TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Lazy bones, sleepin’ in the sun / How you ‘spect to get your day’s work done? / Never get your day’s work done / Sleepin’ in the noon day sun

Now, lazy bones, sleepin’ in the shade / How you expect to get your corn meal made? / You’ll never get your corn meal made / Just sleepin’ in the evening shade

When tainers need sprayin’, I bet you keep prayin’ / The bugs’ll fall off the vine / And when you go fishin’ I bet you keep wishin’ / The fish won’t grab your line

Back safely in my canyon pad. The last few days of the trip confirmed that there’s no place like California. One interesting note from the road is to beware of east coast traffic. Gone are the yellow taxis of my youth, and what’s left—a traffic jam!

Speaking of the summers of yesterday, it was a cool counselor from Fayetteville, Arkansas who turned my pals and me onto ZZ Top. The claim was that ZZ’s guitarist ended their show by making his guitar say “thank you very much.”

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TVD Radar: Half String, A Fascination with Heights 2LP expanded reissue in stores 9/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Independent Project Records proudly announced today, the reissue of the 1996 debut shoegaze/dream pop album A Fascination With Heights, by beloved Tempe, Arizona band Half String on September 17 available via Darla Records.

The album, long out-of-print, and originally only available upon initial release via compact disc, will now be released digitally and on vinyl for the first-time. The expanded CD / 2xLP reissue adds more than 35+ minutes of previously unreleased tracks, newly excavated from the original recording sessions. Additionally, the package includes new artwork based on the original album artwork, expanded liner notes by Peter Relic, newly remastered tracks, and features IPR’s iconic hand-letter press printed packaging. Additionally, the vinyl package will add a bonus vinyl 7” and the CD package will include a bonus CD single.

“At the time of the original release in 1996, there was this term ‘shoegaze’ used to describe British bands,” explains Half String’s Brandon Capps. “Half String was the same generation as those bands, and felt a kinship, but we wanted to create our own thing. We coined the term ‘beautiful noise’ to describe what we were doing. Revisiting A Fascination With Heights now, I hear a band totally in tune with itself and what we set out to do.”

“Releasing A Fascination With Heights on vinyl is something I always wanted to do,” said Independent Project Records’ Bruce Licher. “The fact that the music holds up wonderfully after a quarter century is all the incentive we needed to make the album one of the first releases by IPR in our newly revived incarnation. We’ve expanded this album both musically and visually to give the fans of the band a unique experience.”

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Graded on a Curve: Grateful Dead,
The Grateful Dead

Celebrating Jerry Garcia, born on August 1st in 1942.Ed.

Many Deadheads, and by this I don’t mean all Deadheads but only many many thousands of Deadheads, suffer from an alarming lack of quality control. To them, the monstrous Shakedown Street is every bit as listenable as Workingman’s Dead. Me, I love the Grateful Dead, but I have by no means swallowed the electric kool aid. Terrapin Station, for instance, makes me want to nail two-by-fours over my ears, and if I hear it coming, I run. Like Hell.

But I adore a half-dozen or so of their LPs, and their 1967 debut is one of them. I love the album for many reasons, but first and foremost I love it because it is, compared to many of the Grateful Dead’s later, more lackadaisical LPs, a real firecracker. The boys are energized, and most of the songs are psychedelic rave-ups that highlight the brilliant playing (I’m not sure he ever sounded better) of guitarist Jerry Garcia. Many Dead albums, including a few I like, are long-winded slumber parties, but on their debut they’re in and out, and traveling at light speed, even on the sole lengthy number, “Viola Lee Blues,” which includes some of the best rock improvisation I’ve ever heard.

I’m not the only one who thinks the LP is uncharacteristic of the Grateful Dead. Bassist Phil Lesh commented in his autobiography that “the only track that sounds at all like we did at the time is ‘Viola Lee Blues,’” before adding that the recording was rushed. To which I can only reply that all of their recordings should have been rushed. The key to their debut is velocity, a characteristic that no one, and I mean no one, would attribute to the mature Grateful Dead. Only two of the LP’s nine songs are originals, but only the bluesy “Good Morning, Little School Girl,” which highlighted the vocals and harmonica of Ron “Pigpen” McKernan sounds like a cover; remarkably, the Dead do a fantastic job of making a potpourri of other artists’ material sound like their own.

Amazingly, the LP only includes one slow burner, “Morning Dew.” And it sounds great reduced to bare bones, as anyone who has ever suffered through the extended live version on Europe ’72 will attest. On this one Garcia’s guitar sounds like the epitome of the “San Francisco Sound,” and his vocals are appropriately doleful. Pigpen’s organ adds some nice seasoning, and the band is as tight as they would ever be. And the Garcia solo! Exquisite.

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The Best of Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 29: Suzi Quatro

It’s not often we get to throw around the phrase “legend” or “trailblazer” without hyperbole, but that’s exactly what we’ve got on this week’s program. Suzi Quatro is credited as being the first instrument playing female to lead a successful rock and roll band which—when she came upon the male dominated music scene in the early 1970s—was no small feat.

Suzi has done it all: several top ten hits throughout the world, a starring role in Happy Days as Leather Tuscadero, and she recently saw the release of an excellent documentary about her life titled, Suzi Q (2019). When she’s not doing that, she’s hosting radio programs on the BBC, writing a book of poetry, or finding some other way to explore her wealth of talents and energy.

After 50 plus years of performing, she has not slowed down as evidenced by her brand new album, The Devil in Me which was written and recorded during the pandemic. In fact, Suzi contracted coronavirus and, because of travel restrictions, was forced to spend several months away from her husband, but, as Suzi often does, she made the most of the extra time on her hands.

The Devil in Me rocks just as hard as her earlier releases and Suzi describes it as “the best album in my career to date.” Helming this production is her son, Richard Tuckey, whose goal was to make sure Suzi’s hard-rocking clarity, power and wild-abandon remained audibly obvious and evident.

So, join Suzi and me as we discuss the last six decades of her career, the turbulent last 12 months, and try to uncover why and how—in many ways—Suzi is at the top of her game right now.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Sharp Notes each Saturday evening at 6pm and TVD Radar on Sundays at 5AM on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Vivian Stanshall,
Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead

An eccentric in the great English tradition, Vivian Stanshall was a one-man Monty Python before there was a Monty Python. Together with some friends he founded the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, a free-wheeling musical/comedy ensemble that threw everything they could lay their hands on (trad jazz, music hall, psychedelic pop, lunacy) into a Bunsen burner, then fled the room to escape the explosion.

Stanshall was one of no kind—a hyperactive, hypo-literate, hypo-witty master of the bon mot. “If I had all the money I’d spent on drink,” he once said, ‘I’d spend it on drink.” Stanshall’s work with the Bonzo Dog Band—that Doo-Dah is maddening—showed him to be a master satirist of England’s stuffy elite. He’s the man who sent up the rich English sportsman in “Tiger Hunting in India” (“But look at you! You’re shaking like a leaf!/ Shaking?/ You silly goose/ I’m just doing the Watusi.”). He also gave us “Mr. Apollo” (“Five years ago I was a four-stone apology/ Today I am two separate gorillas”) and the hilarious mock band introduction “The Intro and the Outro” (“And looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes. Nice!”).

A series of unfortunate events (two disastrous US tours, personnel changes, and Stanshall’s less amusing mental problems) led to the Bonzos’ dissolution in 1970, and four years (during which he participated on numerous side projects) would pass before he released his 1974 debut Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead. Two years in the making, the LP makes apparent two things. First, that Stanshall’s screwball humor had taken on a darker hue. And two, that he’d traded in the Bonzo’s unpredictable quirkiness for a more straightforward music with an African ambience. Stanshall, it seems, had gone native.

The LP features the likes of Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, and Ric Grech. But the LP’s exotic world music feel is the result of six percussionists, two of them identified only as “Unidentified West Indian taxi driver” and “Unidentified West Indian taxi driver’s friend.” The percussion is apparent on such grooves as the instrumentals “Prong” and “Prong and Toots Go Steady,’ as well as on “Red Eye,” “How the Zebra Got His Spots,” “Lakonga,” “Afoju Ti Ole Riran,” and “Baba Tunde.”

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 7/30/21

Low Fidelity: Vintage Vinyl and The Precarious State of the Indie Record Store: Last month the news spread that Vintage Vinyl, the Fords, NJ bastion of independent music, was closing after four decades in the business. It wasn’t because of the effects of the pandemic but rather a shift in the priorities of the store’s ownership—a small consolation in a story that otherwise would have read like a broken toilet that people kept shitting in. For thousands of people growing up in New Jersey and the surrounding area—that’s not an exaggeration—Vintage Vinyl was that one shining beacon we had in a sea of corporate record store chains in the years before one-click online ordering. My friends and I would pile into one of our cars every few weeks to take the two-hour drive to Vintage, not only for the cool shit they brought in, but also for the experience of the store itself.

Boise, ID | The Record Exchange requiring masks again for all customers: The Record Exchange in downtown Boise is requiring masks for everyone, vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, inside their store. According to the announcement, all staff are required to wear masks inside the store as well. “It wouldn’t say its something I wanted to do, but it’s something we felt like we had to do,” Owner Michael Bunnell said. “Transmission rates and vaccination rates in this state are poor. Until we feel like we can fully protect not only our staff but our customers, we’re going to take any precaution necessary.” “…I think that it’s an appropriate response to the current data and they are doing the responsible thing,” Customer Mariana Adams said. “I think it’s great, they have the masks out here for you to take they have a very clear sign on the door. If you don’t wish to wear a mask, you don’t have to. You just can’t shop there.”

Detroit, MI | Record Store Recs: DJ Minx Brings The Detroit Heat: “…Detroit Threads is all of that and a bag of whatever you are looking for because they have vintage clothing and trinkets that you can grab while shopping for records. The vinyl bins are loaded! If I’m looking for some classics, boom! They’ve got it goin’ on! Somewhere in Detroit is a hot spot! People from around the globe visit there because of the good selections of music and for its sweet history. It’s owned by Submerge [Records] and is in the basement of the Underground Resistance building. Spot Lite is a gem that recently opened and my goodness it’s the whip! The atmosphere is funky and chill at the same time, so you can spend hours in there just vibin’!

San Antonio, TX | Best Record Store: Hogwild Records. If you’ve been involved in the punk, indie or metal music scenes at any point during the past few decades, you know Hogwild. If you’ve attended San Antonio College and have an interest in those music genres, you probably spent some time shopping there between classes. Stop by at any random time and you’re likely to be treated to a full-volume blast of one of the above music genres as its knowledgeable staff road tests new releases. The venerable indie music retailer remains a browsing paradise with its vast selection of vinyl, local and otherwise, as well as music merch including a sea of T-shirts arrayed across its ceiling. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask, since the store excels at hard-to-find special orders.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Nancy Sinatra, Boots vinyl reissues in stores 9/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Celebrated archival label Light in the Attic (LITA) is proud to announce the second release from their Nancy Sinatra Archival Series, the definitive version of her inimitable debut LP, Boots. Originally released in 1966, the enduringly iconic, million-selling album not only catapulted the career of singer, actress, activist, and cultural icon, Nancy Sinatra, it contained within its grooves an enduring anthem of empowerment that continues to resonate with new audiences today with no signs of slowing down.

Available to pre-order now and due out September 17th on vinyl, CD, 8-track, and across digital platforms, Boots marks Sinatra’s transformation from “Nancy nice lady,” as she says, to a fully-formed and self-assured figure of empowerment both in appearance and in performance, making her forever synonymous with the album’s titular subject in the process.

A Top 5 album at the time of its release, Sinatra scored a No. 1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic with “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” which earned three GRAMMY® nominations and sold over a million copies. The album marked her first full-length release with writer, producer, and collaborator, Lee Hazlewood, which features a mixture of Hazlewood-penned tunes and selections from heavyweights, such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and more. The successful collage of ’60s material hangs beautifully together with support from the famed Los Angeles session musicians, The Wrecking Crew, who set the stage for Nancy’s vocals with their raw, jangly, exuberance, and cohesion.

Tying it all together is arranger and longtime collaborator Billy Strange, whose innovative arrangements provided the perfect sound to help Nancy capture the attention of the world. In addition to the original 13 recordings, the forthcoming reissue includes two rare bonus tracks, including “The City Never Sleeps At Night” and the previously unreleased “For Some,” the latter of which is available now across all digital platforms as the first single being offered. All tracks have been newly remastered from the original analog tapes by GRAMMY®-nominated engineer, John Baldwin.

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TVD Radar: Magic Roundabout, Up debut reissue in stores 9/24

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Third Man Records is very proud to announce Up, the first-ever LP from criminally-unheard Manchester noisemakers Magic Roundabout. Up is due September 24, 2021 and is heralded by dreamy lead single “She’s A Waterfall” and its accompanying video.

“I walk in to the studio, Warren [Defever] is working away,” Third Man Records’ Dave Buick says about the label’s introduction to the group. “Feedback, hypnotizing bass line, perfect female vocal harmonies and a drummer so minimal you just know they are standing coming out of the speakers. All I could see was stripes and paisleys. I became instantly obsessed with tracking down this mystery band’s complete discography. ‘They don’t have a discography you say?’ Just like that my obsession had become dangerous and unhealthy.”

Like so many other disenfranchised kids in the heady days of mid-eighties United Kingdom, Magic Roundabout came armed with leather jackets, charity shop instruments, singles by The Fall and Buzzcocks, good haircuts, a healthy VU obsession and a little psychedelic inspiration. Influenced into existence at early gigs by The Jesus and Mary Chain and Shop Assistants, The Roundies wanted to change the world or at the very least make some noise, shake things up and be a part of the happening.

The gang established a clubhouse in early 1986 and began rehearsing, recording and gigging. Playing a ton of legendary shows with the likes of The Pastels, The Blue Aeroplanes, Spacemen 3, Loop, My Bloody Valentine, Inspiral Carpets and picking up a bunch of fans along the way. Rumor has it that Noel Gallagher roadied their final show.

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Graded on a Curve:
ZZ Top,
Tres Hombres

Remembering Dusty Hill.Ed.

Everybody knows the polished latter-day ZZ Top, the power trio that gave us “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Cheap Sunglasses.” I don’t much care for them—too slick by a Texas mile, and too enamored of synthesizers, new wave, and punk flourishes for my liking. But the early ZZ Top? A whole different story. They’re meaner, cleaner (no annoying synths), and tell better stories. Has there ever been a tale as downright weird as “Master of Sparks”? Or a boogie as fetching as “La Grange”? Throw in the raging “Heard It on the X,” and you’ve got as vivid a portrait of the goings on in the badass state of Texas as you’re ever likely to hear.

ZZ Top has boasted the same line-up for over four decades: Billy Gibbons (the band’s guitarist, lead vocalist, and main lyricist); Dusty Hill (who handles bass, keyboards, and co-lead vocals); and Frank Beard (who drums, duh). Gibbons is an amazing guitarist, and a rebuke to all those critics who wrote ZZ Top off as derivative and unoriginal; whether he’s playing the Texas blues or laying down some hard-driving boogie, his playing is rarely short of miraculous.

His solos are mean, mean, mean, as he demonstrates on “Waitin’ for the Bus,” the opening track of ZZ Top’s third LP, 1973’s Tres Hombres. The song features one cool guitar riff, frequent calls of “Have mercy,” and a brown paper bag with a bottle in it to help spend the time before the bus shows up. Throw in a great harmonica solo, and this is one bus stop you want to find yourself waiting at. The opener segues into “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” a big bad blues in which Jesus is heading for New Orleans, and then on to California before Gibbons serves up one hellacious solo backed by a bass that throbs like a very bad toothache.

“Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” features both Gibbons and Hill sharing vocals and moves along at a healthy clip until Gibbons dishes up one hell of a solo, while Beard provides a ferocious backbeat. Then he follows solo one with solo two, and it’s even better, meaner, more badass. As for “Master of Sparks,” it’s a supposedly true story of a good old boy (aka Gibbons, who swears to its veracity) who rides in a round metal ball with a VW seat and shock absorbers chained to the back of a pickup truck going sixty mph, shooting sparks a hundred feet into the air. Billy lived and the tune is tres cool, a redneck legend better even than the time my brother, wasted on a country road, saw a creature, half bat and half Chihuahua, rise from the woods. And Gibbons totally kicks out the jams on this one, his guitar shooting sparks just as high as the ones produced by that metal cage.

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CLAVVS,
The TVD First Date

“My earliest musical memory involves vinyl.”

“I was four and my mom bought me my first two records—Thriller and Synchronicity by The Police. I remember playing those albums over and over again until I had almost every word memorized. At that age the whole process of learning how to use a turntable, putting what I thought at the time was a massive piece of plastic on it, and then having this amazing music blast out of the speakers was pure magic. That was it. I was hooked for life. And looking back I think by becoming a producer/artist I’ve been trying to recapture that childhood feeling ever since.

My best music store experience involves the now closed Tower Records in Atlanta, GA. At the time I was an assistant engineer at a big Atlanta studio. I was assisting on a Lionel Richie session and the guitar player he had been using couldn’t make it that day. By sheer luck the head engineer told Lionel I play and I ended up tracking guitar on a song that night. I thought for sure they would have his main player come in and replay my parts.

But I was pretty shocked to find out he ended up keeping mine. This was my first real credit on a big commercial label release. The day it came out I drove to Tower records at 7:00am and waited in the parking lot for them to open at 8. I bought the Coming Home CD, opened it in my car and stared at my credit while playing the song probably ten times. RIP Tower Records. Thanks for one of my best musical memories!
Graham Marsh

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores for
July 2021, Part Five

Part five of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for July 2021. Part one is here, part two is here, part three is here, and part four is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Ruth Mascelli, A Night at the Baths (Disciples) This the solo debut from New Orleans-based Mascelli, who’s noted as part of Special Interest, an outfit, unheard by me, that’s tagged as a combo of no wave, glam, and industrial, frankly very enticing, but right now there’s this LP to consider, which is described as progressing from Mascelli’s electronically focused output as Psychic Hotline (that I’ve also not heard). To elaborate, A Night at the Baths is inspired by techno, acid house and ambient, with Mascelli explaining further that the album is an “audio diary” of their experiences in “various bathhouses, dark rooms, and gay clubs” while touring with Special Interest and traveling alone. Crafted so that each track is representative of an individual room or space, parts of this, such as opener “Sauna” and “Libidinal Surplus,” unfurled about how I expected (both are dancefloor thumpers), but as Mascelli is skilled and inventive, that’s in no way a negative. Other cuts, such as the spacy “Hydrotherapy” and the ’70s surrealism of “Missing Men,” divert from the anticipated very nicely. A-

koleżanka, Place Is (Bar/None) Brooklyn-based Kristina Moore used to be in Triathalon, but she’s currently devoting herself exclusively to this project, writing and singing the songs and playing the guitar as Ark Calkins assists on bass and drums. koleżanka can be tagged as art-pop, though the sound moves around a good bit, ranging from dreamy to electronics-tinged (synths and a drum machine are involved) to even soulful. A few of her songs thrive on directness suggesting that in a better world, they’d be hits, specifically early track “$40.” Moore has a powerful voice well-suited for the foreground as she delivers the occasional high-note flourish, but she seems more invested in making her album instrumentally interesting, which is admirable, even as the songs don’t always end up where I’d prefer them. The key is that she avoids bad decisions. But “Vegan Sushi,” which reminds me of Stereolab, could’ve lasted for another four minutes (it’s over in under two and half, waaaa), and lands in a highly enjoyable place. Strong for a debut, and very smart. B+

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Obits, Die at the Zoo (Outer Battery) Featuring singing guitarists Rick Froberg and Sohrab Habibion, bassist Greg Simpson and drummer Alexis Fleisig (who replaced Scott Gursky in 2011), Brooklyn’s Obits broke up in 2015, with their final studio album Bed and Bugs released two years prior. This live recording (a dozen songs on the vinyl, with the full 15 offered via accompanying download) captures a long set from Brisbane, Australia in 2012, and it’s a sharp, energetic affair. Before Obits, Froberg was in San Diego stalwarts Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, as Habibion and Fleisig were members of DC’s Edsel, credits that highlight a background in both post-hardcore and beefy garage-punkish rock with a touch of the Stooges thrown in. In 2021, this guitar-centric and rhythmically hefty sound is quite welcome, and that it derives from a band of savvy vets makes it even better. That Outer Battery didn’t just dump this on wax by shaving off the last three tracks is indicative of the overall quality; ‘tis also a very attractive thing, on yellow wax (the pink is sold out). A-

Kippie Moketsi & Hal Singer, Blue Stompin’ (We Are Busy Bodies / The Sun) South African saxophonist Moketsi was a groundbreaking member of the Jazz Epistles alongside Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, and Jonas Gwangwa. US saxophonist Singer played in the bands of Jay McShann, Oran “Hot Lips” Page, Roy Eldridge and many others, and in 1959 Singer cut an LP for Prestige with Charlie Shavers’ band titled Blue Stompin’, its opening composition also commencing this album, played in 1974 while Singer was in South Africa on a State Department tour. It the best of the four tracks on this reissue of an LP originally released in ’77 by The Sun label. It’s also the only cut to feature Singer, just so you know. The other selections by Moketsi’s band, if not quite as strong, are worthwhile enough to make this a desirable item. Note that as of this writing, there are 14 remaining for purchase on Bandcamp (copies are also available in stores). Moketsi opens “Blue Stompin’” wonderfully, all by himself. The full band’s groove thereafter is a swank reminder that Singer hit #1 on the R&B chart in 1948 with “Corn Bread.”  A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 7/29/21

Sutton, UK | Interview: Behind the scenes with The Sound Lounge: It has been a week since the majority of restrictions on social contact were lifted in the UK, which has been a well anticipated time for the entertainment industry. After a year of group bubbles, limited capacity and restrictions on live events, entertainment venues have been granted more freedom following a year of hardship. For this entertainment venue, they were able to defy the odds and launch a successful business during lockdown. The Sound Lounge opened a new venue in Sutton during December 2020, and have a pop-up venue in Morden. Founders Hannah, of Sidcup, and Keiron, of Mitcham, were forced to put arts and culture to a halt after the government announced the third lockdown. …On Tuesday (July 27), we visited the popular venue, which not only provides live music but is also home to a community garden, a bar and a record store.

Indie Labels Address Vinyl Warping Due to U.S. Heat Waves: As customers report warped and damaged records, labels like Ba Da Bing and Joyful Noise are attempting to mitigate the issue. As punishing, dangerous heat waves have become a massive problem in the United States over the past weeks, one minor consequence is that vinyl record shipments are being warped by extreme weather. Ba Da Bing Records, which released the new Cassandra Jenkins album An Overview on Phenomenal Nature, sent an email to customers noting that multiple people had received warped records. The label offered customers two options in an attempt to mitigate the risk of damaged vinyl. …Other labels are giving customers advance notice about the possibility of the weather impacting records. Sargent House Records, the label behind albums by Deafheaven and the Armed, noted that the merch store it works with—Hello Merch—added the following language about weather to its Terms of Service: “Please be aware we DO NOT issue refunds or replacements for damage due to extreme weather conditions, minor cosmetic damage, such as corner dings, bends, split inserts, and so on.”

Strong Vinyl Record Sales Show Why Going Retro Helps You Stay Rooted: Vinyl is very much back in vogue these days. At the height of COVID-19 last year, vinyl sales exceeded CD sales for the first time since the 1980s. And this year, the first Record Store Day of 2021 saw over 1.5 million vinyl albums sold in a week, with more sales being tallied up after the second Record Store Day drop on July 17th. While around 85% of music industry revenues now come from streaming sources, this slow and steady increased interest in vinyl is notable. While several factors affect music consumption trends, vinyl endures for two main reasons. First, the music sounds better on vinyl, and second, it’s a physical product that can be handled. The reward is an enhanced musical experience, an earthy, intimate session with your favorite artist or band. But is physical vinyl just an anomaly in a virtual landscape? Or can other retro technology enhance our mental health and stimulate our physical senses in ways that screens and virtual content can’t?

Vinyl Sales Power John Mayer’s ‘Sob Rock’ to Number One: Pop Smoke’s Faith debuts at Number Two. John Mayer’s Sob Rock comes with an old-fashioned price sticker on the cover, as if it’s an LP from the Eighties, and it launched at Number One on the Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums chart thanks to deluge of old-fashioned sales—more than 56,000 copies, close to 22,000 of which were vinyl. (Due to the higher cost of vinyl, record sales have a higher weight than album downloads in the RS 200 chart.) Mayer’s first full-length in more than four years also earned nearly 27 million streams and more than 9,000 song downloads. All those album sales allowed Mayer to beat out Pop Smoke’s posthumous set Faith, which came packed with high-powered guests: Kanye West, Dua Lipa, Pharrell, 21 Savage, Takeoff, Swae Lee, Lil Tjay, and more. Faith pulled in 100.5 million streams, dwarfing Mayer’s total, and 9,400 song downloads. But the posthumous set lagged behind in sales, with just 3,600, allowing Sob Rock to overtake it. Interest in Faith also powered the previous Pop Smoke release, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, to move from Number 13 to Number 10 thanks to a jump in streams and downloads.

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TVD Radar: Rush: Cinema Strangiato–Director’s Cut in cinemas 9/9

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Trafalgar Releasing and Anthem Entertainment are proud to announce that RUSH –Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart—are set to return to the big screen as Rush: Cinema Strangiato–Director’s Cut comes to select movie theaters nationwide on September 9, 2021.

Rush: Cinema Strangiato–Director’s Cut brings Rush fans together in movie theatres once again worldwide—this time to celebrate 40 years of Moving Pictures. This global fan event takes an alternate “director’s cut” of the 2019 feature, giving audiences a special look into R40 LIVE, with a revamped setlist including new additions of bonus tracks “One Little Victory” and “Red Barchetta,” as well as “Cygnus X-1” / “The Story So Far” featuring Neil’s final recorded drum solo masterpiece.

Additional favorites include songs such as “Animate,” “Closer to the Heart,” “Subdivisions,” and “Tom Sawyer” along with backstage moments and candid footage from the cutting room floor. The Director’s Cut also includes soundcheck performances of the fan-favorite “Jacob’s Ladder,” exclusive interviews with Tom Morello, Billy Corgan, Taylor Hawkins, producer Nick Raskulinecz, The Trailer Park Boys, violinist Jonathan Dinklage, and more surprises.

Public ticketing for Rush: Cinema Strangiato–Director’s Cut begins on August 3. Ticket on-sale dates may vary by country. Visit www.cinemastrangiato.com for ticketing and the most up-to-date information regarding participating theaters. “We are proud to once again bring Rush to big screens worldwide in celebration of 40 years of Moving Pictures,” said Kymberli Frueh, Trafalgar Releasing SVP of Content Acquisitions. “Rush has such a passionate following and we’re pleased to be able to share so many never-before-seen performances with fans through this new Director’s Cut of Cinema Strangiato.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Ten Bands One Cause announces 2021 vinyl lineup of albums benefitting Red Door Community

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Ten Bands One Cause announces 2021 vinyl lineup of albums benefitting Red Door Community including limited edition releases by The Hold Steady, Grandaddy, Allman Brothers Band, Bush, Plain White T’s, Less Than Jake, Primal Scream, Umphreys’ McGee, Minus The Bear, and Tom Tom Club.

The annual Ten Bands One Cause charity initiative, which was founded in 2014 and includes notable past participants such as Metallica, John Prine, Run The Jewels, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sturgill Simpson, Modest Mouse, Jason Isbell, The Black Keys, and Anthrax, will be launching around National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Pink colored vinyl will be pressed for various albums, with a portion of the proceeds from each sale benefitting Red Door Community where no one faces cancer alone. The nonprofit’s mission is to create a welcoming community of FREE cancer support to bring knowledge, hope, and empowerment to anyone and everyone impacted by cancer and their families. They are committed to expanding their program and broadening their reach to meet the growing needs of individuals living with cancer, in more places, and in more ways than ever before.

“Grandaddy is honored to participate in Ten Bands One Cause. Doing something we love and having it help foster healing, conversation and community for people living through cancer is about as positive as music can be. Thank you Red Door Community for your powerful work.”
Jim Fairchild (Grandaddy)

“We feel truly fortunate to do what we do. To support the cause and help out those fighting cancer just by re-releasing an album… that’s a no brainer.”
Andy Farag (Umphrey’s McGee)

“We feel fortunate to be able to contribute to a cause that helps people navigate their cancer diagnosis. I’m reminded of my mother’s fight and the mountain of difficulties she faced during her struggle against breast cancer. While she ultimately lost her battle my hope is that some day no one has to deal with the realities and intricacies faced with a diagnosis like hers. In honor of Cheryl, Gilda, and the millions of others that have had to or will face this truly difficult reality, KEEP GOING.”
Cory Murchy (Minus The Bear)

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
T. Rex,
Electric Warrior

Remembering Steve Peregrin Took, born on this day in 1949.Ed.

Never got into T. Rex as a kid. I lived too deep in the sticks, and the only kid I know who owned a T. Rex record refused to tear off the cellophane shrink wrap and play the damn thing because that’s the way he was with all his stuff; he was saving it for posterity, or for somewhere down the line when it would fetch a pretty penny for being in mint condition. He’s probably a millionaire now. I thought he was a complete imbecile.

And the songs I heard after that struck me as a bit fey and simplistic; Marc Bolan truly was a dandy in the underworld, and I failed to get the whole “T. Rextasy” thing that swept England in the wake of 1971’s Electric Warrior.

Before that Bolan was an unreconstructed hippie, in a duo with the wonderfully named Steve Peregrin Took. Their acoustic-guitar-based material had a raga-like feel and ran towards lyrics about paisley unicorns leaping through peace symbols in the tie-dyed sky. But the two band mates had a falling out, and Bolan caught the glam wave, with a funky and more pop-oriented electrical guitar style and a flashier sartorial style. Indeed, he is credited with founding glam, after he appeared on Top of the Pops with a spots of glitter beneath his eyes. Superstardom followed, as little girls swooned and little boys prayed nightly for a pair of platform glitter boots to appear magically in the morning by their bed. Hit followed hit in a manner not seen since the Beatles, and it mattered not a nonce that Bolan and Took’s old hippie audience cried, “Sell out!”

Electric Warrior is generally credited as being the high-water mark of T. Rex’s career, although 1972 follow-up The Slider also wins big props from fans and critics. Electric Warrior was, as its title indicates, Bolan’s move towards an electric rock sound, with irresistible hooks and an almost child-like approach to melody. The journey begins with the shuffle funk of “Mambo Sun,” which highlights Bolan’s almost whispered vocal delivery and playful lyrics, and it’s good, infectious fun. Bolan stuck to the basics, with relatively simple grooves that might run the entire song, and it’s an exhilarating formula. Call it white glam funk.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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