Author Archives: TVD HQ

TVD Radar: Miss Pat:
My Reggae Music Journey
from Patricia Chin, founder of VP Records, in stores 3/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The book, decades in the making, will be of interest to music fans (especially reggae, soca and calypso) as well as those interested in NYC cultural / immigrant success stories, entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment. It tells the important history of Patricia Chin, 84-year-old co-founder of VP Records, whose 60-year journey in music has taken her from Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaica, Queens, and far beyond.

It would be an understatement to say that reggae matriarch Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin has seen and accomplished a great deal in her life. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1937, she helped build a reggae empire in her homeland (the Randy’s Record Mart store and Studio 17; where the careers of artists ranging from Bob Marley & the Wailers to Augustus Pablo and Toots & The Maytals were started and nurtured) alongside husband, Vincent “Randy” Chin.

After nurturing one of her children, reggae music, alongside her four children throughout the ‘70s, she uprooted her business and family to emigrate to New York in 1978, landing in Queens, where she still lives today. At that point another challenging and fascinating journey—the history of VP Records, “the world’s largest reggae label” (New York Daily News, Jared McCallister)—began.

VP was—and is—  family owned-and-run business, and a deeply important and inspiring American immigrant success story. VP’s first release was in 1979 and the history of the label, which built a new wave of reggae legends from scratch, including Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Lady Saw and Sean Paul, can be heard and seen in the acclaimed deluxe 2019 VP box set, Down In Jamaica: 40 Years of VP Records.

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In rotation: 1/20/21

Pittsburgh, PA | Netflix’s ‘Archive 81’ filming in North Side and Downtown Pittsburgh: In November, a random group of visitors walked into The Government Center, an independent record store on Pittsburgh’s North Side, with no interest in making a purchase. “They came in to search out specific locations,” said owner Josh Cozby, referring to film scouts for Netflix’s production company, looking for spaces to shoot a horror series, “Archive 81.” According to Netflix, when archivist Dan Turner takes a mysterious job restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from 1994, he finds himself reconstructing the work of documentary filmmaker Melody Pendras and her investigation into a dangerous cult. …He said the plan was to have the shop look like a record store in the 1990s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They set up some tables outside and used record bins and hung old posters from that era in the windows.

New York, NY | Rough Trade NYC Record Store and Concert Venue to Relocate: In sad news for music lovers, Rough Trade NYC will close its Williamsburg location in the spring and will relocate to another, yet-to-be announced city location in the summer. During the intervening months, Rough Trade’s online record store,, will continue to serve patrons with its emphasis on pre-orders, weekly new releases, exclusive editions and sale back catalogue. The current NYC store – a 10,000 square foot ex-warehouse building located between Kent and Wythe on North 9th Street – was converted by Rough Trade using over a dozen shipping containers, creating a giant record store with intimate venue space, opening late 2013 in response to the growing deficit of record stores in the city. With the store relocation, Rough Trade NYC’s concert venue, operated in partnership with The Bowery Presents, will not re-open in its current location. As a concert venue, Rough Trade NYC opened with two nights of the band Television in 2013 and has since produced hundreds of events annually.

Grand Junction, CO | Triple Play Records helps save Mesa Theater: Independent venues are among the industries hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic. COVID-19 has cancelled concert after concert, ultimately shutting the doors to all performances for months. Locally, Mesa Theater has been facing these financial hardships. Rick Christensen, Mesa Theater manager, says, “we’ve just been spending more than we’ve ever been making.” Previously the venue received a grant from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, as well as money from the Paycheck Protection Program. However, the federal funding fell short as Mesa Theater had to pay employees, the mortgage, and other expenses. Still, the manager is optimistic there is a light at the end of the tunnel. …In the meantime, Mesa Theater’s neighbor, Triple Play Records, is lending a helping hand. The record store donated racks of vinyls to the theater, and all profits go towards “saving the stage.” Matthew Cesarrio, Triple Play Records manager, says, “we had a really good year. The community came out and helped us in 2020, while the Mesa Theater didn’t have that option. We see it as a huge thing to give back to them because without the Mesa Theater we can’t see live music.”

Iowa City, IA | Furniture, vinyl, watches and paintings: Inside Ulysses Modern, Iowa City’s newest vintage shop: Ryan Quinn attended auctions and scoured thrift stores and junkyards for car parts with his family as a kid. In his teen years, he started searching on his own for punk rock albums from artists like The Clash. These days, he travels thousands of miles a month in his minivan, hunting down art, watches, vintage denim, mid-century modern furniture or anything else that catches his eye in a process he calls “picking.” “I started getting interested in mid-century modern 12, 13 years ago, really just by chance,” Quinn said. “I’d been a record and vinyl collector and I was out all the time looking for records.” His interest led him to open a store in Cedar Rapids called First Class Finds, with Dave Owens. That first business venture didn’t work out, but Ryan ended up working with Owens again for two years at Mad Modern.

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TVD Radar: Neil Young, Way Down in the Rust Bucket live 4LP and film in stores 2/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Neil Young announces the release of Way Down in the Rust Bucket, a never-before released, incendiary and essential live album and concert film documenting a legendary 1990 show with Crazy Horse in Santa Cruz, California.

Available for pre-order today and out on February 26, 2021, Way Down in the Rust Bucket features the debut public performances and much of the songwriter’s grungy, cranked-up 1990 album, Ragged Glory. Vinyl, CD and Deluxe box sets will be available via The Greedy Hand Store at Neil Young Archives and music retailers everywhere and digitally via NYA and all DSP’s. Purchasers of Way Down In The Rust Bucket from the Greedy Hand Store will also receive free hi-res digital audio downloads from the Xstream Store © at NYA.

After recording Ragged Glory at Broken Arrow Ranch in the spring of 1990 and releasing it that September, Young and Crazy Horse took the stage at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz on November 13 to unleash the songs upon a live audience. In true Crazy Horse fashion, the incendiary show ran across three sets and over three hours, with songs like “Love and Only Love” and “Like a Hurricane” hypnotically stretching past ten minutes.

The Catalyst gig also marked the first time “Danger Bird”—a cut from Young’s 1975 album Zuma—was played for a live audience, thundering on into psychedelic six-string fireworks. Other live debuts on Way Down in the Rust Bucket include “Surfer Joe and Moe the Sleaze,” “Love to Burn,” “Farmer John,” “Over and Over,” “Fuckin’ Up,” “Mansion on the Hill,” and “Love and Only Love.”

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In rotation: 1/19/21

Santa Maria, CA | Why is vinyl so popular among indie artists? …You might think, given that vinyl records are quite expensive, that only big artists like Fleetwood Mac (who have the most number of records sold today), Beyonce, and Harry Styles are releasing music on vinyl records. Wrong! Even the new indie acts are releasing vinyl records too. One example is Ty Segall, an American multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and record producer. They keep pressing vinyl records for their releases. In an interview with Fast Company, they said they sell more from vinyl than from CDs. “We sell significantly less CDs than records at shows,” says Emily Epstein, who drums in the band. “Sometimes we’ll only sell one or two CDs a night. Records are still always king in terms of what people want at our merch table.” When asked why they think this is so, they agreed that it’s because of the user experience.

Winchester, VA | It’s yesterday once more as vinyl album sales surge: Celina Loving drove more than an hour from her home in Harrisonburg to check out the music being sold at the Ear Food record store on Weems Lane in Winchester. “I do love The Bee Gees,” Loving said with a smile as she happened upon a copy of the 1980 album “After Dark” by the music-making family’s youngest member, Andy Gibb. The 23-year-old Loving said she inherited a passion for music from her parents, who compiled a major collection of vinyl records before she had even been born. “I grew up going to Rush, REO Speedwagon, Def Leppard concerts with my dad,” Loving said. “My mom brought a love of ’60s music into my life.” Most young adults today buy music on CD or download it from online services like Apple’s iTunes and Google’s Play — assuming, that is, if they buy it at all. Free and subscription-based online music services allow listeners to stream any song they want, any hour of the day or night. …”I’m an old soul,” Loving said about her love of vinyl. “I’m off today and this is what I love to do, so I’m treating myself.”

Waukesha, WI | Lawyer opens Nostalgia Music & More in Waukesha: A lawyer is bringing his favorite nostalgic pastimes to downtown Waukesha, with a buy, sell and trade business featuring video games, records and his favorite niche — vinyl video game soundtracks. Stephen Howitz officially opened the doors to his shop Nostalgia Music and More, 321 W. Main St., on Jan. 5. “I’m actually a lawyer by day,” he said. “When you tell people that you’re a lawyer and you’re going to open a record store, they usually think you’re drunk … I do law in the morning and in the afternoons I’m here. I do it on nights and weekends too.” The business also has two arcade games which are available for the public to play for free, as Howitz said he’s trying to attract people to hang out at the business as well. “It’s a mix of new or used vinyl depending on what you’re looking for,” he said. “(It’s) quality, not quantity … and we specialize in video game vinyl, which is weirder and nerdier.”

Bandcamp Vinyl Pressing Service is Here, and It Works: Vinyl sales on Bandcamp are booming: last year, fans bought 2 million LPs through the site, double the year prior. And for the artists and labels who sell vinyl, it now makes up 50% of their overall revenue. Yet only 12% of the albums with sales on Bandcamp in 2020 offered a vinyl version, leaving a large source of potential artist revenue on the table. The primary reasons for this are that producing vinyl is expensive, and therefore risky, and dealing with fulfillment and returns can be incredibly time consuming. So a few years ago, we started work on a service to make it easy for a whole lot more people to start pressing records. In 2019, we began rolling out the Bandcamp Vinyl Pressing Service to a small group of pilot artists. The service eliminates risk, since your fans’ orders—not you—finance the pressing.

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We’re closed.

We’ve closed the HQ today for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores, either online, curbside, or with some sound social distancing?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here tomorrow, 1/19.

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In rotation: 1/15/21

Harry Styles’ ‘Fine Line’ Leads 2020’s Record-Breaking Year for Vinyl Album Sales in U.S. Harry Styles’ Fine Line helped U.S. vinyl album sales achieve yet another banner year — their highest total in 30 years of tracking — as the set closed 2020 as the top-selling vinyl album, according to MRC Data. The set sold 232,000 copies on vinyl during the tracking year (Jan. 3 through Dec. 31, 2020). …Vinyl album sales totaled 27.54 million in 2020, up 46.2% compared to 2019. 2020 marked the 15th consecutive year vinyl album sales grew, and the largest year for vinyl album sales since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991. Vinyl LP sales also saw their best sales week ever in the MRC Data era, when 1.84 million vinyl albums were sold in the week ending Dec. 24, 2020. Vinyl LP sales were the third-biggest-selling album format in 2020, trailing two formats that both declined: CDs (40.12 million; down 26%) and digital albums (34.39 million; down 12.5%).

Rare David Bowie vinyl demo featuring the track Run Piper Run heads to auction: The previously unreleased demo which is backed by Ace Kefford’s Lay Your Head Upon My Shoulder will go under the hammer later this week. A rare slice of David Bowie memorabilia will go under the hammer later this week in the shape of a 7-inch vinyl demo of the previously unreleased track Run Piper Run. The song was recorded in 1967 and is backed by Lay Your Head Upon My Shoulder by The Move co-founder Ace Kefford – a track that would resurface on the 2003 album Ace (The Lost 1968 Tapes). The disc will head to auction on Friday (January 15) at the Wessex Auction Rooms in Chippenham, England, with the online bidding set to get under way at 10.30am BST. The disc is estimated to fetch between £6000 and £8000 and a snippet of Run Piper Run can be listened to below. In July 2020, an unreleased Bowie demo of I Do Believe I Love You sold at the Wessex Auction Rooms for £18,000. The Bowie/Kefford disc will be just one of the vinyl offerings on the day, with a focus particularly on punk rarities and demos.

Black Sabbath announce reissues of classic Dio-fronted albums: Black Sabbath have announced the reissue of their first two albums to feature Ronnie James Dio as frontman, 1980’s Heaven and Hell and 1981’s Mob Rules. Dio officially joined the group in 1979, replacing then-ousted singer Ozzy Osbourne. Teaming with guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward, Dio added a new dynamic layer to the band’s classic sound, resulting in some of the strongest material in the Sabbath catalog. Heaven and Hell marked his triumphant debut with the group, delivering such classic tunes as “Neon Knights,” “Die Young” and the title track. Positive reviews and strong sales welcomed the album, and Sabbath soon returned to the studio with Dio to record a follow-up, Mob Rules. The 1981 LP – which also featured the arrival of drummer Vinnie Appice – boasted further classics, including “The Sign of the Southern Cross” and “Turn Up the Night.” In addition to offering both original albums in remastered form, the new editions of Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules feature extensive bonus material.

Saana vinyl record cabinet by Tenho Design: Scandinavian brand Tenho Design has developed its Saana storage unit specifically to house vinyl collections, with doors that allow users to exhibit their favourite record sleeves. Clear displays are integrated into Saana’s wooden frame and can be regularly updated to allow users to showcase their best-loved records and personalise their space. In this way, the design hopes to celebrate the “mind-blowing cover art of vinyl records” that is normally hidden in storage. “Vinyl records have certainly made a comeback. But where to store these precious black things? That was the question that needed a reasonable answer,” explained Tenho Design. “We want to emphasize the often mind-blowing cover art of vinyl records. Having a look at the sleeves and covers is a big part of the vinyl hobby,” the brand continued. “By changing sleeves in our cabinet every now and then, you can put on a pop art exhibition of your own.”

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TVD Radar: John Coltrane, Lush Life ‘Small Batch’ limited edition reissue in stores 2/19

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings is thrilled to announce their Small Batch series—a carefully curated audiophile collection devoted to creating the highest quality vinyl reissues of legendary recordings from their vast catalog.

Each album selected for the series will undergo all-analog mastering, and then be pressed on 180-gram vinyl in a one-step lacquer process—as opposed to the standard three-step process—allowing for the highest level of musical detail, clarity, and dynamics while reducing the amount of surface noise on the record. The limited nature of these pressings guarantees that each record is a true representation of the original lacquer and is as close as the listener can get to the original recording. Authentic sound, distilled to its purest form.

Each pressing, available exclusively on, will be individually numbered and housed in a foil-stamped, linen-wrapped slipcase featuring an acrylic inset of the original artwork. The vinyl disc—extractable through a unique frictionless ribbon pull tab—will be housed in a reproduction of the original album jacket, complete with tip-on jacket, and protected by an archival-quality, anti-static, non-scratching inner sleeve. New liner notes from some of music’s best educators, historians, and journalists will accompany each title.

Launching the Small Batch series will be John Coltrane’s iconic 1961 album, Lush Life—celebrating its 60th anniversary this year—available on February 19th and limited to 1,000 copies worldwide. For this reissue, the original analog tapes—recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s Hackensack, NJ studios—were sent to GRAMMY®-Award winning mastering engineer Bernie Grundman, who utilized a custom tube pre-amp and analog mixing console with discrete electronics—both made in-house—as well as a Scully solid-state lathe with custom electronics.

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TVD Radar: 34th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert streaming 2/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | One of the longest-running and most renowned live cultural events in New York City, The 34th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert will return this year for a special virtual edition combining live and pre-recorded segments streaming via Mandolin, the premiere concert livestream platform for artists, venues, and fans.

For the first time ever, this year’s concert offers viewers around the world the unique opportunity to experience the warmth, sense of community and amazing music the evening has provided for so many years at Carnegie Hall. Joining esteemed composer and artistic director Philip Glass, who once again curated this year’s line-up, will be Eddie Vedder, Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, Valerie June, Angélique Kidjo, Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, Rubin Kodheli and many, many more to be announced soon. We are also deeply honored to announce that the concert will begin with a personal video message from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

There are few events that stand the test of time, and for more than three decades this annual event has been a standout. For over 33 years, this consistently sold-out concert has assembled some of the most legendary and exciting names in music and art, dazzling concertgoers with its unique mix of surprises and mesmerizing performances. Tickets for this year’s special virtual concert are on sale now ($25-$250). Also available now are unique sponsor level cyber-tables starting at $5,000. To purchase and for more information on packages, please PRESS HERE.

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In rotation: 1/14/21

Toronto, CA | Toronto’s Shortstack Records held a record sale in a Walmart parking lot: With most local businesses locked down, they pointedly went where the customers are: a big-box store. Shortstack Records can’t have people come to them, so it went to where there are customers: Walmart. This past Sunday morning (January 10), Toronto record store Shortstack set up outside of the Walmart at Dufferin Mall for a one-hour guerrilla pop-up record sale. They just parked a hatchback filled with record crates in the parking lot and opened it up for people to flip through. As Ontario’s lockdown has dragged on with COVID cases still rising, many local businesses have spoken up about who’s allowed to open and who’s not. While businesses that don’t sell “essential” items like groceries are relegated to curbside and delivery service, big box stores like Walmart have been allowed to stay open. Even with the new restrictions announced today (January 12), big-box stores are held to different rules (though they will apparently face stricter regulation enforcement). “Why Walmart?” Shortstack owner Cal MacLean wrote in the store’s newsletter announcing the pop-up the day before the event.

Vancouver, CA | Vancouver’s oldest independent record store marks 40 years of selling more than top 40: Neptoon Records opened on the city’s east side in 1981. Rob Frith had never before worked in retail when B.C.’s construction industry took a nosedive in the early ’80s and he decided to take a chance selling vinyl to Vancouverites — a bold move considering cassette tapes were all the rage and CDs were on the precipice of popularity. Fast-forward to 2021, and the founder of Neptoon Records is celebrating the 40th spin around the sun of what has become a beloved father-son business well-frequented by locals and tourists alike. The shop, located at 3561 Main St. on the city’s east side, is Vancouver’s oldest independent record store and is run now by Rob and his son Ben Frith. Turns out Rob Frith, who had only hawked albums at swap meets before opening Neptoon’s original location on Fraser Street in Jan. 1981, was pretty good at the retail thing. “I really needed a job,” he told CBC’s The Early Edition host Stephen Quinn with a chuckle.

Denver, CO | Color Red Goes Global and Opens a Vinyl Cafe in Denver: Although guitarist Eddie Roberts wasn’t able to tour last year with his group the New Mastersounds because of the pandemic, he’s been busy expanding Color Red, the Denver-based label he founded in 2018. Over the past year, Color Red has launched branches in Japan and France, released music from acts around the world, started the Roberts-curated vinyl club Rare Sounds, and also has a hand in the Larimer Records Cafe, set to open in Larimer Square on January 20. Since most members of Color Red’s team are musicians, who weren’t gigging because of COVID-19, they were able to ramp up things at the label. Over the first years of Color Red, part of the vision of the imprint was to release a digital single, Roberts says, but at times in 2020, Color Red released five singles a week. “Luckily, we recorded so much music before the lockdown for bands touring through that we still had plenty of content and plenty of stuff that needed mixing and getting out to the world,” he notes.

Hollywood, CA | Capitol Studios Shutters Its Mastering Division: The most visible face of Capitol Studios, 30-year veteran Paula Salvatore, a VP, is also described as taking on on a different, as-yet unrevealed role. The mastering department at the famed Capitol Studios in Hollywood has been shut down, with several employees laid off, Universal Music Group confirmed Tuesday night after word of the closure began to circulate on social media. The recording studios themselves, a tourist site as well as magnet for top recording artists since opening in 1956, will remain open. But Capitol Studios’ mastering rooms, which were nearly as venerated by engineers and producers, will not, as those spaces will be converted into recording studios — presumably much smaller ones than Studio A, where Frank Sinatra used to record with a full orchestra. Said a Universal Music Group spokesperson: “At Capitol Studios, while demand for recording studios remains high, there has been an overall decline in requests for mastering services — to the point where we have decided to close Capitol’s mastering facility and focus on other areas of the recording process that are in higher demand by artists, including using the space to build additional recording suites.”

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TVD Radar: Bernard Purdie, Soul is … Pretty Purdie reissue in stores 4/16

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Bernard “Pretty” Purdie is an American drummer who needs little introduction. At an early age he began hitting cans with sticks and learned the elements of drumming techniques from overhearing lessons being given. Considered an influential and innovative soul-jazz-funk musician, he is known for his precise musical time keeping and his signature/unique drumming techniques—considered one of the greatest drummers of his generation, in 2013 he was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.​

In 1961 he moved from his hometown to New York City where he was contracted to play session work for James Brown (Purdie can be heard on the albums ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’, ‘Cold Sweat’, ‘Say It Loud-I’m Black and I’m Proud’ and ‘Get on the Good Foot’). These JB sessions display some of the most sophisticated and driving shuffles ever recorded for Brown’s catalogue. Purdie then started working with Aretha Franklin as her musical director in 1970 and held that position for five years as well as drumming for Franklin’s opening act, King Curtis.

Bernie Purdie was credited on countless albums (spanning several decades) by legendary artists like Nina Simone, Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes, Quincy Jones, Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Steely Dan, Cat Stevens, B.B. King, The Rolling Stones and Gil Scott-Heron.​

Purdie recorded his first solo album Soul Drums as early as 1968 and other milestone solo albums include Purdie Good (1971), Soul Is … Pretty Purdie (1972) and the soundtrack for the blaxploitation film Lialeh (1973). With such an extensive body of work (Purdie laid down the beat on over 3,000 recordings) it comes as no surprise that his rhythms have appeared as samples on groundbreaking tracks from high profile acts such as The Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Beck, DJ Shadow, The Prodigy and many others.

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TVD Radar: Sivuca, Sivuca first vinyl reissue in stores 2/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Two of our favorite records that we here at Real Gone Music have reissued in the last few years were the debut pair of records (both originally released in the early ‘70s) by legendary Brazilian percussionist Airto; each album serves up a savory, bubbling stew of Brazilian folk, fusion jazz and bossa nova spiced with a hint of tropicalia.

While Airto’s contributions on each record were, of course, front and center, there was another player on those records that almost stole the show: one Severino Dias de Oliveira a.k.a. Sivuca, a small, wizened man (often somewhat uncharitably described as “gnomish”) whose dazzling virtuosity on accordion, guitar, and keyboards—coupled with a powerful singing voice that belied his small stature—made one instantly sit up and take notice. Further investigation revealed that stealing the show was nothing new to Sivuca; championed by Oscar Brown, Jr., he was the instant star of tours by both Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba among others.

Sivuca started making records back in the mid ‘50s, and recorded for a number of labels in the States, including Reprise and RCA, but it is this record, made in 1973 for the Vanguard label, that is the one that collectors worldwide have zeroed in upon.

And with good reason; it offers the same beautiful blend of styles found on those Airto records, but with an emotional shading all its own, a joyfulness paradoxically infused with melancholy, best expressed on Sivuca’s mesmerizing take on Bill Withers’ oft-covered “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which is likely to become your favorite version. For its first-ever vinyl reissue, we’re pressing up 750 copies in purple vinyl.

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In rotation: 1/13/21

Dublin, IE | Boutique coffee and record store opening on the northside later this month: Wavetable is a new speciality coffee and record store opening in Drumcondra later this month. New coffee spots have been popping up all around Dublin in recent months and another one is about to add its name to the list, with Wavetable – Ireland’s first boutique specialty coffee and record store – due to open over on the northside later this month. A venture born out of a shared love for music and coffee, the new spot draws inspiration from minimalist, Nordic design and will offer customers a space where they can enjoy both at the same time. Serving up a range of specialty coffees, they’ll also have plenty of delicious vegan cakes and groovy records to help keep you on the straight and narrow. Oh, and they’re pet-friendly too. So, win-win-win. Starting out with takeaway service only, owners are hopeful they’ll be able to welcome customers inside as soon as restrictions allow.

London, UK | New book celebrates London’s best-loved record stores: London’s Record Shops is a new book celebrating physical music stores in the English capital. The 128 page book is a collaboration between writer Garth Cartwright and photographer Quintina Valero and is set to be published by The History Press Ltd on April 1. Although the specific record shops included has not yet revealed, the publisher’s synopsis notes: “From Brixton dub shacks to Hackney vinyl boutiques, Camden’s rockabilly ravers to Southall’s last Bollywood shop, underground Peckham outlets to Soho’s legendary dance music hub, these brilliantly eccentric and engaging emporiums are documented with striking photographs and incisive interviews.”

Barrie, ON | Entrepreneurs rewind the tape on music mediums: Barrie duo launches Tarantula Tapes as a way for bands to get their music out to the masses; ‘It’s almost like what happened with vinyl 10 or 15 years ago is now happening with cassettes’ They’re back! Or maybe they never even really left. For almost 60 years, cassette tapes have been one of the formats music fans — and musicians — have used to hear their favourite tunes. Now a Barrie company is helping punk bands — who may or may not have had their music previously released on CDs and/or vinyl — spread the word about their music in a format invented the same year Ringo Starr joined The Beatles. Tarantula Tapes, a cassette tape-only record label that started up near the end of summer 2020, is the brainchild of Casey Cuff and partner Core (pronounced Kor-Ree) Bee. While they both work full-time, they are also musicians and recent events over the last 10 months (Hmmm, what could that be?) and some extra spare time helped spawn the idea of creating cassettes for their fellow punk musicians.

50th anniversary of Janis Joplin’s ‘Pearl’ album to be celebrated with vinyl reissues, other special releases: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Janis Joplin’s posthumous final studio album, Pearl. To commemorate the milestone, a series of special releases are planned for 2021, included a limited-edition colored-vinyl reissue that’s due out in April. The Pearl reissue, which will be pressed on pearl-white vinyl, can be pre-ordered now from the Vinyl Me, Please record club. In addition, a high-fidelity 180-gram two-LP box set reissue of Pearl, mastered from the original tapes and cut at 45 r.p.m., will be released in July as part of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s “UltraDisc One-Step” series. You can pre-order that now, too. Pearl was released about three months after Joplin’s October 1970 death from a heroin overdose and spent nine consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 in early ’71. The album features Janis’ chart-topping cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” as well as such other classic tunes as “Mercedes Benz,” “Move Over” and “Cry Baby.”

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TVD Radar: I’m Too
Old For This Sh*t: A Heavy Metal Fairy Tale
doc streaming now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “One of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a long time, period!”Eli Roth

Multi-hyphenate superstar Chris Jericho has added the title film producer to his extensive career list with the release of I’m Too Old For This Sh*t, a brand-new documentary film produced by Jericho, his debut in the role, and directed by Nathan Mowery.

I’m Too Old For This Sh*t, available now via Gravitas Ventures on iTunes, Amazon and various streaming platforms (run time: 89 minutes), captures the unpredictable highs and lows of ‘80s underground, fan-favorite heavy metal band Siren as they reunite more than 30 years after their breakup for a special performance in Germany at the Keep It True Festival. The heavy metal fairy tale is filled with hope, comedy, emotion, and more proving it’s never too late to fulfill lifelong dreams.

“I’ve been playing in bands for 35 years and I’ve NEVER heard a story like Siren’s,” shares Jericho. “We all had bands in high school that we felt would tour the world and sell a million records, but most of them break up by senior year and never do. However, Siren was different. In the early ‘80s, they had a ton of buzz and a shitload of talent, but typical inner band politics broke them up and most of the guys never played in another group again.

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TVD Radar:
Allen Ginsberg, At
Reed College: The First Recorded Reading of Howl and Other Poems

in stores 4/2

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “One of the most important documents in the history of American literature in the second half of the 20th century.”Dr. Pancho Savery, Reed College

Allen Ginsberg’s first public reading of his epic poem “Howl” took place at San Francisco’s famous Six Gallery in October of 1955. Along with Ginsberg, the evening included readings by Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Philip Lamantia, and Michael McClure. Poet and anthologist Kenneth Rexroth was the emcee, and Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Neal Cassady were in attendance. Unfortunately for literary history, no one recorded the Six Gallery reading, and it was long-thought that the first recording of “Howl” was from a reading at Berkeley in March 1956.

Before visiting Berkeley, however, Ginsberg had traveled to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, with Gary Snyder to give a series of readings. Snyder and Philip Whalen had been students at Reed and had studied under the legendary calligrapher Lloyd Reynolds. Other attendees of Reed have included Steve Jobs, James Beard, Barry Hansen (Dr. Demento), Barbara Ehrenreich, Ry Cooder, Mary Barnard, Lee Blessing, Del Hymes, Arlene Blum, Eric Overmyer, and Max Gordon (founder of the Village Vanguard jazz club in NYC).

On February 13 and 14, 1956, Snyder and Ginsberg read at Reed, with the Valentine’s Day performance recorded then forgotten about until author John Suiter, researching Snyder at Reed’s Hauser Memorial Library, found the tape in a box in 2007. Suiter immediately recognized the significance of the recording. Its discovery made headlines after it was verified in 2008, but the recording itself was never made widely accessible until Reed named its 16th president, Dr. Audrey Bilger in 2019; it happens that Bilger’s wife, Cheryl Pawelski, is a Grammy Award-winning record producer and co-founder of Omnivore Recordings who has long been interested in Ginsberg’s writing and performances.

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In rotation: 1/12/21

‘Spending more on home entertainment’: Vinyl sales skyrocket thanks to COVID-19 pandemic: The record renaissance has gone from niche novelty to record-breaking sales thanks, partly, to the global pandemic. Vinyl purchases in the United States have eclipsed those of compact discs for the first time in over 30 years, with local sales echoing the trend. Apera Te Hemara’s record collection is a story of his life. From the first LP record that he bought in the ’70s, he’s been hooked on the total experience. “Just the action of putting the vinyl onto a turntable, putting the stylus on and hearing all the crackles and pops… I think that’s great,” Te Hemara says. New Zealand’s largest music retailer Real Groovy says for the first time in 40 years, record sales both here and overseas have surpassed those of CDs. “The Christmas week, not the week before, we sold more new vinyl records than we ever have in the history of Real Groovy,” Grant McAllum from Real Groovy says.

Ipswich, UK | From 45s to CDs, which record shops were your favourites over the years? Which was your favourite record shop in Ipswich as a teenager? Long before the days of CDs, let alone streaming and downloads, youngsters across the area saved up their pocket money to buy the latest 45s and albums. Today we’re looking back at some of the most popular music shops Parrot Records, in Queen Street in Ipswich town centre, was the place to browse through endless stacks of LPs back in the 1970s. Top DJ Noel Edmonds carried out the official opening in 1976. Later on the store became Rex Records, and continued to be the town’s best-known independent record shop until it finally closed in 2005, marking the end of an era. The Ipswich branch of Virgin Megastore was another popular place to buy records, and our gallery includes a photo of DJ Bruno Brookes cutting the cake at an official opening in 1986. Another fondly remembered record shop was Andy’s Records, which had branches around the area. In more recent years, vinyl fans have also been able to seek out their favourite music at pop-up shop events in Ipswich Tourist Information Centre, which has now sadly closed.

“Are You Now or Have You Ever Been”… a Side-ist? OK, before we start, a word about the title. The late Scott Campbell, a remarkable musician from Tallahassee, had just released what would be his final recording late in 2016, An Old Photo, that included a great song with that title. But what, you may ask, is a SIDE-IST? Good question. This goes back to the glory days of vinyl (and it is delightful understanding that vinyl has come roaring back), when people often gravitated to one side or the other of a record album. Yes, of course many albums were solid all the way through, but if you “are now” or “have ever been” a vinyl junkie, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Take last night. I was listening to Argus, the third album from Wishbone Ash (1972). I was impatient with the first three songs (on CD or Spotify), waiting to get to Side 2, with “The King Will Come > Leaf and Stream > Warrior > Throw Down the Sword.” Same with Sisyphus from Cold Blood (1970); I rarely listen to Side 2. How about Paul Kantner’s Blows Against the Empire (1970)? Side 1 was fun, but usually we headed straight for “Sunrise”! (You can call it Jefferson Starship if you want.)

Washington, DC | Interview With Cool Kids Vinyl Record Shop Owner “…D.C. needs a space like Cool Kids Vinyl to give all guests the opportunity to not only take in the history of vinyl records, but to experience the pop-culture side of it. Cool Kids Vinyl has a focus on Hip-Hop and we are trying to preserve its essence in the city by allowing people to come in, chat, ask questions and learn from one another in their community. We have that time capsule almost that puts you in that 70s, 80s, 90s realm, where the music can just be appreciated a bit more. In a generation of online streaming, vinyl gives listeners a piece of memorabilia that online streaming doesn’t offer. The listening experience is unmatched, it transforms you back in time and provides more of a listening experience than online streaming. Because vinyl is more tangible than streaming music, we are giving the current generation the opportunity to physically feel the music and connect with it on a more intimate level.”

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