Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

We’re seeking interns for the Winter 2017 semester

They come, they go—every 6 months or so it seems, leaving an indelible mark at TVD and on their own careers. Some depart to labels. Some are drafted by PR firms. Hell, some even stay on as TVD editors from their own home city—they’re just that good.

We’re seeking bright, self motivated, articulate future music industry professionals to join our team on the content side as well as the marketing and social media outreach that informs the day to day at TVD. Candidates need not be in Washington, DC where we’re based to be considered—just be awake when we are.

Interested? Drop us an email introducing yourself.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Neil Young,
Tonight’s the Night

On 1974’s Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (a band that was hoovering so much coke at the time they became known as “The Frozen Noses”) cash cow reunion tour, Neil Young fought to include a frenetic tune he’d written about the Manson Family, “Revolution Blues.” Unfortunately, the song’s incendiary lyrics (“I got the revolution blues/I see bloody fountains/And ten million dune buggies/Comin’ down the mountains/Well, I hear that Laurel Canyon is full of famous stars/But I hate them worse than lepers/And I’ll kill them in their cars”) so unnerved counterculture scaredy-cat David “Almost Cut My Nose Hair” Crosby that he was afraid to play it. Thought Squeaky Fromme might come after him. As for the rest of the band, they found it too much of a bummer. As Young himself put it, “They all wanted to put out the light, y’know, make people feel good and happy and everything, and that song was like a wart or something on the perfect beast.”

Neil Young was far from “good and happy and everything” at the time. He had come to regard the success of “Heart of Gold” as a curse–as he famously wrote in the liner notes to greatest hits LP Decade, “[“Heart of Gold”] put me in the middle of the road. Travelling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there.” Worse, he’d lost two close friends, CSN&Y roadie Bruce Berry and Crazy Horse guitarist and vocalist Danny Whitten, to heroin overdoses, and their deaths had hit him hard.

The result, which came at the recommendation of The Band’s Rick Danko, was 1975’s Tonight’s the Night, one of the darkest, sloppiest, most-wasted-sounding and greatest LPs ever made. Indeed, the album–which was recorded by a scratch band Young dubbed The Santa Monica Flyers, who included Crazy Horse’s Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina on bass and drums respectively, Nils “Grin” Lofgren on guitar and piano, and Ben Keith on pedal steel guitar–was so slapdash-sounding, unrepentently out of key, and unremittingly bleak that the mortified execs at Reprise, Young’s record label, not only refused to handle it without gardening gloves, but declined to release it for two years.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: Chicago II, The Steven Wilson Remix in stores, 1/27

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “More than 40 years after its debut, Chicago II still sounds like nothing else. Released in 1970, Chicago’s second album brims with confidence and inspiration as it draws on everything from orchestral music to heavy rock. Although it never affected the record’s popularity – it peaked at #4 on the album chart and spawned a trio of Top Ten hits – many fans have longed for a more-nuanced mix. That wish is about to come true with a new stereo version created by British musician and producer Steven Wilson.”

Chicago II, The Steven Wilson Remix will be available January 27 on CD for $14.98. The newly remixed album will also be released as a double-LP set later next year for $31.98. Chicago II has been remixed before, but never like this. For the first time, a stereo remix from the 16-track multi-track tapes made it possible for Steven Wilson to bring out elements that were muffled or submerged in the mix. The result is a new stereo version of Chicago II that boasts clearness, punch and definition that it didn’t have before.

Wilson explains: “Working with high-resolution 96K/24 bit digitally transferred files, I had every element from the recording sessions isolated, which meant I was able to rebuild the mix from the drums upwards, recreating as closely as I could the equalization, stereo placement, reverbs, other effects, and volume changes of each individual instrument or vocal – but at the same time looking to gain definition and clarity in the overall sound.”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Aly Tadros,
The TVD First Date

“Where I grew up, record players weren’t really a thing.”

“I came of age in South Texas in a town where and Top-20 Radio ruled. The first tape I ever bought was Britney Spears’s breakout single, “Hit Me Baby.” The only music my parents we listened to at home was classical music on the local Catholic radio station or, on special occasions, the Gypsy Kings. My family’s music taste was, in short, tragically uncool. Outside of the occasional odd reference on Nick at Night, I never really understand the purpose of a record players. Weren’t CDs the wave of the future?

The first record I ever listened to was Tom Waits’ Blood Money, camped out in a my buddy’s apartment in downtown San Antonio, Texas. “There is NO other way to listen to this album. The fidelity is incomparable,” he told me; but to be honest I couldn’t really tell if it was the vinyl that intensified the croon in Tom’s voice in “Everything Goes to Hell,” or the massive amount of pot we had just smoked. I just didn’t get what the big deal was.

Then I moved to Brooklyn.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Neil Young,
Time Fades Away

Neil Young’s years spent “in the ditch” (his words) remain, for me, the most vital of his entire career. As the hippie dream fell apart so did Young, and on albums such as 1975’s Tonight’s the Night (a “howling facedown with heroin and death itself,” in the critic Robert Christgau’s words) and 1973’s live Time Fades Away Young proceeded to disintegrate, sick unto death with the deaths of his junkie friends and dissatisfied with the folk-rock box he’d put himself in with 1972’s mellow Harvest, the LP that made him a superstar.

On Tonight’s the Night the songs bear an almost unbearable weight of sorrow, and Young’s mournful wildcat yowl is a million miles away from the peaceful vibes of Harvest; one can only imagine what Harvest’s diehard fans must have thought of it, just as it’s hard to imagine what his concert-going fans made of the never-before heard songs on Time Fades Away, on which Young and his Stray Gators ripped into such raw, electrified (and electrifying) numbers as the title track, the great “Yonder Stands the Sinner,” and “Last Dance.”

Me, I’ll always think Tonight’s the Night is the greatest LP ever made about the demise of the Age of Aquarius, but Time Fades Away has its pleasures as well, even if Young himself has dismissed it on multiple occasions, saying in 1987 that it was “the worst record I ever made—but as a documentary of what was happening to me, it was a great record.” And on the original, unreleased liner notes to 1977’s Decade, he again expressed his unhappiness with the tour and ensuing record, before saying, “… but I released it anyway so you folks could see what could happen if you lose it for a while.”

So what we have here is as sort of rock version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Crack-Up, with Neil coming to pieces in the spotlight, as it were. Fortunately Young is hardly the best critic of his own work, because despite his bad memories of the tour that brought us Time Fades Away, the resulting LP is tremendous—not nearly as chilling as Tonight’s the Night, for sure, but a howl of pain and disaffection nonetheless.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Deal Casino, The TVD First Date and Premieres, “Human Cannonball”

“When I was growing up, I remember always seeing my parents’ old stereo equipment but having little interest in it, I just thought nothing of it. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I came across that equipment in the exact same basement, but being a little older and more into music technology it caught my eye in a big way.”

“I immediately got it repaired and brought it down to Asbury Park to put in my room. I then went out to a local record shop successfully finding about five or six used records that I loved and knew pretty well.

When I dropped the needle down, the music coming out of those old and dusty Technics speakers just sounded so much better than anything I had heard music being played through before. From that day on, I am a strong believer in the quality and artistic element that vinyl brings to music.”
Joe P

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores, December 2016

The TVD Record Store Club’s look at the brand new wax presently in stores for December, 2016. 

NEW RELEASE PICK: Virginia Wing, Forward Constant Motion (Fire) Alice Merida Richards and Sam Pillay currently shape-up Birmingham, UK’s Virginia Wing, the pair deserving commendation for crafting an experimental-leaning strain of electro-pop lacking in cliché if not familiarity; the whole continues to radiate as an extension of Broadcast or to a lesser extent Stereolab as the motorik element found on last year’s Measures of Joy has essentially vacated the premises with drummer Sebastian Truskolaski. “Grapefruit” has been chosen as the LP’s first single, and it’s an exquisite entryway into their sound. A-

REISSUE PICK: OST, Chinatown (Cinewax) Jerry Goldsmith remains amongst cinema’s most distinguished composers. That he wrote and recorded this soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s masterwork in just ten days (after producer Robert Evans nixed the efforts of Phillip Lambro) only reinforces his stature; it’s probably (though arguably) Goldsmith’s finest achievement. Scoring a neo-noir from the midst of the New Hollywood era, this embodies, stains against, and breaks completely with narrative filmic norms as the period-enhancing pop standards are flawlessly executed. The result is 31 minutes of brilliance. A+

Asteroid, III (Fuzzorama) This Örebro Sweden-based trio fits rather snuggly into a heavy psych/ stoner rock mold, but unlike many of their contemporaries they’re handy with a song. Guitarist Robin Hirse’s deft melodic touch, apparent from the lead slide in opener “Pale Moon,” helps to elevate this beyond mere riff motion, but fans of that tactic will still find satisfaction, especially in “Wolf & Snake” and “Them Calling” as both tracks are loaded with textures underlining their relationship with Fuzzorama. The vocals are emotive (with harmonies, even) but they mostly avoid lessening the overall value. B+

Jon Camp, Stifled Hair-Trigger (Self-released) 2016 has been a lousy year by any metric, but the proliferation of prime-grade Guitar Soli has helped to keep the horrors and anguish somewhat at bay; those who can’t get enough experimental-tinged fingerpicking should consider investigating this Washington, DC-based practitioner’s full-length debut. Camp also indulges in bit of instrumental post-rock on the latter portion of the set; my lingering impression is that the stylistic expansion isn’t an improvement, but neither is it terribly detrimental. “Christian, the World is Yours” is a standout. B

Cat-Iron, Sings Blues and Hymns (Exit Stencil) Excellent reissue of the only recordings by Natchez, Mississippi singer-guitarist William Carradine as released in 1958 by Folkways. Cat-Iron wasn’t a nickname but a mishearing of his surname by rediscoverer Frederic Ramsey, Jr., and as the title indicates the record is cleaved between blues and spirituals. Continuity is established through potent vocalizing and string work, reminiscent at times of Son House, so gospel-blues fans shouldn’t hesitate to grab a copy. Only 500 have been pressed, on yellow vinyl like the original. A-

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Kansas,
Leftoverture

I’m listening to Kansas. My shrink gave me explicit directions not to do this. But what does he know? He’s the same fool who tells me I’m sane, hah! As for me, I say, “Pop prog from America’s wheat belt, what could possibly go wrong?” Why, I’m listening to 1976’s Leftoverture as I write this, and–Gak! Erk! Blagh! What Lovecraftian horror is this? Quick, Thorazine! Shock treatment! Gag and glumph, I should have listened to my shrink! I’m vomiting poisonous toads! And giant black death buzzards are hurling themselves against my glass patio door! Oh, I know they’re an appalling hallucination brought on by Kansas poisoning, but still! Their shrieks sound real enough! Must turn off! Must (review ends here; writer vanished, and has yet to be found).

Three days later: Okay, so I’m back. And perhaps I overreacted. Kansas may carry the horrid prog virus, but its music isn’t as infectious as that of its compatriots across the pond. And Kansas did, much to its credit, write Thee Definitive Eschatological Dirge in the great “Dust in the Wind,” something you can’t say about Grand Funk Railroad or Jackson Browne or the Velvet Underground even.

And frequently Kansas actually rocks, instead of slavishly aping that geriatric classical sound, the way Emerson, Lake & Palmer were wont to do. Why, the big guitar riff in “Carry on My Wayward Son” off Leftoverture is deserving of kudos, and it’s not until the hackneyed Icarus allusions that the song threatens to go downhill. But instead the band launches into a hard rock jam featuring a vicious guitar wrapped around a muscular organ. And if that’s not enough, vocalist Steve Walsh tosses off the truly profound lines, “And if I claim to be a wise man/Well, it surely means that I don’t know.”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Schwartz-Fox Blues Crusade, Sunday Morning Revival

Straddling the fence between jam session and no-fuss recording date, Sunday Morning Revival by the Schwartz-Fox Blues Crusade features major figures from the fledgling late ’60s Cleveland rock scene including three members of The James Gang and harmonica maestro Bill “Mr. Stress” Miller. The first release in Smog Veil Records’ Platters du Cuyahoga Series 2, this archival recording (once thought lost) is loaded with covers tackled with a combination of studiousness and verve; destined to bring a smile to the face of Butterfield and Musselwhite fans far and wide while deepening the already rich history of its municipality, it’s out now on LP, CD, and digital.

Smog Veil’s Platters Du Cuyahoga Series 1 illuminated a wide array of Cleveland underground nooks, specifically post-Electric Eels-style punk racket with a freedom jones (Albert Ayler’s Ghosts Live at the Yellow Ghetto by X__X), glam-tinged avant-pop (French Pictures in London (1975) by the Robert Bensick Band), and post-Butterfield harmonica-driven blues-rock (Live at the Brick Cottage 1972 – 1973 by the Mr. Stress Blues Band).

Series 2 appears to be an equally broad affair, though it begins by burrowing deeper into the city’s blues-rock backstory and adding another chapter to the tale of the late Bill “Mr. Stress” Miller; Sunday Morning Revival finds the singer, bandleader, and mouth harp specialist in a loose conglomeration of likeminded upstarts. There’s keyboardist Mike Sands (Mr. Stress Blues Band), guitarist Glenn Schwartz, drummer Jimmy Fox, and bassist Tom Kriss (all from The James Gang), and guitarist Rich Kriss (Chuck Bates & The Barons and The Joyful Wisdom).

Today the impulse of white guys playing the blues is often oversimplified as mere cultural appropriation, but Nick Blakey’s outstanding footnoted liner booklet for this set does a fine job of complicating this scenario by describing the friction between the ’60s establishment and the sustained tide of nonconformity. One way of articulating opprobrium with the prevailing norms was that of d.a. levy, the jailed Cleveland poet whose work served as posthumous inspiration for Sonic Youth’s NYC Ghosts & Flowers.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: T Bone Burnett, A Life in Pursuit by Lloyd Sachs

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “This first critical appreciation of T Bone Burnett reveals how the proponent of Americana music and producer of the cream of the crop of artists has profoundly influenced American music and culture.

“Renowned as a studio maven with a Midas touch, Burnett is known for lifting artists to their greatest heights, as he did with Raising Sand, the multiple Grammy Award–winning album by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, as well as acclaimed albums by Los Lobos, the Wallflowers, B. B. King, and Elvis Costello. Burnett virtually invented “Americana” with his hugely successful roots-based soundtrack for the Coen Brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which went on to sell 8 million albums. Outspoken in his contempt for the entertainment industry, Burnett has nevertheless received many of its highest honors, including Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.

Lloyd Sachs offers the first critical appreciation of Burnett’s wide-ranging contributions to American music, his passionate advocacy for analog sound, and the striking contradictions that define his maverick artistry. Lloyd Sachs highlights all the important aspects of Burnett’s musical pursuits, from his early days as a member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and his collaboration with the playwright Sam Shepard to the music he recently composed for the TV shows Nashville and True Detective and his production of the all-star album Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text