UK Video: Piney Gir, “Keep It Together”

Kansas born, London dwelling Piney Gir is about to release the first single from her sixth album (yes, sixth!)—mR hYDE’S wILD rIDE—out June 8th 2015.

The track is “Keep It Together” and the video is heart-warmingly mental. Piney is like a sparkly female-fronted, indie-pop Grandaddy, and this single is a wonderful introduction to the album.

In the video, Piney can be seen causing a lovely mess all over the walls, swinging her arms, dancing as the camera zooms in and out and all around. It’s a glorious DIY, cut and paste effort that encapsulates Piney Gir’s fun, accessible style, which harks back to ’90s US alt indie acts like The Breeders and the Pixies.

“Keep It Together” is out via Damaged Goods on April 27th.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Wire, Wire

Minus undue pomp, the immensely influential UK outfit Wire has unveiled its latest effort. A key player in the uprising of 1977 and just as important to subsequent progressions of post-punk, through a pair of hiatuses, a founding member’s departure and a consistently evolving sound they’ve grown into one of contemporary music’s great units. Wire doesn’t reach the heights of the group’s finest work, but it easily vindicates their continued existence, and it’s out now on LP/CD/digital via Pinkflag.

The style of music known as Rock, a form derived from the crosspollination of R&B and C&W and distilled by bands reliably featuring vocals and guitar but crucially dependent upon a human rhythmic engine, has proven versatile and resilient since it surfaced in the mid-section of last century. But if it’s true that Rock will never die, its undiluted essence has basically nothing to do with longevity.

Certainly, the Rock ideal can be located by focusing on the ins and outs/ups and downs of a pertinent career, but it can also be found through absorbing one album, or even better, just a 45 RPM single. Indeed, the embodiment of Rock can be uncovered in a solitary song and pinpointed further in succinct moments; the scream at the beginning of the Stooges’ “T.V. Eye,” the slashing progression along the guitar neck in the middle of The Jam’s “In the City,” and the extra thrust in the drumming at the end of The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold your Hand.”

And yet a measurement frequently employed to make the case for truly exceptional rock acts is an ability to persevere over time, especially in instances where influence endures over sales figures; so it is with Wire, though the group’s lifespan consists of distinct eras, each with its proponents. Most lauded is the ’77-’80 run, a period offering three consecutive studio masterpieces. However, a considerable number of younger listens have surely been struck by the unusually productive return from their ‘90s layoff.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/21/15

Record Store Day Around the World: The Scene from London, New York, LA, Tokyo and Austin: “Blazing sunshine didn’t stop the punters flooding into Rough Trade East, London’s biggest independent record store…”

The 11 Vinyl Collectors We Met On Record Store Day at Amoeba Records: We head to Hollywood, Calif. to chat with some vinyl collectors on the eighth annual Record Store Day.

Owner of Village Green Records names his top 5 records: “For Record Store Day 2015, the Daily News asked Travis Harvey, Village Green Records owner, what his five favorite records are…”

“For this year’s Record Store Day, 405 photographer Charlotte Swindell made her way to Reflex in Newcastle, while Matt Richardson went on a bit of an adventure, taking in Rough Trade East, Ample Play, Sister Ray and Rough Trade West. He even snapped an enthusiastic-looking Jarvis Cocker…”

10 Best Selling Vinyl Records of the Last 20 Years: “Joking aside, with the recent increase in Vinyl sales across the UK, Record Store Day is actually quite an important statement from the music industry as it celebrates the independent, physical and the organic sides of the industry in the very tangible format of going out and actually buying a record…”

The beat goes on; Groovacious doing well in new digs: “Longtime Cedar City record store Groovacious recently completed a move to a new location at 195 W. 600 South directly behind Top Spot Hamburgers. The store has settled into the new location and owner Tim Cretsinger said the new spot has seen an uptick in foot traffic…”

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TVD Asbury Park

Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Tune in to Garden State Sound with Evan Toth to explore the diverse music with connections to New Jersey. You’ll hear in-depth interviews with some of Jersey’s best music makers and have the opportunity win tickets to some of the best concerts in the state.

“Remember when 57 channels on television were just too many for Bruce? Well, this week we discuss that, and get out there to explore other Jerseycentric curiosities.

Plus, we talk Francie Moon, visit the fountain at Paramus Park Mall, spend some time with that wildman Les Paul, and get some funk out with Kool and the Gang!” —EZT

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Video Premiere:
Lady Low, “Rainy Day”

L.A.-based romance rockers Lady Low shower us with literate pop.

We have the pleasure of premiering the quintet’s steamy video for the punchy single “Rainy Day” which finds them basking in a whirlwind of sparkling confetti, praising the rain’s ability to wash their blues away. Perhaps it’s the authenticity of the performances or the glamorous string section, but I am convinced every member of this band delights in an evocative mood.

Described as “where strings and heartstrings collide,” “Rainy Day” is the A-side to a cover of the Buzzcocks’ “You Say You Don’t Love Me.” Both singles were released this past March and although the 7” is Lady Low’s sophomore release, the individual members are seasoned industry pros who know exactly what they are looking to deliver to audiences.

Lady Low Facebook | Twitter

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The Single Girl:
Rag Foundation,”Run”

“Run” is the first single taken from folk five-piece Rag Foundation’s fourth album The Sparrow and the Thief and it’s rather catchy, indeed.

The track is filled with folky goodness that will get your toes tapping and is a wonderful showcase for what we can expect from these guys and the rest of their album. The track overflows with luscious harmonies and boasts an intricate, indie-folk composition not far from the likes of Noah & The Whale and The Decemberists.

The Welsh based five-piece have made a promising start here, and it’s just in time for summer. Combining their folk roots with a sunny, optimistic sound, the album can’t come soon enough.

“Run” is released via Rhondda Street Studio Recordings.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Lonnie Donegan,
Puttin’ on the Style

Lonnie Donegan may still be far from a household name in the United States, but he’s a legend in the United Kingdom for inventing a whole new genre—skiffle—before rock’n’roll was born. Like punk, skiffle—which incorporated jazz, blues, and folk, and was usually played using homemade or improvised instruments—made playing it a viable proposition for even the poorest of the poor, and it’s cool rhythms galvanized an entire generation of U.K. youth. The Beatles, the Stones, Van Morrison, Elton John—all were skiffle fanatics before rock’n’roll hit England, and all incorporated elements of its sound into their early music.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, the guitarist and vocalist got his start playing trad jazz in the mid-1940s, but a military stint in Vienna turned him onto the new sounds being played by the American Forces radio station—sounds he would later incorporate into so-called “skiffle breaks” while he was with Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen. With a washboard, a tea-chest bass, and a cheap Spanish guitar, Donegan and two other musicians would play American blues and folk tunes. In July 1954 he recorded a skiffle version of Leadbelly’s “Rock Island Line,” and presto—a star was born. Before he knew it he was playing on the Perry Como show, and young adherents—including those proto-Beatles, the Quarrymen, got off on this new style of music. Which was ironic seeing as how down the road it was those very same Beatles, with their newfangled beat music, who muscled Donegan off the pop charts for good.

Over the ensuing decades he would have his moments—recordings in Nashville, reunion shows, a long stint as a record producer, and most importantly, an album with Van Morrison (The Skiffle Sessions—Live in Belfast 1998) which won him much overdue acclaim. But just as important—but less appreciated than his collaboration with Morrison—was the 1978 LP Puttin’ on the Style, on which the King of Skiffle played an iconoclastic handful of songs accompanied by many of the musicians he’d influenced and inspired over the years including Albert Lee, Rory Gallagher, Brian May, Ron Wood, Elton John, Nicky Hopkins, Ringo Starr, Mick Ralphs, Jim Keltner, Leo Sayer, Ray Cooper, Peter Banks, Michele Phillips, and numerous other lesser known musicians. Produced by Adam Faith, the LP wasn’t a hit, but it provides a unique look at a musician who generally kept it simple taking advantage of a full deck of musical aces—which had both its advantages and disadvantages.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

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

Dustin Lovelis – Idiot
Birds of Night – Asleep in the Pine
Carly Rae Jepsen – All That (The Knocks Bootleg)
Fetty Wap – Trap Queen (Slaptop Remix)
Overjoy – Like A Wave ft. Lex Famous
BLITZ – Gyal Go Mal
Fauna Shade – Marzipan
DJ Earworm vs. Katy Tiz – Whistle (While You Mash It)
Benjamin Yellowitz – Ash Wednesday
Mune – Khazé

SPC ECO – Feel Me

Goldroom – Mykonos (Fleet Foxes Cover)
Graham Czach – Out of the Dark
Wise Blood – Cretin’s Club ft. Priscilla Sharp
Lykke Li – Never Gonna Love Again (Jeff Bhasker / Lollipop Remix)
Muzzy Bearr – Suede (Feat. Denmark Vessey)
Emerald Park – LiberTeens
The Danes – The Ultimate Tool
Ioan Delice – We Up (Remix)
Zedd ft. Selena Gomez – I Want You To Know (Justin Caruso Remix)
The North Country – The Cross We Bear

12 more FREE TRACKS on side B!

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/20/15

“London Record Stores celebrate with a large number of events the Record Store Day 2015. Berwick Street was the main place of the annual event. The Vinyl Stores had long queues and there were concerts at Berwick Street and at the Rough Trade stores.”

Is Record Store Day still working?

What Most Music Fans Don’t Realize About Record Store Day: “Rule #1 among the indie record-label folks I know: don’t talk about Record Store Day at social gatherings. The annual event — this Saturday (April 18) marks its eighth year — has been known to inspire bouts of industry anxiety starting in January and lasting ‘til nearly May.”

Foo Fighters Rock Record Connection in Niles: “Chesty’s Blue Collar Tavern has live karaoke for Saturday night. But just a couple of miles down the road, it was Record Connection that could lay claim to having the better entertainment choice…”

Bull Moose music created Record Store Day celebrating hometown vinyl shops: “Chris Brown from Bull Moose music, which has stores in Maine and Portsmouth, hatched the idea of Record Store Day while sitting at his desk in 2007; he gathered support and the first event launched a year later with 600 participating stores…”

Record Day see vinyl lovers grabbing limited edition releases: “Forget your CDs, audio files and live streaming, for many people there’s still something special about a vinyl.

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The TVD Storefront

Ex Hex: In-store with TVD at DC’s Som Records

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Unlike say with St. Patrick’s Day, the well-worn adage “Every day should be Record Store Day” is a concept we can truly get behind. And while we’re thrilled many of you will be hitting up your local indie record stores for Record Store Day, your local mom and pops deserve a warm hug throughout the rest of the year as well.

And it’s with this in mind that the lovely ladies of Ex Hex—Mary Timony, Laura Harris, and Betsy Wright—joined us recently on a random Tuesday, during a random week, of a random month, for an entirely unrandom record rummage at Washington, DC’s Som Records to drive the point home that you needn’t set aside just one day a year for a trip to your local vinyl vendors.

Ex Hex themselves held down the #2 spot on our Best of 2014 list last year with Rips, their debut release on Merge Records. Our own Joseph Neff wrote in December, “a dozen songs, all highlights; Ex Hex has produced an outstanding debut that sounds like an instant classic.”

The band takes these 12 classics and more to Chaz’s Bull City Records this Saturday for a Record Store Day in-store, but for now we’re in Washington, DC—and we’re record shopping with Ex Hex.

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