Author Archives: Special to TVD

Brooke Moriber,
The TVD First Date

“I grew up a few blocks from Tower Records on east 4th street in NYC when CDs were the thing. I always felt like a kid in a candy store sifting through the albums.”

“What I didn’t know then was how much lush, uncompressed, instrumentation I was being deprived of by only listening to digital music. Vinyl just makes it all come to life. Now when I listen to the mainstream digital media, I feel like I need to pop my ears!

My first vinyl record was a special edition from my favorite band Pearl Jam. Although my own music is very different, I am a huge ’90s grunge fan. When I played the record, I was blown away by the depth, texture, and contrast between the low and high end of the track.

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Tamar Eisenman,
The TVD First Date
and Premiere, “Easy Comes Free”

“Time to get a turntable! When I moved to New York City about a year ago, I was pretty obsessed with getting a new turntable. Moving makes one buy things. However, a few months later you usually realize you don’t need half of what you bought. These kinds of changes are a reminder to what is essentially important to us in life—like a little epiphany, like ice cream.”

“Two things I did bring along with me and my guitars were my Moka maker and a small magnet that survived four different refrigerators. The quote on the magnet: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” For me, this meant something like, “A musician without a music collection is like a car without gasoline.” Where can you possibly go with writing your new song if you don’t appreciate all the groundwork that is already out there? History is a call, always to be new.

I love my music collection—six, dusty enormous boxes—and although I always hoped that one day I would have an apartment only for those albums, I consciously and rightfully left them behind. Obviously, the times they are a changing, and digital world is way beyond just here.

Any collection is potentially a great story, passing from one to another, threading generations and spaces. All those pieces of a particular something we hold onto is perhaps also another way for us to feel less lonely and illusionary immortal too, like those stamps, coins, music, art, and so on. Yet, without looking back, armed with my magnet and Moka coffee maker, I gladly left my music collection in those six huge boxes and headed out to a new beginning in New York City, CD-less and free, ready to start “collecting” something new.

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Laura Saggers, The TVD First Date and Premiere, “Surrender”

“So. I grew up surrounded by music. My dad, although lacking any form of actual musical ability at all, LOVED music and loved it LOUD. When I was a baby and crying in my bed for attention, my parents—who would throw big dinner parties for their friends—instead of rushing in to attend to me like doting helicopter parents that they refused to be, would simply…turn the music up. I soon snapped out of it.”

“My Dad invested heavily on vinyl, speakers, and amps. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of picking out a record, carefully opening up the plastic roofing of the record player and resting the disc on the velvety base, delicately fumbling with the little needle that I would always drop on the floor, placing it carefully on the disc, and sitting back as you listened to the silence of the anticipated scratching before the music kicked in with dulcet tones of Cliff Richards while my mom and I danced around the living room singing at the top of our voice ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday.’

My dad was more of a contemporary ’80s fan. Pink Floyd, George Michael, Sting, Simple Minds, Midnight Oil, Blondie, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, INXS to name but a few—with Carly Simon thrown in for good measure.

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The Dig, The TVD First Date–and your chance to see them live in the city of your choice!

“My first record store was called Exile on Main Street. It was cleverly named as it was located on Main street in Mt. Kisco, NY where David and I grew up.”

“As a kid it was hugely intimidating. I didn’t feel quite cool enough to hang out there. To be honest I still don’t feel cool enough to hang at certain record stores. That part never really goes away. I felt way more comfortable and safe at Borders Book Store or this goofy shop called Digital Upgrade that only sold CDs. I bought CDs like The Offspring’s Smash and Salt N Pepa’s Very Necessary there.

When I was around 12 years old I started to build the avocados to browse the aisles of Exile. I would watch what other older skater kids would buy and try to seem cool and eventually had the cojones to buy a record after my dad got his old turntable working again. My first purchase there was Sly Stone’s Fresh—the one where he’s doing that badass karate kick or whatever you’d call it on the cover. I still have it, but those Salt N Peppa CDs are long gone.

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Did The Stooges really play Falls Church, VA… with photos to prove it?

Filmmaker and archivist Jeff Krulik investigates.

“When making my documentary Led Zeppelin Played Here, one of the great challenges was finding photographs of any bands playing on stage at nearby youth centers. There was simply very little documentation of either local bands or those that were on tour. Somehow I still managed to pull off a feature documentary that was not just talking heads.

So imagine my excitement when Richard Taylor finally located his snapshots of Iggy and the Stooges on stage at the Falls Church Community Center. We were able to feature some in the closing credits, but I always wanted to know how these came to be in an era when there was little-to-no documentation of bands in performance, unlike today when people are documenting their experiences endlessly. It just didn’t happen in 1970.

Richard has already posted one image on Facebook, prompting loads of responses, but there was typically no context for how it came to be—so I called him up.”

Jeff: Richard how many times did you see The Stooges?

Richard: So I saw them at the Wheaton Youth Center and then the next night in Falls Church…then I saw them, I’m pretty sure they opened for the Ramones at the Baltimore Civic Center.

Jeff: But the first time you saw the Stooges was where?

Richard: The Wheaton Youth Center.

Jeff: How did you first discover them? And what was the impetus for seeing them there?

Richard: In the late ‘60s…during the ‘60s, I liked garage rock and I liked the Stones and I liked the Beatles. Toward the end of the ‘60s things started going towards country rock which I wasn’t a fan of, so we had to search far and wide to find new sources of garage rock, basic, you know, good old rock and roll. So a friend of ours won the MC5 album Kick Out The Jams, he said “look at this album I got.” So we listened to it, and we loved it. It’s what we craved, basic rock and roll. This was like the late ‘60s, so we followed the MC5 in magazines like Rolling Stone or Creem, anything we could find.

Of course there was no internet in those days but in articles we learned that the MC5 were signed by Danny Fields, and at the time and he also signed the Stooges who were also from the Ann Arbor / Detroit area. So we said “That’s interesting, what are those guys like?” We liked the MC5 so that led us into the Stooges. Then I saw Iggy at the Cincinnati Pop Festival where he was in the crowd and then on the crowd. And he smeared peanut butter on himself.

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Greyface,
The TVD First Date

“My first memories of vinyl are of my parents’ collection, stubbornly holding space in the living room…the same way the shadow of my CD collection sits today, just kinda waiting around to die. By the ’80s, cassette was king.”

“My cassettes were my first treasures. A plastic Tupperware sleeve housed the dozen or so I’d managed to accumulate by age 10. I pored over liner notes on palm sized flaps, respectfully letting Side A and B have their say. Sloppily pirating songs from FM radio made me a curator of my own album experience. The blank cassette is where MP3 playlist culture and LP culture meet on the Venn diagram.

My love and appreciation for vinyl began in my early 20s. I noticed a lot of bands I liked, bands that didn’t sell many records, were putting out LPs. How was this technological leap backwards justified? Was it irony? Is the emperor wearing any clothes?? I had to know.

I bought a record player and some used vinyl from Amoeba, went home, and nothing was ever the same. I had an epiphany about the quality of, and attention I’d been paying to, the music I was consuming. It sounded fat (and I liked that). I reconnected with the hands-on experience I’d had with cassettes as a kid holding the gatefold and letting a song (even one I that I didn’t really like) play out.

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Brave Little Note,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl is a bit of a mystery to me…I’m not sure I’m cool enough to hang out with it. Although my parents were.”

“They had a very eclectic mix which was united only by the fact that it was pressed and presented in a lovely sleeve. The tactile nature of a record is a joy. I have their copy of Sgt. Pepper and the first Now That’s What I Call Music record—art, photos, and lyrics unashamedly splashed over the generous space. In another incarnation as a Graphic Designer I’ve had to try to squeeze artwork and text into CD proportions. Not the best. Far more scope for impact visually with vinyl.

I love the warmth and crackle of the sound of a record. There is something incredibly comforting about it. I guess it might relate to the sound of an open fire…

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Mother Mother,
The TVD First Date

“I got into vinyl late in the game. I was 28 years old and living alone for the first time in my life. My apartment was beautifully empty, and one of the first things to take up space was an old record player.”

“When I purchased the machine I grabbed 2 or 3 LPs to go along with it, but don’t recall their titles. I knew my father had well over a thousand records, lining five tall shelves in his junk-room, back home on Quadra Island. Upon my next visit, I planned to scour. It was a good haul. I left with 40 or 50 records, one of which was a long time favorite, The Byrds’ Sweetheart of The Rodeo.

I thanked my father for his generosity, and made special mention of the cosmic-cowboy classic, holding it up to unveil the sweetheart herself, a western heroine framed in a flower wreath–a beautiful album cover. As it turns out it was a different sweetheart altogether who originally gifted the LP to my father: his high school sweetheart—and my mother. It was a wedding present and although not an auspicious one, a very sweet one indeed, and one that would later bring their youngest son much joy in his sparse apartment.

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KOBA,
The TVD First Date

“My first memory of vinyl was when my parents upgraded their ancient turntable sound system for a CD HIFI unit. I inherited the record player for my room along with a bundle of records ranging from Culture Club’s Colour by Numbers to Led Zeppelin IV. It was one of those old rack turntables with a separate amplifier and old tatty brown speakers. When you switched it on, it would take a good minute to warm up. Pretty sure it had valves. It was the kind of antique that would probably be worth a small fortune now.”

“I felt like proper grown-up having the record player at my disposal. My inherited collection of vinyl was fairly eclectic thanks to my parents. I’d listen to Queen’s A Night at the Opera then quickly onto Dexy’s Too-Rye-Ay before cranking up Roxy Music or David Bowie. At that time, it didn’t really matter. I just loved each record, the way it was presented in the sleeve, the lyrics on the pullout, and even the smell of it.

My brother and I would giggle listening to records played at the wrong speed or backwards and inevitably we would try our luck at scratching. We would quickly learn that this would break the needle and ultimately, the old turntable.

Despite not really having a record player in my teens, I had a fascination of collecting unique and coloured vinyl. Mostly punk and rock records, limited releases, and anything a little bit unusual.

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Emma White, The TVD First Date and Premiere, “Not That Into You”

“I just recently watched the documentary about Tower Records, All Things Must Pass—it was so amazing (and everyone should go watch it). I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall when they first opened up.”

“I loved the stories about Elton John being the first one in the store in the morning before everyone else and how he’d buy several copies of albums he liked for each one of his houses. And Dave Grohl worked there (are you kidding me, how cool is that?) Apparently the record companies never thought it would work, but supported the store and then it did really well. It seemed to have been built on this genuine passion for music and a respect for it; something to be shared. That’s what I think of with records. It’s not so much about finding something commercial or popular, but finding something rare, special. Each album embodied, quite literally, the artist and a period of time they captured. It’s tactile and lived in—that’s what I love about them.

My main memories of vinyl stem from my parents record collection. Their favorites were John Prine, Linda Ronstadt, and Bonnie Raitt. We often played those records and danced around in the living room as little kids. However, the record that comes to mind the most and probably the one in heaviest rotation was a Christmas album, Mitch Miller & The Gang, Holiday Sing Along With Mitch. That’s when Christmas really felt like Christmas (and that album was a big reason why). My sister and I were actually at a bar back home over the holiday and asked the bartender to change the playlist to the Mitch record. It seemed like a good idea at first, but it definitely did not have the same effect being played from his iPhone.

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