The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl: Allman Brothers Band, Fillmore West ’71, 4CD
set in stores 9/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | As part of the ongoing celebration of their 50th anniversary, on September 6 the Allman Brothers Band Recording Company–caretakers of the original band’s unreleased catalog–in conjunction with distributor The Orchard will release a four-CD set titled Fillmore West ’71, culled from an epic weekend of live music recorded at the legendary San Francisco venue. The Grammy-winning, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band (formed in March 1969) were in great form on this weekend, where they were the middle act playing between headliners Hot Tuna and the 24-piece opener Trinidad Tripoli Street Band. This will be the debut release of these recordings. The packaging contains a front cover photo of Duane Allman from Jim Marshall Photography (taken at these shows) that has rarely been seen before.

Compiled from reel-to-reel soundboard masters, the January 29 show that kicks off this collection reads like an Allman Brothers Band greatest hits, from opener “Statesboro Blues” through the set-wrapping “Whipping Post.” On the next night, the standard sequence of “Statesboro Blues,” Trouble No More,” “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’,” and “Elizabeth Reed” was typically riveting, and then the blues-soaked “Stormy Monday” was worked in, replacing “Midnight Rider.” Gregg’s vocals were visceral and honest, while Duane and Dickey added down and dirty licks. “You Don’t Love Me” showcased some run-and-gun guitar work, and a frenzied “Whipping Post” closed out another solid night.

The band–Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Jaimoe, Berry Oakley, and Butch Trucks–were loose and talkative and you can hear them really dialing their sound in at what would be a final tune-up for the seminal At Fillmore East album, recorded less than two months later. At Fillmore East would cement the band’s place in rock history and Rolling Stone would eventually call it the second-best live album ever released.

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The TVD Storefront

Delhi 2 Dublin,
The TVD First Date

“My relationship with vinyl started when I was a kid in the early ’80s, and more than the records themselves it was almost like an infatuation with the look of my dad’s player. He had a Dual that he bought in Singapore before emigrating to Vancouver. It was sitting in a really cool looking teak enclosure with a sprung plinth and dark plastic cover—it just looked so badass to me, yet so clean and modern at the same time.”

“My dad didn’t have a huge record collection, probably because of the cost of shipping his belongings over from Singapore, but there was this one Bollywood record of his that I loved—Salma & Sabina Sing The Hits Of Abba In Hindi. I loved the flip open cover and would stare at the two beautiful women sitting in the convertible forever. I am confident that my love for ABBA to this day is due to my introduction to them through the Hindi versions of their hits. In my 20’s I gave that record to a DJ friend of mine, so it’s in good hands, but I sure wish I had it back now.

About five years ago, when I finally had the space, I went and grabbed that same turntable from my dad and had it refurbished and got it working smooth like butter. (I also grabbed his late ’70s pioneer speakers to maximize that full round warm sound.) However, I had to set some clear boundaries as to what type of vinyl I’m allowed to buy so that I don’t go spending all my money looking for rare Bollywood versions of popular songs, and more importantly I wanted my vinyl collection to be something special—full of songs and albums that I don’t listen to on the everyday while streaming, where I mostly listen to new rap and trap stuff.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Gary Wright,
The Very Best of
Gary Wright

Namaste, fellow seekers! And welcome back to the Vedic District and your host, Michael Paramahansa Yogananda Little! On this week’s turn of the cosmic wheel we’ll be discussing New Age seer and synthesizer-around-the-neck avatar Gary Wright, whose chakra-cleansing songs and mystical crystal revelations make him the most spiritually evolved being on our astral plane.

Wright was, arguably, pop’s first New Age musician. Forget George Harrison–who turned Wright on to Eastern religions while they were recording 1970’s All Things Must Pass–he refused to give up on rock and roll. And compared to Wright, Van Morrison and Stevie Nicks are mere earthbound materialists–the Bertrand Russell and Ayn Rands of rock, respectively.

It’s all there on the cover of The Dream Weaver, where a blissed-out Wright rests his head against what is either a telepod to other dimensions or the Findhorn Community’s very own jukebox–the man was staking his claim as the first New Age technocrat, enlisting the aid of machines to further the cause of the Harmonic Convergence.

And, boy, did Wright make a splash. Who, my fellow theosophists, can forget the Annus Mirabilis 1976, when a cosmic convergence brought us both David Spangler’s book Revelation: The Birth of a New Age and Wright’s June 11th appearance on The Midnight Special, where he cast a magickal sorcerer’s spell on an entire nation with his mesmerizing performance of “Dream Weaver”? Surely the stars were coming into alignment at last, and the Age of the Enlightened Unicorn was nigh.

Of course that exalted age never arrived, nor did Wright’s success last. But if the former Spooky Tooth keyboardist’s fleshly fame was fleeting, he has accepted it with Buddhistic resignation–having parted the veil of Maya, he knows all too well that all we are is dust in the wind. Yet he continues to mould a new reality closer to the heart with his ecstatic ectoplasmic musical emanations, which make the ideal accompaniment to both Kundalini awakening and sweatless tantric sex.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 6/24/19

Port Coquitlam, BC | Pinball Alley’s new owners bringing on the weird: The City of the Arts is about to get weird. That means instead of floral watercolours to hang on the wall, expect the inky punk stylings of I, Braineater…Penny Ball and Kaine Delay have a background in pinup and punk and they think the city’s ready for their vibe. The couple are longtime friends of Pinball Alley’s owners, Heather Wallace and Johnny Barnes, who are upping stakes to chase their lifestyle dreams in Spain. Ball said when she learned the St. Johns Street shop — which has become a destination for audiophiles looking to fill out their vinyl record collections and lovers of mid-century kitsch and knick-knacks — was for sale, she didn’t hesitate. She said after 27 years working for others in retail, she was ready to strike out on her own. Delay, a veteran musician with the Vancouver punk-metal-electronica band Left Spine Down, was on board as well.

Asheville, NC | New vinyl pressing plant will be an immersive food, music and cocktail experience: “Synergy” is a word that comes to Gar Ragland’s mind often as he talks about his proposed project, tentatively named AVL-Vinyl. Ragland, a North Carolina-born music producer, president and CEO of NewSong music, and the Board Chair of the Asheville Area Arts Council, plans to build a vinyl pressing plant in the Asheville Citizen Times building, taking over nearly 10,000 square feet of the ground floor. The Asheville Citizen Times newspaper staff moved back to the second floor of the historic building this week. “We aspire to be one of the country’s leading manufacturers of high-quality vinyl,” Ragland said. “And as we started to put that model together, we realized that Asheville offers a special, unique opportunity, driven by both the homegrown love of music and craft here — as well as the 12 million tourists who come here seeking that here in our town.”

Sacramento, CA | Dimple Records closing after 45 years in Sacramento. The local chain of independent record stores is closing its seven locations. The owners’ son says his parents are looking to retire. Dimple Records is closing the doors on all seven of its locations later in 2019. Andrew Radakovitz is son of co-founders John and Dilyn Radakovitz, who opened Dimple Records in 1974. He reached out to ABC10 to share the news Tuesday evening. “My mom and dad have been doing this for years. Decades,” he said. “It’s basically a retirement sale. They’re both in their mid-70s.” The Greater Sacramento Area chain of independent record stores sells music, movies, collectibles and more. Radakovitz said business has been negatively impacted in recent years by a number of factors, including “some difficulties in regulations, minimum wage.” The liquidation sale starts Wednesday and will last through the summer. While the couple is open to finding the right person to give Dimple Records a second life, Radakovitz said there’s currently no successor in place after a potential buyer fell through.

Record Store Day Thinks the World Needs a 3-Inch Single of Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”: Record Store Day proper has come and gone this year, but that’s not stopping organizers from releasing more of those “exclusives.” In fact, RSD has decided the world is not complete without a 3-inch vinyl version of Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” so that’s exactly what it’s going to get. RSD is marking the 25th anniversary of Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication with a 3-inch vinyl single of the group’s 1994 hit “Sabotage” — because normal vinyl, CDs, tapes and even streaming apparently no longer cut it anymore these days. If you’re a big 3-inch fiend, the single will be released in indie record shops on July 19. It is meant to be played on the RSD3 mini-turntable, and the “Sabotage” single comes in an outer box that reproduces the original 7-inch single (that’s four inches larger for those keeping track) sleeve art and includes a pull-out Ill Communication poster. RSD will press up 2,500 copies of the single. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s an appropriate number for this “limited” pressing.

Stranger Things 3 soundtrack to be released on vinyl: A doo-wop turn in the upside down. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein’s soundtrack to the third series of retro sci-fi romp Stranger Things is to be released on vinyl, via Lakeshore and Invada Records. Members of the synth-power-pop outfit S U R V I V E, Dixon and Stein have previously drawn heavily on ’80s b-movie soundtrack motifs for the show’s score. However, according to the press release, season 3 will step away from familiar territory, in favour of “the pop sensibilities and melancholic undertones of ’50s doo wop.” As the duo explain, “With the season 3 soundtrack, we’ve made an album that doesn’t feel like a “score” necessarily, but one that feels more like a stand-alone record than a collection of brief cues. We’ve incorporated the main narrative elements of the series and stayed true to the original sound while at the same time expanding on our musical palette — we often pushed it to the limit.”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m writing this during a quiet and wet early summer morning. I’ll call this condition an “Idelic anomaly,” for when do we Sidels ever have a quiet morning and summer rain?

Yes, the first week into Summer. Jonah slept over at a friend’s, and it’s quite damp and serene here this AM. I had made this a short week by taking Monday off and heading down the coast and out to sea for a day of my beloved sport, tuna fishing. It was just what the doctor ordered—thirty-six hours on the open sea off the coast of Baja. In the morning the tuna start breezing by and by noon the sun was out and the sea laid down. By sunset we could have been on a glassy lake.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane, Rough Mix

Ronnie Lane is a hardly a household name, but he is one of my all-time favorite rockers. Whether with the Small Faces, the large Faces, or his own band Slim Chance, Lane’s lovely and wistful voice was always a pleasure, whether he was singing sublime ballads like The Faces’ “Debris” or “Oh La La” or knocking off a hard rocker like the hilarious Faces tune “You’re So Rude.” The world didn’t know what it lost when Lane died at 51 after suffering for 21 years from multiple sclerosis. But I can tell you what it lost; a soulful and sweet soul whose bass work and vocals had an integral impact on not just one, but two great rock’n’roll bands.

Lane was a frequent collaborator with the likes of Pete Townshend, Steve Marriott, and Ronnie Wood (the two of them recorded the soundtrack to the 1972 Canadian film Mahoney’s Last Stand, and it’s a tremendous series of rave-ups despite its almost total lack of vocals). He recorded four LPs between 1970 and 1977 with Townshend, but three of them are hard-to-find tributes to their spiritual mentor Meher Baba, who lent his name to the great “Baba O’Riley.” Their fourth collaboration was Rough Mix, which was released in 1977 and featured an all-star cast that included Eric Clapton, John Entwistle, Ian Stewart, Charlie Watts, King Crimson’s Boz Burrell, the ubiquitous John “Rabbit Bundrick, and Medicine Head’s Peter Hope Evans. Why, even Townshend’s father-in-law, the noted British TV and movie soundtrack composer Edwin Astley, makes an appearance. Sly Stone is right; this one’s a family affair.

Lane and Townshend eschew rock for the most part, opting instead to mine the folk-rock vein, and it works. Lane wanted to collaborate on songs with Townshend but Townshend declined, and this collection of songs by two separate songwriters has a disparate feel, which is another way of saying it’s stylistically all over the map. But what holds it together is the passion both men pour into the songs, which stray from pure folk ballads to a pair of rave-ups to a handful of songs that defy easy definition, but show that both men showed up at the sessions—this despite the fact that Lane had just discovered he was ill—at the top of their game. No throwaways, in other words, or songs they didn’t think were good enough for their primary bands—they came to record great music, not just fuck around and jam.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Gun Club,
Fire of Love

The Gun Club underwent myriad changes in personnel during their existence, but the one constant element was founder Jeffrey Lee Pierce. In 1979 he formed a group whose impact is still being felt today. The best place to begin investigating Pierce’s achievement is at the beginning with The Gun Club’s classic 1981 debut Fire of Love.

Whenever OFF! undertakes a tour there’s undoubtedly a smattering of older heads reliably if reluctantly finding themselves getting a little misty around the eye sockets when the band pencils in “Jeffrey Lee Pierce” for the set list. Deservedly so, for that song, all 1:21 of it, is a tribute to an important if undersung rock contributor, and not by a fan but from a close friend. Indeed, the intro to the cut on Live at the 9:30 Club finds Keith Morris steeped in emotion, his preamble roughly as long as the track itself.

Now, some folks might get a bit miffed over certain umpteenth-generation hardcore whippersnappers only knowing of Jeffrey Lee Pierce because Morris wrote a song about him. But easy there, partners. We all tend to occasionally idealize and even embellish our paths of musical discovery, mainly due to the reality sometimes being as bland as simply plucking a cassette from a discount bin. That was this writer, fishing a severely marked-down copy of the third Gun Club album The Las Vegas Story from a massive box of cut-out tapes in a mall chain store back in 1987.

Perhaps somewhat more interesting is what led me to make that purchase. I first learnt of The Gun Club through an article published in an anthology/anniversary issue of Flipside magazine. Having been exposed to punk not long previously, restlessness over the music’s generic inclinations had already set in, and simultaneous to the almost daily unearthing of new delights.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Filter,
Title of Record 20th anniversary vinyl reissue in stores 8/9

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings is set to release a deluxe, 20th anniversary reissue of Filter’s platinum-selling, sophomore album Title of Record.

Due out August 9th, the album has been remastered and will be available on vinyl for the first time, as well as on CD and digital. All formats are expanded featuring four bonus tracks: “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do” (originally recorded for the cult-classic soundtrack Spawn The Album), “Jurassitol” (previously released on The Crow: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), plus remixes of the singles “The Best Things (Humble Brothers Remix)” and “Take a Picture (H&H Remix).” Both the two-LP set, and CD will feature new liner notes by author, journalist, and Side Jams podcast host Bryan Reesman. The expanded digital album also offers five additional rarities, including a live version of “Take A Picture,” “The Best Things (Dub Pistols Club Mix)” and more.

First released in 1999, Title of Record was a sonic breakthrough for the Cleveland band. Following four years as a touring guitarist for Nine Inch Nails, primary member Richard Patrick formed Filter in 1993 with guitarist and programmer Brian Liesegang. Their 1995 debut, Short Bus, blended industrial pop with post-grunge metal, and became a best-seller, thanks to the hit single “Hey Man Nice Shot.” Though Liesegang departed the band just two years later, Patrick enlisted two of his touring band members (guitarist Geno Leonardo and bassist Frank Cavanaugh), along with drummer Steven Gillis, to work with him in the studio. D’Arcy Wretzky of The Smashing Pumpkins and cellist Eric Remschneider (The Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Plain White T’s) were also collaborators.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Eric Clapton,

Well here you have it–the most feckless, no account, totally useless dog turd of an album it has ever been my displeasure to hear. On 1992’s Unplugged axe legend turned pop hack Eric Clapton plays the blues with far less passion and commitment than your average 94-year-old lady puts into a game of Mahjong, laying waste to “Layla” and adding his live version of “Tears in Heaven” to the short list of contenders for worst song ever in the process.

The joke’s on me, I suppose. Here I’d been begging somebody to unplug old Slowhand for years, and when they finally did I got… this monstrosity. Be careful what you wish for.

Robert Johnson–whose “Malted Milk” Clapton does a grave disservice to here–sold his soul to the devil; Clapton sold his soul–or what little was left of it–to MTV. As it turns out, one is much safer making deals with the Lord of the Underworld. But I’m not blaming MTV; its corporate heads didn’t force E.C. to go the adult contemporary, easy-listening route. The decision to sleepwalk his way through the LP’s assortment of hoary blues covers and lackluster originals was all his.

Champions of this bland excuse for an album–and there must be legion, given it’s the best-selling live album of all time–will no doubt argue that Clapton had every right to play like a guy who’s taken too many muscle relaxants, and they have a point; Clapton’s mid-1970s conversion to the easy-does-it Tulsa sound is a matter of historical record, and you can hardly fault a guy for digging the likes of Clyde Stacy and J.J. Cale.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 6/21/19

Pittsburgh, PA | 4 top spots for vinyl records in Pittsburgh: Looking to score vinyl records? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top vinyl record hot spots in Pittsburgh, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture next time you’re in the market for vinyl records. 1. Jerry’s Records: Topping the list is Jerry’s Records. Located at 2136 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill South, the spot to score music and DVDs and vinyl records is the highest rated vinyl record spot in Pittsburgh, boasting 4.5 stars out of 75 reviews on Yelp. 2. Amazing Books & Records: Next up is Squirrel Hill South’s Amazing Books & Records, situated at 2030 Murray Ave. With five stars out of 13 reviews on Yelp, the bookstore, which offers vinyl records and more, has proven to be a local favorite

Del Rey, CA | ‘A record store for bands that don’t exist’: Do you remember the viral anthems of Rainbow Vulture? The head-banging concerts of Incendiary Android? The introspective ballads of Misunderstood Clementine? To be fair, those are trick questions. None of these bands actually exist — except in the world of Rohit Records, the brainchild of Santa Monica artist, illustrator, art director and commercial director Rohitash Rao. Born out of an art show and concert hosted by Google’s Venice campus about a year ago (with some inspiration from an animated short Rao created years ago called “Battle of the Album Covers”), Rohit Records has evolved from a collection of over 150 album covers made for “bands that don’t exist” into a faux record store and music label that’s set up shop at conferences, festivals, galleries and even a real L.A. record store. The “label” has even grown into producing songs, music videos, T-shirts and its own vinyl record filled with singles by a few of its made-up one-hit wonders.

Mystic, CT | Mystic Disc named among the country’s best 50 record stores: There are ghosts in those grooves. Vinyl recordings — albums, singles, EPs — operate on an Edisonian principle of a stylus that rides the endless groove burned into the plastic. Presto! Music! Now, think of all the millions of records that have provided much solace and triggered emotions across the spectrum of human experience. If you’re of a particular temperament — a true Music Head, for example — you can almost get spiritual about the revenant power represented by the history contained on all that vinyl. This is particularly true in a used record store like Mystic Disc. The iconic and influential shop — not much bigger than Leslie West standing next to a few stacks of Marshall amplifiers — has been a source of pleasant refuge, tucked away in the touristy Steamboat Wharf, for almost 37 years.

New Plymouth, NZ | Renovations uncover teenage 1960s time capsule in New Plymouth: A time capsule of a typical 1960s teenager’s pop culture crushes has been uncovered by a Taranaki teacher during house renovations. Katey Pittwood picked up the keys to her 1901 wood and corrugated iron cottage in Lemon St, New Plymouth, on Friday afternoon and immediately got to work with partner Steven Rollo. “I owned a house next door, sold it, and bought this one, and so I knew all the ceilings were hidden,” the mother-of-two said. They decided to work on a small room which they plan to make into a bedroom for Pittwood’s two young children. “It was completely gibbed,” she said. “The walls and ceiling were completely covered in gib, like a normal bedroom, but I knew, because I lived next door, that there were beautiful wooden ceilings. “I got the keys on Friday at three o’clock, and I marched in, got the crowbar and said, ‘Just pull down a little bit. Have a look.’ And that was it.”

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TVD Live Shots: Deadland Ritual
at the O2 Islington Academy, 6/13

Who doesn’t love a proper rock ‘n’ roll supergroup? Especially when it’s made up of four people you never really thought would jam, let alone write songs and tour together. Say hello to Deadland Ritual, the new band featuring bassist Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, Michael Jackson), drummer Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, The Cult, Velvet Revolver), and singer Franky Perez (Apocalyptica).

Even though these guys have only been together since December of last year, they’ve already written seven songs, played their debut gig in LA last month, and embarked on a European tour of select club dates and major festivals including Download and Hellfest. Filling out the setlist with various numbers from their past, Deadland Ritual is quickly building a fan base and looks to be setting itself up for a full-length record as well, but that remains to be seen. When I saw that the band would be stopping by the intimate O2 Academy in Islington on their way to play to tens of thousands at Download, I jumped on it.

I will say that I’m a bit partial to Steve Stevens and Matt Sorum only because they played with two of my favorite artists, The Cult and Billy Idol, respectively. Sorum’s not only one of the best dressed and most stylish musicians on the planet, but he’s also one hell of a drummer to boot. Then you have easily one of the most innovative guitarists on the planet with Stevens, the man who single handedly redefined what the word “tone” means for a new generation of guitar players. This is enough to pique my interest alone. Add a real metal icon in Geezer Butler to the line up, and you have a supergroup, along with the very capable vocal power of Franky Perez taking things up yet another notch.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Teddy Pendergrass – If You Don’t Know Me Blu-ray, DVD in stores 8/23

VIA PRESS RELEASE | If You Don’t Know Me is the powerful and moving story of R&B star Teddy Pendergrass (Theodore DeReese Pendergrass), who was on the brink of global super-stardom when tragedy struck. A compelling tale with surprising twists and turns, the film is an intimate portrait of one of the greatest singers of his generation. It also tells how Teddy fought for the rights of African-American artists in a 1970s music industry prejudiced against black performers and reveals how, aged just 31, Pendergrass overcame terrible tragedy to get back on stage against all the odds.

The film’s triumphant world premiere at the Philadelphia Film Festival (Teddy’s home city), resulted in an Audience Award and a nomination for the Pinkenson Award. The film also had successful screenings at DOC NYC, Minneapolis Sound Unseen Film Festival, and San Francisco Black Film Festival. Earlier this year, If You Don’t Know Me was shown to sold-out cinemas in the UK, on Sky Arts, and also aired on Showtime in the US. Director and BAFTA award-winner, Olivia Lichtenstein conceived, researched and directed the film, which reveals Teddy’s meteoric rise from his tough childhood in Philadelphia to become the lead singer of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. His was the voice of worldwide hits, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and “If You Don’t Know Me by Now.”

Olivia recalls: “I grew up listening to soul music and I’d just started listening to Teddy again when I saw a documentary about Shep Gordon, the legendary artist manager who worked with everyone from Blondie to Alice Cooper – and Teddy. It included a little bit about him working with Teddy Pendergrass and it made me realize that I didn’t know what had happened to him. I had a really strong sense that I had to make a film to tell his story.”

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TVD New Orleans

Motel Radio to preview debut vinyl release at Tipitina’s, 6/21

New Orleans’ own indie rock band Motel Radio will drop Siesta Del Sol on July 12. They’ll give hometown listeners a chance to hear the new music when they open for Dave Jordan and NIA at Tipitina’s on Friday night. It’s a free show that is part of the club’s Foundation Free Fridays series.

I first saw Motel Radio when they played their first show at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. I was struck by their intricate harmonies and great instrumentation as they built melodic guitar lines around a solid 21st century Laurel Canyon sound. Siesta Del Sol is their first full-length release after two well-received EPs. Listen to the debut single below.

The band features Ian Wellman and Winston Triolo on guitars and vocals. They began their songwriting collaboration while attending college in Baton Rouge, where they met Eric Lloyd (drums and vocals) and Andrew Pancamo (bass and vocals) and formed the band in 2014. They  relocated to New Orleans and keyboardist and singer David Hart joined the group shortly thereafter.

Siesta Del Sol was written and recorded with producer and engineer Eric Heigle at Wix Mix Productions and the band’s home studio in New Orleans. The band will kick off a national tour in support of the new album followed by a 5-week summer tour with Summer Salt.

Show time is 10 PM. Doors are at 9 PM.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Premiere: AstroLogical, “Symbiosis”

Vancouver-based producer Nate Drobner, aka AstroLogical, crafts dreamy electronica that navigates between jazz, soul/funk, ambient, and future-beat.

TVD is pleased to premiere the newest single, “Symbiosis,” which bops along to an elegant mix of glowing synths and hushed vocals. AstroLogical is clearly not out to hijack anyone’s attention, but here to provide a mellow escape for those looking for an evocative soundscape to accompany their morning coffee or evening cocktail. It’s a lush and unhurried production which lends itself to a magic hour listening session.

After releasing a number of solo instrumental hip-hop projects through the label Jellyfish Recordings in the early 2010s, Drobner began focusing his energy within the production duo Potatohead People; a collaborative project with his old friend Nick Wisdom, eventually getting noticed by Brooklyn-based record label Bastard Jazz. The label is now backing AstroLogical’s solo output, beginning with the debut EP “Private World,” due in stores June 21st.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores for
June 2019, Part Three

Part three of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases—and more—presently in stores for June, 2019. Part one is here and part two is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Kongo Dia Ntotila, 360° (Pussyfoot) BBC DJ and noted rocker Tom Robinson has praised this Kongo-Jazz group as being “…as good as anything you get coming out of Africa…” Absorbing their second LP, it’s easy to understand his (and others) enthusiasm, and by the finale, I’m won over myself. However, it should be noted that Kongo Dia Ntotila have honed their thing to an audience-thrilling precision; this is music custom-built for outdoor shows in the sunshine. That they have done this without weakening the music’s power by becoming too calculated (or too “tight”) is borderline remarkable. Instead, there are a series of instrumental surprises, like the deft guitars in “Mbongo” and the free jazz horn flirtations in the title track. Miraculously, this baby finishes the trip with a full tank. A

SPAZA, S/T (Mushroom Hour Half Hour) SPAZA is a band with no fixed personnel brought together by the label. As their first release, it features a half-dozen musicians (for the closing track “Stametta Spuit: Invocations,” seven) from Johannesburg, South Africa. The band’s name derives from the makeshift neighborhood stores common to the region, and also from the gallery where this album was recorded live in one take, with the music completely improvised. If the circumstances of creation insinuate a lack of focus, wipe those notions away right quick. Rhythm is a constant, though the record is as vocally driven (often with contempo enhancements) as it is groove-based. Additionally, synths, electronics, and FX blend with upright bass, trombone and electric violin (again, with FX). Altogether, this is a stunner. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: V/A, Jambú e Os Míticos Sons Da Amazônia (Analog Africa) Loaded with inventively rhythmic selections from Northern Brazil in the ’70s and the city of Belém in particular, this offers two LPs worth of goodness unlikely to have been previously heard by all but the most diligent of sound excavators. A big reason for the success here derives from variety thwarting monotony, which is a credit to compilers Samy Ben Redjeb and Carlos Xavier but is more deeply linked to Belém’s reality as a port city; as people of assorted nationalities arrived, they brought the sounds of their home regions with them (this is the nature of the port situation; think New Orleans), which then combined with Belém’s already considerable diversity. Of the 19 tracks, not a single one disappoints. That’s impressive. A

Band Apart, S/T (Crammed Discs) For those looking to procure as much No Wave and scene-adjacent material as possible, this reissue is a must, and the quality is consistently high that pickier consumers with an interest in the style should also give it some serious consideration. It features the entirety of this Franco-American duo’s debut 1983 EP and five tracks from the follow-up full-length (on the vinyl; the CD and digital offer two additional tracks). What NYC poet and performance artist Jayne Bliss and Marseille-based musician and producer M Mader came up with was very much of its time, but it has aged surprisingly well, which is no small feat given how they lean toward the sophisto (rather than the disruptive) end of the subterranean ’80s spectrum. Originally issued on Crammed, and so it remains. A-

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