TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Dear Dad, don’t get mad, / What I’m asking for / Is by the next semester / Can I get another car? / This one here is sick’ning / On a wide dual road. / I might as well be walking / As to drive this old Ford.

Those who know…know. Parenthood is a trip. So I’m throwing myself a little playlist party and dedicating this week’s Idelic Hour to me. Yes me, fucking daddy-O! ‘Cause in this here 2018, daddy needs a break.

To all the dads out there, why not grab a bite of your favorite food and maybe head out. Do something for yourself? I might just cruise down the coast, jump on a fishing boat, and head out to sea for the day.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Afro-Cuban All Stars, A Toda Cuba Le Gusta vinyl reissue in stores 9/7

VIA PRESS RELEASE | A Toda Cuba Le Gusta the debut album by the Afro-Cuban All Stars was the first in a trilogy of extraordinary albums recorded by World Circuit in a single two-week session at Havana’s Egrem studios in 1996. The other albums, which share many of the same personnel, were Buena Vista Social Club and Introducing… Ruben Gonzalez.

The All Stars were brought together by musical director Juan de Marcos González (who was previously the leader of the son group Sierra Maestra) as a backing band for his heroes, the legendary soneros (singers) from the 1940s and 1950s – the “Golden Age” of Cuban music. González had long harboured a dream to put together a band combining the “old masters” and the new generation of Cuban musicians. His meeting with World Circuit’s Nick Gold revealed a shared passion and the fuse was lit. With his contemporary arrangements and his choice of musicians and repertoire combined with the all-acoustic ensemble’s extraordinary power and exuberance, he succeeds in paying homage while demonstrating the vitality of the music.

The thirteen-piece band is made up of four generations of some of Cuba’s finest musicians. The list of lead vocalists is a virtual “who’s who” of the greatest Cuban soneros: the octogenarian great Pío Leyva (Estrellas de Areito) and septuagenarians Raúl Planas (Rumbavana, Celia Cruz), Manuel ‘Puntillita’ Licea (Sonora Matancera) and Ibrahim Ferrer (Pacho Alonso) are joined by rising stars from a younger generation, Antonio ‘Maceo’ Rodríguez (Sierra Maestra) and Félix Valoy (Alberto Alvarez).

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Needle Drop: Sabatta, Misfit Music

With praise from Afropunk, BBC 6Music, and The Punk Site under their belts, London duo Sabatta have just released their immense new album. An epic, energy-fuelled ride from start to finish, Misfit Music defies genres and expectations in all the best ways.

Kicking off with the racing riffs and fierce rap of “Rock Star Shit,” a tongue-in-cheek take on what it means to be a modern-day rock star, the album continues with one intense sonic blast after another. Propelled by riotous riffs and the ferocious power of front-man Yinka’s vocals, “Wicked Right Now” fuses elements of funk, soul, and rock, creating a powerful barrage of sound that grabs you by the ears and doesn’t let go.

Whilst the playful interplay of Debbie Dee and Yinka’s vocals stands out on “Always,” “Feel It Too” slows down the tempo a notch, oozing a mellow, ska-punk groove before “Scream Of Consciousness” blasts into your soul with its thrashing hooks and impassioned whirlwind of fury, as the potent force of Yinka’s vocals rages alongside funk-fuelled bass lines. A perfectly angst-driven take on modern life.

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The TVD Storefront

Dave Wakeling,
The TVD Interview

Dave Wakeling, the charismatic frontman and songwriter for the ska revival pioneers known in the States as The English Beat, once famously said every great band has only three good albums in them. The Beat disbanded officially with its third, Special Beat Service, 35 years ago.

But after stints in General Public and various bands reviving that sound and the music of the Beat, here’s the fourth album, Here We Go Love, out today, powered by the politically charged single “How Can You Stand There?”

We caught up with Wakeling, 62, recently while the band was on tour in England, He happened to be in his hometown, Birmingham, “sitting at the breakfast table at my sister’s house.’’ He talked expansively about the rock legacy of that industrial town in the West Midlands, his adjustment to California where he’s lived for nearly 30 years, the rise of reggae from punk halls and soccer stadiums, and of course, vinyl.

Your new album is out very soon.

Not sure if the vinyl is coming at the same time, it might be…

People are sort of buying it again, vinyl, which is interesting. My daughter was playing her vinyl copy of the first Bob Marley album and the whole house was vibrating beautifully with analog sound. I got to enjoy shouting up the stairs, “Do you really need to play it that loud?” I got the answer back: “Yes.”

So there’s a difference you think.

Yes, there is a difference. There always was. And anybody who said there wasn’t was just hoping. I could always hear it. I read a little bit how analog recording had been designed around capturing the emotional quality of the instruments of the orchestra, and those instruments themselves had taken hundreds and thousands of years, ending up in really odd shapes, in order to produce sounds that directly affected human beings’ emotional centers, or chakras, as they’re called.

It’s why the hair goes up on your neck when you listen to an orchestra. Analog recording was designed to try to capture that and in doing so, it captures resonances. People always say “it sounds warmer.” But I think it’s more geared to human absorption. You turn things into zeros and ones and send them around the world, and pop them back up and use those zeroes and ones to recreate that sound, it probably does it perfectly—for computers’ chakras.

What specific record was influential to you early in your life?

Well, a number of things. For better or worse, my first single was colored vinyl—though I don’t think it was vinyl, it was plastic. It was “Little Brown Jug,” on a red toy plastic record player. [Sings, with gusto:] “Ha ha ha, He he he, Little Brown Jug don’t I love thee? Ha ha ha, He he he, Little Brown Jug don’t I love thee?” Not knowing it was going to going to turn me into an alcoholic later in life, I just thought it was just a pleasant little brown jug. Who knew?

So that was my first record. Then I became an avid singles collector in the late ’60s and the early ’70s. Some of my favorite records: “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” [by Jimmy Cliff], “All Right Now” by Free, that was a great single. “White Room” by Cream, that was a good one. “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix, that was a cracker. “Don’t Walk Away, Renee” and “Bernadette” [by the Four Tops]. They were on the Tamla label in England. Not Motown, Tamla. And they were all very, very important to me.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Rolling Stones,
Exile on Main Street

I’ve been down in the dumps of late; the suicide of a friend, the death of another friend I dearly loved, and a bad case of the blues have all pretty much brought me to my knees. I feel beat down, fagged out, fucked over, and broken up, and life sure does have a way of tarnishing your eyelids, doesn’t it?

Where to turn in times like these? When you’ve got a foot in the grave and your head in the oven?

Exile on Main Street, naturally. It’s as beat down an LP as ever you’ll hear; Mick, Keith and Company are torn and frayed and have shit on their shoes and the whole album sounds like it was recorded in a sub-basement of Hell.

And yet. The Rolling Stones’ 1972 bruised and battered masterpiece (and high-water mark) somehow manages to rise above the bad vibes and general miasma of death and dissolution that surrounded the band at the time. Nothing–not drug busts, the death of Brian Jones, Altamont, tax exile, or Keith Richards’ slide toward junkiedom–could stop the Stones from turning Exile on Main Street into a celebration of hope and soul survival.

And this despite the fact that the album is the aural equivalent of the La Brea tar pits. Mick Jagger has never stopped carping about Exile’s notoriously sludgy mix, but the murk doesn’t just work–it’s part and parcel of the double album’s greatness. You have to trudge through shit to get to the Promised Land, and if you scrape the shit off these songs, well, you find diamonds. “Turd on the Run” anyone?

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 6/15/18

The 8 best vintage turntables and what to look out for when buying second hand: …Buying a vintage turntable is a great option. For many, a budget for any sort of hi-fi is a low priority. Once the bills are paid, it can be virtually impossible to purchase a new, top quality hi-fi system. Going vintage can offer quality at a low cost. Others may have spent a bundle on a new deck but have little in reserve for that second system that would be ideal for a study, bedroom or spare room. Some might even want to revisit younger days when the then ‘new’ turntables were objects of desire and now they can afford to purchase one, or even two of these classic designs. Below, we have listed our Top 8 vintage purchases, but before you run off to your local second-hand store or eBay account, pause for thought.

Characters and music star in The Music Shop: Rachel Joyce’s The Music Shop (Random House, 2017, 307 pages) takes place in England and tells the story of Frank, an eccentric owner of a dingy record store, and Ilse Brauchmann, a young German woman who wanders into the shop and soon asks Frank to teach her what he knows about music. Surrounding these two figures are a collection of Frank’s eccentric friends and fellow store owners: Kit, Frank’s young assistant who has a penchant for breaking everything he touches; Father Anthony, a fallen priest who operates a nearby religious articles store; Maud, the scowling, bitter tattoo artist who secretly loves Frank; a pair of undertakers; Pete the barman; and Peg, Frank’s dead mother. And then there is the music.

The End of Owning Music: How CDs and Downloads Died. Physical formats are cratering, but vinyl’s niche is growing. Jack White and other experts explain the future of listening. As streaming gives the music industry its biggest profits in a decade, the CD business continues to plunge. CD sales have fallen 80 percent in the past decade, from roughly 450 million to 89 million. Since Tesla began manufacturing cars without CD players, other companies like Ford and Toyota have recently followed. Downloads – once seen as the CD’s replacement – have plummeted 58 percent since peaking in 2012, their profits now even smaller than physical sales. Artists have taken note; Bruce Springsteen released his latest box set, The Album Collection Vol. 2, 1987-1996, exclusively on vinyl, with no CD option, unlike 2014’s Vol. 1. “It’s a streaming world and a vinyl world with a quickly diminishing CD,” says Daniel Glass, president of Glassnote Records, indie-label home of Mumford & Sons and Phoenix.

Call Me By Your Name Soundtrack Releasing On Peach-Scented Vinyl: One of the more memorable scenes in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is the one where Timothee Chalamet has sex with a peach. It’s kind of sweet in the context of the film. Later this summer, the movie soundtrack will be pressed on peach-scented and -colored vinyl, which, in the context of the film, is kind of gross. 7,777 copies of the “peach season” edition will be released. The soundtrack features songs by Sufjan Stevens, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Giorgio Mororder, and the Psychedelic Furs, among others. Call Me By Your Name “peach season” edition is out 8/3 through peach harvest season via Music On Vinyl.

Even Walls Fall Down: The Last Days of Cincinnati’s Ultrasuede Recording Studio: Plastic Ants entered Ultrasuede Studio to pay tribute to Tom Petty’s brilliance and soon found themselves mourning the loss of the recording space itself. Ants singer/songwriter Robert Cherry shares a behind-the-scenes look at an Ultrasuede session and documents the last days of one of Cincinnati’s longest-running music institutions — and its subsequent rebirth. Plus, check out the world premiere of the music video for Plastic Ants’ cover of Tom Petty’s ‘Walls,’ which (fittingly, as you’ll read) was one of the last songs recorded at Ultrasuede’s longtime space in Camp Washington.

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The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl: Buck Owens’ final Capitol Records album, never released, in stores 8/17

If you stress it, they’ll press it. —Ed.

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Omnivore Recordings, in conjunction with the Buck Owens Estate, will release Country Singer’s Prayer, Buck Owens’ final Capitol album from 1975, which has remained unissued until now. Street date for CD and Digital is August 17, 2018.

By late 1975, Buck’s unequaled success at Capitol Records was finally winding down. His singles were no longer topping the charts, and after the untimely death of bandmate Don Rich the year before, Buck was starting to lose the fire that drove him through an unprecedented run of groundbreaking hits in the ’60s and early ’70s. His contract with Capitol was due to expire at the end of the year, and he and the Buckaroos readied one final album for the label in November 1975.

While several of Buck’s later Capitol recordings had not been topping the charts as before, his last single for them, “Country Singer’s Prayer,” failed to even make a showing. Likely due to the indifference shown to that last single, the decision was made to shelve this final album, and assign the selection number to what was ultimately Buck’s last Capitol release, Best of Buck Owens, Vol. 6, which did include the last two singles originally intended for Country Singer’s Prayer: “Battle of New Orleans” and the title track.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Lambchop, What Another Man Spills 20th anniversary vinyl reissue in stores 8/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Lambchop’s 1998 album What Another Man Spills is being pressed to vinyl for the first time in North America this August! Remastered from the original DAT, the 2-LP and CD reissue features refreshed artwork, and the Peak Vinyl version comes on limited-edition milky white and yellow swirl to match it. Pre-order now in the Merge store (pro tip: bundle it with a new Chris Williams-designed t-shirt!) or through your favorite local independent record shop.

What Another Man Spills represents a milestone in Lambchop’s career, but not in the modern sense of a “landmark” release. Building on foundations that had once sounded almost literally creaky, it expands upon the tentative maneuvers they’d undertaken with the previous year’s Thriller (1997) and gestures confidently towards its brassy successor, Nixon, which would arrive in 2000 to wild acclaim and previously unimaginable commercial success.

Indeed, it sits at a crossroads between the band that Lambchop first emerged as, and the band that they would later become. If it felt at the time like a reasonable, yet slightly confused descendant of what had gone before, without it, one suspects, what followed might never have been possible. In fact, what might first seem an anomaly in their catalogue, a deviation from a previously familiar path, instead becomes a beacon lighting the way forward. It is, one might say, both ugly duckling and beautiful swan all at once.

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The TVD Storefront

Deaf Poets,
The TVD First Date

“My Euro parents were heavily into disco, preferably dancey rather than neck jerking. Now at 28, I remember being a kid waking up to the Bee Gees blasting in the AM. I was too young to really care, but seeing their LPs rotating on top of that table always caught my attention. WTF… just wax and a needle?”

“Coming from the generation of Nintendo and Gameboy, music didn’t really wag my tail until my sister Gina showed me Zeppelin. Then, like a slap in the face, all those talks about the Stones and Dylan my dad would share made sense. I inherited my parents’ records ranging from the obvious disco to random Dutch tunes. I’ll still play it for laughs. It wasn’t until middle school when this hobby became more of an obsession.

My friend’s dad loved ’60s, ’70s-era rock, and occasionally lent me vinyl from The Who and Hendrix. Back then, MTV was still a thing—exposing me to newer bands like Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand. (A funny memory was when I’d record their music videos over an old VHS copy of Home Alone 2.) From what I remember it wasn’t really easy getting newer music on vinyl living in Miami Beach (this was before Urban Outfitters started carrying a selection, and before Sweat Records and Radio-Active Records existed).

Among the records I was given, one that really stood out was Harvest Moon by Neil Young. I’d blame my mom for my love of chill rainy morning vibes, the room smelling of incense while we’d laugh as she’d recall when she bought whatever LP we were listening to. These stories came from a different time when people would wait in line all day to grab their copy of a band’s release.

Vinyl always felt nostalgic, presenting music in a way that you felt rather than heard—the only physical format that a presence and warmth is so apparently sitting in the room next to you. Just close your eyes and listen to the words, the melodies, and the soul.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores, June
2018, Part Two

Part two of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for June, 2018. Part one is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Eartheater, IRISIRI (PAN) New Yorker Alexandra Drewchin is Eartheater, and this is her third release and first for Pan after a couple for the Hausu Mountain label. As she possesses a three-octave vocal range, you might assume she’d place this ability front and center and then leave it there, but for a fair amount of IRISIRI an intriguing instrumental blend of experimentation and digital textures (sometimes leaning toward the ambience of electronica) basks in the foreground. However, it’s not like Drewchin’s elected to subvert her strength as a vocalist; when those pipes get asserted, the results are a powerful and integral component in an oft-surreal cascade of newness. And yet subtle. Additionally, poetical contributions from guests Odwalla1221 and Moor Mother fit right into the advanced weave. A

Patrick Higgins, Dossier (Other People) Composer-producer Higgins is noted for his guitar presence in the New York ensemble Zs, an outfit he joined in 2012, at the same time as Guardian Alien’s Greg Fox. But hey, the gent has a slew of his own credits, including the String Quartet No.2 + Glacia 2LP (2013) and the Social Death Mixtape cassette (2015). This combo of guitar and live custom electronics is his latest, and it’s a doozy. All of the four-part work’s programming is original and performed live with no overdubs, as the samples, conceived specifically for this project, are executed with midi triggers mapped to the guitar. Other People’s press release calls the results post-apocalyptic, and I’m with it. The 18-minute final section, loaded with string-wiggle, soaring tones, and vocal samples, is an utter delight. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Gene Clark, Sings for You (Omnivore) After Clark left The Byrds in ‘66, he recorded the very cool Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers for Columbia. It fell far short of commercial expectations and the company lost interest, which prompted the man to cut some demos intended to spark the curiosity of labels. Those sessions are the first eight tracks on this CD/ 2LP set, and it’s an especially valuable unveiling, as Clark’s profusely flowing song fount during this period meant that none of this material turned up on his subsequent album for A&M. Plus, even more goodness comes through the rediscovery of an acetate of his songs from the same period given to the band The Rose Garden (more on them down below). Altogether, a glorious new gulp of Clark, and in prime form. A

Mouvements, S/T (Mental Experience) Originally released in 1973 in a boxed edition of 150 with inserts and lithographs by artist Richard Reimann and sold only in art galleries, this Swedish hybrid of avant-garde, out jazz and art-psych-prog rock was organized by guitarist Christian Oestreicher. It’s an eye-opening pleasure in its reissued LP form (minus box and lithos for affordability, though there is an informative interview with Oestreicher) and loses no creative steam across the five CD bonus tracks or the four digital-only extras (worry not, everything’s downloadable with purchase of the vinyl). Considering the nearly 100-minute running time, this is impressive. The prevalent violin of Blaise Català can bring Hot Rats to mind, but much more is happening here, including a cool Soft Machine vibe. A-

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