The TVD Storefront

M3-fer: Sebastian Bach, Lita Ford, Tesla’s Brian Wheat–The TVD M3 Rock Festival Interview

The frost is gone (well, mostly), the warm weather is coming, and with it comes another season of outdoor music festivals and amphitheater shows. As if wagging a defiant middle finger at the Fireflys and Coachellas, the annual M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD has become the late Spring celebration of the hair metal glory days of the ’80s.

Now in its 6th year, the M3 Rock Festival will feature two days of music on two stages, with artists such as Tesla, Kix, Lita Ford, Night Ranger, Extreme, Stryper among others.

We had a chance to talk to 3 M3 artists in the week leading up to M3—Brian Wheat of Tesla, Lita Ford, and Sebastian Bach. We got their take on M3, vinyl, and quite a bit more.

Tell us what you’ve been up to lately.

BRIAN WHEAT, TESLA: Well, we’ve been making a new album—we just finished a new album called Simplicity which comes out June 10th on our own label. It will be out on vinyl as well!

LITA FORD: Well, lately I’ve been writing my book. I’ve taken a little bit of downtime just to focus on the book. We’ll go out and do some shows, then I come back and work on the book. We’re almost ready to turn it in to Harper Collins, and it should be out soon! Pretty gnarly stuff. I let it fly.

SEBASTIAN BACH: I’ve got a new album, called Give ‘Em Hell, that comes out April 22nd. I’ve got a new video called “Temptation,” with John 5 and Duff McKagan in it, and they’re also in my band on the record. Also, Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band, and Bobby Jarzombek is the drummer. I have a new TV show called Sing Your Face Off on ABC TV that’s premiering on May 31st at 9pm. I also have a book deal with Harper Collins…I’m working on my book. I’ve got about sixty or seventy concerts this summer to do, so that’s what I’ve been up to.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Pink Fairies,
Finland Freakout 1971

The Pink Fairies made one of the most monstrous rackets in human history. Theirs was a sound more barbaric than the Battle for Stalingrad, more hammering than 40,000 jackhammers going at once, and fuzzier than my Aunt Edna’s chin. Drummer Russell Hunter made as big a thumping noise as the giant crushing machine—run by a grotesquely fat man named Tiny—back at the Littlestown Foundry, guitarist Paul Rudolph played all fuzz and nothing but the fuzz, and Duncan Sanderson once nearly swamped the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein (which is double-landlocked) by creating a tidal wave with his brutal booming boot-stomp of a bass.

In short, Ladbroke Grove’s finest were fucking fantastic, mayhem-makers and the kind of fun-loving Radico-Freeks who promoted anarchy, drugs, and free music for all. And who played songs with titles like “Uncle Harry’s Last Freakout” that went on forever, frazzling your eardrums and shivering your timbers with their feral, in-your-face druggy din. If you live for fuzz and feedback the way I do, The Pink Fairies are Mecca, because they didn’t make them part of their musical palate—they were the band’s entire musical palate. Making a big freaky-deaky hullaballoo was all the Pink Fairies knew how to do.

For the reasons cited above you will rarely find an album with a more appropriate title than Finland Freakout 1971. Recorded at the Ruisrock Festival in Turku, Finland—which, as we all learned in elementary school, was the site of the Åbo Bloodbath in the aftermath of the War against Sigismund—this was a typical Pink Fairies show, only FASTER, because pre-gig a Canned Heat roadie turned the Fairies onto enough speed to keep a kindergarten class wide awake and drawing perfect crayon circles within circles within circles for a full year.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday morning recap of the new tracks received last week—provided here to inform your vinyl purchasing power. Click, preview, download.

Love Echo – Hope
Kavinsky feat. Lovefoxxx – Nightcall (MYNGA Remix)
Frances England – Fall Out Of The Sky
Futurecop! – Lost Love (feat. DWNTWN)
Swans – A Little God In My Hands
Trummors – Bogus Bruce
La Sera – Running Wild
The/Das – Parallel Worlds
We Are The Brave – Sparrow (Alcala Remix)
Cajita – Shake

TVD SINGLE OF THE WEEK:
Smoke Fairies – Shadow Inversions

1,2,3 – Porch Swing Song
DZ Deathrays – Gina Works At Hearts
Armand Margjeka – Hummingbird
ETCHES – David
Cocktails – Tough Love
The 1975 – Settle Down (EMBRZ Remix)
Duologue – Memex
The Aston Shuffle – Tear it Down (GAMPER & DADONI Remix)
New York Trouble ‎– Light Stakeout Part 2
Orangatang – Fog Swimming

6 more FREE TRACKS on side B!

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings From Rancho Mirage!

What’s the Idelic Hour without an episode dedicated to Coachella? In the past I would’ve argued the two are spiritual cousins. Having come close to convincing festival organizers to officially sponsor my annual “Parents Guide to Coachella,” I do feel a connection to the community of people who’ve grown this cool concept into an annual tradition, all in the name of fun and cool music.

The very word Coachella conveys great memories—playing the main stage, melting guitar pick in hand. Friends, warm winds, stoney sunsets. Rick Van Satan’s stash of junk food. Love to Paul & Skip, Rachel & PJ “good looking out.” To all my friends at Goldenvoice, props.

Well, here I am in the desert once again ready to rock. Question is, who is with me? Would it be grandiose or is it crazy to imply The Idelic Hour and Coachella are growing apart? Has “the media” changed our festival or I am just getting old? Likely a bit of both. Things in the desert can get messy…

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Lotus at the Riviera Theatre, 4/12

With 15 years of material under their belt including numerous studio albums and countless live bootlegs, Lotus has made it difficult to predict what to expect at their shows.

There are, however, a few staples that continue to attract sell-out crowds both nationally and internationally: their light show is always spectacular; their musicianship is always on display in an egoless, free jazz sort of way; and despite their jam band roots, they’re usually the best dressed/most well groomed dudes in the building. Such was the case on Saturday at their second of two sold out shows at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre.

Throughout the years, Lotus’ sound has evolved from their early focus on “jamtronica” (jam and electronic influences) to their current incorporation of multiple genres and textures (rock, funk, and hip hop to name a few). One thing is for sure: it’s all about the music for them. They experiment, they explore, and challenge themselves in the most organic, fundamental ways and it pays off, especially live. They are jam band royalty for a reason, after all.

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Horse Thief, “Little Dust”

Texas-born, Oklahoma-based Horse Thief plays a panoramic blend of rootsy, folk rock that evokes the wide-open spaces of America’s Midwest. “Little Dust,” the latest single from their forthcoming Bella Union debut Fear In Bliss allows the band to exercise the demons brought about by the lead singers’ bouts with anxiety and depression.

The track has a looseness to it which allows for the gloomy depictions of drug abuse and chasing the dragon to feel as breezy as a desert wind. Gorgeous guitar lines soaked in golden cello tremolo sneak along with the pounding drums and aching vocals while the lyrics detail the narrators’ devilish hallucinations.

The use of atmospheric instrumentation and the emotive presence of the vocals makes Horse Thief stand out amongst the throngs of freak-folk rockers attempting a similar sound. Producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver) helped the band fuse their renowned stage performance with the studio quality he is known for. That is not to say the recordings aren’t wonderfully rough around the edges. “Little Dust” proves in the first few minutes that there’s nothing streamlined about truly feeling alive, and point of fact, the rawer the better.

Fear In Bliss favorably positions the band as a love child of Flaming Lips and The Beachwood Sparks and should appeal to fans of both. That is to say, if you like your freakiness to go down nice and smooth, this one’s for you.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: The Kid Congo Powers Hour at Comet Ping Pong, 4/14

How unlucky am I? I was walking down the street the other day when a black cat crossed my path. The black cat said, “Shit! Bad luck!”

Now Kid Congo Powers, on the other hand, is a lucky guy. He’s spent virtually his entire life at the Epicenter of Cool, from his teen years as a Glam Kid dancing to “All the Young Dudes” at Rodney Bingenheimer’s storied English Disco to co-founding The Gun Club with Jeffrey Lee Pierce to playing with the likes of The Cramps and The Bad Seeds. That’s quite the curriculum vitae, and a much-abbreviated version at that, so I suppose in Powers’ case its talent, not luck, at work.

The stories Powers—whose current gig is as front man of Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds—could tell! He could write a book! Here’s one about sepulchral Hollywood Sleaze King Kim Fowley. Seems Fowley showed up at a party where Kid and company were tripping. Nobody at the party liked Fowley—they considered him a stabbing pain in the cock at the best of times—so they all grabbed kitchen knives and waved them out the door, uttering mock-homicidal Manson Family type threats. Fowley decided he’d be safer going elsewhere.

Since relocating to Washington, D.C., Powers has engaged in all manner of extracurricular activities, because he’s a seemingly tireless character and bops around in his hip 50’s biker’s cap and cool ‘stache that’s every bit as tireless as he is. I’ve never met a more energized mustache. Anyway, when Powers isn’t touring or recording in Harveyville, Kansas he’s DJing here and there and everywhere, but I’m not the dancing type so my favorite fun Powers’ side activity is the occasional Kid Congo Powers Hour, wherein le Kid de la Congo leads a supergroup of stellar musicians in a set of skanky-great garage obscurities, sixties scunge-rock classics, and Gun Club and Cramps tunes.

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The TVD Storefront

Life is strange: The Casket Girls join us
at DC’s Som Records

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS Ever feel out of the loop? (I know, us too.) Yes, it seems there’s something going down at record stores tomorrow, April 19, but nobody tells us a damn thing. It’s weird. But I tell you what, we hate crowds. And lines.

Know who hates crowds too? Savannah, GA’s The Casket Girls, that’s who. The lovely women of spooky shadows with an eerily catchy soundtrack to match made their way through Washington, DC recently, and with a chill in the air and ice on the stilettos, wound their way down the stairs of DC’s Som Records to join us for a hang. And a record rummage.

“My sister and I grew up in a large, dusty clutter of hallways and staircases. Playground and prison just the same, we didn’t leave the grounds much. When you live in the middle of nowhere, nowhere is your destination and your return.”

“We seemed to evade any vague adult supervision that might have made faint gestures towards securing some sense of order in our lives, and were left thoroughly content wandering about the self-made tunnels and bridges of our mind’s eye. Hoping to connect with the other worldly—in search of something more.

We were scared of the attic. We were told it was dangerous, and never to lower the ladder. Though for years we abided, we knew that one day the bravery would rise in our chests, tiny hearts pounding, breath controlled, my sister shushing me with only her glance: the ladder would be lowered. And as we believed in destiny from a very young age, we felt we had no choice in matters, we were only following our hearts up the seemingly loudest steps we had ever walked in our lives, as our aunt made tea in the kitchen below.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD Recommends Alexandra & The Starlight Band at the Record Parlour, 4/19

Alexandra & The Starlight Band will be playing a private party this Saturday, 4/19 to celebrate Record Store Day at the Record Parlour in Hollywood, CA from 1-5pm!

Come sip on some free drinks (including a specialty Starlight Band glitter cocktail), grab a free bite to eat and groove out to the rock ‘n’ roll soul of the Starlight Band.

The Starlight Band will also be giving away 3 copies of their rare, SOLD OUT collectable rainbow glitter 7″s and art prints of the limited edition show poster by Australian artist Nicholas Potts (pictured above) throughout the day!

Strict RSVP required, but check out the official media invite below the jump to get the inside details, just for Vinyl District readers! Happy Record Store Day!

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Humble Pie & Nazareth, Winning Combinations

What manner of musical monster is this? Two bands—on the same LP? Lunacy! Stark raving madness! Why, it reminds of the bootleg 99-cent LPs I used to see in the cutout bins of Woolworths as a teen. You’d be transfixed by a title like Jimi Hendrix Meets Brian Auger, but if you were foolish enough to buy it you soon discovered that Hendrix was MIA and the LP included nothing but dismal D-grade outtakes by Auger. And come to the reluctant conclusion that if the two did actually meet, it was at a party at Mama Cass Elliott’s flat in Mayfair.

Overwhelmed by nostalgia, I had to check this one out. And I’ll be damned if it isn’t indeed a winning combination, the reasons being twofold: (1) Humble Pie and Nazareth aren’t so terribly far apart, sound-wise, that the combo is ridiculous, and (2) while I half-expected the LP to contain losers and obscurities, it turns out that—and I don’t mean this to sound cold—both bands each recorded maybe five great songs, and they’re all on this LP. So it’s like getting two greatest hits packages in one!

I know that Humble Pie fanatics (total number: 17) and Nazareth nuts (total number: 17) alike will keen at my saying each band only put out five great songs. And it’s true; I’m exaggerating. But Winning Combination is as good a radical distillation of ‘Umble Pie and Nazareth’s best as you’re likely to find, and each group’s bona fide greatest hits packages contain more than a few songs that I would never, in my wildest imaginings, want to actually hear.

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