TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

2017’s best of “Idelic Hits” #’s 1-20 | Kevin Morby, Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett, The Clientele, Childish Gambino, Aldous Harding, Randy Newman, Protomartyr, Father John Misty, The Jesus & The Mary Chain, Queens of The Stone Age/Ty Segall, Culture Abuse, Together Pangea/Orwells, War On Drugs, Fleet Foxes, Wolf Alice, King Krule, Phoebe Bridgers, Psychic Temple, St. Vincent, Everything Is Recorded

The other day a respected colleague told me that he felt I was a bit “lost.” Indeed in 2017 I can take that point to heart. After all I’ve been the music business for over twenty-five years, the last seven of which I’ve ended my week by posting a carefully curated playlist of songs in the form of an FM style radio hour. Each week I enthusiastically followed that post by singling out one newly released song. Every Friday for the last seven years I’ve proclaimed those records as “finds,” or as I like to call them “Idelic Hits.”

Why? I’ve clearly lost my mind. My wife gave up years ago trying to convince me that I was spending too much listening to and posting music. Why be so passionate about new music? After all, don’t we live in a world with an attention span of fifteen seconds? I have to say I often do feel a bit lost. Music has always lead the way for me. Buying records used to be an obsession. Now I’d rather share a song than buy one. I’m clearly not treading the road on “bloody red shoes.”

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TVD New Orleans

Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove returns to the Maple Leaf Bar, 12/8

Sousaphonist Kirk Joseph is one of the busiest musicians in town. Yet, even he was surprised by his answer when asked to recall the last time his solo act played at a club in New Orleans. It was over twelve years ago (not counting last night’s performance at the Three Keys) and the gig was at the Maple Leaf Bar where the band returns Friday night.

The membership in the Backyard Groove has changed a bit over the years. Longtime collaborators, saxophonist Tom Fitzpatrick and trombonist Mark McGrain are on board. Joining them on the front line is trumpeter Kevin Lewis. Guitarist Takeshi Shimmura, a regular on the Backyard Groove’s festival gigs, will be laying down his sterling licks. Keyboardist/vocalist Lilli Lewis and Joseph’s cousin, drummer Jaz Butler round out the latest version of the band.

Fans the world over know Joseph as a founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The uber-sousaphonist, as I dubbed him some years back, helped develop the sound of the first brass band to begin integrating modern sounds into traditional New Orleans jazz. Check the vid below of them playing back in the day at the storied Central City music hot spot, the Glass House.

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The TVD Storefront

Lost Bayou Ramblers,
The TVD First Date

“Tommy Michot, my and Andre’s father and accordion player for Les Freres Michot, grew up in the ’60s. When Andre came to the age of appreciation and started pulling out all the amazing records from dad’s fairly large collection, it seems our life changed forever. We had obviously heard of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Yes, but when Andre started spinning them on LP in the 1980s, it was like a whole new portal to music was opened.”

“I was 12 years old when I got my hands on my first guitar (a pawn-shop Les Paul copy from our uncle David) but the year before, I started sneaking into Andre’s room while he was practicing with his bands, and the first song I picked out on guitar was Jimi Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner.”

Some people talk about how their minds opened the first time they heard The Balfa Brothers’ Play Traditional Cajun Music on vinyl, but I don’t think I heard that record until 10 years later. The number one vinyl I can remember seeing and hearing as a child was Les Freres Michot’s 1987 release on cassette tape and vinyl, Elevés a Pilette.

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TVD UK

Needle Drop: Fuzzystar, “Superhero”

Having only released his debut album Telegraphing a mere six months ago, Fuzzystar has returned with another catchy slice of fizzy pop. His single “Superhero” brings back the nostalgic feels of the ’90s whilst incorporating a modern twist into his upbeat indie sound.

The track commences with an vibrant guitar line that exhales exuberance and delivers the buoyancy that makes the track so cheerful. However, when Andy’s vocals enter the song, a wave of contrasting emotions are revealed. His soft, effortless, yet articulate voice chimes in and brings the proceedings back down to earth. The track doesn’t expand much more from there, but it lifts you up and eventually floats the listener back down—a most chilled roller coaster ride.

“Superhero” was written during a tough time for Andy, not knowing what the future held. The songwriter explains, “It’s about trying to make the best of bad times and just getting through it, whilst being aware of your own flaws and failings. Making this into a superhero story added a bit of distance to be able to write about it, rather than trying to tell it directly. ”

“Superhero” and debut album Telegraphing are both in stores now via Satellite Sounds.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Long John Baldry,
It Ain’t Easy

John William “Long John” Baldry was one of rock’s more intriguing footnotes, famous less for his own contributions to English blues than for the soon-to-be-famous sidemen he would introduce to public notice. A young Rod Stewart shared vocal duties with Baldry in the latter’s band Steampacket, and a young Reg Dwight—soon to find fame as Elton John—played piano and sang in Baldry’s band Bluesology.

The very long Baldry (he was 6’ 7”) was one of England’s first blues singers, but it wasn’t until 1971 that he released what most consider his finest album, It Ain’t Easy. Part of its success is due to the fact that he recorded it in convivial surroundings with two old friends—Rod Stewart, who produced the A Side, and Elton John, who produced the B Side and played piano on it as well. And it didn’t hurt that Stewart brought along Ronnie Wood and many of the players featured on his own Every Picture Tells a Story.

The Stewart sessions were riotous—Rod the Mod plied the musicians with cases of Remy Martin cognac and good champagne—to the extent that Baldry would later recount he recorded album standout “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll” sprawled out on the floor. The sound is loose and jumping, and folksier than the John-produced cuts thanks to the presence of mandolin, dobro, 12-string, and slide. Ian Armitt’s raucous boogie-woogie piano warms up Side A as well.

Baldry wasn’t the world’s best blues singer by any means. He enunciated when he should have gone for the slur, and applied a Shakespearean actor’s touch to most everything he laid his tonsils on. But on the roof-shaking rave-up “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll” he just jumps in swinging, and lets the flood—composed of equal parts guitar menace, piano onslaught, and sax squeal—carry him along. This one’s a lost classic for sure, and definitive.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 12/8/17

America’s Groove Honored with City Business Appreciation Award: The City of Effingham has named America’s Groove Record Store as a recipient of the City of Effingham’s Business Appreciation Award. Mayor Jeff Bloemker stated, “We applaud the Wilsons’ entrepreneurial spirit! They have applied their passion and creativity to their hobby and have turned it all into a great business. They have a cult following and I love that they are located in the Village Square Mall.” Aaron and Brianne Wilson are the owners of America’s Groove Record Store. They opened the store located in the Village Square Mall in 2016 as they wanted to bring something “cool” back to the mall, and it has been better than they could have imagined. In fact, coming up this February, they will be celebrating their two-year anniversary.

City recognizes America’s Groove Record Store: Nominator, Darin Blickem, describes the store as “a place for music lovers to find new and used vinyl, CDs and even cassettes. They also carry new and used stereo equipment, toys, video games and consoles, and a few other funky items.” Aaron Wilson holds family friendly bands to play at least once a month in the back room. The store also participates in the Record Store Day program twice a year in which special vinyl releases are made available to independent record store owners. The sales attract record collector enthusiasts who “record-store hop” on these days to find these special additions to their collections. America’s Groove hosts a biannual Toy Show that includes several vendors and brings in many attendees.

Hamilton record store’s expansion solves signage issue: Main Street Vinyl, a record store that opened in Hamilton in May, won approval Tuesday for a sign on its facade. The sign issue, which has been pending since July, was made possible partly because of other good news for the record store: It has been able to expand into an adjoining space, making it possible to center its sign above both of the storefronts it now occupies. Main Street storefronts have increasingly been filling, and officials hope that with the proposed Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill development nearby along North B Street, that trend will accelerate, with both Main Street and High Street becoming an entertainment district to serve all the athletes and their families, who are expected to visit from as far as a 3.5-hour drive from Hamilton.

Canadian Record Store Chain Grows 925% — In One Year: Ten years ago, the fate of traditional record stores looked really, really bleak. By 2007, file-swapping had eviscerated CD sales, and vinyl was an antiquated format for niche audiophiles. People still loved music, they just weren’t going to record stores. Instead, they were stuffing their iPods with thousands of songs while spending their savings on festivals. Accordingly, established record stores were going bankrupt, unable to make ends meet. Up in Canada, that included HMV, which recently shuttered more than 70 stores during a gruesome bankruptcy process. Enter Sunrise Records, which made a daring move earlier this year.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Queens of the Stone Age and Run the Jewels at the Aragon Ballroom, 12/2

The final evening of WKQX’s “The Night We Stole Christmas” concert series at the Aragon was definitely one to remember thanks to the stellar lineup.

Hip Hop duo Run the Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P) heated things up before alternative metal band Queens of the Stone Age headlined. It was fun to see a lineup that paired hip hop with hard rock and fans of both acts were gifted an early holiday present.

As usual, both live shows were excellent—but that’s the golden standard that’s come to be expected when you go to see QOTSA or RTJ.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Conway Twitty’s Timeless, first release on vinyl in 26 years in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Conway Twitty, one of America’s most-loved performers of all-time with 55 No. 1 one hits to his credit (second only to George Strait) created a musical legacy that continues to endure and thrive almost a quarter-century after his passing in 1993. Country Rewind Records has released Timeless, a collection of never before heard recordings from Twitty himself. The new record is now available on vinyl and it’s the first vinyl release of Conway music since the 1991 record Even Now. The vinyl is available on ConwayTwitty.com.

The songs on Timeless haven’t been heard since their original airing in 1972, included in a series of musical recordings from top artists at the time as part of a United States recruitment program. Singers such as Dolly Parton, George Jones, and Waylon Jennings would record fifteen-minute performances that would be distributed to over 2,000 radio stations throughout the world intended for commercial release. Tom Gramuglia of Country Rewind Records, says that he can’t wait for fans to hear these recordings – which put the recorded genius of Conway Twitty on full display for all to hear.

“These recordings were long forgotten and few people who knew of their existence. They’ve never before been made commercially available to the public and I truly felt like this music needed to be shared with long-time traditional fans, and heard by our younger generation of Millennials who have a flavor and inkling for country music recording artists that made American country music great.”

“Timeless is a truly special piece of Country Music history that reminds listeners of the exquisite musical legacy of an artist who was rightfully called “The Best Friend A Song Ever Had.” The title of the album says it all. Conway Twitty was – is – and always will be ‘Timeless.'” —Chuck Dauphin, Billboard magazine

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Link Wray’s never before heard track “Son Of Rumble” 7″ in stores 4/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In 2018, it will have been 60 years since legendary guitarist Link Wray released his influential instrumental song “Rumble,” and changed the face and sound of rock and roll forever.

Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound is proud to announce that it will release “Son of Rumble,” Link’s intended, but never released follow-up to the song that introduced the world to power chords and intentional distortion. Said Auerbach about Wray’s importance: “I saw him play in Cleveland at the Grog shop and he blew my mind. To get the chance to put out unreleased songs on Easy Eye is amazing and a dream I never thought was possible. It’s time we give Link Wray a statue on the top of the rock and roll of fame.” “Son of Rumble” is a never released track from the Link Wray archives, and you can listen to it below. The song, along with b-side “Whole Lotta Talking,” another never heard track, will be released as a 7” vinyl on April 13th, and can be pre-ordered here.

Link Wray’s “Rumble” became a flash point for countless musicians including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, Steven Van Zandt, Jeff Beck, and Elvis Costello. The song was banned in New York, Boston, and Detroit, for fear it would incite juvenile violence, making Wray the only artist in history to have a banned instrumental. 33 years after becoming eligible, this unsung hero of rock and roll is currently a Rock Hall nominee for the Class of 2018.

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The TVD Storefront

Mt. Joy,
The TVD First Date

“Some of my first memories of music are just me sitting in the living room while my Dad would file through his vinyl collection.”

“The first record that really sticks out is Let it Bleed. I grew up with the Stones, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, and Neil Young pouring through the house fairly regularly. But to this day, Let It Bleed still stands out. Dropping the needle on that record and hearing “Gimme Shelter” is as good as it gets as far as album openers. So many amazing songs on that record, and of course it closes with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” When we were making this album we talked a lot about order and needing certain types of songs for different spots, and as far as openers and closers go, that may well be the best of all time.

By the time I was in middle school/early high school everything had switched to digital. Though in our house it really created a divide between contemporary music and the classics. My dad had his incredible record collection, whereas my first CD purchase was Kid Rock… I remember my dad opened my Walkman to see the spinning disc reveal the middle finger that was printed on the disc. I don’t think he took it from me, but he was rightfully fairly disappointed.

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