A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/7/20

Medicine Hat, AB | Take what you need: Local record store owner doing what he can to help: The owner of a local record store is doing what he can to assist those in need during these tough times. Big Al’s Music and Games owner Al Brigham has been filling up an empty cooler with essentials every night before closing. He leaves the cooler out overnight with a note on top, asking people to take what they need. “I’m leaving a lot of different things in there every night,” he said. “I know sometimes it isn’t everything people need, but I try and have it stocked with toilet paper, gloves, water and music. “These are really challenging times right now and I’m just trying to help out.” Brigham leaves the cooler outside every night and has been doing so for two weeks. “Pretty much everything I’ve left outside is gone in the morning,” he said. “All I ask is that people leave the container so I can fill it up again.”

North Adams, MA | Belltower Records Doors May Be Shut But The Music Is Still On: Belltower Records is keeping the record store experience alive despite the sudden closure because of the COVID-19 outbreak. “People love to connect over records and their love of music. Music can ease a lot of anxiety or discomfort over day-to-day life and in that way it serves an emotional purpose,” owners Andrea Belair and Wes Nelson said in a joint email. “With this sudden retreat into isolation, we think it’s important to not overlook how this will affect people emotionally. ‘Music is the healing force of the universe.’” The record store closed in the Norad Mill on March 16 as concerns over the novel coronavirus continued to ramp up. “We decided to close out of concern for public health surrounding the COVID-19 crisis since we did not want to contribute to the spread of the virus through exposing customers through contact with it,” they wrote. Belair and Nelson have always sold music online but saw an opportunity to expand while the brick and mortar operation is closed.. They have increased their offerings on both Discogs and Etsy…

UK | Tributes to former ERA chairman Paul Quirk: Following the sad news of the death of former ERA chairman Paul Quirk, industry figures have paid tribute. Quirk died aged 71 after a short battle with cancer. Alongside his brother Rob, he headed up the Quirk’s indie retail chain, which was centred on Ormskirk, outside Liverpool. Paul Quirk became an increasingly well-known industry figure, so it was a natural step to for him to get involved with the Entertainment Retailers Association, launched in 1988 by members including Woolworths, Our Price and WH Smith. “He didn’t see why he should sit around the table with people who were trying to put him out of business,” said former Millward Brown charts director Bob Barnes. “But he came along, realised that his issues were the same as theirs and soon became more and more involved.”

Why Warner Records Is Still Releasing Big Albums Amid COVID-19 Lockdown: As artists postpone releases amid a market slowdown, one major record label is finding success sticking to its original plans. “Music is very of the moment — it captures a time,” says Warner Records COO Tom Corson. It was not on my list of expectations, when interviewing Los Angeles-based Chairman and COO of Warner Records Tom Corson, to be greeted by a quote from the German soccer coach, Jurgen Klopp. But these are, as those serotonin-sapping global headlines keep reminding us, unpredictable times. “Football is the most important of the least important things.” …Corson told me these words resonated with him not only for offering a spot of mirth during an oft-bleak period, but also because he humbly disagrees: Music, says Corson, is, by far the most important of the least important things — especially right now. With this essential credo set in stone, he permits me to quiz him on the fact that Warner Records is having hit records… during a particularly abnormal few weeks.

Why ‘High Fidelity’ Plays So Differently After 20 Years: High Fidelity turned 20 this March, which is a sentence I take absolutely no joy in writing. I was 17 when I first saw it, fully in the throws of teenage angst, and John Cusack was one of My Guys. I watched Better Off Dead and Say Anything… almost constantly (the former more than the latter – Say Anything… is actually kind of a bummer), and the prospect of seeing Cusack bemoan his failed relationships while lording over an elitist record store was extremely my shit at the time. (I was exhausting to be around, you guys.) It was a combination of all of my favorite things – mopey introspection, music snobbery, and pining over girls. Consequently, when I walked out of that movie theater in March of 2000, I absolutely loved High Fidelity. Today, I’m considerably older, I’ve been married for several years, and I have way more grey in my hair, and High Fidelity doesn’t play the same as it did back when I was in high school. I’m not positive, but I think I don’t actually like it anymore.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: ‘Mornings with Papa Tom Chapin and the Chapin Sisters’ music show streaming daily

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Three-time Grammy winner Tom Chapin and his daughters Abigail and Lily, aka the Chapin Sisters, offer 30 minutes’ worth of kid-friendly music with Mornings with Papa Tom Chapin and the Chapin Sisters. The show streams daily weekday mornings at 11:00AM EDST on Facebook and Instagram. All episodes are archived on YouTube

Quarantined together in the elder Chapin’s Hudson Valley home, the three Chapins stream live from his living room, performing songs from Tom’s thirteen classic albums of Children’s Music as well as classics from the American Folk Music canon. The show provides lighthearted but intelligent entertainment for all generations, a perfect opportunity for families to gather and enjoy each other’s company.

Abigail and Lily both have four-year old daughters, home from pre-school and too young to be occupied by Zoom School, Google Classroom and so on and they have many friends in the same boat. “We saw a need for some entertainment for kids their age and older, engaging kids along with their parents. At first we thought this would be for a week or two, but we are kept motivated by the daily responses and requests. We’ve been asking people to share the names of loved ones who are Essential Workers, and we thank them live by name every day.”

“I wanted to keep busy,” adds Tom, “and share these songs that I’ve written with my amazing collaborators over the last 30 years. I’ve been a working touring musician for more than half a century, and being stuck at home is uncharted territory, but as always the music and a chance to sing with my daughters keeps me sane, healthy and happy.”

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TVD Radar: Guided By Voices, Alien Lanes 25th anniversary edition in stores 8/21

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “A brilliant collection of songs whose importance feels predestined.”Rolling Stone

Matador Records has announced a 25th Anniversary vinyl edition of Guided By Voices’ 1995 album Alien Lanes. Inspired by the multicolored drumhead featured on the album’s artwork, this new edition is pressed on blue, green and red multicolored vinyl making it the first non-exclusive color vinyl edition of this release. A limited edition Guided By Voices keyring / bottle opener, based on an original 1995 design, will be available to bundle with copies of the Alien Lanes 25th Anniversary LP exclusively through the Matador webstores while stocks last. Limited to a one time press of 2,500 copies, pre-sale for this exclusive edition is available via the Matador store.

Originally released on April 4, 1995, Alien Lanes served as the first Guided by Voices album to be released on Matador Records. With 28 tracks spanning the course of 41 minutes, the album would fundamentally alter the concept of what a rock and roll record could be.

Bursting at the seams with classic rock bravado (“Game of Pricks,” “Closer You Are”), anthemic power pop (“My Valuable Hunting Knife,” “Motor Away”), punk (“Pimple Zoo,” “My Son Cool”), psychedelic experimentalism (“Ex-Supermodel,” “Alright”), and tape-warped ballads ( “King And Caroline,” “Blimps Go 90,” “Chicken Blows”) Alien Lanes dips and dives between genres and moods with breakneck efficiency and a remarkable amount of intellect and emotion bolstered by the abstract poetry of songwriter and front-man Bob Pollard.

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Colin Newman:
The Lost Interview

The global pandemic has claimed a number of things, including stopping my favorite band in the entire world from completing their North American tour, as Wire had to pull up stakes half way through and return home. We take it for granted that every Wire album will be phenomenal now, but it really is staggering that they can produce something as incredible and current as Mind Hive well over 40 years into their career.

While we have been robbed of the joys of seeing Wire live, being in lockdown has finally allowed me to go back and save an interview that I did with Colin Newman back in 2017 around the reissue of his incredible early solo records. A-Z, Provisionally Entitled The Singing Fish, and Not To remain some of my favorite albums of all-time. I could talk about them for days. Colin tells me he doesn’t have much to say about them, and then we chat for hours…

Colin Newman: I don’t have a huge amount to say. I don’t know if you’ve read any of the interviews I’ve done for my solo records. I tend to run out of things to say very quickly. I did it because I felt I had an opportunity I couldn’t not take. There’s too many negatives in that sentence, but you understand what I mean. I heard from a friend who works for Beggars that they were allowing some of their artists to have their back catalogue on vinyl. And I thought, “Well, that will be nice, but it would be good to do CDs because I’ve got extra tracks in the archives I could make doubles of and that will make a more interesting release for fans.” And so I negotiated with them to get a CD and they were fine with that, and they just basically gave them to me to release. They retained the title; they owned them. But they’re not keeping the things in print anymore.

I think Beggars are in a position to do this but they do take quite seriously the kind of, as it were, the unwritten pact between a record company and an artist — especially an independent label. If you have someone’s records and you’re not making them available, then you don’t really have the right to continue to — you’re not exploiting it on behalf of the artist, so you could be legally challenged if you weren’t. But I don’t think they look at it like that; it’s more like, “Well, if the artist can do something with it, then why not get them to do it?” So that was where I came into it. It took me forever to get anything together. I’ve known about this since 2012.

John Foster: You and I have talked about it even further back, as far as a speculative thing that could happen.

Yeah. So it’s one of those things. I don’t feel particularly close to the material, but at the same time I’m very happy that I’ve made quite a lot of people happy with rereleasing it, so that’s ultimately a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

It’s interesting too. In setting that up, I guess one of the things I was curious about was why not reissue them on Pink Flag or Swim, setting up a separate —

Pink Flag doesn’t release anything other than Wire records. It’s very specific in that regard. I think it would have been a more commercial option to release them on Pink Flag but then you open up all kinds of potential problems within the band if you say, “Oh, well I’m using this vehicle for my own use.” That seems to me a bit unethical, really. The only way I can maintain a position of being in the band and running the label is to be beyond reproach. I can’t ever be seen to be doing anything to my personal advantage. It all has to be about Wire. It’s very specific, that Pink Flag only releases Wire records. Swim, on the other hand, only releases new records. That was the idea of it, to have a sub-label. Of course Sentient Sonics is a sub-label of Swim. And the name came from Graham Duff, the writer. Ages ago I thought, “We need to have a name for this label,” and he came up with it. He always comes up with names of groups. A lot of his writing is about music, or has been in the past, so band names is one of his specialties. There’s always an element of humor in them.

Right, he’s got a list of things waiting for the right opportunity to launch them?

Not really, it’s just something that he came up with that kind of stuck. If there will be more things, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that there would be another set, which would be Commercial Suicide, It Seems, and Bastard, all done in the same way. They will be released on vinyl. There’s definitely material for second discs for all of those three. So there will be a commercial market for them.

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Graded on a Curve: Lynyrd Skynyrd,
Nuthin’ Fancy

It is my unreconstituted thunk that Lynyrd Skynyrd is America’s second greatest rock’n’roll band, right behind the Velvet Underground. Hyperbole? Mebbe. But during the four short years before fate shot their airship down, the Southern rockers produced a veritable shitload of immortal (and yes smart) tunes that I, for one, have been listening to with pleasure for decades.

1975’s appropriately titled Nuthin’ Fancy isn’t the best Skynyrd LP out there. It may even be the worst of the five albums the original Lynyrd Skynyrd—which is the only Lynyrd Skynyrd that matters—recorded between 1973 and 1977. It lacks the sublime touches that make Skynyrd’s first and second albums rock landmarks, and the assortment of to-die-for songs (“That Smell,” “One More Time,” “All I Can Do Is Write About It”) scattered throughout the two LPs that came after it. The way I see it, Nuthin’ Fancy only boasts two songs—I’m talking about “Saturday Night Special” and “Am I Losin’”—that are truly indispensible.

The biggest problem lies in the songs, natch, and the problem with the songs is that they were written in a rush, in the studio between tours. I’ll stand Ronnie Van Zant up against any American songwriter (exceptin’ B. Dylan) ever, but when it came to Nuthin’ Fancy he simply didn’t have the same amount of time he’d had to write such immortal tunes as “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Tuesday’s Gone,” or “Simple Man” from 1973’s (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) and 1974’s Second Helping. (Indeed, he’d never again have the time to sit down and do some leisurely songwriting during his lifetime, which is why Lynyrd Skynyrd was never able to top the transcendental brilliance of its first two LPs.)

Another problem is that Van Zant, whose idea of a great band was Bad Company, opted for the ‘eavy touch rather than the light one on such songs as “I’m a Country Boy” (anti-NYC rant), “On the Hunt” (misogynistic rant in which Ronnie at least has the decency to concede he’s a slut too), “Cheatin’ Woman” (typical anti-woman rant distinguished only by cool organ and Van Zant’s wonderfully lazy but knowing vocals), and “Whiskey Rock-A-Roller” (self-explanatory). He may have believed that driving it right down the audience’s throat constituted the basis of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success, but he was wrong.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/6/20

Ann Arbor, MI | Ann Arbor-based Encore Records seeks $30,000 in donations amid coronavirus outbreak: A longtime Ann Arbor record shop, not long after moving into a new location, was forced to shut down in-store sales by the coronavirus outbreak last month and is now seeking donations to help cover expenses. Ann Arbor-based Encore Records, which moved from its old Liberty Street location to 208 N. Fourth Ave. in August 2019, has launched an online fundraiser with a goal to reach $30,000 to cover rent and other costs associated with the new store space. Co-owner Jim Dwyer said he and his partner Bill McClelland were reluctant at first to ask for donations. “We wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t really something we’re desperately compelled to do,” Dwyer said. “If this shutdown was going to last, we anticipated all of April would be gone, potentially May, probably June. The $30,000 number is a worst case scenario approximation … without our regular revenue stream, it might be necessary to scrape up as much as that.” The fundraiser had raised more than $6,300 as of Thursday.

Williamsville, NY | Williamsville record store owner: ‘Who knew keeping vinyl alive would be so hard?’ Things were looking good for Joe Igielinski and his fledgling independent record store, Hi-Fi Hits, since the store opened its doors in August 2019. A veteran of the Record Theatre chain, Igielinski had wisely purchased much of the remaining inventory when those stores closed for good in 2017, in anticipation of going it alone. After securing some prime storefront real estate on Main Street in Williamsville, he immediately set to putting his several decades of experience to good use. By the winter holidays, he’d built up a considerable inventory, plastered the place with posters, added memorabilia and rock T-shirts to the mix and organized a steady stream of trade-ins, both of used vinyl and CDs. Soon after, Igielinski installed an Iron Maiden pinball machine, built a small stage, and secured a license to serve beer and wine from a small bar area in the rear of the store. Igielinski had all his ducks in a row. But the coronavirus pandemic was not impressed.

Portland, OR | After Years of Resistance, Portland Cult Favorite Mississippi Records Is Begrudgingly Embracing the Internet to Stay Alive. Just don’t expect it to last. It took a global health crisis not seen since 1918 to drag Eric Isaacson into the 21st century. Granted, to this point, he was doing pretty well working outside of it. Mississippi Records, his North Albina Avenue storefront and label of the same name, has earned an international reputation among hardcore audiophiles for its reissues of ultra-obscure soul, folk and blues records, and done so without ever giving in to the trappings of the digital age—no social media, hardly any PR, and a bare-bones website straight out of the Geocities era. …He started a Bandcamp page, offering releases for download on a “pay what you can” model. He’s selling gift cards. He’s replaced spinning vinyl from behind the counter with daily YouTube playlists. (He also had a plan to temporarily convert the store into an “ultra-antiseptic” recording studio, but the governor’s stay-home order halted that idea.) Most significantly, he’s finally started a Discogs store, digging into his personal archives and putting them up for sale: test pressings, original masters, bits of memorabilia from cult legends like John Fahey and Sun Ra. Much of what he’s made available has sold within minutes.

London, UK | Paul Quirk, ‘Prime Mover’ Behind Record Store Day UK, Dies at 71: Tributes have been paid to former Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) chairman Paul Quirk, who has died at age 71 following a short battle with cancer. Quirk was chairman of ERA over three separate periods, beginning in 2007. His longest continuous reign at the helm of the trade group, which represents U.K. retailers of music, video, DVD and computer games, was from 2009 to 2014. Following a year off, he returned to the organization in 2016 when he served as co-chairman for a year. Alongside Spencer Hickman and Steve Redmond, Quirk is credited as one of the main drivers behind the launch of Record Store Day (RSD) in the U.K., which took place for the first time in 2008. Paying tribute, ERA CEO Kim Bayley said the British music retail sector owed a heavy debt to Quirk. “Not only was he a strong and passionate voice for music retailers for more than three decades, he was the longest-serving chairman of ERA itself, a prime mover behind Record Store Day in the U.K. and a mentor to countless people across the industry,” said Bayley. “He will be missed right across the business for his enthusiasm, humour and passion for record retailing.”

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

What will I do then? / How did I sleep at night / With you far from my side? / Hold me darling, make no sound / Silence speaks for me

Love be brave / No one will say it but you / And that has not yet been / The easy thing for you to do

It’s a glorious spring morning in the canyon. People have been saying that “[email protected]” has animals coming back into the open. I gotta say the theory rings true around our canyon. Birds are chirping, a squirrel just ran past with an orange, and our family of raccoons were out last night looking for what’s left from our precious avocado tree.

Workwise, this week has been busy. I’ve been in touch with many of the songwriters in my circle. I’m convinced this Corona period will breed the next generation of both sound and song. One of the bands I work with is Mystic Braves. Their name got me thinking about bravery, and to be honest there are not nearly enough songs about the subject.

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TVD Radar: Rush, Permanent Waves
40th anniversary 3LP
in stores 5/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On 29 May, UMe/Mercury/Anthem label group continues its extensive Rush 40th anniversary album series with a new, imagination-capturing expanded edition of all the music that comprises the band’s remarkable 1980 release, Permanent Waves.

Permanent Waves, Rush’s seventh studio album, was originally released in January 1980, and its forward-thinking music signaled a new direction for the Canadian band as it entered a new decade. The six songs encompassing the album encapsulated the breadth of Rush’s formidable progressive chops meshed with its knack for creating radio-friendly arrangements, all elements that were embedded within the grooves of their previous album, 1978’s widely acclaimed Hemispheres. Permanent Waves also signified Rush’s first of many recording sessions at Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec, which was at one point nicknamed the trio’s own personal Abbey Road recording studio.

The album’s explosive lead-off track, ‘The Spirit Of Radio,’ roared out of the gate with a fine appreciation for the joy of experiencing great music on the airwaves, itself becoming a favorite FM staple for the ensuing decades in the process. Next came the time-signature-challenging ‘Freewill,’ a manifesto for embracing the independence of making one’s own life choices, while ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ chronicled an aurally cinematic interpretation of the lyrics’ palpably invoked religious imagery.

Side 2 commenced with ‘Entre Nous,’ a deeply introspective examination of how to bridge interpersonal differences, followed by the moving balladry of ‘Different Strings,’ and ultimately concluded with the formidable sonic cosmic vortex of the longtime concert favorite, ‘Natural Science.’

Permanent Waves’ 40th Anniversary will be available to fans in four distinct configurations, including the (1) Super Deluxe Edition, (2) two-CD Deluxe Edition, (3) three-LP Deluxe Edition, and (4) Deluxe Digital Edition.

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TVD Radar: Morrison Hotel Gallery celebrates Elton John in exclusive online exhibition

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Before being knighted by Queen Elizabeth III, he was a plucky kid from Middlesex with a prodigious musical talent. However, it was those in-between years that gave rise to glittering rock royalty. From “young man in the twenty-second row” to a breakout pop troubadour to global phenomenon, the long and winding path of Sir Elton John has lent itself to some rather spectacular places (and ensembles) over the past half-century.

Presented in celebration of Sir Elton John’s three-year swan song Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, Morrison Hotel Gallery is pleased to announce SIR: A Retrospective of Rock Royalty, a month long online photographic exhibition on view exclusively via the Morrison Hotel Gallery website starting April 2, 2020. Despite a portion of John’s farewell tour being postponed, this digital exhibition will offer fans around the world the opportunity to dive headlong into the unforgettable music, glitz, and radiant superstardom of the multiple Grammy-winning artist, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and one of the most decorated singer-songwriters of an era.

Beginning with the 1970 release of his self-titled debut album, the Rocketman’s stratospheric rise is punctuated by a time and genre-transcendent catalogue of hits which span the gamut from favorites like “Crocodile Rock” and “Bennie And The Jets” to classic ballads such as “Tiny Dancer” and “Candle in the Wind.” SIR: A Retrospective of Rock Royalty is a testament to a time-honored spectacle that neither begins nor ends with jukebox anthems alone.

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Fiona Harte,
The TVD First Date

“I asked for a record player for Christmas when I was about 18 years old. My parents laughed at the idea of buying one because they, along with a lot of my older relatives, had owned one but to my disbelief, threw them out thinking they would never use them again what with it being the digital age. My mother kindly bought me one and I forgave them for their sins.”

“The first record I bought was a classic—Joni Mitchell Blue. Even the cover excited me. I just loved the idea of listening to an album that I adored so much but in a different way. I listened to it in my Dublin apartment, so often that I woke from my sleep singing different tracks from it. I then started to search for more records to add to my collection. The next purchase was The Best Of Joan Baez which I picked up at George’s Market in Belfast.

To be honest, I haven’t ventured too far away from the folk world of vinyl—I got a bit addicted to listening to that genre of music in that way. My favourite album to date is Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison. The audience to me adds so much to that recording and hearing it on vinyl is a really special experience, it captures the mood of the show so effortlessly.

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Graded on a Curve:
Baby Huey,
The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend

If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of James Ramsey (aka Baby Huey), the giant (350-400 lbs, and more!) and short-lived Chicago funk, psychedelic soul, and R&B singer who never quite escaped the confines of his adopted city of Chicago, and who only managed to release one LP, and that one posthumously. Heroin tragically truncated his life; Melvyn Jones, organist and trumpet player for Baby Huey’s backing band the Babysitters, once recounted an incident in which Baby Huey’s works fell out of a cereal box while he pouring himself a bowl. (The cereal was later determined to be Kellogg’s ODs.)

But a listen to Baby Huey and the Babysitters’ LP The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend (an odd title for a man who was functionally deceased at the time of the LP’s release; some fact checker somewhere was hitting the ODs too) will make you bemoan his early death at age 26 in a Chicago motel room, because the goddamned album, so frustrating in places, in others shows Baby Huey to be one badass funk and soul man. Produced by Curtis Mayfield, who most likely used pre-existing tracks and session men after Baby Huey’s demise to fill in the backgrounds because he was no fan of the Babysitters, The Baby Huey Story is all over the place: from a fantastically weird cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” to a take of Mayfield’s own “Mighty, Mighty” that was recorded live to one very jazz-centric take on “California Dreamin’,” Baby Huey covered all the bases and then some.

Take his version of Mayfield’s “Running.” Big horns, a funky backbeat, some hardcore drum thump, and one psychedelic guitar provide Baby Huey with the backdrop, and he sounds bad. As in mean. Great, right? But it’s followed by the easy listening and flute-heavy instrumental “One Dragon Two Dragon,” which just bums me the fuck out. Ditto “California Dreamin’,” which is the horrible sound of a flute running loose. Kinda reminds me of the Will Ferrell flute scene in Anchorman. Except this one ends up sounding like a bad 1970’s TV theme song, one starring Jean Paul Sartre as a crime-solving detective suffering from existential nausea and frog eyes.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 4/3/20

Discogs reports record numbers as people stay home and catalogue their vinyl: More time at home? More time to get the record collection in order. It’s a good time to organise your record collection. That’s the verdict from online vinyl database, Discogs, which has just had its busiest ever two weeks. It seems with many of us being told to “stay home”, finding ourselves on lockdown or in self-isolation, and needing to busy ourselves indoors, cataloguing vinyl has proved popular. Discogs, which allows users to submit vinyl releases, log their record collections, value their library, and buy and sell vinyl, has reported that March 16th to 29th were the biggest weeks yet for contributions to the Discogs Database. The database saw 34,716 new releases submitted (compared to 25,584 in 2019), 79,400 edits (up from 58,258 in 2019), and 146,361 images added (107,036 in 2019). That’s a whole lot of sorting through dusty record collections.

UK / AU | Australia’s indie record stores celebrated in interactive map: The small retailers are currently doing it rough. Australia’s independent record stores have been highlighted in an interactive map as part of a larger campaign to support the industry amid the coronavirus pandemic. The online map is hosted by Beggars Group, which owns labels 4AD, Matador, XL, Rough Trade and Young Turks. Users are able to filter between stores by those that deliver locally, offer pickup services and mail out orders. Stores are listed for all states and territories with the exception of Northern Territory. View the map here. The map goes hand in hand with the #LoveRecordStores digital campaign, which sees music fans promote their favourite indie record stores on social media. Artists such as Elton John, Kurt VIle, Sleaford Mods, Hilltop Hoods and Rick Astley have already taken part in the campaign. As state and federal governments issue directives on distancing and public gatherings, many record stores have pivoted to home and mail delivery in order to keep making sales.

Kelowna, BC | Straight from Dehart: Underground Music rides the resurgence of vinyl records. Vinyl is back in vogue. Underground Music is a unique store at 4- 1331 Ellis St. in Kelowna that provides a trip into the past, a vinyl record store shopping experience. Owned and operated by the father and son team of Ed and Aaron Martens, Underground Music has the largest selection of new and used vintage vinyl and CDs in the Okanagan. The store also sells music DVDs, collectibles, posters, stickers and patches, 45s, 12-inch singles and vinyl accessories. It’s a truly unique shopping experience with new titles arriving every week.

Lansing, MI | Record Lounge opens online shop to stay afloat during COVID-19 outbreak: Heather Frarey, owner of the vintage Reo Town vinyl store The Record Lounge, is staying home these days. One of her customer’s sons built her a website so she could keep up an online storefront during the coronavirus outbreak. She said that she received three orders right when the site went live. “He needed some credit because he’s going to computer engineering school, so he said he’d make a website for me,” said Frarey. The Record Lounge also posts new inventory on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. She’s still ordering new records from distributors two times a week. Frarey said that, since the state went on lockdown, most folks have preferred to order their records through the mail, though she does still offer delivery for local orders. “You know, people are scared,” she explained. Regulars have still been messaging Frarey on Facebook, asking her questions like if the new Pearl Jam is available to buy. Frarey has been trying to get all of the new releases online, but the used records aren’t there quite yet. She emphasized that if someone wants a particular record — new or old — she can order it.

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TVD Radar: “All In It Together” from Mavis Staples ft. Jeff Tweedy, proceeds to fight COVID-19 in Chicago 

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Soul legend Mavis Staples has released the hopeful new song “All In It Together.” Produced by Jeff Tweedy and featuring Tweedy on backing vocals and guitar, “All In It Together” is available on all streaming services and Bandcamp. All proceeds from the song will be donated to My Block, My Hood, My City—a Chicago organization ensuring seniors have access to the essentials needed to fight COVID-19. 

“The song speaks to what we’re going through now—everyone is in this together, whether you like it or not,” Staples explains. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, what race or sex you are, where you live…it can still touch you. It’s hit so many people in our country and around the world in such a horrible way and I just hope this song can bring a little light to the darkness. We will get through this but we’re going to have to do it together. If this song is able to bring any happiness or relief to anyone out there in even the smallest way, I wanted to make sure that I helped to do that.”

Hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” Staples is the kind of once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She’s both a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; a civil rights icon; a GRAMMY Award-winner; a chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient; and a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House. In 2019 Staples released her 12th studio album We Get By, written and produced by Ben Harper. | PHOTO: MYRIAM SANTOS

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Light In
The Attic presents live charity concert to support MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In hopes of bringing some much-needed joy to the planet, acclaimed archival/reissue label and distribution company Light in the Attic will be presenting a free charity concert this Friday (4/3), streaming live on their Twitch and YouTube channels beginning at 4:00 pm PST.

Light In The Attic & Friends at Home will feature new performances from legendary artists whose music LITA has re-released over the past 20 years, along with a handful of talented friends from the around the globe, each covering songs from the label’s renowned catalog. 100% of all donations will go towards MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund, assisting those in the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. While quarantined at home—from Rio to Tokyo; Cardiff to Austin; Barbados to Italy—each musician will be doing what they do best, sharing the gift of song, maybe in their pajamas and maybe with their kids, and wherever feels comfy and cozy in the privacy of their home.

The artist lineup for Light In The Attic & Friends at Home includes: Texas soul queen Barbara Lynn / Fred Armisen / British folk legend Michael Chapman / Jarvis Cocker / Italian composer Gigi Masin / Devendra Banhart / Brazilian great Marcos Valle / Jim James (My Morning Jacket) / Sandy Dedrick of sixties soft-psych outfit The Free Design / Japanese ambient pioneers Inoyama Land (Kankyō Ongaku) / Alex Maas (The Black Angels) / Money Mark / Singer-songwriter Lynn Castle / Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) / Leonard Sanders of modern soul-gospel group the Supreme Jubilees / Jazz giant Azar Lawrence / Grant & Frankie Olsen (Gold Leaves / Arthur & Yu) / Beach Boys poet and lyricist Stephen John Kalinich / Mark Lightcap (Acetone) / Sessa / Ben Gibbard

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Neal Preston ‘Behind The Lens’ Instagram livestream tonight, 4/2

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Iconic rock star photographer Neal Preston is doing a Behind The Lens Instagram Livestream on Morrison Hotel Gallery’s Instagram story tonight, April 2nd, at 5:00 PM EDT.

Offering fans unprecedented access inside the daily lives and legendary archives of the music industry’s most captivating personalities, Morrison Hotel Gallery’s Behind The Lens format expands its reach with the unveiling of a new Instagram Live/IGTV video series. Streaming directly from a featured photographer’s home or studio, each episode merges elements of storytelling, conversational Q&A and the cultivation of a global music culture in accordance with the evolving brand identity of Morrison Hotel Gallery, the international leader in fine art music photography.

Neal Preston is one of the most highly respected photographers in the history of the music business. His career in photography, which started in high school and continues to the present, has spanned well over 4 decades. Through his body of work Preston has made a significant contribution to the pop culture history’s of multiple generations. His archive stands as one of the music industry’s single most elite (and extensive) photographic collections. He has worked closely with rock royalty such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone, Queen, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, and countless other luminaries.

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