wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 97.2 ~ Amsterdam
Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies: no. 239: Wreck vs. Blurt*
Maandag, 103 November 2003 (17.00 to 19.00)
"Milton sang, too. Well, he scatted, yodelled and barked."
* Sukhdev Sandhu, 2003
"the round earth preposterous"
* Ted Milton
"We were diverted by the ugliness of some of its trees.
This world of ours became Bing Crosby's recording of 'Silent Night'.
I was too exhausted even to throw myself under the car..."
* Ted Milton
On the Stage > Blurt 
La Morte Religieuse > Blurt 
Grave Spit > > Blurt 
That Flank > Blurt 
The Windmills of Lingerrary > Blurt 
Church of Bank > Blurt 
Trees > Blurt 
Eat Up Your House > Blurt 
Superfan > Superstoned 
In Kharm's Way #1 > Ted Milton & Sam Britton 
In Kharm's Way #2 > Ted Milton & Sam Britton 
Ruminant Plinth > Blurt 
Immigrant Dub > Basement 5 
Crack attack > Big Stick 
Superman > Superstoned 
In Kharm's Way #3 > Ted Milton & Sam Britton 
He Sold Himself Short > Blurt 
Nights Before > Blurt 
Go Cat > Pigbag 
Francis > Blurt 
The Bespoke > Blurt 
No Go Dada > Blurt 
Kasimick's Tractors > Blurt 
Postcard > Blurt 
Sunday You Need Love > Trio 
That Flank Redux > Blurt 
 "Celebrating the Bespoke Cell of Little Ease"  There are
very very few bands and voices that hold up over a period of 20 years
especially those that arose out of punk or disco. Blurt, like the
Fall, like Mark Stewart and the Maffia are one of those anomalous
sonic-poetic mysteries, consistently sounding both rudimentary and
sophisticated, rhythmic and improvisationally complex, poetic in that
both write lyrics that beat 99% of all spoken word. The words allude
and instigate, are universal and about things happening right now.
Ted Milton is a kind of humanoidal Frankenstein poet combining the
inspired lunacy of Leon Thomas and the anarcho beatness of Kenneth
Patchen. "In the dank shadow of the church of bank"
 "Friday the 12"
 "Superstoned" on Jarring Effects <jarringeffects.free.fr>, 2003.
On a great inventive label. This is like the Archies kicking the ass
of Abba as produced by a Beck elbowing his way past Aphex Twin. This
is breathing bad Air onto a Daft Punk Stiff Little Jesus & the Mary
Chain. This is spilling cheap Dubonay on the stiff shirt front of R.
Stevie Moore. This is MTV without the TV. This Sig Sig Sputnik smoked
in Lou Reed's pipe. This is what is not yet. This is Blurt on Ikea
 "In Kharm's Way" on Nadine. The poetry of Daniil Kharms on this
hand-produced menacing-beautiful package of poetry booklet and CD.
Featuring the always engaging vocals of that fast-tongued saxophonic
wordsmith, Ted Milton with that magical simplicity that defined and
made Blurt such a great cross between punk, funk and no wave in the
mid-80s. Here poesie plus drum and bass.
 "Ruminant Plinth"
 "Wild Dub: Dread Meets Punk Rocker" on Select Cuts
<www.echobeach.de>, 2003. A really wonderful bit of under-recognised
music history. Despite a bit of hype here and there the meeting of
punk and dread was a really high moment of high potential and high
ideals. Naiveté, drugs, cynicism, Thatcher-reaganism all killed the
potential of this anger meets sublime beats. This is a nervous tic in
the eye over a scrunched shoulder.
 This single was really hot ca 1987. It was pure energy and punk
funk fed by the cynicism of squashed dreams. It came out at a time
when I was fully starting to appreciate Blurt. By that I don't mean I
bought anything. I bought almost NO records for a period of almost 12
years when I was what one could say on an aescetic's budget, living
on a frayed thread of pasta and cheap beer and vitamins
 "Smoke time".
 "Getting Up" 1982 Stiff vinyl 12-inch. Incredible punk-funk
off-shoot of the even more incredible Pop Group, one of the most
uncompromising musical ensembles that made Brecht look like Bacharach.
 "Bullets For You."
 "Trio" on Mercury, 1982. One of the great great simplistic
Ur-singles was their "Da Da Da". So simple and yet somehow - ah that
mystery of the simple being the height of haiku sophistication
* This playlist is out of sequence to underline the pressing
time-sensitive fact that one of the great under-valued bands of
all-time is coming to Amsterdam
BLURT Words: Having been poor since about 1978, I have always bought
way less discs than any other music-oriented person. I survived for
years on devouring the record library at WFMU and recording my weekly
show on 2 $1 cassettes. One band that kept reappearing in radio shows
from 1986 through 2003 was Blurt. In other words, most of the
material I have by blurt is cuts stuck on a series of old show tapes.
Two others who had a huge influence on me and had some kind of
overlapping simple sophistication or backbone twitchy improv style
were the Fall and Mark Stewart & the Maffia. What they have in common
is the "refusenik" post-dada character and ability [or liability] of
ad-lib poesie, happenstance brilliance, cool beats that rifle through
all scenes and signs of metastasized and appropriated vectors of
cool. Livid, grumpy, inspired, beyond logic into the realm of William
Blake plus their earth-shattering ability to create bone-clanking
simple beats that never bore, never induce ennui because each beat
had some febrile other-oriented consciousness clinging to it, like
blue mold to a rotting orange mandarine So while you are dancing you
are having pangs of ... conscience or moral indigestion or... I
admire MS and Ted Milton, and Mark E. Smith more than most poet
poets, more than most soothsayers or comedians or political
commentators or post-situ professors hankering for tenure at some
pretentious campus Their aim has remained true throughout some 20+
years now, seldom venturing into high camp or over-exposure and so
they continue onward, outward, generously
YES THAT SAME legendarY no-wave sax punk BAND with inspired
extemporaneous poesie / on their way to headlining
the annual Transmusicales in Rennes, France
DJ: Wreck This Mess (NL/US)
collage collision of retro-traditional
with yodeling / speed dub / curious misshapen sounds
in de OCCII
Amstelveenseweg 134 Amsterdam
Zondag 16 november
Deur open 21:00
Entree 5 euro
tel: 671 77 78
A very astute recent review of Blurt:
WILD, DEVIANT SAX by Sukhdev Sandhu Telegraph,17 July 2003, London, England
Blurt Union Chapel
Ted Milton (sax, vocal, violin)
Steve Eagles (guitar)
Paul Wigens (drums)
"No wave" was a frenzied and cacophonous genre of music that emerged
in late-1970s downtown New York. Drawing on the ecstatic free jazz of
Sun Ra and the shaky disrhythms of Captain Beefheart, no wave
pioneers such as Arto Lindsay, Lydia Lunch and James White and the
Blacks played an extreme form of avant-garde blues, full of screaming
and skronking, one totally in sync with the depressed global economy
of that era. One of the most talented performers to have continued
carrying the flame for that fearsome sound, albeit in his own very
idiosyncratic fashion, is English saxophonist Ted Milton, aka Blurt.
His debut single came out in 1979, and he was also one of the first
artists to record for the Factory label; of late, though, his albums
have been released in Hungary, Germany and France.
Now the recent interest in post-punk music has revived British
interest in him. In advance of a forthcoming retrospective, The Fish
Needs a Bike, he made a rare live outing in the vestry of the Union
Chapel. It was a quite extraordinary performance, as fevered and
kinetic as any I've seen in a long time. Milton, wearing a dapper
suit and with his mohican slicked back so that he resembled an East
End gangster, bounced up and down between numbers, taking slugs from
a bottle of whisky, wired as a boxer ready for a championship bout.
His saxophone was slung around his neck like a weapon of mass
destruction. The sound was immense. Drummer Paul Wigens and guitarist
Steve Eagles fashioned a jagged, barbed-wire backing against which
Milton, well into his fifties, parped and blasted with purposeful
abandon. The noise could be used to rouse troops during wartime or to
drive dictators from their compounds. But it was also very funky, as
the freeform dancing from sections of the crowd proved.
Milton sang, too. Well, he scatted, yodelled and barked. Songs such
as Bullets for You and My Mother Was a Friend of the Enemy of the
People were arty and Dadaist, but also harkened back to the nonsense
verse of Lear. It was a great evening: one that yoked the cussed
non-conformism of fellow British refuseniks Mark Stewart and Mark E.
Smith to the primal cabaret of Screaming Jay Hawkins. It was wild,
mad, and utterly galvanising. So long used to blowing in the
wilderness, way beyond the outer perimeters of fashion, Milton
suddenly sounded like the deviant, volcanic sound of now.
Meanwhile Andrea Ethnal in an old Trouser Press wrote:
Ted Milton is a direct and honest guy. "I will lead the world over
the end of the Santa Monica Pier," he declares in "No Go Dada"
(originally on Bullets for You, but also on several of the live
records: two Blurt credos are recycling and documenting each new
lineup in performance), "but not until you've raised the temperature
of the Pacific Ocean to blood temperature and provide warm towels in
the dressing room." (He's practical, too.) Making a saxophone honk,
screech and generally giving the impression of Mother Goose meeting
armageddon, Milton, his drummer brother Jake and guitarist Pete
Creese debuted in the summer of 1980 with the "My Mother Was a Friend
of the Enemy of the People" single, followed it with a live debut
album the following year and have been squawking their way through a
noisy avant-garde netherworld between jazz and rock ever since. Ted's
voice is just what his band's name would suggest, a grumbling,
gurgling, bleating (if not bleeding) blurt of a sound, silenced only
when his mouth is wrapped around a saxophone reed. That saxophone
would just as soon imitate fingernails down a chalkboard or elephants
in heat as conform to the jazzy warmth the instrument might yield in
other hands. A lover of wordplay, the iconoclastic Milton is capable
of serious irreverence. In the title track of Bullets for You, a song
about JFK's assassination, he grunts, "I am a donut.
You either love Blurt or hate them; there's plenty of validity to
both views. Blurt is one of the trio's artiest and most orderly
works. Creese's minimalist guitar spews out repeating patterns of
stark chords that function almost like a backing samba in "The
Ruminant Plinth" (against Ted's incoherently belching screams and
squirming sax) and double as a rhythm track, as well as the melody,
at other times. Bullets for You is Blurt at its most accessible, and
the final release by the original lineup. Featuring lyrics that are
actually decipherable, song structures from Earth instead of Mars,
and even hooks such as the mutilated two-syllable "you-ooo" in the
title track, Ted twists his voice (between saxophone tweetings) into
a yodel-edged squeal that is as catchy and memorable as any pop
refrain. Jake counters with some equally infectious drumming.
After Creese left, the brothers hired keyboardist Herman Martin for a
short time. The cassette-only Six Views in Black, compiled from four
live performances in March of 1985, contains the band's only known
recordings with synthesizer. (Blurt's live documentation also
includes a four-song side of A Factory Quartet.)
Martin alone accompanies Milton on the solo 12-inch rendition of
"Ode: O to Be Seen Through Your Eyes!" (a band version of which
appears on Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hit (Take 2)), a recitation set to
a harsh synthesized drumbeat. Like Foetus, whose twisted intonations
his vocals resemble, Milton is a master of mood when allowed out on
his own. Martin's synth work is anything but traditional, veering
from the silicon chip gone amok of "Skies Are Blue" to percussive
layers and textures. Guitarist Steve Eagles replaced Martin for
Friday the 12th, another live album that contains almost the same
selections as the twelve-track Six Views, but returns the
arrangements to guitar. By the time of Poppycock, Paul Wigens had
taken over the drum seat. Though the only dance-step possible to a
Blurt record is the quadriplegic head-bob, Smoke Time almost reaches
a dance-club orientation. With Wigens contributing violin as well as
percussion, the album features a big, clear beat on the title cut and
more upfront drumming in the unbelievably intense "Nights Before." A
smorgasbord of Blurt's various sounds, it revives the band's
early-period sound in "Bullet-Proof Vest," while "Aboule Ton Fric"
returns the band to the simpler textures of "The Ruminant Plinth."
Send all sound material for airplay and review to:
Wreck This MeSS
Radio 100 / Radio Patapoe
Zeilstraat 23 / II
1075 SB Amsterdam
o 1500 READERS-EYEBALL "LISTENERS" per WEEK*
o "plus another few hundred when it hits the BSI list!" Ezra
o Old playlists archived at <http://www.wfmu.org/~bart/
o Recent selected Playlists [early stages] at
o Special playlists can be found at 3am Magazine
> under the title "Radiophotogram: Visual
Radio". Also posted is a depth-of-focus interview with Judy Nylon. To
appear soon: excerpts from my scandal-delicious paris novel, PARIS
SEX TETE, a review of the spoken word works of Roberto Valenza...
SDI > SELF DESTRUCTION INSURED >
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