TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Priests and Protomartyr at U Street Music Hall, 4/16

Washigton, DC’s Priests eviscerated the stage at U Street Music Hall last Thursday evening with a raw barrage of songs in true punk rock form and showcased some seriously classic punk influences.

I’m not going to bullshit anyone, I am almost halfway to being a cynical old man—at least in regard to keeping up with new and flourishing underground music scenes. The fact is, I love it when I am surprised by finding a band like Priests, and it turns out I could be totally wrong about a real absence of punk rock on this planet. In fact, there is significant strength within the punk scene at the moment and there’s a healthy dose of it right in DC’s backyard with Priests.

The band was on my radar but I had never had the chance to see them perform, and I have to admit, I loved watching Priests live and I was truly taken back with the overall tone of the show. The powerful vocal screams and snarling rants from singer Katie Alice Greer were addictive, and the audience’s reaction to the band as a unit was something that doesn’t come easy—it’s earned.

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Pimps of Joytime, Jukestone Paradise

“I closed my eyes and kept thinking of what a weird, spaced out, futuristic juke joint might be like and the music you would find there.” That was Brian J’s inspiration for Pimps of Joytime’s third album Jukestone Paradise out today. Read on to find out how to win a copy of the new album on vinyl.

The album, like the POJT’s past offerings, is impossibly fun. Even if you knew nothing about the Brooklyn quintet, could a band called The Pimps of Joytime make an album that was anything but entertaining? J, the creative force behind the group, takes every genre of music that could possibly make you want to move, whether it be Latin, funk, disco, psychedelic, or electronic, and puts it together in one heady brew, something he has called, “the Pimp’s Pot.”

This new release has a more pronounced electronic/disco feel than past offerings and there is definitely a space vibe permeating even the funkiest, earthiest tracks. On album standout “Heart is Wild,” psychedelic, cosmic breaks infuse the song, creating a vibe that really is out of this world. It’s the kind of song where you really can’t decide if you want to get up or get down.

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The TVD Storefront

Color Therapy,
The TVD First Date

“There’s a real magic to vinyl. To me, they belong to an atmosphere that is conducive to looking inward versus outward. The wow and flutter, the slow steady spinning, the warm tones, the hiss and crackle. It’s almost elusive as to what exactly feels so right about listening to music on vinyl, but whatever it is, it’s magical.”

“My introduction to vinyl was through old Johnny Cash LPs at thrift shops. Some of my favorites were the records that had been the most abused. Some of them had been warped by the sun, bent, scratched, or worn down over the years, and I loved getting to know those quirks particular to each album. Those flaws became part of the music itself and I grew to love the fact that vinyl has a life of its own.

The physical process of sitting back and listening to my favorite album on vinyl is so much different than any other medium. For starters, I have to want it. I obviously cannot take a record player everywhere with me; it’s not portable so I really have to want to listen to whatever it is. With music apps, it’s easy to listen to music and not really love what I hear because it’s all so accessible, just a click away, and if I get tired of something, there’s an endless amount of other things to check out.

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The TVD Storefront

Tom Paxton,
The TVD Interview

Sixty years, thousands of concerts, five hundred and fifty-two Kickstarter backers later, and Tom Paxton released his sixty-second album in time for his final “big time” concert tour.

“Whatever my point was, anyhow,” says Paxton, “I think I’ve made it!” But the prospect of Tom Paxton running out of points to make seems just as impossible to his fans as it does to him. The iconoclastic folk hero may be leaving the weary road behind, but he’s far from stopping altogether.

His new album, Redemption Road, couldn’t be more aptly titled. It’s not so much that he’s written a thinly-veiled confessional as he is revisiting a musical life well lived through his signature stripped down, witty, reflective, political songwriting. With Redemption Road, the seventy-seven-year-old reflects on his travels, on his friends, and on why life remains so fun for him, despite its absurdities and pitfalls. Tom Paxton had a lot he wanted to say with Redemption Road, but it’s far from a collection of swan songs. Musician friends as varied as John Prine and Janis Ian lent their talents and their voices to Paxton’s musical snapshots, making the collection of songs on Redemption Road even more poignant. 

When we talked with Tom, he was jovial and exuded a kind of happiness that comes naturally when one feels unyoked from obligations. Tom is living life on his own terms and loves every minute of it. Among many other things, Tom shared his thoughts with us about touring with old friend Janis Ian, continuing to create and perform in his golden years, and his delight and bewilderment about the resurgence of 33-1/3 records.

You’re regarded as one of the first folk artists to break away from performing traditional folk songs in favor of your own music. What does that legacy mean to you now?

It just seemed to me like a natural thing to do, to try to add to the [folk] legacy. Before me Woody Guthrie, of course, was the greatest writer of folk music in America and I really think I was picking his example and doing it in my own time. It just seemed a logical thing to do. I loved the music that I had learned—the traditional music—and I just wanted to make my own contribution.

I always admire artists that go their own way, especially when fellow artists are bewildered or outright hostile towards them. That you had the confidence in your own songs to break away from the tight-knit folk scene of the early ‘60s is hugely admirable.

You know, I’ve been asked many times—back when so many people in the ‘60s were going electric and going rock—why I didn’t do it. I think the real reason is that I didn’t think I’d be any good at it! [Laughs]

Really?

Yeah, I think I would have made a lousy rock singer. It never spoke to me. I loved The Beatles, and I still think The Beatles were one of the best things to happen in the twentieth century. But I didn’t have those kinds of chops. What I had was a love for simple songs, and I loved the sound of an acoustic guitar. I still would rather hear Doc Watson than just about anybody you could name. I think I was just following my instinct.

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TVD UK

UK Video: Piney Gir, “Keep It Together”

Kansas born, London dwelling Piney Gir is about to release the first single from her sixth album (yes, sixth!)—mR hYDE’S wILD rIDE—out June 8th 2015.

The track is “Keep It Together” and the video is heart-warmingly mental. Piney is like a sparkly female-fronted, indie-pop Grandaddy, and this single is a wonderful introduction to the album.

In the video, Piney can be seen causing a lovely mess all over the walls, swinging her arms, dancing as the camera zooms in and out and all around. It’s a glorious DIY, cut and paste effort that encapsulates Piney Gir’s fun, accessible style, which harks back to ’90s US alt indie acts like The Breeders and the Pixies.

“Keep It Together” is out via Damaged Goods on April 27th.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Wire, Wire

Minus undue pomp, the immensely influential UK outfit Wire has unveiled its latest effort. A key player in the uprising of 1977 and just as important to subsequent progressions of post-punk, through a pair of hiatuses, a founding member’s departure and a consistently evolving sound they’ve grown into one of contemporary music’s great units. Wire doesn’t reach the heights of the group’s finest work, but it easily vindicates their continued existence, and it’s out now on LP/CD/digital via Pinkflag.

The style of music known as Rock, a form derived from the crosspollination of R&B and C&W and distilled by bands reliably featuring vocals and guitar but crucially dependent upon a human rhythmic engine, has proven versatile and resilient since it surfaced in the mid-section of last century. But if it’s true that Rock will never die, its undiluted essence has basically nothing to do with longevity.

Certainly, the Rock ideal can be located by focusing on the ins and outs/ups and downs of a pertinent career, but it can also be found through absorbing one album, or even better, just a 45 RPM single. Indeed, the embodiment of Rock can be uncovered in a solitary song and pinpointed further in succinct moments; the scream at the beginning of the Stooges’ “T.V. Eye,” the slashing progression along the guitar neck in the middle of The Jam’s “In the City,” and the extra thrust in the drumming at the end of The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold your Hand.”

And yet a measurement frequently employed to make the case for truly exceptional rock acts is an ability to persevere over time, especially in instances where influence endures over sales figures; so it is with Wire, though the group’s lifespan consists of distinct eras, each with its proponents. Most lauded is the ’77-’80 run, a period offering three consecutive studio masterpieces. However, a considerable number of younger listens have surely been struck by the unusually productive return from their ‘90s layoff.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/21/15

Record Store Day Around the World: The Scene from London, New York, LA, Tokyo and Austin: “Blazing sunshine didn’t stop the punters flooding into Rough Trade East, London’s biggest independent record store…”

The 11 Vinyl Collectors We Met On Record Store Day at Amoeba Records: We head to Hollywood, Calif. to chat with some vinyl collectors on the eighth annual Record Store Day.

Owner of Village Green Records names his top 5 records: “For Record Store Day 2015, the Daily News asked Travis Harvey, Village Green Records owner, what his five favorite records are…”

“For this year’s Record Store Day, 405 photographer Charlotte Swindell made her way to Reflex in Newcastle, while Matt Richardson went on a bit of an adventure, taking in Rough Trade East, Ample Play, Sister Ray and Rough Trade West. He even snapped an enthusiastic-looking Jarvis Cocker…”

10 Best Selling Vinyl Records of the Last 20 Years: “Joking aside, with the recent increase in Vinyl sales across the UK, Record Store Day is actually quite an important statement from the music industry as it celebrates the independent, physical and the organic sides of the industry in the very tangible format of going out and actually buying a record…”

The beat goes on; Groovacious doing well in new digs: “Longtime Cedar City record store Groovacious recently completed a move to a new location at 195 W. 600 South directly behind Top Spot Hamburgers. The store has settled into the new location and owner Tim Cretsinger said the new spot has seen an uptick in foot traffic…”

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The TVD Storefront

Ex Hex: In-store with TVD at DC’s Som Records

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Unlike say with St. Patrick’s Day, the well-worn adage “Every day should be Record Store Day” is a concept we can truly get behind. And while we’re thrilled many of you will be hitting up your local indie record stores for Record Store Day, your local mom and pops deserve a warm hug throughout the rest of the year as well.

And it’s with this in mind that the lovely ladies of Ex Hex—Mary Timony, Laura Harris, and Betsy Wright—joined us recently on a random Tuesday, during a random week, of a random month, for an entirely unrandom record rummage at Washington, DC’s Som Records to drive the point home that you needn’t set aside just one day a year for a trip to your local vinyl vendors.

Ex Hex themselves held down the #2 spot on our Best of 2014 list last year with Rips, their debut release on Merge Records. Our own Joseph Neff wrote in December, “a dozen songs, all highlights; Ex Hex has produced an outstanding debut that sounds like an instant classic.”

The band takes these 12 classics and more to Chaz’s Bull City Records this Saturday for a Record Store Day in-store, but for now we’re in Washington, DC—and we’re record shopping with Ex Hex.

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TVD Asbury Park

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Tune in to Garden State Sound with Evan Toth to explore the diverse music with connections to New Jersey. You’ll hear in-depth interviews with some of Jersey’s best music makers and have the opportunity win tickets to some of the best concerts in the state.

“Remember when 57 channels on television were just too many for Bruce? Well, this week we discuss that, and get out there to explore other Jerseycentric curiosities.

Plus, we talk Francie Moon, visit the fountain at Paramus Park Mall, spend some time with that wildman Les Paul, and get some funk out with Kool and the Gang!” —EZT

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Video Premiere:
Lady Low, “Rainy Day”

L.A.-based romance rockers Lady Low shower us with literate pop.

We have the pleasure of premiering the quintet’s steamy video for the punchy single “Rainy Day” which finds them basking in a whirlwind of sparkling confetti, praising the rain’s ability to wash their blues away. Perhaps it’s the authenticity of the performances or the glamorous string section, but I am convinced every member of this band delights in an evocative mood.

Described as “where strings and heartstrings collide,” “Rainy Day” is the A-side to a cover of the Buzzcocks’ “You Say You Don’t Love Me.” Both singles were released this past March and although the 7” is Lady Low’s sophomore release, the individual members are seasoned industry pros who know exactly what they are looking to deliver to audiences.

Lady Low Facebook | Twitter

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