A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 8/10/22

Greenfield, WI | Not a fading fad: Return of vinyl lasts with revival of former Exclusive Company locations: When Jennifer Young learned the owner of Greenfield’s Exclusive Company location had passed away, she did whatever she could to keep the music playing. Jennifer is one of a handful of music-lovers who have stepped up in recent months to keep record stores in southeast Wisconsin open. “Music is very important to me. It’s a big part of my life. I’ve been going to record stores since I was a teenager and I actually came to this store to go to the Metalhaus,” said Young, now the owner of the newly-renamed Volta Records. “When I saw that article about the store closing and that they were looking for a new owner, I talked to my husband and I said, you know, this is essentially what we were looking to do in three years. It’s just happening a little faster.” She wants regular customers to know the Metalhaus, a section of the store which touts the largest selection of metal vinyl in the Milwaukee area, is here to stay.

New York, NY | You can now listen to and browse from 400 vinyl records at the library: The Vinyl Lending Library at Brooklyn Public Library opens Tuesday. Any vinyl record collector in NYC knows stashing your hoard is a challenge. Our small apartments aren’t fit for collecting hundreds of 12-by-12–inch squares, but tiny spaces be damned, we cram our beloved records into the smallest spaces. Well, Brooklyn vinyl lovers are in luck because the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library has just opened a Vinyl Lending Library to its cardholders, giving them access to 400 albums spanning genres (hip-hop, pop, classical, country, show tunes and more) that they can listen to on-site as well as borrow for up to three weeks. You just need your library card. Listening stations can be found on the first floor. This will definitely save some space!

Henrico County, VA | He’s collected over 1 million records, but he’s not unplugging any time soon: If you need a soundtrack for your trip back in time, Walt Smith can keep you on track. The 80-year-old combines his passion for music with his profession. “We’ve got it all here,” said Walt. He is the owner of Virginia’s Memory Lane Records in Henrico, where you’ll find just about every genre of music. “We’ve got probably half a million records here,” said Walt. “I grew up with Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard.” Smith’s specialty is vinyl. “So that is the biggest thing. We’re selling memories,” said Walt. Walt started amassing records when he was a young teenager in New York. “I still have my 45 collection,” said Walt.

Lincoln, NE | Retail roundup: The end of Lefty’s and a bunch of new stores at Gateway: Les Greer, who has owned and run Lefty’s Records for the past 11 years, announced that he is closing the store in Lincoln. Greer posted on Facebook recently that he plans to retire and will close his store at 2776 South St. at the end of August. Greer opened the store in August 2011 and told the Journal Star in a 2012 article that he did so because, “vinyl is coming back.” “I want to thank everyone for their support over the last 11 years,” Greer said in the Facebook post. Lefty’s closing appears to leave just two Lincoln stores dedicated to selling vinyl records, and none south of O Street. Backtrack Records, which has been in business since 1988, is at 1549 N. Cotner Blvd. The other store is Lincoln Vintage Vinyl at 908 N. 70th St. in the Meadowlane Shopping Center.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live Shots: Incubus and Sublime with Rome at Xfinity Center, 8/3

MANSFIELD, MA | Multi-platinum band Incubus rocked the Xfinity Center amphitheater just outside of Boston Wednesday night, showcasing their collection of tight, interstellar grooves ranging from of six albums.

The night was highlighted with tracks “Warning” and “Drive” that were fully backed by the crowd in a rejoicing fashion. Throughout the night, Incubus made this audience feel like a sixth member of the band as they dropped the music at key points to shine a spotlight on the crowd’s vocals and excitement—an energy that the band was noticeably engaged with.

Incubus and Sublime wouldn’t necessarily be categorized among the same musical genres, so touring North America together might stand out to some. However, the majority of Incubus fans tend to be into the genre-fusing, reggae-ska-punk pioneers Sublime, who in turn had actually influenced Incubus. This isn’t the first time these two have played together as well. Incubus opened for Sublime in 1995 when they filmed their infamous DVD, Sublime’s 3 Ring Circus—Live At The Palace. More shared stages would follow in later years.

This summer tour is a dream bill for fans who had the unique experience in the 2000s of diving into the catalog of a trailblazing band, while also following the newly emerging Incubus as they were evolving their sound and releasing new music.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live: Lollapalooza at Grant Park, 7/30

1:55PM: Cochise is firing up Saturday’s early Lollapalooza arrivers. Dressed as an inspector in support of his latest album, The Inspection, he kicks his way around the stage and directs the crowd’s moshing efforts.

2:32PM: Hinds continues to be one of Madrid’s finest imports. They’re currently covering The Clash’s “Spanish Bombs,” and a few songs ago they plucked a young female fan from the crowd to play bass with them. They deserve a better time slot!

2:52PM: I’ve lost count of how many Instagram boyfriends I’ve seen this weekend. Everywhere I turn, fans are taking time to perfect their Lolla poses for their socials.

3:16PM: I have never seen so many boob-related signs. Fletcher’s crowd is divided: some signs request that Fletcher show her boobs, while others would prefer she autograph their boobs. It’s no doubt a memorable crowd for the pop singer’s first time playing a main stage at a festival.

3:41PM: There are already throngs of people packing into Perry’s Stage in anticipation of hometown hero, Lil Durk.

4:32PM: Lil Durk has the largest crowd I’ve ever seen at Perry’s. It’s massive. Surf Mesa had to end his set early so the crew could get the crowd to back away from the stage barriers and Lil Durk’s set still started late because no one wanted to listen.

5:34PM: Somehow I’ve weaved my way through the crowd and just barely made it to Duckwrth at the Discord Stage. It’s a wooded reprieve from the insanity that is the Perry’s crowd right now. And Duckwrth is proving himself to be a thoughtful, creative performer.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Rory Gallagher, Deuce 50th Anniversary 3LP Box
Set in stores 9/30

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “There are a million guys who sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan, but I never heard anybody who could really pull off sounding like Rory Gallagher.”Slash

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rory Gallagher’s Deuce sophomore solo album from 1971, a deluxe CD boxset will be released by UMC on Friday September 30th. The album is available to pre-order here.

The extensive celebratory release digs deep into the Rory Gallagher Archives and will include a new mix of the original album, twenty-eight previously unreleased alternate takes, a six-song 1972 BBC Radio In Concert, and seven Radio Bremen radio session tracks. The package will contain a 64-page hardback book with a foreword by Johnny Marr of The Smiths, unseen images by the late Mick Rock, essays, and memorabilia from the album recording. The 2CD and 3LP will be cut down versions from the deluxe box and there will be a special D2C 1LP of the BBC In Concert – Live at The Paris Theatre, 13 January 1972.

Released in November 1971, just six months after his eponymous solo debut, Rory Gallagher’s second album, Deuce, was the summation of all that he’d promised in the wake of Taste’s collapse. Rory wanted to capture the feeling of a live performance, so he would look to record immediately after live concerts while keeping production to a minimum.

He chose Tangerine Studios, a small reggae studio, in Dalston in East London, due its history with legendary producer Joe Meek. With Gerry McAvoy on bass guitar and Wilgar Campbell on drums, the album was engineered by Robin Sylvester and produced by Rory. Deuce features many Rory highlights, from the blistering “Crest Of A Wave” to the Celtic-infused “I’m Not Awake Yet.”

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The TVD Storefront

Victor DeLorenzo,
The TVD Interview

PHOTO: NINA FERNANDEZ | Hatched via email between musicians, the new trio Night Crickets comprise the talents of Violent Femmes co-founder Victor DeLorenzo, David J of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets, and multi-instrumentalist Darwin Meiners. Their debut release A Free Society, released earlier this year on CD has just been issued on vinyl this summer by Omnivore Records. From his studio in Milwaukee, DeLorenzo talked about the collaboration, his experimental drum approaches, the split with Violent Femmes, and the drum pattern that captured the world.

How did Night Crickets come to be?

In 2013 my band Violent Femmes played the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in California and backstage, I came across Darwin Meiners. It turned out that not only was he a fellow musician, but also was the manager of David J of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets.

I didn’t really know that much about Bauhaus or Love and Rockets other than maybe the one or two hits that Love and Rockets had. But I got on well with Darwin and stayed in touch. And then two holiday seasons ago, he got in touch with me and asked me if I would be willing to create some drum tracks for him that he could write some music to. So I said, yeah, that sounds like a great idea because as a matter of fact, I own a recording studio here in Milwaukee and I’ve had this studio for over 30 years.

From time to time, when I had a great drum setup going, I would just record wild drum tracks just to some kind of click track or some kind of drum track, and I would just store them away to be able to use in the future for different music projects.

So I told Darwin I had some of these already recorded and that, if he wanted, I could create some new ones for him too. So I did that, but when I got to the point where I sent him some stuff, I said, what about the idea of maybe seeing if David would want to be involved in this and maybe we could create some stuff together, what do you think about that?

And Darwin went to David and got back to me and said, “It sounds like a great idea.” So that just started us on our kismet way of putting together some music that eventually became this full length record.

Is it unusual to start songs with drum tracks?

I think for some people, it’s just another way of recording. Because I’ve been in the business so long, I’ve learned to record music from many different ideas at the onset. Whether it’s just the drum track, or it’s the guitar track that’s recorded to a click track, or what have you. Or maybe just starting with a lyric and building from there. So I don’t look at recording music as being a one way process. I’ve got many different ideas in my arsenal.

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Keelan X

Keelan X—AKA Keelan Cunningham—is an Irish synth-pop artist who splits his time between London and Dublin. His unique take combining retro soundscapes with contemporary production has captured the attention of tastemakers in the UK and Europe. Latest single “Fever” is another synth-infused banger, and we love it so much we’ve decided to crown Keelan our UK Artist of The Week.

Taking cues from ’80s acts ranging from Tears For Fears to Erasure and combing this sound with present-day movers and shakers such as The Weeknd and Wolfclub, Keelan X creates a sound befitting of a John Hughes-era movie soundtrack.

“Fever” is Keelan’s follow up to the equally ’80s-inspired “These Days” and finds Keelan moving into more nuanced territory. “Fever” is bristling with a wistful, dreamy atmosphere accented by toe-tapping beats and an addictive chorus that will consume you for days on end. The track is one of a series of tracks Keelan aims to release over the coming months with the aim of unveiling his debut album in 2023.

“Fever” is available to stream on all platforms now.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Frank Kimbrough,
2003–2006

In December of 2020, the pianist Frank Kimbrough passed away far too soon. Noted for his extended role in the Grammy-winning orchestra of Maria Schneider, Kimbrough was also an extensive collaborator in smaller groups, including three discs as part of the Herbie Nichols Project. Additionally, he led his own quartet, and fitting for a pianist, exceled in the trio configuration, which is what’s heard on Palmetto Records’ 2003-2006: Volume One: Lullabluebye / Volume Two: Play in two distinct lineups, one with bassist Ben Allison and drummer Matt Wilson and the other with bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Paul Motion. The 2CD is out Aug 12, with a 4LP set scheduled for December.

Frank Kimbrough’s influences are unimpeachable. Alongside the perpetually undersung Herbie Nichols, there is Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk (Kimbrough’s exquisite 6CD set Monk’s Dreams: The Complete Compositions Of Thelonious Sphere Monk, was released by Sunnyside in 2018), Paul Bley, and Andrew Hill, with the last two distinguished as mentors for Kimbrough (who was born in 1956).

Listening to 2003-2006, the nature of this relationship with Bley and especially Hill comes into sharp focus, as the pianist’s playing is at once cerebral and highly accessible, and right off the bat in the melodically grooving opening title track of Lullabluebye, a set recorded at Maggie’s Farm, the studio of Palmetto founder Matt Balitsaris, in April of 2003 and first released the following year; it and Play, which was also recorded at Balitsaris’ Pennsylvania-based studio just a smidge over two years later (and issued in 2006), will be making their vinyl debut in December.

“Lullabluebye” is one of eight varied Kimbrough originals on the first set, alongside the meditative “Ghost Dance” (inspired by the music of Annette Peacock), the jauntily catchy “Fu Bu” (a bit of a dis to the US prez of the time), with Allison and Wilson killing it throughout,  and my pick for the Lullabluebye’s standout piece, the wildly energetic “Whirl,” a tour de force blending thorny structure and freeform execution; it was often this trio’s set closer. But for the album’s finale, “Eventualities” begins with Kimbrough in solo mode, the playing contemplative as the emerging trio action is beautifully intense.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 8/9/22

Orange, CT | Orange Record Store Celebrating 60 Years: Merle’s Record Rack, located in Orange, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this fall. The store opened on Chapel Street in New Haven in 1962 and has occupied a number of locations, including the CT Post Mall, before settling into 307 Racebrook Rd. in Orange. Merle’s has a large selection of new and used CDs, LPs and cassettes, as well as a variety of rock’n’roll merchandise, including t-shirts, posters and other collectibles. Additionally, Merle’s provides services such as stereo equipment repair and analog-to-digital format transfers (cassettes and LPs to CDs, VHS to DVDs). Merle’s will hold a celebration on Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will commemorate the store’s history as well as its future as it continues its mission to prioritize its customers and meet their needs and interests in a changing industry.

Derby, UK | See the early days of a beloved Derby record store still going after 35 years: A treasure trove for record collectors. Record shops are a rare treat these days – and independent stores especially so. The internet may have made it easier to find new music, but there’s nothing quite like thumbing through the shelves of these musical temples. A few weeks ago we spoke to the owner of Derby’s beloved BPM Records, Dave Hill. He’s served the city’s movers and shakers for 35 years, beginning with BPM’s old shop on The Strand. Dave first opened BPM in Derby in December 1987, having worked in music sales in London since the 1970s. He has also managed numerous city record stores including HMV and R.E.Cords. “I suppose I must be doing something right,” said Dave. “I’ve been here long enough.”

Liverpool, UK | Quirky Smithdown Road record store where people visit for music, coffee and ‘just to talk.’ Defend Vinyl opened six years ago and is based on Smithdown Road. The owner of a Tardis-like vinyl store on Smithdown Road was inspired by his friends to launch the business, and “didn’t expect” so many people to venture inside “just to talk”. Defend Vinyl is a music lover’s haven, packed with stacks and stacks of vinyl records, as well as framed prints and posters devoted to bands and musicians from over the years. There are stylish record cases to snap up, rails of band t-shirts and even original coffee, Defend Coffee, to take home. The small but mighty venue is a calming oasis, occupying a corner plot on the eclectic and often heaving south Liverpool street. Defend Vinyl is the passion project of owner Graham Jones, who first launched the store in 2016 – though in a smaller Smithdown spot. It’s the perfect city for an independent record shop.

New York, NY | Bella Hadid spotlights Palestinian record store on Instagram: ‘Please go visit.’ Model has encouraged her followers to visit the independent store in New York. Bella Hadid has taken to Instagram to promote a small Palestinian business in New York. The model shared photos inside the independent New York record store owned by Palestinian businessman Jamal Alnasr and encouraged her Instagram followers to visit. She shared Village Revival Records’ exact Greenwich Village address in the caption, along with a series of images inside the store. “197 bleeker street NY, NY @villagerevivalrecordsnyc Please go visit my friend Jamal,” she wrote along with the letters PS, standing for Palestine, and a love heart emoji. …On her Instagram, Hadid shared a photo of herself hugging Alnasr, as well as photos of records, including Billie Holiday and The Rolling Stones releases, and the compilation album Palestine Lives! Songs from the Struggle of the People of Palestine.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live: Lollapalooza at Grant Park, 7/29

2:59PM: Kicking Lollapalooza off with critically acclaimed British indie newcomers, Wet Leg. They take a minute to shake off their nerves after sight of the massive crowd—”This is our first festival in the US”—but soon get into their groove.

3:31PM: Perhaps you know Gata from FXX’s brilliant and hilarious show Dave, but hopefully you know him for his music as well. He’s full of pure love and positivity—and wearing a Manny’s Deli shirt and hat to show his support for (real) Chicago. He also took a moment of silence for the Highland Park, Illinois victims, and as far as I know was the only musician to do so over the course of the weekend.

3:53PM: The Regrettes are giving Chicago a dose of LA cool. Moshing is encouraged. Lars Ulrich of Metallica watches them side stage. Lydia Night flies around the stage. It’s one of the best sets of the weekend.

4:10PM: Popular festival looks this year: cowboy hats, lady mullets, cow print, crochet apparel. As always, ass is aplenty.

4:25PM: Genesis Owusu is busting out a high art performance, equipped with costumes and backup dancers. He is a presence.

5:00PM: It’s time for some hard rock, so good thing Royal Blood is ripping through their songs—and some tequila—on the Bud Seltzer Stage.

5:28PM: It’s homecoming at the Discord Stage for Muna’s Kate Gavin, who’s from Evanston and back on Illinois soil. To celebrate, they give the crowd an indie pop party.

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TVD UK

TVD Live Shots:
George Thorogood & the Destroyers at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 7/29

George Thorogood is a bit of a mythical figure to me. Growing up in the midwest of the US, I was eight years old when I first saw the video for “Bad to the Bone.” Here’s this regular-looking dude walking into a pool hall with a guitar case that, instead of a Gibson, had a pool cue in it. He would go on to hustle the legendary bluesman Bo Diddley (I had no idea who he was at that time). I thought it was a bit strange for a storyline for a music video, but there was no denying that this guy was a bad motherfucker when it came to playing the blues. Is he a shredder like SRV or Hendrix? No. He’s got style, he’s got finesse, and most importantly, he’s got attitude.

Fast forward 40 years (Jesus, I’m getting old), and I get my first chance to see him live, and he brought the Destroyers. Celebrating 45 years of rock, the show that had been postponed several times finally arrived at London’s famed Shepherd’s Bush Empire. George came out on stage, immediately walked up to the front, and gave all the photographers in the pit a chance at an epic shot—then he went straight for the crowd. I’ve never seen anyone have such a good time playing the blues. He made the sold-out, packed to the gills theatre feel like the roadhouse saloon somewhere outside of Philadelphia. He was cracking jokes, chatting directly with the crowd, telling stories, and making quips; it was as if George knew the crowd intimately.

And I’m here to tell you, George didn’t miss a beat. His personality and that character I saw in the “Bad to the Bone” video is authentic; that’s just how he is. Even the security guy told me he was making jokes and telling stories to the staff during soundcheck. You can clearly see in the photos that George was on fire, and the Destroyers were tight as can be with original band members Billy Blough and Jeff Simon holding down the groove. For me, this puts a show over the top, seeing someone who’s been doing it for this long and still looks like they are having the time of their life.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Poison,
Open Up and Say… Ahh!

Celebrating Rikki Rockett, born on this day in 1961.Ed.

I finished this review only to discover–much to my chagrin-that I wrote one 3 years ago. Just more proof, as any were needed, that I have the memory of a house fly. In any event, this new review is 150 times better than the old one. Besides, all self-respecting music critics should return to this hair metal masterpiece every couple of years. It’s that great.

Judging by the Punky Meadows look-alike on the cover of their 1986 debut and the twin sister of Gene Simmons on their second, these Mechanicsburg chest waxers couldn’t decide whether they wanted to be Angel or Kiss, so they went ahead and bested both of ‘em. Glam metal idols in the days before Kurt Cobain placed former hairdresser Rikki Rockett’s skyscraper ‘do on the endangered species list, Poison packed enough hair to stuff a mattress into their metal and by so doing lubed the loins of a million girls itching to steal their makeup.

Had Poison been nothing more than a pretty pooch they’d have gone the way of Cats in Boots, and poor C.C. DeVille would have had to scuttle back to Three Mile Island with his poison blue Flying V guitar beneath his legs. But Poison had the skills to pay their thousand dollar spandex bills, and come Open Up and Say… Ahh! only Guns ‘N’ Roses had more powder in their pistol.

Counterintuitive as it sounds, there was an innocence to Poison’s twist on L.A. sleaze; unlike those moody social Darwinists Guns ‘N’ Roses (welcome to the jungle!), Poison believed in the power of positive partying. No appetite for destruction for these hair teasers; like Def Leppard, all they wanted was for you to pour some sugar on ‘em and lick it off.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 80: Michael Rault

PHOTO: SHAWNA SCHIRO | Michael Rault embraces the skill that all great musicians are good at: listening. All of his life, Michael has been carefully listening to his influences, and filtering those sounds through his own lens. It seems he’s finally completed the album that he’s been destined to make, his self-titled, second solo release.

Musically, he’s a sponge picking up some of the greatest sounds of the latter half of the 20th century. If your record collection is eclectic, then what Michael creates will fit right in next to the tried and true, well-traveled grooves sitting on your shelf. Completing this musical journey is the production and flavor that Daptone Records’ subsidiary, Wick Records, brings to the formula: a warmly textured, funky, organic and earthy feel, but applied to a rock and roll singer-songwriter instead of to the soul, funk, and R&B projects that the label is often known for.

This Canadian, like many famous songwriting Canadians in the 1970s, has made his current home beneath the sunny skies of Los Angeles, California. While there, he has connected with a like-minded group of other musicians who support each other musically and otherwise which is perfect for Michael, because he seems to always be looking for inspiration, always looking for something new to listen to.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Pere Ubu,
The Modern Dance

1896 saw the premier of literary bomb-thrower Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi, with its anti-hero Pere Ubu. The play promptly caused a riot, and Jarry—who once said “One can show one’s contempt for the cruelty and stupidity of the world by making of one’s life a poem of incoherence and absurdity” was undoubtably pleased. His goal—to the extent that he had one—was to see the hidebound and the conventional art of his time dead and buried. “Art,” he said, “is a stuffed crocodile.”

No one has ever accused Cleveland’s Pere Ubu of being a stuffed crocodile. The band that would make a virtue of clang and clamor rocketed from the tomb of the Mistake on the Lake’s Rocket from the Tombs, a promising band that collapsed over the usual creative differences.

Tombs’ members split into factions—David “Crocus Behemoth” Thomas and a collection of new players here, Stiv Bator and Company’s Dead Boys (originally Frankenstein) over there. (A third band, Friction, which was fronted by Rocket linchpin Peter Laughner, would collapse without recording an album after he rocketed his way into his own tomb at the ripe old age of 24, the result of booze and drugs.) Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys couldn’t have been more different. The latter band fit comfortably into the Heartbreakers and Richard Hell and the Voidoids mold; Pere Ubu followed their namesake straight into the revolutionary absurd.

Thomas’ notion was to create a clamorous and fractured sound, and to do so he enlisted an initially reluctant Alan Ravenstine, whose synthesizers, atonal saxophone, and innovative tape manipulation techniques spelled the difference between Pere Ubu and its contemporaries. The result was the band’s 1978 debut The Modern Dance—arguably the most innovative LP to emerge from the post-punk era.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 8/8/22

Memphis, TN | The Vinyl Countdown: It’s no secret that vinyl is resurgent. After being eclipsed first by CDs in the 1990s and then by streamed digital music, records were nigh impossible to find in mainstream stores for many years, until around 2008, when the manufacture and sales of vinyl albums and singles began to grow again. Since then, the trend has only accelerated, with market analyses predicting continued annual growth between 8 percent-15 percent for vinyl musical products over the next five to six years. What fewer people realize is how every step of the process that makes records possible can be found in Memphis. “The Memphis Sound … where everything is everything,” ran the old Stax Records ad copy, and that’s especially true in the vinyl domain: All the elements are within reach. Johnny Phillips, co-owner of local record distributor Select-O-Hits, says “There’s not very many cities that can offer everything we offer right here. From recording to distribution, from inception to the very end. Everything you need, you have right here. Memphis is like a one-stop shop for vinyl right now.”

Hot Springs, AK | Buried Treasure: There’s a new record shop in the basement of the Arlington: On Monday around lunchtime, a Facebook post circulated among musicians and vinyl collectors noting the arrival of a new record shop in the basement of the Arlington Hotel Resort Hotel & Spa, a hulk of a structure in downtown Hot Springs that opened its arms in 1875 to the upper crust who came for the town’s healing thermal spring waters and libertine charms — Babe Ruth and Al Capone among them. The hotel’s “basement” is a sort of precursor to the shopping mall, with a handful of ventures (Mamoo’s Creamery, for one) doing business among the vestiges of the bathhouse district’s heyday — vintage mosaic tile, an antique barbershop swivel chair. The newest of those underground storefront enterprises is the Downtown Record & CD Emporium, a 4-day-old vinyl record shop owned by vinyl lifer Tom Coleman. Buy, sell, trade, or just come in and look around. 78s, 45s, cassettes, CDs. The shop will do a soft opening this month and a grand opening on Friday, Sept. 2, in conjunction with Hot Springs’ monthly First Friday Gallery Walk.

Phoenix, AZ | How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire: MoFi Records claimed its expensive reissues were purely analog reproductions. It had been deceiving its customer base for years. Mike Esposito still won’t say who gave him the tip about the records. But on July 14, he went public with an explosive claim. In a sometimes halting video posted to the YouTube channel of his Phoenix record shop, the ‘In’ Groove, Esposito said that “pretty reliable sources” told him that MoFi (Mobile Fidelity), the Sebastopol, Calif., company that has prided itself on using original master tapes for its pricey reissues, had actually been using digital files in its production chain. In the world of audiophiles — where provenance is everything and the quest is to get as close to the sound of an album’s original recording as possible — digital is considered almost unholy. And using digital while claiming not to is the gravest sin a manufacturer can commit. There was immediate pushback to Esposito’s video, including from some of the bigger names in the passionate audio community.

Cloverdale, CA | Elevated Music to celebrate two-year anniversary with special sale: Music shop opened during height of COVID. Cloverdale’s Elevated Music is turning two. Owner Bill Haggerty can’t believe it’s already been two years since he opened his music store. “These past two years have been amazing,” said Haggerty. “Our expectations were blown away. The entire experience has been incredible.” Haggerty said several highlights from the past two years stick in his mind, such as the multiple Record Store Day sales they’ve hosted, his Clovie Award win, and the store’s one-year anniversary celebration, but the biggest highlight for him has been the customers. “The community support has been massive,” said Haggerty. “Every month it just grows exponentially.” Last year, Haggerty said he was “absolutely thrilled” to be nominated for a Clovie Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. At the time he said it was “a real honour to be recognized” alongside other deserving entrepreneurs. Haggerty ended up winning the award and he said the process was humbling.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Rock and grills / Mountains and hills / They won’t last they won’t last / Your building’s tall very tall / Your people small very small / They won’t last they won’t last / They won’t last they won’t last

Stop rider coming baby / Cakifia is her name / Some call her California / She’ll break just the same / She’ll break just the same / She’ll break just the same

Over the many years I’ve written this “mini column” (aka intro) for the Idelic Hour, I’ve mentioned this and the hour of music is my weekly diary. This week was a big one in our home. Wednesday our son Jonah turned 14. As parents we understand a child’s birthday is a family celebration. We reflect on the day of and the day before. We pull baby photos and look and coo in awe of life and the constant ebb and flow of change—what I call my rock ‘n’ roll journey. As a second time around, an “older” parent, I also have become keenly aware that life only comes around once.

Wednesday was my one shot at celebrating Jonah’s Fourteenth, and my goal was to savor every minute of it. For me 14 was pure rock ‘n’ roll magic. In those days my old man had moved from NYC was living in San Fransisco. On the weekend dad would say, “go for a ride.” This meant we’d get in the car, pop in a cassette, smoke a joint, and explore the California coast.

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