WTM #1092: Blurt Bladder and Blunt

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 http://freeteam.nl/patapoe/
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies

19 April 2010 // 16.30-18.30

“I can smell last night on me”
• Ted Milton

“I am a donut. There’s a hole in my head. Ich bin ein Berliner. That’s what Jack said…and now Jack is dead.”
• Ted Milton

Some Come > Blurt [Best of Blurt 1: The Fish Needs a Bike / Salamander (1)]
My Mother Was a Friend of an Enemy of the People > Blurt [(1)]
The Fish Needs a Bike > Blurt [(1)]
Design to Kill > Contortions [Buy / Ze vinyl]
Ruminant Plinth > Blurt [(1)]
Enemy Ears > Blurt [(1)]
I Don’t Want to be Happy > Contortions [Buy / Ze vinyl]
The Flags > Blurt [(1)]
My Infatuation > Contortions [Buy / Ze vinyl]
Nights Before > Blurt [Best of Blurt 2: The Boy They Built to Fit the Car / Salamander (2)]
+ English Lessons
Shoot & Shout > Blurt [(2)]
Forget About For Whom The Bell Tolls > Blurt [(2)]
The A2 Through Thong > Blurt [(2)]

“Two london punks died in my coat.”
• Ted Milton

Attaining > John Coltrane [Sun Ship / ABC vinyl]
Machina Machina > Blurt [(2)]
Åmour de ma Vie > Blurt [(2)]
On the Stage > Blurt [(2)]
Kazimir’s Tractor > Blurt [(2)]
Cut It! / Hat > Blurt [Single / Orchestra Pit]
Nogales > Ted Milton vs Back to Normal Orchestra [Odes / Limited edition 100]
Dearly Beloved > John Coltrane [Sun Ship / ABC vinyl]
+ English Lessons
Can’t Beat Blim > Ted Milton vs Sam Britton [Odes / Limited edition 100]
That Flank > Blurt [Celebrating the Bespoke Cell of Little-Ease / Personal]
The Windmills of Lingeray  > Blurt [Celebrating the Bespoke Cell of Little-Ease / Personal]
Oh Pity Us > Ted Milton vs Paddy Steers vs Andrea Gerth [Odes / Limited edition 100]
Fragment > Ted Milton vs Back to Normal Orchestra [Odes / Limited edition 100]
Miles Away > Ted Milton vs Paddy Steers vs Andrea Gerth [Odes / Limited edition 100]
Dyslexia > Blurt [The Factory Recordings / LTM]
St. Valentine’s Day Mascara  > Ted Milton vs Loopspool [Odes / Limited edition 100]

In Eric Clapton‘s autobiography he describes hanging out with Ted at Milton’s girlfriend Clarissa’s apartment often in the summer of 1965. “Ted was the most extraordinary man. A poet and a visionary…he was the first person I ever saw physically interpreting music…to enact it with his entire being, dancing and employing facial expressions to interpret what he was hearing. Watching him, I understood for the first time how you could really live music, how you could listen to it and completely make it come alive, so that it was part of your life. It was a real awakening.”

I have probably produced half a dozen shows around Ted Milton and Blurt. He and his sound and poetry have always been a strange attractor. Wild in a stylish controlled way, poetic in a way that is not easily quantified, making sense in the process of making no sense at all and vice versa. I have done these shows in reaction to or as inspired by seeing them live or receiving some new TM product, because, besides being a musician, he is also quite a graphic designer as well as a puppeteer. When you meet him you realize he is from another planet perhaps Moondog’s or Sun Ra’s but is also quite down to earth. He seems to exist on a plane just adjacent to reality, not quite loaded down by it but not effetely removed from the gritty realities. So in his poesie one gets an aesthete’s play with words but also a sense of class / capital / post-situ analysis, a working-class guy’s take on man’s relation to labor. In that way sharing that uneasy set of roles that people like Lennon played with. What you get from a Blurt concert is an odd symbiosis between what seems like horns-drink-punk-funk existentialism mixed with a – suddenly – very human and warm glimpse into the body politic, foible, mankind’s dilemma… He like some bands like the Fall or PiL – there are others from that era – who seem to have this magical musical quality of seeming to be totally of their/its time, thus potentially easily dated but also that raw thereness of being totally head-over-heels bursting of the zeitgeist of the time – say early Thatcher period – and thus perfect noise tracks of a period BUT they somehow [and here we get into the magic of music that transcends its constrictures of time, structure, genre] it becomes a more universal but no less weapon-like noise [cudgel, sabre, bullet] of time and no time.

That is Ted Milton’s work. His shouts that defy song, his bleats and hoots that defy jazz, his you-ambic trumped hammer poetic meter, his deft forays into a speculative zone reminds me of the best of Patchen, Rexroth, Burroughs, Heidesieck, Moondog, Vinkenoog – defying melody somehow coming across as detritus polished up to become art worthy of grousing and grumbling and twitching about. Plainly better than John Zorn in certain aerodynamic ways – lean without the ballast of officious cultural approval, without ever being satisfied or even believing anyone who would call him a genius. He is better than Gang of Four’s punk funk and better than James Chance’s set the shit of James Brown on fire and see who calls the stench perfume kind of existential burn out funk. If punk funk has four gears Blurt shifts between 2nd and 5th – with second turning white hot fast and threatening to be so dynamic and kinetic that it will freeze the overheated motor parts and fifth a gear not available to most four gear units…

Having had some significant interactions and correspondence with him I am convinced that despite being at it for over 30 years he is a new phenomenon still waiting to be duly discovered.

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