UK Artist of the Week:
Me And My Drummer

We recently featured Me And My Drummer as a “Needle Drop” where we enthused over their beautifully laid back single, “Blue Splinter View.” Well, since then, they’ve gone and delivered another single and we reckon this one’s even better than the last—hence this week’s “Artist of The Week” status.

Me And My Drummer have been away for a while, taking their time to make sure their next album is 100% ready for the world to absorb in full. They have a lot to live up to—their critically acclaimed debut album The Hawk, The Beak, The Prey received a huge amount of praise across the board and so it’s no real surprise that the electro duo have been holding their cards close to their chest with their forthcoming album, Love Is A Fridge.

However, if their past two singles are anything to go by, we’re definitely in for quite a treat with this next album. As we’ve already mentioned, “Blue Splinter View” is a gorgeous Americana-influenced track that is an absolute delight to listen to from start to finish. Comparably, the duo’s most recent release “Pentonville Road” sees them fall back into their trademark electro-pop sound akin to Lykke Li and Bat For Lashes.

It feels as though the German duo, Charlotte Brandi and Matze Pröllochs, have really had the opportunity to hone their sound, stepping away from the spotlight to focus on themselves and the music—and boy, has it paid off.

Love Is A Fridge is out on February 12th 2016 via Sinnbus.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Boston Creative
Jazz Scene 1970-1983

The history of jazz is dominated by events transpiring in New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago, California, and of course New York, but all the while the music was thriving elsewhere in a variety of styles. As evidence one need only inspect the outstanding new compilation The Boston Creative Jazz Scene 1970-1983; collective improvisation, full-bodied fusion, post-Fire Music free wailing, consciousness raising spoken word, and advanced composition for large ensembles all helped shape the scene. It offers an exhaustive amount of info in an 80-page book, and is available now on 2LP and CD from Cultures of Soul.

Many thousands undertook the migration to well-ensconced cultural centers in hopes of adding to the jazz discourse and achieving something immortal; a few did, the vast majority did not, and yet their accumulated sonic narrative is still a formidably mountainous accumulation of sound. A percentage of those in the early navigation stages of the established jazz canon might find Cultures of Soul’s latest compilation a daunting item to be soaked up only after contending with a few hundred records of higher profile.

This is a questionable approach. For starters, the canon isn’t going anywhere, and The Boston Creative Jazz Scene 1970-1983’s standard of quality is likely to get absorbed into the annals of important jazz recordings anyway. Furthermore, Mark Harvey’s extensive notes do a fine job of illuminating the specifics of the city’s jazz environs (particularly venues and educational avenues) and relating them to the East Coast and Midwest scenes while providing background into the larger avant-garde and pinpointing a succession of noteworthy Boston players in the style.

Admittedly a wide field, Harvey details the early Boston avant motions of pianist Cecil Taylor and multi-instrumentalist Makanda Ken McIntyre, moves into groundbreaking work of pianists Lowell Davidson and Ran Blake (both of whom cut albums for ESP-Disk in 1965), bassist John Voigt (sessions with guitarist Joe Morris, saxophonist Jameel Moondoc and more), and The Fringe, a trio formed in the early ‘70s comprised of saxophonist George Garzone, bassist Rich Appleman, and drummer Bob Gullotti (their self-titled debut emerged in 1978).

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/9/16

Nottingham record shop The Music Exchange to close: Award-winning record shop The Music Exchange, which supports homeless people across Nottingham, is to close next month. The shop, now based at Stoney Street, has been running since 2009 and was set up as a social enterprise by local homelessness charity Framework.

That old vinyl record collection gathering dust in your attic? It could be music to your ears as some discs now sell for hundreds of pounds: Brigid Harrison-Draper, a vinyl collector and contributor to magazine Record Collector, says: ‘There is no substitute for vinyl. ‘It offers a warmer and more personal sound quality that has the power to give you goosebumps – you rarely get this feeling from downloaded music or CDs. ‘Even the needle crackle and pop can add to the intimacy. From the moment you look at the cover and pull the record out of the sleeve, the experience is more rewarding.’

Rare Rolling Stones collector’s item stolen from record shop: A local record shop says a true rarity has been stolen, a Rolling Stones record never commercially released. “We’re fighting the good fight,” said Doyle Davis, owner of Grimey’s. “We’re an independent record store in an era where that’s supposed to be in the past. The world of the record store is a very small world.” Davis said Grimey’s is meant for those who love, talk, eat, drink and sleep music. That “music is life” attitude is why it stings so much to hear what was just stolen from the shop.

Front door busted at Grimey’s record store: First came a rare Rolling Stones album that was stolen from the store a week and a half ago. Now, Nashville record store Grimey’s New and Preloved Music has gotten its front glass door busted open. It happened overnight Saturday, prompting police to come to the scene on Sunday morning.

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TVD Asbury Park

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.

It’s fundraising time! The simple fact is this, Garden State Sound is a program supporting NJ based music and serves the fertile musical ground which is underserved in our great state. Look, our show is certainly a “local” venture, but it is something that anyone, anywhere, can enjoy—that’s why The Vinyl District has been so supportive. If nothing else, New Jersey’s music consistently goes global.

Your help is imperative to keeping this valuable musical and historical resource alive. This February we will engage in some serious pitching, so feel free to make a secure, tax-deductible donation to Garden State Sound at this link!

Many thanks for your generous support! Serious about the arts in NJ or anywhere? Click that link and help with your support. Only YOU can make a difference. (Yes, you!)

We’ve got lots of wonderful guests ready for 2016—help make that a reality.

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The TVD Storefront

Blacktop Queen:
The TVD First Date

“My father was a musician growing up and he had accumulated a healthy record collection, but as a younger child of the ’90s I was caught in that strange time when CDs were so new and beautiful.”

“To my parents the thought of no longer dealing with warped vinyl, large audio units, and broken needles was a sweet sigh of relief. Because of this I was unaware of the amazing music that sat waiting for me in my dad’s attic. It wasn’t until years later that we brushed off the dusty late ’70s silver turntable that I was then introduced to the ritual of listening to a record.

I’m pretty sure that my first experience was the Jackson 5. I remember thinking the sound was so completely foreign to me. Because those early records were recorded all live, imperfections and human error were so apparent. I had this feeling of being in the room with the artist and it definitely left a serious impact on the way I approach music and writing today. That’s why in Blacktop Queen we record everything live, no click, with one or two takes. We are trying to recapture that magic that these precious recordings had.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Genesis,
Trick of the Tail

Well, there goes another theory shot to shit. I always thought Genesis hit the aesthetic skids the moment Peter Gabriel split and drummer Phil “The Anti-Christ” Collins took over on lead vocals, but I’ve been listening to 1976’s Trick of the Tail, the first post-Gabriel LP, and I’m afraid I was sadly mistaken. Trick of the Tail is not a great album but it’s a very good one, packed with well-constructed tunes with lovely melodies that occasionally, but not too often, stray into the prog trap of technical virtuosity purely for virtuosity’s sake.

Peter Gabriel’s departure threw Genesis’ future into question. A Melody Maker writer went so far as to declare Genesis officially dead. But the band committed itself to proving it could make good music without Gabriel, and after a fruitless search for a new lead vocalist Collins, who wanted to turn Genesis into an instrumental act, reluctantly agreed to take on the vocal duties himself. Which in hindsight seems like a no-brainer, as Collins is a virtual vocal doppelganger for Gabriel and the obvious candidate as a replacement.

Album opener “Dance on a Volcano” has muscle and a fetching melody, to say nothing of some powerhouse drumming by Collins, whose exhortations (“Better start doing it right!”) sound convincing. There is some technical showing off for its own sake, especially at the end, but this one is more hard rock than prog, thanks to Steve Hackett’s guitar work and Tony Banks’ synthesizer. “Entangled” is a bit fey for my tastes, a quiet little pretty ditty, but it wins me over with its melody, which is simply lovely. There’s a beautiful synthesizer solo, which doesn’t attempt to mime classical tropes the way your more virulent and dangerous progmeisters would, and I like it for that.

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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.

Vincent Colbert – Beth (Hold On)
Wanderwild – Optimist
Jon Patrick Walker – Hideous Monster
Gazebos – Just Get High
The Black Watch – Pershing / Harvard Square
Sea Caves – Spanning the River
Gladiola – The Uninvited Guest
Suntrodden – It’s Never Over

Joy Crookes – New Manhattan

Sharks In The Deep End – Shadows In The Sunset
Chris Storrow – A True Christian
Badlands – Echo
Andrew Grant – Slow Burn
Mangoseed – Lucy
Du Tonc – Little Bird (Du Tonc Rework)
Database – PressPlay Mix
Neuman – Scarface (You Need People Like Me)

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/8/16

Jazz Record Mart Owner Reaches Deal to Sell All His Records, Closing Soon: One of Downtown’s last remaining record stores is readying to close its doors after its owner reached a deal to sell all his records. Bob Koester said he recently accepted an offer to sell all his inventory within Jazz Record Mart, which has peddled vinyl LPs and other records for about 10 years from 27 E. Illinois St. The deal is still pending, but either way, Koester believes his days Downtown are numbered.

10 leaked releases that show Record Store Day needs to get its shit together: As reported today, a list of exclusive releases from Record Store Day 2016 has leaked onto the internet. RSD was quick to respond, blaming Universal for accidentally revealing an inaccurate list of releases that are still subject to change. Well, let’s hope so. In past few years, we’ve taken the time to round up the essential Record Store Day releases, but it’s gotten harder and harder to write. So here’s a different kind of round-up for those 70-odd leaked releases with the hope that none of them end up on the official roster. It’s gone on long enough: get your shit together Record Store Day.

Flashlight Vinyl: New record store brings paradise to northeast Minneapolis: Flashlight’s first floor, carrying its rock, folk, punk, and country selections, has been open since January 4. But the official opening party and second floor banner-cutting (figuratively, we assume) is planned for 6 p.m. Friday. The second floor is home to a wider collection, featuring funk, soul, R&B, and hip-hop records. There are also 5,000 $1 records up there — bargains!

Play De Record gets a move on to Kensington: Trend-spotting: exodus of old-school record stores from Yonge Street. Back in December, Vortex Records announced it was heading straight into the vortex, closing after many decades on Yonge. Now Play de Record is also bidding adieu to the north-south main drag. But crate-diggers, rejoice: rather than shutter, it’s relocating to a spot just outside Kensington Market, at 411 Spadina, as of March 1.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I ought to get going, I shouldn’t stay here / And love you more than I do / ‘Cause you’re so much younger than I am / Come up the years, come up the years / And love me, love me, love me…

This week was Paul Kanter’s turn to “buy the farm.” Not too many people I know are fans of the Jefferson Airplane, but there is no doubt Paul and his band mates were at the heart of the psychedelic revolution.

In truth, at his moment in history when being young was “IT,” this guy was a fucking rock star. The Airplane had everything—talent, style, sex-appeal, and the one of the biggest hits of 1967 as millions of teenagers turned on to the sounds of San Fransisco psyche. It truly was a moment in time when music lead to a revolution. So for 2016, let’s pay tribute to yet another.

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Cayman Kings, “Memory Lane”

Cayman Kings, a French-born rock band, have just released their first LP, Suffering Chelsea Boots, and they didn’t hold back—it’s an energy filled debut. The group takes the traditional garage rock sound and ups the tempo with howling vocals and quick chord progressions.

The band flirts with different tones—from mesmerizing pop riffs to grittier blues fills—forging something new from these staple sounds. Almost every song on the LP ends right under the three-minute mark, but still manages to pack a strong bite. A marked momentum trails through the album, making the whole thing a lively listen from start to finish.

Each track pays its rent, contributing its own finely-nuanced sound to the LP. For example, “Memory Lane” starts with a with a low-octave riff accompanied by a deep drum bellow. The lead vocals enter in a raspy falsetto, providing the perfect contrast to the song’s heavy start. The group effortlessly reaches the chorus, which is a cheeky reminder of how the past is permanent and there’s no way to change it. It’s a quick tune that illustrates garage-rock’s power when properly executed.

Suffering Chelsea Boots is available now on vinyl via Bandcamp.

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