The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Holy Hive, Holy Hive

The New York-based Holy Hive consists of Homer Steinweiss on drums, Joe Harrison on bass, and Paul Spring on vocals and guitar. Their second album is a self-titled affair coming out on Big Crown Records, as did their debut from last year. The label connection might inspire thoughts of neo-soulfulness, but while that’s not an inaccurate assumption, particularly as Steinweiss has backed up Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Adele and others, it’s only part of an equation that has been impressively honed on this ample 15-track set. It’s available digitally, on compact disc and on either standard black or translucent pink with blue spatter vinyl on September 24.

Holy Hive stands out in the Big Crown catalog through a sound that’s been dubbed Folk Soul. As I mentioned in an assessment of their debut in these web pages from June of 2020, this style hybrid might conjure positive visions of Bill Withers and perhaps Terry Callier, or maybe even Curtis Mayfield (and late period Tim Buckley as a significant negative), and then not much else.

Folk Soul is certainly an applicable tag for Holy Hive’s sound, indeed as the band’s bio details the meeting up Minnesota way of neo-soul session ace Steinweiss and Spring, a traveling folk singer. But after completing the band with Harrison and then enlisting a bevy of guest contributors including, either on this album or the last, harpist Mary Lattimore, trumpeter Dave Guy (of The Roots), singer-bassist Shannon Wise (of The Shacks), and guitarist Robin Pecknold (of Fleet Foxes), Holy Hive have fomented a well-controlled atmosphere that’s frequently reminiscent of gentle psych and even mellow pop.

Key to Holy Hive’s success is how they never misplace the backbeat nor the range of emotion at the microphone (a soul necessity), as Spring has a superb falsetto. Both elements are foregrounded in Holy Hive’s crisp opener “Color It Easy,” which sounds like it could’ve been a hit single anywhere from 1968 to ’72, except that the drums wouldn’t have hit quite this hard back then (and yet with consummate restraint), and some producer would’ve no doubt marred the situation by slathering on canned strings or something similar.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/22/21

Vinyl records are selling at twice the clip of a year ago with no signs of slowing down: Sales of vinyl records have been rebounding for years, but during the first half of this year, they went to a whole other level: up 94% over the same period last year, when they happened to top CD sales for the first time since 1986, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” is one of the top-selling albums of all time. These days, Fabio Roberti is having a hard time finding vinyl copies. “It’s unavailable for months and months and months. It’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. Roberti owns a record store in Brooklyn called Earwax Records. Buyers don’t just covet classics like The Beatles and David Bowie, he said. Artists from the ’90s and early 2000s are hard to find. …“Folks are often surprised that a lot of it is driven by younger people who don’t have any experience at all with physical music consumption,” said Marc Hogan, a staff writer at the music site Pitchfork. Gen Z has mostly grown up with streaming, he said, so vinyl has novelty value.

New York, NY | New York record store Superior Elevation launches Gofundme after suffering flood damage: “They are still determined to bring the shop back to life,”said co-founder Ellen Kanamori. …Brooklyn store Superior Elevation have started a GoFundMe page after it suffered major damage as a result of Hurricane Ida. Ellen Kanamori, who co-founded the store with Tom Noble in 2015, wrote, “During the heavy rains from Hurricane Ida the building’s sewage drainage system gave out and it released about 4 feet of water into the store. After help arrived, they managed to pump all of the water out. They did manage to salvage a small portion of the records, but at least 75% was destroyed in the flood, if not more, it was too late. “They do have insurance at the shop, however there is no guarantee of any funds at this point. And even if funds do come in, it will never match the incalculable losses from some of those unknown and hyper rare records that were lost…”

Redlands, CA | Redlands Vinyl Records: A glimpse into film history and old movie presentations: Redlands Vinyl Records made it on the list of “A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure” in the Inland Empire, a book recently written by author and Riverside resident Larry Burns. Owner of the store, Dave Bernal, spoke enthusiastically about his lifelong passion project. “We are insane. Who would do this? Somebody crazy. So, we are doing that.” Bernal hung out at a local record store in the 1970s and from there began a career of buying and selling music and movies paraphernalia that has now spanned four decades. He owned a movie theater for 15 years in Hemet as well. Today, he’s the owner of two specialty record stores, one in Redlands and one in Palm Springs. “Initially we just wanted to open one store,” he said last year on The Create Podcast, which can be found on YouTube. “I wanted to be in either a tourist area or an established area that had foot traffic. Here we have the university and a lot of things going on, and I live here. It makes it easy,” Bernal described of the Redlands location.

Brighton, UK | Tom Odell performs live in Brighton record shop: Tom Odell was appearing at Resident music in Brighton this evening on the first of an intimate seven date UK record store live appearance and signing session in support of his latest album ‘Monsters’, which is his fourth long player and coincidentally it reached No.4 in the UK Official Album charts. Thirty year old singer-songwriter Tom, is a Sussex boy who was born in Chichester on 24th November 1990. He was ‘discovered’ by Lily Allen, who remarked that “his energy onstage reminded me of David Bowie”. Tom released his debut extended play, ‘Songs From Another Love’ in October 2012 and luckily made his television debut the following month on BBC2’s ‘Later… with Jools Holland’. His previous three albums prior to ‘Monsters’ have also been hits; with debut ‘Long Way Down’ hitting the top spot in 2013, and 2016 follow-up ‘Wrong Crowd’ peaking at No.2 and 2018’s ‘Jubilee Road’ just breaking into the Top 5.

Read More »

Posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined | Leave a comment

TVD Chicago

TVD Live: Riot Fest, 9/17

It’s officially day one of Riot Fest 2021. One pandemic, two vaccine doses, and numerous lineup changes has led us to this day. The park is packed, the sun is shining, and the drinks are flowing.

Living Colour takes the stage and jokes around that their stylist is going to hate them for not following what was laid out for them to wear, but they’re excited and talking about finally having live music in real time. I think it’s safe to say that everyone here feels the same.

The sun is blazing for most of the day. I see a guy dressed up as Where’s Waldo sitting in the shade. I take off to one of the only stages that has a decent amount of shade and catch the young guys in Beach Goons getting the crowd riled up enough to start a mosh pit.

Motion City Soundtrack has drawn a huge crowd. I’m reminded of how many hits they have as they power through them. Lead singer Justin Courtney Pierre takes a moment to thank the crowd for going out and getting the vaccine or the nose swab because they wouldn’t have been able to finally perform on a stage once again otherwise.

The sun goes down suspiciously early before Coheed and Cambria. I checked the weather the night before so I wasn’t expecting rain, but surprise! It’s pouring, but they’re still rocking. I don’t see anyone trying to run for cover. I think we’re all ready to be at a live festival once again so the rain isn’t bothering anyone.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Chicago | Leave a comment

TVD Chicago

TVD Live: Pitchfork Music Festival, 9/11

2:54 PM: There are many reasons to love Pitchfork Music Festival, but one area they excel at compared to other fests is performer diversity. You will not see only male musicians or only white bands headlining Pitchfork. In fact, this year’s headliners are all females—and powerhouses, I might add. It brings me immense joy to see such a female-heavy lineup, and today’s one in particular has me giddy. St. Vincent, Jamila Woods, Kim Gordon, Angel Olsen, Waxahatchee and more are all performing today. It’s the coolest Lilith Fair I’ve ever attended.

3:12 PM: “I’ve been wanting to play this festival for a decade!” Divino Niño exclaims. “Dream mother fucking come true!”

3:42 PM: It’s Amaarae’s first time on stage in two years, but she’s in prime form. People are grooving to her particular brand of Afro-soul and currently singing along to her cover of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name.”

3:45 PM: Bartees Strange quit his job a year ago yesterday to pursue music, he tells the audience during his interview in the DoorDash members area. I would say he made a good choice.

4:43 PM: Well, I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting to hear St. Cloud live since its release last year and the moment has finally arrived. Waxahatchee looks radiant, like a poster child for CottageCore, as she strums her acoustic.

5:28 PM: Faye Webster is worthy of the hype. The sun is dancing through the trees by the Blue Stage, adding to the overall dreaminess of the music and the moment.

5:43 PM: “So how’s Prada?” (Questions you overhear at Pitchfork.)

5:58 PM: Ty Segall is doing what he does best: wailing on the guitar. It’s awesome! In between capturing a few crowd surfers, I hear a “We’re not worthy” from the crowd.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Chicago | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Karen Dalton: In My Own Time in theaters 10/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Greenwich Entertainment announces the release of Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, a brand new documentary that not only honors the long-overlooked legacy and musical impact of the late folk legend, but saves her largely misunderstood story from near devastation.

Directed by Robert Yapkowitz and Richard Peete, and executive produced by the multi Academy Award-nominated Wim Wenders, Light in the Attic Records and Delmore Recording Society, the film will open in theaters across the country beginning October 1, 2021, with a premiere at New York City’s Film Forum.

Following a tragic fire in 2018, which destroyed all the remains of Karen Dalton’s personal archive, Yapkowitz and Peete worked closely with her family and estate to capture the vanishing fragments of her life. From troves of newly unearthed material and raw footage, to candid conversations with Dalton’s daughter Abralyn Baird and commentary by loved ones, ex-lovers, collaborators and close friends, Karen Dalton: In My Own Time serves as an essential portrait of her singular voice and indelible influence.

Karen Dalton: In My Own Time also features Karen Dalton’s handwritten poetry and journals read by Angel Olsen, music composed by Julia Holter, plus interviews with fans like Nick Cave and Vanessa Carlton, Woodstock creator and Dalton’s one-time label head Michael Lang, country singer-songwriter Lacy J. Dalton, Peter Walker, Peter Stampfel and more. The film was produced by Traci Carlson and Richard Peete at Neighborhood Watch (Blue Ruin, Low Tide, Super Dark Times), and The Hollywood Reporter says, “As [Karen Dalton: In My Own Time] introduces a one-of-a-kind artist to the uninitiated and celebrates her for aficionados, above all it listens – and invites us to do the same.”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Motörhead, No sleep ‘til Hammersmith

Remembering Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, born on this day in 1954.Ed.

On which the late metal minimalist/ genius/ proud-to-be-a-lummox Lemmy Kilmister delivers the hard rock goods live in a couple of halls not including London’s Hammersmith Odeon. No sleep ‘til Hammersmith features Motörhead at their ferocious and pummeling best, and is the perfect corrective to the lyrical excesses, grand themes, and emphasis on musical virtuosity that characterized much of the metal then popular.

With the able assistance of “Fast” Eddie Clarke on guitar and backing vocals and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor on drums, Lemmy bangs out some tunes (most of them of unfashionably short length and unfashionably fast tempos), announces in DIY fashion that Motörhead is its own damn road crew, and demonstrates that his very hoarse bark has real bite.

Kilmister possessed not a whit of glamor and about as much charm, but that’s exactly what made him so lovable; he wasn’t good looking, his tonsils hardly made the little girls swoon, and when push came to shove he was the perfect antithesis of, say, Robert Plant. “No Class” is addressed to (or so I suspect) some anonymous groupie hanger-on, but Lemmy would no doubt have agreed it applied to him as well; he had about as much class as your average lorry driver, and never pretended to have better manners than your average lorry driver.

In short, you could relate to Lemmy Kilmister. He sang about all of the things you cared about, and said fuck it to the darkest depths of Mordor. He was a creature of the road and of the tedium and excesses that entailed, didn’t give a shit about Xanadu or hobbits, and didn’t want to write the next “Stairway to Heaven” either. He was down to earth, didn’t look like he placed a very high premium on personal hygiene, and probably would have come in handy in a bar fight. He’s as close as English music has ever come to producing an outlaw country musician.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Ed Patrick

English singer-songwriter Ed Patrick takes the prize as this week’s Artist of the Week and you’ll see why once you give “Nothing Personal” a few spins, mark our words.

Channelling the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Iron & Wine, Ed Patrick’s latest cut is a stunning slice of indie-folk that it bound to pull on your heartstrings instantly. Ed’s delicately weaved vocal is complimented perfectly with gentle guitar strums and soft piano keys, creating a sound that is undeniably intimate. If you’ve recently had your heartbroken, you may need to get the tissues out…

Ed left school at the tender age of sixteen and worked in his local guitar shop earning enough money to buy a one way ticket to North America. Ed’s journey to developing his intimate songwriting was only just beginning. Watch this space…

“Nothing Personal” is out now.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980–1989

Readers with an insatiable appetite for synth-pop and new wave should prepare themselves for a treat. On September 24, the Dark Entries label is releasing Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989, its ten tracks enlighteningly enjoyable and with a prevailing DIY sensibility that lends appealing cohesiveness to the whole. Just as important is range in both style and temperament, so that the contents are likely to please curious newbies as well as obsessives. It’s out digitally and on vinyl combined with a 12-page booklet printed on neon green, pink and orange paper and loaded with photos, lyrics in Spanish, and background info in English.

Right up front, the most fanatical of synth-wavers mentioned above may already be hip to the majority of the selections featured on this set, as eight of the ten were snagged from Backup: Expediente Tecno Pop, a collection issued in 2005 by the AT-AT label. But as that release was a CD-only affair, the Dark Entries edition earns the distinction of being the first ever vinyl compilation of Mexican new wave and post-punk, with this stature enhanced by two exclusive tracks.

There is also some reconfiguring of sequence, as side one begins with the CD’s twelfth track (out of 13), “Pesadillas” by the Tijuana-based trio Avant Garde. The sound is tangibly Euro-wavy (the cited comparisons are Ultravox and Alphaville), but with fidelity that favors tape hiss over glossiness. While surely not the band’s preference, the modest acoustics do reinforce that Mexican Tecno Pop was largely an underground phenomenon. Instruments were scarce (it was an economically precarious time) and monied record labels were reportedly disinterested).

And as captured audio of a live performance (unreleased prior to the 2005 CD), “Pesadillas” does honestly represent how Avant Garde sounded: rhythmically punchy with a dash of retrofuturist iciness and modest levels of crooning. These ingredients are also present in “Cambios en El Tiempo” by Tijuana four-piece Vandana, but in a song that’s appreciably more anthemic and sporting higher levels of glisten. I’ll submit that Vandana is what Avant Garde would’ve sounded like if they’d gotten into a legit studio, but with the caveat that I’m not operating from a position of expertise with these bands.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/21/21

Salina, KS | Bygone Record Store Still Echoes in Heart of Kansas: House Of Sight And Sound Was A Hippie Outpost On The High Plains. Every year, retailers face a dreaded task: inventory. At the House of Sight and Sound in Salina, though, this was a hallowed time. Loyal customers would flock to help count records, CDs and packages of incense. It wasn’t considered tedious work so much as an opportunity for hours of conversation, laughter and memories with owner Tom Headlee and his equally charismatic employees. This was the atmosphere Headlee cultivated in his store every day for the almost 40 years it was in business. The shop closed in 2011, but dedicated customers and former employees keep its memory alive. One loyal record buyer created a tribute song to the store. Someone else started a Facebook page in the store’s honor, where former customers still wax nostalgic about the hippie outpost on the High Plains, which some dubbed the “House of Song and Bong”…

New York, NY | This Under The Radar, Black-Owned Business Is NYC’s First-Ever Vinyl Record Craft Beer Bar: Where music and beer connoisseurs unite! Looking for a new weekend spot? Head to Prospect Heights for NYC’s first-ever vinyl record craft beer bar. Upon envisioning the bar’s creation, owner Chris Maestro had discovered that a similar concept had already existed in Japan called jazu kissa (jazz cafes), according to Blackownedbklyn. Maestro knew that this type of space was needed in NYC and went on to establish his very own shop in 2017—being the first vinyl record craft beer bar across the boroughs! The establishment has over 5,000 vinyls on-site ranging from hip-hop, funk, soul and jazz. On top of their wide music collection, the bar offers an extensive, yet carefully curated tap-list with a large portion of their beers sourced from local breweries found in North Fork, LI or in upstate New York.

Boise, ID | My Idaho: Record Exchange keeps spinning on: It’s all in the family at the Record Exchange in downtown Boise. The long-time owners have decided it’s time to retire, but not before working out a deal with four of their employees to keep the records spinning, so customers can continue making musical memories. Michael Bunnell says when it comes to the nostalgia of records, everyone fell in love with the romance of the ritual. “You take out the sleeve, you’ve got album notes to read, big artwork on the cover. If you’re going to the problem of putting vinyl on your focused on music, it’s not background noise.” So, it’s bittersweet for Bunnell and his business partner Jill Sevy that it’s time to hang up the records. Glen Newkirk, Catherine Merrick and two other new owners believe it’s good for them and Boise. “The alternative for us wasn’t something we wanted. We didn’t want somebody else who wasn’t from the community, who didn’t understand the culture of the store to take over. That was really our motivation. We want this to remain in the hands of people who love it.”

“It’s unmanageable”: How the vinyl industry reached breaking point: When Colin Morrison founded his independent record label Castles in space in 2015, it took three to four months to make a vinyl record. He placed an order at the press plant, the trial presses came back within a month, and once they were approved, he waited another 10-12 weeks for the production run to be completed and delivered. His artists were releasing their recordings according to the schedule they had planned, and Morrison, with prepaid production costs, quickly recouped his investment. “Since then, things have gotten worse as demand rises,” said Morrison, who now expects to wait almost a year for his vinyl records to be produced. In particular, over the past 18 months – since the start of the pandemic – “it just became unmanageable.” Even an influential artist like Taylor Swift had to wait months for the release of her vinyl: her album Forever was made available digitally on December 11, 2020; it was released on vinyl on May 28, 2021.

Read More »

Posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined | Leave a comment

TVD Chicago

TVD Live: Riot Fest, 9/16

It’s been 732 days since Riot Fest last took place at Douglass Park in Chicago, Illinois, and man, it is still weird to see a large gathering of people.

Riot Fest added a special preview party on the Thursday before the festival, with limited acts performing on two of the five stages set up throughout the park. They offered free carnival rides, exclusive merch, a dunk tank, and many other special treats for limited ticket holders.

Each set had many memorable moments, one being Joyce Manor closing their set with a cover of “Helena” by My Chemical Romance, who were slated to headline in 2020, pushed it to 2021, but are now one of the sole acts already announced for the festival in 2022.

The legendary Patti Smith drew quite the crowd and you could see just how grateful she was by the smile plastered on her face and how she interacted with the audience, even having security grab a concert-goer’s vinyl copy of her 1975 release, Horses, and signing it on stage. I’m watching a man skank while Patti plays and it’s brought the biggest smile out under my mask. I am so excited to see people out and dancing once again.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Chicago | Leave a comment

TVD Chicago

TVD Live: Pitchfork Music Festival, 9/10

1:15 PM: Aaaaand Pitchfork Music Festival ’21 is officially underway! If there’s a festival worthy of early arrival, it’s Pitchfork. There is always at least one musical act that surprises you, and in this case, it’s the first set of the weekend. NYC Hip hop duo Armand Hammer (Elucid and Billy Woods, who requested no photos of his face) whip through tracks from their latest excellent release (produced by The Alchemist), this year’s Haram.

1:27 PM: There’s a new addition to the Pitchfork campus here at Union Park and it’s the DoorDash member area. Along with band interviews all weekend long, they’re serving seats, shade and—most importantly—free bites from some of Chicago’s best restaurants. Today, it’s Avec and Dove’s Luncheonette.

2:00 PM: Dogleg have my early vote for one of the best sets of the weekend. They’re pumped to be here and proving it with some impressive theatrics: cartwheels, somersaults, and headbanging of course. The crowd is coming alive.

2:15 PM: I could spend some serious money and the Flagstock Poster Fair, but then I’d have to carry the posters around with me for the rest of the day. It’s the only thing saving my bank account.

2:20 PM: The Chirp Record Fair is small but mighty this year and Pitchforkers are wasting no time to peruse the stacks.

2:47 PM: The crowd is filling in for Chicago’s own Dehd. The trio had one of my favorite albums of 2020, Flower of Devotion and it’s sounding just as great live.

3:06 PM: Where is DJ Nate?! So far he’s 21 minutes late for a 45-minute set.

3:43 PM: Singer Frances Quinlan’s voice shines during Hop Along’s set at the Red Stage. The sun soaked crowd is happily dancing along.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Chicago | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Learning
To Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen
in theaters 10/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Abramorama announced today that they have acquired distribution rights to Jesse Lauter’s music documentary Learning To Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen. An electrifying documentary jam-packed with music spotlighting the celebrated “Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” Joe Cocker’s short-lived tour featuring a mammoth thirty-piece band, told through the lens of the reunion of 12 remaining band members, 45 years later, to perform with Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks at the Lockn’ Festival. The film features archival footage alongside current performances and interviews with Leon Russell, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Rita Coolidge, Chris Robinson, Jim Keltner, Dave Mason, Claudia Lennear, and many more.

Filmmaker Jesse Lauter stated, “The original Mad Dogs & Englishmen album and documentary played a foundational role in my early years as a music producer and musician, so it’s only appropriate that my first film as a director is about this critical piece of music history. There has always been a shroud of mystery around this tour—how it came about, what was it like, why it never happened again—so I felt it was my duty to reveal the truth, beauty, and yes drama, behind the music, in hopes to uncover why this music has resonated for so many generations. It was the greatest honor of my career to capture this once-in-a-lifetime reunion.”

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks added, “Mad Dogs & Englishmen were one of the groups that inspired us from when we first started our band and paying tribute to their work with so many of the original members on hand was a highlight on many levels. This film is a labor of love many years in the making, and we’re so proud to share the music and the stories of the men and women of Mad Dogs & Englishmen.”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Pulp,
This Is Hardcore

Celebrating Jarvis Cocker’s 58th birthday yesterday.Ed.

Some albums give off light; others suck it up like a black hole. They’re so dark you’d need Diogenes’ lantern to negotiate their lightless depths. Such an album is Pulp’s 1998 release This Is Hardcore, one of the most unremittingly bleak LPs this side of Lou Reed’s Überbummer Berlin. The brainchild of Jarvis Cocker, jaded romantic in search of purification through immersion in the squalid, This Is Hardcore is a joyless (but always melodic) diagnosis of the human condition, and the diagnosis isn’t good.

You’ve got the Fear, says Cocker, because you’re taking too many drugs, and you equate sex not with love but with pornography, and you fail your young and are terrified of growing old. And there aren’t enough kicks or kink out there to save you; and even the man who does right is dissatisfied.

Cocker is the same fellow who 3 years earlier had written “Sorted for E’s & Wizz,” which eviscerated rave culture and reduced it to a lost soul who’s seriously lost the plot: “And this hollow feeling grows and grows and grows and grows/And you want to phone your mother and say/’Mother, I can never come home again/Cos I seem to have left an important part of my brain somewhere/Somewhere in a field in Hampshire.'” A nattering nabob of negativity he may have been, but no one else of Cocker’s time–which was marked by a rebirth of pride in the culture of the UK–wrote so cogently and forthrightly about the “hollow feeling” at the core of Cool Britannia.

Pulp was formed in 1978, but it wasn’t until 1995’s Different Class–with its hits “Common People,” “Mis-Shapes,” “Disco 2000,” and “Something Changed”–that the band became bona fide rock stars and reluctant members of the Britpop movement. And while Different Class was chock full of class-conscious satire and dark sarcasm, it sounded upbeat; “Sorted for E’s & Wizz” may well be the cheeriest-sounding song ever written about the down side of a drug culture, while “Common People,” as sarcastic a song as any ever written, is also perky and upbeat sounding.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 47: Real Gone Music’s Gordon Anderson

Much of the music we listen to today comes from different generations. It may be an old favorite like Led Zeppelin, or it might be a group that was under the radar for many years before finally having their hey day long after they’d ceased to exist as a group, like Big Star. Behind the contemporary music scenes, there is a full-blown industry involved in keeping popular records in print and releasing albums that deserve a second chance.

Meet Gordon Anderson who has spent much of his life doing both things. He was the founder of the ubiquitous Collector’s Choice label in the 1990s which—long before streaming—was the easiest and most sonically pleasing way to track down classics from the ’50s and ’60s. After leaving Collector’s Choice, Anderson and his business partner Gabby Castellana have created Real Gone Music, which is, as they describe it, “a reissue label dedicated to serving both the collector community and the casual music fan with a robust release schedule combining big-name artists with esoteric cult favorites.”

With nearly ten releases per month, Real Gone Music probably has something in their catalog that will appeal to everyone, in fact, it’s this populist, all-encompassing acceptance that gives the label its unique spin: if enough people want it, Real Gone Music will try to find a way to serve it up.

Anderson and I take a deep dive into the world of running a record label, the business of music reissues, and the vinyl comeback. We also question what’s going on with our old buddy the CD, and learn about the origins of Real Gone’s celebrated Black Jazz label reissues. It seems difficult to comprehend, but if it weren’t for guys like Gordon Anderson keeping vintage music catalogs alive, you might not even know that some of your favorite music ever existed.

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.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Jim Morrison and The Doors, An American Prayer

There’s a game I like to play. It’s called “Who’s the worse poet, Jim Morrison or Patti Smith?” Morrison generally wins by a nose. Like Patti Smith, the late Mr. Morrison viewed himself as a visionary in the grand tradition of 19th Century French poète maudit Arthur Rimbaud, but the duo’s sum contribution to poetry consists of a few decent song lyrics and some very bad books of poetry.

So why don’t I give the nod to Morrison? He wrote “L.A. Woman” for one. And he possessed a sense of humor. “Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts” is a great one-liner, as is “Actually I don’t remember being born, it must have happened during one of my black outs.” So far as I know Smith hasn’t delivered a legitimate quip in her life—she’s far too busy taking herself seriously.

All of which brings us to 1978’s disgraceful American Prayer, which I doubt Morrison would have found amusing. What you get for your wasted money is shit and shinola without the shinola. American Prayer is a dog’s breakfast comprised in part of short (and purposeless) fragments of Morrison spouting off at live shows and “collages” melding well-known Doors’ songs to scraps of Morrison’s verse.

But what you mostly get are tracks on which the surviving Doors add after-the-fact musical accompaniment to Morrison’s poetic detritus. Most of said music is mediocre jazz fusion along the lines of later Steely Dan, although you also get tastes of bad funk and (believe it or not) disco.

American Prayer includes examples of Morrison at his poetic worst. There are too many examples to cite in full, but let’s start with “Lament,” with its lines “Guitar player/Ancient wise satyr/Sing your ode to my cock.” Equally awful is the title track’s “Cling to cunts & cocks of despair/We got our vision by clap/Columbus’s groin got filled with green death.”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text