New iteration of the iconic group features Nils Lofgren standing in for Frank Sampedro on guitar.
By Uncle Blurt
Live Neil Young is always THE Neil Young to listen to – and Neil Young & Crazy Horse is the gold standard for Neil. Earlier this month he was doing a string of dates with the band (which at the moment comprises Nils Lofgren on guitar, Billy Talbot on bass, and Ralph Molina on drums) instead of touring with Promise of the Real, who are out on their own tour presently. And the ensemble positively smokes.
The good folks at Big O zine have posted the May 6 Bakersfield show for free download, including downloadable art, so check it out at their Neil page. The full tracklisting is below.
Purchase the powerful track and contribute to Times Up.
By Fred Mills
The ever-resourceful Amanda Palmer has struck again, this time with a remarkably moving – and unsettling – new single about Harvey Weinstein. “Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now” is a collaboration between Palmer and Jasmine Power, and while the disgraced movie mogul, who is currently accused of rape in the state of New York, isn’t mentioned specifically by name in the 6-minute song’s lyrics, it wasn’t exactly necessary that he be namechecked in the title, so pointed are those lyrics, which are positioned as a kind of statement-response back and forth between the two singers:
“your seven hundredth bedroom
the waiter brings the bill
you came here dressed for battle
you knew damn well.
the sharpening of axes
the fat man rings a bell…”
Then Power responds:
“don’t touch me
i’m not here to help”
But it could have been worse – like bringing in Rihanna or ZZ Top as guests…
By Barbi Martinez
To paraphrase Stereogum, we’ve ALSO waited for years for a new Lykke Li album – Blurt has sung the praises of the Swedish chanteuse fairly endlessly since she first appeared on the scene (including HERE and HERE and HERE). But the upcoming So Sad So Sexy, due out next week, is uncomfortably starting to sound like a misstep, a kind of how-do-I-compete record for the singer, when in truth her fan base already trusted her to trust her instincts and NOT follow trends.
Check out a pair of tracks, below – “Two Nights” is a silly piece of ’80s-esque fluff with a pointless hip-hop edge and featuring a guest rapper, Portland’s Aminé; while the languid-to-the-point-of-dreary “Sex Money Feelings Die” simply floats for a few seconds, then gradually collapses, like a balloon that’s been aloft for a bit too long with the air inside it turning stale.
Don’t get us wrong – her voice remains a national treasure for her homeland, and it’s on full display here on both tracks. But she also sounds conflicted, as if she knows she’s essentially sacrificing her hard-won identity as a sonic iconoclast in the pursuit of short-term social media flash. Come back, Lykke – we still want you.
Much-anticipated followup to his 2017 single is due in July via Omnivore. Watch the album trailer, below.
By Fred Mills
When we get word of activity stirring in the Peter Holsapple camp – could be some dB’s- or Continental Drifters-related news, or a new project that he and his fellow Winston-Salem expat Chris Stamey are cooking up, or a session- and side-man gig he has in motion, or even the release of last year’s wonderful 7-inch 45 “Don’t Mention the War” (reviewed HERE; ask me about the private thrill I got on Memorial Day when I heard the song coming over the airwaves from the local community radio station doing a Memorial Day-themed program) – we genuinely get excited here at the BLURT hostel. Pretty much everyone on the staff counts him- or herself a fan of the gentleman and his instinctive approach to hook-filled pop, and that appreciation of his music goes way, way back indeed. (Ask me about The H-Bombs sometime.)
So when the news arrived, out of the blue on social media, that a new solo full-length from Peter, his first in over two decades, was coming in July via the Omnivore label, it was welcome word indeed. As I commented last year about the “DMTW” single, “Holsapple recently [said] that he opted for doing a single because he wasn’t quite sure he should thrust a full album’s worth of new material into the market, given music consumers’ relatively short attention spans and tendency to favor tracks over albums nowadays.”
Obviously, he decided that the short-attention-span syndrome was worth challenging; ditto Omnivore, which has steadily carved out a spot for itself as one of the most respected, eye-for-detail, indie record labels on the planet. (Just check out its Big Star-related catalog of releases.) The release date of Game Day is July 27, and Omnivore describes it thusly:
Game Day contains 13 new tracks, a bonus track, and two “super bonus tracks”—Holsapple’s critically acclaimed single “Don’t Mention the War” b/w ”Cinderella Style,” originally released in 2017. [Holsapple explains], “After putting the single out on my own last year, I made the decision to put out an album. Some tunes are brand new, some have been in rotation for a bit, but all are worthy. My ‘middle-aged Pet Sounds fantasy’ is real, with the issues of middle age put to memorable melodies. The old guy at work in ‘Tuff Day,’ watching my parents’ place get cleared out in ‘Inventory,’ a decades-late thank-you note to a college girlfriend in ‘Commonplace’—they’re all a part of the present-day me.”
Game Day is prime Holsapple, whose recording career spans nearly five decades. It contains all the hooks, clever lyrics, and deft instrumentation one would expect. As he paraphrases Jeff Beck in the packaging, “Today, with all of the hard competition in the music business, it’s almost impossible to come up with anything totally original. So I haven’t, but I had a lot of fun making Game Day, and I hope it comes through when you hear it.”
Peter elaborates at his popular blog, noting that he did it completely by himself in his home basement studio in Durham, NC, and calling it “absolutely the record I wanted to make. People will undoubtedly hear it and scratch their heads and say it sounds weird and eccentric, at least I hope so. I can’t say I’m a professional producer or engineer, and indeed, a lot of stuff went down on the album by necessity or lack of fundamental tools. I was not going to let those things or any ineptitude or lack of skill stop me from getting this done, so you’re getting a shank of my mind and soul, trussed up to look like an album of songs… It doesn’t sound like records or bands I’ve been involved with before. In past instances, I’ve allowed the opinions of my work to twist my emotions into rattails, but this album is different: I own it all. Every note. Every flub. Every effect on every guitar. It’s my pleasure, it’s my fault. I feel completely at ease with it, something I’ve never felt with a record before.”
He adds that plans are afoot to take some of these new songs – titles can be viewed at the above link for Omnivore – out on the road as the Peter Holsapple Combo with dB’s drummer Will Rigby and bassist Glenn Richard Jones, who he’s been playing with for some time in the Kinks/Ray Davies-centric outfit Well Respected Men. They might even work up some primo dB’s and Continental Drifters material, along with “choice covers” (I’m voting for The Move and The Nazz—maybe even the stray H-Bombs number) for the live shows, so you, gentle readers, have been warned.
A couple of years ago we sang the praises of Black Tape for a Blue Girl’s These Fleeting Moments, with Dr. Michael Toland enthusing, “Earnest, resourceful and demanding, These Fleeting Moments easily stands as one of black tape for a blue girl’s best albums.”
The duo is back with a Kickstarter campaign to get their new To touch the milky way album underway, It will be released on both vinyl and CD, and as of this writing they’ve raised nearly $8000 of their $12k goal, so please check it out and consider pledging. Below, watch the pledge campaign video trailer. As the band describes the record,
“The seven tracks span styles ranging from ethereal darkwave to dream-pop to austere textural ambient passages accompanied by wonderful vocals from Danielle and Michael. The lyrical themes and stories emerge from the depths of the psyche, unflinchingly addressing a desire to feel truly alive by facing self-created boundaries. They are first-person narratives at the edge where something has to give, something has to change, as the characters strive to take hold of the life they have left unlived.”
Superb new album Driving Friend was just released last week.
By Fred Mills
Here at the Blurt bunker we like to support the home team – that would include singer/songwriter (and spouse of Sarah Lee Guthrie) Johnny Irion, whose North Carolina roots run deep. He just released a new album on CD and vinyl titled Driving Friend following a solid PledgeMusic campaign, so check out the official album trailer, below. A Blurt review of the record is forthcoming, incidentally.
Meanwhile, Johnny was interviewed by NPR’s Scott Simon for “Weekend Edition” this past Saturday, and the conversation was clearly one of deep mutual respect. Check it out at NPR (they have published the transcript of the talk as well), or listen to it below.
Track taken from Willie’s granddaughter’s combo’s new album, out in June.
By John B. Moore
I’m not sure why we’re getting all worked up about Prince Harry’s wedding, when we’ve got out own Royal Family here in the U.S. to pay attention to. Willie Nelson’s granddaughter Raelyn Nelson (just the latest in a growing line of talented Nelson’s) and Hannah Fairlight have partnered for a new project, mmhmm. The two are pioneers in the Americana Pop genre.
Shortly after moving to Nashville, Fairlight landed a leading role on A&E’s Crazy Hearts: Nashville, released a self-produced EP, and landed the role of Veracity in Pitch Perfect 3. Before co-founding mmhmm, Nelson fronted the appropriately named, The Raelyn Nelson Band.
Their debut album is out on June 8, the first single from it is “Aw Hell” and they were kind enough to let Blurt be the first to share it with the world.
“Aw Hell” is the first song Raelyn and I wrote together, sitting on my back porch in Inglewood, East Nashville,” said Fairlight. “I guess we were just reflecting on real life circumstances and our coming to terms with them. Raelyn’s house burned down, which was INSANE.,. And it gave me and definitely Raelyn new perspective on everything.”
The duo have a handful of dates set up for June:
June 1st at Puckett’s in Lieper’s Fork, TN
June 15th at Lipstick Lounge – Album release show and party in Nashville, TN
Supporting Todd Snider:
June 16th at Paramount Center of the Arts in Bristol TN
Returning for Its 39th Year and Bending Its Boundaries Yet Again
By Alisa B. Cherry
Anyone who has ever been to Montreal can attest to the fact that there’s no need for an excuse when it comes to making it part of one’s travel plans. It’s rich in history, a remarkable confluence of cultures and home to some of the most remarkable restaurants and interesting architecture found in the whole of North America.
Nevertheless, those that do need incentive would be wise to consider the annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which takes place from June 28 through July 7, one of summer’s most memorable musical events. Offering a variety of talent that incorporates jazz (natch), folk, rock and experimental ensembles — around 150 concerts altogether, some entirely free — within theaters, clubs and a spacious pedestrian mall, it’s easy, accessible and pedestrain friendly.
Montreal is the ideal setting for this annual event because as a beacon for international tourism, it makes the international variety practically a given. As it approaches its 39th year, the festival has attained the same stature as Montreux, Newport and New Orleans as a beacon for great music, with an additional additive in its accessibility that welcomes aficionados near and far.
While the headliners are, of course, the main reason for attending, the venues themselves are well worth noting as well, from the sprawling confines of the performing arts center — a combination of three world-class concert halls (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Maison Symphonique De Montreal and Theatre Maisonneuve) — to the array of clubs and cabarets that dot the nearby streets. This year’s festival will feature any number of artists with worldwide appeal — Ian Anderson at the helm of Jethro Tull’s 50th anniversary tour, Boz Scaggs, Herbie Hancock, Ry Cooder, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Bobby McFerrin, Carla Bley, Soft Machine, My Brightest Diamond, John Medeski, Marc Ribot, along with numerous other internationally known artists and up and coming performers clearly on the verge of future success.
Consequently, over the course of ten days or so, attendees can get an entertaining lesson in a wide range of musical invention, as well as a sense of this spectacular city. Audiences get an opportunity to enjoy a wide array of innovation and invention, artists that find a common bond with tradition while also setting a course towards the future.
This year for the first time, the festival will extend its offerings by filming several of the concerts and broadcasting them live worldwide. A partnership with Mezzo Live HD which will allow Bela Fleck & The Flecktones to be shared with worldwide audiences on Sunday, July 1. Other concerts scheduled for broadcast will be announced later.
Tickets for the 39th Festival International de Jazz de Montréal are on sale now.
“This is your brain on drugs. Or my music.” – David Byrne.
By Barbi Martinez
We’ve deployed the Blurt gang to Atlanta this weekend to chronicle the annual Shaky Knees festival, which is never less than awesome. Our men on the ground, scribe Jeff Clegg and shutterbug John Boydston, will do the deal, so keep tuned. Meanwhile, if you want a sneak peak at some images from the event’s first day, hop over to Boydston’s website where he has a gallery started. (The two pics here are by Boydston. Below: Waxahatchee.)
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