“Go tell you own story/ Go chase you own dreams,” sings Auna Sims on her debut single, “Right Place,” an exploration of identity reminiscent of ’90s singer/songwriters. “I wrote this song when I was struggling with the ‘Why try again’ questions,” said Sims. Right before she was to audition for the head of the Symphony in her native city of Atlanta, she was suddenly struck by an idiopathic injury to her hand and arm–meaning it was from an unexplained source.
She was prodigiously gifted piano player who grew up the oldest of ten musically gifted children in a house where music infused everything, and had studied classical performance all throughout her childhood and adolescence. Auna was prepared to embark on a post-secondary education centered around the study of the piano. She was devastated.
Music consumed Auna though, and she persevered. Always a fan of classical music, her tastes broadened to include indie music and pop music–insofar as The Beatles and the like mean pop music. Because she had to create, because there was no version of herself that does not make songs come into being, she began to play the piano one-handed. Within these limitations, she developed her performance and her voice. She kept the music to herself and she wrote song after song.
The gang at A Badge Of Friendship are back at full capacity for this Thursday’s podcast as Ed returns from his Greek retreat.
They’re joined on the phone by very special guests, Charlotte Krol from The Line Of Best Fit and Andrew from When The Gramaphone Rings, who get down to brass tacks about why they love writing about music and give us an insight into what tracks they’ve fallen in love with this month.
You’ll barely be able to contain your excitement over the news that it’s finally happened—the features are back, and they’re weirder, cheesier, and lovelier than ever. Paul gives Run For Cover Records some love, while Claire breaks out the cheddar over Cuckoolander’s latest track, “Mother Nature,” and Ed takes us to the mashed up world of DJ BC, Philip Glass, and The Beastie Boys.
Music heard live on the show cannot be heard on this podcast but check out the tracks featured on this week’s show below:
Alice Cooper played a surprise reunion with his original band at Good Records: “Good Records has hosted many great in-store signings and shows, but Tuesday night, they made rock ‘n’ roll history when all of the surviving members of the Alice Cooper Group played an 8-song set.“
Calgary vinyl record buff get ready for annual collectors’ show: “It’s no spin — Calgarians love their vinyl. So when the Calgary Music Collectors Show holds its annual fall gathering at the Acadia Recreation Centre Oct. 25, organizers expect hundreds of audiophiles and tune treasure hunters to come through the doors.”
The 8 Best Record Shops in Bristol: “Bristol is one of the UK’s most fertile musical cities, home to post-punk legends like The Pop Group, trip-hop greats Portishead and Massive Attack, and more recently synonymous with bass-oriented bedroom producers like Julio Bashmore, Addison Groove, Joker and Shante Celeste.”
‘Dust & Grooves’: One-on-one with the world’s most obsessive record collectors: “Hypothetical situation: it’s 2008, you’re a professional photographer who’s just moved to the U.S., and you can’t find a job. Oh, and you also love vinyl. What do you do?”
The Vinyl Staircase: A New Column About Record Buying Misery By John Doran: “I have to leave the record in the bag the entire way home lest my sweaty palms, ripple the sleeve. When I get back to my flat, my hands are shaking so much I can barely put the stylus on the record. This is going to be the one – the masterpiece I’ve been waiting my whole life for.”
HMV revival continues with global plans: Music chain planning to expand its website into 10 countries and open a Dubai store next summer, “The UK music retailer has opened 14 new stores this year, with another three planned before Christmas. This is in stark contrast to early 2013 when the business collapsed under £176m of debt and 80 of its 223 shops were shut. It was rescued by the retail turnaround firm Hilco, which took on 141 high street stores and 2,600 employees.”
Mike Star was a godfather of Canada’s indie/punk scene: For 41 years, Mike Shulga, a.k.a. Mike Star, shared his taste in rock ’n’ roll with all who entered his Oshawa record store. “Shulga died suddenly on Sept. 11 while vacationing in Cuba. He was 64.”
Haçienda DJ and music writer Dave Haslam is selling his entire record collection: Manchester mainstay is looking to shift over 4,000 records, “It’s not often you get the opportunity to buy the complete record box from one of the most iconic clubs in UK music history. With close to 500 nights as resident DJ at Manchester’s Haçienda to his name, Haslam has amassed a collection that not only reflected but also defined the zeitgeist as the city’s love affair with post-punk and Factory Records rolled over into acid house and rave.”
The Rebirth of Vinyl Comes to New Jersey: “The “Garden State” might also be known today as the “Vinyl State.” Already home of many businesses that cater to the high end audio market, New Jersey now hosts a state of the art vinyl record pressing plant.”
As TVD’s Jon Pacella noted well over a year ago, “There seems to be a bit of a musical civil war going on in America. The terms have been made clear, the battle lines have been drawn, and the armies have amassed.
The battle rages over country music, and the sides couldn’t be more different. On one side, you have the shallow, commercialized pop country, basically composed of love songs with an added occasional twang, or blathering about beer, trucks, or pretty girls in tight shorts. The opposing side is deep-rooted and a bit rougher around the edges. You won’t see them topping the country charts or appearing in beer commercials, and they are determined to “put the “o” back in country,” as Shooter Jennings so eloquently put it.
What you will get, in the case of someone like Sturgill Simpson, is truth. Truth about alcoholism, truth about the struggles of getting through hard times, and truth about drugs, for better or worse.”
And currently it doesn’t seem much of a leap at all given Simpson’s empathy for stories of struggle and survival for him to have lent his critically lauded 2014 release, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music to the pink vinyl treatment for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He’s joined by a number of performers who “last year helped raise $30,000 for Gilda’s Club NYC, an organization that provides community support for both those diagnosed with cancer and their caretakers.”
Good Night and Good Riddance: How 35 Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life by David Cavanagh review – a bravura work: A biography of John Peel that weaves its way through 265 of his shows is a masterwork of close listening and scholarship
It’s Your Business: New spin for record store, “If you still like to listen to vinyl records, a new store in Urbana could be the place for you. See You CD & Vinyl opened for business this weekend in the former Error Records space at 123 W. Main St. Owner Jesse Grubbs, who will run the store with his fiancee, Alysha McDaniel, said he has been in the groove for vinyl records since he was a child.”
“I was hoping for something reasonably well done or “good enough” or attaboyish, but this rise and fall of Tower Records history is extra-level — tight, comprehensive, exacting, epic-scaled. Hanks has clearly invested rivers of feeling and loads of hard work…This thing is emotional. Especially that. If you lived through and savored the Tower Records heyday (mid ’60s to early aughts but more essentially the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s) it’ll open the floodgates big-time.”
Spinning right round: Record stores benefit from vinyl boom, “Before opening Rock Star Records, a new vinyl and CD shop in Tupelo, Leslie Jones thought about opening either a video store or a snow cone business. But after researching viable business opportunities, a sales representative told him about the recent vinyl record boom.“
The birthday card that transforms into a 7″ record player! “Essentially it’s a birthday card accompanied by a 7″ record. The idea is that, by following some ‘simple’ steps, you can transform the birthday card into a record player.“
Why Don’t Major Labels Release Rap Albums on Vinyl Anymore? “I was watching an interview with Earl Sweatshirt telling NPR’s Frannie Kelley and Ali Shaheed Muhammed that in order for him to conceive of a new album, he first imagines its cover on iTunes. The possibility of a physical release of his music wasn’t even mentioned.”
Apparently some copies of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born To Die’ LP have Wildhoney on them: “Gordon Dufresne, founder of Deranged Records, the label that released “Sleep Through It,” confirms that this is a legit error and not an elaborate stunt. “All copies of this particular pressing of the LDR record were pressed this way,” he writes via email. “A good portion will be recalled and likely recycled but lots of copies are now circulating.”
Jaime’s Local Love: Stinkweeds Record Store, “Walking the aisles of Stinkweeds brings me back to my weekends in high school perusing the records and cassette tapes at Zia Records. In fact, Zia Records is where Stinkweeds owner Kimber Lanning got her first job.”
The new teenage must-have is … a record player and vinyl collection: “Weirdly, my lad, who makes Gadget Man look like a cave man and is so technically advanced it terrifies me, asked for a record player for his birthday – and a spare stylus.“
Teach me how to hobby: Vinyl records, “You’ve seen them before: stacked in long rows at Al’s Music, hidden in suitcases at the Fremont Vintage Mall, and shining in the windows of Urban Outfitters. On the street they’re casually tucked under someone’s arm or peeking out of a rucksack. Sitting in your parents’ attic are boxes full of them.“
20 Brilliant Vinyl Record DIY Ideas You’ll Definitely Love: “If you’re planning to drop your records…or you’ve a whole bunch sitting around gathering dust, you many want to take them out right now and turn them into any of these 20 unique DIY vinyl record ideas!“
HMV to return to its old Golden Square shop: “Around two and a half years on from its collapse, HMV is said to be making a comeback, rivalling Amazon as the UK’s biggest music and DVD retailer. And the Warrington branch will now also specialise in vinyl records.“
After flood damage, downtown business community bands together: “Bob Berberich was heading home from band rehearsal on Tuesday night when he got a message from a fellow downtown Frederick business owner about water damage at his East Patrick Street record store, Vinyl Acres. By the time he arrived, shortly after 10:30 p.m., it was too late…”
Punk legend rocks downtown record store with newest book and band: “Legendary punk frontwoman and activist Alice Bag gave a reading and musical performance to fans at Going Underground Records last week to promote her newest book, ‘Pipe Bomb for the Soul.’”
A Vinyl Revolution, New vinyl shop caters to renewed interest in old form: “The music world is abuzz. Vinyl records are coming back and with a vengeance. They are the latest craze with bands and fans alike, and the trend is only growing. According to data collected by Billboard, in the first quarter of 2015 vinyl record sales had increased by 53 percent. This is no small curve.“
PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS & CLARISSA VILLONDO | As we noted with our Saturday coverage yesterday, since the days of Woodstock, the big destination rock festivals for years only occurred in England, Europe, and other exotic places.
In the past decade or two, though, there has been a concentrated effort to create big annual music festivals tied to specific U.S. locales: Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Coachella in California, the Austin City Limits in Texas, the Lollapallooza setting shop in Chicago. New Orleans and Newport kept their distinction with their particular styles of music.
Now every city seems to have its own fest, from Philly’s Made in America to Atlanta’s Shaky Knees and Dover’s Firefly. And now so does D.C.—the Landmark Music Festival.
Saturday’s recap is here. Sunday’s is one click away.