TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Oh help me make it / I know that you can / Oh the power of a woman’s love / Can change a man / You can make me feel as cold / As I hold nothing / Then I get a warm feeling / When you treat me like your best friend

You can lift me on up / Make my spirits fly high / But oh how you drag me down / I’m not ashamed to cry / Oh help me make it / I know that you can / Oh the power of a woman’s love / Can change a man

Have you ever heard the expression, “stay out of your own way?” It resonates for me some days. A few weeks ago an old friend sent me a self-help book. I think my wife is reading one too called The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck. I hear that’s pretty “fine?”

While driving earlier in the week, my Spotify on a random shuffle took me to “Autumn Sweater,” an old Yo Le Tengo record. What a great tune. It got me thinking—self help is kind of a sweater for the soul? What the?

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Depeche Mode: SPIRITS in the Forest in cinemas 11/21

VIA PRESS RELEASE | London, UK, September 19: Depeche Mode, along with Trafalgar Releasing, Sony Music Entertainment and BBH Entertainment, are excited to announce the upcoming release of the new feature-length documentary and concert film, SPIRITS in the Forest, coming to cinemas worldwide for a one-night event on November 21. The film will bring fans together around the world to celebrate the impact of Depeche Mode’s music and performances. SPIRITS in the Forest will be screened in more than 2,400 cinemas, from Adelaide to Zagreb, in over 70 countries.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker and long-time artistic collaborator Anton Corbijn, the release of Depeche Mode: SPIRITS in the Forest follows the band’s 2017/2018 Global Spirit Tour, which saw them play to over 3 million fans at 115 shows around the world. Diving into the deeply emotional stories of six special Depeche Mode fans, the film weaves together exhilarating musical performances filmed at the final shows of the tour at Berlin’s famed Waldbühne (“Forest Stage”) with intimate documentary footage filmed in the fans’ hometowns across the globe. It shows not only how and why the band’s popularity and relevance has continued to grow over the course of their career, but provides a unique look into music’s incredible power to build communities, enable people to overcome adversity, and create/ connections across the boundaries of language, location, gender, age, and circumstance.

“I’m exceptionally proud to share this film and the powerful story that it tells,” said Dave Gahan, of Depeche Mode. “It’s amazing to see the very real ways that music has impacted the lives of our fans.” Added Martin Gore, “In today’s world of turmoil and divisiveness, music really can be a force for good and can bring people together.”

Marc Allenby, CEO of Trafalgar Releasing has said on the news: “Trafalgar Releasing are excited to be working with Sony Music and the Depeche Mode team on the upcoming release of SPIRITS in the Forest. As a band who have always been on the cusp of innovation with their unique sound, we look forward to bringing fans around the world together to celebrate one of the most exciting and influential music acts of the last century.”

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The TVD Storefront

Play It Loud:
Rock Legends and
Lost Opportunities
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

It can hardly be coincidence that the Met’s Instruments of Rock and Roll exhibit shares a title with Brad Tolinski’s latest book, Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. While there may be a few drum kits, keyboards, saxophones, and synthesizers in the mix at the Metropolitan Museum, it’s essentially an epic axe collection, including guitars picked by such diverse players as Wanda Jackson and Eddie Van Halen. With almost two hundred objects in the catalog, there’s something here for every music lover to drool over. In fact, it’s almost overwhelming.

The rooms are dark and mazelike, stuffed with so many musical treasures it’s hard to know where to start. The longer you wander, the more holy relics you stumble upon, and the clearer it becomes what the exhibition lacks: clever orchestration. It’s an ironic oversight, considering the website’s lip service to rock and roll’s emphasis and influence on style. While the website also provides a guide to the galleries, the design scheme isn’t at all obvious in the physical space, where instruments sometimes seem to be grouped at random or simply stashed wherever they’ll fit. The exception is the “Creating a Sound” gallery, which features four stage rigs and video screens where artists appear to tell the stories behind the instruments they’ve loaned to the museum. (Particularly charming is Keith Richards’s chuckle at the recollection of the acid trip responsible for the paint pen embellishments to his black Les Paul—the poster axe for the exhibit.)

Apart from the “Creating a Sound” gallery, the most effective presentation belongs not, surprisingly, to the “Creating an Image” gallery but to Jimi Hendrix’s “Love Drops” Flying V, which is mounted to align with Hendrix’s silhouette on the wall behind it, and the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275 and striking black dragon suit arranged on a mannequin in Jimmy Page’s signature pose from live performances of “Stairway to Heaven.” There’s no ignoring that artists are unevenly represented, but that’s beyond the Met’s control—some guitar gods are more munificent than others. Considering the long history of axenapping, it’s remarkable to even see so many storied guitars together, never mind the other instruments and gig posters and musical memorabilia.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Sonny and Cher,
The Beat Goes On

They were, during their time, America’s most beloved singing couple. The short one wasn’t much to look at, but, boy, was that Art Garfunkel hot!

No, I’m talking about Salvatore Bono and Cheerily Sarkisian, who started their career together as Caesar and Cleo but won hearts and minds as Sonny and Cher. The duo did it all; put out a lot of great songs, parlayed their musical success into a successful CBS television variety show, even popularized animal skins and knee-high caveman boots.

Many Sonny and Cher best-of compilations muddy the waters by sneaking Cher’s solo hits into the mix, but me, I’m a purist–you might as well slap a couple of Paul McCartney songs onto a John Lennon greatest hits record. Which is why I chose to review 1975’s The Beat Goes On. Except, wait–the great “Laugh at Me” was Sonny’s only solo hit, so what’s it doing here? And if they saw fit to include it, why not also toss in his legendary LSD freak-out ode “Pammie’s on a Bummer”?

The duo will forever be best remembered for “The Beat Goes On” and “I Got You Babe.” The former captured the ebullient spirit of young America every bit as well as Simon & Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)”; the latter’s shared avowal of love so moved the Dictator’s Andy Shernoff and Handsome Dick Manitoba they sang it together on 1975’s Go Girl Crazy. Anybody who hates either song is certifiably insane.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/20/19

Cleveland, OH | Mistake By The Lake record shop to open inside West of Venus vintage shop in Cleveland: Mistake By The Lake, a local record label that started over a decade ago, will expand with its own brick-and-mortar record store this fall. Andrew Kirschner, the owner and manager of Mistake By The Lake, plans to open his record store of the same name in November. He’ll sell a variety of hard-to-find experimental records from all over the world, and also a selection of releases by local acts on his label. The store will be located inside the West of Venus vintage shop building, at 10024 Lorain Ave. The name “Mistake By The Lake” might sound like an insult to Clevelanders, but Kirschner said it’s meant to be a positive reference to the city. “It’s not a slight on Cleveland, it’s a shout-out,” he said. “We’re underdogs. As the years go by, people see that Cleveland’s actually an amazing place to be.”

Bangkok, TH | What it takes to run a vinyl shop in Bangkok, according to the owners of Fatblack Records: Vinyl has been through its ups and downs, but in recent years the medium has found some stability in the market. In fact, after slumps brought on by CD sales and eventually steaming platforms, vinyl records have quietly bounced back in a big way. Global vinyl sales have increased by between 12-13-percent over the past two years thanks to collectors looking to deck out their music rooms and hunt for vintage record finds. Bangkok has it’s own budding vinyl scene hunting for that crate-digging fix. Two of the city’s more well-known store owners are Siwakorn Charupongsa and Jitpol Saenrungmuang, who head up Fatblack Records. They sit down with BK to talk about what it’s like to run a vinyl shop in 2019, and a recent collaboration with BMW to release a special vinyl record, BE MY WORLD, exclusively through Fatblack.

Buffalo, NY | Doris Records: Doris Records Inc is not a kitsch record shop riding the vinyl revival wave. This store is a staple that’s survived since the early days of LP and on through 8tracks, CDs, and the Sam Goodys of the world. Slowly expanding over the years from a one room shop off the corner of Jefferson and E. Ferry, to eventually occupying the whole building, Doris’s has not only survived the change in music formats and distribution, but also the fall and ongoing rise of the city around it… To reiterate, Doris Records is the record store Rick James spent his childhood in, and recognized as a major influence in his career. Don’t believe the story? Then head down to Dorris Records, and ask Big Pete for yourself, he’s most likely there.

Margate, UK | Margate arts and record venue Elsewhere celebrates first birthday with packed weekend event: Margate arts’ bar and record store Elsewhere has announced a packed weekend of live music and DJs to mark its first birthday this month. In keeping with the spirit of last year’s opening weekend, the venue’s birthday celebrations will play host to a cast of local musicians and DJs including Self Esteem, Tunng, Babii, Iglooghost (DJ set) Night Works, JAKL, Charlie Hannah, Jack Goldstein, Vanishing Twin (DJ set) and many more across the nights of Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28. Speaking of The Centre based venue’s inaugural year, Elsewhere’s head programmer Sammy Clarke said: “It’s been an action packed year of triumphs and learning curves at Elsewhere. Despite a few naysayers and doubters early on, we have managed to persevere with the help of an incredible team who go the extra mile every day and a community of musicians, artists and gig-goers who have a seemingly insatiable appetite for night time antics and freedom of expression.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Jonathan Fire*Eater, Tremble Under Boom Lights vinyl reissue in stores 10/18

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “Bands that show indescribable promise, deliver on it for a brief moment, then spectacularly implode are a dime a dozen in rock & roll, but few of their stories are as dramatic, intriguing and, ultimately, as tragic as Jonathan Fire*Eater’s.”The Quietus

Highly influential New York City quintet Jonathan Fire*Eater will reissue an expanded edition of their high-water mark EP “Tremble Under Boom Lights” on October 18 via Third Man Records. Jonathan Fire*Eater is credited in large part with kick-starting the New York City rock & roll revival that birthed The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem and many more, and several of its members eventually went on to form The Walkmen. Originally a tight five-track EP, the Third Man Records reissue of Tremble Under Boom Lights has been expanded to include five additional tracks, including previously-unreleased bonus track “In The Head.” In addition to a new color scheme on the cover artwork, this reissue will be available in two limited colored vinyl variants. A Winston Plum colored vinyl LP is exclusive to indie stores (limited to 500 copies), and a yellow vinyl LP is exclusive to Rough Trade (limited to 300 copies).

In close collaboration with Lupton’s estate, friends, and former bandmates, Third Man Books is proud to realize Jonathan Fire*Eater vocalist Stewart Lupton’s longtime wish to publish a collection of his poems. The Plural Atmosphere is a 45 page limited edition, Risograph printed chapbook of selected poems by Stewart Lupton. The collection, Lupton’s first, will be released alongside the Jonathan Fire*Eater EP reissue on October 18. Both the black vinyl and chapbook will be available to purchase as a bundle.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Ministry: Prescripture, A visual history in stores 12/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “He’s fearless. He’s funny. He’s a diehard hockey fan. I love this man. Complete original. Can’t wait to have his book on my coffee table to make company nervous.”Bill Burr

“There have always been bands full of angst, rage, anger, drama, and theatrics. It was Ministry who first came along at the dawn of the industrial movement, who combined these things so seamlessly, that the audience was about to have its first immersive experience. Not only were the shows a visceral experience, but lyrically, Al was preaching the truth on top of the finely crafted sound of this new musical tonality of aggression and machinery. Loud and aggressive, yes, but also painstakingly put together as a symphonic experience. Al is the real deal. Who we see and hear on stage is who he is; it’s his truth that resonates with so many. Truths that make the disenfranchised feel included and truths that make the common man wish to be among the disenfranchised.”
Dave Navarro, Jane’s Addiction

The fully authorized visual history book, Ministry: Prescripture, by author Aaron Tanner has been announced today via Rolling Stone. Published by Melodic Virtue, the book contains over 200 pages of rare and unseen photos, artwork, and other ephemera that spans Ministry’s entire career. Melodic Virtue raided Uncle Al’s personal collection of behind-the-scenes artifacts and have supplemented those items with contributions from band members past and present along with visual artists, Brian Shanley and Paul Elledge.

Founded in 1981 by Al Jourgensen, Ministry has never stopped evolving. His constant experimentation and stylistic variation morphed the band from it’s synth-pop origins to the industrial juggernaut of today.

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The TVD Storefront

Wallis Bird,
The TVD First Date

“I remember looking up at my dad as he spun vinyl around in his hands, smiling down at me, then the needle came down, music started playing, and he began to silly dance to me!”

“I remember a huge sense of good feeling in me. I thought ‘whatever this is, it makes my dad REALLY happy.” I must have been only a toddler. He still looks at me with that mischievous face when he’s listening to that good ol’ rock and roll! As I got older we moved house and had a billiard room which we often weren’t allowed into—where the vinyl lived. My parents were out for the night and my brothers started playing Dire Straits’ “IIIII want my MTVVVVV,” and they’d turn off the lights for the intro.

It frightened the shit out of me, and that’s when I realized the power of atmosphere in song. That same night they were messing with me because we were explicitly told to be very, very careful with the vinyl and my brother Edgar was being a brat and putting 2 records on top of each other, slowing it down and generally making the LP sound like a demon or a chipmunk. I was curious and scared of vinyl for a long time, because in the hands of the right person (or wrong person!) it could be pleasurable or horrifying to me.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for September 2019, Part Three

Part three of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for September, 2019. Part one is here and part two is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Telepathic Band, Electric Telepathy Vol. 1 (577) The third album from this exceptional five-member NYC group is also the first half of what promises to be an absolute knockout. The Telepathic Band features Daniel Carter on saxophones, clarinet and trumpet, Patrick Holmes on clarinet, Matthew Putman on keyboard, Hilliard Greene on bass, and Federico Ughi on drums, and for this LP they took an improvised earlier recording session back into the studio and created a new thing in collaboration with producer Stelios Mihas, who also contributes guitar. While the four tracks on side two tangle with the finer side of ’70s fusion and robust astral jazz, it’s side one’s 19-minute dive into psychedelia that’s the real grabber here. The Telepathic Band and 577 Records are boundary breakers. A

Joel Paterson, Let It Be Guitar! Joel Patterson Plays The Beatles (Bloodshot) This one unabashedly throws back to an era when technically sharp instrumentalists could carve a livelihood by putting an adept and distinct stamp on their chosen material. To sharpen the description, Chicagoan Paterson’s influences include Les Paul and Chet Adkins as he blends jazz, exotica, blues, rockabilly, western swing and C&W with ease. That’s mucho range, and he’s not about showing off but instead making the right sounds. While the LP’s sleeve enhances the retro angle, the music hits just right (in fact more consistently than some of his influences), and only partly due to the solidity of the source material. Paterson tackles a few later Beatles tunes but seems to prefer the early stuff, and that’s fine with me. A-

somesurprises, S/T (Drawing Room) Seattle’s somesurprises began as the solo project of singer-songwriter Natasha El-Sergany but is now a full-on band. Although there are some cassettes in the discography, this is designated as the debut album, and it establishes El-Sergany as being substantially impacted by the sound of shoegaze. This is cool, and especially because the work transcends expectations (mine, anyway) for this sorta thing. To elaborate, a whole lot of recent shoegaze (neo-shoegaze, if you will), even when it’s (very) good, can be assessed as somewhat or largely formulaic. Not this record, the opening track of which doesn’t even gaze at any shoes at all. Instead, it offers a celestial retro futurist vibe that bookends nicely with the extended closing motorik burner “Cherry Sunshine.” A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICK: Kristin Hersh, Crooked (Fire) Released in 2010, this was Hersh’s eighth full-length, making its vinyl debut here with a new sleeve design. There was a CD issued in ’10 (Fire has a CD out with fresh cover, as well), but Crooked was notably first issued as a book with digital download that included ample extra material; that stuff ain’t here, but that’s alright, as the core is represented, though interestingly with a new track sequence. “Mississippi Kite” opened matters in 2010, but now it’s the fourth track and side one’s closer. This is also alright. Hersh is a writer, and writers are prone to the need to revise. What hasn’t changed is the intensity of her work; I like her stuff in Throwing Muses but tend to love her in solo mode, where the power kick only increases. She’s weathered, but not beaten. A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/19/19

Kelowna, BC | For Kelowna record seller, it’s time to face the music: Vinyl’s on the upswing, but the proverbial series of unfortunate events means Milkcrate Records will be closing forever at the end of the month. “We’re being forced out by our landlord (at 527 Lawrence Ave.),” said Milkcrate owner Richard Rafton. “And then, we signed a deal for a location in the North End for October, November and December to get us through the busy and important Christmas season, but the landlord there reneged. Plan C was a location on Pandosy, but that fell through too.” With only 13 days left in the month and all options exhausted, Rafton has no choice but to reluctantly shutter the business. “My wife and I are both turned 65 this year and she was going to retire,” said Rafton. “Instead, she’s going to have to continue working. And I’m going to have to sell off all the inventory because we’re deeply in debt and find another job, probably something in commercial construction, which is what I did before.”

New York, NY | Bushwick’s Daptone Records Will Host a Stoop Sale Friday With Free Beer: Vinyl collectors, fans of soulful Daptone Records, and beer-drinkers will have a field day at this Friday’s Daptone Super Soul Stoop Sale. The record label is credited with the soul and funk revival of the last decade and a half. One of the label’s first major successes was recording the backing music to Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” as the Dap-Kings. You may also remember the Dap-Kings as Sharon Jones’s permanent backing band, recording seven full-length albums with her before Jones’ untimely death in November of last year. The recording studio is nestled into an unassuming converted house at 115 Troutman St., making it possibly the most unlikely hub for world-class soul and funk out there. This Friday, June 30 between 4 and 8 p.m. come down to the studio for $10 LPs, a 5 for $20 deal on Daptone 45s, and a deal on a limited Sharon Jones Record Store Day recording. Plus, there will be free beer courtesy of local Braven Brewing to sweeten the deal.

Bury, UK | Record store launches blue and white milkshakes to help fundraise and save Bury FC: A record store is “shaking things up” to help save Bury FC. Wax and Beans vinyl and coffee shop has added a new limited edition blue and white milkshake to its menu to show its support for the town’s football side and raise vital funds. All profits made by the shakes over the next week will be donated to the club by the shop. Owners Ben Soothill and Louise Jackson came up with the concept together with a customer who is a huge Shakers fan, and thought it would be a great idea for businesses to get behind efforts to save the club. Mr Soothill said: “We’re delighted as a business that is very close to Gigg Lane to be able to contribute in some positive way to help highlight the fight to save the club. “We have conversations every day with customers that are really hurting about the current situation and we need as a community to join together in support to fight this.”

Anthony Bourdain’s Chef’s Knife, Records & Other Belongings to Be Auctioned: Over 200 items will be on the block this October. Nearly 200 items personally accrued by the late Anthony Bourdain will go to auction next month including a custom chef’s knife, some of his personal record collection, apparel, art, and more. The auction—set for October 9 through October 30—is broken into categories the reflect Bourdain’s varied interests in film, music, art, travel, and cooking. Among items up for auction, via online auction house iGavel, are a custom Bob Kramer steel and meteorite chef’s knife, a U.S. Navy bomber jacket Bourdain received while “leaving Beirut in a hurry in the midst of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict in 2006,” and a small record case with vinyl records from Bourdain’s collection including The Kinks and The Velvet Underground… Per the official auction page, 40 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at The Culinary Institute of America (his alma mater) with remaining proceeds benefiting Anthony Bourdain’s personal estate.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Riot Fest Chicago, 9/13

3:30PM: It’s going to take us 90 minutes to get to Riot Fest thanks to traffic, so my wife and I are busy compiling a list of bands we hope to see play Riot Fest in the future. The highlights from our lengthy discussion include: Spinal Tap (my #1 wish), R.E.M. reunion, Smashing Pumpkins playing Siamese Dream in full, The Fugees, Talking Heads reunion, the band from School of Rock, Led Zeppelin reunion, Ben Folds Five, The Muppets, Tool, Missy Elliott. Pretty solid list, don’t you think?

4:45PM: Made it! The grounds seem more crowded than last year—especially for a Friday. It’s snug.

5:08PM: Neck Deep get some laughter and claps for their cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.”

5:17PM: The Riot Mall is packed with the usual suspects—Fat Wreck Chords, the fake pot candy booth (Chronic Candy), and my favorite To Write Love on Her Arms—and some new faces including a tent simply labeled “I Love Vagina.”

5:42PM: The Violent Femmes are bringing me right back to high school. It’s a crowd sing-a-long—and it’s necessary. The sound is so low they might as well be whispering. Turn that shit up, Riot Fest!

6:55PM: Dashboard Confessional is playing The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most in full at sunset and I’ve witnessed at least 20 people crying.

6:59PM: Over at the Radicals Stage, Pennywise is covering a classic: Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”

7:14PM: Descendents are roaring through their set and packing it with classics (“Everything Sux,” “Hope”). Solid.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Munsters, gray vinyl reissue in stores, 10/11

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Did you know Herman, Grandpa, Lily, Marilyn and Eddie Munster doubled as a rock and roll band?!

Well, despite the subhead on the album proclaiming them as ‘The Newest Teen-Age Singing Group,’ they didn’t but that didn’t stop the label execs at Decca Records from trying to cash in on the new CBS hit TV show! Veteran producers Joe Hooven and Hal Winn had the good sense to hire the Wrecking Crew (most notably Glen Campbell and Leon Russell) to play this surf-tinged set of songs, and brought in The Go-Go’s (nope, not those Go-Go’s, they were just out of diapers’this was a male vocal trio that cut one LP for RCA back in 1964, the same year this record came out) to sing the lyrics to such gems as ‘You Created a Monster’ and ‘Make It Go Away.’

The whole thing is a hoot, and a highly collectible hoot at that—original copies of this album command ‘monstrous’ sums! Aaron Kannowski remastered our reissue, and for this vinyl reissue, we’ve pressed up a limited edition of 1000 copies in ghoulish gray vinyl. Get ready to do the Munster creep this Halloween and beyond!

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Graded on a Curve: Ecstatic Vison,
Raw Rock Fury

Ecstatic Vision’s 2017’s Raw Rock Fury is a double-headed beast. On one hand it includes a couple of the most devastating blasts of sonic power to come down the pike since the Stooges’ Fun House. On the other, it contains some of the best Krautrock autobahn boogie this side of Hawkwind and Neu!.

Those are some bold claims, I know. But them’s what my ears tell me, and my ears haven’t lied since they proclaimed Black Oak Arkansas the next Beatles (and they weren’t really lying, cuz they shoulda been!). But they’re right on this one; on Raw Rock Fury–which more than lives up to its title–Ecstatic Vision prove they’re the City of Brotherly Love’s best exploding act since Phil “Chicken Man” Testa.

My pal and world-renowned musical expert Bill Barnett recently saw Ecstatic Vision play live, and he reported their set included covers of both “TV Eye” and Hawkwind’s “Master of the Universe,” so the band is hardly attempting to deny its influences. But they’re anything but a tribute act.

Both “You Got It or You Don’t” and “Keep It Loose” take the anarchic energy of 1970’s Fun House to whole new levels. Which is something the Stooges themselves couldn’t do; in comparison 1971’s Raw Power–and it would be wrong to place all of the blame on producer David Bowie–sounds positively emaciated. And they infuse their takes on Krautrock/psych-rock with some good old Stooges punch.

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The TVD Storefront

Independent Minded: A podcast with Ron Scalzo: Baroness

The Independent Minded podcast features conversations with indie artists in the music and entertainment business.

Pop culture legends “Weird Al” Yankovic and Henry Rollins, indie icons CAKE, Gogol Bordello and Mike Doughty, and up-and-coming indie artists The Districts and Vagabon talk about their experiences in the business, their inspirations and passions, and their recent projects.

The podcast is hosted by Ron Scalzo, an indie musician and radio producer with 9 self-released albums and an independent record label of his own, Bald Freak Music.

Baroness, Episode 104 | Episode 104 features John Baizley of Savannah, Georgia heavy metal band Baroness. John talks about cut-off t-shirts, critical acclaim, giving the fans their money’s worth, and why he’s not comfortable with having his signature on your arm. Songs from Baroness featured on the podcast include “Throw Me An Anchor” and “I’d Do Anything.” Find out more about Baroness at

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Solid Bronze,
The Fruit Basket

The core of Solid Bronze is Ian Everett and George Miller, both New Jersey residents with a loud-and-clear love of the soulful and funky. This fact is evidenced on The Fruit Basket, their full-length debut, a deliciously off-kilter ’70s-styled groove-fest spiced with strains of jazziness, touches of reggae, and excursions into psychedelia. Recorded and co-produced by Dean Ween with notable guests including Atlanta-based hip-hop artist CLEW, Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley, Ween/ Blood, Sweat & Tears keyboardist Glenn McClelland, and Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist Michael Hampton, this last name is quite appropriate as the influence of P-Funk is strongly felt. It’s out now on LP via Schnitzel Records.

Earlier this year, Solid Bronze released a 45 featuring The Fruit Basket album track “The Invisible Man.” It was and remains an enjoyable little number, but it was backed with a dub mix of the track by Lee “Scratch” Perry, not in itself a bad thing (to the contrary, the version added to the general positive vibrations of Perry’s most recent comeback), it just didn’t necessarily provide further insight into Everett and Miller’s overall thing.

That Michael Hampton contributed guitar to “The Invisible Man” did present a clue into one possible avenue in Solid Bronze’s roadmap, though just as prominent in the track is the Auto-Tuned crooning of Atlanta rapper CLEW, along with a contrasting deep voice offering spoken smoothness of a decidedly ’70s comportment.

But The Fruit Basket’s opener “Papa’s Bug” jumps right into buoyant Clinton-esque funkiness with wiggly tech flourishes and unperturbed vocalizing that also nods back a bit to Sly Stone. It’s an appetizing start that’s followed by the slower groove of “The Invisible Man” as Hampton’s soloing accents the psychedelia in Solid Bronze’s equation. From there, “Hard to Keep the Faith” introduces a danceable mid-tempo spiked with saxophones and capped with sharp jazzy jaunts and an instrumental passage putting keyboards and additional rock guitar action squarely in the foreground.

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