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.
This ace track from the rocker’s recent demos/rarities compilation “was like trying to scratch a squid’s back while blindfolded”—but indeed, the band managed to turn it into something! Watch the lyric video, below. And check out our 2018 interview with Mr. Polonsky as well.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
While it may have appeared like Jonny Polonsky was taking it pretty easy in the 22 years since his amazing debut, Hi, My Name is Jonny, came out, it turns out he was pretty busy all along. Aside from the handful of EPs and LPs he’s put out, Polonsky had been hording a slew of unreleased songs and demos (18, at least).
When Polonsky asked us to share the video for ‘The Same Song,’ we jumped at the opportunity. Well, not literally jumped, but did give an enthusiastic ‘Fuck, yeah!’. Again, not literally out loud, but in our heads.”
“I wrote the chorus to ‘The Same Song”’sometime in the late ‘90s and had it lying around for a long time. I knew it was strong but it just lay around like a head without a body for a long time and I figured that was that.
“In 2002 I moved to Los Angeles and reconnected with Lyle Workman, who I had met when he played guitar in a Frank Black’s band. Lyle is a great guitarist and a really nice guy, and he had a home studio so I thought it would be fun to work on a track.
“I played him the chorus and he helped me figure out a verse. I would play and sing some ideas, he’d say, ‘go up, no, go down, less movement’—it was like trying to scratch a squid’s back while blindfolded, but we managed to turn it into something.
“We brought in Nick Vincent, another Frank Black alum, who had played drums on the original FB-produced demos that had gotten me signed. Nick did a great job, I laid down guitars, bass and vocals, and we finished the entire thing in a day.”
Get aHEAD of the curve and check out this awesome outfit… the March tour dates, too!
By John B. Moore
London by way of Seattle blues trio Lonesome Shack, cite everyone from Canned Heat to Lee “Scratch” Perry as influences. And those eclectic sonic connections come through loud and clear on “The City Is A Desert” off their new LP Desert Dreams. Blurt is stoked to premiere this new track for you.
“London is the biggest, most exciting city I’ve ever lived in and there are all kinds of people everywhere you look. You might say it’s the total opposite of where I used to live in Alma, NM,” said Lonesome Shack singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Todd. “It’s so inspiring to be in such a thriving metropolis but there are these times when you’re packed in the tube like a sardine and you feel so far away from everyone. Or you’re walking down a crowded street and you’ve never felt so anonymous. Or you’re in a tall building looking down on a never ending urban sprawl and you feel like you’re seeing the expansive desert from the top of a mountain in New Mexico. Luckily in the desert, magic and loneliness walk hand in hand.”
Lonesome Shack’s Desert Dreams will be available March 1st on Limited Edition Vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats via Alive Naturalsound Records.
SoCal kings of cool serve up another winner – not to mention a stunning looking slab o’ wax.
By John B. Moore
If Blurt had a house band, there’s a pretty good chance the laidback, LA-based Indie Pop band GospelbeacH would be in the running. No less than our editor Fred Mills called last year’s sumptuous sophomore platter,Another Summer of Love, “not only perfectly titled, it’s a study in both perfect conception and perfect execution”; longtime contributor Barry St. Vitus described 2015’s Pacific Surf Line as a classic release as“viewed through the lens of the Buffalo Springfield, Flying Burrito Brothers, Chris Darrow and others who pioneered the sound and glorified So-Cal’s gilded palace of sin and sun with a country spin early on.”
So imagine how stoked we were to be asked to premiere the song “ Runnin’ Blind,” off their soon-to-be-released Another Winter Alive.
“‘Runnin’ Blind’ is our attempt to blend Krautrock with The Everly Brothers…lyrically it’s one of those prophetic songs that weren’t real at the time but life ended up imitating art,” said singer-songwriter Brent Rademaker.
The album features five previously unreleased studio tracks recorded during the band’s sessions for Another Summer Of Love plus five live songs recorded in London during their California Fantasy tour, revisiting stripped-down live versions of songs from their debut album Pacific Surf Line.
GospelbeacH’s Another Winter Alive will be available on Limited Edition Vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats on November 30th via Alive Naturalsound Records.
Young Music City indie rock quartet submits dreamy standout from recent debut album.
By John B. Moore
The Nashville-based foursome Fine Lines technically may still be the new kids in town – together for under two years – but damn, have they managed to zero on an impressive sound during that short period of time. Made up of refugees from the Alabama and Indiana music scenes, the band’s members came together in Music City, USA and quickly got to work on their debut record, Contact.
After listening to this stellar album, we are stoked to premiere a video for their single “Morning Sun.”
“”Morning Sun” is a song I wrote one snowy weekend while visiting my hometown of Indianapolis,” says singer/guitarist Chris Probasco. “It’s about leaving a place that was once familiar and returning to feel like a stranger. It’s about finding companionship in that loneliness.
The video was shot live in the East Nashville home studio of Don Bates as a part of his “Around the House” series. Don, who was also the engineer on our album, Contact, set the band up in his living-room-turned-studio and operated a single camera, capturing the band in a completely unique setting.”
Along with Probasco, Fine Lines also includes bassist Dustyn Roth, singer/songwriter and guitarist B.L. Reed, and drummer James Thompson.
The band has two upcoming shows, November 9th at Ghost Train Brewing Co. in Birmingham, AL and December 16th at Reggie’s in Chicago. Tour dates and more: https://finelinesband.com/home
A Blurt Boot Video Exclusive: Simon Bonney & Bronwyn Adams (Live NYC) 5/14/2019 WARSAW
Filmed by Jonathan Levitt. Check out Bonney's latest record "Past, Present, Future" http://smarturl.it/SimonBonney
A Blurt Boot Exclusive: Psychedelic Furs "Only You and I" (Live Costa Mesa CA 7-19-18
Tribute: Tony Kinman (R.I.P.) and Rank And File - Video from "Long Gone Dead"
Blurt Audio Exclusive: Thin White Rope "The Fish Song" (from 2018 remaster of The Ruby Sea