ego found in most music videos and have a clip where the viewer is left smiling at whether my female counter would just as soon take me or leave me. And man, I’d honestly say we hit on all those marks!!!”

 

 

 

Watch “Special” New Angel Olsen Video

Also appearing on Austin City Limits this weekend.

By Barbi Martinez

With her November 10 Phases release date just around the corner – Nov. 10, to be precise – Asheville rocker Angel Olsen is prepping for an extensive fall and winter tour. She also has a new video for the song “Special,” which you can view below. We are advised that the Olsen-directed Super 8 video is “oozing with Asheville, NC vibes. Chilling in truck beds, sipping on lattes in the park, communing with nature.” (BLURT will have our editor, who also happens to live in the NC mountain town Asheville, verify this.)

The tour kicks off November 18 – dates are HERE.

Olsen also commented on the video, saying, “My friend came to visit me for a week and I had all these grand ideas about how to make another video. But it’s been a long year of touring and videos and pressure to keep on being important or interesting. So I woke up the next day and changed my mind, deciding it would be best to just capture the days we were hanging and to occasionally have the camera up. Those days were some of the hardest and also sweetest of the summer. We spent much of the time talking about the current state of affairs and how everyone has been going through tremendous change and having to make hard choices. Maybe it’s just this year, but it feels that we’re entering a new era, one that requires us to really pay more attention to the world and ourselves in it. What I realized is that going through a hard time and talking about it with friends makes you feel your friendships and who you are, and sometimes it takes a weird year to recognize what you still have.”

 

Incoming: Chris Stamey Memoir on dB’s and NYC in Late ’70s

 

By Fred Mills

The University of Texas Press is well-known for publishing top-notch books about music and musicians, in particular the American Music Series which has yielded memorable volumes about Ryan Adams, Los Lobos, John Prine, Chrissie Hynde, and Vic Chesnutt (penned by fellow musician Kristin Hersh, no less), and others. That series is overseen by Acquiring Editor Casey Kittrell and edited by Jessica Hopper, David Menconi (who wrote the Adams book), and Oliver Wang.

Now word arrives that in April of next year the series will yield A Spy in the House of Loud: New York Songs and Stories, by Chris Stamey. The product description reads thusly:

A cofounder of the dB’s, Chris Stamey re-creates the music scene in late 1970s New York City, recalling the birth of punk and other new streams of electric music as well as the making of the cult albums Stands for deciBels and Repercussion.

It’s definitely a book indie music lovers will eagerly embrace, as Stamey had a front-row seat to – and was a part of – the punk and New Wave explosion in NYC. He’s also the kind of guy who’s blessed with a sharp memory (something a lot of us ’70s refugees can’t necessarily lay claim to) and even sharper observational and analytic skills. It’ll definitely be a keeper.

Track Premiere: Mark “Porkchop” Holder – “Coffin Lid”

Tune taken from upcoming studio album, due next week.

By Blurt Staff

Mark “Porkchop” Holder has been a favorite around the Blurt Magazine break room since his time in the blues punk band Black Diamond Heavies. So when we had the opportunity to introduce you guys to his latest, “Coffin Lid” via a Blurt premiere, we clocked back in powered up the computer.

“‘Coffin Lid’ comes from a long bar-room conversation with a merchant marine whose stories got wilder the longer we drank. It falls somewhere between street corner boasting and the literary device of the unreliable narrator.” Holder reveals to Blurt.

All that backed with a sludgy Blues riffs that sticks with you for hours.The track is off the Chattanooga-based musician’s sophomore studio album, Death and the Blues, out November 3rd via Alive Natural Sound Records It follows his acclaimed solo debut, Let It Ride, from earlier this year.

It’ll be available on limited vinyl, as well as CD, digital and streaming formats. Go HERE to order the starburst vinyl.

MARK “PORKCHOP” HOLDER TOUR DATES:

October 27 at Big Apple Cafe – Murray, KY

October 28 at Barking Legs Theater – Chattanooga, TN

November 2 at BT’s – Radford, VA

November 3 at Acoustic Coffee House – Johnson City, TN

November 4 at O’mainnin’s Pub (w/Moose Roberts and Monkey Paw) – Bristol, TN

November 10 at JJ’s Bohemia (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW!!)  – Chattanooga, TN

November 17 at Rooster’s Blues House – Oxford, MS

November 18 at Sidetracks (w/ Southern Culture on the Skids) – Huntsville, AL

November 20 at JJ’s Bohemia (w/ 20 Watt Tombstone) – Chattanooga, TN

November 25 at Levon’s – Clarksdale, MS

November 26 at The Door  – Dallas, TX

November 28 at Art Obscura – Las Cruces, NM

November 29 at The Loud House – Tucson, AZ

December 1 at The City Pub – San Diego, CA

December 8 at The Wildwood Hotel – Willamina, OR

December 11 at The Treehouse Cafe – Bainbridge Island, WA

December 19 at Leftwoods – Amarillo, TX

December 20 at Firehouse Bar & Grill – Abilene, TX

April 14, 2018 at Off Broadway (War Goat Festival) – St. Louis, MS

 

 

Crystal Castles’ Ethan Kath Accused by Alice Glass of Rape & Abuse

Another shoe in the entertainment industry drops, with more surely to come.

By Fred Mills

Pitchfork is reporting that Alice Glass, who co-founded provocative indie rockers Crystal Castles with Ethan Kath but left in 2014 for a solo career, has accused Kath of rape and sexual assault via a lengthy post on her website. Recall that when she originally announced her departure from the band, the singer somewhat cryptically explained it by saying, “My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others. For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within CC. ”

Now we know that Kath (aka Claudio Palmieri) had allegedly been abusing Glass for some time by that point—and prior to the formation of the band—additionally forcing her to have sex with him. Glass writes, in part,

“Claudio was very manipulative towards me. He figured out my insecurities and exploited them: he used the things he learned about me against me. Over a period of many months, he gave me drugs and alcohol and had sex with me in an abandoned room at an apartment he managed. It wasn’t always consensual and he remained sober whenever we were together.

“He became physically abusive. He held me over a staircase and threatened to throw me down it. He picked me up over his shoulders and threw me onto concrete. He took pictures of my bruises and posted them online. I tried to leave, and he swore that it would never happen again, that he would never physically abuse me again. More severe psychological and emotional abuse took its place.

“Leaving Crystal Castles was the single most difficult decision I’ve ever made—that band was everything to me. My music, my performances and my fans were all I had in the world. I gave that up and started over not because I wanted to but because I had to. As difficult as it was, I knew that leaving was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has taken me years to recover from enduring almost a decade of abuse, manipulation and psychological control. I am still recovering.”

Kath has responded with some swift spin control—and in considerable less detail than the long and quite graphic one that Glass wrote —through his attorney with a statement: “I am outraged and hurt by the recent statements made by Alice about me and our prior relationship. Her story is pure fiction and I am consulting my lawyers as to my legal options. Fortunately, there are many witnesses who can and will confirm that I was never abusive to Alice.”

More details as they emerge.

 

Incoming: Remasters + Vinyl Reissues of Tom Waits’ Anti- Albums

 

By Barbi Martinez

Anti- Records has announced that six key Tom Waits albums are set for re-release this year. The remasters will be on CD and vinyl. The titles are:

1999’s Mule Variations
2002’s Alice
2002’s Blood Money
2004’s Real Gone (new remix)
2009’s Glitter and Doom Live
2011’s Bad As Me

The vinyl versions will all be 180gm vinyl, and with the exception of Blood Money they will be 2LP sets; the Tom Waits store is already taking preorders. Then due sometime in 2018 will be the 2006 Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards box set. It’s not the first time for these titles on vinyl, incidentally, as Anti has routinely issued them on wax both in the US and Europe, but at this point some are taking fetching rather high prices on the collector’s market — the Brawlers collection was a 7-LP box currently priced at Discogs around $430.

 

Below, watch a very cool video of someone flipping through his collection of Waits vinyl, including a ton of bootlegs as well as editions of some of the above records.

Outrageous Cherry’s Larry Ray 1954-2017 R.I.P.

By Fred Mills

Sad news for garage, pop, and psych fans everywhere arrived yesterday with the news of the passing of Detroit garage/psych legends Outrageous Cherry’s guitarist, Larry Ray. The cause of death was listed as lung cancer; he was 63. The band posted a memorial to Ray at their Facebook page:

It is with heavy hearts that we share this news.

LARRY RAY PIEKUTOWSKI (1954-2017)

Larry Ray passed away October 24, 2017 after a short battle with lung cancer. Larry was the lead guitarist in Outrageous Cherry since the band’s inception in 1991, which occurred after Larry showed up at Matthew’s house one day to sell him a couple of NEU! albums. A spontaneous acoustic jam that day led to a 25-year musical partnership, at least 12 albums, and a lot of memorable gigs.

Before that he played in the Ivories, and also in the final incarnation of the Spike Drivers with Ted Lucas.

Larry was a mysterious guy, who would typically provide elliptical answers to the most straightforward questions, as if he were reading from a 40’s film noir script. He had a seemingly limitless knowledge of all kinds of music, and a highly individual guitar style: left-handed, never playing the same thing twice, always coming up with something new. And he was a really nice guy.

Larry was one of a kind, and we miss him already.

The most recent Outrageous Cherry album was 2014’s The Digital Age, and more recently, recent single “I Believe in Sunshine” b/w “Places” was released by Burger Records this year as a limited edition (200 copies) 7″ single. Ray’s tenure with the band stretches back across nearly dozen classic albums, to when O.C. founder Matthew Smith put together a touring Outrageous Cherry ensemble (he’d originally envisioned the band as a solo project).

On a personal note, I consider myself fortunate to have met Ray on a couple occasions at O.C. gigs and he was a personable, funny, and, yes, “mysterious” guy. BLURT would like to extend our condolences to Ray’s family and friends and of course the extended Outrageous Cherry family.

Below, check out some choice O.C.

Check Out Jon Stickley Trio Interview with Southern Songs And Stories

North Carolina outfit combines folk, bluegrass, prog, psych, and gypsy jazz to create something unique and otherworldly.

By Fred Mills

A few months ago the Jon Stickley Trio, Asheville’s premiere prog-grass/blue-gressive (both my terms, take your pick), dropped their latest full-length, Maybe Believe, to across-the-board critical acclaim. Since then the guitar/violin/percussion group has been steadily touring—their jammy, fusion-rooted sound makes them a mainstay of the festival circuit—and along the way there have been a number of Stickley Trio-related interesting and catchy videos to pop up. Among my faves:

Maybe Believe teaser/trailer video, released just prior to the album’s official streeting.

“Microbruise,” a hilarious, faux-variety show clip directed by Andrew Vasco.

“Play People,” live in Denver 7/7/17 (w/guest Andy Thorn).

More recently, the ever-diligent music archivists of the Southern Songs And Stories documentary series, Joe Kendrick and Aaron Morell, have put together a Stickley Trio segment in which flatpicking virtuoso Stickley, violinist Lyndsay Pruett and drummer Patrick Armitage take a quick breather from their SpringSkunk Music Festival performances and talk with Kendrick and Morell about their career in music thus far. You can watch the 36-minute video here, or check out an excerpt via the 3-minute teaser, below; both include some dynamic performance segments. There will also be an extended podcast of the band interview available soon.

If the Stickley Trio comes anywhere near your town, run, don’t walk, to the box office and grab your tickets – I guarantee this is a band not to be missed in concert.

An Interrupted Conversation with The Jon Stickley Trio | Southern Songs and Stories | Grae Skye Creative from Aaron Morrell on Vimeo.

N.C. Musicians Record Tribute to Cancer-Stricken James Olin Oden

Schedule session for Oct. 29 at Raleigh studio.

By Fred Mills

With both BLURT and our two sister businesses (the Schoolkids Records chain and record label) based in the Triangle, NC, area, it’s a given that we feel pretty strongly about supporting the regional musicians and bands who we work and hang out with — and who make our lives all the more meaningful. So we were obviously saddened when the news arrived in May that Raleigh musician James Olin Oden had been hospitalized with a rare form of cancer known at Metastatic Synovial Sarcoma.

Troubadour Oden, incidentally, played Irish flute at BLURT/Schoolkids owner Stephen Judge’s wedding ceremony, and he’s also performed and recorded with the Floating Children (check out the tracks “Party Animal Cannibal” and “Valentine Unsent,” which showcased James on flute, and view a video here). The much-loved N.C. musician is well-versed in Scottish, Irish, and English songs, and has been a member of Friendly Fiddlers, the Gypsy Rovers, and the Irish Wolfhounds. His Deeper Dance album was released in 2016. (Below, listen to the title track, and also watch him perform “Friend of the Devil” in 2015.)

Oden’s musical community responded to his medical crisis immediately, as Billy Warden, of Floating Children fame, puts it, “by turning his room at Wake Medical Center into a love-fest and impromptu jam session.” Now Warden reports that the jam session will be transforming into a recording session next Sunday, Oct. 29. That’s when Floating Children and sundry friends will enter Raleigh’s Thread Audio with producer Michael Graziano to cut “a thunderous tribute” written for Oden, “Boom Boom Boom (In The Emergency Room).”

The recording will also be filmed for a video to accompany the release of the song, and upon release it will include details on supporting cancer patients and organizations working to find a cure for cancer.

Watch BLURT for updates on all this, including when the song and video are ready for the public.

Along with Warden, musicians slated to pitch in, schedules pending, are Jeffro Holshouser (also of Hank Sinatra), drummer Jody Maxwell (formerly of A Number of Things and The Sex Police), lead guitarist Sam ‘Sammy Doddy’ McDonald (Uglyography), bassist/key-tarist Matt Thomas (Uglyography), go-go dancer Tracey Brown, members of The Veldt and Hank Sinatra, Demon Eye’s Larry Burlison, horn players Peter Lamb and David Wright, John Howie Jr., Rose Higgins, and Caroline Mamoulides. (Pictured below: Warden and the Floating Children)

 

MP3: Download Tragically Hip FM Broadcast from ’89

 

By Uncle Blurt

The music world lost another titan this week, Gord Downie, frontman for Canada’s Tragically Hip, and passionate obituaries and testimonials quickly followed. The ever-diligent archivists over at the Big O zine have duly unearthed a fantastic-sounding deep-archive concert by the band, originally broadcast live over CFNY-FM 102.

MP3: Tragically Hip – Spectrum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; November 30, 1989.

Apparently the 51-minute show has been bootlegged in the past, notably on the So Hip It Hurts CD, but this version is reportedly taken from a new, better-sounding source, an uncirculated off-air cassette master. Check out the tracklisting, below.

      Track 01
. She Didn’t Know 4:16
      Track 02
. Highway Girl 4:31
      Track 03
. Smalltown Bringdown 3:14
      Track 04
. Opiated 3:49
      Track 05
. Every Time You Go 4:03
      Track 06
. Last American Exit 5:00
      Track 07
. Boots or Hearts 3:37
      Track 08
. 38 Years Old 4:42
      Track 09
. Blow at High Dough 4:50
      Track 10
. New Orleans Is Sinking 7:50
      Track 11
. When the Weight Comes Down 4:40