Music

Blurt emerges out of Harp's ashes

From the people who brought you Harp, this press release:

BLURT is coming. Scott Crawford, founder of HARP, along with Managing Editor Fred Mills and Senior Editor Randy Harward, will unveil BLURT digital magazine and the accompanying BLURT-online website in June. In addition to the Joan As Police Woman cover story, artists featured in the BLURT debut will include My Morning Jacket, Ray Davies, My Brightest Diamond, Sally Shapiro and many others.

Brought to you by the creative team behind the lauded HARP magazine (called "America's best music magazine" by NPR's Bob Boilen and "the best music magazine in the country and the one that musicians always read" by Foo Fighter Dave Grohl), BLURT will raise the bar for online modern music and entertainment magazines by combining insightful interviews, dozens of no-holds-barred reviews, and top-notch design standards. Its green-minded, digital-only format will set the standard for how digi-magazines can heighten the consumer experience by offering fully interactive content including videos, MP3s, podcasts and more. The publication will be available free 10 times annually at Blurt-online.com.

"While the print world continues to struggle, launching a magazine in this format allows us to explore the music community just as comprehensively but without many of the handicaps that burdened HARP," says Editor-in-Chief Scott Crawford. "It's a new world out there, but creatively, I've never been more excited about the possibilities."

The digi-mag will be hosted at Blurt-online.com — soon to be an essential one-stop for enthusiastic music and culture fans with exclusive content including daily news and concert reviews, humor, industry insider and political blogs, exclusive videos and interviews, podcasts, hundreds of reviews, and much, much more. Prepare yourself: Blurt-online goes live this June.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11
Amazon
iTunes

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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