TVD Washington, DC

TODAY! The DC Record Fair comes to the historic Howard Theatre, 9/25

You know the feeling—every so often you’re rummaging through a record crate and lo and behold—you stumble across a true gem. Well, for the Autumn edition of the DC Record Fair we happen to be hosted by a true gem, the iconic and historic Howard Theatre.

Quoting from their website, “When the nation was deeply divided by segregation, The Howard Theatre provided a place where color barriers blurred and music unified. Dubbed the “Theatre for The People” by The Washington Bee, it was the place where dignitaries like President Franklin D. Roosevelt gathered with everyday folks to see both superstars and rising stars – many of whom debuted at The Howard Theatre. Along with Duke Ellington, greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Cab Calloway and Nat King Cole graced the Howard stage and made way for talents like Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gilespie, The Supremes, Otis Redding, Lena Horne and James Brown.”

On September 25 we’ll have 38 vinyl vendors from up and down the East Coast, the stellar DJ line up (to be announced soon), the food, the bar, Zeke’s Coffee is back with their bold brew, PBR specials, plus the myriad other surprises (and gems!) that make the DC Record Fair a special DC community event.

11:00 – 12:00: Teddy Garcia (ES)
12:00 – 1:00: DJ Mad Squirrel (DC)
1:00 – 2:00: DJ Test Patterns (NY)
2:00 – 3:00: DJ Aisha Karimah (DC)
3:00 – 4:00: Sheldon Scott (DC Ministry of Culture)
4:00 – 5:00: Sean Lovelace (RVA)

Mark your calendars! 

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at The Howard Theatre
620 T Street NW, Washington, DC

11:00–12:00, Early Bird Admission $10.00
12:00–5:00, Regular Admission $5.00
RSVP at the Facebook invite!

The DC Record Fair is brought you by Som Records, DC Soul Recordings, and TVD.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Mist falls and his voice cracks from the morning
 / Flowers and my body feels like lead / Someone should have stopped the birds from singing today / 
Hammers from striking nails into clay / Her face penetrates the blue gray morning
 / Her eyes pregnant pools produce a tear / 
Someone should have shouted you had gone in her ear
 / That summer was stolen away / Such a small love
 / Such a little tear
 / You would laugh so loud
 / If you could see us here…

It’s been a while since I’ve heard the wind blow hard outside my canyon office window. The sound made me curious and I stepped outside for a thought. I guess in this life…a “dude” needs a “thought” to balance shit.

The art of not blowing things out of proportion is clutch. This week held a lesson as to not making mountains out of molehills while being strong enough to “call a spade a spade.” Big things in life can kill ya’, but it’s the “lil things” (and the drama that can go with them) that I’ve learned to be careful with.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Riot Fest Chicago, 9/18

2:42pm: As I’m running to catch the Juliette Lewis and the Licks, I hear Dee Snider covering Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like a Hole” in the distance. I arrive Riot Fest’s Rock Stage and turn my attention to Juliette Lewis, who is absolutely commanding the stage. She twirls, jumps, dives, screeches.

3:00pm: The party has officially started. Andrew W.K. has arrived, muscles bulging out of his signature white t-shirt and white jeans. He stuffs his microphone into his pants and slams down on his keyboard, jazz notes ringing out. His fans are screaming so hard the noise is almost deafening. Party on.

3:08pm: Juliette Lewis can sing. I wander back over to the Rock Stage to catch her covering—and nailing—Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Before her final song she pauses, “I feel like music is a spiritual thing and I want to thank you for being here.” She ends her set with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary”—her version sounding like Tina turner on steroids.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Sly and The Family Stone, There’s a Riot Goin’ On

By 1970, Sly Stone was no longer his happy-go-lucky, upbeat-hits-producing self. Stone and his band had taken to ingesting large quantities of cocaine and PCP, a paranoia-inducing combo it ever there was one, and Sly’s own intake was such that he carried his stash in a violin case. The results were predictable. Sly went from multi-racial inspiration to Richard Nixon-level paranoiac, and hired shady characters, gangsters, and even a Mafioso as a Praetorian Guard to keep an eye on his “enemies,” some of whom happened to be members of The Family Stone. Recording came to a standstill, and Stone began his infamous habit of missing gigs.

When Stone finally dragged his bad self into the Record Plant in Sausalito to record the band’s fifth album, the results were completely unlike any previous Family Stone release. What is surprising, given Stone’s precipitous psychic decline, is that the result, 1971’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On, is perhaps the most brilliant LP he ever recorded.

Dark? No shit. Gone was The Family Stone’s trademark cheery psychedelic rock and soul, replaced by a raw funk—which would reverberate in the ears of George Clinton and innumerable future funkers like a revelatory crack of thunder—that was as every bit as murky and hopelessly disillusioned as it was bracing. “I Want to Take You Higher” had become “I Want to Bring You Down, Way Down.” There’s a Riot Goin’ On was a sign o’ the times—of riots in the inner cities, Altamont, The Manson Family, and the Death of the Age of Aquarius—just as his more playful earlier LPs had been signs of theirs. But Sly had done more than just tap into the gestalt; he had just recorded his Exile on Main Street.

There’s a Riot Goin’ On’s gritty, tape-hiss heavy sound was the result of Stone’s incessant overdubbing and erasures. The album’s unique sound also stems from Stone’s use of a rhythm box instead of drums, as well as programmed keyboards and synthesizers. Evidently Sly played many of the instruments himself, although you wouldn’t know it from the album credits, which include Family Stoners Larry Graham (bass, backing vocals), Greg Errico and replacement Gerry Gibson (drums), Little Sister (aka Vet Stewart, Mary McCreary, and Elva Mouton, backing vocals), Rose Stone (vocals, keyboards), Freddie Stone (guitar), Jerry Martini (tenor sax), and Cynthia Robinson (trumpet), as well as luminaries Ike Turner and Bobby Womack (guitars) and Billy “The Black Beatle” Preston (keyboards).

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The TVD Storefront

Belinda Esquer,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl Vinyl Vinyl. The allure of vinyl for me and the reason why my collection of vintage vinyl is growing is trichotomous.”

“The first alluring element is the distinctive warmth and depth in the sound. It’s welcoming and special in today’s world of digital music, which in my opinion has a bit of shallowness when compared with analog. The second alluring aspect of vinyl for me comes from the albums in my collection. The one that started it all is Dionne Warwick’s collaboration with Barry Manilow which includes “Who, What, Where, When, Why” and “Deja Vu.”

This $0.50 find at Zia Records in Tucson, was a starting point for me. I must have looked through hundreds of bins looking for something to relate to and here stood out a cherished childhood memory of my mother playing Dionne on family trips to Mexico. I rushed to the counter and eagerly paid the unbelievable price of $0.50. I took the album home and played it a few times all the while singing every lyric.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Black Widow,
Return to the Sabbat

Way back in 1970, when witches still roamed England’s green and pleasant land, the band Black Widow hit on a new approach to the newly conjured genre of Satanic Rock. To wit, they downplayed the rock, and replaced it (for the most part) with folk, jazz, and prog rock elements, thus providing a less pummeling alternative for Satan lovers who found Black Sabbath a bit too ‘eavy, and who were looking for what sounds to the ears of the present like an unholy marriage between Jethro Tull and Spinal Tap.

And yet: I have come not to mock Black Widow (well, I may mock them a little) but to praise them, because somehow they manage to pull off the genre-bending on their 1970 debut Sacrifice, or as it later came to be called, Return to the Sabbat. (Long story made short. Vocalist Kay Garrett played on the original recordings but left before the release of Sacrifice, which the band released without her contributions. Decades later, the band released the original 1969 tapes with Garrett on them, and entitled the LP containing these earlier recordings Return to the Sabbat.)

I say they pulled it off, but there are a couple of unhappy exceptions. Some ungodly bad lounge jazz (why, they’ve even got a vibraphone in there) renders the tune “Seduction” risible, while the band’s chanting of “Come, come, come to the Sabbat/Come to the Sabbat/Satan’s there” over a Native American tattoo and Ian Anderson-school flute makes me think “Come to the Sabbat” is one witchy tune that should be burned at the stake. Wait, I take that back. Its Spinal Tap proclivities provide for far too good a laugh to be set alight on the village green.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/23/16

Brooklyn Flea Record Fair Returns to Williamsburg Saturday, The Brooklyn Flea Record Fair brings together dozens of labels, collectors and DJs Saturday, Sept. 24, at the East River State Park: One of the year’s largest vinyl record fairs returns this weekend to Williamsburg next to Smorgasburg, in case you work up an appetite from all of the crate digging. The Brooklyn Flea Record Fair Is happening Saturday Sept. 24 from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. at the East River Sate Park. The fall 2016 edition of the record fair has over 50 vendors, labels and DJs, and vinyl collectors and sellers.

Joe’s Record Paradise Grand Reopening: We are having our Grand Reopening on Saturday the 24th and everyone is welcome. There will be Food from Anabel’s food truck at an almost free cost(subsidized by Joe’s) and 7 Locks Brewery from Rockville will have a table with some tasty treats and also some coffee from the local spot Bump n’ Grind. Along with that there will be several free raffles with prizes from the 9:30 Club, the Fillmore Silver Spring and from Joe’s itself (swag including pint glasses which are back, stickers, chip clips, CD books, gift certificates, etc).

Not So Fast. Vinyl Records May Not Be Going Down: In this writer’s opinion, I would only cautiously warn that we take a closer look at the full results of 2016. Vinyl sales do appear to have slowed down, but not enough to dismiss the format yet. I would actually be more inclined to believe that the CD may be wiped out before vinyl based not only on these numbers, but also financial reports from other countries. But I’ll leave you with DMN posters’ thoughts.

Does Anyone in the World Still Buy CDs? Granted, music shops are rarer than they used to be (RIP Virgin Megastore, Tower Records, Zavvi, and all the forgotten soldiers), but many of them still exist. The fact they are now even harder to find means there must be people who are leaving their houses and getting the bus to Fopp to drop actual tenners on CDs. What’s going on? What are these people buying? To find the answers to such questions, I spent the afternoon at select stores meeting CD buyers, so I could interrogate them about their frankly freaky life choices.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Riot Fest Chicago, 9/17

2:31pm Walking in my wife accidentally says “Yay girl!” to a guy and he asks for her number. She’s off to a great start here at Riot Fest.

2:50pm: Young talent alert! Denzel Curry impresses the hell out of everyone by freestyling two songs a capella due to technical issues. He continues to impress once the issues have been fixed, and takes any opportunity to jump off the stage to connect with the crowd.

3:35pm: The Hold Steady is playing Boys and Girls in America in full at the Rock Stage and everyone is losing their minds. Even us photographers are singing along and smiling while trying to capture the moment.

4:09pm: I catch end of Motion City Soundtrack’s set, one of their last ever as they’ve announced their breakup, and it’s a pretty amazing scene. The crowd surfing is some of the best I’ve seen so far and once the set ends, the band tosses their picks, drumsticks, set lists, and more out to their fans, many of whom are in tears.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Built To Spill, Hop Along, Alex G at the 9:30 Club, 9/18

Sunday night the 9:30 Club played host to the Boise based, indie-rock outfit, Built to Spill whose pioneering sounds and style attracted DC fans who packed venue. 

For the performance, Built to Spill took a minimalist approach to their stage setup making colossal use of just two small guitar stations for both singer/guitarist Doug Martsch and bassist Jason Albertini while drummer Steve Gere was set up far stage left. Simply spare lighting and no frills—just the music.

As pared down as their production was for Sunday night’s performance, the band has a large presence. Known for their catchy guitar rhythms and clever songwriting, it was incredibly satisfying to see an act just deliver their material to an eager audience. Touring to promote their eighth studio album, Untethered Moon (Warner Brothers) which was released on Record Store Day in 2015, Built to Spill will be touring the US extensively through November.

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TVD New Orleans

Luísa Maita’s Fio da Memória in stores tomorrow, 9/23

We’ve clearly been on a Brazilian kick here at TVD NOLA. On Friday, an interesting album that merges electronic and organic beats with the breathy vocals of the Brazilian chanteuse Luisa Maita will be on shelves nationwide. Fio da Memória means “Thread of Memory” in Portuguese.

The album is mostly down and mid tempo songs sung in her compelling voice. The tunes, largely written by Maita, swirl amid sensuous arrangements of beats, blips, and other hallmark sounds of modern electronica. But the music is thoroughly grounded in the strong bass parts which drive many of the songs.

The music is rooted in traditional Brazilian rhythms but like so many of her contemporaries it is brought to life with electronics and other synthetic sounds. It is the sound of modern urbanity the world over with a unique perspective based on her life in Sao Paulo, the frenetic city in Brazil.

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