“I’m old enough to remember getting my first record player one Christmas when I was around five years old. It was a Mickey Mouse record player. It came in a white plastic case, kind of like a typewriter case (I’m old enough to remember those, too), and on the inside of the lid, which had a little speaker built into it, was Mickey Mouse.”
“Mickey Mouse’s arm was the arm of the record player, and the stylus protruded from the tip of his white-gloved index finger …. I’d sit cross-legged on the floor next to it, listening to my mother’s Beatles LPs over and over again, leafing through the Magical Mystery Tour booklet and pondering the significance of the lyrics.
My mother also had a sizeable collection of folk music albums—many of them on the Smithsonian Folkways label—that were a bit smaller than a standard LP and were made of really thick, heavy vinyl. I think I liked the look and feel of those as much as or more than the music itself. They had wonderfully serious titles like American Folk Songs And Ballads and Blues, Volume 1.
It’s silly, really. Like I’m banging my head against the wall. All these years I’ve spent trying to convince a dubious public that Madison, Wisconsin’s Killdozer was one of history’s greatest rock bands, utterly wasted. I’ve convinced no one and will continue to convince no one, not one single person, that Killdozer was the ultimate shit. What is so apparent to me, that Killdozer was a simultaneously hilarious and serious protest band that played pile driver rock at volumes designed to explode Ming vases, moves the record-playing public not a jot. They—sob!—just don’t care.
But I’m going to give it one more try. One more try, and then you’ll never have to hear me natter on about the genius of Killdozer ever again. But here, I’ll start you off with just a taste of Michael Gerald—vocalist, bassist, and songwriter extraordinaire—and his amazing talent. It’s a song called “New Pants and Shirt,” and it opens with Gerald shrieking, “Enter the 49 gates of uncleanliness!” and then, after some quiet bass, singing, “Enter the 49 gates of uncleanliness/Said she pushing up her skirt/I held my breath against her fetidness/As I gazed upon the swinish flirt.” You will not find lyrics so despicably hilarious anywhere, except in the work of Anal Cunt.
But Gerald didn’t limit himself to writing about the despicable. He wrote great songs about disaster movie director Irwin Allen, the writer Flannery O’Connor (“She wrote many books/Before death came upon her”), Earl Scheib the car-painting king, a dog named Knuckles who helps people, horrifying train accidents and grain elevator explosions, free love in Amsterdam, Ed Gein, a man with a ¾” drill bit lodged in his brain, you name it. And he sang them all from a Trotskyist perspective, one that I think he was at least semi-serious about. One of the most interesting things about Killdozer is trying to separate the sincerity from the satire, and I remain convinced Killdozer had every bit as much empathy for the common man as Bruce Springsteen. And they were never as smug about it.
Why Don’t Major Labels Release Rap Albums on Vinyl Anymore? “I was watching an interview with Earl Sweatshirt telling NPR’s Frannie Kelley and Ali Shaheed Muhammed that in order for him to conceive of a new album, he first imagines its cover on iTunes. The possibility of a physical release of his music wasn’t even mentioned.”
Apparently some copies of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born To Die’ LP have Wildhoney on them: “Gordon Dufresne, founder of Deranged Records, the label that released “Sleep Through It,” confirms that this is a legit error and not an elaborate stunt. “All copies of this particular pressing of the LDR record were pressed this way,” he writes via email. “A good portion will be recalled and likely recycled but lots of copies are now circulating.”
Jaime’s Local Love: Stinkweeds Record Store, “Walking the aisles of Stinkweeds brings me back to my weekends in high school perusing the records and cassette tapes at Zia Records. In fact, Zia Records is where Stinkweeds owner Kimber Lanning got her first job.”
The new teenage must-have is … a record player and vinyl collection: “Weirdly, my lad, who makes Gadget Man look like a cave man and is so technically advanced it terrifies me, asked for a record player for his birthday – and a spare stylus.“
Teach me how to hobby: Vinyl records, “You’ve seen them before: stacked in long rows at Al’s Music, hidden in suitcases at the Fremont Vintage Mall, and shining in the windows of Urban Outfitters. On the street they’re casually tucked under someone’s arm or peeking out of a rucksack. Sitting in your parents’ attic are boxes full of them.“
20 Brilliant Vinyl Record DIY Ideas You’ll Definitely Love: “If you’re planning to drop your records…or you’ve a whole bunch sitting around gathering dust, you many want to take them out right now and turn them into any of these 20 unique DIY vinyl record ideas!“
Seems like I dig talking about the weather. Fall officially came last weekend but the heat of September 2015 continues swelling through our canyon. Tomorrow should be another 90 degree Indian summer day. Sunday night, after a yummy udon dinner in Little Tokyo, we cruised Mulholland Drive to take a peak at the lunar eclipse. It was a rare chance to have a glimpse at a “supermoon.”
Yes, I know I’m likely the last soul on the internet to write about this occurrence, but the combination of the crowds, clouds, heat, and “blood moon” was indeed special. It conjured songs in my head, and I craved the words of Jim Morrison. This motherfucker’s…
Let’s swim to the moon, uh huh/ Let’s climb through the tide/ Penetrate the evenin’ that the/ City sleeps to hide/ Let’s swim out tonight, love/ It’s our turn to try/ Parked beside the ocean/ On our moonlight drive…
You can count the number of artists who can fill a stadium on one hand, and the mighty AC/DC lead the pack. Touring in support of their latest release, the not-surprisingly great Rock or Bust, Angus Young and company brought their one of a kind rock ‘n’ roll experience to AT&T Park and was warmly greeted by a sold out crowd.
This is one of those once in a lifetime shows which is truly bigger than anything happening in rock ‘n’ roll at the moment. I would even put AC/DC above the Stones in this case as I don’t think there is any band on the planet that sounds this good and continues to deliver rock solid records even though they could certainly tour just to be touring.
Being one of the most important and influential rock bands in history isn’t an easy task, but these guys are certainly up for the challenge. From the very first note of “Rock or Bust” the capacity crowd sporting glowing devil horns lit up immediately and pledged their allegiance for those about to rock. Just walking through the crowd you could see both hard core fans and the latter absolutely losing their shit over this band. Each song played perfectly into the next as a sort of crash course in the history of hard rock—past, present, and future.
The two time Grammy Award winner is preparing to release Lalah Hathaway Live on October 30th—available on vinyl, CD, and DVD from Hathaway Entertainment with distribution by eOne Music. This album was recorded at the Troubadour in Los Angeles this past April. It’s the same stage upon which her father, Donny Hathaway, recorded his Live album in 1972.
Several surprise guests joined LaLah Hathaway in NYC—jazz legend Chick Corea, Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson), Freddie Jackson, Jonathan McReynolds, and songwriter James Day.
“The first thing I ever purchased at a record store was MC Hammer’s “2 Legit to Quit” single. It was 1991, I was 9 years old, and it was on a cassette tape. Then about 5 minutes later these things called CDs came out and I found myself back at that same record store buying Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Then about 2 minutes later Napster hit the scene and no one bought cassettes or CDs (or music) anymore.”
“All this to say, I sorta missed the vinyl record era when it was in its heyday. But missing that era is precisely why records have always had a mysterious coolness to them. Growing up, my older brother had a record collection that he kept in his room and which was, of course, off-limits to me. My parents had a record collection 10 times bigger. So records were always around but they were like the party AFTER I was sent to bed… grown up, cool, and forbidden.
Records weren’t off-limits to me because my parents didn’t want me to experience the music. They were off-limits because I was a kid and records are delicate. They can be scratched. You have to make sure the record is clean before you put it on the player. You have to make sure the needle doesn’t have any dirt or lint on it and be very gentle with the arm as you place it right on the edge of the record as it spins at the selected speed. There was a method and a system to the whole thing that I admired with awe from a safe distance. Records took time.
TVD is proud to present another exclusive world premiere video. The tune is the single off Bantam Foxes’ new EP, “Loser.” It drops on October 30, 2015. The band will also being playing that day at the Voodoo Music Experience and opening for Desaparecidos, Conor Oberst’s band, at the Republic on November 3.
“Loser” is their follow-up to “Give Us a Raise,” which was released this past April. Recorded over the same sweaty New Orleans weekend as its more poppy predecessor, “Loser” dives into darker territory.
Tracks like the ‘70s-esque, riff-heavy “Rip” and set-closer-slash-death-march “Left for Dead” show that the band isn’t all simple melody and garage-pop polish.
I’ve always had the same issue with Rickie Lee Jones as I do with Tom Waits; to wit, I can’t escape the sense that they’re beatniks escaped from a time capsule. There’s something atavistic about their sound; hearing it, it’s impossible to escape the eerie sensation that you’re sitting in a smoky and low-ceilinged Village club, the Kettle of Fish say, surrounded by beret-wearing hipsters in goatees, of the type who click their fingers instead of applaud.
That said, I’ve always preferred Jones, if only because she doesn’t have a patch of hair sprouting from her lower lip. No, the truth is I can’t really rationalize my life-long dislike of Waits; sure, he’s written lots of great songs, but that doesn’t mean I have to like him. I don’t have to like Jones either, but I do, from her groundbreaking debut to her latest release, 2012’s The Devil You Know, on which she sings like… well, like she just swallowed a shitload of ludes, which causes her to sing very slooowwwllly, which I like a lot. No more of the beatnik affectations. Her phrasing and sudden shifts in tone are idiosyncratic, to say the least, but she doesn’t sound as rebop as she does wasted, like she brought a quart of bourbon to the studio and drank it before she sang any of the songs on this album of noteworthy standards.
Jones’ career took off with the release of her 1979 self-titled debut, which featured dozens of top-notch LA sessions players—to say nothing of Dr. John on piano and Randy Newman on synthesizers—and included the great “Chuck E.’s in Love.” Buoyed by a highly touted performance on Saturday Night Live, she soon found herself on the cover of the Rolling Stone, and her beret quickly became more famous than Joni Mitchell’s beret, which no doubt pissed off Mitchell’s beret to no end.