TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: Queens of the Stone Age, St. Vincent, and Brody Dalle at Merriweather Post, 7/17

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Just before Queens of the Stone Age took the stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Thursday, it occurred to me that I had last seen Josh Homme on this stage in 1995 with Kyuss, opening for White Zombie. Almost 20 years have passed, and Josh has now led the Queens to new heights with a number one album—and this night cemented in stone that they are at the top of their game.

After fighting my way through the Ragnarök of DC area traffic, I arrived at Merriweather just a few minutes before Brody Dalle took the stage. It was a bit early—still light out, and a fairly sparse crowd at this point, but those who were there early embraced the entertainment. Brody has a new band and a new album, and sounded tighter than ever. Venturing further into alt-rock and away from the frenetic punk sound of her past in the Distillers, she showed a maturity in her music while bringing the rock. Mixing songs from her latest album, Diploid Love, with a few from her past, Brody and her band were the perfect way to start the night.

In between bands, I mentioned to a friend that I had never heard St. Vincent before. Her response was, “She’s kind of like a female Prince.” Hmm, ok. I can get with that. Annie Clark and her band, aka St. Vincent, took the stage, and my friends’ description wasn’t too far off the mark. Funky, groovy, and moving into the second song she still showed the influence of the Purple One.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Premiere & Vinyl Giveaway: LA Font, “Teen Bazooka”

“A lot of people say that vinyl sounds warmer or just better, but I think that’s an overstatement. A lot of new vinyl is not pressed well and it sounds tinny and squashed—but grab a Rolling Stones album from the ’70s out of a bin at the thrift store for $.50 and you will be knocked backwards by the sonic depth and detail.”

“I like vinyl for a lot of reasons—rich sound, having a cool keepsake thing, vinyl records often appreciate in monetary value because of their scarceness, and I tend to like indie labels and indie artists and often they’re the biggest purveyors of vinyl. Plus I need coasters like anyone else. But you don’t like vinyl in a vacuum—you like vinyl because you like the artists on vinyl.

Plus I need coasters like anyone else. But you don’t like vinyl in a vacuum—you like vinyl because you like the artists on vinyl.

Vinyl is temporary. Record stores are temporary. Musicians are temporary. Songs are forever.”

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The TVD Storefront

Candy Darling,
The TVD First Date

“I am no purist and as such have little respect for the drooling fetishists who pay a small fortune to own an original pressing of some obscure jazz fusion album. I’m not fussy about formats and spend much of my time listening to music online. However there is no denying that my listening habits have been retarded by the tsunami of free music available on the internet.”

“As a teenager I was keen (and perhaps pretentious) enough to force Frank Zappa, Charles Mingus, and Igor Stravinsky records down my throat until I fell in love with their cacophonous beauty. Now I make rapid fire decisions about the relative merits of a song before the first 30 seconds has played out, thoughtlessly clicking through an incessant glut of free music whilst the full beam of my attention is obliterated by a thousand digital distractions.

CDs were trash, far from the indestructible future of modern listening which they purported to be. They never survived our parties and lacked the aesthetic gravitas to be treated with care. I used to spit on them and rub them on my jeans in a vain attempt to get them to play before throwing them across the room in disgust.

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The TVD Storefront

Chris Jericho of Fozzy, The TVD Interview

Lionheart. Y2J. Moongoose McQueen. The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla. Whatever name he’s gone by, the one thing that has remained a constant for Chris Jericho is entertainment.

First, he made a name for himself in the ECW, WCW, and WWE as one of the top wrestlers of his era. His musical passion saw the light in 1999 when Jericho joined guitarist Rich Ward in the cover band Fozzy Osbourne. Shortening their name to Fozzy in 2000, the band took off. Five albums and fourteen years later, Fozzy is preparing to release their sixth album, Do You Wanna Start a War this week. We had a chance to talk to Chris about the new album, Abba, doo-wop Slayer songs, vinyl, and much more.

You’ve been busy! Dates with Fozzy coming up, a new album coming out, and a big return to the WWE a week ago…

Yeah, it’s just par for the course for me, man. The WWE thing kinda just came about at the last minute because we were off the road with Fozzy for a couple of months. The timing just really worked out well. Always busy, man.

What’s your take on where the WWE is nowadays?

It’s great man. It a very reciprocal business. Characters come in, and take control, take charge. The WWE will never die, man. It continues to grow. As it grows, new people come in and freshen the scene up. It’s always a very exciting time.

Way back when Fozzy Osbourne was something you did for fun, doing covers, did you ever think it would morph into Fozzy and go as far as it has?

At the time, when we started, it was just a fun thing. It was a good way to get my feet wet in the music business. I had been a musician since I was twelve, but had never actually made a record or done tours. I think once we started doing our own thing and becoming an original band, especially when we made Fozzy the priority back in 2009, that’s when I would totally say, “Yes, I expected this,” because I wanted to be the biggest band in the world.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Thin Lizzy,

You wanna hear a miracle? I lived for almost five-and-a-half decades without ever hearing Jailbreak, or any other Thin Lizzy album for that matter. Here vocalist/bassist and chief songwriter Phil Lynott and his Irish compatriots put out a truly tremendous LP in America’s Bicentennial Year, not to mention a parcel of other great LPs, and what was I doing? Listening to Elton John and John Denver and England Dan and John Ford Coley, any band basically with a guy named John in it. If Debbie Gibson’s middle name been John, I would have listened to her too.

I would love to be able to say I simply wasn’t into hard rock back then, but I owned albums by Bad Company, UFO (UFO? Me? Inexplicable!), Robin Trower, and Foghat, so that’s sheer bunk. But there’s no point in crying over guilty milk, and it’s never too late to make up for past mistakes, that is unless you’re Lee Harvey Oswald or that chimpanzee (name: Travis) who ripped a woman’s face off in 2009, and I’m neither of those personages. So here I am making up for atoning for my inexplicable oversight, and listening to Jailbreak which mixes tremendous twin-guitar hard rockers with sweeter fair, all of which I love with the possible exception of “Cowboy Song”—in which Lynott, a black Irishman, plays rodeo cowpoke.

But I take that back. “Cowboy Song” may start slowly, but its guitar solos are tremendous and Lynott’s vocals are impassioned (especially when he sings, “It’s okay amigo/Just let me go/Riding in the rodeo”) and the jam at song’s end is a bono fido guitar marvel. Turns out I love the damn thing! Just as I love everything about the LP, except for its cover. Too sci-fi for my decidedly earthbound tastes.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday morning recap of the new tracks received last week—provided here to inform your vinyl purchasing power. Click, preview, download, purchase.

New God – Firework
Octave Minds – In Silence
Cassie – Me & U (KRONO Edit)
Henry Pope – LUZ featuring Fernanda Karolys
The Rosebuds – Blue Eyes
Dream Stretcher – The Fall
City and The Sea – Venture
SOS – She Wants
stickybackplastics. – Vampire
Sounds Like Moving – Away

Buddy – Weak Currents

VIRGO – Tides Of Neptune (HUSH Remix)
Joe Marson – Here With Me
Gazzo feat. Y LUV – Never Touch The Ground (Original Mix)
Hot Sugar – Moonlight Sonata
Olympic Ayres – Control (Pat Lok Remix)
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars – Gbaenyama
Autumn In June – Weeks
The Tallest Tree – Boat
Cosmonaut Grechko – Luv More
HΛNΛH – Out Of Touch

13 more FREE TRACKS on side B!

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

As most of my friends know I’m a freak for fishing. Specifically deep-sea fishing off the coast of Mexico. Maybe this hobby sounds a bit odd for an Idelic rocker, but there’s definitely a spiritual side to being a fisherman at sea. There are so many factors on a long journey. One thing is for sure, when you are far out at sea, you are in a deep and changing wilderness.

Wednesday morning the good ship Shogun arrived back in San Diego. Adrift for five days I was totally “off grid.” No phone, no email, no job worries, no family dilemmas—just the seas, a rod, hook, and a hand flu of companions. I barely listened to a note, just the sound of the ocean and vessel. I arrived home woozy and very relaxed. So relaxed I didn’t want to touch my stride. I spent most of Wednesday listening to classic rock and reading Mojo magazine.

I’ll call it a well deserved break in my action.

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TVD Cleveland

TVD Live: DIIV at the Grog Shop, 7/16

Extraneous bullshit always draws us to bands.

Nirvana had the Kurt Cobain cult of personality. The Stones had drugs. Led Zeppelin had groupies. Ozzie had the Alamo thing. The Stooges had Iggy smearing himself with peanut butter and cutting himself on stage. There are a million other examples, but for better or worse there has to be a certain amount of myth around a band to make the general public sit up and take notice.

DIIV is in the business of myth building. Pop singer girlfriend? Absolutely. Alleged(?) drug use? Check. Comparisons to rock icons? You know it. High-end modeling gigs? Yup.

Not to say any of this is intentional or crafted to make the band a brand, but there’s a lot of non-music stuff going on here to sort through. Being candid, I would have never heard of them without all this shit surrounding them. All over the world there are talented, but uninteresting, bands toiling in bars for good reason. We all love the hype.

Go back to my initial list there for a second. While all those bands had myth that pushed them over the edge, all were fucking incredible artists. So the question stands: can DIIV play?

Kind of.

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The TVD Storefront

Festival Fast Talk:
Austin Paul

We recently went to Bonnaroo and were inundated with new music. One of the coolest experiences this year was spending time in at the Red Bull Music Academy’s Basscamp.

Though Redbull is accustomed to a presence at festivals, this year’s Bonnaroo ramped up their involvement with the Basscamp, an onsite area where Redbull collected 20 regional producers, gave them studios stocked with great equipment, showered them with lectures from the likes of Thundercat and Mannie Fresh, and encouraged them to write music in between sessions of going out and seeing shows. I got the opportunity to sit down and talk to a few of the producers involved.

Austin Paul is an emerging singer and songwriter. Though his sound can go anywhere from James Blake minimalism to ’80s throwback R&B, he labels his music “Goth pop.” After checking it out, it’s clear why. His art and aesthetic is clean and slick, with lots of stark contrasting elements and color palettes usually involving dark imagery or Gothic symbolism. The visuals match the mood of his music, which is ruled by his voice and its strong sustains, soulful runs, and delicate portmanteau work between the words and throughout his phrasings. These vocals lay atop sexy or somber chord textures, producing a satiating and full sound.

How did you start making music?
I began with show choir when I was five years old. I started writing when I was about 10.

What equipment did you initially use?
GarageBand, a Shure 57, and a pair of M-Audio Monitors.

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TVD New Orleans

New Orleans Suspects welcome special guests on two-night stand

This weekend (July 18-19), the group will feature Big Chief Juan Pardo on Friday night and former Radiators’ keyboardist and singer/songwriter Ed Volker on Saturday night at the Maple Leaf Bar.

The band has been going through some reorganization according to bassist Reggie Scanlan including working on a record deal with Louisiana Red Hot Records and recording a new album, which will feature Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat.

Saxophonist Jeff Watkins took advantage of the time off the road with the Suspects to go on a three-week European tour with soul singer Joss Stone. When the chance to play two nights at the uptown club came up, the boys in the band decided to bring in the special guests to make up for Watkins’ absence. Read More »

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