TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: WPOC Weekend in the Country at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10/3 & 10/4

Not even the threat of a hurricane could hold back the country faithful from this year’s WPOC Weekend in the Country. The annual event, held at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, has been a mainstay for country fans for decades.

This year’s lineup featured a new school of country heavyweights like Brantley Gilbert (below) and Sam Hunt, as well as family favorites like Thompson Square and Parmlee. Newcomers like Maren Morris (above), Kelsea Ballerini, Cam, and Chris Jansen, as well as local favorites LoCash, rounded out this year’s line-up.

The event was a virtual hodge podge of music from the classic country style of Mo Pitney to borderline pop music with a country twist from Kelsea Ballerini. The young pop country sweetheart turned heads with a medley of over the top, pop tunes from artists like ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears. This was sandwiched between her chart topping singles which hooked the country radio crowd instantly. This was also rounded out by some straight forward rock and roll.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Premiere: Auna Sims, “Right Place”

“Go tell you own story/ Go chase you own dreams,” sings Auna Sims on her debut single, “Right Place,” an exploration of identity reminiscent of ’90s singer/songwriters. “I wrote this song when I was struggling with the ‘Why try again’ questions,” said Sims. Right before she was to audition for the head of the Symphony in her native city of Atlanta, she was suddenly struck by an idiopathic injury to her hand and arm–meaning it was from an unexplained source.

She was prodigiously gifted piano player who grew up the oldest of ten musically gifted children in a house where music infused everything, and had studied classical performance all throughout her childhood and adolescence. Auna was prepared to embark on a post-secondary education centered around the study of the piano. She was devastated.

Music consumed Auna though, and she persevered. Always a fan of classical music, her tastes broadened to include indie music and pop music–insofar as The Beatles and the like mean pop music. Because she had to create, because there was no version of herself that does not make songs come into being, she began to play the piano one-handed. Within these limitations, she developed her performance and her voice. She kept the music to herself and she wrote song after song.

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TVD New Orleans

Carly Meyers and Adam Gertner of Yojimbo launch ROAR!

A new pop-punk band was recently born in the city of New Orleans. ROAR! blends electronics with live instruments and vocals to create infectious songs that get stuck in your brain.

Carly Meyers is known for her energetic stage presence. She first came to many music lovers’ attention as a member of percussionist Mike Dillon’s band. But she was also playing in New Orleans and touring the country with Adam Gertner in Yojimbo. They are currently on the road for their last tour as Yojimbo supporting Animal Liberation Orchestra.

She is a trombonist from the get-go but has added electronic marimba, you have to hear it to get it, and punk-edged vocals to her considerable arsenal.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Video and Song Premiere: The Mosers, “Cold Hearted Girl”

“We wanted this video to be a summation of who we are and what we’re about rather than a smoke and mirrors show. (Director) Daniel Iglesias Jr. (The Neighbourhood, X Ambassadors, Bad Suns) encapsulated everything we are as a whole; a group of friends, and a group of guys who just want to play rock music.”

‘Cold Hearted Girl’ is a great representation of our music. It has the roller coaster dynamics of the rock songs we love and the brutally honest lyrics we try to write. Within one listen you get what the song is about. I’m sure everyone can relate to the topic. That’s why we went with ‘Cold Hearted’ for the first single.”
Mikey Pellegrino

New Jersey pop rockers The Mosers deliver unbridled kiss off to one cold hearted girl.

We have the pleasure of premiering the four piece’s single and accompanying video for “Cold Hearted Girl” exclusively to the readers of TVD. If you’re a fan of modern rock ‘n’ roll, I can promise you that these Jersey boys deliver the goods—and would even go so far as to call this single a bona fide smash.

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A Badge of Friendship,
The Podcast

The gang at A Badge Of Friendship are back at full capacity for this Thursday’s podcast as Ed returns from his Greek retreat.

They’re joined on the phone by very special guests, Charlotte Krol from The Line Of Best Fit and Andrew from When The Gramaphone Rings, who get down to brass tacks about why they love writing about music and give us an insight into what tracks they’ve fallen in love with this month.

You’ll barely be able to contain your excitement over the news that it’s finally happened—the features are back, and they’re weirder, cheesier, and lovelier than ever. Paul gives Run For Cover Records some love, while Claire breaks out the cheddar over Cuckoolander’s latest track, “Mother Nature,” and Ed takes us to the mashed up world of DJ BC, Philip Glass, and The Beastie Boys.

Music heard live on the show cannot be heard on this podcast but check out the tracks featured on this week’s show below:

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Glenn Mercer,
Incidental Hum

Glenn Mercer is a key figure in guitar-pop history, with his most important roles being vocalist, string-bender, and songwriter in New Jersey titans The Feelies. He’s also been a factor in numerous related projects across the decades, and on October 9th Bar None Records doubles his solo discography through the release of Incidental Hum, an all-instrumental affair featuring twelve originals and three covers. It’s available on LP, CD, and digital.

Way back before the beginning there was the Out Kids, the group’s membership including Mercer, drummer Dave Weckerman, and later bassist Bill Million. Initially specializing in versions of ‘60s garage rock, they eventually transitioned to originals and played gigs in late ‘70s NYC; after an irate lead singer ushered the Out Kids to an end, a few adjustments were made and The Feelies were born.

Released in 1980, Crazy Rhythms stands as their essential document and one of the finest albums of its decade, gleaming like a beacon at the historical intersection of Velvets-derived post-punk and the ensuing college radio aided jangle-pop explosion; head and shoulders above the legions of bands they influenced, if Mercer had contributed to nothing else his placement in the annals of recorded music would be secure.

The Feelies went on to cut three more LPs before breaking up in the early ‘90s, and along the way Mercer took part in offshoots the Trypes (Acute Records’ retrospective Music for Neighbors is excellent), Yung Wu (who left behind ‘87’s nifty Shore Leave) and the Willies; post-dissolution (they’ve since reunited) he formed Wake Ooloo for a series of discs, played in True Wheel and Sunburst, and in 2007 issued his debut solo effort Wheels in Motion on the Pravda label.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/8/15

Alice Cooper played a surprise reunion with his original band at Good Records: “Good Records has hosted many great in-store signings and shows, but Tuesday night, they made rock ‘n’ roll history when all of the surviving members of the Alice Cooper Group played an 8-song set.

Calgary vinyl record buff get ready for annual collectors’ show: “It’s no spin — Calgarians love their vinyl. So when the Calgary Music Collectors Show holds its annual fall gathering at the Acadia Recreation Centre Oct. 25, organizers expect hundreds of audiophiles and tune treasure hunters to come through the doors.”

The 8 Best Record Shops in Bristol: “Bristol is one of the UK’s most fertile musical cities, home to post-punk legends like The Pop Group, trip-hop greats Portishead and Massive Attack, and more recently synonymous with bass-oriented bedroom producers like Julio Bashmore, Addison Groove, Joker and Shante Celeste.”

‘Dust & Grooves’: One-on-one with the world’s most obsessive record collectors: “Hypothetical situation: it’s 2008, you’re a professional photographer who’s just moved to the U.S., and you can’t find a job. Oh, and you also love vinyl. What do you do?”

The Vinyl Staircase: A New Column About Record Buying Misery By John Doran: “I have to leave the record in the bag the entire way home lest my sweaty palms, ripple the sleeve. When I get back to my flat, my hands are shaking so much I can barely put the stylus on the record. This is going to be the one – the masterpiece I’ve been waiting my whole life for.”

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Wolf Alice and Drenge at U Street Music Hall, 10/1

Last Thursday night, DC’s sold out U Street Music Hall played to host Wolf Alice and their supporting act, Drenge—both indie rockers from across the pond.

There seems to be something good, in fact something rather brilliant, coming out of the British music scene these days, and Wolf Alice is certainly a part of it. This occurrence could be described as a “scene,” but even more specifically, it could be described far better as a sound.

There’s something to be said about steady, concentrated guitar parts—fuzzy and thick as any guitar tone can get—mixed with intricacy and punctuated with leads to form a dense, wonderful, and yes, catchy sound that has heads bobbing. Notable mentions are some of my favorite new bands over the last few years—Blood Red Shoes and Royal Blood.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Jerry Jeff Walker,
¡Viva Terlingua!

When it comes to outlaw country, Jerry Jeff Walker is a proud representative who rarely tops anybody’s list. Chiefly noted for writing the ubiquitous “Mr. Bojangles” and for his cover of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” Jerry generally gets short shrift in comparison to Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Townes Van Zandt. But a listen to his 1973 live LP, ¡Viva Terlingua!, demonstrates conclusively that Walker can hold his own with the best of them.

Recorded with his Lost Gonzo Band at the Luckenbach Dancehall in 1973, ¡Viva Terlingua! is a masterpiece, featuring a unique mix of “outlaw” rock, blues, and traditional Mexican music styles that makes him one of a kind amongst his outlaw compadres. The album’s wonderful mixture of covers and originals helps—there isn’t a weak cut on the damn thing, from the carefree opening track, “Getting’ By,” a rollicking country tune on which Walker sets down his easy-going philosophy of living. The solos are great, Walker is charmingly insouciant, and if this one doesn’t make you happy, I recommend you look into ECT.

His cover of Guy Clark’s “Desperados Waiting for a Train” is a slow and lovely country lament over an old man who took him under his wing when he was a kid. The desperados turn out to be drifters and domino players, and Walker hits just the right note, avoiding bathos and steering clear of the maudlin, while the band kicks out the jams on the choruses and then kicks into the overdrive at the end, taking the song out, on a rock note.

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends:
John Ellis & Double-Wide album release party at Snug Harbor, 10/8

Thursday night, Snug Harbor will be pulsing with the inventive music of New York-based saxophonist John Ellis and his NYC-meets-NOLA band featuring drummer Jason Marsalis, sousaphonist Matt Perrine, keyboardist Gary Versace, and trombonist Alan Ferber. Shows are at 8 and 10 PM.

The album, Charm, has been charming critics and listeners alike with Ellis’ colorful expression of his split metropolitan musical personality. The saxophonist spent his formative musical years in New Orleans and now calls New York home.

Called a, “chainsaw-juggling balance of bayou brass, raucous gospel, and devil-may-care modern jazz,” the music of Double-Wide is as unique as the distinct resumes of the band members.

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