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.
Live at Union Pool, the Brokaw-Zedek guitar summit continues to stun even after all these years. Below, watch the band do “Submerge.”
Video, Photos, & Text by Jonathan Levitt.
I was extremely lucky to have the chance to see Come play this last December here in NYC. I’ve been a fan since the mid 90s and never thought I’d have a chance to catch them live. Living in China for the past 20 years and the fact that they’d broken up kind of sealed the deal. But as fate would have it they reformed for two shows at Brooklyn’s Union Pool Club which is quite a cool place to catch a performance. The room was tiny and the lighting was awful, but the band played a killer set that veered through ground breaking LP Eleven Eleven, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as well as other songs from their canon. Chris Brokaw and Thalia Zedek both wring immense tragedy from their instruments. The combination of the two takes you to some incredibly dark places and is definitely not for the faint of heart. They were tight, bluesy and seemed immediately to hit their stride. I offer up to readers the song “Submerge” from the show.
I can only hope in the near future that this means more shows might be in the offing. It would be great to have them back in action.
Legendary Aussies pull no punches, based on early estimates….
By Fred Mills
The mighty Beasts of Bourbon are returning – or, more accurately, the members – Tex Perkins, Kim Salmong, Boris Sudjovic, Charlie Owen, Tony Pola – have regrouped as The Beasts, and the Bang! label is prepping to release StillHere on Feb. 15. Here’s the scorching first video, “On My Back,” followed by the label’s press release about the record. We are advised that you can preorder the import album here in the States, on both CD and LP, via Forced Exposure.
After an extremely emotional final performance with the Beasts of Bourbon, Tex Perkins hit upon the idea of getting all of the band’s members, past and present, into a recording studio with no particular agenda. It was more of a celebratory thing he had in mind than anything else. Sadly, bassist Brian Hooper didn’t make it along as he passed away a week after the Beasts last show. Assembled in Soundpark Studio a couple of weeks later were Charlie Owen, Boris Sujdovic, Tony Pola, Spencer Jones, Kim Salmon, and Tex Perkins. They were unprepared save for some sketchy ideas, loose ends, and a couple of covers. With limited time the band knocked together a collection of jams pretty much true to the crazy M.O. employed back when The Axeman’s Jazz got laid down in that fateful eight-hour session in 1983. Songs weren’t so much learned as ideas were thrown together and recorded the moment they began to coalesce. Captured were: Brian Hooper’s “What The Hell Was I Thinking”, James Baker’s “Drunk On A Train”, Boris’ “Don’t Pull Me Over”, Kim’s “Pearls Before Swine”, Tex’s “On My Back” and “Just Let Go”, and Spencer’s “At The Hospital”. There was also Zappa’s “The Torture Never Stops” and Warren Zevon’s “My Shit’s Fucked Up” (was there ever a more appropriate cover for the Beasts?) Add to that some untitled jams that became the hilarious “Your Honour” and “It’s All Lies”. Sound like an album? You betchya! Deeply sad is that Spencer was only around long enough to make it onto one track. Absolutely wonderful is that he did make it onto the recording. And with such a funny and typically Jones style piece of observation as “At The Hospital”. With respect, this isn’t the Beasts of Bourbon. It would need to have Jonesy on every track to be that!
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
On October 26th Jah Wobble and his Invaders of the Heart took the stage at Brooklyn’s Elsewhere club and proceeded to give one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended. The crowd was made up of mainly music industry insiders and a smattering of musicians from both the US and Japan. Jah Wobble who was the bassist for PIL was not only hilarious with his banter but fronted a smoking hot group of musicians that just blew me away.
The drummer was pure military precision, and extremely versatile as well. The guitarist could play anything and make it sound great. The keyboardist was a virtuoso on the instrument and perfectly punctuated certain moments in the songs. Jah showed what an amazing player he is as well veering from dub, to the world music transcendental meditations to a bit of comedy between numbers. Jah even managed to throw some PIL songs into the mix.
The show ended with Bill Laswell joining the Invaders of the heart for two songs of throb-heavy psychedelic jazzified mind-bending music. The sound in the club was amazing. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I could hear every instrument tunneling through to me. The mix was incredible because as the sounds hit you they morphed into this groovy organic mass that made you wanna live forever in the moment.
Through the kindness of Jah’s people I was able to get some incredible footage, below, to share with Blurt readers. Jah is currently recording his new album with Bill Laswell in New Jersey. If you get a chance to see Señor Wobble in concert it is an unforgettable experience.
VIDEO INTERVIEW BY KIM PHOUNG (more photos/videos: @the_real_kimder)
Ed. note: Our resident Thee Hypnotics fan on the ground in Paris, Kim “Cold Blooded Love” Phoung, recently posted an awesome photo gallery documenting the UK legends’ September 19 performance at Petit Bain in Paris, and now we have the astute correspondent’s post-gig video interview with the group. Check it out below, and special thanks to longtime BLURT staffer Jonathan “Justice in Freedom” Levitt for being our official T.H. liaison and getting this rolling. (Go HERE to read a vintage interview with the band, and HERE for an interview and look at one of the band’s classic albums.)
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
Title track from the indie wunderkind’s album of the same name—guaranteed to make you feel great and NOT anxious, yo. (Go HERE to read Newski’s awesome 2016 essay for Blurt, “The 7 Best Countries & 3 to Avoid for Traveling Musicians.”)
By John B. Moore
Brett Newski, along with being wildly talented, Willie Nelson-level prolific and a favorite here at Blurt Magazine, is also the epitome of DIY (we’re talking 1980’s hardcore punk rockers who booked their own shows, handmade their merch and cut, pasted, folded and packed every album they every made-type of DIY). The kid is making his bones, regularly trekking across the globe to play shows in some dude’s living room or getting snagged by someone like the Violent Femmes or The new Pornographers to open their shows. So when he asked us if we’d be cool hosting the video for the title track off his new album, Life Upside Down, we said “Fuck that! We’re gonna interview you as well.”
So as he packed for a long tour that will take him across Europe and back to the U.S. for a slew of shows, he sighed (I’m assuming – this was all handled via e-mail) and said “sure thing. What do you want to know?” (Again, assuming here. It’s not like we’re Bob Woodward with endless hours of tapes here).
It seems like your last EP, The Stars Are As Good as A Nightlight, just came out. Are you just having a wildly prolific period at the moment I hit burnout two years ago after playing some 600 shows in three years. After a break and finding a girl who really stabilized my brain, I’m ready to get after it again. I had to get back to the reason I started doing this in the first place, catharsis and fun.
Sonically “Life Upside Down” is a very ’90s sounding record channeling a few of my first influences (early Weezer, early Green Day, Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra, early BNL, old school BECK)…and more recent influences (Nada Surf, Frank Turner, New Pornographers, Delta Spirit, BEN Kweller, Manchester Orchestra)
You have not been shy in the past of talking about your anxieties (thank you for that, by the way). Do any of the songs on this new record address those feelings?
There are a few “anti-anxiety songs” on every record. Now as the number of songs in the world moves toward infinity, I want the songs on “Life Upside Down” to have utilitarian value as well. If they are disposable, I am not doing my job.
You’ve been kicked out of Wal-Mart for playing and recording and successfully played a Dollar Store, if I remember correctly. Any other retail sites on your bucket list?
Yes, sir. Kmart, Best Buy, Aldi, IKEA, McDonald’s and the neighborhood Greek restaurant. We get kicked out of almost every pop up show we do. We call this series DORK ROCK BUM RUSH. Most people enjoy it, but the staff typically wants us dead.
You seem to be constantly be on the road. How much time off have you taken the past few years?
I don’t take off-time other than a lazy Sunday here and there. Work is a medicine that combats my worries and keeps them in check. However it’s important to not work too much, because you generally hit a point of diminishing returns after 8-10 hours of work per day. Once you do that, you’re hurting yourself professionally and also in your brain and your relationships.
You’re about to tour Europe. What’s next for you? Johnny B! Coming to visit you in Philly, November 15! We have a pretty hectic ‘n long Euro and US tour on the books. I’m working with my friend Paul Langton in America. He’s a brilliant radio promoter from Boston and we have a very similar taste pallette in music.
Plans for any additional new music?
I’m working on my first book actually!
One of my dream albums is to post up in Cuba for a month and make a lo-fi album with only a cell phone. Would that be neat? Also I have been working with my drummer/collaborator SPATOLA on more albums. He is amazing and he looks just like Dave Grohl.
Killer track by the power pop auteur plucked from upcoming album, due out Sept. 28. We think they got it…
By John B. Moore
As tough a facade as we occasionally put up here at BLURT, even we can’t resist a Sweet, perfectly-crafted power pop song. So, when Paul Collins—musician, producer, and author—asked us if we wanted to premiere “Go,” from his newest album, Out of My Head, we said “hell, yes!” Check it out:
“’Go” is the second video we have shot for the album and, like the record, it’s straight from the hip,” said Collins, who of course played in pioneering outfits The Nerves and The Beat before going solo. “Our good buddy, Derek Davidson, rented a high-end video camera and we knocked it out in three hours. We wanted something live and fresh, kinda like Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ but without all the production. I think we got it!”Paul Collins’ Out of My Head will be available on limited edition vinyl, CD, digital, and streaming formats September 28th, via Alive Naturalsound Records.
And for wax fans, here’s a link to order the beautiful, limited starburst vinyl. It’s limited to just 200 copies, so don’t procrastinate…
“No Want” from the garage monsters’ new album “Wasteland,” due this month from Hound Dawg Records. Think: every band that aspired to be on Nuggets but was deemed “too insane.”
By Uncle Blurt
Subject header says it all: this Japanese garage outfit returns for a 20th anniversary celebration, after a considerable absence from the record store bins, on September 28 via the estimable Hound Dawg! label, straight outta Germany. Wasteland is the title, and you will need no convincing that this album (on both black and limited edition gold vinyl) is worth lining up for at your local independent record dealer’s doors. Just check out the INSANE video for key track “No Want.” It’ll have you stage diving from the relative safety of your living room…
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