Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

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.

Cameron Blake – After Sally
Felsen – Vultures on Your Bones
Stephen Doster – Shooting For The Stars
Eagle Johnson & Clean Machine – Push Pin Jane
Jason S. Matuskiewicz – Battle Born
Shining Mirrors – Cardiac
The Captain Of Sorrow – Hollow Empty Void

Grant-Lee Phillips – Totally You Gunslinger

Moon Darling – By The Light of The Moon
Fovea – Boss Boy
The Cabin Fever – Exercise The Demon
The March Divide – I Told You So
Italian Beaches – Tornado
Choppa Dunks – Fight

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Graded on a Curve:
Yo La Tengo,
President Yo La Tengo

What’s not to like about 1996’s President Yo La Tengo? On it everybody’s favorite New Wave hotdogs express an urge to do drugs, name drop my favorite literary figure, deliver up some of the most discordant guitar mayhem this side of the Velvet Underground’s “I Heard Her Call My Name,” wax pretty as can be, and cover Bob Dylan and Antietam just to prove they can do it all.

The indie rock husband and wife team of Ira Kaplan (guitar and vocals) and Georgia Hubley (drums and vocals) have produced an embarrassment of riches over the years, in part because they have impeccable taste (which isn’t to say they’re necessarily tasteful) and an encyclopedic knowledge of rock history. More importantly, they know when to play rough and when to play nice with others. Theirs is a Jekyll and Hyde dynamic, and the tension between the two can be enthralling.

On President Yo La Tengo we get to meet both Jekyll and Hyde. The civilized Jekyll comes to us via “Alyda,” a lovely little number with a delightful melody that will make you swoon thanks to Hubley’s wonderfully understated drumming and lovely backing vocals. And Yo La Tengo is definitely in Jekyll mode on their slow and homely take on Dylan’s “I Threw It All Away,” which is both wistful and heartbreaking and (I think you’ll agree) does old Bobby proud.

On the Hyde side we have Yo La Tengo’s cover of Antietam’s “Orange Song,” which they play the hell out of at hardcore speed. The recipe is simple: Nice guy Kaplan puts a lot of growl into his vocals and plays some very mean guitar, while Hubley crashes and smashes away on the drums in the apparent belief that she’s the reincarnation of John Bonham. The result is a mosh pit in your mind, and you’re invited! This one was recorded live at CBGB, as was “The Evil That Men Do (Pablo’s Version).”

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TVD Radar: Bizarre
Ride II The Pharcyde

25th anniversary vinyl edition in stores 11/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Out November 17 via Craft Recordings, comes one of the greatest and most celebrated hip-hop albums of all time, The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde.

The album will be available in Deluxe 25th Anniversary Vinyl (original album on 2LPs + 3 12″ singles) and 2CD (original album, plus a full disc of bonus material) with audio remastered by Dave Cooley (J Dilla, Madvillain, Madlib) at Elysian Masters and will include non-album tracks, remixes, and rarities. New liner notes by leading music journalist and author Jeff Weiss (Passion of the Weiss, LA Weekly) to round out the package. Standard versions of the original album with remastered audio will also be available on vinyl and cassette.

Critically acclaimed as an absolute classic of the alternative hip-hop genre, it has shipped over a million units worldwide and garnered the group justifiable comparisons to De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. The definition of a crossover record, outlets ranging from Pitchfork to The Source have hailed it as one of the greatest albums ever made. NME calls it “…a cartoon-strip of blunt-smoking antics, sexual innuendo and unashamed political incorrectness, crammed with infectious beats.”

Listening to Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde 25 years after its release, its sense of timeliness is unmistakable. Every song on the album inverts a hoary hip-hop cliché. With classics like “Oh Shit,” “Otha Fish,” “Ya’ Mama,” and the now-ubiquitous #1 hit “Passin’ Me By,” Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde remains essential and enduringly unique—a rite of passage for any serious hip-hop head.

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TVD Radar: Making Vinyl 2017: A resounding success, returning in 2018

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Nearly 300 professionals engaged in some aspect of vinyl record manufacturing from all over the world congregated at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel November 6th–7th for Making Vinyl, the debut event conceived to celebrate the industry’s global rebirth.

The first day of Making Vinyl’s conference session explored the astounding comeback of a physical media format thought not long ago to be nearly defunct, only to reemerge as a deluxe product that has seen double-digit growth for 10 consecutive years. “If you really want to show reverence and respect to the music, experience it this way,” urged vinyl champion Jack White, Day One’s keynoter, in a 40-minute conversation with Third Man Records co-founder Ben Blackwell. “I don’t care if we lose money,” White admitted of his vinyl plant Third Man Pressing, which he opened in February and served as the hometown sponsor of the event.

By having his own factory in Detroit, White streamlined his vertically integrated company’s supply chain. “Exposing people to beauty at any cost—that’s everybody’s job in this room,” White said, issuing marching orders. Making Vinyl attendees were scheduled to tour the Third Man facility, located a few miles away from the Westin.

Opening keynoter Michael Kurtz, co-founder of event partner Record Store Day, made the case that vinyl’s growth is much bigger that widely reported in the mainstream media. “It was amazing to spend two days with people who actually make things,” said Kurtz. “The energy level and quality of discussions was refreshing and exciting. I cannot wait to begin work on Making Vinyl 2018.”

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Sunset Neon,
The TVD First Date

“The first record I remember hearing as a kid was the soundtrack to Top Gun. I know that my mom had other records because I remember seeing them stacked up, but the only one that blares out in memory is that Top Gun soundtrack. I’d run around the living room like a little madman and couldn’t believe it could possible to be any more hyped than rocketing off the couch to “Danger Zone.” (I was 100% correct, too. Try it now. Loggins compels you.)”

“I was super into aviation and any form of airplane dogfights as a kid, so not only did the movie get watched over and over, the soundtrack would hit the turntable at every opportunity. I didn’t fully have an appreciation of how special vinyl was at that point because it was just the main way that I knew you listened to music at home, versus the cassettes for traveling and my grandparents car with an 8-track of the Oak Ridge Boys permanently lodged in it (which is fine…”Elvira” rules).

After moving around a bit, my mom no longer had the record player or the vinyl. I was still into playing cassette tapes on my little Walkman until they died (and making my own tapes of stuff off the radio, or holding a Radio Shack mic up to the TV to record parts of soundtracks I liked).

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Graded on a Curve: Funkadelic,
Free Your Mind… and Your Ass Will Follow

Funkadelic—and Parliament as well, naturally—were America’s go-to bands for psychedelic funk at the dawn of the Seventies; their acid-fried, groove-based jams came complete with fries, shake, and a generous helping of raunchy high humor, and you would practically have to be a member of the KKK to deny them. Theirs wasn’t just the sound of Black Liberation, it was the sound of Human Liberation, because as George Clinton understood only all too well, we all need to free our asses.

If 1970’s Free Your Ass… And Your Mind Will Follow isn’t my favorite Funkadelic album it’s not for lack of good old-fashioned genius. It’s just a mite uneven. Side One’s as great a one-two punch as you’re ever likely to bump your ass against. Side Two, with the notable exception of the brilliant “Funky Dollar Bill,” not so much. That said, this six-song LP—weaker second side and all—still constitutes an essential addition to any sentient life form’s home musical library. Believe me when I say the people on Venus (they prefer to be called people; “alien” is considered a racial slur) will want to purchase this album if they haven’t already. People from Venus are in need of some ass freeing too.

Robert Christgau once said of this baby, “Not only is the shit weird, the weirdness signifies,” and to that I can only add “Amen.” Opener “Free Your Ass and Your Mind Will Follow” is a 10-minute freak-out over which the brilliant Eddie Hazel plays blistering guitar of the sort that will make you forget all about Jimi Hendrix. He’s joined by a madcap chorus of vocalists (I count eight in the band’s lineup) repeating slogans (“Free your mind!”, “The kingdom of heaven is within!”, “Open up your funky mind and you can fly”), uttering paradoxes (“Freedom is free of the need to be free”), and generally getting all hotted up. It also boasts great bass by Billy Nelson and some very fuzzy organ by his magnificentness Bernie Worrell, and may well constitute the coolest dime bag of music you’ll ever snort up your ears.

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TVD Radar: A Charlie Brown Christmas on 180-gram vinyl in stores 11/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings, the Catalog Division of Concord Music, is pleased to announce a high-end vinyl reissue of the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s beloved jazz album, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Due out November 17th, the LP will be released on 180-gram vinyl, and housed in an old-school style, tip-on jacket, featuring the rarely seen artwork from the original 1965 album. Lacquers for the album were cut by George Horn and Anne-Marie Suenram at Fantasy Studios, while the vinyl was pressed at Quality Record Pressings.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, certified 4X Platinum by the RIAA in 2016, is one of the best-selling jazz albums in history, second only to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue; and it’s no surprise: Guaraldi’s engaging score to the synonymous holiday television special has introduced generations of children and their parents to the joys of jazz music, with tracks like the instantly recognizable “Linus and Lucy,” and yuletide favorite “Christmas Time Is Here.” The album was inducted into the GRAMMY® Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry five years later, and continues to be a perennial favorite, thanks to annual airings of the Christmas TV special.

A native of San Francisco, Vince Guaraldi became one of America’s most successful jazz artists during the course of his lifetime. Though Guaraldi’s legacy is most famously tied to his association with Peanuts, he was already an established, GRAMMY® Award-winning artist by the time that producer Lee Mendelson tapped him to score the first of many animated specials based on the Charles Schulz-penned cartoons. In a 2003 interview, excerpted from the biography Vince Guaraldi at the Piano (Derrick Bang; McFarland Books), Mendelson declared, “There was no doubt in my mind that if we hadn’t had that Guaraldi score, we wouldn’t have had the franchise we later enjoyed.”

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The TVD First Date

“Living in a digital world, I’m still a sucker and lover of physical record stores. I have hundreds of records, lined up alphabetically in two dedicated record cabinets. I’m the same way with books, I love the feeling of holding the physical product in my hands.”

“I grew up listening to Michael Jackson, Alanis Morissette, P!nk, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson. When I was 17 years-old Frank DiLeo (Michael Jackson’s long-time manager) discovered me through some competitions and some videos of my music I had posted online. I was so nervous to meet him, especially since I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. He flew down to Las Vegas to meet with me and decided to come out of retirement to manage ‘one last big act!’

I feel like I have two very different personalities—there’s the Manika who is very outgoing, who loves to perform on stage, and goes to award shows. And there’s the Manika who likes to just sit at home in her PJs and listen to records all day. I feel like the songwriter Manika is the latter, whereas the performer Manika is the first.

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TVD Radar: More of The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition) in stores 12/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Who’s ready for even more of MORE? In honor of 50th anniversary this year, we’ve super-sized MORE OF THE MONKEES with a staggering 91 tracks including 55 previously-unreleased alternate takes, remixes, and newly discovered concert recordings from 1967, the band’s earliest-known live tracks, as well as a bonus 7″ of “I’m A Believer” (Remix)/”(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” (Vocals Only).

“This is the most exciting archival dig through The Monkees’ vault since 2009’s THE BIRDS, THE BEES AND THE MONKEES DELUXE EDITION. Every track is newly mastered for this set; the live material is the most historically significant of their career,” says Andrew Sandoval, who produced the set and wrote a new essay for its expansive booklet.

MORE OF THE MONKEES: SUPER DELUXE EDITION significantly expands the special edition of MORE OF THE MONKEES released in 2006. Along with mono and stereo mixes of the original album, the SUPER DELUXE EDITION takes listeners into the studio for the making of the album through extensive studio outtakes. Many make their debut here, including the first recorded versions of: “Words,” “Valleri,” “Hold On Girl” and more. Backing tracks for early version of “Sometime In The Morning,” “I’m A Believer,” and “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)” offer a behind-the-scenes perspective on the creative process.

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TVD Radar: Verve Records’ Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington,
and Stan Getz 5-LP box
sets in stores 12/8

VIA PRESS RELEASE | There are many who would agree that classic jazz from the 1950s and ’60s sounds best when played on the medium it was originally intended for – namely, the vinyl LP. With that in mind, UMe is proud to present three vinyl box sets via Verve Records focusing on key albums from three of jazz’s biggest and most influential stars from its golden era: singers Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington, together with tenor saxophone sensation, Stan Getz. Available December 8, each box set contains five of the artists’ most popular and enduring albums mastered on 180-gram vinyl, and presented in authentic period sleeves that reproduce the original artwork. For those who prefer CD, the collections will be available on December 15.

Dubbed “Lady Day” by jazz saxophonist, Lester Young, Billie Holiday (1915-1959) is one of the most influential and iconic jazz vocalists of all time. Her uniquely expressive voice, with its unmistakable tone, timbre, and horn-like phrasing, had an emotional sincerity that made everything she sang seem an honest reflection of her own personal struggles in life. Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan in Philadelphia and after experiencing a difficult childhood, found an escape through music. She began singing professionally as a teenager in the late 1920s and signed her first recording contract in 1935, before going on to work with the swing-era big bands of Count Basie and Artie Shaw. By the 1940s, she was a big solo star but behind the showbiz glamour there was a dark underside of drug and alcohol dependency, which eventually hastened her tragic demise (she died in 1959 aged 44).

Classic Lady Day catches up with Holiday at the dawn of the LP age in the 1950s when she recorded for the Clef and Verve labels founded by jazz impresario and producer, Norman Granz. The opening album in the set is 1957’s Solitude: Songs By Billie Holiday, which was first issued in 1952 as a 10-inch LP called Billie Holiday Sings for Granz’s Clef imprint. It’s a delightful small group session where Holiday’s beguiling voice is framed by sympathetic and lightly-swinging arrangements played by sidemen that include pianist Oscar Peterson and guitarist Barney Kessell. Holiday’s mournful version of Duke Ellington’s immortal “Solitude,” with Charlie Shavers on trumpet, is particularly arresting. Holiday also puts her own inimitable stamp on the standards “You Go To My Head” and “These Foolish Things.”

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