TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Every time just like the last / On her ship tied to the mast / To distant lands / Takes both my hands / Never a frown with golden brown

Golden brown, finer temptress / Through the ages she’s heading west / From far away / Stays for a day / Never a frown with golden brown

As Jon, the editor of The Vinyl District knows, I tend to dig chatting about the weather. It’s a habit that runs in both my wife’s and my family. I’m not exactly sure if there is some symbolic, underlying meaning to this heritage. I guess we’re just passing time or interested in the weather?

Well, so how is the weather?

Here in LA? It’s mostly pretty good, think you!

In fact this past week the weather has been magical. That was up until this morning—there’s a fire burning in Porter Ranch about 20 miles northeast. If not for this morning’s slightly smoky haze, today would be absolutely “golden.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: 16 Bars: Original Documentary Soundtrack Album in stores 11/8

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “These men are behind bars…but their voices have to be heard.”Speech

16 Bars offers a rare glimpse at the human stories and songs locked away in our nation’s jails and prisons. The documentary follows a unique rehabilitation effort in a Virginia jail that encourages inmates to write and record original music. In the jail’s makeshift recording studio, four men collaborate to produce an album with Grammy-winner Todd “Speech” Thomas of Arrested Development. As the creative process unfolds, these incarcerated artists must confront the traumas of their past, and music becomes the key to unlocking a new chapter in their lives. Music magic happened in that jail, and this is that Album.

Two-time Grammy-winner Speech Thomas is widely considered one of the godfathers of conscious hip-hop. His band Arrested Development’s 1993 debut album 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of… went quadruple platinum and achieved what few thought was possible at the time, establishing an Afrocentric alternative to gangster rap that was commercially viable. 25 years later, Speech continues to tour the world with his band and seek out opportunities to use music to address issues of social and racial justice.

The film, and this album, documents his journey to the Richmond City Jail, where he conducted music workshops with inmates. His goal was to shed light on the complex issues in our criminal justice system by bringing the voices and stories of incarcerated people to a larger audience.

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The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl:
Land of 1000 Dances:
The Rampart Records Complete Singles
in stores 11/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Limited edition, definitive four-CD, 79-track box recounts the history of Los Angeles’ “West Coast East Side Sound” via the classic hits of Cannibal & the Headhunters and many more. Roots of Chicano rock detailed in deeply annotated 102-page book featuring detailed essays and dozens of previously unseen photos.

The rip-roaring sound of East Los Angeles’ Chicano rock ’n’ rollers of the ’60s and ’70s receives definitive treatment on Land of 1000 Dances: The Rampart Records Complete Singles Collection, due on November 29, 2019 for independent music retail’s annual Black Friday Record Store Day. Produced by the independent Los Angeles label Minky Records, the four-CD set, which is being released in a limited edition of 1,000 copies, provides a complete overview of defining Mexican-American rock released in a 30-year period between 1961 and 1991 by Rampart, the small but influential company run by entrepreneur, manager, and producer Eddie Davis.

Minky has previously released single-CD collections devoted to two acts that appeared on Davis’ Linda and Gordo imprints: Stompin’ at the Rainbow by the multi-racial R&B unit The Mixtures and Music Is the Answer by God’s Children, the early ’70s soul/funk unit fronted by East Side vocal legends Little Willie G. (of Thee Midniters) and Lil’ Ray.

But Land of 1000 Dances — the product of nearly a decade of research and production — is the most in-depth overview ever assembled of what is familiarly known as the “West Coast East Side Sound.” The eruptive music that launched a thousand low riders down Whittier Boulevard is chronicled through the story of the music’s most prominent and prolific label.

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The TVD Storefront

Jeremy Elliot,
The TVD First Date

“You know, I always get the same instinctive weight in my stomach whenever people bring up vinyl. See, despite the huge role that vinyl has played in my life, I’ve never been the guy who has the 500-deep record collection.”

“That always blows people’s minds. I’m a guy who cares so much about high-fidelity audio that I personally immerse myself in the mixing and mastering of every song that I release. I literally tell folks that I wouldn’t be alive without music. So, how does that guy not have cabinets full of vinyl in his house?

Blame it on my nomadic tendencies and general discomfort with anything more technologically advanced than a pencil. But just because I can’t tell you which album insert of all the Pink Floyd album inserts is my favorite doesn’t mean that I can’t tell you just how vinyl shaped my life, not only in the music that I make, but in the artist that I am today.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that my earliest memory with vinyl was listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA with my dad when I was four or five years old. Up until that point, my parents had tried to pique my musical curiosity with classical music and children’s music. No offense to Raffi or Mozart, but it wasn’t until I heard Born In The USA on my dad’s turntable that I ever thought to myself, “oh, so this is what music is supposed to sound like.”

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Hold Steady,
Boys and Girls in America

The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn sure knows his way around the teenage wasteland. Since 2004 the Minneapolis native has been chronicling the chemically induced ups and day-after come downs of America’s “we’re desperate, get used to it,” youth, and in so doing has established himself as the poet laureate of the can’t feel my face crowd.

In songs that owe a debt to the Born to Run-era Bruce Springsteen, the unlikely teen champion Finn–whose voice falls somewhere on the continuum between the Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli and a high school football coach–returns again and again to his favorite subject, the powders and pills and the damage down. You can find his kids at parties, the chillout tent at rock festivals, sleeping it off at afternoon matinees–anywhere and everywhere really, from your local florist to the laundromat.

On their third LP, 2006’s critically acclaimed Boys and Girls in America, the Hold Steady meld euphoric song craft–these songs soar–to Finn’s eye for the telling detail; his ability to channel the voices of kids walking the thin line between the bong hit and the detox unit (“We started recreational/It ended up all medical”) are surpassed, in this humble critic’s opinion, only by the Mountain Goat’s John Darnielle, whose We Shall All Be Saved had covered similar ground three years before. Both artists are empaths rather than Just Say No advocates; they sympathize with the lost boys (and girls) who populate their musical imaginations.

On song after song he drives home his message–the boys and girls of America “have such a sad time together,” and see wasted as the best way out. But he’s not talking exclusively to the kids–on the keyboard- and guitar-driven (the riff is straight up classic rock) “Stuck Between Stations” he name drops Jack Kerouac’s On the Road alter ego Sal Paradise before going on to tell the story of the poet John Berryman, struggled with alcoholism before leaping to his death off a bridge into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis (most of Finn’s songs are set in the Twin Cities).

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/11/19

Birmingham, UK | First look inside giant HMV The Vault in Birmingham as Europe’s biggest store opens: Doug Putman told the PA news agency that the retailer is “under-indexed in London,” saying there is room for expansion in the capital as the company eyes new locations for its growth strategy. The owner of HMV said the company will return to opening new stores over the next year, just eight months after it shut a raft of high street shops after being rescued from administration. Doug Putman, who purchased the music retailer in February, said the business will pump cash into new sites and refurbishments. He told the PA news agency that the retailer is “under-indexed in London”, saying there is room for expansion in the capital as the company eyes new locations for its growth strategy. Mr Putman revealed his ambitions ahead of the launch of HMV’s largest ever store, which is being called hmv Vault, at Dale End in Birmingham. The store, which the retailer said will be the largest entertainment store in Europe, is due to open on Friday after a “multimillion-pound investment” in the new site.

National Cassette Store Day: Saturday, Oct. 12: With Black Friday Record Store Day on the way Nov. 29 (the list is out this week, and we have them for you!), the fledgling Cassette Store Day makes a great warmup for this fall celebration. In existence since 2013, CSD has grown in leaps and bounds with events across the world. At the moment more than 300 very limited releases lie in wait for you music fans that are only available for this special day. Following vinyl’s meteoric reemergence, cassettes began their comeback the same year as CSD. Fueled by mostly new releases, the single cassette manufacturing company in the U.S. actually ran out of material to make the tapes with in September 2017 and still gained year-to-year in sales. As of 2019, nearly 50 percent of the tapes sold are new releases (some with as few as 200 pressed) like Lana Del Rey, twentyonepilots and Beck. For 2018, a whopping 219,000 cassettes were sold nationwide, up from 178,000 in the previous year (when they experienced an increase of 35 percent).

Black Friday record player deals: how and where to find the best Black Friday turntable bargains: Black Friday 2019 is almost here. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Black Friday is the time when online retailers dish out epic deals on everything from video doorbells to Dr Martens. For wax fans, there’s plenty of great Black Friday vinyl deals to be had. But what if you don’t have anything to play your records on, or your turntable is due an upgrade? Black Friday could be the ideal time to get your hands on a great sounding new record player, too. Been eyeing up one of the decks we recommend in our best budget turntables guide, or perhaps you fancy something a little more upmarket (you’ve been good this year, right?)? Whatever you’re after, the likelihood is that you’ll find an epic record player deal on Black Friday. And the best news? We’ll have our experts on-hand throughout the shopping event to help uncover the best deals.

Leicestershire, UK | Ashby record store auctions off 40,000 albums: A recently closed record store has sold its collection of more than 40,000 albums and music memorabilia in an “unusual” auction. The Attic in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, shut in August when its owner could not find someone to take over the business. Ben Duncombe sold his entire stock at an auction held in the shop and picked up more than £13,400. The 36-year-old said selling up “was a really hard decision” to make. “I started selling records at car boots sales and stuff like that, and it just kept getting bigger until I opened the store,” he said. The life-long record collector said he was tempted to keep some of the vinyl stock himself. “I had to dissociate myself from it a few weeks ago” he added. “There was a Lynyrd Skynyrd record I thought ‘I’d quite like to take that’ but then I just had to leave it. “There’s some great 7” records too….and a whole Northern Soul section that I know’s really valuable. Some of it’s never been played.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Bruce Springstreen, Western Stars – Songs From The Film 2-LP in stores 12/19

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Columbia Records will release Western Stars – Songs From The Film on 25th October featuring each of the live performances captured in Bruce Springsteen’s directorial debut Western Stars. The soundtrack includes every song from Springsteen’s most recent studio album of the same name, as well as a cover of Glen Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy.’

Western Stars – Songs From The Film pulls the audio from the film co-directed by Bruce Springsteen and longtime collaborator Thom Zimny. Springsteen and Ron Aniello produced the soundtrack and its audio was mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig, the same duo behind Springsteen on Broadway. The Western Stars film is a cinematic retelling of Springsteen’s first studio album in five years, as he plays the album backed by a band and full orchestra at Stone Hill Farm in Colts Neck, NJ. The film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and is written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, with special guest Patti Scialfa. Zimny, Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, and George Travis produced the film, with Springsteen serving as executive producer. The original score is by Springsteen.

The Western Stars album has become a global success reaching No. 1 on charts in every continent and hailed by critics as some of the finest music of his career. The album also placed Springsteen alongside David Bowie and the Rolling Stones one of the Top 5 acts with the most No. 1 UK albums.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Third
Man Records’ ‘Striped: The Story Of The White Stripes’ podcast now streaming

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Third Man Records is excited to share Season One of its new podcast Striped: The Story Of The White Stripes, hosted by Sean Cannon. Listen to the trailer below, and check out the first two episodes of the show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you consume podcasts.

“Lately I’ve been afraid of getting in a car crash and having my last dying words be ‘shit, I really should’ve gotten the White Stripes story down for posterity,’” Third Man co-founder and White Stripes archivist Ben Blackwell said. “This is my attempt to avail myself to somewhat less lame last words.” In season one of Striped, music journalist Sean Cannon takes you through the early years of The White Stripes by talking to the people who witnessed it all firsthand — from a young Jack White practicing loudly in his attic to The White Stripes wowing their tourmates Pavement in late 1999. You’ll hear from members of The MC5, Pavement, The Raconteurs, The Detroit Cobras, The Dirtbombs, The Soledad Brothers, filmmaker Lance Bangs, and more.

About Striped: The Story Of The White Stripes | Two decades ago, The White Stripes hit the scene in a real way. Jack and Meg White dropped their debut album, blew minds, toured with Pavement, and sowed the seeds for worldwide rock and roll domination — with some bumps along the way. You’ll hear that story from the people who witnessed it firsthand. If you can’t get enough of the band’s early years, get your hands on Third Man’s White Stripes XX vault package.

About The Host | Sean Cannon is a Peabody Award-winning journalist, acclaimed public radio host, and cat rap pioneer. You read that right: cat rap pioneer. His work has been covered by The New York Times, The Guardian, Pitchfork, Washington Post, Vulture, Rolling Stone, and many others. People magazine even called him “[a] host.” Now, that’s a ringing endorsement!

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: John Hiatt, Only The Song Survives limited edition 11-LP box set in stores 12/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | New West Records is proud to announce the release of John Hiatt’s Only The Song Survives box set on December 6th, 2019.

Only The Song Survives is the definitive collection of John Hiatt’s musical output spanning two decades of releases from New West Records beginning with Crossing Muddy Waters (2000) through his critically acclaimed The Eclipse Sessions (2018). Epic in scope, the vast box set includes eleven albums spread across fifteen long playing records, all pressed on high quality 180 gram vinyl. Four studio albums, Crossing Muddy Waters (2000), The Tiki Bar (2001), Beneath This Gruff Exterior (2003), and Master of Disaster (2005) have been remastered and are available on vinyl for the first time.

The box set will also include a 48-page book autographed by John Hiatt. The book features testimonials, essays, and insights from many of Hiatt’s co-conspirators throughout his career, including Ry Cooder, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Sonny Landreth, Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers, James McMurtry, Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars, and more. The book also includes rare photos by Jim McGuire, Jack Spencer, David McClister, Michael Wilson, and C. Taylor Crothers. The eleven albums (across 15 LPs) and accompanying book will be housed in a custom leatherette vinyl carrying case complete with gold stamping and buckle & handle.

Today, The Boot has published an interview with John Hiatt looking back at the albums included on Only The Song Survives, which as a set, writes Chuck Armstrong, “highlights Hiatt’s tenacious work ethic” and is “much more than a greatest hits collection: Only the Song Survives is the definitive collection of Hiatt’s career over the last 20 years.” Read the entire feature Here.

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The TVD Storefront

Monica Rizzio,
The TVD First Date

“There was not a lot happening in East Texas when I was growing up, besides tending to the cattle and horses on my parents Pleasant Valley Ranch in Quitman. Well, that and going to church several times a week.”

“But my dad had a record player and he was always spinning those good old country records. I distinctly remember Red Headed Stranger always making its way to the top of the pile of albums we listened to while getting ready for school.

I guess it was country music in the morning, but my dad is a New Yorker and obviously Italian, so the nighttime was saved for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Judy Garland. We would listen and sing along to them all night and I could tell my dad was using the songs to escape Texas and get back to New York, if only in his mind.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for October 2019, Part Two

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

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Sarah Pagé, Dose Curves (Backward Music) Harpists aren’t as rare on the scene as they used to be, but theirs is still a fairly uncommon instrument. Some may know Montreal resident Pagé for her playing in The Barr Brothers, who are described as both rootsy and indie folky, but Dose Curves is my intro to her work, and it’s a wide-ranging treat for adventurous ears. There’s certainly an abundance of plucked beauty passages (e.g. closer “Pleiades”), but the opening title-track is reminiscent of cello or viola in an avant context, while “Lithium Taper” uses her homemade pickups and pedal setup to cultivate an appealing ambient field. Notably, the entire LP (in an edition of 222 copies, most of them already purchased) is one unaltered performance, and it delivers a major artistic statement. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Booker T & the MG’s, The Complete Stax Singles Vol. 1 (1962-1967) (Real Gone) Starting with that instrumental R&B cornerstone “Green Onions” and then rolling through 28 more sides up to “Silver Bells,” the flip to their ’67 Xmas 45, this is a smart way to amass this band’s prime work on either CD or 2LP. Featuring Booker T. Jones on Hammond, Steve Cropper on guitar, Al Jackson, Jr. on drums, and either Lewie Steinberg (early) or Donald “Duck” Dunn (joining in 1965) on bass, theirs is one of the most distinctive sounds in the genre, often imitated but never duplicated, partly because others struggled to attain the appropriate measure of tight and lithe. As Stax’s house band, this is only part of their story, but these chapters are essential, all taken from mono sources. A

Gary Numan, Replicas – The First Recordings & The Pleasure Principle – The First Recordings (Beggars Arkive) To commemorate the 40th anniversary of these two seminal and groundbreaking post-punk electronic pop-rock albums, Beggars is issuing the early recordings of both on 2CD and 2LP, Replicas (co-credited to Tubeway Army) on sage green wax and The Pleasure Principle on orange. Note that neither set includes the actual released albums, so if you don’t have those, you still need ‘em. And anyone interested in the abovementioned styles does need ‘em (they were both reissued by Beggars in 2015). With this said, it’s difficult for me to rate either of these sets as must-haves, but they are both wholly worthwhile documentations of works in progress. If you love the finished LPs, you’ll probably want ‘em.

That each set includes a Peel Session does substantially increase the value, though both have been previously released on wax. Plus, Numan was creating rapidly in this era, and these collections magnify his development (leaving Tubeway Army behind in the process) without getting bogged down with the ephemeral. These ears retain a special affection for the Replicas material, mainly because there are still traces of the band’s punk beginnings in an overall attack that’s sharply focused on the future, but it’s Pleasure that captures him in full flower, and this dive into its gestation wafts a pretty sweet aroma. It should also be mentioned that the 2CDs offer extra stuff, in the case of Replicas just a third early version of the title track, but Pleasure has six (and six unreleased cuts, two of which are on the wax). B+/ B+

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/10/19

Dublin, IE | Vinyl festival returns to Dun Laoghaire: Dun Laoghaire will be the home of The Vinyl Festival for the second year in a row. The event host a collection of talks, panels, DJ sets and live performances which celebrate the importance of music and the vinyl record. The line-up of special guests include Horslips, Vicky McClure (Line of Duty/This is England), Liam O’Maonlai (Hothouse Flowers), Noel Hogan (Cranberries), Mary Coughlan, radio presenters Dave Fanning and Tom Dunne, and many more. 43 years on from recording their Horslips Live album in Dún Laoghaire’s old Pavilion, Johnny Fean, Barry Devlin and Jim Lockhart from the band are coming back to the town for two concerts as part of the festival. They will play two nights on November 1 and 2 in the Pavilion Theatre. Liam O’Maonlaí will discuss the writing and recording of Hothouse Flowers’ 1988 debut album, People and will play a few live tracks on piano as well as a couple on vinyl.

Sacramento, CA | Record Spinners: The History and Closure of Dimple Records: John Radakovitz stands in front of a makeshift assembly line in the back warehouse of Dimple Records in Roseville in July. One by one, he picks up a record, places it gently in a sleeve, affixes an orange price sticker to the front and sets it aside. Music has been at the core of John’s entire adult life. He’s made a career of trading tonal poetry captured on vinyl, then magnetic tape, then polycarbonate plastic disks — and somehow, in this era where millions of people lease music encoded as zeroes and ones, the company he cofounded more than four decades ago is still going strong. People still walk into his seven stores scattered throughout the Sacramento area, and they’re buying music, movies, video games and books, both new and used. But John knows many people are walking into his stores for what could be their last time

Guided by Voices throwing ‘Sweating the Plague’ listening parties: Guided by Voices‘ are gearing up to release Sweating the Plague in a few weeks — it’s the band’s 29th album and third this year. Robert Pollard’s well of anthemic, ultra-catchy rock songs has not run dry, as evidenced by “Unfun Glitz” which premieres in this post. Listen below. Sweating The Plague will be released on streaming services on November 1, but will be available in stores a week early, with listening parties happening in 17 independent record stores across four countries on Thursday, October 24 at 6 PM local time. Purchasers on that day will get a commemorative poster, and each store will be giving away a Sweating The Plague test pressing autographed by Robert Pollard. In North America, there are listening parties in Minneapolis, Nashville, Portland, Boston, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Dayton, Brooklyn (Rough Trade), Toronto, Seattle and Austin. All listening party locations are listed below.

Hartlepool, UK | Rare signed The Jam album up for grabs at Hartlepool charity music event: Music fans can win a rare album signed by all three members of The Jam and help raise money for two worthwhile causes at an upcoming event. Hartlepool DJ David Halcrow, his wife Tracey and Hartlepool March of the Mods organiser Kev McGuire are staging a day of music and fundraising at the Corporation Sports and Social Club in Whitby Street. It takes place on Saturday, November 2, from 2pm until late and will feature a mix of top local live bands, DJ sets, food and raffles. The main raffle prize is a rare three record vinyl album by The Jam autographed by Paul Weller, Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton. The day is raising money for the Chemotherapy Unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and 12-year-old Grace Measor from Seaton Carew who has been undergoing treatment for leukaemia.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: Luna at the 9:30 Club, 10/5

On the various Luna tours the band has launched since it reunited in 2015 following a 10 year pause, they almost seemed miffed to have to play the old stuff fans wanted. Not that they had much new material— just an album of covers and another of instrumentals.

But now, embarked on one of those full album recitals popular with heritage groups, they seemed to have turned the corner into appreciating anew all that they accomplished. The showcase for an early show at the 9:30 Club in Washington Saturday was the 1995 album Penthouse from start to finish—though some stops have been showcasing the two prior albums, Lunapark and Bewitched, in their entirety.

But Penthouse might have been the best of the three to see, featuring the band at its prime, with a lazy surf-like riff to start with “Chinatown,” then the wavy, underwater-like figure on “Sideshow by the Seashore.” It wasn’t quite the lineup the band had when it recorded the album 24 years ago—Britta Phillips played bass in place of the originating Justin Harwood, and Penthouse was the last album for drummer Stanley Demeski, who’d go on to The Feelies; it’s been the hard-hitting Lee Wall ever since.

But Dean Wareham held court front and center as he always did, with his searching, mysterious lyrics in deadpan tones and interesting guitar figures. And still with him, trading off on some guitar interplay was Sean Eden, who has been around since their second album. It’s a formidable group, who face one another when they’re sitting out sparks of elongated anthems as if they’re a jam band on long workouts like “23 Minutes in Brussels” or “Freakin’ and Peakin,’” which speeds up, slows down and speeds up again before it ends.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Yann Tiersen career-spanning Portrait 3-LP in stores 12/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Yann Tiersen has announced a new album, Portrait, a collection of 25 newly recorded tracks from throughout his career that includes three new songs, out on double CD, cassette, and digital platforms via Mute December 6. Heavyweight triple vinyl editions of the album will be released December 20. Both the clear and black vinyl editions of Portrait include an exclusive 7-inch with brand new alternative harpsichord versions of “Comptine d’Un Autre Été (L’Après-Midi)” and “The Waltz of the Monsters,” unavailable elsewhere.

Recorded with musicians together live in The Eskal studio to 24-track 2-inch tape, mixed to stereo ¼ inch tape then mastered from tape to vinyl, the album is a fully analog approach for Tiersen. “Limiting our ability to digitally manipulate, overdub or make changes after deciding a creative path gave an energy and beautiful tension to the recording process which I’d found was being lost with the limitless possibilities of digital recording. Not translating sounds into 1 and 0 keeps music in the real world.” The result is a vital album that fizzes with the excitement and energy found at a live concert, but packed into a studio album.

Featuring collaborations with John Grant, Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals, Stephen O’Malley from Sunn O))), and Blonde Redhead, the album was recorded with touring collaborators Emilie Tiersen, Ólavur Jákupsson, and Jens L Thomsen at The Eskal, the new analog studio complex Tiersen recently built on his home island of Ushant in Brittany.

All pre-orders from Yann Tiersen’s store and Mute Bank will be packaged with an exclusive set of analog printed photographs taken during the recording session at The Eskal. Pre-order the album here.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Smashing Pumpkins,

In his 1823 essay On the Pleasure of Hating, British author and philosopher William Hazlitt wrote, “Love turns, with little indulgence, to indifference or disgust: hatred alone is immortal.” He also wrote, “We grow tired of everything but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects.” With those words he summed up my whole character. Hating’s what I do best.

Hell, I even hate things I know next to nothing about. Take the Smashing Pumpkins. I’ve despised them since the first time I heard “Bullet with Butterfly Wings,” and when people ask why I tell them, “I dunno. They just smell wrong”

But here’s another quote, this one by the 19th Century British philosopher Herbert Spencer: “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” I don’t mind being called a hater. But an ignorant hater? Nobody wants to wear that hat.

So I tied myself to a chair and listened to the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1991 debut, Gish. And you know what? My ignorant hating ass was right. The Smashing Pumpkins suck. Wait, let me amend that. Billy Corgan’s voice sucks. He’s a whiner. He whines the way I used to whine when my parents would drag me through the gift shop at Fantasyland without buying me anything.

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