TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Bombay Bicycle Club at the 9:30 Club, 10/19

London’s Bombay Bicycle Club played an electrifying set to a sold-out crowd at the 9:30 Club last Sunday night. Touring in support of 2014’s So Long, See you Tomorrow, the set was a solid mix of older and new material which easily had the Club kids enraptured, including “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep,” “Eyes Off You,” a fervent “Home By Now,” and a cover of Robyn’s “With Every Heartbeat.”

We sent ace photographer, Richie Downs to the 9:30 to catch the first 3 songs in the set. (No flash, please.) —Ed.

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TVD New Orleans

Combat vet William A. Thompson, IV’s sound composition debuts as part of Prospect 3+

Followers of local media are beginning to see coverage about the various art projects which are part of Prospect 3+—New Orleans’ international art biennial. However, most of it has focused on visual art and experimental installations. Music fans need to check out DD214—the latest effort from the musician known around town as WATIV.

DD214 is a sound composition that makes use of audio samples recorded by William A Thompson, IV while on a one-year military tour of duty in Baghdad during 2004. These audio samples range from various field, or “found sound,” to interviews with other combat veterans after deployment. The chief goal of this project is the creation of a body of musical works that express the thoughts, conditions, and inner lives of combat veterans from all wars.

In the composition, WATIV makes use of audio speech samples he collected and recorded. These speech samples are analyzed according to inherent pitch, rhythm, and implied harmony. The composition’s results vary accordingly. This “found sound” process of composition was first employed by WATIV in his 2005 release, Baghdad Music Journal. To read an NPR “All Things Considered” piece about Baghdad Music Journal, click here.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Recommends:
The Goddamn Gallows
at Revolution, 10/27

There are moments in the life of a concertgoer when you go to a show and the band has gotten prettied up in their rock clothes, strut and strike poses on the stage, and maybe even sing a love song or two. The Goddamn Gallows are not that band.

On Monday, October 27th at Revolution in Centreville, VA, the Gallows are kicking off the Halloween week by bringing their bizarrely unique strain of music to the DC area. Call them gutterbilly, call them gypsy punk, call them what you will, the fact remains that there is absolutely no one out there like them.

Their live shows are raucous, at times feeling more like you are watching a musical episode of Looney Tunes rather than a live performance. Singer/guitarist Mikey Classic is the eye of the hurricane, sometimes leading the charge, other times, practically being swept up in the chaos surrounding him.

The primary purveyor of that chaos would be accordion player and percussionist TV’s Avery. His comical interactions with bassist Fishgutzzz bring to mind Bugs Bunny taunting Yosemite Sam, and you never know what will happen between Avery and banjoist Joe Perrezze. Rounded out by drummer Baby Genius, the band is a cast of unique characters but ones that mesh well together, and always put on a fierce, unpredictable show.

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The TVD Storefront

High Highs,
The TVD First Date

“My flatmate Tim bought a Technics 1200 just before they were discontinued. When we first moved in together we used to just hang around and listen to records every night for like six months. I think my first purchase was a Steely Dan record, possibly Aja.

“I really got into record shopping on tour. It’s a great way to see a snapshot of a new city. I like to keep my ears open everywhere I go, and in a good record store there’s usually something interesting playing. I found Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians in Cleveland I think, and gave it to my bandmate Oli. It’s a recording of when the piece was debuted in Berlin and it sounds truly amazing.

I was at Som Records in DC recently (great record store), and the soundtrack to The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh was playing. Apparently the film isn’t great, but the soundtrack is all great soul/disco tunes written for the film. The guy wasn’t selling it though!

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TVD UK

Shell Zenner Presents

Greater Manchester’s most in the know radio host Shell Zenner broadcasts the best new music every week on the UK’s Amazing Radio and Bolton FM. You can also catch Shell’s broadcast right here at TVD, each and every Thursday.

“You know when you hear a band that aren’t in your face, they’re not at all demanding your attention, but they creep into your subconscious until you’re closing your eyes, swaying rhythmically and feeling dreamy? Well, that’s the effect Bear In Heaven have on me! I’m so happy they’re back with new album, Time Is Over One Day Old, so that I can share three of the fabulous tracks with you as my ROTW this week!

I’ve a groovy new tune from The Primitives as this weeks #shellshock—prime your ear for the vibe of the day!

Packed with new musical treats, the newest award winner is going to get fresh in the studio with the new jammmmmmms. It’s going to be all kinds of amazing.” —SZ

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Lothar and the Hand People,
Presenting…

Even as far back as 1968, there were more bands on the scene than a person could effectively shake a wet noodle at. Naturally, many of them are best left unexamined in history’s voluminous dustbin, but there remains more than a few worthies that endure in flying under the radar. One such example is New York City’s curiously tweaked psychedelic-pop act Lothar and the Hand People. They hung around the fringes of the whole hippie thing and produced a pair of LPs that over the years have managed to acquire a small cult following, and the better of the two is their first one, Presenting…Lothar and the Hand People.

The story goes that Lothar and the Hand People formed in Denver in 1965. That city hasn’t exactly been portrayed as a rock Mecca of the period, and it apparently took all of a year for them to hightail it to the greener musical pastures of NYC. They consisted of Rusty Ford on bass, Kim King on guitar, Moog and Ampex tape decks, Paul Conley on keyboards, liner controller and Moog, Tom Flye on drums and percussion, and John Emelin on lead vocals.

Oh, and there was Lothar, their trusty Theremin, the responsibilities of which fell mainly onto Emelin’s shoulders, or more appropriately, the motions of his two hands. For those unfamiliar, the Theremin was an early electronic instrument patented in 1928 and named after its inventor. For decades the most celebrated use of Léon Theremin’s creation came through the very enjoyable recordings of Clara Rockmore, noted as an early virtuoso on the device. Additionally, it’s a musical instrument that’s distinguished for how it never gets touched by the player’s fingers as it emits its sonic atmospheres.

The Theremin soon became a touchstone in the scores of numerous films, the bulk of them sci-fi flicks from the mid-section of last century including the classics The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Thing (From Another World). Contrary to popular lore however, it’s not a part of Louis and Bebe Barron’s soundtrack to Forbidden Planet (they used oscillator circuits and a ring modulator for that one.)

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Warpaint and Liam Finn at the Fillmore, 10/17

“Dream Pop” is not a term that you get to use everyday. For me, the term began to take shape in the form of a beautiful stage setting, complete with subtle strands of lights laid across the stage floor at The Fillmore Silver Spring when the well loved band, Warpaint took the stage. 

Beforehand however, the LA based Warpaint played host to New Zealand’s Liam Finn, the second opener of the night. Liam performed his experimental psych-rock for an enthusiastic crowd and led his band with tight rhythms, wild guitar fills, and sudden bursts of energy with his unexpected solos. The vocal harmonies were the big surprise of the night and could not have worked better with any other arrangements.

If you are not familiar with Liam Finn, he is the former frontman of the New Zealand band Betchadupa as well as the son of famed recording artist Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowed House. Despite the completely different approaches to writing and performing music, both Liam and Neil Finn are both geniuses.

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Halasan Bazar & Tara King th., “Rot Inside”

Halasan Bazar & Tara King th. are the modern Danish equivalent to Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. In fact, these two are serious devotees of the underappreciated ’60s duo and do their best to replicate the psychedelic, fringe country that Hazlewood made famous.

The bands whimsical folk-rock is offset by a wash of cinematic baroque pop, resulting in a strange and compelling take on the genre, best summed up as “interplanetary western.” Guitars shimmer and keyboards swirl and chime to form an atmosphere of giddy intoxication, while bass and drums provide a backbone of pulsating precision. In the foreground are the stoned, downtrodden vocals of Fredrick Rollum Eckoff and the seductive and nuanced tones of Béatrice Morel-Journel.

Together, they have perfected the off-the-cuff beauty of call and response beatnik poetry. Their voices tumble over the moody backdrops, complimenting each other’s unique delivery as Nancy and Lee did on their seminal recordings. The bands LP, entitled 8, was released earlier this month on Moon Glyph.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Television,
Adventure

Sometimes I flabbergast myself. I think I know what I like and what I don’t like, only to find out I don’t know a damn thing about anything, least of all my likes and dislikes. Take KC and the Sunshine Band. I hated them with a passion for like 30 years and now I think they’re great. Or Elton John’s Caribou, which I liked for like 80 years only to realize just yesterday it only has two good songs on it, although to Captain Fantastic’s credit they’re two really great songs.

But occasionally I get it right the first time, as with Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” which I hated when it came out and still hate to this day. And the same goes for Television’s sophomore LP, 1978’s Adventure. People—as in every sentient human breathing air the year it came out—wrote Adventure off as a lackluster follow-up to the band’s 1977 debut, Marquee Moon. Everybody but me, that is. Because I had never heard of Marquee Moon. I didn’t even know it existed. Hell, I can’t even remember how or why I came to buy Adventure, because I had no clue as to who Television was and absolutely no inkling that they were an integral part of a musical revolution in progress at a ratty club in New York City called CBGBs.

But buy it I did, just as I bought Kill City without having ever heard the Stooges, which just goes to show you how isolating rural living was back in the days before the internet gave you access to all kinds of information, including who was who on the rock circuit. About all you got exposed to back in those days were hoof and mouth disease and square dancing, which is why I spent my teen years doing my level best to do as many drugs as I could get my greedy paws on, while trying to wrap my vehicle around a utility pole, which I finally accomplished on March 1, 1980. You’ve got to have goals, even in the boondocks, or life isn’t worth a damn.

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends:
Carl LeBlanc for free outside City Hall, 10/23

Thursday afternoon, music fans have a chance to hear one of the city’s iconic performers in a beautiful, but underused setting. Young Audiences of Louisiana and NORDC are sponsoring the event in partnership with the Better Than Ezra Foundation as part of the national Lights On Afterschool celebration.

LeBlanc is a banjo player, guitarist, and singer who has been an important part of the New Orleans music scene for over 30 years. His style has evolved as he has matured. It encompasses a broad range of influences from free jazz to bebop and includes a modern approach to traditional jazz.

Young Audiences is working along with along with Better Than Ezra foundation to bring local awareness to the National Lights on Afterschool celebration. Lights On New Orleans is part of a national celebration that calls attention to the importance of afterschool programs for America’s children, families and communities.

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