Oz rock fans, unite: one tour poster is worth a thousand words… And hey, who’s that Kim Salmon bloke mentioned in the support slots?!? – Aussie Ed.
No truth to the rumor the band will be opening on the summer 2017 Banana Splits reunion tour, however.
By Blurt Staff
If you’re not familiar with the Dexateens, you will be in a moment. These rock ‘n’ roll primates aren’t just aping popular styles and trendy fads—they’re positively simian in their approach to music. Hailing from the urban zoo of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the band serves up a Southern brew of garage punk and dirt-road boogie, and it’s no surprise that they got started on the legendary Estrus Records label, going on to work with the likes of Patterson Hood and David Barbe as well as Tim Kerr – no strangers to primal primate sounds. They took a hiatus from 2010 to 2013—go here to read a review of their 5-out-of-5-stars record from that comeback year—but since then it’s been full speed ahead.
Here’s a fresh taste:
According to guitarist Elliott McPherson, “The song is about going to church as a child, hitting puberty and getting obsessed with the bad girl on the back pew. The moral of the story is that sometimes the church itself can become a place where the evils of the world can creep in and contaminate what is supposed to be a righteous experience….. and that maybe the true church is the act of genuine love and not a place with doors.”
Boy howdy to that. Look for 2016’s Teenage Hallelujah in fine stores everywhere, and keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Stars In Bars. The band is touring (in Tupelo tonight, in fact), and you can find out more about ‘em at their official website. Trust us, they are no chimps, er, we mean, chumps.
4/20 The Thirsty Devil – Tupelo, MS
4/21 Proud Larry’s – Oxford, MS
4/22 Spring Fest – Huntsville, AL
5/4 JJ’s Bohemia – Chattanooga, TN
5/5 Barley’s Taproom – Knoxville, TN
5/6 Trailfest 2017 – Woodstock, GA
5/19 Martin’s Bar – Jackson, MS
5/20 Historic Downtown Anniston w/St Paul and the Broken Bones – Anniston, AL
By Blurt Staff
The veddy proper rock band The Upper Crust just dropped a new album, Delusions of Grandeur, and they’ve also announced tour dates (with more to come – apparently with the Supersuckers). Now they’ve got a fresh video for fans, “Little Castrato,” and you can view it below.
4/22 Newbury Comics Norwood MA in-store
4/28 Once Ballroom Somerville MA record release
5/6 Pressroom Portsmouth NH
5/20 POP Emporium Providence RI
5/25 Bottom of the Hill SF
5/26 HOLD Eugene OR
5/27 Funhouse Seattle WA
6/11 Thunder Road Somerville MA w Dwarves
Hats off! The spirit Don Van Vliet has re-entered the building. Posthumous album due in July, followed by a full US tour in August.
By Herbert Cohen, Jr.
MOJAVE, CALIF.: It’s like déjà vu all over again! The legendary Captain Beefheart, who passed away in 2010, and whose last foray into the music industry was in 1982, apparently recorded an album with his Magic Band prior to his death – totally out of the public eye, and apparently not seeing the light of day until now. And there’s to be a Magic Band reunion tour in order to belatedly bring this music to the stage.
The tour will have its official unveiling at Bonnaroo in June, and then get
in full gear starting early August and running into mid September. The opening
act is to be P.J. Harvey & John Parish and Parish will also be pulling
double-duty on guitar in the Magic Band due to Gary Lucas’ prior commitments
with his own Gods And Monsters. The other players include John
“Drumbo” French and Michael Traylor on drums, Rockette Morton on
bass, and Denny Waller on guitar, plus an as-yet-unnamed keyboard player.
One very special guest: Tom Waits, who contributes
“backing vocals” (term used loosely) on the tunes “Taiwan in
Tupperware” and “Ming the Merciless’ Chimpanzee.”
The eponymous album is described as “a mixture of folk, rock and
extemporaneous da-da boogie, along with at least one avant-garde Tex-Mex
medley, and a freewheeling cover of Robert Johnson’s country-blues classic
“Me and the Devil Blues.” Sessions were produced by Ry Cooder and featured the Magic Band augmented by some of the same players who appear on
Cooder’s acclaimed 2007 album My Name is Buddy (e.g. Jim Keltner, Mike
Elizondo, Cooder’s son Joachim and, on the aforementioned Tex-Mex number,
accordionist Flaco Jimenez). Captain Beefheart will be released by Nonesuch (also Cooder’s current label) on July 5 in the UK and July 6 in the US.
Beefheart (a/k/a Don Van Vliet), in typically left-field manner, didn’t pursue the project via the usual channels (his official MySpace page, Pitchfork.com, etc.) but via a series of private conversations at the 2009 Annual Van Vliet Family picnic, located at a state park near his home in Mojave, Calif. The estate of longtime Beefheart manager Herb Cohen this week in an official statement noted, “With Mr. Cohen’s longtime friend Don’s unreleased music now seeing release, the musical world will finally get a firsthand taste of the quality rock ‘n’ roll that it has been sorely missing for the past quarter-century.” (Note: Cohen recently passed away, sadly.)
At the time, the only clues that Beefheart was indeed ready to return to recording (and possibly touring) was at the picnic during a toast, when the notoriously curmudgeonly performer snorted, ripped what appeared to be a lyric sheet in half, and said, “‘The higher you go, the rarer the vegetation.’ Salvador Dali said that, although I don’t know where he got it. I think I’ve read it in a classic of one sort or another. Or older classic. What do you think about
that? Am I right or wrong? Although there really is no right or wrong. The truth has no patterns.”
Now we know that Beefheart subsequently filmed a video in which he discussed the record, the
tour and his artistry in general. Just this morning, it was posted in low-key fashion to YouTube –
you can view it HERE – although in typical Beefheart fashion, his comments are
maddeningly elliptical. He’s still got a bit of the prankster to him too: the
interview is interspersed with random archival clips and earlier news reports,
so you have to pay very careful attention to the entire video.
For those not in the know of truth and its patterns, Beefheart, born in 1941
in Glendale, Calif., emerged in the early ‘60s as a
protégé of Frank Zappa. His 1969 album Trout Mask Replica regularly figures on Top 100 Albums of All Time lists, and he also exerted a
huge influence among the punk and new wave bands of the late ‘70s and early
‘80s, who embraced his final trifecta of albums-1978’s Shiny Beast,
1980’s Doc at the Radar Station and 1982’s Ice Cream for Crow as benchmarks of DIY bloody-minded artistic inventiveness.
According to the Wikipedia Beefheart entry, “Since the end of his musical career around 1982, Van Vliet has made few public appearances, preferring a quiet life in his
California home where he has concentrated on a career in painting. His interest
in art dates back to a childhood talent for sculpting and his work-employing
what has been surmised as a ‘neo-primitive abstract-expressionist aesthetic,’
has received international recognition. Several of Van Vliet’s former band
members recently reformed as a group, and toured as The Magic Band from 2003 to
Fun fact: in recent years, P.J. Harvey and Beefheart somehow struck
up a correspondence and established a kind of confidante-mentor relationship.
There’s no official word from either artist’s camp whether or not this had
anything to do with the good Captain’s re-emergence, but certainly Harvey’s encouragement
and support didn’t hurt. Having her and Parish on the tour, then, is a logical
and laudable strategy. Kindred spirits, all.
Meanwhile, Precision Made, a newly-formed imprint of Handmade, which itself
is an imprint of Rhino Records, will be issuing a limited-to-5000-copies
Beefheart box set, provisionally titled Flight of the Blimp.
The five-disc archival collection will contain rarities, outtakes, and live material
culled from the artist’s Straight/Reprise/Warner Brothers years and reportedly
does not overlap with the Revenant label’s 1999 Grow Fins rarities
box. It’s set for a late July or early August release, full details tba.
Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band 2017 Tour Dates:
06-9 Manchester TN – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival,
08-06 George, WA – The Gorge (Sasquatch! Festival)
08-07 Vancouver, British Columbia – Orpheum
08-08 Vancouver, British Columbia – Orpheum
08-10 Portland, OR – Keller Auditorium
08-12 Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre
08-15 Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre
08-16 Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre
08-17 Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre
08-18 Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre
08-19 Phoenix, AZ – Dodge Theatre
08-22 Denver, CO – Red Rocks
08-23 Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theater
08-24 St. Louis, MO – Fabulous Fox Theater
08-26 Minneapolis, MN – Orpheum Theater
08-27 Minneapolis, MN – Orpheum Theater
08-29 Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theater
08-30 Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theater
08-31 Chicago, IL – Auditorium Theater
09-08 Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
09-09 Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre
09-10 Columbus, OH – Ohio Theatre
09-12 Cincinnati, OH – Music Hall
09-13 Louisville, KY – Palace Theatre
09-14 Cleveland, OH – Playhouse Square Center State Theatre
09-16 Toronto, Ontario – Molson Amphitheatre
09-19 Providence, RI – Performing Arts Center
09-20 Boston, MA – Opera House
09-21 Boston, MA – Opera House
09-24 New York, NY – Keyspan Park
09-27 Columbia, MO – Merriweather Post Pavilion
09-28 Atlantic City, NJ – House of Blue
[Photo Credit: A.P. Rilfül/RETNA Images]
Heading back up to Cripple Creek one last time….
By Blurt Staff
What do Warren Haynes and Danny Louis of Govt. Mule, Dr. John, Jamey Johnson, Don Was, Terence Higgins, and Mark Mullins have in common? They’re all devotees of the legendary swansong by The Band—The Last Waltz, which took place four decades ago in San Francisco. This past December the the Last Waltz 40 Band convened in Asheville, NC, for the annual Haynes Christmas Jam, a benefit concert for Habitat For Humanity. Now the tour, having completed the first leg, will be kicking off a second leg March 30 in Dallas, then for the next couple of weeks will hit select markets in the Midwest and West.
By all accounts, this will be a big deal, particularly for folks—which would be just about everybody on the musical planet—who know the artists and songs from The Last Waltz album and Martin Scorcese-filmed documentary. In addition to the folks listed above, there will be an all-star horn section led by Mullins and featuring the original horn arrangements of Allen Toussaint, plus very special guests Garth Hudson (some dates), Cyril Neville, Dave Malone, and Bob Margolin. Other guests to be announced as the tour unfolds.
Go here for the full itinerary.
Celebrating the unveiling of an impressive 18-band roster of Tarheel bands.
By Blurt Staff
Recently a new independent booking outlet, To Be Heard Booking, launched in the North Carolina Triangle area (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) to help N.C. bands hit the road. They’ve already amassed an impressive, diverse, 18-band roster—viewable here—that includes The Veldt and Happy Abandon, the first two artists to sign with our sister business, the Schoolkids Records label (formerly Second Motion). (Below is Happy Abandon.)
To celebrate, To Be Heard is hosting a big launch party this coming weekend featuring 10 of those 18 groups—two parties, in fact. Friday night will be a The Cave in Chapel Hill, then the following evening the bash will be at Raleigh venue Slims. Both shows start at 8:30 and are $5. Details are below, and you can also get the low-down here at the booking agency’s website.
Friday March 17th – Chapel Hill, NC – The Cave
Body Games, Davidians, Al Riggs + The Big Sad, Majestic Vistas, and Ravary
Saturday March 18th – Raleigh, NC – Slims
Naked Gods, WIld Fur, SE Ward, Peter Vance of Happy Abandon (solo), Fluorescence
Classic country duet singing and kickass guitars. Catch ‘em this week at SXSW.
By Blurt Staff
Get set for the debut of Susanna Van Tassel and Dave Gonzalez, whose album Think We’re Gonna Be Alright will be dropping soon. Gonzalez, of course, hails from the Paladins and the Hacienda Brothers, beloved outfits among the roots, blues and Americana camps (the Haciendas took Group of the Year at the ’07 Americana Awards, in fact). He’s joined by Van Tassel, described as “a real honky-tonk sweetheart of the Austin country scene back at the start of the new millennium.” She released a couple of albums then took time off to be with the family and finish up her college degree.
Together the two aim at “reviving the great tradition of country duet singing combined with the blazing sound of baritone and steel guitars.” Meanwhile, they’ll be all over Austin this week during SXSW, so check out the details below if you do plan to be in Texas.
Mar 14 Broken Spoke/ 3201 S Lamar Blvd 6-8pm
Mar 16 Maria’s Taco Xpress/2529 S Lamar Blvd 7pm (25 min)
Mar 18 Continental Club/1315 S Congress Ave 2pm (45 min)
Mar 18 Antone’s Records/2928 Guadalupe St #101 6pm (30 min)
Mar 19 Sam’s Town Point/2115 Allred Dr 2pm (45 min)
“Global upheaval, extreme right wing politics and some fundamental human rights at risk”: is Bono talking about 1987 or 2017?
By Blurt Staff
In January, Ireland’s venerable Hot Press magazine published a special report on U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, which is to begin in mid-May in Vancouver, hit most of the major markets in the US, then head to the UK and Europe, ultimately wrapping the first week of August. It sold out nearly instantly – see the tour itinerary, below. BLURT’s very own Stephen Judge will be on hand for the July 22 concert in Dublin at Croke Park, so stay tuned for a full report from him this summer. Meanwhile, tune in to our Facebook page tomorrow, March 9, as Stephen will be hosting a Facebook live event in honor of the iconic album’s 30th anniversary in which he guides us around Dublin on a U2-themed walking tour.
According to Hot Press, “Each show on the tour will include a performance of The Joshua Tree in its entirety, with support in Dublin and the rest of Europe from special guest Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds—with Noel saying, ‘It will be both a pleasure and an honour to play my part in what still remains the greatest show on earth.’ Support duties in the States will be shared by OneRepublic, Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers.”
Bono was quoted in the story:
“It seems like we have come full circle from when The Joshua Tree songs were originally written, with global upheaval, extreme right wing politics and some fundamental human rights at risk. To celebrate the album – as the songs seem so relevant and prescient of these times too – we decided to do these shows, it feels right for now. We’re looking forward to it.
“Recently I listened back to The Joshua Tree for the first time in nearly 30 years,” the singer added. “It’s quite an opera. A lot of emotions which feel strangely current, love, loss, broken dreams, seeking oblivion, polarisation… all the greats… I’ve sung some of these songs a lot… but never all of them. I’m up for it, if our audience is as excited as we are… it’s gonna be a great night. Especially when we play at home. Croke Park… it’s where the album was born, 30 years ago.”
Go to the Hot Press link for a number of other Joshua Tree related stories.
The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 North America
Fri. May 12 Vancouver, BC BC Place Stadium
Sun. May 14 Seattle, WA CenturyLink Field
Wed. May 17 San Francisco, CA Levi’s Stadium
Sat. May 20 Los Angeles, CA Rose Bowl
Wed. May 24 Houston, TX NRG Stadium
Fri. May 26 Dallas, TX AT&T Stadium
Sat. June 3 Chicago, IL Soldier Field
Wed. June 7 Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Field
Sat. June 11 Miami, FL Hard Rock Stadium
Wed. June 14 Tampa, FL Raymond James Stadium
Sun. June 18 Philadelphia, PA Lincoln Financial Field
Tue. June 20 Washington, DC FedEx Field
Fri. June 23 Toronto, ON Rogers Centre
Sun. June 25 Boston, MA Gillette Stadium
Wed. June 28 E. Rutherford, NJ MetLife Stadium
Sat. July 1 Cleveland, OH First Energy
The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Europe
Sat. 8 July London, UK Twickenham Stadium
Wed. 12 July Berlin, DE Olympic Stadium
Sat., 15 July Rome, IT Olympic Stadium
Tue. 18 July Barcelona, ES Olympic Stadium
Sat. 22 July Dublin, IE Croke Park
Tue. 25 July Paris, FR Stade De France
Sat. 29 July Amsterdam, NE Amsterdam Arena
Tue. 1 Aug. Brussels, BE King Baudouin Stadium
Above: the remade/remodeled band sez, “Don’t fuck wit us or you get a switchblade between the eyes, pal.”
By Fred Mills
A couple of years ago we hailed the mighty Northwest garage monsters The Sonics, in an interview on the occasion of their first new album since 1967, This Is The Sonics. Now we’ve received word of a new tour and a new lineup for the legendary group:
The Sonics recently entered an exciting new chapter in their storied history, unveiling a retooled band lineup that teams original member Rob Lind (saxophone and harmonica) and longtime Sonics Freddie Dennis (bass and vocals) and Dusty Watson (drums) with a pair of new additions, guitarist Evan Foster (of Tacoma’s own Boss Martians) and keyboardist Jake Cavaliere (a member of L.A. garage-psych upstarts the Lords of Altamont). Founding members Gerry Roslie and Larry Parypa have chosen to step back from the rigors of touring, but remain a part of the Sonics family, and plan on continuing to contribute to the Sonics’ future recordings.
Yours truly caught the band a few years ago at SXSW at Emo’s in Austin when, standing shoulder to shoulder with a who’s-who of rock royalty all eager to see ’em, I was flattened by the volume and the viscosity. So this latest iteration will be hitting the road soon (dates below). According to Lind,
“As anyone in a touring band will tell you, touring is an arduous undertaking. When you get to be our age it’s a constant battle to get enough rest and learning how to perform when completely exhausted and then getting up the next day and doing it all over again. About eighteen months ago, Gerry decided he just couldn’t do it anymore, and he reluctantly stepped away. It was basically the same story with Larry; he just didn’t want to leave home and travel any longer. But they’re working on material for our next album and will join us in the studio.
“Dusty and Freddie have now been in the Sonics longer than the originals, and I’ve come to think of them as originals,” Lind continues, adding, “We were so incredibly lucky to find Jake Cavaliere and Evan Foster. They both were brought up on Sonics music and have been playing it since they were young boys, so they didn’t have to be taught anything. They already knew the sound that was required to be in this band. Jake and Evan were Sonics long before they ever played with us, and their transition has been easy and totally seamless.”
Thu., March 23 CHICAGO, IL Reggies
Fri., March 24 CLEVELAND OH Beachland
Sat., March 25 TORONTO, ONT Danforth Music Hall
Sun., March 26 DETROIT, MI El Club
Thu., April 6 HOUSTON, TX The Continental
Fri., April 7 DALLAS, TX Gas Monkey
Sat., April 8 AUSTIN, TX Rod and Custom Round Up
Sun., April 9 AUSTIN, TX The Continental
Thur., May 18 ATLANTA, GA Masquerade
Fri., May 19 CHARLOTTE, NC Neighborhood Theater
Sat., May 20 NASHVILLE, TN Muddy Roots Fest
It’s just selected dates in April, but we’ll take what we can get.
By Uncle Blurt
Now this is good end-of-year news, in a year where the news was uniformly bad: Miracle Legion, buoyed by the ecstatic reception to their scattered reunion shows in 2016, is planning to resume performing in 2017. First up: a couple of shows in early April followed by five more to close out that month. The beloved band will play gigs in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Philadelphia and NYC, as well as marquee shows in L.A. and San Francisco – dates are listed here. You can bet we’ll be catching as many as we can.
Sharp-eyed BLURT readers will recall the exhaustive interview with singer Mark Mulcahy that we published several years ago, as well as details of the 2016 reunion, a review of the vinyl reissue of the Portrait of a Damaged Family album, the exclusive track the band allowed us to post here at the site, and video clips from the first reunion show last April. So yeah, we’re just a teensy bit biased….
Photo: Kenneth Bachor