TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I was a city child with a dead-end smile / And a worm’s-eye point of view / Oh I knew my way, I was a backstreet stray / And I had my eyes on you

Now I got this friend and he’s a screwdriver-jiver / You know, some kinda automobeat on the street / And he has converted me to rock’n’roll

I just want to dance to / Honaloochie boogie yeah / Get in time, don’t worry ’bout the shirt shine / Honaloochie boogie yeah / You sure started somethin’

Now my hair gets longer as the beat gets stronger / want to tell Chuck Berry my news / I get my kicks outta guitar licks / And I’ve sold my steel-toed shoes

I used a verse from the Mott the Hoople song above as my quote for the senior page of my high school yearbook. This week’s playlist was sparked by a song too, “Let’s Be Us Again” by a Portland group called The Declines. Funny enough, pulling songs about “us,” “you and I,” etc. This wonderful tune just didn’t seem to fit as well as Ian Hunter and Gary Numan.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 35: Gina Schock

If you’re hoping to be a rockstar, you’ve got to have drive, ambition, a sense of luck, faith and—perhaps, most importantly—you’ve got to have a great sense of humor. Gina Schock has all of those attributes, and more, and she needed those tools to hold down the backbeat for the most successful all-female band of all time, The Go-Go’s.

If you saw the recent Alison Ellwood directed documentary, The Go-Go’s, you’ll know that the band soared to the highest showbiz highs and sank to some pretty lousy lows. Witnessing the entire rock and roll rollercoaster from the drum throne was Gina Schock who joins me to talk about many things currently buzzing in the world of The Go-Go’s, but specifically the 20th anniversary and reissue of their 2001 reunion album, God Bless The Go-Go’s which will be released on May 14 (Eagle Records).

Gina and I discuss the making of that album, including Billie Joe Armstrong’s contributions. You’ll hear Gina rifle through her vinyl collection and pick out some of her favorites. We also chat about a book that she’s currently completing about her experiences in The Go-Go’s. Most significantly, we talk about the band’s nomination for this year’s roster of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

If you want to be a rockstar drummer, you’ve got to be in tune with your heartbeat and keep the tempo tight and unwavering. If you walk away from our chat learning nothing else about Gina Schock, it’s that Gina doesn’t just have the beat, she’s got the heart.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Ethiopian
& His All Stars, The Return of Jack Sparrow 2LP in stores 6/25

VIA PRESS RELEASE | When Omnivore Recordings acquired the label Nighthawk Records and Blackheart Music Publishing in 2017, it kicked off reissuing Nighthawk’s catalog with an album that until then had remained unreleased: Ethiopian & His All Stars’ The Return of Jack Sparrow. On June 25, 2021, that album will be available as a 2-LP vinyl package. The CD and digital remain available.

Reggae legend Leonard Dillon, better known as the Ethiopian, was the founder of one of Jamaica’s premier ska, rocksteady, and early reggae sensations, the Ethiopians, but got his start under the name Jack Sparrow. His early solo Sparrow single efforts, some backed by the Wailers, didn’t yield any hits and prompted him to form the Ethiopians, with whom he found his first success. So popular was their track “Train to Skaville” that the band was able to tour beyond Jamaica; they headed to the U.K. in 1968. “Train to Skaville” sold over 50,000 copies in Jamaica and although it only made a slight appearance on the U.K. charts it left a lasting impression — so much so that it was later covered by the Selector during the ska revival of the early ’80s.

The Ethiopians maintained a successful career until the tragic passing of band member Stephen Taylor in 1975, victim of a car accident. Though other lineups of the Ethiopians were recorded, by 1978 Leonard was a solo artist releasing his first album that year, Open the Gate of Zion.

By 1986 Leonard had already recorded two albums under his own name when he paired with Gladiators for Dread Prophecy on Nighthawk Records (currently available on CD / LP / Digital). What isn’t commonly known is that Leonard had also recorded a second album for Nighthawk that remained unissued until Omnivore released it on CD and Digital in 2018.

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The TVD Storefront

Mat Kearney,
The TVD First Date

“At sixteen I convinced my dad to let me buy a 1968 Volkswagen square back with $1,500 dollars I had earned as a bat boy for our local minor league baseball team.”

“I think the car ignited my interest in all things retro. My friends and I got deep into thrifting. The goal was to find the most ridiculous ’70s butterfly collar shirt from Goodwill and wear it with a smirk confidently. I remember a friend took me to a store called Donkey Salvage which introduced me to a more refined version of what thrifting could be.

The store had a quietly cool owner who curated items from the ’50s and ’60s along with a modest selection of jazz and blues records. I ended up hanging out at Donkey Salvage all the time. The owner constantly was spinning music and I would grill him with questions about artists like Dave Brubeck, Billie Holiday, and Dizzy Gillespie.

When I realized his ’50s Magnavox console record player was for sale, I gave him $100 and loaded it into the back of my VW. I look back at that moment as the beginning of my great love affair with vinyl, and really music in general. I discovered artists like Al Green, Louis Armstrong, and Miles Davis. The more I dug in the more I found a world that felt entirely my own.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Taylor Swift,
1989

I like to think I’m an open-minded individual. But in truth I’m about as open-minded as Cotton Mather. Still, I occasionally attempt to broaden my horizons by listening to music I know damn well I’ll hate. And that’s where Taylor Swift comes in. People I respect have been telling me for years how great she is, but I was damn well sure the odds of my enjoying her music were right up there with being killed by space debris.

But something happened on my way to the vomit bag. Turns out I love Swift’s music. It’s frothy pop fun and comes complete with an important societal message, namely that romantic relationships are hell, guys are cretins who don’t know a good thing when they see one, and the best way to take revenge on the pricks is by skewering them in song. Swift’s tumultuous love life has long made for juicy tabloid fodder, and people with nothing better to do spend a lot of time putting names to the subjects of her songs. One thing they know for sure; fuck with Taylor’s heart and you’ll have your balls handed to you on Disney+.

1989 marked Swift’s total immersion into synthesized pop music. It’s right there in the ad campaign for NYC that is “Welcome to New York,” the only song on the LP not about interpersonal relationships of the fucked-up sort. Instead it marks the end of Swift’s transformation from Nashville ingenue to Manhattan sophisticate. She makes this very clear in the funky “”Style,” which harkens back to “Vogue,” Madonna’s celebration of the Manhattan glam dance scene.

On the beat-heavy “Blank Space,” Swift warns that looks can be deceiving (“I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream”), brags about her superhuman transformative powers (“I can make the bad guys good for a weekend”), but concedes she’s willing to go the distance if you are. On “All You Had to Do Was Stay” boy hurts girl then wants girl back, but she’s not the sort of girl who hands out second chances.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/14/21

Denver, CO | Vinyl Sales Explode During Pandemic: With live music shut down for more than a year, fans have turned to albums, and vinyl collections have boomed. Leading up to Christmas 2020, for the first time since 1991, the record for most vinyl sales in a week was shattered twice, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Nearly 1.5 million LPs were sold between December 10 and 17, and in the following week, nearly two million were sold. While vinyl sales have been growing since 2007, they increased in the United States by almost 30 percent in 2020 alone. There seems to be no sign of sales slowing down, either, says Jordan Wiggins, who works at Vinyl Moon. …“We’ve doubled in subscribers in just the first three months of 2021,” says Wiggins. “Though spending habits have changed for many consumers in light of the pandemic, a subset of spending has actually gone up, particularly when it comes to leisure and home entertainment.”

Santa Clarita, CA | New Indie Record Store, Gray Skull Vinyl, Opens in Canyon Country: A new independent record store, Gray Skull Vinyl, has opened in Canyon Country, where local music fans and collectors have suffered without one for years. Located at 19983 Soledad Canyon Road, the shop is stocked with new and used vinyl records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD’s, VHS videos, DVDs, posters, framed photographs, t-shirts, caps, guitars, amps, music magazines, books, and more. Victor Torres Jr., a 25-year Canyon Country resident and lifelong record and music collector, and his family opened the retail shop in early April in the small strip mall anchored by the Oak Tree liquor store at Soledad and Langside. “Customers come in and they’re like, ‘Wow, I could spend a good half a day here going through all these records and talking about music,’” Torres said in an interview at the store last week. “That’s what I want when people come in and just enjoy the record store. “I want people to walk in here and feel like they’re 15 years old again, see a favorite record or a poster, and say, ‘Oh, I had one of those! I don’t know what happened to it,’” he said. “But if they find it here, they could buy it again.”

Simply Analog has released a Vinyl Record Cleaning Boxset Woodedition in a wooden case: Vinyl Record Cleaning Boxset Woodedition in a wooden case has been added to the catalog by Simply Analog, a specialist in vinyl accessories. The kit includes two different record brushes, a piece of cleaning cloth, record spray and a needle cleaner. According to the manufacturer, all these accessories will allow you to take care of the records in the best possible way and without damage. The included brushes should remove even the tiniest dust particles. Simply Analog recommended the kit for daily use. As for the wooden case, this design is offered as an alternative to the usual Vinyl Record Cleaning Boxset in a cardboard box. In Europe, the cost of the new Vinyl Record Cleaning Boxset Woodedition was 60 euros.

Margo Price Launches Rarities Vinyl Record Club: Margo Price has launched a mail-order report membership, A Sequence of Rumors. The primary tune from will probably be “Lengthy Dwell The King” which is able to seem because the B-side to the Rumors spotlight “Hey Little one.” Additionally a part of the primary cargo bundle is “Twinkle Twinkle” b/w Worth’s tackle Bobbie Gentry’s “He Made a Lady Out of Me” and “Letting Me Down” b/w “I’d Die For You” (Synthphonic). The primary set of data will ship now, and subscribers will obtain their second/third deliveries in June/July. Some are misplaced songs from That’s How Rumors Get Began periods at each Hollywood’s East West Studios and Nashville’s Butcher Shoppe; others are from pre-production periods in Texas with Band of Heathens, or lockdown recordings with Worth’s band The Pricetags. Over three month-to-month shipments, A Sequence of Rumors members will obtain a restricted version, an autographed field of seven-inch vinyl data that includes music from Worth’s 2020 album, That’s How Rumors Get Began, backed with unique B-sides, covers and unreleased collaborations.

Chicago, IL | Bob Koester, known for his famed Jazz Record Mart and founder of Delmark Records, dies at 88: Bob Koester, founder of Delmark Records, the oldest indie label for jazz and blues in the U.S., died Wednesday from complications from a stroke. He was 88. Koester also ran a retail space, the Jazz Record Mart, that was a fixture and destination point for music lovers, occupying several different downtown Chicago locations before closing in 2016. Almost immediately afterward, Koester would open a new store called Bob’s Blues & Jazz Mart on W. Irving Park Rd. “When you’ve spent most of your life in the record business, how do you celebrate your 84th birthday? By opening a record store, of course,” Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich wrote at the time, noting that when Chicago bluesman Eddie C. Campbell arrived for the grand opening, “there was no question that musical royalty was paying homage to a man who has championed blues and jazz for more than half a century.” Born in 1932 in Wichita, Kansas, Koester attended college at St. Louis University before moving to Chicago in the late 1950s and opening his first store.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores for
May 2021, Part Two

Part two of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for May 2021. Part one is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Joe Morris / Damon Smith, Gusts Against Particles (Open Systems) Free improv/ avant-jazz guitarist Joe Morris has been active since the 1970s, debuting on record with Wraparound by his trio on his own label Riti in 1983. Double bassist Damon Smith is nearly two decades Morris’ junior and young enough that punk rock (’80s US u-ground division) was a source of inspiration before jazz and free improv. He’s recorded a bunch, and like Morris, he started his own label, Balance Point Acoustics. On his instrument, Smith is a beast, and in fact, so is Morris; as Gusts Against Particles plays, the sheer breadth of technique grows to utterly striking levels, largely because the goal is intensity of interaction. Morris’ sound is at times reminiscent of Derek Bailey and Eugene Chadbourne (in free improv mode) but he is ultimately his own man. The same is true of Smith as he pulls gargantuan notes on his bass and wrangles passages of massive extendedness. A wonderfully recorded LP (Smith’s breathing is audible at a few points) in an edition of 200 as Open Systems’ first release. With two digital bonus tracks. A

Maxine Funke, Seance (A Colourful Storm) New Zealander Maxine Funke sings and plays guitar with an uncommon gentleness that’s decidedly late-night and never cutesy. In fact, at a few points, like during the terrific “Moody Relish,” Funke conjures an atmosphere that’s notably tense. That same track also had me thinking of Young Marble Giants, a comparison that never crossed my mind when soaking up her 2018 LP Silk. Like on that album, Seance dives deep into the lo-fi folky zone, with that sound heard most straightforwardly in “Homage.” But as on Silk, Funke expertly evades cliché. As side one played, I thought more than once of Skip Spence’s Oar, which is high praise, as that record is a masterpiece. So is this one. Having played in $100 Band with Alastair Galbraith and Mike Dooley (also her bandmate in The Snares), Funke has roots in the Kiwi underground, and while the relationship remains tangible as her latest unwinds, her music isn’t easily comparable to others from the same scene, which is to her credit. It’s also worth noting that Funke’s strain of lo-fi is economical rather than murky. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage / Catherine Christer Hennix, Blues Alif Lam Mim (Blank Forms Editions) Since 2018, Blank Forms has enriched the world with a yearly release of work by the Swedish composer Catherine Christer Hennix. The first three date from the 1970s, but this set is of more recent vintage, the piece (full title: Blues Alif Lam Mim in the Mode of Rag Infinity/Rag Cosmosis) performed in 2014 in Brooklyn at ISSUE Project Room by Hennix and her expanded just intonation ensemble Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage and issued on CD in 2016 by Important Records; this 2LP (in a tip-on gatefold Stoughton jacket) is its vinyl debut. The ensemble features a five-horn brass section, live electronics and three voices (one of them Hennix herself) as the music extends to nearly 80 minutes at the intersection of drone, raga and the cosmic. The effect is meditative (the singers incant a devotional poem written by Hennix in Arabic that includes quotations from the Quran) but wields power and beauty in equal measure. Avant-garde sounds are rarely this welcoming. A

Mark Fry, Dreaming With Alice (Now Again Reserve) In 2013, an original copy of this record, first released by RCA subsidiary It in 1972, sold for a smidge over $4,000. When obscurities go for that much, it’s safe to assume the master tapes are lost and someone’s planning a reissue mastered from clean vinyl. But Now Again’s edition, available on wax and CD, is sourced from the rediscovered tapes, and the fidelity is totally up to snuff. The music is psych-folk of unusually high quality and sustained levels of bentness, and the story (in short) is that while studying painting in Italy, Fry cut this record for It, the label teaming him with the visiting Scottish band Middle of the Road. Along with a title song that’s broken into segments (each featuring a verse) and spread across the album, there are flutes and sitars and a general druggy atmosphere, with the folky vibes mildly reminiscent of Nick Drake and Donovan. A prior reissue by Akarma came in a sleeve paying homage to/ ripping off the cover of Barabajagal, but this sports the original design and adds six CD bonus cuts of a substantially mellower disposition. A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/13/21

London, UK | Here are four – yes, four – new record shops that I’m excited about: The streets of London run black with wax. Like most clichéd London men, I love record shopping. Pawing at all that dusty cardboard. Not finding anything I want and then impulse purchasing a random Sonny Rollins album based entirely on its cover. There’s nothing like it. Luckily, there are enough tragic people like me that London’s vinyl scene is in fact growing. Quite a few record shops have opened in recent months, which, when you think about the virus-addled context, is remarkable really. What follows is my four favourites. First up is Next Door Records on Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush. This is a kind of booze-coffee-and-music hybrid (which started life as a crowdfunder campaign) that’ll probably horrify decrepit purists but thrill everyone else. They’re mates with entertaining food person What Willy, stock very good wine and have a bit of a focus on electronic music. Personally, as a QPR fan, I’m just glad something like this has finally opened in that bit of west London. Oh, and they have outdoor tables.

Melbourne, AU | After a difficult 2020, Thornbury Records has relocated to High St, Northcote: We chat to Thornbury Records owner and manager Clayton Pegus about the tough journey to his new store. Thornbury Records launched in the early months of 2011. At the time, Thornbury wasn’t quite the bustling locale of cafes, bars and boutiques it is today. Although it mightn’t be accurate to give T-Recs all the credit for catalysing this evolution, it was definitely one of the earliest examples of High St Thornbury’s rising hipsterdom. Earlier this year, Thornbury Records celebrated its tenth anniversary. It was a bittersweet occasion, however, as owner and manager Clayton Pegus had recently been forced to abandon the shop’s original location. “We had our ten-year anniversary without a shop, which is kind of crap,” says Pegus. The obvious supposition is that COVID overwhelmed the business’ financial viability, but T-Recs actually withstood any major pandemic-induced damage, largely thanks to its online store. Pegus had also started offering free local delivery and cheap postage to anywhere within Australia.

Walmart Vinyl Mania Week Is Live: We all love a good shopping deal, but for vinyl lovers, those are sometimes hard to come by. The folks at Walmart have stepped up their game as today they launched Vinyl Mania Week, with exclusive deals on records all week long. To be clear, there’s absolutely no replacing the greatness that is walking into a local record store and getting your hands on the vinyl you love most. But Walmart is doing a good job of supplementing that with some exclusive releases and special vinyl colors all week long. The Walmart Vinyl Mania Week deals kicked off today at Walmart.com with a batch of Monday special releases. Virtually every genre was covered with today’s releases, including both modern and classic favorites. Every day this week, a new batch of exclusives will be released.

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN | Best of the Twin Cities, 2021: It’s been a hell of a year—yet there is much to celebrate. So get out there, Twin Cities, and let’s make the best of it. …While 2020 was like a bad scratch in your favorite album, Electric Fetus will persist, thanks largely to a pandemic bright spot: Folks fell in love with browsing vinyl again. “People are responding. It feels like this is driven by the passion to support local, appreciate old friends—and old stores—and make the most of the time at home,” says Aaron Meyerring, co-owner of the 53-year-old retail icon. And the Fetus is not alone. All three locations of both Down in the Valley and Cheapo, Roadrunner Records in Kingfield, and Eclipse Records on Wabasha Street in St. Paul are among the other indie vinyl shops who managed to survive the pandemic. June 12, this year’s Record Store Day, can’t get here fast enough.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Morphine, Cure For Pain (Deluxe Edition) for preorder via Run Out Groove

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Morphine Cure For Pain (Deluxe Edition) is Run Out Groove’s new featured pre-order title this month; voted for by fans. One of the most underrated bands of the 1990s alternative rock scene, Boston’s trio of “low rock” released their sophomore album in 1993 and it went on to become their most beloved.

ROG painstakingly reconstructed this masterpiece by mastering from the original source tapes for the first time and expanding it to include unreleased and new to vinyl rarities. Cure For Pain has never sounded as good and is finally getting the reissue treatment is deserves. This individually numbered and limited release is available to pre-order until 6/10.

Each month, Run Out Groove allows fans to vote on the label’s next high-quality vinyl pressing, chosen from selections of unreleased material, reissues of out-of-print titles, titles that have never seen a vinyl release or brand-new collections compiled from the Warner Music vaults. You can vote on this month’s titles here.

For a selection of previous titles now available in stores, check our past titles section on the website. To locate older titles in our catalog that are sold out, please check our retail store locator. To check out titles we currently have for sale, please go to our shop section.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Faces,
Ooh La La

Remembering Ian McLagan on the date of his birth.Ed.

The Faces may well have been the best party band of their era, if not all time. The Rolling Stones were all sex and menace, the Who was a thinking man’s band, while the Kinks dealt in England’s hallowed past as viewed through the prism of its dystopian present. Which left the Faces, who boogied and drank to excess and were cheerful, mischievous lads, ne’er-do-wells of the sort who frequently got tossed out of parties for engaging in some innocent fun. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they even managed to get themselves thrown out of their own parties. They were, as the title of their excellent 1995 best-of compilation noted, Good Boys When They’re Asleep.

Rock’s most impish rotters only released four LPs. Or five if you count 1974’s live Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners, which was credited to both Stewart and the Faces—a sly signal that Stewart’s band mates were no longer equals, but in effect had been relegated to his backing band. It was this development that caused the great Ronnie Lane to split the band, to be replaced on bass by Tetsu Yamauchi, and that soon led to guitarist Ronnie Wood’s desertion to the Rolling Stones, spelling the end of one of my favorite bands in the universe.

Lane’s decision to part ways with the Faces was partly attributable to Stewart’s comments following the release of the band’s final studio LP, 1973’s Ooh La La. Stewart, preoccupied with the enormous success of his solo career, largely left the LP’s recording in the hands of Lane, then came out in the press afterwards and called the results a “stinking, rotten album.” To quote another Faces tune, Rod, you’re so rude. Especially for a guy who would soon be releasing songs like “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

But at their peak, The Faces were a great band, both in the studio and on stage. Its members included several former Small Faces in Ian McLagan on keyboards; Ronnie Lane on bass, guitars, and vocals; and Kenney Jones on drums and percussion. Indeed the Faces were the Small Faces, minus Steve Marriott—who formed Humble Pie and took his boogie in a decidedly harder direction than the Faces—but plus Ronnie Wood and Rod the Mod. Lane’s amiable vocals provided a nice counterpoint to Stewart’s raunchier trademark sandpaper rasp—to say nothing of his lascivious cackle—and the songs were often written by two or more members of the band.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Ian Dury &
The Blockheads,
Laughter

Remembering Ian Dury on the date of his birth.Ed.

You have to wonder how this album came to be called Laughter. The sessions that produced it were stressful and marked by discord; Chaz Jenkel was gone and personalities clashed. Ian Dury, who was juggling addictions at the time, was, by all accounts, almost impossible to work with. The subject matter is often dark, and very dark at that. So why the incongruous title? Said England’s most foul-mouthed polio victim matter of factly at a later date: “I called it Laughter to cheer myself up.”

That said, I have this to say about 1980’s Laughter; it never fails to make me laugh. Which is to say Laughter isn’t such an ironic title after all. Even at his most lugubrious Dury–who was, and will likely always remain, England’s most lovable vulgarian–cheers me up, and that’s a rare gift. Down in the mouth Dury may have been, but he hadn’t lost his cheek, and he still managed to produce an album chockfull of dance friendly grooves and happy-making pub rock sing-alongs. So what if “Uncoolohol” is a dark ode to the perils of alcoholism; I spent plenty an alcoholic night cheerfully slurring along to its rousing chorus while falling down drunk. Laughter is not unlike one of the later Beatles albums; John and Paul may well have hated one another’s guts, but you’d never know it listening to the music.

I have my favorites on Laughter. LP opener “Sueperman’s Big Sister” (that’s no typo) is all swing, strings, and vocal bluster–a funky dance floor raver that will simply sweep you off your feet. “Dance of the Crackpots” comes at you in a rush; Dury can hardly get the words out of his mouth fast enough. Harmonica and some great tap dancing by Will Gaines transform Dury into a mad square dance caller; he name drops Thelonious Monk and Rosemary Clooney, and utters the Inspirational verse: “Being daft is a therapy craft/Which sharpens up your wits.” “(Take Your Elbow Out of the Soup) You’re Sitting on the Chicken” is sheer joy to the ears, what with its mental nursery rhyme lyrics (“The mouse runs up your leg/It’s one o’clock in China”) and chorus you simply have to join in on.

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The TVD Storefront

Scott McKeon,
The TVD First Date

“There’s something just really soulful about vinyl. The feel, the sound.”

“My first memories of vinyl are going up in the loft in our house when I was a kid and finding these old dusty boxes of records that belonged to my folks. I remember being fascinated by the album cover artwork and the dusty smell of the sleeves and cardboard. Albums like Donald Fagin’s The Night Fly, Stevie Wonder’s Fulfillingness’ First Finale, Frank Sinatra Live at The Sands, Glen Campbell’s By The Time I Get to Phoenix, MJ’s Off The Wall, Quincy Jones’ The Dude…

But when I was growing up, we didn’t actually have a vinyl player so I didn’t get the chance to actually experience listening to them until I got my own record deck. What I’ve always loved about vinyl is that you can see all the musicians’ credits and all the extra bits of artwork—seeing where it was recorded and who played guitar on what song, and seeing certain names keep cropping up, like Larry Carlton, Steve Gadd, and people who would master the albums like Bob Ludwig.

I really started getting into collecting vinyl myself in my twenties, and going back and listening to some of the original blues artists I love and their original vinyl records. Some of my favourite vinyl albums would be BB King Live at the Regal, American Folk Festival of the Blues which features a young Buddy Guy playing with Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Screamers,
“Screamers Demo Hollywood 1977”

As one of the first punk bands to ditch guitars for electronics, Los Angeles’ Screamers are deservedly legendary, in part because the choice of instrumentation wasn’t an attempt to streamline or soften their sound. Additionally, they broke up before releasing any recordings. While numerous bootlegs eventually surfaced, their audio quality was predictably non-optimal, so that the arrival of “Screamers Demo Hollywood 1977” is reason to celebrate, as its five songs are sourced from the original reel-to-reel tapes. Issued by Superior Viaduct in black and red vinyl editions, both are already sold out at the source, which means folks desiring a copy will only find it in stores starting on May 14. Happy hunting!

The above might give the impression that Screamers were unjustly neglected while extant, but that’s not really accurate, as the video footage of their 1978 show at San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens captures a commanding performance in front of an appreciative crowd. Released first on VHS by Target Video as Live in San Francisco: Sept 2nd 1978, in 2004, the half-hour set was given a DVD upgrade with bonus footage. As Jon Savage mentions in his liner notes for this EP, it was that DVD (and its uploading to YouTube) that helped to spark fresh interest in the trailblazing group.

Spawned from an outfit called The Tupperwares, upon leaving Seattle for Los Angeles in 1976, they briefly adopted the moniker Gianni Bugatti and then settled on Screamers. By the next year, when the demos reissued here were recorded, the lineup consisted of two keyboard players, Tommy Gear and David Brown, with drummer K.K. Barrett and galvanizing vocalist Tomata du Plenty.

Barrett replaced Rio de Janeiro, whose obvious pseudonym, along with that of du Plenty (real name David Harrigan), point to the drag queen street theater roots of the group (Tommy Gear’s prior moniker was Melba Toast). Indeed, Du Plenty was a former member of the Cockettes in San Francisco; after leaving that troupe and moving to Seattle, he formed Ze Whiz Kidz in a similar vein, from whence the more musically focused Tupperwares emerged.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/12/21

Stamford, UK | Popmaster winner to open vinyl record store at The Maltings in Oakham: The resurgence of vinyl among music fans has prompted a husband and wife to follow their dream and open a record shop. Dean Poole is stepping down from his role as care manager for Rutland County Council to open Rocka-Buy Records in Oakham with wife Gaynor. The shop, based in the Maltings, will open on Saturday, May 29 to buy and sell new and second-hand vinyl records, without a CD in sight. The business will be a real family affair involving all three sons and daughter Elsie. Chris will help run the shop alongside Rutland Guitar School, while Daniel will create artwork and help with the digital side of the business, and Jordan will promote the shop on social media. They collected the shop keys just last week, but the idea has been a lifelong goal put on fast-forward by the pandemic. “This has always been on the cards for us, but it’s come sooner than we thought because Covid has kicked everything into touch,” said Gaynor. “It has made people look at life differently. Life is too short, and if you’re in a position to make a change there’s no use in waiting.”

London, UK | London’s record shops in the spotlight: Peckham resident Garth Cartwright has been fascinated by record shops for years, so much so that he wrote a book called Going For A Song: A Chronicle Of The UK Record Shop in 2018. This led to him getting a deal with The History Press to write a book solely on London’s contribution to record outlets. So, available very soon is London’s Record Shops, writes Michael Holland. ‘After my first book,’ says Garth, ‘I was aware that I didn’t have the space in that book to document how lively the current London record shop scene is. I got Tina (Quintina Valero) along to photograph Supertone Records in Brixton – the oldest reggae shop in South London – and her photos were so striking I was determined we should do a book that celebrates those shops still standing in the capital.’ The author negotiated a deal with The History Press in 2019 but soon after when he and Tina began putting the book together Covid came. Tina went back to Spain for a while but on her return in the summer the work started up again: ‘Essentially, I guided her to all the shops I believed should be included and she got busy taking photos,’ recalls Garth.

Porto, PT | Scrape Needle: The new record store in Porto even has a garden: It’s the perfect hideaway for vinyl lovers and organizes music events. When we think of the pandemic we just seem to see a series of cases, patients, hospitals, detention centers and everything we can remember. While this is the harsh reality that Covid-19 has brought us, the truth is that there is still some interesting news that we can remove from this less-than-good period. A good example of this is Scrape Needle, a record store that opened in Porto in April. More than just a place to buy new and used discs, there is another site worth exploring. Located in a house on Rua Antero de Quental, it attracts attention through its garden where you can rest and listen to good music in a comfortable chair or even in a hammock. This is a place where events like showcases or autograph sessions take place. The idea to create this project arose when Josefina Fonseca, daughter of a Fado singer and passionate music lover, discovered that the city “lacks niche businesses within alternative music that focus more on the national and international underground scene” explained, quoted by “Time Out”.

Forbes: Revolutionizing Main Street: How Shopping Hubs Are Changing: What becomes of Main Street when all of its retail traffic is redirected to Dot-Com Avenue? El Centro knows. El Centro is an example of how many retail hubs are evolving to keep pace – we mean literally, as in foot traffic – with a customer base that has grown accustomed to shopping everything online. The residential and retail complex, on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, has recently added Amoeba Music, the world’s largest independent record store, as an anchor tenant. The choice is both untraditional and natural – meaning opportunistic. Amoeba has a long history in Hollywood, but it closed shop nearly a year earlier due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By courting Amoeba to open at El Centro, developer DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners brought the comfort of nostalgia and “normalcy” to a community holed up for a year. After all, if there is one thing many of us can relate to, it’s browsing vinyl albums in the bins.

IE | How the gramophone came to influence Irish music: In 1900, New York’s Third Avenue bustled with activity. Horse-drawn carriages and the occasional motor car moved below the street’s elevated train lines. It was here that Leitrim native, Ellen O’Byrne, chose to set up her Irish music shop. Nestled between pet shops and hardware stores, below balconies and bedsits, she built a mecca for Irish immigrants. According to Professor Roxanne O’Connell, it would have been a place where new arrivals could meet friends and neighbours, while settled members of the community could drop by for news and a cup of tea. Of course, they could stock up on music too. As New York’s population began to explode, O’Byrne saw more and more customers come through the door. She stocked the shelves with Irish flags, instruments, sheet music and any Irish recordings she could get her hands on. But, by 1916, she couldn’t keep up with demand. Dance tunes, like Stack of Barley, sold out very fast but only a limited selection were available. To make matters worse, one of the only stockists decided to stop making Irish records. According to The Irish in the Atlantic World, this was when O’Byrne decided to take action.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The First Six Dischord Records, 7-Inch Boxset for preorder now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To mark our 40th year, we have created Dischord 200, a Box Set containing reissues of our first 6 releases in their original 7″ vinyl format as well as a 12-page booklet. All records have been remastered, all sleeves and lyric sheets reproduced from original art.

We have no idea of how many of these we should press, so we’ve decided to let the pre-orders make the call. This will be a mail-order only release and the window to place orders will be limited to one month (May 11th until June 11th, 2021). The Box Sets can only be shipped one at a time, so each order is limited to one. If you want more, you’ll have to make multiple orders.

Please note that the scale of this project combined with the delays at pressing plants have led us to believe that we may not be able to deliver the final piece until the end of 2021.

All six records have been remastered, with sleeves and lyric sheets reproduced from original art. Also included will be a 12-page booklet.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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