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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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Swans, Soundtracks For The Blind first vinyl release in stores 7/0

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Swans’ Soundtracks for the Blind, their last studio album released in 1996 prior to their 2010 reformation, will be released for the first time on vinyl by Young God Records on July 20th 2018.

Much requested by Swans fans, the vinyl package will consist of four LPs in jackets enclosed in a box with a poster, insert and download card. The box set will be a limited edition of 4,000 copies worldwide and once sold out will be followed later in 2018 by a gatefold LP version. The album will also be reissued on CD featuring a repackage of the original digipak for the 1996 Atavistic release plus a bonus disc of the contemporaneous “Die Tür Ist Zu” EP (a German language version of some of the material from Soundtracks that also includes unique material) recently released for the first time on vinyl in the USA for Record Store Day 2018.Outside of the USA “Die Tür Ist Zu” EP will be released as a limited edition companion piece double vinyl set, also on 20th July.

“This album has everything in there – all the ideas from Swans’ initial 15 years of work. There’s some contemporary recordings of the band as it existed in ’96/7, with Larry Mullins on drums/percussion, Jarboe singing and playing keyboards, Vudi playing electric guitar, and Joe Goldring playing bass and electric guitar, and me singing and playing electric and acoustic guitar, but there’s also a huge amount of sounds and recordings that Jarboe and I collected over the years.

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The TVD Storefront

Emilie Mover,
The TVD First Date
and Video Premiere,
“Walkin’ Through”

“I did not own a record player until I was about 25. I grew up listening to CDs, often one album (and sometimes one song) over and over and over and over again until I knew every little lilt.”

“When digital music became the thing, I started making playlists on my computer because it was easy to do. But, I’m grateful to have grown up back when one’s attention span was not turned off by the idea of listening to just one artist for 30-45 minutes. My attention span has probably diminished now that so much variety is available, it somehow seems like more of a challenge. And that to me is a big reason that vinyl is so important. Listening to records is for me to centre myself, stay still, play out a mood, and of course, have a little reverence for what an artist is trying to say or play as opposed to just listening to the hit(s) and never really digging into the catalogue.

I first got into records when I started hanging around a store called Flash and Crash in the annex in Toronto, which is gone now but was the beginning of my love for vinyl. I ended up living with one of the guys who worked there, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of 20th century music. He’d been working in record stores all around Toronto for year. For Christmas one year I alphabetized his record collection and it took 5 whole days, just to give you an idea of the span and size of music.

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UK Artist of the Week and Video Premiere: Tuesday Syndicate

Following their last single “Hourglass,” Devon band Tuesday Syndicate have returned with a brand new video for latest offering, “173.”

An instantly infectious uptempo slice of vibrant indie-pop, “173” races with catchy hooks and impassioned, pop-inspired vocals. With a chorus that’ll stick in your ears on first listen, the track offers an immense outpouring of emotion alongside a hurtling upbeat energy; the perfect combination for that reviving summer anthem you’ve been waiting for.

Having formed five years ago, Tuesday Syndicate have wowed crowds at Isle Of Wight Festival and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and are now set to continue charming fans with this rousing new single.

Watch the new video for “173” above.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Magnificent Tape Band, The Subtle Art of Distraction

Once populated by a few astute, diligent individuals, the territory of neo-classic soul has, in a pleasant turn, gradually increased in number, and one of the current strongholds in the field is ATA Records. Based in Leeds, UK, the label’s discography is still slim enough for folks just getting clued-in to catch up on, though waiting around is not advisable. On May 25, The Magnificent Tape Band, featuring ATA owner-operators Neil Innes and Pete Williams, unveils The Subtle Art of Distraction on LP, CD, and digital, this debut full-length benefiting from a deep, fruitful collaboration with crackerjack vocalist Rachel Modest and a desire to extend possibilities rather than merely replicate the glories of yore.

If you’re picking up a retro-futurist/ BBC Radiophonic workshop/ ’70s Penguin paperbacks cover design vibe from the sleeve art for The Subtle Art of Distraction, that’s right on the money, as a stated objective of Neil Innes and Pete Williams is for The Magnificent Tape Band to combine the richness of psychedelic soul with aspects of British library music, though the mingling of the two is much subtler than the LP’s jacket might suggest.

Those familiar with the self-titled 2015 album from The Sorcerers will be familiar with Innes and Williams’ adroitness of touch, as they not only wrote and produced the whole thing but played bass and guitar across the album. In the process, they successfully tapped into the spirit of Ethio-jazz, enough so that Mulatu Astatke is a fan.

Similar to the conception of this record, The Sorcerers additionally dug into ’60s-’70s Euro horror soundtracks for inspiration, and a general aesthetic (if not specific sound) carries over to the work of The Magnificent Tape Band. The biggest difference is vocal, for The Sorcerers, at least on their debut, exist as an instrumental affair. Throughout The Subtle Art of Distraction, Sheffield-born Leeds-based singer Rachel Modest is front and center.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/22/18

Head record store in Leamington set to re-open under new management: Head record store in Leamington is set to re-open with the same name and under new management. Posters on the windows of the currently unoccupied unit in the lower mall of the Royal Priors shopping centre, which Head occupied before it closed “for good” in January, had teased the re-opening but new posters now confirm this will take place. The poster, pictured, is advertising for new jobs for when the store re-opens on an, as yet, unspecified date.

Let the music play! New record shop opens up in town centre, Fish Records has gone from online to a physical store following launch in Stone: A successful record business has opened its first store – because of the growing popularity of vinyls. [“Vinyls” is not a word. The plural of vinyl is in fact “vinyl.” —Ed.] For almost 20 years, Fish Records has been operating as an online record shop, specialising in folk, roots and acoustic music. But now Peter Morgan, who took over the business in 2012, has opened the Fish Records store in Crown Street, Stone, selling brand new vinyls and CDs from popular artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. The father-of-2 said the recent growth in vinyl sales makes it the right time to invest in a ‘physical’ store.

Revival Records: Vinyl lands in Port Fairy: Do you enjoy an earnest rifle through vinyl? Do you crave that sense of satisfaction you get when holding the real deal in your hands? Is fighting for the last copy of something, rather than being amongst thousands of downloaders, something you love to do?…Opening at the beginning of March this year, Revival Records is the small but unassuming record haven, and the passion project of Portland couple Ross and Rhonda Colley. After years guaranteeing customers a massive selection of vinyl records in Hobart and Cairns, the couple returned to the south-west and so brought their passion to Port Fairy. Stocking everything from pre-loved vinyl records, CD’s, DVD’s, books, sheet music to prints and merchandise, the suitably named Revival Records is a clear reflection of vinyl resurgence the music industry has experience of late – in the best possible way.

Royal Wedding to Be Released on Vinyl: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially married today and if you’re like many people across the world who didn’t watch the occasion live, you will soon be able to hear the ceremony on vinyl. Decca Records has announced that they’ll be pressing the entire service on vinyl, as well as putting the audio on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music in the coming days. “Capturing the words and music of this Royal Wedding is a great responsibility, knowing how much a permanent record of the event will mean to so many people around the world,” producer Anna Barry writes in a press release. “Our Decca team will deliver a state of the art recording which captures every nuance of this very happy day and it will be a joy to be a part of the celebrations.”

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Live Shots: Anders Osborne and Motel Radio at Lafayette Square, 5/16

PHOTOS: DENNIS McDONOUGH | The Young Leadership Council made an excellent choice when they booked Anders Osborne to headline this past week’s Wednesdays at the Square concert. Motel Radio, an up and coming indie pop band, made perfect sense as an opening act.

Osborne was clearly enjoying playing for the hometown crowd. He gave several shout outs and made local references including asking at one point if anyone in the crowd was from Mid-City—the part of the city where he makes his home. He was also relishing performing with his latest ensemble. The band features keyboardist David Torkanowsky, bassist Ron Johnson, and drummer Chad Cromwell.

Johnson and Cromwell make a formidable rhythm section. They both have deep careers in the music business and their rapport makes for a special experience for the audience. Torkanowsky has a long resume playing funk, soul, R&B, and jazz in New Orleans. When I first saw him playing with Osborne at Jazz Fest, I was surprised to see him in a rock ‘n’ roll band. But his organ playing adds so much that it makes perfect sense.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Backstreet Brit Funk Vol.2 compiled by Joey Negro double vinyl in stores 6/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Z Records continues its commitment to unearthing the obscure and long forgotten tracks from the last 40 years with the much-anticipated follow-up to Backstreet Brit Funk. Volume 2 has been eight years in the making and continues to showcase the best of the genre from the late ’70s to early ’80s, compiled once again by Joey Negro.

Brit Funk is perhaps one of the UK’s most under-appreciated genres. Emerging in the late ’70s and taking influences from jazz, funk, reggae, and pop, by the early ’80s it had spread all over the UK. Chart-topping mainstream bands like Wham!, Spandau Ballet, and Haircut 100 tapped into the style and sound to help launch their careers, whilst Linx, Level 42, Light of The World, The Cool Notes, and Hi Tension were all Brit Funk acts who troubled the UK top 40 with their own singles.

Brit Funk was essentially the UK’s answer to underground disco, with musicians at first imitating and eventually developing the sounds they heard on the US imports that made it across the pond. And like disco, the Brit Funk scene was significant in reducing racial boundaries in the clubs and raising the profile of black and white musicians who worked together.

Back in 2010 Joey Negro compiled the first volume of Back Street Brit Funk: a collection of obscure and forgotten gems of the scene that found favour across the board.

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The TVD Storefront

Kevin Max, The TVD First Date and Premiere “Moonracer”

“The first vinyl album I ever listened to was an Elvis LP, Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite, that my parents housed inside a beautifully ornate 1970s wooden vinyl contraption that took up half of our living room.”

“As a young boy growing up in the 1970s I would leaf through their collection and constantly look for that Elvis record. It was the one thing that stood out among their collection of soft rock and country hits. Not only was Elvis wearing some strange bejeweled white jumpsuit, but it had a gatefold and sounded glorious. As I grew into my teenage years, a neighbor down the street introduced me to The Moody Blues, The Beatles, and Black Sabbath. The album that seemed most peculiar to me (and I love peculiar) was the John Lennon album Shaved Fish. I started collecting my own albums in the early 80s and my taste became more solidified with the onset of new wave and post punk.

I grew up in Grand Rapids Michigan and the only vinyl store close to me at the time was a 30 minute drive down 28th Street, but it was always packed with the latest and the best. The Smiths’ Meat is Murder was the only album that I literally could not find as it was sold out quickly, which prompted me to have to order it through the store. When it arrived some weeks later, it became my most prized possession in a collection that was mostly Duran Duran, The Cure, and Depeche Mode. The Smiths became a musical escapism for me, and their unique sound and lyrics would continue to inspire me for years to come.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

Rebekah Rolland – Standing Still
PHOSPHENES – Boy In The Hood
Lusitanian Ghosts – Trailer Park Memories
Plusaziz – Murra (مُرّة)
Pale Green Things – Snakes

Laura Carbone – Tangerine Tree

Broken Baby – Year of the Fat Man
The March Divide – Get In Line
Sara O’Brien & the Community Rocks! Kids – Let Yourself Shine!
Chris Rivers – Dragonfly
Marz Money – The Truth Freemix

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