TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Where did you go when things went wrong baby? / Who did you run to / And find a shoulder to lay your head upon? / Baby wasn’t I there? / Didn’t I take good care of you? / No no, I can’t believe you’re leaving me / Stay with me baby / Please, stay with me baby / Ooh, stay with me baby / I can’t go on

Through the years the Idelic Hour has served as my diary, my inspiration, and my mental salvation. Being in the music biz, in recent years I’ve often had to explain my taste in songwriting. Yeah, “for sure” I can appreciate and enjoy a lyric that gets you out to Target to buy a new mop as good as the next industry “creative,” but for my hour of listening, the words need to mean more. A grand lyric can be a pipeline to the soul, transporting a listener from a mundane life to a state of bliss. Plain and simple, great songs keep me going—I ain’t kidding.

Serious shit man. “The lyric” rules, and is commonly the source of my assorted weekly Idelic muses. In fact today, September 14th, is a date that holds a special place in my heart. The lyrical “baby” come to mind. In its slang form,”baby” is a magical rock ‘n’ roll word as it has been for decades from the first delta blues singers—it’s a soulful cry to a lover.

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The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl: Badfinger and Wish You Were Here expanded editions in stores 11/2

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Badfinger and Wish You Were Here—two overlooked ’70s albums for Warner Bros. followed their previous releases on The Beatles’ Apple label.

Everything seemed rosy when, upon conclusion of their contract with Apple, Badfinger signed a new deal with Warner Bros. in 1973 for a big advance, but right away things went south as the label rushed the band into the studio and ended up releasing Badfinger at about the same time as Apple released the band’s last record for the label, Ass. Not to mention Warner Bros. rejected the band’s title for the record, For Love or Money, leaving the record without any title at all.

Of course, commercial confusion ensued, and Badfinger sold poorly, even though it boasted such solid tunes as “Lonely You,” “Shine On,” and “Love Is Easy.” Real Gone’s Expanded Edition features the unreleased song “Love My Lady,” plus nine more outtakes from the album sessions…time to discover (or rediscover) one of the gems in the band’s catalog.

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TVD New Orleans

Hep Cat brings Portugal. The Man and Chicano Batman to the Sugar Mill tonight, 7/14

Hep Cat Entertainment, one of New Orleans’ most innovative independent promoters, is bringing one of the most exciting tours of the season to New Orleans. Eclectic rockers Portugal. The Man are riding high after their Grammy win last year and Chicano Batman is gaining more and more followers and attention for their unique mix of genres that could only have been birthed by four Latinos out of Los Angeles. They play at the Sugar Mill tonight.

I first saw Portugal. The Man on one of the small stages at the Voodoo Fest long before the festival moved to City’s Park’s new festival grounds and began focusing more on EDM, mainstream rock, and hip hop acts. I first saw Chicano Batman on the tiny stage at Euclid Records.

Portugal. The Man has been on Atlantic Records since 2010 and have been growing in popularity with each album. Their Grammy win came in the category of “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” for the song “Feel It Still.” Their latest album, Woodstock, is another musical coup featuring lead singer John Gourley’s easy rapport and vocal synergy with his partner and background singer Zoe Manville.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Doobie Brothers,
What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits

Or, What Were Once Harmless Affectations Are Now Threats to the Public Good. When it comes to the Doobie Brothers I’ll never be able to say it better than The Village Voice’s Robert Christgau, who dismissed the band’s 1976 Takin’ It to the Streets with the words, “You can lead a Doobie to the studio, but you can’t make him think.” But that’s not going to stop me from trying.

But before I do that, I should ‘fess up. I like a fair number of Doobie Brothers songs, probably because I heard them as a kid on AM radio and if you can get a kid at the right age and deny him anything better he’ll lap any old shit up.

I grew up in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere where the notion of a real rocking time was going to the CYO dances on Saturday night, and every single one of the faceless bands that played those dances tossed a few Doobie Brothers into the mix. You were as certain to hear “China Grove” as you were to hear “Colour My World.”

So there it is, I’m fucked for life and need some serious deprogramming I’m never going to get if only because I don’t really want to be deprogrammed. I get off on the stupid circle in the round singing on “Black Water” and always will.

But hey, I wouldn’t be a world-famous rock critic if I weren’t able to put my own feelings aside (yeah, right) and don the mantle of objectivity, and by any objective standards the Doobie Brothers produced lowest common denominator rock for the common man, like Grand Funk or Three Dog Night only with a little more boogie in ‘em. When you can dismiss a band with the words, “Yeah, well, they rock harder than Loggins & Messina” that band is in trouble, and it didn’t help that the Doobies never put out a truly solid LP. You have to go to their greatest hits album for that.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/14/18

Stourbridge, UK | Kiki & Henry’s Record Fair returns to Stourbridge’s Talbot Hotel: Kiki & Henry’s Record Fair is back this Saturday (September 15) – providing Stourbridge music lovers with another chance to add to their vinyl collection. The event will take place at The Talbot Hotel, Stourbridge High Street, from 11am to 4pm. Traders old and new will have a vast selection of vinyl records on offer to suit all tastes and pockets. Both pre-loved and brand new music will be available, with rarities, classic titles and bargains to be found. Music books, memorabilia and CDs will also be for sale. Entry is 50p.

Stuart Semple, Jeremy Deller and more leading artists create turntables to raise money for mental health charity: World famous artists have designed a series of record turntables for this year’s Secret 7″ project, to raise money for mental health charity MIND. The auction ends tonight. See details and our interview with artist Stuart Semple below. Earlier this year, the likes of Primal Scream, London Grammar, Manic Street Preachers and Jeff Buckley all had songs contributed to the project that saw over 700 designers choose a track by one of seven selected artists, before designing a one-of- a kind sleeve design for a limited 7” vinyl release. Just 100 copies of each track were pressed, with the identity of each record’s designer remains a mystery until it was purchased.

Sydney, AU | One of the most beloved venues in all of Glebe, The Record Crate, is set to close its doors this weekend. Since opening its doors six years ago, The Record Crate has become a noted hangout for fans of the New South Wales music scene. Between selling vinyl, hosting gigs, and serving up drinks and food, it has managed to serve as a rather unique venue, with acts such as Georgia Maq, Fierce Mild, and Cheap Fakes performing there in recent times. Now, it’s all set to come to an end on Sunday, September 16th. In a since-deleted Facebook post last night, organisers at The Record Crate broke the news to their dedicated followers. “To all the brilliant bands, soloists, poets, story tellers, DJ’s, punks, rockers, metal heads, international artists, regulars, visitors, dog lovers, chefs, wait/bar staff, friends, and family, we have had the most amazing adventure and we hope you have too,” they wrote.

San Diego, CA | Free hip-hop and BBQ: Hip-hop promotor celebrates 2-year anniversary of Skoolyard Records in Oceanside. In 1988, when he was 9, Rizaldy Cruz moved with his family from the Philippines to Oceanside’s Deep Valley neighborhood, which was at that time was teeming with gang activity. Cruz, who has long been known as DJ Kid Riz, eschewed gang activity and instead became one of the most prolific local promoters of all things hip-hop. “We started the Higher Dimension or H-D B-Boy dance crew. We would dance anywhere we could, at house parties, in garages.” The crew got noticed with their impromptu shows in front of the Oceanside Pier-adjacent amphitheater locals call the bandshell. Crowds assembled as each H-D crew member hit the deck while a boom box belted tunes…Skoolyard Records celebrates its two-year anniversary with an in-house show featuring MCs and B-Boy dance crews Saturday, September 15, from 2 to 8 pm. The free admission show includes complimentary BBQ.

Massive Attack releasing 20th anniversary edition of Mezzanine on 3xLP: In a heat sensitive box, with a previously unheard Mad Professor remix from the 1998 sessions. Massive Attack are releasing a remastered limited edition version of their 1998 album Mezzanine on triple coloured vinyl, this December via Virgin EMI. The triple coloured vinyl package comes housed in a heat sensitive box, with a book containing images by photographer Nick Knight and Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja. Mezzanine features remastered versions of the original album, along with 8 additional tracks, including a previously unheard Mad Professor remix from the 1998 sessions. Earlier this year, the band also encoded Mezzanine into DNA to mark the album’s 20th anniversary.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD Live Shots: Phoenix with Giorgio Poi at the Fonda Theatre, 9/10

REVIEW: CRYSTAL ECKSTADT | On the third night of a five-night sold out show at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, for a Phoenix fan, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. The Fonda, a small and intimate 1920s art deco theater in the heart of Hollywood, offers a proximity to performers that other venues just can’t beat. Phoenix’s fans soaked up every minute of the bands electric energy, as a lite brite heart with the words “Phoenix Ti Amo” inscribed in the center pulsated in flashing colors.

Before the show started, fans were welcome to hang out on the terrace and enjoy classic Italian cocktails: Negroni and Campari and Soda, along with a local pizza and gelato station, a welcomed and cool departure from the usual concession stands.

Giorgio Poi, the opener hailing from Italy, stunned the crowd with a flute solo during a dark melodic instrumental session that was soul evoking. As the crowd awaited the change of stage, a light guided our direction to the right side of the wall, where a pretty woman in a men’s tuxedo attire welcomed Phoenix to the stage in Italian.

“J-Boy,” from Ti Amo was the opening song bringing in bright lights, deep base lines, and their familiar electro pop feeling. The first half of the show brought the audience to their feet as favorites like “Lasso,” “Entertainment,” and “Lisztomania” came right after another. In, all they played 20 songs, combining a couple of songs together: “Too Young”/ “Girlfriend” and went back to basics “If I Ever Feel Better”/ “Funky Squaredance” from their earlier albums Alphabetical (2004) and United (2000). In the middle, a version of “Sunskrupt!,” which is a combination of “Love Like a Sunset Part I & Part II,” that was just spectacular. There was something for everyone at this show.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Ryuichi Sakamoto, BTTB 20th Anniversary Edition in stores 11/9

VIA PRESS RELEASE | As one-third of Yellow Magic Orchestra and an Academy Award-winning composer for his work on the soundtrack for The Last Emperor, synth pop innovator Ryuichi Sakamoto is among the most groundbreaking artists to have emerged since the late ’70s. A musician’s musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto has created intriguing musical unions with artists such as David Sylvian, Iggy Pop, Tony Williams, Bootsy Collins, Jaques Morelenbaum and many others.

Originally released in 1998, BTTB (an acronym for “Back To The Basics”) was a major commercial hit for Ryuichi Sakamoto. The album is comprised entirely of original solo piano pieces, both delicate and frantic, with deep impressionist-inspired roots. Currently a rare and hard-to-find album outside of Japan, BTTB is being reissued in celebration of its 20th anniversary. BTTB – 20th Anniversary Edition includes all the tracks featured in the original release of the album, including the major hit “energy flow,” remastered for the 21st Century.

From the liner notes written by famous Japanese novelist H Murakami: “Personal and intimate music—somebody (an anonymous somebody) sitting alone in front of the school piano early in the morning, weaving a melody, exploring harmonies. Music that gradually fills a space with high ceilings that contains the wafting presence of rain. But music that leaves gaps where necessary. Once in a while, we need music like this and this way of being…no, perhaps all the time. We need it as much as we need hot black coffee at the break of dawn and a cat napping next to us in the afternoon.”

Milan Records is proud to be releasing BTTB—20th Anniversary Edition on November 9th, 2018. A deluxe double LP vinyl release is to follow in early 2019.

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TVD New Orleans

MuleBone reunites to celebrate the re-release of two classic albums at One-Eyed Jacks, 9/14

In the 1990s, long before the trombone-driven rock of Bonerama became part of the evolving fabric of modern music in New Orleans, Mark Mullins, one of that band’s founders, and keyboardist and vocalist John Gros, formed MuleBone. Gros would go on to form Papa Grows Funk and also take his place in the New Orleans musical pantheon. MuleBone, recorded two well-received albums and slowly faded as the musicians’ other projects came to dominate their careers.

Mullins and Gros, along with guitarist Jimmy Robinson and drummer Mike Barras, mainstays of the group’s short but acclaimed tenure, will reunite for one night only at One-Eyed Jacks to celebrate the re-release of MuleBone’s two albums. (The publicity photo below was taken during the recording of their debut in 1998.) Like many bands that begin and develop in New Orleans, numerous musicians rolled through the ranks. Dave Pomerleau of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes will play bass on Friday night.

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of MuleBone’s award-winning debut album 5 Shakes, 7 Spirits. A year later, the band swept the ceremonies of the city’s two music-awarding publications winning “Best Rock Band” at Gambit’s Big Easy Awards and OffBeat magazine’s Best of the Beat. OffBeat readers also honored the group for “Best Rock Album.” In 2001, MuleBone released their follow-up album, Only in New Orleans. By that point Gros had amicably left the group to focus on Papa Grows Funk.

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The TVD Storefront

Harp Samuels,
The TVD First Date

“There’s a beauty to vinyl. Something nostalgic. It’s no wonder to me that it’s stayed around and is more popular than ever. It turns music into something important; something to stop for.”

“Growing up, we had a record player. My five siblings and I were fascinated with it. My Dad’s collection was much to be desired. We ended up listening to the instrumental band The Venturas constantly because it was basically all we had. I remember messing around on a record player at a friend’s place, trying to get those DJ style ‘squeaks’ and chipmunk vocals. We laughed for hours.

Mid last year, my Dad passed away. He was an avid music lover and a guitarist. Something I’ve thought about many times is the reality that my musicality comes from the very fact that my Dad introduced me to music at a young age, brought me my first guitar, a Mexican strat, when I was 14, and first loved music himself.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores, September 2018,
Part Two

Part two of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for September, 2018. Part one is here

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Underground System, What Are You (Soul Clap) Led by guitarist Peter Matson and fronted by vocalist-flautist-percussionist Domenica Fossati with horns, keys, synths, and a load of rhythmic specialists thrown into the mix, New York City’s Underground System spring from an Afrobeat base but with a poppy, revelry-inspiring trajectory that makes this full-length debut a welcome delight. Boldly recorded with assistance from Tony Miamone, the mildly B-52’s-ish “Rent Party” is a standout, but so is Maria Eisen’s chewy saxophone in the title-track (and elsewhere), and “Just a Place” is a Euro-tinged dancefloor beast. In short: those predisposed to a more song-based, African-rootsy cousin of !!! (with whom they’ve played) just got dealt a full house, so ante up and then rake in that pot. A-

The Chills, Snow Bound (Fire) New Zealand’s reformed Chills continue to impress, with vocalist and cherished pop song fount Martin Phillipps as sturdy as ever. On one hand, the quality of the tunes here is astounding, as comebacks after long hiatuses often garner goodwill (and yes, occasionally produce strong albums), but rarely reconjure the creative vitality which made the recommencement of activity such a big deal. Hey, you take what you can get. But upon second thought, why not? Because back in the day (this would be the ’80s on Flying Nun into the ’90s on Slash), Phillipps’ pure pop acumen could register like a velvet pouch stuffed tight with pearls the size of jumbo marbles. Sure, on first listen Snow Bound might seem a little lesser, but after a half-dozen spins, its true excellence is revealed. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Miles Davis Quintet Miles Smiles (8th) While my favorite music from Davis’ “second great quintet” remains Live at the Plugged Nickel; once upon a time a gorgeous 2LP, and for a while now a copious boxset documenting two nights of utter brilliance, this studio album, the group’s second, cut in October of ’66 and released early the following year, is a direct extension of that Chicago visit. The ’65 debut E.S.P. is great of course, but it also documents the lineup getting comfortable. Next came Plugged Nickel and then this return to the studio, which is abundantly rich. For two examples, there’s Herbie Hancock’s piano soloing, particularly in opener “Orbits,” and Tony Williams’ drumming in the wonderful transformation of Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Jazz Dance.” Absolutely essential. A+

The Beta Band, Three EPs & The Best of the Beta Band (Because Music) Lots of folks’ positive energy regarding The Beta Band directly correlates with the first time they heard “Dry the Rain.” Therefore, it’s no surprise that in addition to providing the Three EPs with an essentially perfect lead-off track, it also opens the Best of. Three EPs is offered here as a multicolored vinyl 4LP+CD set, with the breakdown into component parts appreciated, as it’s a looonnnggg one, while Best remains 2 CD-only, its second disc holding a live show from London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire in 2004 that aids in rendering it as non-superfluous for heavy-duty fans, though that doesn’t necessarily make it a must have. You decide. It is a nice, at times very nice, synopsis of a band that helped to expand the possibilities of folktronica. A– / A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/13/18

Bronx, NY | Latin music store owner shows off memorabilia: News 12 took a stroll down memory lane with Miguel Angel Amadeo, who owns Casa Amadeo in the South Bronx. Amadeo, also known as Mike, showed off some of the things he’s collected over the years at the oldest Latin music store in the area. Some of the items include a record brush from the early 1950s, a record that contains two of the songs his father wrote and an album of Caribbean songs from 1916-1920. “The only thing that comes to my mind every time I look at these things is that I’m 84 years old and there’s not much more I can ask for from God,” he says.

Sanford, ME | How a record store is beating the odds: New England chain Bull Moose is growing — despite offering goods widely available through digital streaming — by focusing on experience. “Here you have a regional entertainment retailer that sells books, games, CDs and movies, most of which is available by streaming — and that Amazon sells,” Michael Stefanakos, VP of lean retail partnerships at retail software company FieldStack, told Retail Dive in an interview. “The question is: ‘What do they know that nobody else knows?'” …Stefanakos has a clue to the answer, mainly because his company is an off-shoot of Bull Moose itself, born of the algorithms that geeky Bull Moose founder Brett Wickard devised to help him stock his first stores. He went on to found FieldStack, too, to meet demand from other retailers interested in having him help them compile and apply their sales data.

Sacramento, CA | 2 suspects at-large following armed robbery at Dimple Records in Arden: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies were called out to the Dimple Records store near Arden Way and Fulton Avenue for a report of shots fired. Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies were called out to the Dimple Records store near Arden Way and Fulton Avenue for a report of shots fired. One victim was assaulted during the robbery. According to the sheriff’s department, the incident started as a robbery in the parking lot of the store. The victim fled inside and at least one of the suspects followed, according to investigators. Authorities say the suspect fired “several rounds” at the victim inside the store, with several customers present at the time. Investigators searched for the suspects for more than two hours but were unable to locate the men. However, they say physical evidence retrieved at the scene could help in the investigation.

Joan Baez’s Debut Album Set For Vinyl Re-release: On October 12, Craft Recordings will re-release iconic folk singer Joan Baez‘s self-titled debut album on vinyl and digitally. Recorded in the summer of 1960, Joan Baez’s first record introduced the world to the pure and soaring soprano of a then-19-year-old folk singer, who had recently come to prominence after the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. Armed with just her voice, two guitars (the second guitar being played by Fred Hellerman of The Weavers) and two microphones, Baez injected new life into a series of traditional songs that she had chosen and arranged herself. In doing so, she placed herself at the forefront of the folk music revival that would take over America. The album landed at #15 on the Billboard 200 and spent 140 weeks on the chart.

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The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl: Stax ’68: A Memphis Story box set in stores 10/19

VIA PRESS RELEASE | When it comes to soul, Stax Records owned the ’60s. Classic records from Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus & Carla Thomas, and a legion of others helped transform what was once known as rhythm ‘n’ blues into rugged, emotionally bare “soul” music. This made Stax one of the decade’s most influential labels of any genre. It all crescendoed in 1968, a tempest-tossed year when the label redefined its own sound and, in the process, channeled a larger historical zeitgeist.

Stax ’68: A Memphis Story, out on October 19th via Craft Recordings, captures this crossroads in stunning, beautiful detail. The five-disc box set contains the A- and B-sides of every single released under the Stax banner in 1968, including the company’s sub-labels. With a 56-page book including revelatory, in-depth liner notes by Andria Lisle, Robert Gordon, and Steve Greenberg, as well as rare and previously unseen photos, the set presents more than 120 songs from this unprecedented creative period in American music. Some tracks are by soul legends (Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, William Bell, Booker T. & The M.G.’s, Johnnie Taylor) and some come from the deeper Stax catalog, and are equally incredible artists (Linda Lyndell, The Soul Children, The Mad Lads).

The collection will also be released digitally, and in the four weeks leading up to the release, one instant grat single download will be offered per week, with all digital pre-orders. The first instant grat single, “Long Walk to D.C.” by The Staple Singers, will be available on September 21st. The second instant grat, “Used to Be Love” by Lindell Hill (available digitally for the first time), will be available on September 28th. “Send Peace and Harmony Home” by Shirley Walton becomes available as an instant grat on October 5th. The final instant grat track, “Going Back to Memphis” by Billy Lee Riley (available digitally for the first time), will be available on October 12th.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Bob Marley
and the Wailers,
Natural Mystic: The
Legend Lives On

Is not liking reggae a full-blown mental disorder? A symptom of hopeless whiteness? Or just a sign that one has closed one’s heart to the message of Jah?

I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve never liked reggae, and I’ve spent my entire adult life looking for a cure. I didn’t like the reggae booming out of the rooms in my college dormitory; I didn’t like the reggae being played every day I spent on the beach at Cancun during my first honeymoon.

It was too laid back for this terminally uptight caucasian; I don’t do relaxation, and subliminal grooves like “Jamming” gave me a discernible facial twitch. I wasn’t down with reggae when I was smoking as much ganja as a Rastafarian, and things didn’t get any better when I stopped because the shit was making me as crazy as your average baldhead.

Rock ’n’ roll I get, but where’s the rock ’n’ roll in “Trenchtown Rock”? How Bob Marley and the Wailers could address a subject like burning and looting and sound so relaxed while doing so left me befuddled. Marley’s uncanny knack for wedding militant lyrics to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” riddims made no sense to me, just as his chill delivery and occasional “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” lyrics offended the pessimist and anti-escapist inside of me.

But I’m nothing if not tenacious, and I meant to “get” reggae if it killed me. What I needed was a way in, and I finally found it in the form of 1995 Bob Marley compilation Natural Mystic: The Legend Lives On, which my girlfriend, god bless her, lent me. It’s not the best Marley compilation out there, but it worked its magic on me. I listened to it in my car for a solid week, and finally, after a long life of uneasy skanking, things began to jump out at me.

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TVD Washington, DC

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Chris Butler & Ralph Carney, Songs for Unsung Holidays

Don’t know if you’ve given the matter any thought, but we’re nearing the annual blitz of gift-giving and food-eating that’s known as the Holiday Season, a late-year explosion kicked off with the costume-wearing and candy fiesta known as Halloween. But holidays, a few big, many of them small, are a year-round thing. Chris Butler and Ralph Carney knew this prior to making the LP Songs for Unsung Holidays, and after listening, you’ll assuredly know it, too. Is it quirky? Indeed. How ‘bout zany? At times, yes. It’s also impeccably played, and as Carney sadly and unexpectedly died last December, its contents are dedicated to the man. It’s out now from the estimable Ohio-focused label Smog Veil Records.

Chris Butler and Ralph Carney first joined forces in Akron’s Tin Huey, a cool if sometimes overlooked (fitting, given the subject matter of this album) arty new wave unit from their state’s post-punk heyday. Concurrent with Tin Huey, Butler was working up The Waitresses, the outfit he’s primarily known for today, cutting the original version of “I Know What Boys Like” (an enduring song that’s solidified the group’s “one-hit wonder” status) with Carney on sax (though it doesn’t appear that he was ever a full member.

The distinctive saxophone of multi-instrumentalist Carney has graced a slew of records, including a bunch of Tom Waits classics (Rain Dogs, Bone Machine, and Mule Variations amongst them) plus discs or live performances by Elvis Costello, Jonathan Richman, Medeski Martin & Wood, Bill Laswell, The B-52’s, Galaxie 500 (his playing on the alternate version of “Blue Thunder” is a favorite of mine), and the Black Keys (Patrick Carney is his nephew).

Carney also issued a handful of solo and collaborative records over the years; I fondly remember Happiness Finally Came to Them, his joint effort from 1987 with Daved Hild (a member of fantastic Boston avant-garage act The Girls) and Mark Kramer (of Shockabilly and Bongwater, plus the impetus behind the Shimmy Disc label empire). Having stayed consistently busy, Carney’s passing came as a real surprise, but this project, while posthumous, is loaded with personality, and its arrival helps to alleviate some of the sting.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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