Author Archives: Roger Catlin

TVD Video Premiere: Walter Salas-Humara, “She’s A Caveman”

PHOTO: JEAN FORDYCE | Longtime rocker Walter Salas-Humera strikes a prehistoric club for gender equality in his new video “She’s A Caveman.” The frontman of The Silos, who has also had a long solo career bridging rock and Americana, presents the tune on his latest solo album Walterio, out on the Hoboken-based Rhyme & Reason Records.

In the new video, which we’re happy to premiere today, he blends clips from old caveman movies like Eegah! with stop-motion clay animation and his own visage, playing and singing alongside the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, looking, at 59, like George Harrison’s dad.

Salas-Humara has written with people from Alejandro Escovedo to novelist Jonathan Lethem. But on “She’s a Caveman,” composed at the Steel Bridge Songfest hosted by Timbuk3’s Pat MacDonald in Wisconsin, he found a 15-year-old co-writer, Tari Knight. “He came with some fantastic lines,” Salas-Humara says. “My favorite is: She can hunt and gather me/ She can carry me across her land bridge.”

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TVD Live: Gaz Coombes, Caleb Elliott, Kiki Wilder at City Winery, 10/4

When Supergrass called it quits in 2010, frontman Gaz Coombes kept going with a series of solo albums that showed how strong he was at songcraft and increasingly, how talented he is at producing it.

In his solo show at City Winery in Washington, DC on Thursday, he showed how he can do many things well at once, infusing his songs not just with guitar, but with effects laden loops, tapes, backing tracks, and percussion.

It added a depth (if a bit of robotic certainty) to his solid Britpop songs, which might have come across just fine with only his guitars and distinctive vocals, a yowl that sometimes brings to mind Thom Yorke of Radiohead depending on the song. That happened when he stuck to acoustic guitar to sing his salute to his autistic daughter, now 15, in “The Girl Who Fell from Earth.”

With a sprinkling from his three solo albums, the 42-year-old Coombes, still rocking the fuzzy sideburns, didn’t bother to dip into the Supergrass song pool until the last song in the encore, a version of “Moving” that had fans standing and singing along.

Truth to tell, Coombes had asked the crowd to stand for the stirring final song in his set, “Detroit”—it’s weird for a rock ’n’ roller to be playing essentially a seated supper club. But they were glad to do it.

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TVD Live: Liz Phair and Speedy Ortiz at the 9:30 Club, 10/3

PHOTO: ELIZABETH WEINBERG | Liz Phair looked happy and perky as she took the stage at a sold-out 9:30 Club last week to reignite memories for the audience—and of her own past memories at the storied DC club.

After this year’s quarter-century salute to her big splash, Exit in Guyville, Phair at 51 seems resigned to becoming the nostalgia act her audiences demand of her, playing seven of the 18 tracks famously purporting to be answers to the songs on Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street. They were well sprinkled through the set, sparking the crowd when their familiar guitar riffs began.

But there was just one new song—an acoustic-backed ballad about “what else? heartbreak,” she said, nothing from her last album, 2010’s Funstyle, and just one from the one before it, 2005’s Somebody’s Miracle.

Fun as it was to hear the jolt of things like “Supernova” and “Extraordinary,” there was something reserved about her oldies performance. Prim in leather pants and accent jacket, she played the cool aunt, but not so much that she ever broke a sweat. In front of a largely generic four piece band that received only cursory intros, she not only had her guitar tech adorn her with each song’s instrument, he had to plug her in as well.

The set decor was top to bottom fake topiary, presumably owing to the “Amps on the Lawn Tour” theme. But plastic nature only helped underscore the lack of real grit in the performance.

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TVD Live: Diana Ross
at the Music Center at Strathmore, 9/25

Nearly 60 years into her career, Diana Ross can still conjure up excitement by just flouncing onstage in an elaborate dress. At the first of two shows at the Music Center at Strathmore last week, she was also able to mostly reach those keening vocals that made her one of the leading female voices in pop.

Her exceedingly lean band (a trio augmented by all manner of unseen tracks), was also well into the choppy funk of “I’m Coming Out” while she was trying to do just that. We heard her voice before we glimpsed the excessive gown. Once on stage, she presented the array of hits by The Supremes that cemented her fame more than a half century ago. And the best thing about hearing the timeless bounce of things like “My World is Empty Without You,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love,” is that she didn’t give short shrift to the songs in a medley, but presented pretty full versions of each one, just as they deserved.

And only 10 minutes into the show, it was already time for “Stop! In the Name of Love,” with the audience doing all the appropriate hand moves. That’s the legacy of having so many hits, being able to reach those heights so early and just keep going.

Ross was returning to scattered dates after a summer off, she said, because of a broken ankle playing with a grandchild. Soon she’ll be back to Vegas for a residency where she honed this sleek, 80 minute act, that makes time for repeated costume changes though, at 74, that’s not quite necessary. She was proud of recent weight loss and pointing it out in her colorful gowns.

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Paul Stanley,
The TVD Interview

You can think of KISS, the fire-breathing long-running rock band, as a kind of performance art piece. With face-painted demons in fanciful costumes, the fire and spectacle of their arena shows set the stage for most such stadium concerts today.

Frontman Paul Stanley had a hand in creating that art, and he’s joined the handful of rockers who augment off time by taking to the easel, with colorful canvases that range from abstractions to specific band-centric self-portraits, flags, and an array of guitars.

His gallery shows draw a number of fans, of course, but also viewers who may have never heard “Love Gun.” His original paintings, mixed-media works, prints, and hand-painted sculptures often sell out, and not just because he also makes personal appearances, as he will September 21 and 22 in the Washington, DC area at the Wentworth Galleries in Bethesda and Tysons Corner.

With his voice much more subdued than it is during his famous banter on stage, Stanley, 66, talked recently over the phone about his art, his vinyl, and future Kiss tours.

What period of time does your exhibit cover?

My art shows really reflect my whole road till now. It reflects pretty much all the work that I’ve done or a significant part of it. I used to wonder if I could ever have enough art to fill a gallery, and now I have too much. But it certainly reflects quite a bit of the time.

So what is the oldest piece in it?

Probably about 18 years. Somewhere around 17-18 years.

Was art something you did from an early time?

Yeah, I didn’t paint, but I was very fortunate that my parents, both being of European stock, pretty much meant that the arts were a part of my life. In Europe my parents certainly experienced theater and museums and they brought the same to me. So those were part of my vocabulary, part of my home life.

What made you pick up the paint brush 18 years ago?

I think turmoil will either see you throwing things at the wall or finding perhaps a better outlet. And once I got tired of the first one, a friend of mine said, “You should paint.” That resonated with me even though I didn’t know how it would manifest itself, I went out and bought paints and brushes and an easels. I had no idea what I was going to do and put brush to canvas and basically was pretty much purging. It was almost stream of consciousness using color. It was an interesting way for me to depict for myself what I was felling. And over time, it just kept evolving, and it is still and will continue to evolve. My only rule for this and anything else in my life is: The only rule is no rules.

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TVD Live: MC50 and
the Detroit Cobras at
the 9:30 Club, 9/11

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 11: MC5 (Motor City 5) performs at 930 Club in Washington, DC on September, 11 2018 during the MC50 event. (Photo by Richie Downs)

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSHistory swirled around the rare booking of MC50 at the 9:30 Club Tuesday. Yes, it was the half century anniversary of the debut LP of the Motor City Five. In addition, a couple of weeks earlier had marked 50 years since the Democratic National Convention police riots in Chicago, where the MC5 served as house band amid the tear gas of Grant Park. And here they were in Washington, on the anniversary of 9/11.

Anyone expecting the lone survivor of the band to come out doddering had another thing coming. Guitarist Wayne Kramer was, if anything, at 70, the most active person in the reconstituted band, swirling and kicking his way onto the set and continuing his high energy approach to what looked to be the same stars and stripes guitar he used back in the day. He also grinned ear to ear during most of the show, as did the younger rockers surrounding him in playing the band’s classics.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 11: MC5 (Motor City 5) performs at 930 Club in Washington, DC on September, 11 2018 during the MC50 event. (Photo by Richie Downs)

Chief among them was guitarist Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, touring for the first time since the death of Chris Cornell in May 2017. He largely provided solid rhythm while leaving Kramer to do his explosive originating solos. But there were several times when the two combined forces to trade off solos as on “Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)” and “Borderline.” Mostly it was good to see him back in action on stage.

Billy Gould of Faith No More held down the bass, and the biggest roar all might may have been for hometown hero Brendan Canty of Fugazi on drums, slamming it out all night. But they found something special in 6-foot-7 front man Marcus Durant of the San Francisco band Zen Guerrilla, who seems to have reincarnated the very spirit of Rob Tyner, from the wild Afro to the lanky loose-jointed moves and especially the blues-tinged yowl. After Kramer was done with just about the only song he ever sang lead on, “Ramblin’ Rose,” it was Durant taking over lead vocals on the premature rush for the anthemic “Kick Out the Jams.”

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TVD Live: Joe Ely & Alejandro Escovedo at City Winery, 8/21

Song swapping may be the best way for a couple of esteemed singer/ songwriters to tour. Rather than one opening for the other, sitting on stage together and taking turns playing songs allows the evening to unfold in unexpected ways. One performer is inspired by a line in the other’s song and brings out one with a similar theme; the other, inspired by some intricate finger picking he’s witnessing, tries his own.

That’s how it went for a show by Joe Ely and Alejandro Escovedo Tuesday at the tony new City Winery outlet in the Ivy City district of Washington, DC. Accomplished writers and performers each with deep roots in not only the Austin scene, but connections with punk’s beginnings, the two took advantage of decades of songs and experience to trade off all night. Each had the best seat in the house for the other’s performance and sat rapt and respectful to listen.

Oddly, there were only the slightest collaborations emerging. Ely provided a solo for Escovedo’s “Broken Bottle”; they combined on a version of Ely’s “Silver City” that Escovedo recorded for his upcoming album The Crossing, due out September 14, and combined forces once more for a version of Woody Guthrie’s “Goin’ Down That Dusty Road” (a song also known as “Lonesome Road Blues” that is often cited as “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad,” though it never includes those precise words).

More often they were students and deep listeners of the other’s music and, in the case of the DC, show, their respective family histories. Escovedo, 67, began with a song about his family’s travels to California from Texas and Mexico. Ely, 71, followed with his own song of other weary travels between the Golden and Lone Star State, “Homeland Refugee,” a Dust Bowl rumination with the striking line “We’re all just migrants on this earth / Returning to the dust where we came.”

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TVD Live: John Hiatt
& The Goners featuring Sonny Landreth at the Birchmere, 8/20

John Hiatt became eligible for Medicaid Monday, marking his 65th birthday at the first of two sold out shows at The Birchmere music hall in Alexandria, VA. But there was nothing suggesting anything close to retirement in his show with The Goners, the ace Louisiana trio led by guitarist Sonny Landreth.

Indeed, on a night largely dedicated to the 30th anniversary of his 1988 album Slow Turning, Hiatt began the evening showing how much life there still was in him during a succinct seven-song solo set dominated by songs from his impending album The Eclipse Sessions due out October 12.

It’s something like his 24th studio collection and the examples he shared — “Cry to Me,” “All the Way to the River,” and “Aces Up Your Sleeve” (coincidentally also the first three songs on the LP) — are as well structured, simple, and memorable as any from his catalogue, the best of which he also sampled in the solo acoustic spotlight.

He began with “Perfectly Good Guitar,” on a night when Joe Perry was smashing another instrument as part of an Aerosmith collaboration with Post Malone on the MTV Video Music Awards, a world away. Its indelible melody was enhanced not just by a harmonica solo, but also whistling.

He sang “Angel Eyes” by request of a couple marking their 40th anniversary. And he closed with the classic “Crossing Muddy Waters,” which recently had a terrific cover by the female bluegrass trio I’m With Her, and the indelible wail of “Cry of Love.” He acted in this set as if he were the hopeful rising opening act, thanking the headliners for having him on the tour, and adding, “They even let me ride in the main bus.”

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TVD Live: Felix Cavaliere & Gene Cornish’s Rascals with Carmine Appice at The Birchmere, 8/16

One of the great underrated American bands of the 1960s is The Rascals, purveyors of a soulful brand of East Coast groove that provided a few hits that everybody knows and who forged an expansive, spiritual course before petering out in the ’70s. There have been attempts this century to reunite the original four, primarily by Little Steven Van Zandt, whose efforts also led to a short Broadway stint of reminiscence and rock five years ago, “Once Upon a Dream.”

The dream did not live on; members Eddie Brigati and Dino Danelli went their own ways. But Felix Caviliere, who wrote and sang lead on so many of their songs, has forged on at age 75 with a new iteration of the old band that includes one other original member as well as a renown classic rock drummer who would be seen at first as an odd fit. They played a show at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, Thursday.

The cumbersomely named “Felix Cavaliere & Gene Cornish’s Rascals with Special Guest Carmine Appice” was actually a more muscular version of the band that might have otherwise been a pleasant nostalgia excursion. The Brooklyn-raised Appice, still with the black Fu Manchu mustache at 71, was actually influenced by the Rascals just before he started with Long Island rockers Vanilla Fudge. Danelli’s drums were an unsung component of the Rascals, providing exact time and tasteful fills that were integral to the music.

It was the producer Shadow Morton working with the Rascals who produced the four Vanilla Fudge albums. And though Appice went on to play in Cactus, Beck Bogart & Appice, and for people from Ozzy Osbourne to Rod Stewart (cowriting “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Young Turks” along the way), Appice nailed down the solid beats and fills to run the Rascals engine on the current tour.

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Geoff Downes,
The TVD Interview

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just last year, progressive rock stalwarts Yes is capping a 50th anniversary tour that covers material from 1970s’s Time and a Word to the 2011 Fly from Here, with classic rock staples like “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” and “Yours is No Disgrace” in between.

It comes at a time when there is more reissued Yes in the vinyl bins than there has been in decades, 90125 just out this month on 140-gram colored vinyl following the release on Record Store Day in April of a 140-gram picture disc of Tormato. All this after the first five albums were reissued last year in a vinyl box set Yes: The Steven Wilson Remixes.

The band today features longtime guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White with guitarist Billy Sherwood and vocalist Jon Davison. On an array of keyboards is Geoff Downes, who first came to fame as a member of The Buggles with Trevor Horn in 1977. Three years later the two joined Yes in time for the Drama album. When the band broke up, Downes co-founded Asia in 1982 with Howe as well as John Wetton of King Crimson and Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He left Asia in 1986 and returned in 1990 amid solo recording and releases with Wetton. He rejoined Yes seven years ago.

We talked to Downes, 65, from a Manhattan hotel stop, where he discussed his road to Yes, the prescience of “Video Killed the Radio Star,” and the proliferation of keyboards around him on stage.

What goes into putting a tour on like this covering such a long period of time?

I think it’s a good idea to go into some of the more obscure material. What we’ve tried to do is get a very good cross-section of Yes’s music across the years and that in many ways dictates what you’re going to do. You look at a band like Yes, and there’s an enormous catalog of music. So it’s quite difficult to decide what to do. But I think once you get the bookends and you know what you’re doing at the front, and you know what you’re doing at the end, it’s a lot easier to fill it all in.

When you began as a musician you were a fan of Yes, right?

Absolutely. I was listening to Time and a Word when I was studying for my exams at school. So it’s very strange that I’m actually a member of the band and have been certainly since 1980, and then of course seven years ago when I rejoined.

And yet your career went a little bit different path. Tell me about your road to, say, The Buggles.

Well, when I first came to London, I had come out of music college and I got a job doing advertising jingles and various session work, and it was really through that that I bumped into Trevor Horn, and that’s how we joined up as The Buggles—we had common interests and very common ideas. When we had the success of “Video Killed the Radio Star,” we got so we were looking for management and we were approached to join up with a guy called Brian Lane, who was the manager of Yes, and that’s how the whole connection came about that we were managed by the same company and we met up through that.

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TVD Live: Taylor Swift at FedExField, 7/10

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSDespite the dizzying confluence of torches, fireworks, lights, immense video screens, dancing squads, light-up fan wristbands, and three-story snakes—so many snakes—in Taylor Swift’s big “Reputation” stadium tour, the best moment comes when she’s finally alone with the guitar.

It happens just over halfway in her two hour extravaganza when she’s on a B-stage, having been airlifted there by a light-up gondola while singing “Delicate.” It’s after the giddy heights of “Shake It Off” alongside tour openers Charli XCX and Camila Cabello (as well as another of those giant snakes) all while the fans’ wristband lights involuntarily blink Christmas colors.

Only then is she able to talk more to her fans as if they were old college buddies (“I’ve been thinking of you guys”). At the first of two sold out shows at Maryland’s FedEx Field for what she said was her 24th show in the area, she thanked fans for allowing her to go from teenage country sweetheart to high-volume pop music force. But she returned to her acoustic guitar roots all the same, with a spare version of “So It Goes…” from the new album and something from her Red album a half dozen years back that she hasn’t played for a while, “State of Grace.”

It was the rare moment of surprise and intimacy in a massive show whose every moment is plotted for maximum crowd convulsion. It’s audacious for a show this big to still largely be a vehicle to sell a new album, and playing 12 songs from Reputation (skipping only three of its tracks) meant squishing old favorites into medleys.

It was all fine with the audience of young girls, their indulgent parents, and a few guys, all excited for the big show and some decked out in a kind of Taylor cosplay, which ran from the troubling sight of grade schoolers in fishnets and lipstick to someone in full witch costume to one old guy in what looked to be an exploded newspaper.

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TVD Live: The Feelies at the 9:30 Club, 6/22

PHOTO: DOUG SEYMOUR | The fast jangle and hypnotic rhythms of The Feelies is not just a warm throwback to 1980s when their first album ushered in a precise kind of frantic nerd rock, influencing a number of other bands. By now, the band is a standard-bearer for an enduring strain of New York rock. With its droning chords, flighty solos, pounding drums, and deadpan vocals, it’s the closest thing to the Velvet Underground in the 21st Century.

It’s a homage the quintet acknowledged in its splendid and generous return performance at the 9:30 Club Friday night. Two of the four covers in their series of encores were from the Velvets. And the harder rocking selections from their latest material from their 2017 album In Between forge the same heady path, particularly the title song. It was presented, as on the album, in two ways, the original and in an expanded psychedelicized version in the encores. By the end, Glenn Mercer was rubbing his guitar neck against the microphone, which you wouldn’t have expected such a reserved person to do.

Mercer is paired with the similarly bespectacled and overly reserved Bill Million, with Mercer taking on all the lead vocals and most of the lead guitar work, as Million adds the textures of his rhythmic guitar. The two barely spoke to the crowd and could scarcely bring themselves to even look up at them, despite the adoration.

To their left, Brenda Sauter began the show creating tones on guitar on the opening “When Company Comes.” She became a third percussionist late in the show, hitting a standing tom. But mostly she played bass, sang some harmonies, and acted like Earth translator for the rest of the front line, saying thanks from time to time. “You make us feel so welcome,” she said at the outset.

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TVD Live: U2 at Capital One Arena, 6/17

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSIt was only last year when U2 hit the stadium circuit for a kind of nostalgia immersion with the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree. The give and take for the band’s 2018 tour boasts smaller venues—if hockey arenas can be considered small—and a largely lesser known album to promote, last year’s Songs of Innocence.

Eight of its 13 songs made it on the band’s 24-song setlist at the CapitolOne Arena in Washington Sunday, an event that drew both former secretary of state Madeline Albright and NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell to the very section I was in (making me feel so young!). Yet the charismatic and ever-political Bono largely strayed from the topical world—aside from a roster of protest posters projected on the arena-length cage before the show. Compromise was the word he stressed; not love (not sure how well that one was landing in the epicenter of the divide).

By now you can take the band out of the stadium but not the stadium out of the band, in a show which stressed as much if not more of the video screens, special lighting, catwalks, and B-stages as they did on football fields. The setup was complicated to figure out even if you were watching it, but it involved a main stage on which the four members only occasionally performed together as one, a smaller one at the other end of the area that took up a lot of the second half of the show, and between them a walkway with 80 feet of screens on both sides that illustrated each song differently and allowed the band members (but mostly Bono) to walk through a video projection instead of just having it behind him.

It was spectacular, yes, and the sound was ringing. Hats off to a band that has solidly maintained its original lineup for so long and has not augmented it with a dozen players on stage just because they could (on the other hand, it wasn’t immediately clear where all the synthesizer washes were coming from on some songs; playing along to tape is not a good alternative).

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TVD Live: Dave Alvin
and Jimmie Dale Gilmore at the Birchmere, 6/14

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore had known each other for years on the Americana circuit, but it wasn’t until they joined forces for a brief acoustic tour last year did they find that they also cut their musical teeth watching blues greats at the old Ash Grove club in Los Angeles. They decided to cut an album together for Yep Roc, Downey to Lubbock, that represented their respective hometowns and have gone out on tour together as a duo with the backing of Alvin’s band The Guilty Ones.

“I thought I was retired,” Gilmore, 73, said from the stage in explaining his gratitude at this late life venture. But the hollow wail of his unique tenor sounds just as compelling as it did in the Flatlanders. Together, their trading off of verses featuring personal traits on the album’s title song made for as entertaining a show theme song as you’d hope for. Then they followed largely with covers of songs by artists they both admired (and put on the album) as well as the best of the songs they’re known for.

That meant the lovely and enigmatic “Tonight I Think I’m Gonna Go Downtown,” “Dallas,” and “My Mind’s Got a Mind of Its Own” (jumped up to a rockabilly beat) from Gilmore; and from Alvin, “Fourth of July” a couple weeks early, “Dry River” and “Marie, Marie”—the sole Blasters song.

They made an odd-looking pair—Gilmore tall and gangly; his long white hair adding a ghostly appearance, opposite the solid and shorter Alvin, clad in his usual cowboy gear. Their two voices couldn’t be more different either. Gilmore’s high, keening lonely sound was opposite Alvin’s deep Western baritone. Trading off on songs meant a concise punch of their best stuff.

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Dave Wakeling,
The TVD Interview

Dave Wakeling, the charismatic frontman and songwriter for the ska revival pioneers known in the States as The English Beat, once famously said every great band has only three good albums in them. The Beat disbanded officially with its third, Special Beat Service, 35 years ago.

But after stints in General Public and various bands reviving that sound and the music of the Beat, here’s the fourth album, Here We Go Love, out today, powered by the politically charged single “How Can You Stand There?”

We caught up with Wakeling, 62, recently while the band was on tour in England, He happened to be in his hometown, Birmingham, “sitting at the breakfast table at my sister’s house.’’ He talked expansively about the rock legacy of that industrial town in the West Midlands, his adjustment to California where he’s lived for nearly 30 years, the rise of reggae from punk halls and soccer stadiums, and of course, vinyl.

Your new album is out very soon.

Not sure if the vinyl is coming at the same time, it might be…

People are sort of buying it again, vinyl, which is interesting. My daughter was playing her vinyl copy of the first Bob Marley album and the whole house was vibrating beautifully with analog sound. I got to enjoy shouting up the stairs, “Do you really need to play it that loud?” I got the answer back: “Yes.”

So there’s a difference you think.

Yes, there is a difference. There always was. And anybody who said there wasn’t was just hoping. I could always hear it. I read a little bit how analog recording had been designed around capturing the emotional quality of the instruments of the orchestra, and those instruments themselves had taken hundreds and thousands of years, ending up in really odd shapes, in order to produce sounds that directly affected human beings’ emotional centers, or chakras, as they’re called.

It’s why the hair goes up on your neck when you listen to an orchestra. Analog recording was designed to try to capture that and in doing so, it captures resonances. People always say “it sounds warmer.” But I think it’s more geared to human absorption. You turn things into zeros and ones and send them around the world, and pop them back up and use those zeroes and ones to recreate that sound, it probably does it perfectly—for computers’ chakras.

What specific record was influential to you early in your life?

Well, a number of things. For better or worse, my first single was colored vinyl—though I don’t think it was vinyl, it was plastic. It was “Little Brown Jug,” on a red toy plastic record player. [Sings, with gusto:] “Ha ha ha, He he he, Little Brown Jug don’t I love thee? Ha ha ha, He he he, Little Brown Jug don’t I love thee?” Not knowing it was going to going to turn me into an alcoholic later in life, I just thought it was just a pleasant little brown jug. Who knew?

So that was my first record. Then I became an avid singles collector in the late ’60s and the early ’70s. Some of my favorite records: “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” [by Jimmy Cliff], “All Right Now” by Free, that was a great single. “White Room” by Cream, that was a good one. “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix, that was a cracker. “Don’t Walk Away, Renee” and “Bernadette” [by the Four Tops]. They were on the Tamla label in England. Not Motown, Tamla. And they were all very, very important to me.

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