Category Archives: Music News

Hollow Cry Plots U.S. Success: Exclusive Interview

Spanish outfit isn’t procrastinating on its plans to win over American metal fans…

By Tiffini Taylor

Hollow Cry is a metalcore band from Spain, Lleida to be exact. The Spain music scene is a bit different, it is more classic rock. Each country in the world has a different timeline of music. Hollow Cry has been a band since around 2010. They are at the forefront of the Spain metal scene. They are coming strong to America’s music scene. I had the pleasure of speaking with Hollow Cry and this what they had to say. (Below: the debut music video, “Last Call,” off From Ashes To Flames,  the debut album released in September via Into Records.)

Blurt: How did the band form?

Hollow Cry: “We started out like everybody else, a group of friends playing in a garage. We covered the music we liked—mostly national and international punk rock—and before we knew it, we were doing concerts. Time passed, and our taste in music switched to metal. A few members left, others joined, and soon we were composing our own songs. It was a gradual process.”

Blurt: Being from Spain, what differences do you notice between metal in Spain and metal in America?

Hollow Cry:  “While metal is on the rise in the US, it’s dying in Spain. You’ll only hear the classics in here—AC/DC, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer and such—and that makes it even more difficult for us. An American metal band recently told  us that the style that dominates the US metal scene right now is pretty similar to ours. That was encouraging.”

Blurt: What was the recording process like on ‘From Ashes to Flames’?

Hollow Cry: “We had six songs already, but they needed to be fleshed out. It wasn’t until we got deep into the creative process that we started to find our groove, develop our sound. It was demanding, but we enjoyed every second of it. I think that the hard work payed off; we’re really proud of our album.”

Blurt: Your band had a name change, originally called ‘Winter Shades’ changed to ‘Hollow Cry’, why the name change?

Hollow Cry: “There was a band registered as ‘Shades of Winter.’ We changed our name to avoid legal problems, just in case.”

Blurt: Where did the name ‘Hollow Cry’ come from?

Hollow Cry: “It’s a funny story. None of the members could come up with a name. Then, one night, Xavi Strife (lead singer) and his brother Carlos were going over a list of prospective names—all of them pretty lame, I must say—when, out of the blue, Carlos said it out loud, like an epiphany. Hollow Cry. That was our name; we knew it right away. It conveys what we’d been through since we started to play metal: no matter how loud we cried, no matter how desperate the scream; nobody would listen. We felt invisible, left out.”

Blurt: How would you describe your sound?

Hollow Cry: “Aggressive but melodic. All in all, it’s easy on the ear.”

Blurt: Are there plans to tour?

Hollow Cry: “That’s what we’re focusing on right now. We hope we can get on the road soon enough.”

Blurt: What is in the future for Hollow Cry?

Hollow Cry: “Our medium-term goal is to share the stage with the bands we admire the most. But we’re taking it one step at a time, and right now we want to get known and expand our fanbase.”

Hollow Cry is a heavy band that is taking over the metal scene in Spain, now they’re going to take on America. The members include: Aleix Farre- guitar, Marc Munoz- guitar, Joan Flores- bass, Xavi Strife- vocals, Enric Pons- drums. These five guys know how to make one want to head bang. There are some good bands coming out of Spain who are developing the metal scene. Hollow Cry is breaking down barriers in their home country and now in America. Their first single is titled ‘Procrastinated’ – check out the lyric video below. Keep an eye on this band, check them out.

 

The National’s Bryce Dessner Expands His Robert Mapplethorpe Live Tribute

Named Collaborative Partner with the San Francisco Symphony, Adds 2019 Worldwide Performances of Immersive Work on Robert Mapplethorpe Triptych (Eyes of One on Another).    (Above photo by Anne Mie Dreves.)

By Blurt Staff

This just in from the Bryce Dessner camp:

Situated somewhere between erotic heat and cool classicism, the work of controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe obliterates the high-low divide, exploding classical conceptions of beauty.

Fueled by a lifelong fascination with the artist’s transgressive, sacred-profane vision, composer Bryce Dessner, in collaboration with librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle and directors Daniel Fish and Ashley Tata, invites us to experience these arresting images anew. Featuring photographic projections and a new score by Dessner, with poetry by Tuttle, Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith, along with adaring eight-person vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and a 12-piece chamber orchestra, the multimedia work Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)examines how we look and are looked at, bringing us face to face with our innermost desires, fears, and humanity.

Produced by ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann,the concert version of Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) will have  its world premiere March 5, 2019 with the LA Phil, and the world premiere of the theatrical version will be March 16-17, 2019 with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, MI. Additional performances include March 22, 2019 at Big Ears, Knoxville, TN, April 6, 2019 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ newly minted Direct Current festival in DC, June 6-8 at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House and the Canadian premiere on June 22 as part of Toronto’s Luminato, following the European premiere at Holland Festival in Amsterdam on June 17. Additional worldwide engagements in 2019-20 will be confirmed in North America, Europe, Australia and beyond.

Triptych World Premiere:

March 5, 2019, LA Phil, Los Angeles, CA (Concert Version)
Composed by Bryce Dessner
Libretto by Korde Arrington Tuttle
Featuring Poems by Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith
Directed by Daniel Fish & Ashley Tata
Production Concept by Daniel Fish
Produced by ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann
in Cooperation with The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Featuring Roomful of Teeth
Music Direction & Conducting by Brad Wells
Additional Cast Alicia Hall Moran and Isaiah Robinson

Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) – 2019 Performances
 
March 5 LA Phil, Los Angeles, CA   Disney Hall, (World Premiere, Concert Version)
March 16-17 Ann Arbor, MI   University Musical Society (World Premiere, Theatrical Version)
March 22 Knoxville, TN   Big Ears Festival
April 6 Washington, DC   Direct Current, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
June 6-8 Brooklyn, NY  BAM (New York Premiere)
June 22 Toronto, ON, CAN   Luminato  (Canadian Premiere)

 

Original Meat Puppets Lineup Returns w/New Album, Tour

Beloved “dusty” desert denizens hit the record store bins anew in March.

By Blurt Staff

Raise your hand if you caught the Meat Puppets during their ’80s heyday – and count us in, several times over. Now, against all odds, everyone else can witness the cranial-cracking glory that is Curt Kirkwood, Cris Kirkwood, and Derrick Bostrom, as the trio is about to drop their first album since 1995’s No Joke!, via Megaforce. A tour will ensue, naturally.

According to the Pups’ camp:

At their induction into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2017, the original lineup of the Meat Puppets – brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood and Bostrom – joined together onstage for the first time in over two decades.

Throughout a set that included era-defining songs like“Lake of Fire,” “Plateau” and “Backwater,” the chemistry was more than promising, as Bostrom isn’t shy to point out. “It was so intense that even I couldn’t deny it!  I remember why we did this. It was magical.”  “It was the psychedelic fuckin’ time machine,” adds Chris. “Mind-blowing.”

Dusty Notes also features keyboardist Ron Stabinsky, a jazz-trained virtuoso adept at any style, and Curt’s son Elmo, whose old-school rock-guitar grit ideally complements his father’s spacier explorations. Intuitive, inspired and overflowing with genuine musicianship, it’s the sort of band that can transform what Curt describes as “simple yet engaging” songs into maiden voyages each night on the road. “I can ignore my vocal and listen to the other four guys play,” Kirkwood laughs. “They’re all so good.”

“The band has been a really, really deep font of creativity,” Derrick said. “Love it or hate it, hit or miss, Curt is just prodigious. They are still living the rock lifestyle; they’re not doing it by half measures. They stayed on the road. These guys are uncompromising. I consider the Meat Puppets to be a national treasure.

 

Below, check out new track “Warranty.” More details here .

Video: Finland’s Tuomo & Markus Commemorate John Lennon’s 1980 Passing

New album from from soul/jazz artist and Latebirds singer, respectively, released earlier in 2018 on the Schoolkids Records label (also a Raleigh/Chapel Hill store and, not incidentally, Blurt’s sister business).

By Blurt Staff

Tuomo & Markus have shared the live video for their cover of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy,” paying tribute to the music icon who passed 38 years ago. Recorded in the band’s hometown of Helsinki, Finland, they were joined by acclaimed Finnish jazz trumpeter Verneri Pohjola and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche on drums.  You can see the video below:

Tuomo & Markus is the new musical project from acclaimed Finnish soul/jazz artist Tuomo Prättälä and singer/songwriter Markus Nordenstreng of The Latebirds; the duo released their debut album Dead Circles via Schoolkids Records in September of this year. Dead Circles was recorded in Tucson, AZ after a few spontaneous sessions at Wavelab Studios which featured John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of Wilco; John Convertino, Joey Burns and Jakob Valenzuela of Calexico; and Gary Louris of The Jayhawks.

You can stream the debut LP Dead Circles here. Upcoming US shows:

2/21: Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue (supporting The Jayhawks)
1/12: New York, NY – Winter Jazzfest
1/18: Minneapolis, MN – The Cedar Cultural Center

 

Incoming: Long Ryders LP – 1st New Studio Record in Over 3 Decades

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.

Tracklisting:

 

  • Greenville
  • Let It Fly
  • Molly Somebody
  • All Aboard
  • Gonna Make It Real
  • If You Want To See Me Cry
  • What The Eagle Sees
  • California State Line
  • The Sound
  • Walls
  • Bells Of August
  • Psychedelic Country Soul

 

RSD Black Friday Vinyl: Perry Serpa’s “Songs Inspired By Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked ” (Schoolkids Recs)

By Blurt Staff

So hopefully you read our recent feature/interview with singer/songwriter (and longtime music industry icon) Perry Serpa: “ABOUT A SONGWRITER: Perry Serpa does Nick Hornby.” As contributor John Moore wrote:

Perry Serpa, singer/songwriter best known for his work with the brilliant indie pop band The Sharp Things (profiled in 2014 at BLURT),  has brought fiction to life with his latest project: Wherefore Art Thou? Songs Inspired By Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked. Admittedly we’re treading pretty close to Being John Malkovich territory here, but Perry’s record (10 songs, just as described in the book) is simply sublime. Getting help from a number of his friends, Perry was even able to convince Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5) to guest on a track. McCaughey, fittingly, is one of the musicians mentioned in Hornby’s book who played on the (fictional) Tucker Crowe tribute album… take a moment to let that sink in.

The album arrives today on vinyl LP as part of the annual Record Store Day Black Friday event, courtesy our sister business, Schoolkids Records. Below is the press release from Schoolkids. So get off your butt, go support your local independent record retailer, and check out Mr. Serpa!

————————————————–

“Magnificent. I love every song, words and music. It works completely on its own terms and sounds complete in a way that very few albums do anymore.”
-Nick Hornby


“The mid-70s derived hooks and instrumental flourishes are plentiful, but the standouts, fittingly, are the bookends: opener “And You Are?” features a Dylanesque vocal by Scott McCaughey of The Minus Five and the seven-minute closing opus, “You And Your Perfect Life” recalls Ray Davies at his most conceptual.”  
UNCUT


“From Wuthering Heights to Paranoid Android, there’s no shortage of songs inspired by works of fiction.But how about making an entire record based on a fictional album that’s described in a novel? That’s what Perry Serpa has done with Wherefore Art Thou? – a collection of unorthodox, literate indie songs built around clues scattered throughout Nick Hornby’s 2009 book, Juliet, Naked.”
 –BBC NEWS

“Now, Perry Serpa, singer/songwriter best known for his work with the brilliant indie pop band The Sharp Things… has brought fiction to life with his latest project: Wherefore Art Thou? Songs Inspired By Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked. Admittedly we’re treading pretty close to Being John Malkovich territory here, but Perry’s record (10 songs, just as described in the book) is simply sublime.” 
 BLURT

“What’s most impressive about Wherefore Art Thou? is that it’s mostly Serpa by his lonesome, creating not only a great album but also one that holds its own with its source material.”
 –MAGNET

“The album covers a wide range, stylistically, but they all sport Serpa’s smart songwriting.”

NO DEPRESSION

““And You Are?” is the opening track on the imaginary album, so likewise opens Serpa’s. And what a wonderful, evocative piece of retro, semi-baroque folk rock it is.” –FINGERTIPS MUSIC

Serpa notes, “The album is my version of the fictional album described in ‘Juliet, Naked’. I sang & played most of the instruments, but it also includes guests like beloved Americana singer/songwriter Laura Cantrell, Aja Warren, Edward Rogers, Don Piper and my son, Aidan, playing some mean lead guitar. A brilliant fellow named Ron Raymond played slide guitar and m’man James Pertusi mastered it and helped me record some of it as well.”

Track Premiere: JM Lansdowne “Baby Blue”

“A multitude of great memories”: sonic gem plucked from songwriter’s new EP that arrives in stores THIS WEEK.

By John B. Moore

JM Lansdowne really hit the nail on the hit with the title of his latest EP, Clean & Unholy.

With a crumpling marriage, scoring drugs competing with his shows, and then the sudden death of someone close to him, Lansdowne knew he had to change, so he began the hard path to get clean and sober. The result can be heard all over this powerful new record.

BLURT is stoked to be able to share the song “Baby Blue,” off this new EP:

Lansdowne reflects on the track, noting, “‘Baby Blue’ is one hell of a special tune. For me, it reminds me of the good times and highlights a multitude of great memories. It’s one of those songs that talks of going out drinking with your girl, who probably can’t hold as much alcohol as she lets on… Then come the shenanigans, but you’re cool with it cause you’re crazy about her and could care less about anything else.”

The 7-song Clean & Unholy is due out this Friday, November 23, via Paper + Plastick Records. It was recorded in Dallas, Texas; Valparaiso, Indiana; and Lima, Ohio by Quentin Black. Keep tabs on Lansdowne, along with touring dates, at his Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Amanda Wilson

Deen Ween Connects Weed & Music in “Total Sense” Venue Move

Rock over (and under, and in and around…) Denver!

By Blurt Staff

Dean Ween, salt, er, we mean ALT rocker Dean Ween, late of alt rock band WEEN, is looking to establish his Denver-based Honeypot Lounge with some pro-weed bonafides: you’d be able to drop into the music venue – say, before, during, or after an event at the massive nearby Coors Field – and start toking up with your posse.

Said Honeypot Lounge COO Michael Polansky to the Denver Post, “I think cannabis and music make total, total sense together. We think that we can offer a unique kind of musical experience for Denver and the world. Social consumption is the next frontier.”

Plans are to open in April of next year. Stay tuned for developments – as one might imagine of a stoners paradise scenario, there is no location yet targeted nor has a license been applied for.

Woodstock 50th “still happening” – for what purpose?

Save the planet, yo…

By Uncle Blurt

i attended the original Woodstock Music & Arts Festival, and while it was, admittedly, a cultural touchstone, it was also a logistical and physical nightmare. My son subsequently attended the mud-soaked, dehydrated fiasco that was Woodstock ’94, and it fared similarly. There was also some half-baked 40th anniversary “traveling troupe” iteration in 2009 called “Heroes of Woodstock” that is rightly forgotten.

In short, historical markers being what they are, let them remain where they are.

But nostalgia – and cash grabs – rule in 2018, so as Stereogram points out, original Woodstock promoter Michael Lang is pledging to come up with at least something next year to mark the big 5 – 0. Below is the report, and with no other commentary than “Bah!” we will turn the matter over to the court of the steadily-greying court of public opinion.

 

Woodstock’s 50th anniversary is coming up next year. An anniversary concert has been talked about for a while now. This summer, when archeologists dug up the festival field in Bethel, NY where the festival took place, there was mention of the on-site museum planning interactive walking routes in time for its anniversary in 2019.

And in a new interview with The Poughkeepsie Journal, one of the festival’s original promoters Michael Lang said that there were “definite plans” for a 50th anniversary event. “This is not a done deal yet. But it’s very close,” he said, noting that an official announcement is in the works.

“We’re hoping to inspire people to speak up and get involved and get out and vote and help us save the planet,” Lang told the Journal. “We are in trouble and it seems like we’ve been brought back in time in a lot of ways.”

There is, of course, precedent for massive Woodstock anniversary concerts. For its 40th anniversary in 2009, a troupe of musicians who performed at the original event went on a traveling tour that included a stop on the Bethel grounds.

 

Celebrate Record Store Day’s Black Friday Sale w/Schoolkids Records!

It’s that time!

Join Schoolkids Records Nov 22 for Black Friday 2018! Kick off the holiday season in high style. We will have a giant selection of picture discs, 7″ singles, rare and unreleased music. From A Perfect Circle to The Zombies, these are one-time only releases. Once they sell out, they are gone forever! you can view all the Black Friday releases here.

For those who do not know, Record Store Day was created to celebrate independently owned record stores. It’s day to bring the community together to celebrate the love of music. Records are pressed in specifically for this day. They are limited in the number pressed as well. These releases are only available at stores participating in RSD.  For many of these releases, it is the first time they have been available on vinyl. Unreleased music, live performances and picture discs from a wide variety of artists and genres highlight the day. Both of our locations will be open at 8 am.m to celebrate this day of friendship, love and music!
And yeah, Schoolkids is the Blurt sister business, so whattaya waiting for? Go get in line!