Author Archives: Special to TVD

Albi & The Wolves,
The TVD First Date

“Hello. My name is Chris but people know me as Albi, I play in a three-piece Americana trio Albi & The Wolves and we come from Auckland, New Zealand.”

“I have read on this site that a lot of people grew up with vinyl in their life and while that makes me happy to hear I was not so fortunate. Vinyl hit me just after I flunked university and moved to the cultural capitol of New Zealand, Wellington. The city was thriving with young people, fantastic coffee, and the best music scene in the country. It has an arty but grimy feel to it, and it was here that I opened my sister’s old record player for the first time.

Sadly that year of my life was not my happiest. Wellington was fantastic but me and my girlfriend at the time were fighting a lot. To make things worse, we lived in a one-room apartment together. The only way we could get a little space from one another was to listen to some music and when I say this, I mean it. That little red record player possibly saved my life. We found common ground on a variety of classic albums, and usually by the time we had listened to one or two, the air cleared and we could come back together.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Velvet Starlings,
The TVD First Date

“For me, vinyl is just the best way to go about listening to music. All of my favorite artists have released on vinyl from the old school ’60s bands to Jack White, so it makes perfect sense I would dig vinyl over digital streaming, as it just has that vintage low-fi crackle I can hear in my studio or bedroom speakers.”

“In my generation everything is digital and it’s just mastered for laptop or earbud speakers. I learned a lot about recording in my recording arts program in high school and I also was exposed to analog and digital recording studios as a child. When I was 11 I went out to my local record store, $25 in hand, and purchased The Piper at The Gates of Dawn. I flipped back and forth between both sides all night long listening on repeat.

My mom and my dad both had cool vinyl collections most of which got warped, but I did manage to find a lot of cool record covers. My Dad said he once had a Beatles Strawberry Fields limited edition red picture disc in the shape of a strawberry that got lost during his move to the US or stolen by one of his mates. My mom also had original green 7″ vinyl of “Green River” and the LP of Soundgarden that were given to her by the bands when she booked them, but those were broken or stolen.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Wylder,
The TVD First Date

“Being born in the late ’80s, I initially missed out on much of the enchantment of listening to records on vinyl. Growing up, I lived with my dad and my grandparents—all of whom seemed to treat records as a sort of relic of the past. They did, however, have a great phono sound system from the late ’70s that sat gathering dust in the basement where I also happened to live.”

“This is where you’d likely expect me to detail how I uncovered that old system and sat enthralled, listening to records until I wore them out. Not the case. My grandparents only had one Johnny Cash record and a bunch of other ’70s country artists that I couldn’t appreciate at the time. Truthfully, my dad and I mostly listened to cassettes of Michael Jackson.

The sound system and records all sat there unused until I was in college and my grandparents started thinking about giving things away—that natural feeling when you get older, I guess. I had started playing drums in high school so they knew I was into music, and they made sure I got the sound system.

From there, I started collecting the kind of music that just feels meant for vinyl—Motown records, The Beatles discography, and gems from the era I grew up in like Paul Simon’s Graceland or anything from Prince. I have over 200 records now from Bowie and Marvin Gaye to Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, and Lou Reed. I have found that I’m always willing to take a chance on something new, too. Occasionally I’ll see a random record in a bin and just know I have to get it. That’s how I ended up with this DC church gospel record from the ’70s that’s just incredible. I can’t explain this “skill” I have—I’ve certainly had a couple of misfires and brought home something truly unlistenable, but surprisingly it usually works out pretty well.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Brasko,
The TVD First Date

“My first experience with vinyl was with Utopia’s Deface the Music.

“I was 14 and was just trying to write songs, but the only way I knew how was to mimic The Beatles. I learned every part of every song and even had impressions of each Beatle. One day I heard a sarcastic little tune with thumpy drums coming from my basement: “I just want to touch you… do you want to touch me tooo.” I ran downstairs.

“Dad, WHAT Beatles record is this?”

He goes, “It’s Todd (Rundgren).” He hands me this old, dusty record with four shaggy dudes dressed like (but definitely not) The Beatles. It was perfect.

Then I learned the whole back story. Todd built his career on giving labels the middle finger. He had a side project called Utopia, and after turning in a single to the label, they said it “sounded too Beatles-y,” so he made a whole record mimicking The Beatles.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Jess Clinton,
The TVD First Date

“I had always been fascinated by the small stack of records in my father’s backyard recording studio.”

“I loved how big and square the covers were—being a kid obsessed with visual art at the time. The large black disc that slid in and out perfectly sized, and the smell of the slowly softening dust-jackets that clocked in with a scent just a few decades younger than the sweet musk of grandma’s house.

Dad showed me which of the LPs were those of his first bands upon moving to Los Angeles in the 1970s. Timber, the Volunteers, The George Clinton Band (copies of which can be found unseldomly and understandably miscategorized in the funk section of many a record store nation-wide). The soundtrack to a questionable 1980 biblically-inspired rock musical in which he had an integral part. In conjunction, this was when I first heard the term “cult following.” Eager to explore these new sound eras for myself, I was disappointed to hear that while the records remained, we had, in fact, no means to play them.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Delhi 2 Dublin,
The TVD First Date

“My relationship with vinyl started when I was a kid in the early ’80s, and more than the records themselves it was almost like an infatuation with the look of my dad’s player. He had a Dual that he bought in Singapore before emigrating to Vancouver. It was sitting in a really cool looking teak enclosure with a sprung plinth and dark plastic cover—it just looked so badass to me, yet so clean and modern at the same time.”

“My dad didn’t have a huge record collection, probably because of the cost of shipping his belongings over from Singapore, but there was this one Bollywood record of his that I loved—Salma & Sabina Sing The Hits Of Abba In Hindi. I loved the flip open cover and would stare at the two beautiful women sitting in the convertible forever. I am confident that my love for ABBA to this day is due to my introduction to them through the Hindi versions of their hits. In my 20’s I gave that record to a DJ friend of mine, so it’s in good hands, but I sure wish I had it back now.

About five years ago, when I finally had the space, I went and grabbed that same turntable from my dad and had it refurbished and got it working smooth like butter. (I also grabbed his late ’70s pioneer speakers to maximize that full round warm sound.) However, I had to set some clear boundaries as to what type of vinyl I’m allowed to buy so that I don’t go spending all my money looking for rare Bollywood versions of popular songs, and more importantly I wanted my vinyl collection to be something special—full of songs and albums that I don’t listen to on the everyday while streaming, where I mostly listen to new rap and trap stuff.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: Dead
& Company at Wrigley Field, 6/15

WORDS AND IMAGES: TAYLOR NETTNIN | Dead & Company packed Chicago’s Wrigley Field on Saturday, June 15th, closing out their two night run on their 2019 Summer Tour. The day started off with threats of thunderstorms, but dead heads were able to rejoice as the skies cleared up just in time for the crowd to dance and cheer all night long.

Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart (drums), Bill Kreutzmann (drums), and Bob Weir (guitar) were joined by Oteil Burbridge (bass), Jeff Chimenti (keys), and John Mayer (guitar) to perform a slew of jams that the stadium recited word for word. The members of Dead & Company delivered a thrilling performance that did not feel overpowered by any single member; everyone seemed so comfortable playing with each other, at times it felt like the crowd was witnessing magic being created.

The first set started with a dazzling rendition of “Terrapin Station,” followed by “Sugar Magnolia,” “Mr. Charlie,” “High Time,” “Friend of the Devil,” and “Bertha.” They then played a stunning cover of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” before closing out their set with “Turn On Your Lovelight.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD Chicago | Leave a comment

Diplomats
of Solid Sound,
The TVD First Date

“My first introduction to vinyl records came through the mysterious RCA console in my parents’ living room and the modest stack of records they owned.”

“The console looked like a piece of furniture, but if you slid the top panel back it revealed a record player, a radio tuner, and some dials for EQ. It truly was a work of art. Inside the compartment was an assortment of 45s and LP records. My parents had rock-n-roll 45s including Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Bill Haley and the Comets. They had pop classics like The Crew Cuts, Harry Belafonte, Trini Lopez. They even had some big band jazz like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Glenn Miller

They had fewer LPs: Sinatra, Nat King Cole, the film soundtrack to West Side Story, Henry Mancini, some Christmas albums, and a few kid’s records like The Chipmunks. Their collection was somewhat eclectic and arbitrary.

My brother and I flipped out when we first heard the Elvis Presley 45 “Heartbreak Hotel.” What a menacing tune! It had dark lyrics about loneliness and despair. The spooky sound of the record set a brooding mood, and Scotty Moore’s staccato guitar breaks are the stuff of legend!

Back in the day, we had limited access to the music we wanted to listen to. That’s why vinyl took on such an esteemed position in a music lover’s life. Sure, you had the radio at home and in the car, jukeboxes at a diner or pizza place, and the sounds emanating from your TV or local movie theater screen, but vinyl records were your possession. You’d listen to them over and over, gaze at the artwork, and read the liner notes. Fascinating!

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Holdan,
The TVD First Date

“My first experience with vinyl was when I was about 7 or 8 and I saw that my Mom had a turntable.”

“In movies and on TV I’d seen DJs using turntables to scratch the records, and I asked my Mom if she could pull her record player out, and the minute she put the first record on I started scratching and she completely lost it and was like, “that damages them!”

I was so confused and so she sat me down and taught me how turntables worked and showed me a different way to listen to music with vinyl. We spent the whole day going through so many old gospel records. Then when I was around 13 I bought my first records: Calvin Harris, 18 Months and Mumford and Sons, Babel were among the first few.

My relationship with vinyl has only grown. I’m regularly digging through the $1 bins at record stores and finding the most obscure record they have—it just blows my mind that a song can be lost, and then someone can rediscover it.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Anna Dellaria,
The TVD First Date

“It’s as though I’m sitting there with the singer right in front of me and the band not far behind every time I put on vinyl. It’s my favorite part about the experience. I’ve always been drawn to the intimacy of holding the audio right there in your hands, waiting for it to start once you put the needle down, and then the feeling of joy that follows those first notes.”

“When I was 12 years old my grandparents gifted me the most beautiful vintage vinyl player. Made of soft wood and a tail of radio cables down the back (for the modern times then), it sat promptly in my bedroom growing up. I always thought there was something cool about the fact that this old, wise vintage player could be loaded up with records from ahead of its time. Nirvana, D’Angelo, Beyonce, and more. Similarly, I always figured it felt like home when I put on my favorite classics of Etta James, Nina Simone, Ottis Redding, Mahalia Jackson, Mozart, and more.

In such a digital age, we’ve come to select music by genre. Do you want upbeat 181 BPM pop today? Or only the latest in rap? That’s the first thing you see when you open Spotify (at least for me). Growing up, I loved such a wide range of music that was influenced by moments growing up. My sixth-grade crush looooved The Beatles and The Ramones, so I found as many records as I could and learned them all. Even went ahead and faux moshed at whatever shows we could get into.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

The Habits,
The TVD First Date

“When I think about vinyl, my dad and grandfather come to mind.”

“When I was younger, artists like Ray Charles or Johnny Cash would echo through my grandparents’ house from my grandfather’s record player. I instantly gravitated to the catchiness and genius ear worm melodies of the classics without really understanding why.

It’s just the perfect mix of music and lyrics that’s been around since the birth of vinyl that triggers something inside of you. My dad always talked about how he would collect records and listen to all of the newest music with his friends. He showed me Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac, just real rock ‘n’ roll.

One of my favorite movies is, Almost Famous. In it, the main character is given a large record collection from his older sister. That in itself is a testament to how big and important of a connection music and vinyl can be.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Field Division,
The TVD First Date
and Video Premiere, “River in Reverse”

“Vinyl is warmth, real grit, and tangible music come to life.”

“I’ll never tire of the ceremonial movement of putting on a new record. When the wax meets the needle and music casts a spell upon the room… few things make you appreciate the art of an album like listening to vinyl. No ads, no true distractions, just sound waves spinning on a table. Slowly my collection has grown since I got my first (shitty) record player at 19 and ever since I joined a record of the month club that my friends started (Vinyl Me, Please), I’ve been adding vinyl I wouldn’t normally seek out.

Nowadays I mostly search for rare Beatles pressings or in particular, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass because the copy I bought has Santana as the third disc. (!!!) When we’re on tour we search for three things in every town: good coffee, vegan food, and the best vinyl store, of course. My hope for the future is that vinyl lives on through this crazy age of streaming, for the sake of art and for the sake of all of us who create it.” —Evelyn

“My first memories of vinyl being played in my family’s home were very formative, and a lot was in the collection.”

“Anything from Simon & Garfunkel to Nat King Cole to ZZ Top got play, and I was as much fascinated by the music as I was the physical aspect of a spinning platter with a needle being dragged within the grooves of its surface to produce this glorious sound. It was contagious, what putting on a vinyl record did to a dead room.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Annika Grace,
The TVD First Date

“My first date was in December of 2015 filled with awkward silences, small talk, lingering eye contact and sweaty palms… with my record player.”

“But after the first flip of the vinyl, and onto the next side of Joni Mitchell, I realized the deep love I already had for the static sound coming out of this box on my floor. I fell in love instantly with the grooves and scratches that made each record unique—they had a life of their own before they graced my bedroom.

The angelic, old sound that came from each record became my relaxation in a world of Beats, UE Booms and Alexas. I’ve had many first dates since that and have fallen for old artists and fairly new artists such as Birdy, 1975, Ben Howard, and the classics like Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac.

I grew up with half of my childhood in sunny California and the other half in cold, windy Chicago so my music has a flare for the dramatics. The sadder the song the better, I say. I want to feel something, and if you can’t make my heart race or make me question my existence, the universe, and everything in between in our first date, you may not be the one for me. Like I said—flare for the dramatics. I love men the way I love my music, mysterious and downright frustrating at times.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Luna Shadows,
The TVD First Date

“When I was a little girl, I used to sit in my parents’ basement alone for hours with my mom’s childhood record collection on repeat, spinning on her old yellow travel player. I remember deciding which record to listen to by which sticker I liked the best. With such a method in place, I ended up looping the pink stickered “Put Your Hand In The Hand” by Ocean quite a bit, as my affinity for pink and pop songs knew no bounds.”

“It wasn’t long before the dark blue stickered single “Ben” by a young Michael Jackson made it into heavy rotation. I remember thinking that the vocalist was a girl, but my mom euphemistically relayed to me that it was actually a sonic snapshot of the biggest pop star of all time approaching puberty, singing about a pet rat. I remember picking up the needle and starting this one over and over, singing along until I knew every word, imagining a cartoonishly cute pet rat. I didn’t own any pets, so even a pet rat was really appealing at the time.

These are not only my earliest memories of vinyl but also some of my earliest memories of music. Sharing a vocal range with a young MJ in my quiet basement was one of my first attempts at imitation singing. Maybe it’s a bit surface level to choose a song by its sticker, but I actually still pick vinyl by its artwork to this day. For me personally, the vinyl experience is perhaps even half visual. Watching a record spin is a hypnotic and meditative activity for me.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Freekbass, The TVD
First Date and Premiere of “R U Ready” and Vinyl Giveaway

“Vinyl, and the whole album experience, has always been an analogue fantasy for me. The warm tones you get from the needle in the grooves was something lost in the digital and CD realm. Then there is the cover art, a tangible connection you can hold in your hands, making the listening experience more fantastical, bringing you into the artists’ world they have created.”

“My parents always had vinyl around the house while I was growing up. My father was a big Joe Cocker fan. I remember the Mad Dogs & Englishmen album cover like it was yesterday. I was always confused, because I would hear Cocker’s version of “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” and sometimes I would hear The Beatles version. I didn’t understand how there could be two versions of the same song.

Now, this might sound strange, but as much as I remember how the record sounded and looked, I also remember the smell: the combination of the cardboard-cover mixed with vinyl scent of the album. It was an all part of immersive experience for this kid.

When got older, I would go to second-hand/thrift stores a lot. Partially for financial reasons and partially for the cool finds. As much as music was everything to me, I never bought a lot of recorded music growing up. If I ever had the extra money, I was spending it on music gear (bass strings, cables, amp and guitar repairs, etc).

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 1 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