TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends:
Hill Country Picnic Reenactment at Chickie Wah Wah, 9/4–9/6

The fine folks at Family Fish Productions and Chickie Wah Wah are bringing North Mississippi’s Hill Country Picnic to the Crescent City this weekend with great shows Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Acts include Grayson Capps, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Blue Mother Tupelo, Jimbo Mathus, Hill Country Hounds, and more.

Former New Orleans resident, Grayson Capps kicks off the weekend on Friday, September 4 with a set of scintillating blues based rock ‘n’ roll.

On Saturday, September 5, the Hill Country Hounds will get the evening started early with a Happy Hour performance between 6-8 PM. Alvin Youngblood Hart will follow with a solo set at 9 PM. The evening’s headliners, Blue Mother Tupelo, will play two sets beginning at 10 PM.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Bobby Fuller Four,
I Fought the Law

Inspecting chart history proves otherwise, but due to the ubiquitous nature of that one song everybody remembers, Bobby Fuller is considered by many as a One Hit Wonder. Others view him as the true-blood ‘60s extension in art as well as life of fellow Texan Buddy Holly, which overlaps with the assessment by some that Fuller was maybe the last gasp of rock ‘n’ roll innocence before the ‘60s became The Sixties. But he was also just a passionate young guy with a boatload of talent for whom music was paramount, and nothing communicates that better than a listen to The Bobby Fuller Four’s 1966 LP, I Fought the Law.

The Bobby Fuller Four’s second and best long-player opens with what is probably my pick for the band’s greatest moment and certainly one of their leader’s finest compositions. It’s not the title track, for “I Fought the Law” was penned by Sonny Curtis of The Crickets, a group most famous for their backing of Buddy Holly (Curtis joined after Holly’s plane crash demise; the original appears on 1960’s In Style with the Crickets.)

The tune is “Let Her Dance,” a delicious slice of guitar and vocal harmony driven pop-rock and easily one of ’65’s best singles. Perfectly calibrated for airplay, its 2:32 flows with expertly layered simplicity. Once established, none of the song’s elements drift far in their roles; not Fuller’s lead singing of his wounded-heart love lyrics or the gorgeous chiming and jangling of his and Jim Reese’s guitars, not the beautiful but non-grandiose backing vocals, not Randy Fuller’s bass, and definitely not DeWayne Quirico’s drumming, which with subtle alterations follows the same pattern throughout.

Individually, none of these aspects are especially noteworthy. It’s in the assemblage and the ensuing vigor of the captured performance that greatness is attained. And over the years, playing “Let Her Dance” has turned many a head that had erroneously pegged Bobby Fuller as basically a slightly displaced rockabilly guy.

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The TVD Storefront

The Autumn Stone,
The TVD First Date

“The first records I heard growing up were vinyl. I was very young.”

“At night, my father would often light some incense, drink a few glasses of wine, and play records on the turntable. The volume was always turned way up on the large meshed speakers. It was my first introduction to Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, The Band, The Byrds, and David Bowie among others. On heavy rotation was Neil Diamond whom I’m a fan of and an acapella band called the Persuasions. Their album we owned was called Coming at Ya, still a fantastic record to this day.

I owned a little fisher price record player and would spend hours listening to my Popeye 45s with story adventures and music. I also had a really great old children’s record called Mother Goose. I still have it but it’s all scratched up. I’d like to have it restored someday.

When I was about 14 my cousin introduced me to Led Zeppelin with a live mixed cassette tape. It was my second great musical awakening.

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A Badge of Friendship,
The Podcast

A Badge Of Friendship are back to brighten up your Thursday with a brand new podcast, this week celebrating UK music website The Line Of Best Fit.

The gang chat to TLOBF’s New Music Editor Charlotte Krol about the trials and tribulations of music journalism and get some juicy tips on how to get your foot in the door as a writer or band.

Michael from SUNS also joins the trio on the phone to talk about the current landscape in left field pop music and the band’s future.

Of course, no show would be complete without some cultural irreverence, and in lieu of the features you’ve come to appreciate like a slowly decaying wedge of stilton, they cast their eyes out on stories in the news that have tickled their interest and also take a look at some of TLOBF’s high rated albums this month.

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: The Kitchen Cinq, When the Rainbow Disappears: An Anthology 1965-1968

It’s not exactly a secret, but the musical history of the 1960s is loaded with bands. A few got famous, some are still remembered, and many more hang in the purgatory of obscurity. From Los Angeles via Amarillo, TX, The Kitchen Cinq fell short of stardom but they definitely haven’t been forgotten; helping to insure their placement in the cultural memory is the most recent volume in Light in the Attic’s Lee Hazelwood Archive Series, When the Rainbow Disappears: An Anthology 1965-68. Collecting their LHI sessions, rare material as The Illusions and The Y’alls, and superb notes by Alec Palao, it’s out now on compact disc and double vinyl.

When the Rainbow Disappears carefully compiles the output of a worthwhile outfit, with The Kitchen Cinq’s background also shedding light on one of the decade’s more idiosyncratic pop artists in Lee Hazelwood. The set’s liners detail the Cinq’s struggles as the inaugural act on Lee Hazelwood Industries, the story providing supporting roles to vocalist Suzi Jane Hokom and fellow Amarillo scenester and future songwriter of note J.D. Souther.

Consisting of Dale Gardner on lead vocals, Mark Creamer on lead guitar, Jim Parker on rhythm guitar, Dallas Smith on bass, and Johnny Stark on drums, The Kitchen Cinq’s early Amarillo days were spent as The Illusions. Taken from two sessions, the five glimpses of these origins are amongst When the Rainbow Disappears’ best attributes.

Divided between three originals and two covers, these entries simultaneously illuminate the infancy of The Kitchen Cinq and present the fruits of a perfectly sturdy mid-‘60s rock ‘n’ roll band. More to the point, they got work; The Illusions’ ’65 date offers “Young Boy,” a solid beat-combo-styled number from Parker with harmonica and appealing tandem vocals and a surprisingly non-rote cover of “Searchin’” by The Coasters that surely went down a storm during gigs.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/3/15

Furnace Record Pressing to Open Vinyl Record Pressing Plant in USA: “After searching high and low for close to a decade, Furnace Record Pressing recently acquired TEN rare Toolex Alpha record presses. Furnace staff members traveled to Mexico City to oversee the loading and shipment of the presses to their Washington DC area facility. The resulting 48 hours saw the group encounter machetes, protesters, and a genuine kidnapping scare among other logistical challenges.”

Phil Collins Recreates His Iconic Album Covers For First-Ever Deluxe Reissues: “The reissues will include unreleased demos and live tracks, and they’ll also recreate the old album covers, showing Collins’ slightly weathered face the way it looks now.

“In celebration of the 20th anniversary of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut record, Garbage is releasing an exclusive limited edition 3LP vinyl remastered from the original analog tapes. The box set will include a limited edition 12-page LP size fan-generated zine and a 10×10 autographed photo of the band. In addition to the three 180gm vinyl pieces (12 tracks + g-sides), fans will also receive a digital download card.”

6 Years After Being Discontinued, the Technics SL-1200 Turntable Is Back: “One of the most important turntables in history, the Technics SL-1200, was discontinued in 2010 despite a resurgence in vinyl interest. Now, owner Panasonic is putting Technics is back in the vinyl game, with its concept unveiling at an IFA press conference in Berlin. The move follows years of petitioning by DJs and music enthusiasts, many of whom waxed nostalgic over a turntable inseparable from important hip-hop and dance movements of the past few decades.”

Inside one of the world’s last audio cassette factories: “When the music market moved into CD production and digital formats in the ’90s and ’00s, most tape companies went under. But the National Audio Company in Springfield (Mo) kept going. Instead of music, they focused on spoken word and blank tape customers. They bought out failing competitors, collecting their equipment, and they waited patiently for the music market to pick up.”

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots: Slipknot, Lamb of God, and Bullet for My Valentine at Concord Pavilion, 8/26

I remember the day I first heard the name Slipknot. It was 1999 and I was working at a Sam Goody store while going to college in my hometown of St. Louis. A guy who worked part-time came in one day raving about this new band from Iowa that looked like a cross between the family from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Rob Zombie’s worst nightmare. That week Slipknot’s eponymous debut record hit the store shelf and we had a brilliant idea to give it a listen in the store. While it didn’t go over well with the lunchtime crowd, in fact, it cleared out the store pretty quickly, it was something truly unique. I don’t think we had any idea at the time that record would come to redefine metal as we knew it. 

Roadrunner Records had one hell of a roster at the time including Type O Negative, Black Label Society, Spineshank, Machine Head, Nailbomb, Seputura, and even some newer unknown bands that were killer, such as Electric Eel Shock (I’ve caught them twice—two of the most insane shows I’ve ever seen), Dry Kill Logic, Faktion, and Amen. Slipknot though was their first act to ever reach platinum status and arguably the reason the label would be bought out by a major.

Fast forward to last week and the first time I have seen Slipknot in more than a decade. While the band’s image has grown considerably darker over the years, their live show was as epic as ever—if not even more grandiose. The “Summer’s Last Stand” tour lineup included metal heavyweights Lamb of God and Bullet for My Valentine, along with newcomers Motionless in White. It would quickly make up for a Summer full of lackluster metal festivals and end the season on a high note from hell.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Pink Floyd,
Wish You Were Here

I have a dream. It’s that someone will put out a LP of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here made out of sugar and heavily laced with LSD. That way you could lick it before turning it on, and hear the damn album the way it should be heard, while you’re peaking.

It would be appropriate; has any major band ever been as associated with acid as Pink Floyd? (Yeah. The Grateful Dead, dumbo.) But not even the Dead managed to put out LPs (like 1969’s Ummagumma) that I would ONLY listen to while I was on hallucinogens, because they were unlistenable to anyone on the uninitiated side of the doors of perception. That said, I’ve since put on Ummagumma and found its first side to be bearable and its second side to be complete and unadulterated bullshit (“Several Species of Small Furry Animals” or “The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party (Entertainment),” anyone?). And while my recollections are hazy, I have come to the conclusion that the guy in the dorm who owned it was so far out there he’d only play side two while tripping balls.

The Pink Floyd story is a familiar one. The band was formed in London in 1965 by Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright, with David Gilmour coming aboard in 1967, destined to be the substitute for Barrett, who despite the band’s success and his status as the band’s chief songwriter was coming unhinged. After numerous legendary on-stage fiascos involving increasingly odd behavior on the part of Barrett—he might stand in the hot stage lights, crushed ludes melting in his hair, looking off into the distance with his arms dangling down, declining to play his guitar for the entire set—the band more or less decided to not pick him up for a gig, and just like that he was gone, although his living specter (he showed up, bald and bloated, at the Wish You Were Here sessions, and his evident madness left several of his former band mates in tears) would haunt the band and indeed inspire some of their best work.

As time went on the band moved from challenging works such as Ummagumma towards more commercial LPs, such as 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon, which contained none of their trademark acid jams (“long psychedelic noodling stuff,” as Gilmour dismissively described them) and made them superstars. But I’m partial to its successor, 1974’s Wish You Were Here, in part because I’ve heard “Time” and “Money” so many times I scream in agony when they come on the radio, and I don’t think I could give the landmark LP they’re on an even break.

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TVD New Orleans

Jon Cleary kicks off
2015 Jazz in the Park
fall series, 9/3

Hot on the heels of the release of his first album since 2004, the keyboardist/singer/songwriter will be appearing with his longtime band, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Thursday evening. Charmaine Neville opens.

Jazz in the Park brings killer New Orleans talent to Armstrong Park free every Thursday afternoon through the week before Halloween. The full schedule is available here.

Acclaimed Grammy-award winner, John Porter, produced Go Go Juice. Porter has become a New Orleans cottage industry of sorts since relocating here. He has produced a wide variety of new projects including Rickie Lee Jones (another new New Orleans transplant), Stanton Moore and the Honey Island Swamp Band.

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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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