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2019 Burger Records’ Burger Boogalo: JAMC, Scientists, Dead Boys, and mo’!

This just in from one of our favorite vinyl and cassette labels….

Burger Records advises:
Woohoo! Burger Boogaloo is returning to Oakland’s Mosswood Park in 2019 on Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th for a 10th anniversary shindig featuring The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Scientists, Shannon And The Clams, Sheer Mag, and more! As always, the Boog is staying true to its roots with the return of our venomously venerable host John Waters and a lineup of historic punk rockers and young up-and-comers. Tickets are on sale now, with weekend passes starting at $129 and VIP weekend passes starting at $199.

But wait, there’s more! The Burger Boogaloo staff has committed themselves to helping those affected by Oakland’s ongoing housing crisis and will host a series of fundraisers both before and during the festival to raise money for those in need. Additionally, staffers will be volunteering with the organization Punks With Lunch, including a Benefit Show at The Uptown on Friday, January 18th with 100% of ticket sales going to the organization.

To that end, Burger Boogaloo is partnering with The Homeless Action Center in 2019; the only legal service program in the Bay Area that focuses exclusively on public benefits advocacy as a critical tool to reduce and end homeless. HAC provides legal advocacy that is no-cost, barrier-free, culturally sensitive, and non-judgmental. Attendees can join the cause by donating while purchasing tickets or in person at the festival.

Snag your tickets and learn more about how to help those in need below:

BURGER BOOGALOO 2019 LINEUP
The Jesus and Mary Chain
The Scientists
Shannon and the Clams
Sheer Mag
Dead Boys
Jayne County & the Electric Chairs
Amyl and the Sniffers
Billy Childish
Phantom Surfers
Nikki Corvette
Terry & Louie
Derv Gordon of the Equals

PURCHASE TICKETS & DONATE TO HAC HERE

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HOMELESS ACTION CENTER

’80s Ohio Fanzine “The Offense” Gets Book’d in Fine Style

A true legend and an indie-rock groundbreaking media outlet, the ’80s Ohio-based fanzine featured on Ohio television in “Cocteau Fever” (below), goes big with the 900-page “Book of Books” Collection, compiling the essential original print run. (Full disclosure: BLURT editor Fred Mills would become a regular contributor to the zine, and has no regrets whatsoever… )

If the tens of thousands of people who have viewed 10TV Eyewitness News coverage of “Cocteau Fever” on YouTube end up purchasing The Offense Book of Books, then its publisher will be very happy. Do you remember posting that video on your site a few years ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaOlNfC8_xQ)? Well, the Columbus, Ohio alternative music fanzine that was responsible for first spreading Cocteau Fever throughout the land can now be blamed for something else — The Offense Book of Books, which was released on January 3, 2019 and is a two-volume collection of all 888 pages of all 15 issues of The Offense, which appeared in its original “book” format from April, 1980 to March, 1982 before switching to a newsletter style and becoming The Offense Newsletter.

Offense publisher/editor/least-talented contributor Tim Anstaett: “My New Year’s resolution for 2018 was one way or another to get The Offense Book of Books out, which I had unsuccessfully attempted to do on several occasions in the past. And although at times this year the situation seemed to be quite dire, I never gave up, and ultimately the promise that I had made to myself for 2018 … ALMOST was kept!”

Tim’s involvement with the local alternative music scene in Columbus began in December, 1979, when he began booking bands from his own town and other Midwestern cities into Mr. Brown’s, a small club that was located a few blocks south of the Ohio State University campus. His stint there lasted four months, during which time the owner generously gave to Tim a total of 47 nights to fill. This represented quite a departure from what music fans in Columbus had by that time become accustomed to, and had sadly resigned themselves to, which was only being able to enjoy very-few-and-far-between opportunities to see good bands. Now, for the very first time, the music suddenly found itself gaining a true foothold in the city. And then only two weeks after the last show that Tim promoted at Mr. Brown’s had taken place, the first issue of The Offense was born on April 11, 1980. And two years after that, he switched to a morefrequentlypublished newsletter format and eventually resumed his booking of bands, bringing to Columbus such alternative music luminaries as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (three times), the Pixies (twice), The Fall (twice), and yes, the Cocteau Twins.

The first issue of The Offense was completely handwritten by Tim, and he was its only contributor. It was rather sloppily put together and included scene reports that he had written about towns that he had recently visited with the Cowboys, a local Columbus band that he had booked into Mr. Brown’s many times and was now managing and mismanaging. However, by the fanzine’s eighth issue its looks had greatly improved, circulation had increased to 1,000, and four distributors had come aboard (Rough Trade, Systematic, Skydisc, and Important), which helped the publication to become nationally and internationally known. It was called The Offense because its mission was to go on the offensive and help spread the word about all of the great new music that was happening. The letters of its name were titled forward because the zine was moving in the direction that the arrow going through those slanted letters was pointing — ahead. Issues regularly included heated letters to the editor; freewheeling interviews; analytical record, cassette, and live reviews; and scene reports written by people who actually lived in the cities that they wrote about.

Tim Anstaett can be contacted at tkarunner2001@aol.com. He has organized a few book release parties/readings in Columbus for The Offense Book of Books, at which many of the fanzine’s past contributors will be reading some of their favorite published pieces that they wrote. These are the events that have been scheduled thus far (all times Eastern):

Friday, January 11, 2019   6:00-8:00pm   Lost Weekend Records, 2690 N. High St.
Saturday, January 19, 2019   2:00-7:00pm   Ace of Cups, 2619 N. High St.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019   7:30-9:00pm   Two Dollar Radio HQ, 1124 Parsons Ave.

The Ace of Cups event will also include live musical performances from some of the past contributors (Nancy Kangas, Ron House, Mike Rep, and Paul Nini).

***

The Offense Book of Books is published by Biblio Publishing, 1091 W. First Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43212 (614-485-0721) and is now available through Amazon (at https://www.amazon.com/dp/162249458X a single book is pictured, but it is the entire two-volume package that is described) and also through the Biblio Bookstore (at https://bibliobookstore.com/Music/The-Offense-Book-of-Books-by-Tim-Anstaettagain, the price listed is for the complete two-volume set). Anyone who can order three or more of the two-volume sets should not click one of the above links but instead either call Biblio Publishing or send an email to info@zippublishing.com, as that will enable him or her to receive a 25% discount on the order and lower the cost of each set from $89.95 to $67.47 (plus shipping). At the two January readings in Columbus, two-volume sets will be available for $70 each, and the purchaser will also receive a free, original, mint-condition back issue of The Offense of his or her choice for each set that he or she buys (back issues of seven of the fifteen Offenses are still available at this time.)

 

***

From ye olde editor: I’m Fred Mills, and I approve this press release. I count Tim (who we “Offense” contributors knew as simply TKA back in the day) as both a peer and a mentor, as he was among the very first music publication publishers to take a chance on my (admittedly tenuous grasp of) rock journalism and make me a published scribe. So now you know who to blame. Tim, you remain an inspiration among your fellow zine writers and editors, and I have no doubt that you are similarly revered among those artists and bands you selflessly championed early on, long before they had achieved any measure of recognition in America. Salute, good sir!

Bonnaroo 2019 Official Lineup Released

 By Mark Jackson

Bonnaroo released the official lineup this week and as usual it was immediately meet with cheers and jeers. It seems no matter who a festival brings there are always people who have their own favorite bands and ideas of what a festival should be.

Bonnaroo has long been known for having a diverse lineup with a heavy sway towards alternative music and this year is no different, but you can see a move into the R&B genre as well. This is no big surprise and is to be expected with acts like Cardi B, Childish Gambino, and Post Malone gathering millions and millions of followers the festival is smart to see the trends and give the masses what they want.

Last year Bonnaroo made the brave move to convert the That Tent into a full blown EDM stage that rivaled in size and lights of the Who stage, this move seemed to pay off big time as there were thousands of fans who I believe never ventured far from that stage. I must admit this was one of my favorite stages after dark. The non stop dance music and bass drops kept the crowd going all night and into the early mornings. Another addition last year was the Grand Ole Opry set, a collection of performers and guest from the Nashville famous Grand Ole Opry House.

The farm has also expanded the entertainment from the confinement of Centeroo out into the Camping areas. “Bonnaroo has continually sought new ways to enhance the fans’ onsite experience and the 2019 event will emphasize this with an array of remarkable new features and improvements. In 2018, Bonnaroo made significant upgrades to the site’s communal areas, known as Plazas. Strategically located and well-lit public places throughout the campgrounds, Plazas include shade, free public Wi-Fi, showers, activities, charging stations, Clean Vibes Trading Post redemption centers, misting stations, medical, safety stations, information and portable restrooms. This year’s event features a “Sanctuary of Self-Love” campground experience curated by Hayley Williams of Paramore. Also, “The Yes Barn” presented by House of Yes and Little Cinema will once again feature jaw-dropping circus acts, mind-bending immersive cinema shows, wild theme parties, and Bonnaroo’s first-ever Pride parade.”

Here are just a few of this years headliners: Phish, Childish Gambino, Cardi B, Post Malone, Odesza, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers and The Lonely Island. Check out the poster above to see the entire lineup and then go get your tickets, they even have a layaway plan, so there is no excuse not the join the crowd down on the farm for Bonnaroo 2019…

 

 

 

 

Tuomo & Marcus Tour/Album Update (U.S. shows this weekend!)

Veteran rockers’ latest album “Dead Circles” released by our sister business Schoolkids Records.

By Blurt Staff

Tuomo & Markus hit the U.S. this month with their full 6-piece band feat. trumpet sensation Verneri Pohjola. Catch them this Saturday at Winter Jazzfest NYC, at Sub-Culture on Bleecker Street (tickets available here). and Sunday at the Mercury Lounge on Houston Street (click here for ticket info).

You can also see them live in Washington DC & Chicago as well as Minneapolis at The Cedar on January 18 (ticket info). The band recently opened for the legendary The Jayhawks in Minneapolis to rave reviews. (Markus Nordenstreng, of course, is from longtime BLURT fave, and Schoolkids alumni, The Latebirds.)

 

 

Tuomo & Markus’ debut LP “Dead Circles” was released to critical fanfare in September 2018 through Schoolkids Records.  (You can purchase the album, stream through Apple Music or Spotify). The band has recorded an E.P. of covers that was featured on KEXP, and has performed live at the KEXP studios. The band is looking forward to an exciting 2019.

 

 

Keep up with Tuomo & Markus!
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

 

Guest Post: Dave Steinfeld’s Best-of-2018 Commentary

Herein find Doctor Dave’s eminently erudite observations for the year just passed. Guarantee: MeShell is the Queen of Rock, Macca still thrills us, and Trump will always be an asshole no matter whose year-end list is cited.

Top 10 Albums of 2018 (in order):

MeShell Ndegeocello — Ventriloquism (Naive Pop/Believe)

I’m rarely a big fan of covers albums so nobody was more surprised than I was that this one blew me away. On Ventriloquism, the ever unpredictable Ndegeocello offers up versions of 11 R&B classics from the 80s and 90s. And she makes them her own while somehow staying true to the originals. This album is worth it for her sublime cover of Prince’s 1986 gem “Sometimes It Snows in April” alone. With the addition of songs by TLC, Al B. Sure and the Force M.D.s, it’s indispensable.

 

The English Beat — Here We Go Love!  (Here We Go Records/Megaforce)

This is the first new album in 35 years from ska legends The English Beat — and it’s a good one. While Dave Wakeling is the only member of the original sextet on board here, that hardly matters since he was always the voice of the Beat and its principal songwriter. The material on Here We Go Love runs the gamut from the rollicking title track to sociopolitical songs like “If Killing Worked” and “How Can You Stand There” to the lovely ballad “Never Die.” Welcome back, Dave!

 

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever — Hope Downs (Sub Pop)

Full disclosure: I have no idea what “Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever” means — apart from good music. The full-length debut from this young Australian band lives up to the hype. It’s a concise album (roughly half an hour long) that draws on the talents of three members who all write, sing and play guitar, and never outstays its welcome. Highlights include the urgent “Bellarine,” the more contemplative “Cappucino City,” and “Mainland,” which falls somewhere in between. If you like moody guitar-driven music, you would do well to check these guys out.

 

Paul McCartney — Egypt Station (Capitol)

What can you say about Paul McCartney at this point? Egypt Station is his first studio effort in four years and it’s well worth hearing. To these ears, a few of the 16 songs could have been lost, making the album a little tighter — but that’s a minor complaint. Egypt proves that McCartney is still making good music at 76. Being that we’ve lost so many legendary musicians in the past few years, it’s no exaggeration to say that we’re lucky he’s still with us.

 

Dirty Sidewalks — Bring Down the House Lights (No Count Records)

If you didn’t know otherwise, you might think that Bring Down the House Lights is the latest album by The Jesus & Mary Chain. And in fact, this band is also led by two brothers. But Erik and Evan Foster actually hail from Seattle, not from Scotland. Regardless, their debut album has the Mary Chain’s combination of fuzzed out guitars, deadpan vocals, dark lyric matter and infectious melodies down pat. For proof, check out “Rock & Roll (Save My Soul),” “Never Be Alone” and the wonderfully titled “Heard You Wanna Kill Me.”

Mary Elaine Jenkins — Hold Still (Good Child Music)

Mary-Elaine Jenkins is a singer-songwriter from South Carolina by way of Brooklyn. Hold Still, which is her debut, finds her singing mostly originals but throwing a few covers (like “St. James Infirmary”) in for good measure. Opening song “The Rooster” sets the tone and is my personal favorite. But the whole disc has a down-home charm due to the cozy production and Jenkins’ distinct vocals.

 

Blood Orange — Negro Swan (Domino)

Negro Swan is the fourth album by Devonte Hynes (AKA Blood Orange). He has said that it’s an attempt to capture what it’s like to be black and queer in this day and age. Regardless of whether you can relate to the subject matter, there’s a lot of good music here that draws from genres as diverse as hip-hop, alt-rock and Quiet Storm. Hynes handles most of the vocals and instruments himself but also welcomes a very diverse group of guests, ranging from transgender model and activist Janet Mock to Puff Daddy!

 

The Innocents — Teardrop Kiss (Public Records)

Veteran band The Innocents return with their first offering in many moons. Teardrop Kiss doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel or keep up with trends but instead finds this Australian trio doing what they do best: infectious, intelligent power pop. As a bonus, the cover art is great.

 

Mary Gauthier — Rifles & Rosary Beads (In The Black)

If you’re familiar with Mary Gauthier, you know that she’s one of the great American songwriters of the past 20 years or so. Rifles & Rosary Beads, if not quite up to the level of her last two discs (I chose Trouble & Love as my top album of 2014), is still a winner.  Generally, Gauthier writes from her own experience but on Rifles, she tried something different. These songs were co-written with war veterans and influenced almost entirely by their experiences. Highlights include “The War After the War,” “Bullet Holes in the Sky” and “Iraq.”

 

Paul Simon — In the Blue Light (Sony/Legacy)

The latest album from Paul Simon does not include new material per se. Rather, Simon delves into his extensive and legendary back catalog and reinterprets 10 songs that he feels he could have improved on. The result is a quiet triumph that touches on many phases of his solo career (no Simon & Garfunkel tunes are included). In the Blue Light takes its title from the song “How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns” — which first appeared on 1980’s One Trick Pony and is featured again here.

 

Honorable Mention: 

*  Brandi & the Alexanders — How Do You Like It (Red Parlor Records)

 

*  Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboys — Pickup Cowboy (Jonathan Byrd/Waterbug)

*  The Beths — Future Me Hates Me (Carpark Records)

*  Raul Midon — If You Really Want (Artistry Music)

*  HAWK — Bomb Pop (New Garden Music)

Compilations/Reissues/Live Albums: 

Tom Petty — An American Treasure (Reprise)

The Beatles — White Album 50th Anniversary Edition (Capitol)

Various Artists — Harmony in My Head: UK Pop & New Wave, 1977 — 1981 (Cherry Red)

Fleetwood Mac — 50 Years: Don’t Stop (Warner Brothers)

Bob Dylan — More Blood, More Tracks (Sony/ Legacy)

Bram Tchaikovsky — Strange Men, Changed Men  (Cherry Red)

Permanent Green Light — Hallucinations (Omnivore Recordings)

Indigo Girls — Live with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra (Rounder)

Toto — 40 Trips Around the Sun (Sony/Legacy)

The Quick — Mondo Deco (Mercury/Real Gone)

 

Best EP:  Public Practice — Distance Is A Mirror (Wharf Cat Records)

In Memoriam:  This is a tough one… From a purely historical and influential point of view, there’s little question that it would be Aretha Franklin. But from a personal one, it would have to be John Wicks.

John was the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and composer of The Records, one of the great pop bands of the New Wave era (or any era, really). I’ve loved The Records since I first heard their hit “Starry Eyes” as a kid. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know John and Will Birch (his songwriting partner and a talent in his own right) and writing about them for Blurt and other outlets. John was an underrated musician and a good guy and I’ll miss him.

Read our story on John:  https://blurtonline.com/feature/still-starry-eyed-the-records/

 

Most Disturbing Trend:  Hard to pick one, as most of the disturbing trends this past year are nothing new.  Major labels generally releasing crap when there’s so much good music out there… More venues closing… Magazines that expect their writers to work for free… Sexist behavior throughout the industry… And perhaps worst of all, Jon Bon Jovi is still releasing albums.

 

Best Label:  Cherry Red

 

Best New Artist:  Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

 

Best Concert:   Nona Hendryx and Rock Solid Women, Joe’s Pub, NYC

 

Strangest Concert:  An Evening of Christmas Songs with Mark Kozelek, City Loft, NYC

 

Best Band Name:  Everyone Dies in Utah

 

Biggest Asshole:  Donald Trump
Hey, I know he’s not a musician but he’s not much of a President either.  2018 was an awful year both personally and politically. But it was a better than average year musically. And during times like these, we need musicians — and artists of all stripes — more than ever.

 

 

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

 

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!

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“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.”