Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Thee Hypnotics vinyl box
set in stores 6/8

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Nineties hell-raising rock’n’rollers Thee Hypnotics announce the release of Righteously Recharged, a colored, heavyweight vinyl anthology, including rare and unreleased material, due out June 8th via Beggars Arkive. They’ve also reformed for live UK dates happening now, including a sold-out London show on April 13th.

Righteously Recharged will feature four LPs including Thee Hypnotics’ acclaimed debut album Come Down Heavy (on violet colored vinyl), the swamp-rock follow-up Soul, Glitter & Sin (on red coloured vinyl) and their Chris Robinson, Black Crowes produced third album The Very Special Speed Machine (which never saw a UK release and will be on clear vinyl), along with a fourth disc, called In A Trance on white vinyl, with their very first single “Love In A Different Vein” plus early demos and Peel Sessions.

The set also contains in-depth liner notes by journalist Julian Marszalek, featuring interviews with the band and a savvy look at the band’s rip-roaring career, featuring outrageous tales of rock’n’roll excess and exhilaration.

Taking their cues from the Detroit militancy of The MC5, the corrupting output of The Stooges and the gospel according to The Cramps, Thee Hypnotics’ devastating brand of rock’n’roll was propelled by near punishing decibel levels and a fervor bordering on the evangelical.

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TVD Radar: Johnny Mathis’ I Love My Lady with Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards for Record Store Day

Among the riches of Record Store Day 2018 is the first time release of the album Johnny Mathis recorded in 1982, written and produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic. Though some of its tracks first came out last year on the boxed set The Voices of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection, this will be the first time the almost experimental I Love My Lady will be released as a standalone album, pressed on clear smoke vinyl. “That was just stuff that was happening at the moment and I’m glad I did it,” Mathis, 82, said in an interview with TVD. “It was a learning process, though. It was like: tell me what to do and I’ll try to do it.”.

It was a little weird for him, the smooth singing balladeer whose first hits came more than 60 years ago, teaming up with the duo who were behind big hits from Diana Ross and Sister Sledge, as well as their own indelible funk sound that provided the basis for hip-hop hits (and for Daft Punk’s last album). “It was a completely different process, as far as my making the recording,” says Mathis. “I got in there and they were writing the songs as I was singing. And along the way, they would say, ‘Oh, that sounds nice, let’s go with that a little more,’ and they’d write a melody or something. But it was mostly rhythmical, kind of words, not so much melody. But it was fun.”

Mathis says remaining open to new avenues is something he did throughout his career. “I started studying at a very early age with a voice teacher, but I also went to church and I heard church music. I also had classes in school listening to classical music, so I was just jumping in anywhere I was thrown,” he says. “With Bernard and Nile, it was fun. They were really, really enthusiastic. Of course, they were in a different genre of music than I was. But they were to me the first people who opened my eyes to the fact that just because you sing one kind of music doesn’t mean that people who do other kinds of music aren’t listening to you. So when I got an opportunity to work with them, I was thrilled.”

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Graded on a Curve:
Ganser,
Odd Talk

Amongst the steady flow of contemporary post-punk, Chicago’s Ganser register a few cuts above the average. As evidenced on their new full-length, they offer coherent yet multidimensional muscularity that’s rooted in but not beholden to the tradition informing their work. The playing is dynamic, the shared vocals are complimentary and engaging, and the whole thing seems likely to go down a storm from the bandstand. Odd Talk is out April 20 on milky clear or black vinyl, cassette, and digital through No Trend Records.

Ganser is Alicia Gaines on bass and vocals, Nadia Garofalo on keyboards and vocals, Charlie Landsman on guitar, and Brian Cundiff on drums. Unlike numerous outfits who jampack their bios with loads of portraiture (and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that), Ganser seems to prefer letting their music do the talking, a tendency that jives interestingly with the disc’s stated theme of “communication breakdown.”

The band aren’t mysterious, however; along with clarity over who plays which instrument, it’s not exactly a secret that Ganser came together in 2014 and the following year announced their presence with a sturdy digital single. In 2016 the 3-song “Audrey” cassette EP maintained the quality as it underscored post-punk toughness that’s rightly considered goth-edged but without leaving the lingering impression of being covered in cobwebs or half-whacked on belladonna.

A second digital single emerged shortly thereafter, its A-side “Pyrrhic Victory” continuing down the dark post-punk avenue as the flip “Sunk” dove into noisier territory that, largely through beaucoup guitar racket, affirmed the positive influence of No Wave and Sonic Youth; thus far, it stands as the gem of their discography.

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TVD Radar: Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk and Infiltrating
the Mainstream
now screening via VOD

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream dusts off old vinyl sleeves and record players to rewind back to 1977 – mid-1980s to celebrate the incredible and vital epoch of Scotland’s post-punk and indie music scene by two small, short-lived labels, FAST Product and Postcard Records.

Director Grant McPhee returns with feature-length music documentary, Big Gold Dream distributed in the US by TriCoast Entertainment and CEO’s Strathford Hamilton and Marcy Levitas Hamilton. Big Gold Dream credited producer Wendy Griffin alongside co-producers, Innes Reekie, Erik Sandberg, and Angela Slaven.

Often overlooked and forgotten, Big Gold Dream preserves Scotland’s lost music gems and their legacy by highlighting FAST Product and Postcard Records essential role in shaping the post-punk and Independent music scene. Postcard Records and FAST Product were initially influential in shaping UK’s music scene with their eclectic rosters (musicians that didn’t guarantee instant revenue or even a full crowd).

Big Gold Dream captures the labels’ revolutionary roles in the ‘70s punk movement to ‘80s pop music, creating Scotland’s launch pad for little known bands like Scars, Orange Juice, Dead Kennedys, The Human League, Josef K, and early Joy Division, to be pushed out into America mainstream, eventually creating a name for themselves and going down in music history.

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Delta Jackson,
The TVD First Date

“I got a record player for my birthday one year, but I only had a limited amount of money to start buying. So, rather than just buy one or two records I was more tempted to get my hands on as many different sounds as I could. I left the store with an armful of records by Van Morrison, Phoebe Snow, Rickie Lee Jones, The Animals, Dennis Wilson, Steely Dan, and Pink Floyd. I’ll never forget that first moment of being in a record shop and about to dive down the rabbit hole of music and never return! I suppose the vinyl record that has stuck with me the most from that shopping spree is Luxury Liner by Emmylou Harris.”

“Compared to people who I know who have massive vinyl collections, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am a hard core ‘quantity’ collector. But I do have a decent collection, and every record that I own has a great meaning to me. That is the probably the biggest reason why I wanted to release my EP on vinyl as a limited edition vinyl pressing. You can really achieve such a great sound for the music by listening to it on vinyl. Especially with recordings, such as mine, that were recorded live to tape (Studer A820 24-track) at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, which in itself… is a deep rabbit hole of recording gear that I won’t even get into!

As I delved deeper into my own songwriting, I found it a lot more interesting to continue on with my vinyl collection as a way to discover older records. This was before music became digitized and other than the local vinyl/CD shop or the public library, it was hard to catch on to great music. Buying old or new vinyl really opened up new possibilities for finding an artist that I hadn’t encountered before. Jackson Browne was someone who I found at the record shop and his single “Doctor My Eyes” was something that I gravitated to without knowing why. I have probably listened to that song over 1,000 times on vinyl.

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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.

No Name Hotel – Blood on Sky
Kuwaisiana – Gashxi (گشِّي)
The Right Here – More Delusions
Stephen Karl & Handsome Animals – Cyndi
David Hopkins – C’est La
Peelander-Z – Yeah Yeah Yeah
Oberon Rose – A Place In The Sun
The Fretless – Jenny Bear (Live)

TVD SINGLE OF THE WEEK:
Donna Missal – Thrills

Jodee Lewis – Buzzard’s Bluff
The March Divide – Get In Line
Sleepspent – Something
Mickelson – No Such Luck
Echo Bloom – Song For Steven
PBG The Prince – Movie Star
M3tymes – The Life & Tym3z of a Hustla
Marz Money – Lying

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Graded on a Curve:
Deep Purple,
Machine Head

If I’ve never come forward publicly about the indelible mark I made on rock history at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1971, it’s because I’m still peeved that Deep Purple saw fit to slander me as “Some stupid with a flare gun” in their big hit single “Smoke on the Water.” Firing that flare gun into the roof of the Montreaux Casino may not have been the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but STUPID? I was EXCITED, and I just happened to have a flare gun on my person, and one thing led to another and before I knew it the rattan ceiling was on fire and all manner of shrieks were freaking towards the exits.

But enough personal history and on to Deep Purple, a band that I’ve always had reservations about. I find the English heavy metal avatars ponderous, plodding, and unduly portentous, and if you don’t know what I mean I direct you to “Smoke on the Water,” which is the very un-lightweight little ditty they’ll probably best be remembered for and which I can only describe as a very stoned dinosaur stomping in slow dazed circles to the accompaniment of one gargantuan and omnipresent guitar riff.

That said, Deep Purple–who after a lot of early creative experimentation and moments of serendipitous genius finally settled upon a sound that combined elements of prog rock and the grinding blues-based hard rock that would become known as heavy metal–had their moments, and lots of them are to be found on their sixth and most commercially successful LP, 1972’s Machine Head. From its very metallic (the title’s stamped in steel!) cover to its far-out boogie numbers Machine Head is one wild ride, what with Ian Gillian’s shriek, Ritchie Blackmore’s blazing guitar, Jon Lord’s “I am two separate gorillas” organ, and the positively intimidating drumming of Sir Ian Paice, who has yet to be knighted but certainly ought to be lest he become angry and start throwing punches.

Deep Purple originally intended to record this baby at the Montreaux Casino in Switzerland, but that was before, well, I’ve already broken my long silence about the fire that “burned the place to the ground.” After deciding that it probably wouldn’t be a very good idea to record their next album atop a smoking ruins, they retreated to the empty Grand Hotel at the outskirts of Montreaux, and with the help of the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording unit proceeded to make this surprisingly uptempo (by D.P. standards) piece of music history, which the very clear-headed Ozzy Osbourne has called one of his ten favorite British LPs of all time.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Concert for George,
4-LP, 180-Gram Box Set

Friends, not only are we living in the material world, we’re living in the physical world, one in which the lovingly assembled Concert for George—the live performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall in memory of George Harrison one year after his passing—has arrived on store shelves for the first time on vinyl. And we have a copy of the 4-LP box set to, yes, physically mail to one of you.

In some manner not unlike John and Yoko’s Wedding Album for its sense of bequeathing a bit of the experience for those not in attendance, the Concert for George box set captures the spirit of the evening in both presence and tone. The 4 180-gram LPs are housed in weighty and well-designed sleeves, and the pull out book functions much like the evening’s program for the listener.

As to the performances, they’re spirited and often moving—Ringo’s “Photograph” written with George a particular highlight, as well as Paul’s solo intro to “Something” on the uke which swells into a full band undertaking. Just lovely (and never maudlin). And hey, if you’re thinking you might miss George’s vocals, Jeff Lynne bears an eerily similar tone to that of Mr. Harrison.

First things first—some official background on the release: In honor of George Harrison’s 75th birthday (February 25), the Grammy®-winning, 8-times platinum release Concert for George, is available for the first time on vinyl, released as a 4-LP Box Set. Says Olivia Harrison, “We will always celebrate George’s birthday and this year we are releasing Concert for George in a very special package in memory of a special man.”

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John Craigie,
The TVD First Date and Premiere, “Scarlet”

“I have always loved records as a whole. Even when I was a kid it was very important for me to hear the whole record, in order, from start to finish. I liked going through the journey, some songs good, some songs bad. Seeing where the artist would place the “hits” vs. where they would place the deep cuts. What songs they would open with, and which songs they would close with.”

“I was born in the era of CDs, so vinyl was not something I listened to as a youth. It wasn’t until I got to college and hung out with some friends who had a record player. I was immediately drawn to the larger size. Seeing the artwork better and not dealing with plastic jewel cases.

I found a record player for myself and started getting some vinyl at the local record store. I was in Santa Cruz at that time and Logos and Streetlight Records had great dollar bins. I would dig through those and whatever looked interesting I would get. One dollar wasn’t too much of a risk. And if it sucked I would just give it to a friend or donate it back. I always liked how vinyl kind of forced you to listen to the record in full. I mean, you could drop the needle on any song, but I found people tended not to do that.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Mountain Goats, Transcendental Youth

The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle has a knack for the numinous; more than any musical artist I know, more than Van Morrison even, he possesses the amazing capacity to part the invisible veil that separates us from our spirit selves. His best songs brim with transcendence, captured in remarkably vivid detail and concrete metaphors that bring home the fact that we are so much more than mere flesh and blood.

On 2004’s We Shall All Be Healed he gave us “Against Pollution,” which offset a fatal liquor store shooting against a lovely and moving evocation of a final reckoning that is totally personal; “When the last days come,” he sings, “We shall see visions/More vivid than sunsets/Brighter than stars/We will recognize each other/And see ourselves for the first time/The way we really are.” On 2012’s Transcendental Youth he bequeathed us “White Cedar,” on which he sings, “Like a star come down to walk the Earth in radiant array/I saw the light of my spirit descend the other day/I was standing the bus stop on North East 33rd/When I got the word/I will be made a new creature/One bright day.”

Darnielle is without a doubt the best lyricist working in the field of rock music; a storyteller of mesmerizing subtlety, he has the uncanny ability to speak through his characters, who tend to be outsiders and down-and-outers who seem dead set on repeating the same mistakes over and over again but possess just enough hope to believe they’ll find a way out. Or in some cases, enough stubborn defiance to proudly sing while the ship sinks. I direct you to “No Children,” in which a man in a doomed marriage sings hopefully about taking one final fateful swan dive to the bottom: “I am drowning/There is no sign of land/You are coming down with me/Hand in unlovable hand/And I hope you die/I hope we both die.”

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