The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The City, Now That Everything’s Been Said

Celebrated as one of the prime pop tunesmiths of the 1960s, Carole King’s greatest fame is as a recording artist, her output helping to establish the phenomenon of the Adult-Oriented Singer-Songwriter. A mixed accolade perhaps, but a key development in King’s transition from Brill Building to Billboard #1 is the sole album by The City. Given her enduring reputation and achievements, the neglect of Now That Everything’s Been Said remains a stumper; possessing an amiable and unruffled temperament, it’s been remastered from the original tapes and freshly reissued on LP/CD through Light in the Attic.

Released in ’68 to no fanfare, The City’s solitary platter resulted from collaboration by a trio of NYC transplants; alongside King was guitarist Daniel “Kootch” Kortchmar, an associate of the Fugs who headed west to join undersung Elektra outfit Clear Light, and bassist Charles Larkey, also a former Fug whose previous band the Myddle Class cut a handful of 45s for Tomorrow Records, the label run by King and her co-writer-husband Gerry Goffin.

Now That Everything’s Been Said is additionally notable for the drumming of Jim Gordon. Having played on Pet Sounds, he was later recruited for Delaney & Bonnie & Friends and Joe Cocker’s group for Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and as a member of Derek & the Dominos he wrote the exquisite keyboard coda for “Layla.” There are also lyrics courtesy of Larkey’s Myddle Class bandmate David Palmer, a name some may recall from Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill; the singer on “Dirty Work,” post-Dan he went on to pen the words to King’s ’74 hit “Jazzman.”

By ’68 King and Goffin were divorced and she’d moved west. Casual jamming with Larkey and Kortchmar in her Laurel Canyon digs spawned this LP, their efforts produced by Lou Adler for his Ode Records. Amongst others Adler worked with the Mamas & the Papas, the Grass Roots (both on his prior imprint Dunhill), Scott Mackenzie and Spirit; eventually through a deal with A&M, Ode released King’s chart conquering cornerstone of grownup listening Tapestry.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/6/15

Good Night and Good Riddance: How 35 Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life by David Cavanagh review – a bravura work: A biography of John Peel that weaves its way through 265 of his shows is a masterwork of close listening and scholarship

It’s Your Business: New spin for record store, “If you still like to listen to vinyl records, a new store in Urbana could be the place for you. See You CD & Vinyl opened for business this weekend in the former Error Records space at 123 W. Main St. Owner Jesse Grubbs, who will run the store with his fiancee, Alysha McDaniel, said he has been in the groove for vinyl records since he was a child.”

“I was hoping for something reasonably well done or “good enough” or attaboyish, but this rise and fall of Tower Records history is extra-level — tight, comprehensive, exacting, epic-scaled. Hanks has clearly invested rivers of feeling and loads of hard work…This thing is emotional. Especially that. If you lived through and savored the Tower Records heyday (mid ’60s to early aughts but more essentially the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s) it’ll open the floodgates big-time.”

Spinning right round: Record stores benefit from vinyl boom, “Before opening Rock Star Records, a new vinyl and CD shop in Tupelo, Leslie Jones thought about opening either a video store or a snow cone business. But after researching viable business opportunities, a sales representative told him about the recent vinyl record boom.

The birthday card that transforms into a 7″ record player! “Essentially it’s a birthday card accompanied by a 7″ record. The idea is that, by following some ‘simple’ steps, you can transform the birthday card into a record player.

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots: Mew and The Dodos at the Fillmore, 9/25

Mew is a special kind of band. One of those bands who, when someone asks you what they sound like, you can’t think of one group to compare them to—and that’s a good thing. Led by the fantastically gorgeous, angelic pipes of front man Jonas Bjerre, Mew create epicly layered soundscapes atop unpredictable time signatures that create a musical experience like nothing you’ve ever heard before.

And that’s just how they sound on record. Add in the live element that seemingly can’t be reproduced and they deliver, better yet, they astonish and dazzle. While the band has proven itself to be one of the biggest and most influential bands on the Danish indie scene—having achieved several Gold and Platinum albums as well as winning numerous awards—they have never broken wide open here in States.

Instead, they have sort of a cult following that celebrates the band’s entire catalog. It’s mind-boggling as to why a band that can create such incredibly unique, thought-provoking music can garner such a huge audience in one country with a lopsided following in another. Then again I think that Europeans are simply much more open to music that pushes the envelope, rather than worshiping conventional radio pop.

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends:
Full Orangutan and the
G-Funk Horns at Sidney’s Saloon, 10/6

Tuesday night, the Seventh Ward hotspot best known for many epic brass band and trad jams back in the day, will be getting considerably more electric when this new band welcomes special guest Greg Thomas, the saxophonist for Parliament/ Funkadelic, to the bandstand. Sidney’s Saloon is located at 1200 St. Bernard Avenue and it’s very close to where N. Rampart Street splits and turns into St. Claude Avenue.

Full Orangutan came into being this past summer after a casual conversation between bassist Bru Bruser, best known around town for his work with Gov’t Majik, his Fela-inspired Afrobeat orchestra, and now with trombonist Corey Henry’s Tremé Funktet, and Raja Kassis, the guitarist for Antibalas and recent New Orleans transplant. Kassis also plays in Pirate’s Choice for those keeping track.

Thomas, the longtime sax man for George Clinton, is sticking around town after the P-Funk show at the House of Blues this past Saturday night. He will have his hands full as the band will also feature Rex Gregory on sax. Gregory wears numerous musical hats around town and plays with who’s who of young musicians as well as impressing the veterans with his versatility and impeccable tone.

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TVD Asbury Park

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Tune in to Garden State Sound with Evan Toth to explore the diverse music with connections to New Jersey. You’ll hear in-depth interviews with some of Jersey’s best music makers and have the opportunity win tickets to some of the best concerts in the state.

“Today, nobody sells five million records. Even in the good (bad) old days, it was no small feat to sell five million records. Chris Barron helmed the Spin Doctors through the ’90s. Remember the ’90s? There was a lot of wonderful music around, much of it dark and gloomy. But, like after a long stretch of rain, when the sun finally breaks through, your neck muscles melt.

That’s what “Two Princes” was like for me. A melody! It was fun, a party. I—and apparently five million others—needed a break from the maudlin grunge and punk we loved so much to have a few laughs—it meant a lot.

But, let’s not spend too much time in the past—let’s talk to Chris Barron about the future as well. You’ll hear the great music he’s writing lately, and learn that the Spin Doctors are very much alive and kicking in 2015. You’ll hear about how he learned about music at the Princeton Record Exchange and how adept he is at turning weaknesses into strengths. Of course, we’ll talk about New Jersey, too!” —EZT

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The TVD Storefront

Sarah McQuaid,
The TVD First Date

“I’m old enough to remember getting my first record player one Christmas when I was around five years old. It was a Mickey Mouse record player. It came in a white plastic case, kind of like a typewriter case (I’m old enough to remember those, too), and on the inside of the lid, which had a little speaker built into it, was Mickey Mouse.”

“Mickey Mouse’s arm was the arm of the record player, and the stylus protruded from the tip of his white-gloved index finger …. I’d sit cross-legged on the floor next to it, listening to my mother’s Beatles LPs over and over again, leafing through the Magical Mystery Tour booklet and pondering the significance of the lyrics.

My mother also had a sizeable collection of folk music albums—many of them on the Smithsonian Folkways label—that were a bit smaller than a standard LP and were made of really thick, heavy vinyl. I think I liked the look and feel of those as much as or more than the music itself. They had wonderfully serious titles like American Folk Songs And Ballads and Blues, Volume 1.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Killdozer, “Burl”

It’s silly, really. Like I’m banging my head against the wall. All these years I’ve spent trying to convince a dubious public that Madison, Wisconsin’s Killdozer was one of history’s greatest rock bands, utterly wasted. I’ve convinced no one and will continue to convince no one, not one single person, that Killdozer was the ultimate shit. What is so apparent to me, that Killdozer was a simultaneously hilarious and serious protest band that played pile driver rock at volumes designed to explode Ming vases, moves the record-playing public not a jot. They—sob!—just don’t care.

But I’m going to give it one more try. One more try, and then you’ll never have to hear me natter on about the genius of Killdozer ever again. But here, I’ll start you off with just a taste of Michael Gerald—vocalist, bassist, and songwriter extraordinaire—and his amazing talent. It’s a song called “New Pants and Shirt,” and it opens with Gerald shrieking, “Enter the 49 gates of uncleanliness!” and then, after some quiet bass, singing, “Enter the 49 gates of uncleanliness/Said she pushing up her skirt/I held my breath against her fetidness/As I gazed upon the swinish flirt.” You will not find lyrics so despicably hilarious anywhere, except in the work of Anal Cunt.

But Gerald didn’t limit himself to writing about the despicable. He wrote great songs about disaster movie director Irwin Allen, the writer Flannery O’Connor (“She wrote many books/Before death came upon her”), Earl Scheib the car-painting king, a dog named Knuckles who helps people, horrifying train accidents and grain elevator explosions, free love in Amsterdam, Ed Gein, a man with a ¾” drill bit lodged in his brain, you name it. And he sang them all from a Trotskyist perspective, one that I think he was at least semi-serious about. One of the most interesting things about Killdozer is trying to separate the sincerity from the satire, and I remain convinced Killdozer had every bit as much empathy for the common man as Bruce Springsteen. And they were never as smug about it.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new—and FREE—tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

Merry Ellen Kirk – Ever After
The Tall Pines – Fear Is The Devil
Michal Menert & The Pretty Fantastics – High Noon
The Van T’s – Growler
Co-Pilgrim – You Come Over You Go
Secret Space – Everybody Knows
Tuff Sunshine – Rattlin’ Man
The Dirty Blonde – Bottom Feeder
Wonky Tonk – Montague Road
Postcards From Jeff – Tired Wings

SMILE – Boundless Plains To Share

Ghosts In Pocket – Barberton
Adir L.C. – Dinosaurs
ELLEKAYE – Happy Birthday (It’s Your Birthday)
The Foreign Resort – Under Bright Neon Stars
Loscil – Rorschach
Linear Downfall – The Question
Kyler Slater – Black Eyes
Dubious Quip – Boom Boom Boom
Lana Del Rey – High By The Beach (Martin Villeneuve Remix)
The Flavr Blue – Oxygen feat. Jarell Perry

3 more FREE TRACKS on side B!

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/5/15

Why Don’t Major Labels Release Rap Albums on Vinyl Anymore? “I was watching an interview with Earl Sweatshirt telling NPR’s Frannie Kelley and Ali Shaheed Muhammed that in order for him to conceive of a new album, he first imagines its cover on iTunes. The possibility of a physical release of his music wasn’t even mentioned.”

Apparently some copies of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born To Die’ LP have Wildhoney on them: “Gordon Dufresne, founder of Deranged Records, the label that released “Sleep Through It,” confirms that this is a legit error and not an elaborate stunt. “All copies of this particular pressing of the LDR record were pressed this way,” he writes via email. “A good portion will be recalled and likely recycled but lots of copies are now circulating.”

Jaime’s Local Love: Stinkweeds Record Store, “Walking the aisles of Stinkweeds brings me back to my weekends in high school perusing the records and cassette tapes at Zia Records. In fact, Zia Records is where Stinkweeds owner Kimber Lanning got her first job.”

The new teenage must-have is … a record player and vinyl collection: “Weirdly, my lad, who makes Gadget Man look like a cave man and is so technically advanced it terrifies me, asked for a record player for his birthday – and a spare stylus.

Teach me how to hobby: Vinyl records, “You’ve seen them before: stacked in long rows at Al’s Music, hidden in suitcases at the Fremont Vintage Mall, and shining in the windows of Urban Outfitters. On the street they’re casually tucked under someone’s arm or peeking out of a rucksack. Sitting in your parents’ attic are boxes full of them.

20 Brilliant Vinyl Record DIY Ideas You’ll Definitely Love: “If you’re planning to drop your records…or you’ve a whole bunch sitting around gathering dust, you many want to take them out right now and turn them into any of these 20 unique DIY vinyl record ideas!

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Seems like I dig talking about the weather. Fall officially came last weekend but the heat of September 2015 continues swelling through our canyon. Tomorrow should be another 90 degree Indian summer day. Sunday night, after a yummy udon dinner in Little Tokyo, we cruised Mulholland Drive to take a peak at the lunar eclipse. It was a rare chance to have a glimpse at a “supermoon.”

Yes, I know I’m likely the last soul on the internet to write about this occurrence, but the combination of the crowds, clouds, heat, and “blood moon” was indeed special. It conjured songs in my head, and I craved the words of Jim Morrison. This motherfucker’s…

Let’s swim to the moon, uh huh/ Let’s climb through the tide/ Penetrate the evenin’ that the/ City sleeps to hide/ Let’s swim out tonight, love/ It’s our turn to try/ Parked beside the ocean/ On our moonlight drive…

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