A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 8/4/21

UK | 100 years of HMV: an interview with its MD Phil Halliday. In what has been a tumultuous 18 months for the high street, one of the flagship high street brands a staple of pop culture iconography is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The brand in question is of course HMV, initially launching as His Masters Voice in July 1921 with the opening of their first store 363 Oxford Street, opened by the classical composer Elgar. While their fortunes have fluctuated in recent years, since being accumulated into Sunset Records in 2019, HMV have seen something of a rebirth with plans recently announced for ten new stores this year and up to 70 in the coming years, indicating a strong sense of commitment to the high street and the brand itself. Ed Sheeran has been on hand to open the new Coventry store and with other instore gigs and signings imminent, it appears the future of the brand for at least the short term is promising. We were fortunate enough to speak with Phil Halliday, MD of HMV and Fopp about how the brand has fared during the pandemic, the continued resurgence of the vinyl market in the UK as well as their anniversary and plans for the future.

Charlotte, NC | Charlotte-Area Record Stores Benefit From Surge In Vinyl During Pandemic: It was a hot day in July when Jampac Records owner Walter Gibson had floor fans placed around the Monroe shop because the building does not have central air. “Oh no, this is a real old-school record store,” Gibson said. “And the thing is we bought this building about 20 years ago when downtown was probably a cat, a dog and a horse on the highway. That’s about it.” While other businesses saw a decline in customers during the pandemic, Gibson says his sales increased. That’s in part because he focused on selling online. From this small store in Monroe, he ships records to customers all over the world. “You have to be global,” Gibson said. “If you’re not global, you just won’t make it. And that’s how we made it, because when they shut down that increased our online sales.” Gibson estimates about 80% of his business right now is online. Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was split about 50-50 between online sales and customers walking through the door.

Detroit, MI | Exploring 5 of metro Detroit’s greatest record shops with Kirby Glover: Perhaps it was an unfair question. Okay, it was 100 percent an unfair question. When we asked Kirby Glover to name her favorite Detroit record that she owns on vinyl — oh, the pain in her voice. You could hear her mentally thumb through her enormous vinyl collection, one that’s somewhere near 1,000 records — and growing. On this particular day, at that particular moment, Kirby settled on Detroit Revolution(s), a.k.a. Revo, from Clear Soul Forces. But ask her later in the day and it could be something completely different. Kirby Glover is a musichead. She loves a wide range of artists, genres, and eras, a fact that’s surely represented in her sizable collection. If you’re half the fan of music that she is, chances are you’ve been in the same local record shops or have attended the same local concerts — and maybe even at the same time. Her concert photography has been published in outlets like the Detroit News and she’s a fixture of Detroit’s music community.

Denver, CO | Love Vinyl Records Keeps the Art of Vinyl Deejaying Alive: Love Vinyl Records is a record store for DJs by DJs. While it stocks the normal array of classic rock, jazz, pop, metal and other genres, its primary focus has been on dance records, like house, techno, hip-hop, disco and breaks. That’s because proprietor Seth Nichols is a DJ himself and has been spinning vinyl for decades. Name a club in Denver, and he has probably played it. Even though some would say records are a delicate and antiquated technology that doesn’t produce the same fidelity as CDs (or WAV files, for that matter) and can easily be destroyed by sunlight, vinyl sales have doubled over the past year. We caught up with Nichols to discuss why DJs still use vinyl, despite the limitations, and what vinyl DJs can do to get the most out of their records while playing clubs.

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TVD Radar: Jesus Christ Superstar 2LP 50th anniversary edition in stores 9/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1970 concept double album, Jesus Christ Superstar, it has today been announced that a variety of special anniversary edition albums will be released September 17. This landmark release, which includes full cooperation from the creators Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, features an array of exclusive demos, commentaries, interviews and much more.

In 1970, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber released Jesus Christ Superstar as a concept double album. It became a massive global best-seller, topping the US Billboard Top LPs chart in both February and May 1971, as well as ranking at number one in the year-end chart. By 1983, the album had sold over 7 million copies worldwide.

However, the journey to international success was far from straightforward. As unknown names in musical theatre, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber were unable to find a producer willing to stage their ambitious idea for a religious-themed rock opera. Eventually, they persuaded MCA records to let them record the score first. Using a full orchestra, and with the outstanding talents of Ian Gillan, Murray Head, Yvonne Elliman and The Grease Band, they created a masterpiece that revolutionized the form of musical theatre.

Within a year of its chart success, stage productions of Jesus Christ Superstar began to appear all over the world, leading to record-breaking runs in the West End, a hit Hollywood film, Tony nominations and Olivier Awards. Its influence and impact have not diminished: in 2018 the NBC live production of the show, starring John Legend and Sara Bareilles, resulted in Emmy Award wins for Rice and Lloyd Webber (thereby making them two of the 16 people in history to have won an Emmy®, a Grammy®, an Oscar® and a Tony®).

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Graded on a Curve: Welcome to Zamrock! Vols. 1 & 2

For decades, the prime fount of Afrobeat has been Nigeria. However, turning retrospective attention southward to the landlocked nation of Zambia reveals a distinct strain of ’70s African rocking; Now-Again Records’ two Welcome to Zamrock! compilations spotlight this movement with appropriate depth. The CD editions come with a 104-page hardcover book co-authored by Now-Again’s Eothen “Egon” Alapatt and Zambian music historian Leonard Koloko, while the 2LPs are accompanied with an edited booklet and a WAV download card. Together, they offer 34 tracks recorded from ’72-’76 that in the label’s words represent every important Zamrock band.

The music blog wave has long ebbed and without much in the way of commiseration, but it’s worth noting that an occasional curatorial gem did shine amidst the sea of digitized record collections. For example, music blogs are where this writer first heard a pair of Zamrock’s most prolific acts, specifically the Ngozi Family and WITCH; in a positive turn, Now-Again has licensed full-length reissues of both (amongst others) and awarded them prominent positions on these two overviews of the style.

In terms of groove, Zamrock is certainly related to the sounds that emanated from Nigeria during the same period, but overall, the Zambian approach is distinguished by a larger ratio of rock in the mix, a circumstance that can be attributed to the impact of colonial rule. Having broken free from Britain less than a decade prior to the start of Welcome to Zamrock’s timeframe, the country’s reality is succinctly expressed in Now-Again’s choice of subtitle: How Zambia’s Liberation Led to a Rock Revolution.

The Ngozi Family’s “Hi Babe” is illustrative of the Zambian recipe, and it smartly opens side one of Vol. 1. The cut’s most striking element is a distortion-soaked guitar riff that registers far beyond fuzzy to the point of being downright serrated, the garage-like production bringing it a slightly muffled quality as the sharp crack of the drums strengthens the hard rock foundation.

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Bridges,
The TVD First Date

“There is nothing more distinctive than listening to a recording on vinyl. The feel, the one of a kind sound, the obsession it can lead to. For a long time I was picking up a few records a month, rather than a streaming service subscription. I figured it helps the bands out way more, and I get to own something that I will really appreciate having in my collection.”

“I would say I am a modest collector compared to some of my friends, and that my collection really has come from an urge to support artists I love, more than necessarily wearing down the needle with play after play. Whenever I see a new band that I really love putting out their music this way I try my best to pick it up. I don’t want more MP3s or burned CDs around the house; they sound exactly the same on the internet. A record is unique, and I absolutely want to indulge in that.

The past year has been a little slower, but I have managed to pick up a few of The Wonder Years and Frightened Rabbit albums that I’ve been chasing for a while. I am really proud to finally own those, as well as some pals’ bands like October Drift and Wrest’s debut albums.

The best way I have found to experience a band’s work comes from putting on a record, sitting back and taking it all in—listening to a body of work exactly how it was intended, from start to finish. No skips, no bloody adverts—you’re just in it until the end—it’s absolute magic.

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Nick Kingswell

Some of you may be aware that we had a very short-lived heatwave here in the UK recently… dare I say it was too hot? Said every Brit ever. Regardless, we’re back to our normal rainy reality here in old GB and Australian artist Nick Kingswell’s latest release feels perfectly fitting for these dark, cozy days.

Nick’s latest single “Deep Blue” channels the likes of RY X as sparse, lo-fi soundscapes are met with Nick’s rich, warm vocal, creating a sound that is undeniably ethereal. The single is accompanied by Nick’s B-side single “Money In The Bank”; an equally mesmerising song that takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster, as intricate guitar strums rumble quietly underneath Nick’s wonderfully poignant lyricism. Fans of Sufjan Stevens will feel at home here.

Nick grew up in Phillip Island, Victoria in Australia where he was heavily influenced by Carole King and Leonard Cohen. He has worked as a session guitarist for many years as well alongside Guy Sebastian, The McClymonts, and Samantha Jade. With a critically acclaimed debut album already under his belt, Nick hopes to immerse listeners further with his latest singles—and we can’t wait to hear what he gets up to next.

“Deep Blue / Money In The Bank” is in stores now.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Umbrellas,
The Umbrellas

Stumbling onto the indie-pop stylings of The Umbrellas could easily lead to assumptions that they reside in Merry Old England, but no; the map to their digs leads west to San Francisco, USA. Flush with chiming and distorted strings, urgent rhythms, sweet harmonies, and alternating guy-gal lead vocals, the band’s full-length debut is out August 6 on limited edition Coke bottle green vinyl, compact disc, and digital download. Dishing a dozen songs in 38 minutes, the album hits all the marks, and is another treat in a long string of delights from the ever-reliable Slumberland label.

The Umbrellas are Morgan Stanley on vocals and guitar, Matt Ferrara on vocals, guitar and keyboards, Keith Frerichs on 12-string acoustic guitar, drums, and vocals, and Nick Oka on bass. Their sole prior release is the “Maritime E.P.,” which came out just a smidge over one year ago on 33 1/3 rpm 7-inch vinyl and cassette.

Three of the four songs on the 7-inch are also featured on the LP, but in distinctively different versions, with the EP recorded in Ferrara’s apartment and the album at Cidra Studios. Additionally, the rhythms heard on the EP were solely sourced from (or at least only credited to) a drum machine. While said apparatus hasn’t exited The Umbrellas’ scene, the sound of an honest-to-goodness drum kit can’t help but deepen the band’s indie-pop bona fides.

While on the subject of the legit, the cassette version of the “Maritime E.P.” offers an extra track, a nifty cover of “Dance” by the ’80s UK outfit Strawberry Switchblade. If you dig that band but don’t know that song, that’s likely because its only recording was a David Jensen radio session in October of ’82. “Dance” did morph into Strawberry Switchblade’s “Since Yesterday,” the opening track and first single from their eponymous debut album in ’84, but the revamping denoted a stylistic move toward synth-pop and new wave.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 8/3/21

Phoenix, AZ | 3 stores to buy vinyl records in Phoenix: There are plenty of audiophiles in Phoenix. You can get all you need and more at Phoenix’s locally owned record stores, whether you’re seeking for B-sides, exported rarities, vintage albums, or simply some new releases for the needle to strike. Stinkweeds: Going to Stinkweeds is a rite of passage in Phoenix, even if you don’t collect vinyl records. Since its inception in 1987, the uptown Phoenix record store has been a tried-and-true location for travelling musicians and local performers looking to put on a pop-up concert. With 80 listening stations to check out your selections and a highly educated and committed staff, you can discover all types of music on vinyl, CD, and cassette here. After you’ve picked up some new tracks, head next door to Frances for a variety of locally made products…

Wichita, KS | Vinyl Shortage, Higher Prices Challenge Independent Record Stores: Independent record stores faced a unique set of challenges in 2020 amid the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, some of those stores are facing some challenges with simple supply and demand. The days of the independent record store seemed over in the early 2000s as physical, recorded media slipped into declining sales amid the arrival of streaming and downloads. But the industry rallied, thanks in part to a resurgent interest in vinyl records. Some stores, such as Spektrum Muzik, located in Wichita’s Delano district, benefit from the sales of used and new records. Independent record stores were among the many small businesses that suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Stores managed to diversify by dealing with curbside pickup of records, mail order and creating unique merchandise for customers.

Burlington, VT | Lou Barlow To Play Burlington Record Plant: Every now and then, a show is announced that warrants a double take. One could be forgiven for blinking and refreshing the browser upon seeing that Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion) is playing a show at — of all places — the Burlington Record Plant. The news is real, people: On Monday, August 2, Barlow will indeed perform at the BRP. “Nick Mavodones from Waking Windows, Bobby Hackney and I were trying to get someone a little bigger, from out of town, to come in and play an acoustic set,” says BRP owner Justin Crowther. “Then we heard that Lou Barlow was looking to play some more off-the-beat kind of places on his tour. So Nick reached out, and it came together pretty quickly.” Barlow helped pioneer the early 90’s low-fi indie-rock sound and has rightfully earned his place among the legends of that generation of rockers. He’s even in the midst of a late-career resurgence with Dinosaur Jr., who have returned to releasing albums and touring…

Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam had July’s top Record Store Day album & single: July 17 was the second drop of Record Store Day 2021, and Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam came out on top. Billboard reports that according to MRC Data, the event resulted in 1.14 million U.S. vinyl album sales overall, and the top-selling RSD release was Foo Fighters’ Hail Satin, released under the name The Dee Gees. The project sold 12,000 vinyl LPs, plus another 3,000 downloads when it was made available digitally on July 19. The 10-song album features covers of four number-one Bee Gees hits, a cover of “Shadow Dancing” by the Bee Gees’ little brother, Andy Gibb, and live versions of songs from the Foos’ latest, Medicine at Midnight. The top-selling RSD single release was Pearl Jam’s “Alive,” which was issued on both 12-inch vinyl and cassette, along with the rare B-sides “Wash,” “Dirty Frank” and a cover of The Beatles’ “I’ve Got a Feeling.” Here are the top-selling RSD 2021 July 17 drop albums at independent record stores, according to MRC Data…

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Alan Vega, Alan Vega After Dark in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | 2021 is shaping up to be the year of Alan Vega. Every year should be, but this year is definitely it.

The announcement of the opening of the Alan Vega archives, which will be unleashing an untold amount of unreleased material dating back to 1971 via Sacred Bones, the release of Mutator (a lost album from the mid ’90s) which has gained rave reviews, a massive feature in The New York Times, Alan has been celebrated everywhere of late. In The Red is over the moon to participate in this celebration with the release of Alan Vega After Dark—an album that captures a late night rock n’ roll session with Alan backed by Ben Vaughn, Barb Dwyer, and Palmyra Delran (all members of the incredible Pink Slip Daddy as well as countless other cool projects). This album serves as a reminder that Alan Vega was an incredible rock n’ roll/ blues/ rockabilly vocalist. He was one of the best.

From the desk of Jason P. Woodbury: I only spoke with Alan Vega once. It was over the phone and the topic of discussion was the 2015 reissue of Cubist Blues, the phenomenally out there album he’d originally released with collaborators Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn in 1996. I was in a noisy stadium for reasons that no longer matter at all, on a cell phone, but even with all that extra noise considered, Alan was exceptionally difficult to understand.

At first at least. He’d suffered a stroke a few years earlier, in 2012, which still had lingering effects on his speech. But even before that, his heavy East Coast accent had sometimes made him hard to decipher, lending his voice the character of “a cab driver describing fine art,” Vaughn says. If you weren’t from New York—specifically Alan’s New York, an older version of Gotham that may have died with him on July 16th, 2016, when he passed in his sleep—it could be hard to keep up. But after a few minutes, I adjusted to the rhythm.

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Graded on a Curve: Wishbone Ash,
Argus

Celebrating Ted Turner, born on this day in 1950.Ed.

Four English song-smithies who couldn’t figure out if they wanted to be guitar heroes or fey sylvan Medievalists playing music to seduce water sprites by, Wishbone Ash really gets my goat–wowing me one minute, and making me want to scream the next.

Take 1972’s Argus, Wishbone Ash’s most successful outing. This baby totally befuddled me as a kid; I loved the groovy guitar interplay between Andy Powell and Ted Turner, but got thrown every time by all the King Arthur’s-in-the-house horseshit. The damn thing sounded like a cross between a Renaissance Faire and Lou Reed’s Rock n Roll Animal, and I simply couldn’t wrap my poor teen mind around it.

You got, for instance, “Sometime World,” which begins life as a moody evocation of England’s green and pleasant land and ends it as a guitar rampage for the ages. “Throw Down the Sword,” similar deal. It opens with a drum tattoo like you might have heard at the beheading of Anne Boleyn before going all Alfred, Lord Tennyson–or Styx–on your ass. But just when you’re ready to dismiss it as a piece of pretentious prog wankery, it goes out blazing in a fiery fandango of guitars that’ll set your hair on fire. It’s furious-making.

Why, oh why, couldn’t these princes of pettifoggery just throw away their suits of armor and kick out the jams like righteous 20th Century motherfuckers? “Warrior” comes on like a case of 21st Century schizophrenia, man, it’s all blistering guitars and cymbal smash and you think “Yes! Finally!” Only to then collapse like Percy Bysshe Shelley in a poetic swoon!

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TVD Premiere: Loveland Duren, “Tumbledown Hearts”

PHOTO: JAMIE HARMON | Van Duren emerged from the same burbling Ardent Studios evolutionary pond alongside Jody Stephens and Chris Bell, with whom he played in a Memphis band (and also auditioned for their onetime band Big Star). He recorded a couple of Todd Rundgren-like albums in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that became collectors items for power pop fanatics, and inspired a couple of smitten Australian fans to to seek him out, a pilgrimage captured in their subsequent 2018 documentary, Waiting: The Van Duren Story.

Not a long-lost songwriter like Sugarman had been in his similar rediscovery documentary, Duren could easily be found right in the same rich musical territory where he was raised: Memphis. After years with his well-considered band Good Question, he has more recently been turning out duet albums with Vicki Loveland, a well-kept Memphis secret of her own.

The third Loveland Duren release, Any Such Thing on Edgewood Recordings, won’t be out until October 1, but The Vinyl District is proud to debut a track from it today, “Tumbledown Hearts.” Like a lot of their music, it’s both catchy and emotional as it addresses real relationships among grown up people.

The two say it’s “really is a song about two people finding a way to celebrate life together in spite of turmoil, misunderstandings, disappointments, and a life lived long enough to know that while rose colored glasses may not be reality, we can sure put them on if we choose to.” Such is life among creative romantics. But, they add, the song is “also about sharing companionship and comfort in an adult world with another battered but hopeful and optimistic soul.”

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 42: Robby Takac

Robby Takac can tell you some stories! A founding member of the Goo Goo Dolls in the 1980s, he was there in those rough and tumble, hard rock early days and evolved with the band to produce some of the most heard alternative rock numbers of the 1990s. In fact, the band’s song “Iris” was ranked #1 on Billboard’s “Top 100 Pop Songs 1992–2012” chart.

While Robby and longtime Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik work on a new album, it seemed it was the right time for them to dive into the archives and compile and produce an anthology of rare cuts and seldom heard live performances—the album is called Rarities and it provides some very revealing glimpses into songs that we’ve all heard many, many times.

Robby joins me to discuss the tracks on this new compilation, but we also talk about those heady Goo Goo Dolls days when it seemed the Dolls’ music was inescapable whenever you spun a radio dial. We discuss the good and bad elements of the algorithms that keep their fingers on our collective pulses and we track the path of one of the most successful rock and roll bands of the late 20th century.

While I’ve been fortunate to have John Rzeznik on the program, it’s now Robby’s turn to dish and give us a glimpse inside the modern day machinations of the Goo Goo Dolls.

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:
The Electric Flag,
A Long Time Comin’

This album is an abomination. The only things that make the Electric Flag better than their horn-heavy brethren in Blood, Sweat & Tears is their guitarist (Mike Bloomfield) is 1,000 times better than BS&T’s and they don’t have David Clayton Thomas on vocals. David Clayton Thomas ruined lives. Oh, and they didn’t give us “Spinning Wheel.” “Spinning Wheel” is one of those gifts you can’t give back. Once you’ve heard it, you’re soiled forever.

Michael Bloomfield was one of the premier blues guitarists of his (or any) time, but he shouldn’t have been allowed to get within 500 yards of a horn section. This is what ambition can do to a person—they end up hurting people. Admittedly he wasn’t the only musician to come up with the idea of fusing jazz and the blues. B.B. King and Booker T & the M.G.’s (amongst others) had already done it, and they bear part of the blame.

But Bloomfield—who dubbed his new sound “American Music” as if Chuck Berry hailed from Uzbekistan—took things too far with Electric Flag and their 1968 debut album A Long Time Comin’. But let’s be fair; as with the Kennedy assassination, Bloomfield did not act alone. He had accomplices on the grassy knoll in Buddy Miles, Nick Gravenites, Barry Goldberg, and Harvey Brooks. I will omit the names of the others (particularly the horn players) out of respect for their families.

As for that album title, I would argue a long time isn’t long enough. The ideal release date for A Long Time Comin’ would have been ten years after my demise. Which isn’t to say the album is a complete waste. Its cover—which depicts a “groovy” chick in an LSD haze encircled by some of the boys in the band—is a classic example of Haight-era psychedelic kitsch. And that band name is great. Lose the band, and we’d have a winner on our hands.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 8/2/21

Hackensack, NJ | Hackensack Record Store Closing Its Doors After 56 Years: The Record King Being Torn Down As Part Of Redevelopment Plan, Owner Says. A longtime record store in New Jersey is closing its doors. The Record King on Main Street in Hackensack has been a go-to spot for music lovers for 56 years. The store survived the pandemic but is being torn down as part of a redevelopment plan. Owner Craig Stepneski says it’s disappointing, as vinyl is making a major comeback. “They have a warmer sound, and I think people are finding how cool it is … When you’ve got 100,000 records like I do, it’s like, you want to come in and you want to look, see what’s there, find that hidden treasure,” he said. The store was supposed to close Saturday, but the owner is hoping to stay open until at least the end of August.

Surrey, BC | Elevated Music to celebrate its one-year anniversary with special record sale: Cloverdale record shop turns 1. Elevated Music will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary. Owner Bill Haggerty opened the Cloverdale record shop last August. He said he wants to thank the local community and all his customers for their support over the past year. To show that appreciation, he’s throwing a one-year anniversary celebration Aug. 14. He and wife Jen Haggerty are encouraging people to check out the store that day. “Make sure to come by for our one-year,” said Jen. “We’re going to have a big sale. We’ll have cake. We might even have some live music.” “We have lots of new arrivals, stuff we’ve been stashing just for the day,” added Bill. “We’ll have lots of cool new and used records hitting the floor. It’ll be a great day of music, community, and culture.” He said some of those records will be from more popular bands, but added there’ll also be records available from some obscure artists too.

Springfield, IL | Record deal: Retirement comes calling for Mark and Gary Kessler of Recycled Records: In announcing his impending retirement, Recycled Records co-owner Mark Kessler said he had had enough of the six-day grind and that he wanted to take time off from the business to enjoy himself. But Kessler said the state of downtown Springfield was a contributing factor to his leaving. Some customers of his are averse to coming downtown for a myriad reasons, Kessler said, including the parking situation and aggressive panhandlers around the store. Kessler, who helped turn the store his grandparents and parents once ran as a furniture store into the vinyl record mecca it is today, previously served on the Downtown Springfield, Inc. board and was presented the Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. “I want downtown to do really well, I truly do,” Kessler insisted, tending to inquiries and sales from customers at his desk in the store. “City hall has to work with us here. If they can’t keep the streets clean and safe…

Napa, CA | Napa vinyl store owner looks for record profits: It’s as if Marty McFly gave DeLorean the final spin and was abandoned 50 years ago. But instead of guaranteeing that his parents meet and guaranteeing his ultimate presence, the “Back to the Future” character is a lot of vinyl for download and Spotify-grown generations. I have a stockpile of discs. Of course, a significant portion of Tim Leonard’s customers are in the demographics of a 62-year-old former restaurant owner. When it comes to nostalgic atmosphere, it doesn’t smell as good as vinyl for music fans who opened Right On !!! Records June 4 5 minutes from his house in Napa. Leonard says he rarely grabs water from a plastic bottle for a sit-in chat in the middle of Thursday afternoon. Apparently, there are many baby boomers who regret downsizing years ago, including Bon Voyage bids on record collections. “There are many people repurchasing the records they handed out,” Leonard said. “That’s fine.” Yes, he nodded. “It’s nostalgia above all. They are reliving their glorious days.”

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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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The TVD Storefront

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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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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