TVD UK

The Best of Shell Zenner Presents

Greater Manchester’s most in the know radio host Shell Zenner broadcasts the best new music every week on the UK’s Amazing Radio and Bolton FM. You can also catch Shell’s broadcast here at TVD every Thursday.

“My ROTW is from a Geordie band that I’ve been a fan of for years and years. I first chatted to them back in 2010 and this time they’ve released a record on their own label—it is the smallest label and it’s perfect in every way! Little Comets’ Hope is Just a State of Mind is this week’s record of the week and I’ll be spinning three tracks off it.

This weeks #Shellshock is from a band called W I N T E R, they’re two brothers releasing on Wild Sound Recordings out of Cambridge.” —SZ

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Static Daydream,
Static Daydream

Those nutty over shoegaze may know Paul Baker from Skywave and Ceremony. Since 2012 he’s been busy in Static Daydream, a project finding him in cahoots with girlfriend and musical collaborator Jamie Casey. Their 4-song cassette “The Only One” was issued last year and now here’s a self-titled LP; like Baker’s previous outfits Static Daydream is disinclined toward untapped aural horizons, instead striving to invigorate long-ensconced ideas. Limited edition vinyl in an edition of 150 in black and 100 in “Orange Crush with Black Haze” is out through Saint Marie and Moon Sounds Records.

Akin to Static Daydream, Skywave was based in Fredericksburg, VA. A trio composed of Baker on guitar, Oliver Ackerman on bass, and John Fedowitz on drums, their geographical circumstance has been suggested as a disadvantage, Skywave apparently plagued with audience neglect while extant. Beginning in 1998 they released four full-lengths and a few singles and EPs, the group going out on a qualitative high-note early in ’04 with Synthstatic.

Post-breakup Ackerman moved to Brooklyn and formed the considerably higher-profile A Place to Bury Strangers; he’s also notable for effects pedal company/defunct warehouse space Death By Audio. Baker and Fedowitz remained homebodies and worked together as Ceremony, the pair issuing three albums and a bunch of short-players prior to Baker’s exit and the subsequent formation of Static Daydream.

If Skywave’s existence was basically unimaginable without the precedent established by My Bloody Valentine and likeminded acts of their era, the same can be said for Ceremony, though the choice of moniker might tip-off the reader to Baker and Fedowitz’s interest in the adjustment period betwixt Joy Division and New Order. Utilizing programmed beats and a familiar vocal inflection infused with waves of distortion, Ceremony initially resonated like the Brothers Reid ambushing A Factory Record.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/2/15

Vinyl Records For Sale By The Pound For Pennies, Dusty Groove Offers Discount Bulk Vinyl Records For Set Designers, Decorators, Artists, And Other Creative Uses: “We opened a huge bargain basement a last year to help with overflow, but it’s still not enough to handle the surplus. So we decided to offer large random lots of vinyl at a very low price…”

5 tips for starting your very own vinyl record collection: “There’s nothing finer than putting a vinyl record on the turntable and hearing the crackling sound as the album starts to spin and make you dance like no one is watching. These days it seems everybody has a hobby and I decided that it’s time I find one, so I decided to start a vinyl collection.

Tesco to become the first UK supermarket to sell vinyl records, Would you pick up a vinyl record along with a loaf and a pint of semi-skimmed? “The supermarket giant will trial sales of vinyl this Friday (September 4), beginning with the release of Iron Maiden’s new album The Book Of Souls.”

(And…)

Tesco’s plan to stock vinyl could kill more independent record stores: “My concern is that the few remaining independent record shops will be hurt by the encroachment. Supermarkets have already driven down the living wages of food producers, and while vinyl won’t be a big proportion of Tesco’s sales, it’s a few less sales that those independent shops will get.”

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots:
Billy Joel at Wrigley Field, 8/27

Billy Joel is a fan of Chicago. “We love playing here,” he said a couple of songs into his set at Wrigley Field last Thursday. And indeed he does, having played Wrigley three times in the last six years. And it’s no wonder: Chicago loves Billy. The feelings are mutual.

As a child of the ’80s, I grew up listening to a lot of Billy Joel. He is certainly a big part of the musical fabric of my youth. But it wasn’t until Thursday night that I remembered just how much. Nearly every song conjured up some sort of long-lost memory—not just for me, but seemingly for the thousands of audience members in Wrigley’s historic stands. The fact that Billy hasn’t released a new album in over 20 years almost reinforced the nostalgia of the evening.

The mood of the evening was jovial with Billy leading the way. He provided good stage banter, with jokes and stories in between a songs. More than once he gave the audience setlist choices, having them cheer for which of two songs they’d rather hear him play. But most impressive to me was his voice. He can really still sing his ass off.

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The TVD Storefront

Jain, The TVD First Date

“I grew up between the south of France, Dubai, Pointe Noire—a little town in Congo, and Abu Dhabi. 

“There were not many record shops around there, so the first time I went to buy vinyl was in Paris when I was 18. Today I’m 23 and I’ve got more than a hundred. I’m trying to make up for all the lost time, because I really fell in love with the warm and organic sound of the vinyl.

I often go to a record shop in Paris called Superfly Records specializing in R&B/Soul music. I really love to hang out there, searching for new sounds, new vibes, it’s so inspiring.

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: The Jaguar Club

This week, in another break with tradition, we’ve got another US band gracing the UK Artist Of The Week (because that’s where they’re making waves at the moment, and give us a break—you’re not our real dad).

The Jaguar Club are New York band who have headed across the atlantic to unveil two stunning videos. The first one they teased the UK with is the fast paced and euphoric “Stringer,” which is a love letter to ’80s new wave, complete with reverb soaked live instruments mixed with stabbing synths and New Order-esque vocals from founding member and frontman William Popadic.

Their next video for “Hard Cider” is a lot more laid back and captures a beautiful sadness in both the music and visuals. There are a number of animation styles used, including claymation and rotoscoping, and the tenderness of the track is really brought home as you witness a lovers’ first embrace in the midst of nature, or an elderly couple dealing with illness and loss followed by a viking funeral. Words don’t really do it justice—let’s just say we were left with a lump in our throat towards the end.

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TVD UK

Brendan Dalton,
The TVD First Date

“I’m at that age now where I don’t want to go out clubbing and have shout to friends over the top of whatever current top 20 the DJ is playing. I don’t want to listen to a playlist on the way to work or a mix CD whilst I catch up on my emails. Music has become a sacred ritual. I want to sit down, I want to relax, and I want to enjoy an album the way the artist intended; from start to finish with the focus solely on it. And it’s all because of vinyl.”

“More and more often I find myself getting home from work and settling down for the evening with a drink in hand and a shiny slab of wax on my turntable. I don’t even bother to turn the TV on. I just listen. And it’s such an amazing sensation.

You really do pay more attention to music when you’re listening on vinyl, there’s just something about it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m listening for the point where I have to flip the disc or subconsciously I feel obliged to because I spent that little bit extra on an album you could have easily spent less on for a download or CD, but I love it.

I love the precision and care I take when flipping that disc between “True Affection” and “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.” I love putting down the needle and hearing that quiet hiss before the opening track of the score to Paranorman. I love the subtle cracks and pops on the emotional break on Ryan Adams’ “Come Pick Me Up.” Hell, I love the way the gloriously oversized artwork starts to look after that second rum and coke.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
John Hulburt, Opus III

In 1972 the late guitarist John Hulburt, then based in Chicago, self-released his sole album. Decades later a copy was plucked from a Windy City record bin by Ryley Walker, the contents so impressing Hulburt’s fellow string slinger that he partnered with Tompkins Square’s Josh Rosenthal to produce its reissue. Featuring 20 tracks of nimble fingerpicking and a demeanor suggesting Berkeley or Greenwich Village in the heart of the 1960s, Opus III is available now on LP/CD/digital.

Opus III is John Hulburt’s lone full-length (there is no Opus I or II), but it wasn’t the extent of his studio experience; roughly five years earlier he was a part of Chicago garage act The Knaves. Managing a pair of singles in ’67 for the Dunwich label, their complete recordings were recently compiled by Sundazed on the 10-inch “Leave Me Alone!”

Unlike their Chi-town garage cohorts The Shadows of Knight (who also recorded for Dunwich), The New Colony Six and The Cryan’ Shames, The Knaves lacked any national chart action and apparently weren’t even particularly popular locally. This shouldn’t insinuate a lack of quality; described by Knave’s member Gene Lubin in Opus III’s notes as “punk/rock,” The Knaves could distill the Stones and Pretty Things with adequate flair but were actually quite adept at crafting surprisingly durable folk-rock ditties with ample and smartly rendered harmonies.

Lubin relates that Hulburt was brought into the Knaves’ fold to sing and shake a tambourine. Within a year he was adding guitar to the band’s 45s, and by 1972 it was his primary instrument; issued on Hulburt’s own Clarence imprint, Opus III was an early engineering credit for Barry Mraz (Styx, Ohio Players, David Johansen, Fotomaker etc).

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/1/15

Danzig To Release ‘Devil’s Angels’ Single Next Week, “The first single from “Skeletons” will be “Devil’s Angels”, which was originaly the theme song for the late ’60s biker film of the same title. The track will be released on September 4 on seven-inch vinyl, strictly limited to 500 units. The B-side of the single will be a vocal-and-keyboard version of “Satan”, from the 1969 biker flick “Satan’s Sadists”.

The Genre vs. Alphabet Debate: “Do you start by putting everything from one genre together, or do you just alphabetize everything? There are pros and cons to both options…”

Tesco aims to cash in on vinyl records boom by stocking Iron Maiden’s new triple LP: “Tesco is hoping to cash in on the nostalgia for vinyl records by stocking Iron Maiden’s new limited edition triple LP, Book Of Souls. The album, the first studio offering from the British rockers in five years, will be on sale in 55 of the largest Tesco Extra stores, priced at £24.”

Ladbroke Groove! The complete story of record shop culture in Notting Hill: The birthplace of Rough Trade, Honest Jon’s, Virgin Records and Rock On, amongst others, we take an extended look at the evolution of record shop culture in west London’s most vibrant community.

For the record: Vinyl fans spin on, “At 20 years old, Jeremy Murray does not seem to be the typical vinyl record collector. In the midst of times where records, cassette, tapes and compact discs seem to be far removed from the mind of iPod and digital music listeners, he and others still make the time to find the once-popular treasures.”

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TVD New York City

TVD Live: AC/DC at MetLife Stadium, 8/26

PHOTOS: DAVE BARNHOUSER | In the world of rock music today, there are a scant few bands still touring who can be categorized as “living legends.” The Stones. The Boss. McCartney. Yet even with the legendary history behind those great artists, none today have the sheer power—dare I say the “high voltage rock and roll”—of the mighty AC/DC. After four decades of the purest, no-frills heavy rock on the planet, the band is still at it and as heavy as ever.

On this stop at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the faces had changed a bit, but the rock stayed the same. Former drummer (Razor’s Edge-era) Chris Slade has rejoined the fold, stepping behind the kit for longtime drummer Phil Rudd, who is under house arrest due to some, well, legal issues.

The other change in the lineup, and the most disappointing one, would be the absence of founding member and band leader Malcolm Young. Retired due to debilitating health issues, the band kept it in the family, recruiting nephew Stevie Young to fill the void at stage right on rhythm guitar.

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