Author Archives: TVD HQ

TVD Radar: Doin’ My Drugs documentary to debut On-Demand 12/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In his directorial debut filmmaker Tyler Q Rosen offers a revealing and inspiring documentary about how a man and his guitar can be the beginning of change for an entire nation, one person at a time.

Doin’ My Drugs is a profound and personal look at the extraordinary life of musician Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn as he uses music in an effort to wipe out AIDS in his native Zambia and beyond. Born in Zambia in 1985 to a Zambian mother and Danish father, Buttenschøn was diagnosed HIV positive as an infant. After emigrating to Denmark with his family for treatment, Thomas lost both of his parents to AIDs at the age of nine and became deathly ill himself at 13. Upon regaining his health after beginning antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, he threw himself into music, and at 20, became a Danish pop star.

After marrying and fathering two sons, Thomas reconnected with family in Zambia, and was shocked to discover that the country remains trapped in a senseless HIV/AIDS epidemic. While he is able to live a full and healthy life with the virus, a staggering 13% of Zambians who are infected with HIV remain untreated because of the social stigma attached to the virus, and the resulting reluctance to get tested, despite the availability of free treatment from their government. Determined to make a difference, Thomas has dedicated his life to using his music and his own story to raise awareness about HIV and treatment in Zambia. Teaming with an extraordinary group of Zambian musicians, Thomas embarks on a crusade to wipe HIV and AIDS in Zambia, and throughout Africa.

The film is executive produced by longtime HIV/AIDS activist Jake Glaser of The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. EGPAF seeks to end global pediatric HIV/AIDS through prevention and treatment programs, research, and advocacy. Released by Freestyle Digital Media, the film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios.

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TVD Radar: Mary J. Blige, My Life 2LP and 3LP sets in stores 11/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | UMe’s Urban Legends, the label imprint and cross-platform initiative devoted to the curation and celebration of over three decades of urban catalog music and culture, and Soul In The Horn, an innovative digital movement that seeks to bridge cultural gaps by bringing together a diverse cross-section of creative talents, have teamed up to create an extraordinary one-of-a-kind 3-D experience for ardent Mary J. Blige fans that celebrates the November 29 anniversary of My Life, one of the most critically acclaimed and important R&B albums of all time.

Over the past few days, 500 randomly selected superfans from her newsletter and website, ages 21+, received an invitation to dive into a dynamic online environment full of rare content via mobile or desktop that mirrors virtual reality. Custom-built so fans can interact with one another as well as with digital concierges designed to guide them on-demand throughout the journey, UMe’s Urban Legends and Soul In The Horn provide VIP access to My Life music, performances, visuals and more.

Mary J. Blige, the legendary singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist and honorary Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, will re-release her acclaimed 1994 sophomore album, My Life, on November 20 via Geffen/UMe. The album will be released in three physical forms: a 2CD, a standard weight black double vinyl, and a triple vinyl edition in translucent blue with a lenticular cover, including bonus tracks featuring LL Cool J, and Smif ‘N Wessun. The 3LP edition will also be available digitally which will also feature commentary by Mary J. Blige on the original album tracks. From her No. 57 hit “You Bring Me Joy” to her No. 22 version of Rose Royce’s 1976 soul classic “I’m Going Down,” My Life was one of Blige’s most creatively vital works to date.

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In rotation: 11/18/20

Portland, OR | Photo Essay: Music Millennium Survived the Advent of Streaming Services. Now It’s Surviving the Pandemic, Too. Each month since reopening, sales have roughly equaled figures from the previous year. Founded in 1969, Music Millennium has survived Napster, smartphones and streaming. When the COVID-19 pandemic came, the store switched to curbside- and online-only service for 10 weeks but returned to limited in-store shopping in June. Now admitting up to 10 customers at a time, there is frequently a line to enter the store. Each month since reopening, sales have roughly equaled figures from the previous year.

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: New COVID-19 Closures Are ‘Getting Closer.’ In an “eventful week,” store owner Angie Roloff deals with a family tragedy, exploding coronavirus cases and the threat of new closures. In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, after Ron left a career in the biomedical research field to pursue his love of music full time. Nearly 31 years later, the couple made the difficult decision to shutter in-store operations due to COVID-19, roughly a week before Gov. Tony Evers forced a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses. Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Evers’ stay-at-home order — ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” — the Roloffs and their employees have reopened the store. As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, we will be speaking with Roloff regularly to chronicle her experience throughout the crisis.

Richmond, VA | Musical Healing: Record Store Day offers a special release of a legendary concert at Plan 9 Records from 14 years ago. In the summer of 2006, the Richmond music scene was still reeling from the tragic murders of the Harvey family. On July 13, Plan 9 Records in Carytown held a rock concert to raise money for the Harvey family memorial endowment – a show that would go down in the history books of that Richmond institution. The sold-out event for just over 200 people started at 10 p.m. and raged on for two and half hours, about an hour longer than the band originally planned. Now others get to hear all its sweaty glory when a four-record vinyl set of the Drive-By Truckers’ “Plan 9 Records July 13, 2006” is released on Record Store Day this Black Friday – an album one national music critic is calling the band’s best live recording. As for its pay that night, the group received a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and two bottles of whiskey — all of which was consumed by the encore.

AU | Why are vinyl records making a huge comeback? Just when we roll our eyes at the fact that kids these days only listen to Spotify, we see news that the sales of vinyl records surpassed that of CD. Wait, what? Are we back in the 60s? Are vinyl records really back from the dead? Well first of all, vinyl never really died. It decreased in sales when CD became famous in the late 80s but there were still a bunch of people who are vinyl freaks. Vinyl sales dropped fast but it continually increased in sales years after, peaking in 2006 and it never stopped going up since then. Years later, here we are. The Recording Industry Association of America, LP vinyl records accounted for $232.1 million of music sales in the first six months of 2020, whereas CDs have only brought in $129.9 million. This is the first time since 1986 that vinyl has outsold CDs. Today, you don’t have to be a hotshot musician in order to release vinyl because one great benefit of the internet is that you can also find ways to lessen the risk of financial loss. Nowadays, you can make as few as 50 units and just sell it on your website or even do pre-order (they buy before you press vinyl) so you are sure every vinyl you press will get sold. Although vinyl is still relatively expensive to make, there are many tricks and tips for a cheap vinyl record pressing.

Norman Cook: ‘I would go out actively looking for strange old records I could take little tiny bits of.’ “…You know that that beautiful moment in DJing is when the whole room becomes as one like a collective euphoria and a collective abandon, which is a very powerful thing and if you can achieve that at arena level it really is quite an emotional thing to witness that kind of, the togetherness and the community within it… It started that I just had a big record collection so when I discovered a sampler and the fun you could have with it, I started trawling through my record collection. I was always a crate digger and I was always a vinyl junkie and that just kind of fed my habit that I could – when I was DJing abroad, I would always hit record shops in the afternoon and thrift stores and then yeah, so I would go out actively looking for strange old records that I could take little tiny bits of. So again it sort of fed my addiction of being a vinyl junkie but I was calling it my job because this was source material.

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TVD Radar: Newport Folk Festival releases
A Change Is Gonna Come, 2LP in stores early 2021

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Featuring Jon Batiste, Mavis Staples, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr, Valerie June, Brandi Carlile, Maggie Rogers, Rachael Price, Chris Thile, Bermuda Triangle and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band backed up by The Dap-Kings.

Recorded during the finale of the 2018 Newport Folk Festival, A Change Is Gonna Come was a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between some of our very dear friends. Featuring Jon Batiste, Mavis Staples, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr, Valerie June, Brandi Carlile, Maggie Rogers, Rachael Price, Chris Thile, Bermuda Triangle and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band backed up by the inimitable Dap-Kings.

A Change Is Gonna Come is being issued as a limited edition 2-record set pressed at RTI on premium 180-gram vinyl and housed in a genuine old style tip-on gatefold jacket. Limited to 1,000 hand-numbered copies, each pre-order comes with an immediate free digital download of the recording. Vinyl will ship in early 2021. Fans can pre-order the album here today. Proceeds will support Newport Festivals Foundation’s ongoing initiatives to support musicians in need and music programs across the country.

“In the Spring of 2018, I was in the famed Studio A of Electric Lady Studios watching Jon Batiste and The Dap-Kings blow the minds of those fortunate to attend one of our first live Newport Festivals Fundraisers. Immediately afterward, sitting with Jon in the control room digesting what we all had just experienced, we both knew this needed to be witnessed by more than just a handful of lucky souls,” says Newport Festivals Executive Producer Jay Sweet. “And so the idea was born to close the 2018 Newport Folk Festival with a set we called ‘A Change Is Going to Come,’ a celebration of the festival’s storied history with the civil rights movement.”

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TVD Radar: The Offspring, Conspiracy
of One
20th anniversary color vinyl reissue in stores 12/11

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To commemorate its 20th anniversary, Conspiracy of One, the sixth album by punk rock trailblazers the Offspring, will once again be available on vinyl—the first time since its release in 2000. On December 11, Round Hill Records/UMe will release a deluxe version of Conspiracy of One pressed to yellow and red splatter vinyl, which includes spot gloss on the cover and a custom turntable slipmat featuring the Offspring’s flaming skull silhouette logo. A non-deluxe, limited-edition canary yellow vinyl variant will be available on uDiscover & The Sound of Vinyl. A standard black vinyl version will be released in early 2021.

All editions will feature the bonus track “Huck It.” The anthemic, sub-three-minute blast was featured on their 2000 VHS/DVD Huck It and used to soundtrack various skateboard stunts, including longtime Offspring drummer Ron Welty doing a successful board-to-board leap over two of his bandmates. “Huck It” will be released as a stand-alone digital single on November 13. A lyric video featuring footage from the Huck It VHS/DVD will also be released on November 13. In addition, the official videos for Conspiracy’s first two singles—”Original Prankster” and “Want You Bad”—will be available on the Offspring’s Official YouTube channel in newly remastered HD.

Conspiracy of One, the first Offspring album of the 21st Century, was the fourth album from the game-changing punk group to be certified Platinum, a feat completed only a month after its release on November 14, 2000. The album is best known for its lead single, “Original Prankster,” a song that broke the Billboard Top 100 and hit Number 2 on the U.S. Alternative Airplay charts. The song and its mischievous video by director Dave Meyers included a funky sample from War’s “Low Rider” and a cameo from hip-hop legend Redman. The album’s follow-up single, “Want You Bad,” could be heard in the film American Pie 2 and the video game Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller.

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In rotation: 11/17/20

Tower Records returns as an online store: 2020 has been a tough year, but one bright spot has surfaced as the year winds down. Onetime record store chain Tower Records has been resurrected as an online store. The new Tower Records, which can be found online here, will have online events, the return of their Tower Pulse! magazine, a merchandise section and a wealth of vinyl, CD and cassette selections. The onetime record store giant has been shuttered since 2006, minus a store in Japan, after filing for bankruptcy. The chain’s rise and fall was documented in the 2015 film All Things Must Pass. Deadline reports that the Tower resurrection was expected to be revealed earlier this year at Austin’s SXSW festival. However, the cancellation of the annual event due to COVID-19 led to the delay of the announcement. The intent was to add a series of pop-up shops as well, which could still happen when the pandemic lessens. Tower Records’ new CEO Danny Zeijdel made a statement about the company’s return. “[The news] has been met with tremendous success, feedback,” Zeijdel said. “A lot of people are so happy taking pictures of when they receive an order from Tower Records, posting it on Instagram.”

Memphis, TN | With Patreon & an Online Variety Show, Goner Records Adapts to the Pandemic: Record stores have been hit hard by the age of quarantine, and in the case of Goner Records, which is also a label and festival promoter, the effect has been tripled. And yet their many innovations, from a “telethon” for Record Store Day, to Goner TV (which debuted in July), to this year’s virtual Gonerfest, reveal their willingness to innovate in order to accommodate the new normal. Now they’ve embraced another approach to both surviving and staying connected with fans and customers, one that is more typically associated with artists: Patreon. I spoke with co-owner Zac Ives to learn more about the reasons behind their latest move, and what kinds of offerings patrons can expect. “…the positive thing about this is, it really allows people to have a more direct impact on things that they care about. And so that’s what this turned into. If you like what we’re doing, there’s a way for you to directly impact our ability to keep doing these things. And at the same time, it lets us be creative with what we can give back to people for their help, for being a patron.”

Toronto, CA | Jason Momoa spotted at Toronto record shop: Jason Momoa was spotted getting his groove on to some soul music at a Toronto record store. The Aquaman star stopped into Cosmos Records, located at 607a Queen St West, on Friday. The shops Instagram account posted a video of the actor dancing along to Syl Johnson’s “Different Strokes” as he looked through the vinyl. Cosmos wrote that the Game of Thrones alumni’s visit was “good vibes only.” Momoa was previously photographed at Ozzy’s Burgers in Kensington Market, and has been seen strolling through Parkdale. According to the City of Toronto’s list of Current Productions, the actor is in the city to film the second season of the dystopian Apple TV+ series See.

Elvis Costello on Turning His 1979 Tour De Force, ‘Armed Forces,’ Into 2020’s Splashiest Boxed Set: In a Variety bonus Q&A, Costello revisits how Bowie and ABBA influenced him four decades ago, why he’s cool with the super-deluxe “Forces” coming out via vinyl, streaming and downloads but not on CD… and drops a new performance of the classic “Party Girl.” Very few music boxed sets aspire beyond being gussied up digital repositories to becoming actual physical pieces of pop art. But opening up the new vinyl set from Elvis Costello, “The Complete Armed Forces,” feels like getting several Christmas mornings all at once, with a suitable-for-fondling nine records, seven paperbacks and various other ephemera intended to bring back the color explosions of 1979 as well as invoke other visual styles from the pulp-fiction ‘50s to the present. At the center of the “super-deluxe” set, enveloped in elaborate, Barney Bubbles-designed origami packaging, is one of rock ‘n’ roll’s fairly undisputed masterpieces, “Armed Forces,” a semi-concept record that reinvented Costello’s style three albums into his career and made “emotional fascism” sound like great, brow-furrowed fun.

Naples, IT | New record shop, Organica, opens in Naples: The store is run by the team behind popular venue Basic Club. Naples has a new record shop. Organica Records, which is run by the team behind popular local spot Basic Club, opened on Friday, November 6th. Located in the city’s historic centre, on Via Vincenzo Bellini, the shop stocks all sorts of music on vinyl, from Latin, soul and jazz to techno, disco and deep house. There are listening decks in-store, plus a selection of beers and soft drinks. Head to Organica’s website for more information, and check out some photos.

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TVD Radar: LEVL UP Fest to benefit the people of the live events industry streaming 12/16

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Live Events Lift Up Festival, also known as LEVL UP Fest, will stream live from the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday, December 16 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. This “festival of music and stories of life on and off the road” will feature performances from more than 25 artists and entertainers who have stepped up to honor all those who help them “go live.” Throughout the event, we’ll hear stories from artists and crew about what it means to be part of a “road family” and get a glimpse behind the scenes of what it takes to produce live entertainment and events.

In early March 2020, the live events industry was shut down by mandate in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Suddenly, an entire workforce whose livelihoods revolve around creating events where people gather, came to a grinding halt. The collapse of the ecosystem in the live events industry, from supply chain to front lines, quickly became catastrophic. Live events support more than 12 million jobs; and according to statistics from several sources, including the Department of Labor, 77% of the workers in live events have lost 100% of their income. Event pros are grappling with the loss of their income, the uncertainty of when work might return, whether the Government might do enough to stabilize the industry and trying to figure out how they are going to survive.

“We’ve seen depression and anxiety take hold across our community, loss of life due to suicide, families in fear of losing homes and generational small businesses closing their doors,” says Shannon Cook, Co-Founder of LEVL UP Fest. “With large-scale gatherings not expected to return until mid to late 2021, workers across this industry face a very uncertain future.”

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TVD Radar: The Black Keys, Brothers 10th anniversary remastered edition in stores 12/18

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Black Keys release Brothers (Deluxe Remastered Anniversary Edition), an expanded version of their watershed 2010 multi-platinum, Grammy-winning sixth studio album December 18, 2020 in the US and Canada and on January 1, 2021 in all other territories, via Nonesuch Records, on which the record is newly available throughout the world.

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Brothers will be re-released with three added bonus songs: “Keep My Name Outta Your Mouth,” “Black Mud Part II,” and “Chop and Change.” It will be available in three formats: a 7” box set, a 2-LP set, and a CD (full info about each below). This will be the first in an annual series of archival releases from the band. Brothers (Deluxe Remastered 10th Anniversary Edition) is available for pre-order here. The band today also share their promotional video for the release, directed by Bryan Schlam.

Members of The Black Keys fan club, The Lonely Boys and Girls Club, were treated to an early listen of one of the new tracks from the deluxe reissue, as well as an early look at some of the bonus material included in the upcoming release.

Brothers, originally released on May 18, 2010, was largely recorded at the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. It was a career breakthrough for The Black Keys, receiving critical praise and earning three Grammy Awards, for Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Performance, and Best Recording Packaging for Michael Carney’s design. Upon release, Rolling Stone hailed the album “a masterpiece,” and Uncut named them “one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands on the planet.”

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In rotation: 11/16/20

UK | Independent record stores to be celebrated in relaunched #recordstoreoftheday campaign: It kicks off with Brighton indie store Resident. A campaign to celebrate independent record stores in the UK has been relaunched. Originally launched back in March at the onset of lockdown, #RecordStoreOfTheDay is back from today (13th November) to fly the flag for stores across the country. It kicks off with Resident in Brighton. Posted on Instagram, Record Store of the Day organisers said, “We are excited to announce that Record Store of the Day is back! In response to lockdown 2.0, we thought it only right to continue our campaign highlighting the best indie record stores around, starting with @residentbrighton.⁣” Supported by Association of Independent Music, BPI, ERA and more, the initiative will focus on one independent record store each day of the week. See the full list of record stores below. Back in June, a separate event, Love Record Stores Day, boosted music retail by £1 million.

The legendary Tower Records returns as online store: The iconic chain closed all its non-Japanese stores in 2006. The legendary Tower Records chain has made a comeback as an online store. The chain has been out of action for over a decade, closing all its non-Japanese stores in 2006 after filing bankruptcy. A new Tower Records website is already up and running, with vinyl, CDs, merchandise and an online version of their Tower Pulse! magazine on sale now. As Deadline report, the second coming of Tower Records was set to be unveiled at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, which was then cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak back in early March. A series of pop-up shops were also set to accompany the store’s return, and may still come to fruition when COVID-19 rules are relaxed. Tower Records’ new CEO Danny Zeijdel made a statement about the company’s return. Zeijdel replaces late founder Russ Solomon, who died in 2018 at the age of 92. “[The news] has been met with tremendous success, feedback,” Zeijdel said.

Traverse City, MI | Collecting Vinyl Records: A Hobby that Will Never Go Out of Style: With the colder weather slowly pushing us inside for the winter, chances are you’re looking for new ways to stay entertained. One hobby that will never go out of style is collecting and playing vinylStudio Anatomy Pkg Ll 4 records. Studio Anatomy, a recording studio and event space in downtown Traverse City opened a record shop called Eugene’s Record Co-Op. It’s a consignment shop where people can buy and sell records, turntables, and accessories. Brian Chamberlain the owner of both Eugene’s and Studio Anatomy says, “records are definitely the comeback. I think a lot of younger people are interested in something that’s tangible.” Eugene’s is located within Studio Anatomy, a recording space for some of Northern Michigan’s talented artists and performers. Anyone and everyone is welcome to use the recording studio for a reasonable fee.

Asheville, NC | Citizen Vinyl: Put Another Record On: Session Bar & Café is my beat, but you can feel a different kind of beat pulses throughout the entire building at Citizen Vinyl. …They’ve come at the business of vinyl from a lot of different directions: the retail record shop, recording studio, their ability to make vinyl masters, as well as large and short album runs, and the rooftop, which may be used for intimate live performances. With the record press installed and running on the main floor, you’ll be able to watch it do its magic through large interior windows while you have lunch, sip a latte, or meet with friends for cocktails.

Is it ideal to start collecting vinyl records right now? Collecting anything is a very intimate process. No matter what type of collection someone pursues, it’s going to look a little different than anyone else’s collection. Often collecting leads the collector down a path of study, research, and introspection. Often the collector ends up with highly specialized knowledge that not everyone else is going to be able to relate to, understand, or appreciate (but those that get it, really get it). Truly great collections take time and energy—a consistent study over a long period. Then, even after all the learning, there’s still the hunt—the seeking out of rare items that are hard to find—the pieces that make any collection truly spectacular. Difficulties aside, collecting can be one of the most rewarding hobbies there is. The physical items that have been found and compiled provide joy and look great in a home, they sometimes entertain as well, but it’s more than this.

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TVD Radar: Bill Evans, Live at Ronnie Scott’s 2LP in stores 11/27

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Resonance Records will proudly release Bill Evans Live at Ronnie Scott’s, the label’s third collection featuring hitherto unheard recordings by the great pianist’s short-lived 1968 trio with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette, as a two-LP Record Store Day exclusive on Black Friday, November 27. The album will subsequently see release as a two-CD set and a digital download on December 4.

Resonance—a division of the Rising Jazz Stars Foundation, a non-profit corporation created to discover the next jazz stars—has previously issued two widely acclaimed, never-before-heard albums by Evans’ ’68 unit. That combo recorded the pianist’s second Grammy Award-winning Verve album, Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival; recorded on June 15, 1968, it was the only contemporaneous album released from the lineup during its brief existence.

Unearthed by Resonance co-president Zev Feldman (a/k/a “the Jazz Detective”), Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest (2016) was a two-LP/two-CD studio date, cut five days after the Evans-Gomez-DeJohnette trio’s Montreux appearance, which had sat unheard in the German vaults for 50 years. A second historic discovery, Another Time (2018), was recorded two days later by the Netherlands Radio Union in Hilversum. These collections garnered praise in DownBeat and JazzTimes in the U.S., Jazzwise in the U.K., and the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll; Some Other Time topped Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart.

Drawn from Jack DeJohnette’s personal archives, Live at Ronnie Scott’s comprises 20 scintillating tracks captured during the Evans trio’s month-long ’68 residency at the eponymous saxophonist-impresario’s Soho club. (It is Resonance’s second live Evans album to emanate from that venue: 2019’s Evans in England derived from a 1969 stand at Scott’s, featuring Gomez and drummer Marty Morell.)

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TVD Radar: Elvis:
That’s The Way It Is: Special Edition
in cinemas 12/3–12/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Trafalgar Releasing and Warner Bros. today announced the upcoming release of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is: Special Edition, coming to cinemas across North America from December 3 to 6. This follows the success of the release earlier in the year across the UK and additional selected territories. The film took the number one spot on the UK cinema box office on night of release, making it the biggest popular music concert release of 2020 at that time. Tickets for the North American release will be on sale beginning today at ElvisThatsTheWayItIs.com.

To celebrate 85 years of Elvis Presley and 50 years since the film’s original 1970 release, the King returns to cinemas—remastered—with Elvis: That’s The Way It Is: Special Edition, an unmissable event for fans.

On July 31, 1970, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley staged a triumphant return to the concert stage from which he had been absent for almost a decade. His series of concerts broke all box office records and completely re-energized the career of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. This feature-length documentary and concert film features performances including “Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “Suspicious Minds.” Crossing the footlights, revealing the legendary singer as a man preparing for an emotional career comeback, the fans who travelled from all over the world for this history-making event…. and the electrifying live performance of the man who gave us rock ‘n’ roll.

Kymberli Frueh, SVP, Programming and Content Acquisitions of Trafalgar Releasing has said on the release: “Following the success in the UK and other territories earlier in the year, we’re so excited to be partnering with Warner Bros. and Authentic Brands Group to be bringing this seminal film to cinemas in North America. The film marks the start of a new global event cinema distribution relationship between Trafalgar Releasing and Warner Bros. and we look forward to collaborating closely with their team.”

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In rotation: 11/13/20

Do People Still Buy CDs? The Answer Is Yes — Tens of Millions Are Still Sold Every Year: The short answer to the question that so many music fans have asked – ‘do people still buy CDs?’ – is absolutely ‘yes.’ But despite tens of millions of CD sales worldwide, evidence indicates that far fewer consumers are purchasing CDs amid the pandemic. It’s part of a trend that could continue even after COVID is in the rearview. Nearly 11 millions CDs were sold during the first half of this year — in the United States alone. Head over to the second largest music market in Japan, and CDs remain the dominant format with more than 70 percent of all recorded music sales. But with COVID closing record stores, CD sales in both markets could be facing serious declines ahead. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), U.S. recorded music revenues increased 5.6 percent during 2020’s first half, to $5.7 billion at retail value, compared to the same period in 2019. The fact that this growth arrived amid the pandemic is significant, with CD-buying die-hards still making purchases despite record store closures and widespread lockdowns.

Austin, TX | Austin Record Stores Move the Needle on In-Person Shopping: You may now commence thumbing through the stacks again (provided you follow the new safety rules). Before last Saturday, I hadn’t set foot in a record store in seven months. The last time I’d gone that long, my favorite musical artist was the children’s singer Raffi. Still, my weekend trip to Waterloo Records felt normal – even considering I got scanned with a forehead thermometer upon entry, the checkout clerk was behind Plexiglas, and the shop’s used new arrivals section had been relocated to spread out customers. In those crates, I mined an LP from the Sixties vocal group the Exciters, then journeyed over to the international section and scored a copy of Divine Horsemen: The Voodoo Gods of Haiti, a collection of field recordings of possession rituals captured in the Forties and Fifties. I didn’t know I needed that record until I flipped upon it in a rack…Owner John Kunz believes the slow, scaled reopening of Austin’s record retailers speaks to them “trying to be part of solution, not part of the problem in terms of the spread.” Still, he says operations have evolved as we understand more about the coronavirus.

The best high-end turntables: So you’ve had your mid-range turntable for a while: it’s the best, you love it! However, there’s a daunting question lingering in the back of your mind, is there more? Well for the enthusiast or self-proclaimed audiophile, the upgrade to the next bracket is completely worth it. With any price increase you can expect an even more precise attention to detail – whether it’s design, sound quality, or components going into the construction of a turntable. In higher-end turntables, all of these things play pivotal roles in delivering you the utmost, and accurate sound quality you can imagine. There are a few caveats however: with an emphasis on vibration reduction, you’ll typically find features found in budget and mid-range turntables – such as speed change buttons, removable headshells, built-in preamplifiers – removed. Things such as your phono preamplifier, stereo amplifier, and RCA cables all need to be of a high quality if you want to get the most out of your turntable. Ease of use or easy set-up isn’t to be expected either.

Sleevenote is a high-res music player designed for album art: Tom Vek, recording artist, wants to sell you a music player. One that he’s designed himself. Sleevenote is designed to respect your favorite albums, from cover to tracklist, as a work of art in their own right. It’s pretty much all-screen, a 6.2-inch square picture frame that lets you interact with music the way we used to. Select a record, read through its (digital) booklet and select tracks by touching their name on the back cover. It’s designed to recapture the vibe you had when getting a CD, or vinyl record, ready to play for the first time. “I was doing the artwork for [2011’s Leisure Seizure] and it dawned on me that not everyone buying it was going to see it,” Vek told Engadget. Knowing that the work he was putting in to creating the album-as-a-package was likely to go to waste upset him greatly. “I’d been resistant to the iPod,” said Vek, “because it wasn’t a good replacement for the visual side of CDs.” For many cover design is an art form in and of itself, with many covers iconic in their own right.

Williamstown, MA | The Pick-Up Pop-Up Bookshop: A visual suspension of the new coronavirus reality: “It’s almost a single freeze frame of a movie. It’s a space, cast with characters. The idea is to take you away, and sort of transport you off Spring Street,” said Artist Stacy Cochran as she described her new Pick-Up Pop-Up Bookshop in town. As the Mass MoCA gift shop recently closed, Cochran fashioned an operative art installation to create a moment of atmospheric light in the symbolically vacant space. The space is not a complete store, but a pop-up installation, intended to emulate a bookshop, where people can pick up an order placed from the website of the Northshire Bookstore of Manchester, Vt. each week. “It was sad to see Images with an empty storefront. So I thought I’m just going to rent the space and do something here that feels productive,” the artist said. The goal was to contribute to the life of the street and bring people together in an unexpected way, especially in this isolating time. “The first thing I thought of was a bookstore. I am worried about independent bookstores, as we all are, and if anyone is going to spend money on gifts or for themselves, and be persuaded not to go to Amazon to do it, that seems like a win,” the artist said.

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TVD Radar: Radio Woodstock presents ‘Record Day’ special programming, 11/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | A Special Music Programming Experience on Thanksgiving Day

Celebrating 40 years as an independent broadcaster, Radio Woodstock (100.1 WDST licensed to Woodstock, New York) celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday connecting listeners with the record albums that have had an enduring impact on their lives. “Record Day” asks engaged listeners to submit their favorite albums they are “most thankful for.” Radio Woodstock will play these entire albums on Thursday, November 26, 2020 from 7am-10pm, creating the ultimate listener-curated Thanksgiving day album soundtrack.

The “Record Day” line-up includes The Last Waltz by The Band, 11-17-70 by Elton John, Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (scheduled for 9AM), and Alice’s Restaurant Massacree Revisited (scheduled for 12pm). Listeners can submit their favorite albums by emailing [email protected] and can tune in 100.1 FM in the Hudson Valley, or listen to the live stream worldwide via the iHeartRadio app or online at radiowoodstock.com. “Record Day” is supported by Gary DiMauro Real Estate and Darkside Records in Poughkeepsie.

Radio Woodstock’s Director of Programming Greg Gattine says, “This year let’s be especially grateful for the music and how it connects us to ourselves, to each other and to the universe. On Thanksgiving let’s go back to a time when we listened to the whole album, in order from side A to side B, and have the shared experience that we’re all listening to Rock n’ Roll history.”

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TVD Radar: Museum Town doc featuring David Byrne, Wilco,
Nick Cave and more streaming 12/4

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Documentary features Nick Cave, James Turrell, Laurie Anderson, and David Byrne. Original music and soundtrack features John Stirratt of Wilco, with songs by Talking Heads, Sharon Jones, Big Thief, Wilco, Moses Sumney among others

The captivating new documentary Museum Town from former MASS MoCA director of development Jennifer Trainer, tells the story of a unique museum, the small town it calls home, and the great risk, hope, and power of art to transform a desolate post-industrial city. In 2017, MASS MoCA became the largest museum for contemporary art in the world—but just three decades before, its vast brick buildings were the abandoned relics of a massive shuttered factory. How did such a wildly improbable transformation come to be?

MASS MoCA is a testament to tenacity and imagination, Museum Town traces the remarkable story of how a small rural Massachusetts town went from economic collapse to art mecca. Threaded with interviews of a diverse cast—a tattooed curator, a fabricator, former factory worker, and shopkeepers—the film also looks at the artistic process itself, tracking the work and ideas of celebrated artist Nick Cave as he creates his groundbreaking installation at MASS MoCA, UNTIL.

Museum Town captures the meeting of small-town USA and the global art world as it tells a tale that is, like any great artwork, soulful, thought-provoking and unforgettable. Museum Town will be released by Kino Lorber through Kino Marquee virtual cinemas December 4th, 2020.

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TVD Radar: ‘Vinyls
for Good’ supporting
the COVID-affected hospitality industry

EDITOR’S NOTE: The plural of vinyl is vinyl. Period. But sometimes a good cause is a good cause, right?

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Vinyls for Good has just launched, a collaboration between NYHed Studios and a Spanish beer company to support local bars and restaurants affected by the global pandemic crisis. By purchasing a vinyl record featuring two songs from up-and-coming Spanish band Go Cactus (“Would You Hold My Hand” & “Hippie Jump”) on sale in over 150 establishments in New York, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, DC, supporters can help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry. All proceeds go directly to the businesses.

Resident producer and co-owner of the legendary analog and digital NYHed Studio, Rocio Verta-Ray has a multi-generational connection to the beer company. She produced these exclusive tracks from Go Cactus, a fresh rock band in the vein of Ty Segall and Strange Boys. They have played at major music festivals like SXSW and were featured by YouTube Music as one of 2019´s essential music groups of the moment. The recordings made at NYHed were also pressed in Brooklyn Phono.

“Artists and musicians need an outlet and the bars, halls and clubs where they play are the essential proving grounds where their creative drive can flower. And bars are where we all congregate, to share a laugh, great music and perhaps a cool beer,” Verta-Ray says. “For me, Vinyls For Good is the perfect project to respond to this crisis since it supports both the musicians as well as the live venues and bars that until recently were the lifeblood of in-person performances.”

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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