Author Archives: TVD

TVD Radar: SQÜRL, The Dead Don’t Die: Original Score in stores 9/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Dead Don’t Die is writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s unique, semi-comic take on the zombie apocalypse genre. As with his recent efforts Only Lovers Left Alive and Paterson, the film’s score was composed and performed by SQÜRL, the band Jarmusch and producer Carter Logan founded in 2009. Sacred Bones Records, the same label that released the band’s EP #260 in 2017, is releasing the LP edition of the score.

The score to the The Dead Don’t Die is a true expression of where SQÜRL stand at the center of a decade of sonic exploration. It is the culmination of their passion for analog synths, with guitar violence reverberating from the darker corners of Americana. It is at once a tribute to the classic sounds of horror and sci-fi, as well as a decapitation of traditional film scores. It is naturally supernatural. From their arsenal of tools, Jarmusch and Logan pulled electric guitars and basses made by Rick Kelly and Cindy Hulej at Carmine Street Guitars, an acoustic resonator, Moog Minitaur and Theremini synthesizers, Fender Rhodes electric piano, an old Ludwig drum kit, cheap vintage Casio and Yamaha keyboards and new synths from Critter and Guitari — all sculpted through a collection of effects pedals, notably from Earthquaker Devices.

The inspiration for SQÜRL’s score for The Dead Don’t Die came from some of the most iconic soundtracks of the past half-century of genre cinema — Tangerine Dream’s Sorcerer, Bebe and Louis Barron’s Forbidden Planet, Ennio Morricone’s The Thing and Once Upon a Time in the West, Goblin’s Dawn of the Dead, and all things John Carpenter. The singular Theremin work of Samuel J. Hoffman on films like Spellbound and The Day the Earth Stood Still also made its way into Jarmusch and Logan’s consciousness. The result is a new horror soundtrack that stands shoulder to shoulder with the great works of its genre.

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TVD’s Firefly Music Festival Must-Sees

BY OLIVIA UNG and NICK NEMPHOS | In less than a week, thousands of festival-goers will descend upon The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Delaware to attend 2014’s Firefly Music Festival.

In its third year, Firefly has expanded from a three-day to a four-day festival and features more than 100 acts over seven different stages, including headliners Foo Fighters, Outkast, and Jack Johnson. The schedule is filled with exciting new artists as well as several who have been making music for over twenty years, and each day from Thursday, June 19 to Sunday, June 22 has notable musicians that you just can’t allow yourself to miss. Here are just a very few of our favorites.

Still touring behind last year’s excellent Hummingbird, Local Natives are performing the final set on Thursday’s opening night of Firefly, and they are being given a good length of time, from 10:45 PM to 12 AM on the Backyard stage,  to stretch their legs. They should be able to incorporate a mix of some of the jauntier songs from Gorilla Manor with some of the more mature offerings from their most recent release, which should make for a great set of music. We think they have the potential to be the highlight of Firefly’s first evening, as well as one of the best acts of the festival.

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Thao & Mirah: The TVD First Date and Vinyl Giveaway

Friends and first-name-only ladies Thao & Mirah have joined forces and will be stopping by Black Cat tonight, along with BOBBY and Led to Sea. TVD Chapel Hill is also currently running a ticket giveaway for their show at Local 506 tomorrow night.

Mirah took a little bit of time out of their busy touring schedule to go on a First Date with us and reminisces about another famed collaboration, Maurice Sendak and Carole King’s Really Rosie.

When I was in first grade, I played the role of Pierre’s mother in our elementary school production of Really Rosie. My floppy hat and oversized dress, barely held up from under the heels of my clompy boots by the wide sash gathering all the extra material at my waist, made me look every bit the part of the Maurice Sendak drawing I was to bring to life. Thus began my life-long adoration of this album.

Seriously, what better collaboration could there be? And I love that it was between an illustrator/author and a songwriter. I like collaborations that cross-pollinate between mediums.

Thao & Mirah | Eleven (ft. tUnE-yaRds)

I still have my copy of Really Rosie on vinyl from back then and recently bought a vinyl copy for my five-year-old nephew. Gotta pass on the good stuff.

We’re trying to pass on the good stuff as well. For a chance to win a copy of Thao & Mirah’s self-titled LP, tell us your favorite musical collaboration in the comments below. Other than, of course, Thao & Mirah!

The winner of the vinyl will be chosen next Friday (6/17) and must have a mailing address in the continental United States or Canada.

Posted in TVD Chapel Hill | 1 Comment

TVD Recommends: Alessi’s Ark at Bella Cafe, 6/11

Last Fall we spent a week here at TVD with our friends at Yep Roc Records and in doing so, introduced you to Londoner Alessi Laurent-Marke, she of Alessi’s Ark. On Saturday, Alessi will introduce herself in person when she plays DC for the very first time at the U Street Corridor’s Bella Cafe.

Thus, a rerun of our aforementioned feature seems in order and we’ve got a brand new track for you to preview prior to your attendance on Saturday, right?

The musical avatar of Alessi Laurent-Marke, Alessi’s Ark might begun as homework but the 20 year old’s quirky, blade-sharp folk pop is mature far beyond her years. Required to play an instrument in school, Laurent-Marke took up the drums at age 11 and by her 17th birthday she had quit school to focus on music, become a Myspace sensation and signed with Virgin Records. Her debut album Notes from the Treehouse was produced by Bright Eyes/Monsters of Folk member and Rilo Kiley producer Mike Mogis, and was released on Virgin in 2009. Alessi reaped word-of-mouth support and acclaim, touring relentlessly and receiving plaudits for some stand out appearances at South by Southwest in Texas. Following parting ways with Virgin, Alessi signed with UK indie label Bella Union in 2010. Her new EP Soul Proprietor signals a new beginning for an already unusually experienced young artist.

“I’m afraid I missed the vinyl boat growing up. Cassettes, CD,s and listening to the chart show on the radio every Sunday night are what I remember best.

When I started secondary school I picked up playing the drums and joined the school bands. Discovering live music and being excited by it, I started a zine inspired and encouraged by my family’s love of music.

A special memory I hold close is of the afternoon my parents dug out old records from a cupboard under the stairs and showed us (patiently) how to lay the needle down carefully on their record player.

Alessi’s Ark | On The Plains

Seeing their hands handle records with such ease was lovely. I could imagine them playing these very same records in their bedrooms and it was such a warm feeling.

With shaky hands I persevered and eventually felt more comfortable choosing tracks and setting up the songs to play. Every detail is so special. Even slipping out vinyls from their sleeves and being able to read album credits and see the artwork on a bigger scale in the big booklets got me excited. CD booklets are minute in comparison!

Together, we got through a big stack of their favourites but the discoveries that really stuck with were ‘On My Mind’ by the Marine Girls (chosen by Dad) and ‘Trouble’ by Lindsey Buckingham (chosen by Mum.)

Parents know the good stuff!!

Though still more comfortable handling CDs and cassettes, I look forwards to sharing favourite albums with friends and family in the future, sat on the floor around the player with albums stacked around us – a picnic of sounds.”

Posted in TVD Chapel Hill | Leave a comment

The New Face of Vinyl: Youth’s Digital Devolution

TVD: Cleveland took a look at The New Face Of Vinyl, a project hopefully coming to Chicago this year!

And you thought vinyl records were dead? Not so fast.

The New Face Of Vinyl is a project that explores why young people across the United States have started a digital “devolution” by buying and listening to vinyl records. Throughout the country, young people are buying more and more vinyl, thus getting back to the analog roots of listening to music. Collecting and listening to vinyl has become a unique experience for many teens and young adults throughout the world who have chosen to explore the once forgotten black wax. Photographer Ben Meadors and writer Owen McCafferty are setting out to discover what vinyl means to these people, and will create a full color photo documentary book to tell the story.

The project at its core, explores and focuses on the cultural changes occurring as a result of this new found interest in vinyl. The reasons why vinyl has become so popular now are vast; Owen and Ben want to set out to New York City, Cleveland, Chicago, Portland and San Fransisco and talk to young record collectors, store owners and occasional vinyl-lovers to find out what keeps bringing them back for more.

After collecting all the pictures and interviews, the team will compose a 180+ page full color photo-documentary-book to tell the story, and share their experiences with the world.

Owen and Ben have chosen to use the popular organization Kickstarter to help collect donations in order to cover the traveling and printing expenses of the project.

The project won’t receive funding if $6,500.00 isn’t raised by July 31st 2011, so visit the site and make a donation to help Ben and Owen make this exciting project a reality.

Keep an eye on their site for updates, photos, and stories. You can follow the project on Twitter via @newfaceofvinyl.

Posted in TVD Chicago | Leave a comment

The New Face of Vinyl: Youth’s Digital Devolution

Check out this cool project that was covered by TVD Cleveland.  I definitely think they should add Seattle to their list of cities to visit…but without your help they may not be able to get this project on the road, so read up and help them out! – Steph

And you thought vinyl records were dead? Not so fast.

The New Face of Vinyl is a project that explores why young people across the  United States have started a digital “devolution” by buying and listening to vinyl records. Throughout the country, young people are buying more and more vinyl, thus getting back to the analog roots of listening to music. Collecting and listening to vinyl has become a unique experience for many teens and young adults throughout the world who have chosen to explore the once forgotten black wax. Photographer Ben Meadors and writer Owen McCafferty are setting out to discover what vinyl means to these people, and will create a full color photo documentary book to tell the story.

The project at its core, explores and focuses on the cultural changes occurring as a result of this new found interest in vinyl. The reasons why vinyl has become so popular now are vast; Owen and Ben want to set out to New York City, Cleveland, Chicago, Portland and San Fransisco and talk to young record collectors, store owners and occasional vinyl-lovers to find out what keeps bringing them back for more.

After collecting all the pictures and interviews, the team will compose a 180+ page full color photo-documentary-book to tell the story, and share their experiences with the world.

Owen and Ben have chosen to use the popular organizationKickstarter to help collect donations in order to cover the traveling and printing expenses of the project.

The project won’t receive funding if $6,500.00 isn’t raised by July 31st 2011, so visit the site and make a donation to help Ben and Owen make this exciting project a reality.

Keep an eye on their site for updates, photos, and stories. You can follow the project on Twitter via @newfaceofvinyl.

Posted in TVD Seattle | Leave a comment

TVD SF: The Ultimate Summer Playlist and The Stories Behind The Songs

I hope everyone survived Sasquatch/Folklife and enjoyed a weekend with some sunshine.  Luckily we have ample time to recover for Block Party and Bumbershoot.  I’m hoping sharing this post from TVD San Francisco will send Seattle the message that we are ready for the sun to stay!  I love Jason’s summertime picks and I hope you do too! – Steph

Summertime and the livings easy…

Now that Memorial Day weekend is over, it’s time to  pull together my ultimate summertime playlist. I find myself thinking of songs that remind me of my favorite summertime activities, which include, but are not limited to; drinking beer by the pool, drinking beer while grilling by the pool, and drinking beer from a keg by the pool while grilling and playing lawn darts or as they are more commonly known, “Jarts”. (Yes I am originally from the Mid-west) Now instead of giving you a clichéd list of summertime favorites put together for your next pool party or cookout, I decided to dig a little deeper and find out the stories behind a few summertime staples. The results speak for themselves.

“Feel Good Hit of The Summer” – Queens of the Stone Age– Conceived after a three-day Millennium party, backing vocals by the metal god himself Rob Halford, and a drug cocktail reference that would make Nikki Sixx blush, here’s my vote for all-time best Summer anthem.

“I Fought The Law” – The Clash – Much-covered classic originally recorded by Sonny Curtis and The Crickets (post Buddy Holly) in 1959 and famously covered by Bobby Fuller Four in 1965. Just as the song became a top ten hit, Bobby Fuller was found dead in a parked automobile near his Los Angeles home. The police considered the death an apparent suicide; however, many people still believe Fuller was murdered. The song was later covered by The Clash and then again by Green Day. The Clash version reigns supreme as it turns out that Green Day had never in fact fought the law, having only brushed up against it.

“Doin’ Time” – Sublime – “Doin’ Time” is a loose cover of “Summertime” by George Gershwin, composed for the opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics tell of a cheating girlfriend, whose infidelities and poor treatment of her lover makes him feel like he is in prison.

“Schools Out” – Alice Cooper –What’s the greatest three minutes of life asks Alice Cooper? “There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you’re just getting ready to open the presents. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you’re sitting there and it’s like a slow fuse burning.”  Cooper says, ‘If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it’s going to be so big.’”  On a seperate note;  the greatest three minutes of my life during high school can be attributed to the first time I, um, never mind.

“California Girls” – The Beach Boys – The music for the song came from Brian Wilson’s first LSD experience. According to Brian Wilson himself, shortly after taking LSD, he ran up to a bedroom and hid under a pillow, shouting “I’m afraid of my mom, I’m afraid of my dad.” Randomly, he got up, said “That’s enough of that” and went to a piano. David Lee Roth would later cover the song while suffering a different form of LSD referred to as Less Significant and Disappointing.

“Song #2” – Blur – The first time this song was played live lead singer Damon Albarn stated that “This one’s called ‘Song 2′, ‘cos we haven’t got a name for it yet”. The working title ended up sticking and the number two eventually became associated with the song. Other fun facts: it is the second track on the album, the second single from the album to be released, it reached #2 on the UK singles chart, is exactly two minutes long, and Woo-Hoo are the only 2 words you remember.

“Born To Run” – Bruce Springsteen – The prior year, Springsteen had released two albums to critical acclaim but with little commercial success. The lyrics to the song are appropriately epic for his last-ditch, all-or-nothing shot at the stars, yet they remain rooted in the universal desperation of adolescence. There is a rumor that the drums and cymbals are on separate tracks because the drum track was recorded and played backwards (the sound is consistent with backmasking and ‘tape flip’ can be heard during the middle of the first verse). Springsteen has so far offered no comment about the track’s backwardness.

“Dancing in the Streets” – Martha and the Vandellas – Written by Stevenson and Marvin Gaye, the song highlighted the concept of having a good time in whatever city the listener lived. The idea for dancing came to Stevenson from watching people on the streets of Detroit cool off in the summer in water from opened fire hydrants. The song was recorded in two takes. While produced as an innocent dance track, the song took on a different meaning when riots in inner-city America led to many young black demonstrators citing the song as a civil rights anthem to social change.  The British press aggravated singer Martha Reeves by putting a microphone in her face and asking her if she was a militant leader. The journalist wanted to know if Reeves agreed, as many people had claimed, that “Dancing in the Street” was a call to riot. To Reeves, the query was patently absurd. “My Lord, it was a party song”, she said.

“Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves – Estimates are that the song will have earned $1 million per year for the decade ending in 2010. According to a former employee of EMI, “Walking on Sunshine was the crown jewel in EMI’s catalog,” and it was one of EMI’s biggest earners from advertisers. The song is very popular in commercials and advertisers typically pay $150,000 to $200,000 per year to use the song. To put it in perspective, advertisers can get “Walking On The Sun” the mid nineties hit song from Smashmouth for about the same price as a bag of Skittles.

“Hot Fun In The Summertime” – Sly And The Family Stone – The single was released in the wake of the band’s high-profile performance at Woodstock, which greatly expanded their fanbase. It reached #2 on the U.S. pop chart and #3 on the U.S. R&B chart. Thematically, the song is a dedication to the fun and games to be had during the summer, although it has also been analyzed as a commentary on the race riots of the late-1960s. On a lighter note, if the riff sounds familiar it’s because the members of Toto have also cited it as the inspiration for “Hold the Line”.

What songs are essential to your ultimate Summertime playlist? Please join the conversation in the comment section below.


Posted in TVD Seattle | Leave a comment

TVD Portland: Pancakes And Pop Served Up For A Good Cause

Check out this show happening in Portland Sunday, May 22.  The $1 pancakes and music combo, I’m into it.  Who’s up for a little road trip? – Steph

The New York-based artist Dara Greenwald has some sturdy NW roots, having brought her stirringly political and personal work to Portland in February 2010 when she helped co-curate an exhibit at PNCA entitled Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now. Soon after that, Greenwald was diagnosed with cancer, which she is in the midst of treatment for as you read this. While she does have some healthy insurance, it’s hardly enough to cover the expenses she has incurred as a result of this diagnosis. So, her fellow arts community is raising up arms to help raise money to help stave off the piling up bills.

The first such event here in Portland is taking place on Sunday May 22nd at the art center Disjecta on 8731 N Interstate. For a sliding scale fee ($8 – $100), you can partake in a pancake breakfast and special performances by Stephen Malkmus and Rebecca Gates. The whole thing is going down from 11am until around 2pm with the music starting at noon. Screw this lazy Sunday nonsense, get up and get out for a good cause.

Posted in TVD Seattle | Leave a comment

TVD Portland: My First Record with Stephanie Schneiderman

Enjoyed reading this My First Record coming from Portland, check it out and enjoy. -Steph

Stephanie Schneiderman, former member of the folk-pop trio Dirty Martini, has just released her 7th solo album, Rubber Teardrop. It continues in the downtempo sexy electronica vibe that she cooked up with collaborator Keith Schreiner on her previous effort Dangerous Fruit but manages to turn up the heat and the intensity throughout.

I grew up in a house full of music. I have two older sisters and when we weren’t practicing on piano, French horn, clarinet and flute, we played records. We had this tiny little record player with horrible sounding speakers that kept cutting in and out. The first songwriters that stood out to me were Paul Simon, Pat Benatar and Billy Joel.

I used to play the album Glass Houses for hours while roller skating around the perimeter of my (tiny) basement absorbing the melodies and lyrics. I think what pulled me in were the stories told in the songs and Billy Joel. I loved his bravado. I loved his voice. I loved his band. And if I hear that album now I can remember the smell of my basement.

Another album that made an impact on me was Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young’s So Far. I discovered it when I was about 14 and I couldn’t get enough of the harmonies and listened to the whole album over and over again. I liked the feeling that I was taken on a ride from the beginning to the end. And I was drawn to the darker melodies which I think influence my writing to this day.

Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years is still one of my all time favorite albums. It’s an album that my parents played a lot and my earliest musical memories involve being at the beach listening to it. His songwriting is clean and poignant and creates so much room to breathe. The melody lines become that much more potent because they’re surrounded by space. Every word feels important. And then there’s so much ease about the whole thing. Most of my favorite songwriters have these same qualities.

Pat Benatar was and still is a huge inspiration for me. I’m part of the generation of young girls who stood in front of their mirrors singing her songs trying to emulate her foxiness. In The Heat Of The Night was the album I listened to a bunch. She brought such a different angle to rock and roll, a more feminine but equally bold approach. Her songs were punchy little gems and so easy to sing along to. I recently had the opportunity to open for her this last summer, and she’s still amazing.

Posted in TVD Seattle | Leave a comment

TVD Chicago: Happy 100th Birthday Robert Johnson

Happy Birthday Robert Johnson, from TVD Seattle.

This past Sunday would have been the 100th birthday of one of the most notorious figures in American music, Mr. Robert Johnson. Though he never made it big before his untimely death in 1938, at the age of 27, allegedly after drinking whiskey that had been poisoned by the jealous husband of a woman Robert had been flirting with, Johnson penned tunes that would become blues standards, and influence musicians for decades to come.

Countless musicians cite him as an influence, and his songs have been covered by everyone from Cream to The Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin.

Legend has it that Johnson’s talent stemmed from a deal with the devil himself, made at a crossroads outside Cleveland, Mississippi. Whether you believe this or not, there is no doubt the man could play some serious blues.

Posted in TVD Seattle | Leave a comment

We’re here. You should be too.

…and why not scroll though the past week to find out just why.

ALL the info you need can be found right here.

We’re out the door. See you Monday!

 

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: The First Annual Power Pop-A-Licious Festival!


Typically in this space we’re prone to some arm-twisty, “you really should come out for this!” kind of copy when we’re talking up a show and the tickets we have to put in your hands. But I don’t think we even need to go there for this one…

Suffice it to say we have a pair of tickets for both nights of the first annual Power Pop-A-Licious Music Festival taking place this coming weekend 4/30 and 5/1 in Asbury Park, NJ at the venerable Asbury Lanes—one pair per night for two winners!

Now, if in fact you’re not in the know on this one, festival founder and curator Paul Collins was kind enough to fill us in recently:

TVD: What can fans expect when they come to the Power Pop-A-Licious Festival?

Paul Collins: Fans will be treated to some of the best up and coming power pop/punk pop/garage pop bands from all over the mid west, the south, the east coast, and from as far away as Montreal and Ottawa!

What vision did you want to create when you thought of this weekend-long Pop Spectacular?

I was touring all over the country playing with all these great new bands who I really enjoyed and I thought to myself, “Why dont we have a big festival and bring them all together?!” The whole process has been really great and the bands have been so supportive and co operative it has been amazing. For me this is a whole new slant on the DIY ethic which I have been doing most of my professional career as far back as my first band The Nerves.

 

My motto now is “By the People for the People!” We are all stars at this festival all the bands are really great musicians who take their music very seriously but they also have fun which is what rock n roll is all about. Power Pop is a great and vastly unappreciated genre and I for one am doing everything in my power to make it much more visible.

I hope that if you are reading this you will get on up and come on down to Asbury Lanes because you will be in for a real treat! Eighteen amazing bands who play feel-good, bouncy, buoyant music, infectious melodies, and perfect harmonies will make this an incredible weekend to remember, I assure you! As with all first time events there will be magic in the air, and our devil-may-care DIY ethos means that no one will quite be sure of what will happen next…and girls there will be a lot of cute guys there! Keep on Rocking!

Join TVD in NJ by leaving your comment below. Let us know why you deserve to win the tickets and the most arm-twisty of the lot will win a pair for either Saturday or Sunday night’s musical confectionary. Let us know which you prefer!

We’re choosing our winners at noon on Friday, 4/29!

Posted in TVD New York City | 2 Comments

TVD AP Ticket Giveaway! The Pietasters @ The Stone Pony!

Very few bands are around for more than a few years at best. The combination of long hours together, battling egos, travel sickness from incessant touring and other “creative differences” sink a lot of great acts after just a few albums. That’s why it’s insanely remarkable that The Pietasters have been together since 1990 and are still recording and touring, captivating diehard fans and newcomers alike.

Hailing out of independent rock mainstay Washington D.C., this ska-punk band gathered much of their inspiration from established acts in the same vein like The Mighty Might Bosstones, The Skatalites, Madness, and The Specials.

The Pietasters

After conquering the D.C. scene with regular performances in the city’s essential venues like the beloved 9:30 Club (where Henry Rollins recently emceed the guys anniversary show), the band took the next natural step and began touring nationally in support of acts like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who they were only listening to a few short years before.

And woah boy, good thing they did because a pop/ska/punk paragon known as Tim Armstrong took a liking to the band’s instantly catchy sound and DIY commitment and signed them to Hellcat records, a subsidiary of the iconic Epitaph label during that fateful tour.

Bands like The Pietasters pull of a trick that many have executed poorly in the past, and that is the artful incorporation of reggae elements into a guitar/bass/drums rock format. Add a bright horn section, some catchy, accessible lyrics and a unwavering commitment to making the audience dance and you’ve got a great act with a sound that has lasted well over two decades now.

The Pietasters are veterans of AP, perhaps most notably in recent years with a performance at The Bouncing Souls Home For The Holiday’s Annual Extravaganza in ’09. They’re back again and are hitting The Stone Pony this Thursday, April 28th with great support acts Lost In Society, Bad Case Of Big Mouth, Political Party Crashers, and East Coast Black Out. And as a VERY SPECIAL TREAT, H.R. front man to the seminal punk group Bad Brains, will be giving a very special performance, too. I am predicting in my infinite rock wisdom that he will show up in The Pietasters set, more than likely.  Sounds pretty historic to me!

The One, The Only, The Legendary H.R. Of Bad Brains

YOU can win a pair of tickets to the show by entering your name below! I’ve got 5 whole pairs to giveaway, so don’t say I never gave you anything! Winners will be chosen at random at noon on Wednesday. Good luck, and see you there!

The Pietasters @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
Thursday 4/28
Doors 6:30 PM/ All Ages

XOXO
Ang

Posted in TVD New York City | 2 Comments

The TVD Preview Week: The First Annual Power Pop-a-licious Festival w/ The Spectacles!

If you’re like us, you’re loading up the car this weekend and heading up I-95N to Asbury Park, NJ to bask in the hook-laden scrum that will be the first annual Power Pop-A-Licious Festival at Asbury Lanes.

As we told you during this morning’s chat with the Festival’s founder and curator Paul Collins, all week here at TVD we’ll be cheking in with a number of the bands you’ll hear this weekend, and first up are three guys/four eyes—Silver Spring, MD’s The Spectacles!

Vinyl Memories, from The Spectacles
In the early 1980s I was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, playing drums in a power pop band called the Item and sharing an apartment with the band’s singer/guitarist, J.P. McDermott. Taking up nearly an entire wall of our apartment’s living room was a massive spring-loaded shelving unit. Along the bottom were our commingled LPs, an alphabetical vinyl monument to our musical tastes.

Nestled somewhere near the middle of the records was an interesting 10-inch disc. Its surface was totally smooth, not a single groove. It was a vinyl blank, of the sort a recording machine would cut into. These machines were once common in U.S. cities. (It’s what Elvis Presley made his first recording on, for his mama.) This particular empty disk was a placeholder, a reminder of where we’d put the Item record when it came out: after an Insect Surfers LP (on the local Wasp label) and before the heady triumvirate of Joe Jackson/the Jags/the Jam.

The Spectacles | All Torn Up Over Tina

One of us had picked up the strange artifact at a thrift shop, from whence many of our classic records came: scratchy Tamla 45s; Beatles singles, with the former owners’ names inked neatly on the swirly orange/yellow Capitol label; a “Frampton Comes Alive” double album, pot seeds still stuck in the gatefold between the two halves.

More modern music came from a tiny, poorly-stocked record store near our apartment. A guy named Greg used to come in every few weeks and try to sell the owner promotional copies of LPs he’d bought heap from hard-up DJs. You could always tell which ones had passed through Greg’s hands because there’d be a rectangular slice out of the cover, the place where he had razored out the embossed words “For radio station use only.” Sometimes he would try to hide the evidence behind a sticker that read “Factory sealed for your protection.” (I’m looking at one of those records now: The Greg Kihn Band’s “Glass House Rock,” on Beserkley.)

There was a whole constellation of vinyl emporia back then: Peaches, Waxie Maxies, The Wiz, Kemp Mill Records. You could get your Air Supply and your Queen, but you could also get your Elvis Costello and your Nick Lowe. Our tastes tended toward the latter.

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Posted in TVD Asbury Park | Leave a comment
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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