TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Phish
at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 7/26

We have a long history of naming bands after animals. To name a few, we have The Monkees, The Arctic Monkeys, The Turtles, Whitesnake, The Eagles, Grizzly Bear, and Flock of Seagulls. There’s Dr. Dog, Temple of the Dog, Snoop Dog, Three Dog Night, and Blue Oyster Cult. We adore acts like The Stray Cats, Kitten, Ratt, The Eagles of Death Metal, Counting Crows, The Black Crowes, and Animal Collective. There’s even Mastadon, and the Unicorns—extinct and/or fantasy creatures. And then there’s Phish.

No one saw it coming when Phish hit the scene in the mid 1980s cleverly morphing the spelling of Fish to Phish, and in doing so, ingraining their brand permanently into musical culture. The band is actually named after their drummer Jon Fishman, but that’s a whole other story.

If you don’t already know about Phish, they are one of the most prolific and celebrated jam bands in today’s music scene and Saturday night marked night one of their two-day stay at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. Phish is known for playing to a very lively, very large and enthusiastic crowds on every stop of their tours. Saturday evening in Maryland? No different.

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The TVD Storefront

Festival Fast Talk: Daltn

We continue our Bonnaroo coverage of Festival Fast Talks we did at the Red Bull Music Academy‘s Basscamp. The Basscamp was a Red Bull mini-school pulling 20 producers from the region, offering them studio time in rooms packed with gear and talks with Mannie Fresh and Thundercat, and encourging them to create and collaborate in their cooldown time from the festival.

Producers involved covered all types of varying electronic sound. One that I was able to talk to quickly was daltn, a house producer whose sound is developed from equal handfuls of thick grooves and relaxing vibes. He creates slow-build atmospheric heavy house tunes that are full of rich synth work and optimistic chord progressions that revolve around tightly locked grooves.

How did you start making music?

I initially started playing guitar in bands, and then I played the drums for a bit. I eventually gravitated towards DJing and producing music with drum machines and synthesizers.

How I started DJing is a funny story, actually; I used to have band practice in my old house in Miami that was empty since it got foreclosed. We were a rock band with a cellist that wanted to sound like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Around then I started to delve deeper into dance music, and I decided to sell some gear and buy a handful of records and some turntables. I set them up in the space and started throwing parties after our practices, and I was having so much fun that eventually I dove in and sold all my guitar gear and bought records and a copy of Logic.

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Allah-Las, “No Werewolf”

Retro revivalists Allah-Las have just released the video for “No Werewolf,” a striking cover of The Frantics’ classic. Steeped in West Coast garage rock and roll, Latin percussion and electric folk, Allah-Las add a little wanderlust to the classic rock nugget while indulging their love for 1960s rock.

The video was entirely produced in Russia by the sculptor artist Mikhail Sadovnikov who was inspired to recreate a “dance on the circle” out of wet clay on his potter’s wheel. It’s a surprisingly mesmerizing addition to the fuzzed out audio of “No Werewolf” which adds an appropriate edge to the artsy-fartsy nature of the video.

Allah-Las’ second album, Worship The Sun is out September 16th on Innovative Leisure, the LA-based label which is quickly becoming known for its noisy throwback roster. In fact, one of their 2014 breakthrough artists, Nick Waterhouse acted as in house producer on Worship The Sun.

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TVD New Orleans

The Maple Leaf Bar to feature “Slide Hellions” Wednesdays in August

With a steady schedule nearly every night of the week, Wednesdays at the Maple Leaf Bar have been the wild card. July featured a “no smoking” residency by the latest “buzz band,” Tank and the Bangas. Expect to see some of the best slide guitarists in town in August. Free BBQ Sliders will be on the menu.

Brint Anderson (pictured at top) of George Porter, Jr’s Runnin’ Pardners is featured every week. The series kicks off on August 6 with Chris Mulé and John Lisi. August 13th, Camile Baudoin and John Fohl join him. Fohl returns on August 20 with Colin Lake.

The series culminates on August 27th with Jake Eckert and Papa Mali.

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TVD UK

The Single Girl:
Scary People,
“Guided By The Blind”

Scary People return with another souped-up, dirty, drawling rock track that is fast becoming their signature sound. New single “Guided By The Blind” follows hot on the heels of two EPs in little over a year, an appearance at the flagship Scottish festival T in The Park, and a forthcoming tour that will see the band continue to impress with their flawless live show.

“Guided By The Blind” chugs, snaps, and ultimately builds into a good old-fashioned, foot-stomping alt-rock song. The track highlights a band at the top of their game technically and further enhances frontman Daniel Forouhar as an emotive presence who’s voice adds a crooning sexiness to proceedings—like a Scottish Mike Patton.

It’s easy to see why Scary People are starting to create a bit of buzz North of the border and, if they continue on this trajectory, it won’t be long until the conquer the rest of the UK.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Karen Haglof,
Western Holiday

Those nutty over ‘80s NYC noise-rock and its attendant loose categorization New Music have likely heard Karen Haglof, for she was a player in the guitar ensemble of Rhys Chatham and a member of the undersung Band of Susans. Haglof eventually redirected her energies into the medical profession as a hematologist/oncologist in affiliation with New York University Hospital, but of late she’s scratched a reignited creative itch and produced her debut solo effort, the very appealing blend of bluesy Americana and big city guitar pop Western Holiday.

Prior to moving to New York City Karen Haglof was a resident of Minneapolis and in fact that’s where she began playing music. Subsequent to a trip east she strapped on the six-string under the name Karen Indiana in the trio the Crackers with fellow Minneapolitans Jay Peck, later of the Figures and Let’s Active, and Steve Almaas, previously of the terrific Suicide Commandos (‘78’s Make a Record is a punk classic) and thereafter of Beat Rodeo.

By ’83 Haglof was in cahoots with Rhys Chatham, appearing on the composer’s Factor X, a now scarce LP issued by the German Moers Music label. Roughly three years later she was part of the side-long title composition on Chatham’s brilliant Die Donnergötter. Amongst her cohorts on the track was Robert Poss; together with future Helmet honcho Page Hamilton and drummer Ron Spitzer, Haglof comprised the second lineup of Poss and Susan Stenger’s Band of Susans, her axe a component on their strongest release, 89’s Love Agenda.

She then followed an admirable detour into a medical career. Losing tabs on the scene is not unusual in this circumstance (she’s described her occupational focus as workaholic), but along with conversations with her old (and recently departed) Minneapolis friend and guitar teacher Jeff Hill, catching a screening of the documentary It Might Get Loud helped to reignite Haglof’s creativity.

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TVD Cleveland

TVD Live: Honeyblood and Jenna Fournier at the Grog Shop, 7/25

PHOTOS: ORIANA BELAVIC | Potential can be a real bitch sometimes. When you have potential, you have the tools to succeed and have a level of talent that is far above your peers. You’re right there and you can see success over the horizon. However, on the flip side, that horizon is so far away. Forget the hard work and all the bullshit to get to the place you want to be, sometime there’s just dumb luck and breaks that need to happen to get there.

Last Friday night at the Grog Shop, I saw two acts that I would bet on making it on the music scene—Honeyblood and Jenna Fournier.

I swear this Honeyblood thing is going to happen. However, you’d never know from their show at the Grog Shop that this is a band I’d be ready to bet on. The club wasn’t packed or raucous by any means; sparsely attended with a good number of those people being friends/family of the two local openers.

But while watching Honeyblood play, it all makes sense why you could see them reach an impressive level of success and is a band worthy of your attention.

First of all, sonically they are completely infectious and their sound takes you back to the distorted oasis that was the ’90s. It’s a fuzzy and crunchy mix of alt rock with hooks that are catchy as hell. Singer/guitarist Stina Tweeddale (bonus point for an awesome name) has a bubblegum sweetness to her voice that makes every song approachable, but there’s a smirk or darkness that lays just around the corner of every word. Drummer Shona McVicar provides a simple backbone and adds layers of harmonies that bring the songs to life.

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TVD Philadelphia

TVD Recommends:
The Baseball Project at World Cafe Live, 7/28

The rock supergroup featuring members of Dream Syndicate and R.E.M. come to steal home in Philadelphia tonight! 

While the Phillies might not be the most exciting team to watch right now, another team is coming to town tonight for what’s sure to be an instant classic. Their lineup is full of all-stars and hall of famers who have come together to form one mighty new team, The Baseball Project. Earlier this year they released their third album, aptly named 3rd, on Yep Roc Records and this evening The Baseball Project make their way to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia as they travel around the East coast.

Joining forces in 2007, The Baseball Project began as a way for Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus 5, R.E.M.) and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3) to show their love for their favorite sport. It has since evolved to now include three more members: Zuzu’s Petals/Steve Wynn drummer Linda Pitmon and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Mike Mills. As a bit of a pre-game preview, we caught up with cofounder McCaughey. We chatted about the beginnings of The Baseball Project, McCaughey’s favorite ball players and just exactly how he thinks the Phillies can turn things around. Ruban Amarro, Jr. you might want to take notes!

What was it about baseball that first attracted you to the sport?

That’s a good question. I don’t know if I can really remember, I was such a little kid when I started getting into baseball. I was probably 7 or 8 years old, ya know? I just started throwing a ball around with my friends, playing catch with my dad, and all that stuff you do.

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The TVD Storefront

Coves, The TVD First Date & Vinyl Giveaway

“I pretty much listen to music almost constantly. Like most people in the city I walk the streets with my headphones in streaming music, I sit at work making playlists on Spotify, and listening to albums people have uploaded to Youtube.”

“The way I look at music formats is similar to how I look at red wine. Often I’ll just want to get drunk, convenience is the key, a box of wine can be drunk anywhere, a bag can be smuggled into events/bars and has more filthy booze than a bottle. If I am at home though, and I have the money, I’ll want to enjoy the wine, enjoy the flavours, and eventually get drunk.

Luckily I was a child when it was fashionable to chuck out your high quality analogue hi-fi separates system and vinyl and buy some tacky Aiwa Hifi and a bunch of CDs. At the age of six I inherited a Technics record player, Technics amplifier, some big old wooden speakers, and a super fine collection of sixties rock ‘n’ roll, soul, prog, psychedelic rock, and was instantly hooked.

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The TVD Storefront

Zepparella,
The TVD Interview

When I first listened to Zepparella, I wasn’t sure what to think at. I hadn’t previously given a lot of thought to tribute bands, but I hearing these ladies just crush some Led Zeppelin, I was blown away. I always dug the fact that they weren’t a carbon copy of Zep. They played it close enough to pay tribute, yet put enough of their own flair into it to really stand out.

Currently on a tour of the US, Zepparella had a show coming up at Jammin’ Java, and I was asked if I would interview guitarist Gretchen Menn, and drummer Clementine, the founding member of Zepparella. Their love of Zeppelin’s music goes deeper than your typical horn-throwing rock fanatic, and they are each outstanding musicians in their own right. I jumped at the opportunity, and after sound check was over, I was privileged to sit with Gretchen and Clementine, and among other things, ponder the possibility of a Loverboy tribute band.

What’s the latest with Zepparella?

Gretchen Menn: Well, we are a little more than halfway into this first kind of big, nationwide tour. Busy, playing a lot, driving a lot. Meeting new people. A lot of people have been supporting us for a long time.

Take us back to the beginning. Did it all start as a jam that grew into something bigger, or was the intent to pay homage all along?

Clementine: Gretchen and I were in a band that wasn’t playing as much as we wanted to play. I told her that I had always wanted to learn the catalog of Zeppelin, and she said she had wanted to do that too. We decided that we were going to get together and learn Bonham and Page stuff, and then pretty quickly we said “If we’re gonna do this, we should do it on stage.”

It’s not an easy feat, learning Bonham and Page. You say it very casually, “Oh, we’re just gonna learn some Bonham and Page.”

[Laughs all around] GM: Well, part of it is that we knew if we did it on stage, we’d be a lot more accountable. It’s one thing to get together and jam on stuff, but if you really want to go the distance and really make a study of something, it’s really helpful actually, to have the response of other people and the accountability of other people to make sure you’re really taking it seriously.

C: Plus, to be able to play with not just Page, but to play with John Paul Jones’ parts, and Plant parts too, I understand more fully why Bonham played what he did. What he was supporting, what he was hearing at that moment. It becomes really, kind of a deep musical experience.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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