TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots:
Squeeze and X at the
Fox Theater, 9/12

Anchored by founding members Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, Squeeze has been making music for going on forty-five years and, to cut straight to the chase, sound fan-freaking-tastic today. “The Difford and Tilbrook Songbook” Tour hit Oakland, California’s Fox Theater with Los Angeles punk veterans X for what would prove to be a stellar evening of music.

Having sallied past their own fortieth anniversary, X proceeded to show why they’ve maintained relevance over the years, all while maintaining the original lineup of John Doe (bass/vocals), Exene Cervenka (vocals), Billy Zoom (guitar/sax), and DJ Bonebrake (drums/vibraphone). Kicking off with “The New World,” X stuck to their roots with a setlist that didn’t stretch beyond 1983’s More Fun in the New World yet was sure to please both the casual and hardcore fan.

Squeeze kicked off their set with each member being introduced as they strode on stage, Tilbrook and Difford posting up in the center as they were surrounded by the rest of the band members. Straight into “Footprints,” the band immediately awed, their high and low vocals perfectly complementing one another in a manner that defied their years.

What did not defy time was the deep catalog of music that the band made their way through. The 23 song set spanned the catalog and covered the hits (of which there are many) and got the crowd singing and dancing along with little encouragement from the band, and in some cases what appeared to be a couple of cocktails (this era of band seems to attract folks that are not used to getting out much and have a tendency to have too much fun). But what else can you expect when classics like “Another Nail in my Heart” and “Goodbye Girl” are delivered so flawlessly.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live Shots: The Flaming Lips at the O2 Brixton Academy, 9/7

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of The Flaming Lips’ masterpiece The Soft Bulletin. Hailed by critics and fans alike, it was a landmark record that saw the band transforming from the weirdest band on the planet to the most respected one. In 2009 during its 10th anniversary, the critics were at it again calling it an “undeniably essential listen that belongs in every record collection.” 20 years on, it still holds up incredibly well as a record, but when performed live it’s on another level—it’s nothing short of magical.

This is the fourth or fifth time I’ve seen The Flaming Lips, but the first time seeing them in London. The legendary Brixton Academy brought the fans out in droves to see the spectacle that creative genius Wayne Coyne would deliver. I’m not really sure how to describe the crowd that included someone wearing a giant crying baby head and numerous rainbow and glitter-infused outfits. I even ran into The Clash’s Mick Jones at the show as it was rumored that he would be guesting that evening in one form or another (unfortunately, it was just that, a rumor). Earlier this year The Flaming Lips tapped Jones to serve as narrator on their surreal new song, “Giant Baby,” from their latest album King’s Mouth.

The Flaming Lips took to the stage, and an incredibly humble and personable Wayne Coyne chatted the crowd up and welcomed them to the show an detailing the night’s setup. Gazing into a mystical disco ball center stage, Coyne began to orchestrate the opening number with his back to the audience as a perfect build-up to what’s to follow. The show instantly transformed into an insanely colourful explosion of smoke, confetti, giant balloons, with a crowd that is losing their minds. But it’s not like one of those shows where the giant balloons bounce around the audience for one song, this went on for the ENTIRE show.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Damned, Black Is The Night (The Definitive Anthology)
4-LP gold vinyl set in stores 11/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | They were the first, and they may just well be the last. As any good punk fan knows, The Damned released the first UK punk single with “New Rose,” the first UK punk album with Damned Damned Damned and toured America when the Sex Pistols were still thinking about being pretty vacant.

And so things came full circle with the release of 2018’s Evil Spirits, giving The Damned their first ever Top 10 UK album, and legendary bassist Paul Gray re-joining Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian after nearly two decades away. The Damned entered 2019 on a high. Smash It Up? More like on smashing form. There couldn’t be a better time to finally compile the ultimate Damned compendium as they finish the year playing New York’s hallowed Madison Square Garden and the London Palladium for their “Night of a Thousand Vampires.”

Gathering The Damned’s original four protagonists together to share their thoughts on this very unique compilation was never going to be easy. Guitarist Brian James, songer and gravedigger Dave Vanian, the inimitable Captain Sensible, and drum demolition king Rat Scabies were plied with the promise of a few ales, and tales were told, blood was spilled, and here we have it—Black Is The Night—the first truly comprehensive Damned anthology, spanning their entire career. These tracks have been specifically chosen by the band themselves and every track and every Damned album tells a different story. They are a band that never repeats themselves, with every record charting new territory and breaking new ground.

PUNK | Original Damned guitarist and Mr. “New Rose” himself, Brian James had the idea for a hard and fast-hitting rock ‘n’ roll band after his group Bastard split in 1975. “Basically, I had ideas for a bunch of songs and when I met Rat, him being the right drummer, it just brought out the rest of the songs in me really. Once we met Captain he joined in. I knew what I wanted Captain to do because he just had to follow the chords and keep it very basic. I didn’t want any jazz runs or anything stupid, just tough and to the point. Then when we found Dave, it was roughly the same kind of thing. I wrote the lyrics and sang in his ear how I heard it—a kind of second-rate Iggy imitation. It was a gradual process.”

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Sun Bloom

Summer may be over but thankfully London trio Sun Bloom are here to give us another sprinkling of sunshine before the year is up.

Their latest single “Take It Away”—from their debut EP of the same name—is instantly warming, so warming in fact that its actually pretty surprising this sound has come straight out of London and not California.

Sun Bloom’s sizzling surf-rock sound feels instantly reminiscent of the likes of Alvvays or Best Coast—but British. Their surf-inspired dream-pop sound is undeniably addictive and clearly a strong start for this budding band.

If you happen to be in London on the 27th September you can catch Sun Bloom performing live—and free—at The Constitution, Camden.

“Take It Away” is in stores now.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Patty Waters,
Live

No discussion of the 1960s avant-garde is complete without touching upon the work of singer Patty Waters, as she predated such vocal iconoclasts as Yoko Ono and Linda Sharrock. Additionally, she was a prime influence on Patti Smith and perhaps most pertinently, Diamanda Galas. Live, her latest and first new release on vinyl since 1966, was captured in performance at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn on April 5, 2018 with the pianist from her debut Burton Greene, bassist Mario Pavone, and percussionist Barry Altschul. Dedicated to the great pianist Cecil Taylor on the day of his passing, its run of 1,000 LPs and 750 CDs is out September 20 via Blank Forms.

“People ask me (about) my influences, I would have to say Patty Waters. They say other people and I say, nahh, Patty Waters, listen to Patty Waters. I listened to her twice. That’s all it took for some grain of inextricable influence” —Diamanda Galas

Patty Waters’ two greatest albums, Sings from 1965 and College Tour from the following year, combine to secure her reputation as an avant vocal priestess of the first order. They were cut for the storied label ESP Disk, an enterprise known for its stable of fringe ’60s artifacts ranging from the proto out-rock of The Godz and Cromagnon, assorted strains of folk including The Fugs, Pearls Before Swine, The Holy Modal Rounders, Erica Pomerance, and Ed Askew, and most prominently, a ton of the era’s avant jazz; in fact, it was saxophonist Albert Ayler who introduced Waters to ESP’s owner-operator Bernard Stollman.

Instead of its deceptively plain title, her debut for the label could’ve been called The Vocal Extremities of Patty Waters, for its first side offered seven short tracks of hushed and isolated intensity, with Waters’ accompanying herself on piano, while the second held one side-long dive into the emotional abyss, with Waters working herself into a wailing screaming frenzy as Burton Greene plays piano and piano harp, Steve Tintweiss works the bass, and Tom Price delivers percussion.

Like many ESP Disk titles, the back cover stated, “You never heard such sounds in your life.” This was no exaggeration. Her detonation of “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” still has the power to unnerve a room. While Sings has much in common with the ’60s free jazz movement, to simply label it as an out-jazz record does it and Waters a disservice. It’s undeniably an avant-garde experience, and I rate it as one of the decade’s very best.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/17/19

Oshawa, CA | One of Canada’s oldest music stores shutting down just shy of 100th anniversary: Wilson and Lee Music in Oshawa is closing in December. Oshawa’s Wilson and Lee Music Store has seen a lot in the last 97 years. The shop was there when player pianos and gramophones were the only way to play recorded music in your home. It was there as vinyl rose to prominence, fell out of favour, and then rose once again. It has been a fixture in the community for almost a century — but now, what is undoubtedly one of the oldest music shops in the country is closing its doors in December. The music business just isn’t what it once was, and so co-owners Bill and David Wilson feel the time is right to hang it up. “I’ve had a few people trying to talk me into another three years to make it 100, but I’m ready to go,” Bill Wilson told CBC News at the shop on 87 Simcoe St. N. “We’re just feeling a difference now. And that’s why we’re going.”

Buffalo, NY | Doughnuts, comic books – and records – coming to former Record Theatre: The redevelopment group that is buying the former Record Theatre complex has signed four retailers as the first tenants for space in the new $6 million mixed-use project. GObike Buffalo and Reddy Bikeshare, Gutter Pop Comics, a new record shop and Fry Baby Donut Co. will occupy more than half of the available commercial space, helping to reactivate the 33,000-square-foot building on Main Street that has been vacant since the store closed two years ago. “We’re excited about the emerging tenant mix,” said Jason Yots, president of Common Bond Real Estate. “We hoped to attract community-focused organizations to this site. GObike and Reddy Bikeshare fit that bill perfectly, given their neighborhood-building activities on both sides of Main Street.”

Dallas, TX | North Texas Record Stores Explain Rising Vinyl Sales Trend: In today’s America, where kids in high school don’t even know what a turntable looks like, the yearly gross of vinyl sales is on pace to pass CD sales for the first time since 1986. The Recording Industry Association of America released its midyear report last week, confirming what vinyl lovers have known for years: That vinyl is worth collecting. Cris B at Josey Records says he isn’t surprised about the midyear report. “Vinyl has been in a resurgence a little longer than people think. … It’s been a process that has been happening over time.” The report revealed that 8.6 million vinyl records were sold during the first half of the year, raking in $224.1 million in sales. CD units doubled the amount of vinyl units sold and made $247.9 million. But vinyl revenue grew by 12.8% in the last six months of 2018 and another 12.9 % in the first half of 2019, while CD sales barely budged. The RIAA report is just like a trustworthy weather report, and the projected forecast pretty much guarantees vinyl will surpass CDs.

North Bay, CA | Nostalgic games, comics draw crowds: Joe Kennedy was feeling nostalgic as he looked through the vintage video games and systems in the Callander Community Centre. He had his children, Logan, 7, and Tenya, 5, with him while he eyed up the old Sega Master System – a game system from the mid-’80s – still in its box. “That’s amazing,” he says, while Logan looks for Pokemon items and Tenya looks for princesses. They were among several hundred people attending the first NostalgiaCon, an offshoot of the Northern Game Expo in Sudbury. Thirty-five tables were set up featuring everything from retro games – the video games older readers may have grown up with – to classic vinyl records and almost everything in between. “It’s pretty well anything nerd,” Brad Davidson, , who with Michael Shanks, Jerrica Leblanc and Ashlee Shanks organized the event, said Saturday as the doors opened and the visitors began to pour in. Nostalgia, particularly for the classic video games and comics, is “huge right now,” Davidson said.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: Peter Frampton and JBLZE
at The Anthem, 9/11

Peter Frampton supercharged his career with a live album decades ago, so he’s going out playing live as well. In a stop at the Anthem in DC Wednesday, he seemed to have the kind of bouncy energy and joy in performance that doesn’t usually come in anything titled “Finale – The Farewell Tour.”

Frampton at 69 looks pretty youthful to hang it up, but is doing so because of the diagnosis of a rare disease called inclusion body myositis, a progressive muscle disorder. None of that kept him from leaping about and playing scorching guitar solos that veered from rock to jazz.

He began with an unusual request: that people photograph or video the first three songs only—the same kind of restrictions kept to professionals, so they could turn off their phones, stop texting and be more present for the show. A noble effort, but when he whipped out the first of the hits from his breakthrough Frampton Comes Alive! as his fourth song, the request was widely ignored.

Frampton is nothing if not a team player, showcasing the rest of his five-piece band by standing stage left, not in front of anyone. But “Show Me the Way” brought him center stage where the specially equipped rubber tube can bend his guitar notes through his vocals, which he used to such effect on the 1976 album.

The cheesy nostalgia of a Talk Box became just as emblematic of mid-’70s rock as the cherubic hair Frampton once wore. What became the hits of the live album were songs originated but largely ignored on the earlier solo albums from the former Humble Pie guitarist. The effervescent live versions made him an 8-million selling superstar that was exploited in all of the worst ways, from bare-chested magazine covers to starring in the awful 1978 movie version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. He kept touring and recording with diminishing commercial returns, but found his artistic footing playing guitar for David Bowie’s 1987 “Glass Spider Tour” and recording a Grammy-winning instrumental album Fingerprints in 2006.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Babymetal and Avatar
at The Anthem, 9/8

It was a theatric night with two contrasting bands at Washington DC’s Anthem, on Sunday, 9/08, as Babymetal, with Avatar, stormed the Wharf.

In Babymetal you have the perfect gateway act to the wider world of metal, and I’m glad they’re getting booked on some of the bigger American rock festivals. Judging by the crowd, their fans are more than just people who think they’re hot. To me, it seems like the obvious thing is less gatekeeping and more embracing. Besides, when was the last time your favorite burly dude band played Revention and tried to summon a dark god? Exactly.

From the moment the lights go dark and the band’s logo is projected onto the nearly bare stage, the room belongs to Babymetal. For the uninitiated, the sound is classic kawaii, a genre that features a mix of pop-ish vocals combined with thrash guitar. Leading on vocals, Su-metal is joined by Moametal and a temporary new member in impossibly intricate and impressive choreography.

Indeed, the choreography is what one notices first as the trio kicks off their set with “Megitsune” and what makes the performance so engaging to watch. The three young women barely appear to break a sweat during their hour and change set, which included “Karate,” “PA YA YA,” and “Gimme Chocolate.” This, on top of Su-metal’s impressive vocals and the skill of their backing band, all masked dressed in Grim Reaper-ish garb. Hanging back in the shadows, the musicians were not intended to be the main attraction here. Nevertheless, they killed.

While it may be easy to write off a band like Babymetal as gimmicky, the skill, talent, and hard work involved here is evident and deserving of serious consideration, as the fans present at the Anthem already knew.

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The TVD Interview

Ric Ocasek,
The TVD Interview

Today we remember Ric Ocasek who passed away Sunday, September 15, 2019 with a conversation from our archives from earlier this year.Ed.

Lanky rocker Ric Ocasek, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, is lately spending time in some other artistic halls—art galleries to be exact, where he is showing his bright paintings and drawings. He spoke to The Vinyl District from New York about his approach.

How would you characterize these paintings?

They’re like songs that don’t have any words. I like to draw a lot when I’m thinking. I’ve been doing it for a long time, maybe as far back as when I was 18 and a draftsman.

What kind of draftsman were you?

I was a draftsman at AT&T drawing switching systems.

Do you think that may have led to your more jagged abstract works?

I don’t know if it’s related but it could be. It is a bit geometrical. I guess the detail stuff is a little bit like drafting, but I don’t know. I think it’s more abstract than that. It’s really just having the pens and tools and stuff and kind of always doing it as a way to think. It’s a good way to be thinking. I don’t know, you seem to wander off, and wherever your mind wanders off ends up coming out of the pen.

What kind of media do you use?

I use a lot of Japanese paint pens. I go to the art store and I go to the pen stores to get those. I also use acrylics when I paint. I paint on top of what I draw or part of it to embellish it. A lot of times I’ll do drawings, then blow them up and paint them.

So what are the range of sizes?

I’m drawing on paper that’s anywhere from 12″ x 18″ or 24″. The biggest thing I would draw on would be 24″ high or 18″ wide. If I do it on canvas, it’s the size of whatever canvas I buy. And a lot of time I manipulate it with mixed media.

Looks like you have a mix of abstract with representational art in the show.

The representational ones tend to be accidental. They start out abstract, however when they start looking like a person or a face or an object, it will become a graveyard or a city street or whatever. I also do a lot of photography. I started dong that when I was 14 and living in Baltimore. Sometimes I’ll mess them up and blow them up until you can’t tell what it is.

I used to do collages a lot, but I don’t any more. I stopped pasting a lot of things together. But I used to do a lot of it in the late ’60s and ’70s, and then I started drawing more. I would draw in hotel rooms when I was touring with the band as a way to relax.

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The TVD Interview

Eddie Money,
The TVD Interview

Today we remember Eddie Money who passed away last Friday, September 13, 2019 with a 2018 conversation from our archives.
Ed.

Add Eddie Money to the long list of rockers, from Ozzy Osbourne to Bret Michaels and Joe Jonas, to open their homes to reality TV crews. His new series Real Money, premiering April 8 on AXS TV—already home to Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar—chronicles life with his grown kids, who are also members of his backing band when he tours.

Money, at 68, is still getting mileage out of a string of hits in the 1970s and 1980s. He talked about the origins of hits like “Baby Hold On,” and “Two Tickets to Paradise” in a recent interview from Malibu. A long time Californian, he still retains his Brooklyn roots—mostly through a string of Rodney Dangerfield-like jokes that have been largely excised here for space and sanity.

“I’m sorry I sniffed all that airplane glue, I’m trying to give you good interview,” he began, before a conversation that told of his early days, a legal threat from Doris Day, touring with the Stones, and angering Sting.

Along the way, he took credit for everything from bringing Ronnie Spector back to show business, to being the first rocker to play the daytime TV circuit and the first guy to spray festival crowds with water. And he had a few choice words about Elvis Costello and Lou Gramm.

He concluded by declaring “I lied my way to the top!” in the manner of another ambitious borough-native, so baby hold on to that grain of salt.

Now you’re a reality TV star.

I gotta tell you, I’m very excited about the TV show. For some reason, it came out good, it’s funny, the kids are good. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. If we get a second season, it’d be good.

How many episodes have you done?

Ten. We shot a lot of it at the house until the neighbors got pissed off. So we shot it all over the place, in certain clubs and out on the road. They had me horseback riding, which is horrible. Hated that. And then they had me playing golf, and I play golf like Stevie Wonder at night, so I don’t know what good that episode was.

Do you think the series is going to bring new people to your shows?

I’ve got enough people out in my audience. I’ve got a lot of kids who grew up with their parents putting me in the tape deck. All these kids grew up listening to “Baby Hold On” and “Take Me Home Tonight.”

I get people at the shows who are in their early 20s, I got parents coming to the shows. We do have a pretty large following. You gotta remember, I was putting records out in 1976, I’ve got people listening to me who are in their 70s right now that still come to the Eddie Money show. Sometimes I have people asking the promoters if they have a wheelchair rack.

How many dates do you do a year now?

I’ve got five kids, so I’ll do anything to get out of the house. What I do is I try to work every weekend if I can, because I like to get Dez out there. I want to promote Dez’s music, and I’m not just saying this because he’s my kid, but he’s a great songwriter. He doesn’t sound like me, but the songwriting quality I think he’s a chip off the old block.

It’s a brave thing to do one of these shows and show everybody your family life.

Well, the kids—nobody’s got DUIs, nobody’s doing drugs or anything else like that. I feel fortunate enough, and of course all the kids are still living at home. But that doesn’t bother me either. I like having the kids living at home because I can keep an eye on them.

I’d rather have them in front of me, rather than being in someone’s car, or somebody else’s house until 4 in the morning. This way, I know when they’re going to bed, when they’re getting up, and somebody’s going to have to take out the garbage and do the dishes. I’m very happy.

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TVD UK

Needle Drop: Dudley Benson, “We Could’ve Been Gods”

New Zealand avant-pop artist Dudley Benson weaves beautiful electronic soundscapes, effortlessly marrying challenging yet uplifting sonics, with deeply personal lyrical themes.

Exploring concepts of nationhood, decolonisation, and our relationship with nature, “We Could’ve Been Gods” is the latest cut from his ambitious new album Zealandia. Featuring a full symphony orchestra, 50-person choir, and beats made from samples of rocks and minerals, Dudley defies genre by combining alt-pop, choral, classical, and electronica, producing a record that is as unique as it is captivating.

Shot by Miranda Bellamy and Solomon Mortimer, “We Could’ve Been Gods” is a semi-improvised pulse of love, sex, and earth that reflects and bounces off the song, and the three filming locations around Auckland, New Zealand.

Collaborating with respected avant-garde dance artists val smith and Tru Paraha, “We Could’ve Been Gods” is the centrepiece of a an album that tackles hard-hitting themes surrounding New Zealand culture, history, and identities.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Jack Kerouac,
Poetry for the Beat Generation

Jack Kerouac changed my life. I read On the Road and just like that I went from being this adolescent CYO nerd with no goals or dreams to a cut-rate beatnik wannabe who drank Tokay wine and sought out angel-headed hipsters and gone beat characters in the pool halls and greasy diners of nearby Gettysburg and Taneytown, drove like I had a death wish in imitation of Dean Moriarty, and hopped a moving 2 a.m. freight train and rode in an open coal car the whole way to Harrisburg.

It was all a ridiculous fantasy, I know; there were no angel-headed hipsters or beat characters to be found in the pool halls and diners of Gettysburg and Taneytown, and one late night train ride hardly made me the second coming of Sal Paradise. But Kerouac did more for me than just turn me into a poseur; he fired my imagination and turned me on to literature, and fueled my desire to escape my one-horse town and have big wild adventures in the American night. He even made me think that, who knew, one day maybe I’d even write a meaningful sentence or two.

Kerouac has similarly inspired innumerable other kids, which is why all of those detractors who mocked him when On the Road came out in 1957 were 100 percent wrong. It’s hard to fathom, today, the savaging he received from a clueless press. If Time was content to ridicule him as “a latrine laureate of Hobohemia,” other, more hysterical voices, sniffing the downfall of Western civilization in his descriptions of junkies, small time criminals, and (gak!) “negroes,” proclaimed him the spearhead of a nihilistic and violent death cult.

Why, you’d have thought he was the Sex Pistols. Norman Podhertz seemed to think murder was the theme of Kerouac’s writing. And an obviously deranged writer for The San Francisco Examiner went so far as to submit that Kerouac’s “degenerate” followers were prone to feeding strangers hamburgers laced with ground glass. And, with a few notable exceptions, the literary establishment was no more charitable; Truman Capote, for one, famously dismissed Kerouac’s work with the words, “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/16/19

Kelowna, BC | Milkcrate Records to close at the end of the month: The venue and record shop has presented close to 400 shows over its eight years in Kelowna. Vinyl lovers and show-goers in Kelowna are going to be losing a staple destination come the end of the month. Milkcrate Records, a local record shop and music venue, is planning to shut its doors for good on Sept. 28. In their Sept. 13 newsletter, the shop announced it had been evicted from its current location and the search for a new space was unsuccessful. “Thank you to all the artists, poets, authors, filmmakers, musicians, singers and bands who enriched our lives with their music, talent, passion and artistry,” said owner Richard Rafton. “Thank you to all the arts and music and spoken word fans who came and cheered and clapped and shared the love. For us it always was and always shall be about the music. We’re very proud to have presented close to 400 shows over eight years at Milkcrate, featuring over 1000 artists.” He closed the letter by adding, “as Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo) closes out their shows: ‘we’ll see you all further on down the road.’”

Birmingham, UK | hmv to open Europe’s largest music and entertainment store The hmv Vault in Birmingham: hmv are bouncing back with a new flagship branch. hmv have announced plans to open Europe’s largest music and entertainment store next month. The hmv Vault will commence business in Birmingham’s Dale End from mid-October in a 25,000sq ft. retail space, a clear sign that the retailer’s resurgence on the UK high street is going from strength-to-strength. hmv was rescued from administration by Canada’s Sunrise Records in February 2019. While 27 stores were initially set for closure, 14 were then saved from shutting their doors for good after deals were secured with landlords. The hmv Vault features a permanent stage area and PA sound system, with plans in place for in-store signings and performances every week. The new outlet promises to be a “dedicated vinyl paradise”, with particular appeal to specialist record collectors with a wider range of classical, jazz, folk, country, blues and world music titles available that in their other stores.

Vancouver, BC | Iconic record store the latest target for downtown Nanaimo thieves: Fascinating Rhythm in downtown Nanaimo had its front door smashed late Thursday night as thieves made away with several guitars. This is the second time in the past couple months that the business has been targeted. There was also an attempted break-in only two weeks ago. “I have never had a break-in since opening 30 years ago,” said Steven Lebitschnig, the owner of Fascinating Rhythm. “I’ve had two this year.” Thieves originally tried to grab poppy donations that were strapped down, but ended up going for guitars instead. Lebitschnig says his store is not the only one that has suffered from a break-and-enter theft in recent months. Nanaimo RCMP say they have seen an increase in theft from businesses in the downtown core, adding thieves seem to be targeting cash on site. “We are strangely recommending that people leave no cash on site,” said Const. Gary O’Brien. “And put up a sign indicating that.”

Calgary, CA | Prairie Records Tops the Charts: Named Top Cannabis Retailer in Canada at Grow UP: Westleaf Inc. is proud to announce its Prairie Records retail stores have been named top cannabis retailer in Canada at the GrowUP Conference & Expo. Singing a different tune in cannabis retail, the award win is a testament to how Prairie Records is offering Canadian’s a truly unprecedented purchasing experience. “It is extremely gratifying to have Prairie Records be recognized at one of the industry’s largest events and to be able to stand out amongst a field of very worthy retail competitors,” says Adam Coates, Chief Commercial Officer at Westleaf and Retail Brand Strategist for Prairie Records. “We set out to make waves in a sea of sameness by creating an immersive experience like no other in the marketplace, and we are pleased and honoured to receive this, the first Grow UP Conference retail award.” Ten companies were nominated in the Grow UP retail category at this year’s event, the first for the industry. Among the nominees were independent stores and well-known national chains. Prairie Records was recognized based on delivering an unparalleled consumer purchasing experience and creating a welcoming brand for cannabis consumers.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s Friday the 13th with a full moon on the rise—and I gotta say, I’m in a pretty celebratory mood. I’ve dug the fall in LA. The light at sunset is heavenly.

Tomorrow we’re throwing a party for my wife. It’s a special birthday, and I’m happy to report I think I got it all together. The spot, the cake, the card, the gift—and yeah man, the Sidels have the music! If you have the moon and the music on your side? Fuck it, just rock and have a party!

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TVD UK

TVD Live Shots: Pete Doherty and Carl Barat at Hackney Empire, 9/6

My quest to see The Libertines live in the UK since I moved here three years ago got a bit closer to completion. Earlier this year I saw a spectacular show from Pete Doherty and the Putra Madres, and now I can check Pete and Libertines frontman Carl Barât off the list.

It was billed as an acoustic gig, so I accepted the invite thinking two dudes, two guitars, one stripped-down acoustic set. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As part of an event series called SOMEWHERE, which is known for hosting a series of unusual shows around the world, somehow figured out how to light 1001 candles to illuminate the stage in one of the most beautiful venues in London, Hackney Empire.

Let me start by saying that I was there for the second night of two sold-out performances in what one would consider an “intimate” venue for the primary two Libertines. It’s also worth noting that you have to live in London to appreciate how much this town loves Mr. Doherty. From the infamous breakfast photo in Margate which would later become a full-on work of art as a mural, to just last week when the tabloids reported Pete on a Boris bike riding through central London with two huskies. There was one Tweet that captured this fascination with the musician perfectly, “It’s Pete Doherty’s world, we just live in it.”

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