Author Archives: Special to TVD

Katie Kuffel,
The TVD First Date

“My first date with vinyl followed the arc of a classic ’90s romcom. A series of almosts and missed connections before finally we each turned the corner, caught the other’s eye, and fell in love.”

“Like most folks who have a dad with a garage, I unearthed his high school and college collection of records while exhuming my family’s Christmas decorations. I was a braces-laden eleven year old, and though I theoretically knew what the records were as objects, the band names within bands ‘The Temptations’ and ‘Marvin Gaye’ were entirely alien to me. My family didn’t own a record player, so they stayed in the box, forgotten.

It was many years before vinyl and I crossed paths again. I was in my early twenties and just played a gig with Drew Martin, a local in the Seattle music scene who lived most of the year in Hawaii, but would manage to sell out venues like The Sunset simply by sending out one group text message. He’s a mythic underground figure, to say the least. I don’t drive, so he was carting me to and from the venue.

We were loading my gear into his car and he had some left over merch in his trunk. A home-printed T-shirt, and a deluxe vinyl of his record The Valley, an invaluable object only available in physical form since he hadn’t bothered with streaming sites or digitizing his music at all yet. He offered them, and I happily accepted both proffered gifts. I’d conveniently forgotten that I didn’t own a record player.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Me Nd Adam,
The TVD First Date

“We grew up in Austin, a music-obsessed town where respect for vinyl runs deep.”

“Austin is home to one of the most iconic record stores in the world, Waterloo Records, which is where we each bought our first album. I think Vince’s was Kiss’s Double Platinum—he doesn’t like people to forget that—and mine was Willie Nelson’s Stardust, a Texas classic.

We love vinyl. Our forthcoming debut, American Drip Part 1, is available exclusively on vinyl and via your preferred streaming service.”
Adam

“When I was 22, my girlfriend’s sister moved into a fixer-upper where the previous tenants had left all of their collections behind.”

“One of those collections was thousands of records, including some of the greatest orchestral and operatic pieces (think Stravinsky and Beethoven) recorded by the greatest symphonic orchestras in some of the most iconic locations, including the Taj Mahal and Sistine Chapel.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Sam Roberts Band,
The TVD First Date

“Every fall, in Montreal and the nearby Laurentian mountains, people come from all over the world to see the leaves change colours. We call them Leaf-peepers… I think… At any rate, it really is a spectacle worth seeing, the leaves, that is, not the peepers—one of Mother’s Nature finest from her deep bag of tricks.”

“To a kid growing up in the area, however, the same leaves represent a very different beast. The changing colours are seen for what they truly represent, the death-throes of summer before the long, dark winter sleep. And where do dead leaves end up? The lawn, the flower beds, the driveway…like water, they will find a way into and through and under everything. On precious weekend afternoons, it is the sacred and unpleasant duty of every Canadian kid to rake these leaves—“bag ‘em and tag ‘em.”

My dad used to offer us financial compensation but my brother and I saw through the scheme…10 cents a bag, seemed easy enough—could be looking at a dollar for an hour’s work. Not so fast! A bag is never full until dad has given the OK. Which meant passing the compression test… which meant him taking what looked like a full bag of leaves and standing in the bag until the leaves had been squashed to a near-atomic level! Then came the inevitable judgment, “That’s not full…”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Ruby Mack,
The TVD First Date

“The first LP I ever purchased was Brandi Carlile’s Bear Creek at a rare solo show in Northampton, MA in the fall of 2011. I didn’t even have a record player at that point, but it meant so much to purchase that album and wait for the day I could take it out of its sleeve and play it the way Brandi wanted people to hear it.”

“I didn’t grow up listening to vinyl. I am, however, the daughter of HUGE music lovers—particularly my father. From Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, and The Police to The Beatles, Madonna and ABBA, I had an eclectic childhood filled with music. The only thing to rival my Dad’s love of music is his love for technology. He will always be the first person in line when Apple releases their latest gadget and will probably be reading nonfiction iBooks from his iPad on his death bed. Because of this, we always consumed music in the newest way possible—first tapes and CDs, then the first iPod and beyond. I knew vinyl existed, I guess, but it was considered the “latin” of music formats—a dead format.

So how did I ever get into vinyl? I like to think the journey started when my Dad asked me if I wanted this new thing called an iPod and I said, “heck no! I want a Walkman!” I went back in time from there.

No, but really, I started getting into vinyl when I got to Smith College in Northampton, MA. If anyone knows the folk music world, you know that Western Mass has a strong and thriving scene. My goal when I first got to school was to see as much live music as possible—alone or with friends—but to get out and experience the artists coming through town. I noticed many artists started selling vinyl at their merch tables, and thought it was pretty cool and unique, so I started to investigate. (I like to stay hip, who doesn’t?!) I was simultaneously learning the difference between analog and digital in my courses at school, and knew I needed to get my hands on the way music was originally produced.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Professor and the Madman, The TVD
First Date and Premiere “A Child’s Eyes”

“As a kid in the early 1970s, I was surrounded by vinyl. My three older siblings were all major music enthusiasts, and so were my parents.”

“Mom was all about Eydie Gormé, Vicente Fernández, and Harry Belafonte. Dad loved the Irish Rovers, the Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem, and Eddy Arnold. My eldest brother, Rikk, was already deeply involved in the Orange County punk scene while I was only in middle school. He played bass in Social Distortion, guitar in the Adolescents, Christian Death, and D.I., and he released a solo album, All by Myself, for Frontier Records in 1982. My other brother, Frank, also played with the Adolescents and many other groups on the scene.

Some of my earliest vinyl memories are of the U.S. versions of the Beatles albums (The Early Beatles, Something New, Beatles VI), and also the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack! In my household, there was also a big box of 45 RPM singles covering a wide range of genres.

Once I started school, I would come home every day and the first thing I would do was play records. Taking after my brothers and sister, I quickly became a collector, myself—my birthday and Christmas “wish lists” always had a long list of desired vinyl releases. Our favorite record store was Music Box in Fullerton. We would ride our bikes down there, go through the used section, and maybe grab an ice cream cone at the nearby Thrifty’s Drug Store, if we had enough pocket change left after our spree.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Tyrone’s Jacket,
The TVD First Date

“My love for music developed well after my formative years, and for the most part predicated my creative participation as opposed to being a consumer.”

“I purge melody, dance, and lyric from an internal feeling more than strictly the mind, though the brain is a necessary tool for articulation once the connection is made. The term “channeling” is how I would best describe it. I have created music without having an extensive musical education, I’m not classically trained and there is a lot of music people would be surprised to know I’m ignorant of. I don’t like the idea of certain influences clouding my spirit, however over the years I have increased my knowledge.

Perhaps my father’s success with The Commodores desensitized me to an appreciation of music early on—I was more into sports back then, however eventually, like for most of us, music found its way to my heart. It wasn’t until late in high school that I started to pay real attention to music. Tupac was first, Nas shortly after that, then Bob Marley. I remember it clearly.

I used to live a few blocks away from Tower Records. Back then Tuesdays were the day of new releases. Every Tuesday after school I would swing by that yellow and red building and spend hours. I felt like I was part of a club because we were all there for the same reason. Varied genres attracted a variety of outspoken attitudes from the expressions, struts, spiked mohawks, dreadlocks, tattoos, jumpsuits, velour suits, and tattered rags. There was culture and it was a scene.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Life in a Blender,
The TVD First Date

“I was sucked into the spinning vinyl vortex through my older sister. Irene was heavily into The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, and Queen. When she was out, I would take her vinyl into my room and listen to her albums. “Killer Queen” especially grabbed me. I mention “Killer Queen” in a song I wrote called “Falmouth.” I figured why not listen to her records , then I can save money and maybe buy my own albums later if I absolutely had to.”

“The local radio station WPDH in Poughkeepsie played more fringe music than other stations at the time—so some of my earliest vinyl was Tom Waits and Randy Newman, but I was also into 10cc, Jon Anderson, Pink Floyd, and Crack the Sky.

Album covers loom large in my mind because they are so large. Getting vinyl was getting a work of art—CDs could just never compare. That’s a major reason for buying vinyl still today. “Killer Queen” had all the cool glamour with the four longhaired Brits–some shirtless–draped in a circle on a black backdrop. Jon Anderson’s Olias of Sunhillow scratched the sci-fi/fantasy nerd itch with some sort of elaborate flying contraption from another dimension on the cover and its overly ornate typeface.

Monty Python’s Matching Tie and Handkerchief stands out as a vinyl wonder because of the three sides. Side one would play a whole different bunch of skits depending on where you dropped the needle, so the A side really gave you two sides in one.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Charlie Kaplan,
The TVD First Date

“My father died on November 29th, 2013, two months before I turned 25. My partner Emma and my birthdays are just two days apart—January 23rd and 25th—so the day between has most years been the date of a joint party. January 24th, 2014 was no exception. I had barely begun grieving. Still shocked and blinded by the seismic event that had befallen me. Still numb with denial each day when I woke up.”

“We decided to host it in the basement of a bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called St. Mazie. That spot has a street-level floor where local groups play. Some nights you might hear gypsy jazz, some nights you might hear a jug band. But below is a low-cap subterranean basement space, maybe 50 heads total, with a bar and eight or ten tables. We chose it because it’s just small enough where with enough friends, you can turn it into a de-facto private party. A year into my first job and with no money to rent out a venue, this struck us as a pretty ingenious approach and we sprung the idea on our guest list to a lively response.

The night came and our people were filling the space up and claiming tables. I noticed one final four-top of three strangers remaining, working on closing out their bill, with an open seat. I decided to sit down with them to be polite. At the table were two women and a man, and they welcomed me in.

Back then I wandered stunned from place to place, sometimes totally numb, but periodically—and inevitably—crashing down to earth in realization of my wrecked present. It felt like that fleeting moment after you’re slapped in the face, before the sting sets in. I felt the lightness and levity of freefall. A month or less later I’d find myself in darkness after the daze wore off, but for that moment, this stupefaction, mixed with the buzz of a room full of friends and a few drinks, had me whirring, ready to stick a straw in a world disappearing down the drain.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Conclave,
The TVD First Date

“I first came into contact with records at probably 5 or 6. My dad had his small collection of Merengue records in the closet where we kept our winter wear. My parents never played them because they were very much in the home entertainment era of the ’90s, and in typical Latin household fashion they had a drawer with probably 300 + CD’s with salsa, merengue, all types of Latin music which had a profound effect on me and thus on Conclave.”

“Later when I got to high school I fell in love with jazz. I played in the school jazz band and combo and formed a side jazz combo. All I listened to was jazz, but it was in the format of CDs, which I bought or burned. This continued until I got to Berklee College of Music in Boston. I was finally living in a space that wasn’t my parents house for the first time and wanted to make it my own, so I did what a lot of millennial art students in college did at that time: I bought a shitty record player. That started my love affair with the vinyl medium. I finally could buy all of the jazz records I’d been listening to all these years in their original medium and could discover more.

Around the corner from the school was a super dope record store called Looney Tunes (RIP). They had two locations—one by Harvard campus in Cambridge, and lucky for me, another one right by Berklee. The guys that worked there were a couple of super nice older white Boston dudes. They were more into rock and probably were in punk or rock bands in the ’70s and ’80s. The store had an extensive rock selection but funny enough they had a jazz selection that rivaled it (probably because of the proximity to a jazz school).

I would go every week, multiple times a week, and buy jazz records from artists I recognized and sometimes a jazz artist I had just learned about in class that day. I would go home, smoke a lil sum’, and actively listen with friends or alone. One record during this era that flipped my shit and a lot of my friends shit was Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis and Gil Evans. This was a movie in every sense to us and I remember us laying on the ground with our backs on the floor and facing the ceiling and could imagine the scenes that took place in a continent and culture none of us had ever experienced to yet.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Imogen Mahdavi,
The TVD First Date

“My parents bought a vinyl player when Sony started doing compact ‘modern’ remakes, it was funny the disc area was minuscule in comparison to the huge speakers that came with it. I still have the photo of it taking up an entire living room wall in our old house.”

“My mum would take me to a record store in Cambridge (that’s unfortunately shut now) and go in the bargain bin area. I always hated that they called it a bin. My earliest memory was her buying Rage Against The Machine’s Sleep Now In The Fire with the huge coin on the front and as a child I never understood the imagery. We took it home and she played it for my sister and I. Some years later I returned to that record to choreograph a dance for my primary school…looking back it was pretty rogue.

As I got older I moved to London in hopes of working as a ‘real’ singer. I spent many an afternoon alone in Soho record stores (before I made any friends here). Sometimes I would look for classics I loved, and sometimes for the cheapest vinyl or weirdest cover I could find. Rough Trade is still round the corner from my flat and the East End has some great vintage markets selling vinyl.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Bosq,
The TVD First Date

“When I moved to Boston as a Hip Hop obsessed 18 year old in order to attend Northeastern University, one of the first things I did was start looking for record stores.”

“I had had my turntables for years already, but the few thrift shops in my hometown were far from generous in what they provided a kid looking for breaks, vintage funk and soul, or classic hip hop. I wandered the city for hours whenever I could, between classes and football practice, checking out places I found on primitive websites (2002 style) or message boards, where music nerds gathered and shared tips.

On one such expedition, I came across what will now forever be for me the archetype of the perfect record store. In Your Ear records in Allston was down a flight of stairs into a decent sized underground shop. Stacks of repaired receivers and turntables greeted you to left, and a hardcore and metal section that I always breezed past on the right. Beyond that (where you almost always had to squeeze by someone immersed in their own search) it opened up into the most beautiful example of the balance between disorder and order.

Clearly defined sections guided your search but never so organized that you might not accidentally find something to expand your taste. The daily appearance of unmarked boxes in the process of being organized or priced meant there was almost always something no one else had looked through, and most importantly for a student with no money there was a gigantic stack of unsleeved 45s for 10 cents each.

I remember spending hours and hours in that stack, skipping the train in favor of walking there and back (probably an hour each way) because that 3 dollars in train fare was an extra 30 records! I’d get home and carefully wash each record to make it playable but half the time they still screamed with static regardless.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

The Deathray Davies,
The TVD First Date

“My first records were metal: Judas Priest, AC/DC, Ozzy. It was the music that my friend’s big brothers listened to and therefore, so did we. It was the entire universe, as far as I was concerned. “

“I spent hours listening and wondering what it would be like to go to a concert. Ozzy and AC/DC frightened me at first.. but the more I listened the more I wanted get closer to all of it. I was obsessed.

The first time I heard the Ramones, I was all in. It was the coolest thing I could imagine. It sounded like the ’60s (another obsession that came later) but LOUD and FAST. It was catchy, weird, and simple enough for me to think I could try playing my own music someday.

I gave away all of my metal records the next day. It felt like a line in the sand. I started collecting Ramones records, then the Clash. That led to the Cure and the Smiths—it went on from there and branched out.

I love how vinyl creates its own time and space—it feels like an event. As a kid, I’d study the artwork while listening. It was all so other-worldly, so completely different from anything I knew about in my neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Eddy Lee Ryder,
The TVD First Date

“I love listening to vinyl and knowing this was the format that it was supposed to be heard; fully encompassing.”

“Vinyl was more than an auditory experience, it was tactile and visual. The image on the album jacket presented artwork giving the first hint of the poetry, the cacophony, the harmony, and the rhythmic musical secrets that lay within. While a book should never be judged by its cover, a vinyl record could often be judged by the form, color, and visual statement of the album jacket.

Then, when you’ve brought your new album home and stripped off the cellophane coating covering the album jacket and after sliding the thin vinyl disc from within the walls of its sides, when the record is exposed to the light of day for the first time, the anticipation rises as you place the record on the turntable and watch it spin.

Growing up, the weekend was for playing vinyl loud. All the songs that we usually listened to on CD in the car were supercharged and richer playing them at full volume… that is the way to experience classic rock and become obsessed with it.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Alright Alright,
The TVD First Date

“Seth and I met at a gig up in the mountains in Colorado when he helped me carry my old Roland keyboard from my 1992 Toyota Corolla station wagon to the stage.”

CHINA: Music and mutual friends brought us together, and I remember thinking that Seth was the most intelligent person at the table later that night when we all went out for drinks. It was the early oughts, before streaming and YouTube, before the internet would take over music listening. I was working 5 different gigs to make ends meet at the time, driving myself all across Denver in that green station wagon, listening to my CDs and the radio.

I mentioned to Seth that first night, that I was obsessed with a song I’d heard on the radio, but didn’t know who had sung it or how to find it. I sang the snippet that I remembered, “In the cathedrals of New York and Rome…” to him, unbeknownst that he was the world’s best finder of random things; that he would research until he found the song, “Cathedrals” by Jump Little Children; that he would purchase the CD it appeared on, and bring it to my doorstep. Thusly, our mutual adoration of each other and of music grew to this full-on collaboration we now nurture, grow and manage together called Alright Alright.

SETH: Yeah, I mean I was a bit smitten when I saw China, then I heard her sing and I was starting to get it bad. Later, in the middle of this dive bar we all ended up at that night, we were drinking martinis to feel fancy, and China asked us about that song. It was so amazing to have this beautiful girl with this big voice just belt a song in the middle of the bar.

Finding that album for her was sorta my foot in the door, and ever since, we’ve ended up discovering a lot of music together over the years. That magic still happens. We were at Americana Fest last year at Jeremy Ivey’s album release in the new Grimey’s, and while we were listening to the music, we kept finding records we wanted. They made some money on us that night!

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Oginalii,
The TVD First Date

“For me, my choice in vinyl comes in two ways, it’s either a must-buy for something I’ve been looking for for awhile and finally came upon, or it comes in taking a risk and buying a random set of 20 records from the bargain bin and hoping to strike gold.”

“My collection ranges from selections of old records passed down to me—like Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland or Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young—and then I have many self-purchased that I’ve learned now have accumulated a lot from merch stands at local shows.

One of my current most prized finds is an LP of a favorite Nashville black metal outfit that no longer exists—Alraune’s The Process of Self-Immolation. I had luckily gotten to see them towards the end of their existence and had regretted not buying a hard copy of this record at the time. But on one of Oginalii’s last tours, we had stopped by a record store in Columbus, OH called Used Kids Records and I just happened to run across this exact LP in the metal bin.

I hadn’t even looked at the price and just immediately picked it up and bought it. Of course it had not been a high demand album, but to me I felt like I had hit the lottery. Sometimes you run into what you have been looking for in the most random of places.”
Ryan

“I was born in 1994, but am lucky enough to have had some time to experience discovering and listening to music before streaming.”

“Both my parents had their respective CD and cassette collections that I couldn’t keep my hands off of. I scoured through both shelves and brought certain ones around with me with my portable players. I started playing piano at a young age and didn’t understand the ‘why’ of it. It felt more like a sport or after school program than anything until going into a record store for the first time. I was 9 or 10 and that trip completely changed my interests for good.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text