Monthly Archives: September 2018

Video Premiere: Brett Newski “Life Upside Down”

Title track from the indie wunderkind’s album of the same name—guaranteed to make you feel great and NOT anxious, yo. (Go HERE to read Newski’s awesome 2016 essay for Blurt, “The 7 Best Countries & 3 to Avoid for Traveling Musicians.”)

By John B. Moore

Brett Newski, along with being wildly talented, Willie Nelson-level prolific and a favorite here at Blurt Magazine, is also the epitome of DIY (we’re talking 1980’s hardcore punk rockers who booked their own shows, handmade their merch and cut, pasted, folded and packed every album they every made-type of DIY). The kid is making his bones, regularly trekking across the globe  to play shows in some dude’s living room or getting snagged by someone like the Violent Femmes or The new Pornographers to open their shows. So when he asked us if we’d be cool hosting the video for the title track off his new album, Life Upside Down, we said “Fuck that! We’re gonna interview you as well.”

So as he packed for a  long tour that will take him across Europe and back to the U.S. for a slew of shows, he sighed (I’m assuming – this was all handled via e-mail) and said “sure thing. What do you want to know?” (Again, assuming here. It’s not like we’re Bob Woodward with endless hours of tapes here).

It seems like your last EP, The Stars Are As Good as A Nightlight, just came out. Are you just having a wildly prolific period at the moment
I hit burnout two years ago after playing some 600 shows in three years. After a break and finding a girl who really stabilized my brain, I’m ready to get after it again. I had to get back to the reason I started doing this in the first place, catharsis and fun.

Sonically “Life Upside Down” is a very ’90s sounding record channeling a few of my first influences (early Weezer, early Green Day, Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra, early BNL, old school BECK)…and more recent influences (Nada Surf, Frank Turner, New Pornographers, Delta Spirit, BEN Kweller, Manchester Orchestra)

You have not been shy in the past of  talking about your anxieties (thank you for that, by the way). Do any of the songs on this new record address those feelings?

There are a few “anti-anxiety songs” on every record. Now as the number of songs in the world moves toward infinity, I want the songs on “Life Upside Down” to have utilitarian value as well. If they are disposable, I am not doing my job.

You’ve been kicked out of Wal-Mart for playing and recording and successfully played a Dollar Store, if I remember correctly. Any other retail sites on your bucket list? 

 Yes, sir. Kmart, Best Buy, Aldi, IKEA, McDonald’s and the neighborhood Greek restaurant. We get kicked out of almost every pop up show we do. We call this series DORK ROCK BUM RUSH. Most people enjoy it, but the staff typically wants us dead.

You seem to be constantly be on the road. How much time off have you taken the past few years?
I don’t take off-time other than a lazy Sunday here and there. Work is a medicine that combats my worries and keeps them in check. However it’s important to not work too much, because you generally hit a point of diminishing returns after 8-10 hours of work per day. Once you do that, you’re hurting yourself professionally and also in your brain and your relationships.

You’re about to tour Europe. What’s next for you?
Johnny B! Coming to visit you in Philly, November 15! We have a pretty hectic ‘n long Euro and US tour on the books. I’m working with my friend Paul Langton in America. He’s a brilliant radio promoter from Boston and we have a very similar taste pallette in music.
Plans for any additional new music?

I’m working on my first book actually!

One of my dream albums is to post up in Cuba for a month and make a lo-fi album with only a cell phone. Would that be neat? Also I have been working with my drummer/collaborator SPATOLA on more albums. He is amazing and he looks just like Dave Grohl.

 

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Brett is in Europe for the next few weeks and then will kick off US dates starting October 26 with a special album release show in Milwaukee. Check out his official website for upcoming dates (https://brettnewski.com/)… or don’t. Suit yourself; It’s not my fault if you don’t like good music.

Video Premiere: Paul Collins’ “Go”

Killer track by the power pop auteur plucked from upcoming album, due out Sept. 28. We think they got it…

By John B. Moore

As tough a facade as we occasionally put up here at BLURT, even we can’t resist a Sweet, perfectly-crafted power pop song. So, when Paul Collins—musician, producer, and author—asked us if we wanted to premiere “Go,” from his newest album, Out of My Head, we said “hell, yes!” Check it out:

“’Go” is the second video we have shot for the album and, like the record, it’s straight from the hip,” said Collins, who of course played in pioneering outfits The Nerves and The Beat before going solo. “Our good buddy, Derek Davidson, rented a high-end video camera and we knocked it out in three hours. We wanted something live and fresh, kinda like Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ but without all the production. I think we got it!”Paul Collins’ Out of My Head will be available on limited edition vinyl, CD, digital, and streaming formats September 28th, via Alive Naturalsound Records.

And for wax fans, here’s a link to order the beautiful, limited starburst vinyl. It’s limited to just 200 copies, so don’t procrastinate…

Conway Savage of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 1960-2018, R.I.P.

Gifted Aussie keyboardist had a long, illustrious tenure with the Bad Seeds since the early ’90s. He’s pictured above, second from right. Below, watch a pair of videos and listen to a unique vocal performance with the Bad Seeds.

By Fred Mills

Having been fortunate enough to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds twice in recent years, it hits hard to learn of their veteran keyboardist Conway Savage’s passing yesterday (Sept. 2) from a brain tumor. He was only 58. Savage had been diagnosed in 2017 with the illness, and it prevented him from performing with the band for much of the Skeleton Key tour.

At the NickCave.com site, the following announcement was posted:

Our beloved Conway passed away on Sunday evening. A member of Bad Seeds for nearly thirty years, Conway was the anarchic thread that ran through the band’s live performances. He was much loved by everyone, band members and fans alike. Irascible, funny, terrifying, sentimental, warm-hearted, gentle, acerbic, honest, genuine – he was all of these things and quite literally “had the gift of a golden voice,” high and sweet and drenched in soul. On a drunken night, at four in the morning, in a hotel bar in Cologne, Conway sat at the piano and sang Streets of Laredo to us, in his sweet, melancholy style and stopped the world for a moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Goodbye Conway, there isn’t a dry eye in the house. Love, Nick and the Bad Seeds.

An extensive biography for Savage, that also details his numerous solo albums and other bands over the years, can be found here. Meanwhile, check out a few choice video moments, below – note that the third clip, a Bad Seeds montage, is for “The Willow Garden,” originally the B-side for “Where The Wild Roses Grow,” which was sung by none other than Savage himself. R.I.P., good sir.

Watch Raucous New Vid from Japan’s King Brothers

HOUND GAWD! RECORDS

“No Want” from the garage monsters’ new album “Wasteland,” due this month from Hound Dawg Records. Think: every band that aspired to be on Nuggets but was deemed “too insane.”

By Uncle Blurt

Subject header says it all: this Japanese garage outfit returns for a 20th anniversary celebration, after a considerable absence from the record store bins, on September 28 via the estimable Hound Dawg! label, straight outta Germany. Wasteland is the title, and you will need no convincing that this album (on both black and limited edition gold vinyl) is worth lining up for at your local independent record dealer’s doors. Just check out the INSANE video for key track “No Want.” It’ll have you stage diving from the relative safety of your living room…