Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Paul Kantner,
Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra

On which Paul Kantner takes off for outer space in a bong-shaped spaceship, only to crash back to earth because the sheer number of Jefferson Starship hangers-on he’s packed on board exceed the vessel’s weight capacity. This 1983 concept album–the sequel to his 1970 (Hugo Award-nominated!) LP Blows Against the Empire–is subtitled The Empire Blows Back. At least he got the blows part right.

The album–the purported soundtrack to a novel by Kantner that actually saw the light of day in 1991–tells the completely plausible story of a S.F. band that develops telepathic amplification technology, falls afoul of the U.S. government, seeks sanctuary in the Australian outback, and finally whisks off to the safety of outer space. For those of us who flee to higher ground whenever the mummified survivors of the Jefferson Airplane congregate in a recording studio, their permanent departure is what you might call a dream scenario.

But such is not the case with everyone. You probably don’t know about it because the U.S. government is afraid to start a panic, but almost 20 years ago NASA received a mysterious transmission from Voivod 4, the planet on which the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra finally touched down.

The transmission was in the form of complaint, and specifically blamed our planet for “recklessly hurling its refuse into space, the way a fat guy might toss a half-full Slurpee cup from the driver’s side window of a rusting 1974 Ford Pinto.” It closed by threatening the human race with extinction, via a weapon it described as “a really, really big bug zapper you don’t want to stand in front of.” Needless to say this interplanetary communique caused consternation amongst the leaders of the world, all of whom agreed to blame Moldova.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Needle Drop: FerrariLover,
“Endless Seconds”

San Diego-based, LGB ambient guitarist FerrariLover creates diaphanous and compelling overtures, rife with exquisite sonic designs.

Her otherworldly compositions sit somewhere between the scores of 1950s film noir and the brainy mise-en-scène of Phillip Glass. These are not obvious or easily digestible songs, more like breadcrumbs that lead us along a hidden path into FerrariLover’s inner world.

“Endless Seconds” was shot out in the Las Vegas desert, which is a perfect backdrop for the song’s expansive pallet of shadowy twang. The spacious landscape reflects the dynamic nature of the song—you can choose to wade in the eerie, open-ended atmospherics of it all, or pick out a specific cloud cluster to focus on. But like the time-lapse footage, the object of your attention will quickly morph into something completely new as dissonant chords settle and find harmony within the malleable aural pallet.

FerrariLover’s forthcoming LP, Exotic Legend, arrives in stores August 23rd.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records: The Definitive Collection

As evidenced by the threads he’s sporting in the cover photo above, Narvel Eatmon, better known as Cadillac Baby, was a colorful character. Having made the trip from Mississippi to Chicago, by the 1950s he was a smooth operator who ran his own club; by decade’s end he was trying his hand at releasing records. Commercially, the results were modestly successful at best, but the contents of the 4CD + 128pg hardback book Cadillac Baby’s Bea & Baby Records: The Definitive Collection documents a layer of the Windy City’s blues experience that ran alongside the dominant sound of Chess and fortifies the years between Cobra Records and the Delmark label. It’s out August 16 through Earwig Music Company.

Some of the names included in this set are obscure, but there is a high number of contributors who will be immediately familiar to blues fans; right off the bat, or more accurately immediately after the opening track “Welcome to Cadillac Baby’s Show Lounge,” which comes from Bea & Baby’s sole LP, 1971’s Colossal Blues (marketed as a live recording but obviously concocted from studio-originated songs and “club atmosphere”), there’s Eddie Boyd, he of 1951 R&B chart #1 “Five Long Years.”

Across the four discs, he’s followed by such notables as Earl Hooker, Hound Dog Taylor (making his recording debut), James Cotton, Sunnyland Slim, Homesick James, and in contrast to the prevailing currents of electricity, the acoustic folk-blues styling of Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon, the duo offered up via four cuts, all previously unreleased.

And to clarify, Bea & Baby wasn’t strictly about the blues. There are dips into R&B, courtesy of the sprightly pop-tinged gal group action of The Chances, deep smooth crooner Phil Sampson, and the late Andre Williams even making an appearance, though the doo-wop-tinged work of the Daylighters is a bit more prevalent through their own stuff and overdubbed onto a revamped Eddie Boyd single in hopes of increased market appeal. But 11 Year Old Faith Evans & the Sweet Teens, with their symphonic heart tug A-side backed with up-tempo doo-wop nugget nearly steal the non-blues show.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: Lakeshore Records’ Les Misérables original series score on vinyl, in stores 9/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Lakeshore Records is set to release the original score on vinyl to the critically-acclaimed BBC/PBS Masterpiece limited series Les Misérables, written by composer John Murphy (28 Days Later, Sunshine, Kick-Ass). The vinyl record will be released on September 6th. Pre-order the vinyl release here.

Series director Tom Shankland wanted John to tell a fresh musical story and to ultimately create a raw and uncompromising score to reflect the trials and misery of “Les Misérables.” John described the scoring process as an experimental journey: “My original idea for the score to Les Mis was ‘1816 Velvet Underground meets ’60s French film music.’ Tom [Shankland] was thinking ‘gnarly, down in the dirt, French folk music.’ Producer Chris Carey suggested, ‘let’s try both, but throw in some vintage analog synths.’ I then gleefully tried all of these elements, often at the same time. And we discovered that you can actually mix a hurdy gurdy with a Moog Sub Phatty, and we loved it. And what started out as a musical standoff, became our score for Les Misérables.

About Les Misérables | The six-part drama adaptation stars Dominic West (The Affair, The Hour) as Jean Valjean, and David Oyelowo (Selma) as Javert in this landmark drama adaptation. They are joined in this epic event drama by Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply, Love, Rosie), in the role of Fantine.

With a striking intensity and relevance to us today, Victor Hugo’s novel is testimony to the struggles of France’s underclass and how far they must go to survive. The six-part television adaptation of the renowned book will vividly and faithfully bring to life the vibrant and engaging characters, the spectacular and authentic imagery and, above all, the incredible yet accessible story that was Hugo’s lifework.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Ryan Romana of Press Junkie PR, The TVD First Date & Vinyl Giveaway

“I first experienced my passion for vinyl when I went through my dad’s record collection of pop songs in the ’80s in our basement turned disco, where my parents would entertain.”

“I remember flipping through 45s of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, and The Police. I loved how each record had its own identity and that the records had these tactile grooves which you could run your fingers on. Once the needle touched the record, I remember thinking it was magic, how the sound jumped out from the records through the speakers.

Growing up, my parents would entertain co-workers and friends in our disco basement filled with strobe lights, linoleum flooring, and a disco ball. Part of my job would be to keep the music going by changing the records. Once, I discovered the world of DJing and hip hop, I thought it would be cool to try to scratch a record like I saw on MTV. To my surprise, my dad’s belt driven turntables and needle were not ready for the abuse and I broke one of his record players. He was livid, and rightfully so. So, I researched and found out that I would need Technics to practice scratching.

When I got to college at CU Boulder, I hopped on KVCU as a radio DJ and the station also had a huge vinyl library, way bigger than my dad’s collection. From being on air, I knew that I wanted to buy Technics and pursue DJing. The next summer, I saved up to buy one Technics turntable and a Gemini mixer.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 2 Comments

Graded on a Curve:
The Frogs,
It’s Only Right and Natural

Simply put, The Frogs’ It’s Only Right and Natural is one of the most deliriously bent records to have emerged from the 1980s underground scene. The handiwork of brothers Jimmy and (the late) Dennis Flemion and originally issued on the Homestead label, the album’s 14 songs wedded over-the-top homoerotic subject matter to a twisted, druggy folk-rock approach, and like the best of satire could inspire miscomprehension and even downright hostility. But the true root of the LP, which is being reissued for the first time in stereo August 16 by The End of All Music, is a stealthily sturdy batch of tunes. Not everyone’s gonna like it, but that’s exactly how it is with many great, singular things.

There are parts of It’s Only Right and Natural, (okay, most if it), that in 2019, can be accessed as “problematic.” The record, which plunges deep into gay stereotypes in a way that has always connected to me (and many others) as lampooning the fevered imaginations of the sexually intolerant, lacks the “here’s a lesson” didacticism of so much lesser satire and instead embraces the juvenile, which is why it’s sometimes assessed as a mere joke.

Obviously, it’s that decided lack of maturity (i.e. tastelessness) that will make this alb a take it or leave it proposition. But really, it’s always been that way with The Frogs, an act who not only persevered but became a subject of Alt-rock celebrity championing in the ’90s: they were on Cobain’s top 50 albums list, they were loved by Billy Corgan, “I Don’t Care If U Disrespect Me (Just So You Love Me)” was sampled by Beck, and they secured fans in Pearl Jam, Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach, filmmaker Harmony Korine, and the Blake Babies, who named their “Rosy Jack World” EP after a song from this LP.

I bought my CD copy before all this, based on a terse description that was making the rounds that The Frogs were a “gay supremacist duo.” Coupled with the disc’s cover, a certain will to provoke became apparent. I had to hear it. Back then, I was surely hit by that juvenile aspect, but along the way, The Frogs tangled with those stereotypes in a manner that was so ridiculous, perhaps attaining an apex (or nadir) with “Baby Greaser George,” that it became impossible to take the sentiments seriously (the music is no joke, though).

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Ramones, Ramones

It’s easy to take this the Ramones’ landmark 1976 self-titled debut too seriously. Sure, it signaled a seismic shift in rock music, exploding like an M80 in the minds of every cretinous young thing who’d had it up to here with the pompous, bloated likes of ELP, Queen, and the Eagles. And sure, this baby is often celebrated as the first real punk rock LP.

But so far as declarations of war go, Ramones is a hilarious one. On it the most famous band to ever come out of Forest Hills, Queens state their demands (they wanna be your boyfriend and they wanna sniff some glue; they don’t wanna go down to the basement and they don’t wanna walk around with you), dabble with fascism (“I’m a Nazi schatze”), and beat on the brat with a baseball bat. The Ramones weren’t the first NYC band to give voice to the inchoate yearnings of teengenerates everywhere; the Dictators got there first with 1975’s Go Girl Crazy!, and they deserve their due. 

But unlike Handsome Dick Manitoba and Company the Ramones got their yucks playing their songs at tempos that boggled the imagination; I saw the Ramones early on, without having ever heard a single note of their music, and the experience bordered on the traumatic.

The songs–which segued one into the other with nary a pause–went by at an insane, buzzsaw blur that night, obfuscating what is obvious to anyone who listens to the album now–that the Ramones mated their 160 beats per minute ferocity to an impeccable pop sense that gives many of these songs the loving feel of good bubblegum.

The Ramones won their rep by keeping their songs nasty, brutish and short. But their secret ingredient was melody; their songs are both catchy and likable, and that’s what makes Ramones sound as fresh today as it did the day it hit the streets.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Ashley Sofia,
The TVD First Date

“Growing up my parents had kept a very curated sense of art, music, and books in our house that I was exposed to. My mother was always playing Jim Croce or Simon and Garfunkel or James Taylor. My dad was always singing and playing his guitar, and I was raised with all these older sounds and flavors.”

“We spent a lot of weekends in antique stores looking at collectibles, and items from the past. When I was little it bored me, but over time, it became this thing I absorbed and couldn’t shake off. I was young but I was beginning to develop old tastes and sensibilities and style from a totally different time period.

I remember I started collecting vinyl before I even had a record player. I could get them for cheap growing up, 30 cents, sometimes a nickel, because everybody was getting rid of them back then. The CD was the future. I’d lay on the floor and read their liner notes and big/ giant photographs.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Mick Jagger,
Primitive Cool

How do the monied classes spend their time? Well, some of them take up fox hunting, build collections of great art, or buy yachts. Others breed thoroughbred race horses, take up philanthropy or wile away their evenings playing baccarat at the casinos in Monte-Carlo, Baden-Baden, and Macau. Yet others collect ex-wives. One thing they do not do is record solo albums. They’re far too well-bred to impose their neuroses on their lessers.

Mick Jagger is one of the exceptions. Everybody’s second favorite Rolling Stone has raked in enough money over the years to buy Dubai, but some rather unsavory nervous tic–a determination to prove he can make it out on his own? some insatiable need for attention? a desire to further pad his bank account?–keeps inducing poor Mick to release albums with his name on them. It’s an innocuous enough impulse, some would argue. To these people I would say try sitting through one.

Albums such as Jagger’s 1987 release Primitive Cool needn’t necessarily be exercises in solo self-gratification. They afford pampered lead singers of Jagger’s calibre the chance to stretch out, and explore new musical territory far from the terra firma they staked out with the bands that won them fame and fortune. Solo albums give the Jaggers of the world the opportunity to jump in on the Albanian folk song craze, bring in some pan pipers, or make that long dreamt of soul or R&B move. Or take on, god help us all, the American Songbook. Unfortunately, most of them put out albums that sound suspiciously like, but not as good as, the albums their bands put out.

Jagger tries to avoid this trap, he really does. Songs like “Say You Will,” “War Baby” and the title track sound very little like Rolling Stones songs. The problem is they suck. The demoralizing truth about Primitive Cool is that the songs that work best (“Throwaway,” “Shoot Off Your Mouth,” “Peace for the Wicked”) are the ones that adhere most closely to the tried-and-true Jagger-Richards formula.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: Oasis, Definitely Maybe 25th anniversary vinyl reissues in stores 8/30

VIA PRESS RELEASE | With today marking 25 years since Oasis released their third single “Live Forever” (voted the greatest British song by Radio X listeners last year), Big Brother Recordings have announced special activity to celebrate the silver anniversary of Definitely Maybe, the iconic Manchester band’s landmark debut album.

To mark the anniversary on August 29, original content from the era will be made available throughout August—visit www.oasisinet.com for details and follow #DefMaybe25. In addition, two limited edition vinyl formats will be released—a picture disc via the band’s online store and a silver coloured LP available at retail from August 30. Originally released on August 29, 1994, Definitely Maybe was the fastest-ever selling debut album in the UK (at the time), and marked the point when Oasis became a cultural phenomenon.

The album went seven times platinum in the UK while selling over five million copies worldwide. The four single’s—”Supersonic,” “Shakermaker,” “Live Forever,” and “Cigarettes And Alcohol” are established classics while songs that were never released outside of the album’s confines such as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Slide Away” also remain anthems and radio staples known to every generation of music fan.

Definitely Maybe frequently appears on “best album of all time” polls and is widely considered to be the best debut album ever made. A quarter of a century on from its release, its songs sound as fresh and relevant as they did in 1994.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Independent Minded: A podcast with Ron Scalzo: DeVotchKa

Today we’re happy to announce a new recurring podcast at TVD, Independent Minded with Ron Scalzo. New episodes of the podcast will commence next week, and given that the podcast itself is over 100 episodes deep, this week we thought we’d introduce you to what’s in store from its archives.Ed.

The Independent Minded podcast features conversations with indie artists in the music and entertainment business.

Pop culture legends “Weird Al” Yankovic and Henry Rollins, indie icons CAKE, Gogol Bordello and Mike Doughty, and up-and-coming indie artists The Districts and Vagabon talk about their experiences in the business, their inspirations and passions, and their recent projects.

The podcast is hosted by Ron Scalzo, an indie musician and radio producer with 9 self-released albums and an independent record label of his own, Bald Freak Music.

DEVOTCHKA, Episode 89 | Episode 89 features Nick Urata, singer, guitarist and founding member of gypsy rock band DeVotchKa. Nick talks about dedication, Little Miss Sunshine, underwater villages, vintage suits, leaving dogs behind, and losing a Grammy to Johnny Cash. Songs from DeVotchKa featured on the podcast include “Straight Shot” and “Empty Vessels.”

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
John Hammond,
So Many Roads

The critical line on John Paul Hammond–son of legendary record producer/talent scout John H. Hammond and one of the first white guys to sing the blues–has always been that he tries too hard, and that his studied attempts to sound like a 92-year-old Mississippi Delta dweller slurring the blues cross the line into condescension. Greil Marcus, perhaps the most ferocious of Hammond’s detractors, once lambasted him for his “ludicrous blackface vocals.” Robert Christgau, meanwhile, said Hammond’s “vocal style demeans his mentors.” And so on and so forth.

That said, he’s no more affected than Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart, so why pick on poor minstrel John? He means well and obviously respects the artists he imitates, and actually annoys me less than Waits, whose boho shtick makes me want to shoot a beatnik. Granted, Hammond takes things too far, but that’s what makes listening to him so much fun. He growls and spits and mumbles and does everything but shout. And you haven’t lived until you’ve heard him sing, “My telephone keep rangin’, souuuunnnd like a long-distance cow.”

The only Hammond LP you must ever listen to is 1965’s So Many Roads, and that’s because John’s backed on the album by three members of the Hawks, who would shortly thereafter hook up with Bob Dylan and ultimately find fame as The Band. He wanted to use the entire band, but Vanguard records forced bassist Jimmy Lewis and Michael Bloomfield (who handled piano duties) down his throat. As a result, only guitarist Robbie Robertson, drummer Levon Helm, and keyboardist Garth Hudson played at the sessions. Also on board was harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: Rain Parade, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip vinyl reissue in stores 9/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | First-ever U.S. LP reissue and first LP reissue in over 30 years, red and yellow starburst vinyl pressing, limited to 1,000 copies.

Though there are a number of worthy contenders—Dream Syndicate’s The Days of Wine and Roses, The Bangles’ All Over the Place, Green on Red’s Gas Food Lodging among them—Rain Parade’s 1983 release Emergency Third Rail Power Trip places at worst in a tie for first among the greatest albums to emerge from the early ‘80s L.A. Paisley Underground scene. That’s because the band—and the album—were probably the most transparent in their influences and probably the most successful in transcending them.

Here was the jangle-rock of the Byrds married with the soft, downbeat vocal harmonies of early Pink Floyd, infused with a Love-like delicacy, peppered with a Buffalo Springfield twin lead guitar attack—yet the dark lyrical themes and droning melodies made listening to Rain Parade a singular experience, like being on an acid trip teetering on the edge between pure nirvana and colossal bummer. Which, for true fans of psychedelia, was an awfully sweet spot to be.

Emergency Third Rail Power Trip was the band’s debut album, and the only one to feature the original line-up of multi-instrumentalist Will Glenn, drummer Eddie Kalwa, bassist Stephen Roback, and guitarists David Roback (later of Mazzy Star) and Matt Piucci.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Pauline Andres,
The TVD First Date

“I was a kid in the ’90s and vinyl was absolutely not a thing at the time. Especially in the little coal mining town I grew up in. There were no record stores. There wasn’t any cultural space of any kind. I remember my parents always had some CDs lying around the house, very mainstream things that just didn’t do it for me even when I was 10 or 11. And that was it.”

“One day, after we recently moved to our second apartment in town (in a really big house for two large families) I was sent to find something in the cellar. I was 10 and I didn’t like it. The cellar was huge, dark and terrifying. But I got over myself and dived into the darkness, downstairs where the monsters were waiting for me. Little did I know actual Rock monsters were waiting. I have no idea what I was originally sent to find. But I will always remember what I accidentally stumbled upon, vinyl.

When he was younger, my dad used to have pretty decent taste in music. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, AC/DC. He liked hard rock. At the time I had no clue what hard rock was, or prog rock, or whatever label you put on those things. But I found several records in the cellar, and even though they were just random objects at the time, I fell in love with them. These “things” contained music. They looked cool. Different and wild. Some of them still had posters folded in them. The lyrics were in there too: “Hotel California,” “Highway to Hell.” Holding them in my tiny hands and trying to make sense of the lyrics was a major event in my life. I knew I loved rock & roll.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Independent Minded: A podcast with Ron Scalzo: Citizen Cope

Today we’re happy to announce a new recurring podcast at TVD, Independent Minded with Ron Scalzo. New episodes of the podcast will commence next week, and given that the podcast itself is over 100 episodes deep, this week we thought we’d introduce you to what’s in store from its archives.Ed.

The Independent Minded podcast features conversations with indie artists in the music and entertainment business.

Pop culture legends “Weird Al” Yankovic and Henry Rollins, indie icons CAKE, Gogol Bordello and Mike Doughty, and up-and-coming indie artists The Districts and Vagabon talk about their experiences in the business, their inspirations and passions, and their recent projects.

The podcast is hosted by Ron Scalzo, an indie musician and radio producer with 9 self-released albums and an independent record label of his own, Bald Freak Music.

CITIZEN COPE, Episode 93 | Episode 93 features trailblazing independent artist Citizen Cope. Clarence talks about enlightenment, scalping tickets, Beastie Boys, growing a team, and being a Dad. Songs from Citizen Cope featured on the podcast include “Justice” and “The River.”

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