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…
You can count the number of artists who can fill a stadium on one hand, and the mighty AC/DC lead the pack. Touring in support of their latest release, the not-surprisingly great Rock or Bust, Angus Young and company brought their one of a kind rock ‘n’ roll experience to AT&T Park and was warmly greeted by a sold out crowd.
This is one of those once in a lifetime shows which is truly bigger than anything happening in rock ‘n’ roll at the moment. I would even put AC/DC above the Stones in this case as I don’t think there is any band on the planet that sounds this good and continues to deliver rock solid records even though they could certainly tour just to be touring.
Being one of the most important and influential rock bands in history isn’t an easy task, but these guys are certainly up for the challenge. From the very first note of “Rock or Bust” the capacity crowd sporting glowing devil horns lit up immediately and pledged their allegiance for those about to rock. Just walking through the crowd you could see both hard core fans and the latter absolutely losing their shit over this band. Each song played perfectly into the next as a sort of crash course in the history of hard rock—past, present, and future.
The two time Grammy Award winner is preparing to release Lalah Hathaway Live on October 30th—available on vinyl, CD, and DVD from Hathaway Entertainment with distribution by eOne Music. This album was recorded at the Troubadour in Los Angeles this past April. It’s the same stage upon which her father, Donny Hathaway, recorded his Live album in 1972.
Several surprise guests joined LaLah Hathaway in NYC—jazz legend Chick Corea, Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson), Freddie Jackson, Jonathan McReynolds, and songwriter James Day.
“The first thing I ever purchased at a record store was MC Hammer’s “2 Legit to Quit” single. It was 1991, I was 9 years old, and it was on a cassette tape. Then about 5 minutes later these things called CDs came out and I found myself back at that same record store buying Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Then about 2 minutes later Napster hit the scene and no one bought cassettes or CDs (or music) anymore.”
“All this to say, I sorta missed the vinyl record era when it was in its heyday. But missing that era is precisely why records have always had a mysterious coolness to them. Growing up, my older brother had a record collection that he kept in his room and which was, of course, off-limits to me. My parents had a record collection 10 times bigger. So records were always around but they were like the party AFTER I was sent to bed… grown up, cool, and forbidden.
Records weren’t off-limits to me because my parents didn’t want me to experience the music. They were off-limits because I was a kid and records are delicate. They can be scratched. You have to make sure the record is clean before you put it on the player. You have to make sure the needle doesn’t have any dirt or lint on it and be very gentle with the arm as you place it right on the edge of the record as it spins at the selected speed. There was a method and a system to the whole thing that I admired with awe from a safe distance. Records took time.
TVD is proud to present another exclusive world premiere video. The tune is the single off Bantam Foxes’ new EP, “Loser.” It drops on October 30, 2015. The band will also being playing that day at the Voodoo Music Experience and opening for Desaparecidos, Conor Oberst’s band, at the Republic on November 3.
“Loser” is their follow-up to “Give Us a Raise,” which was released this past April. Recorded over the same sweaty New Orleans weekend as its more poppy predecessor, “Loser” dives into darker territory.
Tracks like the ‘70s-esque, riff-heavy “Rip” and set-closer-slash-death-march “Left for Dead” show that the band isn’t all simple melody and garage-pop polish.
I’ve always had the same issue with Rickie Lee Jones as I do with Tom Waits; to wit, I can’t escape the sense that they’re beatniks escaped from a time capsule. There’s something atavistic about their sound; hearing it, it’s impossible to escape the eerie sensation that you’re sitting in a smoky and low-ceilinged Village club, the Kettle of Fish say, surrounded by beret-wearing hipsters in goatees, of the type who click their fingers instead of applaud.
That said, I’ve always preferred Jones, if only because she doesn’t have a patch of hair sprouting from her lower lip. No, the truth is I can’t really rationalize my life-long dislike of Waits; sure, he’s written lots of great songs, but that doesn’t mean I have to like him. I don’t have to like Jones either, but I do, from her groundbreaking debut to her latest release, 2012’s The Devil You Know, on which she sings like… well, like she just swallowed a shitload of ludes, which causes her to sing very slooowwwllly, which I like a lot. No more of the beatnik affectations. Her phrasing and sudden shifts in tone are idiosyncratic, to say the least, but she doesn’t sound as rebop as she does wasted, like she brought a quart of bourbon to the studio and drank it before she sang any of the songs on this album of noteworthy standards.
Jones’ career took off with the release of her 1979 self-titled debut, which featured dozens of top-notch LA sessions players—to say nothing of Dr. John on piano and Randy Newman on synthesizers—and included the great “Chuck E.’s in Love.” Buoyed by a highly touted performance on Saturday Night Live, she soon found herself on the cover of the Rolling Stone, and her beret quickly became more famous than Joni Mitchell’s beret, which no doubt pissed off Mitchell’s beret to no end.
HMV to return to its old Golden Square shop: “Around two and a half years on from its collapse, HMV is said to be making a comeback, rivalling Amazon as the UK’s biggest music and DVD retailer. And the Warrington branch will now also specialise in vinyl records.“
After flood damage, downtown business community bands together: “Bob Berberich was heading home from band rehearsal on Tuesday night when he got a message from a fellow downtown Frederick business owner about water damage at his East Patrick Street record store, Vinyl Acres. By the time he arrived, shortly after 10:30 p.m., it was too late…”
Punk legend rocks downtown record store with newest book and band: “Legendary punk frontwoman and activist Alice Bag gave a reading and musical performance to fans at Going Underground Records last week to promote her newest book, ‘Pipe Bomb for the Soul.’”
A Vinyl Revolution, New vinyl shop caters to renewed interest in old form: “The music world is abuzz. Vinyl records are coming back and with a vengeance. They are the latest craze with bands and fans alike, and the trend is only growing. According to data collected by Billboard, in the first quarter of 2015 vinyl record sales had increased by 53 percent. This is no small curve.“
PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS & CLARISSA VILLONDO | As we noted with our Saturday coverage yesterday, since the days of Woodstock, the big destination rock festivals for years only occurred in England, Europe, and other exotic places.
In the past decade or two, though, there has been a concentrated effort to create big annual music festivals tied to specific U.S. locales: Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Coachella in California, the Austin City Limits in Texas, the Lollapallooza setting shop in Chicago. New Orleans and Newport kept their distinction with their particular styles of music.
Now every city seems to have its own fest, from Philly’s Made in America to Atlanta’s Shaky Knees and Dover’s Firefly. And now so does D.C.—the Landmark Music Festival.
Saturday’s recap is here. Sunday’s is one click away.
Long before vinyl records came back into vogue, before record stores starting proliferating in New Orleans, even before TVD started bringing you the best writing about vinyl, the fine folks at the Ponderosa Stomp were creating a cottage industry based on crate-digging.
Now an every-other-year event, the festival returns this weekend for two long-playing concerts at Rock ‘n’ Bowl as well as other great events around town.
The lineup at Rock ‘n’ Bowl is incredible. There’s too much going on for me to even begin listing the acts scheduled to perform. Just click the link to read all about it and/or watch the vid. This is not music for the faint of heart, nor is it for any moldy figs missing rock ‘n’ roll stamina. The shows begin at 6:30 PM and extend until close to 3 AM.
As its name might suggest, Magnet School caused some solid attraction with its initial recordings, which included its 2007 full-length Tonight We Drink … Tomorrow We Battle the Evil at Hand. Mixing big sounding, open chord rock and sonic melodies that recall the days of Swervedriver or other bands across the sea, Magnet School actually hails from this side of the ocean—closer actually to the Colorado River in Texas.
The quartet with roots in Oklahoma and Colorado has been a part of the Austin scene for two decades now, playing in bands like Experimental Aircraft, Coco Candissi, and Schatzi before they formed with the single-minded goal to make a big melodic guitar band along the lines of Shiner or …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, both for whom they’ve opened.
Google “Magnet School band” though, and you’ll get cheese amateur performance videos from a hundred magnet school bands, often marching on their football fields. The Vinyl District is pleased, therefore, to ease your search in premiering the newest track from the band in question.
The sophomore album from which it’s taken, The Art of Telling the Truth, five years in the making, won’t be out until early next year on Shifting Sounds (home of Black Books and Gentlemen Rogues) as well as Sunshine HQ (home of their heroes My Bloody Valentine).