The TVD Storefront

Passport To Stockholm,
The TVD First Date

“My first record shop experience was on my 8th birthday. My godmother used to give me double my age in cash each year—that year I was cash rich with £16 in my pocket and I knew exactly how I was going to spend it.”

“Earlier in the week I had heard an American band on Capital FM (then London’s biggest station)—that band was called the Goo Goo Dolls and the song in question was of course their seminal hit “Iris.” I remember being struck by the acoustic guitars and the vocal. I needed to have this song in my life.

So off I went with my mum to my local HMV (a chain of record shops here in the UK with an iconic logo of a dog sitting next to a gramophone—His Master’s Voice—sadly HMVs cease to exist now). Without really knowing what I was doing I just said to the nearest shop assistant that I was looking for the Goo Goo Dolls. “Singles or albums?” “I have £16?—albums.”

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UK Video: The Jaguar Club, “Hard Cider”

NYC has always been known for its cutting edge music scene with some of indie’s most daring and avant-garde hailing from the Big Apple. The Jaguar Club write understated, gloom-gaze indie that’s Future Islands meets The Cure.

The video for their latest release, “Hard Cider” is a track taken from their EP “Close” which was released earlier this year. The video features claymation and various other forms of animation, all in black and white, interspersed by beautiful imagery of a sunlit forest.

The EP is out now but we can’t wait to hear some new tracks soon. As the Autumn season eases in, The Jaguar Club are fast becoming our new autumnal favourites.

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends: Cuban legends Los Van Van at the House of
Blues tonight, 8/27

This gig tonight at the House of Blues may be flying under the radar amid all the Katrina 10-year anniversary hype, but for fans of Cuban dance music or international music of any genre, I highly recommend checking out this legendary group. They are on their first U.S. tour since the two countries have begun normalizing relations.

Arguably one the most important bands to form in Cuba since the Castro revolution, Los Van Van was formed in 1969 by bassist Juan Formell. Formell passed away last year at 71, but the group, which has gone through many personnel changes over the years, forged on. Fans says, “the train keeps a rollin’” referring both to the continuation of the group and their highly syncopated dance music.

Like many international acts formed in the late 1960s including many members of Brazil’s Tropicália generation, Los Van Van sought to reach the youth movement by tapping into the burgeoning sounds of rock music. This hybrid style is called timba and has grown to include other elements as well including funk and R&B.

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A Badge of Friendship,
The Podcast

It’s a very special Thursday indeed this week as those three kooks at A Badge Of Friendship have hit their 20th episode! Pay no attention to the URL and its lies—there was a double bill a few weeks back.

To celebrate not getting kicked off the air, the gang racked their brains, and the brains of this week’s guests, to create a “How To – Music Industry” special. So, if you want to know how to take your first steps in the music biz, this is as good a place as any to start.

Imparting wisdom on the listeners this week are James Brown from Pulled Apart By Horses, Gigwise editor and full-time legend Andrew Trendell, and Olive Grove Records’ founder Lloyd Meredith. Idlewild’s Rod Jones also sends in some tips and tricks about making the most of life in a band, as well as Torche’s Andrew Elstner.

Music heard live on the show cannot be heard on this podcast but check out the tracks featured on this week’s show below:

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
4 x Liquid Liquid

In 1980s New York City Liquid Liquid hung at the crossroads of Downtown and No Wave but are more retrospectively notable for unwittingly laying the musical bedrock for an early rap hit and helping to pave the way for both the paradigm of post-rock and the new millennium’s indie-dance agenda. Superior Viaduct’s reissues of the group’s three EPs are hot off the griddle, as is an LP devoted to relevant prior acts Liquid Idiot and Idiot Orchestra. Folks needing all four can acquire them in a special-priced bundle exclusively from the label. Those looking to dabble can buy separately and in stores.

Featuring drummer Scott Hartley, bassist Richard McGuire, vocalist Salvatore Principato, and marimba specialist Dennis Young, Liquid Liquid announced their presence in 1981 with two EPs issued on 99 Records, a home to significant if initially neglected indigenous happenings of the period; Glenn Branca, Bush Tetras, Y Pants, and ESG were all documented on the influential venture of Ed Bahlman.

But not so fast; before Liquid Liquid’s formation the members were part of two related bands, the older of the two being Liquid Idiot. They formed circa the late ‘70s down New Jersey way at Rutgers University and migrated to Gotham to play gigs. The flyers for these events would encourage the audience to bring their own instruments and join right in, and at one of these hootenannies Dennis Young showed up, playing marimba from the floor.

Liquid Idiot recorded a 7-inch in McGuire’s living room while still in New Brunswick; offering loose, thoroughly non-pro art-inclined DIY totaling 15 minutes, its nine tracks spring from a framework of guitar and rhythm as clarinet, saxophone, and a cheap organ intermittently enter the fray. Favoring abstraction and repetition over melodious concerns, Liquid Idiot’s beginner’s stabs at free jazz/Trout Mask-era Magic Band/general avant-gardism are likeable if far from mind-blowing. Occasionally, the thrust’s comparable to the Los Angles Free Music Society.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 8/27/15

Virginia pressing plant to open after discovering vinyl press “motherload”: “Virginia-based Furnace Manufacturing have been packaging records for nearly 20 years, but now they are ready to expand to pressing vinyl after acquiring 10 pressing machines. It will surely be a great boost to the already stretched vinyl industry and the story of how the company tracked them down is surprising.”

New record store will always be a home to Teds, mods, punks, and rockers: “A record store, which will celebrate its grand opening this weekend, aims to create a fashion archive which will date back to the start of the Second World War. Modus, in Belper, stocks books, vinyl and posters specialising in soul, R’n’b, reggae and more.”

Vinyl Vortex! Record Swap At Volcom HQ Recap: “Sunday August 23rd Volcom Entertainment held the “Vinyl Vortex” in our very own Volcom HQ skatepark! Many vendors showed up with tons of vinyl to sell and trade.”

Record store increases security in wake of thefts: “A Providence record store is making some changes after thieves made off with more than $1,000 worth of merchandise. The owners of What Cheer? say their entire collections of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin vinyl albums were taken on two separate occasions.”

Classical Music: Princeton Record Exchange still thriving after 35 years, “For 35 years, Princeton Record Exchange has been a lodestone for music lovers. Its business model of buying lots and selling low has made for a rapid turnover of inventory and a pulse-quickening sense of adventure for treasure hunters of all stripes.”

Pittsburgh record store owner charged in running criminal enterprise that stole $2M from local retailers: “Investigators also executed a search warrant at Slipped Disc, the Pittsburgh used record store that Cicero owns. There they found approximately 1,500 suspected stolen items with a retail value of more than $44,000.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Premiere: Oh, Be Clever, “River”

Oh, Be Clever’s latest electro epic is a majestic song about overcoming (sometimes potentially self-made) adversity—and we’re pleased to debut it today along with its free download.

“This song is about seeking validation in all the wrong places,” said Brittney Shields, the band’s singer and lyricist. She expounds on this theme over a booming production orchestrated in tandem with the duo’s other member, Cory Scott Layton. A long outspoken advocate for mental health awareness, Shields is refreshingly open and honest about feelings of depression and anxiety. “When we wrote this I was very insecure. I’d do almost anything to get someone to like me. It’s about the feeling you get when you come to terms your flaws and let go of the baggage holding you back.”

While it was from this place that Shields began composing the words of “River,” she did not want to limit its import with a narrative arc, or worse, with an explicit declaration of meaning. She noted that the song starts from a premise, “River is about accepting your flaws and living happily with them.” The band, however, invites the listener to exercise her own interpretive prerogative. “There are a million different ways a person could interpret this song, and that’s kind of the way we want to keep it. Leave it up to your own life experience and the way you relate to it.”

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
David Bowie,
Diamond Dogs

So I was walking down the street in London one time and who do I run into but David Bowie. Give the man his privacy, I think, but in the end I can’t resist saying, “Mr. Bowie, I just want to tell you I’m a huge fan.” To which he replies, “I am a God. You are a repugnant toad and smell funny.” Then waving his hands about in the air for me to disappear, he says, “Shoo, shoo.”

Okay, so that never happened. But if it had happened I’d still be one of the biggest Bowie fans in the world. I rate him the greatest artist of the seventies, during which he didn’t put out a single less-than-great LP except 1974’s David Live. Name me another great musician about whom that can be said. Dylan? Don’t make me laugh. Lou Reed? Hardy har-har. The only band that even comes close is Steely Dan, and they’re not really in the same league and besides, they blew it in my opinion with 1977’s Aja, which they produced to death. Sure, critics had their doubts about 1979’s Lodger, the last of Bowie’s Berlin trio with Brian Eno, but over the years the album has been given a second look and deemed underrated.

Another album that was seriously underrated upon its release was 1974’s Diamond Dogs. Conceived initially as a theatrical production about George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Bowie’s ambitions foundered when the author’s estate said no way, Jose. The concept album that evolved out of that idea is as sketchy as most concept albums, and you need know nothing about Bowie’s ideas about a future dystopia to enjoy the hell out of “Rebel Rebel” or “Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me.”

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TVD Chicago

Moon Taxi,
The TVD Interview

Progressive indie jam rockers Moon Taxi are picking up steam in a variety of scenes and their relentless touring and energetic live performances have made them a fan favorite. Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, the 5-piece creates a blended upbeat sound and wih a new album coming out in the fall, they are constantly pushing the envelope with their memorable vocal melodies and powerful instrumentation.

On their current summer tour which has stopped at most major music festivals, they swung through Chicago for Lollapalooza. We spent time with guitarist Spencer Thomson and keyboardist Wes Bailey to discuss life on the festival circuit, how the venue and vibe might change their set, and their methodical process to recording for a vinyl record.

Welcome, great to have you guys. How’s your Summer been going thus far?

Spencer Thomson: Wonderful. We’ve been playing a lot of festivals, getting around playing new songs off our upcoming album. Having a good time.

You guys have any favorite shows so far?

ST: We just played British Columbia for the first time for a festival called Pemberton.

Beautiful venue…

ST: Yeah wonderful. Our first time up there, that was a real standout for sure.

So, how would you say the space you’re playing might affect the way you perform? You guys play a lot of these huge, open festivals in front of enormous groups of people—how does that compare to playing a small, intimate indoor venue?

ST: Sheer volume. You know, we try to make things as loud as possible. The song selection might be a little different, you know? Especially whether it’s day or night, it might be a bit of a different set. It’s something that we like to do, consider all those things and be able to kinda modify ourselves and the set to fit the environment.

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Shell Zenner Presents

Greater Manchester’s most in the know radio host Shell Zenner broadcasts the best new music every week on the UK’s Amazing Radio. You can also catch Shell’s broadcast here Wednesdays at TVD.

“This week’s show kicks off with a veritable feast of fuzz and guitar mayhem—SO SO HYPED.

Gonna spin Rope Store, Venice Trip, Vendettas, Hidden Charms, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Heaters, Fidlar, Hinds, The Black Tambourines, JUNK, Wolf Alice, Hooton Tennis Club, AFFAIRS, Dave McCabe, Passport To Stockholm, Zibra, Oslo Parks, Kyko, Dios Mio, Avec Sans, Maribou State, Present Paradox, Deadbear, Night Games, Frett, Lost Dawn, and more!

Oh, and on this week’s show I’ll be catching up with Halifax youngsters The Orielles. Their new tracks are sounding mighty fine and they chat to me about how they got together, the first song they ever played as a band, working with Jez Kerr from A Certain Ratio, and about their Festival No 6 Plans

Total Babes are on the bandstand this week too and Elena Katrina from Popped Music tips for us too!” —SZ

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