The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Moe Bandy, The Very Best of Moe Bandy, Volume 1

Of all the honky-tonkin’ hillbilly shit-kickin’ country-western stars ever to write a song about occupying a lonely bar stool, Moe Bandy is one of my favorites. And not just because he has a name that would be more appropriate for a Borscht Belt comedian. No, I love him because he sings mostly about honky tonk infidelity, and who doesn’t love a good cheatin’ song? He’s the King of Barstool Mountain, says it right in a song. He also delivers one of the finest lines in honky tonk mythology, to wit, “I just threw my last bottle at the juke box.” That, friends, is country music poetry at its best.

Bandy, a former rodeo bronco-buster and bull-rider turned sheet metal worker—a job he held for 12 years while trying to get his music career on track–finally broke and was huge in the late seventies and early eighties, but it’s been a while since any of his new songs have been played on country radio, which is his fault because he sanded off all his rough edges and got slick in order to stay abreast of the times, and it backfired. Now he stays close to his club in Branson, Missouri, and plays for a crowd that still loves to hear such cheatin’ numbers as “I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today” and “I Cheated Me Right Out of You.” To say nothing of the great “Just Good Ol’ Boys,” a non-cheating song on which he was joined by Joe Stampley—the pair that gave us “Where’s the Dress?,” an amusing novelty tune about Boy George that pissed off a lot of people, including Boy George himself.

I’m not going to lie to you; when he isn’t bemoaning the women he’s lost due to his thirst for liquor and wandering eye, he’s fully capable of singing maudlin numbers that I can’t abide. Like “Americana,” a slice of slick patriotic treacle that causes my gorge to rise. So awful it got played at George Bush’s inauguration, “Americana” is a celebration of small-town America and the virtues of patriotism, and it makes me feel like an America-hating commie son of a bitch, especially since I grew up in a small town and know damn well that far from being idyllic places to raise your kids they’re hotbeds of boredom, bigotry, and in-bred ignorance.

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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.

Amy Blaschke – Come See About Loving Me
Hezekiah Jones – Borrowed Heart
Adir L.C. – Dinosaurs
Absent Minded Professors – Krysta Youngs
Whiskerman – One Good Way
Lauren Marsh – Promise
Epsilona – Think About It
Jade The Moon – U Take Care
So Much Light – Idiot Soul
Stevie B Wolf – Alone + Alive

SAXON – Battering Ram

Co-pilgrim – You Come Over, You Go
Swerve – Baby Blue
Ghosts In Pocket – Make It Break
Linear Downfall – The Question
Blackwulf – The Locust
James Young – I’ll Be Good (Seizo Edit)
Mormor – Live For Nothing
Aero Manyelo – DNA Test
Return of the Jaded – Deja Vu (Original Mix)
Treznik – System Image (ES.P Remix)

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/12/15

Record Store Day Black Friday – Exclusive Vinyl & Music Deals: “Record Store Day participating stores are brick-and-mortar retailers that are local and independent. According to the Record Store Day website, there are over 1,400 participating Record Store Day retailers throughout the U.S. The city of Chicago boasts over 35 small independent Record Store Day retailers. Here are the top 5 independent Record Day retailers in Chicago…

Vinyl back in the groove for Hong Kong music lovers: Digital music sales may dominate the market, but vinyl record sales in Hong Kong are bouncing back, with audiophiles and first-time adopters shunning digital and preferring to go analogue.

Peter Gabriel’s artistry brought to vinyl fans: “In a world bifurcated between vinyl junkies and streaming enthusiasts, Gabriel firmly planted his flag in the vinyl camp. Gabriel has kept his music off Spotify, but these reissues cater to the supreme audiophile: The remastering engineers divided each album on two 180-gram LPs that play at 45 rpm. (The theory is that it improves audio quality.)”

Redditch indie shop Vintage Trax marks cassette store day: “Not to be outdone by the vinyl revival, the humble cassette tape is set to emulate the resurgence in retro music media. As part of Cassette Store Day, on Saturday, October 17, Redditch’s only physical record shop Vintage Trax will be celebrating from 10.30am until 5.30pm at its Headless Cross home on Birchfield Road.”

Vinyl Supernova Record Fair – October 24, 2015: “Vancouver Island’s largest record fair is back in Fernwood this month. Look forward to 50 tables full of records; all musical genres will be represented.”

WDCV Hosts First Vinyl Pop-Up Shop: ““10-12 years ago I was one of only two to three people buying records around here,” said Gotthard, who credits the renewed interest in records to this generation’s upbringing and how “they heard their parents play Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin when they were younger.”

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TVD Los Angeles

The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

ORIGINALLY BROADCAST ON APRIL 24, 2015 | Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Today it finally feels like winter here in the Canyon. Cold and grey, yet it’s so fucking dry up here. From such a warm winter, it’s gonna be “brown” spring.

The big news today is that the Armenians are on the march. Their protest to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the genocide Armenians suffered at the hands of the Turks in 1915 will likely shut the city down today. I can dig it and will gladly work from my garage office in the Canyon.

As it is, I’ve been super tired because this week it was my turn to volunteer to help direct traffic at Jonah’s school. They call it a “Kiss & Ride.” It’s cool, but we need to get up at 5:45pm to make it to school early.

Genocide vs. Kiss & Ride?

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: FFS at the Lincoln Theatre, 10/5

FFS, the collaboration of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, really does work. Led by singers Alex Kapranos and Russell Mael, the band of six clearly has tremendous fun playing together.

Russell was in fine form, his falsetto gloriously intact and his energy as bright and hoppy as ever. Alex, when not on guitar, seemed to relish the opportunity to move freely about the stage. He jumped, kneeled, posed, and danced. Their performance was effervescent and seamless.

The band performed their wonderful eponymous debut album in its entirety, along with a few Franz Ferdinand and Sparks hits. This was a real treat, to hear Sparks songs live with the sound of a full band. When Alex paused the show to wish Russell a happy birthday, there were hugs. You could feel the admiration and respect between these musicians.

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Vandaveer, “Spite”

Since 2006, Mark Charles Heidinger has fashioned a noteworthy form of folk with his DC based project, Vandaveer.

Vandaveer’s mesmerizing melodies cut down to the bone—speaking on an almost subliminal level. The group circles around playing venues of all sizes, from living room shows to festivals. Their song “Spite” weaves a pulsing rhythm with tense, striking lyrics.

The track begins with a haunting drum knock, growing more mysterious when singer/guitarist Heidinger comes in with his raspy vocals. Rose Guerin enters with her softer tone—providing the perfect cadence to balance out the harmonious duet. The lyrics adhere to a strict structure, creating a powerful aural pattern within the song.

Heidinger sings, “I’m gonna hold my breath to spite the air,” a quick-witted lyric repeated in both verses, serving as a lead for the rest of the lines to follow.

Although filmed in France, the video brims with Americana—dark storytelling with gothic influences. Two stories are twisted together, a baleful vignette of an unnamed man and a traditional video of Heidinger and Guerin, both clad in vintage style, performing the song. Both stories reach their respective peaks around the two-minute mark. The short video is certain to add some depth to your day—you can’t ask for much more.

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TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends: An evening with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood
at Tipitina’s, 10/10

This Saturday night, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, one of the most incandescent acts in rock music makes an appearance at Tipitina’s. The performance is part of a 44-show run that crisscrosses the United States this fall.

Chris Robinson first burst into the national spotlight as the singer for the award-winning, critically acclaimed rock band, the Black Crowes. He formed the Brotherhood in 2011 as an “experiment” while the Black Crowes were on hiatus. Now that the break has become more or less permanent, the Brotherhood has evolved as his primary musical vehicle.

A whirling dervish on stage, Robinson fronts an agile ensemble that features psychedelic guitar explorations and a powerful rhythm section. The band has a devoted following equally enamored with their original songs as with the wide range of cover songs in their repertoire.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Deep Purple,
Long Beach 1971

Some bands take things too far; other bands take things to the very limits of human endurance. Such was the case with Deep Purple live. They felt they were doing their audiences a disservice if they played a song shorter than 11 minutes, and they preferred to go 20. And the English heavy metal legends weren’t just long-winded; they were loud as well. None other than the Guinness Book of World Records declared the Purple “the globe’s loudest band” following a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre.

I have no problem with loud, but the band’s longevity is another matter. A 20-minute song inevitably turns into a horrendous jam, with lots of stoppages for the singer to utter fatuous comments and for the drummer to demonstrate his chops. Which is why Deep Purple hasn’t aged nearly as well as its contemporaries Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. They didn’t have that guy at the side of the stage drawing a finger across his neck as a sign for them to shut up and move onto the next tune.

Take Long Beach 1971. It consists of four songs and goes on for almost 70 minutes, and in short is an abomination. No one not blotto on heavy downers could have survived such a show. On the band’s best albums—1971’s Fireball, 1972’s Machine Head, and 1974’s Burn—they kept things short, which is why human beings can still listen to these records with a modicum of enjoyment, if Deep Purple’s amalgam of Jon Lord’s ham-fisted organ playing, Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar pyrotechnics, and the otherworldly vocals of first Ian Gillian and then David Coverdale are their thing.

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The TVD Storefront

AFFAIRS: The TVD First Date and Video Premiere, “Brothers”

“To me, listening to a vinyl record is the audible equivalent of putting my feet up in front a coal fire. It’s the hiss, crackle, and general analogue warmth that soon gets me nostalgic for Christmases at home. This may not sound like your average record lover’s interpretation, but for me vinyl is very much something I associate with home and family.”

“This might not sound so strange given how I first got into records. I was roughly 12 or 13 and my Dad had offered me his study/studio as my own bedroom on the condition that it continued to store some of his music equipment. To most this might have been irritating, for me it was probably a touch inspiring. Amongst the goodies I had acquired was a 16 track recorder and computer with music recording software. It is probably not too unrealistic to say that this started me on my music production path.

But anyway back to vinyl, as you probably guessed I was left his record player. It wasn’t actually a few years after I got my own room that I took proper notice of this gem. However, I remember the first time I lifted the needle and placed it on one of my Dad’s Hendrix records. From that moment on I was hooked. I continued to go through all of his music collection, some was good and some was bad. My personal favourites had to be Radiohead’s The Bends and The Jam’s Setting Sons. Without sounding all mushy it gave me an insight to what it must have been like to be my dad when he was young listening to those records.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/9/15

Mindbomb Records: one of the downtown community’s newest additions, “One of the downtown business community’s newest additions, Mindbomb Records, opened their doors this April on Record Store Day, and they seek to fill a gap in the Niagara business scene by specialising in new vinyl records.”

22 of the UK’s best record stores: “The vinyl revival shows no signs of slowing, as music lovers are held in the grip of the romance of owning your favourite records in their ultimate form – on a beautiful vinyl record. But there’s more to it than just the sound of vinyl, the beautiful artwork and the physical act of dropping the needle – we’re also blessed with so many amazing record stores.”

RIAA: Vinyl Sales Leap Again, “Meanwhile, every couple of blog posts, industry pundit Bob Lefsetz, in his “Lefsetz Letter,” decides that it’s all a bunch of hipster hype and that vinyl ain’t never coming back, baby, because all those urban and pop music fans are gone, gone, way gone on streaming, baby. Whatever, Bob…”

The vinyl industry is still booming, relatively speaking: “In news that should surprise neither record store clerks nor anyone who’s actually been in a record store lately, vinyl sales are still on the rise. The RIAA just released its mid-year stats for 2015, which found that vinyl sales are up 52.1 percent compared to this time last year, accounting for about $226 million in total sales.”

Hitting the Rewind Button and Back in the Groove: Baylor expert muses on quasi-comeback of cassettes, vinyl: “Baylor University’s Robert Darden, professor of journalism, public relations and new media and a longtime champion of vinyl, has helped rescue countless warped and scratched records from “the golden age of black gospel music” to digitize them through Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP). He talks about the vintage-goes-modern music scene.”

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