Monthly Archives: November 2019

Doors – The Soft Parade (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) 3CD/1LP

Album: The Soft Parade (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Artist: The Doors

Label: Rhino/Elektra

Release Date: November 01, 2019

www.rhino.com

By Fred Mills

“I swear to God, I don’t wanna hear no talk about no Constitution” (alt title: “When I Was Back There in Seminary School”):

Forget that namby-pamby “the day the music died…” AOR radio crap… on Feb. 25, 1969, The Doors recorded an hour-plus song called “Rock Is Dead” during the tail end of sessions for their epochal/flawed/controversial/misunderstood/chart-topping album “The Soft Parade” (which, full disclosure, blew my 14-year old mind, as I had no reference points… this was not the “Hello I Love You” that had guided my pubescent teen trying-to-connect-with-a-chick bumblings of the previous lovin’ summer, that’s for sure).

True believers such as moi were certainly not privy to RID back in the day, as it only started surfacing in bootleg form, and in various fractured iterations, until (if memory serves) the mid ’80s, and even then, probably only on cassette among my fellow underground of tape traders. At that point, only Echo & the Bunnymen were probably willing to go on record as being Jim Morrison & Co. fans, such was the tarnished, classic rock legacy of the band.

And then Oliver Stone arrived, stage left.

His March ’91 Morrison biopic “The Doors” needs no introduction, and I will not lay out any arguments fo’ or agin’ it here, other than to note that it heralded the proverbial Third Coming of St. Jim – the Second Coming being, of course, when “Rolling Stone” magazine put out their classic revivalist issue proclaiming, “He’s Hot, He’s Sexy, and He’s Dead!” on the cover in the ’80s. (I have a tangential story about Matthew Sweet relating directly to that RS issue I’ll share with anyone privately, btw.) So as these journo things go, in the fall of 1990, I was the music editor of a Charlotte alt-weekly, Creative Loafing (RIP), and my editors agreed that it would be awesome if I could do some deep research on the Stone film for a subsequent high-profile piece to hit when the movie arrived in the spring – and maybe, just maybe, we could scoop the clueless clowns at the local daily.

Oh boy, did we ever. And oh boy, did I get more than I was looking – bargaining – for.

I was already plugged into a certain u-ground scene due to the fact that for close to about a decade I had been scribbling for shitty rock rags left and right; the free recs were the draw, of course, and then somehow I realized I actually enjoyed running my mouth to a captive (i.e., print fanzine) audience. Plus, when I was back there in my seminary school classes, I learned I could petition my audience with, not necessarily prayer, but at least provocative propositions. So here we are in late 1990, and I’m making a few casual inquiries among my indie rock contacts – at the time, I have no clue whatsoever as to how to reach out to an actual Hollywood film production – and, meanwhile, I’ve begun haunting the Charlotte library and commanding their microfiche machines in order to locate and then print out vintage Doors stories and reviews. (Yes, I still have those and all my Doors research files in a box in the attic. Probably severely faded by now. I’ll keep you posted.)

And then – the proverbial key turned in the lock. At the time I was also a longtime contributor to indie bible Option Magazine, and upon seeing my query, my editor there told me, “Oh yeah, I know the guy who worked with Stone as his screenwriter on the film. Here’s his number, tell him I said for you to call him.” With that, I was on the horn with J. Randall Johnson (looking him up at IMDB, I don’t have time to put in links on this)

Long story short: Randy provided me with a coupla hours’ worth of details, anecdotes, and (presumably still) off-the-record stuff about putting together the film, working with Stone, and of course navigating the cultural and financial minefield that is all things Doors. More important, though, is how he opened up multiple doors (see what I just did?) that gave me access well beyond what we at the paper had ever considered might be possible. In short order, I was talking to Doors manager Bill Siddons, who in turn connected me with the publicists for both Robby Krieger and John Densmore (the latter was working on a book to come out next spring as well, so he was motivated; the former was working with Eric Burdon at the time so probably less motivated, but he indicated he had some solo irons in the fire, so….). Multiple interviews with principals went down, with plenty of off-record shit uttered along the way – for some reason, I had passed the smell test and was in the circle of trust, and when they said, “Please don’t quote me on this part…” I promised I would respect the request. And I still do. I’ll leave it to my kid as to what he wants to do with all my interview cassettes once I’m gone, of course, but those tapes are sitting in my garage right now.

One thing that you might assume would have stayed off-record, however, was never designated as such. Somehow I was also put in touch with the Lizard King’s old drinking buddy, veteran filmmaker Frank Lisciandro, who was also preparing a Doors-related photo book, so he was probably inclined to talk to the press. That was a memorable evening over the NC-to-LA phone line, with plenty of terrific Morrison and Doors anecdotes, plus a particular nugget: Due to drugs and alcohol, Morrison was impotent for the final couple of years of his life. No one had ever gone on the record at that point regarding the sex god’s issues, aside from veiled comments over the years about Jim’s “issues” related to booze. I duly printed the quote, although naturally there was no way to independently verify such details; by that point, in 1990, Pamela Morrison was long gone, too, so I really could only take Frank’s word. But if anyone knew the truth, he probably did, so I stand behind my reporting, such as it was.

As an aside:I tried my best to nail down Ray Manzarek (RIP) for an interview, but around that time he had already had his falling out with Oliver Stone and was not interesting in pimping the film in the least. If memory serves, Danny Sugarman (RIP) was repping Ray at the time, and he was definitely no help – in fact, he was a total dick, blowing me off twice for interviews I’d arranged separately with him, but I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, dick or no dead dick.

Somewhere along the way, in the middle of all this, Doors cover band The Back Doors came to Charlotte and played the 13-13 Club. Yeah, of course I went.

At any rate: the movie arrived in the multiplexes, Val Kilmer got his props and his drubbings, Creative Loafing had its cover story that circulated through our multiple cities, and my story even got picked up by other cities’ alt-weeklies. Thanks to my many fanzine contacts out in the hinterlands, I also published extended versions (“director’s cut”) of my story in a national music magazine and overseas mags in Spain, Germany, and Australia.

Yeah, in one form or another, I got paid about 6 or 7 times – I sure didn’t go out and buy a Ferrari in the aftermath, but I did pick up a few Doors bootleg discs.

I busted my ass for at least 3 or 4 month working on a band that was massively important to me. In the research process, I started having Jimbo dreams, and if I could have found a pair of leather jeans someplace, I probably would’ve put ’em on. Somehow my wife and my friends put up with me throughout it all, although I have a vague memory of rooms clearing every time I would cue up “The End.”

What I did NOT subject them too, though, is the sonic and poetic anarchy of Morrison’s “Rock Is Dead,” a 64-minute disjointed – yet fascinating – traipse through the history of rock ‘n’ roll, though the eyes and ears of JM. As I made many, many contacts within the Doors collector community during this period, I was able to acquire a relative high-generation of the entire, unbootlegged tape. It reportedly was provided to me following one of my higher-profile Doors camp contacts giving me the thumbs-up as someone who could be trusted not to circulate it. And I never have.

It’s on the just-released 50th anniversary, 3-CD / 1-LP deluxe edition of “The Soft Parade” (on RHINO ) in all its bizarrely beautiful, derangedly riveting glory, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants an unvarnished, never-officially-released glimpse into the vaunted Morrison id. Casual fans, well… not so much. But then, if you’ve read this far, and if you love “The Soft Parade” as much as I do, or even almost as much as I do, you’ll dig it. Petition your local indie record store with prayer to make sure they stock it.

Check it out at the Spotify link below. Break on through.

https://open.spotify.com/track/09IGIoxYilGSnU0b0OambC…

Robyn Hitchcock – 11/13/19, Atlanta

Dates: November 13, 2019

Location: Eddie's Attic, Atlanta GA

Not one, but two freakin’ shows of prawndom from the maestro, all at Eddie’s Attic in the dirty South…

PHOTOS/TEXT BY JOHN BOYDSTON

When Robin Hitchcock says, “Hello Fellow Human Beings,” you kind of know he’s being gracious to at least some of us, but that’s why we love him — he’s happy to share glimpses of his world, which is really our world turned inside-out, upside-down, and mirror-imaged back at us.

Witty, sardonic, charming, and in fine musical form alone with his acoustic guitar (he is an excellent player) and sometimes harmonica, Hitchcock is a natural for the stage. His non-sequitur intros are as entertaining as the songs from his extensive catalogue, and most eras were represented here tonight. He seems to entertain requests if you can get them to him pre-show.

Recent LP Robyn Hitchcock from 2017 on Yep Roc is still getting airtime on my table. Plus, there is a recent 10” with Andy Partridge titled Planet England that Partridge’s Ape House label dropped in September.

Solo tour continues – check out dates:  – https://www.robynhitchcock.com/tour.

Living now in Nashville, he’s also doing a rare band show at The Mercury Lounge,  coming up December 5th.  See ya there.

2019 Louder Than Life Festival 9/27-29/19, Louisville

Dates: September 27-29, 2019

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Our resident decibel-meter man returns once again to the (metal) scene of the crime – check out some of his previous coverage which left our photo editor’s ears ringing just looking at the pics.

TEXT & PHOTOS BY MARK JACKSON

When the temperature reaches nearly 100 degrees for the third day straight and you are aware of the dusty, humid conditions, what do you wear? Why, black of course! The dark color is a must-have for the metal and rock hybrid that takes the crown for the largest rock festival in the United States. This year’s attendance reached more than 128,000 people over the three-day schedule.

It’s no wonder that this festival topped all other festivals this year with the killer lineup that Danny Wimmer Presents put together. (Scroll to the bottom for details on the production company.) It started with Guns N’ Roses and carried on with the reunion of Staind and big names like Slipknot (who had just dropped a great new album), Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Philip H Anselmo & the Illegals (whose set was heavy with Pantera classics and even had a guest appearance from the members of GWAR). Wimmer brought over 30 acts of rock and metal and through in a little spice with rap legends Ice Cube and Jelly Roll.


The heat was unbearable, but with constant ear blasting music and enough gourmet food and drinks to hold you over until the late night second trip meal, no one was sitting this one out. With a normal temperature of around 75-80 during the day and in the 60s at night, this year’s unseasonable weather was close to one hundred degrees all three days.

The weather tried its best to dampen the festival-goers, but we got an immaculate festival and a great location that Wimmer and the team had to transform into a suitable site for a three separate weekend festival, starting with Home Town Rising, followed by Bourbon & Beyond, and ending with Louder Than Life. This year’s festivals were relocated due to the old site being prone to flooding and ruining the Bourbon & Beyond festival last year and leading to the cancellation of the 2018 Louder festival as well.


The new site has a great layout but does and will probably receive some planted trees for shade, more shaded tents and or tables for people to sit and rest while grabbing a great meal. Elsewhere at the Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center, fans were able to take in several art displays and live painting, including a large homage to late actor Sid Haig, best known to rock fans for playing Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s films. Other onsite attractions included the Kroger Big Bourbon Bar presented by Louisville Courier Journal, which featured more than two dozen hand-selected bourbons from top distilleries; Fred Minnick’s Mini Bar presented by Bourbon Women Association, hosted by the Bourbon & Beyond bourbon curator, author/expert, and Amazon Prime host (Bourbon Up); Jack Daniel’s No. 7 Sports Bar; The Music Experience; Angel’s Envy Speakeasy; and The Silver Dollar Hunter’s Club, where attendees could find vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary collectibles.

***

Anti Flag

Breaking Benjamin

Deadland Ritual

DED

Demon Hunter

Dirty Honey

Disturbed

Dropkick Murphys

GNR

Godsmack

GWAR

Halestorm

Ice Cube

Jelly Roll

Marilyn Manson

Motionless In White

New Years Day

Phil Anselmo

Rob Zombie

Sick Puppies

Staind

Suicidal Tendencies

Sum 41

The Crystal Method

The Pink Slips

(Duff watching his daughter’s The Pink Slips)

Three Days Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

Louder Than Life is produced by Los Angeles-based Danny Wimmer Presents, one of the largest independent producers of destination music festivals in America. DWP events include Aftershock, Bourbon & Beyond, Chicago Open Air, Epicenter, Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life, Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival, and Welcome To Rockville. For more information on Louder Than Life (#louderthanlife) please visit:

www.LouderThanLifeFestival.com
www.facebook.com/louderthanlifefestival
www.twitter.com/ltlfest
www.instagram.com/louderthanlifefest

2019 Bonnaroo Music Festival 6/13-16/19, Manchester TN

Dates: June 13-19, 2019

Location: Manchester, TN

One mo’ ‘Roo 4 U, gentle BLURT readers! Go HERE for our coverage of last year’s event.

TEXT & PHOTOS BY MARK JACKSON

Bonnaroo 2019 was truly an experience to remember. In contrast to Bonnaroo’s trademark Tennessee heat, this year’s participants were welcomed to a much milder climate, of which only reaching low 80’s. As usual, Bonnaroo included up and coming acts, varying genres including rap, rock, indie, alternative, EDM, jam band, and Tennessee country.  Despite the big names of Post Malone, Cardi B, Phish, and 2019 newcomer Juice WRLD, some of my favorite acts came from lesser known artists. Here are some of my favorite promising artists.

While their names seem unfamiliar, many of these performers will likely become household names in the months to come. Donna Missal is pop artist hailing from the garden state of New Jersey. Her soft calming voice complements very well with the smooth drum beats common in her music. In addition to her musical ability, she gave an immaculate performance in front of hundreds of intrigued listeners. She goes down as my favorite breakout artist from the festival. Friday Pilot’s Club is quickly making mainstream rock popular again. Their classic 90’s pop-rock sound combined with modern beats and hard-hitting guitar strums easily make them one of the best acts from Bonnaroo.  Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers provided a down to earth feel at the event. The band is in their own genre with an emotional old school spoken word rap sound and the teenager nervousness expressed in his vocals. His music has been given a major popularity boost after being featured on the lyric explanation Youtube channel Genius.

Bonnaroo also hosted many non-musical events as well. Attendees are greeted to an Alice in Wonderlandesque clock to take pictures with or purely admire. There were also many 80’s arcade games including the classic Pinball machine. The wooden pathway connecting these events also led to an interactive painting wall as well as a car to paint. As you leave these events you can hear the vibrant music through the tree line to ultimately invite you to the dance party stage. These are just a few of the pop up events that added to Bonnaroo’s campground feel.

Any good music festival has its fair share of headliners. And Bonnaroo sure showed it this year by selling out for the first year since 2013. This accomplishment was aided by the melodic voice of Post Malone, the fierce Hip-Hop style of Cardi B, and the breakup tunes of Juice WRLD. The Event also included the comedy rap sensation, as well as frequent Chris Brown collaborator, Lil Dicky, jam band Phish, as well as their genre relatives The Nationals. Rap Legends Gucci Mane and Childish Gambino were some other well-known acts. Bonnaroo brought out many thrilling EDM acts providing the experience to dance to sun up with many surprising DJ performances. as well as throwing in a couple of metal bands, Gojira and DeafHeaven, which confused many of the event’s seasoned veterans while still drawing large crowds.

No different than the years before, Bonnaroo provided an amazing and diverse selection of musical excellence. This is a guaranteed way to keep your fanbase coming back year after year. I can’t wait to see what this iconic festival has in store for next year. Enjoy these pictures until next year!

***

AJR 2

Bishop Briggs

Brandi Carlile

Cardi B

Caroline Rose

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Deafheaven

Donna Missal

Friday Pilots Club

Gucci Mane

Hippo Campus

Hobo Johnson

Jim James

John Prince

Juice World

K Flay

King Princess

Lumineers

Magic City Hippies

Nahko and Medicine for the People

Peach Pit

Phish

Riders in the Sky

Rival Sons

Squarch

The Lonely Island

The National

The Nude Party

Two Feet

Walk the Moon