The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: HOLY WOW, “Hey Dragon”

Industrial electro rockers HOLY WOW hail from NYC and specialize in the kind of Gothic pop that made household names out of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Echo and the Bunnymen.

Their newest single, “Hey Dragon,” is a stadium-primed barn burner that rides a relentless bass groove into a full on Rolling Stones, gospel-tinged climax. The blissed out, fuzz-driven undertones and buzzsaw riffs are a perfect match for lead singer Dmitry Wild’s dynamic vocals which oscillate from Lou Reed-like speak singing to Brandon Flowers-esque rock operatics.

“Hey Dragon” is off the forthcoming debut, Modern Ancient Man, which marks the first time Mr. Wild has taken the leadership role among the prolific line of bands he’s been associated with. The new skin seems to suit him well, as the whole LP is laced with a sweet spot swagger that continues to impress after repeat listens.

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TVD New Orleans

Tank and the Bangas want you to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity this weekend, 12/14–12/15

They are not just the hottest band to come out of New Orleans in the last few years. They are also eager to give back to the city they call home and where they first burst on the scene. On Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15, Tank and the Bangas will lead a group of volunteers and build a home with the New Orleans area Habitat for Humanity

“When you change someone’s life for the better, you are really changing your own,” says lead singer Tarriona “Tank” Ball. To that end, one hard-working New Orleans family will be the beneficiaries of the effort by the band and their fans.

Fans can register to volunteer and fundraise for what has been dubbed, “The Banga Build.” To encourage fundraising among fans, Tank and the Bangas will award prizes for those who reach certain fundraising goals. Fundraising incentives include a t-shirt, a signed poster, tickets to their NYE show, and coffee (or drinks) with the band.

For more information or to register for the Banga Build, please visit www.bangabuild.org.

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The TVD Storefront

Meg Myers: In-store
with TVD at DC’s Som Records

Meg Myers has been on our radar for a number of years now, and despite our own vinyl predilections, our introduction to Meg came via a slew of videos released over time—often haunting, tense, claustrophobic, and kinda eerie.

As such, it delights us to no end to report that in person Meg’s quite easily the opposite of that persona—well, at least on this sunny Saturday at DC’s Som Records. She’s warm, funny, engaging—and with hugs all around after the record rummage.

So, let’s take you to the record store—we’re record shopping with Meg Myers at Washington, DC’s Som Records!

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Best of 2018’s New Releases, Part One

We now shift into the first part of our roundup of the best new releases of 2018, and below (and right off the bat) you’ll notice a few labels popping up more than once. More than twice, even. After much consideration, this is just how the cookie of quality crumbles in this calendar year, though the juxtapositions are still worthwhile.

10. The Chills, Snow Bound (Fire) & Modern Studies, Welcome Strangers (Fire) Led by singer-songwriter and sole constant member Martin Phillipps, New Zealand’s The Chills have long been one of my favorite melodic-rock endeavors. As a youngster in the 1980s, I grabbed the band’s early records towards the tail end of that decade; they were on the Kiwi label Flying Nun, a sure sign of quality, though the platters were released in the US at the time through Homestead. As the scope of Phillipps’ songs continued to grow, his profile rose as he moved on to Slash. After ending a long break in recording in 2013 The Chills found a solid home with Fire in the UK. Best lists routinely focus on groundbreaking or at least considerably ambitious stuff, but Snow Bound isn’t blazing a trail, with the main ambition here to write and record a solid, memorable set of songs; what they’ve achieved is another batch of notably strong Chills material nearly 40 years after Phillipps formed the group, and that is no small thing.

Modern Studies are a band from Scotland-via-Lancashire whose 2016 debut Swell to Great impressed me quite a bit. I also dug their track on “Avocet Revisited,” which was a short V/A covers tribute to the very cool Bert Jansch album. Welcome Strangers expands upon their prior baroque folky atmospheres while never totally leaving them behind, in part through their continued use of organic instrumentation, including double bass, harmonium and piano alongside electric guitar and bass, brass and string arrangements and the occasional tasteful use of electronic rhythms. Often dancy and poppy in way that could trigger rampant delight in a busload of ABBA fans, the tandem vocals of Emily Scott and Rob St. John are invitingly warm, but there are also experimental (though never discomfiting) elements aplenty (plus some Krautrock-ish undercurrents), and the cumulative effect is bold without ever faltering into the grandiose. Without ever faltering much at all in fact, across a record loaded with unexpected twists.

9. Madison Washington, (((( FACTS ))))) (Def Pressé) & Obnox, Bang Messiah (Smog Veil) Where so much contemporary hip-hop zigs, Madison Washington zags, and that’s cool with me. The duo of California/New York-based emcee Malik Ameer and Sheffield, England resident DJ/producer thatmanmonkz are named after the man who led the first and only successful slave rebellion in the USA, so rest assured that (((( FACTS ))))) (which follows up their debut EP “Code Switchin’”) will leave you feeling smarter, though to call Madison Washington a scholarly thing is inapt; throughout this 2LP, they instill much more of a party vibe. I said they like to zag, and after an opener that sorta picks up where the EP left off, the thrust shifts into a funky zone (underscoring Ameer’s bi-coastal situation) that references P-Funk and reminds me at times of Outkast. But it’s all so much more than a revamp/ rehash. To restate sentiments from my earlier short review, it’s some of the best hip-hop I’ve heard in a long time.

Hip-hop and a general sense of funkiness are but flavors in Bang Messiah’s overall recipe, but they are essential ingredients rather than the sort of slapdash additives that seem like a good idea but then turn out to be barely palatable at best (the dangers of cooking while high). Main Obnox man and Clevelander Lamont “Bim” Thomas’ prior credits are substantial, including the Compulsive Gamblers, Bassholes (with former member of the Gibson Bros. Don Howland), and This Moment in Black History, bands that might make it clear to the uninitiated that Obnox combines hip-hop and rock, though the garage/ punk/ scuzz background keeps this far away from a baseball cap turned backwards scenario. Instead, Bang Messiah is a weird and noisy affair, and with staying power as it connects as a record of ideas. And as Obnox has amassed a sizable discography, it’s been this way for a while; I haven’t heard everything, but I’ve soaked up more than a few. This is the best one yet.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 12/13/18

Honolulu, HI | The world’s best record shops #135: Hungry Ear Records, Hawaii: …Hungry Ear’s racks boast collections of rare reggae and rock classics (the huge Beatles mural that covers the back wall of the store may give that away), but their bread and butter is Hawaiian and local music: from disco by Nohelani Cypriano to smooth, jazz-tinged grooves from Momi Riley. To Yamashita, this is music he wants to hand down to another generation. “I remember the days when a record store was not only a repository of great music, but also a place where you could meet like-minded people and hang out,” Yamashita says. “A lot of kids aren’t on a professional path and I’d love to give them the tools to integrate into the world outside school, friends and parents, without feeling they have to lose themselves. We’d love it if kids rediscovered the pleasure of spending afternoons after school at our store.”

Racine, WI | Records live here: Longshot Vinyl Lounge opens in Downtown Racine: To Jada Pfarr, those ones and zeros of digitized music cannot compete with good old long-play vinyl records. Now, the Kenosha woman has turned that love of records into a new Downtown Racine store, Longshot Vinyl Lounge, at 324 Sixth St. “I’m a record collector, and my husband is a record collector,” Jada said Monday. “This is what we would be doing on Friday night: putting on records and looking through all the stuff, and we love to record-shop. “And we — especially me — just don’t like record shops,” she said. “They’re dusty; there’s a million records. You have to spend hours of time.” With one particular Milwaukee record store in mind, Pfarr continued: “There’s nowhere to sit down, there’s no bathroom — not a public bathroom, anyway. They have live acts, but it’s cramped, it’s small. They have DVDs; they have all this other stuff in there.” Jada owns the business but said that she and her husband, Jeff, “just kind of came up with the concept of: Let’s make a record store that you’d hang out in…”

Berlin, DE | Berliner Meister Schallplatten direct to disc recording: The Berlin-based Label Berliner Meister Schallplatten is producing live recorded vinyl using Direct-to-Disc methods. Up until the 1950s, most recordings were made direct to vinyl but, with the emergence of new technology, direct-to-disc became marginalised until it nearly vanished from professional recording practices. In 2012 sound engineers Stephan Flock and Rainer Maillard founded the Label Berliner Meister Schallplatten. They made a name for themselves thanks to their bespoke methods of recording and producing an unmistakable quality for the artists they represent. When the opportunity came up to buy a lathe cutter that was destined for destruction, they had a vision not only to preserve the knowledge and the technical know-how but also to establish a new tradition of professional direct-to-disc recording.

Michelle Obama Talks Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5 and Other Childhood Music Memories With Questlove: …Discussing her earliest albums, Obama recalled the first record she received as a gift was Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book, which she was actually given twice one Christmas. “That’s how good an album it was,” she said in a clip premiering exclusively with Billboard. One copy came from her parents and the other from her maternal grandfather, Southside, who she described as the “musical core of our family.” That version included the lyrics in braille, which she studied while she listened to the music, hoping to better understand the artist behind it all…That was the first album she ever owned as a child. But as music fans know, there’s a big difference between the first album you ever received and the first one you bought for yourself. Those early purchases were reserved for the Jackson 5, whose “ABC” and “The Love You Save” she bought on 45 RPM single vinyl records and mostly only played in her bedroom, dancing and singing along.

Vinyl Edition Of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Film Soundtrack Coming In February. The film soundtrack is already becoming one of the band’s fastest-selling albums throughout the world. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody film soundtrack is set to be released as a 2-LP set on 8 February. The 22-song soundtrack album, produced by Brian May and Roger Taylor, features the first-ever release of audio tracks from Queen’s legendary performance at Live Aid as well as other rare live tracks and their biggest hits. Rolling Stone hailed it as “more than just a greatest hits,” praising it as, “a fun imaginative way to relive the band’s genius.” The Bohemian Rhapsody film soundtrack will come as a vinyl double album specially cut at Abbey Road Studios. Continuing the celebration of Queen’s iconic music, a special picture disc edition of the album, as well as a 7” single featuring the original ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’/‘I’m In Love With My Car’ pairing, will also be released on Record Store Day, 13 April 2019. While not featured in the film, ‘I’m In Love With My Car’ is joke-referenced several times in the film. Now the track gets its moment.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” short form project unveiled

VIA PRESS RELEASE | As part of an ongoing campaign to commemorate Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 50th anniversary, Craft Recordings is pleased to present an official short form audio-visual project offering a fresh take on their timeless standard, “Have You Ever Seen The Rain.” Following the “Fortunate Son” video moment earlier this year, “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” conveys a wholly different dimension of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s enduring relevance—separate from politics or American traditions, something more personal and eternally youthful. Filmed in “Big Sky Country” Montana, the project pays tribute to nostalgia, friendship and adventure.

Directed by Laurence Jacobs—who has directed and produced videos for artists including Andrew Bird, Steve Martin, Elvis Costello, and Valerie June–the project features Jack Quaid (The Hunger Games, Logan Lucky, HBO’s Vinyl and Amazon’s upcoming series, The Boys), Sasha Frolova (FOX’s Red Sparrow, Netflix’s Snowpiercer, KENZO’s The Everything) and Erin Moriarty (Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Amazon’s The Boys). “I knew I wanted to tell a coming-of-age story,” Jacobs explains. “Something distinctly real that encapsulated identity. Not teenage years, but specifically your early 20s when you’re still growing and trying to become someone.” The result is a story that captures early adulthood’s wild rush of nostalgia and freedom, mixed with heartbreak and melancholy-emotions of which the song is emblematic.

Continues Jacobs, “My writing partner [Luke Klompien] and I developed this story about three best friends hanging in Montana until one of them moves away. The whole experience was so meaningful. Our crew poured so much love into this thing, and we worked with wonderful Montanans who just opened their doors and wanted to be a part of the experience.”

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TVD New Orleans

Omari Neville and the Fuel debut performance featuring Cyril Neville
at the Hi Ho Lounge tonight, 12/12

The next generation of the legendary Neville family steps up to the plate with drummer/vocalist Omari Neville’s first appearance at the Hi Ho Lounge with his hot new band, the Fuel. Omari’s father, Cyril Neville, the iconic singer and percussionist for the Meters, the Neville Brothers, the Uptown Allstars, and numerous other bands and projects, will join his son on stage as a special guest.

Omari Neville was raised in the orbit of the Neville Brothers band, which also included his three uncles, Art, Charles, and Aaron, as well as the projects of his cousins Charmaine, Ivan, and Ian among other assorted Neville kin. He has been playing drums since he was a child and has matured into one of the finest drummers in the city. He is also a formidable vocalist.

The Fuel is an all-star aggregation that features two veterans of the definitive era of the Neville Brothers—guitarist Eric Struthers and bassist Daryl Johnson. “Stormin’” Norman Caesar, a veteran of numerous Neville-related projects including the seminal rap-funk hybrid band DEFF Generation is on keyboards, and Gregg Molinario is also on guitar.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Various Artists,
Repo Man: Music from the Original Motion Picture

There was no need to look for the joke with a microscope when the film Repo Man came out of left field in 1984; Alec Cox’s tale of a cynically blasé hardcore kid turned car repossessor who has a spiritual awakening of sorts while riding in a radioactive 1964 Chevy Malibu flying high above the lights of nighttime L.A. was a laugh fest.

But Repo Man did more than just introduce us to Otto, Bud, Miller, and the Rodriguez Brothers; it came along with a nifty little soundtrack album that is every bit as offbeat, hilarious, and ultimately transcendental as the movie itself.

Cox peppers 1984’s Repo Man: Music from the Original Motion Picture with everybody’s L.A.hardcore faves (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Fear, Suicidal Tendencies, and if you wondering where X is, can you imagine Otto listening to them?), but also throws in a couple of real wild cards in the form of Iggy Pop’s tailor-made “Repo Man,” a trio of absolutely wonderful cuts by the Plugz, and the faux soul howler “Bad Man,” in which Sy Richardson reprises his role as Lite, the baddest and blackest repo man of ‘em all.

Perhaps the strangest thing about this soundtrack to history’s best hardcore movie is how little hardcore music there is on it. But this makes perfect sense when one considers that the hardcore scene is just the film’s starting point–the dead end that sends Otto straight into the unscrupulous arms of the Helping Hand Acceptance Agency and the company of Bud and Miller in the first place.

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The TVD Storefront

Needle Drop: Violet Sands, “Gone”

Brooklyn-based trio Violet Sands are relatively new to the scene, but their artful electro-pop musings feel crafted by the steady hand of a master.

Spearheaded by guitarist Derek Muro and vocalist Deidre Muro, the band has come to be known by their synthesis of shoegazey riffs and electo-chillwave production. Their newest single, “Gone,” is a dreamy slice of synth pop that isn’t in a rush to prove itself, revealing it’s power through dynamic shifts in arrangement and world-weary lyricism.

Derek shares, “‘Gone’ is about losing your way in life, being confused and still pressing on despite the temptations of escapism. It’s trying to be comfortable in face of the unknown. We started the song as part of our album HOTEL in Los Angeles immediately before I moved back to New York. The song definitely has a quality of a big life move embedded in it.”

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Best of 2018’s Reissues, Part Two

Part two of our reissue spotlight extends the diversity; there is live jazz, the early recordings of an icon, some heavy funk, and rock in varying shapes, sizes and levels of strangeness. It all gets capped off with a bountiful helping of vintage African sounds and a series of releases from one of post-punk’s defining bands.  

5. Thelonious Monk, Mønk (Gearbox) + Bud Powell, The Essen Jazz Festival Concert (ORG Music) Uncovered recordings of great artists are likely to bring reassessments, and so it is with this live platter of Thelonious Monk’s quartet from Copenhagen in 1963, the tape of which (made by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation) was reportedly saved just before being carried off in the trash (it was found in a skip). The reevaluation here relates to this incarnation of Monk’s quartet, which features bassist John Ore and drummer Frankie Dunlop together with Monk’s longstanding tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse. A fine band, and the unit that brought us Monk’s Dream in fact, but not a lineup that has previously stood out as spectacular on live recordings. With this retrieval, the group is now documented as having a great night.

ORG’s The Essen Jazz Festival Concert, which finds Bud Powell in a quartet setting with tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, drummer Kenny Clarke, and bassist Oscar Pettiford, is not a new discovery. However, giving it a deep listen on the occasion of its reissue provided the opportunity to further revise my assessments regarding the work and the troubled, ultimately tragic life of Powell, who was amongst the greatest pianists in the history of jazz. In short, a recurring stream of thought concerning Powell’s later recordings has been that they are to varying degrees subpar, and while I won’t deny that there are some rough patches in the discography, this performance from Essen, Germany is not one of them. This is not to say that the show isn’t without faults, but most of them aren’t Bud’s, and if this isn’t as strong an affair as Mønk, the opportunity to contemplate Powell in the ’60s without a black cloud hanging over the proceedings is very much appreciated.

4. Nina Simone, Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles (BMG – Bethlehem) + Betty Davis, Nasty Gal (Light in the Attic) Shoddy reissues predate the CD era, but the flood of visually unappealing, noncontextualized releases probably hit its peak in the ‘90s. I won’t deny that I sometimes took the bait and bought some otherwise unenticing releases because there was no other way of hearing the contents, and I indeed picked up a bunch of underwhelming packages in gathering the Bethlehem singles of Nina Simone, specifically because no label ever bothered to package them all together. Well, this year BMG and producer Cheryl Pawelski did, and their smart gesture is a joy to hear as it underscores the depth of Simone’s ability on her earliest recordings. Much of the record (available on CD and on vinyl with a bonus 7-inch) finds Simone singing and playing piano alone with results that are sublime, and while bassist Jimmy Bond and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath do occasionally back her in a jazz framework, this collection forecasts the wide range of her later work. It provides a fabulous opportunity to soak up the brilliance of the artist long before her career struggles set in.

If Nina Simone suffered from a refusal to be boxed into a single category, the issue with Betty Davis was that she was simply ahead of her time. Musically and sexually bold in an era that seemed primed for acceptance, the aggressive funk of this intense, liberated woman was ultimately too much for the listening public at large to handle, as it wasn’t as openminded a time as has often been claimed; naturally, she’s sustained a cult following in the ensuing years. About a decade back Light in the Attic reissued her ’73 self-titled debut and the following year’s They Say I’m Different, the pair opening the eyes of many, and in 2016 they dished her largely unheard early recordings as The Columbia Years 1968-69. It’s all worthy stuff, but this year they returned to print Davis’ third and best solo LP from ’75, a slab of funk so heavy and wild of personality that her career essentially stalled. If you dig Funkadelic but have yet to get hip to Nasty Gal, you’re in for a doozy.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 12/12/18

Baltimore, MD | True Vine owner says he is being forced out by Golden West: The True Vine Record Shop, a Hampden-based record store that has been recognized as one of the nation’s best for its eclectic offerings and shelf space for experimental genres, says it is being forced out of its Hickory Avenue storefront by an unlikely foe: the Golden West Cafe, a funky Tex-Mex restaurant around the corner, on W. 36th Street. True Vine posted the news on its Instagram account Sunday, saying the popular Hampden eatery bought the shop’s sublet lease and plans to use the space as part of an expansion. As Baltimore Fishbowl reported last month, Golden West has taken on a new investor to start a vegan-focused bakery and open other Golden West locations, as well as expand its current footprint to include an events room and a space for live performances. “We cannot stay because golden west’s new investors do not find us to be a financially lucrative business compared to what they envision as financially lucrative, which is an extension of golden west,” the post from True Vine said.

Columbus, OH | Craft & Vinyl offers records, beer, live music in one-stop shop: At Craft & Vinyl, the name says it all. After only three months in business at 1806 W. Fifth Ave., Columbus, between Grandview Heights and Upper Arlington, the store is making a splash as a haven for fans of records, craft-beer aficionados and songwriters. “It’s built to look like an art gallery,” said owner Troy Stacy. This description holds true at the vibrant new shop. Upon entering Craft & Vinyl, one sees a record store that pays homage to the days of classic rock and metal. The walls are crowded with concert posters — all of which are for sale — designed by renowned poster artist Mike Martin. The record shelves are stocked with the likes of everything from Iron Maiden to Jimi Hendrix. Customers also are greeted by a bar that boasts local craft-beer selections and that feels conducive to the environment Stacy seeks to promote.

Harrisburg, PA | Mr. Mike’s Record Store going out of business: The end of an era is approaching for a downtown Harrisburg record shop. Mr. Mike’s Record Store will be closing its doors after nearly 33 years. Michael Albert opened his business on South Third Street in 1986. Over the years, the shop specialized in R&B and rap, but Albert was known for getting records or tapes from his distributor that weren’t available at other record stores in the city. Albert also promoted live concerts at the Forum and other city venues, and he hosted autograph sessions in his store that included some of the biggest names in the business, including MC Hammer, Kid ‘n Play, and the Fresh Prince, Will Smith. Albert says close at the end of the month was a difficult decision. “It is the toughest decision I made,” he said. “These last two years, I didn’t make any money and I had to dig into my own pocket to keep the store open.”

Vinyl Collecting 101: Properly Maintaining Your Wax: If you are reading this, you probably have a new-found or existing respect for vinyl records and all that they have to offer. Truly, vinyl is making huge strides in renewed popularity, partly because of a format that allows listeners to enjoy an emotional connection with the experience of listening to warm sounds generated by oversized discs housed in colorful covers. While the appeal of owning a vinyl collection, large or small, varies in importance according to the collector, the methods for buying, transporting, playing, and storing are relatively set in stone. Keep reading to learn more about how to preserve your music collection for many years…Checking the condition of a vinyl record begins by carefully taking it out of the cover and visually inspecting it. While dust is to be expected, ground-in dirt is not. Use these tips to avoid problems

The Prince Estate in Partnership with Legacy Recordings Announce First Wave of Physical Titles (CD/Vinyl) in Definitive Catalog Rerelease Project: The Prince Estate and Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are pleased to announce the first round of physical titles set for release as part of the ongoing and definitive Prince catalog project first announced in August. Three essential full-length Prince albums, Musicology, 3121 and Planet Earth, will be available on CD and – for the first time ever – on vinyl beginning Friday, February 8, 2019. Each of the vinyl titles will be pressed on highly collectible, limited edition purple vinyl. In addition, the albums will be available in both CD/LP form alongside new exclusive merchandise corresponding to each album era via the Official Prince Store.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: Rufus Wainwright at the Music Center at Strathmore, 12/8

Rufus Wainwright is an accomplished enough figure in music, having just opened his second opera, that he needn’t have to look back. Lucky for his longtime fans that he is, marking his 20th anniversary in show business with a tour that showcases his first two albums, which made for an elegant and stirring evening Saturday at Bethesda’s Music Center at Strathmore.

With the impeccable genes—son of the wry singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian songbird Kate McGarrigle—the young Wainwright has nonetheless forged his own career, with beguiling songs and strong tenor aching toward showy standard pop to such a degree that he presented his own version of Judy Garland’s 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall. (Wainwright’s heady genes will continue: He and his husband have a daughter by way of Leonard Cohen’s daughter—what pressure she will have to be a poet and songwriter).

It seems to be as interesting for Wainwright as it is for his audience to look back on the early days of the debut Rufus Wainwright and Poses. Unlike other acts who recreate old albums, he didn’t present the songs of the first in order, or even all of it (leaving out three tunes). But he did do all of Poses in the second half, in order, and without the charming and funny commentary between tunes that he used in the show’s first half.

Wainwright takes care with these songs, doing them better and with more confidence and stretching them out to such a degree that when he did the little ditty “Millbrook,” it seemed short by comparison. He had a bit to say about his mother, and his French Canadian upbringing, but little about his dad, whose “One Man Guy” he did straightforwardly, as he did on his second album.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: King Diamond, Songs For The Dead Live 2-LP, DVD/
Blu-ray in stores 1/25

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On January 25th, King Diamond will release a new DVD/Blu-ray, Songs For The Dead Live, via Metal Blade Records.

There is only one King Diamond, and for more than thirty years the great Dane has been dropping classic albums and putting on shows fans remember for the rest of their lives. Perhaps the only downside to having such a formidable catalogue is that there are just too many great songs to fit into a single set. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a fan who wouldn’t want to hear 1987’s seminal Abigail in its entirety, and Songs For The Dead Live captures this, twice, and in very different locales.

Boasting eighteen songs per set, each of the two shows – Belgium’s Graspop Metal Meeting in June 2016 and Philadelphia’s Fillmore in November 2015 – feature a brace of classic King Diamond and Mercyful Fate tracks including “Welcome Home,” “Halloween,” and “Eye Of The Witch” before launching into Abigail. The performances of the all-star lineup of musicians, comprising of guitarists Andy LaRocque and Mike Wead, bassist Pontus Egberg and drummer Matt Thompson, are absolutely ferocious, hammering home every single moment.

Captured on film by director Denise Korycki for Wild Wind Studios, she worked closely with King on every aspect of filming, and throughout the viewer finds themselves front and center as the shows unfold. This includes some inventive camera placement, such as riding in on the back of the wheelchair as it is wheeled out to “Out From The Asylum” at the start of the show, or looking up from the coffin at the commencement of Abigail opener “Funeral,” which adds an extra dimension to proceedings.

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The TVD Storefront

Demand it on Vinyl: Dennis Coffey, Live at Baker’s in stores 3/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Dennis Coffey’s first recording date was in the 1950s, when the guitarist was only 15. Years later, he would become a member of the famed Detroit session group the Funk Brothers, playing on hits like Edwin Starr’s “War” and laying down the solo on the Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion.” He also performed on tracks with Parliament/Funkadelic, Wilson Pickett, Chairmen of the Board, and produced Cold Fact for Rodriguez. That’s some resume!

But, even as a session musician, Coffey shines brightest playing live, as evidenced on the acclaimed One Night at Morey’s: 1968, a previously unissued set released last year. Street date for Live at Baker’s is set for March 1, 2019 via Omnivore Recordings, available as CD and Digital. Live at Baker’s brings Dennis’ performance legacy into this century, with Coffey and his band (two-time Detroit Music Award winner Demetrius Nabors on keys, Grammy®-nominated Gaelynn McKinney on drums, and bassist Damon Warmack) tearing through nine tracks, which include covers of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Jimmy Smith, and The Temptations — plus a searing version of Coffey’s own Top 10 1971 hit, “Scorpio,” one of the first songs by a white artist played on Soul Train. “Scorpio” has been sampled over 90 times, ensuring that its captivating qualities will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Live at Baker’s, recorded in 2006, features liner notes from author/ journalist Bill Kopp and a new interview with Coffey. According to Kopp’s notes: “It’s a rare electric guitarist who can serve up dazzling fretwork while simultaneously displaying good taste. Detroit-based guitarist Dennis Coffey is just such a musician. And he’s been doing it consistently — onstage and in countless recording sessions — since the middle of the 1950s.

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week:
M. Rexen

Born in the United Arab Emirates and now based in Copenhagen, multi-instrumentalist M. Rexen has been fast building a reputation for his immense live performances, wowing audiences with his vivacious spirit, and a full 10-person band. Now, having received acclaim from the likes of Noisey, he’s shared another unconventional alt-pop gem.

Propelled by fast-paced funk-fused beats and uptempo blasts of brass, “Henrï” was written as an ode to his best friend, bandmate, and muse Henrï Gibbs (known for his work with Mellah). Flowing with Rexen’s soulful, impassioned vocals and a gritty edge, we’re treated to a colourful performance, building with a sweeping vibrant power to an anthemic, theatrical cacophony.

Fusing together a vast array of eclectic elements—self coined as “Wildstyle”—Rexen has created a truly uplifting sonic delight, unique in its quirky charm.

Watch the poignant new video for “Henrï” above and make sure you catch one of M. Rexen’s charismatic live shows as soon as possible!

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