The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores for
July 2019, Part One

Part one of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases—and more—presently in stores for July, 2019.

NEW RELEASE PICK: Rachel Musson, Pat Thomas, Mark Sanders, Shifa – Live at Cafe Oto (577) The stream of 577 jazz vinyl continues with this absolute stunner from the UK-based trio of Musson (last heard on Federico Ughi’s excellent Transoceanico) on tenor and soprano sax, Thomas at the piano and Sanders behind the drum kit. The participants have played together before but not in this configuration, though there’s nary a trace of the tentative across the two free improvs. To the contrary, as the energy level gets way up there, deep into “Improvisation 1” Musson threatens to tear the roof off the sucker. Along the way, Thomas unfurls a bevy of angular clusters, board runs and rumbles that bring to mind Cecil Taylor and Matthew Shipp, but he’s so consistently good that comparisons are easy to forget.

Sanders sounds terrific throughout. Obviously due to those thoughts of Taylor, his playing led me to Andrew Cyrille and Rashied Bakr, and that’s swell. Musson really shines however, even deeper into “Improvisation 1” there’s a passage reminiscent of Peter Brötzmann (in trio with Kent Kessler and Hamid Drake Live at the Empty Bottle) that’s quickly followed by a cooler exchange with Thomas that’s briefly akin to mid-’60s Sam Rivers conversing with Paul Bley. The heat quickly gets turned back up, and it’s kinda like a “lost” LP cut by Cyrille, Dave Burrell and Frank Wright for BYG/Actuel. Actually, no; it’s just Musson, Thomas and Sanders at the top of their game. The opportunity to hear sax, piano and drums discoursing at such a level is special, indeed. LP includes download of the unedited “Improvisation 1.” A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICK: Television Personalities, Some Kind of Happening – Singles 1978-1989 & Some Kind Of Trip – Singles 1990-1994 (Fire) My introduction to Dan Treacy’s Television Personalities came through the inclusion of “Part Time Punks” on Rough Trade’s majestic Wanna Buy a Bridge? compilation LP, which I scored secondhand not long after the ’90s got rolling. Now, you might be thinking that it’s fortunate my intro to this enduring outfit was culled from the group’s second single (that’d be the 4-song “Where’s Bill Grundy Now?” EP), and I totally agree, but I’ll add that it took me a couple of years to hear the whole thing (through an Overground Records repress) and even longer to catch up with their debut 45 “14th Floor” b/w “Oxford St., W.1.”

That’s just how it was in those days. While contemporarily it’s much easier for the ear to absorb an artist or band’s musical history with some semblance of promptness and order, it really helps when a label rounds up the material with consideration and quality, which is exactly what Fire has done here. The 2LP vinyl came out for RSD, with Happening adding a 7-inch (keep in mind that downloads complete the wax editions) but here are the CD bookbacks (everything is on the discs), and since both formats are still available, now’s a great time to enthuse over their considerable worth. Of course, this isn’t the complete TVP picture (as there are a bunch of killer LPs), but these collections do a wonderful job documenting the proto-DIY beginnings into twee psych-pop toward a bigger/ brighter/ bolder neo-psych sound. A/ A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 7/11/19

Ann Arbor, MI | Encore Records shop to move to Kerrytown, offers big sale: A decades-long used-record shop that placed its footprint near the University of Michigan is moving to Kerrytown by the end of the month. Encore Records, previously called Liberty Music Shop, was at 417 E. Liberty St. for about 60 years but the future of the building is causing owners Jim Dwyer and Bill McClelland to leave sooner. “The situation is that our current landlord is basically doing a ground lease on the space and this building is kind of dilapidated. It’s probably going to be torn down in a couple of years,” Dwyer said. “An investment firm from out of town secured a lease … they have a plan … to build something huge and wonderful … it’s probably gonna be a hotel. So we were going to have to move in a couple years anyway…“We’re really fussy about the condition of records. Not all used-record stores are as fussy. We don’t buy records if they’re scratched up or dinged up,” Dwyer said. “We have a dedicated staff who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic and see what we do as religious missionary work. Our job is to help them find the music that makes them happy.”

Richmond, VA | Southside Johnny started collecting records in second grade. Now he has more than half a million: The joy of discovery is what drives John Wood to keep looking for his groove. “It’s organized chaos,” Wood said. “That is why I like it here because I never know what I’m going to find digging through the boxes.” Like a miner sifting for gold, Wood’s prospects remain high of finding precious metal, rock and roll, and rhythm and blues. “There is a bunch of Four Seasons, Aretha Franklin. I love Aretha Franklin,” Wood said. Wood’s vocation is vinyl — volumes of vinyl. “If it has a beat I like. If it has a sound I like or a lyric I like, I’m going to buy it,” Wood said. His favorite hunting spot is far from flea markets and swap meets. John’s honey hole under his own roof in Chesterfield. The one-time DJ known as Southside Johnny has amassed a collection of records that is rarely matched. Wood says he has probably 10,000 or 15,000 78s, 500,000 45s and about 75,000 albums.

Gallatin, TN | Gallatin community fights to save Randy’s Record Store: The fight to save a once-famous building in downtown Gallatin isn’t slowing down. Sumner County historians said during the 1950s that Randy’s Record Shop on West Main Street was the world’s largest mail-order record store. But when the abandoned building’s roof collapsed last year, it was deemed dangerous. Last week Gallatin Council members voted for the building to be demolished in 90 days. A Facebook group and GoFundMe page have been created in hopes of saving the building. Residents are working to raise $250,000 to create a foundation in the original owner’s name. So far just over $2,000 has been raised.

St. Joseph, MI | Vinyl, jukebox store coming to downtown SJ: Kerstin Peterson is in the midst of bringing her dream to downtown St. Joseph. Peterson on Saturday will open 4A Song Vinyl and Jukeboxes at 416 State St. The process has been a long one as Peterson – along with her husband, Tim – has been transferring the original store’s inventory from Illinois to Southwest Michigan. The opportunity to reopen the vinyl and jukebox store in St. Joseph happened within a 10-day period, Peterson said. “It was something we wanted and we went for it,” she said, upon discovering the store’s owner was selling their spot in downtown St. Joseph. “Our five-year plan turned into a five-week plan.” On her trips to and from Chicago, Peterson is bringing more than 4,000 records of various genres. About 10 percent of the stock will be new vinyl. 4A Song sells new and used vinyl records, along with CDs and cassettes. They also do sales and rentals of jukeboxes.

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots:
Howard Jones, Men Without Hats, All Hail the Silence at the Regency Ballroom, 7/5

San Francisco on the Friday after July 4th was remarkably quiet, but inside the walls of the Regency Ballroom, synth-pop legend Howard Jones was bringing his “Transform Tour 2019” to a room full of middle-agers ready to relive their glory years. But hold on … this is not a show to chalk up to ’80s New Wave nostalgia. Jones has proven to be prolific, dropping album after album since his 1984 breakthrough, Human’s Lib, 2019’s Tranform being just another step in his evolution.

The evening kicked off with a thirty minute set by duo All Hail The Silence followed by Men Without Hats. Anchored by lead vocalist and founding member Ivan Doroschuk, MWH plowed through a shockingly entertaining set that was punctuated by the one song you probably recognize, “The Safety Dance,” which got the crowd moving for the first time this evening.

Howard Jones took the stage promptly at 10PM, greeted the room and launched into “Hide and Seek” from behind the keyboard before being joined by his guitar player and keyboardist. With the band set up at the back of the stage, Jones had plenty of room to move with his hand-free mic, occasionally rocking the keytar.

The crowd, which had previously been content to quietly sip their cocktails to the openers, finally woke up, singing along with Howard as he tore through 90 minutes of material from Transform and his first two albums (Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action) while leaving the night devoid of anything released between 1989’s Cross That Line and 2015’s Engage. But with Transform being his first album in a decade, it deserved to be celebrated.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live Shots: Telluride Bluegrass Festival, 6/22

TELLURIDE, CO | 1:10PM: It’s snowing at Telluride Bluegrass Festival. In June. For real.

2:05PM: First stop of the day? None other than the Children’s Talent Show of course! It’s hilarious and heartwarming and my cousins’ kids sang an Irish blessing and nailed it!

2:45PM: The last time I saw the Steep Canyon Rangers was with Steve Martin back at TBF40. While that was a heck of a show, I’m more impressed with them now. Their musicianship is off the charts.

3:47PM: “What—are you guys outta marshmallows already?” It must be Yonder Mountain String Band! The marshmallows rain in from the crowd seconds later. “That’s better,” Dave Johnston laughs.

3:58PM: Today marks the 20th consecutive year that Yonder has played TBF. However, the mood is somewhat somber as we awoke to rumors that former Yonder mandolinist and co-founder, Jeff Austin, was hospitalized. Mid-set, bassist Ben Kaufmann tearfully addressed the situation: “Twenty years ago me, Dave and Adam and Jeff Austin stood on this stage and we shared our music with you for the first time. We woke up today and the internet was on fire with rumors and speculation about our brother Jeff Austin. And what we can say is that he is still with us. What is appropriate right now: if you’re a prayer, send prayers his way. If you’re a lover, send love his way. If you’re a healer, send energy his way. This is what we’re going to send his way.” They then busted out “Half Moon Rising,” a song they haven’t played since Austin amicably left the band in 2014. (Update: Jeff Austin passed on June 24th. We send our love and condolences to his family, friends, and Yonder.)

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Frankie Avalon,
“Beach Party” b/w
“Don’t Stop Now”

It’s easy to say snide things about Frankie Avalon. I myself have called the teen idol who first made his name as a trumpet player, then as a singer, and finally as the star of such immortal motion pictures as 1963’s Beach Party (with Annette Funicello, natch) and 1965’s Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (with Vincent Price) the worst thing to happen to rock’n’roll this side of the extended drum solo.

I’m being unfair of course. Avalon was just a good Italian kid from Philly who specialized in froth, didn’t have a rebellious bone in his body, and never pretended otherwise. An earnest and wholesome boy as never got hooked on heroin or attempted to reinvent himself as a pinwheel-eyed avatar of the hallucinogenic sixties, was our Frankie. But say what you will about his escapist product, Avalon has always been and will always be true to himself.

As anybody who has ever listened to “Venus” or “Why,” Avalon was a crooner whose saccharine songs sound inconceivable as teen product to anyone reared in the rock’n’roll era. Lush orchestral arrangements, choirs, you name it—Frankie’s producers liked to lard it on, and on, and on. Ah, but once, just once—and it is as glorious a moment as any in the annals of rock—Avalon said to hell with it and got down with his bad self, garage rock style.

I have no idea why. Perhaps he ate an extra-large helping of some rich Italian dessert with a touch too much sweet liqueur, say amaretto, in it. Or drank one too many (as in two) glasses of red wine. Whatever the reason, on one lost day in 1963 a real, real gone Avalon swaggered into the studio, flicked a half-smoked cigarette at some studio hack, and snapped, “Fuck the strings, Johnny, and ditch the backing singers. This is Jungleland.” And proceeded to throw his everything behind as mean as guitar as he could get his goomba (no offense meant) mitts on.

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Touch the Buffalo, “Heart is For”

DC-based upstarts Touch the Buffalo cook up BBQ-ready summer rock that toes the line between indie dance vibes with ’90s grunge and grit, eliciting some serious Nirvana meets Blind Melon vibes.

The band’s newest single, “Heart is For,” comes equipped with an addictive melodic blast of entangled lyrics and spidery riffs that just might induce fits of uncontrolled dancing.

The trio has honed their chops over the past few years as an opener for some notable acts such as Good Charlotte, Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray—bands who they’ve clearly derived their unique style from. Their recordings don’t deviate from their dialed-in live show, resulting in lean songs that are built on a solid foundation of guitar, bass, and drums. Touch The Buffalo’s forthcoming EP is due out this summer.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Sounds of Liberation, Unreleased (Columbia University 1973)

Emerging from the Germantown & Mt Airy neighborhoods of Philadelphia in 1970, the Sounds of Liberation are a noteworthy chapter in the labyrinthine progressions of 1970s jazz. This is in no small part due to the participation of vibraphonist Khan Jamal and saxophonist-flautist Byard Lancaster. Out now on vinyl through Dogtown Records in collaboration with Brewerytown Beats Records and with CDs available through Chicago’s Corbett vs. Dempsey label, Unreleased (Columbia University 1973) documents the group’s unusually wide stylistic reach. Offering what its makers dubbed Black Liberation Music, it’s an enlightening pleasure for the ears.

In addition to Jamal and Lancaster, the Sounds of Liberation consisted of guitarist Monette Sudler, bassist Billy Mills, and drummer Dwight James, with significant input from percussionists Omar Hill and William Brister (aka Rashid Salim). In March of 1972, they first hit the studio for an LP that was issued the same year by Dogtown, initially as New Horizons.

Later pressings, including Porter Records’ 2010 LP/ CD reissue, were eponymous; under either title, the album delivers a killer journey into the funky-spiritual jazz dimension. As it hasn’t inspired much in the way of conversation or articles either in print or on the web, I’d also argue that the set is underrated (it’s OOP physically but currently available for the hearing on digital platforms).

Sounds of Liberation’s name does come up in relation to the Khan Jamal Creative Art Ensemble’s Drum Dance to the Motherland, which was recorded in October of ’72 and also released by Dogtown (with CD and LP reissues by Eremite in 2006 and 2017, respectively). If New Horizons/ Sounds of Liberation resides pretty plainly in the neighborhood of spiritual jazz groove, Drum Dance to the Motherland (which features Sudler, James and Mills in the band) was just as clearly a break from exploratory post-Fire Music norms, featuring in-the-moment sonic processing that’s tangibly and strikingly dub-like.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 7/10/19

Leeds, UK | New vintage record store and cafe to open on busy Leeds street: According to reports, it will be run by Premier League referee Jonathan Moss. Music fans are in for a treat as a new record store is set to open in north Leeds. Vinyl lovers will soon be able to buy and sell new and used records from The Vinyl Whistle, which will reportedly be run by Premier League referee Jonathan Moss. A sign has gone up in the window of a vacant unit, opposite The Box on Otley Road in Headingley, to let people know that the new shop will be here very soon. There will also be purpose-built listening booths installed in store and it looks as though there will be a cafe inside too, with customers promised coffee and cake. LeedsLive has contacted the new owner for more information. A message on the website says: “Ok, so you love searching online for your favourite vinyl, but what about getting your hands on some of the best vinyl collections in our Leeds store in Headingley? Wait no more.

Keith Haring’s most iconic record covers: Whether collaborating with Grace Jones, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, regularly frequenting clubs like Paradise Garage alongside pal Larry Levan, or conjuring up cartoon DJ robots, New York artist and activist Keith Haring’s work was deeply entwined with the music world. Though Haring died at just 31 years old, he produced art at an eye-watering speed, and as such was hugely prolific. His creations transcended genres to adorn records by punks, pop stars and burgeoning household hip-hop names, lending his vision to sounds by everyone from David Bowie and Sylvester to Run DMC and Crystal Waters during the 1980s. Even after his death, Haring’s work continued to influence culture and music, becoming one of the most recognisable individuals in the fight against AIDS thanks to his unforgettable dancing figures that strutted across its campaign materials, fundraisers and flyers.

Somerset, UK | Music cassettes – are they following vinyl on the comeback trail Portable Bluetooth cassette tape player is looking ‘to cash in on your Walkman nostalgia.’ A long defunct way of listening to music might be making an unlikely comeback on the wave of nostalgia. Now vinyl has made a much-lauded revival, the cassette tape could be following suit reports Perspecs. Nearly 50,000 cassettes were sold last year – the highest volume in 15 years. But will they be back for good? …However, Global News’ Alan Cross is sceptical of the cassette comeback, arguing: “Let’s please stop pretending there’s a ‘cassette resurrection’.” He accuses cassette fans of “romanticising” – or even “fetishising” – an old technology that has seen its day. Cross argues: “Those of us who lived through the cassette remember its cursed foibles. “The lousy sound. The tape jams. The J-cases — the formal name for a cassette case — with hinges that snapped if you just looked at them wrong. Piles of melted plastic on the dashboard…”

Queen top the Official Top 40 best-selling vinyl for 2019: Vinyl sales in the UK have once again been dominated by classic albums and re-issues, according to the Official Charts Company’s records for January through to June, with Queen’s Greatest Hits topping the list. That securing of top spot is likely largely to be down to the release of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and the soundtrack to that film drops in at number 10 with the band’s second best-of album also in at 29. There should be little surprise at which are the other classic albums littering the list, with Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (4), Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon (6), Nevermind by Nirvana (11) and Oasis’s (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (13) consistently featuring in these kinds of charts. The 40th anniversary edition of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, meanwhile, has been the third best-selling LP of the first half of this year.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots:
The DC Record Fair at
the Eaton DC, 6/30

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | After a decade in regular rotation, the enthusiasm for the DC Record Fair appears to not be waning one bit as its Summer 2019 edition exhibited. At a brand new location, the Eaton Workshop in downtown Washington, DC, a line formed early on Sunday on June 30 and kept apace all day long. Perhaps it was the free entry? Who knows.

What we do know is that TVD’s ace photographer Richie Downs spent some time documenting the fair for us before we went on our annual summer (sanity) break. Click through for his coverage.

And watch this space for an announcement of perhaps a Autumn event as there’s plenty spinning around the fair at the moment.

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TVD Live Shots: Lynyrd Skynyrd at Wembley Arena, 6/29

When you think of Southern Rock, there’s really one band that comes to mind, and that’s the rebels of the south known as Lynyrd Skynyrd. Through tragedy and triumph across four decades, this band has not only defined the genre and carried the torch, but they inspired every generation after them to keep the spirit alive.

The band’s impact is even more impressive as it crossed over into pretty much every other genre on the planet. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the group No. 95 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” and the following year the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that Lynyrd Skynyrd would be inducted alongside Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, and the Sex Pistols. That’s some fucking good company to be in. Having never seen the band live, I thought I had better get off my ass and go see them in a proper arena, in London of all places.

Does southern rock ‘n’ roll translate across the pond? Holy shit, yes it does. How about a sold-out Wembley arena for starters? While technically there’s only one original member in the farewell line-up—the great Gary Rossington—that really doesn’t matter. There remains a bloodline and furthermore a legacy that has evolved and has continued to celebrate the most crucial element here: the songs. Johnny Van Zant does an excellent job of leading the pack while the triple guitar attack of Rickey Medlocke (who was absolutely on FIRE this night), Mark Matejka, and Rossington being second in command. The band was rounded out by piano, bass (I swear that was Johnny Colt from the Black Crowes?), one hell of a drummer, and two incredible backup singers elevating those southern style harmonies.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live Shots: Telluride Bluegrass Festival, 6/21

TELLURIDE, CO | 2:25PM: It’s not a visit to Telluride without exploring a bit, so today is devoted to just that. Good thing I’m able to stream the Koto Community Radio live feed from TBF. That station is the best for real! Molly Tuttle is on the Telluride Bluegrass Festival stage right now and sounds even more impressive than she looks on paper: she was was the first woman to win the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year award in 2017 (and then won it again in 2018!). I grab a late lunch at a local staple: the Grilled Cheese a la cart. The brie and apricot is as delicious as I remember.

3:15PM: The Telluride farmers’ market is a solid one. Bountiful flower bouquets, local artisans, $20 tubs of goat cheese, and simply gorgeous looking produce are just a few of the sights.

4:05PM: I’m en route to Mountain Village courtesy of Telluride’s free gondola and the view is breathtaking—literally. At 10,535 feet elevation, I’m short of breath.

5:45PM: Walking in to TBF I hear the end of the Tim O’Brien Band. I also discover that the dumpling stand is delicious.

7:00PM: The Lake Street Dive crowd is rowdy. People are hooting and hollering and a few are stumbling in to one another. “It’s witching hour!” I hear a man exclaim to his friend.

7:52PM: Lake Street Dive’s set focuses on their hits but also included several fun covers ranging from Shania Twain to The Staples Singers. They end strongly with Hall and Oates’ “Rich Girl.”

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UK Artist of the Week: KTG

Those Irish know how to write a song, don’t they? It must be something in the air—which is certainly the case for young KTG who is our latest Artist of The Week.

KTG—aka Katie Gallagher—is pretty new to the scene but we’re sure that won’t be for much longer if her new single “Don’t Tell My Mother” is anything to go by. Her second release to date, “Don’t Tell My Mother” feels like a wholesome hug that keeps on giving. KTG combines elements of country-pop with indie-folk to create an undeniably infectious earworm, perfect for the summer months. Citing artists like KT Tunstall and Wallis Bird as her influences, it’s clear that her upcoming album Searching For Magpies will include even more tracks to get addicted to before the year is out.

At just 22 years old, Katie is already exhibiting huge potential and an incredible ability to write poignant lyrics way ahead of her years. With Searching For Magpies out on 26th September and another single on the way before that, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for this wee, Irish gem.

“Don’t Tell My Mother” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Lulu Lewis,
Genuine Psychic

Lulu Lewis isn’t a person but a Harlem, NYC-based band, the core of which is vocalist Dylan Hundley and guitarist Pablo Martin, the husband-and-wife co-songwriters joined live by bassist William X Hawley, drummer Jay Mumford, and keyboardist/ percussionist Bruce Martin. Back in 2017, they released a self-titled cassette EP that offered a tight introductory four-song set of new wavy/ post-punky pop-rocking, a sound their debut full-length Genuine Psychic expands upon to fruitful result. It’s out July 12 digitally and on vinyl in a limited edition of 100 copies through Ilegalia Records; the same day they play a record release show with DC’s Messthetics at Brooklyn’s Union Pool.

If the name Dylan Hundley rings a bell, that might be due to her participation in the cinema of Whit Stillman, specifically Metropolitan, the director’s first feature from 1990 and a significant (if sometimes overlooked) entry in the US independent film canon. And if Pablo Martin sounds familiar, there’s a good chance that’s related to his role in Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz’s Tom Tom Club.

Genuine Psychic offers a fresh avenue of recognition for the pair, with the album’s songs well-rounded, the better to appeal to older heads and youngsters alike. As mentioned in the intro above, the taster EP placed them securely in pop-rock territory through a sensibility that was more than a bit reminiscent of the late ’70s-early-’80s; Hundley has pipes and frontwoman presence that’s descended from the likes of Debbie Harry. This isn’t to suggest she hits peaks as high as Harry at her best, but Hundley does get close at times, and hey, this is just Lulu Lewis’ first LP.

Smartly, Genuine Psychic grabs the two best songs from the EP and puts the very strongest right up front, with “Gone to LA” spotlighting a distinctive, bubbly-on-the-edge of breaking vocal quality in the choruses. It’s a treat, and in fact the song is a definite all-around earworm. That’s not a positive in and of itself, but here, yes, which is credit to the musical foundation.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 7/9/19

Barnes & Noble Brings Back Popular Vinyl Weekend to Stores Nationwide, July 12 – 14: Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS), the world’s largest retail bookseller, today announced the return of its customer-favorite Vinyl Weekend event taking place Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14 at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide and online at This year, Barnes & Noble is celebrating Vinyl Weekend with a wide selection of exclusive vinyl records and incredible offers including 10% off all vinyl and 30% off Crosley turntables and accessories, plus giveaways, while supplies last, in select stores. Customers can also enter for the chance to win special prizes at select Barnes & Noble stores, while supplies last… “We are excited to share our curated selection of vinyl and encourage new and seasoned vinyl shoppers to stop by Barnes & Noble stores or shop online for our exclusive vinyl, sales on vinyl and turntables, and giveaways in select stores. It’s sure to be the ultimate vinyl lover’s experience.”

Lockport, NY | Vinny’s Vinyl Record Shop’s one of Lockport’s newest businesses: Two vinyl record fans have taken their love and turned it into a business with the opening of a local record shop. Jon Vinson and Jayson Kendzie opened the doors on Vinny’s Vinyl Record Shop, at 21 Main St., about three months ago. The store features thousands of vinyl records, CDs, eight-tracks and other memorabilia. “There was no other places around so we had a surplus of our own collections and we decided to open a small store and see what happens,” Vinson said. So far, they have done a “small bit of advertising” on social media and they plan to get their sign up soon, with it just recently being approved by the city. A grand opening is planned for mid-summer, Vinson added. He said the reception so far has been “good” and that word of mouth has been helping bring in business. Vinson said he and Kendzie would get the records “anywhere we could find them.”

Singapore, MY | Singapore record shop The Analog Vault launches vinyl-only label: Singapore record shop The Analog Vault has launched a new vinyl-only record label called TAV Records to support local artists. TAV’s first release is Fauxe’s Ikhlas EP, described as “a contemporary ode to Malaysian music” by the label. Fauxe is an experimental hip-hop and freeform artist whose work focuses on reinterpreting electronic sounds from South East Asia. According to TAV, “Ikhlas is an exploration of the Kuala Lumpur’s music scene expressed through irreverent samples from traditional Malaysian music. Inspired by an eight-month visit to Malaysia, the EP is a true modern ode to the sonic legacy of the country – covering a wide range of styles through the roots of hip-hop, disco, and breakbeat.”

Kelowna, BC | Kelowna artists create new artwork for vintage albums: Album artwork can tell the story of a collection of songs before you even hear them. Often they’re even more memorable than the tunes themselves. Who could forget the iconic artwork for classic albums like Led Zeppelin IV, Nevermind, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? A group of artists dove deep into vinyl music to reinterpret album covers and create their own works of art for an upcoming exhibition. Cool Arts Society tasked its artists with a unique challenge. They listened to dozens of vinyl records provided by Milkcrate Records and, guided by art educator Shimshon Obadia, created their own art pieces based on their interpretations of the music. The pieces will be displayed at the Kelowna Community Theatre as an art exhibit titled RE:RECORD. “My hope is that through the minutia of perspective demonstrated in our RE:RECORDs, interpreting something as broad as these well-loved songs, we can gain a greater understanding and acceptance of each others’ seemingly foreign points of view,” said Obadia in a press release.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD Live Shots: Judas Priest with Uriah Heep
at Toyota Arena, 6/28

I love Judas Priest. I have followed them since the release of Screaming for Vengeance back in 1982 and have been a huge fan ever since. It’s amazing for me to look back upon this band’s successes over the years and know they have remained on the throne of all things metal for nearly fifty years.

Think about that—fifty years! In an age where many bands come and go like waves upon a beach, Judas Priest has withstood the test of time and reinvented itself many times over with a simplified sound that became the blueprint for what I consider true heavy metal. Bands like Van Halen, Metallica, and Slipknot were clearly influenced by Judas Priest, and countless others have followed suit over the years. Bottom line, we’d probably have a much different metal landscape without Judas Priest at the helm, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

On June 28th, Judas Priest marched into the Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA and unleashed their Firepower on the thousands in attendance. Opening the show was Uriah Heep, another legendary rock band from England. Similar to Judas Priest, this band has had a myriad of lineup changes the past 50 years, but still holds true to their signature sound to the delight of fans worldwide.

Mick Box is the only one left from the original band and has done an incredible job surrounding himself with an uber-talented group of musicians who deliver on all-cylinders. Vocalist Bernie Shaw and keyboardist Phil Lanzon have been in the current lineup since 1986 with drummer Russell Gilbrook added in 2007 and bassist Davey Rimmer rounding out the lineup in 2013. I wasn’t sure if I would dig their set (as Uriah Heep was a bit before my time) but must say that they brought their A-game on Friday night, wowing fans with a crisp sound and unbridled energy that is typically absent in bands from this era.

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