TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Onde eu nasci passa um rio / Que passa no igual sem fim / Igual, sem fim, minha terra / Passava dentro de mim / Passava como se o tempo / Nada pudesse mudar / Passava como se o rio / Não desaguasse no mar / O rio deságua no mar / Já tanta coisa aprendi / Mas o que é mais meu cantar / É isso que eu canto aqui

Valentine’s Day week has me drained. I hate to admit it, but I’m a romantic with needs.

All through a hectic week I was digging around for a clever set of records that would slightly cover my desire for “love music” and beyond. However yesterday’s rainstorm in the canyon spontaneously turned our street into a river. I had to put on fishing boots and a rain slicker to fish out a few floating garbage cans.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean? book signing at Waterloo Records 3/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “We’re all history buffs. We drink coffee. We like tables. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Cherner oval dining table. And the book wasn’t our idea.” Gibby Haynes

Paul Leary, King Coffey, Jeff Pinkus and Aaron Tanner, author and designer of the 304 page visual history Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean?, will be on hand to sign the book at Waterloo Records in Austin, TX on March 22nd! More info here.

The fully authorized visual history book, Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean? by author Aaron Tanner and published by Melodic Virtue, follows the Butthole Surfers from their early days in San Antonio to their reunion. This limited-run coffee table book tells the story of the Butthole Surfers through never-before-seen photos, artwork, and other memorabilia and from the viewpoint of their contemporaries. Pre-order the book here.

One of the most depraved acts from the American underground, the Butthole Surfers were formed by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, TX in 1981. Along with King Coffey, Teresa Nervosa, and Jeff Pinkus, their disturbing albums and chaotic live shows have featured everything from psychedelia and noise rock to country and electronica.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Refresh Records to let fans curate next Young Mister LP

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The debut self-titled album from Young Mister (aka songwriter Steven Fiore) stands as the first record released by North Carolina based Refresh Records and three years later, Fiore is ready for his follow-up. Perhaps even too ready, as the concept for the Young Mister Record Club came about partially when Fiore was unable to narrow down the wealth of material to be recorded for his sophomore release. Along with other familiar perks from a record club membership, folks who hop on board for the Young Mister Record Club will play a role in curating material for the new album!

After racking up millions of downloads and streams, traveling the world to play on stages and at house shows and garnering thousands of new fans over the past three years, Young Mister and Refresh Records are excited to announce that 2019 will bring the release of a new Young Mister album. Fiore will be heading into the studio this spring, but needs help from super fans in deciding what songs will make the final cut! As a Young Mister Record Club member, folks will have exclusive access to stream and vote on their favorite demos of new songs. Check out a preview with two demos here.

Record Club members will also receive early access to a download of the album before its release, a download of a special b-sides LP and many other benefits (even some surprises!). For the vinyl lovers, subscribers will receive the new album on a limited edition color and an exclusive one-time pressing of the b-sides LP on vinyl, limited to 100. See below for full list of tiered perks.

Membership is open now through February 28. Refresh Records is also offering 30% off all Young Mister merch during the sign up period.

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The TVD Storefront

Ric Ocasek,
The TVD Interview

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.

The attraction of “Ric Ocasek: Abstract Reality” on display this weekend at the Wentworth Galleries in the greater DC area, is not just the chance to discover the works (and maybe purchase them), but also to meet the man behind such late ’70s and early ’80s hits such as “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Let’s Go,” “Shake It Up,” “You Might Think,” and “Drive.”

Anyone surprised at the artistic turn of Ocasek, 69, must have missed his cameo in John Waters’ original 1988 Hairspray in which he popped up as an erratic, black-clad beatnik abstract painter.

Before the Baltimore native was to venture to Wentworth galleries at the Westfield Mall and Tysons Galleria Friday and Saturday respectively, 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 Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
UFO, Lights Out

How deep an impression did the British hard rock band UFO make on my teenage years? Well, I got this baby on 8-track for Christmas one year and I can’t remember a damn thing about it. I suspect I listened to it once, went “Bleh,” and tossed into the discard pile.

Hell, I have no idea what possessed me to ask for it in the first place. Probably a review in Creem magazine. Those fuckers were always leading me down the primrose path.

UFO’s 1977 Lights Out was certainly an odd choice for something to ask for, seeing as how I never much dug hard rock or metal and didn’t even like Led Zeppelin. The snooty teenage me looked down on metal, thought it was dumb, but my good taste has gone to shit over the years and good thing, seeing as how good taste (and this has been scientifically proven!) takes all the fun out of life. Shit, I didn’t even like Foghat, and what kinda way is that for a person to live?

So a coupla days back I decided to give Lights Out another listen and guess what? I love it! It’s the greatest heavy metal album ever! Okay, so it’s not as good as Kix’s debut LP, or Van Halen’s 1984 for that matter, but it packs a big dumb sonic punch that lights up my pleasure receptors every time I put it on.

At times Lights Out rocks harder than those bozos in Foreigner ever would (compare “Too Hot to Handle” to “Hot-Blooded,” I dare ya!), at others it anticipates Def Leppard’s glossy pop-metal sheen. Like Bad Company but with a soggy soft side (see the great “Love to Love” and their cover of Love’s “Alone Again Or”!), or AC/DC only quicker on the trigger, Phil Mogg (vocals), Michael “Displaced German” Schenker (lead guitar) and Company produced some of the most shamefully likable hard rock this side of Elton John, who I could swear plays piano (it’s credited to Mogg) on the very Captain Fantastic “Just Another Suicide.”

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/15/19

Indianapolis, IN | Record Store to Join Bottleworks Plans: Indianapolis-based Hendricks Commercial Properties has announced the record store Square Cat Vinyl is set to open in 2020 as part of phase one of the Bottleworks District. The new shop, which will be in The Garage at Bottleworks, is the latest addition to the project that aims to revamp the Coca-Cola building on Massachusetts Avenue. Square Cat Vinyl established its first location in Fountain Square in 2016 as a record store venue with a bar, stage and vinyls for sale. The shop’s bar services won’t be available at the new Bottleworks location but one of its main goals will be helping to curate live music at The Garage. The company has also hired local craftsman Loran Bohall to build all the shop’s shelving and will have a local music section.

Singapore | The 9 best vinyl record stores in Singapore: Analog music may be a dying industry, but we’ll be damned if we don’t admit that the flicking of fingertips through crates of alphabetically-arranged LPs isn’t an irreplaceable experience. It’s like browsing a jukebox, but the preview echoes in your head in hummed memory, instead of as static blarings through a stereo. The album art too, is a lost artform best appreciated in its full glory on thick paper sleeves. If you’re a vinyl romantic like us, check out these record stores that have managed to withstand the test of time.

Isle of Thanet, UK | New Broadstairs record shop hits the right note: Second-hand records, CDs, musical instruments and even a bit of art are all on offer at the newest shop to open in Broadstairs. Starfish Records in Albion Street has just completed its first week of trading and bosses John Rowden and wife ‘Ferret’ say business has been booming. The pair, from Faversham, found themselves in the vinyl trade seven years ago after taking 2,000 records off a friend’s hands. John said: “We started doing boot fairs and then record fairs but they were only once a month so we decided to do Faversham market every Saturday. “The shop is really a natural progression of that and we hope it is going to evolve as we have new stock coming in all the time. “We wanted to come to Broadstairs as there isn’t another shop like us here so we thought we could add something.”

Houston, TX | Connected record store, coffee shop to open on 19th: Black Dog Records and Maggie May’s Coffee is preparing to open in early March at 726 W. 19th St., across from Tarka Indian Kitchen. And although the coffee element is new, Black Dog already has a following. Owner James Sherwood had Black Dog on Bissonnet for seven years. “We closed the location as the unit size of 1,200 square feet was not adequate enough to support the addition of a coffee shop,” Sherwood said…In addition to selling quality, near-mint-condition first and early pressings of vintage vinyl records including classic rock, 1980s pop, heavy metal, alternative, punk, R&B, soul, jazz, blues, folk and country as well as select remastered albums, the new location also will host weekend entertainment such as live, in-store performances by local Houston artists. It also will be home to karaoke nights, afternoon poetry readings, trivia game nights and amateur stand-up comedy.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Paul McCartney Limited Edition Egypt Station Traveller’s Box Set to
be released 5/10

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Paul McCartney has confirmed the release of the Egypt Station Traveller’s Edition, out May 10 via Capitol Records.

This strictly limited deluxe edition of the #1 album Egypt Station will be a one-time-only pressing limited to 3000 numbered cases. The Traveller’s Edition arrives in a vintage style suitcase and contains exclusive previously unreleased tracks, hidden rarities, and all the essentials needed on your journey to Egypt Station and beyond.

Egypt Station was released September 7, 2018. The album entered the Billboard 200 at #1, making it the third Non-Beatles/Wings McCartney effort to top the U.S. chart and Paul’s first Stateside #1 since 1982’s Tug Of War—and Paul’s first solo album to enter the chart at #1. Egypt Station won unanimous praise from critics the world over: In a four-star lead review, Rolling Stone said, “Macca keeps adding new gems to his songbook, with nothing to prove except he’s the only genius who can do this… (And, oh yeah — in his spare time, he happens to still be the greatest live performer on Earth.)”

London’s Sunday Times, Q magazine and MOJO also awarded the album four stars, while The New York Times’ Jon Pareles observed, “McCartney contemplates mortality and pain while still trying to offer love and strength.” TIME declared Egypt Station “Essential… a document of McCartney’s spirit, which is still irrepressible more than five decades after the Beatles made their debut.” NPR said, “This is his best album in maybe 20 years.” People noted, “Egypt Station is a tour through the imagination of one of our greatest artists — what’s not to love? It’s a celebration of all the things that make McCartney great: hope, exuberance, open-mindedness and sweet melody. These days, we need all of these more than ever.”

All those who sign up HERE by 9 PM ET FEB 14 will be emailed a unique link which allows a first chance at purchasing the strictly limited Traveller’s Edition. Emails with links for first access to pre-order will be sent out at 9AM ET FRIDAY FEBRUARY 15.

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The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl: Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, Many Years Ago 3-CD set in stores 3/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On March 1, 2019, Blixa Sounds will release a career-spanning retrospective of legendary Boston band Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, aptly titled Many Years Ago. The set includes the band’s complete recorded early ’80s output for Warner Bros. Records: Robin Lane & the Chartbusters (1980), which features Robin’s MTV hit “When Things Go Wrong,” Imitation Life (1981), and the live EP “5 Live” (1980).

Robin Lane has a musical resume that spans coast-to-coast, as well as carries the unique distinction of leaping over the bridge of one decade-defining genre directly into another. Establishing herself in the late ’60s as part of her native Los Angeles’s legendary Laurel Canyon scene, Lane launched her career as a folk-rock artist, notably collaborating with Neil Young on the song “Round and Round” from his second album, 1969’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. However, Lane’s direction changed with a cross-country move to the East Coast. She landed in Cambridge, Mass. and into a growing fascination with the burgeoning harder-sounding scenes such as punk and new wave.

By 1978, Lane had formed her group the Chartbusters with Asa Brebner, Leroy Radcliffe, Scott Baerenwald and Tim Jackson; in 1980 the band — already making waves on the Boston circuit —released their self-titled debut for Warner Bros., which featured the wistful, husky single “When Things Go Wrong.” The song became hit, as did its video, which was a fixture during the early days of landmark network MTV.

Two more albums followed with the Chartbusters before Lane made the decision to pursue solo work as well as start a family. Her independent catalog following the disbandment spanned through the mid-’90s, capped by a reunion with the Chartbusters in 2001 that resulted in 2003’s release Piece of Mind. A surge of re-interest in group’s earlier work was ignited with Chartbuster drummer Tim Jackson’s 2014 documentary When Things Go Wrong: Robin Lane’s Story, focusing on Lane’s life and career, a project that won best documentary at the 2015 New Jersey International Film Festival.

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TVD New Orleans

Karl Denson previews Gnomes and Badgers at NOLA Brewing’s 10th anniversary party, 2/15

Saxophonist, bandleader and songwriter Karl Denson has a busy summer coming up. Besides touring with the Rolling Stones, he will release his latest album, Gnomes and Badgers, on March 8. Denson will play select dates with his band, the Tiny Universe, beginning on Friday night at NOLA Brewery. NOLA was the first brewery to open on the south shore after Hurricane Katrina and the failed federal levees.

Gnomes and Badgers, Denson’s upcoming album, is another in a series of strong funk-based releases that oozes rock ‘n’ roll energy. Local fans will be excited to hear the cut “Change My Way” which was co-crafted by Denson and his “writing mentor,” New Orleans’ own guitar hero Anders Osborne.

The two sides of the album, deep bottom funk and searing rock, are inspired by his long-running jazz-funk unit the Greyboy Allstars and of course his work at his “day job” with the Rolling Stones. The first single is a case in point. “I’m Your Biggest Fan” has stop-on-dime horns, a chiming guitar line, and a driving rock ‘n’ roll beat.

The current version of the Tiny Universe is a dream team and a juggernaut. The rhythm section features Greyboy Allstars bassist Chris Stillwell and former Greyboy drummer Zak Najor as well as keyboardists David Veith and Kenneth Crouch, Denson’s pal from his years in Lenny Kravitz’s band.

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The TVD Storefront

Kelly Finnigan,
The TVD First Date
and Video Premiere, “Catch Me I’m Falling”

“Happy Vinyltine’s Day!”

“It’s safe to say my journey into music started with vinyl. It’s definitely one of the main reasons I fell in love with music and why listening to records is an important part of who I am as a creator. By the time I was 15, I was happy to spend hours in a record shop looking through bins, stacks and crates. Maybe that’s why I’ve never stopped listening to vinyl all these years? Of course I was into tapes and loved making mix tapes. Yes, I bought CDs… lots of them… of course I listen to music on streaming services… but I’ve never stopped listening to vinyl. I never will.

I grew up in a house with a father who had a great vinyl collection: jazz, blues, soul, gospel, R&B, rock & roll and country. It was a very eclectic mix with the backbone being jazz and R&B. I definitely remember being young and looking through them all and being attracted to certain covers and artwork as a child.

Like Marvin Gaye’s Super Hits on Tamla Records from 1970. It’s Marvin flying through the sky in a Superman costume but he has an M on his chest and is rescuing an attractive woman from danger. It makes me smile when I see it in a store to this day, and I still have the copy that was my dad’s. The first record I became obsessed with on my own and played everyday non-stop was Michael Jackson’s classic Thriller. I wore that record out and must have played it a few 1000 times. From there like most kids I got hip to cassette tapes and loved making mixtapes for friends and female friends…but never strayed from vinyl.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for February 2019, Part Two

Part two of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases—and more—presently in stores for February, 2019. Part one is here.

NEW RELEASE PICK: V/A, SLR 30 Singles Subscription Series (Slumberland Records) Back in 1990, I scooped up Slumberland’s single of Velocity Girl’s “I Don’t Care If You Go” and I’ve been a fan of the label ever since. This series (copies will also be available in stores, all with download codes) kicked off back in October and is slated to finish near the end of 2019, and as it focuses on 45s (which have been something of a label specialty) it’s a fitting way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Slumberland’s considerable achievement, while spotlighting artists that aren’t part of the endeavor’s historical or current scheme. Here’s a rundown of the first four, and we’ll keep track moving forward to December.

The Suncharms, “Red Dust” b/w “Film Soundtrack” Formed in ’89, this UK-based quintet knocked out a couple of records shortly after and played a handful of opening spots for notable acts of period (including Television Personalities, The Orchids, Cranes, and Catherine Wheel). This landed them a Peel Session and had Slumberland eager to get them on the roster, though a breakup occurred before that could happen. Due to the positive response to their eponymous 2016 retrospective CD the band reconvened and began working on new material. Here’s the first evidence, with the A-side starting out as nice mid-tempo guitar-pop before the amps kick in and the tempo picks up. The boost might register as inevitable, but it’s far from hackneyed, and the flip is a loud melodic fiesta of solos. A-

Rat Columns, “Sometimes We’re Friends b/w “Astral Lover” & “Waiting to Die” When ponying up for a subscription series or singles club, a definite perk is receiving fresh exposure to previously unheard bands. That’s the case here with me and Rat Columns, though I am familiar with project leader David West’s other outfit Rank Xerox (he was also in Total Control). Diving into indie pop but with a decided Down Under feel (Down Undercurrent?), this is the Perth, Australia lineup of Rat Columns (the group has had US members), and it connects as distinct from his other stuff, with the A-side starting out a little moody with synth and then shifting into high-jangle gear (the synth sticks around). “Astral Lover” is a concise dose of chamber pop and “Waiting to Die” an unflustered, guitar-infused stroll. I dig. A-

David Lance Callahan, “Strange Lovers” b/w “Waiting for the Cut-Off” Another cool aspect of subscriptions/ clubs is getting to catch up with new material from musicians that have made an impact on your consciousness for a long time. I’m that way with Callahan, who was in C86 act The Wolfhounds (their “Anti-Midas Touch” remains one of my favorite songs from the era) and in the ‘90s was part of the quite happenin’ Too Pure band Moonshake (The Wolfhounds reformed in 2010 and have released LPs since). These two cuts are Callahan’s first ever solo recordings ahead of a full LP planned for some time this year. “Strange Lovers,” while not twee, does attain a level of well-mannered sophistication (complete with fingerpicking and chimes) that’s as English as a crumpet. Flip’s a likeable strummer. B+

Dolly Dream, “The Way to Heaven” b/w “Slip Thru Hell” And yet one more nifty facet of the sub/ club scenario is records that divert from expectations, and of these four short-players this one is the most surprising if not the strongest overall. Featuring Meg Remy of US Girls with assistance from members of Fucked Up, “The Way to Heaven” is ’60s throwback gal-pop that’s just off-kilter enough to have drawn comparisons to the dreamy-achy songs familiar to the soundtracks of David Lynch. I can hear that, but the considerably more wacked-out B-side is a bit like music Lynch might’ve used for a short film from around the time of Fire Walk with Me or Lost Highway. Its only shortcoming is that it’s over too quickly. Dolly Dream radiates like a one-off but is engagingly weird enough that I hope I’m wrong. B+

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/14/19

Fort Collins, TX | Old Town Fort Collins welcomes new spot for vintage vinyl: Joining Bizarre Bazaar and All Sales Vinyl in the Fort Collins record store fam is the ‘new’ Little Horse Vintage — although, the location is really the only thing new about it. Little Horse originally opened in Downtown Louisville, but expanded with the recently-opened Little Horse North on Pine Street in Old Town. Their new home is the historic Asmus Sign building, where they carry vintage vinyl, stereo equipment, musical instruments and more. And, if they’d let me live in there, I would.

Alexandria, VA | A Look Inside One of the Country’s Biggest Vinyl Record Plants. We went behind the scenes at Alexandria’s Furnace Record Pressing. From the outside, Furnace Record Pressing looks like any other nondescript Alexandria warehouse. But once you get past the glass front doors, a whole music-geek world unfolds before you: thousands of freshly pressed records in all sorts of enticing colors. This 50,000-square-foot facility can right now crank out 11,000 records a day. Some hold tunes from superstars such as Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac, while others feature more esoteric fare. Furnace was founded as a much smaller operation in 1996 by Eric Astor, who’s also a musician and label co-owner. But this new plant—which started making disks in November—has recently transformed it into one of the country’s biggest vinyl-manufacturing outfits.

Austin, TX | UT student keeps collection of vinyl records worth $12,600: Over a year’s worth of tuition in the form of records lies in Michael West’s home. For the past 10 years, architecture junior West has collected over 400 vinyl records ranging from Aerosmith to Manchester Orchestra. Now, he catalogs them through an online database. Although the collection currently resides with his family in Plano, Texas, he continues searching for records to fill his collection. West began collecting around sixth grade when his father gave him a broken turntable. After West fixed it, his father gave him his first five records: two KISS records, two Beatles and Elton John. From the beginning, West said he’s always viewed his records as a collection. “(Collecting records) was different, especially in middle school when nobody had money or collecting hobbies,” West said.

Berlin, DE | Berlin club Griessmuehle is opening a record store. The new shop is right next door to the Neukölln club. Berlin club Griessmuehle is opening a record shop called Latitude. It’s located at Sonnenallee 221, next door to the Neukölln club, in the building that the Record Loft briefly occupied before closing last year. The club’s programming includes a range of genres, including house, techno, disco and UK bass, which will likely be reflected in the record shop’s stock. Latitude is hosting an opening party to celebrate the launch this weekend. It goes down Friday, February 15th, from 2 PM to midnight. There’s currently no lineup listed.

David Bowie 7-inch vinyl box set of demos and unreleased songs available in April: With 2019 marking 50 years since David Bowie’s first hit, “Space Oddity,” Parlophone is set to release a 7″ vinyl singles boxed set of nine previously unreleased recordings* from the era during which “Space Oddity” was first conceived. The title SPYING THROUGH A KEYHOLE is a lyric taken from the previously unknown song “Love All Around” and though most of the other titles are known, these versions have never been officially released until late last year (see footnote). Most of the recordings are solo vocal and acoustic home demo performances, unless otherwise stated. The photography that adorns the box front and the print inside is by Ray Stevenson and was taken in Tony Visconti’s flat in the summer of 1968.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Good Records announces
first theatrical film
Live from the Astroturf, Alice Cooper

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Good Records, the Dallas-based indie record label that is home to recording artists such as The Polyphonic Spree, is announcing their first foray into theatrical film with a companion movie to their wildly successful LP Record Store Day release, Live from the Astroturf, Alice Cooper. The documentary will hold its world premiere at the Phoenix Film Festival which runs from April 4-14, 2019. Phoenix is home to the original incarnation of the band Alice Cooper.

The movie is part concert film, part documentary highlighting the near incredulous story of how an Alice Cooper fan who runs a record store was able to coax the original lineup into reuniting at his store forty-one years after they had disbanded. Alice Cooper, the singer, went on as a solo artist in 1974, continuing to use the same name. The reunion marks the longest set the original members had played since that time, and their first appearance together since being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The incredible performance was captured with eight cameras, originally intended to be a personal video for the record store owner, Chris Penn. Luckily, he knew professional camera operators, and at the end of the evening, the film’s director, Steven Gaddis, informed Penn that they had enough material to make a movie. Gaddis and Penn immediately went to work to make that happen.

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The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl:
Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Live In Paris 1985 in stores 3/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Renowned dance/funk/Latin/pop/disco group Kid Creole & The Coconuts, fronted by the multi-talented August Darnell, will release their first-ever official live album Live In Paris 1985 March 1 via Los Angeles-based Rainman Records. Captured at the peak of their music prowess, the album celebrates the genre-defying group’s raucous best. Live In Paris 1985’s 14 tracks (recorded 9/15/85 at Le Zenith) covers the gamut of their first five studio albums and features the high-octane performance the band is famous for.

Kid Creole & The Coconuts formed in New York City and made their national television debut on Saturday Night Live in November 1980, just as their first album was getting noticed by critics. Three early ’80s top 10 singles in Europe helped expose them to a world-wide audience. His breakthrough album Tropical Gangsters (issued as Wise Guy in North America) had big hits including “Stool Pigeon,” “I’m A Wonderful Thing, Baby,” and “Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy.” The band developed a devoted live following and released a long string of acclaimed, eclectic music incorporating Latin, funk, disco, pop and more. The Los Angeles Times’ Richard Cromelin noted the band’s eclectic nature: “There’s Cab Calloway, for the overall image. Frank Sinatra for vocal phrasing and romantic attitude. Elvis Presley for dance moves and hero-worship. James Brown for live performance. Calypso singer the Mighty Sparrow for witty lyrics.”

Of Live In Paris, Darnell says he’s really excited about how it turned out. “I am astonished by how CONFIDENT we all were. The musicians were all at the top of their game. I was fortunate to have gathered such an ensemble. When I listen to this concert, I am reminded of how much time we spent rehearsing in Manhattan before each tour. Time well spent. And the humor in the show—that is what really stands out for me. We did not take ourselves seriously, but at the same time we’re laying down some serious grooves and serious lyrics and very serious musical arrangements.”

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:

“We’re a Zambian Band!”

Tired of motoriking around the living room to your Krautrock records? Just plain done with dancing your legs down to your knees to your Northern Soul, Batucada, and Space Disco LPs? Sick unto death of the records in your Eastern Bloc Jazz-Fusion, Dungeon Synth, Nederpop, Nangma, Pirate Metal, Pornogrind, and Spouge collections?

Well, my depraved vinyl junkie friend, why not give Zamrock a shot?

The 1970s Zambian rock scene produced some really great Afro-psychedelic bands, the most famous of which was Witch (stands for We Intend to Cause Havoc!). Fronted by the charismatic Emanuel “Jagari” Chanda (that “Jagari is an Africanization of “Jagger”!), Witch sang in English and were famed for their frenetic live shows, which could last more than six hours and frequently included some really dope covers, including a retooled version of Grand Funk’s “We’re an American Band” the band proudly retitled “We’re a Zambian Band.”

Seriously, all you crate diggers: how fucking Sub-Saharan cool is that?

I’m not going to go into any great detail about the socio-economic conditions that made Zamrock such a potent force in the seventies; suffice it to say the movement arose and thrived in the sunny wake of Zambian national liberation and economic boom times only to slowly founder amidst a host of vexing geopolitical problems (wars on the nation’s borders, an uprising in country) and the near collapse of the country’s copper-based economy.

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Posted in The TVD Storefront | 1 Comment

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