Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Gary Numan’s 1981 LP Dance purple double vinyl reissue in stores 1/19

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Gary Numan is a pioneer, and his influence on so many artists is unmistakable and grand. Gary’s style connects him with fans of multiple genres… electronic, industrial, indie-rock, metal, etc. He remains an innovator, and his fan base continues to grow.

He’s been name-checked as an influence by everyone from Kanye West to Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age, and an ever-growing list of artists have covered and sampled his music. These range from Basement Jaxx to Damon Albarn; Afrika Bambaataa to RZA and GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. Dance was Gary Numan’s fifth studio album and was released in 1981. Beggars Arkive are excited to reissue this album on purple vinyl, double LP. The original 50 minute album was cut onto a single LP with a resulting compression and compromise to the sound. For this new double vinyl edition, the tracks have been mastered over three sides for improved fidelity and the fourth side contains relevant singles, B-sides and an out-take.

Additionally the previously unreleased, full length version of “Moral” has been used to close out the original album. The double LP will be released as a limited edition on purple vinyl in an adapted, color-corrected gatefold jacket with two printed inner sleeves. Transferred from the analogue tapes at Loud Mastering, the original album is also available in 96khz/24 bit high-resolution digital. Pre-order here.

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Graded on a Curve:
Crime,
Murder by Guitar

Crime’s 1976 double A-side “Hot Wire My Heart/”Baby You’re So Repulsive” wasn’t just the first single released by a U.S. punk band from the Left Coast; it’s one of the most badass singles ever released period. “Hot Wire My Heart” is a murky rave-up and the perfect amalgam of the Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray” and the Stooges, and I consider it one of the most incendiary performances ever committed to vinyl.

San Francisco’s Crime only released three 7-inches over the course of their sadly abbreviated career, so it’s hardly remarkable that they’re not a household name. But the 15 cuts on the 2014 compilation Murder by Guitar make a strong case for Crime’s claim to greatness. Guitarists-vocalists Johnny Strike and Frankie Fix and Company produced at least eight or nine songs that should be heard by anyone who loves punk, and I’ll pit at least three or four of them against anything recorded by any punk band anywhere.

Crime made a virtue of sheer volume; in 1978 a critic for The New York Rocker wrote, “Loudness may be Crime’s only musical raison d’etre.” I would beg to differ; I’m of the opinion that Crime were the true carriers of the proto-punk, stripped to the brutal basics banner raised by Iggy and the Stooges. It’s all there on their first single, from the rumbling and slashing guitars to the sheer propulsive thrust to the general spirit of “let’s make some noise” that presides over both sides.

“Hot Wire My Heart” is pure proto-punk barbarism; “Baby You’re So Repulsive” lays a sneering and howling guitar over a slashing guitar and then throws some disgusted vocals on top. Both are enthralling. And speaking of vocals, these guys are changelings; on different songs they sound like everybody from Lou Reed to Joey Ramone to Handsome Dick Manitoba to Andy Shernoff, and I could go on.

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TVD Radar: The Babadook OST deluxe vinyl reissue in stores now from Waxwork

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Waxwork Records is thrilled to present the soundtrack to the 2014 Australian psychological horror film, The Babadook.

Directed by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook focuses on a troubled widow, Amelia, who is is raising her six year old son, Samuel, after the death of her husband from an automobile accident. After a series of strange events, Amelia and Samuel unexpectedly receive a mysterious pop-up-storybook: Mister Babadook. The book describes a hideous, tall, pale faced monster in a top hat and coat that tortures his victims after they become aware of his existence. The narrative and film engulf the viewer in themes of personal loss, grief, despair, and ultimately, recovery.

The soundtrack by Jed Kurzel (Alien: Covenant) is whimsically dark, brooding, and at times, a terrifying listening experience. Kurzel blends electronic instruments and synthesizers with unorthodox instruments and pulsating, drowning vocal soundscapes.

The film received worldwide critical acclaim. The Exorcist director, William Friedkin, publicly announced, “I’ve never seen a more terrifying film than The Babadook. It will scare the hell out of you as it did me.” Waxwork Records worked extensively with composer Jed Kurzel and the creators of The Babadook to present an incredible physical soundtrack release on deluxe vinyl.

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TVD Radar: Stax Singles Vol. 4: Rarities & The Best of the Rest 6-CD box set in stores 2/9

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings, the Catalog Division of Concord Music, is pleased to announce the release of Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & The Best Of The Rest, a 6-CD box set that delves deep into the Stax Records archives, and explores the label’s efforts to diversify their output.

This new addition to the critically acclaimed series of Stax singles boxes offers a more profound study of the Memphis label’s catalog, including long-forgotten B-sides and rarities, and focusing not just on soul tunes – for which the label was most famous – but also offering a cross-section of rock, pop, blues, gospel, and country recordings from 1960-1975. Available February 9th, the collection will also include an 80-page booklet, offering four new in-depth essays by music journalist Lee Hildebrand, writer and producer Alec Palao, box set co-producer Bill Belmont and Rob Bowman, author of Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story Of Stax Records, and producer of Vol. 4’s discs 1-3.

Featuring recordings from the catalogs of both Craft and Rhino Entertainment – the Catalog Division of Warner Music – who jointly control Stax’s iconic masters, this comprehensive box set is the perfect companion piece to Vols. 1-3; the first of which, The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968, was released by Atlantic Records in 1991 and reissued by Rhino in 2016. Volumes 2 and 3, originally released by Stax in 1993 and 1994 respectively, and reissued by Concord in 2015, offered soul singles spanning 1968-1975, collectively.

In his introduction, co-producer Bill Belmont discusses the concept behind Vol. 4: “Over the years, within the collector-fan circuit, and in reissues and collections of vintage Stax material worldwide, some ‘B’ sides have attained a status comparable to the promoted work.” Adds Rob Bowman, in his essay regarding the soul portion of the box, “[Stax’s B-sides] are, by and large, better than most companies’ A-sides.” Continues Belmont, “Stax’s ‘other side’…has never been presented on its own – thus here, the ‘other’ [imprints] are all gathered under the Stax umbrella; part of the all-encompassing rubric ‘where everything is everything.'”

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TVD Radar: Alvin Lee
& Co., Live At The Academy Of Music 1975 in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Unearthed live music from the late, great English singer and guitarist Alvin Lee has finally been mastered and released: Alvin Lee & Co. Live At The Academy Of Music, New York 1975 is out now on Rainman Records. Famously known for his band Ten Years After’s galvanizing performance of “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock, Alvin Lee left that band in 1973 to pursue his own artistic vision and quickly found success as a solo artist.

Now, for the first time, a January 18, 1975 show recorded at New York City’s Academy Of Music (which would later become the Palladium) has been mastered and properly released. The show was recorded on a (then) state-of-the-art 16-track, but only a few songs were ever heard, via the “King Biscuit Flower Hour.” In 2012, Lee discovered the masters in his personal archives and set out to transfer and professionally mix the concert. Lee passed away in 2013 before the music could be released, but his wife Evi carefully oversaw this project (released October 27).

The result is a collection of jazzy, funky, and mellow performances; 13 selected tracks played by a world-class band made up of talented musicians at their peak with Alvin leading expertly through tasteful guitar work and outstanding vocals. The band included Ian Wallace – drums and Mel Collins – sax & flute (both ex-King Crimson), two former members of Stone The Crows (Ronnie Leahy – keyboards, and Steve Thomson – bass), as well as Brother James – percussion, and backing vocalists Donnie Perkins and Juanita Franklin.

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Graded on a Curve:
Sonic Youth,
Confusion Is Sex

Let me just begin this review by saying this about this album: It annoys my cat. He likes to hang out on my desk, but whenever I put this album on he flees the room. And that should tell you something. Painkiller, Pig Destroyer, Killdozer—he can stomach them all. Hell, he has even sat steadfast through the horrorshow that is Foreigner.

But Confusion Is SexSonic Youth’s 1983 LP debut—unsettles him. Hell, it unsettles me. And I can only imagine it unsettles everybody, including the legendary NYC art noise poseurs who produced it. Which makes me wonder, what’s the point?

Art for art’s sake would be the short answer. Because this is certainly not art for pleasure’s sake or anybody else’s. I know a lot of pain junkies who listen to all manner of free-form atonal jazz skronk, but I do not know a single person who likes this album for the simple reason that Sonic Youth does not want anyone to like this album. It’s a classic example of taking a good thing too far.

Sonic Youth make a few concessions to such things as actual songs, but not many. And even on the songs that don’t grate, the vocals do. Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore have one thing in common—they cannot sing. And I do not mean they cannot sing in the traditional “Look at me, I’m Frank Sinatra” sense. What I mean to say is they appear to have an aversion to singing. At least on Confusion Is Sex, they seem to be going out of their way to flunk an audition.

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TVD Radar: Country Joe & The Fish, The Wave of Electrical Sound box set in stores 1/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | 1967 marked an era of creative expression, political rebellion and experimentation, climaxing in The Summer of Love; and no other location on Earth was quite as synonymous with this period as San Francisco, the center of the counterculture movement. Perhaps one of the best musical representations of this time, place and environment came from a rock band across the Bay, who married progressive protest with groundbreaking, experimental music: Country Joe & the Fish.

In that one year, the Berkeley musicians rose to prominence, releasing two albums which would go on to influence some of the biggest psychedelic acts of the decade: their debut LP, Electric Music for the Mind and Body, and I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die. Craft Recordings, the Catalog Division of Concord Music, is proud to celebrate the band’s prolific year with a limited-edition, deluxe vinyl box set, The Wave of Electrical Sound, as well as standalone, high-end LP reissues, both due out January 26th, 2018, while a remastered digital collection, offering both albums as well as two exclusive bonus tracks, hits digital retailers and streaming services.

Limited to 2,000 copies worldwide, the deluxe 4-LP box set, The Wave of Electrical Sound, will offer both mono and stereo versions of Electric Music for the Mind and Body and I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die. All four remastered LPs will be pressed on audiophile quality, 180-gram vinyl, and housed in old-school-style, tip-on jackets – the mono Electric Music for the Mind and Body LP will feature rare, alternate cover artwork, while the other titles will be in replicas of their original packaging.

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TVD Radar: Chris Hillman, The Asylum Years in stores 2/9

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Chris Hillman co-founded some of the most classic, seminal, groundbreaking acts of the ’60s and ’70s including the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, and the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. But, in the mid 1970s, he decided it was time to try things on his own.

The 20-track The Asylum Years compilation, to be released on February 9, 2018 by Omnivore Recordings, combines Hillman’s two Asylum LPs on one CD for the first time. 1976 brought Slippin’ Away, the musical journeyman’s first solo release. Produced by renowned engineers Ron and Howard Albert (Derek and the Dominos, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix), it was a star-studded affair, featuring members of Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Poco, Buffalo Springfield, the Turtles, and ace studio musicians. Hillman took his place as frontman, and the results were the epitome of the classic ’70s L.A. sound.

He returned the following year with Clear Sailin’, which saw him dial back the flashy supporting cast for a more traditional release, sounding much like the iconic music he had created in his early years with the Byrds and Burritos. For Clear Sailin’ Hillman assembled a core band (including soon-to-be-superstar Richard Marx) with production helmed by Jim Mascon (Poco, Firefall). A number of songs feature co-writes with Crawdaddy magazine’s founder, Peter Knobler.

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Graded on a Curve:
The The,
Soul Mining

I’ve been dismissing The The as a stuttering problem for as long as I can remember. When it comes to Matt Johnson’s vanity project I’m with Robert Christgau, who dispensed with Johnson altogether with the words, “The The: Uh Uh.” I have always found listening to The The an underwhelming experience. I can’t even say Matt Johnson’s depressive take on things makes me want to kill myself. It makes me want to half kill myself.

But a funny thing happened to me as I was listening to 1983’s Soul Mining. First little flashes of color started leaping out at me. Jools Holland’s extended turn on the piano on “Uncertain Smile,” for example. And the accordion on “This Is the Day.” Subtle things, shadings of color as it were. And then a few of the songs actually began to stick.

And this is odd, because most of Johnson’s songs simply fail to make an impression. I listen to one, and I’ll be damned if I can remember how it went the moment it’s over. But this time around, at least on Soul Mining’s A side, the songs gradually wore me down. “This Is the Day” just might be the best song Johnson has ever written; the melody is seductive, the chorus rousing, and that accordion gets me every time. “Uncertain Smile,” ditto. It’s synthpop at its best, and Holland’s long piano solo goes a long way towards warming up the chill most synthpop gives me.

The A side’s other tracks are also winners. “The Sinking Feeling” plays against itself; the melody is bouncy, while the lyrics are, well, morose. I have charitably decided that Johnson is being funny when he sings, “I’m just a symptom of the moral decay/That’s gnawing at the heart of the country” and when he describes being “raped by progress.” I would certainly hate to think he’s being serious when he says he’s being raped by progress. It sounds… awful. Meanwhile, “I’ve Been Waiting for Tomorrow (All of My Life)” is a rave-up of sorts and features some big drums going boom boom boom. Johnson sounds breathless and appears to be taking himself far too seriously but the song still works on the basis of sheer martial badassdom.

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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.

Treehouse Sanctum – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Fovea – Don’t Play
Eagle Johnson & Clean Machine – My Best Girl
The Dirty Truckers – Like Him
Cameron Blake – After Sally
Felsen – Vultures on Your Bones
Stephen Doster – Shooting For The Stars
Jeff Tweedy – Laminated Cat

TVD SINGLE OF THE WEEK:
Rain – Abstract Vision

SIR-VERE – HOLY FOOL
MOTORCADE – Desertion
Eagle Johnson & Clean Machine – Push Pin Jane
Jason S. Matuskiewicz – Battle Born
Moon Darling – By The Light of The Moon
Shining Mirrors – Cardiac
The Captain Of Sorrow – Hollow Empty Void
MANICS – Embrace

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