A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 6/15/18

The 8 best vintage turntables and what to look out for when buying second hand: …Buying a vintage turntable is a great option. For many, a budget for any sort of hi-fi is a low priority. Once the bills are paid, it can be virtually impossible to purchase a new, top quality hi-fi system. Going vintage can offer quality at a low cost. Others may have spent a bundle on a new deck but have little in reserve for that second system that would be ideal for a study, bedroom or spare room. Some might even want to revisit younger days when the then ‘new’ turntables were objects of desire and now they can afford to purchase one, or even two of these classic designs. Below, we have listed our Top 8 vintage purchases, but before you run off to your local second-hand store or eBay account, pause for thought.

Characters and music star in The Music Shop: Rachel Joyce’s The Music Shop (Random House, 2017, 307 pages) takes place in England and tells the story of Frank, an eccentric owner of a dingy record store, and Ilse Brauchmann, a young German woman who wanders into the shop and soon asks Frank to teach her what he knows about music. Surrounding these two figures are a collection of Frank’s eccentric friends and fellow store owners: Kit, Frank’s young assistant who has a penchant for breaking everything he touches; Father Anthony, a fallen priest who operates a nearby religious articles store; Maud, the scowling, bitter tattoo artist who secretly loves Frank; a pair of undertakers; Pete the barman; and Peg, Frank’s dead mother. And then there is the music.

The End of Owning Music: How CDs and Downloads Died. Physical formats are cratering, but vinyl’s niche is growing. Jack White and other experts explain the future of listening. As streaming gives the music industry its biggest profits in a decade, the CD business continues to plunge. CD sales have fallen 80 percent in the past decade, from roughly 450 million to 89 million. Since Tesla began manufacturing cars without CD players, other companies like Ford and Toyota have recently followed. Downloads – once seen as the CD’s replacement – have plummeted 58 percent since peaking in 2012, their profits now even smaller than physical sales. Artists have taken note; Bruce Springsteen released his latest box set, The Album Collection Vol. 2, 1987-1996, exclusively on vinyl, with no CD option, unlike 2014’s Vol. 1. “It’s a streaming world and a vinyl world with a quickly diminishing CD,” says Daniel Glass, president of Glassnote Records, indie-label home of Mumford & Sons and Phoenix.

Call Me By Your Name Soundtrack Releasing On Peach-Scented Vinyl: One of the more memorable scenes in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is the one where Timothee Chalamet has sex with a peach. It’s kind of sweet in the context of the film. Later this summer, the movie soundtrack will be pressed on peach-scented and -colored vinyl, which, in the context of the film, is kind of gross. 7,777 copies of the “peach season” edition will be released. The soundtrack features songs by Sufjan Stevens, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Giorgio Mororder, and the Psychedelic Furs, among others. Call Me By Your Name “peach season” edition is out 8/3 through peach harvest season via Music On Vinyl.

Even Walls Fall Down: The Last Days of Cincinnati’s Ultrasuede Recording Studio: Plastic Ants entered Ultrasuede Studio to pay tribute to Tom Petty’s brilliance and soon found themselves mourning the loss of the recording space itself. Ants singer/songwriter Robert Cherry shares a behind-the-scenes look at an Ultrasuede session and documents the last days of one of Cincinnati’s longest-running music institutions — and its subsequent rebirth. Plus, check out the world premiere of the music video for Plastic Ants’ cover of Tom Petty’s ‘Walls,’ which (fittingly, as you’ll read) was one of the last songs recorded at Ultrasuede’s longtime space in Camp Washington.

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The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl: Buck Owens’ final Capitol Records album, never released, in stores 8/17

If you stress it, they’ll press it. —Ed.

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Omnivore Recordings, in conjunction with the Buck Owens Estate, will release Country Singer’s Prayer, Buck Owens’ final Capitol album from 1975, which has remained unissued until now. Street date for CD and Digital is August 17, 2018.

By late 1975, Buck’s unequaled success at Capitol Records was finally winding down. His singles were no longer topping the charts, and after the untimely death of bandmate Don Rich the year before, Buck was starting to lose the fire that drove him through an unprecedented run of groundbreaking hits in the ’60s and early ’70s. His contract with Capitol was due to expire at the end of the year, and he and the Buckaroos readied one final album for the label in November 1975.

While several of Buck’s later Capitol recordings had not been topping the charts as before, his last single for them, “Country Singer’s Prayer,” failed to even make a showing. Likely due to the indifference shown to that last single, the decision was made to shelve this final album, and assign the selection number to what was ultimately Buck’s last Capitol release, Best of Buck Owens, Vol. 6, which did include the last two singles originally intended for Country Singer’s Prayer: “Battle of New Orleans” and the title track.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Lambchop, What Another Man Spills 20th anniversary vinyl reissue in stores 8/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Lambchop’s 1998 album What Another Man Spills is being pressed to vinyl for the first time in North America this August! Remastered from the original DAT, the 2-LP and CD reissue features refreshed artwork, and the Peak Vinyl version comes on limited-edition milky white and yellow swirl to match it. Pre-order now in the Merge store (pro tip: bundle it with a new Chris Williams-designed t-shirt!) or through your favorite local independent record shop.

What Another Man Spills represents a milestone in Lambchop’s career, but not in the modern sense of a “landmark” release. Building on foundations that had once sounded almost literally creaky, it expands upon the tentative maneuvers they’d undertaken with the previous year’s Thriller (1997) and gestures confidently towards its brassy successor, Nixon, which would arrive in 2000 to wild acclaim and previously unimaginable commercial success.

Indeed, it sits at a crossroads between the band that Lambchop first emerged as, and the band that they would later become. If it felt at the time like a reasonable, yet slightly confused descendant of what had gone before, without it, one suspects, what followed might never have been possible. In fact, what might first seem an anomaly in their catalogue, a deviation from a previously familiar path, instead becomes a beacon lighting the way forward. It is, one might say, both ugly duckling and beautiful swan all at once.

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The TVD Storefront

Deaf Poets,
The TVD First Date

“My Euro parents were heavily into disco, preferably dancey rather than neck jerking. Now at 28, I remember being a kid waking up to the Bee Gees blasting in the AM. I was too young to really care, but seeing their LPs rotating on top of that table always caught my attention. WTF… just wax and a needle?”

“Coming from the generation of Nintendo and Gameboy, music didn’t really wag my tail until my sister Gina showed me Zeppelin. Then, like a slap in the face, all those talks about the Stones and Dylan my dad would share made sense. I inherited my parents’ records ranging from the obvious disco to random Dutch tunes. I’ll still play it for laughs. It wasn’t until middle school when this hobby became more of an obsession.

My friend’s dad loved ’60s, ’70s-era rock, and occasionally lent me vinyl from The Who and Hendrix. Back then, MTV was still a thing—exposing me to newer bands like Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand. (A funny memory was when I’d record their music videos over an old VHS copy of Home Alone 2.) From what I remember it wasn’t really easy getting newer music on vinyl living in Miami Beach (this was before Urban Outfitters started carrying a selection, and before Sweat Records and Radio-Active Records existed).

Among the records I was given, one that really stood out was Harvest Moon by Neil Young. I’d blame my mom for my love of chill rainy morning vibes, the room smelling of incense while we’d laugh as she’d recall when she bought whatever LP we were listening to. These stories came from a different time when people would wait in line all day to grab their copy of a band’s release.

Vinyl always felt nostalgic, presenting music in a way that you felt rather than heard—the only physical format that a presence and warmth is so apparently sitting in the room next to you. Just close your eyes and listen to the words, the melodies, and the soul.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores, June
2018, Part Two

Part two of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for June, 2018. Part one is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Eartheater, IRISIRI (PAN) New Yorker Alexandra Drewchin is Eartheater, and this is her third release and first for Pan after a couple for the Hausu Mountain label. As she possesses a three-octave vocal range, you might assume she’d place this ability front and center and then leave it there, but for a fair amount of IRISIRI an intriguing instrumental blend of experimentation and digital textures (sometimes leaning toward the ambience of electronica) basks in the foreground. However, it’s not like Drewchin’s elected to subvert her strength as a vocalist; when those pipes get asserted, the results are a powerful and integral component in an oft-surreal cascade of newness. And yet subtle. Additionally, poetical contributions from guests Odwalla1221 and Moor Mother fit right into the advanced weave. A

Patrick Higgins, Dossier (Other People) Composer-producer Higgins is noted for his guitar presence in the New York ensemble Zs, an outfit he joined in 2012, at the same time as Guardian Alien’s Greg Fox. But hey, the gent has a slew of his own credits, including the String Quartet No.2 + Glacia 2LP (2013) and the Social Death Mixtape cassette (2015). This combo of guitar and live custom electronics is his latest, and it’s a doozy. All of the four-part work’s programming is original and performed live with no overdubs, as the samples, conceived specifically for this project, are executed with midi triggers mapped to the guitar. Other People’s press release calls the results post-apocalyptic, and I’m with it. The 18-minute final section, loaded with string-wiggle, soaring tones, and vocal samples, is an utter delight. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Gene Clark, Sings for You (Omnivore) After Clark left The Byrds in ‘66, he recorded the very cool Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers for Columbia. It fell far short of commercial expectations and the company lost interest, which prompted the man to cut some demos intended to spark the curiosity of labels. Those sessions are the first eight tracks on this CD/ 2LP set, and it’s an especially valuable unveiling, as Clark’s profusely flowing song fount during this period meant that none of this material turned up on his subsequent album for A&M. Plus, even more goodness comes through the rediscovery of an acetate of his songs from the same period given to the band The Rose Garden (more on them down below). Altogether, a glorious new gulp of Clark, and in prime form. A

Mouvements, S/T (Mental Experience) Originally released in 1973 in a boxed edition of 150 with inserts and lithographs by artist Richard Reimann and sold only in art galleries, this Swedish hybrid of avant-garde, out jazz and art-psych-prog rock was organized by guitarist Christian Oestreicher. It’s an eye-opening pleasure in its reissued LP form (minus box and lithos for affordability, though there is an informative interview with Oestreicher) and loses no creative steam across the five CD bonus tracks or the four digital-only extras (worry not, everything’s downloadable with purchase of the vinyl). Considering the nearly 100-minute running time, this is impressive. The prevalent violin of Blaise Català can bring Hot Rats to mind, but much more is happening here, including a cool Soft Machine vibe. A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 6/14/18

Colorado Springs, CO | Independent Records closes downtown location: The Independent Records & Video network of shops has long been a musical fixture in Colorado Springs, as anyone who still enjoys buying physical media surely knows. But as far as local musicians go, the record stores have been more than just a place to cop new releases or rare LPs; they have functioned as a sort of hub for musicians and music junkies alike…Given Independent Records’ inextricable connection to the local music community, as well as its fairly iconic status, news traveled quickly of the downtown location closing its doors after a 38-year run overlooking Acacia Park. And just as quickly the local music community was aflood with memories.

Berkeley, CA | Amoeba Music Is Now Selling Weed: California has legalized weed, which means that lots of businesses are making the drug a little bit more accessible to the public. But this ‘seed’ of this idea was planted years earlier. It turns out that Amoeba’s co-founders, Marc Weinstein and Dave Prinz, came up with the idea to combine the famed Northern California record shop with a pot shop in 2012. That’s roughly when they started noticing a decline in sales. “Music, in some ways, is such an uplifting product for humans,” Weinstein recently told Billboard. “And we thought, weed is just another inspirational product that we can get behind with our hearts and souls.”

Moby is selling off his personal record collection for charity: The sale on online marketplace Reverb LP will include Moby’s personal copies of nearly every one of his own records, along with hundreds of 12-inches he used as a DJ early on his career. His collection is said to be heavy on techno, house and hip-hop from the ’80s and ’90s, with many of the records featuring handwritten markers Moby added to help him during his DJ sets. “These are all the records that I bought and loved and played and carried all around the world,” the artist explains in a video promoting the sale. “I would rather you have them than me, because if you have them, you’ll play them, you’ll love them, and the money will go to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. So everybody wins. Well, except me, because now I don’t have any records.”

Cleveland, OH | Cleveland’s Music Saves record shop finds new life with online store and pop-up events: It’s nearly impossible to think of the Waterloo Arts District without the image of the iconic Music Saves sign glowing next to its Beachland Ballroom neighbor. But at the end of 2017, owner Melanie Hershberger knew it was time to close the door on the record shop’s day-to-day operations. Luckily for music fans in Cleveland (and beyond), the song isn’t over. This June, Music Saves launched an online store. For fans of Hershberger’s sharp curation of records that were always stocked at the shop, you’ll find a wide selection of indie, rock, folk, electronic and more online. Music can be shipped to your doorstep or picked up at the shop at 15801 Waterloo Road.

How the Rolling Stones’ Massive New Vinyl Box Came Together: “…I didn’t have any original master tapes for this. The management of the band archived everything digitally a few years back, and I was loaned a hard drive – they said, “You can have this for 24 hours; take anything you need off of it, and then it has to come back.” They had several high-resolution transfers of each album, or at least high-resolution where the source was analog tape, which was most of it. They just said, “Take your pick, and work with whichever transfer you feel is better with you.” I’d have liked to have got hold of the tape, but old analog tape is starting to get quite fragile, especially the stuff from the late Seventies and early Eighties, because the tape was not great…”

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Hot Snakes, Vundabar, and Meat Wave at Union Stage, 6/10

There’s nothing better than a punk rock show on a Sunday night …well, almost. But thanks to the San Diego based post-hardcore outfit Hot Snakes, last Sunday evening turned out to be a little more interesting than drinking Irish Slammers and watching Iron Chef America re-runs on the boob-tube (boob-tube; an electronic box containing a video screen and a speaker, watched by millions of cretins too lazy to go out and get a life. [Def. 3] in Urban Dictionary Online, June 10, 2018).

Seriously speaking though, the cold fact is when Swami John Reis and friends are in town—in any manifestation, whether Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, or even RFTC—the right thing to do is drag your ass downtown and make it to the show! As I may have said before, this unique combination of musicians playing together is a gift from beyond, and quite frankly, it’s a magic that can’t be taken for granted. On this particular night, John Reis along with his perfect counterpart in rock, Rick Froberg, led the rest of their intrepid Hot Snakes (Gar Wood, Jason Kourkounis) into a night of steady, hard, and overdriven music at one of DC’s newest venues, Union Stage.

Live is where the Hot Snakes rule. Froberg’s distinct vocals, Gar and Jason’s pounding rhythm section, and Reis’ furious guitar work seem to take new form on stage. Their scratchy rhythms are elevated to insane heights and when things get too wild, they still hit those sweet grooves when called for. Plainly said, Hot Snakes are simply the best at what they do—and with a new album in stores, Hot Snakes have hit a perfect stride.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: Belle
and Sebastian at
The Anthem, 6/9

Belle and Sebastian’s current tour is a movable feast, where substantially different set lists are conjured each night, whole sections of musicians are added and subtracted, and the fun being had on stage is certainly contagious to those in the crowd.

The setup at The Anthem Saturday for the group was an odd one: general admission, but with seats. That provided comfort while awaiting the show, but once the band was onstage, everyone was on their feet for the duration.

With its roots in a kind of literary folk rock, the Glaswegian band has since broadened its sound to include the big beats of the dance floor. The wide-ranging Pride weekend set Saturday, though, surprisingly kept away from the latest things, taking advantage of a five-piece string section — and a hired trumpet — to delve into much older things. Indeed, it was the 15-year-old Dear Catastrophe Waitress that was the source of most of the night’s material, from the title track to “Lord Anthony” to the suddenly improper-sounding “Step Into My Office, Baby.”

Band co-founder Stuart Murdoch is the main surviving voice of Belle and Sebastian, utterly precise and distinctive in his accented vocals. He seemed especially glad to be playing a relaxed show, where he strolled gingerly, balanced on the security fence between stage and crowd, counting on front row members to steady him; invited a few dozen fans on stage to dance along to “The Boy with the Arab Strap” and “The Party Line,” and told everyone to enjoy themselves inside, isolated from any of the various problems outside.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Hot Chocolate,
10 Greatest Hits

The U.K. funk/soul/disco outfit Hot Chocolate never made much of a dent statewide; they’re best remembered for their 1975 hit “You Sexy Thing,” although pop aficionados will also remember them for such curiosities as “Brother Louie”–which Stories took to Number One in the U.S.–and “Emma.”

And that’s too bad, because the racially mixed Hot Chocolate produced some damn good music, much of which found its way onto their 1974 debut Cicero Park, 1975’s eponymous Hot Chocolate, and 1976’s Man to Man. Lead singer Errol Brown and bassist/co-lead vocalist Tony Wilson were a formidable songwriting team before the latter’s departure, and Brown continued to turn out some excellent stuff, as is proved beyond a doubt on 1977’s 10 Greatest Hits.

It didn’t hurt that Brown’s soulful croon was one in a million, or that he could shriek just like Wilson Pickett. Just listen to the screams he tosses off at the end of the immortal suicide ode “Emma,” which works to a “T” thanks to the funky drumming of white guy Tony Connor and the guitar of other white guy Harvey Hinsley. And Hinsley’s guitar is a thing of wonder on the hard-charging funk rocker “You Could’ve Been a Lady,” which would have flown to the Top of the Pops in a just world. This baby remains one of my favorite songs of America’s Bicentennial Year; inexplicably, Hot Chocolate didn’t see fit to release it as a single.

“Disco Queen” shows off Brown’s funky vocals and Connor’s heavy manner on the drums; the horn section is hot, and when Brown sings “She don’t need no man to give her satisfaction/All she needs is a guitar playing high” Hinsley’s there to do just that. This baby is the Talking Head’s “Life During Wartime” for the dance set, and I love it. “Heaven Is in the Back Seat of My Cadillac” has an impossibly funky groove and brings the best out of Brown, whose vocal style on this one is impossible to describe. Suffice if to say that when he bends the words “Let me take you there” the ladies swoon, and never has the idea of cramped back seat love sounded so good.

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TVD Washington, DC

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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