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

TVD SINGLE OF THE WEEK:
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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TVD Asbury Park

Hunter Valentine:
So Long For Now

The eve of a new release and tour is usually an exciting time for any band no matter how much success they’ve achieved in their career. Hunter Valentine is no different in that respect, however this time—after a decade of recording, tours, TV appearances, and anything else a band could hope for—it’s a little bittersweet.

The “So Long For Now” tour is just as advrtised: a sort of goodbye. But don’t read too much into it. While many bands with half the list of accomplishments might sooner or later self-destruct, this is certainly not a funeral procession—it’s a victory lap for the group to celebrate with their fans before they move on to the next phase of their lives.

Listening to their new EP “The Pledge” wouldn’t give you any indication of a band on the outs, instead founding members Kiyomi McCloskey and Laura Petracca knew going in that this could be its epitaph and wanted to give its fans a parting gift of loud, sneering, catchy rock ‘n’ roll.

The “So Long For Now” tour, featuring touring members Lisa Bianco and Leanne Bowes, makes 31 stops in just under two months arriving at the Saint in Asbury Park on February 12th. I spoke with Kiyomi about “The Pledge,” the tour, and ending the band.

Hunter Valentine has been on such a roll the last few years I guess the obvious question is why go on hiatus now?

It’s funny, because most bands go on hiatus when they are fighting or the music starts sucking. In our case, we are laughing more than ever together and made one of our best records yet! I’ll be starting new projects and I’ve been playing solo acoustic shows already. Laura is going back to the kitchen grind as a chef and is really looking forward to putting her creativity into food.

Was it known during the writing and recording of “The Pledge” that this might be the last Hunter Valentine release?

Yes, we wanted to leave this band on a high note and we wanted to put in our best effort in doing so. It was also really important to us to leave our fans with one last recording and tour. This is going to be a celebratory tour for us. We are very proud of what we’ve achieved over the years.

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The TVD Storefront

Laura Jean Anderson,
The TVD First Date

“I am amazed at the heaviness I still feel about vinyl and the difference it has on my entire listening experience for either hearing a new record for the first time or hearing a classic record for the thousandth time. Vinyl brings along a hands-on experience, commitment, work, a ritual—things I truly value in life and in making music. That same feeling I felt as a kid, I do today, and I know I will for the rest of my life. There’s a timelessness to vinyl.”

“When I was young, my family would play classic records and I remember how special it felt when they let me be the one to put the needle on the record. It amazed me how it all worked! How the needle made the music play! I would stare at it for hours.

Vinyl was starting to phase out when I was about 7 years old. My father was a huge record collector—he had crates of old classic Beatles records, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, etc. At a garage sale, he sold all of his vinyl for 25 cents a piece thinking that there was going to be no use for it anymore. I remember it so vividly in my mind yet I was too young to appreciate vinyl at that time. That day goes down in history with my family. We always talk about what it would be like if that didn’t happen and wish we could take it back. I can only hope that the tradition of listening to vinyl got passed on to another family.

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