TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face / And stars fill my dream / I’m a traveler of both time and space / To be where I have been / To sit with elders of the gentle race / This world has seldom seen / They talk of days for which they sit and wait / All will be revealed / Talk in song from tongues of lilting grace / Sounds caress my ear / And not a word I heard could I relate / The story was quite clear

MATT DIKE | 1962–2018

It’s difficult to sum up the life of a human with just a few words, yet the tale of Matt Dike is a rock ‘n’ roll tale, and this Idelic Hour of songs is my best pitch.

In the ’80s, Dike was LA’s coolest—the kid from the New York suburbs who turned DJing a dorm room into rock legend. The guy had it all. Taste, looks, charm, charisma, and a fun sense of humor. For the two to three years we ran underground nightclubs together, Dike was my best friend and constant companion.

It came as no surprise that Dike named his label Delicious Vinyl. Dike was a vinyl collector of epic proportions. Records literally meant the world to Matt, for it was his DJ sets and a collector’s nature that were at his core, his soul, his god. As Dike’s business partner, it was part of my job to protect “the records” over all else. Money, the sound system, the staff, as he bluntly explained, “can be easily replaced, but my records would take years.”

In the heat of running a sometimes illegal party, the stacks of heavy milk crates could really weigh a dude down, but fuck man…so many great times. And all of them revolving around songs and record collecting. We used to sit and eat the $2.99 breakfast special at the greasy spoon joint on Santa Monica Boulevard and discuss his DJ sets, freaking about that magical, unpredictable record that would seem to drop out of left field and rock an unsuspecting dance floor into both sweat and ecstasy. “How about ‘Atomic Dog’ into ‘How Soon Is Now?'”  a then new single from The Smiths.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: I’m With Her at the 9:30 Club, 3/13

They blushed and smiled as if they couldn’t believe it. Their debut had come out less than a month before, yet here they were playing all these new songs before a sold out crowd that was as loud in their cheers as they had been hushed in hearing their fine harmonies. “Who are you people?” Sara Watkins asked at one point.

It’s not that the group, I’m With Her, is full of newcomers, or that each of its members hadn’t faced acclaim as part of their previous endeavors—Watkins with Nickel Creek, the trio with her brother and Chris Thile; Aoife O’Donovan with Crooked Still and her own albums, and Sarah Jarosz, at 26 the youngest of the three but who already has two Grammys, rising from mandolin prodigy to folk star.

The three were surprised to find how well they harmonized together on a one-off collaboration at the Telluride bluegrass festival four years ago, kept performing together, playing covers or arrangements of their own established songs at first before putting their songwriting skills together as well for the recent full album.

They’d named themselves I’m With Her a year before Hillary Clinton used the same phrase for her presidential campaign, but the same kind of self-reliant, woman-powered confidence shone through their approach.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn solo release reissues in stores 4/27

VIA PRESS RELEASEThe Dream Syndicate brought strains of psychedelia to the early ’80s American indie-rock movement with their influential Slash Records album The Days of Wine and Roses. And they made a critically hailed comeback with 2017’s How Did I Find Myself Here on Anti- Records. But when the band took a hiatus around 1990, frontman Steve Wynn recorded two solo albums that both preserved the Dream Syndicate’s intensity while enabling him to spread his musical wings and work with some friends from other groups. Omnivore Recordings will release the albums — Kerosene Man and Dazzling Display — in expanded editions on April 27, 2018.

In 1990, Wynn struck out on his own to record his solo debut, the acclaimed Kerosene Man. With 11 new Wynn originals and help from friends including Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), D.J. Bonebrake (X), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), and even Mark Walton from the Dream Syndicate and the Continental Drifters, Kerosene Man showed a new side to Steve, while retaining everything that attracted music lovers to him in the first place. “Tears Won’t Help” became a radio staple, and “Carolyn” found its way to MTV.

As Wynn writes in the new liner notes: “Sure, I was nervous. I had spent most of my adult life making music with the Dream Syndicate — a very good, successful band, with musicians I still considered very good friends. Bands break up because the members hate each other, or because nobody cares, or because someone in the band joins the Rolling Stones, or something. That wasn’t the case with us. I just wanted to try something different. I wanted to play different kinds of music, make new sounds, play with new people. I wasn’t running away from anything. I was just running towards something new.”

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The TVD Storefront

Joel Levi,
The TVD First Date

“My first physical connection to music was in the early nineties via cassette tape. I can still picture the frustration, when I listened to a tape so much that it finally unraveled in my tape deck. It was the compact disc that dominated most of my adolescence. It wasn’t until high school that I got a proper introduction to vinyl, and it was quite a revelation. My good friend Jason, who at the time was well into his twenties, put it upon himself to get me educated.”

“I didn’t even know how the record player worked. He sat me down and told me the first thing I needed to listen to on vinyl was Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. It was like I was listening to music for the first time. We sat cross-legged in his living room and took in every nuance of the sound. The full range of the vinyl was hitting my ears in such a profound way. After we finished both sides of the record, I looked at him and said, “What else do you have?”

My introduction to vinyl was really my introduction into the music and genres that would help form the foundation to my songwriting. My youth was mostly filled with pop music, but after I was introduced to Jason’s record collection my tastes really started to evolve. I then started diving into the Ryan Adams and Wilco records. These artists, along with a healthy dose of bands from the sixties and seventies, became a huge influence. I still remember hearing Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on vinyl and thinking “I don’t get this.” It was somewhere after the third listen that Jeff Tweedy’s musical genius hit me like a ton of bricks. Most likely it was the full attention that vinyl demands of you that helped reveal his brilliance.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Marshall Tucker Band, Greatest Hits

When it comes to Southern Rock, The Marshall Tucker Band can be beat. To my way of looking at things they occupy the No. 3 spot in the Southern Rock pantheon, far below Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band. That said, Toy Caldwell and Company bequeathed us some mighty fine music, and they did it with a flute player no less.

Caldwell was a boogie man at heart and a country boy right down to his shitkickers, and he reconciled heart and feet with a magic touch for producing snazzy down home hoedowns that swing. He may have lacked Ronnie Van Zant’s ornery rock’n’roll edge, and the Allman Brothers’ dedication to the blues, but he added an essential ingredient to the pot–call it sweetening in the form of a melodic sensibility that brings to mind Dickey Betts more than anybody else. And Caldwell not only played ‘em prettier than the competition, he made ‘em jump like trout at the end of a fishing line. And at his best he could break your heart while he was at it.

Which is by no means to say that the Marshall Tucker Band couldn’t kick out the jams; the two live sides of 1974’s Where We All Belong stand as proof positive that they had no trouble settin’ the woods on fire, and the barn too while they were at it. Their three-guitar army may not have blitzkrieged with the same ferocity as Skynyrd’s, but one listen to their live take of “24 Hours at a Time” should be enough to convince anybody that they sure knew how to ramble on down the road.

The MTB was always an erratic proposition when it came to producing keepers, hence my love for 1978’s Greatest Hits. It lassoes the prime heifers and rounds ‘em up, and in short makes for one swell corral for the ears. At their best the Marshall Tucker Band were perhaps the greatest country boogie band in the land; from the jaunty and flute-laced “Take the Highway” (which, with its jazz breakdown, is as close as an American band has ever come to Traffic) to the plaintive and piano-laden “In My Own Way” (inspirational lyric: “I can’t act like we just met all the time”) to the immortal “Can’t You See” (which sets some truly inspired guitar playing against a set of lyrics that limn the limits of train-bound heartbreak) they split the difference between home-spun country homily and your more sophisticated jazz, swing and blues forms.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 3/16/18

Record Store Day: April’s vinyl celebration: Vinyl collectors have it tough. Since the advent of the CD, production of vinyl has declined drastically, and its supply has not always been sufficient. Sadly, vinyl collectors always need to be alert for news of any album reissues of their favorite artists. Plus, the shortage of vinyl has made it expensive, sometimes breaking the bank of innocent music listeners. Record Store Day is one of the few events catering to such distressed collectors. The event started in 2008 as a gathering of independent record store owners to support the niche market of vinyl. With the addition of more record stores throughout the U.S. who share a passion for vinyl collecting, the event expanded to a national phenomenon. According to its website, stores on every continent except Antarctica have participated in Record Store Day.

Brian Eno To Release ‘Music For Installations’ Box Set: It’s a major set from a legendary minimalist. Brian Eno is getting ready to release a giant box set of music he wrote for installations between 1986 and now. Music For Installations, which comes out on May 4, will be available in six-CD and nine-LP configurations. All of the material in the set will be new, rare or previously unreleased. Music for the project was originally featured at the Venice Biennale, the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg, Ritan Park in Beijing, the Sydney Opera House and the Astana Expo in Kazakhstan, and more, reports Spin. Both versions will include A 64-page booklet and photographs from the original exhibitions.

The world’s best record shops #100: Seriosha’s Record Shop, Havana: Favoured by ?uestlove, Gilles Peterson, and pretty much anyone who can find it, Seriosha’s is as much a representation of Cuba’s heritage as the Cadillacs that line its streets. Located about five minutes walk from Parque Central in Havana, at the back of a dimly lit shop, Seriosha’s is a one man archive of Cuba’s musical roots. Even with detailed directions, Seriosha’s can be difficult to locate, but when you do, you’ll discover a collection that spans Cuban Afro-jazz, classic rumba, salsa, danzón, bolero and all manner of gloriously colourful cuts from as early as the ’50s. Some of the music here has never left the island, and while the odd ABBA or Queen records are still to be found (often as Russian pressings from before the fall of the Soviet Union), it’s the homegrown stuff that makes Seriosha’s one-of-a-kind.

Liz Phair Details Massive ‘Exile in Guyville’ 25th Anniversary Box Set: Liz Phair will mark the 25th anniversary of her seminal debut album, 1993’s Exile in Guyville, with a massive box set and separate remastered double LP and CD reissue. Both will be released on May 4th via Matador. Girly-Sound to Guyville: The 25th Anniversary box set comprises seven LPs, including the remastered double LP Exile in Guyville alongside music from the three Girly-Sound cassettes released prior to her debut album. The cassette material was restored from the original tapes and has never been previously released in its entirety. YO YO BUDDY YUP YUP WORD TO YA MUTHA is a double LP restored from the first cassette, the double LP GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! is culled from Girly-Sound cassette 2 and single LP SOOTY houses cuts from the third cassette.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Bob Weir and Phil Lesh at the Chicago Theatre, 3/11

Founding members of the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, concluded their Duo Tour in Chicago over the weekend.

Playing two sold-out nights to a rowdy crowd at the Chicago Theatre, Bobby and Phil cruised through a staggering 3.5 hours of tunes each night. The two have not played together since 2015, so it was a nice treat for Deadheads. The first set was devoted to stripped-down, acoustic versions of songs, while the second set featured an excellent full band (Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Jeff Chimenti, and Wally Ingram) backing them.

Their brief, three-city tour is leaving fans begging for new dates. Perhaps they’ll be rewarded with a tour extension, but if not, Deadheads can get their Grateful Dead fix this summer, as Dead & Company (Bob Weir, John Mayer, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti) embark on a 26-show tour.

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TVD Live Shots: Insecure Men, Raf Rundell, and Pregoblin at Scala 3/8

Whoever is behind the marketing for Insecure Men deserves a prize.

I had never heard of these guys, but I’m a massive fan of The Moonlandinz and Fat White Family. In fact, The Moonlandinz 2017 release Interplanetary Class Classics was my favorite album of last year. Based on my love of that band I was targeted with Fat White Family and Moonlandingz guitarist Saul Adamczewski’s new project, Insecure Men. It was a beautiful campaign that not only turned me on to the band but also got me to pre-order the record, and finally get a ticket to the show. This is exactly how digital marketing is supposed to work, and thankfully someone in Saul’s camp gets it, or otherwise this would have slipped by me.

Insecure Men is a supergroup of sorts formed by Saul Adamczewski and Childhood’s frontman Ben Romans-Hopcraft. The record is all sorts of lo-fi brilliance rolled up in ’70s AM rock production. Remember what MGMT tried to do on their second and third records and failed miserably? Well, Saul and Ben fucking nail it. Even taking it up a notch. It’s the perfect soundtrack for mellowing out while taking a break from the world as it seems to be destroying itself.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Three Dog Nightmare: The Chuck Negron Story in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Autobiography Chronicles the Rise and Fall of the Iconic Singer and His Long Road to Recovery, Boasts as One of the Top Five Memoirs Regarding Addiction/Recovery

The poignant elucidation describing the journey of Chuck Negron as he fell from the height of worldwide fame and success, to the depths of delusion, despair and almost death, and rose again to stardom and stability is more than an interesting glimpse into the rock star lifestyle. The final edition of Three Dog Nightmare: The Chuck Negron Story features 11 new chapters, over 100 new photos, and is available now on

“The perception that fame and fortune entitle a person to be protected from the darker side of life and the entertainment industry is a misconception, “said Negron. “This is my raw narrative of being enslaved by the demons I faced and overpowering desire to turn my life around.”

“This amazing true story of Negron, Three Dog Night, the world’s most popular pop band (at the time) and his incredible journey through the fame, drugs, and tribulations of the era. He’s one of the lucky ones to come out fine on the other side (although, there were a few near death experiences along the way),” said Brent Harvey, Executive Producer Hollywood Music In Media Awards.“I found this to be a VERY entertaining read.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Rascals, The Complete Singles A’s & B’s 4 LP set for Record Store Day

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Among the (overwhelming) reactions to our 2-CD set compiling The Rascals’ complete singles was the question, why isn’t this out on vinyl? And the only correct answer was: it should be!

After all, if there ever was a band deserving of some deluxe vinyl treatment, it would be these guys; with two fantastic singers and songwriters in Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati, an underrated guitarist and songwriter in Gene Cornish, and the great Dino Danelli on drums (plus a pair of studio Svengalis in engineer Tom Dowd and arranger Arif Mardin to rival George Martin), The Rascals were the closest answer America had to The Beatles during the ’60s.

The resemblance wasn’t limited to the composition of their line-up and the profusion of hit releases, either; like the Fab Four, The Rascals were able to author chart-topping singles while simultaneously crafting albums that held together as artistic statements. Now, just over 50 years after they first hit the top of the charts with “Good Lovin’,” Real Gone Music is proud to present the first-ever LP compilation to collect all of the band’s single sides in one place.

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