A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/14/20

Barrow, UK | Barrow’s TNT records nominated for another award: A Barrow shop has been shortlisted amongst a host of superstars for one of the most prestigious prizes in the music industry. TNT Records is one of eight finalists in the Independent Retailer category at this year’s Music Week Awards , which recognises the best in the business. The star-studded award ceremony in London on May 6, 2020, will see the management team from the Duke Street shop rubbing shoulders with world-renowned names, with nominees in other categories including the likes of Coldplay, Stormzy and Glastonbury Festival. The nomination in this prestigious award follows in the wake of some similar recognition for TNT Records , when it was recently named UK Record Shop of the Year. Owner and founder Dave Turner said he was stunned when he read that they had made the shortlist for the Music Week Awards 2020. “The Music Week Awards are the biggest awards in the industry, so to see TNT Records shortlisted is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Tokyo, JP | Disk Shop Zero founder Naoki E-Jima has died: The Tokyo record store owner, who passionately promoted the sound of Bristol bass in Japan, passed away yesterday. Naoki E-Jima, the founder and operator of Japanese record store Disk Shop Zero, died yesterday after a bout of illness. Since opening his shop in Ekoda, Tokyo back in 1993, E-Jima—real name Naoki Iijima—championed bass music coming out of Bristol, forging a strong link between the two cities’ scenes. That vision continued when he and a group of friends started their BS0 party in 2015 (they refer to BS0 as a made-up Bristol postcode) and released a series of records on a label of the same name shortly after. In addition to running his shop, Iijima also worked as a music writer. Disk Shop Zero has been intermittently shut since the beginning of the year, after Iijima complained of discomfort in his right thigh last November. The final post on his store’s website indicates he was due to return to hospital on January 21st, which led to emergency hospitalisation and surgery on the 28th.

Tulsa, OK | Vinyl Records Resurrected At Local Record Stores: For the first time in 35 years, vinyl records are expected to outsell CDs in the US. Despite the rise in vinyl sales, streaming music is still the major source of income for the music industry. New numbers this year show vinyl brings in about 4% of the industry’s total revenue while streaming dominates with a whopping 62%. Record store owner Paul Epstein said he thought vinyl had seen its day more than 20 years ago. “Ten or 12 years ago, vinyl started slowly picking up. Then probably five or six years ago, it started at breakneck,” said Epstein. “It has wildly passed CDs.” Written off for dead in 1986, vinyl records are back and poised to outsell CDs nationwide. But why? “You can say I have 50,000 songs that sit in a little box in my underwear drawer, but it’s not the same as saying, ‘look at my records!'” said Epstein.

Franklin, TN | Antique collector inspires a new generation of musicians: Nothing’s ever out of style for long, at least that’s the philosophy of an antique collector in Franklin. “We bought a barn sight on scene in Bowling Green, Kentucky.” Will Jordan is a picker. He picks through stuff that some would call junk, and what he finds often ends up for sale at Carpe Diem. “Seize the day. I mean there’s a lot of days in this place right here, and I think it fits the vibe,” said Jordan. The vibe has a good feel from the time you step inside. “We got all kinds of collectibles in here from in every age group. From a 5-year-old kid to an 85-year-old grandfather,” said Jordan. The most popular by far is Jordan’s collection of vintage vinyl records numbering in the thousands, each with a feeling of nostalgia attached to the cover.

Carlsbad, CA | A record return: Records are managing to remain relevant – in their own sphere of influence. Thomas Edison’s phonograph – his favorite invention – designed to play back audio from one needle, then amplify the sound back to the listener through a flaring horn, was the one to begin the music recording art. Originally, the sound came from wax cylinders that were coated in tin foil, but the technology quickly evolved to the vinyl record and vinyl player, which has since become a staple of the retro, slow dance American period. The phonograph’s distinct trumpet-like horn has amazingly transitioned as a staple first of tall and elegant ballrooms to the average American working-class home. And there, the record player remained stuck; a staple of the past as CDs and newer inventions outpaced sales of vinyl records in the late ’80s for the first time since Edison created the phonograph in the mid 1870s. Vinyl fans were bound to still exist – no trend ever fully dies this quick. And yet, more than just Frank Sinatra devotees are going to the store (the online store really) to pick up vinyl and vinyl players, and the most novel crowd is now becoming vinyl’s biggest supporter: high schoolers.

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TVD Radar: Tears
For Fears, Songs From The Big Chair 35th anniversary reissues
in stores 3/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Spring 2020 sees the 35th anniversary of Tears For Fears iconic ten million-selling album Songs From The Big Chair.

The 35th celebrations will include the release of a limited picture disc version of the album and a reissue of the much sought after super deluxe 4CD/2DVD boxset which currently changes hands for hundreds of dollars. Songs From The Big Chair was Tears For Fears second album and spawned classic worldwide hit songs such as the US #1 singles “Everybody Wants To Rule the World” and “Shout” as well as “Head over Heels” and “Mother’s Talk.”

Upon its first release, Songs From The Big Chair spent 30 weeks in the UK top ten-album chart, a whole year in the top 30 and only left the charts 18 months later. The story was very much the same all over the world, the album spent five weeks at #1 in the US, and much like the UK, it was in the Billboard Chart for 18 months.

Looking back at the album Roland Orzabal commented, “Pop music was still a growth industry. It hadn’t sort of stagnated, stalled, diversified into streaming like it is nowadays. We were young, we were both good-looking and we had the right music. As we move further and further from that decade and you keep hearing “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” in various forms I do think it is an era-defining album.”

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TVD Premiere: LuLu Lewis, “In Every Dream Home a Heartache”

A sweet surprise for your Valentine’s Day comes in the form of LuLu Lewis’ latest, “The Love Song EP,” an all covers, digital only affair (albeit with limited edition physical prints) from the NYC duo of Dylan Hundley and Pablo Martin. Today we’re delighted to premiere its initial single, Roxy Music’s “In Every Dream Home a Heartache.”

Our own Joseph Neff wrote earlier today, “Lulu Lewis find success with the holiday tie-in through inspired song selection as they hit the sweet spot between interpretation and recognizability. This middle ground is most pronounced in the opening reading of Roxy Music’s “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” which comes off a little like young Siouxsie collaborating with early Ultravox, at least until Martin’s guitar bursts forth for an extended passage.”

“It started as research for me,” Martin tells us. “I was curious to see how certain specific parts of these songs were made, so I started recording portions of the arrangements. Hours later, after all that work, better to finish and release them. They’re cool.” We concur.

LuLu Lewis’ 2019 full-length release Genuine Psychic, which we reviewed last July, is in stores now—on vinyl

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TVD Radar: Have a Cigar! The Memoir of
the Man Behind Pink Floyd, T. Rex, The Jam and George Michael
in stores 3/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | A candid and outspoken memoir, Have a Cigar! takes music fans behind the scenes of rock ’n’ roll’s golden age.

In 2008, the music industry lost one its most beloved and influential icons. Bryan Morrison passed away following two years in a coma, but the publisher, manager and agent left the world with one final, unexpected gift: a candid, forthright memoir of a remarkable life. In Have a Cigar! The Memoir of the Man Behind Pink Floyd, T.Rex, The Jam and George Michael (Quiller Publishing, March 2020), Morrison shares tales of a unique life in the worlds of rock ‘n’ roll, fashion, design and polo.

Morrison began his career in music managing the Pretty Things, eventually expanding to represent superstar groups including Pink Floyd, T. Rex, The Jam, and Wham! This engaging memoir reveals anecdotes from life on tour in rock’s heyday, including the stories behind Syd Barrett biting his finger down to the bone, why the Pretty Things received a lifelong ban from New Zealand, how The Jam kissed success in the United States goodbye, and why Morrison received death threats when Robin Gibb left the Bee Gees. Have a Cigar! transports readers to a beloved era of rock, bringing value to music fans of any generation.

Bryan Morrison studied art and design at St Martin’s and the Central School of Art in the early 1960s before leaving to manage R&B group the Pretty Things. Within five years, the Bryan Morrison Agency grew to be one of the leading pop music agents in London. Morrison became the manager of Pink Floyd and through his publishing company would represent Marc Bolan of T. Rex, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, Paul Weller of the Jam, George Michael, and many others. Morrison took up polo and in 1985 he opened the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. In 2006 Bryan Morrison suffered a serious polo accident which left him in a coma. He died in 2008.

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TVD Premiere: AM Clouds, Rainmaker

Oregon-based indie quartet, Americana rockers AM Clouds blend classic and psych rock flavors, adding an alternative twist that lands somewhere between Soundgarden and Uncle Tupelo.

The band’s new sophomore 10-song release, Rainmaker, is a tasty collection of retro garage nuggets that navigate the inner and outer terrains of lead-singer Bruce Troy Moon’s rustic consciousness. The angular “Paradise” showcases the band’s knack for sharp-edged, pop rock hooks while standouts like the jangly “The Velvet Rope” display a deeply personal expression of Moon’s relationship with religion. The groovy “Headlong” is another stellar throwback jam with the kind of punchy hook that demands repeat listens.

The real power of the music comes from the cohesiveness of the band, who support Moon’s shamanistic visions with solid bass lines, tight drum rolls, and perfectly fuzzed-out guitar tones. But the real cherry on top is when the band combines their voices in superb harmony, forming a Crosby, Stills and Nash-like miscellany that transcends the genres that have so clearly influenced them.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for February 2020, Part Two

Part one of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for February, 2020. Part one is here.

NEW RELEASE/VALENTINE’S DAY PICK:  Lulu Lewis, “The Love Song EP” (Ilegalia) The general guideline (I wouldn’t call it “policy”) with this weekly column is a focus on physical releases that one could potentially buy in a brick-and-mortar store. While this EP falls into the digital-only category, due to its theme as articulated through three smart cover tunes, I was immediately tempted to make an exception. But as vocalist Dylan Hundley and multi-instrumentalist Pablo Martin are offering made to order limited edition prints in a batch of four, I can include it this week sans conflict. Those prints are the pictured EP cover + one for each song, all in a similar style. Now, some might carp that the EP made the cut on a technicality, but I’ve a creeping suspicion those grumps are staying home for Valentine’s Day.

Lulu Lewis find success with the holiday tie-in through inspired song selection as they hit the sweet spot between interpretation and recognizability. This middle ground is most pronounced in the opening reading of Roxy Music’s “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” which comes off a little like young Siouxsie collaborating with early Ultravox, at least until Martin’s guitar bursts forth for an extended passage. John Cale’s “Helen of Troy” is next, with guest vocals from someone named Deer, though folks into Lulu Lewis’ Genuine Psychic (available on wax) will have an inkling who that is. The courtly keyboard fanfare retained from the original is a highlight. A take on Funkadelic’s “I’ll Bet You” remains groove-tastic but is sung by Hundley with breathy verve. Altogether, this would make a fine gift for someone you love. A-

NEW RELEASE PICK: Elkhorn, The Storm Sessions (Beyond Beyond is Beyond) Elkhorn’s prior two, Sun Cycle and Elk Jam, came out simultaneously last year on Feeding Tube. The move to BBiB is natural and should only increase the likelihood that newbies will zero in on the work of guitarists Jesse Sheppard (12-string acoustic) and Drew Gardner (6-string electric) as psych in nature. There is an undeniable relationship to the American Primitive as well, but with Turner Williams adding electric bouzouki on the first side and shahi baaja on the second, this hits like something Vanguard (who released Fahey and Basho, yes) or maybe even ESP-Disk might’ve put out in ’68-’69. I mention those labels because as The Storm Sessions glides and searches, it’s often closer to raga than rock, and that’s a wonderful thing. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICK: Maximum Joy, Station M.X.J.Y. (1972) Post-punk’s funk groove subgenre, to which Maximum Joy belong, could sometimes become a little (or a lot) too refined, but Station M.X.J.Y. doesn’t have that problem. This is in part because it was the band’s only LP. Formed by the Glaxo Babies’ Tony Wrafter with Janine Rainforth, then just 18 years old, on vocals, along the way Glaxo Babies Charlie Llewellin and bassist Dan Catsis joined as did John Waddington from The Pop Group, making this something of a post-punk supergroup situation; this might’ve contributed to the brevity of their existence, as well. Throw in production by On-U Sound label founder Adrian Sherwood (plus relevant credits-heavy producers Dave Hunt and Pete Wooliscroft) and the table is set for something special.

Released in 1982 on the Y label, Station M.X.J.Y. is getting its first-time standalone vinyl reissue here, which is quite surprising, as the contents are the sorta thing to knock recent post-punk converts right the fuck over (Crippled Dick Hot Wax! did include this album on their 2LP comp Unlimited (1979 – 1983) in 2005 and there was a Japanese CD released in 2008; both currently sell for too much money). Yes, putting this on in a crowded club between bands could easily result in the audience getting scattered all over like bowling pins on league night at the lanes; y’know, those cats throw fingertip balls designed to hook right into the pocket. Maximum Joy’s pocket is where funk, dub, punk, Afrobeat and even elements of jazz (horns are well represented) come together with robust clarity. Sounds superb today. A

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/13/20

Santa Barbara, CA | Record shops allow a space for music lovers to find community: When I place a record on a turntable and the soft static begins to play through my speakers, I let my mind drift and begin reflecting on the role music has played in my life. My family instilled a love of music in me at a very young age. My father played classical music and began taking me to concerts when I was three. He would pull out his old acoustic guitar and play trios and mariachi, while my mother would play cumbia and reggaeton. For as long as I can remember music was a form of expression. It was my love language. My love affair with vinyl records, however, did not begin until October of 2017, when I purchased “Joy Division – Roots (Live at the Roots Club)” at Just Play Music.

Hamilton, CA | ‘It felt like home’: After 40 years as a downtown landmark Cheapies is closing: ‘It feels like part of Hamilton is leaving,’ says long-time customer Stephanie Silva. As Brian Jasson looked out over the crowded aisles of Cheapies on Sunday afternoon, he was transported back to the days when his store was packed this way every day of the week, with music lovers poring over albums and picking through records. Outside the shop the iconic florescent sign with the offering of “Music, Games, Video” still flashed above King Street East, just as it has for the past 40-odd years. But the massive front windows, traditionally festooned with advertisements for the hottest singles were papered over with big red letters announcing “STORE CLOSING.” For some, those two words explain why the store was filled to the brim with shoppers hoping to score a final deal before the doors close for the last time at the end of March. But, if you listen closely, there’s another reason why so many devoted customers are making the pilgrimage to the downtown staple before Cheapies Records and Tapes shuts down forever.

Nightmares on Wax celebrates ‘Smokers Delight’ 25th anniversary with album reissue, announces upcoming tour: Nightmares on Wax has announced a reissue of his seminal LP ‘Smokers Delight’ with new music and he will be giving special shows in North America and Europe. English DJ and record producer Nightmares on Wax has given fans a host of things to look forward to in 2020: the studio album ‘Smokers Delight’ gets a full reissue, never-before-heard tracks and select special shows in North America and Europe. The news comes in celebration of the seminal LP’s 25th anniversary. You can check the tour dates and tracklist below. ‘Smokers Delight’ was amongst the genre-defining albums that inspired generations of music that would follow, such as Massive Attack’s ‘Blue Lines’, Portishead’s ‘Dummy’ and ‘Maxinquaye’ by Tricky. The downbeat club album mustered all laidback energies of after-hours nightlife with smooth bassy grooves in a fusion of soul, hip-hop and dub for which Nightmares on Wax has become renowned.

Cleveland, OH | Don’t call it a comeback: Music Saves space to be revived as Cleveland Rocks Shop on Waterloo: With the recent openings of Pop Life and Six Shooter Coffee’s new location, Waterloo Road seems to be hitting a high note lately—and Beachland Ballroom owner Cindy Barber has big plans to keep it rocking and rolling. This week, Barber plans to announce an ioby fundraising campaign to mount the Cleveland Rocks Shop, a retail space showcasing local music and honoring its past, present, and future. Housed inside the former Music Saves record store (which shuttered in late 2017), Barber sees the Cleveland Rocks Shop as the next step in creating a campus of sorts as an extension of the Beachland Ballroom. “The whole idea is to energize our music economy in Cleveland,” says Barber. “When I was a kid, I worked at record distribution houses, and back then, we were one of the top record markets in the country, thanks to [legendary DJs like] Alan Freed, Bill Randle, and WMMS. I’m hoping in some small way to recapture and honor some of that rich history and energy.”

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TVD Radar: Artists United Against Apartheid, Sun City 35th anniversary vinyl reissue in stores 3/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Little Steven, aka Steven Van Zandt, is commemorating the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s historic release from a South African prison after 27 years in captivity with the announcement that his 1985 landmark protest album, Sun City, by Artists United Against Apartheid, the extraordinary supergroup brought together by Van Zandt, producer Arthur Baker and journalist Danny Schechter to fight racial injustice in South Africa, will be released on vinyl for the first time since its initial release 35 years ago. The long-out-of-print LP joins five additional classic albums from Van Zandt making all of Little Steven’s records from his early career once again available on vinyl.

The upcoming releases, previously only available in last year’s limited edition box set, RockNRoll Rebel – The Early Work, and now available individually, have all been remastered and include all of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s solo records between 1982 and 1999: Men Without Women (1982), Voice Of America (1983), Sun City (1985) Freedom – No Compromise (1987), Revolution (1989) and Born Again Savage (1999). Releasing March 13 via Wicked Cool/UMe, all albums will be available on both 180-gram black vinyl and as a special, limited edition version on 180-gram color swirl vinyl mirroring the psychedelic platters released in the box set. Notably, Revolution will be making its individual US vinyl debut, having previously only seen vinyl release in Europe, while the 2LP Born Again Savage will be available individually on vinyl for the first time ever.

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the most fervent and forceful political statements to emerge from Eighties pop music,” Sun City, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, remains an undisputed milestone in music and cultural history.

The project began with “Sun City,” a song Van Zandt wrote to expose and oppose South Africa’s apartheid system which included the forced relocation of its black population who were also stripped of their right to vote. The song, featuring the memorable chorus of “I ain’t gonna play Sun City,” was a declaration and boycott from a stunningly diverse group of artists that they would refuse to perform at Sun City, a resort located within the Bantustan of Bophuthatswana, one of many internationally unrecognized states created by the South African government to forcibly relocate its black population.

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TVD Radar: The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma from Ben Sidran in stores 5/5

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The versatile, hit-making career of one of the American recording industry’s legendary producers and executives is lovingly told in award-winning musician, writer and broadcaster Ben Sidran’s revealing new biography The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma.

The Nardis Books volume, which will be available in print and as an e-book on May 5, 2020, is drawn from more than 80 hours of interviews with LiPuma by Sidran, who recorded three albums for LiPuma’s Blue Thumb Records in the early ’70s. It’s an inspired account of how music saved one man’s life, and how he went on to affect the lives of millions of others.

It spins the engaging story of LiPuma’s career, from his origins as a jazz-obsessed tenor saxophonist in Midwestern territory bands to fame and fortune as the Grammy Award-winning producer of such multi-platinum albums as guitarist-singer George Benson’s Breezin’ (1976) and Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable … With Love (1991). Sidran offers eye-opening behind-the scenes accounts of LiPuma’s record dates with such pop superstars as Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Willie Nelson.

The book also delves deeply into LiPuma’s deft work as a jazz producer, ranging from work on hit albums by talents like David Sanborn and Bob James to memorable sessions with Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Horace Silver, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Jimmy Scott. It concludes with a comprehensive look at the bestselling, career-making series of albums LiPuma produced for singer-pianist Diana Krall before his death at the age of 80 in 2017.

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Graded on a Curve:
Frank Zappa,
Hot Rats

Frank Zappa and I have a complicated relationship. During my formative years spent smoking pot with pig farmers I was besotted by the fellow. I thought he was smart, and figured that listening to him made me smart too.

But we agreed to a temporary separation around the time of the 1979 release of Sheik Yerbouti, and split for good after that same year’s Joe’s Garage Act I. I could no longer ignore the derisive sneer of perceived intellectual and moral superiority audible in every one of his songs. That and it finally occurred to me that the mildly scatological humor I found so clever was just as clever to 12-year-olds.

There are other bands I liked then but no longer listen to now. But Zappa is the only artist I have ever wished to airbrush, Soviet-style, from my musical past. Liking him as much as I did then actually embarrasses me. And that’s a step too far, I think. There is no denying that Zappa expanded the limitations of rock’n’roll. So I have made a few tentative steps towards a rapprochement over the past several years. Why, I even went so far as to borrow my brother’s copy of 1969’s Hot Rats—an LP I must have listened to a thousand times when I was stoned—then actually played the damn thing.

And? Well, upon first listen, I was inclined to agree with Robert Christgau, whose review of Hot Rats went, “Doo-doo to you, Frank–when I want movie music I’ll listen to ‘Wonderwall.’” This was a rejoinder to Mr. Zappa’s description of his second solo LP following the breakup of the Mothers of Invention as “a movie for your ears.”

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Needle Drop: 12xPretty, “Caliphornia”

Victoria BC-based electro-pop-rock blenders 12xPretty are back with a new sedated party anthem from the future.

“Caliphornia” is a meditation on emptiness, navigating the chasm of shame from a culture obsessed with surface level fulfillment. Like the song’s robotic croon, its images feel strangely detached—glimpses of a Bladerunner-esque future in which true love has been replaced by shadowy addictions to sex and narcotics.

It’s a bleak depiction of our collective fate, but it’s just as compelling, twisting Tinseltown illusions into a nightmarish potpourri of haunting images.

12xPretty’s debut self-titled album arrives in stores February 21.

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Graded on a Curve:
Bryan Ferry,
Live at the Royal
Albert Hall 1974

Bryan Ferry’s solo discography commenced in deceptively lowkey fashion with a pair of covers albums in 1973-’74. The setlist for BMG’s Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1974 draws from those records as it showcases the man’s sturdy, distinctive pipes and equally unique interpretive skills plus a killer band including guitarist Phil Manzanera, guitarist-musical director John Porter, pianist-violinist Eddie Jobson, bassist John Wetton, drummer Paul Thompson, and saxophonist Chris Mercer. It’s out now on LP and CD; both are included in a box set that’s loaded with extras.

An eternally sharp dresser with an erudite croon, Bryan Ferry can be synopsized as the high priest of chic. However, the sheer brevity of this designation ignores the atypical and occasionally downright oddball aspects of his personality; the art-school (big on Duchamp, he was), the art-rock (bandmate of Eno, he was), the smoky late-night lounge (a persistent component in his image, it was), the jetsetter (ditto), the student of pop (as revealed in numerous interviews and journalistic portraits over the years). All are traits that have fortified his work both with Roxy Music and as a solitary operator.

If you know Bryan Ferry’s solo debut These Foolish Things and its follow-up Another Time, Another Place, then you’re already hip to what transpires on Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1974. With the exception of “A Real Good Time,” a Ferry original from Roxy Music’s Country Life (released roughly a month prior to this performance), all the songs are drawn from his first two, and the only other non-cover is the title track from his second.

If you don’t know those records but do know Ferry, perhaps picking up the career thread at Roxy’s Siren (with its big hit single “Love is the Drug”) or maybe having just absorbed a latter portion of his long tenure as the Svengali of suavedom, this archival set needs a little contextualizing. Because for some, the contents, at least as represented on those solo LPs, inspired some head-scratching.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/12/20

Portland, OR | How Will the Fire At Apollo Masters Affect the Local Music Industry? Last Wednesday, news broke of a fire at Apollo Masters, the California-based business that was one of only two factories in the world that produced the lacquer used in the creation of master discs—one of the first steps in the manufacture of a vinyl album. While all the employees made it out safely, as the company posted on their website, their “manufacturing and storage facility… suffered catastrophic damage.” “We are uncertain of our future at this point,” the statement continued, “and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time.” The repercussions of this blaze look to be massive and couldn’t come at a worse time. According to a report released via Billboard last month, vinyl records made up 26% of all physical albums sold in 2019. And record labels were already adjusting to the recent closure of Rainbo Records, the 80-year-old pressing plant that had been one of the largest producers of vinyl in the US.

Hamilton, CA | Hamilton’s legendary record store Cheapies is closing in March: The downtown fixture on King Street East has been around since 1980. It had to feel good — and bad, at the same time — “bittersweet,” as Brian Jasson likes to put it. Saturday afternoon, a lineup more than 20 people long at the cash register, and three or four times that many browsing through the store. They were riffling through records, bumping into old friends, discovering musical treasures they didn’t know existed. And saying goodbye. Last days at Cheapies. Sounds like a movie title almost. The legendary, long-lived record store on King Street East is closing. March 27 is the scheduled last day. “Friday, the lineup was right out the door,” said Jasson, who started selling records on King East in 1978, during the screaming apogee of punk rock. If you let yourself, you could almost imagine away all the taste and technical changes that have happened in our music-buying habits over the last decades and believe you had walked into the way we were.

16 Vinyl Records That Will Make You Want to Listen on Repeat: From Billie Eilish to Lizzo and Maggie Rogers, this past year brought us some musical gems that we’ll be listening to for a long time. If you’re a true music-lover, though, you know there’s just something about listening to a record on vinyl. Not only is it a cool experience altogether, but it also gives you a new appreciation for the artistry behind making music. If you thought you could only get older music on vinyl, think again! These 16 records belong in everyone’s collection, and they’re all available at Urban Outfitters. Are you as in love with Harry Styles’s new album as we are? Well, you can now buy it on vinyl. Listening to Tyler, the Creator on vinyl is about as cool as it gets, and Lewis Capaldi’s album is a masterpiece. No matter what kind of music you’re into, you can find something you love on vinyl, and these are the ones we’d recommend grabbing ASAP.

Atlanta, GA | High Fidelity takes over Criminal Records: Atlanta’s Little Five Points record store, Criminal Records, will be taken over in anticipation of the release of the new Hulu series, “High Fidelity,” starring Zoe Kravitz. Hulu has partnered with Spotify to create a “Love Anthem Generator” where you will swipe to find your unique “Love Anthem.” Join us Thursday through Saturday (1 p.m. – 7 p.m.) You might even walk away with some FREE swag! In conjunction with the takeover, Hulu has partnered with the local Atlanta chapter of the national music education non-profit, Little Kids Rock and will donate 50% of all gross sales made at Criminal Records during the three-day takeover. “High Fidelity” premieres Friday (2/14) at 10 p.m. EST exclusively on Hulu.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Calexico and Iron & Wine with Frances Quinlan at The Anthem, 2/7

I simply love the 2005 EP “In the Reins”—so much so that I would even deem it among my favorite releases from both Calexico and Iron & Wine—and with their combined body of work, that’s saying quite a lot. 

“In the Reins” was the first joint calibration between Calexico and Iron & Wine and is revered by musicians and beloved by their fans. Rein’s soothing and rhythmic grooves are stunning, yet subtle, and its songwriting is extraordinarily delicate. The title track alone, “He Lays In the Reins,” is a song that feels like a warm bed on a cold, rainy day as its calm verses wash over.

Samuel Beam better known by his stage name, Iron & Wine wrote all the songs for the EP and cut it with Calexico’s Joey Burns and John Convertino in a studio in Tucson, Arizona. This current tour led them to DC’s Anthem last Friday night for an unforgettable set by two bands who seem destined to perform together. The venue seemed to come alive for Friday’s show as the mood was truly electric—especially for a seated show. “In the Reins” is available on black vinyl from Subpop Records.

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TVD Radar: Stone Crush: Memphis Modern Soul 1977-1987, 2LP with bonus 7” in stores 4/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Light in the Attic Records adds another entry to its acclaimed catalog with Stone Crush: Memphis Modern Soul 1977-1987, the definitive overview of the modern soul scene of Bluff City’s post-Stax years.

Over a decade in the making and compiled by renowned Memphis collectors and DJs Daniel Mathis and Chad Weekley, Stone Crush is an expertly curated anthology of these home-grown slices of Memphis stylings, from the “Singing Dentist” O.T. Sykes’ private press soul to the visionary bedroom funk of Captain Fantastic & Starfleet—rare sides whose original copies are considered holy grails by DJs and collectors all over. The accompanying full-color booklet includes unseen archival photos and extensive liner notes by Memphis curator/writer Andria Lisle and Grammy Award-winning writer Robert Gordon.

Available now for pre-order, the long-awaited release will hit the streets on April 3rd on 2-LP, CD, digital. “Galaxy Haze Orange/Red” color vinyl will be available to U.S. indie retail stores and as an exclusive to the Light In The Attic Online Store, “Blue/Orange” color vinyl will be available with a bonus 7” single of Mark Anthony & Lyte Speed’s rare roller skate boogie funk classic “I’m Just A Boogie Roller.” Exclusive merchandise available from the Light In The Attic Online Store includes a newly-designed Stone Crush t-shirt, a “Home Of The Blues” tote bag, and a hat emblazoned with Lyte Speed’s iconic logo.

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