TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Out with the old in with the new! After all, we’re moving into fall 2014 and hey, what do record company suits say every year…the kids are “back to school!”

To be honest, I can’t tell anymore how many of us rock fans are still in school. We hope more than a few.

No matter who’s playing the kid, the fall season still holds the tradition for album releases from “indie rock” heavyweights. Interpol, Aphex, DFA, Casablancas, and O. This week is the time for the colleges to rock.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

TVD Dallas

TVD Live: Washed Out at Granada Theater, 9/8


PHOTOS: AMANDA DEERING | Experiencing Washed Out in the flesh is like tripping on some really, really fucking stellar stuff. Like drifting out into an alter-world of pretty colors and sparkly things and deliciousness. Or what we’d imagine that to be like, of course. 

When Ernest Greene released his first recordings as Washed Out in 2009, he had by that time been involved in numerous music projects. But as Washed Out, he became famous for his obscure style of ambient pop, a new wave in shoe gaze marked by retro-inspired synths, airy beats and lush, reverberating vocals. Five years and a large following of Portlandia fans later, the band’s music is just as luscious and dreamy as ever, but much brighter in tone than before. And this Monday, it cast its magic spell on Dallas, at a nearly sold out show at the city’s historic Granada Theater.


Well, the cloud of herbal fumes gathering above Granada’s colorful crowd could have been a factor, but Washed Out’s performance that night was no doubt dope as hell.

Playing before a decently, ahem, “spirited” crowd, Greene et al led the audience to even higher heights with a hypnotic, ethereal performance. Opening with “It Feels Alright,” the intro track on the band’s 2013 daydream-like album, Paracosm, the group progressed through a set of songs spanning their entire discography. The set list included fan favorites “Amor Fati,” “All I Know,” and of course, “Feel it All Around,” the cult chillwave prototype also typically known as “the Portlandia song.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD Dallas | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

TVD Premiere: Wild Leaves, “Black River”

Wild Leaves is composed of five Midwest transplants now living in Brooklyn. Though they have found their home along the Atlantic, their trademark flowering harmonies and jangling electric guitars have drawn comparisons to the Pacific sounds of The Byrds and CSNY.

The band’s second single, “Black River” shines with unadulterated earthy vibes and road tested rhythms. Filled with mystic imagery and Western landscapes, the song capitalizes on the journeyman quality of the band who have been on a perpetual tour since the release of 2013’s “Wind and Rain” EP. “Black River” is an excellent entry point into the band’s slow-building catalog of nostalgic Psych Folk. A perky fire side song that is performed with aching tenderness by lead singer Adam Lytle.

Wild Leaves newest EP, “Hello Sunlight” finds the quintet in confident space—beckoning the ears of young Folk Rock revivalists to share in their kindred melodies. The EP will be available on the first of October and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

Wild Leaves release show for “Hello Sunlight” is October 1 at Mercury Lounge with Zachary Cale and The Lawsuits. Tickets are available here.

Wild Leaves Official | Facebook | Twitter

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Washington, DC

TVD Recommends:
The Legendary Shack Shakers at the Black
Cat, 9/15

Trying to put a neat label on what genre the Legendary Shack Shakers play is akin to trying to put a sweater on an octopus.

You could start with rockabilly, but that doesn’t nearly cover it all. You could mash it all up and say: hillbillygypsyswampcarneysoutherntwangabilly. Yeah, that’s a good start. Monday, September 15th at the Black Cat in DC, the pandelerium that is the Shack Shakers returns, and it’s up to the audience to determine whether you’ve just been saved or dragged straight to hell.

If you ask anyone who knows about the Shack Shakers, you will most certainly hear about their absolutely untamed live shows. When asked about their unbridled energy, frontman J.D. Wilkes has laid it out pretty clear. “We try to tap into basic primal instincts. Rock ‘n’ roll is a cathartic release. Anything that doesn’t realize that bestial nature isn’t rock ‘n’ roll.”

Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra has called Wilkes “…the last great rock and roll frontman.” The band has received accolades from luminaries such as Robert Plant, Hank Williams III, and Stephen King.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

TVD Washington, DC

TVD Recommends: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad at Tropicalia, 9/12

The music of Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (GPGDS) flips roots reggae upside-down and shakes free traces of perceived Americana. Their sound is a derivative of island rhythms, although some listeners might, first, recognize their blues influences.

Later this month GPGDS or Panda, is releasing their first album since 2012. The album, Steady, breaks from the clinical sounds of a jam band, but the men of the band gleefully stick to archetypes of the grand genre of Jamaica—rocksteady shin-kicks, protest lyrics, and herb-smoking. Coming off their previous album Country, Tony Gallicchio, Chris O’Brian, Dan Keller, James Searl, and Dylan Savage infuse their latest with American folk motifs. Steady is an indirect study in musicology, particularly the relationship between reggae and working-class American music. They perform on Friday, September 12 at Tropicalia.

Singer-bassist James Searl took some time out of his schedule to humor me with questions ranging from re-animated dead folk singers to song title references from Steady. The album will be released on Easy Star Records, September 30. Panda, already mid-tour, continues through the US until early October. 

If your music was packaged with a mission statement, what would it be?

Music is healing. Let’s rock and let’s groove to this rhythm.

Tell me how you got in cahoots with Easy Star Records?

Dub Side of the Moon was a profound recording. We used to play it as the house music before all of our shows back when we started playing out as a band that was focused on spreading reggae music to the future. One thing about reggae that we all recognized was its miraculous ability to sound ancient and futuristic all at once.

Easy Star seemed to understand how powerful of a concept that was in their reinterpretation of the classic album Dark Side of the Moon, of which Panda was familiar with every note of the Pink Floyd version. We kept doing our thing, and they kept doing their thing, and after a while, the meet up was inevitable. There have been so many natural connections that have brought us together. It feels very special. Their support has certainly given us the confidence to know that we are on the right track in our lives and that reggae music is the truth.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

TVD New Orleans

Marcello Benetti celebrates new album release at Snug Harbor, 9/14

Creative music has been getting a lot of attention these days from TVD New Orleans and from writers across the city. One of the reasons has been an influx of talent moving to the city as well as visiting to perform.

Benetti is a well-regarded Italian drummer, composer, and improviser who first visited in 2008 to interact with the city’s great musicians. He moved here in 2011 and celebrates the release of his second American recording at Snug Harbor on Sunday night.

From East To West is the name of the album and it features three stalwarts of the local scene. Helen Gillet plays cello, Rex Gregory is on clarinets and flute, and Jeff Albert is on trombone. Read More »

Posted in TVD New Orleans | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Fool for the City

Here’s an interesting historical tidbit: I was the geezer wot gave Foghat their name. It happened like this: we were all (the band and I) totally pissed in Rod “The Bottle” Price’s bedsit in manky Manchester, when “Lonesome Dave” Peverett rolled a J the size of John Holmes’ John Thomas and set it ablaze. It took some real hyperventilation-level huffing and puffing to get that monster going, and by this time Dave’s head was wreathed in a glorious crown of cannabis smoke, and I cried out, “Lonesome Dave’s sporting a Foghat!” And Bob’s your uncle, that’s exactly how it didn’t happen.

Anyway, I don’t know what you think about Foghat, and I don’t particularly care, because I love them. They may have been your bog-standard, no-frills British blooz and boogie rock band, all meat and potatoes but skimping a bit on the meat, but they had a great name and were likeable blokes and the punters loved them because they played an arse-walloping live set. What’s more they displayed a sense of humor, as proved by the cover of their finest LP, 1975’s Fool for the City, which depicts drummer Roger Earl fishing in a manhole in the middle of East 11th Street in New York City, looking as casual as if he were casting bait along Manchester’s own River Irk, which none other than Friedrich Engels described as “a narrow, coal-black, foul-smelling stream, full of debris and refuse.” All of which leads one to suspect that Earl had a better chance of catching a real, live fish in said sewer than he did back in grim and grimy old Manchester town.

I also have an abiding affection for Foghat because the band’s music features in the final scene of one of my all-time favorite films, Richard Linklater’s 1993 cult classic Dazed and Confused. To wit, when Mitch Kramer, who has just returned home at dawn after having undergone all the requisite initiation rites and rituals (drinking beer, smoking pot, throwing a bowling ball from a moving car) of seventies teenagehood, puts on his oversized headphones, it’s the great opening of “Slow Ride” that brings a beatific smile to his face. Linklater could have chosen any song from the mid-seventies to produce that smile, but he chose Foghat, which raises my estimation of both him and them.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 1 Comment

TVD Los Angeles

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Big Star’s #1 Record
and Third performed live at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 9/27

Every now and again we find ourselves in the audience at an event so special and unique that the experience easily defies the normal concert going affair. Such was the case last month as we took in Big Star’s #1 Record and Third performed in their entirety at Washington, DC’s premier venue, the 9:30 Club. As we wrote back in August:

Once a decade or eon or so, an LP comes along that is simply too tortured and nakedly honest for human ears. 1978’s twisted and raw Third/Sister Lovers is such an LP. The final offspring of the seventies’ incarnation of Memphis, Tennessee power pop band Big Star—which never dented the charts during its lifetime but has achieved cult superstardom in the years since—Third is anything but a catchy power pop record.

As such, Third is every bit as nakedly powerful a work of art as Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Crack Up,” or heroin- and booze-ravaged Charlie Parker’s tortured 1946 Dial Records take on “Lover Man,” which he couldn’t even stand on his own to record and which was followed by a long “vacation” in California’s Camarillo State Mental Hospital.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | 4 Comments

TVD Los Angeles

Hey, Shopkeeper: Vinyl Junkies Record Swap

This weekend down in San Diego—home of Rocket from the Crypt, Iron Butterfly, Eddie Vedder, RATT, Tom Waits, Waaves, Slightly Stoopid, and more—comes the Vinyl Junkies Record Swap.

Former M-Theory owner Eric Howarth is bringing the goods to San Diego (you know, that southern, beachy, more laid back, better looking second cousin of Los Angeles) this weekend for the San Diego Music Thing, a festival and conference in its 7th year benefitting the San Diego Music Foundation. We chatted him up prior to this weekend’s swap.

Please introduce yourself and give us some insight on the what the Vinyl Junkies Record Swap is.

My name is Eric Howarth and I’m the founder of the Vinyl Junkies Record Swap. People in San Diego also know me as the former co-owner/founder of M-Theory Music (the record store). Prior to starting Vinyl Junkies and after selling M-Theory (it’s still around and going strong), I was running my record label Hi-Speed Soul with vinyl releases by the likes of Afghan Whigs, Nada Surf, Swervedriver, Film School, and managing bands like The Black Heart Procession.

The Vinyl Junkies Record Swap happens every couple of months at the Casbah and we select a bunch of vendors from Southern California to sell. We also have 6 DJs spin…usually people in bands, on air DJs, or local music writers. So far we’ve had David J of Bauhaus/Love and Rockets, Dale Crover of The Melvins, Matt and Ken of The Bronx, Pall from The Black Heart Procession, Justin Pearson of the Locust and a bunch of well-known local SD band members spin. It’s always great to hear what they end up playing.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

Pink Frost,
The TVD First Date

“There is something romantic in obsessing over the obsolete. Giving new meaning to the ancient, disused, and forgotten.”

“There is little practical reason why we should still be listening to vinyl an entire century after its invention, but the LP is still here, having resisted wave after wave of technologies created specifically to bury it. There are much more convenient and efficient ways to deliver music, and you can now digitally possess pretty much any piece of recorded music in existence for free and in seconds. But maybe that’s not the point. By giving us everything we say we wanted, something is devalued. And maybe that’s why we keep coming back to vinyl. Back to these artifacts of the 20th century.

I’ve always collected records, but somehow it means more now. It goes beyond the nostalgia of listening to my Mom’s Monkees’ LPs as I built forts and fought imaginary wars when I was 6, or trying to make sense of the Axis: Bold as Love cover art that used to freak me out. Now, the simple act of putting needle to wax is a small “Fuck You” to the glowing screens that dominate our lives. The antithesis to all the shuffles and the million numbing clicks to the next. A listening experience freed from the drudgery of digital distraction.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text