TVD Nashville

Lloyd Cole,
The TVD Interview

From his stunning debut with The Commotions on 1984’s Rattlesnakes, Lloyd Cole has continued to make intelligent pop music for the last three decades. With lyrics referencing literary and pop culture figures as well as chronicling the ebb and flow of personal relationships, Cole touches the mind as well as the heart.

After a period as an acoustic troubadour, Cole has reunited with some early solo career colleagues to make Standards, a return to the jangly guitar milieu of Don’t Get Weird On Me Babe-era sounds. We spoke with Cole prior to his March 29th appearance at Nashville’s City Winery.

Your new album finds you returning to the electric guitar sound of your earlier albums. Was the title a conscious reference to that?

I don’t remember why I called it Standards, really. I just liked the sound of it and I knew that some people would think it was me being snotty or arrogant, calling it Standards, and I always like to rub those people the wrong way (laughter). I guess there’s still a bit of the snotty kid who titled an album Mainstream twenty-eight years ago still there inside me.

I was happy to see you reunited with Matthew Sweet. I’ve been a fan of his since the Buzz of Delight days in the ‘80s Athens, GA scene.

On (Lloyd Cole and The Commotions’) first tour of America, we had a great time in Athens. We wound up having about three days off there, just one of those scheduling things where there were no gigs and we were booked for three days in some nasty hotel. We met some local kids who had a big house and we moved out of the hotel and went to stay with them. I think we drank a lot, probably.

What was it like picking up the electric guitar and getting back together with Matthew and Fred Maher, with whom you had recorded twenty years earlier? Did it feel familiar, strange…

It was, strangely, exactly the same. It wasn’t even familiar, it was the SAME. After a couple of hours on the first day, we looked at each other and said, “Well, this works (laughter).” The combination of the three of us just works and it’s really hard to explain. Fred takes a week to remember the title of a song and Matthew knows how the song goes before I finish telling him. They learn in very different ways but they play together really well. They’ve played on Matthew’s records and on my records, they just play bass and drums together really well in a way that really suits with how I play rhythm guitar and write songs. When we were recording, I played the guitar and sang the songs live. Matthew and I were in the control room, Fred was in the drum room and it just felt weirdly identical.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Alice Cooper,
Love It to Death

Alice Cooper, 1971; it’s almost enough to break your heart. Alice put out two LPs that year, Love It to Death and Killer, and both include a handful of incredibly great hard rockers combined with their fair share of duds, including a boring nine-minute workout on Love It to Death (“Black Juju”) and the equally coma-inducing eight-plus minute “Halo of Flies” on Killer. I know bands were often contractually obligated to produce two LPs per annum back then, and that may or may not have had something to do with the limited number of fabulous tracks on both LPs. But imagine, just for a moment, had Alice Cooper put out just one album in 1971, an album containing the best songs from both LPs. The finished product would have been brilliant, and one of the best hard rock LPs of all time.

Alas, you can’t turn back the clock—if you could, I’d move it back to the glory days, when I could smoke tons of pot and not get paranoid—and we’re stuck forever with two woulda-coulda been tremendous albums marred by too many weak tracks to be called great.

As for the band, they got their start in Los Angeles on Frank Zappa’s Straight label, but following the disappointing sales of their sophomore LP (1970’s Easy Action) they up and moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where they fit in perfectly with bands like the Stooges and the MC5. Cooper himself blamed the band’s failure to make a mark in LA to drugs; “L.A. just didn’t get it,” he stated. “They were all on the wrong drug for us. They were on acid and we were basically drinking beer. We fit much more in Detroit than we did anywhere else.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new tracks received last week—provided here to inform your next trip to your local indie record store. Click, preview, download, purchase.

Love Axe – Only Gonna Tear You Apart
The Capture Effect – Lies And False Signals
Chastity Belt – Joke
Tree Machines – Fucking Off Today
Josh Gilligan – Old and Tired Ground
Thad Kopec – Every Drop
Absofacto – Dissolve (Robert Lux Remix)
Mikaela Kahn – Chemical Attraction
stickybackplastics. – Psycho Dreamer (Single Version)
DOSVEC – Safe & Intoxicated (Capital Cities vs Martin Solveig & GTA)

Morning Harvey – Smith Street Swap Meet

The Helmholtz Resonators – Vermillion Hue
Fritz Montana – I’m Not The Same
C A R A L I S – Clicks In SOLLUS (Remix)
Round Eye – City Livin’
Royal Tongues – Don’t Wanna Fight
Daniele Di Martino – Time (Original Mix)
The Fantastic Plastics – NoNoGoGo
The Othermen – (Do The) Stand Still
Muzzy Bearr – Seduction Cup
OT Genasis – CoCo (BoBega Bootleg)

15 more FREE TRACKS on side B!

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 3/30/15

Exactly Why Should You Buy Your Vinyl In A Record Store? “…But we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, vinyl is about so much more than just the music. It’s about the experience. And hauling your arse to a record store is a really important slice of that experience.”

586 Records secures enterprise funding as Newcastle’s latest record shop: DJ and promoter Antony Daly hopes his vinyl dedicated shop will attract record lovers from across the North East

Tim Dalton Joins Joe Camilleri And Amber Lawrence As Record Store Ambassador: Music educator Tim Dalton has joined ARIA Hall of Famer Joe Camilleri and Golden Guitar winner Amber Lawrence as an Ambassador for Record Store Day Australia.

“Record Store Day is on its way and all the vinyl happy collectors are jumping for joy with all of the planned limited releases. For someone who had no idea what we’re talking about, this article is made for you. Here are 10 tips for budding vinyl collectors in any stage of their collection.”

“The art world can’t keep its hands off vinyl. From Fluxus artists like Milan Knízák and Nam June Paik, to experimental turntablists and sound pioneers like Christian Marclay, records have proved infinitely fascinating both as aesthetic objects to be celebrated and formats to be manipulated, pulled apart and reconstructed. Opening at BALTIC39 in Newcastle…”

NUVO at 25, Browsing Indy’s record stores: “Throughout the rise and fall of the “digital age” Indianapolis has been fortunate to host not just one, but a handful of world-class, independent, brick and mortar music shops.

Vinyl Records: Our last, best hope? “The resurging interest in vinyl records offers a ray of hope for humanity.”

Getting in the Groove, Physical Records in a Digital World: “When my friends come to my house, we always play records,” Antee said. “I love the crackling [sound], and I feel there’s a big difference in the connection that you feel with the music because you have the album cover and all of the information about the record right in front of you.”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I came back from a rainy week in Austin to a full house. My mom is in town and staying with us this week. Nice to see ma with my son. I’m sure she has been decompressing from another harsh winter back east.

“I told ya ma, come in February, but you’re always welcome.”

I should have said, always welcome—except when you ask one too many questions. (Ha!) Jewish mothers always ask way too many questions—thousands of questions! It takes patience to understand this family fact. “Blabbing” and asking dumb questions just comes naturally to us Sidels.

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The TVD Storefront

Tom Williams,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl stands out like a sore thumb in today’s culture of music consumption which is what makes it so intriguing that new vinyl sales continue to increase world-wide. You can’t listen to vinyl in your car or on the train, or as you bustle and shove your way through the underground on the way to work. You can’t get vinyl for free if you know the right websites and it doesn’t all fit compactly into your pocket. It’s heavy, it’s cumbersome, it warps, skips, and scratches, and it’s expensive. But yet still more and more people each year fall back in love, or even in love for the first time, with vinyl.”

“What music formats that plead convenience do is undermine what music means to billions of music fans world-wide. Music becomes something that needs to be squeezed in while you do something else. It ceases to become a ritual, a sacred thing that one might make time for. Music is something to be multi tasked to, something enjoyed on low quality headphones or on the speakers of your phone, laptop, or iPad. Something to be listened once to and then thrown away.

What vinyl does is create space and time for the music that lies within its grooves. As soon you bring a record into your house, it demands attention. It’s heavy, so you need special shelves for it, especially if you’ve got thousands. You need a turntable, good cartridge and stylus, an amp, and speakers that will all do the record justice, and you need to set up your room for maximum listening pleasure. You need a great chair to collapse into, low lighting and posters of your favourite records. If you’re so inclined you need a bottle of good whiskey and an ashtray too.

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TVD Nashville

TVD Recommends: Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats Trivia Night 3/29

Please join City Winery and TVD’s Tim Hibbs in welcoming Nashville’s newest exhibit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with our themed trivia night, this Sunday, March 29th, in the upstairs lounge. We’ll dig into the story of Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City, which opens March 27th.

Test your music history knowledge with questions developed by museum staff and groove to music of the 1960s and ’70s provided by Tim. An all-vinyl playlist featuring the music of the exhibit will include Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, the Byrds, Leonard Cohen, Tracy Nelson, and dozens more hit folk, rock, and country records featuring the session musicians known as the Nashville Cats.

Doors open at 6:00 PM and the competition begins at 7:00 PM. Teams will compete for prizes provided by City Winery and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, including museum admission and City Winery concert tickets.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Recommends: Mucca Pazza residency at Revolution Brewing, 3/30

Chicago hometown heroes, Mucca Pazza, will continue their residency at Revolution Brewing in Chicago’s Logan Square and you can bet that these shows will be anything but boring. With a sound that’s a wonderfully absurd medley of gypsy punk, big band brass, and New Orleans funk (among other genres), the 30+ member group emits a totally unique energy and is simply impossible to categorize.

To celebrate the vinyl release of their 4th album, L.Y.A., the band will play the album in its entirety on March 30th as they perform as “Sitting In Chairs,” an alter ego of the festival band which instead plays small, intimate spaces.

After their humble beginnings in the Chicago underground punk scene, Mucca Pazza have grown into a nationally recognized act, performing with the likes of Primus and The Flaming Lips and at festivals such as Lollapalooza and Rothbury. By utilizing a marching band rhythm section, an extensive horn and woodwind section, assorted string instruments, and an accordion, they create an adventurous and vivacious musical experience for their listeners.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Blank Generation

Of New York punk’s first wave, only Richard Hell and the Voidoids truly embraced the nihilism that punk has come to represent in the popular imagination. The Ramones, great as they were, were one step away from being a joke band; Television was far too ascetic and monk-like; and the Talking Heads were too intellectually frigid. As for Patti Smith, she flirted with the idea of anarchy, but was far too positive a soul to be a nihilist. It’s not her fault; nihilists never hail from New Jersey.

I could go on but I won’t, because the only point I want to make is that Hell was the only musician at that time and place asking the only question the existentialists found pertinent, to wit, “Why should I bother living?” And his grappling with this question—along with the excellence of his band, which included the late, great guitarist Robert Quine—are what makes 1977’s Blank Generation such a seminal punk recording.

Hell, aka Richard Mayers, was born in Kentucky and took the scenic route to the Voidoids. Having moved to New York City, he commenced his rock career as a member of the Neon Boys, which became Television. Friction with Television’s Tom Verlaine led Hell to leave and co-found the Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders, but Hell found it no easier to work with Thunders than he did with Verlaine, so he finally set about establishing a band in which he was boss. The Voidoids—they got their name from a novel Hell was writing—included Hell on vocals and bass, Quine and Ivan Julian on guitars, and Marc Bell on drums.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 3/27/15

WESU spring record fair to draw collectors to Middletown: “Every year we’ve added to the number of vendors and patrons,” said Benjamin Michael, general manager of the Wesleyan radio station.

Ignition Music Garage in Goshen working to create new music consumer: Store owner and founder Steve Martin opened Ignition Music Garage in 2012 to fill a need for people who want to find a more authentic music-buying and listening experience.

Brimful of Vinyl: Cornershop’s Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres to open world’s smallest record shop

Walkley’s independent record shop Tonearm Vinyl is teaming up with its neighbour Walkley Beer Co. to host an afternoon of free live music for this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday 18 April.

The Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market “is the biggest and baddest tri-yearly event on the entire eastern seaboard with more vinyl than you can shake a stick at.”

10 Of The Best Vinyl-Friendly DJ Mixers: We are often asked the question, “I’m looking for a good vinyl-friendly DJ mixer, which one should I get?” so below are 10 vinyl-friendly DJ mixers that we recommend.

Now That’s What I Call Music 1 to be released on vinyl for Record Store Day: It features music from the likes of Phil Collins, UB40, Bonnie Tyler, The Human League, Madness and Culture Club.

Music-lovers in Boston will be able to get their hands on special releases when Record Store Day returns next month. Nevermind the Music Store, in Church Street, is once again taking part in the annual celebration of independent record shops, which this year falls on Saturday, April 18.

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