Author Archives: TVD HQ

TVD Radar: Rain Parade, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip vinyl reissue in stores 9/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | First-ever U.S. LP reissue and first LP reissue in over 30 years, red and yellow starburst vinyl pressing, limited to 1,000 copies.

Though there are a number of worthy contenders—Dream Syndicate’s The Days of Wine and Roses, The Bangles’ All Over the Place, Green on Red’s Gas Food Lodging among them—Rain Parade’s 1983 release Emergency Third Rail Power Trip places at worst in a tie for first among the greatest albums to emerge from the early ‘80s L.A. Paisley Underground scene. That’s because the band—and the album—were probably the most transparent in their influences and probably the most successful in transcending them.

Here was the jangle-rock of the Byrds married with the soft, downbeat vocal harmonies of early Pink Floyd, infused with a Love-like delicacy, peppered with a Buffalo Springfield twin lead guitar attack—yet the dark lyrical themes and droning melodies made listening to Rain Parade a singular experience, like being on an acid trip teetering on the edge between pure nirvana and colossal bummer. Which, for true fans of psychedelia, was an awfully sweet spot to be.

Emergency Third Rail Power Trip was the band’s debut album, and the only one to feature the original line-up of multi-instrumentalist Will Glenn, drummer Eddie Kalwa, bassist Stephen Roback, and guitarists David Roback (later of Mazzy Star) and Matt Piucci.

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In rotation: 8/8/19

Los Angeles, CA | Cypress Park music club closing to make way for combination record shop and bar: After nearly 6 years and more than 1,000 punk, metal and other shows, Cafe NELA is closing up next month. In its place, Permanent Records, which has shops in Highland Park and Echo Park, will be moving in to open a combination record store, music venue and bar. “We are super stoked about this new development and have a lot of great things in mind for the short and long-term future,” said Permanent Records owner Lance Barresi, who plans to open the Cypress Park location on Oct. 1 Barresi is taking over the space where former teacher Dave Travis, who has been involved in the punk and hardcore scene since the 1980s. “It has always been a dream of mine to own a place to call my own,” Travis said in a 2014 interview. Cafe NELA’s Facebook page said it will be closing on Sept. 22 but did not give a reason why Travis was closing. Permanent Records, which began in Chicago, plans to open seven days a week in the new location.

Batavia, IL | Batavia record store Kiss The Sky to stay put for now: Business extends lease on First Street for another year. Kiss The Sky record store will continue to be part of downtown Batavia for at least another year. The store, located at 180 First St. next to Water Street Studios, recently extended its lease with landlord Batavia Enterprises for another year. It has been at its current location since July 2012, after moving from its previous site at the corner of Third and State streets in downtown Geneva, its home for about six years. Prior to that, the shop spent a decade on Randall Road in Batavia. Steve Warrenfeltz, who started Kiss The Sky with Mike Messerschmidt, had flirted with the idea of moving the store to be near the Fox Valley Music Foundation’s new live music venue, The Venue, which recently opened at 21 S. Broadway Ave. (Route 25) in downtown Aurora. Warrenfeltz is president of the Fox Valley Music Foundation Board. Warrenfeltz had considered the move as a way to create synergy with The Venue.

Montreal, CA | Countering the music streaming phenomenon, locally: When the HMV record store closed its numerous locations in Canada in 2017, after having done so in the United States years before, one would not have been out of line to assume that this represented waving the white flag to streaming outfits like Spotify. After all, those who own Android or Apple smartphones can access millions of songs at any time of day by paying a monthly subscription fee, and even for free if they can tolerate ads in between songs. You can even listen offline if you download a song, album or playlist while online. The other alternative to traditional record stores has been to order a CD from the behemoth Amazon. Many of the brick and mortar record stores of old, not only here but around the world, have closed shop. But some are defiant in upholding the tradition of being able to physically buy an album in a store and get the instant gratification of not only hearing said album (a CD) in the car, but studying the album cover and reading the notes, whether historical ones for reissues…

New York, NY | Vinyl Nirvana? A Trove of 7,000 Rare Records Is Up for Sale—and Could Fetch Up to $1 Million: Amassing a respectable vinyl collection isn’t just a hobby. It’s a discipline, often taking years to groom and perfect. But one private record collector is willing to help you bypass that decades-long process by putting a vast collection of rare records up for sale in its entirety. The catalogue, dubbed the VIP RPM collection, consists of an impressive 7,000 LPs, 45s and 78s. Thousands are still factory sealed and have never been played, including records from Eric Clapton, Queen, Rush, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elvis and more. And it’s carefully organized by genre, with tunes from the ’60s to jazz, as well as soundtracks, compilations and comedy. Perhaps even more enticing, some of the vinyl here never even went to retail. The owner—who is choosing to remain anonymous—was allegedly a music industry insider who had exclusive access to publicity material, test pressings and unreleased recordings. One of the most prized pieces is the extremely rare “Motown Yesteryear Series,” a complete 25th anniversary catalogue of every 45 the Motown record label ever released.

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In rotation: 8/7/19

Los Angeles, CA | Permanent Records is opening a combination bar, music venue and record store in Cypress Park this fall: Shut up and take our money: One of our favorite record stores in L.A. just announced a new location, and this time, it’ll include a bar—not that we need any help loosening the grip on our wallets when we step into one of Permanent Records’ shops. The Chicago-founded vinyl vendor and record label carved out a space for itself with walls of new and used records (not to mention cassettes, stereo equipment and merch) in its outposts in Echo Park and Highland Park, but for its next trick, the record store is taking over one of Cypress Park’s stalwart music venues, Cafe NELA. “The current owner, Dave Travis, has owned the venue for the past six-plus years, where he has hosted nearly 1,100 shows,” Permanent Records owner Lance Barresi posted today via the shop’s social media accounts. “Dave has done a great service to the local music community, but the time has come for him to move on, and fortunately he’s chosen us as his successor. As great appreciators of Dave’s work, we’re excited for the opportunity to expand on what he started.”

Providence, RI | Armageddon Time: Making the rounds at a West Side record store. Aside from selling goods, record stores have turned into a place dedicated to preserving, rediscovering, and curating solid-state music in a way that is defiant to current trends of consumption. Not merely a holdover from a bygone era, the record shop is a place dedicated to the particular corners of a community. Music is discussed, traded, and argued over. Neil Young and The Young Adults find themselves glanced at in the same finger-flip through the racks. Maybe they both end up bought, maybe they get passed over, but that moment is what a record shop is all about. It’s not a place to get some preconceived item, it’s a place to find the unexpected. It delivers a desire for music not typed into Google, but rather physically stumbled upon and scratched out of vinyl, or rolled through a near-endless coil of tape.

San Antonio, TX | Best Record Store: Hogwild Records: Hogwild Records has been an important player in SA’s music scene for decades. The store, located across from San Antonio College, provided the indie alternative to big chains like Sound Warehouse in the ’80s and Best Buy in the ’90s. These days, though, Hogwild is the designated survivor. In an era when record stores are dying and rock music’s cultural cachet has decreased markedly, the shop is still flying the flag for releases and bands too heavy, too confrontational or just too fucking weird to earn a spot at Hot Topic. Vinyl has enjoyed a well-publicized resurgence in the past 10 years or so, and Hogwild naturally has that market cornered. But its well-stocked vinyl racks aren’t a response to a national trend. Instead, they’re a well-worn bulwark against trends. In the days when vinyl could be found exclusively in used bins, Hogwild proudly stocked everything from 7-inch singles to LPs. If the world finally caught up, that’s cool, but ultimately of no consequence. Sometimes being different means not being different. If the game is consistent quality, it’s no wonder Hogwild keeps clearing the board.

UK | Factory Records celebrates 40th anniversary with box-sets and major exhibitions: You can even own a Factory Records egg timer (sort of). Legendary record company Factory Records is celebrating its 40th anniversary with two box-sets and two major exhibitions devoted to the label. Factory was home to bands such as Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, James and The Durutti Column. The first box-set, ‘Use Hearing Protection’, compiles the first 10 records and memorabilia to receive a Factory Records catalogue number. The second box, ‘Factory: Communications 1978-1992’, features 63 songs from Factory’s 15-year history. One exhibition, also titled Use Hearing Protection, is at Chelsea Space from September 13-October 25. It features exhibitions of the first 50 items until 1982 with a Factory catalogue number, including works by Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio and The Durutti Column, as well as Factory’s acclaimed designer Peter Saville. Entry is free. An expanded version of the Use Hearing Protection exhibition will open in July next year. It’s currently being developed by The Science And Industry Museum in Manchester.

London, UK | Untapped wine & vinyl listening parties at Flat Iron Square: Flat Iron Square is launching UnTapped, a new series of wine and vinyl listening parties, held at the Tap & Bottle wine bar in the venue’s loft space. Much-loved records will be brought to life at the event, with a special guest who was involved in the production or was close to the artist on hosting duties, providing anecdotes and sharing memories about the making of the music. A wine expert will also be on hand to provide three tasters of wine and explain why they’ve been paired with the record. Island Records is taking charge for the first two events. First up is Amy Winehouse’s Frank, hosted by Amy’s first manager, close friend and A&R Nick Shymansky, followed by Grace Jones’ Slave To The Rhythm, hosted by writer, broadcaster and author of Grace Jones’ biography I’ll Never Write My Memoirs Paul Morley.

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Demand it on Vinyl: Joan Baez, Live At Woodstock streaming now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings is proud to announce the release of Joan Baez’s Live at Woodstock, available today now on all digital and streaming platforms. For the very first time, fans can hear the influential folk singer’s entire set, as it was performed at the historic festival 50 years ago. Live at Woodstock features nearly an hour of music and interstitial stories, including “Sweet Sir Galahad,” “I Shall Be Released,” and a stunning a cappella rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”

It was almost 1:00 a.m. when Joan Baez walked on stage to close out the rainy first night of Woodstock. With her acoustic guitar in hand, the visibly pregnant singer-songwriter kicked off her set with a joyful rendition of the beautifully simple Edwin Hawkins gospel tune, “Oh Happy Day.” As she segued into Tom Paxton’s “The Last Thing on My Mind,” Baez wished the audience a tongue-in-cheek “good morning.” The weeks leading up to the three-day festival had been tumultuous for Baez. Just one month before, the singer’s then-husband, David Harris, had been arrested for draft resistance.

The anti-war activist and founder of The Resistance—an organization that encouraged young men to return their draft cards in protest of Vietnam—had just begun serving a 15-month sentence in prison. He was, understandably, on his wife’s mind, and was a prevailing theme throughout the show. A few songs into her set, Baez spoke to the audience about Harris, assuring them that “He’s fine, and we’re fine too.” As a tribute to her husband, Baez performed “Joe Hill,” a 1936 folk song about the trade union activist.

Joan was joined by two members of Harris’ Resistance movement, Jeffrey Shurtleff and Richard Festinger who, along with Baez, called themselves the Struggle Mountain Resistance Band (named after the California-based draft-resistance commune in which Harris and Baez lived). Their songs together included a rousing rendition of The Byrds’ “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man” and Willie Nelson’s “One Day at a Time.”

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In rotation: 8/6/19

Devon, UK | New record shop opens in Newton Abbot – and its first customer was famous: Paul Westlake’s passion for music has never left him. An online music business has decided to branch out and set up shop in Newton Abbot. Westlake Audio has had a successful online presence for six years and specialises in collectable, rare and high-end equipment including hi-fi, guitars, accessories, vinyl LPs and CDs. Now owner Paul Westlake has opened a shop in Union Street, where all fresh stock, new and pre-owned, will be displayed before being posted online. And in a bizarre twist, the first customer through the doors was former Pop Will Eat Itself and The Beat drummer, Fuzz Townsend, who travelled from Birmingham to snap up a vintage drum kit identical to the one he’d first played. “Fuzz was amazed to find a kit of that age and calibre and so became our first paying customer,” said Teignmouth-born Paul who has a life-long passion for music and is a keen guitarist.

Paramus, NJ | Remembering Tower Records in Paramus, a wonderland of vinyl, cassettes tapes and CDs: If you had no plan to buy something, you thumbed through the racks, hoping for a surprise. The rabbit hole of its day, Tower Records was a place to get lost and find something. Before YouTube, the music streaming out of the encyclopedic record store on Route 17 North in Paramus opened minds, shaped styles and influenced tastes. Even as records morphed into CDs, Tower Records drew people looking to be stirred by sound. Walking through the red-framed entrance in the early 1990s to get a copy of R.E.M.’s Monster was Bergenfield native and four-time Grammy winner Jack Antonoff. Antonoff, who lived about 10 minutes away, says that “You could just trust stuff” on the shelves. “I’d go there with my parents and they’d be like, ‘You get two CDs,’” he told Billboard in 2014. “It was a really incredible time. There was so much mystery, these things just popping out — Nirvana and Pearl Jam and all these great bands.”

Sutherland, IA | New thrift store opens in Sutherland: …Not only does Negus have several miscellaneous items for sale at his business, he also has quite a collection of vinyl records that he plans to put on display on the thrift store’s main-floor stage. “I’ve 50,000 to 60,000 total at home,” he said. “I’m hoping to get 10,000 to 12,000 up on the stage there for people to go through. “That’s all got to get cataloged and alphabetized,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of high school girls hired to alphabetize them.” Most of Negus’ record albums already are at his business, either in boxes up on the stage or stored underneath the stage. “I’m building the cases for them,” he said. “I figure they hold about 1,000 apiece.”

The Best Turntables for New Vinyl Collectors, According to DJs: …When we chatted with the experts on the best turntables for people new to the world of playing records, each had their own favorites, but they all advised avoiding one very popular, all-in-one record player that comes in a suitcase. “Whatever you do, don’t get a Crosley,” said Prestige, who claims that if you’re serious about your new hobby, you should look for machines with better sound quality (and with needles that won’t “eventually ruin your records”). The turntables below are best suited for those new to playing vinyl, but they aren’t necessarily “entry level,” because even the least expensive of the lot contains quality parts and will last for some time with regular care. Most models on this list contain a built-in preamp, since our experts say that such turntables are the easiest and most straightforward to use. “See how that works, and then if you see yourself wanting something better, you can upgrade slowly down the line,” explains Mike Davis, owner of New York City’s Academy Records.

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TVD Radar: Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue, The Collection and Reptiles In Motion featuring Mick Ronson in stores 10/18

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “I haven’t the slightest idea who this guy is or where he comes from, but one thing is certain… this record blisters. His voice has enough energy to rip the plating off a tank.”
Hit Parader

Rave On Records reveals details of a comprehensive reissue campaign from Roger C. Reale and Rue Morgue, including an unreleased album featuring guitar legend Mick Ronson. During the studio group’s 1978-1979 existence, a stellar lineup of rock sidemen recorded as Rue Morgue, including guitarists G.E. Smith (Daryl Hall & John Oates, Bob Dylan, Saturday Night Live Band), Mick Ronson (David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter) and Jimmy McAllister (The Beckies, Mick Ronson Band, Sparks), alongside drummer Hilly Michaels (Mick Ronson Band, Sparks, Ian Hunter). Reale served as the group’s primary songwriter, vocalist, and bassist.

DETAILS ON THE RELEASES: Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue, The Collection | The Collection features Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue’s discography, with all 24 remastered tracks making their CD debut on October 18. Tracks 1-12 comprise the band’s 1978 U.S. debut album Radioactive (originally issued on indie label Big Sound), as well as an additional pair of tracks (“Close Inspection” and a cover of Fontella Bass’ 1965 Billboard #1 R&B chart topper “Rescue Me”) which appeared on the subsequent UK release of Radioactive by Decca/London Records.

The band lineup features Reale (lead vocals, bass), G.E Smith (guitar), Hilly Michaels (drums, vocals), and Jimmy McAllister (guitar, track 10). Tracks 13-24 comprise the Reptiles In Motion album (details below). All 24 tracks were produced by Trod Nossel Studios owner/CEO Thomas “Doc” Cavalier and recorded and mixed by house engineer Richard Robinson. Compilation produced in 2019 by Richard Brukner.

Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue, Reptiles In Motion LP | Recorded in 1979, the previously unreleased Reptiles In Motion was meant to be Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue’s second album. The band includes Reale (lead vocals, bass), Mick Ronson (guitar), Jimmy McAllister (guitar, vocals), and Hilly Michaels (drums, vocals). Reptiles In Motion will be released October 18.

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Alicia Witt, In-store with TVD at DC’s Som Records

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | You’ve seen her in films as diverse as Dune, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Vanilla Sky, and Urban Legend. On the smaller screen in The Walking Dead, Nashville, Twin Peaks, The Sopranos, Ally McBeal, Law and Order, Two and a Half Men, and most recently the final season of Orange Is the New Black.

And we saw Alicia Witt here in our own backyard of Washington, DC on tour in support of her current EP “15,000 Days”—multi-talented indeed. Prior to the evening’s show at DC’s record store and vinyl cafe Songbyrd, we invited Alicia to the set of our long running record shopping series at Som Records for an afternoon record rummage.

Turns out Alicia is just as much of a music fan and vinyl addict as we confess to be with a run through at the shop before we even arrived on scene. (No method acting here.) Engaged in the mission at hand, warm and funny with a hearty laugh and certainly not camera-shy, it was quite the lovely afternoon.

So, down Som’s stairs, shall we? We’re record shopping with Alicia Witt at DC’s Som Records.

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In rotation: 8/5/19

Dundee, UK | LISTEN: BBC Radio DJ dedicates show to Dundee ‘legend’ Alastair ‘Breeks’ Brodie: BBC Radio DJ Marc Riley has dedicated a show to former Dundee record show owner Alastair ‘Breeks’ Brodie, who died this week. Mr Brodie, 65, owned the iconic Groucho’s on the Nethergate and sold vinyl records in the city for 43 years. His passing on Tuesday night sparked a number of tributes from people in Dundee and further afield. Mr Riley became the latest to pay homage to Mr Brodie in his BBC Radio 6 show on Thursday night. Mr Riley, who has his own two-hour show on the digital platform four nights a week, began the show by saying: “I would like to dedicate this show to Alastair ‘Breeks’ Brodie, RIP, who ran Groucho’s record shop in Dundee. “He was a much-loved member of the local community and the music community – a legend by all accounts – so I hope he would have approved of this…” He then played The Cramps song ‘Can Your Pussy Do The Dog?’ in memory of Mr Brodie.

Japan record shopping: Back to Tokyo: After our rest in the mountains of Hakone I was excited to explore metropolitan Tokyo. When we arrived in Shibuya and got settled in I merely Google-mapped Disk Union and assumed following the search results would lead me to the correct destination. Along the way I came across the jazz bar Dug, a name I knew from separate recordings by Albert Manglesdorff and Mal Waldron. Unfortunately it was Dug in name only, with drinks and a cover charge, but no live music. A few blocks passed Dug, unlike so many of my other searches in Japan, I actually found the store on the first try, located in the heart of Shibuya with no trouble at all. Disk Union Shibuya is a multi- story affair with each floor dedicated to a different genre of music. The stairwell leading to F4, jazz and blues, certainly filled me with a sense of expectation.

Quentin Tarantino Is As Proud Of His Soundtracks As He Is Of His Films: My phone rang the evening after the Los Angeles premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Tarantino himself was calling to talk about his latest album: a very special approach to the film’s soundtrack. But first, some context: Tarantino’s latest film is an ode to Los Angeles in 1969, when the Manson family ruled Spahn Ranch (and drew the sexual attention of more than a few famous men), spaghetti Westerns were just becoming a thing, and KHJ “Boss Radio” soundtracked the lives of white Angelenos with Deep Purple and the Box Tops, stitched together with the patter of jocks like Humble Harve and jingly ads for stuff like Pioneer Chicken and Montgomery Bank. While Tarantino might be best known for his filmography — and if you haven’t heard of films like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and Inglorious Basterds, I envy your discovery process — his discography is crafted with equal intention and precision. He’s a music fan, and it shows.

Considerations When Purchasing a Record Player: Owning a record player is a music lover’s dream. This goes beyond the convenience of being able to carry around your favorite tunes wherever you go or switching on random background noise to draw out the silence. The decision to buy a record player is all about experiencing the music to the fullest. Though the reasons to get a record player are straightforward enough like the desire to listen to your favorite music with a warmer, more authentic sound, there may be some less obvious aspects you need to consider. While you don’t have to be an audiophile investing thousands of dollars in a high-fidelity sound system to achieve the same level of appreciation for your music collection, there are some key things you should be aware of when looking to purchase a record player.

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TVD Radar: The Archies, The Definitive Archies–Greatest Hits & More! blue vinyl in stores 9/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The first vinyl compilation in 30 years from everybody’s favorite back-of-the-cereal-box band. And, unlike recent (and decidedly unauthorized) reissues of The Archies’ albums, this release is not a disc dub.

Brainchild of Don Kirshner, the man behind The Monkees, The Archies, for all of their “manufactured” image, were actually the result of a remarkable collection of talent. Holding down production duties was Jeff Barry, whose songwriting collaborations with then-wife Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector had yielded such classics as “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Be My Baby,” and whose previous production credits included The Shangri-Las (“Leader of the Pack”) and The Monkees. Aiding Barry on the songwriting side was Barry discovery Andy Kim (“Rock Me Gently”) with whom Barry penned The Archies’ biggest hit “Sugar, Sugar.” And at the mic was the great Ron Dante, whose first chart hit, ironically, was The Detergents’ “Leader of the Laundromat,” which was a parody version of “Leader of the Pack!”

With such a sure handed production and songwriting team in tow, The Archies rattled off seven chart hits in quick succession and you’ll find six of ‘em (featuring their other Top Ten hit, “Jingle Jangle”) here in a 14-track compilation. While The Archies practically define the term “bubblegum,” this stuff rocks a lot harder than you might think…power pop fans, dismiss at your own peril.

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In rotation: 8/2/19

Dundee, UK | Owner of iconic Dundee music store Groucho’s dies: News of Groucho’s owner Alastair ‘Breeks’ Brodie’s death emerged on Wednesday morning. The store, which Mr Brodie opened aged 22, has been housed at the Nethergate for 19 years, having moved various times since it first opened on Perth Road in 1976. A statement on the hugely popular music store’s Facebook page said: “It is with a very heavy heart and much sadness that we have to announce the passing of Alastair or Breeks as many will know him. “As the co-founder then sole proprietor of Groucho’s Record Store since 1976, he has been a mainstay of both the independent retailers of Dundee and more importantly the music scene in the city. “There are few people who can say they have never been in to Groucho’s, nevertheless there are generations of Dundonians, fans and musicians who have enjoyed a real music retail experience in one of Dundee’s best loved shops all thanks to the genuine love of music with which Breeks filled the shop.

Joplin, MO | 4-State Record Show comes to Joplin this weekend: Whether you’re new to the world of vinyl, or a fan of it from years past, an upcoming event may peak your interest. Joplin will be the site of the 4-State Record Show. The event will feature lPs from current acts as well and those from the time before digital music. Visitors will have the chance of buy, sell or swap records, CDs, cassettes and maybe even some eight track tapes with vendors from all over the Four State area. “If they want to do some kind of trading, maybe they have something that’s collectable that someone else is looking for that maybe another vendor maybe want, but most time people just coming there just come to buy.” The 4-State Record Show will take place this Saturday, August 3rd, from 9 am to 4 pm at the Jack Lawton Webb Convention Center on Range Line in Joplin. Admission is $5 for adults. Kids 12 and under get in free.

Folson, CA | ‘Farewell Concert’ this weekend at Dimple Records: The record store promises more discounted merchandise, food trucks and live music from a variety of genres. Dimple Records isn’t going without a final song. This week the store announced on Facebook that it will host a “farewell concert” at the location in Folsom on Saturday, Aug. 3. The record store promises more discounted merchandise, food trucks and live music from a variety of genres. Seating will be limited, so attendees are welcome to bring their own chairs. Dimple Records store owners John and Dilyn Radakovitz announced their retirement in June. The couple’s son, Andrew Radakovitz, said business has been negatively impacted in recent years by a number of factors, including “some difficulties in regulations, minimum wage.” The Greater Sacramento Area chain of independent record stores has been selling music, movies, collectibles and more for 45 years.

The comeback of cassettes: We’re all suckers for nostalgia, but this one took us by surprise. The cassette tape is the most unlikely comeback of the 21st century, with sales hitting a 15-year high. Spurred on by the vinyl revival, it seems music fans are returning to the humble cassette – but is it really cool to spool once again, or is this one fad too far? I remember the hiss fondly. Don’t we all, but let’s not get carried away. Do you also remember the joy of pulling a chewed-up cassette out of your tape deck? Not to mention its habit of jamming, chewing up your beloved album in the process, and the inability to raise the volume above a certain level before abandoning any notion of sound quality. If video killed the radio star, what finished off cassettes?

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Demand it on Vinyl:
The Louvin Brothers, Live from the Grand Ole Opry in stores 8/23

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Louvin Brothers—Ira and Charlie—were one of the great family close harmony acts that did much to shape the sound of Country music in the fifties and sixties.

Like just about any Country music act of note from that era, their off-stage lives were permeated by fraternal fallings-out, spousal abuse, alcoholism and violence. However, on record and in concert, the brothers managed to produce an ethereal sound that couldn’t help but move their listeners. By Charlie Louvin’s own account, people who saw the Louvin Brothers perform were mystified by the experience. Ira Louvin was a full head taller than his younger brother, played the mandolin like Bill Monroe and sang in an impossibly high, tense, quivering tenor. Charlie strummed a guitar, grinned like a vaudevillian and handled the bottom register. But every so often, in the middle of a song, some hidden signal flashed and the brothers switched places—with Ira swooping down from the heights, and Charlie angling upward—and even the most careful listeners would lose track of which man was carrying the lead.

This was more than close-harmony singing; each instance was an act of transubstantiation. “It baffled a lot of people,” Charlie Louvin explains in his revealing memoir. “We could change in the middle of a word. Part of the reason we could do that was that we’d learned to have a good ear for other people’s voices when we sang Sacred Harp. But the other part is that we were brothers.”

The Louvin Brothers influence can be found in artists as varied as The Byrds, Everly Brothers, The Lemonheads, Nirvana and countless other acts. This CD—which features performances recorded at the Grand Ole Opry in 1962 and 1963, shows the magic of their close harmony style, the other-worldliness of their voices. It’s beautiful stuff.

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In rotation: 8/1/19

Dundee, UK | Assai Records to celebrate opening of new Dundee city centre shop with live shows: Popular Dundee record store Assai is to launch its new city centre home with a weekend of live music. The shop, which was based in Broughty Ferry since 2015, will officially open in its new Union Street home on August 9. Staff announced in April that they would be moving on from Broughty Ferry after an “amazing four years” to take advantage of a bigger venue. It was later announced the new location would be in Union Street and work refitting the store has been ongoing over the last few weeks. To celebrate the store’s new home, staff have lined up some musical shows for the opening weekend. Dundee-musician Kyle Falconer will be there on the Friday to promote a limited edition vinyl release of his single Kelly, via Assai’s record label.

Dundee, UK | Tributes paid as Alastair ‘Breeks’ Brodie, owner of iconic Dundee record store Groucho’s, dies: Tributes have been pouring in for the owner of an iconic Dundee record store following his death. Alastair Brodie, known affectionately by the nickname “Breeks”, passed away on Tuesday night. The 65-year-old was the owner of Groucho’s on the Nethergate and sold vinyl records in the city for 43 years. Mr Brodie had been suffering from various health issues for some time but took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago. He had been in Ninewells Hospital for the past week. His health is said to have deteriorated rapidly and his passing has come as a shock to family and friends. A joint statement from Mr Brodie’s family and colleagues has been issued by Groucho’s following his death. It reads: “Alastair (Breeks) Brodie, 1953-2019. It is with a very heavy heart and much sadness that we have to announce the passing of Alastair or Breeks as many will know him…”

San Antonio, TX | East Coast Brothers’ Crazy Rhythms Records Becomes San Antonio’s Newest Vinyl Haven: A record by Nigerian guitarist King Sunny Ade played in the background at San Antonio’s Crazy Rhythms Records as a handful of people browsed its racks WHEN. Though there were already hundreds of records its shelves, the open room had that still-unpacking vibe. Little art or decoration hung on its walls. Crazy Rhythms Records opened a month ago at 3617 Broadway Suite 402 in a cluster of shops along Avenue B near Brackenridge Park. “Even before we moved here we knew that this was a good city to try this thing out,” said Zeke Baker, a New York City transplant who opened the store with his twin brother Zach. “Corpus felt too small. Here, most people in the record community have been pretty friendly to us. It feels like a big enough city that we can carve out a niche and feel like we’re not stepping on anyone’s toes.” The Bakers’ parents retired a decade ago in Corpus Christi, and since San Antonio was a nearly city twins were familiar with — thanks to extended family located here — they chose it for their fledgling business venture.

Boston, MA | Salem resident Breaux Silcio ditches practicing law to open Residency Records on Bridge Street: New Orleans native says store carries diversity of musical genres. After working as a practicing lawyer for many years, musician and record collector Breaux Silcio said he was “getting a little burnt out.” So he decided to make a change and pursue a longtime aspiration. That’s when Silcio took some money he had saved up and opened Residency Records, now located on Bridge Street in Salem. “I sort of had an epiphany (about five years ago) about wanting to open a store where I could buy the records I want to listen to rather than buy them on the Internet,” he explained. “The Internet is super convenient when you need to have the thing you want right now. Access is pretty much infinite now, but buying this way isn’t fun. You’re just buying, there’s no experience to be had. I’m a digger, a collector. I’m looking for that sweet find. I’m never impressed when someone tells me they went and spent such and such amount on a particular vintage record online.”

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TVD Radar: The Beatles: Made on Merseyside streaming and DVD in stores 8/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “This warmly diverting film is not just for Fab Four fanatics, but for anyone who recalls the start of the Sixties.”The Times (UK)

The Beatles defined music and popular culture like no other band — but how exactly did they make the journey from Merseyside teenagers to international pop stars in the ’60s? Featuring unique and revealing interviews from those involved in the early years of The Beatles, in THE BEATLES: MADE ON MERSEYSIDE, home audiences will discover the story of Fab Four’s ascent from Liverpool and Hamburg to the pinnacle of success.

Recounting how American rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues dragged post-war Liverpool into one of the most vibrant music cities ever with the Mersey Sound, this acclaimed doc delves into the young history of the Fab Four, their early band iterations and why it took so long for them to break through the noise. From school bands, to colleges, Hamburg to The Cavern Club, The Beatles moved from skiffle to rock ‘n’ roll before creating their own unique sound that took the world by storm.

With newly filmed contributions from the “fifth Beatle” Pete Best, Quarrymen Colin Hanton and Len Garry, Brian Epstein’s business associate Joe Flannery, The Beatles first ever secretary Freda Kelly, original Mersey Beat magazine owner Bill Harry, and flatmates of John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, this acclaimed doc charts the original music and the energy and excitement that led to the explosion of Beatlemania and one of the most influential and beloved bands in history.

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In rotation: 7/31/19

Saint Petersburg, FL | Your guide to the 3 top spots in Saint Petersburg’s Ponce De Leon neighborhood: Visiting Ponce De Leon, or just looking to better appreciate what it has to offer? Get to know this Saint Petersburg neighborhood by browsing its most popular local businesses, from a vinyl record shop to a store for golf enthusiasts. Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit in Ponce De Leon, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. …Topping the list is Banana’s Music, a spot to score music and dvds and vinyl records. Located at 2887 22nd Ave. North, it’s the highest-rated business in the neighborhood, boasting 4.5 stars out of 39 reviews on Yelp. With 3.5 million records in stock, you’ll end up finding that Depeche Mode or rare jazz album you’ve always wanted.

Springfield, MO | Business Spotlight: Hitting the Right Notes: Stick It In Your Ear’s new owner looks to build on store’s recent run-up. More than halfway through his first year of ownership at downtown Springfield stalwart Stick It In Your Ear LLC, Erik Milan says he envisions the music store as the last job he’ll ever want. “I love it. I love the downtown area and the customers are great,” he says. “It’s something new every single day. It’s special, man, this place is special.” Prior to purchasing the 26-year-old business late last year for an undisclosed amount from Wes Nichols, Milan had been working at the store since 2015. He was most recently the store manager. Milan says Nichols moved back to California, where he has family. “He started talking about retiring pretty much ever since I started working for him,” Milan says. “I didn’t want the place to go into the wrong hands. … Let’s see how far I can go with it.”

Middletown, NY | 55 Plus: Catch you on the flip side – vinyl’s back: …One of the best places locally to get deals on vinyl is at the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library’s Used Book Store, where some records sell for as little as 25 cents. Most sell for between $2 and $3. You can donate vinyl too. The manager, Peter “Bruce” Swenson, said collectors have come in over the years, looking for a favorite track, even if the records were scratched, and for liner notes, especially jazz collectors. Right now, Thrall has about 600 records in stock. They’ve got a good selection of musicals, classical records and pop artists. “I remember when Frank Sinatra died (in 1998),” Swenson said. “All the Frank Sinatra records disappeared.”

Southgate, MI | Still spinning: Stormy Records celebrates 20 years in business with anniversary party: Stormy Records has weathered the changing music industry landscape for 20 years and celebrated the achievement the only way they know how: with live music, vinyl, and dogs. Hundreds of people attended the celebration at the Dearborn store, 13306 Michigan Ave., throughout the day July 20, according to Stormy Records co-owners and Dearborn residents Windy Weber and Carl Hultgren. The day included live performances by local performers along with free food and refreshments. Customers and friends also were encouraged to bring their dogs to the party because Weber and Hultgren, who have been married for 18 years, are both dog lovers and have two Labrador retrievers at home. “To run our own business and keep it going for 20 years through all kinds of ups and downs — the amount of work and toil and sweat and tears — we deserved to celebrate our accomplishments,” Weber said.

Looking back at a time where major labels were releasing witchcraft rituals: During the 1960s, Capitol Records, A&M, and Warner Bros capitalised on the witchcraft phenomenon with spoken-word albums of occult incantations. From the late 1960s to the mid-70s, occult and witchcraft records became an unlikely phenomenon in the UK and USA. These spoken word LPs included narrations of rituals and spells by witches and covens, usually accompanied by bizarre, early electronic esoteric music. Some were relatively obscure private press releases – just look at The Art of Witchcraft by Babetta, AKA ‘Babetta the Sexy Witch’, and Ian Richardson and Barbara Holdridge’s Malleus Maleficarum, which were both released in 1974 and which today fetch hundreds of pounds online – but what’s odder is that major labels were often the ones putting these records out. It wasn’t unusual to find albums like Alex and Maxine Sanders’ A Witch is Born or Louise Huebner’s Seduction Through Witchcraft arriving through Capitol Records, A&M, or Warner Bros – but why did these occult oddities exist in the first place?

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TVD Radar: Bernie Grundman to receive Making Vinyl Lifetime Achievement Award

VIA PRESS RELEASE | A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to LP mastering legend Bernie Grundman at the third annual Making Vinyl conference on October 14, 2019 that celebrates the global rebirth of the record manufacturing industry.

The ceremony will be held at the W Hotel in Hollywood, a few blocks away from Grundman’s flagship facility which opened in 1984, following a 15-year tenure with A&M Studios. In 1997, Grundman opened his Tokyo mastering studios and in 1998 relocated to expanded facilities in Hollywood. “The name Bernie Grundman is synonymous with mastering,” says Making Vinyl president Bryan Ekus. “Bernie’s world-renowned facilities responsible for a consistently large percentage of chart recordings, and makes him the perfect recipient of our award.”

Grundman’s mastering credits include: Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Van Halen, Prince, The Carpenters, Steely Dan, Herb Alpert, Barbra Streisand, Jack Johnson, Mary J. Blige, Maroon 5, and Outkast, among thousands of other top recording artists.

Grundman’s Hollywood facilities comprise a complex of six studios, including dedicated 5.1 Surround and Lacquer Cutting rooms, which provide mastering services for vinyl, digital streaming, and CDs. Coexistence of physical media in the digital age is a theme of this year’s Making Vinyl conference, which soon will be announcing other confirmed speakers.

Grundman, an expert with the LP cutting lathe, describes mastering as “basically post-production for the recording industry—the final creative step before delivery to the manufacturer for mass production.”

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