Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: John Coltrane, 1963: New Directions 5-LP vinyl
box set in stores 12/7

VIA PRESS RELEASEA selection of Coltrane’s 1963 Impulse! recordings, derived from the original albums Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, Dear Old Stockholm, Newport ’63 and Live at Birdland.

In the brief, bright arc that is the career of John Coltrane, 1963 marks a point of transition between past jazz masterpieces and future work, which would transcend the boundaries of the music itself. That year’s recorded output shows movement in many directions: a look back at the past, continued examination of a familiar repertoire, exploration of more traditional formats and a look forward at compositions and approaches that would further extend the reach of jazz.

This set includes Impulse! recordings from 1963 including the recently released Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album, which was recorded by Coltrane’s Classic Quartet on March 6, 1963. The following day, they recorded standards with singer Johnny Hartmann, which was released that year and was a great commercial success for Coltrane. Other recordings come from Live at Newport ’63 and works from Dear Old Stockholm that were recorded in 1963. Also included are recordings from Live at Birdland.

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Daniel Steinbock,
The TVD First Date

“When I was 7 years-old, I was the only one in my family who listened to vinyl. My mom had held onto about 50 of her favorite records from the ’60s and ’70s and they’d sat on a bookshelf, unplayed, for the duration of my short life thus far. I didn’t even know what the things were, mentally lumping them in with my parents’ outsized collection of cookbooks and Time Life volumes on arcane subjects outside of my childhood universe.”

“That is, until the day my Mom brought home a second-hand record player. She’d bought it on a whim, thinking it’d be fun to give her old records a spin. I watched in rapt attention as she taught me how to pull the vinyl out of its sleeve without scratching it and how to place the needle gently at the edge of the spinning black disc. A scratchy silence burst from her old Pioneer speakers and a new world opened up to me.

Over the following days and weeks, I worked my way through my Mom’s collection, one record at a time: J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Guantanamera by The Sandpipers, albums by The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Limeliters, Glenn Yarbrough, (so much Glenn Yarbrough…). My Mom’s tastes leaned heavily toward the early ’60s folk ensembles. I’d put each record on and then explore the album jacket inside and out, reading every word of the liner notes, transported by the beat poet language and tales from recording studios decades earlier. Sitting cross-legged on the living room carpet, eyes lost in the cover art on my lap, voices from other times sang from the Pioneer speakers and pulled me into imaginary realms of my own making.

After dipping into all of the albums in my Mom’s collection, I found a handful of favorites that I would return to in the months and years to come. Among these, one record stood above all others in my esteem; one record I played over and over with loving obsession: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles.

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Graded on a Curve:
Doug Paisley,
Starter Home

It’s been four years since Toronto-based singer-songwriter Doug Paisley last released a record. In terms of quality, Starter Home, which is out now through Paisley’s longtime label No Quarter, picks up without a hitch where the man left off, courtesy of a sound that’s substantially country in nature, although sharpness of playing and depth of lyrical content place it head-and-shoulders above the vast majority of the form’s contemporary practitioners. While assuredly part of a long tradition, the familiarity of Paisley’s approach reliably sidesteps worn-out tropes, and if concise, his latest delivers a powerful statement (and please note a purchasing option that offers a bonus 45). It’s great to have him back.

With Starter Home’s opening title track, Doug Paisley wastes no time navigating through a narrative peppered with tough emotional truths. The song concerns home-buying and family life, and more specifically, the hopes and satisfaction, followed by the disappointments and disillusionments, that can occur with the passage of time.

Instrumentally and vocally, it’s pretty much dead solid perfect in how it captures a strain of country music primed at the very least for sturdy popularity if not widespread appeal. Enhancing Paisley’s fluid guitar and vocal warmth, there’s Michael Eckart’s pedal steel and later in the tune, John Sheard’s piano. However, it’s the content of the words that makes it clear how this new batch of tunes is destined to delight a smaller audience.

It’s not just in how the he describes a noisy motorcyclist as an asshole, therefore firmly nixing the radio play he wouldn’t have received anyway. No, it relates directly to how “Starter Home” is the exact opposite of “go down to the honky-tonk” escapism, dealing instead with the cold hard facts of existence and in a manner that steadfastly avoids the clichés that can hinder realism as a musical tactic.

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Graded on a Curve: Soundgarden,
Louder Than Love

Sure, the best and most badass song on Soundgarden’s 1989 LP Louder Than Love (“Hands All Over”) sounds like it was borrowed from The Cult who in turn borrowed it from Led Zeppelin, but who hasn’t fallen in love with a copy of a copy at least once in their life? When these Seattle longhairs appeared on the scene I was convinced they had to signify SOMETHING besides what goes around comes around again, and they do—none of their grunge compatriots did half as good a job at melding Led Zep with pure battering ram noise to create a din that sacrifices such niceties as melody and catchy riffs in favor of sheer sonic bluster.

When push comes to shove Louder Than Love is more than happy to push and shove your ears around, and if it’s a good old-fashioned eardrum pummeling you’re looking for you could certainly do worse. Q magazine named it one of the 50 Heaviest Albums of All Time for good reason. Barbaric riffs of the Jimmy Page variety abound, which is great, but Jimmy Page hooks don’t, which isn’t a good thing at all. Most of these songs just don’t stick with you the way Led Zeppelin songs do, with the remarkable “Hands All Over”—which is perhaps the best Zeppelin rip ever—being the exception. Okay, so the riff that propels “Uncovered” is sticking with me, but that’s because it might as well be a Led Zeppelin riff—put it under the microscope and you’re bound to discover Jimmy Page’s DNA.

Soundgarden’s classic rock influences extend beyond Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and Company. “Gun” is Black Sabbath heavy, while “Power Trip” reminds me—if nobody else—of the molten psychedelic sludge that Robin Trower was dishing out in the mid-seventies. As for “Loud Love” it sounds like a band whose name is on the tip of my tongue—Mississippi? Lesbian Boy? The Bee Gees? What is obvious from listening to Louder Than Love is that Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, and Hiro Yamamoto spent their formative years sitting around smoking pot and listening to songs that should have been on the Dazed and Confused soundtrack.

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TVD Radar: Love Actually OST 2-LP white vinyl in stores 1/25

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Ten interlocking love stories, one big (mostly) happy ending…

Love Actually is one of the best romantic comedies of the last two decades, capturing, in poignant, bittersweet fashion, all of the complexity of modern love. One reason why Richard Curtis’ 2003 film succeeded with critics and audiences alike (and still plays on cable and even in theaters all the time) was its incredible cast: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Billy Bob Thornton, Andrew Lincoln, Rowan Atkinson…the list goes on.

But another very important reason was its score; as Curtis writes in the personal note we’ve included in the package, “Without its music, Love Actually wouldn’t work at all. I know—because I saw the film without the music, and it’s a shocker.” Indeed, the high wattage star power of the actors in Love Actually is matched by its musical artists: The Beach Boys, Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, Norah Jones, Dido, Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchell, The Pointer Sisters, and more (plus a bonus Christmas-themed track from Otis Redding)!

For its maiden release on vinyl, we’ve created a new, gatefold jacket and pressed up 1,000 copies in white vinyl.

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Graded on a Curve: Avengers, (s/t)

The state of California produced a compelling batch of ‘70s punk treasures, and high in their number is the work of the Avengers. A key component in San Francisco’s initial wave, by 1979 they were done, with the majority of the band’s releases surfacing post-breakup. Avengers first appeared in ’83, subsequently drifting in and out of availability while undergoing assorted CD expansions; the core LP is the group’s essential document and by extension is a mandatory acquisition for punk collectors.

The definitive lineup of the Avengers, specifically Jimmy Wilsey on bass (replacing Jonathan Postal), Danny Furious on drums, Greg Ingraham on guitar, and Penelope Houston on vocals, only issued one EP while extant, though they were still quite busy during their relatively brief reign and impressively so given the lack of hospitable venues for the new music. The payoff for the Avengers’ tenacity was a warm-up slot at The Sex Pistols’ last show, sandwiched between the Nuns and the headlining spectacle, the event taking place at San Fran’s Winterland Ballroom in January of ’78. Reportedly besting the Pistols (the recorded evidence bears this out), the opportunity seemed to cultivate disillusionment in the band, especially in Furious, though it was Ingraham who quit a year later, his spot filled by Brad Kent (of D.O.A., Pointed Sticks, Subhumans etc). The Avengers dissolved in June of ’79, a few months prior to the arrival of their sophomore 12-inch.

Avengers, or The Pink Album as it’s sometimes referred, corrals both EPs with added material of the same vintage to succinctly detail their enduring worthiness. Opening with the debut for Dangerhouse, the LP immediately makes the strongest possible case for the four-piece as one of the finest US punk acts of the pre-HC era. For many the mantra of punk perseveres as “young loud and snotty,” but it’s those delivering the ingredients with a heaviness spawned from relentless determination (a.k.a. practice) that sit at the head of the class; beginning with exquisite guitar clamor, “We Are the One” brings heft, velocity, and an uncompromising vocal presence to the convulsions of ‘77’s rock revolution.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Jesus Lizard,

The Golden Age of American Noise Rock (which this historian situates between the late 1980s and early 1990s) was a grand time to be a pervert. Bands like Cows, Killdozer, Halo of Flies, and the Melvins were spreading clamor, ugliness, and moral depravity across the land, and if you were like me you were as happy as a pig in shit.

Austin, Texas’ The Jesus Lizard were celebrated (and critically acclaimed) mainstays on the noise rock circuit, and they personified all of the best (worst?) aspects of the genre. Outré and outright revolting subject matter? Check. A relentlessly pounding sound designed to make mush of your cerebral cortex? Check. Deranged live performances featuring a psychotic lead singer? Check.

That said, The Jesus Lizard were never my favorites; indeed, I never had much use for ‘em at all. No, I was a Cows and Killdozer guy. The bugle-playing and unhinged live antics of Shannon Selberg set Cows high above the noise rock throng, while Michael Gerald’s demented (and highly literate) storytelling and Mouse Who Roared vocals, which were set atop a deep rototiller groove, made Killdozer the blackly hilarious piece of heavy machinery ever to steamroll human ears.

But The Jesus Lizard have their charms, and they’re on full display on 1991’s Goat. Produced by the ubiquitous Steve Albini, Goat is loud, pummeling, and chockfull of sordid lyrical content that is guaranteed to leave you feeling slightly queasy. Case in point: the run amok “Lady Shoes,” on which David Yow channels unholy voices while telling a simply horrifying tale involving a masturbating daddy, a homicidal maternity ward nurse, and a doctor who takes a shit in his own hand and then applies it as lipstick. It’s a real crack-up.

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TVD Radar: Richie Ramone: I Know Better Now, My Life Before, During, and After the Ramones in stores 12/11

VIA PRESS RELEASEIn 1982, the Ramones were in a gutter-bound spiral. Following a run of inconsistent albums and deep in the throes of internal tensions, the legendary quartet was about to crash and burn. Then came Richie Ramone—the 26-year-old from Jersey who instantly revitalized the pioneering outfit with his powerful, precise, and blindingly fast beats.

We’ve heard Joey’s story and Dee Dee’s, Johnny’s, Marky’s, and even Monte Melnick’s story, the band’s intrepid road manager. The mysterious Richie Ramone has been the missing link—until now. In I Know Better Now: My Life Before, During, and After the Ramones (Backbeat Books Hardcover; December 11, 2018 $29.99) Richie shares a deeply personal account of his life with one of the most influential punk rock bands of the 1980s.

When the Ramones discovered him, his name was Richard Reinhardt. They snapped him up to be their new drummer. Overnight, Richie went from the obscurity of the underground club scene to becoming a “brother” in the most famous punk-rock band of all time. Joey Ramone, himself, credited Richie for saving the band. Richie composed classic cuts like the menacing anthem “Somebody Put Something in My Drink” and was the only Ramones percussionist to sing lead vocals for the group. With the Ramones, he performed over five hundred shows at venues all around the world and recorded three massive studio albums before abruptly quitting the band and going deep underground.

“During the time I was in the Ramones, Joey and I were really close,” says Richie. “On and offstage, we were inseparable pretty much the whole time. We drank together, got high together, worked on songs together, went bowling together, and laughed together. Joey was a great singer, but he was also a great guy with a really big heart, and we were really good friends. I really miss that guy. A lot.”

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Demand it on Vinyl: Grateful Dead, Road Trips Vol. 3 No. 4 – Penn State/ Cornell ’80 in stores 1/25

VIA PRESS RELEASERoad Trips Vol. 3 No. 4 offers an indispensable sample of the band during the early phase of Brent Mydland’s tenure as the band’s keyboardist, right after the release of the Go to Heaven album.

Beautifully recorded by Dan Healy and mastered by Jeffrey Norman, the 3-CD set mixes the first sets of the May 6, 1980 show at Penn State’s Recreation Hall and the May 7 show at Cornell’s Barton Hall (or “Playing in the barn,” as gleefully sang by Bob Weir in tribute to the venue; also the site of their famed 1977 show) on Disc One, and presents the complete May 6 second set on Disc Two and the complete May 7 second set (save for a few moments of “Rhythm Devils” and “Space”) on Disc Three.

Strong vocals and performances abound on both nights, particularly on “He’s Gone” and “Wharf Rat” from Penn State and “Jack Straw” and “Cassidy” from Barton Hall. But the highlight just might be the Penn State set two opener pairing of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider,” two songs the Dead had by this point been playing for over a decade but given extra verve here.

Liner notes by Blair Jackson round out a very satisfying document of what turned out to be one of the Dead’s most versatile and consistent line-ups. Never before available at retail.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Association,
Just The Right Sound: The Association Anthology

The Association didn’t exactly win friends and influence hippies with their square-john antics in the mid- to late sixties; they may have been the first band to perform at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, but most of your smirking counter-culture types considered them about as authentic as a cheap plastic peace symbol.

But hey–as that great philosopher Huey Lewis pointed out it’s hip to be square, and all of your REAL swinging girls and boys know The Association are the Nazz. So what if they flunked the Acid Test and would have been more at home at Tricia Nixon’s wedding than a Human Be-In? The Association rose above it all, producing a rapturous dream pop that Tricky Dick himself might have tapped a toe to.

And you can hear The Association in all their vocal glory on the 2018’s Anthology: Just the Right Sound. Its 51 songs are a definite case of overkill–and I’ve docked it a half-grade accordingly–but it’s worth the purchase price (and more!) if you want to hear not only the songs that melted your heart but such berserker numbers as “Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies,” to say nothing of a couple of cuts off 1972’s justifiably neglected Waterbeds in Trinidad!

Just about everybody knows their big ones. “Windy” is a sunshine pop classic about a girl with stormy eyes; its opening guitar riff and superlush vocals are for the ages, and I die a little every time I hear that flute. And then there’s the motorvatin’ “Along Came Mary,” with its handclaps and badass (by Association standards) vocals. And who could forget the moon-eyed “Cherish,” which makes the perfect mate for the lovely “Never My Love,” both of which say I’m going to love you forever by means of those perfectly pureed vocals that were The Association’s bread and butter.

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TVD Radar: The Warriors 2-LP OST
in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASEWaxwork Records is excited to announce the long-awaited re-pressing of The Warriors. This deluxe double LP features the re-mastered 1979 original soundtrack, in addition to the vinyl debut of the complete film score by Barry DeVorzon.

Directed by Walter Hill and based off of the 1965 novel by Sol Yurick of the same name, The Warriors is the absolute definition of an influential cult-classic film. The Warriors has permeated the landscape of pop culture, music, film, fashion, comics, and video games. Waxwork worked directly from the original master tapes of both the original 1979 soundtrack and film score to bring audiences a brand new transfer of every musical cue heard in the movie, for the very first time on vinyl.

Features artwork by Marvel Comics artist Dave Rapoza, Double LP 180 gram “Warriors” red and brown vinyl, 180 gram “Boppers” purple vinyl, printed insert, and deluxe packaging.

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Ciaran Lavery,
The TVD First Date

“The first time I held a record in my hands I was younger than 8 years old, but no less than that.”

“I had travelled with my dad to see my uncle Paul and his old shaggy dog Shane, who I believed to be part dog, part human, as was his nature to seem so wise and all-knowing. I was standing in the middle of what was the living room on a carpet that looked as old and world-weary as Shane, but had a surprisingly springy feeling underfoot. I remember vibrant colours of red and egg yolk yellow and a truly unique pattern that ran consistently from the centre of the room, sprawling to each corner in designs that I could make no sense of, but figured such understanding of tastes were outside of my lesser learned child brain. Perhaps I would choose a carpet exactly like this one if I were a fully formed adult; I could only assume.

My uncle Paul reached over and handed me this square, card like material as I stood shipwrecked in the middle of the room, and unknowingly I was holding my very first vinyl. It was white with an elaborate design and I treated it as you would some ancient antique, my mind exploding with the visual feast in front of me. I kept turning the record in my hands, from front to back and repeating the process, keen to take in every detail.

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TVD Radar: Springsteen on Broadway 4-LP OST in stores 12/14

VIA PRESS RELEASEColumbia Records will release the Springsteen On Broadway soundtrack album on 14th December, featuring the songs and stories from Tony Award winner Bruce Springsteen’s historic 236-show run at Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr Theatre. Consisting of the complete audio from the upcoming Springsteen On Broadway Netflix release, the soundtrack album will be available on 4 LPs or 2 CDs as well as a digital download and on streaming services.

Based on his worldwide best-selling autobiography Born to Run, Springsteen on Broadway is a unique evening with Bruce, his guitar, a piano, and his very personal stories. On the Springsteen On Broadway soundtrack album, each of these stories appears as its own track, labeled as an “introduction” to the song it precedes. The audio for Springsteen on Broadway was mixed by the legendary Bob Clearmountain and mastered by the acclaimed Bob Ludwig.

Springsteen on Broadway began previews on 3rd October 2017 and the completely sold-out series of performances officially opened 12th October. The show was extended three times after its initial eight-week run, and will close on Broadway on 15th December. Springsteen on Broadway will launch on Netflix globally on 16th December 8:01 AM GMT.

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Graded on a Curve:
Roger Daltrey,
Ride a Rock Horse

Talk about your Trojan Horses; that cover, with Roger the Rock Centaur on it, may look like a gift, but bring this baby into your house and I guarantee it will stink up your living room.

1975’s Ride a Rock Horse is a spavined affair; Daltrey is less half horse than half flounder. And it makes clear one thing; Daltrey, no songwriter himself, is a great interpreter of other people’s songs so long as those other people is Pete Townshend.

Townshend wrote his Who songs with Daltrey in mind; Roger was just another weapon in Pete’s musical armamentarium, and a damn good one at that. But take Daltrey away from Townshend and he sounds at loose ends.

If you’re going to be a great interpreter you’d better know how to pick ‘em, and things might have been different had Daltrey taken the Joe Cocker route and set himself to the task of interpreting great songs. Instead he opted for a very lackluster bunch of tunes (by the immortal likes of Russ Ballard, Paul Korda, etc.) and tried to breathe life into him with his rock historic tonsils. I suspect hubris was to blame, but the strain of artificial resuscitation is evident on just about every song on Ride a Rock Horse.

And it’s not like Daltrey bothered to assemble a crack bunch of musicians to back him up, either. A few of the musicians credited ring faint bells in my head, but this is anything but a Roger Daltrey and Famous Friends affair. Hell, what good is it to be a Rock God if you can’t call in a few favors?

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TVD Video Premiere: Katie Barbato,
“Magical Ending”

“I wrote ‘Magical Ending’ about the search for happiness in life and what it means to me. After taking a hard look at myself and the world around me, I realized that it is not this fairytale ending I was searching for. I was looking for the moment I would arrive, and found that it is in the journey where my greatest joy comes from. There is a small light even in the darkness and that is my love I keep giving to the world. I can go on pretending and ignoring who I really am or I can realize that the magic is all around me now.”
Katie Barbato

Katie Barbato is always surprising us with her whimsical folk rock reveries. There seems to be a never-ending fount of sophisticated, melodic riches to be discovered on her newest EP, “The Art of Falling,” and we love how unselfconscious, bizarre, and vibrant her new music video is.

“It was fun to conceptualize themes related to magic that appear in fairy tales and mythology—but give them a tacky, cheesy, violent, and playful green-screen twist. The style of the video and the style of the song are somewhat incongruent, which is what Katie wanted, so it was fun to work within that paradigm,” the video’s director Max Margulies tells TVD.

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