The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Deep Purple,
Long Beach 1971

Some bands take things too far; other bands take things to the very limits of human endurance. Such was the case with Deep Purple live. They felt they were doing their audiences a disservice if they played a song shorter than 11 minutes, and they preferred to go 20. And the English heavy metal legends weren’t just long-winded; they were loud as well. None other than the Guinness Book of World Records declared the Purple “the globe’s loudest band” following a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre.

I have no problem with loud, but the band’s longevity is another matter. A 20-minute song inevitably turns into a horrendous jam, with lots of stoppages for the singer to utter fatuous comments and for the drummer to demonstrate his chops. Which is why Deep Purple hasn’t aged nearly as well as its contemporaries Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. They didn’t have that guy at the side of the stage drawing a finger across his neck as a sign for them to shut up and move onto the next tune.

Take Long Beach 1971. It consists of four songs and goes on for almost 70 minutes, and in short is an abomination. No one not blotto on heavy downers could have survived such a show. On the band’s best albums—1971’s Fireball, 1972’s Machine Head, and 1974’s Burn—they kept things short, which is why human beings can still listen to these records with a modicum of enjoyment, if Deep Purple’s amalgam of Jon Lord’s ham-fisted organ playing, Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar pyrotechnics, and the otherworldly vocals of first Ian Gillian and then David Coverdale are their thing.

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The TVD Storefront

AFFAIRS: The TVD First Date and Video Premiere, “Brothers”

“To me, listening to a vinyl record is the audible equivalent of putting my feet up in front a coal fire. It’s the hiss, crackle, and general analogue warmth that soon gets me nostalgic for Christmases at home. This may not sound like your average record lover’s interpretation, but for me vinyl is very much something I associate with home and family.”

“This might not sound so strange given how I first got into records. I was roughly 12 or 13 and my Dad had offered me his study/studio as my own bedroom on the condition that it continued to store some of his music equipment. To most this might have been irritating, for me it was probably a touch inspiring. Amongst the goodies I had acquired was a 16 track recorder and computer with music recording software. It is probably not too unrealistic to say that this started me on my music production path.

But anyway back to vinyl, as you probably guessed I was left his record player. It wasn’t actually a few years after I got my own room that I took proper notice of this gem. However, I remember the first time I lifted the needle and placed it on one of my Dad’s Hendrix records. From that moment on I was hooked. I continued to go through all of his music collection, some was good and some was bad. My personal favourites had to be Radiohead’s The Bends and The Jam’s Setting Sons. Without sounding all mushy it gave me an insight to what it must have been like to be my dad when he was young listening to those records.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/9/15

Mindbomb Records: one of the downtown community’s newest additions, “One of the downtown business community’s newest additions, Mindbomb Records, opened their doors this April on Record Store Day, and they seek to fill a gap in the Niagara business scene by specialising in new vinyl records.”

22 of the UK’s best record stores: “The vinyl revival shows no signs of slowing, as music lovers are held in the grip of the romance of owning your favourite records in their ultimate form – on a beautiful vinyl record. But there’s more to it than just the sound of vinyl, the beautiful artwork and the physical act of dropping the needle – we’re also blessed with so many amazing record stores.”

RIAA: Vinyl Sales Leap Again, “Meanwhile, every couple of blog posts, industry pundit Bob Lefsetz, in his “Lefsetz Letter,” decides that it’s all a bunch of hipster hype and that vinyl ain’t never coming back, baby, because all those urban and pop music fans are gone, gone, way gone on streaming, baby. Whatever, Bob…”

The vinyl industry is still booming, relatively speaking: “In news that should surprise neither record store clerks nor anyone who’s actually been in a record store lately, vinyl sales are still on the rise. The RIAA just released its mid-year stats for 2015, which found that vinyl sales are up 52.1 percent compared to this time last year, accounting for about $226 million in total sales.”

Hitting the Rewind Button and Back in the Groove: Baylor expert muses on quasi-comeback of cassettes, vinyl: “Baylor University’s Robert Darden, professor of journalism, public relations and new media and a longtime champion of vinyl, has helped rescue countless warped and scratched records from “the golden age of black gospel music” to digitize them through Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP). He talks about the vintage-goes-modern music scene.”

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: WPOC Weekend in the Country at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10/3 & 10/4

Not even the threat of a hurricane could hold back the country faithful from this year’s WPOC Weekend in the Country. The annual event, held at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, has been a mainstay for country fans for decades.

This year’s lineup featured a new school of country heavyweights like Brantley Gilbert (below) and Sam Hunt, as well as family favorites like Thompson Square and Parmlee. Newcomers like Maren Morris (above), Kelsea Ballerini, Cam, and Chris Jansen, as well as local favorites LoCash, rounded out this year’s line-up.

The event was a virtual hodge podge of music from the classic country style of Mo Pitney to borderline pop music with a country twist from Kelsea Ballerini. The young pop country sweetheart turned heads with a medley of over the top, pop tunes from artists like ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears. This was sandwiched between her chart topping singles which hooked the country radio crowd instantly. This was also rounded out by some straight forward rock and roll.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Premiere: Auna Sims, “Right Place”

“Go tell you own story/ Go chase you own dreams,” sings Auna Sims on her debut single, “Right Place,” an exploration of identity reminiscent of ’90s singer/songwriters. “I wrote this song when I was struggling with the ‘Why try again’ questions,” said Sims. Right before she was to audition for the head of the Symphony in her native city of Atlanta, she was suddenly struck by an idiopathic injury to her hand and arm–meaning it was from an unexplained source.

She was prodigiously gifted piano player who grew up the oldest of ten musically gifted children in a house where music infused everything, and had studied classical performance all throughout her childhood and adolescence. Auna was prepared to embark on a post-secondary education centered around the study of the piano. She was devastated.

Music consumed Auna though, and she persevered. Always a fan of classical music, her tastes broadened to include indie music and pop music–insofar as The Beatles and the like mean pop music. Because she had to create, because there was no version of herself that does not make songs come into being, she began to play the piano one-handed. Within these limitations, she developed her performance and her voice. She kept the music to herself and she wrote song after song.

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TVD New Orleans

Carly Meyers and Adam Gertner of Yojimbo launch ROAR!

A new pop-punk band was recently born in the city of New Orleans. ROAR! blends electronics with live instruments and vocals to create infectious songs that get stuck in your brain.

Carly Meyers is known for her energetic stage presence. She first came to many music lovers’ attention as a member of percussionist Mike Dillon’s band. But she was also playing in New Orleans and touring the country with Adam Gertner in Yojimbo. They are currently on the road for their last tour as Yojimbo supporting Animal Liberation Orchestra.

She is a trombonist from the get-go but has added electronic marimba, you have to hear it to get it, and punk-edged vocals to her considerable arsenal.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Video and Song Premiere: The Mosers, “Cold Hearted Girl”

“We wanted this video to be a summation of who we are and what we’re about rather than a smoke and mirrors show. (Director) Daniel Iglesias Jr. (The Neighbourhood, X Ambassadors, Bad Suns) encapsulated everything we are as a whole; a group of friends, and a group of guys who just want to play rock music.”

‘Cold Hearted Girl’ is a great representation of our music. It has the roller coaster dynamics of the rock songs we love and the brutally honest lyrics we try to write. Within one listen you get what the song is about. I’m sure everyone can relate to the topic. That’s why we went with ‘Cold Hearted’ for the first single.”
Mikey Pellegrino

New Jersey pop rockers The Mosers deliver unbridled kiss off to one cold hearted girl.

We have the pleasure of premiering the four piece’s single and accompanying video for “Cold Hearted Girl” exclusively to the readers of TVD. If you’re a fan of modern rock ‘n’ roll, I can promise you that these Jersey boys deliver the goods—and would even go so far as to call this single a bona fide smash.

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A Badge of Friendship,
The Podcast

The gang at A Badge Of Friendship are back at full capacity for this Thursday’s podcast as Ed returns from his Greek retreat.

They’re joined on the phone by very special guests, Charlotte Krol from The Line Of Best Fit and Andrew from When The Gramaphone Rings, who get down to brass tacks about why they love writing about music and give us an insight into what tracks they’ve fallen in love with this month.

You’ll barely be able to contain your excitement over the news that it’s finally happened—the features are back, and they’re weirder, cheesier, and lovelier than ever. Paul gives Run For Cover Records some love, while Claire breaks out the cheddar over Cuckoolander’s latest track, “Mother Nature,” and Ed takes us to the mashed up world of DJ BC, Philip Glass, and The Beastie Boys.

Music heard live on the show cannot be heard on this podcast but check out the tracks featured on this week’s show below:

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Glenn Mercer,
Incidental Hum

Glenn Mercer is a key figure in guitar-pop history, with his most important roles being vocalist, string-bender, and songwriter in New Jersey titans The Feelies. He’s also been a factor in numerous related projects across the decades, and on October 9th Bar None Records doubles his solo discography through the release of Incidental Hum, an all-instrumental affair featuring twelve originals and three covers. It’s available on LP, CD, and digital.

Way back before the beginning there was the Out Kids, the group’s membership including Mercer, drummer Dave Weckerman, and later bassist Bill Million. Initially specializing in versions of ‘60s garage rock, they eventually transitioned to originals and played gigs in late ‘70s NYC; after an irate lead singer ushered the Out Kids to an end, a few adjustments were made and The Feelies were born.

Released in 1980, Crazy Rhythms stands as their essential document and one of the finest albums of its decade, gleaming like a beacon at the historical intersection of Velvets-derived post-punk and the ensuing college radio aided jangle-pop explosion; head and shoulders above the legions of bands they influenced, if Mercer had contributed to nothing else his placement in the annals of recorded music would be secure.

The Feelies went on to cut three more LPs before breaking up in the early ‘90s, and along the way Mercer took part in offshoots the Trypes (Acute Records’ retrospective Music for Neighbors is excellent), Yung Wu (who left behind ‘87’s nifty Shore Leave) and the Willies; post-dissolution (they’ve since reunited) he formed Wake Ooloo for a series of discs, played in True Wheel and Sunburst, and in 2007 issued his debut solo effort Wheels in Motion on the Pravda label.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/8/15

Alice Cooper played a surprise reunion with his original band at Good Records: “Good Records has hosted many great in-store signings and shows, but Tuesday night, they made rock ‘n’ roll history when all of the surviving members of the Alice Cooper Group played an 8-song set.

Calgary vinyl record buff get ready for annual collectors’ show: “It’s no spin — Calgarians love their vinyl. So when the Calgary Music Collectors Show holds its annual fall gathering at the Acadia Recreation Centre Oct. 25, organizers expect hundreds of audiophiles and tune treasure hunters to come through the doors.”

The 8 Best Record Shops in Bristol: “Bristol is one of the UK’s most fertile musical cities, home to post-punk legends like The Pop Group, trip-hop greats Portishead and Massive Attack, and more recently synonymous with bass-oriented bedroom producers like Julio Bashmore, Addison Groove, Joker and Shante Celeste.”

‘Dust & Grooves’: One-on-one with the world’s most obsessive record collectors: “Hypothetical situation: it’s 2008, you’re a professional photographer who’s just moved to the U.S., and you can’t find a job. Oh, and you also love vinyl. What do you do?”

The Vinyl Staircase: A New Column About Record Buying Misery By John Doran: “I have to leave the record in the bag the entire way home lest my sweaty palms, ripple the sleeve. When I get back to my flat, my hands are shaking so much I can barely put the stylus on the record. This is going to be the one – the masterpiece I’ve been waiting my whole life for.”

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