TVD Live Shots: Idina Menzel at Royal Albert Hall, 6/15

The title of this article should be “a metal fan goes to a pop show.” After taking my wife to numerous metal shows around the world, most recently King’s X and Guns ‘n Roses (within the same week), she asked me to get tickets to a show that SHE wanted to see. She was dead set on seeing Idina Menzel perform live, and I owed it to her. To be completely honest I wasn’t familiar with who Idina Menzel was, although I like to think if myself as that one music fan that does listen to “all types of music.”

I scored third row center seats for us because I thought, if I’m going to see a pop show of this magnitude, I’m going to get the absolute best seats possible—in case I have a miserable time, I’ll at least have a killer seat. Add to it that the show is at the legendary Royal Albert Hall. It’s my first time seeing a show there and it’s starting to get interesting. The stage is set, and after a fantastic dinner I take my wife to our seats and I head back to the soundboard (which is way, way, way in the back) to get ready to take a few shots and try to capture a story within the first three songs (standard photog rules of engagement). Then Idina hits the stage.

Any parent who has a toddler will recognize her voice in about 2 seconds. I have a 2 ½-year-old little girl who dreams of being a princess and can’t stop watching the movie Frozen. I’ve heard the soundtrack so many times I feel like I was its producer—3 to 4 times a day for the past year, I’ve probably heard these songs more than any other rock/ metal classics in my lifetime.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Music from the Motion Picture Baby Driver in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Music From The Motion Picture Baby Driver, the 30-song soundtrack for Edgar Wright’s heavily anticipated, music-laden film Baby Driver, is available now via Award winning producer and recording artist Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records and Columbia Records. Featuring gems from almost every musical genre and spanning across multiple decades, the soundtrack can be purchased both physically as a two LP and two CD set, as well as digitally across all retailers.

Written and directed by Edgar Wright, Baby Driver tells the story of Baby, a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Danger Mouse premiered the music video for “Chase Me,” his new original song featuring Run The Jewels and Big Boi, created specifically for Baby Driver. Baby Driver opens nationwide in theatres on June 28, 2017.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Soft Boys,
Underwater Moonlight

The Soft Boys are one of those bands that failed commercially for lack of a straight-talking high school guidance counselor. Because a straight-talking high school guidance counselor could have sat Robyn Hitchcock and Kimberly Rew down and said, “Look boys, your desire to make psychedelic rock is laudable. But it’s 1976, everybody’s wearing safety pins through their noses and screaming about anarchy, and to be perfectly blunt lads your desire to make a go of it as acid rockers makes about as much sense as pursuing careers as lamplighters. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, I have an employer here who is looking for a dependable rat catcher.”

Alas, they had no one, which is why their magnum opus, 1980’s Underwater Moonlight, sold approximately 18 copies. The Soft Boys were at the right place but at the wrong time, and as the Velvet Underground will gladly inform you, timing is everything. Underwater Moonlight has gone on to become a neo-psychedelic masterpiece, but it hit the record stores well before everybody and his sister hopped aboard the paisley bandwagon just in time to enthrall a listening public looking for something completely different from post-punk. And by that time the Soft Boys were no more—the whimsical and eccentric Hitchcock having gone on to form Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians, and Rew the commercially successful Katrina and the Waves.

The Soft Boys’ influences aren’t too hard to discern—The Beatles, The Byrds, Syd Barrett, and when it comes to sheer lyrical absurdity, the Bonzo Dog Band. But they are far more than the sum of these influences. Opening track “I Wanna Destroy You” is punk in attitude—less 1967 than 1976—but has a power pop heart, and is the catchiest anthem this side of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender.” And “Old Pervert,” which features some truly wonderful drum pummel, lots of fractured guitar, and some insane laughter, is nobody’s idea of a flower power Day-Glo acid rocker. The guitars are just too mean, and the lyrics are a million miles away from the Summer of Love. “I’m an old pervert and I hang around under the bridge/I won’t do you no harm I just wanna show what’s in my fridge,” sings a lecherous Hitchcock, before adding, “They said that I’m weird and disinfectant is all that I drink/Ah, but cleanliness of the soul is more important, don’t you think?”

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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.

Kazyak – When I Lived in Carolina
Dot Dash – Summer Light
Screamfeeder – All Over It Again
Dog Island – El Dorado
Moonbeams No Mas – We Waited Five Years
THE STICKS – Come Back
Cotton Mather – The Cotton Mather Pledge
Beta Days – Settled for Gold
Office Culture – Favor
Kevin Courtois – Needed You

Howie Payne – The Brightest Star

Broken Circles – Triathalon – U
Brudini – The Nightcrawler
Little Reader – Disappearing One
The Radio Dept. – Swedish Guns
Jupiter Deluxe Tube – Home
Big Fresh – Paralyzed (feat. Robert Schneider)
Gold Casio – Socialites And Singer Types
The Arcturians – Storm
Floco Torres – You!
Jahn Rome – Burn (Prod. Kojo a.)

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 6/26/17

Toronto Reference Library gets in on vinyl craze, buys 100 records: Who says libraries aren’t hip? The Toronto Reference Library is kicking it old school, buying vinyl records for the first time in three decades. The library is adding 100 titles. It already has more than 15,000 vinyl records on its shelves, but it has not added anything since the 1980s, so there were some notable gaps in its collection. As vinyl enjoys a revival, the library decided to give it another spin. Now Snoop Dogg, Feist, David Bowie and Drake are among the artists you can hear on turntables there. You can’t take the albums home, but there are two record players on the fifth floor, free for anyone to use.

Falling for the vinyl record craze: While walking around Zulu Records in Vancouver with a few friends, we crossed paths with Nardwuar the Human Serviette – a Canadian treasure who is one of the best music journalists out there, for a few reasons. Nardwuar talks to famous musicians and gives them vinyl records during the interview, often striking an emotional chord and revealing information reserved for parents and close friends. Combined with his beaming personality, Nardwuar has the ability to humble any superstar back to an earthly level. He spent nearly an hour talking with us in Vancouver, so I couldn’t leave the record store empty-handed. I picked up Game Theory by The Roots, a great hip-hop album worthy of Nardwuar’s respect.

At Cow Records in Ocean Beach, one man keeps the vinyls spinning: (“Vinyls” is not a word. Would you say “deers?” No. —Ed.) In the heart of Ocean Beach, sandwiched between two pubs along bustling Newport Avenue, lies Cow Records. Pleasant tunes from numerous generations and genres fill the crisp, beachside air permeating the establishment. Some 5,000 records occupy the 1,100-square-foot space, lining the floors, shelves, walls and any other space that will accommodate them. A handful even dangle overhead, suspended by strings mounted to the ceiling above. Something of a hole-in-the-wall storefront, its success has never faltered during the 28 years Greg Hildebrand has owned it. The secret to its success? Hildebrand cites two.

Terry Currier Day proclaimed in Portland, Saturday, August 12 will be formally announced on July 4 at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival. Mayor Ted Wheeler has issued a Proclamation designating August 12, 2017, as “Terry Currier Day” throughout the City. Official announcement of the Proclamation will be made on July 4th at the Waterfront Blues Festival, prior to a set of music by Duffy Bishop. As the Proclamation notes: “Terry Currier, owner of Portland, Oregon’s long-serving, independent and iconic Music Millennium record store for over thirty years has provided tireless, unrivaled support and assistance to all facets of the renowned and well-established Portland music community, including musicians, venues and events…. Ted Wheeler proclaims August 12th to Terry Currier Day in Portland and encourages all residents to observe this day.”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

My makeup is dry and it cracks round my chin / I’m drowning my sorrows in whiskey and gin / The lion-tamer’s whip doesn’t crack anymore / The lions they won’t fight and the tigers won’t roar / La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

So let’s all drink to the death of a clown / Won’t someone help me to break up this crown? / Let’s all drink to the death of a clown / La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la / Let’s all drink to the death of a clown

The old fortune teller lies dead on the floor / Nobody needs fortunes told anymore / The trainer of insects is crouched on his knees / And frantically looking for runaway fleas / La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Last Sunday I dropped my eight year old son off at the bus for his first trip to sleepaway camp. It’s an exciting rite of passage. That morning both Jonah and Susan were in quite a state. It was like a Super Bowl Sunday with the entire Sidel family blasting onto the Rose Bowl field, confetti bombs blowing in the wind! Mom was trying make sure every detail was packed while Jonah was jumping out of his boots waiting for the whistle and the opening kick off.

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TVD Live Shots:
King’s X at the Islington Assembly Hall, 6/14

The first and last time I saw King’s X live was back in 1994 at Mississippi Nights in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. I was 19 years old and thought I knew what amazing musicianship looked like, but I was wrong. Doug Pinnick and company were touring in support of their landmark album Dogman, and it was one of the most incredible musical spectacles I’ve ever seen. These guys make a hell of a lot of noise for a three-piece, but furthermore, their musicianship is unmatched.

Pinnick is known for playing a 12 string bass live. If you’ve never heard one of these beasts live, it pummels your chest and rattles your soul, laying the groundwork for one of the most precise (and animated) drummers on the planet, Jerry Gaskill. The rest comes to life by Ty Tabor’s vivid calm-to-roar style guitar playing. It’s the type of music that the metal heads love as well as the prog folks—and even the Beatle-maniacs.

So why was it the band never broke through to the mainstream? I haven’t a clue, and neither do the majority of critics and fans alike. Eddie Trunk takes a stab at solving this mystery on his radio show which you can listen to here. The pieces were all lined up many times over, but while lightning certainly did strike on stage, it never equally struck the charts.

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TVD New Orleans

Naughty Professor’s
new album Identity in stores today, 6/23

I have been watching funky, jazzy, horn-heavy ensemble Naughty Professor develop as a band for several years. With the release of Identity they have finally come into their own as the newest direction of New Orleans funk. The album drops today.

What makes this album so exciting is the band has enlisted a wide range of artists to help create their vision. The group of musicians includes well-known names like legendary hip-hop artist Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 and keyboardist and vocalist Ivan Neville. It also includes up and comers from New Orleans including Dexter Gilmore of the hot new band, Sexy Dex and the Fresh.

Elsewhere on the album, David Shaw of the Revivalists, trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom of Lettuce, and percussion master Mike Dillon make appearances. Add guitarist Cliff Hines, vocalist Sasha Masakowski, keyboardist Jason Butler, pianist and singer Cole DeGenova, vocalist Mykia Jovan, and even Cuban percussionist Alexey Marti on various cuts and you have a recipe for an overstuffed disaster. But it turns out the album is a stunning collection; each tune fits together into the larger picture like a complex dish.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Elvis Presley, A Boy From Tupelo:
The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings
in stores 7/28

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In August of 1953, an 18-year-old Elvis Presley walked into Sun Records to record some songs as a gift for his mother. Asked by receptionist Marion Keisker about what singers he sounded like, Elvis simply answered “I don’t sound like nobody.”

A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings chronicles the rise of that singer who “don’t sound like nobody.” This 3CD set includes, for the first time in one collection, every known Sun Records master and outtake, those mythical Memphis Recording Service acetates (the first four songs Elvis recorded, with his own money), and every live performance and radio recording known to exist, including a newly-discovered recording. It’s all brilliantly remastered from the best possible sources, and accompanied by a 120-page book chronicling this period in Elvis’ life date-by-date with fascinating anecdotes, rare photos, and memorabilia.

Vinyl enthusiasts will also love A Boy From Tupelo: The Sun Masters, an LP containing all of Elvis’ single sides for Sun Records, plus additional songs recorded at Sun Studios and released on his landmark self-titled debut album in 1956. Both sets are available July 28.

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The TVD Storefront

Jason Loewenstein,
The TVD First Date

“Records! I was lucky to have parents who were into music. I had my own record player and LPs. Free to Be… You and Me, Sesame Street, Electric Company, Beatles. Then me and my buddy raided his sisters collection and found B52’s, Devo, Ramones, even Pork Dukes and Dead Kennedys! We now knew something was up, something more interesting than what we were hearing on the radio.”

“Then came the amazing USA network underground music program Night Flight. Now even we suburb dwellers were being exposed to punk rock and new wave. But where do we get this stuff?! Next stop is the record store where you are looking for clues as to making your next big discovery, usually based on a record label’s reputation, a cool record cover, and blind faith. Then there are flea markets and the deep dark recesses of the used sections of these stores. That’s where the magic happens. It’s a needle in a haystack and the quest for a certain rare record can go on for years, taking the seeker on an adventure of accidental discovery that can be so rewarding.

I was super lucky to be in a touring band as we would hit record stores almost every day looking for stuff to feed our heads. Sebadoh collectively put a LOT of money back into the music economy this way!

In my years of trying to locate (among other things!) Beefheart and Silver Apples LPs in flea markets and record stores all over the country, I found so many weird and low-tech spoken word, comedy, instructional, polka, country, gospel, etc. Stuff that you buy based on instinct and record cover, and end up with something that is really fun to play for people and you can be pretty sure it will be their first exposure. Fun to turn people onto weird/wonderful sounds!

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