TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Honeyblood and
2:54 at DC9, 2/28

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | For anyone missing the ’90s, specifically the days of Riot Grrrls owning the stage, Honeyblood is what has been missing from your playlist.

Their particular brand of tart pop vibrates with fuzzy guitars and mellow vocals. This Scottish duo brought their assaulting feminist pop anthems to DC9 this past Saturday.

I was first turned on to them after hearing “Super Rat” and was hooked. Where their contemporaries turn love songs into a melodramatic whine-fests, Honeyblood takes that world and spits in its face. Their nonchalance is beguiling and captivating, they aren’t here for your entertainment, but their music is.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s 9 weeks of vinyl giveaways, Week 3: Fleetwood Mac, Then Play On

As we noted upon the launch of our first of 9 weeks of vinyl giveaways, it’s easy to forget that going on 8 years now when TVD was in its year one (as was Record Store Day) the vinyl medium wasn’t “back,” sales weren’t stellar, and indeed record stores were a fading lot. No, worse actually. Shops we’re closing at such a clip, their disappearance literally informed the launch of the site you’re reading at present.

And as we’ll repeat for 9 weeks—vinyl and record stores go hand in hand. Their shared intrinsic value is the cultural commodity and the bedrock of any local music scene. Don’t believe us though…hit up your locals and the marriage becomes crystal clear. 

But we too have been overwhelmed with the resounding popular and prevalent headlines as to vinyl’s big resurgence, yet they also arrive in tandem with far less rosy headlines such as “Starbucks to Open in Former Bleecker Street Records Space”—and worse, some very bad ideas when one advocates for record shops have, of late, become internet fodder. (Seriously, vinyl subscription clubs are the Carson Daly of record collecting.)

As such, picking up with an old TVD favorite, we’ve lined up 9 (count ‘em, 9) weeks of vinyl giveaways as we count down to Record Store Day 2015 to redouble our efforts to underscore the viability and the inherent need for your local brick and mortar record shops to remain the vibrant community touchstone that they intrinsically are. And while we kinda hate hanging out by the mailbox waiting for a record to show up (unless you’ve ordered it from a mom and pop or directly from a label!) we’re shipping out records for 9 weeks straight as sweet reminders that record stores are literally where it’s at.

For week 3 of 9, a look back at the Mac—before their chart attack.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Premiere:
Cruzie Beaux, Demo 1

Cruzie Beaux is the latest project from Kristina Reznikov, a DC musician who has been making music since childhood. Most recently she was the lead vocalist for Drop Electric and the short-lived Blanche Has Friends.

In Kristina’s new project, Cruzie Beaux is a party animal, writing songs for dirty dive bars and angry female protagonists. Cruzie tells us that she loves the dirty 1970s Joan Jett style guitar, with a steady (but modern) beat. Cruzie Beaux will be working with Tinderbox Music promoting her demo, which currently has Ingrid Michaelson and Imagine Dragons on their client list.

In Drop Electric, Kristina’s gritty vocals brought a new element to the band’s sound which was previously instrumental, and In Blanche has Friends, Kristina moved toward being somewhat less serious with a beautiful rawness stemming from the freedom to work as a solo musician. We asked Kristina how the transition has been from being in a band to working as a solo artist:

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TVD Nashville

Billy J. Kramer,
The TVD Interview

Billy J. Kramer seemingly came from nowhere (well, Bootle, Lancashire, England, to be precise) to climb the upper reaches of the UK and U.S. pop charts beginning in 1963. Hand-picked to join the NEMS Enterprises artist roster by The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, Kramer was given Lennon/McCartney songs to record and was produced by George Martin. When his original backing musicians quit, professional Manchester combo The Dakotas were hired by Epstein to be Kramer’s band. He rode the wave of Beatlemania worldwide and had several top ten hits in multiple countries.

After the beat music boom crested in 1965, Kramer and The Dakotas parted ways. He launched a new career in cabaret and British television, maintaining a solo career there for the next two decades before relocating to the U.S. He has recently released a new CD, I Won The Fight, and is excited to be a part of the British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour.

How did you get involved with the tour?

I was approached by the promoters, you know? I’ve been living here for a long time, doing gigs and different things, and when they came up with the idea for this tour, I said, “Yeah.” I’ve been very uplifted by the whole thing. I thought it would be good but it’s been better than I could ever imagine.

After the British Invasion tour ends, I’m going to the UK to do the Solid Silver Sixties 30th Anniversary Tour. It will be with Mike Pender of The Searchers, Chris Farlow, P.P. Arnold, and The Merseybeats. It will be thirty concerts in all and it will the first time I have toured there in eighteen years. I very excited about it.

You toured the U.S. prior to The Beatles’ arrival. Do you still see some of your original fans as you tour?

Yes, definitely. I have a connection with Beatlefest, which I have done on numerous occasions, and the fans always come out.

As you were growing up, what artists caught your attention early on?

Buddy Holly singing “That’ll Be the Day” hit me really hard the first time I heard it on Radio Luxembourg, which I used to listen to on Sunday nights. Also, the bass player in my first band had a brother who would bring records back from America. I remember he had the 78s of Elvis singing “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel.” Both of those records blew me away! I started to collect records myself around that time.

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The Single Girl:
Bridges, “BFF”

Bridges sound like a band with huge ambitions, and with a single like “BFF,” these boys should be riling up a festival crowd or two in the future.

Starting quietly, the single builds into a fist pumping, lighters-in-air chorus that will have your head nodding and foot stomping along. Although the video is a little lo-fi, it does show the band at their beginnings, the start of something big, the calm before the storm. Their free b-side “Chimera” shows another shade to this anthemic indie four-piece and it’s good to see.

Obvious comparisons are Kings of Leon, and this isn’t a bad thing. We forget that Kings of Leon started their career from humble beginnings, not the shiny indie force we see today. Let’s hope Bridges stay slightly left of centre and a little less polished—that’s their charm.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Next Year at Marienbad

Rightly ranked as one of the best and most influential of the ‘70s punk acts, Los Angelinos the Urinals are back with Next Year at Marienbad, only their third full-length in an extended if fitful existence. Long cherished for the unstrained art-ruckus comprising the trio’s early output, the new record emphasizes a vigorous realization of high-quality songwriting. It’s out now on the band’s Happy Squid label.

The title of this release, most certainly a reference to Last Year at Marienbad, the masterful ’61 film directed by the great French auteur Alain Resnais (who we lost last March at age 91), mainly underscores the background of bassist-vocalist John Talley-Jones and drummer Kevin Barrett, both UCLA film students and founding Urinals, the group formed in ’78 with philosophy major Kjehl Johansen.

But the playful moniker illuminates a mild similarity between Resnais and the Urinals, the former predominantly known to non-cinephiles for his Holocaust documentary short Night and Fog (’55) and features Hiroshima mon amour (’59) Last Year at Marienbad and Muriel (’63), while the latter’s reputation primarily derives from the three 7-inches they squeezed out in ‘79-’80, records compiled with stray comp tracks and live stuff on Negative Capability…Check it Out!, issued first on compact disc by Amphetamine Reptile in ’96 and again by Warning Label in ’04; a 2LP emerged on In the Red in ’13.

However, Resnais worked as a director until the end of his life, and likewise the story of the Urinals endures after 1980; in the early part of the decade, having developed beyond punk beginnings they became 100 Flowers, releasing a self-titled full-length in ’83 on Happy Squid (their label since the beginning) and getting the completist treatment by Rhino Records in ’90, 100 Years of Pulchritude one of the more useful single disc collections of ‘80s u-ground rock activity to hit racks immediately in its wake.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 3/3/15

“Rega reveals 13 signed limited edition Record Store Day turntables: We knew that Rega was launching a limited edition Record Store Day turntable, but now it has been revealed that there will be 13 extra special decks…”

“Central London record store BM Soho—formerly Black Market—has closed down, though it promises to return ‘bigger and stronger than ever very soon in central London…'”

“Snag Some Vinyl at @BeachlandCle Record Riot: It’s for that growing number of vinyl junkies that the Beachland Ballroom is holding its Record Riot All-Vinyl Record Show. The event will feature dealers from both local dealers and dealers from outside the area with music in a variety of genres…”

“Sex Pistols single sold for £6,000—Unplayed copy of ‘God Save The Queen’ was among handful not destroyed by record company: …Nearly all of the 25,000 copies of the single that had been pressed in the six days were promptly destroyed…”

“Classic rock lives on at Lacey’s Boomerang Music and Video: ‘It looks like a bigger version of my bedroom when I was a teenager,’ said Gary, 57.”

“Despite the ‘streaming music boom’ and the rather more modest ‘vinyl revival’ both providing some positive spin, few would deny that 2014 was another challenging year for the record industry, following that temporary moment of optimism when the global recorded music market saw the slightest bit of growth in 2012…”

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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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