TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Too many people are there / It’s noisy and bright, no one cares / But I’m happy in my rose colored corner / No hurry to go anywhere

People they stop and they stare / Disgusted what really isn’t there / But I’m happy in my rose colored corner / No hurry to go anywhere

The people they keep all their secrets / Awaiting each new break of dawn / I’m daunted by days coming gone

For the first time since I’ve been putting together The Idelic Hour, I missed a Valentine’s Day. My routine for many years is to spend Thursday nights listening to records, surfing online, and compiling and building the show to post on Friday.

Being not the most computer savvy rocker, I’ve figured out how to create and send off the show to TVD in DC, but in all honesty the “bones” of The Idelic Hour have been hacked together weekly by a battle hardened 2010 MacBook.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live Shots: Alter Bridge with Deepfall
and Clint Lowery at the Ogden Theatre, 2/17

DENVER, CO | On a snowy, cold night in Denver, Alter Bridge brought down the house in the charming, somewhat decrepit confines of the Ogden Theatre. Sharing the bill on this leg of the Walk the Sky tour is Deepfall and Clint Lowery.

A sextet hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, hard rockers Deepfall (Rich Hopkins, Anthony Battista, Max Carrillo, Tim King, Nick Gray, and Taylor Brandt ) kicked off the night. Reviewing the band’s website and Facebook page, one gets the feeling the band, still relatively new, experienced some recent lineup changes. It’s notable that this was not reflected in their 30 minute performance as, up close, they appeared cohesive and very hard-working. The crowd offered their support, fist pumping as the band tore through its set, which included a cover of Journey’s “Separate Ways.”

Clint Lowery is best known as the lead guitarist of metal band Sevendust; he’s joined the Walk the Sky tour to promote God Bless the Renegades, his first solo album. Live, he’s impressive, physical, and intense as a solo performer. His songs, like “Kings,” which explores themes of redemption and empowerment, are introspective. His backing band (Ryan Bennett on drums, Pat Seals on bass, and Jon Jourdan on guitar) proved equally capable. Seals, in particular, possesses great stage presence; my attempts to photograph him airborne mostly failed.

I’m baffled by the fact that Alter Bridge play small venues in the US. Yes, as opposed to London’s O2 (where Alter Bridge Live at the O2 Arena was recorded in 2016), a smaller venue such as the Ogden Theatre provides unmatched intimacy. However, Alter Bridge are just too damned good to be slumming it with the rest of us in reaching distance. Make no mistake—I’m not complaining. I adore the golden throated Myles Kennedy; seeing him up close, along with beast Mark Tremonti, remains a huge thrill. Shooting this band from the pit is a fantastic experience and seeing them anywhere a delight.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live Shots: Motion City Soundtrack at The Rave, on 2/14

MILWAUKEE, WI | Coming back from an indefinite hiatus, Motion City Soundtrack burst back with contagious fervor for a two-month tour across the United States, aptly and appropriately named the “Don’t Call It A Comeback” tour. The break in the three-year hiatus definitely took me by pleasant surprise, as I had thought I had lost my opportunity to ever get the chance to photograph them after seeing them at Riot Fest in Chicago in 2016, one of their last shows before the hiatus; their last being at Metro Chicago. The Minnesota-based band subsequently kicked off this tour on New Years’ Eve in Chicago right where they left off in full confetti and balloon fashion, counting down the new year and continuing the heartfelt evening with “Together We’ll Ring in the New Year.”

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day 2020: as Justin Pierre, lead vocals and rhythm guitar, noted, Motion City Soundtrack was playing their 17th show at The Rave in Milwaukee that night. Opener and local natives Live Tetherball Tonight got more than a head-nod from Justin as he complimented their music and said he would be listening to their music right after he gets off stage. Recent Jimmy Kimmel Live performers White Reaper preceded Motion City Soundtrack.

The energy and camaraderie of everyone in the room was full of warmth and joyful singing. It was akin to any boisterous sing-along movie bar scene. Justin’s on-point vocals, richly enhanced by a combination of the 16+ years of experience the band spent touring, coupled with the refreshed excitement of the band coming back together again, surged forth alongside members Jesse Johnson on keys and synth, Joshua Cain on lead guitar and backing vocals, Matthew Taylor on bass, and Tony Thaxton on drums.

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TVD Radar: Prince Catalog Reissue Project, next wave of physical titles in stores 4/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Prince Estate and Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are pleased to announce the first round of physical titles to be issued in 2020 in the ongoing definitive Prince catalog reissue project. These titles come from the incredibly intriguing and fertile period of 2001 and 2002 and will be available on Friday, April 17. Pre-order titles here

The new batch includes two very different studio albums released just six months apart—2001’s The Rainbow Children and 2002’s One Nite Alone… – plus Prince’s first official live albums from the tour that occurred in between those two releases. One Nite Alone…, the 4 LP set One Nite Alone…Live! and the double LP One Nite Alone: The Aftershow…It Ain’t Over! will each get their first-ever vinyl release in limited-edition purple, while sought-after title The Rainbow Children will be available on CD for the first time in decades and on a crystal-clear double LP with limited-edition custom rainbow slipmat.

In addition, the five disc collection Up All Nite with Prince: The One Nite Alone Collection will make the CDs for these sought-after releases widely available for the first time. Combined in a beautiful slipcase with a 48-page bound book, One Nite Alone… and the two live albums are packaged with the long-out-of-print bonus DVD Prince Live at The Aladdin Las Vegas for an amazing document of the musical breadth of early 21st century Prince.

Prince’s 24th studio album, The Rainbow Children was initially sold on Prince’s trailblazing website the NPG Music Club, and was commercially released on November 20, 2001 on NPG Records. It was the first album (outside of the works he distributed through his NPG Music Club) to be released under the name Prince since he had changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in 1993, and it was his first fully independent release to be issued without any major label backing.

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Graded on a Curve:
Low Cut Connie,
Dirty Pictures (Part 1)

Low Cut Connie wants you to know they’re not Elton John. They’re on their knees pleading, up in your face screaming “Who are you going to believe–us or your own ears?” But you know what? I don’t give a flying feather boa. I like Elton John. No, nix that–I adore Elton John. I adore his voice, I adore his Glam Apocalypse fashion sense, and I most definitely adore the five grand pianos he’s been know to lug around on tour and probably plays with one hand at the same time. There’s nothing Captain Fantastic–who’s breaking hearts (mine included) on his Farewell Tour as I write this–can’t do.

So who cares if Low Cut Connie’s songs are second-hand pastiches of Elton’s songs, right down to the one about herpes, a subject His Wonderfulness got to first on “Social Disease”? Nobody! And who cares if on certain songs songwriter/vocalist/pianist Adam Weiner sounds eerily like the King of Chub himself? Certainly not me, or Sir Elton for that matter-he’s stated for the record Low Cut Connie’s one of his favorite bands.

On 2017’s Dirty Pictures (Part 1), Philadelphia’s best ever EJ tribute band go about making a record the same way their role model does–by slapping a disparate buncha songs on it, whether they make for a coherent whole or not (see Goodbye Yellow Brick Road).

You get some ballads (“Forever,” a transparent rip of Elton’s “Roy Rogers,” and “Montreal”), a razor-blade guitar rocker a la “The Bitch Is Back” (“Love Life”), a pair of piano rockers (“Revolution Rock n Roll” and “Dirty Water”), a first-generation rock ‘n’ roll pastiche along the lines of “Crocodile Rock” (“Death and Destruction”), and a cool Rolling Stones’ knock-off (“Angela,” on which the band doubles down on its love for “Crocodile Rock” by tossing in its trademark la la la la la).

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/21/20

Here’s the List of Record Store Day 2020 Releases Revealed So Far: There are apparently exclusives from Neil Young, David Bowie, Gorillaz, Black Sabbath and more. Record Store Day is gearing up for its main 2020 event, and we are already getting an idea what exclusives to expect this year. While the official 2020 RSD list has yet to be revealed, several artists and labels have started announcing titles, while other rumoured releases have begun popping up online. To start making sense of it all, we’ve assembled a list of both the official and rumoured Record Store Day 2020 releases revealed so far. In large part, the list comes thanks to the dedicated vinyl fanatics over on Reddit, who have been slowly but surely putting this year’s RSD list together. As you’ll see below, the 2020 RSD list is still very much in its early stages, but there are already plenty of notable releases incoming.

Farmers Branch, TX | Josey Records To Become the Largest Record Store in Texas: The Farmers Branch shop is adding 10,000-square-feet to its already sizable footprint. Josey Records is taking over the 10,000-square-foot space next door to its 15,000-square-foot flagship store in Farmers Branch, making it the largest record store in Texas and one of the five largest record stores in the country. The shop plans to open its expansion for Record Store Day on April 18, 2020. Josey Records started in Dallas and has opened satellite stores in Lubbock, Tulsa, Kansas City, and Sedalia, Missouri, but it didn’t have any plans to grow in the DFW market until an opportunity presented itself. “The tenant next door used to be a motorcycle supply shop, and they moved out in the summer, so we thought we would just take it over and add more square footage to the store,” says co-owner Waric Cameron. “We have tons of inventory that we don’t have out on display that we keep in offsite storage, so this is an opportunity to bring all that to the retail floor.”

NJ | ‘An absolute nightmare’: How a distribution crisis is crippling N.J. record stores: Record stores across New Jersey are suffering from a problem that feels almost as vintage as the weathered shops themselves: their vinyl and CD deliveries are late — really late. “I just got in Christmas records — I ordered them in October,” says Susan Grimm, a manager at Scotti’s Record Shop in Summit. “We’re getting orders we placed two or three months ago, it’s an absolute nightmare,” says Princeton Record Exchange owner Jon Lambert, echoing a sentiment felt by stores throughout the Garden State, and beyond, who after years spent battling industry trends that have shifted away from physical media in favor of iTunes and streaming, now grapple with a new dilemma: a profit-hemorrhaging break in the supply chain…“We’ve had to take a significant percentage hit in our profit,” says another New Jersey shop owner, who asked not to be named. “… (Direct Shot) doesn’t know what they’re doing, and I don’t know what the endgame is.”

Jamaica Plain, MA | New Biz: Bakery + Coffee Shop + Record Store = Monumental Market: A unique business venture recently opened on South Street. Monumental Market is a joint venture between three different businesses: Lavender Bee Baking Co., El Colombiano Coffee, and Light of Day Records. The individual businesses are known entities in our area. El Colombiano Coffee and Light of Day Records are both regular vendors at the Egleston Farmers Market. While building their brands, the two businesses traveled to different businesses, including the Wake Up The Earth Festival. Light of Day sells new and vintage vinyl records. It joins a growing list of businesses that sell vinyl records in JP, including Deep Thoughts and Tres Gatos, which is also a tapas restaurant. Lavender Bee Baking Co. makes peanut and tree-nut free baked goods. Lavender’s owner Kelsey Munger was diagnosed with a peanut and tree nut allergy at the age of 6, and eventually started baking because it was hard to find baked goods that didn’t include what she couldn’t eat. This is the first brick and mortar storefront for all three businesses.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Kelis, Kaleidoscope 20th anniversary 2-LP in stores 3/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | It’s been 20 years since Kaleidoscope, the groundbreaking, game-changing debut album by Kelis.

She recorded the album aged 17, naive to its everlasting resonance, and from the moment it was released, it was a bolt of lightning, ahead of its time, pioneering on all sides, from the bold Neptunes production to its sci-fi aesthetic. With features from Pusha-T, Markita and Justin Vince, Kaleidoscope is an album that’s boundary-pushing – Afro-futurism feels as fresh and relevant today as it did on release and not only influenced, but defined music, culture and style for generations to follow.

Six studio albums and 39 singles later, Kelis is going back to where it all began, marking the milestone anniversary of the record with an extended digital release on February 21, featuring six brand new reworks that have never previously been available digitally. Alongside this, a limited translucent orange 2LP deluxe (180 gram) vinyl will be released on March 6, featuring four never before heard on vinyl alternative versions of “Caught Out There (Neptunes Extended Mix)” and “Get Along With You (Pharrell Edit, Soul Inside Radio Mix, Mix Show).”

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Graded on a Curve: Nirvana, Nirvana

Today we remember Kurt Cobain on what would have been his 53rd birthday.Ed.

In 1991 a Pacific-Northwest three-piece changed the direction of the record industry, securing a spot in music history as the spearhead of Grunge. In 2002 a self-titled album attempted to sum up their essence; rather than electing to represent the trio’s actual range, Nirvana is dominated by chart entries, a handful of non-surprises, and a (then) previously unreleased track. 

To obtain a full grasp of how well Nirvana succeeds in offering a tidy retrospective of an important, oft volatile, and enduringly polarizing act required getting reacquainted with their discography from ’88 to ’94. With time spent the verdict is in: first hitting racks roughly 8½ years after Kurt Cobain’s suicide and a little over a decade removed from the band’s unexpected runaway success, Nirvana ultimately falls short of top-tier.

This assessment comes not by any fault of the group but through unimaginative assemblage and a problematic title. Leaving the occasional sarcastic usage aside, the words Greatest Hits summarize an objective truth, and the use of Best Of, while potentially arguable, is a nomenclature making its intentions plain. The eponymous treatment employed here is merely ambiguous.

If the purpose behind Nirvana was to encapsulate its subject’s breadth and heights on one record the results don’t meet the goal. Far too safe to accurately embody the Best, it essentially flirts with Greatest Hits; perhaps the term was just considered tacky when applied to retail achievements stemming partially from a perceived lack of calculation and even borderline disinterest.

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TVD Radar: Gentle Giant, vinyl reissues of first four albums in stores 4/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Gentle Giant is happy to announce the release of the first 4 albums on vinyl April 3rd.

After the positive response to the box set Unburied Treasure many fans asked whether the vinyl albums would ever be available. The band has responded and decided to make these albums officially available for the first time in decades. The band’s first album Gentle Giant was first released in October 1970. Produced by Tony Visconti it marks the 50th Anniversary of the recording and live appearances of the band. Tony Visconti produced the follow-up album Acquiring The Taste in 1971. The band oversaw the production of the third album Three Friends in 1972 and was the first official release in North America. Strangely the N.A. version featured the artwork from the U.K. Gentle Giant album.

This album was followed up with their milestone album Octopus in 1972. Once again the North American artwork was different to the Roger Dean U.K. version and featured a dye cut Octopus in a jar. Released on the Alucard label, the albums will be manufactured in 180 gram vinyl with the original gatefold artwork from the U.K.

The band hopes that their friends, followers and fans will enjoy these albums in their original form 50 years later!

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The TVD Interview

Michael Wilton
of Queensrÿche,
The TVD Interview

Michael Wilton is one amazing guitarist as well as a brilliant songwriter. Co-founder of the legendary progressive band Queensrÿche, he has seen it all (and then some) over a near 40-year career in the music industry. No easy feat by any stretch, Wilton continues to reinvent himself in an ever-changing world that’s far different from when he first took hold of the flame back in 1980.

We had a chance to catch up with Wilton prior to Queensrÿche’s recent show in Anaheim, California to discuss their recent release, current tour, and of course all-things vinyl. 

The Verdict is Queensrÿche’s 15th studio release and was one of the most anticipated releases of 2019. It peaked at #16 on the US Billboard 200, amongst rave reviews from the metal community at large. Were you at all surprised at the initial success it had right out of the gate?

Well, when you create an album, you may love it, but you don’t know how the public’s going to perceive it. Obviously, Century Media Records put a lot of thought into this one. It’s one we took a lot of pride in and was a big release. The Verdict has been embraced by numerous countries around the world as well as our fans here in the US.

It’s interesting that the sound and feel of The Verdict seems to take me back to the original roots of Queensrÿche. Was that planned or was it just a re-evolution of sorts for the band?

I guess when you have the DNA blueprint in the band, it’s always going to kind of sound like that. Queensrÿche is its own animal. We’ve always been like that. All our influences fuse together and make the sum of what we are. It’s unique in itself that we can still BE who we nearly 40 years later.

What’s your favorite track on the album?

It seems to change from day to day. Right now, I’m kind of digging “Inner Unrest.” That’s one of the songs that I think we’ll eventually be doing a YouTube lyric video for.

You’ve been touring relentlessly in support of The Verdict since mid-February of last year including opening stints with the Scorpions, headlining sets with Fates Warning, as well as countless festivals all around the world. How has the touring life been treating you?

You know, it’s what bands like Queensrÿche and others like us do. Let’s face it, people don’t buy music anymore. So, for bands to survive, they have to tour. The only exception to that rule might be bands that have rich parents (laughs). Otherwise, it’s something you just have to do. The thing is, we can’t over tour because you want the clubs and promoters to want you.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for February 2020, Part Three

Part three of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for February, 2020. Part one is here and part two is here.

NEW RELEASE PICK: Lee Ranaldo & Raül Refree, Names of North End Women (Mute) Lee Ranaldo is world-renowned as one of the guitarists in Sonic Youth. Spaniard Refree (aka Raül Fernandez Miró) isn’t as well-known perhaps, though along with record producing he is also a guitarist, so it comes as sort of a bait and switch that this release isn’t a fiesta of bent strings. I say sort of, as Ranaldo has been long noted for his range of talent. Underrated as a vocalist, this aspect of his artistry is in ample evidence here. Refree also has range, starting out in Spanish melodic hardcore band Corn Flakes before branching out to work with singers Rosalía and most recently Lina, in projects respectively focused on modernized explorations of flamenco (Los ángeles) and fado (Lina_Raül Refree).

Mute informs us that the music here was composed on marimba, vibraphone, samplers, and vintage tape recorders (guitar can be heard). Additional contributions come via Haley Fohr (aka Circuit des Yeux) and Katy and Yolanda Sey (of the Sey Sisters) with some lyrics by novelist Jonathan Lethem. As Refree produced Ranaldo’s prior album Electric Trim, there is palpable rapport here that’s beneficial to the record’s success. Also, there is a consistent stream of technology running through the songs that is very much of the moment without ever straining for the contemporary. I like that very much. Note that the sequence of the CD/ digital release and the LP slightly differ; the version of “Humps” on the CD/ digital is “Humps (Espriu Mix)” and the version of “At the Forks” on the vinyl is “At the Forks (Edit).” A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICK: Henning Christiansen, Peter der Große / Gudbrandsdal (Institute for Danish Sound Archaeology) Born in 1932 and deceased in 2008, Christiansen was a Danish composer, sound artist and visual artist who fell in with the Fluxus movement (and his country’s Experimental Art School, Eks-Skolen) in the 1960s, and notably, became a collaborator of the artist Joseph Beuys, meeting him in 1964 and working with him until his death in 1986. As detailed in the PR for this very attractive 180gm 2LP in a reverse printed gatefold sleeve, Christiansen and Beuys’ relationship was particularly fertile in the second half of the ’60s as the composer honed his skills as a purveyor of tape music, often using multiple tape machines while on stage during multidisciplined Beuys’ art actions.

The label states that Christiansen ditched Fluxus in the 1970s and began composing neo-Romantic works such as waltzes, symphonies, and material in the mode of Danish traditional song. This turn isn’t at all unusual, as groundbreaking artists often migrate (the common descriptor is backsliding) toward older and more conservative forms as they themselves increase in age. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, though the situation often comes with a bunch of unattractive baggage. But far less predictably, Christiansen returned to Fluxus, (per the PR, again, as prior to being sent this release, my knowledge of Christiansen’s background was fairly limited) or more specifically, he reengaged with his “own vision” of Fluxus. This was during the 1980s, the decade from whence this album derives.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/20/20

Milwaukee, WI | Off The Beaten Path’s new South Milwaukee store is now open: Following more than six years on Farwell Avenue on Milwaukee’s East Side and just shy of three years on Howell Avenue in Bay View, Off The Beaten Path is on the move again. The independent record store now has a new home in the heart of South Milwaukee. The shop’s new location—its third site since the store’s 2011 start—quietly opened at 1219 Milwaukee Avenue last weekend. Off The Beaten Path’s last day in business at its Bay View shop was November 8 of last year. Originally expected to re-open its new space in time for Black Friday, the record store’s return comes after months of unexpected delays. However, owner Chris Kruse says he’s “especially looking forward to having some live music” in the store and that the new location will be worth the wait. Starting today, the shop will resume its regular hours of noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. And yes, there will deep discounts on used records from time to time.

London, UK | New independent record store, Yo-Yo Records, to open in London: The store will break away from Cosmos Records London. A new independent record store is set to open in London. Placing a bigger focus on dance and reggae music, as well as 12″s and 7″ singles generally, Cosmos Records London – which originally opened back in 2015 – will re-launch as an independent store, Yo-Yo Records, in Hackney on 21st February. Posting on Instagram on Monday 17th February, owners said, “It is with a heavy heart that we would like to announce our upcoming split from Cosmos Records here in London as of closing time this evening, and we will reopen on Friday here at our same location on Hackney Road as a new independent shop.” They continued: “We have nothing but respect and admiration for Cosmos, and it has been an honour and a pleasure to represent the shop here in London for almost five years, but after my 20-year apprenticeship with Cosmos it is time we head out on our own.”

Loveland, OH | Loveland record label lands movie deal: Valentine’s Day was sweeter this year for a Loveland business who landed their part in the newly-released and very popular Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Adding to the love, Loveland-based Plaid Room Records, and their associated business, Colemine Records, a full-fledged record label with approximately 45 acts signed, celebrated their fifth year open here. The movie opened on February 14, stars Jim Carrey and had a $58 million opening weekend – finishing atop the weekend box office. With this movie release and other happenings, it’s safe to say Plaid Room Records co-owners Terry Cole and his brother, Bob Cole, would like to curl up into a ball and run at supersonic speeds, just like the iconic hedgehog from popular Sega videogames and depicted in the movie – just to keep up. “It’s a big deal. It’s cool,” Terry said.

Saratoga Springs, NY | Annual Record Riot offers music memorabilia for shoppers to explore: Record Riot returns to the Spa City this weekend with thousands of LPs, CDs, 45s and other music memorabilia for shoppers to explore. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Saratoga Springs City Center, located at 522 Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. Early admission begins at 8 a.m., for those who want to be the first to browse. This option costs $10. Admission during regular show hours is $3 per person. Skidmore students get in for free. Some lucky eventgoers will win surprise door prizes. Sunday’s event will feature about 25 vendors, who plan to bring a total of 40 tables filled with merchandise. Record Riot organizer Stephen Gritzan, who owns a small record shop in New Jersey, began presenting events like this about 15 years ago. Today, he organizes Record Riots throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, in “places that meet certain demographics of arts and culture,” he said.

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TVD Live Shots:
Starset at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 2/13

Starset is one of the more interesting rock bands of the past decade. One that not only has a knack for writing huge, hook-laden rock anthems, but also crafting an incredibly interesting backstory. The story is one that few bands could bring to life without looking silly, but frontman Dustin Bates has the credibility to not only back it up, but move the ideas forward in a unique way. He’s an engineer by trade and is into science, movies, politics, and history. Quite frankly, he knows his shit when it comes to crafting the band’s genre-bending concept albums and and meditations on complex sci-fi themes and theatrics.

I don’t mind rock or metal with a side of sci-fi if it’s done right. I thought Megadeth’s Dystopia was a great effort, and Starset’s message of caution to the world against “the perils of the future at the hands of manipulated technology” takes this idea to another level. The fictional Starset Society was formed as part of a public outreach initiative to alert the masses to the contents of “the Message,” a mysterious signal from space. There’s much more to unpack around the overarching concept of the band, so go to their website and YouTube channel for a better explanation than I could ever provide here.

The fact that these guys bring such a big show to an intimate theater speaks volumes to their commitment. Most bands struggle to have decent lighting and move beyond a meter or two from their designated spot, but not Starset. They bring everything and the kitchen sink, including their signature spacesuits from the tour around their first album which plays nicely into the evolution of not only the band’s look, but the sound too.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Vinyl Revival documentary explores all things vinyl, DVD in stores 4/10

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The fascinating documentary from the makers of Last Shop Standing exploring the renaissance in all things vinyl arrives on DVD on April 10th via Wienerworld (UK). Doc includes interviews from Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Philip Selway (Radiohead), Ade Utley (Portishead), Joel Gion (The Brian Jonestown Massacre), The Orielles, CASSIA and many more.

From the makers of the acclaimed Last Shop Standing, this new film, The Vinyl Revival, charts the amazing revival of vinyl over the past several years. The film explores the whys and hows with industry pundits, artists, record shop owners, vinyl fans and many more. Directed and produced by Pip Piper, we hear from passionate new record shop owners as well the established die-hards still going and thriving. The film discusses the importance of the record shop and vinyl as a whole. We answer the whys of vinyl’s revival, the human need for belonging, the love of history, and the stories of how the humble record shop has shaped so many lives.

Record collecting has lost its image as a hobby for middle-aged men and become instead a pursuit of the most fashion-conscious consumer. Will it last? What is the future for record shops when vinyl becomes less fashionable? Why are we in danger of another record shop decline? Why must we support these bastions of culture? Features an 8 page booklet chronicling the making of the film, with contributions from director Pip Piper (Last Shop Standing) and author Graham Jones.

“The vinyl record is the equivalent of whether you have the tea bag or the Japanese tea ceremony; the tea ceremony is the right way to approach music.”Nick Mason, Pink Floyd

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Rod McKuen,

When the ancient Greeks coined the word bathos, I’m pretty sure they had Rod McKuen in mind. America’s most popular–and worst–poet of the 1960s, McKuen produced books of poetry the way Virginia opossums make babies, each and every one of them catering to the tastes of a reading public deeply suspicious of the filthy beatnik likes of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

But on 1959’s Beatsville Mckuen does a remarkable thing–he goes from schmaltz to shtick. While he serves up plenty of his trademark mawk along the way, McKuen–who’s obviously using Kerouac’s spontaneous bop prosody as a model-comes on like Maynard G. Krebs on a Benzedrine inhaler high, and I’ll be damned if his tongue-in-cheek observations on subterranean pads and co-existence bagel shops aren’t hilarious.

McKuen’s point varies–sometimes he’s your standard real gone Daddy-O who considers business suits and underarm deodorants a total drag; at others he’s the wistful black beret wannabe who moans, “I try to be a good beatnik but it’s hard/I don’t dig turtle neck sweaters/I can’t grow a beard/And I catch cold in sandals.”

Backed by some tastefully tasteless musical accompaniment–including a metronome and some really hep finger snaps–McKuen had me at “Every time I got torn up on sneaky Pete or high on Thunderbird wine/I wind up hitching rides to Sausalito.”

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