The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Parlour Tricks “Broken Hearts/ Bone”

Parlour Tricks finds beauty in the mundane with pop-driven gem, “Broken Hearts/Bone.”

There is a lot that can go down within a 5-minute run to the local quickie mart, especially if there’s luxurious indie pop playing over the loudspeaker. And if the airwaves belong to the NY-based Parlour Tricks, things are bound to get messy.

If you’re thinking a bass grinding soundtrack might behoove acting on your animal urges in the popcorn aisle, think again. Parlour Tricks need only to lay down their honey dipped harmonies over finger snaps and twinkling piano for these Sunday shoppers to lose their minds.

The band is on tour throughout March.

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TVD New Orleans

Herlin Riley’s brand new New Direction arrives in stores today, 2/12

PHOTO: ANNA WEBBER | Herlin Riley is a drummer who makes his instrument sing. His resume is vast and long—and here comes another great collection of tunes solidifying his status as not just one of the greatest sidemen of his generation, but as an outstanding bandleader and composer.

For the new album, Riley has surrounded himself with a band of young musicians who will undoubtedly go on the spread the gospel of New Orleans-centric jazz. Russell Hall, a bassist from Jamaica, more than holds his own in anchoring the rhythm section echoing Riley’s syncopated beats and providing sonic depth to the music.

Trumpeter Bruce Harris and Haitian saxophonist Godwin Louis are the drummer’s secret weapons. I spent the better part of the recent Carnival season listening to the album without the benefit of the liner notes while riding around in my car. My ear was constantly pulled to their melodic gifts and exuberant solos while trying to figure out who was playing.

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The TVD Storefront

Murals,
The TVD First Date

“My first real experience with a record/record player was Christmas one year when my brother rolled out this towering stereo system along with the album Go Bo Diddley and a Pittsburgh Pirates hat. We stood there listening to the guitar intro to “Crackin’ Up” and the first snare hit on the next track “I’m Sorry” over and over again. It just sounded so good. Later in the evening he (my brother) gave me a chest wall contusion as well… ’twas a great Christmas and one of the best.

“I think the coolest record I own is Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s Safe as Milk. I also received this one as a gift, and I love it not just because of the magical music, but because came on white vinyl. What a great lookin’ package…

I remember buying a lot of albums and CDs as a young boy because of the covers. Albums like Meat Puppets II, Captain Beefheart’s Doc at the Radar Station. I don’t do that so much anymore, but it served me well. Most were bought at Louisville’s flagship store Ear X-Tacy RIP. The first vinyl record I bought in a store might have to have been Suicide. I heard “Cheree” and had to have it. “Keep Your Dreams” is a blessing as well.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: American Music Club, Everclear

Mark Eitzel, American music’s poet laureate of the alcoholic undertow, has never gotten his props. During his time with his band American Music Club he put out a number of great albums, each one more besotted than the last, and managed to write what I consider the best song (by far!) of the nineties, “Johnny Mathis’ Feet.”

So what if he brutalized me in comments following a review I wrote of a show at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C. What really hurt was his saying, “If I’m as down as you say I am – then what gives you the right to kick me?” I wasn’t kicking you, Mark, I love you man—I was just unhappy that you were moving in the direction of stripped down torch songs, which have never been my cup of meat.

Ah, but that’s bourbon under the bridge. I will always consider Eitzel a genius, what with his way of both bumming you out and making you laugh with his songs about himself and his burned-out friends. He can turn a phrase and has a surgeon’s eye for just where to put the scalpel in, and these gifts are, I think, on best display on 1991’s Everclear. It led Rolling Stone magazine to declare Eitzel the Songwriter of the Year in 1991, but didn’t up his band’s exposure any; as Eitzel sadly noted later, “The next show there were about 20 people in the audience. And they were army guys and they thought American Music Club were some righteous American freedom-fighting, cool ass Springsteen-influenced Guns N’ Roses kind of guys. And we did not rock.”

And we did not rock. Sad words, those. And inaccurate to boot, because on Everclear American Music Club does intermittently rock, in a way that brings to mind another great underrated indie band, Lambchop. Take “Crabwalk,” a herky-jerky revel that opens with the great lines, “He reels around the nightclub/Like the hubcaps off of a car/That just crashed into a sign that said/‘This way to the nightclub’” and proceeds to compare said nightclub, due to alcoholic lack of equilibrium, to the rolling deck of a ship at sea. There’s also some stuff about fishing for tires and staring down jukeboxes, if they float your boat.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/12/16

Vinyl showrunner Terence Winter picks his favorite vinyl record: “The first album I ever bought was Goat’s Head Soup,” he says. “It all started there. It came out in 1973, the year the show takes place. I think I bought it with my birthday money for my thirteenth birthday. I’d been buying 45s up to that point. I went to a live show of theirs [recently] and it was so cool that they pulled ‘Silver Train’ out.”

LA store unearths 8,000 record haul of rare soundtrack vinyl: Pre-digital entertainment mecca The Record Parlour has uncovered an unprecedented, lifetime collection of OST vinyl. It’s the largest collection of vinyl soundtracks they’ve ever encountered and likely one of the biggest of its kind in the States. The “world class” collection was acquired from a Long Beach sheriff who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

Ryerson makes moves to restore Sam the Record Man sign to public view: Years after Sam the Record Man’s neon vinyl was dismantled and stored out of view, the sign’s keepers at Ryerson University are now starting the process of restoring it in earnest…When Ryerson purchased the prominent Yonge St. location — now home to the university’s new Student Learning Centre — council quickly moved to designate the late Sam Sniderman’s sign as city heritage.

Vintage and vinyl reign in Salisbury antique shop: The most notable example of the “sell well” category is the shop’s collection of 1,200 vinyl records, highlighting 1970s-era rock music. “We try to stay with the trends,” Bill said. “It’s a huge trend now people are buying records and record players again.”

Shoals record store could be on its final spin: After nearly 40 years in business, Pegasus Records in Florence plans to close its doors if they can not find a buyer by the end of next month. “Pegasus is just an institution,” said Luke Hunter, local musician and regular at Pegasus Records. “The possibility that it wouldn’t be here is just kind of shocking more than anything.” From records to comic books and everything in between, if you name it, chances are Pegasus has it.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Ornette Coleman Trio, At the Golden Circle Stockholm Volume One

Ornette Coleman is most often associated with his numerous quartets, but his Blue Note debut found him exploring the possibilities of the trio configuration. At the Golden Circle Stockholm Volume One is the first half of that journey into addition by subtraction; it not only inaugurates the highpoint of Coleman’s Blue Note run, it also stands amongst the very greatest work the trailblazing saxophonist has recorded.

The end of the 1980s was swiftly approaching, and the jury was still out on the music of Ornette Coleman. The temporary reign of compact discs was well underway, and it gradually became easier to actually hear (instead of just read about) the sounds that so divided jazz at the dawn of its most tumultuous decade. However, for my first two Coleman purchases I had to settle for cassettes. Until the CD reissues of Ornette’s Atlantic efforts began showing up in the racks (or more appropriately put, started getting listed in catalogs as being available for purchase), hearing the man’s groundbreaking early material was a struggle. Even the ‘70s fusion work with Prime Time and his ‘80s albums were difficult to locate.

What’s more, none of the meager number of older jazz heads I’d become acquainted with at that point appreciated him; when the subject arose a few were downright dismissive. And dialing the handful of jazz radio programs that my stereo tuner managed to pick up in the wee hours of the AM proved just as futile.

I’ll never forget the short but pleasant conversation I had with one of those DJs, the voice of the gent on the other end of the line informing me that he loved Coleman but had sworn off playing him due to the swarm of angry calls he’d receive in response. So deep was the animosity over a divergence from and perceived threat to the post-bop standard that nearly 30 years later merely offering it on the radio brought an influx of opprobrium via the telephone.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
David Sylvian,
Brilliant Trees

When UK new wavers Japan broke up in 1982, the members predictably splintered off into various directions, and the highest profiles belonged to Mick Karn and David Sylvian. Over the decades the latter has amassed a solo and collaborative discography of unlikely reach and impressiveness; however, giving a fresh listen to ‘84’s Brilliant Trees makes abundantly clear Sylvian’s career trajectory isn’t as surprising as it might initially seem.

Upon consideration, very few musicians who made their name in the pop sphere have aged as well as David Sylvian. Of course, this is mainly due to his choice after Japan’s dissolution (they briefly reunited for one self-titled ’91 album under the name Rain Tree Crow) to gradually leave the milieu that fostered his initial reputation. The subsequent journey led him into the outlying territories of experimentation and the avant-garde, though this shouldn’t give the false impression that Sylvian’s post-Japan oeuvre is devoid of pop elements.

As a youngster of the ‘80s, I knew little of Japan, my discovery of Sylvian supplied by his ’87 collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Secrets of the Beehive. The introduction was made through the frequent play and promotion of said disc by my hometown Mom & Pop record mart, an enterprise also involved in the sale of high end stereo equipment.

To my teen mind any system comprised of separate components was high end, and at the time Secrets of the Beehive basically eluded me, as did much “deep-listening” material attached to ambient, new age, minimalism, art-pop etc. Reengaging with Sylvian as a mature adult provided, if not an epiphany than another instance aiding the realization that artistic assessments work in tandem with personal growth, therefore flouting finality.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Repo Man (OST)

The life of a repo man is always intense. I know this because I have, at last count, watched Alex Cox’ 1984 film Repo Man 123 times. Its storyline—shiftless punk finds himself part of a motley crew of repo men, while a mad scientist roams LA in a car with some highly dangerous nuclear materials in the back—is both whacked and hilarious, and it’s as full of classic lines (“I don’t want no commies in my car. No Christians either” says jaded repo man Bud [Harry Dean Stanton] to young acolyte Otto [Emilio Estevez]) as Apocalypse Now. What’s more, it boasts a better soundtrack, thanks to the contributions of Iggy Pop, Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, Fear, and The Plugz.

The film does a wonderful job of capturing the aimlessness of LA’s hardcore youth, and is so full of catch phrases (Bud: “Look at those assholes, ordinary fucking people. I hate ’em.”) you could spend the rest of your life, or at least a day or two, speaking only lines from the movie, and never repeat yourself. It’s not impossible, either. I have a friend who took a whole lotta acid and spent the next four days speaking only in song lyrics. Seriously. You might ask him how his day was going and he’d reply, “I’m easy, easy like Sunday morning” or “I feel like a bullet in the gun of Robert Ford.” I didn’t witness this, but I believe him. He’s not a pathological liar like yours truly, of whom Mary McCarthy once said, “Every word he writes is a lie, including and and the.” Come to think of it I’m lying again, because McCarthy was actually referring to Lillian Hellman.

Anyway, the soundtrack (and the movie) open with Iggy Pop’s “Repo Man.” He recorded the song with Blondie’s former rhythm section (Clem Burke on drums and Nigel Harrison on bass) and ex-Sex Pistol Steve Jones on guitar after hurriedly scribbling some lines in his notebook. Jones’ opening guitar riff is titanic, oceanic, and BIG, and the rhythm section is spot on. Jones then plays a sorta secret agent man riff while Iggy sings one of his greatest couplets: “I’m looking for the joke/With a microscope.” Okay, so it’s not as good as 1969’s “Now I’m gonna be 22/I say oh my and a boo hoo,” but that line’s one in a million.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Dave Clark Five, “Try Too Hard” b/w
“All Night Long”

Of all the marquee British Invasion acts, nobody typified the concept of “singles group” more than The Dave Clark Five. Of albums they had many, but the qualities that made them a special and enduring outfit are best served by the two brief sides of a 45. During the mid-‘60s their short-players stormed both the US and UK charts with a frequency that remains impressive, and “Try Too Hard” b/w “All Night Long” from 1966 is one of their finest efforts.

While they are well-remembered today, I also suspect that few people these days would rank the Dave Clark Five as one the tiptop exemplars of the Brit Invasion, and that’s an interesting scenario because during the phenomenon’s initial wave, only The Beatles achieved a higher level of popularity. Contemplating the subject for a bit leads me to a handful of reasons for the lessening of the DC5’s status over time.

Perhaps the biggest factor is that none of the Five’s non-compilations have landed in the rock ‘n’ roll canon. I tend to think that any well-rounded, historically focused record collection is incomplete without the inclusion of Clark and company, and no doubt many others feel the same way. But I also agree with those asserting that in the run of albums they made while extant, nothing represents them better than UK Columbia’s ’66 release of the 14-track The Dave Clark Five’s Greatest Hits.

This is not to infer that the original long-players are negligible. To the contrary, ‘64’s Glad All Over and the following year’s Coast to Coast, both issued in the US by Epic, are quite good.  But starting in the mid-‘70s and continuing until 1993, none of the Dave Clark Five’s music was commercially available in any format, leaving the used bins and the radio dial as the only ways one could access their discography.

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TVD Nashville

Vinyl-centric Acme Radio launches in Nashville

Acme Feed & Seed, in partnership with TuneIn, is pleased to announce the launch of Acme Radio. Listeners worldwide will be able to experience the variety and excellence of all things Nashville thanks to TuneIn’s unique platform—an app that provides listeners access to more than four million radio stations streaming from every continent. Tom Morales, owner of Acme Feed & Seed, reopened the doors of the historic, century-old building to bring locals back to downtown Nashville. He succeeded by renovating a building rich with local history and by inviting Nashville’s best players to the stage. 

“If you are one of the best musicians in Nashville, you are one of the best in the world. Acme’s stage gives this talent a live, local platform and Acme Radio will give them an international one. We are creating the opportunity for these artists to be discovered regardless of the genre,” said Morales.

Readers of The Vinyl District may recall that TVD contributor and Nashville editor Tim Hibbs began hosting Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime vinyl sessions on Acme’s ground floor stage in August 2014. The popularity of those sessions led Acme to expand them to five days a week and to feature The Vinyl Lunch as the midday program on Acme Radio. Running Monday through Friday, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM (CST), Tim spins an eclectic music mix . Old and new, all genres are fair game for The Vinyl Lunch.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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