The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Journey, Infinity

I have always keep Journey at arm’s length, out of fear they might be catching. I lived through their glory years, when the wheel in the sky kept on turning and the lights went down in the city, and I hated Journey the way a bull elephant must hate, well, everybody. I hated them to the extent that had a passenger in my car suggested not changing the dial when a Journey song came on the radio, I would have reached over his person, opened his car door, and pushed him out. In a 65 mph zone. Journey was an MOR nightmare, a journey to the end of the blight, and they gave me the heebie-jeebies with their signature stacked vocals, songs that were impossible to get out of your head no matter what you did to dislodge them, and last but not least Steve Perry’s super-polished tenor, which just flat out irked.

But over the years my attitude towards Journey has softened. I still like to make fun of them, but call it nostalgia or the imp of the perverse, I no longer turn them off when they come on the radio. I sing along. It’s as if at some point in my past the band ran a musical train on me, turning me into one of those pussy Journey lovers I loathed. The part of me that still despises them is disgusted by the part of me that is singing along, but is helpless to do anything about it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still no fan, but I have discovered that at their best Journey have an impressive skill at pop songcraft.

Journey was founded in San Francisco in 1973, and was made up of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch, a band best known for being completely unknown. Their first three albums, which did not include Perry, varied from jazz fusion to hard rock, the latter being most prominent on 1977’s excellent Next, which included a couple of great headbangers in “Hustler” and the instrumental “Nickel and Dime.” But they failed to break through to pop success, and on LP no. 4 (1978’s Infinity) Journey made several momentous changes; first they brought in Perry of the golden tonsils to handle lead vocals, and second they abandoned hard rock for a more commercial pop sound.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new tracks received last week—provided here to inform your next trip to your local indie record store. Click, preview, download, purchase.

Brad Reiman – A Vacation From My Mind
Jen Wood – Run With The Wild Ones
Ellie Goulding – Lights (GAMPER & DADONI Remix)
And The Kids – No Countries
Lox Chatterbox – Tryna Smoke
They Might Be Giants – Flood Live in Australia, Full Concert
Harriet Brown – 20/15
Sur Une Plage – Minimum
stickybackplastics. – Psycho Dreamer
Daydream Frenzy – Jade’s Song

The Living Statues – Blackout

AU8UST – White Sheets (Produced by CRNVL)
Kill The Waves – Vow
The Landing – Back to the Stars
Mighty Mouse – Live At XOYO, London 20th Feb 2015
boerd – City Cleep
Blind Lake- Walk beside me
Echos – Dont Let Me Go (Echos Remix)
The American Spirit – Wait For The Night
Snowbride – Rooftop Islands
Galantis – Runaway (Leo Medina & Jona Prado Remix)

10 more FREE TRACKS on side B!

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 3/2/15

“Coming This Summer – New Music Fridays: ‘“[The music industry] will now be competing with the movie industry for a limited amount of entertainment dollars…The idea of launching a record on a Friday and then having most of your fans be absent for the next 48 hours doesn’t seem very smart. I think this is why the majority of indie record labels are opposed to a Friday street date.’”

“’…It’s not what I want,” says the guy behind the counter at Jack the Lad, his skin peeking from beneath his Posies tee. “I’ve been in this shop — right across from the old clock tower — for 30 years. My store’s traffic depends on new release Tuesdays. Everything about how I run this place revolves around Tuesdays. This might put me out of business,’ he says…”

“London record shop BM Soho has closed, apparently without any warning to its customers. Techno producer…Truss tweeted a picture of the darkened shopfront with a sign reading: ‘Due to circumstances, BM Soho has to close.'”

“Adelaide live music venue Jive to reinvent itself as record store: Owner Tam Boakes had already been pondering ways to spruce up the venue, but the cogs truly started turning after a few beers with some friends…”

“Record shop opens on John Bonham’s childhood street: …The road holds memories for her as the shop is just a few doors down from her childhood home and the house where Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was born…”

“…Stashed between curling banisters near the middle of the store is a 30-foot high display where Dr. Dre hangs beside Abbey Road. Smooth Jazz, Classic Rock, Blues and Electronica: all genres have a place on the wall of the Urban Outfitters vinyl sec­tion. Beneath the display are even more record albums, wrapped in plastic and crammed into wooden shelves, selling for 35 dollars each. These shelves might look like a decoration that add to the store’s alternative am­biance, but it’s with displays like these that Urban Out­fitters has become the largest retail store seller of vinyl records in America…”

“A local indie record store is supporting up-and-coming artists who are only 11 and 12-years-old. Wax Trax Records, a vinyl and CD store in Denver, teamed up with Peck Elementary in Arvada, for the “Self-Portrait Albums” art show…”

“Jack Ware and his wife Betty have a love for animals and collecting all types of memorabilia and collectibles. The couple recently put those passions together by opening their store 3 Dachshunds, located at 2508 West Edmond Road last November. The store features a wide variety of items including vintage vinyl records, posters, collectibles, greeting cards, gifts, toys and dolls…”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m enthusiastically working hard this week. My take on the music biz, or “the grind,” is that all of this is work, so every now and then I’ll take a break to count stars and dream of magical destinations. This week’s hour-long playlist is the soundtrack to one of those destinations. In my mind, it’s tropical.

Speaking of stars, my sister-in-law won an Oscar last Sunday. Even though I see Patricia only now and again, I am actually very proud of her and honored by her grace.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: The Dodos at the Black Cat, 2/24

The Dodos do not feel like a two-man act. For a band that relies so heavily on so little—a drum kit, guitar, and vocals—they fill the stage with their energy and the venue with their indie, at times somewhat folky, sound.

In addition to displaying incredible talent on the two instruments that make up their band, Meric Long and Logan Kroeber seemed to have great fun with the audience—bantering about the cupcakes that were waiting for them backstage, gently mocking an audience member for unhelpful song requests, and dedicating “Black Night” from the album No Color to all the people in the audience who go running in the negative degree weather (thanks by the way guys, it’s chilly out there). Waiting for Long to tune after a guitar change, drummer Kroeber thanked the crowd for the “warm” welcome, noting that this was the band’s first snow day of the tour.

And the welcome was indeed warm. The audience head bopped along and joined in shouting “HA!” and “HEY!” in all the appropriate places, especially getting in to “Competition” off the band’s most recent album Individ and “Confidence” from Carrier.

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The TVD Storefront

Ryan Cabrera,
The TVD First Date

“I actually didn’t truly discover the beauty of vinyl till I was about 21 years old when I found my mother’s childhood record collection in the basement of my grandma’s house.”

I grew up with cassette tapes and whatnot but when I found that collection, it changed the way I listened to music forever. The first record of hers I played was the Woodstock performance and was obviously blown away. I dusted off every vinyl she had and took them home with me and a new sound was born in my ears.

Now when I’m home, my passion for the classics grows and grows every day ’cause I put ‘em on at night by the fireplace and play ‘em thru my Gramophone.

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TVD New Orleans

The Louisiana Music Factory celebrates one year on Frenchmen St.


On Saturday (2/28), expect to spend the whole day in the Faubourg Marigny as everybody’s favorite record store presents live music from 1-6 PM along with lots of camaraderie and freebies.

The Louisiana Music Factory has been around since 1992 and this is their third location after over twenty years in the upper French Quarter. The business is settling into a neighborhood teeming with music and music fans.

A recent visit last Saturday was a typical afternoon of in store performances. I arrived in time to catch the whole set from the 79ers Gang—a new Mardi Gras Indian group featuring chiefs from the seventh and ninth wards (hence their moniker). A large crowd swayed and clapped as the two chiefs alternated vocals and raised a mighty racket despite the fact that Carnival was already in the rear view window.

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The Single Girl: Hawk, “Clock Hands” EP

London folk noir four piece Hawk have finally released their beautiful EP “Clock Hands,” an explorative five track piece of art. It’s an EP that kisses you sweetly good night and haunts your dreams like a dark lullaby.

Prevalent throughout are Julie Hawk’s stunning vocals which are the band’s ace in the hole. Unlike Daughter, St Vincent, or other female artists and female led bands, Hawk are a unit, they are a real band and a stunning one at that.

“Clock Hands” stabs you in the heart like a shadowy fairytale, it’s poignant and emotional. “Hush” however is the backbone of the EP, it’s a sound that the band execute perfectly—the thin veil between post-rock and noir folk that has had some tongues wagging online. In fact, it’s this sound that would probably best serve the band going forward as they end in a less memorable note with track “Guardian,” a track that’s a little folkier and has less direction than the rest.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Heroine Sheiks:
Rape on the Installment Plan

I have a bad feeling that no one is going to read this review. But that’s not my problem. My problem, or I suppose it’s more of a gripe about a gross injustice, is that Cows/The Heroine Sheiks frontman Shannon Selberg has never gotten his just desserts. Minneapolis’ clamorous Cows put on the best live shows I’ve ever seen, and Selberg remains the most entrancing front man I’ve ever seen dominate a stage. Add a slew of wonderfully scabrous Cows’ LPs full of noise rock classics like “Hitting the Wall,” “Dirty Leg,” “Walks Alone,” “Allergic to Myself,” and “Cartoon Corral” and you’re left to wonder, “What does a maniacal genius have to do to become famous around here?”

Because the great American listening public repaid Cows (and its successor, The Heroine Sheiks) by consigning them to the fringes, along with other great bands from the Midwest like Killdozer, Halo of Flies, and Scratch Acid. It peeves me, it does. Here was an intelligent madman who wore a skinny penciled-on handlebar mustache, mousetraps on his ears, and a horrible wig beneath a battered cowboy hat but never cracked a smile. Instead he would puff out his skinny chest and belligerently stare down the audience, like Joe Pesci saying, “What’s so fucking funny about me?” Never in my life have I encountered a human being so simultaneously amusing and downright menacing.

When Cows took a metaphorical captive bolt pistol to the forehead in 1998, Selberg relocated to New York City and took a stab at acting before founding The Heroine Sheiks, a very different glass of milk from the brutal onslaught that was Cows. Selberg supplemented his trademark bugle with a cheap toy keyboard, and proceeded to produce songs that were less pummeling than slinky and slyly insinuating, although the band didn’t completely abandon noise rock. I remember speaking to Selberg by phone about The Heroine Sheiks’ debut album, 2000’s Rape on the Installment Plan (an homage to Louis Ferdinand Celine’s darkly hilarious novel Death on the Installment Plan), and he told me, I believe in all sincerity, that The Heroine Sheiks’ aim was to “put rock back in the fucking business.” Indeed, he predicted that their debut CD would become a make-out masterpiece, the next Let’s Get It On.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/27/15

“Industry Sets Friday as Global Record Release Day.

“Clueless Soundtrack Set for 20th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue: Special edition of the alt-pop heavy compilation will be printed on yellow and black plaid vinyl

“RIP Mammoth Cave Recording Co. or Why An Indie Label Can’t Survive in 2015: After 7 years and 44 excellent releases, the Canadian independent label home to B.A. Johnston, Ketamines, and a trove of vital punk reissues has called it quits.

“…Kevin Cheesman, from Milton-under-Wychwood, is organising the town’s first record fair in more than a decade. He hopes the renewed enthusiasm for vinyl sweeping the UK will mean fellow music-lovers turn out for the turntables…”

“Checker Records coffee journeys by Brew Crew: Local coffee shop Checker Records gives Volume Salon’s Kim Holtz the boost she needs to start her mornings right. The beloved hybrid record and coffee store, winner of the Hillsdale Daily News’ People’s Choice Award four years in a row, hooked Holtz on coffee.”

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