Author Archives: TVD HQ

TVD Radar: Brenda
Lee, Rockin’ Around
The Christmas Tree:
The Decca Christmas Recordings
in stores

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In October 1958, 13-year-old wunderkind Brenda Lee entered the recording studio to record a new song by Johnny Marks, the songwriter behind “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” called “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” that her and her producer, Owen Bradley, felt had a lot of potential. Lee, who had already earned the nickname, “Little Dynamite,” belted out the lyrics, “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree/At the Christmas party hop/Mistletoe hung where you can see/Every couple tries to stop” while the band rocked on around her and created one of the biggest, most indelible, holiday songs of all time. “It was just one of those magical moments in the studio when everything came together,” Lee remembered. “The sax solo, the little guitar lick that’s in there. Everything just sort of fell into place.”

Surprisingly, when originally released the following month as her second Christmas single, backed with the Cajun-flavored holiday tune, “Papa Noel,” the song failed to make a dent in the charts. It was déjà vu all over again the following year too, but in 1960 when Lee’s teenage anthem of unrequited love, “I’m Sorry,” became a #1 smash hit, Decca Records reissued “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and the song turned into a #14 hit. Over the last six decades the timeless song has become a perennial holiday favorite around the globe with continual airplay and streaming and has sold more than 36 million copies with the 5th most digital downloads sold of any Christmas single.

It has been featured in several movies including an iconic scene in the hit movie, Home Alone. Since 2014 “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” has returned annually to the Billboard Hot 100 chart and last year as it turned 60, it reached an all-time chart peak of #9 during the holiday season.

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In rotation: 11/20/19

Portland, OR | The 3 best vinyl record shops in Portland: Got a need for vinyl records? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top vinyl record sources in Portland, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture next time you’re in the market for vinyl records. Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in this article may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions. 1. Bull Moose: First on the list is Bull Moose. Located at 151 Middle St., the video game store, which offers music and DVDs, vinyl records and more, is the highest-rated vinyl record spot in Portland, boasting four stars out of 43 reviews on Yelp.

IE | 7 of the best record shops in Ireland: Taking our cue from Red Bull Radio’s Counter Intelligence show, we look at some of Ireland’s best record stores. If you’re a regular listener to Red Bull Radio, you’ll be aware that Counter Intelligence – the show that highlights the stories behind both some of the most famous and most obscure record stores around the globe – is a cracking listen. (And if you’re not a regular listener, get on it, stat.) Taking that show as our cue, we’ve put together a list of some of the best and most interesting record stores in Ireland that are worthy of their stories being shared – and at the very least, worth checking out for myriad reasons, which you’ll read below. In no particular order…

Pasadena, NL | Welcome to the Vinyl Garage, a small-town rec room turned live music venue: Jan Stephen opens his home, decorated with music memorabilia, to host concerts and live his dream. On a quiet cul-de-sac in Pasadena, N.L., a yellow home with a white covered veranda looks like any other, but sometimes when the sun goes down, it turns into a rocking live music venue. Jan Stephen has been living his dream for the past two years hosting live acts right out of his own home. He calls it the Vinyl Garage, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is some glorified shed party. In fact, it’s not even a garage. “This room, originally in the house plans, was supposed to be a car garage,” said Stephen. “[But] instead of putting in a garage door at the front, they put in a bay window and turned it into a rec room.”

Verona, IT | Inside Mother Tongue – Europe’s newest pressing plant: A visual tour of the Italian vinyl outpost. As demand for vinyl has increased in the last ten years, so has the number of pressing plants, whether in high profile affairs such as Jack White’s Third Man in Detroit, or a number of independent operations pressing records for niche audiences. One of these operations is Mother Tongue. Located in Verona, Northern Italy, the pressing plant was launched by producer Patrick Gibin and a group of friends – with the help of an EU grant – in early 2019, and encompasses a record label, online shop and distribution service. Tackling the complex and finely tuned nature of the record pressing process, Gibin has enlisted Andrea Pasini to take care of manufacturing, utilising the plant’s sole Pheenix Alpha AD12 press – a modernised upgrade of original the Swedish-made Toolex Alpha AD12. Mattia Cristofoli, Carlo Grossule and Pietro Battista complete the team, managing administration and technical duties.

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TVD Radar: Donnie & Joe Emerson, Dreamin’ Wild 40th anniversary reissue in stores 12/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Light in the Attic Records commemorates the 40th anniversary of Donnie & Joe Emerson’s Dreamin’ Wild, the private press album that hit the mainstream, garnering considerable acclaim and notoriety since its original release in 1979, and subsequent reissue in 2011 by Light In The Attic.

The brothers have recently become cult favorites thanks in large part to the hypnotic allure of “Baby,” a song that has been covered by Ariel Pink & Dâm-Funk (released as part of LITA’s Cover Series) and featured in a number of films and TV shows, including a prominent placement in the most recent season of the critically acclaimed HBO series, Big Little Lies. The unlikely story of the rock’n’roll farmer boys from rural Washington State is set for a big screen adaptation, helmed by Oscar-winning producer Jim Burke (Green Book) and producer/writer/director Bill Pohlad (Love & Mercy, 12 Years a Slave, The Tree of Life).

As part of LITA’s 40th Anniversary celebration, Donnie & Joe’s rare 1977 debut single “Thoughts In My Mind” and its b-side “Take It” will be released digitally for the first time, and Dreamin’ Wild will be made available on “Baby Blue” vinyl and on 8-track⁠—yes, on 8-track—which will be limited to 100 units world-wide. A newly commissioned series of animated shorts by Jeffrey C. Lowe will portray the unique story of Donnie & Joe. Exclusive merchandise will include a “Dreamin’ Wild” eye pillow (included with Donnie & Joe vinyl orders from the LITA online store while supplies last), fleece sweatshirts and, looking towards Valentine’s Day, a pack of Donnie & Joe-themed heart candy and a heart-shaped vinyl single of “Baby” b/w the previously unreleased song “Tonight.”

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TVD Radar: Pick It Up! Ska in the ’90s DVD/
Blu-Ray in stores 11/18

VIA PRESS RELEASE | PopMotion Pictures’ critically-acclaimed third wave ska documentary Pick It Up! Ska in the ’90s, directed by Taylor Morden, has been a fan favorite on the festival circuit and now the film is coming to DVD & Blu-Ray on November 18! The film will also be available for purchase digitally soon via Vimeo and Amazon.

The feature-length documentary explores the third-wave ska explosion of the 1990s, and tells the story of ’90s ska from a wide variety of points of view, including dozens of the key figures who lived it, such as members of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, No Doubt, and Sublime. A “love letter” to third-wave ska, the film delves deep into how the genre of ska evolved from its original Jamaican form, through British “two-tone” in the ’80s, into an entirely new global sensation in the ’90s, when it became wildly popular for an all too brief moment in music history, from the early years of bands like No Doubt, Fishbone, The Toasters, Let’s Go Bowling and Skankin’ Pickle, to the massive radio success of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, and Save Ferris.

Pick It Up is narrated by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and features commentary from the likes of No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, the Pietasters, Fishbone, Save Ferris, Let’s Go Bowling, Dance Hall Crashers, the Specials, Mustard Plug, the Toasters, Skankin’ Pickle, Hepcat, the Slackers, Kemuri, Blink 182, the Aquabats, the Hippos, The Skatalites, Sublime and many more!

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In rotation: 11/19/19

Torrington, CT | Vinyl’s the thing at Torrington’s Revolution Records: Revolution Records is a time machine for music lovers — particularly those who still collect and play vinyl albums for their quality sound. The small shop on the corner of Willow and Franklin streets, a former bodega and a bait store, is filled to the brim with albums of every genre, from classic rock, jazz, blues, country, and everything in between. The walls are covered with vintage posters of recording artists including Lita Ford, Rush, Yes, Van Halen, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Sonic Youth and the Psychedelic Furs. “When we were setting up the store, I realized I needed to put something on the walls — they were pretty bare,” John DiBella said. “I’ve had these posters since high school and I saved them. So I got them out and hung them up.” On a counter near the door, a small turntable and receiver pumps music into two big speakers. All the equipment, DiBella said, he’s also had since high school. “It still works great,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve been using the turntable all along.”

Fort Wayne, IN | Neat Neat Neat Records and Music to continue under new ownership: After nearly a decade in business, the owner of a local record store is hanging up his hat, but the shop’s doors are remaining open. Neat Neat Neat Records and Music has been a fixture on Calhoun Street but after nine years in business, owner Morrison Agen announced on Facebook that they were looking to sell the store and all it’s contents with plans to liquidate if they could not sell. Luckily for their customers, it was not long before someone stepped up. “It took six days from the time we were offered the store to the time we took over,” said Chris Roetz, the new manager of Neat Neat Neat. The store was sold to local music franchise Wooden Nickel. Roetz is transitioning into his new role from working as General Manager of the Jefferson Boulevard Wooden Nickel location. He previously owned Entourage Music, which was located in Glenbrook Mall. Roetz wants it to be clear that while Wooden Nickel now owns Neat Neat Neat, they are not the same store. They plan on keeping the same name and branding the shop is known for, as well as keeping it’s focus on vinyl records.

Indianapolis, IN | Despite streaming, Indiana firm’s vinyl, CD business booms: Chip Viering, president of Optical Media Manufacturing, has intentionally hitched his wagon to a falling star. Or rather, several of them. Over the last decade, streaming sites and compressed file-sharing technologies such as MP3 have chased most “physical” media from the forefront of the audio and video recording industries. To put it simply, pretty much anything you can hold in your hand, from VHS tapes to CDs, has become an endangered species. In this, Viering sees not disaster but opportunity. Though his company does plenty of digital file-sharing work, it also acts as a sort of clearinghouse for customers whose products demand (or work best when presented in) an old-school audio or visual format. Optical Media Manufacturing offers (among a great many other services) in-house design for things like vinyl album cover art, liner notes and DVD formatting and duplication, plus access to a list of still-surviving domestic suppliers of such exotica as cassette tapes, boutique vinyl record pressers—even a guy who can still do VHS.

London, UK | ‘Westfield delays to blame for horrible decline in Croydon town centre’ says record store manager: Duncan Barnes says empty shops were unheard of ten years ago. There has been a ‘horrible decline’ in footfall for Croydon town centre according to one business owner who blames Westfield delays. Duncan Barnes runs 101 Records which moved to North End in 1991, it was previously based near East Croydon station. He said that 10 years ago empty shops in Croydon were unheard of, and you just need to walk through the town centre to see that is not the case today. Duncan said: “Footfall has declined horribly in Croydon for years. It used to be a thriving cosmopolitan place and it was always busy.” And he believes that Westfield delays are partly to blame and does not think the billion pound shopping centre will ever be built. He added: “North End has been declining for years and very little has been done about it.

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TVD Radar: Craft Recordings announces The Memphis Masters, a video series celebrating Stax Records

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings is thrilled to announce The Memphis Masters—a limited video series celebrating various albums from the iconic Stax Records label, showcasing its enduring musical legacy, as well as its influence on Memphis, TN.

Created in partnership with Memphis Record Pressing and Memphis Tourism, and directed by Andrew Trent Fleming of TheFilmJerk Media, the multi-part series was shot in several locations around the city—also known as the home of blues, soul and rock ’n’ roll—including such historic landmarks as Sam Phillips Recording Service, Royal Studios, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. With interviews spanning multiple generations of artists, The Memphis Masters offers insight from the likes of Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Grace Potter, Matt Berninger (The National), Walshy Fire (Major Lazer), Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady) and producer Boo Mitchell—all of whom were inspired by the label’s music and the albums being reissued. The Memphis Masters also includes interviews with Stax legends like Steve Cropper, Big Star’s Jody Stephens, James Alexander (the Bar-Kays), and Booker T. Jones, plus longtime label publicist Deanie Parker and songwriter Bettye Crutcher, who share their memories from the label’s heyday.

With rollout beginning today (11/14), each episode—available on YouTube—will revolve around an album or collection from a singular artist or group on Stax’s roster, starting with Melting Pot from Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Other titles covered include Gotta Groove from The Bar-Kays, Home from husband-and-wife songwriting duo Delaney & Bonnie, Who’s Making Love from Johnnie Taylor and Victim of the Joke?…An Opera from acclaimed producer and songwriter David Porter. The series will take a broader view of The Staple Singers, who will be honored with a deluxe, seven-LP box set, Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection, available in early 2020. All of the standalone titles have been cut from their original analog tapes by Jeff Powell at Memphis’ Take Out Vinyl and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing. The majority of the single albums will be available November 1st, while LPs from Porter and Taylor will be reissued on December 6th.

2019 marked the 50th anniversary of Stax beating the odds and thriving as an independent entity, following its split with Atlantic Records in a period called the Stax “Soul Explosion.” Throughout the past months, Craft has paid tribute to the label and its artists with special reissues, box sets, playlists and more. Fittingly, The Memphis Masters will wind down the year-long celebration, as it pays homage to the timeless music and persevering spirit of Stax.

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TVD Radar: The Band, 50th Anniversary Edition 2-LP vinyl sets
in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Band’s influential, pioneering self-titled album is being celebrated with a suite of newly remixed and expanded 50th Anniversary Edition packages.

Available now via Capitol/UMe, the album is available as a Super Deluxe 2CD/Blu-ray/2LP/7-inch vinyl boxed set with a hardbound book; 2CD, digital, 180-gram 2LP black vinyl, and limited edition 180-gram 2LP “tiger’s eye” color vinyl packages. All the Anniversary Edition releases were overseen by The Band’s Robbie Robertson and feature a new stereo mix by Bob Clearmountain from the original multi-track masters, similar to the acclaimed 50th anniversary collections of last year’s Music From Big Pink releases. The 50th Anniversary Edition’s CD, digital, and box set configurations also include 13 outtakes, featuring six previously unreleased outtakes and alternate recordings from The Band sessions, as well as The Band’s legendary Woodstock performance, which has never been officially released. Order/stream The Band (50th Anniversary Edition) here.

Clearmountain and Robertson’s approach to remixing the beloved album was done with the utmost care and respect for the music and what The Band represents. “The idea was to take you deeper inside the music, but this album is homemade,” Robertson says in the liner notes. “You can’t touch up a painting. It has nothing to do with what you get when you go into a recording studio.” When he expressed his concerns to Clearmountain, the renowned engineer and producer reassured him: “We’re just trying to overcome the original technological limitations in order to bring you closer into the room,” he explained. “I’m going to do everything in my power not to get in the way of this music at all.” The result is a new mix that allows listeners to hear these classic songs in stunning, and often times startling, clarity, packing more of a sonic and emotional punch than ever before. The included early and alternate versions offer fans the ability to hear the evolution of these tracks or as Robertson says, “That’s us trying to teach ourselves how to play these songs.”

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In rotation: 11/18/19

Chicago, IL | ‘We’re going to make a great run at it’: Oak Park’s Val’s Halla Records to stay open, for now. After believing its days were numbered, Oak Park’s iconic Val’s Halla Records store has a new lease on life into 2020, with hopes the store can become financially viable by then. Store manager Shayne Blakeley confirmed the shop has been temporarily saved by River Forest resident and customer Trevor Toppen, who plans to lend his financial expertise to the business. “It’s pretty amazing,” Blakeley said. “I’m going to have a lot to be thankful for before I cut into any turkey. Things have been moving very fast.” Earlier this month, Blakeley announced the store had intended to close by the end of November after 47 years in business. At the time, he said Val’s Halla had its worst first quarter financially in 20 years, which appeared to be the final nail in its coffin. Toppen, who has lived in the area since 2003, got to know Val’s Halla and Blakeley when his son Jackson started volunteering at the store, and said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give the store a second chance.

Cork, IE | Cork’s famous vinyl record store back after Douglas village fire: The shop had been closed for 10 weeks following fire in Douglas Shopping centre. One of Cork’s best-known vinyl record stores – MusicZone – has reopened following a ten week absence due to the fire in Douglas Shopping Centre. The shop was forced to close its doors following the blaze in the Douglas Mall but it is now open for business again in its new location at Unit 4, Deanrock Business Park, Togher. MusicZone is one of Ireland’s largest stockists of vinyl records and they offer free delivery throughout the country on any order of three or more records. The business was set up by Ray O’Brien in 2001 and in a statement, he spoke of his delight at finally being able to welcome customers back to his store where he works alongside his son, Cormac. “So look here we are, 10 weeks since the night of the fire and it’s on, moving to the new location,” said O’Brien.

Wichita, KS | Vinyl is about to top CD sales, and Spin It Again Records has reopened to help: Only days after the Recording Industry Association of America announced that for the first time in more than three decades vinyl record sales likely will top CD sales this year, Spin It Again Records has reopened. The store has been closed since late August, but this week owner Ed Swarts reopened it in its new location at 3715 W. Douglas, which is two blocks east of West Street…The store sells new and used vinyl records, turntables, cleaning supplies and other related items and does minor related repairs. It also buys used records. Spin It Again Records will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Swarts says he’s not surprised vinyl sales are about to surpass CD sales. “The CD is just a thing of the past,” he says.

Liam Gallagher declares “ignorance is bliss” as he favours vinyl over Spotify: “I don’t think I’ve ever used Spotify once in my life. I don’t even know how to use it. I don’t have a clue” Liam Gallagher has admitted that he “doesn’t have a clue” when it comes to music streaming services and that he has no intention of ever using them. The former Oasis frontman says he much prefers to listen to vinyl than digital services such as Spotify. He told the Huffington Post: ”I stay away from that. I don’t think I’ve ever used Spotify once in my life and I don’t think I intend to either. I don’t even know how to use it. I don’t have a clue. ”Part of it is, ignorance is bliss. All these new ways to listen to music have gone way over my head, and I’m quite happy with it. Call it that I’m stuck in the ’90s. I listen to tunes on the record player.”

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TVD Radar: Yonder Mountain String Band, Elevation 2-LP 20th anniversary in stores

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Falling in the middle of their 2019 fall tour, this September marked the 20th Anniversary of award­-winning Colorado bluegrass band, Yonder Mountain String Band’s critically acclaimed debut album, Elevation.

Out of print for years and considered by decades-long fans to be the band’s career-defining album, it only seemed natural for YMSB to celebrate this milestone with a 20th-anniversary 180g double vinyl re-release. Originally released on the band’s own independent Frog Pad Records, Elevation features founding members Dave Johnston, Ben Kaufmann, Adam Aijala, and Jeff Austin, along with guest musicians Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Sally Van Meter, and Celeste Krenz. The 20th Anniversary release of Elevation is available now in limited quantities at the merch table and online.

Elevation producer Sally Van Meter shared some of her heartfelt thoughts on the creation and legacy of Elevation and what it meant to the greater acoustic music community: “Twenty years ago, over a good meal and margaritas, a pivotal moment in acoustic music transpired and forever changed the face of acoustic and bluegrass music. That moment was the agreement to produce Yonder Mountain String Band’s first studio recording, Elevation.

YMSB’s Elevation broke past traditional bluegrass music boundaries, opening the door for acceptance of the next generation’s take on a new style that audiences would fully embrace. YMSB had something special about what they played, and how they played it. Their songs showed that it was not just jamgrass party time. No matter what they played, they did it with a full musical heart—both familiar and new concert attendees fell in love with them. Young and old listeners together could feel that this first recording was a wind-direction change in acoustic music that had not been felt possibly since the ’70s with Tony Rice and David Grisman.

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In rotation: 11/15/19

San Diego, CA | Vinyl creates experiences that never die: On Adams Avenue, nestled between a gelato shop and a cafe, you’ll find Ruthie Bible sitting on a stool behind a cash register in a skinny storefront shop, watching over hundreds of vinyl records. She’s been at this post for 35 years, observing and listening, as customers come and go. Bible, who is in her seventies, is the co-owner of Nickelodeon Records, a Normal Heights establishment that has become a San Diego institution. The small record store opened in 1984 but has since been garnering attention from younger generations looking to visit and snap a few pics among the rows of records and with the backdrop of decades of music history behind them. “Their behavior is totally different,” Bible said about the record store’s younger visitors. “They really like (the shop) and it’s cool and everything, but it’s like a little museum to them. They like to come and take pictures and leave.”

Redditch, UK| Vintage stuff as two new shops open in a forgotten corner of the centre: Two new independent shops are to open in Redditch town centre – breathing new life into a neglected spot behind the Post Office and Debenhams. And with the backing of the Borough Council, they hope to help Rejuvenate Redditch by organising a variety of events in the unused covered area in the coming months. Exactly six years to the day since opening in the Kingfisher Centre as a pop up shop, retro record specialists, Vintage Trax is returning to town with a second vinyl record and CD shop, while retaining its popular Headless Cross store. Opening alongside at the same time is Vintage Threads, offering ladies and mens vintage clothing, footwear and accessories, as well as repairs and alterations. Owner, Helen Truman, is a seasoned fashion trader having worked at the Regal, a well known psychedelic clothing shop in Soho in the 1980s, and over 20 years later opened a retro fashion shop at Winyates Barn, Redditch. “It’s an exciting time for both of us,” said Ros Sidaway, owner of Vintage Trax.

Pittsburgh, PA | Introducing Pittsburgh Record Label Roundup: The diverse and plentiful selection of the city’s record labels: No matter how ingrained you are in the Pittsburgh music scene, you still might not know just how many record labels are operating locally. Many of them fly under the radar, but they’re worth knowing. Check out the first three features in our new Pittsburgh Record Label Roundup… When Montgomery was promoting his debut album, Driving While Black in 2016, he noticed that people were buying the merchandise before even hearing the songs. “Seeing how invested people were in the brand made me realize that I could create a platform for both myself and other artists,” he says. Montgomery felt that there was a plethora of great talent in Pittsburgh, but a dearth of opportunities to help artists further their careers. So he created Driving While Black Records (DWB) to help build an infrastructure for artists in the city. DWB prides itself on showing what can happen when a group of like-minded individuals come together to create opportunities for themselves.

Noel Fielding Is Making a Netflix Show About a Magical Record Player: Noel Fielding has spent recent years offering up some conservatively colourful outfits as the co-host of The Great British Bake-Off, but he’ll soon return to his strange comedy roots. After all, he’s currently at work on a new Netflix series. In a recent appearance on BBC 6 Music [via Chortle], Fielding explained that he’s working on the early development stages of his new show, which is a musical comedy with some signature Noel weirdness. “Basically a guy gets hold of a magic record player and when you put the record player on a portal appears and you can go inside your favourite albums,” Fielding explained. That said, don’t expect it to be complete too soon. “I haven’t written it yet,” he admitted. “I pitched it and Netflix liked it and we’re making it, but I haven’t started writing it yet. So that’s my next thing.”

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TVD Radar: Natalie Cole, Holly & Ivy first vinyl release in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings is delighted to announce the debut vinyl release of Natalie Cole’s bestselling, 1994 holiday album, Holly & Ivy. Holly & Ivy has been remastered by George Horn and Anne-Marie Suenram at Fantasy Studios and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the acclaimed album—which was the first of several holiday outings in Cole’s career.

Cole was inspired to record Holly & Ivy after a call from longtime friend and prolific songwriter Michael Masser. Collaborating with the legendary lyricist Gerry Goffin, Masser had written an original holiday song entitled “No More Blue Christmas” with the singer in mind. From there, Cole decided to make an entire album of Christmas music, following in the footsteps of her father—singer Nat King Cole—whose LP, The Magic of Christmas, was the top-selling holiday title of the 1960s, and whose rendition of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” is one of the most famous yuletide recordings in history.

Co-Produced by Tommy LiPuma, Holly & Ivy offers an R&B twist on holiday favorites and features several songs which Cole’s father had made popular decades before, including “Caroling, Caroling,” “The Little Boy that Santa Claus Forgot,” and, of course, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).” Also of note is an exuberant, gospel rendition of “Joy to the World,” featuring the choir from the Los Angeles Friendly Baptist Church, as well as Cole’s take on the bluesy “Merry Christmas Baby.” Accompanying the singer are a host of talented players—jazz pianist Cedar Walton, drummer Harold Jones, and R&B artist Patrice Rushen on keyboards—among them.

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In rotation: 11/14/19

Can Vinyl Save the Music Industry? Gen X, Gen Z and millennials are all buying into the vinyl hype, as sales increase steadily. In a time when most music is almost free and at your fingertips, however, will LPs play long enough to bring the music industry back in tune? …RIAA data shows that 25-to-34-year-olds and 18-to-24-year-olds accounted for 19 and 16 per cent respectively of U.S. new vinyl sales in 2018. This is valuable to artists who are not being paid what they’d like to be on streaming services. For artists, selling other merchandise has become increasingly important. Luckily for them, some fans are willing to pay for exclusive merchandise and experiences on crowdfunding platforms. A 2013 Indiegogo campaign for the Canadian band Protest The Hero raised nearly $450,000 to fund an album and 1,299 copies of the signed, limited-edition vinyl LP were claimed as rewards. Katy Perry has a vinyl record coming out soon. It’s a record-first release but her truest “Katy Cats” will surely snatch up those 4,000 copies to hold a piece of their favourite artist in their hands.

Long Beach, CA | Long Beach record store and marijuana dispensary partner to host free concert: The dispensary ShowGrow, which has a business location in Long Beach, partnered with local record store Analog Records on Nov. 9 to host Cozy Sesh 7, a free concert that gave cannabis businesses the opportunity to share information about the recreational marijuana industry with community members. This is the seventh Cozy Sesh event Analog Records has held. The events are free, but attendees have to register online beforehand and space is limited. The featured performers for Cozy Sesh 7 were the musician Cherokee and the group Capyac, who performed on a stage in Analog Record’s parking lot. Throughout the day, disc jockeys also provided music both in the parking lot and the store itself. Cherokee is a French musician signed to the label Roche Musique. His music belongs to the genre French touch, according to Roche Musique’s website.

Detroit, MI | The Detroit roots of hip-hop label Fat Beats run deep: In the early ’90s, hip-hop wasn’t the mainstream cultural behemoth it is today. Back then, hip-hop was still largely a non-commercial art form found in Black and brown communities in cities across the United States. Founded in 1994 by Joe Abajian (aka DJ Jab) in New York City, Fat Beats was a record store that brought these communities together — and quickly became a nerve center for all things hip-hop. Originally located on Manhattan’s lower east side, Fat Beats has played an enormous role in celebrating hip-hop culture in its purest form for the last 25 years. Throughout the ’90s and 2000s, Fat Beats was where you went to cop the latest must-have 12-inch single, chat with fellow hip-hop heads, and catch legendary in-store performances from artists such as Black Star, Organized Konfusion, Outkast, and Common. As the business got going, it didn’t take long for Fat Beats to establish itself as a distribution company and, eventually, a record label. At its height, Fat Beats also had storefronts in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Amsterdam, and Tokyo.

St Petersburg, FL | Daddy Kool Records to join The Factory St. Pete in 2020: Do you love Daddy Kool? Of course you do. We all do. The music hub had long been a staple on the 600 Block before moving to a larger space in the Warehouse Arts District. The record store hosts monthly night markets, live music, and is home to one of the most expansive record collections in all of Tampa Bay. So it makes sense that in 2020 it would join The Factory, a sprawling immersive arts, entertainment, food + drink concept. Like we said before, if you’re not following The Factory on Facebook and Instagram, you should change that ASAP. The massive creative destination in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg is already set to house Fairgrounds, an artist created immersive experience. Residents got a taste of what they can expect from the 12,000-square-foot experimental art exhibit with a live mermaid show at the SHINE finale. Additional concepts such as the eclectic coffee/art/music hub Black Crow Coffee will also open at The Factory next year.

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Demand it on Vinyl:
Tim Buckley, Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968 2-CD in stores 11/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | First-ever release of two-disc set, recorded live between his second and third studio albums, offers a rare glimpse into the legendary singer/songwriter.

By 1968, Tim Buckley had developed into one of the most promising singer/songwriters on the scene, following the release of his second album, 1967’s Goodbye and Hello. Less than a year after that album’s release, Buckley checked into The Electric Theatre Co. in Chicago in May 1968 for a couple of shows. The best performances from those sets are featured on Live at the Electric Theatre Co. Chicago, 1968, a remarkable 14-song collection, which will be released for the first time ever November 22 on Los Angeles based Manifesto Records.

The two-CD set finds Buckley in an intimate performance backed only by an unidentified bass player and Carter C.C. Collins on congas. Buckley is captured in a loose, improvisational performance as he works out new material, including “Sing a Song for You” and “Gypsy Woman,” which would appear as studio versions on 1969’s Happy Sad, and his interpretation of Fred Neil’s “Dolphins,” which would later turn up on the 1973 studio set Sefronia.

Though these performances are now more than 50 years old, they prove to be timeless as Buckley’s influence lives on today, despite the fact his life was cut shockingly short from an overdose in 1975. He was just 28. Buckley’s influence is such that there are two tribute albums dedicated to him with a diverse range of artists, including Mark Lanegan, Mojave 3, Cousteau, and Sufjan Stevens, covering his songs.

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In rotation: 11/13/19

The Internet Archive is now working to preserve vinyl LPs: The Internet Archive is an absolute treasure with a gigantic task ahead of them. They have now set their sights on vinyl LPs and started the work of digitizing and archiving these recordings. Earlier this year, the Internet Archive began working with the Boston Public Library (BPL) to digitize more than 100,000 audio recordings from their sound collection. The recordings exist in a variety of historical formats, including wax cylinders, 78 rpms, and LPs. They span musical genres including classical, pop, rock, and jazz, and contain obscure recordings like this album of music for baton twirlers , and this record of radio’s all-time greatest bloopers. Since all of the information on an LP is printed, the digitization process must begin by cataloging data. High-resolution scans are taken of the cover art, the disc itself and any inserts or accompanying materials. The record label, year recorded, track list and other metadata are supplemented and cross-checked against various external databases.

Whangārei, NZ | Whangārei music enthusiasts enjoy record collectors fair: Bowie, Clapton, The Beatles and more music legends drew vinyl lovers to the Whangārei Record Collectors Fair on Saturday. The bi-annual event is in its third year and is a true treasure trove with its large range of second-hand records ranging from rock and pop, to reggae and punk, and of course, hip-hop and classical were also represented. Northern Advocate photographer John Stone captured images of music enthusiasts while listening to some fine tunes on Bank St.

Chicago, IL | Chicago’s Bloodshot Records Celebrates 25th Anniversary: It is the silver anniversary of a Chicago independent record label that sets the gold standard for roots music in the city and beyond. Bloodshot Records started on the fringes of the music scene and staked a claim with rock and country shot through with punk and soul. We visited their headquarters on the eve of the label’s 25th anniversary and got an earful…”We were seeing all these bands around town at tiny little clubs that didn’t necessarily know about one another, that were all touching on roots music in some weird way and kind of operating independently of one another and just very organically creating this sound. And we thought well here’s a good place for us to stitch it together and kind of make a scene out of it and give it a name and some kind of identity.” …If you profess to love independent music, you as a fan need to support it. You need to support these musicians because no one’s getting rich here. Everyone exists on the fringes and we’re doing it for a very basic love of it, but the economic model is largely unsustainable. We’re absolutely foolhardy to continue to do it.”

Springfield, IL | A record deal: Woman says ‘yes’ among the vinyl: Andy Krisak popped the question to Cori Claycomb Sunday. It was filed under “S.” Krisak, an underwriter for U.S. Insurance in Springfield, took a novel approach to the marriage proposal, spelling out “Cori, will you marry me?” over five different vinyl record sleeves and hiding them among the stacks at Dumb Records, 418 E. Monroe St. “I was stunned,” admitted Claycomb, who works in the education department at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. “I had no idea.” Both are huge music fans. Claycomb even did her college thesis paper on the resurgence of vinyl records. Claycomb admitted she has a precise way of going through record store albums, beginning with “A” and going straight through alphabetically. Krisak eventually steered her towards the “S” section where the proposal waited. “I’ve been planning this awhile,” Krisak said. “Finally, the planets aligned.” Dumb Records owner Brian Galecki was in on the plan and helping with the plastic sleeves, “so I had to keep a straight face when they walked in.” Galecki said it is “definitely” the first marriage proposal for the independent record store, which opened up in its current location earlier this year.

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TVD Radar: Grateful Dead Origins, graphic novel deluxe edition
and LP in stores 4/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | As Z2 Comics continues to revolutionize the comics industry with their music collaborations, the track list for the audio from the upcoming 2020 Grateful Dead graphic novel is now available.

Grateful Dead Origins tells the story of the band’s transformation from a bar band performing as the Warlocks to becoming the creators of their own sound and cultural movement through their music and community. Artist Noah Van Sciver illustrates an original history created by writer Chris Miskiewicz. The graphic novel will be available in 2 editions: a standard edition and a limited run collectors deluxe edition. The standard edition available here will feature an exclusive download of 13 tracks curated by famed Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux. Lemieux, the keeper of the vault of Grateful Dead music, personally selected the tracklist composed of:

The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) – from Grateful Dead
Cream Puff War – from Rare Cuts
Walking The Dog – from Rare Cuts
Viola Lee Blues – from Road Trips 2/2/68
Hey Little One – from Rare Cuts
That’s It For The Other One – from Anthem Of The Sun
Midnight Hour – from 1966 30 Trips
Standing On The Corner – from Rare Cuts
China Cat Sunflower – from Aoxomoxoa
Big Railroad Blues – from Rare Cuts
Morning Dew – from Grateful Dead
Keep Rolling By – from 1966 30 Trips
Cosmic Charlie – from Aoxomoxoa

The limited run collector’s deluxe edition will have the same download as the standard edition but will also be bundled with a vinyl LP containing a previously unreleased live performance from the Grateful Dead. The performance was recorded at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on August 21, 1968. The track list for the vinyl is:

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