The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Boy Named Charlie Brown reissue in stores 7/16

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings announces a vinyl reissue of the Peanuts classic, A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Featuring nine evocative cues from the Vince Guaraldi Trio, the album has been newly remastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio.

In stores July 16 and available for pre-order today, the LP also includes a special bonus: eight collectible baseball cards that showcase Charlie Brown’s team of misfits: Snoopy, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, Linus and Lucy Van Pelt, Franklin Armstrong, Schroeder, and, of course, manager and pitcher, Charlie Brown. On the back of the cards are key stats for each player, including their field position and favorite sandwich.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown will also be offered in three colorful variants, including a green-grass pressing at Target, a sky-blue version for Vinyl Me Please, plus a special baseball mitt-brown edition at the Craft Recordings Store, limited to 350 units.

Additionally, one of the most memorable tracks off the album, the up-tempo “Baseball Theme,” will be available for the very first time as a standalone, 7-inch single—exclusively for Record Store Day 2021. Offering the original, 1964 soundtrack version of the song, plus an alternative studio take, the limited-edition release is pressed on white vinyl and housed in a colorful jacket, featuring whimsical, baseball-themed images of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Visit recordstoreday.com for a list of participating indie retailers.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Deep Purple,
Machine Head

Celebrating Ritchie Blackmore on his 76th birthday.Ed.

If I’ve never come forward publicly about the indelible mark I made on rock history at the Montreux 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 Montreux 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 Montreux 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 Montreux, 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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Graded on a Curve:
The Gracious Losers,
Six Road Ends

The Glasgow-based The Gracious Losers are nine members strong, but for their second full-length, the lineup burgeoned to 15 bodies, and across the set’s 11 tracks, it often sounds that way. Categorized as Celtic folk/ Americana, the sound is much broader than the designation might suggest, with rock heft of a rootsy stripe in welcome evidence as they execute the impressive songwriting of Jonathan Lilley. Six Road Ends is out now on black and yellow galaxy vinyl (and standard black) through the label Last Night from Glasgow.  

Kicked up dust isn’t the first thing that springs to my mind when considering the prospects of another contemporary folk and/ or Americana record, but such a thing is possible. In an era when the objective is too often politeness and finesse, spark and edge are welcome qualities. The sheer number of Gracious Losers increases the likelihood they will deliver a record infused with grit, heft and energy, and Jonathan Lilley, Amanda McKeown, Gary Johnston, Heather Philips, Rory McGregor, Monica Queen, Johnny Smillie, Celia Garcia, and Erik Igelstrom don’t disappoint in this regard.

But the real joy of Six Road Ends derives from how it reaches far beyond the folk/ Americana baseline, and from how its rock moves eschew the hackneyed, partly through Lilley’s songs, which are well-rounded yet focused. Likewise, the playing is broad without faltering into a patchwork of styles. It’s really with repeated listens that the territory they cover is effectively driven home.

Not that the full-bodied vocal harmony in opener “Till I Go Home” isn’t striking, particularly as it’s combined with some rock thud. Now, I don’t want the reader to misapprehend the Gracious Losers as being in league with the likes of Dinosaur Jr., though come to think of it, they do share an affinity for Crazy Horse, an influence that surfaces at length during 2018’s The Last of the Gracious Losers.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/14/21

Bozeman, MT | Best Record Shops in Montana: Music will never go away, it helps people get excited, pumped up or soothe their soul and the best part there are several different ways to listen to music but the best way is definitely by vinyl. The thing is, finding a great vinyl record store is hard to come by in Montana but great news, the few record stores we have in Montana are fantastic and can get you whatever you need. Here are our Top Six Record Stores in Montana. Cactus Records and Gifts: A icon of downtown Bozeman, Cactus Records has something for every music lover. You want to look through all their new vinyl, you got it! You want to check out their quality used vinyl, they got it too! Cactus Records is a place you could spend a lot of time and a lot of money. Cameron Records: Cameron Records in Billings might not be as popular as some of these other spots but they have a great selection of good vinyl…

UK | Bouncing back? UK businesses’ views mixed as Covid lockdown eases: Banquet Records. …Banquet Records, an independent record shop, sometimes boasts queues of music lovers round the block. But even before the first lockdown, the owners chose to shut its doors. They have not opened since. Jon Tolley, the shop’s co-founder, said they want to wait until all social contact resumes. “Record shops will always be about the charm and the cult of browsing in person. We are not an Argos. We need to be fully immersed in the tactile experience, or not bother doing it at all.” The store’s resilience stems from running a varied business: putting on gigs, selling vinyl over the counter and online, and owning its own record label. Government high street grants and the furlough scheme helped it through during the initial slump. Banquet quickly adapted to online-only sales, which are now double the pre-pandemic levels, and organised virtual gigs. “People have nothing to do apart from sit at home and listen to records,” Tolley said. “The biggest challenge is just not knowing where we are going to be.”

UK | Record shops reopen their doors after lockdown: “We’re back!” Record shops celebrate as they reopen their doors after months of lockdown. After multiple lockdowns over the past year, today (April 12) sees UK record shops along with other non-essential retailers finally reopen their doors to the public. Many record shops have faced an uncertain future over the past 12 months, with many adapting their trading models to survive, offering online ordering and home delivery for the first time. The move has helped keep physical music sales strong in 2021, with all but one of the 15 Number 1s on the Official Albums Chart this year being powered to the top spot by a majority of physical sales. Last week, physical sales accounted for 16.3% of the albums market, according to Official Charts Company data. All of HMV’s 93 shops across England and Wales and most independent record stores are back open for buyers to snap up the latest release or crate dig for hidden gems – though social distancing and other safety measures continue to be in place.

UK | HMV welcomes back ‘regulars’ as stores reopen after lockdown: Store manager Terry Boyle said it had been a ‘tough, challenging time.’ Shoppers have been hunting out hidden nuggets at HMV stores as the retailer welcomed back “all the usual faces” following the easing of lockdown restrictions. The entertainment giant reopened all 93 stores across England and Wales and was expecting to see in-store shopping return to pre-lockdown levels amid strong demand for vinyls and original CDs. One customer took the week off work to make the most of the easing of restrictions, and was looking to add to his vinyl collection at HMV in Manchester’s Arndale Centre on Monday morning. Ben Milner, from Lancashire said: “I just love music, I have got my record collection at home but it’s just not the same going on the internet and ordering stuff, it’s been another thing that I have missed so coming in and having a look around the records and stuff and seeing what I can find, why not.” Store manager Terry Boyle said it had been a “tough, challenging time”, but added: “It has been great this morning to see our regular customer base and all the usual faces back in the store.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Bill Evans, Everybody Still Digs
Bill Evans
5CD and On
a Friday Evening
2LP in stores 6/25

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings proudly honors the pioneering jazz artist Bill Evans and his enduring musical contributions, with two new titles.

The first—a deluxe, five-CD box set and digital album, titled Everybody Still Digs Bill Evans: A Career Retrospective (1956–1980)—marks the first-ever career-spanning collection of music from the pianist, featuring over 60 tracks that spotlight Evans’ exceptional work as a leader and co-leader. The expansive set also includes a previously unreleased live performance from 1975, captured at Oil Can Harry’s in Vancouver, B.C. This recently unearthed concert recording will also be issued as a standalone album, titled On a Friday Evening, which will be available on 2-LP, CD and digital formats, including hi-res 192/24 and 96/24.

Both titles will be released June 25th and are available for pre-order today, with the previously unheard live track “Up with the Lark” available for immediate download as an instant grat. single (listen and pre-save here). Special bundles featuring a new Bill Evans T-shirt and mug are also available exclusively at the Craft Recordings online store.

Everybody Still Digs Bill Evans: A Career Retrospective (1956–1980) spans the pianist’s Riverside, Milestone, Fantasy, Verve, Warner Bros., and Elektra/Musician catalogs, and features such collective personnel as Tony Bennett, Cannonball Adderley, Kenny Burrell, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Eddie Gomez, Shelly Manne, and Lee Konitz, among many others.

Produced by Nick Phillips, the five-CD collection comes housed in a fabric-wrapped, hard-cover book, containing 48 pages of photos and ephemera, as well as new liner notes from the GRAMMY® Award-winning writer, radio host, and music journalist, Neil Tesser, who offers insight into the life and career of Evans through recent and archival interviews with a variety of subjects, as well as a deep survey of the box set’s tracks. Also available across digital and streaming platforms, Everybody Still Digs Bill Evans includes newly remastered audio by GRAMMY®-winning engineer, Paul Blakemore.

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Demand it on Vinyl: Mary Wilson, Mary Wilson: Expanded Edition in stores 4/16

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In keeping with a promise made to the legendary artist/author and original and founding member of the Supremes, Mary Wilson, Motown/UMe announce the release of Mary Wilson: Expanded Edition, available for pre-order today, here. In time for what would have been Mary Wilson’s 77th Birthday, March 6, we celebrate her birthday and honor her history and legacy with the first of her album projects.

Ms. Wilson, who retained ownership of her solo recordings, wanted to make the album – and much more – available to her many fans around the world. Mary Wilson: Expanded Edition is a newly compiled version of her solo album, originally released by Motown in 1979, that will now be available on all digital platforms for the first time. Added to the album are eight incredible bonus tracks, four of them unreleased, including the legendary tracks recorded as a follow-up to the album produced by Gus Dudgeon (Elton John, Joan Armatrading, Chris Rea, et al). Featured as the lead single is a brand-new song, “Why Can’t We All Get Along,” produced by Richard Davis and co-written with Angelo Bond, who previously had great success as a co-writer with General Johnson and Greg Perry for “Bring The Boys Home.”

Mary Wilson, who had many fond memories around recording her solo debut, was so excited about the release of this album that, after finalizing details with UMe, she created an impromptu “teaser,” posting what was to be her final YouTube video. “I finally decided how to work with Universal, and they are going to release new Mary Wilson recordings,” she said. “Yes! At last! At last,” adding that the expanded version of the album, known by her and to fans as “Red Hot,” referring to its lead single, will include the Dudgeon productions – and something new. “It was four wonderful songs that were never released… and I also have some other songs, some surprising new songs… Thank you Universal for chiming in with me and helping this come true. Hopefully some of that will be out on my birthday, March 6th… I’ve got my fingers crossed.”

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Graded on a Curve:
Little Feat,
Little Feat

Celebrating Lowell George on the day of his birth.Ed.

Little Feat’s eponymous 1971 debut may not have changed the world, but to those who were listening it must have come as a revelation–here were four guys, two of ‘em Mothers of Invention alums, boldly staking their claim (and a decent claim it was) as America’s very own Rolling Stones. Not bad for a first outing.

Fronted by guitarist/vocalist and native Angeleno Lowell George–who with his gutbucket growl was the youngest white old black bluesman ever to graduate from Hollywood High School–Little Feat laid it on the line on their first LP. You get lysergic blues, trucker toons, some Sticky Fingers-school country honk–these guys took Gram Parsons’ concept of Cosmic American Music and ran with it. This is edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold music, the sound of the Mississippi Delta on hallucinogens–a mythical collaboration between Don Van Vliet, Dave Dudley, Mick & Keith, ZZ Top, Slim Harpo, and Harpo Marx.

Robert Christgau opined that these guys could “pass for” the Band, but he’s fulla shit. The Band always held things in check; they were as tightly wound as a clock, and clocks aren’t in the business of howling. They never hit as berserk a note as the Feat do on “Hamburger Midnight,” and there’s simply no mistaking the very agitated freak looking for safe harbor in “Strawberry Flats” to Levon Helm’s resigned drifter looking for a place to lay his head in “The Weight.” And the Americana-loving Robbie Robertson never could have come up with as song as bizarrely lovely as “Brides of Jesus,” which is set where exactly? In Lowell George’s LSD-scrambled mind?

No, the early Little Feat was a freak’s dream’s come true. Just check out the sorta Captain Beefheart-esque “Hamburger Midnight,” on which George plays some truly frenzied slide guitar and delivers the most unhinged performance of his career. Or “Strawberry Flats,” wherein poor Lowell (who’s been “ripped off and run out of town”) knocks on a friend’s door in search of succor only to discover: “His hair was cut off and he was wearing a suit/And he said not in my house, not in my house/”You look like you’re part of a conspiracy.”

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Harry Gardner

Kick off the week the right way with Harry Gardner and his infectious new single “Oblivious,” out now. It’s an indie-pop delight from start to finish that is bound to put a smile on your face.

The Kent-based newcomer is already making waves for himself with his latest cut and we’re sure 2021 is going to be a good year for the young artist if “Oblivious” is anything to go by. Channelling the likes of Rex Orange County and slacker-pop faves Easy Life, “Oblivious” combines elements of jazz, pop, and indie, creating a feel-good sound that is upbeat and chill.

The single has already been featured on a bunch of playlists including New Pop UK and Fresh Finds: Pop, so we’re pretty sure this year is going to be an exciting one for Harry—and hopefully we may even get to see him at a festival or two. Lets not tempt fate though…

“Oblivious” is in stores now.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Nightingales,
Pigs on Purpose

Birmingham, UK’s The Nightingales are an important and somewhat underrated entity in post-punk’s early 1980s scheme. Indeed, for connoisseurs of the form, procuring a vinyl copy of their debut Pigs on Purpose hasn’t been easy, and the same goes for their first few 45s. In a delightful turn of events, Call of the Void is reissuing the album and those singles as a 2LP set on blue wax (also 2CD and digital) with demos and live tracks completing the package. It’s an essential addition to any full-bodied post-punk library, out April 16 and coinciding with the release of King Rocker, Michael Cumming’s documentary on the life of Nightingales’ lead singer and sole constant member Robert Lloyd.

To absorb the full story of The Nightingales, one must reckon with first-wave UK punkers The Prefects. An act as amateurish (in the best sense) as they were inspired, The Prefects are entrenched in punk history for their role in the White Riot tour of The Clash (you may have heard of them), and for additionally sharing stages with The Slits, The Damned, The Buzzcocks, and The Fall.

The Prefects’ entire discography postdates the band’s existence, with their first release a 1980 45 for Rough Trade. Comprised of two songs, “Going Through the Motions” b/w “Things in General,” was sourced from sessions recorded for John Peel. The scoop is that the single’s existence is directly related to a stipulation that Rough Trade arrange a recording of Lloyd’s then new outfit, these very Nightingales.

This gifted the world with “Idiot Strength” b/w “Seconds,” The Nightingales’ 1981 debut (technically, it’s a split label release shared by Rough Trade and Lloyd’s own Vindaloo imprint), as the band featured Lloyd on vocals with Joe Crow on guitar and former Prefects Eamon Duffy on bass and Paul Apperley on drums.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/13/21

UK | Record stores celebrate reopening as UK lockdown restrictions ease: “Come for an unvirtual browse and an undigital chat!” Record stores across the UK have reopened for in-person trading this morning (April 12) as a number of coronavirus-enforced restrictions have been lifted. Non-essential businesses in England can reopen today as part of the third phase of easing lockdown restrictions, which came into force on January 6. In addition, Northern Ireland’s “stay-at-home” order has ended, while further measures have been relaxed in Scotland and Wales. A number of record shops across England and the UK have resumed in-person trading today, with the likes of Leeds’ Crash Records, Manchester’s Piccadilly Records and London’s Sister Ray Records all celebrating the significant development on social media. Tim Burgess’ ‘Twitter Listening Parties’ website has an interactive list of independent record stores in the UK which you can check out here.

Nottingham, UK | Nottingham city centre store owners ‘overwhelmed’ by huge numbers as shops reopen: “We were not expecting to see it this busy.” Nottingham’s independent stores were busy today with shoppers returning to the city centre’s high streets. Queues were seen outside Zara, Primark, H&M and New Look by Nottinghamshire Live reporters this morning (April 12). Many of those shoppers chose to frequent the city’s independent stores to support their favourite Nottingham brands. Business owners said they were overwhelmed by the turnout, and did not expect to see so many customers entering their stores on a Monday. They said they were preparing for the upcoming weekend, but were taken by surprise on the first day non-essential shops officially reopened. Popular Lace Market book and record store Rough Trade is one place that has finally opened its doors after a long wait. Shop supervisor Sophie Diver, 30, said: “It’s nice to be back – people are so excited to come into the store and have a browse. “We were relying on artists to keep releasing music during the pandemic and we had a few ordering online.

Cornwall, UK | Shops, pubs, restaurants, gyms and more reopen across Cornwall: Pubs, shops, hairdressers, gyms and non-essential shops are reopening in Cornwall as lockdown measures are eased in England today, Monday, April 12 Outdoor attractions and public buildings now reopen, funerals can continue with up to 30 attendees and weddings can have up to 15 attendees. Most hospitality and leisure venues have been closed since the country was plunged into a third national lockdown on January 6, and business owners and staff are thrilled to get back to work, while customers are chomping at the bit to get back to the pub or get a haircut. Among the most popular businesses opening today are expected to be hairdressers and barbers with everyone desperate for a haircut! Among those reopening will be the Chapel Street Boutique in Chapel Street, Camborne, a Cornish family run business stocking many exciting brands in Camborne. They told the Packet: “We have many years experience in the fashion and accessory retail business and look forward to welcoming everyone.”

UK | ERA’s Kim Bayley on the return of music retail: Despite multiple lockdowns, record shops have kept physical music alive during the pandemic as they switched to new trading models, including collection and online orders. April 12 is the key date in the calendar for the return of non-essential retail, though social distancing and other safety measures continue to be in place. It means indie retailers and HMV can open their doors once again, although the prospect on an in-store gig is still some way off based on government guidelines. Record Store Day is set to return for its first drop on June 12. It follows a continuing vinyl boom and speculation that the format has been more widely adopted during the pandemic as fans were unable to spend money on gigs. Here, Kim Bayley, CEO of ERA, looks at how the return of retail could deliver another boost to music sales

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: What Drives Us documentary directed by Dave Grohl, screening premieres 4/30

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Featuring Interviews with Ringo Starr, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, St. Vincent, Slash and Duff McKagan from Guns & Roses, U2’s The Edge, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Exene Cervenka of X, and many more.

The Coda Collection has acquired global rights to the feature-length documentary film What Drives Us, directed by Dave Grohl and produced by Foo Fighters. What Drives Us will be released in the U.S. on Friday, April 30th exclusively on The Coda Collection — a unique, subscription streaming offering featuring an exclusive, curated selection of iconic music documentaries, concert films, and episodic series via Amazon Prime Video Channels, paired with a complimentary website exploring new perspectives on music. What Drives Us will be available outside of the U.S. via Amazon Prime Video.

“This film is my love letter to every musician that has ever jumped in an old van with their friends and left it all behind for the simple reward of playing music,” said Dave Grohl. “What started as a project to pull back the curtain on the DIY logistics of stuffing all of your friends and equipment into a small space for months on end eventually turned into an exploration of ‘why?’ What drives us?’”

What Drives Us is an homage to the moment in every musician’s life when their commitment is tested and their desire to play music for others becomes an almost irrational act of blind faith. The first step to prove to yourself and the world that you belong is to load up your instruments, your talent and your courage, and get in the van to take your music to the world—a true rock and roll rite of passage.

The documentary is also a tribute to every young kid who dreams of a life playing music. Dave was that kid. As were Ringo Starr, The Edge, Annie Clark, Steven Tyler, Ian Mackaye and everyone in between. The list goes on forever. While they all have stories — outrageous, unbelievable, insane, as well as poignant stories—they all share a common bond. At some point, before anyone knew their name, they had an unstoppable drive to share their music with the world. Their passion led them to leave everything behind, throw caution to the wind, and chase their dream.

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Graded on a Curve:
Herbie Hancock,
Maiden Voyage

Celebrating Herbie Hancock on his 81st birthday.Ed.

The short description of Herbie Hancock’s gorgeous 1965 LP Maiden Voyage, is that it’s the ’63-’64 Miles Davis Quintet with Freddie Hubbard subbing on trumpet. But as nicely as that reads, it’s actually much more. Hancock’s fifth and best record as leader, to this point it was also his most ambitious, and was additionally something of a rarity in jazz terms; a wildly successful and delightfully peaceful concept album.

Herbie Hancock has had a long and illustrious career, and in tandem with his contribution to the groups of Miles Davis, Maiden Voyage is probably his finest moment. As a look at the personnel relates, the disc is closely tied to Miles’ ‘60’s work, but as a standalone document Hancock’s masterful session equals anything Davis produced in the decade with the exception of the live material from the Plugged Nickel.

Some will disagree and a few will downright scoff at the notion of Maiden Voyage being rated so highly, in part because of its lack of edginess and decidedly refined sensibility. This circumstance extends to the considerable influence Hancock’s record wielded upon subsequent endeavors in the jazz and rock fields, byproducts that span in quality from mediocre to flat-out awful.

But that’s okay. What Maiden Voyage lacks in bluesy grit or fiery abstraction is greatly made up for by boldness of aspiration and a beautifully sustained mood, and as the title track and “Dolphin Dance” have both become late-period jazz standards, a certain percentage of underwhelming interpretations is basically inevitable.

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The TVD Storefront

Ryan Martin,
The TVD Interview
and Vinyl Giveaway

Ryan Martin has a new album out on High Moon Records titled, Wandercease, but is he really ready to cease his wandering or is he just exploring the idea of settling down?

With producer Kenny Siegal, Martin’s new album was crafted into a large scale work that defies being tied down into one specific genre. He’s also enlisted a very talented group of musicians to help him bring his latest batch of songs to life. Of note is the very talented Mikaela Davis who continues to build an excellent solo career of her own.

Mixed by Paul Kolderie and mastered by the great Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, the vinyl version of this album sounds great. So great, in fact, that we want you to hear it! 

We find you packing up your apartment; it sounds like you haven’t ceased wandering yet.

Well, very accurate to the record in that way. No, I haven’t ceased wandering. I’ve always moved around and I’ll probably continue moving. I have my eye on Europe. So, that might be in the foreseeable future in the next few years. And yeah, man you know, I’m born with a wanderlust. It’s a real thing.

I’m always interested in titles of things, of books and movies and albums. Even though you have this wanderlust happening, do you feel like you should cease wandering? Where did the title come from for you?

Yeah. I mean, I do feel like at some point I would like to. For me, Wandercease is the point where you’ve finally found home and I suppose I haven’t found that yet. I have a daughter and that’s the closest thing that I found to home and a greater sense of home in my life so far, but as far as like where I’m supposed to be living, the east coast is great, but I think I’m going to travel around Europe for a while. I’m going to try that out. I haven’t been struck by the feeling like, ah, you know, like this is where I’m supposed to be yet in my life.

And you’re in New York City at this time, but where are you from originally?

I’m from Los Gatos, California which is the South Bay area in between Santa Cruz and San Jose. That’s where I grew up, spent my life until I was 18.

Well, east coast, west coast and Europe—you can’t do better than that. You’re getting the full picture!

That’s right! Yep. Spent some time in Kansas City, too. A little time in Texas. I just can’t help it.

This album is a big production and I’m tempted to say it’s like a ’70s production, but I don’t want to say that because it’s more contemporary than that, but there are a lot of other elements: the female vocals, a lot of little musical phrases that really push the tunes along. What are some of your thoughts about the production and assembling this record? Tell me about working with Kenny Siegel and the overall production of the album.

Yeah, it is a big production. I always tell myself that I’m going to avoid it after the first record that I made back in 2010, but it always ends up being a production. So, I guess that’s just where my tastes lead me. I mean, as far as the vision for the record, I really worked hand-in-hand with Kenny Siegel on that. The previous records I made, I think I was more in the driver’s seat as far as the vision and down to the instrumentation and the genres, the sounds, the styles, and with this one I kind of let guide it and I kind of relinquished some of my more, you know, I let him make some decisions with me.

There’s a lot of inspiration that I get from music from the ’60s and the ’70s, but at the same time, it was kind of about just assembling the musicians, being inspired in the moment, and letting people make choices that inspired them, and so whether that be someone playing a Mellotron for most of the songs or making it a bigger production—even more than I would’ve thought—certain songs like “Wandercease,” they tended to be bigger productions than I had envisioned and that was kind of like Kenny’s guiding hand. In the end, man, I try to make sonically interesting and dense music. There’s always more that I hear and Kenny actually kind of seems to be on that page, too. So, having to check myself and limiting myself is usually a struggle as I’m making records.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Power Station,
The Power Station

Terrible things transpired in 1985. Starship’s “We Built This City” and “We Are the World” were unleashed on a hapless public causing a mass panic not seen since the radio broadcast of Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds.” I personally witnessed people leaping from third-story windows to escape both songs. Fortunately most of them landed in shrubbery.

Another horrible event occurred in 1985, although it tended to be overlooked in the general pandemonium. The “stuporgroup” Power Station released its eponymous debut LP, and while its mediocrity didn’t cause people to throw themselves off buildings, it did stultify them to the point of near catatonia. Cases of clinical depression rose by 15 percent in 1985, and psychiatrists credited Power Station for many of them.

A band made up of long-time gadfly Robert “Addicted to Love” Palmer, guitarist Andy and bassist John Taylor of Duran Duran, and Chic drummer Tony Thompson were no more a supergroup than Asia. But there was ample reason to believe they might make good music together. Unfortunately they had certain… shortcomings, shortcomings that led most intelligent human beings to give them a wide berth. Allow me to mention them in passing so as to get this unsavory task over with as fast as humanly possible.

First and foremost there’s the generic quotient. These songs are your standard eighties MOR fare and won’t win any personality contests–think Foreigner gone New Wave. And the band–with the exception of guitarist Andy Taylor–comes up short in the charisma department. The booming rhythm section lives up to the band’s name, but its sound is far from unique–that programmed drum beat runs through the mid-eighties like a flesh-eating virus.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/12/21

Miles Davis, The Clash among 2021 Record Store Day releases: The full list of RSD releases is out, here’s the highlights… The full list of Record Store Day 2021 releases has been announced – and it’s packed with rare and exclusive vinyl featuring The Clash, Miles Davis, Elton John, Amy Winehouse and Prince, to name but a few. Taking place over two days – Saturday 12th June and Saturday 17th July – RSD 2021 will offer music fans the chance to get their hands on no fewer than 538 limited edition releases (mainly vinyl but also some CDs and cassettes). Among the artists set for special releases on 12th June are Wolf Alice (limited edition of their forthcoming album Blue Weekend), Fatboy Slim (20th Anniversary edition of Weapon of Choice), Prince (little-known acoustic album The Truth) and The Rolling Stones (two LP coloured vinyl edition of the 1971 album Hot Rocks). There’s also a collection of remixes of Amy Winehouse tracks, including Jay-Z’s take on Rehab, and Elton John’s 1967 album Regimental Sgt Zippo, which was originally slated to be Reg’s debut album. Six of the songs were released last year but this is the first time the complete album has been made available.

Brooklyn, NY | Park Slope Record Store Changes Owners, Bets On Vinyl: In an era where any song is just a few taps away on your preferred streaming app, independent record stores feel like a relic. So when Jason Figel decided to retire after running Music Matters in Park Slope for 22 years, he was prepared to simply shutter the neighborhood mainstay. Then Chris Lentz walked in and changed the tune. In an era where any song is just a few taps away on your preferred streaming app, independent record stores feel like a relic. So when Jason Figel decided to retire after running Music Matters in Park Slope for 22 years, he was prepared to simply shutter the neighborhood mainstay. Then Chris Lentz walked in and changed the tune. Lentz, 45, was a regular customer who was looking for a new project. Originally from Hicksville, Long Island—Billy Joel’s hometown—Lentz moved with his family but returned to New York to attend Columbia University, studying art history. A career in art installation for the fashion industry was abandoned when he became a stay-at-home dad eight years ago. After a brief stint in Los Angeles for his wife’s job in advertising, the family moved back to New York in 2015. “New York always seemed like home,” Lentz said in an interview with Bklyner, shortly after taking over Music Matters on April 1st. “Like a boomerang, I’ve always come back here.”

Middlesbrough, UK | A new vinyl pressing plant in Middlesbrough is aiming to create 30 new jobs: “Not many towns or cities across the world have access to their own local vinyl pressing plant, so it’s a real win for the area.” Start-up company Press On Vinyl Production will open their plant at Middlesbrough’s new Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP). The company’s website is currently hosting a countdown to what appears to be the official launch of the business in 49 days’ time (May 28). The opening of this new vinyl record manufacturing plant is being spearheaded by Press On Vinyl Production’s Teesside-based founding directors Danny Lowe, David Todd and David Hyne. All three have been part of the local music scene for the past 20 years, according to a press release from TeesAMP. It’s hoped that 100,000 records will be produced each month at the plant, with priority being given to smaller independent music labels. The Press On Vinyl Production team currently has a workforce of 10 employees, which is expected to expand to 30 by the end of the year.

Stamford, UK | Rutland business in lockdown – Oakham music agency’s café launch and boom year for Uppingham web business: Diversification has helped many businesses out of a dire scenario the pandemic had thrust them into. For Dave Graham, director of Rutland music agency, DG Music, lockdown persuaded him to add another revenue stream. With festivals and gigs, the lifeblood of his business, cancelled or postponed almost overnight, he brought forward plans to open the Piano Café, in South Street, Oakham. “Everything went south immediately,” he said. “Hundreds, if not thousands of events have been moved numerous times, from summer to autumn, into 2021 and then into 2022. “We wanted to help people so we have done that for free, but obviously we are not getting paid.” Having opened a base in South Street in 2015, he decided to merge his existing record store with his café idea. “I’d never intended to open it here because it’s a fairly small shop, but we rebranded the shop as a café and increased our vinyl stock…”

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