The TVD Storefront

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ve closed up the shop for the Thanksgiving holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores for Record Store Day’s Black Friday event?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here on Monday, 11/27.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Hot Snakes, Duchess Says, Suicide Pact at the Rock & Roll Hotel, 11/15

Wednesday night is a hard sell for any venue. In DC, it takes a band of great strength to lure mid-week concert-goers to any hall. Although when the right act shows up, rooms fill elbow to elbow just as they did last week as a sold out Rock and Roll Hotel hosted San Diego’s Hot Snakes, and with them some very impressive opening acts.

Hot Snakes are touring to support their upcoming 2018 release which, along with their entire back catalog, will be released on Sub Pop records next year. The new release has been highly anticipated and will be the band’s first since 2005’s Thunder Down Under. Their current nine stop November tour has included dates in San Francisco, Seattle, LA, Boston, Philly, and Washington, DC before the band jets off to Europe in January. It’s been five years since Hot Snakes played a show in Washington, and Wednesday’s crowd was primed with excitement before the band took the stage despite a painfully long set change between bands.

While the star of the show for many is Reis’ crisp guitar tone, it serves as the perfect punctuation for his longtime band mate Rick Froberg’s (Obits) more steady, open guitar lines and distinct throaty vocals. Hot Snakes’ rhythm section consists of Gar Wood on bass and not one, but two separate drummers—Jason Kourkounis (Delta 72) and Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From The Crypt, Sultans)—both behind the kit for the specific songs they recorded with the band.

Just prior to Hot Snakes’ performance, John Reis leaned down toward the front of the stage where I was standing. He was plugging in guitar cords when he looked over at me like a werewolf before a full moon. “I’ll be sweating and falling all over you—you may need to pick me back up.” “It’ll be okay,” I offered. “I’ve got you—but I move around a lot too.” “But seriously,” he insisted, “you might wanna tell the people behind you—I’ll be all over here.”

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TVD Live Shots: Jake Shears at Heaven, 11/14

The first time I heard the Scissor Sisters was at SXSW in 2004. I remember watching the show and thinking that this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen at SXSW—glorious ’70s pop played with an incredible band and two flamboyant singers taking me back to the good old days of AM radio, but with a much slicker, modern production.

During the set, I ask the guy next to me who’s on stage, and he yells in my ear with a heavy British accent, “It’s the Caesar Sisters mate.” After that, I was on a mission to find out who the Caesar Sisters were and how I could get my hands on their record if they even had one. After researching further I, of course, figured out that the guy was yelling “Scissor Sisters” and I ran straight to Waterloo records and bought the album. I put the thing on, and I was hooked from the opening bouncing piano and distinctive vocals of the incredible Jake Shears.

Now the Scissor Sisters have been on hiatus since 2012, and both Shears and his counterpart, the equally brilliant Anamatronic, have been laying low with only a collaboration or two leaking out over the years. Then seemingly out of nowhere I see an ad that Jake Shears is playing two solo gigs, one in New York and the other in London. THIS is why I love living in London—you never know what or who’s going to announce a gig among the many different amazing venues that the city harbours. I immediately bought a ticket.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Peter Frampton, Fingerprints on vinyl for the first time, in stores 1/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Legendary guitarist Peter Frampton will reissue his critically lauded album Fingerprints on January 26 via his own imprint Phenix Phonograph. Originally released in 2006, Fingerprints won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album and Frampton’s cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” off the album was also nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The album will be available on vinyl for the first time.

Frampton navigates a diverse range of material on Fingerprints, from American soul to Latin balladry and timeless rock. Guest artists include The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman on “Cornerstones”; original Shadows members Hank Marvin and Brian Bennett on “My Cup of Tea”; and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and Matt Cameron joining Frampton for the “Black Hole Sun” cover and the original “Blowin’ Smoke.” Frampton’s core band on Fingerprints features longtime collaborator John Regan (bass), co-producer Gordon Kennedy (guitar and backing vocals), Arthur Stead (keyboards), and Shawn Fichter (drums).

Furthermore, Frampton recently performed his latest single “I Saved A Bird Today” on Tavis Smiley. Frampton explains, “‘I Saved A Bird Today’ is a true story about me saving a large bird, an American Coot, who flew into my window and knocked herself out. Then how, with expert advice, I brought her back to life. After learning that Coots only take off from water, I had to ‘Take Her To The River.’ She jumped into the river as I watched her walk, then run atop the water until she finally took off into the city lit night sky. ‘To care for one another is the reason we are here’ is the lyric that sums it up for me. The world has gone mad and the simple things like love, compassion, and caring have been overshadowed by hate and greed.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Queen, “We Are The Champions,” / “We Will Rock You” 12″ Single

To herald the arrival of the 40th Anniversary of News of the World, Queen’s monumental ’77 release and its accompanying special box set—in stores now!—a special Record Store Day Black Friday edition of the iconic double A-side single “We Are The Champions” / “We Will Rock You” arrives in shops this coming Friday. But heck, why wait and fight the lines—we’ve got 5 copies of the 12″ single to ship out to 5 of you.

First however, some interesting factoids in regard to the seminal tracks on both sides of this special 12″ single:

1. Brian May wrote “We Will Rock You” and claimed the idea for the song came in a dream. He told Mojo magazine in October 2008 that he wanted to “create a song that the audience could participate in.”

2. “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You” are Brian May’s favourite Queen songs to perform live.

3. “We Will Rock You” doesn’t contain any actual drums. The famous rhythm came about from the band, engineers, roadies, and even their tea lady, Betty—stamping their feet in London’s Wessex Studios.

4. “We Will Rock You” has been covered 45 times by many artists, as varied as Snoop Dogg, Warrant, Linda Ronstadt, the cast of Glee and Macy Gray. It has also been sampled by several artists, including Eminem.

5. Robbie Williams also provided vocals to “We Are The Champions” for the soundtrack of A Knight’s Tale.

6. The music video for “We Will Rock You” was filmed in Roger Taylor’s back garden after filming “Spread Your Wings.”

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UK Artist of the Week: Circumnavigate

PHOTO: KARL MYRVANG | Our Artist of The Week is yet another Nordic gem. Circumnavigate has been creating utterly majestic dream-folk for a few years now and their debut album, When Worlds Collide, lands in shops on 14th December 2017.

The latest single from the album, “Secret,” is absolutely stunning and captivating from the offset. Lead singer Sigrid Zeiner-Gundersen has a voice that could melt butter—it’s warm, soft, delicate and is joined by the rest of the band’s flawless harmonies. Having already been compared to The Cinematic Orchestra and Of Monsters and Men, it’s no surprise really. Circumnavigate’s vocal performance and musicianship is ridiculously tight, infectious, and mesmerizing.

Sigrid met Carl Frederik Kontny (piano/guitar/vocals) at school in Sandvika, Norway. She then moved to London where she was joined by Ross Craib (percussion/vocals) and Charlie Fowler (bass/vocals), and the rest, as the say, is history. They’re busy bees, that’s for sure, having collectively played alongside some of London’s biggest names including Gabrielle Aplin.

Catch Circumnavigate live at The Sebright Arms, London on 18th December. When Worlds Collide is in stores on 14th December 2017.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores, November 2017

Part one of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued wax presently in stores for November, 2017. Part one is right here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Soul of a Woman (Daptone) The passing of Sharon Jones hit hard. A large part of why was purely musical, but Jones’ unlikely rise to fame as a modern vessel of uncut classic soul verve was also enduringly inspirational. Essential to her sustained success was a union with the Dap-Kings, the vitality of which is undiminished here as the disc’s contents continue to emphasize Jones’ versatility. Too often defined by her aptitude for belting, an ability to cover a range of emotions is on full display, with self-penned finale “Call on God” packing a wallop. A-

Mavis Staples, If All I Was Was Black (Anti) As the third collaboration (in four albums) between Staples and producer Jeff Tweedy, the comfort level is high, enough so that the Wilco leader wrote all ten songs with the veteran vocalist in mind; she immediately makes them her own, with social commentary ringing out loud and clear. Staples’ gospel-based positivity has been long-noted, but reflective of the times, the mood here is darker and angrier yet not hopeless, and the songs flourish in a cohesive small group setting descended from but never imitating socially conscious Mayfield-ish soul-funk. A-

REISSUE PICKS: Willie Nelson, Spirit & Teatro: The Complete Sessions (Modern Classics) Two underrated and contrasting ’90s efforts: the self-produced Spirit is scaled-back to the guitars of Nelson and Jody Payne, piano from his sister Bobbie, and occasional fiddle by ace Johnny Gimble. It magnifies Nelson as a songwriter of rich tradition. Teatro was cut with an expanded lineup in an old movie theater in Oxnard, CA with producer Daniel Lanois. If less intimate, the strength of the writing, playing, and singing remains high. Spirit is on wax; Teatro is on CD with a performance DVD directed by Wim Wenders A/ A

Sonny Clark Trio, The 1960 Time Sessions (Tompkins Square) The title differentiates the contents, originally issued as a self-titled LP, from an also eponymous and more well-known trio date for Blue Note three years prior. That one had Paul Chambers and Philly Joe; this expanded set features George Duvivier and Max Roach, so there’s no drop off in personnel quality. Ben Ratliff’s notes (augmenting Nat Hentoff’s original words) do a fine job of placing this record in the context of Clark’s career as a leading light in the hard-bop movement. Is it the pianist’s best? No, but the interaction is sterling throughout. A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 11/21/17

Landmark Record Store In San Francisco Haight-Ashbury Shuts Its Doors: Recycled Records’ run in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District has come to an end. For some 40 years, the store has been a landmark in the heart of the Haight, but now it’s doors have been shuttered. “It is a good run,” said owner Bruce Lyall. “It’s surprising. Nobody could’ve told me that 40 years ago I’d still be doing it.” As he stood inside the shop, he was surrounded by vinyl records, CDs and historic posters on the walls. “There’s history here,” Lyall said. “Not only the personal history of the store, or me the owner, there’s the history of technology, the history of wealth, the history of music itself, how music has changed.”

Uprising Coffee & Books reopens in Eden: “Born to Run” through the “Purple Haze” trying to beat the “Purple Rain” to the “Dark Side of the Moon,” caffeine aficionados can find not only hot and cold lattes of those legendary song titles, but also the records on which they are found. Adrian Wilson, who grew up near Wentworth and went to Reidsville High, and Donion Moore, a Reidsville native who went to Community Baptist School, have reopened the popular Uprising Coffee & Books in downtown Leaksville. While keeping the familiar coffees, books and lounging areas, the duo has added quite a collection of old school vinyl albums.

New 80s-inspired vinyl and coffee shop in Baldock will help you remember a life before mobile phones: Stylus is the passion project of Jason Kitchener from the town, who wants to return to the simplicity of the 80s by making his coffee bar a phone-free zone. When entering the coffee-bar you will be asked to lock away your phone in a pouch…Jason told the Comet: “Vinyl and records have always been my passion. Believe it or not, working in a record store is something I always wanted to do as a kid. “The opportunity came up where we could look around a building in the High Street, so I had a look around and thought with vinyl becoming popular again it would be a good opportunity to bring vinyl into a current environment, and that’s what I did.

Wichita is hosting a vinyl record convention. The last one was 20 years ago. Record conventions, like the vinyl sound medium they highlight, are making a comeback…Like many of today’s consumers who are fueling the resurgence of vinyl record sales, the 23-year-old Turner didn’t grow up in a household with turntable. A lover of live music, she got hooked on vinyl when she attended a live concert at Third Man Records in Nashville, which offers a venue space where musicians can record their performances. After the record of the concert was printed, Turner received a copy of it since she’d been in the audience. Along with being a record label, Third Man Records also has a storefront. “I came back home and started hitting up record stores,” Turner said. “I’m really fascinated that this trend is coming back.”

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots:
Vintage Trouble and
Desi Valentine at The Fillmore, 11/16

Having already played some of the biggest stages in the world supporting the likes of The Who and AC/DC, Los Angeles retro-rockers Vintage Trouble aren’t letting all the attention go to their heads. Their most recent headlining tour wrapped up on a rainy Thursday night at San Francisco’s historic Fillmore to a modest yet passionate room.

The evening kicked off with a generous 40 minute opening set by Desi Valentine whose smooth vocals backed by keys and percussion got the gathering crowd into the groove. No doubt having Vintage Trouble frontman Ty Taylor introduce the band helped direct the crowd’s attention towards the stage and away from the bar.

When it comes to Vintage Trouble, it’s hard to avoid the obvious comparisons so it’s not worth pussy-footing around the matter … frontman Ty Taylor has the energy, sass, and soul of a modern-day James Brown backed by a tight band that holds it all down while Ty’s electric stage presence keeps the audience’s attention. That’s exactly what the San Francisco audience expected and that’s exactly what they received.

While the fans seemed to know what to expect, that doesn’t mean the evening was without its surprises. When Ty hopped off the stage during the second song and engaged the crowd in an impromptu dance party, the fans jumped right it. When Ty emerged back on stage holding a dog (was it named Rocky?) and proceeded to finish the song without missing a note …. well, no one is likely to forget this show.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Billy Squier, Don’t Say No 180-gram vinyl in stores 2/2018

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Intervention Records is thrilled to announce the next LP in its (Re)Discover Series, Billy Squier’s 1981 rock anthem, Don’t Say No. The classic rock staple will be released on 180-gram vinyl (Cat# IR-020 / UPC 707129301444) and hybrid CD/SACD (Cat# IR-SCD7 / UPC 707129301499). Vinyl on-sale is expected in February 2018 and the CD/SACD in April of 2018.

Don’t Say No catapulted Squier’s career to new heights. His live shows became arena rock sensations and four tracks from this album are classic rock radio staples in heavy rotation today: “In the Dark,” “The Stroke,” “My Kind of Lover,” and “Lonely is the Night.” Don’t Say No is 100% Analog Mastered by Kevin Gray at CoHEARent Audio from the original master tapes! Gray’s remastering is revelatory in opening the soundstage up to massive proportions while providing superior 3D imaging and musical microdetail. The hybrid SACD is mastered Direct-to-DSD from the original analog master tapes.

The LP art is restored by IR’s Tom Vadakan to a beautiful single-pocket gatefold and the old-style, “tip-on” LP jacket is printed by Stoughton. The Hybrid CD/SACD will be housed in a super jewel box.

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