Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

Tamar Eisenman,
The TVD First Date
and Premiere, “Easy Comes Free”

“Time to get a turntable! When I moved to New York City about a year ago, I was pretty obsessed with getting a new turntable. Moving makes one buy things. However, a few months later you usually realize you don’t need half of what you bought. These kinds of changes are a reminder to what is essentially important to us in life—like a little epiphany, like ice cream.”

“Two things I did bring along with me and my guitars were my Moka maker and a small magnet that survived four different refrigerators. The quote on the magnet: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” For me, this meant something like, “A musician without a music collection is like a car without gasoline.” Where can you possibly go with writing your new song if you don’t appreciate all the groundwork that is already out there? History is a call, always to be new.

I love my music collection—six, dusty enormous boxes—and although I always hoped that one day I would have an apartment only for those albums, I consciously and rightfully left them behind. Obviously, the times they are a changing, and digital world is way beyond just here.

Any collection is potentially a great story, passing from one to another, threading generations and spaces. All those pieces of a particular something we hold onto is perhaps also another way for us to feel less lonely and illusionary immortal too, like those stamps, coins, music, art, and so on. Yet, without looking back, armed with my magnet and Moka coffee maker, I gladly left my music collection in those six huge boxes and headed out to a new beginning in New York City, CD-less and free, ready to start “collecting” something new.

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TVD Radar: Run Out Groove–The vinyl only label where you choose what gets pressed!

Run Out Groove is a new vinyl only label that caters to music fanatics, pressing limited edition titles made by music fans for music fans. Each month you’ll have the opportunity to vote on select titles to decide which record gets pressed next with no obligation to buy. The title that wins the vote will be made available for a 30 day pre-order. Run Out Groove will then manufacture a limited and numbered high quality record based on orders and involve the consumer in the journey from initial concept to delivery of the final product, educating fans about artist history along the way.

The first title available to pre-order is a new collection from Detroit proto-punk legends, the MC5. It is their first retrospective on the format and will come on 180g multi-color vinyl adorned in a tip-on paper wrapped Stoughton sleeve including a 12″ x 12″ insert with photos and liner notes. It is available to order until 2/28. On March 1, the numbered quantity will be announced then pressed and delivered to your door—AND be made available at your favorite record store on May 9th. Run Out Groove’s next three titles are open for voting now until 2/28 and include the following:

Echo & The Bunnymen, It’s All Live Now: Eight tracks from a 1985 performance in Sweden, and a lengthy live version of “Do It Clean” from a Royal Albert Hall gig in 1983; these tracks first appeared on the 2001 box set Crystal Days 1979-1999 but would make their vinyl debut in this new collection with liner notes from guitarist Will Sergeant.

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TVD Premiere: Shane Henry, “Save Me”

“‘Save Me’ is a song of a spiritual battle about being on the run from the devil. The song certainly gives a nod to the story and music of Robert Johnson.”Shane Henry

With upwards of six independent releases dating back to 2000, Shane Henry has steadily worked toward the blues-pop fusion achieved on his latest single and upcoming eleven-song album, Light in the Dark, due in stores on April 28th. Having performed alongside numerous legends such as B.B King (over 30 supporting gigs) and Buddy Guy as well as soul royalty, Etta James and the Neville Brothers in particular, Henry’s blues acumen speaks for itself.

In small town Oklahoma, the Beatles and Hendrix found him first, but these early influences soon gave way to the Claptons and the Reddings of the world, setting Henry on an unwavering course towards a promised land of blues and soul.

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Graded on a Curve:
Art Garfunkel,
Breakaway

It was blasted dastardly, the way Paul Simon gave poor Art Garfunkel the old heave-ho. Absolutely duplicitous. So duplicitous in fact that I coined a shiny new word for the sad fate that befell the kinky-haired half of the famous duo—he got Garfunkeled. The word is slowing entering the popular lexicon, and I plan to patent it and thereby grow filthy rich.

Because it’s the ideal word for all manner of occasions. Say your boyfriend should, without due warning, terminate your relationship. And say said abrupt news should fall upon your heart like a ton of Mick Jagger solo albums. You are left with two alternatives. You can shed bitter tears of the sort that wilt flowers. Or better by far, you can run to your friends and cry, “The sleazy bastard just Garfunkeled me!”

In any event, having been Garfunkeled following 1970’s Bridge over Troubled Water, Art of the magic golden Jewfro found himself at loose ends. I like to imagine, although it doesn’t fit the historical time line, that he spent many a dour hour sunk in the funk at the home of Jim Messina, the poor fellow who got Garfunkeled by Kenny Loggins. In reality Garfunkel did some acting, released 1973’s Angel Clare (for which he took much abuse for his treacly version of Randy Newman’s “Old Man”), and then followed Angel Clare with 1975’s Breakaway.

Breakaway is Garfunkel’s most successful LP and a soft rock classic. Garfunkel’s choirboy vocals can rankle, but on Breakaway he gathered up a bunch of songs that made effective use of those inimitable tenor pipes of his. He also dragooned every crack studio musician in the known world, to say nothing of such folks as David Crosby, Bill Payne, Graham Nash, Toni Tennille, and (erk!) Andrew Gold. Why even Garfunkeler-in-Chief Paul Simon reunited with the Garfunkeled one on “My Little Town.”

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Graded on a Curve: Synthesize the Soul: Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From the Cape Verde Islands 1973 – 1988

In times of crisis and intolerance, one can look to art for a corrective. Synthesize the Soul: Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From the Cape Verde Islands 1973 – 1988 is the story of immigration, of musicians gaining access to previously unavailable instruments and recording studios, of the blend of tradition and innovation, and of the cultural exchange that ensued. The 18 tracks that comprise the set offer an energetic, enlightening listen as the whole helps to slay the bogeymen of closed-border narrowmindedness; it’s out on CD and 140gm 2LP with gatefold jacket and 20-page booklet on February 24 through Ostinato Records.

The island nation of Cape Verde didn’t gain its independence from Portuguese colonial rule until July 5, 1975, the date falling after the years covered by this set and underscoring the political and economic uncertainty that sent thousands of Cape Verdeans migrating to various cities across Europe and beyond. Naturally, music accompanied the movement, and as Ostinato’s generous promo text explains, the songs initially intended merely for the enjoyment and rejuvenation of countrymen began to sway others, first in Napoli, then Rome, and later in Lisbon, Paris, Rotterdam, and Boston.

Synthesize the Soul is only Ostinato’s second release, though it follows promptly on the heels of June 2016’s Tanbou Toujou Lou: Meringue, Kompa Kreyol, Vodou Jazz, & Electric Folklore from Haiti 1960 – 1981. Importantly, both are loaded with info that illuminates the circumstances leading to the music’s creation and reinforcing the label’s efforts as far surpassing those of fast-buck reissue enterprises.

Alongside the documentation of a country and culture in transition is another chapter in the growth of electronic instruments during the late 20th century. This informative wrinkle gets immediately underway with Nhú De Ped´Bia’s “Nós Criola,” is early seconds brandishing a fluttering, shortwave radio-esque synth. But more crucially, the meat of the track is organic rhythm, clean guitar, keyboard spice, and unperturbed vocals, the objective clearly to get bodies dancing but with the emphasis on finesse rather than grit or unharnessed energy.

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Graded on a Curve:
Hayes McMullan, Everyday Seem Like Murder Here

Perhaps there was a time when the frequency of Mississippi Delta blues rediscoveries produced a sense of the blasé; if so, those days are long gone. What’s here right now is the unveiled recordings of Hayes McMullan, a sharecropper, church deacon, and long-retired musician encouraged by roots scholar, author, and certified blues nut Gayle Dean Wardlow to pick up a guitar, play his old repertoire, and reminisce over his former vocation. Until recently, only one song had squeaked into the public consciousness, but now Light in the Attic’s Everyday Seem Like Murder Here offers a copious and illuminating helping of the sessions. It’s out on double vinyl, compact disc, and digital.

By 1967, the year Gayle Dean Wardlow met Hayes McMullan in front of a grocery store in Tallahatchie County, MS, the Delta blues had begun its journey from cultural neglect to proper recognition as an integral thread in the 20th century’s grand artistic weave. But for many African-Americans of the period, the blues, and particularly the hard and sometimes harrowing Delta variety, was not an uncovered treasure but a blight on the community.

McMullan wasn’t playing the blues in front of that grocery store, and in fact he’d had nothing at all to do with the music for decades, having quit the lifestyle after his brother Tom, himself a bluesman, was reputedly killed by poisoning. Today, the Delta blues is the stuff of multidisc retrospectives and book length enthusiasms, but in the time of its creation, when McMullan crossed paths with Ishmon Bracey, Willie Brown, and Charley Patton, playing the music was an often-dangerous pursuit.

For the churchgoers that counted McMullan in their number, the blues was simply taboo, and Wardlow’s efforts to record his discovery have the air of the clandestine. But given a guitar and ample time to recollect his material, the sessions eventually took place with discretion in McMullan’s home and in a small studio in the city of Jackson; these four vinyl sides hold the results.

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Graded on a Curve:
Def Leppard,
Pyromania

I see no reason to mince words; I have never had the slightest interest in, or liking for, the English hair metal band Def Leppard. Okay, so that’s a lie. I was a mite bit intrigued when they came into possession of a one-armed drummer. There is no way not to like a band, if only a little, that has a one-armed drummer.

That said, hearing them on the radio has always put me in mind of the immortal words of the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes. To whit, “Silence like a poultice comes to heal the blows of sound.” But you can’t go your whole life avoiding Def Leppard’s blows of sound, although I’m not sure why. I’ve done quite nicely turning the radio dial whenever I heard the approach of “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” and I’m in fine fettle. My life free of Def Leppard is, as one poet or another put it, an ode to joy. But I am also a music critic, of sorts, and therefore obliged to nosh, with mine ears, the occasional bad oyster. So I have girded my loins, and here, Def Leppard, I come.

While Def Leppard is considered part of first wave of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, what they sound like to yours truly is the second coming of REO Speedwagon. Then again, I’ve never understood the whole NWOBHM thing. Call me a snob, but I want nothing to do with a club that counts Iron Maiden as one of its members. Iron Maiden is not a rock band; it is a particularly stupid rhinoceros.

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TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

Justin Walter – It’s Not What You Think
Granfalloon – Bleary
Frances Luke Accord – Nowhere To Be Found
Antenna Man – Guitarless Man
James Raftery – Hidden Mind
Altar Eagles – What Are You Coming To?

TVD SINGLE OF THE WEEK:
Weird Milk – This Close

Shapes On Tape – American Carnage
Toma – Count Me Out
The Cover Letter – Somethings
No Rome – Seventeen
Govinda – Bright Star ft​.​Laura Hahn
Ashley Miers – Priestess
Big Fish & Kende – Lose My Mind (feat. David Blank)

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We’re closed.

We’ve closed up the shop for the President’s Day holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

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TVD Radar: Third Man Pressing shares grand opening details

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Third Man Records is set to open their highly anticipated pressing plant, Third Man Pressing to the public on Saturday, February 25th. Located in the heart of the Cass Corridor, Third Man Pressing brings a day filled with live music, freshly pressed all Detroit-centric limited edition vinyl, and tours. The event will be free and open to the public.

Let’s stage-dive straight into the live entertainment… Headlining will be none other than The Kings of Budget Rock… The Mummies! Writhe, thrive, twist and jive with the only band worthy to wear the tattered toilet paper they wrap themselves in… yes folks, Third Man is damn proud to host The Mummies in their first-ever Detroit appearance. But that is not all by a long shot — they’ll also have Memphis punk rock n roll bass-less legends The Oblivians preceded by the Mid-West Country stylings of Detroit and Third Man’s one and own, Craig Brown Band. Third Man Pressing will open at 10am, with live music starting at 2:30pm.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Third Man Pressing plant will be fans’ ability to watch records being pressed from the viewing platform within the TMR’s Cass Corridor record shop. Opening day will offer not only the chance to see records being pressed, but also the ability to purchase those records being pressed right in front of their eyes.

Third Man has lined up a great assortment of freshly pressed Detroit-centric LPs and 7″s that will be press in limited numbers / colors / packaging available for purchase ONLY at the pressing plant Grand Opening on Feb. 25th.

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