Category Archives: Concerts

Pylon Reenactment Society, Harvest Recs’ Transfigurations Fest Incoming

Pictured above: Athens’ mighty Pylon Reenactment Society, playing Saturday night at the Mothlight. Meanwhile, Harvest Records’ Transfigurations  III Festival will run Thursday through Saturday, featurineveryone from Danny Brown and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy to the Oblivians and ESG. Hey kids, this is drugs on your brain….

By Fred Mills

Here at the BLURT western North Carolina outpost, we live for opportunities like this: a slew of utterly amazing outfits – veterans and relative newcomers alike – are descending upon the quiet burg (heh-heh) known as Asheville this week/weekend, and it’s not necessarily hype to proclaim this to be the premier musical interlude of the year.

My respect for the Pylon Reenactment Society  (heirs to the sonic and artistic legacy forged by Pylon and starting back in the early ’80s, when I initially saw the band) knows precious few, if any, boundaries. Let me revisit some past coverage here at Blurt:

Pylon Reenactment Society Part Time Punks Session 12″ review

Everything Is Cool

Back to Athens

Pylon Live album review

Here are the details on the show this Saturday, August 24. Be there, or be… you know. Cubic.

Pylon Reenactment Society -Athens, GA
(Post Punk / Dance Funk / Art Rock)
Crooked Ghost – Asheville, NC
(Dream Pop` / Post punk)
Fourth Mansions – Athens, GA 
(Acoustic music from the mind of Joe Rowe)
The Mothlight
Doors 8 pm. Music starts at 9 pm.
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Meanwhile, glom onto the above poster for our good friends at Harvest Records, located in West Asheville, for their big anniversary party, which takes place at multiple area venues this week. Rather than trying to steer you to any particular show, allow me to simply provide this link to their lineup page – you’ll be glad I did.

Hope to see a lot of my old friends out and about in a few days – it’s gonna be a special time.

Bryan Ferry 8/15/19, Atlanta

Dates: August 15, 2019

Location: The Tabernacle, Atlanta GA


Taking a victory lap with a deep dive into both his solo and Roxy Music catalogues, and accompanied by a stellar crew that included UK guitar legend Chris Spedding, Ferry turned Atlanta’s sold-out venue, the famed Tabernacle, into his personal song-craft room of magic and mirrors. (Click on the images in the gallery, below, to enlarge them.)

TEXT/PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Bryan Ferry is back on the road touring the world has he has done for many years – but this time it feels like a bit of a victory lap, and in a good way.  Ferry and the entire Roxy Music band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, and Ferry has said he appreciates the honor and loves the love.

If Ferry is feeling his 73 years he does a good job of hiding it onstage.   He’s loose, poised, having fun, and the onstage mutual admiration between this legend and his fans is remarkable and a sight to behold.   He’s also clearly leading the band, giving intro and outro cues, not that they need much direction once the show starts.  All top-notch veterans, and pretty much the same as he has toured with in recent years, including the great longtime Ferry/Roxy Music sideman and UK rock legend in his own right — Chris Spedding.  (Look him up.  We might not have ever had the Sex Pistols without his involvement.)

In fact, a highlight was the spotlight Ferry shared with Spedding for a solo during a rousing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.” I was reminded of Ferry’s all-covers solo record years ago, “These Foolish Things,” worth checking out as are all the Roxy and Ferry releases over the years.  I didn’t own my first Roxy Music LP until a few years ago, so it’s never too late, so start at the beginning with their iconic debut LP Roxy Music.

Ferry’s currently playing the Roxy hits, and solo stuff.  The guy is still making solid records.  Did I mention he’s 73?

Only a few US dates left, this week in Dallas and Austin, TX.  Then moving west to Denver, CO and onto California.  Dates here:  http://bryanferry.com/tour/

One other uniquely Bryan Ferry thing – he allows and encourages photographers to shoot the entire show.  NOBODY of his stature does that.  Usually it’s 3 songs and, get outta here, you weenies.  That says so much about his personal confidence – and it’s smart, because a photographer willing to take the time can capture all moods and visuals as the show progresses. A Bryan Ferry show heats up as it goes.

Bigger and more photos from the show are here:  https://jobo.smugmug.com/Bryan-Ferry-2019-Tour/
Check ‘em out and give me a follow on Instagram at @johnboydstonphoto.  Sometimes I have dog photos, too. (I can second that emotion. – Blurt Dawg Files Ed.) 

Love Tractor / Swimming Pool Q’s 6/28 (Athens) & 6/29/2019 (Atlanta)

Dates: June 28 -29, 2019

Location: Athens, GA & Atlanta, GA

 

Live in Athens for the first night in The Vista Room (above), then in Atlanta the following evening at the 40 Watt Club – and both shows were packed to the proverbial gills, with fans coming down to Georgia from as far away as New Jersey and all points in between.

TEXT BY JOHN BOYDSTON / PHOTOS BY KAREN ALLISON (ATHENS) AND JOHN BOYDSTON (ATLANTA)

For these two shows, Love Tractor comprised three original members Armistead Wellford, Mike Richmond, and Mark Cline, plus two musicians playing with them who were both members of the band The Glands:  Joe Rowe (drums, who is still kicking ass with the Pylon Reenactment Society… man, does he precision hammer the good stuff),  and Doug Stanley (keyboards and guitar).

Also for the Athens gig, original Love Tractor member (and subsequent REM drummer) Bill Berry joined the band onstage, as did Berry’s 16-year old son on acoustic guitar, for Love Tractor’s ‘Neon Lights.’  Berry has famously described the band decision he had to make one day – stay with Love Tractor or continue with this other new band he’d been playing with…

Love Tractor played all the great stuff from their early records (maybe all of the first one), and reached into ‘This Ain’t No Outer Spaceship’ with a fabulous performance of ‘Chilli Part 2.’ It was eally a crowd-pleasing set, sounding way better than any old fan like me had a right to expect them to sound. In fact, this was maybe as good as they’ve ever been – which is cool when a band can pull that off after all the years.  It was a solid hour plus set.

Swimming Pool Q’s closed out.

Below: The Second Night in Atlanta

The Lemonheads + Tommy Stinson 5/14/19, Denver

Dates: May 14, 2019

Location: Bluebird Theatre, Denver CO

TEXT & PHOTOS BY TIM HINELY

Terrific double bill at the Bluebird Theatre that offered up some serious nostalgia for folks who were going to shows in the 80’s and early 90’s (*raises hand*). Also I would imagine that Evan Dando was listening to plenty of Replacements (Mr. Stinson’s band, as you all well know)  back when he formed The Lemonheads as a frothy, buzzsaw punk band in the mid-80’s so I’m imagining it was somewhat of an honor for him to have Tommy open up.

Stinson hit the stage promptly at 8 PM with a nice acoustic guitar and dressed to the nines in a sharp fedora and a new pair of glasses (as he stated to the crowd, “not just bifocals but trifocals! I’m still getting used to these things…I can’t see shit right now!”). He didn’t play any Replacements songs (much to the dismay of a few annoying folks in the crowd) but did play a handful of cuts off his Bash & Pop records including a superb set-ending version of “Friday Night is Killing Me” (title track of the debut).

Also, it wouldn’t have be a Tommy Stinson set it he wasn’t a little tipsy (he was) but the crowd loved it and loved it even more when he jumped down to play a song down on the floor in the crowd. Come on back to town anytime, Tommy.

I didn’t know what this version of the Lemonheads was going to offer, but I sure was curious. In addition to Evan Dando on vocals/guitar he had longtime indie rock vet Chris Brokaw on 2nd guitar and the rhythm section of Farley Glavin on bass and powerhouse drummer Lee Falco hittin’ the skins. These guys were like a well-oiled machine on this night.

There was a long set list but it didn’t matter as they really didn’t follow it, but most of the set was heavy on early 90’s albums It’s a Shame About Ray and Come On Feel the Lemonheads which is fine as there’s plenty of meat on those records.

There wasn’t a lot of in-between song chatter, more of them putting their heads down and going to work, playing songs in rapid succession with not a lot of time in between. We heard fan favorites like “It’s About Time,” “Rudderless,” “Confetti,” “Turnpike Down,” “Great Big No,” “Drug Buddy” and plenty more.

They also played a handful of covers off of the new album (Varshons 2, which is an all covers album and was recently released on Fire Records) like Lucinda William’s “Abandoned” and John Prince’s “The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” to name but two.

I know in the past Lemonheads’ live shows could be dodgy affairs depending on what state Dando was in but on this night there was none of that. As mentioned above he only mumbled a handful of words to the crowd, he/they came to play. The songs sounded great and Dando’s voice still sounds superb. If they come to your town do not miss them (‘cos if you do you’ll hear from your friends about how great of a show it was).

 

 

Jawbox 6/22/19, Brooklyn

Dates: June 22, 2019

Location: Brooklyn, NY

The iconic punk band was live in Brooklyn June 22, 2019.

TEXT, PHOTOS, & VIDEO BY JONATHAN LEVITT

It’s been almost 30 years since I last saw Jawbox in concert. I remember it was at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago where they opened for Chicago’s Tar, with whom they had split the “Static” seven inch single at the time.  I have a VHS of that show that I shot and will one day get digitized and uploaded to YouTube. Luckily for myself and Blurt readers I was able to shoot some primo footage from the photo pit (click here to see my gallery) and check out my video of the song “FF=66” down below.

The band played 21 songs to the sold-out audience before they came back for an encore of 4 more. It was the right move to save the hit “Savory” till the end, because while that song is great, the trajectory the band took to get there is even greater.  The band may be older but the ferocious way they pummel their instruments would have made bands half their age green with envy. The sound waves hitting me at the front could’ve easily stripped the paint off a car. The audience was filled with 40-somethings who knew almost every word to every song and I could tell they were just thrilled to have one of their bands back in action. The tour that will traverse the US is an absolute must see. Hopefully this is more than just a one off and a new record is in the offing. Regardless of what happens, the world is a better place with Jawbox alive and kicking once more.

Above: the evening’s setlist.

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Kristin Hersh 6/27/19, Atlanta

Dates: June 27, 2019

Location: Terminal West, Atlanta GA

Live at the venerable Terminal West in hot ‘lanta…

TEXT & PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Throwing Muses will be performing a few dates later this summer with Kristin Hersh, David Narcizo, and Bernard George in the band (no Tanya Donelly apparently), their first shows in  five years.   The trio has late-August dates in Boston, San Diego and the Pasadena Daydream Festival (curated by The Cure’s Robert Smith).  I caught the alt-rock legend singer-guitarist-songwriter Hersh’s own show at Atlanta’s Terminal West, performing songs from her long solo career and new stuff from her acclaimed new release ‘Possible Dust Clouds’  – Fred Abong was on bass, and Rob Ahlers was on drums and backing vocals.

Check out our shutterbug in Atlanta here: https://jobo.smugmug.com/

 

Monolith on the Mesa Festival 5/17/19 & 5/18/19

Dates: May 17 & 18, 2019

Location: Taos, New Mexico

Taos will never be quite the same again… until next year. Go here for our pre-fest feature and interview.

PHOTOS BY JOHN GALUSKA

The inaugural Monolith on the Mesa festival, held on May 17 &18 in Taos, New Mexico, left an indelible mark on the audience and bands alike. With a relentless two days’ worth of seismic torrents pummeling the area, ear drums were shattered and the geology of Northern New Mexico will never be the same.

Unable to attend myself I managed to draft in musicologist, photographer, and raconteur John “Rastaman” Galuska, who withstood the sonic onslaught and fog of mystical herbs to bring you two days of images from the festival. —Jonathan Levitt, Blurt Psych/Levitation Editor

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Friday, May 17

Dead Meadow

Spirit Mother

Super Giant

Weed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woven Hand

Saturday May 18

Castle

Crypt Trip

Palehorse

Pharlee

Pinkish Black

 

 

 

 

Mark Lanegan / Simon Bonney 5/14/19, Brooklyn

Dates: May 14, 2019

Location: Warsaw, Brooklyn, NY

Two sets at the Warsaw venue from two longtime favorites—but sadly, only one of them delivered the real Kielbasa.

TEXT, PHOTOS, & VIDEO BY JONATHAN LEVITT

I was finally able to catch Simon Bonney and his wife Bronwyn Adams live for the first time. I’m a huge fan of their work, both on Simon’s solo albums as well as with Crime and the City Solution, whose 1990’s masterpiece, Paradise Discotheque, will be revisited here in the not too distant future.

Simon and Bronwyn (above, with the author) put on an intimate show for the assembled audience, showcasing songs from Bonney’s solo records which was engaging and emotionally resonant . A career spanning compilation of Bonney’s solo output has just been released, available here.  Also check out the exclusive video I shot for BLURT to see what you missed:

*****

Being a fan of Mark Lanegan’s body of work, I was less than impressed with the rather frosty sheen to his live show. Shunning interaction with the audience, Lanegan instead chose to perform as if the audience didn’t exist and he was merely fulfilling a contractual obligation. Two-thirds of the way through, I walked next door inside the venue and ate a Kielbasa sandwich, which proved far more entertaining.

Nick Waterhouse 5/20/19, Atlanta

Dates: May 20, 2019

Location: Terminal West, Atlanta GA

Live at Terminal West – THE place to be on an otherwise dead Monday night, as it turned out.

TEXT & PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Nick Waterhouse will transport you to a pre-snarky, pre-psychedelic America when what mattered most was love, and the ability to translate the ensuing heartbreak that follows into a soul-driven R&B number. Throw in some beatnik-jazz and coffeehouse-rockabilly arrangements and that’s Nick. I have attempted to create some funky photographs from the Atlanta show at Terminal West to try and to capture Nick’s funky world.

With a few more shows in Texas to go, Waterhouse and band were wrapping up a world tour last week behind his latest self-titled LP released by Innovative Leisure this spring. It’s getting deserved rave reviews, and as it’s his 4th LP, why self-titled? Explained Waterhouse, “After it was all done, I realized it was probably telling the strongest story about my own motives and perspectives.”

But take my word – all the records are good, so start with any of them.

Nick’s online home:   https://www.nickwaterhouse.com/home and his cool Tumblr page:  https://presco.tumblr.com/

Filthy Friends + Dressy Bessy 5/19/19, Atlanta

Dates: May 19, 2019

Location: The Earl, Atlanta GZ

Live at The Earl, it was supa-group time…

TEXT & PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON

It was remarkable how this band came out swinging at The Earl Saturday night.  Youda thought they were a new hungry band trying to get noticed, with something to prove, and a batch of urgent new songs you need to hear.  While all that is true – instead of being a new band Filthy Friends is a who’s who of veteran indie-rock giants who could be coasting, making a victory lap record and on cruise control.  This is a band that is hungry again, poised, and playing like they mean it.

The band is Corin Tucker (of Sleater-Kinney), Linda Pitmon on drums, Kurt Bloch, Scott McCaughey, and of course Peter Buck who is back in top form.   I haven’t seen him move, dig in, or jangle as much as he was here in way too many years and it’s great to see some fire back in his playing.  And how cool is it seeing Scott back where he belongs after recovering from a serious health issue a couple years back?

Based in Portland, OR Filthy Friends have just released their 2nd LP ‘Emerald Valley’ and has a few more dates this week as they head up the US East coast, wrapping up in NYC, then it’s off for a short Euro tour.   Go and enjoy some veterans showing the kids how to do it.

Upcoming tour dates are here:  https://www.killrockstars.com/artists/filthy-friends

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Opening act was the great Dressy Bessy and they are with Filthy Friends until the end of the week, then continuing their tour into the summer, with a new LP release early June.
Don’t miss ‘em.  You’ve been warned.

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Join John on Instagram @johnboydstonphoto.  Or visit jobo.smugmug.com for bigger galleries of weird birds and milky ways.