Author Archives: Allison Staulcup

A Special TVD Giveaway: Tom Petty’s Mudcrutch 2 and a U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus Turntable

Fans have waited over half a decade for this release. (And then some.)

Mudcrutch, the band that served as the precursor to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is releasing their sophomore album entitled 2 this Friday, the follow-up to 2008’s self-titled debut of which Rolling Stone called “a country-rock instant classic.” The new album features seven original songs by Tom Petty and the band.

Formed in Gainesville, Florida in 1970, Mudcrutch broke up after releasing exactly one single. After a number of personnel shifts and the release of 1975’s 7″ “Depot Street,” Mudcrutch’s Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, and Benmont Tench evolved into Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the rest as they say is classic rock history.

Apparently however there was some unfinished business. Reuniting with original Mudcrutch members Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh in 2008, Petty, Campbell, and Tench released the aforementioned, self-titled Mudcrutch—lightening (re)captured in a studio.

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TVD Live: Hop Along with Speedy Ortiz at Thalia Hall, 5/19

Hop Along and Speedy Ortiz came through Chicago’s Thalia Hall last Thursday along with Love of Everything.

Bobby Burg (of Joan of Arc, Vacations, and Make Believe) graced his hometown with tunes from his solo project, Love of Everything. With a table of gadgets to provide drumbeats and rhythm along with looping his guitar, Burg, created layers upon layers of sound. The crowd waited in anticipation with every song to watch it all come together. When Burg made the perfect addition with his soft and sweet vocals it seemed to complete the sound in one grand aha moment. Love of Everything’s latest EP, Sooner I Wish, is currently available.

Massachusetts’ Speedy Ortiz kept the show moving with their sing song melodies backed by the intense grunge sound. A few songs in lead singer, Sadie Dupuis, told the crowd “I forgot to turn my shoes on!” and spent the rest of the night hopping to the music in her glowing sneakers. Dupuis’ vocals purred over heavy guitar riffs, but her lyrics showed her fierceness. Lines like “I’m not bossy; I’m the boss” and “I got too many boyfriends to see you tonight” let it be known she was not be messed with.

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TVD Series Premiere: The Broken Dreams Project

The Vinyl District is pleased to premiere the first episode of The Broken Dreams Project, a monthly video series featuring musicians smashing instruments—all for the sake of fostering art. The first video features Chris Smith of Carolinabound discussing the importance of art in his life, performing several songs, and then breaking a guitar that was painted specifically for him by project creator, Jenni O’Shea.

The Broken Dreams project came about when O’Shea was working in education and witnessed arts funding get cut from schools. She saw children simply forget how to be creative and she knew she had to do something. This project serves as a reminder to support the arts in all forms—visual and musical—before they are destroyed literally in front of our eyes.

O’Shea works with her husband, Michael O’Shea who does the video and music production for the series. Michael has a background in music and has worked with many nonprofits in the past. He also had the key idea for the project—smashing instruments.

For Smith’s episode O’Shea painted the Blue Ridge Mountains which hold significance to both artists. O’Shea plans to keep each painting uniquely personal for the featured musician, depicting where their creativity is drawn. She also hopes to paint on many different instruments, not just guitars.

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TVD Live: Ben Folds and yMusic at the Riviera Theatre, 5/13

PHOTOS: BRIGID GALLAGHER | I have seen Ben Folds too many times. I know this because I can see it people’s eyes when I tell them I’ve attended over twenty of Ben Folds’ concerts. Few people have given me a look of approval or expressed signs of jealousy. But in my heart I don’t feel this way. In my heart I know I can never see Mr. Folds enough.

Almost half of my life has been spent seeking out my next Folds concert. I have seen him indoors, outdoors, as Ben Folds Five, with just a piano, with symphonies, and bands. One time it started to rain and he sang a cappella to save his piano from getting wet. I’ve seen him play drums as each piece of the drum set was rapidly brought out to him during his solo. I’ve watched him with ballerinas twirling around him to the magic of his songs. In a gorgeous church he sang the line “I don’t believe in God” as though it was a lovely hymn. One night I saw him at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, the next in a church parking lot in Chicago.

Every one of Ben Folds’ concerts has been special and unique. And that is certainly true for last Friday’s show at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre. This time the something special and unique was yMusic, a classical sextet he’s been on tour with for the past year to promote his latest album, So There.

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TVD Live: Wild Belle
at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 4/22

PHOTOS: BRIGID GALLAGHER | After talking with Natalie Bergman from Wild Belle earlier this month for TVD and getting a preview of their new album Dreamland, I was excited see them perform live. And I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

At a special Earth Day event curated by Land and Sea Dept., Wild Belle played at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory. The conservatory was a beautiful setting for the band’s upbeat earthy grooves. Visitors were free to roam the campus to view exotic plants and make their way to the stage through the Palm Room filled with an enchanting tropical landscape.

It was breathtaking to explore, especially with the addition of the nighttime lights. Artgroup, Luftwerk’s critically acclaimed art installation, solarise: a sea of all colors, was a main intrigue of the event as everywhere you looked there was something new to behold amongst the greenery. Guests wandered in out of different greenhouses in wonderment as sounds of old school Jamaican songs spun in the distance.

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TVD Live: Torres, Boom Forest, and Sioux Falls at Lincoln Hall, 4/21

Red Bull Sound Select came through Chicago’s Lincoln Hall last week, bringing new music from Torres, Boom Forest, and Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls hailing from Portland, Oregon, started off the night with a perfect garage band feel, but with a special dose of heart. Lead singer, Isaac Eiger played each song to the tips of his toes, occasionally losing balance as the song took him away. They closed their set with the charming “If You Let It” which begins with “dookie’s puking everywhere,” but the surprising turn at the end, ‘’I need to get my eyes checked so I can see your sleepy smile… from far away.”

But of course, “from far away” is given proper emphasis with the whole band projecting it from the top of their lungs to the crowd. Sioux Fall’s latest release, Rot Forever is available on vinyl as a double LP.

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Lisa Loeb,
The TVD Interview

Growing up, Lisa Loeb was obsessed with vinyl. But when her career took off in the ’90s, cassettes and CDs were the most popular formats.

Before her upcoming Spring performances, Lisa took the time to talk with TVD about finally getting to release on vinyl and the perks of having an audiophile husband.

With a lot of your upcoming tour dates you’re doing two shows a day, one for kids and one for grownups. Is it fun to play for two different audiences in one day?

I’m just getting into doing it. We finally realized I should try doing more combinations where we do both, kids and grownup shows, in the same place, or at least the same city, same day. Sometimes clubs and venues don’t want you playing more than one show in the area because they feel like it competes with itself, but I do get a lot of crossover audiences. A lot of adults, who are fans, will come to the grownup show and also come to the kids show. But I have a very full life, so it’s nice to be able to do double duty and play two different shows in a day and hit two different groups of my audience. So, I’m trying that out. I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be fun.

Are your performances for kids a lot different from those for grownups?

Yeah. Well, they’re really similar in the way that I have a setlist of songs I think I want to play, but there’s always space for requests. And each show is different depending on what the audience is like. They’re similar in that way, but they’re totally different in the songs that I play. For grownup shows I play songs from my albums or new songs I’ve written. I’ll usually throw in a couple of kids songs in those shows because there are a lot of parents who know my kids music now and they want to hear it. Or even just to get the word out for those who do have children and don’t know I make music geared towards kids, but songs adults will also enjoy. So, I throw in a song here and there. And the word play is really fun, so grownups have fun listening to it. It’s a nice relief from hearing a lot of songs about love and breakups.

And at my kids shows I usually stick to all my kids music. I play a lot of nursery rhymes now, because I have a new nursery rhymes record out. Even before that I played a lot of classic kids songs, but also a lot of my original music. Or summer camp songs that I like to share with kids, where they can participate and we can all sing together. Every once in a while I’ll throw in a grownup song. I try to remind adults that if they want to hear something during the kids show they need to let me know or else I’m just going to do kids songs. Sometimes I’ll play a school and the teachers will want to hear a grownup song. They’re not totally inappropriate for kids just a little bit of a different feeling. But it all seems to work out.

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Wild Belle: Finding magic on Jamaican vinyl

PHOTO: JENNIFER TZAR | Natalie Bergman, half of the brother-sister duo Wild Belle, loves vinyl. Traveling all over the world, she has picked up some rare records, some too scratched to even play—but she still has to have them.

With the release of their new record Dreamland just around the corner, Natalie took time to talk with TVD about the search for the records one just has to have.

I just saw you on Jimmy Fallon this week. It looked really fun! What was that experience like?

I’m back in LA now and I’m writing thank you letters to everyone in my band and to Jimmy. I just finished my letter to Jimmy. He’s really an extraordinary person. He has such an amazing gift. He brings people together. He’s such a strong joy in this world. I really love him and I’m so thankful that he invited us on the show. It was such a nerve-racking performance. My knees locked!

When you were talking about your first album, Isles, you said each song was like its own island and had its own story. Do you think of your upcoming album Dreamland the same way?

Definitely every song is its own story. The album is sort of its own story to me. It has a lot to do with my time in Chicago. This album has a lot to do with loss and recovery, finding different means to cope with loss.

I think that as an artist it takes a lot of guts to keep the dream flowing, to keep reaching for things that you believe in. Fallon was a good example of that. I met him in Jamaica and we got along so well. I sang a Bob Marley song for him and he fell in love with my voice. It’s moments like those that I really feel like it takes guts to stand up for yourself as a musician and stand up for your art and performing in front of someone you don’t know, but you admire. There are lots of people who I look up to, lots of artists and musicians. It’s really an honor to be able to perform in front of these artists who I admire so much.

The record is sort of a journey through my mind through a breakup. It has to do with many different relationships. My relationship with love, with a man, with the label, with family, with friends…

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TVD Live: Mavis Staples at Thalia Hall, 3/19

PHOTOS: BRIGID GALLAGHER | Legendary singer Mavis Staples returned to her home town for two nights at Thalia Hall this past weekend. She was supported by Chicago-based group, The Flat Five.

The show opened with the sweet sounds of The Flat Five. Making old songs sound new again with their jazzy arrangements, The Flat Five covered a wide range of material including The Free Design’s “I Found Love” and Sly and the Family Stone’s “Mother Beautiful.” They peppered the set with witty banter telling the audience, “We are well aware we’re you’re appetizer,” before clearing the way for Mavis.

Mavis Staples entered the stage to a standing ovation and took her time to greet each fan with a wave before she settled into her first song, “If You’re Ready.” After the first few selections Mavis exclaimed, “We’re happy to be home!” It was a homecoming reunion as she listed the friends and family that came out to see her. When a fan shouted “I love you, Mavis!” she replied, “I love you, too!” and turned to the audience, “You know, that’s my cousin.”

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TVD Live: Wavves, Best Coast, Cherry Glazerr at Thalia Hall, 2/25

PHOTOS: BRIGID GALLAGHER | After a snowy week in Chicago, the “Summer is Forever II” tour came through town for two sold out nights at Thalia Hall. Three Californian bands, Wavves, Best Coast, and Cherry Glazerr took the stage to remind us of rays of sunshine and the hot days ahead.

Cherry Glazerr started off the night with our first taste of summer. Clementine Creevy’s sugary sweet vocals about snack foods and friendship were given an edge with heavy strumming guitar. Creevy’s small frame created a large presence as she moved about the stage, even coming to the edge to sing to fans. Much of the audience was impressed and unable to help themselves from head-bobbing and dancing. At the end of the night many concertgoers walked away clutching a copy of their latest album, Haxel Princess on pink vinyl.

Best Coast brought summer night vibes with their set consisting of a pleasant mix of new and old. Frontwoman, Bethany Cosentino’s fierce stance was silhouetted making her a powerful force as the band played favorites such as “Do You Love Me Like You Used To?” and “Crazy For You.” Cosentino alternated between guitar and a star-shaped tambourine using those moments to let loose and dance to their appealing poppy rock songs.

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