As we have said many times in the past, sometimes the news just writes itself, and we don’t need to add superfluous commentary…. Above photo by Kent Thompson, taken at a show during the ’80s at Charlotte’s Milestone Club that I also covered for some music magazine back in the day.
By Fred Mills
Yes indeed, the rumors are true: 2020 will bring a rock doc on the inimitable Mojo Nixon, indie rock hero, Tipper Gore scourge. (For a fun BLURT read involving Mojo, go HERE.) The long-overdue “The Mojo Manifesto” is reportedly now-due from one Freedom Records & Films, and to cement that accusation, er, assertion, there is an official trailer.
Get aHEAD of the curve and check out this awesome outfit… the March tour dates, too!
By John B. Moore
London by way of Seattle blues trio Lonesome Shack, cite everyone from Canned Heat to Lee “Scratch” Perry as influences. And those eclectic sonic connections come through loud and clear on “The City Is A Desert” off their new LP Desert Dreams. Blurt is stoked to premiere this new track for you.
“London is the biggest, most exciting city I’ve ever lived in and there are all kinds of people everywhere you look. You might say it’s the total opposite of where I used to live in Alma, NM,” said Lonesome Shack singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Todd. “It’s so inspiring to be in such a thriving metropolis but there are these times when you’re packed in the tube like a sardine and you feel so far away from everyone. Or you’re walking down a crowded street and you’ve never felt so anonymous. Or you’re in a tall building looking down on a never ending urban sprawl and you feel like you’re seeing the expansive desert from the top of a mountain in New Mexico. Luckily in the desert, magic and loneliness walk hand in hand.”
Lonesome Shack’s Desert Dreams will be available March 1st on Limited Edition Vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats via Alive Naturalsound Records.
Mark March 15 on your calendars, fellow BJM devotees.
By Fred Mills
The Brian Jonestown Massacre has to be one of the most prolific bands on the planet, rivaling even Guided By Voices back in the day for recorded music output. Just the past year has seen a slew of releases, and now comes word that March will bring a self-titled full length released, as always, on founder Anton Newcombe’s own A Records label.
2. Tombes Oubliées
3. My Mind Is Filled With Stuff
4. Cannot Be Saved
5. A Word
6. We Never Had a Chance
7. Too Sad To Tell You
8. Remember Me This
9. What Can I Say
Check out a teaser for the new rec by way of the masterful psych-twang of “Cannot Be Saved.”
Legendary Aussies pull no punches, based on early estimates….
By Fred Mills
The mighty Beasts of Bourbon are returning – or, more accurately, the members – Tex Perkins, Kim Salmong, Boris Sudjovic, Charlie Owen, Tony Pola – have regrouped as The Beasts, and the Bang! label is prepping to release StillHere on Feb. 15. Here’s the scorching first video, “On My Back,” followed by the label’s press release about the record. We are advised that you can preorder the import album here in the States, on both CD and LP, via Forced Exposure.
After an extremely emotional final performance with the Beasts of Bourbon, Tex Perkins hit upon the idea of getting all of the band’s members, past and present, into a recording studio with no particular agenda. It was more of a celebratory thing he had in mind than anything else. Sadly, bassist Brian Hooper didn’t make it along as he passed away a week after the Beasts last show. Assembled in Soundpark Studio a couple of weeks later were Charlie Owen, Boris Sujdovic, Tony Pola, Spencer Jones, Kim Salmon, and Tex Perkins. They were unprepared save for some sketchy ideas, loose ends, and a couple of covers. With limited time the band knocked together a collection of jams pretty much true to the crazy M.O. employed back when The Axeman’s Jazz got laid down in that fateful eight-hour session in 1983. Songs weren’t so much learned as ideas were thrown together and recorded the moment they began to coalesce. Captured were: Brian Hooper’s “What The Hell Was I Thinking”, James Baker’s “Drunk On A Train”, Boris’ “Don’t Pull Me Over”, Kim’s “Pearls Before Swine”, Tex’s “On My Back” and “Just Let Go”, and Spencer’s “At The Hospital”. There was also Zappa’s “The Torture Never Stops” and Warren Zevon’s “My Shit’s Fucked Up” (was there ever a more appropriate cover for the Beasts?) Add to that some untitled jams that became the hilarious “Your Honour” and “It’s All Lies”. Sound like an album? You betchya! Deeply sad is that Spencer was only around long enough to make it onto one track. Absolutely wonderful is that he did make it onto the recording. And with such a funny and typically Jones style piece of observation as “At The Hospital”. With respect, this isn’t the Beasts of Bourbon. It would need to have Jonesy on every track to be that!
Editor’s Note: Just got word that Psychedelic Country Soul, due Feb. 15 via Omnivore, will also get a 2LP vinyl release on British label Cherry Red. It will be somewhat pricey, but still worth the dough because, hey, it’s the freakin’ LONG RYDERS! Below you can read our original news item about the band from November.
Tear down those “Walls,” Mister President, and get ready for a serious ryde….
By Fred Mills
Breaking news alert – no, Trump hasn’t tweeted that we’re building a wall at the Canadian border. This is far more momentous, and musically speaking, it also involves a song called “Walls”: the mighty alt-country godfathers The Long Ryders have a new album scheduled to drop early next year. Longtime BLURT readers will already know of my longstanding devotion to Sid, Stephen, Greg, and Tom – you can check out a 2009 interview I did with Sid about the band around the time they were getting back together for some American shows.
Psychedelic Country Soul arrives Feb. 15 via Omnivore. Currently it is only listed as forthcoming in CD or digital formats, so let’s lobby for a vinyl version as well, fellow fans. (Note: go HERE for some details on the band’s awesome 4-CD 2016 box set; it’s a must own for any fan.) Here are the official details:
The Long Ryders, founders of alt-country in the 1980s, saddle up for the first time in thirty years with their biggest and best slice of Americana yet, the aptly named Psychedelic Country Soul. The album was produced by Ed Stasium (Ramones, Belinda Carlisle, The Smithereens) and features a eleven Ryder originals and a cover of their friend Tom Petty’s great song, “Walls.”
Recorded in Los Angeles at Dr. Dre’s studio, Psychedelic Country Soul is, in Long Ryder Sid Griffin’s own words, “the album we were always trying to make… each flavor which made the band unique is there be it C&W, rock ’n’ roll, troubadour folk music, raw R&B, or out-there psychedelia.” The Long Ryders (Griffin, ex-Jayhawk Stephen McCarthy, song publisher Greg Sowders and NASA veteran Tom Stevens) are supplemented on the album by old friends The Bangles on harmony vocals and stellar sideman Dave Perlman (Everly Bros. Hoyt Axton) on pedal steel guitar.
Yet, ultimately the album is The Long Ryders. With Griffin’s familiar electric 12-string guitar, McCarthy’s virtuoso Clarence White licks, Tom Stevens earthy bass and Greg Sowders swingin’ drums, Psychedelic Country Soul is an album for 2019 made with the flavors of yesterday which has the sound and the spirit of tomorrow. Get ready for the ryde of your life.
The 30A Songwriters Festival happens in Florida this weekend. There are so many amazing artists performing, not the least of whom would be Peter Holsapple Combo, with two shows on Friday and Saturday, and Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey on Sunday.
Friday, January 18
Bud & Alley’s
Oxford American Showcase
Saturday, January 19
Sunday, January 20
Glenn Jones will also be performing his original songs on Friday at the Gathering Spot 8:00 PM. Here’s the LINK to 30A Songwriters Festival to peruse. And a quick list of some of the goodness about to happen:
Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals
You couldn’t ask for a better festival for songs. This ain’t Coachella, this is 30A!
This just in from one of our favorite vinyl and cassette labels….
Burger Records advises:
Woohoo! Burger Boogaloo is returning to Oakland’s Mosswood Park in 2019 on Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th for a 10th anniversary shindig featuring The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Scientists, Shannon And The Clams, Sheer Mag, and more! As always, the Boog is staying true to its roots with the return of our venomously venerable host John Waters and a lineup of historic punk rockers and young up-and-comers. Tickets are on sale now, with weekend passes starting at $129 and VIP weekend passes starting at $199.
But wait, there’s more! The Burger Boogaloo staff has committed themselves to helping those affected by Oakland’s ongoing housing crisis and will host a series of fundraisers both before and during the festival to raise money for those in need. Additionally, staffers will be volunteering with the organization Punks With Lunch, including a Benefit Show at The Uptown on Friday, January 18th with 100% of ticket sales going to the organization.
To that end, Burger Boogaloo is partnering with The Homeless Action Center in 2019; the only legal service program in the Bay Area that focuses exclusively on public benefits advocacy as a critical tool to reduce and end homeless. HAC provides legal advocacy that is no-cost, barrier-free, culturally sensitive, and non-judgmental. Attendees can join the cause by donating while purchasing tickets or in person at the festival.
Snag your tickets and learn more about how to help those in need below:
BURGER BOOGALOO 2019 LINEUP The Jesus and Mary Chain The Scientists Shannon and the Clams Sheer Mag Dead Boys Jayne County & the Electric Chairs Amyl and the Sniffers Billy Childish Phantom Surfers Nikki Corvette Terry & Louie Derv Gordon of the Equals
A true legend and an indie-rock groundbreaking media outlet, the ’80s Ohio-based fanzine featured on Ohio television in “Cocteau Fever” (below), goes big with the 900-page “Book of Books” Collection, compiling the essential original print run. (Full disclosure: BLURT editor Fred Mills would become a regular contributor to the zine, and has no regrets whatsoever… )
If the tens of thousands of people who have viewed 10TV Eyewitness News coverage of “Cocteau Fever” on YouTube end up purchasing The Offense Book of Books, then its publisher will be very happy. Do you remember posting that video on your site a few years ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaOlNfC8_xQ)? Well, the Columbus, Ohio alternative music fanzine that was responsible for first spreading Cocteau Fever throughout the land can now be blamed for something else — The Offense Book of Books, which was released on January 3, 2019 and is a two-volume collection of all 888 pages of all 15 issues of The Offense, which appeared in its original “book” format from April, 1980 to March, 1982 before switching to a newsletter style and becoming The Offense Newsletter.
Offense publisher/editor/least-talented contributor Tim Anstaett: “My New Year’s resolution for 2018 was one way or another to get The Offense Book of Books out, which I had unsuccessfully attempted to do on several occasions in the past. And although at times this year the situation seemed to be quite dire, I never gave up, and ultimately the promise that I had made to myself for 2018 … ALMOST was kept!”
Tim’s involvement with the local alternative music scene in Columbus began in December, 1979, when he began booking bands from his own town and other Midwestern cities into Mr. Brown’s, a small club that was located a few blocks south of the Ohio State University campus. His stint there lasted four months, during which time the owner generously gave to Tim a total of 47 nights to fill. This represented quite a departure from what music fans in Columbus had by that time become accustomed to, and had sadly resigned themselves to, which was only being able to enjoy very-few-and-far-between opportunities to see good bands. Now, for the very first time, the music suddenly found itself gaining a true foothold in the city. And then only two weeks after the last show that Tim promoted at Mr. Brown’s had taken place, the first issue of The Offense was born on April 11, 1980. And two years after that, he switched to a more–frequently–published newsletter format and eventually resumed his booking of bands, bringing to Columbus such alternative music luminaries as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (three times), the Pixies (twice), The Fall (twice), and yes, the Cocteau Twins.
The first issue of The Offense was completely handwritten by Tim, and he was its only contributor. It was rather sloppily put together and included scene reports that he had written about towns that he had recently visited with the Cowboys, a local Columbus band that he had booked into Mr. Brown’s many times and was now managing and mismanaging. However, by the fanzine’s eighth issue its looks had greatly improved, circulation had increased to 1,000, and four distributors had come aboard (Rough Trade, Systematic, Skydisc, and Important), which helped the publication to become nationally and internationally known. It was called The Offense because its mission was to go on the offensive and help spread the word about all of the great new music that was happening. The letters of its name were titled forward because the zine was moving in the direction that the arrow going through those slanted letters was pointing — ahead. Issues regularly included heated letters to the editor; freewheeling interviews; analytical record, cassette, and live reviews; and scene reports written by people who actually lived in the cities that they wrote about.
Tim Anstaett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has organized a few book release parties/readings in Columbus for The Offense Book of Books, at which many of the fanzine’s past contributors will be reading some of their favorite published pieces that they wrote. These are the events that have been scheduled thus far (all times Eastern):
Friday, January 11, 2019 6:00-8:00pm Lost Weekend Records, 2690 N. High St.
Saturday, January 19, 2019 2:00-7:00pm Ace of Cups, 2619 N. High St.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:30-9:00pm Two Dollar Radio HQ, 1124 Parsons Ave.
The Ace of Cups event will also include live musical performances from some of the past contributors (Nancy Kangas, Ron House, Mike Rep, and Paul Nini).
The Offense Book of Books is published by Biblio Publishing, 1091 W. First Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43212 (614-485-0721) and is now available through Amazon (at https://www.amazon.com/dp/162249458X— a single book is pictured, but it is the entire two-volume package that is described) and also through the Biblio Bookstore (at https://bibliobookstore.com/Music/The-Offense-Book-of-Books-by-Tim-Anstaett — again, the price listed is for the complete two-volume set). Anyone who can order three or more of the two-volume sets should not click one of the above links but instead either call Biblio Publishing or send an email to email@example.com, as that will enable him or her to receive a 25% discount on the order and lower the cost of each set from $89.95 to $67.47 (plus shipping). At the two January readings in Columbus, two-volume sets will be available for $70 each, and the purchaser will also receive a free, original, mint-condition back issue of The Offense of his or her choice for each set that he or she buys (back issues of seven of the fifteen Offenses are still available at this time.)
From ye olde editor: I’m Fred Mills, and I approve this press release. I count Tim (who we “Offense” contributors knew as simply TKA back in the day) as both a peer and a mentor, as he was among the very first music publication publishers to take a chance on my (admittedly tenuous grasp of) rock journalism and make me a published scribe. So now you know who to blame. Tim, you remain an inspiration among your fellow zine writers and editors, and I have no doubt that you are similarly revered among those artists and bands you selflessly championed early on, long before they had achieved any measure of recognition in America. Salute, good sir!
Bonnaroo released the official lineup this week and as usual it was immediately meet with cheers and jeers. It seems no matter who a festival brings there are always people who have their own favorite bands and ideas of what a festival should be.
Bonnaroo has long been known for having a diverse lineup with a heavy sway towards alternative music and this year is no different, but you can see a move into the R&B genre as well. This is no big surprise and is to be expected with acts like Cardi B, Childish Gambino, and Post Malone gathering millions and millions of followers the festival is smart to see the trends and give the masses what they want.
Last year Bonnaroo made the brave move to convert the That Tent into a full blown EDM stage that rivaled in size and lights of the Who stage, this move seemed to pay off big time as there were thousands of fans who I believe never ventured far from that stage. I must admit this was one of my favorite stages after dark. The non stop dance music and bass drops kept the crowd going all night and into the early mornings. Another addition last year was the Grand Ole Opry set, a collection of performers and guest from the Nashville famous Grand Ole Opry House.
The farm has also expanded the entertainment from the confinement of Centeroo out into the Camping areas. “Bonnaroo has continually sought new ways to enhance the fans’ onsite experience and the 2019 event will emphasize this with an array of remarkable new features and improvements. In 2018, Bonnaroo made significant upgrades to the site’s communal areas, known as Plazas. Strategically located and well-lit public places throughout the campgrounds, Plazas include shade, free public Wi-Fi, showers, activities, charging stations, Clean Vibes Trading Post redemption centers, misting stations, medical, safety stations, information and portable restrooms. This year’s event features a “Sanctuary of Self-Love” campground experience curated by Hayley Williams of Paramore. Also, “The Yes Barn” presented by House of Yes and Little Cinema will once again feature jaw-dropping circus acts, mind-bending immersive cinema shows, wild theme parties, and Bonnaroo’s first-ever Pride parade.”
Here are just a few of this years headliners: Phish, Childish Gambino, Cardi B, Post Malone, Odesza, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers and The Lonely Island. Check out the poster above to see the entire lineup and then go get your tickets, they even have a layaway plan, so there is no excuse not the join the crowd down on the farm for Bonnaroo 2019…
Veteran rockers’ latest album “Dead Circles” released by our sister business Schoolkids Records.
By Blurt Staff
Tuomo & Markus hit the U.S. this month with their full 6-piece band feat. trumpet sensation Verneri Pohjola. Catch them this Saturday at Winter Jazzfest NYC, at Sub-Culture on Bleecker Street (tickets available here). and Sunday at the Mercury Lounge on Houston Street (click here for ticket info).
You can also see them live in Washington DC & Chicago as well as Minneapolis at The Cedar on January 18 (ticket info). The band recently opened for the legendary The Jayhawks in Minneapolis to rave reviews. (Markus Nordenstreng, of course, is from longtime BLURT fave, and Schoolkids alumni, The Latebirds.)
Tuomo & Markus’ debut LP “Dead Circles” was released to critical fanfare in September 2018 through Schoolkids Records. (You can purchase the album, stream through Apple Music or Spotify). The band has recorded an E.P. of covers that was featured on KEXP, and has performed live at the KEXP studios. The band is looking forward to an exciting 2019.