It should come as no surprise to even the casual visitor of this site, that GospelbeacH is a Blurt favorite. So much so that many of you know to come here for regular song premieres from the band – late last year we offered up a track from their 2018 gem Another Winter Alive, for example. And their 2017 offering wound up on many of our contributors’ best-of releases for that year, with editor Mills observing, “The band’s debut album, 2015’s Pacific Surf Line, wasn’t shy about its Cali worship; two of GospelbeacH founder Brent Rademaker’s other groups, psychedelic warriors The Tyde and mystic Americana wranglers Beachwood Sparks, have shared similar sentiments. But Another Summer of Love is a remarkable achievement unto itself.”
We don’t like to disappoint, (the feckless leaders in D.C. have that role handled) so here’s a first listen of the song “Let It Burn,” the title track off the band’s soon to be released new LP. The song boasts a cameo by the brilliant, late Neal Casal who passed away just weeks ago.
“‘Let It Burn’ became a secret little mantra in my head while dealing with some heavy changes in my life, mainly loss. Letting go wasn’t good enough I had to burn those negative feelings before they killed me,” said singer-songwriter-guitarist Brent Rademaker. “Trevor [Beld Jimenez] and I came up with some verses to my open C-minor tuning and we cut it live with a cool flat dry 1970s production by Jonny Niemann. The great Nelson Bragg orchestrated the perfect So-Cal harmonies.
“Little did I know I would need to call on that mantra again, when just months after finishing the album we would lose our dear brother Neal Casal. Neal’s otherworldly guitar playing weaves this whole song perfectly together and the outro solo that closes the whole album says more to me than any lyric we could’ve written. Neal made GospelbeacH legit, when we told him we were making a “rock” record he just shook his hand and shushed me up, plugged in and played his guitar…no second takes.” Hesaid, “Just let it burn.”
GospelbeacH’s Let It Burnwill be available October 4th on Limited Edition Colored Vinyl (grab it here, as I did – Ed. Mills) CD, digital and streaming formats via Alive Naturalsound Records.
Live, appropriately enough, at Brooklyn’s Gran Torino, the Pittsburgh garage-rock heavyweights covered a classic LP in full, and in the process, blew the roof off the sucka. Watch our video exclusives, below.
TEXT/PHOTOS/VIDEO BY JONATHAN LEVITT
It’s a wonderful thing when you love a band for almost 30 years and finally get to see them live. Last night was the night that The Cynics roared into town and scorched everything in sight with a blistering set celebrating their stone-cold classic album Rock ’N’ Roll. (I wrote about the album for Blurt back in 2015.)
Playing the album from start to finish provided a thrill that went by in the blink of an eye. I sang along with every song and had to pinch myself that I was really witnessing this. I’ll know it was real because the documentary crew that was filming the band last night ended up interviewing me for the film. You can contribute money to help the filmmakers achieve their vision by going to this GoFundMe link. (Amen. – Uncle Blurt)
The band, which is about to embark on another Spanish tour, have just repressed the album on heavyweight vinyl with a bonus live LP. Set to be released in September, the LP is currently only available at gigs with a tote and badge as a bonus. (Preorder it at the Get Hip Records website.) (I just did. – Uncle Blurt)
For our Blurt readers and especially for good ol’ Uncle Blurt, I filmed a few songs from the show so you can witness some of the magic from last night. Long live The Cynics!
One of our fave, longest-running, indie outfits returns with a lascivious, blinded-by-science masterpiece culled from their new “Hunny Bunny” EP. No, we have no idea what is going on in the above photo, but we sure as shit dig it…
BY JOHN B. MOORE
It’s been eight long years since their last release, but clearly The New Duncan Imperials still had more left to say.
The band – know for satisfyingly gritty rock and roll, with roots in white trash culture, punk rock, indie pop and just about every influence in between – make more joyous noise than any guys from Illinois not in Cheap Trick should be allowed to make.
So Blurt was grateful when the band asked us to share the latest video and title track from the Hunny Bunny EP, a continuation of the New Duncan Imperials sound that dates back to the early 1990s. Check it out:
“In The New Duncan Imperials’ latest release, a teen-age heroine (Hunny Bunny) stomps all opposition as she thwarts the band’s schemes of world dominion,” said bassist/vocalist Kenn Goodman (aka Skipper). “Set to a Godzilla-sized riff and the band’s trademark blend of hard-rock cliche bending and left-field lyrics (“You smoke the world like a salmon on a tray”), “Hunny Bunny” is loud, weird, and weirdly adorable.”
Incidentally, our esteemed editor here at Blurt personally submitted the following testimonial: “I’ve been listening to these rock ‘n’ roll miscreants for ages – no, you can’t have your money back, if you ever bought one of their records based on my suggestion, but I will buy you a beer next time you feel like getting in my face – and this tune completely brings me to my soon-to-be-replaced garage-rockin’ knees. What the hell are you looking at this website for? GO BUY THE DAMN RECORD!”
Instant classic tune has its roots on their latest album, Songs From The Land Of Nod.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Somewhere between gritty garage rock and glam punk resides the New York-based trio Beechwood.
And damn, if it’s not a pretty cool place to live.
So when asked, Blurt jumped at the opportunity to host the premiere of their song “I Know It’s Not Right,” one of the outtakes from their 2018 album Songs From The Land Of Nod.
“I was in bad shape when I wrote and recorded this song,” said the band’s Gordon Lawrence. “I was physically and mentally broken and didn’t see a way out at the time, but I still believed that things would get better, even at my worst. I just didn’t know what that would look like or when it would be. It’s hard for me to listen this song because I don’t like to think of that time, but at least I was self aware enough to come out and say ‘I know it’s not right.’ I’ve never tried to justify what I was doing, but I knew it was wrong. I just didn’t know how to get help until about two years later. Recordings capture a moment in time, and as dark as things may have been, I’m still happy that I was able to capture how I felt, just in case I ever forget.”
Songs From The Land Of Nod was one of two records the band put out last year (the other being Inside The Flesh Hotel). Beechwood is heading to European shortly for a spate of dates.
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
Trippy track plucked from the group’s recently released debut on Cornelius Chapel. (Photo credit: Jackie Lo)
By John B. Moore
Less than two years after the Alabama-based Holiday Gunfire came together over fireworks, booze and BBQ, the group is already out with their self-titled debut LP. The record is a raucous, wildly diverse tour through the world of rock, drawing in influences across the spectrum from punk and garage to power pop and ’90s alternative.
Given that, BLURT jumped at the opportunity to host the trippy video premiere for the band’s latest single, “She’s Got A Machine.”
“The initial idea of the song happened when I was visiting the Hemingway House in Key West,” said Lester Nuby III. “I had the idea of an actual physical machine that someone could use to break someone’s heart. Destroy their life/Kill their spirit. What would that look like? Where is it kept? And over time, the person that uses it also is destroyed. A true uplifter! Enjoy!”
We’re stoked to be able to premiere a video of a track from Russell’s new album Medium Cool (issued Feb. 22 on Fluff & Gravy )titled “At Your Feet,” so take a look below. It was directed by NYC musician Luke Rathborne, who was also behind videos for Those Pretty Wrongs. Our own John B. Moore, in his review of the album, enthused how Russell shuns “trendy musical fades for a timeless set of guitar-driven, strong narrative songs that could have come out at any time over the past 40 years.”
“For me,” says Russell, “the key to this song is in the bridge. ‘Hear the rose parade / marching through town / The new pom-pom girls / Make the same old sound’. The old guard switches to the new, and that goes for love and its inevitable fog of war. We’ve all had the feeling where the one we need most sees all but you, lying pale and impaled at their feet.
“Jason Hiller brings a rolling understanding with his bass after the bridge and all the colors refracted by the rain bleed down the windshield. Count it as a loss, but a bittersweet one.”
Yours truly reviewed Russell’s 2018 anthology,Selective Memories, writing, “Although he’s not quite a rock ‘n’ roll Zelig, Luther Russell has reared his head in enough disparate settings — from the Bootheels (with Jakob Dylan, no less) in the late ‘80s and the Freewheelers in the ‘90s, to myriad solo incarnations (that found him in the company of such talents as Marc Ford from the Black Crowes and Ethan Johns) and, most recently, guesting at the Wild Honey Orchestra tribute concert – to presume that his music industry Rolodex is pretty damn fat. The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist also finds time to team up with Big Star’s Jody Stephens as Those Pretty Wrongs, so he’s got pretty damn good taste, too.”
So what are you waiting for? Check out Russell’s latest and prepare to be amazed.
Young indie-folk chanteuse has got the right stuff.
By Fred Mills
Everyone, by now, has contended – and sometimes dueled – with suggestion engines and bots. You know, those oftentimes annoying boxes that appear on your screen below something you’ve been browsing on the web, as in “similar items,” “you may also like,” “other shoppers liked these,” etc. Here in the music biz, the strategy even predates Amazon in the form of the once-ubiquitous “RIYL” notations (aka “Recommended If You Like”) that would typically accompany an album review.
But whatever happened to the old-school “hey man, you gotta check out this artist/band/record, it’s right up your alley, and it’s just plain awesome!” that your friends or coworkers came rushing up to you on a Monday morning? Or, for that matter, whatever happened to us just reading record reviews and trusting the reviewer’s judgment?
Please allow me to “suggest,” then, indie-folk artist Peyton Brock who was recommended to me by a friend whose musical taste I can definitely trust. Ms. Brock is 13 years old and she lives in Georgia. On my initial listen I could hear elements of a young Mary Lou Lord, possibly a touch of lo-fi era Liz Phair, and – given the singer’s age – indie female singer-songwriters here in the contemporary era. The music is relatively minimalist, giving her sweet vocals an open sandbox within which to dance, and she is very, very cool. I predict that with time and experience, she’s also going to blossom into someone very, very special to a lot of people.
I’ll spare any more of my hype, and just let you check her out yourself. I suspect you’ll be playing it over and over….
For their third effort, Picture Us, the Melbourne-based five piece Money For Rope opted to produce, mix and master the entire record on their own. And it’s hard to argue with the results: a record brimming with energetic garage and surf rock, punctuated with strong moments of soul and psych.
You can hear for yourself with the Blurt premiere of the trippy title track.
“When I was young and left home alone along with my brother, I was surprised by my parents, who had returned home from holidays early; possibly as an act of deserving untrustworthiness,” said singer/songwriter/guitarist Jules McKenzie, describing the song. “I was rapidly cleaning up from a party, and wearing what was, unaware to me, dad’s best suit.
“It seems that when you are young you long to be older, and I wonder if when I am older, I will long to be young again. I wonder if there is a point in the middle where it crosses, and how I will feel about love. We recorded this through walkie-talkies we had as kids, where there was a ledger above a large orange button that gave the alphabet in morse code.”
The album, set for release next week, on Friday, March 8 ,on Cheersquad Records & Tapes, was recorded over the course of one long hot Australian summer.