TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Let’s drink to the hard working people / Let’s drink to the lowly of birth / Raise your glass to the good and the evil / Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier / Spare a thought for his back breaking work / Say a prayer for his wife and his children / Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

Anyone catch the first episode of the new Larry David?

It’s Grammy weekend in LA, Impeachment week in DC, and there are a shitload of koala bears and kangaroos who need our help.

I hear there are people who actually wear those red “Donald” baseball caps, but they’re as rare as “roos” around this canyon. I say let’s make planet Earth great—call it “Earth justice.”

On a LA Grammy week note, we do have pop music here. It’s kind of a “corruption” in the universe of music. Many call them artists? I guess there is an art to claiming your star on Hollywood Boulevard. In my old neighborhood in NYC, you would just get your ass kicked for listening to Peter Lemongello.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Resavoir, Valebol, and Luke Titus at Lincoln Hall, 1/18

Saturday night’s Tomorrow Never Knows Fest show at Lincoln Hall saw some of Chicago’s finest musicians come together to put on a multi-genre show that felt like it could melt away the snow that was piled up outside.

Drummer and producer Luke Titus started the night off with mesmerizing drum beats mixed with catchy guitar riffs and sultry vocals. Titus shared with the crowd that he liked to name his songs after colors because he associated his emotions with colors, and when he’s writing songs he feels emotional and the color helps the music paint a picture. He really connected with the crowd, so when his time was up the audience was left wanting more.

Valebol, the pop collaboration between V.V. Lightbody and Daniel Villarreal, were up next. Mixing lyrics in different languages with vocal distortion and synthesizers got the crowd up on their feet. The highlight of their set was when they brought out their cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” which left the crowd singing along loudly as they reminisced about this early 2000s pop hit.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Joni Mitchell, Shine vinyl debut in stores 4/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings is thrilled to announce the first-ever vinyl release of Joni Mitchell’s best-selling 2007 album, Shine. Available April 3rd and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI, the acclaimed title includes such tracks as “One Week Last Summer” (which received the 2008 GRAMMY® Award for Best Instrumental Pop Performance), and an updated version of Mitchell’s iconic 1970 track “Big Yellow Taxi.”

The 19th studio album from Mitchell, Shine marked the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter’s first collection of original material in nearly a decade, and came as a welcome surprise to the artist’s fans, following her well-publicized break with the music business at the turn of the millennium. Described by Mitchell to be “as serious a work as I’ve ever done,” Shine was inspired by the environmental, social and political turmoil which plagued the era of the Iraq War.

The 10 tracks on the album echo Mitchell’s pensive mood—reflective lyrics and beautiful, often-minimalist, piano-driven melodies paint a somber, yet hopeful picture. Highlights include the instrumental opener, “One Week Last Summer,” featuring the versatile multi-instrumentalist Bob Sheppard on soprano saxophone; the epic “Night of the Iguana,” loosely based on John Huston’s 1964 film; the title track, featuring an appearance by longtime friend James Taylor on guitar; Mitchell’s revisit to “Big Yellow Taxi,” which feels eerily prophetic 50 years after its debut, and “If I Had a Heart,” which the New York Times described as “one of the most haunting melodies she has ever written.”

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The TVD Storefront

Little Dume,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl has always been so enchanting and mysterious to us in our musical journey.”

“My earliest memory with vinyl started with my brother David (singer) and our uncle Bruce. Bruce lives in Palo Alto, CA and grew up in the heart of the ’60s. Palo Alto was the birthplace of a lot of bands but most notably The Grateful Dead.

I went up there to visit one weekend when I was 15 (David must have been 10) and he sat me down from 2:00pm to 3:00am every day and showed me everything from early Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Chambers Brothers, Marvin Gaye, to Harry Nilsson, Cream, King Crimson, and much more. Every genre. Honestly it was overwhelming but incredible.

As we got older David and I started collecting our own vinyl. We’d pick up our own and share it whenever able. Some of our early records were Parachutes by Coldplay, Led Zeppelin IV, U2’s The Joshua Tree, and many more.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Howlin’ Wolf,
The London Howlin’
Wolf Sessions

Before we turn to a serious discussion of Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf, a true story about another wolf, last name Blitzer. A friend of a friend of his cousin’s friend who lives in Blitzer’s swank neighborhood in Bethesda, MD swears come one full moon night he watched a howling Blitzer lope naked across his backyard, in pursuit of a terrified deer. This friend of a friend of a cousin’s friend assumed it was just an acid flashback, but when he turned on CNN the next day he swears he saw flecks of blood in Wolf’s beard.

As for Howlin’ Wolf, he’s only one of the greatest blues musicians to ever walk Planet Earth. The Wolf could do it all: sing, play guitar and harmonica–hell, I betcha he could have rocked the blues on the hornucopian dronepipe had somebody handed him one. Thousands of people have paid homage to Howlin’ Wolf over the years, but my favorite encomium comes from the late Cub Koda of Brownsville Station, who said, “No one could match Howlin’ Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.” Howlin’ Wolf and Wolf Blitzer have a lot in common.

There are better Howlin’ Wolf albums out there, but listeners have long been drawn to 1971’s The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions on the basis of its who’s who cast of renowned musicians. Session attendees included Eric Clapton, long-time Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumin, Steve Winwood, sessions pianist extraordinaire Lafayette Leake, Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart, Ringo Starr, Bill Wyman, Klaus Voormann and some other guys whose names elude me at the moment.

The players’ excitement at being in the presence of a great is palpable, and they give their best as a result. Clapton’s playing is breath-taking throughout–his stinging leads on such tracks as ”Highway 49,” “Do the Do,” “Red Rooster” and “Rockin’ Daddy” are almost enough to validate all that “Clapton Is God” nonsense. Rolling Stones co-founder Ian Stewart, Lafayette Leake, and Winwood share piano duties on the sessions, but it’s Stewart who shines–his rollicking 88s lend a shakin’ shotgun shack feel to tunes like “Rockin’ Daddy” and “Do the Do.”

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 1/24/20

Gloucestershire, UK | Vinyl record store closes: A popular music shop which has grown a loyal fan base in the Five Valleys and beyond has closed its doors for the last time. Sanctuary Music made the announcement on Facebook and its following 50 per cent off sale to move on its stock saw the business almost cleaned out. Ash Hunt and Adrian Coubrough, who ran the haven for vinyl record-lovers from the shop on the Nailsworth Mills Estate, posted a message to customers on their social media channel. “A huge THANK YOU to all of our loyal customers! News of our closing down spread far and wide and our 50 per cent sale has gone so well that we have sold out of ALL new vinyl! What is left of our pre-owned records will be going to Stroud Auctions for their next sale of Vinyl on 1st April,” said the Facebook post. The message followed the initial shock news earlier this month: “We are very sad to announce that after a period of uncertainty due to personal circumstances, Sanctuary Music will be closing down…

Melbourne, AU | Melbourne’s Polyester Records to close after 37 years: Polyester Records, one of Melbourne’s most beloved and longest-running record stores, has announced it will cease operations this coming March. In a statement posted to its social media accounts yesterday (January 22), the store’s management noted there were “many mixed emotions” about their time coming to a close after nearly four decades of service. “Polyester has endured in its Fitzroy home for an extraordinary period since 1983,” it reads. The store goes on to note “fond memories of the celebration of a seemingly endless amount of incredible music,” brought to them care of “[a]rtists, labels and personalities which we have surrounded ourselves with and enjoyed involvement with from not only around the world, but – particularly important for us and our community – from within Melbourne music.” …While the official closing date will be Friday, March 13, Polyester has also announced that “a series of very special event announcements to celebrate our history” are to come…

Chicago, IL | New Hegewisch Record Store Would Let Neighbors Listen To Music, Drink Coffee — If Owner Can Get It Funded: Owner Kevin Beauchamp wanted the store to be a place where music lovers can gather and share their interests. Tucked away at the southeast corner of Chicago, the working-class Hegewisch neighborhood isn’t known for record stores or coffee shops — but if Kevin Beauchamp has his way, that’s just what’s coming to the area. Beauchamp hopes his tentatively named Katalyst Coffee Lounge/Music Gallery at 13257 S. Baltimore Ave. will give residents a place they can listen to albums together while enjoying coffee. Beauchamp hopes to have it open by Hegewisch Fest on Aug. 1. The concept for the cafe and store has evolved over time, reflecting Beauchamp’s interests and his desire to reflect the needs of the community. Beauchamp originally planned for a record store only, but agreed to add a coffee shop component at the urging of the Hegewisch Business Association. Although not a Chicago native, Beauchamp grew up in the city and has lived “all over” the North and South sides. He runs the Woodlawn-based Katalyst Entertainment independent jazz and world music record label, which grew out of his experience as a house music DJ.

Washington, DC | DC Is Getting a Hotel With a Record Store, a Rotating Lineup of DJs, and Food by the Timber Pizza Co. Team: Starting in March, the Wink Hotel in the West End will become Yours Truly. There’s a new hotel concept coming to DC that’s jockeying for a spot alongside places like the Line and Eaton, which aren’t just high-end spots to stay but also spaces for locals to grab a meal or take a yoga class. Launching in March, Yours Truly is the new concept replacing the existing Wink Hotel in the West End. And it has many of the traits that have almost become de-facto in boutique hotels these days: an open-concept “living room” instead of a lobby, popular local chefs manning the dining space, yoga classes in the courtyard and, yes, Insta-friendly plants. (It’s also pet-friendly.) …The open main floor will flow into Mercy Me, the all-day, South American-inspired restaurant and bar from the Timber Pizza and Call Your Mother team. Also in the “living room:” the first DC location of Uncle Tony’s Donut Shoppe, an Orlando used-and-new vinyl store. Visitors can shop for records, as well as record players, headphones, and other gear. A rotating list of DJs will come into the store to spin, says Segal, and their music will be piped throughout the hotel.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: The Budos Band with Paul
& The Tall Trees at the 9:30 Club, 1/18

We burned the midnight (Old Engine) oil in DC when The Budos Band presented its funk/rock/soul party as a burnt offering at the 9:30 Club on a cold, wet Saturday night.

Kicking off the late night party was Paul & The Tall Trees. Led by Paul Schalda who, like the Budos Band, hails from Staten Island, NY, Paul & the Tall Trees are described as an intersection of classic bands like Buffalo Springfield and The Band. These are apt comparisons; live I also heard hints of Neil Young. It’s a poetic, occasionally tortured, but ultimately warm sound. Underscoring that warmth was Schalda’s frequent references to his father, a member of his own band.

The Budos Band (Jared Tankel, Thomas Brenneck, John Carbonella Jr, Mike Deller, Daniel Fodor, Andrew Greene, Rob Lombardo, Brian Profilio, and Dame Rodriguez) took the stage at the stroke of midnight. I’ve been a Budos fan for ages, having discovered them when I was taking a walk on a summer evening in Milwaukee. They were performing in a park near the Milwaukee School of Engineering and I stopped for a listen. After ten minutes, I bought up half the merch table and never looked back, having fallen hard for the band’s ’70s Afro-funky instrumental sound. Saturday night marked only the third time I’d seen them since that first evening in Wisconsin years ago and I couldn’t have been more stoked.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Paul Cherry, V. V. Lightbody, The Ophelias, and Claude at Lincoln Hall, 1/17

Friday night of Tomorrow Never Knows Fest was a true test to see if Chicago’s biggest music fans would brave a winter storm to see their favorite artists. As the snow came down and the plows were nowhere to be seen, patrons from throughout the city came together to see Paul Cherry headline Lincoln Hall.

Solo act Claude was the first to brave the stage, connecting with the crowd with her sweet voice and soft guitar melodies. Even though she admitted to getting over a cold and not feeling her best, the Chicago musician kept it going and finished her set to cheers from the crowd.

Ohio based The Ophelias were up next, and before they even started audience members couldn’t help but comment about liking the band members personal styles. Bopping along to their classical infused, alternative indie rock setlist, they created the relaxed vibe for the rest of the night.

V.V. Lightbody was joined on stage by a full band that included a bassist, drummer, keyboardist, guitarist, saxophonist, and flutist. Perfectly entwining the wind instruments with her vocals and melodies, her set felt like a daydream. Adding a bit of comedy in between songs, Lightbody applauded the crowd for braving the snow storm and deemed them “not babies.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Rock
& Roll Hall of Fame in Concert: The Blu-Ray Collection
in stores 2/18

VIA PRESS RELEASE | For more than 30 years, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has honored rock music’s greats during annual prestigious black-tie ceremonies which have become nearly as epic as the artists they celebrate. Featuring the biggest names in classic rock from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, as well as once-in-a-lifetime collaborations that can only happen at these very special events, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Concert: The Blu-Ray Collection is the biggest and best video music collection Time Life has ever produced.

Giving home audiences front row seats to the greatest performances from the historic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concerts, this Blu-ray collector’s set—never before available at retail in one comprehensive collection—features nearly 30 hours of entertainment and over 150 unforgettable performances from 2009-2017, as well as historic, irreverent and emotional induction speeches across 6 gleaming discs. Among the iconic acts featured are Alice Cooper, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Electric Light Orchestra, Heart, James Taylor, Journey, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, Simon and Garfunkel, Sting, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, Glenn Frey, Green Day, Yes, Bill Withers, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Beastie Boys, Genesis, N.W.A., Randy Newman, Public Enemy, and U2. Simply put, if you’re a fan of live classic rock, this is the collection to own.

Housed in one handsome collector’s case are three distinct Blu-ray collections: Rock Hall In Concert – Encore (2 BD discs), Rock Hall in Concert (2 BD discs), and The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts (2 BD discs):

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert – Encore — Features 44 iconic performances from the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 induction ceremonies. Among the highlights: 

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TVD Washington, DC

Independent Minded: A podcast with Ron Scalzo: Mock Identity

The Independent Minded podcast features conversations with indie artists in the music and entertainment business.

Pop culture legends “Weird Al” Yankovic and Henry Rollins, indie icons CAKE, Gogol Bordello and Mike Doughty, and up-and-coming indie artists The Districts and Vagabon talk about their experiences in the business, their inspirations and passions, and their recent projects.

The podcast is hosted by Ron Scalzo, an indie musician and radio producer with 9 self-released albums and an independent record label of his own, Bald Freak Music.

Ron interviews Josh Hoffman, bass player in Washington, DC indie rock band Mock Identity about Rhizome DC, Iowa punk rock, being a musical ambassador, playing the euphonium. Ron also rants about “Best Of” Lists, Taron Egerton, and Whitney Houston in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for January 2020, Part Three

Part three of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for January, 2020. Part one is here and part two is here.

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Breathless, The Glass Bead Game (1972) The band name derives from Jean-Luc Godard, the album title from a novel by Hermann Hesse, and the music is amongst the more underrated post-punk of the 1980s, with this their debut from 1986. Breathless singer-keyboardist Dominic Appleton is perhaps best known for his participation in This Mortal Coil, though if you recognize him through that contribution, it’s quite likely you know his work in tandem with bassist Ari Neufeld, guitarist Gary Mundi, and Tristram Latimer Sayer. They apparently sometimes get lumped in with The Sound and Comsat Angels, but the music here ultimately owes more to the precedent of The Cure and Joy Division. Unsurprisingly, Breathless fit in with the stronger 4AD work of the period.

Had This Mortal Coil member and 4AD label honcho Ivo Watts-Russell put this out on his own label rather than Breathless self-releasing it on their Tessa Vossa imprint, the chances are good that this record and the band would have a much higher profile today. This is speculation of course, but the likelihood is reinforced by inspired musicianship rather than the by-the-numbers (or better said, hand-me-down) moves that were surfacing in ethereal post-punk (aka OG dream pop) at the time. But it’s also not as if the influences can’t be discerned, as Joy Div greatly impacts the consecutive “All My Eye & Betty Martin” and “Count on Angels.” But they do it very well. It’s side one’s closer “Monkey Talk” that works up a level of intensity reinforcing The Glass Bead Game as the beginning of something special. A-

Go Hirano, Corridor of Daylights (Black Editions) This 2004 set is the third of three records Japanese musician Hirano cut for the P.S.F. label starting in 1993, though he was also in psych rock band White Heaven. This music is aptly described as home field recordings with piano at the fore. It also features melodica, wind chimes, the ambience of Hirano’s surroundings, even a little vocalizing, and in “Coral,” some treated guitar from Roderick Zalameda. The whole is gentle and captivating as it naturally differs quite a bit from White Heaven and is further distinguished from the too-often predictable bright buoyancy of neo-classical piano stuff.  This is the only one of Hirano’s P.S.F. releases not originally on vinyl, debuting on the format here. Next month it is bundled with a cassette of unissued material. A

Tangerine Dream, Sorcerer Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Waxwork) Director William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, released to theaters in 1977, was a commercial flop and for a long time was also considered an artistic dud. Its bad reputation endured partly because it wasn’t easy to see in the years after its initial run was over, and if one could locate a copy or a screening, it would likely not be the uncut version in the proper aspect ratio. Well, Friedkin’s cut has since been restored to considerable critical reevaluation, and this soundtrack, notably the first for a Hollywood film from the Krautrock-affiliated Tangerine Dream, is sorta the icing on the cake. It features a short liner text by the director detailing the collaboration. Where much of the Dream’s later stuff doesn’t thrill me, this one satisfies nicely. A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 1/23/20

Corvallis, OR | Best of 2020: Corvallis music stores: First place: Happy Trails. Happy Trails is Corvallis, Ore.’s most beloved vintage music shop. Upon walking in, the walls are covered with posters and records, CD’s fill the narrow hallways and music is always playing. The store has been open since 1973 and the current owners bought it and 1988. The store offers 12-inch vinyl, cassettes, stickers, t-shirts, trades, collectables and more. Located on the corner of Third Street and Monroe Avenue. Dave Trenkel has worked at Happy Trails for decades and has seen the store change and become what it is today. He works a few evenings a week and enjoys picking out what record he’s going to throw on the record player each day. He was stumped when trying to come up with his top three favorite band of all time. “You have to understand, I’ve been an avid music collector for over 40 years, that’s kind of an impossible question,” Trenkel said. “Well I’m currently listening to Miles Davis, he’d probably be there, King Crimson, gosh I don’t know, it’s so hard. The Weather Report, maybe.”

Mankato, MN | Music Man: Carl Nordmeier gives customers more than music, he gives them an experience. On the corner of Rock Street and Riverfront Drive in Old Town Mankato sits the only shop in town dedicated to selling vinyl records. TuneTown’s owner, Carl Nordmeier, is a veteran of the music sales business, working in the music department at Target for years before the birth of the record store in his home town of Faribault, Minnesota, in 1993. It was his passion for music that inspired the now-26-year-old business. As many Americans do, Nordmeier saw an opportunity in the area and seized it. “What got me into the business, growing up in that area, there really wasn’t anything available for record stores,” says Nordmeier. “We had to go up to the Twin Cities if I wanted to go to a decent record store. Faribault only had a Walmart, and there was a music-instrument shop that sold CDs and tapes on the side, so there wasn’t a whole lot of competition.” Nordmeier capitalized on the wave of music censorship pushed by the Parents Music Resource Center during the mid-1980s and early ‘90s. He says Walmart’s decision to only carry “clean” albums opened a door for his store to sell music deemed “explicit” by advocates of a more “family-friendly” industry.

Lawrenceville, GA | Third annual Lawrenceville Record Show brings back memories for many: Brad Erbesfield has been buying records for four or five years now. The Athens resident said he collects so many, that the only furniture he buys from Ikea is for his records. On Saturday, despite some light rain, he took the opportunity while visiting family in the area to stop by the third annual Lawrenceville Record Show at Slow Pour Brewing Company. The record show was hosted by Slow Pour’s next-door neighbor, Depot Records, which is owned by Tony and Stacey Seminara. Depot Records opened in Lawrenceville about four years ago. “We do it partially to offer service for vinyl fans,” Tony said about the record show. “It’s basically a convenient place to shop, especially for more pricier records, harder to find records, and enjoy some fine craft beer.” Tony estimated there were about 10,000 albums for sale at the show on Saturday. They came from about seven local dealers in the Atlanta area, as well as one from South Carolina. “I hope that everybody here this evening gets to sit in their living room with a new piece of vinyl that they purchased today just enjoying the evening,” Tony said. “For me personally, and I believe a lot of people here would agree, there’s just a warmness to the music when you play it on vinyl.”

Bronx, NY | This Bronx Restaurant Pays Tribute to Hip-Hop & the Black and Latino Kids Who Created the Genre: When you first open the door at 135 Alexander Ave., you seemingly find yourself in a vinyl record shop. Filled with posters of Bob Marley, LL Cool J and Wu Tang Clan as well as a Casio keyboard with a missing key, it’s not unlike other record stores. But when you get to the tall red velvet curtain directly across the entrance, the muffled music playing behind it invites you to cross the threshold. Four MTV Cribs-esque chandeliers shed light on the scene: A crowd forms as the DJ dances to a Migos song. Beside them, a group of friends laughs hysterically as they pour a glass of mouth-watering sangria, reminiscing about the good old days while sharing plates of crispy chicken, perfectly melted mac ‘n’ cheese,locrio and tres golpes. This is Beatstro⁠ – the Bronx’s first hip-hop restaurant.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD Live Shots: Metal Allegiance, Exmortus, Weapons of Anew, and Trauma at the House of Blues, 1/16

ANAHEIM, CA | With so many musicians in town for NAMM, there seems to be an over-abundance of jam shows that fans can take part in on any given evening throughout convention week. Although many are solid in their own right, one stands out each year as the quintessential “must-attend” show. This year’s Metal Allegiance performance at the Anaheim House of Blues was nothing short of spectacular and once again demonstrated why it deserves to stand atop the mountain of all-things metal.

NAMM week can be overwhelming.  On any given day, tens of thousands of people flock to the Anaheim Convention Center for what is arguably the largest musical convention of its kind in the world today. Whether you are a musician, vendor or fan, there is something for everyone over the traditional 4-day event, and entertainment options become even greater when the event closes its doors for the evening. On Thursday, the buzz around the convention hall was Metal Allegiance’s sold-out show at the House of Blues that evening, and it was definitely a show I had circled on my calendar earlier in the year as a “must-see” during NAMM week.

Kicking off the evening were three bands that in their own unique way, lit the fuse on the Metal Allegiance powder keg on Thursday night.  First up was Trauma, a legendary bay area thrash metal band hailing from San Francisco.  One might think that an opener is simply filler for the main event, but these guys were legit. The concert erupted into bedlam from note one, and there was no turning back at that point. Next up was Weapons of Anew. I’d never heard of this band prior, but I’m definitely a fan after taking in their ridiculously entertaining set from the pit. Their energy was off the charts and were definitely a sign of things to come later that evening.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Hiss Golden Messenger and Lilly Hiatt at the 9:30 Club, 1/15

Last Wednesday evening DC’s 9:30 Club played host to a night of indie-rock from two acts that will demand more attention for years to come, Hiss Golden Messenger and Lilly Hiatt.

His Golden Messenger is the led by MC Taylor, a Southern California native who transplanted to the Durham, North Carolina music scene in 2007. After various successful lineups, Taylor made subtle personnel changes over the years to explore different capacities for the band’s sound with rock remaining at its core.

The band boasts eleven studio albums to date along with multiple EPs, various singles, and live releases. In 2014 Taylor signed with Durham’s Merge Records and joined the ranks of artists such as Arcade Fire, Robert Pollard, and Washington, DC’s own Ex Hex among others. Hiss Golden Messenger’s latest LP, Terms of Surrender was released in 2019 and is available in black vinyl and limited edition Coke bottle vinyl which includes a two color newsprint posters within.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Donnas, Gold Medal black and gold splatter vinyl reissue in stores 2/28

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Real Gone Music’s reissue includes reproductions of the original poster and printed inner sleeve for its black and gold splatter vinyl edition, limited to 750 copies.

Famously formed in 8th grade for a school talent show, The Donnas began as a self-styled co-ed answer to The Ramones, each taking the first name of Donna (as opposed to the last name of Ramone), and playing gleefully unapologetic, pop-punk paeans to adolescent alienation and hedonism from a decidedly female perspective. But by the time of 2004’s Gold Medal, their sixth album and second for the major label Atlantic, the group has clearly—dare we say it?–matured.

With the notable exception of the single (and career highlight) “Fall Behind Me,” Gold Medal marks a move away from the Donnas’ harder/faster ethos towards a more polished (acoustic guitars…whaaat?) pop sound veering towards ‘70s psychedelia under the helm of Avril Lavigne producer Butch Walker. And you can tell it from the album’s graphics, which flash vintage, Peter Max-esque squiggles on the front cover and feature a faux black light poster inside (which we have reproduced for this reissue along with the original printed inner sleeve).

The result was an album that lead vocalist Brett Anderson a.k.a Donna A. deems her favorite, and one that stands as probably the band’s crowning artistic achievement. Our reissue comes in black and gold splatter vinyl, and is limited to 750 copies…an overlooked early-oughties gem!

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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