Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

Queensryche’s Michael Wilton and Stryper’s Michael Sweet: The TVD M3 Rock Festival Interview

The frost is gone (well, mostly), the warm weather is coming, and with it comes another season of outdoor music festivals and amphitheater shows. As if wagging a defiant middle finger at the Fireflys and Coachellas, the annual M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD has become the late Spring celebration of the hair metal glory days of the ’80s.

Now in its 6th year, the M3 Rock Festival will feature two days of music on two stages, with artists such as Tesla, Kix, Lita Ford, Night Ranger, Extreme, and Stryper among others.

Earlier this week, we spoke with 3 M3 artists and we had a chance to talk to 2 more M3 artists just this week leading up to M3 on Friday—Michael Wilton of Queensryche and Michael Sweet of Stryper. We got their take on M3, vinyl, and quite a bit more.

What have you been up to lately?

Queensryche has been up to a lot of new developments. We’ve been touring for the last year on a very successful release of the self-titled Queensryche CD. It’s garnered very great reviews all over the world, and we’ve toured n that all over the world and the U.S., and right now we are still continuing that through this year, and going into the studio later this year in between touring to begin the next album.

Give us your thoughts on playing M3 Rockfest.

Well, I have lots of mixed thoughts on M3, but it’s always been a great situation for me, personally. I think with this new rebirth of Queensryche, we will prove to the fans that the high energy Queensryche is back, and we are very grateful for the chance to revisit the M3 festival.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Dorothy Ashby,
Hip Harp

The list of jazz harpists might be a short one, but a substantial conversation can be had over the instrument’s use in improvisational terms, and without even uttering the worthy name of Alice Coltrane. To this day Dorothy Ashby’s profile as a jazz harp player remains high, and those in sync with the Soul/Spiritual/Acid jazz genres have long praised her late-‘60s/early-‘70s recordings for the Cadet label. Earlier in her career however, she succeeded in adapting her sizable axe to the far stricter norms of post-bop. Her second LP is 1957’s Hip Harp, and it endures as a highly satisfying, non-gimmicky listen.

Like many jazz musicians, the late Dorothy Ashby was a multi-instrumentalist. Starting out on the piano, she also played saxophone and bass while attending Cass Technical School, where amongst her fellow students was future trumpet great Donald Byrd and the excellent post-bop guitarist Kenny Burrell. The Detroit native only chose the harp as her main tool after graduating from Wayne State University, and in fact her introduction to the city’s jazz scene found her seated not at the harp but directly in front of those 88s.

Ashby’s biography presents her as a whirlwind of activity. Rather than accept the harp as a sideline, she organized free shows with her trio (which included her drummer husband John) and accepted non-prestigious but paying gigs at dances and weddings. Eventually her group toured the country. Furthermore, she worked in the employ of heavyweights Louis Armstrong and Woody Herman.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
The One Way Street, “We All Love Peanut Butter” b/w “Jack The Ripper”

Everybody has her favorite one-hit wonder. Mine is Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra’s “Song Sung Blue.” I cried, no kidding, every single time I heard it as a child. But let’s take it one step further. What about a band that appears from out of nowhere, records only one great 45, and then disappears forever into the mists of obscurity? Such bands are much cooler yet. They make one mysterious visionary statement, and then vanish. Such bands are the D.B. Coopers of rock, leaving us to wonder who they were and where they came from, and where they went. And most of all, what other great tunes might they have had up their sleeves?

At least we don’t have to wonder, as in Cooper’s case, if their chute never opened or they hit a tree or drowned in the Columbia River. But it’s just as agonizing. Is one song all they had in them? Or did they have more, but hit rock’s equivalent of a tree, and break up soon after recording their tantalizing 45?

A while back I wrote an article on The Barons, a D.C. band who in 1966 recorded but one single, “Time and Time Again” b/w the sublime “Now You’re Mine.” The B-side is a classic slice of garage rock, and if The Barons aren’t as obscure as plenty of other one 45 wonders it’s for the simple reason that only several copies of their 45 are known to exist. Each is worth a small fortune—so be on the lookout—thanks in part to the lead guitarist’s mom, who tossed out 100 copies because she grew tired of them taking up needed space in her house.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Vinyl Giveaway:
G. Love & Special Sauce,
Sugar, Test Pressing

“The first record I can remember getting as a Christmas present was Kiss, Double Platinum. It was a slick double record with a silver cover. Pretty freaking cool. I think I wore it out between the ages 8-10.”

“My Mother had a small but unbelievably influential record collection which I discovered in the basement as a kid and promptly brought to my room. The Beatles’ White Album, Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume 1, Bob Marley’s Rastaman Vibrations, Donovan’s Greatest Hits, Dr. John’s Right Place. These are a few that really impacted my life and still do.

I think listening to the White Album and Dylan’s Greatest Hits as a young teen really subconsciously brainwashed me into writing songs. Listening to those records gave me expression. Then connecting with Donovan, Dr. John, and Bob Marley gave me vocal craft and style. But it was the joyful trippy sound of the Beatles and the presence and words of Bob Dylan that changed my life…and that’s why I’m here.”
G. Love

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 21 Comments

Graded on a Curve:
The Residents,
Residue of the Residents

Those of us requiring a dose of daily weirdness will always reserve a special place in our twisted little hearts for San Francisco via Shreveport, Louisiana outfit the Residents. Lifelong oddballs dressed up like tuxedoed eyeballs, this marvelously bent bunch has been an active concern since way back when the FBI took their orders from the jowls of Nixon; decades later their stuff still hangs way out there on the edge. Require proof? Well, get thee to a copy of Superior Viaduct’s outstanding 2LP extension of the 1983 compilation Residue of the Residents and prepare to be enveloped with beaucoup unusualness.

While I do love them like a mother, over their long existence the Residents have released so much music that attempting to think about its entirety can at times deliver a substantial burden upon the consciousness. To elaborate, the handy website Discogs gathers up 78 separate items under the heading of Albums, with that tally excluding 39 that are designated as Compilations. There’s also 41 entries listed as Singles & EPs.

In Residential terms, I’ve found the easiest way to counteract any nagging discographical fatigue is to simply refocus upon the absolutely essential documents from inside that vast oeuvre. And I’m surely not alone in holding a deep affection for their early material; ‘74’s Meet the Residents, ‘76’s masterful The Third Reich ‘n’ Roll, ‘77’s Fingerprince, ‘78’s double kick of Duck Stab/Buster & Glen and Not Available, ‘79’s Eskimo, and ‘80’s amazing collection of 40 one-minute songs Commercial Album, the LP that served as this writer’s introduction to the group’s warped brilliance.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

400 Tigers/400 Records: Find the song. Spread the message. Ignite the change.

The Vinyl District is honored to have been chosen by the The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and National Zoo to participate in the Endangered Song Project.

“The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and National Zoo announced today (4/22), Earth Day, the launch of the Endangered Song Project, an analog-meets-digital awareness campaign that calls upon 400 participants to use their social media strength to spread the message that there are only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.

The National Zoo partnered with Atlantic Records’ indie rock band Portugal. The Man to distribute a previously unreleased song titled “Sumatran Tiger.” The song was lathe-cut onto 400 custom polycarbonate records designed to degrade after a certain amount of plays. With no other copies in existence, the 400 participants are tasked with digitizing and sharing the song through their social channels with the hashtag #EndangeredSong. “Breeding” the song socially will help save it from extinction, thus raising awareness about the critically endangered Sumatran tigers and need for conservation efforts.

Created in collaboration with pro-bono services from DDB New York, an Omnicom Group, the campaign will be supported through a dedicated website, www.endangeredsong.si.edu. The site also features a real-time update of all the social conversations surrounding the project, more about the initiative and how people can help perpetuate the song.

The list of the 400 participants involved in the Endangered Song Project includes a wide range of music artists, noted bloggers, wildlife conservationists and other social media influencers who were asked to share the song, spread the message and help ignite change.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Semi Precious Weapons, Aviation

Just when you thought another Record Store Day had come and gone and you’d need to wait another calendar year for a bunch of records high-flying into stores, along comes Semi Precious Weapons’ brand new LP, Aviation which is officially released today (4/22) but at a pressing of just 500 was offered as a 180gram, RSD2014 exclusive last weekend, bundled with a CD of the complete LP as well.

Well, actually…let us amend that a bit. 498 copies of Aviation made their way onto store shelves last weekend because our friends from LA in SPW set aside 2 copies for TVD to put in the hands of TWO of you. (And no line to wait in—imagine!)

“As a kid our entire basement was filled with nothing but a model train and probably 400 records. My dad had a jukebox upstairs that played nothing but 45s. When I was really young, I listened to a Tommy James and the Shondells record on repeat until I discovered my dad’s copy of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours—both albums still really inspire me.

We have a pretty awesome vinyl collection at our band house that includes everything from 60’s surf, noise records like Red Horse, Judy Garland Live From Carnegie Hall, and a ton of ’70s rock records that I stole from my dad.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 11 Comments

Graded on a Curve: Medeski, Martin & Wood + Nels Cline, Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2

It was through a two-night summer 2012 live stand at the NYC nightclub The Blue Note that Medeski, Martin & Wood inaugurated their performance association with the prolific guitarist Nels Cline. Those with only cursory knowledge of the participants’ musical productivity might view the match as an odd one, but their new live in the studio collaboration The Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2 illuminates their ability to function as a cohesive unit and serves up a generous helping of forward thinking yet approachable 21st century jazz-rock.

Some surely consider keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood to be little more than purveyors of edgy groove-fusion for the jam-band scene while others will no doubt shortchange Nels Cline as basically just a member of Wilco. The reality is that both the guitarist and MMW have worked extensively in cahoots with a numerous and diverse roster of artists.

A look into their backgrounds will reveal Cline’s massive number of credits, a list that spans all the way back to Openhearted, the 1979 LP from Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia. But if less productive in terms of sheer volume, MMW’s ties to the concepts of jazz-informed collaboration are ultimately just as strong.

This is mainly because they persist as a band in the truest sense of the word. Shaping up as a trio lacking a clearly defined leader, or maybe better said with three crack musicians constantly alternating the leadership role, MMW’s 20-plus years of activity has effectively been a long and fertile expression of collaborative equality. It’s a circumstance that allows them to engage in dialogue with additional players with relative ease and comfort.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Jackie McLean,
Lights Out!

Since 1991, the Analogue Productions label has been doing a dandy job in reissuing music from a variety of genres in editions designed to surpass the quality of their often elusive originals. They are currently offering a superb slate of releases from the vaults of Prestige, the storied jazz imprint that captured so many of the form’s most important names. One such figure was the great alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, and if his reputation deservedly rests upon his copious recordings for Blue Note, by no means should the ins and outs of his early work be ignored. Lights Out!, available in a 180gm edition, would make a fine introduction to the rewarding apprenticeship of this true giant.

Spending time investigating the selections in a second hand record shop’s well stocked jazz stacks can result in a vinyl-loving aficionado of improvisation-based song-form commiserating, sometimes even cursing aloud (I’ve seen it) that they’ve been dealt a cruel hand by time’s tough circumstances. Oh, to be born too late. High-dollar values abound, and when combined with the deluge of choices, the tide can certainly prove more than a bit disconcerting. Yes, the digital age has made it so much easier to at least hear the music (indeed, the most important part) that resides in those very expensive grooves, but for those of us who value the full experience, great jazz and a well-made LP go together like rich, thick peanut butter and lovingly made homemade jam.

The music of Jackie McLean has landed on a formidable number of records over the years. He cut over twenty albums for Blue Note alone, most of them in the ‘60s, and if I had to own only one it would surely be from that period. But thankfully the prospect of only owning one is something I don’t have to consider. And if the ‘60s stuff brings McLean his biggest accolades, his youthful work both as a sideman and in the leadership role not only provides valuable insight into his later studies in advanced bop (which frequently sought a productive dialogue with free jazz), they also stand up as highly enjoyable sessions in their own right.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

M3-fer: Sebastian Bach, Lita Ford, Tesla’s Brian Wheat–The TVD M3 Rock Festival Interview

The frost is gone (well, mostly), the warm weather is coming, and with it comes another season of outdoor music festivals and amphitheater shows. As if wagging a defiant middle finger at the Fireflys and Coachellas, the annual M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD has become the late Spring celebration of the hair metal glory days of the ’80s.

Now in its 6th year, the M3 Rock Festival will feature two days of music on two stages, with artists such as Tesla, Kix, Lita Ford, Night Ranger, Extreme, Stryper among others.

We had a chance to talk to 3 M3 artists in the week leading up to M3—Brian Wheat of Tesla, Lita Ford, and Sebastian Bach. We got their take on M3, vinyl, and quite a bit more.

Tell us what you’ve been up to lately.

BRIAN WHEAT, TESLA: Well, we’ve been making a new album—we just finished a new album called Simplicity which comes out June 10th on our own label. It will be out on vinyl as well!

LITA FORD: Well, lately I’ve been writing my book. I’ve taken a little bit of downtime just to focus on the book. We’ll go out and do some shows, then I come back and work on the book. We’re almost ready to turn it in to Harper Collins, and it should be out soon! Pretty gnarly stuff. I let it fly.

SEBASTIAN BACH: I’ve got a new album, called Give ‘Em Hell, that comes out April 22nd. I’ve got a new video called “Temptation,” with John 5 and Duff McKagan in it, and they’re also in my band on the record. Also, Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band, and Bobby Jarzombek is the drummer. I have a new TV show called Sing Your Face Off on ABC TV that’s premiering on May 31st at 9pm. I also have a book deal with Harper Collins…I’m working on my book. I’ve got about sixty or seventy concerts this summer to do, so that’s what I’ve been up to.

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