TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Try, try, try just a little bit harder / So I can love, love, love her, I tell myself / Well, I’m gonna try yeah, just a little bit harder / So I won’t lose, lose, lose her to nobody else. / Hey! Well, I don’t care how long it’s gonna take you now, / But if it’s a dream I don’t want / No I don’t really want it / If it’s a dream I don’t want nobody to wake me. / Yeah, I’m gonna try yeah, just a little bit harder / So I can give, give, give, give her every bit of my soul. / Yeah, I’m gonna try yeah, just a little bit harder / So I can show, show, show her love with no control. / Hey! I’ve waited so long for someone so fine / I ain’t gonna lose my chance, no I don’t wanna lose it, / Ain’t gonna lose my chance to make you mine, all mine. / All right, get it! Yeah!

Today is the day. The anniversary of that boring Friday before Memorial Day weekend of 2004. A day when I really just wanted to hide by myself here in the canyon. My big plan for the holiday weekend was to buy a new reclining deck chair and read a book by the pool.

Target had just opened up on La Brea and quite honestly I had never been to Target. I figured they might carry outdoor furniture. I’m not sure what the odds were that I would walk by the bowl section that late sunny afternoon.

Well, I never did find a pool chair at Target. I did bump into a friend, a special woman—and now we share a life, hopes, and dreams.

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots: The Jesus and Mary Chain
at the Warfield, 5/16

Photographed by Jason Miller-1

Do The Jesus and Mary Chain still matter? Of course they do. This groundbreaking Scottish band paved the way and drew the blueprint for some of the most innovatively original bands of the last two decades. The Raveonettes, BRMC, Catherine Wheel, and countless others pretty much owe their existence to the sound that the Reid brothers perfected. Last week The Jesus and Mary Chain celebrated the 30th anniversary of their seminal masterpiece Psychocandy by performing the record in its entirety for two sold out nights at The Warfied.

I totally missed this record when it came out back in 1985 as I was celebrating hair metal at the time (and still do actually), but I would later became a big fan. To be completely honest, Psychocandy wasn’t the record that pulled me in. I discovered the band for the first time when I heard Jim Reid sing “I wanna die just like Jesus Christ, I wanna die on a bed of spikes.”

Photographed by Jason Miller-1-2

It was 1992’s Honeys Dead and their stint on the Lollapalooza tour that year that pulled me in. I would later go back and revisit the critically acclaimed Psychocandy and even though I dig the record, I think Honey’s Dead and its follow-up, the terribly underrated Stoned and Dethroned, are superior records in every way. Maybe it’s a time period thing, I don’t know, but I just prefer the songwriting, the lyrics, the production, and the evolution of the band over those two records in particular. I think it was their creative peak.

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The TVD Storefront

Bob and Martha,
The TVD First Date

“My home was filled with classical Indian Carnatic tunes growing up; my mom would cook curry and sing along passionately.”

“I love-hated it because while I barely understood the words, the intonation was catchy and mesmerizing and invaded my mind at a very young age, filling me with meditative mantras. But being a typical little girl, the first tape I bought was the Spice Girls’ Spice. I knew every word of every song because I looked up the lyrics on some Geocities website and printed them out and I really really really wanna zig-a-zig ahh.

Middle school was a great time for music—No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Weezer, TLC—pop music was and still is a great inspiration to me. I love music that is accessible and catchy and I try to pump some of these pop vibes into my own Bob and Martha melodies.

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TVD New Orleans

Shamarr Allen’s new release, #NoFilter drops as free download‏

Trumpeter, vocalist, and songwriter Shamarr Allen has released the latest project with this band, the Underdawgs, as a mixtape which is available for streaming or as a free download.

The twelve tracks feature all of the hallmarks of Allen’s sound. Though known throughout the early part of his career as a brass band trumpeter, including a tenure with the Rebirth Brass Band, he has developed into a formidable bandleader, rapper, and songwriter.

The Underdawgs’ music walks the line between various genres and comes across as a funky rock band with tinges of hip hop, reggae, and jazz. There are elements of soul and R&B as well. He even sings in a falsetto on “Got Me Like.” “Jazz Resuscitation (Dub Step)” and “Blue Orleans” have some really strong trumpet work.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Robbie Williams, Intensive Care

What do you do when you’ve spent your lonely teen years idolizing Elton John, loving Elton John, ADORING Elton John, only to wake up one day to realize you’re 56 years old and need a substitute, a new Elton John in your life, to help see you through the long banal days and long lonely nights? Why you turn to Robbie Williams, of course. Williams is England’s best stab at providing us with a latter-day Captain Fantastic—to wit, a prolific hit machine who writes catchy songs and gets no respect from the right people, but is beloved by millions.

I fell in love with Williams the first time I heard “Angels.” It’s as close as any human has ever come to writing a new “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” and I swooned and don’t care who knows it. Bigger than life and anthemic as all fuck, “Angels” is all swirling strings and crescendos over which Williams pours, depending on your point of view, saccharine or his very heart blood.

Williams has come a long way since the acrimonious end of his first (1990-95) tenure in the boy band Take That—indeed, he’s one of the best-selling artists of all time, topping the likes of Beyoncé, The Black Eyed Peas, and Joseph Stalin, another Take That alumnus. He’s partied with Oasis and lived, released 11 solo albums, and bared his bum for the cover of 2014’s Under the Radar Volume 1, unless that’s a stunt bum I’m looking at as I write this. And he seems like a nice bloke, which is quaint, although for all I know he’s no friendlier than Heinrich Himmler, yet another Take That alum.

If there’s one thing you have to hand Williams, it’s he knows how to make an entrance. Take 2005’s Intensive Care. He opens the catchy “Ghosts,” its inaugural track, with the lines, “Here I stand victorious/The only man who made you cum.” Top that, friend. It’s your standard lovelorn affair with a great chorus, over which Williams says things like “me and you” and “we could have made it.” The backing vocals are wonderful, the strings transcendental, and while Elton John is no ghost I can feel his aura hovering over this one. “Tripping” opens with some ska drums and is ska flavored and reminds me of The Police, a band I can only compare to rickets. Williams switches back and forth from his regular voice to a falsetto, and there’s a brief hip-hop interlude that only makes things worse. In short I don’t like “Tripping,” but then there are plenty of Elton John songs (especially that one about Lady Di kicking the royal bucket) I don’t like either.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/22/15

Josey Records, out of Dallas, is coming to Kansas City: “According to the press release, the Kansas City location will be 6,500 square feet and will house over 60,000 records and CDs. This location will also feature a stage for live music, local art and ‘a curated selection of local Kansas City beers.'”

Pondering Cafe Culture at Vinyl: “It’s sleek and modern, sure, but also a cross between “Seattle Coffee House” and “painfully hip record store.” (There is indeed a collection of vinyl albums up for perusal.)”

MARS Records descends upon Plymouth: “…There’s something about the process – the buying of the record, the opening of the record, the listening to it on the stereo with a bona fide cartridge. The sound is a little different and the experience is very different…”

For the Record: Vinyl Comeback Backlogs Dallas Factory, “They’ve been talking about the demise of vinyl since the 70s,” he says. “It’s never really gone away.”

‘A good run:’ Weirdo Records shutters after 6 years: “Weirdo Records, a home away from home for vinyl heads, has officially closed, according to the owner who posted a farewell note on the store’s website…”

“…Cambridge’s arts and music scene has taken another hit. Less than a week after news of T.T. The Bear’s Place’s closing had surfaced, Massachusetts Avenue record shop and underground culture destination Weirdo Records has shuttered…”

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The TVD Storefront

Con Brio,
The TVD First Date

“Born in the ’90s, I grew up listening to CDs. Though I was always aware of vinyl’s existence, it wasn’t quite as accessible to me as CDs were. However, as I grew older, I began to explore life and soon expanded into the understanding of their raw and intimate sound quality.”

“Brief snapshot, I was 18 to be exact. I had just concluded my first meeting with a musical offer that allowed me to put together a 7 piece band and develop a residency that would be called “The Soul Train Revival.” Immediately after, I took a bus down to Haight Street and walked into a record store called, Rooky Ricardo’s Records to do some setlist preparation. Everything I discovered in that store was “reviving” in itself. Records from artists like Donny Hathaway, Chic, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Prince, and many others are where I parked my imagination through the in-store record player.

In conclusion, I walked out of there with more than a setlist and a free Stevie Wonder record (Talking Book) from the store owner. Thereafter, vinyl symbolized the timeless nature of music that resonated with me in an organic way.”

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TVD New Orleans

This Is NOLA relaunches at the Joy Theater

This is NOLA is not just an event, it’s a concept. Emerging from a lack of centralized support for the contemporary arts and the cocktail and culinary scenes in New Orleans, the party’s founder Reeves Price sought to highlight all the facets of the emerging, progressive culture in the city. It returns to the Joy Theater Friday night, 5/22.

“Our local heritage and the people who built it are what make New Orleans unlike any other city in the world and cherished unlike any other city in the world. As we continue to grow as America’s boutique city, we are attracting new people, new tastes, and new trends. They are not changing the local culture, they are complimenting it, and This Is NOLA is their speakerbox,” Price said.

Friday’s music line up does not disappoint in that regard and runs the gamut in terms of genres while featuring some of the city’s most interesting young artists.

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UK Video: The Dirty Blonde, “Take You Under”

It’s always refreshing to hear a band taking alternative rock back to its roots, and The Dirty Blonde do not disappoint.

Influenced mostly by various Scottish folk bands as well as R.E.M., this stripped back Glasgow four piece have created a rocking sound that’s fuzzy in all the right places. Just check out their video for “Take You Under”—just four guys in a carpeted room, cut with the streets at night.

It shouldn’t be special, but it’s such a love letter to the ’90s that we just couldn’t resist it. There are no bells and whistles, there are no ridiculous production values, just some friends playing music and, most importantly, they look like they’re having an amazing time.

Keep an eye out for their single, “Goodbye: Tiny Fractures” which is released 15th June 2015 via Two States Recording and keep up to date with the band on Twitter.

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A Badge of Friendship,
The Podcast

A Badge Of Friendship are back at full capacity this week with Episode 6 of their podcast.

Ed (or should we say “Beaver Man”) has come back from his self imposed quarantine, and the gang are also joined by none other than The Vinyl District’s very own Jon Meyers to discuss the origins of the site and his love affair with vinyl.

Ed spins a track from Stiff Records for this week’s “Label Love,” while Claire points the spotlight at Sia’s “Elastic Heart” for “Pass The Cheese.” Things then get a little bit freaky as Paul takes everybody to a strange, Nintendo K-hole with Boards Of Italia’s “Mario Theme” for this week’s “World Of Weird.”

Tracks played on the show can be heard in full here:

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