A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/19/17

Skeleton Dust Records opening in downtown Dayton: Vinyl and cassettes are back in style and will be sold at a new shop opening in downtown Dayton. Skeleton Dust Records, owned by local resident Luke Tandy, is on track to open in October at 133 E. Third St. Tandy said he’s been describing the store as “curated and eclectic,” with a wide range of genres available on records, cassettes and CDs, but also a carefully picked selection of what he considers the best stuff. “I’ll be kind of carrying a little bit of everything, but there’s a focus of stuff that falls outside of the mainstream,” he said.

Free Vinyl Record DAY at LA’s The Record Parlour, 30,000 LPs for FREE on September 23-24, 2017: 120,000+ Records purchased in the last several months have created a massive mountain of #Vinyl Records to accumulate since our last #FREE DAY in June. Over 30,000 records across all genres are out for FREE Sept 23-24. Arrive EARLY for the best selection and shorter wait time. Spend $20 and take up to 100 RECORDS FOR FREE. Please bring your own box or bag. We only do this 2-3x a year – don’t miss this final opportunity for 2017. (Next date is Jan 2018) In addition to LPs, we will have about 5,000 fantastic 45s, 78s, #Cassettes, Music Magazines and #Posters. They also have TO GO and are FREE.

Vinyl records experience resurgence in New Zealand: The death of vinyl is over-rated. Long-time record lovers say they never went away. A record fair held in Hamilton on Saturday saw a new generation trading, buying and selling records, organiser and collector Brian Wafer said. More and more young people are buying records, collectors say. More young DJs and alternative music fanatics are turning to vinyl. In Australia, a record plant will open in 2018 for the first time in 30 years to keep up with increasing demand. In New Zealand, revenue from record sales has climbed over the past four years. Radioscope, which collects data on the recording industry, reports sales doubled from $462,000 to $1 million between 2013 and 2014.

How to see Prophets of Rage perform at a Long Beach record store: Politically charged supergroup Prophets of Rage will make an appearance at Long Beach’s Fingerprints Records, 420 E. Fourth St., for an in-store performance on Friday, Sept. 22. The collective is made up of Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Chuck D and DJ Lord of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill. “We’ve done a couple of things with Chuck D over the years and we’ve had Tom Morello before, and they called and said they wanted to do it,” said Rand Foster, owner of Fingerprints. The 7 p.m. show happens about a week after the release of the band’s self-titled 12-track album which mixes rap and rock with socially conscious and politically-driven lyrics.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Stax Country in stores 10/20 via Craft Recordings

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings, the catalog division of Concord Music Group, is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of Stax Country, a collection of rare and unreleased country songs, recorded in the early-mid 1970s for the Memphis label.

Due out October 20th, the album will be available on vinyl and CD, as well as across all digital and streaming platforms, and will include new liner notes by author Colin Escott, who has not only chronicled the stories of Hank Williams, Sun Records, and the Grand Ole Opry, but also co-wrote the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet. Stax Country comes as part of an extensive 60th anniversary celebration of the iconic soul label, taking place throughout 2017.

Primarily known as a soul outfit, Stax often made efforts to diversify, with signings in rock, blues, and country music, the latter of which wasn’t a stretch for the Memphis label: Stax’s cofounder Jim Stewart was a fiddle player himself, who began his career in the genre; while Nashville—the mecca of country music—was just a mere three hours away. The label cast a wide net to find the next big voice in country music, but the results were lukewarm. In his liner notes, Escott confirms, “Indies had never broken the major labels’ hammerlock on country for long. Smaller labels nibbled around the lower reaches of the charts, sometimes even pushing a record or two to the top, but year-in, year-out, the majors owned country music. Stax was neither the first nor last label to discover that.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People 25th Anniversary Edition in stores 11/10

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Rock icons R.E.M. are reissuing their landmark album Automatic For The People to commemorate the title’s 25th Anniversary. Due November 10 via Craft Recordings, the remastered album will be available in a variety of formats, the most extensive of which is the Deluxe Anniversary Edition, which will feature the album in its entirety mixed in Dolby Atmos.

The album (plus bonus track “Photograph,” featuring Natalie Merchant) was remixed in Dolby Atmos by Automatic’s original producer, Scott Litt, and engineer, Clif Norrell. This technology delivers a leap forward from surround sound with expansive, flowing audio that immerses the listener far beyond what stereo can offer. It transports the listener inside the recording studio with multi-dimensional audio—evoking a time when listening to music was an active, transformative experience, and reigniting the emotion you felt when you first heard the album in 1992. R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People is the first album to be commercially released in this expressive, breathtaking format.

In addition, the 4-disc Deluxe Edition will offer a wealth of previously unreleased material. The band selected 20 never-before-heard demos from the LP’s sessions, including the fully-realized, unreleased track “Mike’s Pop Song” and the oft-mused about song, “Devil Rides Backwards.” “Mike’s Pop Song” debuts today and is available as an instant grat track with preorder of the reissue.

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The TVD Storefront

Robbery Inc.,
The TVD First Date

“My first memories of vinyl were when I was a kid living in Oahu, HI, and my older cousin busted out an AC/DC Back In Black record. He would drop the needle at random spots and I’d guess which song was playing off the album. We’d also have air guitar contests and I’d always win; this was a good 8 years before I started actually playing guitar so I guess it was in my blood!”

“From there it was Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic, Kiss’ Destroyer and Alive!, Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell and Paranoid. I loved the artwork on these albums, and would stare at it while playing the records. There were a slew of 45s I wore out: The Village People’s “YMCA,” Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration,” Kiss’ “I was Made For Loving You,” and then there was my grandfather’s amazing collection of Cuban music that I loved. Even now, whenever I hear traditional Cuban music, I’m transported back in time to when we’d build puzzles and listen to his records.

The thing I love most about vinyl is the packaging and the artwork. It helps convey the tone and feel of what the artist is going for musically, or it can be a visual experience of what an album is about. Its part of a band’s branding. When I first bought an album I would read the lyrics off the liner notes while singing along to the music, and there were also credits (remember those?) so I’d know exactly who played on the records and who mixed and produced the tracks.

The old jazz albums would have forwards on them, like a book, providing great context for the listener. I think that credits are the most important thing missing from today’s digital downloads and streams. I’m a musician, but I’m also a producer, and the lack of focus on these details on iTunes, Spotify, and other DSPs is disappointing. With vinyl’s resurgence, artists can now include the credits, backstories, and lyrics once again. This is great!

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

Opollo – Keep Shining The Dark Light
Flotation Toy Warning – Due To Adverse Weather Conditions, All Of My Heroes Have Surrendered
MELANIE? – 16 Candles
Becca Richardson – Wanted
Swimming Bell – Ealing Common
Shining Mirrors – Cardiac
TOMKAT – Teardrops
Brad Peterson – Clap Your Hands
J Hacha de Zola – March of the Hollowmen
This Way to the Egress – See No Evil

MYRKUR – Ulvinde

Mark Bryan – Mybabyshe’sallright
Matt Tarka – Time Travels
Ephrata – Tunguska
Tree Machines – Up For Air
Broke Royals – As Long As I Can See
Jahn Rome – Breathe In
Ashton Love – Counting Down The Days
CUZZINS – Irreplacable (Feat. Paige Faust)
Mighty Mouse – Nueva Vida
LondonBridge – Treat Me Right

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Les Baxter,
Skins! Bongo Party
with Les Baxter

Bongo-curious? Oh, come on. You know you are. We all are, deep down. So go ahead, take a walk on the wild side with Les Baxter’s 1957 bongo opus Skins! Bongo Party with Les Baxter.

One album. One man. One set of bongos. What could be more exciting than that? Well, an all-cowbell LP would be more exciting than that, but make no mistake; Les Baxter—the musician and arranger who from the 1950s to the late 1990s produced a massive discography of relatively queasy-making easy-listening world music that he called exotica—has come up with the next best thing.

I’m joshing, of course. Does anybody out there really want to listen to an entire album of bongo solos? It’s like my pal Steve Renfro, who is paraphrasing Allen Ginsberg, says: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by bongos, starving hysterical naked… “ I don’t know about you, but when I hear a bongo solo coming, I run for the hills.

But I’ll be damned if Baxter doesn’t almost pull it off. Ninety-nine percent of the Muzak Maestro’s output may be treacle—I’ve just been listening to 1958’s Space Escapade (saccharine intergalactic laid back!) and 1951’s Ritual of the Savage (the natives are restfully orchestral tonight!) and frankly, my ears hate me. But on Skins! Baxter eschews schmaltz for at least a semblance of Afro-Cuban jazz authenticity, and if the album ultimately fails to satisfy it has less to do with Baxter’s propensity for populist pablum than the limitations inherit in producing a record revolving around a percussion instrument with limited musical and emotional range.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/18/17

Put it on wax: Three spots to find vinyl records in Denver, Vinyl records are back. Here is where to find them in Denver: Streaming services, like Apple Music and Spotify, are great for listening to and purchasing music whenever, wherever. However, there’s nothing like setting a needle on vinyl on a spinning turntable. The sound is natural, and holding a vinyl record might make you feel like you own a piece of art. Stop by these Denver record stores to explore thousands of albums.

Ordering a Double (a Drink and a Song) at Tokyo Record Bar: To the experienced cocktail-bar fan, some things about the new place on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village will be familiar: the hard-to-find entrance, the cramped subterranean quarters, the need for reservations, the turntable and the collection of old vinyl. Other details may ring fewer bells, if any: the seven-course izakaya menu, the preponderance of sake, the song index you are handed along with the cocktail menu. This is Tokyo Record Bar, a creative homage to a type of bar, common in Japan, where the aural is as important as the oral.

A new exhibition explores how recorded sound has changed the way we live: Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound, a new exhibition at the British Library, explores how the ability to record and reproduce sound has shaped modern life. The exhibition uses the invention of the phonograph, a device created by Thomas Edison in 1877 which enabled people to record and replay sound for the first time, as its launch point. Opening on the 6th October 2017, the five-month event features listening booths where you can hear rare and unreleased sounds from the British Library’s archive, an audio installation by composer Aleks Kolkowski, as well as the museum’s collection of players and recorders.

Rock Music Menu: The Rocktober celebration of vinyl returns for second year: Last year Rhino kicked-off Rocktober, a highly successful campaign that celebrated some of the biggest names in rock and roll. It was almost like having Record Store Day in October — albeit on a much, much smaller scale. The concept is the same, a limited pressing of some of the most iconic records in history. Now, the campaign returns with another riveting month-long event featuring 17 not-to-miss releases. Tuesday, October 3 kicks off the first round and continues with new releases every Tuesday throughout the month. Rocktober 2017 features iconic artists Alice Cooper, Faces, Grateful Dead, Jane’s Addiction and many more.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Music City, USA!

Last Sunday morning, the sunshine felt like rain / The week before, they all seemed the same / With the help of God and true friends, I’ve come to realize / I still have two strong legs, and even wings to fly / So I, ain’t a-wastin time no more / ‘Cause time goes by like hurricanes, and faster things

By the time the “IH” publishes today I’ll be on the ground in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s my third, maybe fourth, trip to The Nash for The AMAs, an annual gathering of all things music biz flying under the banner of Americana music.

In the past what’s been surprisingly cool about the conference is an awards ceremony held at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. Indeed, The Grand Ole Opry has a dope vibe—the old wooden floor boards and church pews just soak up that gee-tar twang.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Radar: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band career retrospective Anthology in stores 9/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Continuing the celebration of the legendary Americana band’s 50 years of making music together, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s extraordinary career is encapsulated in the new retrospective two-disc set, Anthology, due September 29 via Capitol Nashville/UMe.

Beginning with “Buy For Me The Rain,” their first track from their 1967 self-titled Capitol records debut, and culminating with “The Resurrection” from their most recent studio release, 2009’s Speed of Life, the all-encompassing collection is an extensive 39-track career overview, which includes illuminating liner notes from renowned journalist and author Holly Gleason. Hanna says, “We really wanted this collection to historically reflect our band’s timeline, but in addition to that, felt like it was important to include deeper cuts (“Fish Song,” “Cosmic Cowboy”) and instrumentals (“Randy Lynn Rag,” “Midnight at Woody Creek”), and fan favorites (“Ripplin’ Waters,” “Bayou Jubilee”).

Long before Americana music had a name, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, helped lead the charge, mixing elements of country, bluegrass, folk, mountain music, and rock & roll into a sound that celebrated the full range of American music. Formed in Long Beach, Calif. in 1966, the guys were traditionalists and trendsetters, performing songs that nodded to the past while still pushing toward the future.

From their ubiquitous 1970’s Top 10 hit of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles,” to “An American Dream”—featuring Troubadour pal Linda Ronstadt—and “Make a Little Magic,” with Nicolette Larson, to their #1 country songs, 1984’s “Long Hard Road (Sharecropper’s Dream),” penned by Rodney Crowell and featuring Ricky Skaggs on fiddle and a young Jerry Douglas on dobro, to 1987’s platinum-certified “Fishin’ In The Dark” and many many more, Anthology collects all their best known songs in chronological order of release showcasing the band’s thrilling evolution and numerous highlights.

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TVD New Orleans

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood and the songs of Barefoot in the Head hit the Civic on Sunday, 9/17

PHOTO: JON CORNICKThe last time the Chris Robinson Brotherhood was in town was for an outdoor show for Hogs For the Cause last spring. Before that it was two shows at Tipitina’s. The neo-psychedelic rock band graduates to the Civic Theatre with a performance on Sunday night.

Chris Robinson may be best known in these parts as one of the founders of The Black Crowes—a band steeped in southern rock and its accompanying mythos. But since that group went on extended hiatus he has traded the drawl of the south for the mystical lyricism and sterling guitar work associated with California.

Though I was never a big Black Crowes fan, I did see their show at the Civic a couple of years back—Robinson and his tighter-than-the-proverbial-drum ensemble have grown on me like a foraged mushroom.

The Black Crowes took some of their cues from those titans of southern rock, The Allman Brothers. Robinson has stated in interviews his unabashed love for the Grateful Dead. While the all-encompassing ethos made famous by the Dead over three decades is now relatively mainstream in the jam band community, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood appears to be truly living it beyond what happens on stage.

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