A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/15/18

Cincinnati, OH | The unofficial guide to Cincinnati, NKY record stores: There’s nothing quite like spending a few hours at a local record store flipping through thousands of vinyls on the search for that perfect find. Sometimes, that search ends in leaving empty-handed. But you’re in luck. There are plenty more record stores in the area to go dig through on the next what-do-I-do Saturday that pops up. We tracked down some of the best options in town and asked them all a list of questions so you can figure out which one is meant just for your taste. Check ’em out.

Portland, OR | Tomorrow Records Is a Great New Addition to Portland’s Record Store Scene: A terrific new place to score vinyl has just opened up in inner Southeast Portland: Tomorrow Records is the brand-new shop from Kurt Legler, a longtime Portlander who spent many years at Everyday Music and helped open up the Northeast Sandy branch of that store. Legler has spent recent years in Santa Barbara, California, where he owned and operated the well-regarded Warbler Records shop—still in business—but has returned to his hometown with his wife to raise their two kids. Their return is Portland’s gain

Portland, OR | Isaac Slusarenko of Jackpot Records: Coffeeshop Conversations #167 / Happy 21st anniversary! Twenty-one years ago this week, Issac Slusarenko opened Jackpot Records…and he’s still loving it every day! At World Cup Coffee and Tea at NW 18th & Glisan today for another OMN Coffeeshop Conversation. I’m Tom D’Antoni. With me today is someone I’ve always wanted to meet. It’s Isaac Slusarenko who opened Jackpot Records 21 years ago this week. Pretty amazing that a store like Jackpot still thrives… They’re having several in-store concerts this month to celebrate their anniversary and we’re celebrating it right here in the coffeeshop on our podcast!

Los Angeles, CA | Stellar Remnant record shop opens in Downtown Los Angeles: A new record shop called Stellar Remnant just opened in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s the project of Ed Vertov and Lena Deen, artists and DJs who relocated from Russia to LA. Vertov came of age in mid-’90s Moscow when techno was a “rebel statement,” he says, before relocating to LA in 1997. He’s since worked at Amoeba Records, Mount Analog and Virgin Megastore and cofounded Pro-Tez records in 2005. Deen, a native of Samara, Russia, threw parties in Moscow as part the of Habits Die crew and moved to LA in 2011…In recent years, Stellar Remnant has operated as a pop-up at various underground events like Acid Camp, and now the store is open six days a week behind Bar Franca on Main Street in LA.

Zoë Kravitz to star in ‘High Fidelity’ TV series: Zoë Kravitz, daughter of rock musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, is slated to star in a “High Fidelity” television reboot of the 2000 film that starred John Cusack, Catherine Zeta Jones and Lisa Bonet. Variety reported, “The series, which has received a 10-episode order, is inspired by Nick Hornby’s novel and the Touchstone film of the same name. It reimagines the story from the female perspective. Kravitz, who will executive produce in addition to starring, will play the ultimate music fan—a record store owner who’s obsessed with pop culture and Top Five lists.” The cult classic book and film was a highlight for Kravitz’s mother, who played the main character Rob’s love interest, Marie De Salle.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

So help me, please doctor, I’m damaged / There’s a pain where there once was a heart / I’m sleepin’, it’s a beatin’ / Can’t ya please take it out, and preserve it / Right there in that jar?

Thank god for doctors. I was so very proud of myself for scheduling a check up appointment with a new one this week. As some of us know, it’s not easy finding a doctor in this town.

I stumbled on this cool office of young docs. It’s fairly out of town (somewhere close to Rancho Cucamonga). Hey, close enough—but I mixed up the time and missed my appointment Wednesday. Ugh, I was bummed, disoriented, and temporarily trapped by LA morning freeway traffic.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: The Struts and White Reaper at the 9:30 Club, 10/8

UK rockers The Struts played to a sold out crowd at DC’s 9:30 Club on Monday night in what turned out to be a riotous evening of fun, dancing, and a big dose of the band’s new material.

The Struts’ newest release, Young & Dangerous (Interscope) is due to hit record stores on October 26 this year, while the band has already released advance singles “Bulletproof Baby,” “Primadonna Like Me,” “Fire (Part 1),” and dual versions of “Body Talks”—one of which features a really enjoyable collaboration with singer, Kesha.

I’ve seen them play live a handful of times now and any evening with The Struts is a wild ride. Their last round in DC was during the band’s two-year tour stint with the Foo Fighters performing at the 9:30 Club’s bigger and newer brother, The Anthem. A few years before that I watched them blow the roof off the Rock & Roll Hotel during a promised make-up date—both fantastic shows. Presently The Struts are a bigger and badder presence then ever before, yet with the same intention—to entertain their audience to maximum levels.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Dennis
and Lois
to premiere
as an Official Selection
of DocNYC, 11/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | There are bands, there are fans, and then there are Dennis and Lois. This is a story of a New York couple who have transcended beyond just being “music fans,” the legends behind the legends. Filmmaker Chris Cassidy has been following Dennis and Lois ever since meeting them at a show in 2010, and now with over 550 hours of footage, is ready to bring the documentary to life. The world premiere of Dennis and Lois has been announced for November 15 at 9:45pm at the SVA Theater as part of the Official Selection of DocNYC Film Festival.

Dennis And Lois is a love story about punk rock’s most dedicated couple and their 40-year devotion to the music and the musicians they love. These two road warriors live for the communal and unpredictable experience of a live concert, and the excitement it brings them in the good times and the bad. Their journey began in the mid-70’s at a gritty little club in New York City called CBGB’s where Dennis and Lois befriended an up-and-coming band, the Ramones. They quickly became part of the Ramones inner circle, selling merchandise and assisting the future punk legends on tours around the world.

This experience would change their lives forever. Through the years, Dennis and Lois continue to build friendships and sell merchandise for the bands they admire. Happy Mondays immortalized them in song and Spin magazine published a comic strip celebrating their “War Stories from the Road.” Dennis and Lois are considered by many to be rock-n-roll Icons, but as age and illness start to threaten their lifelong tour, they need to rely on the friends they’ve collected along the way and the music that energizes them to keep it going.

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TVD New Orleans

Debut release from
Max Moran & Neospectric in stores, Maple Leaf Bar release show tonight, 10/12

Bassist Max Moran has always been one of the brightest lights in the new generation of jazz players now coming into their own in New Orleans. A member of the award-winning Bridge Trio since his high school years, he’s also an in-demand sideman across the city and the country. The eponymous debut album from his band Neospectric, is in stores today and the group will celebrated the release with an early performance tonight at the Maple Leaf Bar. Showtime is 8 PM.

For jazz lovers expecting more of the straight ahead post-bop Moran is known for with the Bridge Trio and some of his work as a sideman, you will be in for an unexpected, but delightful surprise with this album. It’s a homage of sorts to the legendary funk and R&B sounds of the 1970s; think bands like Earth, Wind and Fire, the Meters, and the work of George Clinton filtered through the perspective of the 29-year old musician. Some of the songs even hint at the fusion music of that era.

The combination makes for compelling listening. As another generation of jazz artists begin exploring music outside that genre, they bring a collection of experiences and musical influences unavailable to musicians who grew up in the 1980s and ’90s and looked back fondly on the seminal music of the 1970s. These players are part of a continuum of discovery that helps invigorate every generation of inquisitive players across the length and breadth of modern music.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Video Premiere: Walter Salas-Humara, “She’s A Caveman”

PHOTO: JEAN FORDYCE | Longtime rocker Walter Salas-Humera strikes a prehistoric club for gender equality in his new video “She’s A Caveman.” The frontman of The Silos, who has also had a long solo career bridging rock and Americana, presents the tune on his latest solo album Walterio, out on the Hoboken-based Rhyme & Reason Records.

In the new video, which we’re happy to premiere today, he blends clips from old caveman movies like Eegah! with stop-motion clay animation and his own visage, playing and singing alongside the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, looking, at 59, like George Harrison’s dad.

Salas-Humara has written with people from Alejandro Escovedo to novelist Jonathan Lethem. But on “She’s a Caveman,” composed at the Steel Bridge Songfest hosted by Timbuk3’s Pat MacDonald in Wisconsin, he found a 15-year-old co-writer, Tari Knight. “He came with some fantastic lines,” Salas-Humara says. “My favorite is: She can hunt and gather me/ She can carry me across her land bridge.”

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Ramones, Ramones

It’s easy to take this the Ramones’ landmark 1976 self-titled debut too seriously. Sure, it signaled a seismic shift in rock music, exploding like an M80 in the minds of every cretinous young thing who’d had it up to here with the pompous, bloated likes of ELP, Queen, and the Eagles. And sure, this baby is often celebrated as the first real punk rock LP.

But so far as declarations of war go, Ramones is a hilarious one. On it the most famous band to ever come out of Forest Hills, Queens state their demands (they wanna be your boyfriend and they wanna sniff some glue; they don’t wanna go down to the basement and they don’t wanna walk around with you), dabble with fascism (“I’m a Nazi schatze”), and beat on the brat with a baseball bat.

The Ramones weren’t the first NYC band to give voice to the inchoate yearnings of teengenerates everywhere; the Dictators got there first with 1975’s Go Girl Crazy!, and they deserve their due. But unlike Handsome Dick Manitoba and Company the Ramones got their yucks playing their songs at tempos that boggled the imagination; I saw the Ramones early on, without having ever heard a single note of their music, and the experience bordered on the traumatic.

The songs–which segued one into the other with nary a pause–went by at an insane, buzzsaw blur that night, obfuscating what is obvious to anyone who listens to the album now–that the Ramones mated their 160 beats per minute ferocity to an impeccable pop sense that gives many of these songs the loving feel of good bubblegum.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/12/18

Boise, ID | The Record Exchange Adds 64,000 Vinyl Albums, 3,000 Cassettes to its Collection: Sometimes, one business’ heartbreaking end can be another’s fresh opportunity. That was exactly the case with the closure of the Yesteryear Shoppe, a 44-year institution selling rare books and vintage records in downtown Nampa. The Idaho Press reports that the shop shuttered in June to make way for a new development, but there is some good news: When Yesteryear flipped its open sign to closed for the last time, its staggeringly large music collection went up for sale—and The Record Exchange in downtown Boise snapped it up. “We were sad to hear of Yesteryear’s closing because we have known Dave Gonzalez and his family for many years and hate seeing another great independent retailer disappear, but we were thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase the collection instead of watching it leave on a truck for California…”

Interviews with women in the vinyl record scene: Jenn D’Eugenio is a badass record collector, indie label maven, and vinyl industry veteran who now works at the esteemed Furnace Record Pressing company in Virginia. Recently, Jenn started interviewing her peers in the record scene “to empower and highlight the women that are working in the vinyl / music industry to create, preserve, improve and enhance the art of music on vinyl.” Check out Women In Vinyl for interviews with the likes of Katy Clove of Merge Records, Italians Do It Better label president Megan Louise Doyle, audio archivist Amanda McCabe, and designer Kate Koeppel who makes fantastic products for vinyl collectors. “Not enough of the female + vinyl focus is on the women behind the record stores, labels, manufacturers, vinyl accessories, etc. and I hope to change that with interviews and stories about these women,” Jenn says.

2018 Making Vinyl Conference: 2018 was yet another great year in the resurgence of the beloved vinyl record. This was Bags Unlimited’s second year attending the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit Rock City and we, yet again, learned a lot about the industry and helped solidify connections with some of the most passionate people you could ever want to meet in the vinyl industry. In the next few paragraphs you’ll find some of the highlights of our conference experience and some pictures of the event. In case you were not aware vinyl records have been on a major upswing in popularity for the past five or six years. There has always been the diehard collectors keeping the medium alive, and they are to be commended for their devotion, but vinyl is back in a big way among many new, mostly young, listeners.

Rega, Pro-Ject and Sony take home best turntable Awards. Rega wins another impressive haul of What Hi-Fi? Awards. Who would have thought we’d still be dishing out turntable Awards in 2018? Well, not us back in 1981. “From today, vinyl LP records are dead,” we declared with the launch of CD in the July 1981 issue of What Hi-Fi?. At one point we even stopped having a turntable category, such was the languishing popularity of the format at points in the 80s and 90s. But forget that, vinyl is back. And Rega is no doubt rather pleased about it. Rega takes home three What Hi-Fi? Awards in the turntable category this year, meaning the company has now won… a huge number of turntable Awards (we’ll leave Rega to do the maths). The eagle-eyed will notice the three winning decks took the same honours last year; a sure-sign of quality.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD Live Shots:
Cal Jam 2018, 10/6

Cal Jam was a glorious weekend filled with rock and roll, food, comedy—and a few legendary surprises. The festival, in its second year, sprawled across Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California.

There was truly something for everyone to enjoy; camping, free carnival rides, a comedy stage, a water park, and a Foo Fighters museum. The all-star lineup included Foo Fighters, Iggy Pop with Post Pop Depression, Tenacious D, Garbage, Greta Van Fleet, Deer Tick, Gang of Youths, and Yungblud.

The rumors were true and as luck would have it, the Foo Fighters closed their set with six Nirvana songs. They were joined by Joan Jett, Deer Tick’s John McCauley, and Krist Novoselic from Giants of the Trees. Other highlights included the ageless Iggy Pop featuring Josh Homme and Post Pop Depression, crowd favorite Garbage, and the young and bright talent of Greta Van Fleet.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Joan Armatrading self-titled debut 180-gram reissue
in stores 2/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Intervention Records is absolutely thrilled to introduce another classic record in its (Re)Discover Series, Joan Armatrading. The 180-gram vinyl on-sale date is February 15, 2019. That will be followed by a hybrid CD/SACD on February 22.

Produced and recorded by legend Glyn Johns, Joan Armatrading is the breakout record that saw Joan assume full command of her extraordinary talents and leap to the forefront of rock’s great female stars. A soulful, soaring voice and a powerful and evocative songwriter. The smash hits include “Love and Affection,” “Down to Zero,” and “Somebody Who Loves You.” Joan Armatrading’s 180-gram LP is 100% Analog Mastered by Kevin Gray at CoHEARent Audio from the best source available—phenomenal-sounding 1/2″ safety copy of the original stereo master tape.

The remastering is amazing! Thanks to Glyn Johns’ recording and production work, Joan’s vocals and guitar playing have never sounded so rich, resonant, and dynamic. This is an audiophile demo disc all the way, with depth, realism, and a breathing dimensionality.

Gray mastered the hybrid CD/SACD Direct-to-DSD from analog tape, using the same mastering as the amazing-sounding LP. It will be housed in a super jewel box. The album art is beautifully restored by IR’s Tom Vadakan and housed in a film-laminated, Old Style “Tip-On” single-gatefold jacket printed by Stoughton.

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The TVD Storefront

The TVD First Date

“Where do I begin to talk about vinyl? It’s the most fulfilling way you can consume music. It sounds better, it looks great proudly displayed on your mantel, and unlike a streaming subscription or a download, you can keep it forever (if you’re responsible with your things).”

“Vinyl for me has always been a real ‘treat’ to myself or a gift from someone who knew me well. I remember when I was younger I would save all I earned from my shitty part-time jobs and buy my favourite records on vinyl. So now you know I hold vinyl to the highest regard. Here are some of my all times classics plus two songs I think people should hear—I’m not 100% sure if they’re on vinyl yet, but shh—don’t tell anyone…

Radiohead, OK Computer: I don’t care if this is the most obvious Radiohead album choice—it’s obvious because it’s fucking great. I look forward to debating with you on this topic. Plus they’ve done a repackaged anniversary edition with this lovely blue vinyl.

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Needle Drop: Megan Airlie, “Mother Whale”

Having received acclaim from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and BBC Radio Scotland for previous singles “After River” and “Honey,” Scottish artist Megan Airlie is back with another heartfelt creation.

With inflections of jazz-inspired syncopated rhythms, “Mother Whale” percolates with a sunny, uptempo energy and soulful spirit as Airlie’s deep swooning vocals soar. A step away from the delicate emotion of previous tracks, it’s a perfect fusion of sounds new and old, creating something truly spellbinding.

As Airlie’s rich voice glides alongside the nostalgic musical soundscape, her vast impressive range is evident, as is the versatility of this multi-talented songwriter. “Mother Whale” marks Airlie as a unique and innovative artist—a mystical, musical force who deserves your attention immediately.

“Mother Whale” is in stores now via Bloc Music Records.

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The TVD Record Store Club

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

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

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Alec K. Redfearn and The Eyesores, The Opposite (Cuneiform) After a short hiatus, Silver Spring’s venerable avant-prog-experimental-jazz label is back at it, and along with digitally reissuing prior material by this always interesting Providence, RI-based band, they offer the outfit’s latest on LP and CD. It’s a treat. Over their 20-year existence, Redfearn and cohorts have stood out a bit in Cuneiform’s general scheme (this is their fourth for the label), but upon listening here, they and Steve Feigenbaum’s enduring love of art-rock remain a perfect fit. Redfearn plays accordion, and his knack for keeping it in the forefront of his music while eradicating even a hint of novelty remains impressive. Those keen on ambitiousness in the rock sphere should definitely lend this one some time. A-

Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles, Love’s Middle Name (Blue Corn) Borges has been on the scene for a while, with prior efforts with the Broken Singles and solo in her discography. The sound? It’s been called Americana (she’s won an Americana Music Award, in fact), but it’s important to qualify that hers is an approach well-suited for humid, boozy weekend bars. That means it rocks, and the thrust here is maybe better tagged as country-punk. What distinguishes Borges from some with a similar inclination is the quality of her songs and the strength of her pipes, and on this new one, the smart choice of hooking up with producer Eric Ambel, who also plays lead guitar on the record (as he did in Joan Jett’s Blackhearts). The outcome is that all the elements are in fine balance, with nary a misstep. A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: The Fall, I Am Kurious Orang (Beggars Arkive) If memory serves, anti-Brix-era sentiment reached something like its apex post-The Franz Experiment in early ’88; certainly, there were some who’d suggested Mark E. Smith was “over with” or had “sold out.” Emerging in the autumn of the same year, this set, created to accompany a ballet by the Michael Clark Company loosely based on the life and “psyche” of William of Orange, made it plain those negative assessments were balderdash. Having listened to this record a ridiculous number of times in the year or so after its release (returning to it intermittently ever since), I know it well, and it hasn’t lost a thing. To my ears, at least half of this is as good as post-Rough Trade Fall gets, and the rest isn’t far behind. That makes it utterly essential. A

The Groundhogs, Blues Obituary (Fire) When it comes to the ’60s wave of Brit blues-rock, I rate The Groundhogs higher than Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, and even Ten Years After (I’m guessing those nutzo for Alvin Lee will consider this heresy). In fact, I’d rank the ‘hogs as roughly equal to Fleetwood Mac (and another group of readers has just thrown up their hands in disgust). Like the Mac, guitarist Tony TS McPhee, bassist Pete Cruikshank, and drummer Ken Pustelnik moved beyond the blues, and after doing so entered their classic period. But this, the band’s second LP (and trio debut) directly led to that phase. The no-frills punch of the recording, McPhee’s smoking guitar, the air non-reverence combined with good taste, and the sharp trio interaction is a major achievement in itself. A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/11/18

Atlanta, GA | Vinyl fuels indie record store resurgence: Over four decades, Decatur’s Wuxtry Records, a crowded repository of all things auditory a mile east of Emory University, has ridden the peak years of vinyl, the rise and fall of cassettes and CDs and the surprising comeback of vinyl this past decade. Owner Mark Methe points to a 2015 New Yorker cartoon he taped to the entrance and chuckles like a man who has seen it all. The cartoon figure tells another dude: “The two things that really drew me to vinyl were the expense and the inconvenience.” …But thanks to vinyl’s zombie-like revival, metro Atlanta has seen a resurgence in mom-and-pop record stores in recent years, mostly in the northern suburbs. In the meantime, in-town staples, such as Wuxtry and Criminal Records, have found new life.

Brighton, UK | Cult Hero re-opens in new location after it was forced to close. One of the longest-established “new vinyl” shops is back in action after being forced to move due to building redevelopment. Cult Hero has reopened in Brighton Place after moving from North Street, Brighton. Owner Frank Taylor, 35, moved out of his old shop at the end of April after the landlord sold the premises for the Hanningtons Lane redevelopment. Frank said he loves his new home. He said: “It’s a much nicer shop. It’s quieter and customers can listen to the music. “I was in North Street for ten years or so. There was a lot of hustle and bustle and I enjoyed that but customers also want to enjoy music while looking at vinyl, they like to take their time.

Warner Music Exec: ‘The Business of Physical Music Is Quite Strong. We Have No Intention of Walking Away from This Business.’ The resurgence of vinyl records is obviously causing labels to reconsider the format. But for at least one major label, CDs aren’t being abandoned quite yet, with physical formats overall getting a second look. At the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit last week, Warner Music Group executive Billy Fields reaffirmed his company’s commitment to physical discs, both of the vinyl and CD variety. Fields is Vice President of Sales and Account Management for WEA, which was once the physical distribution bulwark for the major label. These days, WEA is described as an ‘artist and label services’ group for WMG. But that still includes physical distribution, with Fields routinely fielding customer issues on precious WMG vinyl releases.

Indulge in spooky ‘Stranger Things’ sounds at Halloween with this new pumpkin vinyl: Creepy sounds from Stranger Things are being released on special pumpkin-coloured vinyl this Halloween…While the third instalment of the hit Netflix series has been delayed until 2019, fans will be able to bring the Upside Down to their own homes this spooky season. ‘Halloween Sounds from the Upside Down’ features 14 ominous, synthy tracks on pumpkin-themed wax. ”Hide some speakers in your bushes, play this record, and scare those trick or treaters,” advise S U R V I V E, who are behind the show’s atmospheric score. Track titles include ‘Turn On The Lights’, ‘Shadow In The Tunnel’, ‘Tree Slime’ and ‘Turn Right & Run’. The pieces are taken from Season 2’s “brooding, darker atmospheric score.”

CLASSIC VINYL: Superb glam band that influenced a generation: Roxy Music by Roxy Music. Roxy Music was one of the most highly regarded and influential UK rock bands of the seventies, formed by former art student and short lived teacher Bryan Ferry, who wrote all the songs, writes Michael Brooks. This was Roxy Music’s self titled 1972 debut album for Island records, acclaimed as one of the finest debut albums of the decade. What makes this unique is that it was recorded and produced in a single week. The band at that time, did not have a record deal, but after offering it to Island Records, a contract was offered; it was released on June 16, 1972.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: Gaz Coombes, Caleb Elliott, Kiki Wilder at City Winery, 10/4

When Supergrass called it quits in 2010, frontman Gaz Coombes kept going with a series of solo albums that showed how strong he was at songcraft and increasingly, how talented he is at producing it.

In his solo show at City Winery in Washington, DC on Thursday, he showed how he can do many things well at once, infusing his songs not just with guitar, but with effects laden loops, tapes, backing tracks, and percussion.

It added a depth (if a bit of robotic certainty) to his solid Britpop songs, which might have come across just fine with only his guitars and distinctive vocals, a yowl that sometimes brings to mind Thom Yorke of Radiohead depending on the song. That happened when he stuck to acoustic guitar to sing his salute to his autistic daughter, now 15, in “The Girl Who Fell from Earth.”

With a sprinkling from his three solo albums, the 42-year-old Coombes, still rocking the fuzzy sideburns, didn’t bother to dip into the Supergrass song pool until the last song in the encore, a version of “Moving” that had fans standing and singing along.

Truth to tell, Coombes had asked the crowd to stand for the stirring final song in his set, “Detroit”—it’s weird for a rock ’n’ roller to be playing essentially a seated supper club. But they were glad to do it.

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