The TVD Storefront

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: California Roots Music and Arts Festival’s California Roots Vol. 1

Destined to be a 2018 highlight, the California Roots Music and Arts Festival, kicks off tomorrow, and per last year’s California Roots Vol. 1, they’ve pressed the bands hitting the stage in 2018 onto a second comp, California Roots Vol. 2, which you can pre-order right here. To get you stoked for this weekend’s festival and the arrival of Vol.2, we have a copy of California Roots Vol. 1 to award one of you. (Think of it as one sweet, sweet flashback.) First however, some official background:

The ninth annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival will take place at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center from May 25–27, 2018. To celebrate, California Roots is bringing back a second volume of their popular vinyl release series begun in 2017. The limited edition vinyl album has a unique splatter design, mixing four colors and housed in a gatefold jacket spread. The album features songs from artists on this year’s line-up, including an exclusive unreleased song from Slightly Stoopid.

The release, aptly titled California Roots Vol. 2, is available for pre-order at http://moremusic.at/CaliRootsVinyl. Attendees will be available to purchase the vinyl at the festival, but pre-orders are strongly recommended due to the very limited pressing run. Fans who pre-order can choose to have the record shipped to their house before the festival, or pick it up at the merch booth on site. The album was produced by festival co-producer Dan Sheehan alongside Eric Smith and Lem Oppenheimer of the indie tastemaker label Easy Star Records.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores, May
2018, Part Three

Part three of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for May, 2018. Part one is here and part two is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: GAS, Rausch (Kompakt) The latest from Wolfgang Voight’s reignited ambient-electronic project is a 60-min piece designed to be listened to in one sitting. Out on CD and standalone digital, the 2LP comes with a download allowing for the realization of Voight’s aim, this pairing exquisitely combining the beauty and heft of the tactile (a reliable component in Kompakt’s output, and distinctively in the oeuvre of GAS) with the possibilities opened up by technological advancement. But y’know, this wouldn’t really be worth noting if the music was merely okay. The good news is that Rausch is impeccably constructed, with nary an inch of excess or traces of ran-through motions. Offering many unexpected (and dark) turns along the way to a splendid finale, it’s amongst Voight’s finest work. A

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices featuring Lisa Gerrard, BooCheeMish (Prophecy Productions) Initially assembled by Swiss ethnomusicologist Marcel Cellier, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices released an LP back in 1975 (as Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares) that roughly a decade later was reissued on 4AD (Nonesuch did the honors in the US), so this collab with vocalist and Dead Can Dance co-founder Gerrard has roots in precedent. Furthermore, the MotBV has always been dedicated to combining the traditional and the modern, so even after a break in recording of over 20 years, the music here unfurls comfortably but intensely (likewise, Gerrard’s contribution) and without straining for the up-to-date. And while the instrumentation holds a consistent allure, it’s the singing that’s really where it’s at. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Bark Psychosis, ///Codename: Dustsucker (Fire) After some notable singles and EPs, ’94’s debut LP Hex put this UK act (led by sole constant member Graham Sutton) at the forefront of the New. An essential post-rock acquisition, it was reissued by Fire late last year, and now here’s the ’04 follow-up (and Bark Psychosis’ final statement). Musically, a decade is a long time. Although a whole lot had transpired in the post-rock realm since Hex helped to define it, these selections display no hints of being eclipsed. Overall, if not quite rising to the level of its predecessor, Codename reliably hangs in the ballpark of excellent, and everything still sounds fresh in 2018. How ‘bout that? If you dig Hex, you’ll want this one, too. Featuring guest drums by Lee Harris of Talk Talk. A

Franco Battiato, Clic (Superior Viaduct) Italian experimental pop/ avant-garde composer Battiato’s three prior LPs have recently been reissued by Superior Viaduct, and this one, originally issued by Bla Bla in ’74, is the latest in a program that’s scheduled to culminate with ’78’s L’Egitto prima delle sabbie. Sometimes tagged as the Italian Brian Eno, Battiato’s work occasionally offers similarities to Krautrock/ kosmische (“Propriedad Prohibida,” here), but much of this alb’s sonic motion is resistant to easy comparisons. The saxophone in opener “I Cancelli Della Memoria” delivers a nice surprise, and twists are common. However, there are recurring gestures toward classical experimentation (Clic is dedicated to Karlheinz Stockhausen), and the sampling of Henry Cowell’s ’50s Folkways recordings is tremendous. A

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/24/18

Head record store in Leamington will re-open in June: Head record store in Leamington is set to re-open under new ownership at the start of June. The branch, which was part of a small chain of stores across the UK and Ireland, closed in January after its parent company went into administration. But Leamington branch manager Simon Dullenty is now the owner of the store in the Royal Priors and has said that the shop is “here for the forseeable future”. Mr Dullenty, who has run the Leamington store for ten years, said: “The Leamington store was always a great shop which was popular. “The resurgence of vinyl helped it to stay afloat and we also did well with sales of headphones and turntables.”

Experimental Brazilian records from 1976-1985 collected in vibrant new book: Sights and sounds from the underground. Journalist and record collector Bento Araujo has launched a new crowdfunding campaign to help publish the second instalment of his Lindo Sonho Delirante book series. A follow-up to Lindo Sonho Delirante Volume 1, – one of our favourite music books of 2017 – which looked at rare Brazilian psychedelic records released between 1968 – 1975, Volume 2 delves into 100 avant-garde and progressive psychedelic records from 1976–1985. As with the first edition, the book features fully illustrated cover art reproductions for all albums, with a review written in both Portuguese and English, alongside comprehensive original release information.

What the Tech? Father’s Day gift ideas: Many dads have some old LPs stored away somewhere but they probably don’t have anything to play them. Turntables are big again as most artists release new music on vinyl albums. Turntables from Audio-Technica are of good quality and won’t break the bank. The turntables connect to a stereo system without needing a pre-amp and some will connect to Bluetooth speakers anywhere in the house. Amazon has its own Vinyl Record Store that sells old and new releases.

Three Landmark Liz Phair Albums To Receive Vinyl Debuts, ‘Whip-Smart’, ‘whitechocolatespaceegg’ and ‘Liz Phair’ will all be available on 180-g vinyl for the first time. Three coveted releases from Grammy-nominated indie-rock singer/songwriter Liz Phair’s back catalogue are set for release through Capitol/UMe on 8 June. Each title will be making its debut on 180-g black vinyl. Whip-Smart, Phair’s September 1994 major-label debut, followed on the heels of her galvanizing, indie-released grrrl-power manifesto, June 1993’s critically acclaimed Exile in Guyville. Whip-Smart, co-produced by Phair and Brad Wood (Pete Yorn, Sunny Day Real Estate), built on the patented “Girly-Sound” alter-ego promise of Exile with the hard-hitting and quite unapologetic ‘Supernova’ (which shot to Number 6 on the Modern Rock Tracks Chart), the green-eyed percussive sneer of ‘Jealousy’, and the minimalist title track, which repeatedly namechecks the chorus of Malcolm McLaren’s joyous 1983 new-wave ode to jump-rope gymnastics, ‘Double Dutch.’ A limited edition of Whip-Smart, in orange smoke pressed on 130g vinyl will also be available.

Albums by Buddy Guy and Junior Wells Being Reissued on Vinyl by Craft Recordings: Craft Recordings is pleased to announce two special reissues from celebrated blues icons Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. Both legends in their own right, their synergistic musical partnership prompted Rolling Stone to dub the duo “the Original Blues Brothers.” Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, they were frequent studio and stage collaborators, and together produced stunning live performances and some of their finest recorded work. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary for both Buddy Guy’s A Man and the Blues and Junior Wells’ Coming at You, seminal albums originally released on Vanguard Records that were among the first to capture the dynamic sound of Chicago’s electric blues scene. To celebrate these classic blues titles, both are being reissued on audiophile-quality, 180-gram vinyl cut from the original analog masters.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: Liam Gallagher at the Lincoln Theatre, 5/19

Seems like all of England was at the Royal Wedding Saturday, but rocking native son Liam Gallagher, so highly esteemed in his home country, was in Washington, DC to make up a show he canceled last year. And looking as if he wanted to leave as soon as possible.

Other than fulfilling an implied contract with the audience, there was another sense of closure for the show that capped a quick week of US shows: here was the second of the two brothers from Oasis performing in town within three months. Noel Gallagher played a big show at the Anthem in February; Liam’s gig at the Lincoln Theatre was the other rock ’n’ roll shoe dropping.

The success of both shows were based on both brothers’ greater reliance on Oasis songs that made them stars. Indeed, more than half of Liam’s set were Oasis anthems, with the five others from his recent solo album (He decided to skip over the two albums of his first post-Oasis project, Beady Eye).

The sellout crowd that leaned toward nostalgia appreciated that ratio, but the total number of songs is what made this show notable: ten in the main set, two encores, 12 total. Because Richard Ashcroft had to ditch the tour early, there was no opener. So this was the rare rock show in which the headliner began an 8 o’clock show at 7:59, ended the main set at 8:44, and was out of there by 8:54.

Did he have to catch a plane? He was set to open the big Rolling Stones show Tuesday in London Stadium, so maybe he had his mind on other things. Gallagher has played slightly longer shows on this US run (by one song), but not at a DC show that needed it.

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The TVD Storefront

A Hawk and A Hacksaw, The TVD First Date

“What happens to messages and acts of protest when they end up packaged and sold at grocery stores?”

“As a child I was more interested in the artwork and packaging on my parents’ records than the musical content. I wasn’t allowed to play records, but I could familiarize myself with various bands’ music through my Dad’s 8 track player in the car. In the early ’80s I would ride in the car between my parents up front and in the middle, sitting atop a storage case between their seats with no seat belt. We went everywhere this way until I grew too big and had to move to the backseat with my brother. My Dad had a few great 8 track tapes. The one that stood out and often led me back to the record collection to investigate further was a Creedence Clearwater Greatest Hits compilation.

C.C.R. may be the greatest Anglo-American band of the ’70s. Of course there is also ZZ Top, but in my perspective ZZ Top were an ’80s band, as I came to know them through their ridiculous ’80s videos, whereas C.C.R. just seemed to typify an era that I missed (and can therefore magically create in my own idealized way).

They were finished by the time I heard them. The band had no painful years in the ’80s. The Creedence compilation my Dad owned has a typically bad band photo on the cover. This is a budget collection that he most likely bought either after seeing a TV commercial or on a trip to the supermarket. He has never frequented record shops, but I remember clearly that records and CDs were often bought at the grocery store checkout line or later, Wal-Mart. Much of his collection then, are Greatest Hits compilations from different eras. I think he has about four copies of the Eagles’ Greatest Hits.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Kansas,
Point of Know Return

I saw Kansas once. What a waste of a state. And the band is even worse.

That said, the one time I saw Steve Walsh, Kerry Livgren & Company live I had a wonderful time, although that could be attributed to the fact that I smoked PCP by mistake. Brought a whole new meaning to “Dust in the Wind.”

And to be fair–I went to see them way back when because I liked them. “Carry on Wayward Son” was fine by me, and I was a total sucker for their sound, which basically involved Robbie Steinhardt’s violin chasing Steve Walsh’s organ around the stage while Kerry Livgren was doing whatever it was he did on synthesizers and Rich Williams was trying his hardest to be a complete nonentity on guitar. And those lyrics, man. Deep!

Kansas is a young person’s band in the same way that Thomas Wolff is a young person’s novelist; they sounded pretty great to this dumb teen, but if you’re still cranking them up at 40, well, I have to wonder about you.

For one there’s the question of the lyrics; Walsh and Livgren are collectively even more lunkheaded than Rush’s Neil Peart, although to be fair to the boys it must be said that at least they’re not trying to ram Ayn Rand down your throat. I direct your attention to “Portrait (He Knew)” off the band’s 1977 masterpiece Point of Know Return. The “He” in question is Albert Einstein, and Livgren does some very insightful thinking about the great man along the lines of, “Never said much to speak of/He was off on another plain/The words that he said were a mystery/Nobody’s sure he was sane.” It’s a PhD thesis in rhyme, it is.

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TVD Washington, DC

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Gene Turonis aka
Gene D. Plumber,
All the Pretty Girls

To burnish the label of throwback when writing (or simply gabbing) about music is often, if not an act of derision, then quite likely a gesture of diminishment. But there are exceptions, and Gene Turonis aka Gene D. Plumber is one of them. However, his new CD All the Pretty Girls, while assuredly suggestive of earlier, less harried times, is ultimately just a warm, good-natured and timeless affair. It’s out now through his hometown label Bar/None Records.

Regarding Gene Turonis’ alternate handle, he is indeed a plumber, having worked at the trade since the ’70s. This may seem gimmicky, but just as the great Atlanta bluesman-songster Barbeque Bob dished no tunes about cooking meat or working at Tidwells’ Barbecue, there are no tracks on Turonis’ new disc relating to leaky faucets or burst pipes.

Not a gimmick, but rather a way to illuminate the simultaneous plying of craft and honing of musical skills, and it takes just one listen to absorb All the Pretty Girls as the byproduct of an experienced singer-guitarist. Had the choice been made to release this set solely as Gene Turonis, one might gaze at that cover photo and wonder where exactly the guy’s been over the years; the extra moniker simply clarifies that he’s spent a significant portion of time underneath sinks.

With his band D. Plumbers, he’s performed in Hoboken since the ’70s, navigating scene changes while raising a family, and it’s clear that he’s persisted at music out of love. And it’s just as apparent through Turonis’ deft handling of the guitar and the distinctive addition of Charlie Giordano’s accordion in All the Pretty Girls’ opening title track that this is no amateurish undertaking.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/23/18

West Chester, PA | The Mad Platter set to close: A borough staple since 1976, The Mad Platter will shutter its doors within the next couple of months. Owner John Harton, 65, said business has always been good, but he doesn’t want to sign a five-year lease and sell vinyl LPs into his 70s. “We’re not leaving because of business reasons,” Harton said. “We’ve had good business all along. “The comments posted online are overwhelming and let us feel appreciated. The town has been very supportive.” Harton enjoys the job. “Who wouldn’t want to work in a record store? You basically watch all kinds of life flow in and out of the door and get to interact with a variety of people. It makes you feel young, seeing all of the younger people.”

Edwardsville, IL | Elvis knows vinyl records: After years of touring as an Elvis Presley tribute artist, Collinsville native Bill Cherry has opened a store in his hometown that reflects his interests. Monster Vinyl, a record and collectible shop that combines music with horror, is located in downtown Collinsville at 107 East Main St. The store has been open since April 13. Cherry will have a grand opening and ribbon cutting during the Horseradish Festival, on June 2 at 1 in the afternoon. “I’m looking forward to having a few special guests and a few monsters walking around,” he said. The store sells used records and CDs. It also has and sells a large collection of horror movie memorabilia, including posters, masks, and books. “This store is my hobbies brought to the public,” Cherry said. “There’s a lot more to the story than Elvis Presley. I like music, monsters and horror movies.”

Warminster, UK | Shop is first to sell tokens to keep vinyl alive: A music shop in Warminster are the first shop in the country to sell one of the new Record Token gift cards which were launched earlier this week. Raves from the Graves in Weymouth Street are proud to be the first independent record shop to sell one of the tokens which can be used to purchase vinyl, CD or cassette music. Business owner, Richard Churchyard said: “We would like to thank our customers for their continued support and whilst we have definitely seen an increase in vinyl sales over the last five years, the people of Wiltshire have always demonstrated a true appreciation of music. “We are proud to have recently celebrated our 20th anniversary proving that in Wiltshire vinyl never died.”

The fastest-selling vinyl albums of the last 25 years: Dating back to when modern Official Chart records began, what other albums have seen strong opening vinyl sales? Last Friday, Arctic Monkeys claimed their sixth UK Number 1 album with Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino. TBH + C was the sixth AM album in a row to debut at the top spot of the Official Albums Chart, keeping their 100% record of Number 1 studio albums alive. Available on black, clear, silver and gold LP variants, the album was the fastest-selling vinyl of the last 25 years, shifting 24,500 copies in just seven days. According to Official Charts Company data, dating back to when modern Official Chart records began in 1994, what other albums have seen strong opening sales of their wax press alternatives? We rundown the Top 10 vinyl albums of modern times.

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TVD UK

TVD Live Shots: Foreigner at the Royal Albert Hall, 5/16

Foreigner’s Records was released on November 29, 1982, the compilation spanning the band’s first four albums through 1981. Along with their second album, Double Vision, the release is the group’s best-selling record. I must have played this one a thousand times when I was a kid. Mind you, I was ten at the time, yet every song on that record is a bona fide global smash hit, and the music still holds up today. It would go on to become certified seven times platinum, something most of us will never see again in our lifetime.

Fast forward almost four decades and a new Foreigner led by founding member Mick Jones (who let’s not forget joined the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013) is alive and well and arguably sounding better than ever before. Sure they’re missing their original vocalist, the almighty Lou Gramm, but holy shit does Kelly Hansen play the part well. He’s been part of the band for more than a decade now and not only is he a stellar vocalist, he adds a new dynamic to the group. Anyone who sees the band live can’t deny the unbridled talent and charisma Hansen brings to the band.

Add to that Dokken bass master Jeff Pilson, Big Country’s Bruce Watson, former Whitesnake drummer Chris Frazier, sax man Thom Gimbel, and keyboardist Michael Bluestein, and you have a group of musicians who not only recreate the legendary songs live, they add a welcome and slight modern twist. The show was a non-stop hits-a-palooza that featured all the classics. “Double Vision,” “Cold As Ice,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Dirty White Boy,”—I could go on for a while here, but the real highlight for me was how incredible “Urgent” and “Juke Box Hero” sounded live—two of my favorites.

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