TVD New Orleans

Lyrics Born gets funky on Real People

“New Orleans is the first and last real music town in America. You can go out every night of the week, or even multiple times a day, and hear truly good music that is also local music.” That was one of the many reasons Bay area rapper Lyrics Born decided that he wanted to make an album steeped heavily in New Orleans music.

One of the latest artists to find inspiration in the sounds and sites of the Crescent City, his new album Real People, recorded locally at Galactic Studios, taps into the funky sound you hear bumping from cars and clubs all around town. “I was really inspired by the whole vibe here and I wanted to make a record that had that earthy, soulful feel,” he explained.

Ben Ellman and Robert Mercurio of Galactic produced the album and a myriad of New Orleans hard hitters make cameos in a way that is a bit reminiscent of a Lundi Gras Galactic show. “Ellman and Mercurio introduced me to this tight group of musicians they hang out with and from there it just kind of snowballed. I’ve got David Shaw (The Revivalists), Trombone Shorty, Corey Henry (Galactic), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the record,” he said.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Mothmen,
Pay Attention!

The UK post-punk impulse was a sizeable one, its prolificacy ranging from cornerstone acts to DIY obscurities. Landing somewhere in the middle is The Mothmen, their 1981 LP Pay Attention! holding the distinction of being the second entry in the discography of Adrian Sherwood’s On-U Sound label. Upon release it failed to find an audience and for years has basically been a footnote to a handful of larger success stories. In a classy move On-U Sound is giving the record a welcome vinyl reissue with bonus tracks on the download; it’s available May 29th.

In the realms of reissuedom can be found a steady stream of uninspiring and occasionally downright dubious choices, but when underappreciated, totally scarce and frequently pricey items are granted new life the endeavor is largely vindicated. Of course, proper credit should be given to the individuals with the good taste and foresight to have documented said recordings in the first place; in the case of Pay Attention! that someone is Adrian Sherwood.

A key architect in late-20th century music, Sherwood’s early productivity is nicely detailed on Sherwood at the Controls, Volume 1: 1979-1984 as recently compiled by On-U Sound, the long-extant label initially conceived by the artist to catalog his work as a producer. Amongst the names corralled by the 2LP are Maximum Joy, The Fall, The Slits, Shriekback, Mark Stewart and the Mafia, Annie Anxiety, Prince Far I, and African Head Charge.

A major aspect in Sherwood’s method was collaboration, often with musicians of Jamaican descent, and a main ingredient in his sonic recipe was the boundary pushing echo-sponginess of prime dub. The inaugural On-U Sound release (On-U LP 01) is the self-titled 1981 debut from The New Age Steppers; produced by Sherwood and featuring contributions from Bruce Smith and Mark Stewart of The Pop Group, Viv Albertine and Ari-Up of The Slits, Vicky Aspinall of The Raincoats, Vivien Goldman, and Steve Beresford, it fits exceedingly well into On-U Sound’s MO.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap (on Tuesday this week) of the new tracks received last week—provided here to inform your next trip to your local indie record store. Click, preview, download, purchase.

KOPECKY – Talk To Me
Gem And Eye – Roaring Twenties
Robbie Flanagan – The City Who Forgot
Secret Friend – Blue Sky
Code Pie – Rockets
C A R A L I S – Be Automatic
Oulipo – Blue Flames
Phantoms – Voyeur feat. Nicholas Braun

Storms – Girl

Gene Serene – Singularity
S2V – Spring Vibes
Instant Empire – Mind The Gap
Kevin Hunter – Fire Burning
Br Malie – Act Loco (Feat. Chrysace)
Falling Stacks – No Stops
Molly Moore – Natural Disaster (Win & Woo Remix)
Supastition – Flawless
RiFF RAFF x Yung Nation X Crichy Crich – Molly On My Chest (Remix)

3 more FREE TRACKS on side B!

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/26/15

Record Store Day announces Vinyl Tuesday: “Vinyl fans will have an even more ample opportunity to support independent record stores with the brand new collaborative effort Vinyl Tuesday.”

Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton Praises Vinyl Resurgence: ‘I Think It’s A Great Thing’

London record shop Music And Video Exchange to be turned into luxury hotel: The shop has been located on Soho’s Berwick Street for the past 20 years

“Classic Album Sundays and ZTT present a high end deluxe box set vinyl re-issue of The Art of Noise ‘Who’s Afraid Of The Art Of Noise’. Remastered from the original tapes and pressed on audiophile quality 180g vinyl, this re-issue will be pressed as a double 45rpm LP for the first time.”

Third record store in Columbia, Vinyl Renaissance, opens downtown: “A new record store, Vinyl Renaissance, had its grand opening Saturday at 16 N. Tenth St. Downtown Columbia now has three record stores — the others are Slackers and Hitt Records — within two blocks.”

Spectacular journey through time and space: Parisian record stores “…I often come across visual evidences of the activity of now disappeared record stores: illustrated sleeves, stickers, stamps, advertisements, postcards. That’s how I discovered that there used to be a lot of record stores all around Paris and had the idea of the website…”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Try, try, try just a little bit harder / So I can love, love, love her, I tell myself / Well, I’m gonna try yeah, just a little bit harder / So I won’t lose, lose, lose her to nobody else. / Hey! Well, I don’t care how long it’s gonna take you now, / But if it’s a dream I don’t want / No I don’t really want it / If it’s a dream I don’t want nobody to wake me. / Yeah, I’m gonna try yeah, just a little bit harder / So I can give, give, give, give her every bit of my soul. / Yeah, I’m gonna try yeah, just a little bit harder / So I can show, show, show her love with no control. / Hey! I’ve waited so long for someone so fine / I ain’t gonna lose my chance, no I don’t wanna lose it, / Ain’t gonna lose my chance to make you mine, all mine. / All right, get it! Yeah!

Today is the day. The anniversary of that boring Friday before Memorial Day weekend of 2004. A day when I really just wanted to hide by myself here in the canyon. My big plan for the holiday weekend was to buy a new reclining deck chair and read a book by the pool.

Target had just opened up on La Brea and quite honestly I had never been to Target. I figured they might carry outdoor furniture. I’m not sure what the odds were that I would walk by the bowl section that late sunny afternoon.

Well, I never did find a pool chair at Target. I did bump into a friend, a special woman—and now we share a life, hopes, and dreams.

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots: The Jesus and Mary Chain
at the Warfield, 5/16

Photographed by Jason Miller-1

Do The Jesus and Mary Chain still matter? Of course they do. This groundbreaking Scottish band paved the way and drew the blueprint for some of the most innovatively original bands of the last two decades. The Raveonettes, BRMC, Catherine Wheel, and countless others pretty much owe their existence to the sound that the Reid brothers perfected. Last week The Jesus and Mary Chain celebrated the 30th anniversary of their seminal masterpiece Psychocandy by performing the record in its entirety for two sold out nights at The Warfied.

I totally missed this record when it came out back in 1985 as I was celebrating hair metal at the time (and still do actually), but I would later became a big fan. To be completely honest, Psychocandy wasn’t the record that pulled me in. I discovered the band for the first time when I heard Jim Reid sing “I wanna die just like Jesus Christ, I wanna die on a bed of spikes.”

Photographed by Jason Miller-1-2

It was 1992’s Honeys Dead and their stint on the Lollapalooza tour that year that pulled me in. I would later go back and revisit the critically acclaimed Psychocandy and even though I dig the record, I think Honey’s Dead and its follow-up, the terribly underrated Stoned and Dethroned, are superior records in every way. Maybe it’s a time period thing, I don’t know, but I just prefer the songwriting, the lyrics, the production, and the evolution of the band over those two records in particular. I think it was their creative peak.

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The TVD Storefront

Bob and Martha,
The TVD First Date

“My home was filled with classical Indian Carnatic tunes growing up; my mom would cook curry and sing along passionately.”

“I love-hated it because while I barely understood the words, the intonation was catchy and mesmerizing and invaded my mind at a very young age, filling me with meditative mantras. But being a typical little girl, the first tape I bought was the Spice Girls’ Spice. I knew every word of every song because I looked up the lyrics on some Geocities website and printed them out and I really really really wanna zig-a-zig ahh.

Middle school was a great time for music—No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Weezer, TLC—pop music was and still is a great inspiration to me. I love music that is accessible and catchy and I try to pump some of these pop vibes into my own Bob and Martha melodies.

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TVD New Orleans

Shamarr Allen’s new release, #NoFilter drops as free download‏

Trumpeter, vocalist, and songwriter Shamarr Allen has released the latest project with this band, the Underdawgs, as a mixtape which is available for streaming or as a free download.

The twelve tracks feature all of the hallmarks of Allen’s sound. Though known throughout the early part of his career as a brass band trumpeter, including a tenure with the Rebirth Brass Band, he has developed into a formidable bandleader, rapper, and songwriter.

The Underdawgs’ music walks the line between various genres and comes across as a funky rock band with tinges of hip hop, reggae, and jazz. There are elements of soul and R&B as well. He even sings in a falsetto on “Got Me Like.” “Jazz Resuscitation (Dub Step)” and “Blue Orleans” have some really strong trumpet work.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Robbie Williams, Intensive Care

What do you do when you’ve spent your lonely teen years idolizing Elton John, loving Elton John, ADORING Elton John, only to wake up one day to realize you’re 56 years old and need a substitute, a new Elton John in your life, to help see you through the long banal days and long lonely nights? Why you turn to Robbie Williams, of course. Williams is England’s best stab at providing us with a latter-day Captain Fantastic—to wit, a prolific hit machine who writes catchy songs and gets no respect from the right people, but is beloved by millions.

I fell in love with Williams the first time I heard “Angels.” It’s as close as any human has ever come to writing a new “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” and I swooned and don’t care who knows it. Bigger than life and anthemic as all fuck, “Angels” is all swirling strings and crescendos over which Williams pours, depending on your point of view, saccharine or his very heart blood.

Williams has come a long way since the acrimonious end of his first (1990-95) tenure in the boy band Take That—indeed, he’s one of the best-selling artists of all time, topping the likes of Beyoncé, The Black Eyed Peas, and Joseph Stalin, another Take That alumnus. He’s partied with Oasis and lived, released 11 solo albums, and bared his bum for the cover of 2014’s Under the Radar Volume 1, unless that’s a stunt bum I’m looking at as I write this. And he seems like a nice bloke, which is quaint, although for all I know he’s no friendlier than Heinrich Himmler, yet another Take That alum.

If there’s one thing you have to hand Williams, it’s he knows how to make an entrance. Take 2005’s Intensive Care. He opens the catchy “Ghosts,” its inaugural track, with the lines, “Here I stand victorious/The only man who made you cum.” Top that, friend. It’s your standard lovelorn affair with a great chorus, over which Williams says things like “me and you” and “we could have made it.” The backing vocals are wonderful, the strings transcendental, and while Elton John is no ghost I can feel his aura hovering over this one. “Tripping” opens with some ska drums and is ska flavored and reminds me of The Police, a band I can only compare to rickets. Williams switches back and forth from his regular voice to a falsetto, and there’s a brief hip-hop interlude that only makes things worse. In short I don’t like “Tripping,” but then there are plenty of Elton John songs (especially that one about Lady Di kicking the royal bucket) I don’t like either.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/22/15

Josey Records, out of Dallas, is coming to Kansas City: “According to the press release, the Kansas City location will be 6,500 square feet and will house over 60,000 records and CDs. This location will also feature a stage for live music, local art and ‘a curated selection of local Kansas City beers.'”

Pondering Cafe Culture at Vinyl: “It’s sleek and modern, sure, but also a cross between “Seattle Coffee House” and “painfully hip record store.” (There is indeed a collection of vinyl albums up for perusal.)”

MARS Records descends upon Plymouth: “…There’s something about the process – the buying of the record, the opening of the record, the listening to it on the stereo with a bona fide cartridge. The sound is a little different and the experience is very different…”

For the Record: Vinyl Comeback Backlogs Dallas Factory, “They’ve been talking about the demise of vinyl since the 70s,” he says. “It’s never really gone away.”

‘A good run:’ Weirdo Records shutters after 6 years: “Weirdo Records, a home away from home for vinyl heads, has officially closed, according to the owner who posted a farewell note on the store’s website…”

“…Cambridge’s arts and music scene has taken another hit. Less than a week after news of T.T. The Bear’s Place’s closing had surfaced, Massachusetts Avenue record shop and underground culture destination Weirdo Records has shuttered…”

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