Flamenco Legend Enrique Morente Releases Picasso Homage ‘Pablo de Málaga’

If you’re familiar with flamenco music, chances are you’re familiar with Enrique Morente, the 65-year old Granada-born singer who has transcended and expanded the genre for over 40 years. Having already been the first flamenco singer to use modern and classic poetry in his lyrics, Morente’s latest release Pablo de Málaga is perhaps his most ambitious, taking previously unpublished writings by Pablo Picasso and adapting them to music. The writings were given to Morente by someone close to the painter, along with a series of never-before-shown Picasso engravings. These engravings are currently only available in a PDF booklet via iTunes’ exclusive version of the album, which came out this week. There is also one track, “Autorretrato” (self-portrait), composed over an actual recording of Picasso’s voice.

Pablo de Málaga comes more than a decade after Morente’s groundbreaking 1996 release Omega, in which he collaborated with Spanish rock band Lagartija Nick to adapt texts from poet Federico García Lorca and re-work songs by Leonard Cohen into a flamenco-punk masterpiece. And if that’s not enough to solidify Morente’s indie credibility, he also appeared on stage with Sonic Youth at a 2005 Valencia concert and counts Broken Social Scene/Apostle of Hustle’s Andrew Whiteman as one of his biggest fans.

Having left Granada for Madrid while still a teen, Morente began singing in flamenco clubs and learning from the masters at a very young age. The start of his recording career in 1967 found him working to revisit the old cantes (song styles) that were no longer popular, separating himself from the pack as someone who was interested in pushing boundaries of both tradition and experimentation. His innovation continued, and in 1977, Morente was the first flamenco artist to be awarded the National Spanish Popular Music Prize for his initial foray into the “tribute” album, Homenaje a don Antonio Chacón. He has since won numerous other awards and released over ten more albums.

MP3: Enrique Morente “Adiós, Málaga”


Grayson and the Stumpknockers ‘Rott ‘N’ Roll’ All Night

Deep in the mountains of Franklin, Tennessee, you can find Grayson Capps and the Stumpknockers wandering around behind his property, gettin’ deep with the Native American spirits. Of course, that’s if the spirit isn’t flowing. When it is, you can bet your boots they’re laying down whatever comes to mind in Grayson’s home studio. The result? 13 tracks of gritty, folky, bluesy southern rock Mr. Capps and co. like to call Rott ‘N’ Roll, out September 9th on Hyena Records.

Rott ‘N’ Roll is an attempt by Grayson and co-producer Trina Shoemaker to encapsulate his live energy into one album, if that’s at all possible. There’s down to earth tracks like “Guitar” and “Back To The Country,” which offers a glimpse into Capps’ soft inner core, while others like “Big Ol’ Woman” are full of drunken wandering rednecks backing the choruses…literally. “The Sun Don’t Shine On Willy” even references the classic To Kill A Mockingbird!

The current tour includes a few dates around Alabama, with a short stint overseas in Norway. Dates after the jump!


Melvins’ Nude With Boots

The Melvins
Nude With Boots / Ipecac / BUY

Know who needs no intro? A band that’s been in biz for about 25 years, with just shy of 20(!) records under their belt. So, no, we won’t go into detail about how King Buzzo and his mighty Melvins all but created Grunge. Or how they distilled the ever-loving piss out of sludge and made it cool to sound down, dirty, and slower than slow. Or how they influenced anyandeverything you might call “heavy” nowadays. Instead, we’ll just breathlessly praise the knock-down, drag-out intensity of the band’s latest full-length, Nude With Boots. Picking up where 2006’s (A) Senile Animal left off, Boots throws its weight around with the best of them, whipping back and forth from raucous riff rock on the album-opening “Kicking Machine” to Spaghetti Western voodoo on “Dies Iraea” to beefy bluesman metal on “A Suicide In Progress.”

Once again featuring the rhythm section of Seattle sludgemiesters Big Business — Jared Warren and Coady Willis, for those keeping score at home — the album builds on the template guitarist Buzz Osbourne and drummer Dale Crover set forth back when Reagan was in the White House: interstate-wide grooves, impossibly-proportioned riffs, and eye-bugging, from-the-gut vocals. But what sets Boots apart is its ability to sound 100% menacing while swinging for the fences with its “pop hooks.” Check the hyperblast Thin Lizzy, or hulked up Cheap Trick vibe on the title track below. But don’t fret if “Nude” is too cheery for your taste, there’s plenty of hellfire and squealing Melvmetal on the album-closing “It Tastes Better Than The Truth.”

Long live the Melvins!

MP3: The Melvins – Nude With Boots

The Bloodsugars Will Sweeten Your Day

The Bloodsugars aren’t your everyday ‘clap your hands, bob your head’ indie-rock group.  This Brooklyn-based quartet manages to turn the 80s and its power-pop into a total garage band experience.  They get their name from frontman Jason Rabinowitz, a diabetic, and they love when even the most cynical indie-hipsters dance to their “clever arrangements and relatable lyrics.”  In fact, Rabinowitz and bandmates Matt Katz, Brendan O’Grady, and Kenneth Salters have hit the ground running with their current EP through Engine Room Recordings, titled BQEP.

Their video “Purpose Was Again” sports the directing styles of Kristopher Schackman (who’s been involved in films like Zoolander, School of Rock, Spiderman 2, and TV series The Knights of Prosperity) and is animated by Lisa LaBracio (a favorite at Woodstock and Tribeca Film Festivals, colorist for Weird Al’s ‘Don’t Download This Song,’ and a collaborator on a bunch of commercials).  Combined, they deliver a one-two punch that leaves the viewer with a cross between fantastically changing camera angles and what would seem to be an Apple commercial.  But wait! There’s more!  Iron Chef’s Mario Batali cameos in it too, giving it an extra flavor, if you’re into puns.

As for now, they’re planning the release of their full-length sometime this winter, and are touring behind the EP.  And as for RIGHT NOW…The Bloodsugars appeared on WOXY’s Lounge Act today at 2, and will be on NPR’s Second Stage program at 4!  Turn it on and listen to some indie synth pop/rock that may have you thinking you’ve still got one foot in the 80s.

Michael Showalter Gets Wet and Hot for Summer Screen

Michael Showalter‘s played many roles in his 16 year career – actor, comedian, writer, sporadic blogger, internet TV star, lover of both sandwiches and cats, and tonight, host to Brooklyn’s Summer Screen benefit for The Open Space Alliance. There, he’ll be introducing Wet Hot American Summer , the cult classic film he co-wrote and starred in along with partners-in-crime and fellow State/Stella alum, Michael Ian Black and David Wain.

The movie stars every comedic actor you’ve loved since the 90’s – Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofolo, Zack Orth, and more. And if that’s not enough of a draw, the “block party” will be catered by nearly 20 Williamsburg and Greenpoint bars and eateries – which means you can leave the cooler at home, as there’ll be more than enough sandwiches to go around.

Cats on the other hand… well, leave those at home, too.

MP3 : Michael Showalter – Intro to Erotica
MP3 : Michael Showalter – Erotica (radio edit)