Culled from the singer-songwriter’s upcoming debut, it’s an instant pop delight.
By John B. Moore
New York, by way of West Virginia, musician Eli Musser name checks the melodic pop “Big Four” when it comes to influences: Beach Boys, Byrds, Big Star and The Beatles.
And it’s not hard to hear those influences on the song “Smile (‘Cause Somebody Loves You)” off his upcoming debut, Content, due out this fall. Check it out for yourself here, on this Blurt exclusive song premiere.
Says Musser, of the track, “I wrote ‘Smile’ as an anthem of optimism and comfort while going through a tough time: moving to New York in my 20’s brought a lot of changes and loneliness. The uplifting lyrics and hummable melody are simple and direct; the arrangement and production are also a knowing nod to the buoyant studio sounds of the late ’60s and early ’70s. It’s a song intended to speak to those who wonder if anyone has their back. The answer is ‘yes’.”
Content was mixed by Bryce Goggin (of Pavement, Evan Dando, Sean Lennon, Ramones, etc., renown). It’s familiar guitar-based rock, brimming with catchy pop melodies and refreshingly personal lyrics. Connect here: https://www.facebook.com/musserofficial
Curse of Lono is easily one of the best Americana/Southern Gothic band to not actually come from the South or even from the America for that matter. Since their relatively recent founding, the London four piece has delivered three near-perfect records (one EP and two LPs) on the Submarine Cat label – check out some of BLURT’s coverage to date:
They are back with 4am and Counting, a stellar new album of stripped-down live versions of classics from their first two records. Recorded live at Rag Tag Studios in London, the band worked with Grammy-winning producer Liam Watson (White Stripes ‘Elephant’) andMixer Oli Bayston(Boxed In) for this one. The record also features Pink Floyd slide guitar player BJ Cole and harmonica playerNick Reynolds. The record comes out on July 12th—although fleet-footed fans already scored it as a limited edition pink-vinyl LP on last month’s Record Store Day. (“Easily my favorite score during RSD 2019, from the packaging and sweet colored wax, to the actual sonics, as it has an immediacy and edginess I can’t recall experiencing in some time,” commented BLURT editor Fred Mills.)
As the band is obviously favorite here, we are beyond thrilled (or chuffed, if you’re reading this from the UK) to be premiering the song “Blackout Fever.”
“We wanted to capture the vibe we get when we’re jamming late at night,” explains frontman Felix Bechtolsheimer. “So we booked a couple of days in the studio, invited a few friends down and pressed record. Toe Rag Studios is an incredible place. There are no computers. There’s no technology to tempt you. We just played everything completely live like we do when we’re messing around in our rehearsal room, with no overdubs or studio trickery, so what you hear is exactly what was played.”
Ms. Sadie Saturday Night serves up a passionate revisit to the ’79 White Night Riots in San Francisco—and she was there that night, four decades ago, too.
By Fred Mills
About a year and a half ago we posted a review of Austin singer-songwriter Jean Caffeine and her nigh-on brilliant Sadie Saturday Nite album and accompanying stage show, which is effectively a sonic memoir going all the way back to her late ‘70s punk rock days in San Francisco.
We subsequently posted her videos for album tracks “All Girl Band,” a fond look back at her old bands The Urge, Pulsallama, and Clambake, and the Sex Pistols-inspired “Winter of Hate,” and now we are pretty proud to be able to present her latest video, below. It’s titled “Mad as Hell (in the White Night)” which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the White Night Riots in San Francisco, May 21, 1979. Jean notes, “The music for the song is co-written with Josh Robins from Austin’s Invincible Czars. He was a creative consultant on my Sadie show. His band tours the US doing live accompaniment/soundtracks for various silent films.”
Jean, in creating her Sadie Saturday Night one-woman show some time back, has written about her memories of that night – the riots were in response to the verdict in the Dan White trial, who, as she recalls, “received a very light sentence for murdering Mayor George Moscone and our first out council member Harvey Milk… The city ignited both metaphorically in protest and riot and literally…police cars were burned. After hearing the sentence, I tried to get home from a bar that night and ended up being chased by police along with a bunch of rioters… so although I was in solidarity with the protesters, it was a night of accidental activism on my part.” It’s well-worth reading some of her additional remembrances now, so I’ll turn this forum over to Jean.
Incidentally, she has a new EP in the can that she hopes to release soon, so stay tuned for details. And upcoming tour dates follow Jean’s remembrance, below.
“One evening in 1979, I was in Day’s Saloon, a barn like old school Hoff Brau and Irish bar on Market Street, near Powell where the cable car turns around. Days was owned by a couple of brothers. You could get an Irish coffee there, occasionally see a band (my all girl band, the Urge was pretty much the house band). You could get a corned beef sandwich there, on St. Patty’s. If you were lucky it might have been sliced by former roommate Will Shatter, of Negative Trend and Flipper. Days was a haunt of the Urge, and its benevolent bartender, Terese, was sister to my bandmates, sisters Mary and Julie Lawler.
“I had quit the Urge a year earlier in a giant huff over offenses and intrusions during a recording session – over conflicts with the owner of the small label that was recording our single. He was sleeping with one of us girls, not that I wouldn’t, but I wasn’t, because he was an asshole. He and I quarreled during the session. I thought the girls would stand by me, but as it turned out, not so much. Leaving the band, which consisted of two of my best gal pals from even before punk rock was tough – it left a big dent in my life, and they quickly filled my drummer void with another gal pal, and they stripped my drum track and had her redo it. Which hurt.
“After a year of no contact with the girls I starting having drinks at the bar at Days, visiting with Terese. I guess I was laying the first bricks in rebuilding the friendship by putting my toes in friendly waters. I visited with Terese for a while and she made me a sweet cocktail. I liked drinks that were more like food. Drinks with a high butterfat count like Hot Toddies and Irish Coffee. Terese had the radio on and we heard the verdict of the Dan White trial. White had killed mayor Moscone and City Councilman and pioneering gay rights activist, Harvey Milk. The sentence was as light as Wonderbread. We were both steamin’ mad.
“Angry, I headed out onto Market Street south towards my apartment. As I tried to cross Market Street, I got caught up in what I didn’t yet realize was a riot. There were broken shop windows and looting. Apparently we weren’t the only people pissed off about the Dan White verdict. The light sentence for a double murder was an outrage. San Francisco reacted rightfully and righteously by going crazy. I was not prepared for what I saw going down on Market Street. I tried to walk in the direction of my place and I got caught inside a mob, which was running away from the police in a completely different direction. I took a different turn and the same thing happened again and then again until I was chased with the mob to the park by City Hall where a line of police cars were smoldering, having been set on fire. Although my sentiments were with the rioters, that night I became an accidental activist, and the memory of the night smolders like the cop cars I saw that night.”
May 21 Del’s Books n’ More, El Paso
June 7 Harvest House, Denton TX
June 8 The Kollective, AR
June 9 Lamplighter, Memphis
June 13 Mohawk Place, Buffalo
June 15 ArtBar ArtWord, Hamilton, ON
June 16 The Communist Daughter, TO
June 19, The Garnet, Peterbourough
June 20th L’Escallier, Mtl, Quebec
June 21 Bar Robo, Ottawa
June 22, Shaika Cafe, MTL
June 23, Grumpy’s, MTL
June 26th The High Low, Catskill, NY
July 7 Bar Redux, New Orleans
August 3rd 4pm The Parlour, Austin, TX w/ Prof. Fuzz
Glam-bam-thank-you-Ma’am! You’ll be ditching social media and reverting to real-world activities soon, thanks to the band and the surreal video’s creator. (Photos credit: Emma Esser)
By Blurt Staff
North Carolina musical institution The Floating Children take their “dancing tribe” on a surreal journey in the new animated video for current single, “Hive Mind.” Created by NC State College of Design professorGreg Carter, the video follows avatars of band members as they navigate the weird world of social media, ultimately re-discovering the bonding and uplifting power of music. The song itself also captures the Floating Children performance aesthetic – building to a chanted crescendo, it piles crunchy guitars, a theremin, swelling harmonies, a toy piano, and more into what the band rightly calls “a mountain of ear candy.”
“It’s a bit like ‘Yellow Submarine’ re-booted for our new, digital age of human exploration,” says Carter (pictured here).
He’s not kidding – you half expect a pack of Blue Meanies to pop out of the frame at some point. We’re pretty stoked to be able to share the video with the BLURT audience, so check it out below:
“We didn’t just go to town on this production, we went to the Emerald City by way of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory,” says Floating Children lead singer Billy Warden. “The glitter and glee of our shows are all over these grooves.”
Sums up guitarist Jeffo Holshouser: “‘Hive Mind’ is our glam band grand slam.”
The song was produced by Michael Graziano and Artem Smirnov at Raleigh’s Thread Audio studios, and the band subsequently discovered Carter’s animated art at Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum. They note that at that point they knew they “had their man – he could bring it to life with appropriate ‘zip and zow.'”
Fittingly, the Floating Children unveiled “Hive Mind” with a surreal “happening” at Raleigh’s leading downtown gallery, ArtSpace. The spectacle included:
The national anthem performed by Micah Gaugh on his famed double sax
Mister Rogers readings in character by Raleigh attorney Gene Davis
The percussion stylings of Bongo John
An appropriately antic set by the band which was crashed by a man in a gorilla suit
From “Hive Mind”:
“Can’t put your phone down?
Come to our gig in your town
You won’t need a code
Just let your joy explode …
Come on, expand your hive mind”
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