TVD Dallas

TVD Live: Seryn at
The Live Oak, 2/25

PHOTOS: AMANDA DEERING | It was a happy homecoming for Seryn last week. Nashville transplants originally from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the band has experienced its fair share of challenges in recent years—from leaving its label to acquiring new management, to losing several members, adding several members, and moving to the fiercely competitive Music City itself. And with a new album in tow, their first record in four years, the sextet might have a lot to prove.

But despite change, and fans’ high expectations, one thing was certain to the Fort Worthians who packed into The Live Oak on Wednesday night—these hometown heroes we know and love are still very alive and well.


The thing to know about Seryn is you can’t truly grasp the mystical nature of their sound through headphones. With members articulating a vast range of instrumentation—from guitar to ukulele, banjo and violin—and harmonies composed of all six voices, the band wields the rich sonic power of an orchestra, more than a folk group. Songs rise and fall like tides, sending you out to sea one minute and pulling you back to shore the next. Impassioned shouts and hard-hitting percussion build up and billow over one moment into ethereal harmonies and subtle strings the following—swelling and exploding and then finding peace all over again.

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TVD Asbury Park

The Best of Garden State Sound with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Tune in to Garden State Sound with Evan Toth to explore the diverse music with connections to New Jersey. You’ll hear in-depth interviews with some of Jersey’s best music makers and have the opportunity win tickets to some of the best concerts in the state.

“The Lenni Lenape originally called it Ackingsah-sack which meant “stony ground.” Today, we know it as Hackensack—a NJ town name which has appeared in many places in popular culture, but today we research its appearance in the music world.

Additionally, we celebrate Nicole Atkins’ performance on Letterman last week, think about what it means that the Izod Center is closing, and explore a bit of Bill Frisell’s new album. Plus, I had an extra cup of coffee before the show, so I was ready to roll. Tune in!” —EZT

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends: The 6th Annual Pisces Party at the Blue Nile, 3/3

Zodiac parties have been all the rage in New Orleans for decades. All of them take place on weekends and feature bands culled from the favorites of the party planners. The Pisces party takes a different approach. The event is during the week allowing more musicians to attend, and they feature only musicians born under the fish sign. The organizers also emphasize “Fish-anthropy,” with all proceeds donated to an area non-profit each year.

This is also the first year that the group has a true headliner—the one and only Alvin Youngblood Hart (pictured at top).

Doors at the Blue Nile will open at 8 PM with DJ Black Pearl kicking off the night, followed by a short set and spiritual blessing by spirit-led vocal group, the Yemayayas (featuring Michaela Harrison, Sula Evans, Monica McIntyre, Thea Bashful, Martha Alguera, and Margie Perez).

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Carpark Records 16th Anniversary Shows in NYC, 3/6, and DC, 3/7

For 16 years now, DC by way of NYC Carpark Records has been one of the finer proponents of all things indie—in sound and spirit both. In addition to a special basketball-themed picture disc to commemorate the label’s anniversary, Carpark is hosting 3 shows to celebrate 16 years of slinging some fine records our way. We have a pair of tickets to 2 of those shows to put in the hands of 2 of you, the Friday (3/6) show at Baby’s All Right in NYC and the Saturday (3/7) show at Washington, DC’s DC9.

First up however, label founder Todd Hyman was kind enough to pull himself away from the turntable to offer us some insights into the label’s inception and continued success.

“Carpark began in New York City in the late ’90s. I was working at a friend’s record store in the East Village and we started hosting a weekly DJ/experimental electronic music night at indie rock institution Brownies on Avenue A. I think a lot of people into indie music at that time felt like indie rock had reached its end. IDM/electronic type music seemed like a natural progression. Brownies still had bands playing every night but they ended them early then and began hosting DJ nights starting around 11 til closing (4am). We were on a Wednesday night.”

This kind of electronic music seemed like the future to me at the time. People making and performing music on their laptops! Seems rather mundane now, but it was brand new back then. Portable computers were finally getting powerful enough, and useful programs were finally available to the average consumer.

In addition to DJing at this night, called Invisible Cities, we hosted live music. Turned out there were quite a few folks making music on their computers with nowhere to play. We gave them a place to play. Some of the folks we hosted just to give you an idea: Marumari, Kid606, Cex, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Greg Davis, Lucky Kitchen, Kit Clayton, Safety Scissors, Jake Mandell, Zammuto, B. Fleischmann, and many others.

I thought there should be a professional label to represent this kind of music. Carpark was born!

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Journey, Infinity

I have always keep Journey at arm’s length, out of fear they might be catching. I lived through their glory years, when the wheel in the sky kept on turning and the lights went down in the city, and I hated Journey the way a bull elephant must hate, well, everybody. I hated them to the extent that had a passenger in my car suggested not changing the dial when a Journey song came on the radio, I would have reached over his person, opened his car door, and pushed him out. In a 65 mph zone. Journey was an MOR nightmare, a journey to the end of the blight, and they gave me the heebie-jeebies with their signature stacked vocals, songs that were impossible to get out of your head no matter what you did to dislodge them, and last but not least Steve Perry’s super-polished tenor, which just flat out irked.

But over the years my attitude towards Journey has softened. I still like to make fun of them, but call it nostalgia or the imp of the perverse, I no longer turn them off when they come on the radio. I sing along. It’s as if at some point in my past the band ran a musical train on me, turning me into one of those pussy Journey lovers I loathed. The part of me that still despises them is disgusted by the part of me that is singing along, but is helpless to do anything about it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still no fan, but I have discovered that at their best Journey have an impressive skill at pop songcraft.

Journey was founded in San Francisco in 1973, and was made up of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch, a band best known for being completely unknown. Their first three albums, which did not include Perry, varied from jazz fusion to hard rock, the latter being most prominent on 1977’s excellent Next, which included a couple of great headbangers in “Hustler” and the instrumental “Nickel and Dime.” But they failed to break through to pop success, and on LP no. 4 (1978’s Infinity) Journey made several momentous changes; first they brought in Perry of the golden tonsils to handle lead vocals, and second they abandoned hard rock for a more commercial pop sound.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new tracks received last week—provided here to inform your next trip to your local indie record store. Click, preview, download, purchase.

Brad Reiman – A Vacation From My Mind
Jen Wood – Run With The Wild Ones
Ellie Goulding – Lights (GAMPER & DADONI Remix)
And The Kids – No Countries
Lox Chatterbox – Tryna Smoke
They Might Be Giants – Flood Live in Australia, Full Concert
Harriet Brown – 20/15
Sur Une Plage – Minimum
stickybackplastics. – Psycho Dreamer
Daydream Frenzy – Jade’s Song

The Living Statues – Blackout

AU8UST – White Sheets (Produced by CRNVL)
Kill The Waves – Vow
The Landing – Back to the Stars
Mighty Mouse – Live At XOYO, London 20th Feb 2015
boerd – City Cleep
Blind Lake- Walk beside me
Echos – Dont Let Me Go (Echos Remix)
The American Spirit – Wait For The Night
Snowbride – Rooftop Islands
Galantis – Runaway (Leo Medina & Jona Prado Remix)

10 more FREE TRACKS on side B!

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 3/2/15

“Coming This Summer – New Music Fridays: ‘“[The music industry] will now be competing with the movie industry for a limited amount of entertainment dollars…The idea of launching a record on a Friday and then having most of your fans be absent for the next 48 hours doesn’t seem very smart. I think this is why the majority of indie record labels are opposed to a Friday street date.’”

“’…It’s not what I want,” says the guy behind the counter at Jack the Lad, his skin peeking from beneath his Posies tee. “I’ve been in this shop — right across from the old clock tower — for 30 years. My store’s traffic depends on new release Tuesdays. Everything about how I run this place revolves around Tuesdays. This might put me out of business,’ he says…”

“London record shop BM Soho has closed, apparently without any warning to its customers. Techno producer…Truss tweeted a picture of the darkened shopfront with a sign reading: ‘Due to circumstances, BM Soho has to close.'”

“Adelaide live music venue Jive to reinvent itself as record store: Owner Tam Boakes had already been pondering ways to spruce up the venue, but the cogs truly started turning after a few beers with some friends…”

“Record shop opens on John Bonham’s childhood street: …The road holds memories for her as the shop is just a few doors down from her childhood home and the house where Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was born…”

“…Stashed between curling banisters near the middle of the store is a 30-foot high display where Dr. Dre hangs beside Abbey Road. Smooth Jazz, Classic Rock, Blues and Electronica: all genres have a place on the wall of the Urban Outfitters vinyl sec­tion. Beneath the display are even more record albums, wrapped in plastic and crammed into wooden shelves, selling for 35 dollars each. These shelves might look like a decoration that add to the store’s alternative am­biance, but it’s with displays like these that Urban Out­fitters has become the largest retail store seller of vinyl records in America…”

“A local indie record store is supporting up-and-coming artists who are only 11 and 12-years-old. Wax Trax Records, a vinyl and CD store in Denver, teamed up with Peck Elementary in Arvada, for the “Self-Portrait Albums” art show…”

“Jack Ware and his wife Betty have a love for animals and collecting all types of memorabilia and collectibles. The couple recently put those passions together by opening their store 3 Dachshunds, located at 2508 West Edmond Road last November. The store features a wide variety of items including vintage vinyl records, posters, collectibles, greeting cards, gifts, toys and dolls…”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m enthusiastically working hard this week. My take on the music biz, or “the grind,” is that all of this is work, so every now and then I’ll take a break to count stars and dream of magical destinations. This week’s hour-long playlist is the soundtrack to one of those destinations. In my mind, it’s tropical.

Speaking of stars, my sister-in-law won an Oscar last Sunday. Even though I see Patricia only now and again, I am actually very proud of her and honored by her grace.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: The Dodos at the Black Cat, 2/24

The Dodos do not feel like a two-man act. For a band that relies so heavily on so little—a drum kit, guitar, and vocals—they fill the stage with their energy and the venue with their indie, at times somewhat folky, sound.

In addition to displaying incredible talent on the two instruments that make up their band, Meric Long and Logan Kroeber seemed to have great fun with the audience—bantering about the cupcakes that were waiting for them backstage, gently mocking an audience member for unhelpful song requests, and dedicating “Black Night” from the album No Color to all the people in the audience who go running in the negative degree weather (thanks by the way guys, it’s chilly out there). Waiting for Long to tune after a guitar change, drummer Kroeber thanked the crowd for the “warm” welcome, noting that this was the band’s first snow day of the tour.

And the welcome was indeed warm. The audience head bopped along and joined in shouting “HA!” and “HEY!” in all the appropriate places, especially getting in to “Competition” off the band’s most recent album Individ and “Confidence” from Carrier.

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The TVD Storefront

Ryan Cabrera,
The TVD First Date

“I actually didn’t truly discover the beauty of vinyl till I was about 21 years old when I found my mother’s childhood record collection in the basement of my grandma’s house.”

I grew up with cassette tapes and whatnot but when I found that collection, it changed the way I listened to music forever. The first record of hers I played was the Woodstock performance and was obviously blown away. I dusted off every vinyl she had and took them home with me and a new sound was born in my ears.

Now when I’m home, my passion for the classics grows and grows every day ’cause I put ‘em on at night by the fireplace and play ‘em thru my Gramophone.

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