The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Henry Franklin, The Skipper reissue in stores 2/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | 1973 soul jazz album from the keyboardist and in-house producer of the Black Jazz label.

Though it’s hard to pick a winner among the estimable Black Jazz catalog, this 1972 release from bassist Henry “The Skipper” Franklin would have to be near the top of the list. Franklin got his start woodshedding with Latin maverick Willie Bobo in the mid-‘60s and went on to play with The Three Sounds, but probably his most notable gig prior to this debut album was his stint in Hugh Masekela’s band (that’s Franklin playing bass with Masekela at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival).

For The Skipper, Franklin assembled a crack outfit that included a horn section of trumpeter/ flugelhornist Oscar Brashear (Bobby Hutcherson, Ry Cooder, Donny Hathaway) and tenor and soprano sax man Charles Owens (Buddy Rich, Horace Tapscott, John Mayall) along with a Masekela bandmate in electric pianist Bill Henderson and ace drummer Michael Carvin (Pharoah Sanders, Lonnie Liston Smith, Freddie Hubbard).

This is such a unique, organic recording that it’s hard to make comparisons; definitely a little fusion, a little ‘60s Blue Note feel, and the usual Black Jazz journey to the more lyrical, pop-inspired (“Little Miss Laurie”) and funk-infused (“Plastic Creek Stomp”) sides of jazz, but perhaps the best comparison is late-‘60s Miles before he went electric. In any case, The Skipper is just a joy to listen to from start to finish, beautifully recorded by Black Jazz producer Gene Russell and blessed with some really fine writing, most of it by Franklin himself.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Lucinda Williams,
Happy Woman Blues

Celebrating Lucinda Williams who turns 68 today.Ed.

With the release of her self-titled 1988 album, the career of singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams experienced a definite upswing. Roughly a decade later her fifth record arrived, and she really broke out. However, she was on the scene a decade prior to cutting Lucinda Williams with a pair of releases on Smithsonian Folkways. In accordance with Women’s History Month, the second is getting freshly reissued on vinyl by the label. It’s a strong LP that considerably predates the Alt-country upsurge; indeed, Williams had a major role in defining the style. 

My introduction to Lucinda Williams came through her “Passionate Kisses” 12-inch back in 1989. It was a casual buy, though not exactly a whim, as I was attracted by the Rough Trade logo on the back, particularly as not long before I’d been impressed by another US signing to the label, specifically Souled American and their debut Fe.

Upon taking it home and disposing of the shrink-wrap, I dropped needle and was immersed in a bright sound with chiming guitar and pretty vocalizing. It was quite far afield from the punk affiliated stuff that was typical of my listening diet at the time. Still, something kept me coming back to it. Well, a few somethings, like that guitar, and how the whole cohered into an exceptional piece of songwriting; a few years hence and “Passionate Kisses” would win her a Grammy through the hit version by Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Overall, I was impressed more by the four tunes on the flip side, three of which were from a radio performance on WPFK, and one cut in New York City in 1983, the bunch underscoring Williams’ aptitude with bluesy material. It was a twist that connected quite nicely to the blues and roots stuff I’d been listening to prior to taking that offramp into punk.

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The TVD Storefront

Peter Stampfel,
The TVD First Date

“The Holy Modal Rounders, myself and Steve Weber, recorded our first album the day before Kennedy got shot.”

“Of course, it was a vinyl record. But our label, Prestige, was not strongly connected to us, as we had been signed by Paul Rothchild, who quit and moved to Elektra two weeks after he signed us. This lack of a strong connection is perhaps the reason Prestige decided to use super cheap vinyl to press our album.

I knew the first pressings looked a little weird—the records seemed to be a little thicker than normal. But within months I started hearing purchasers say their records were wearing out, and the music couldn’t be heard anymore. My inquiries to the label were ignored. Has anyone out there had a similar shoddy vinyl experience?

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Mick Dimitri

This week’s artist of the week is Italian singer-songwriter Mick Dimitri. The emerging artist has already made a friend in Ed Sheeran and it’s looking as though 2021 could be a very exciting year for this budding pop star.

Mick’s latest single “End of The Ride” is an infectious slice of anthemic pop that just keeps on giving. Channelling the likes of Shawn Mendes, “End of The Ride” combines synth-laden hooks with rich, warm vocals, creating a fun-filled contemporary pop sound. The single is the first to be released from Mick’s debut EP “Take My Hand,” which is out on 19th March 2021.

Mick’s claim to fame is that he once waited on a table for Ed Sheeran no less, who then invited him to open for him on his Divide tour a few years back. Not a bad claim to fame if you ask us!

“End of The Ride” is in stores now.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: University Challenged,
Oh Temple!

Based in the North Holland province of the Netherlands, the trio University Challenged tap into a rich instrumental vein on Oh Temple!, a double set available January 29 through the record label Hive Mind. Blending the expansiveness of kosmische with passages of almost post-rock psychedelia, the guitar’s shimmer and bass’ fuzz mingles with the electronics’ unfurling vines, pulsing patterns, and staticky bursts throughout, as the set’s eight selections bring familiar environments a consistent aura of the unexpected. It’s a delightful ride that’s additionally striking in its assuredness as a debut recording.

University Challenged deliver compositions that tend to stretch out for a while, but the outfit’s bio is a rather tidy affair. The members are multi-instrumentalist Ajay Saggar (credited with guitar, bass, piano, electronica and field recordings), bassist Oli Heffernan (who also plays synth), and guitarist Kohhei Matsuda.

They came together in 2019 with performances following soon thereafter, events notable for including the group’s self-made films as a visual backdrop, with a different video accompanying every track from the album via Bandcamp. The studio recording of Oh Temple! came to fruition last summer in Holland, with Saggar producing and mixing as Heffernan mastered it in England.

Some readers may have noticed the lack of drums in the band’s instrumental scheme, an absence that is undeniably felt through the progression of these pieces, though as repetitive motifs are a frequent element in the equation, University Challenged can still sometimes suggest a foray into expansionist rock that nicely offsets their kosmische ambiance.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 1/26/21

Mesa, AZ | In Far East Mesa, Uncle Aldo’s Attic Is a Vintage-and-Vinyl Paradise: In a nondescript strip mall in east Mesa, Uncle Aldo’s Attic advertises itself with a large banner that reads: Vintage Records. Inside is a pop culture wonderland offering not just a sizable amount of vinyl, but an impressive selection of books, board games, figurines, and comic books — inventory fueled by the proprietor’s passion for nostalgia. In a nondescript strip mall in east Mesa, Uncle Aldo’s Attic advertises itself with a large banner that reads: Vintage Records. Inside is a pop culture wonderland offering not just a sizable amount of vinyl, but an impressive selection of books, board games, figurines, and comic books — inventory fueled by the proprietor’s passion for nostalgia. …“I didn’t have any money, and I didn’t want to work at Walmart,” he says. “I’m a big collector, so I figured maybe people would buy collectibles.” Once he noticed his vinyl sales beat out all other items, he opened his own record store. Uncle Aldo’s Attic, which has been around for about three years, is located at 6016 East McKellips Road.

Canton, OH | Hoover grad achieves longtime dream of opening a record shop: Josh Harris has vivid memories of his dad playing Alice Cooper and Deep Purple records for him when he was 5 or 6. “I couldn’t get enough of it,” he said. Later, as a teenager at Hoover High School, his future goal was clear-cut: “I had no intention but to be a rock star.” Harris, now 39, never became a rock star, although he did play in a few area bands and still records music in his basement. But last June he achieved his longtime goal of opening a record shop, Dr. Frankenstein’s House of Wax, where he sells albums, used and new, by a who’s who of rock ‘n’ rollers. “This is something I wanted to do for the last three or four years,” Harris said. His machinist job at a shop in Stow had slowed to a crawl due to COVID-19 — “I was pushing a broom eight hours a day,” he said — so he decided to take the plunge.

The best record player of 2021: In just the first half of 2020, there was $232.1 million in vinyl LP and EP sales in the US, far exceeding the total revenue for CD sales during the same time. Vinyl records have had such a resurgence, in fact, that brands like Vinyl Me, Please now offer record of the month subscription services, you can buy your own personalized LP and there’s even an annual Record Store Day when limited-edition vinyl releases can be purchased from local shops. Heck, even Barnes & Noble sells records. But why the popularity in 2021? Well, for starters, manually playing a record can be an extremely satisfying and intimate experience — a feeling that hasn’t changed in a century. It lends itself to being more engaged with the music and listening to albums in their entirety as opposed to skipping around tracks. And many audiophiles will argue that you’ll get a fuller sound from playing an album on vinyl versus digitally, perhaps even hearing more instruments, tones or other minute details that sometimes get lost in compressed formats (though this is hotly debated).

Quebec, CA | A new vinyl press in Quebec: Vinyl is popular! In the United States, in 2020, sales of 33 rpm’s even exceeded those of good old compact discs. Imagine! If this is not yet the case in Quebec, the craze is indeed there. Until recently, to get their precious retro-looking albums pressed, local artists had to do business with companies located in the United States, Europe or even Toronto and Prince Edward Island. Good news, our musicians can now have their vinyls pressed in Quebec City, in the Saint-Roch district, at the Société des Loisirs located on Dorchester Street. We bought a lot of vinyl outside Quebec City because we couldn’t necessarily find a record store that looked like us. We started to think about creating a new place in Quebec and quickly took on the idea of ​​a café, says Olivier. Jean-François Bilodeau, Olivier Bresse and Audrey Lapointe are lovers of music and their neighborhood. With the SDL, the three investors wanted to create a place of meeting and exchange.

KISS’ ‘Killers’ Set To Return In Strictly Limited Double Disc Vinyl Edition: Released on March 12, ‘Killers’ marks the very first vinyl reissue by KISS to be released as a half-speed master. After the band recently made headlines with their record-breaking New Year’s Eve livestream event (“KISS 2020 Goodbye”) and the launch of their own rum, the KISS fan community can now look forward to a very high-quality, exclusive vinyl edition: Killers, the band’s second best-of album from 1982 will be released on 12 March as a strictly limited and numbered 2LP edition. This is the very first vinyl reissue by KISS to be released as a half-speed master. Following on from the reissue of their first best-of album Double Platinum in summer 2019, KISS’ Killers compilation is now finally following on vinyl. The new edition – which is strictly limited to 4,000 copies worldwide – is based on the remastered CD edition that was last available exclusively in Japan. Killers will be released as a lavishly-designed 2LP on translucent pink heavyweight vinyl (180g) in a gatefold cover (printed on silver foil), and includes a fold-out Leporello art print and a bonus sticker.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Sub Pop Records announces new retail store location Sub Pop on 7th

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Striking while the iron is ice-cold and at least 6 feet away and most definitely masked-up, Sub Pop Records is expanding our retail empire, from one to two locations, with a new space!

The recently-opened Sub Pop on 7th is a tightly-curated (some might say tiny) new store located at 2130 7th Ave., in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. The store collects the cream of the crap from Sub Pop and Hardly Art, including t-shirts, hats, hoodies, various knick-knacks, trinkets, and objets d’art conspicuously emblazoned with the words “Sub Pop,” as well as actual vinyl LP copies (aka “records”) of every Hardly Art and Sub Pop release currently in print. Within the limits of Covid safety measures, Sub Pop on 7th is open now. And (unlike the practically world-famous Sub Pop Airport Store…) you don’t risk a cavity search to get in! “This is Sub Pop’s flagship store. It’s long on goodies and short on hours, so beat the rush,” says the label’s co-founder/president Jonathan Poneman.

To celebrate the opening of Sub Pop on 7th, visitors can enter to win a $50 gift card good towards any of the aforementioned goodies in the new shop. Visit us in store and simply sign up for the Sub Pop Mega Mart email list for a chance to win. No purchase is necessary to enter. We will select two #subpopon7th gift card winners per week through February 28th, 2021. We will, of course, remind you often through one or, more likely, all of the following altogether official Sub Pop channels: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Sub Pop on 7th looks forward to joining our unsuspecting new neighbors including retail outlets Amazon 4-star and South Lake Union Bouquet, food and beverage establishments Casco Antiguo and Joe & The Juice, and the Bright Horizons early education & preschool center. As the adage goes, “Variety is the spice of South Lake Union.”

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Demand it on Vinyl: Buck Owens, The Complete Capitol Singles, 1957–1975 6CD set in stores 3/12

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Omnivore Recordings, in conjunction with the Buck Owens Estate, will release Buck Owens and the Buckaroos’ The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957–1976, including all three of Omnivore’s previously released acclaimed two-CD sets: The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957–1966, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1967–1970, and The Complete Capitol Singles: 1971–1975. Gathered together in a slipcase, and at available at a new low price, the compilation will be available March 12, 2021.

Taken from the original mono master tapes, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957–1966 collects all 28 singles from that period, including 13 No. 1 hits, in their original, chronological form, and Buck’s duets with Rose Maddox. Packaging features liner notes from Buck’s autobiography (written with author/ historian Randy Poe), plus an introduction by Dwight Yoakam. The Complete Capitol Singles: 1967–1970 collects the A- and B-sides from the original mono and stereo masters to all 18 singles from that period, including 14 Top Ten hits, and duets with Buddy Alan and Susan Raye.

The third and final volume in the series, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1971–1975, collects the A- and B-sides to all 21 singles from that period, including nine Top Ten hits, and four duets with Rose Maddox. Packaging features liner notes from Bakersfield country historian Scott B. Bomar.

These are the records that made Buck Owens a legend and defined the Bakersfield Sound. It’s history. It’s The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957–1975.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Neil Diamond,
Hot August Night

Celebrating Neil Diamond who turned 80 yesterday.Ed.

So my physicist buddy Stoner Doug finally managed to construct an actual time machine and was like, “Where should we go?” And we looked at each other and without even having to think about it shouted in perfect sync, “Hot August Night!” Because who wouldn’t have wanted to be at The Greek Theater on that historic August night in 1972 when Neil “Beautiful Noise” Diamond put it all out there in an orgiastic celebration of cosmic shlock?

Forget Elvis! Forget Chuck Berry! Forget Jesus Christ! This was NEIL at his Forever in Blue Jeans best, giving it his all! The Greatest Concert Ever! You don’t hear about it much because the story got suppressed by Neil’s record label, but 15 people died on that sultry August night! Steamed to death by sheer joy!

And Doug and I wanted to be two of them. So we climbed into his primitive time capsule made out of aluminum siding and flattened Dr. Pepper cans with a big sign on a stick reading “We LOVE you Neil!” And following a dramatic WHOOSH and the shriek of the time machine’s 350 Small Block Chevy engine there we were, sitting in Row Three beside a 50-year-old woman from Reno who told us she owned 13 cats all of whom were named Neil (if male) or Diamond (if female).

And there he was! Neil in the flesh! Just like on the cover of Hot August Night on which he appears to be jerking himself off! And why not? If anybody has the right to stroke his shtupper in front of an audience of thousands it’s Neil, who is THE songwriter of our time! The Brill Building savant who came up with such master strokes of pop brilliance as “Cherry, Cherry,” “Sweet Caroline,” and “Song Sung Blue”! To say nothing of the deep philosophical meditation that is “I Am, I Said,” in which an existentially alone Neil complains that nobody will listen to him, not even his chair!

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 21: New Music Mix

This week on Radar, more great new music, and new to you music. ’90s power-pop kingmeister (a word that I apparently just invented), Matthew Sweet has a new album out on Omnivore titled, Catspaw. You’ll hear more of it in the next few weeks, but on this episode we begin at the beginning with the track, “Blown Away” which—if you love Matthew Sweet—is what you’ll want to hear.

Billie Joe Armstrong (that guy from Green Day) released his first ever solo album and it was the result of lockdown days. It’s a gallop and a romp through some of his favorite songs and – well, you’ll just have to tune in to see what classic song gets the Armstrong-treatment. The album on Reprise Records is titled No Fun Mondays because he apparently posted a new song each Monday during the pandemic.

Bobby Watson’s new album Keepin’ it Real (Smoke Sessions Records) does just that and also succeeds in imbuing strong, infectious melody in his compositions. Love him for his great sax jazz chops, admire him because of his longtime dedication to educating in the field of music.

You’ll also hear something new from the Avalanches and The Bee Gees, too! Have you been watching the HBO documentary? I haven’t finished it, but so far, so good. You’ll also enjoy music from two forthcoming interview subjects: A.J. Croce and Jim Keller who both have terrific new albums out.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve,
Rick Wakeman,
The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

When it comes to the fortunately limited genre of rock concept albums about the history, myths and legends of Merry Olde England, no one holds a sword in the stone to Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. If you’re like me, the Man in the Golden Cape’s 1975 LP The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table makes for excruciating listening, but look on the bright side–it will earn you three credits towards a degree in Medieval Studies.

Wakeman is one of the most prolific artists of our time–I gave up trying to count the number of albums the keyboard virtuoso has recorded since his 1971 debut when it hit the century mark–but he’s best known for his work in the 1970s, and in particular his commercially successful concept albums (which in addition to this one include 1973’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII and 1974’s Journey to the Center of the Earth). Why on earth he didn’t keep ‘em coming is beyond me–Stonehenge, Robin Hood, the Magna Carta, the War of the Roses, and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots would all have made for essential graduate school listening, and I for one wonder how he managed to miss the Black Plague.

But you take what you can get, and what you get on The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is pageantry and fanfare by way of the New World Orchestra, overwrought vocal flourishes gratis the English Chamber Choir, the overheated to the point of combustion vocals of Gary Pickford-Hopkins, and a narrator of the Vincent Price school, all in the service of Wakeman’s synthesizers, keyboards and grand piano. Depending on your personal tastes, the results inspire either awe or a dash for the nearest wastebasket.

Even a cursory reading of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung makes clear that Wakeman’s fascination with myth is universal–we all live in the realm of myth, whether we know it or not. Rock and roll, with its gods and goddesses, and villains and heroes, is in and of itself a mythical rhythm–if Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis aren’t the stuff of myth, who are? The problem lies–and it’s an obvious one–in adapting Arthurian myth to a genre created to address the concerns of adolescents. Wakeman’s progressive rock treatment is the only approach possible, but one has to have a high tolerance for bombast to endure it. It helps if you enjoy Renaissance Faires.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 1/25/21

Troy, NY | New record store coming to Troy – do you have these on vinyl? Shopping online can be quick and easy but there are some items you want to see, hold and hear before buying. For me, purchasing a vinyl record needs to happen in a store. If you feel the same we will have a new Capital Region shop to flip through by this Spring. Welcome Sound House Records, King Street in Troy! Saratoga Living reports that those behind Sound House Records chose Troy because they were drawn to the city’s walkable downtown area and its strong community vibe. As far as the vibe of the store, it is expected to be a place where “you’ll be able to walk into Sound House, whether you’re an avid collector or new radical, and not feel like you’re being put down or forced to buy the coolest new record or rarest, most expensive item.” I will never forget my very first vinyl. When I was about 10 years old I went to our local department store and purchased Destroyer by KISS and I never looked back. I used to stare at the cover and wonder if they were real people or super heroes or something. Hey, I was 10.

Peoria, IL | Open for Business: Peoria record store owner pushes back health blackouts, pandemic to spin the songs: At the age of 73, Craig Moore has always been surrounded by the sounds of music. His father bought him his first kindergarten record player. “It was magical, you know. What came out of those records was just amazing. And anyway, he stuck, “he said. The gift sparked Moore’s passion for playing music. He joined a rock and roll band in the 1960s. But it was where Moore went during this time that brought to light another of his passions. Moore said, “Any band I’ve been in – if we were going to a town, the first place I went was the record store. I would find the record store and go. It was then that the wheels began to turn for Moore. In 1984, he opened his own record store on Main Street in Peoria. In 1998, it expanded to University Street, calling the store Younger Than Yesterday. “I thought it would be cool to be that kind of cranky guy behind the counter who knows all about [records]. You know and maybe I’ll put up with you and maybe I won’t.

Waukesha, WI | New Store Sells Nostalgia And Music In Waukesha: Nostalgia Music & More specializes in old vinyl and ’90s video games. Break out the grungy flannel shirts from the ’90s and reminisce about the time you were all that and a bag of chips: Stephen Howitz has opened a store called Nostalgia Music & More, 321 W. Main St. in Waukesha. The store is a buy, sell and trade business featuring pre-owned video games and records in a variety of genres from decades past. “It always has been my dream. I worked in record stores when I was a kid until I was 23,” Howitz told Patch. Howitz now works as a lawyer by day but is also a music enthusiast with nearly 4,000 records in his home collection. He is slowly merging records from his collection into the store’s inventory when he feels ready to part with them. The feeling of nostalgia is a hard habit to break for Howitz. “We are always chasing that feeling. Like the feeling of opening up ‘[a] Zelda’ for Nintendo 64 on Christmas,” Howitz said.

Winston-Salem, NC | Alan “Phred” Rainey, owner of Earshot Music store in Winston-Salem, has died: After Alan “Phred” Rainey become the owner of the Earshot Music store in Winston-Salem, he reaffirmed his commitment to his customers and the music they cherished, a business associate and a relative say. “He (Rainey) loved his customers,” said Jane Buck of Winston-Salem, who as an independent contractor did marketing and bookkeeping for the music store. “He loved the community, and he loved his music. He loved bringing all of that together.” Rainey was a fixture in the city, Buck said. “He could find anything that people were looking for,” Buck said. “He connected people to the music that they were looking for. He was a special guy.” Phred Rainey, 56, died Tuesday after a long battle with leukemia, said his brother, Mark Rainey of Greensboro. “One of the things that touched me were how many people who were influenced by him,” Mark Rainey said. “Everybody said he was so kind. He had very strong passion for music, and he shared that.”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s the American in me that makes me watch the blood running out of the bullethole in his head. / It’s the American in me that makes me watch tv see on the news, listen what the man said. / He said, “ask not what you can do for your country what’s your country been doing to you / Ask not what you can do for your country what’s your country been doing to your mind?”

It’s the American in me that makes me says it an honor to die in a war that’s just a politicians lie / It’s the American in me that makes me watch tv see how they burn the sla they say / “Ask not what you can do for your country what’s your country been doing to you? / Ask not what you can do for your country what’s your country been doing to you?” / In the USA! in the USA in the USA!

Pretty surreal week in the USA. I don’t recall ever watching a Presidential Inauguration, let along checking it, to confirm it was going down. Having a con man on steroids in the White House has literally put reality and country as we know it into suspension.

Our recent presidency had most Americans wondering just how our country can continue. The dudes on Vice News called Wednesday’s DC event “strange and surreal.” No doubt, but if it’s all the same to me, I’d like to get back to the good old USA.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 20: New Music Mix

It’s a Radar music mix this week! Something old, and something new, just for you.

I unearthed a very rare album this week by the Cairo Jazz Band, apparently the first jazz band to ever exist in Egypt! There is a reason this album is so collectible: it’s blend of east and west with expertly executed funk and jazz making it a very unique recording. Gearbox Records has recently released a lost gem with rare material from the legendary trumpeter and cornet-player, Don Cherry. The release entitled “Cherry Jam” (GB1559OBI) was previously only available as a Record Store Day release and features new unheard recordings by Cherry. The EP is to be released as part of the label’s Official Japanese Edition series with a unique obi strip and Japanese liner notes. You’ll hear “Nigeria.”

I continue to delve through some filthy 45s that I recently purchased in an attempt to clean them up and bring them back to life. This week we play Nina Simone’s “Love Me, or Leave Me” which I literally found in a plastic bag at the bottom of a box. Boy, do these old records clean up well; tune in to hear how great it sounds!

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Pendulum and Mardi Gras albums are set for half-speed mastered 180-gram vinyl reissues so we’re getting into the CCR swing with a tune you know and probably love; we’ll look at some deeper cuts in the weeks to come. Got any requests? Little Richard’s Southern Child album also gets taken out for a spin this week; it’s a country album that Richard recorded in the early ’70s, but was mysteriously left unreleased…until Omnivore Records found it and gave it the release it deserves.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Mott the Hoople,
The Hoople

Remembering Pete Overend Watts who passed on this day in 2017 with a look back from our archives.Ed.

If news of the first U.S. Mott the Hoople tour in 45 years doesn’t have you digging your knee-high platform glitter boots out of the closet, well, I guess you’re just not a hopeless old glam geezer like me. Mott the Hoople ‘74 will feature core members (Ian Hunter, Ariel Bender, and Morgan Fisher) of the Mott that toured America way back in 1974, and will give their legions of lucky faithful the opportunity to swoon to all of their old favorites.

The bad news? Mott’s eight-city tour will begin in lovely Milwaukee on April 1 and end in New York City on April 10, so your opportunities to see one of England’s premiere bands of the early seventies live and in person are limited. But if you love Mott the Hoople–and you really should love Mott the Hoople–you’ll do what it takes to catch one of these shows because let’s face it, boys and girls, Mott the Hoople is THE NAZZ.

As everybody who was alive in the early seventies knows, Mott the Hoople were a hard rock band distinguishable from the pachydermal herd mainly by Ian Hunter’s lyrical (and hyper-self-aware) flights of fancy and Dylan meets pub rock vocalizations who were at the point of breaking up because nobody was buying their records when David Bowie more or less brought them back from the dead by handing them “All the Young Dudes,” which the Hoops turned into one of the most glorious anthems to teen solidarity in the face of parental sneers and fears of growing old you ever will hear. Turn twenty-five? Never! I’d sooner kill myself!

After that they cut a pair of simply extraordinary LPs in the form of 1972’s All the Young Dudes and 1973’s Mott, both of ‘em packed with songs so great you’d break your granny’s arm if she dared besmirch ‘em. You get everything from lethal stabs in the eye like “Sucker” and “One of the Boys” to big rock myth deconstructions like “Hymn for the Dudes” and “All the Way from Memphis” and “Ballad of Mott the Hoople (26th March 1972, Zurich)”, on the latter of which lets you know he knows a rock star is a rather shabby thing to be. Oh, and he also has a sensitive side; who else would have dared to produce a song (and it’s pure dead brilliant) called “I Wish I Was Your Mother”?

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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