The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Ministry: Prescripture, A visual history in stores 12/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “He’s fearless. He’s funny. He’s a diehard hockey fan. I love this man. Complete original. Can’t wait to have his book on my coffee table to make company nervous.”Bill Burr

“There have always been bands full of angst, rage, anger, drama, and theatrics. It was Ministry who first came along at the dawn of the industrial movement, who combined these things so seamlessly, that the audience was about to have its first immersive experience. Not only were the shows a visceral experience, but lyrically, Al was preaching the truth on top of the finely crafted sound of this new musical tonality of aggression and machinery. Loud and aggressive, yes, but also painstakingly put together as a symphonic experience. Al is the real deal. Who we see and hear on stage is who he is; it’s his truth that resonates with so many. Truths that make the disenfranchised feel included and truths that make the common man wish to be among the disenfranchised.”
Dave Navarro, Jane’s Addiction

The fully authorized visual history book, Ministry: Prescripture, by author Aaron Tanner has been announced today via Rolling Stone. Published by Melodic Virtue, the book contains over 200 pages of rare and unseen photos, artwork, and other ephemera that spans Ministry’s entire career. Melodic Virtue raided Uncle Al’s personal collection of behind-the-scenes artifacts and have supplemented those items with contributions from band members past and present along with visual artists, Brian Shanley and Paul Elledge.

Founded in 1981 by Al Jourgensen, Ministry has never stopped evolving. His constant experimentation and stylistic variation morphed the band from it’s synth-pop origins to the industrial juggernaut of today.

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The TVD Storefront

Wallis Bird,
The TVD First Date

“I remember looking up at my dad as he spun vinyl around in his hands, smiling down at me, then the needle came down, music started playing, and he began to silly dance to me!”

“I remember a huge sense of good feeling in me. I thought ‘whatever this is, it makes my dad REALLY happy.” I must have been only a toddler. He still looks at me with that mischievous face when he’s listening to that good ol’ rock and roll! As I got older we moved house and had a billiard room which we often weren’t allowed into—where the vinyl lived. My parents were out for the night and my brothers started playing Dire Straits’ “IIIII want my MTVVVVV,” and they’d turn off the lights for the intro.

It frightened the shit out of me, and that’s when I realized the power of atmosphere in song. That same night they were messing with me because we were explicitly told to be very, very careful with the vinyl and my brother Edgar was being a brat and putting 2 records on top of each other, slowing it down and generally making the LP sound like a demon or a chipmunk. I was curious and scared of vinyl for a long time, because in the hands of the right person (or wrong person!) it could be pleasurable or horrifying to me.

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The TVD Record Store Club

Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for September 2019, Part Three

Part three of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for September, 2019. Part one is here and part two is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Telepathic Band, Electric Telepathy Vol. 1 (577) The third album from this exceptional five-member NYC group is also the first half of what promises to be an absolute knockout. The Telepathic Band features Daniel Carter on saxophones, clarinet and trumpet, Patrick Holmes on clarinet, Matthew Putman on keyboard, Hilliard Greene on bass, and Federico Ughi on drums, and for this LP they took an improvised earlier recording session back into the studio and created a new thing in collaboration with producer Stelios Mihas, who also contributes guitar. While the four tracks on side two tangle with the finer side of ’70s fusion and robust astral jazz, it’s side one’s 19-minute dive into psychedelia that’s the real grabber here. The Telepathic Band and 577 Records are boundary breakers. A

Joel Paterson, Let It Be Guitar! Joel Patterson Plays The Beatles (Bloodshot) This one unabashedly throws back to an era when technically sharp instrumentalists could carve a livelihood by putting an adept and distinct stamp on their chosen material. To sharpen the description, Chicagoan Paterson’s influences include Les Paul and Chet Adkins as he blends jazz, exotica, blues, rockabilly, western swing and C&W with ease. That’s mucho range, and he’s not about showing off but instead making the right sounds. While the LP’s sleeve enhances the retro angle, the music hits just right (in fact more consistently than some of his influences), and only partly due to the solidity of the source material. Paterson tackles a few later Beatles tunes but seems to prefer the early stuff, and that’s fine with me. A-

somesurprises, S/T (Drawing Room) Seattle’s somesurprises began as the solo project of singer-songwriter Natasha El-Sergany but is now a full-on band. Although there are some cassettes in the discography, this is designated as the debut album, and it establishes El-Sergany as being substantially impacted by the sound of shoegaze. This is cool, and especially because the work transcends expectations (mine, anyway) for this sorta thing. To elaborate, a whole lot of recent shoegaze (neo-shoegaze, if you will), even when it’s (very) good, can be assessed as somewhat or largely formulaic. Not this record, the opening track of which doesn’t even gaze at any shoes at all. Instead, it offers a celestial retro futurist vibe that bookends nicely with the extended closing motorik burner “Cherry Sunshine.” A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICK: Kristin Hersh, Crooked (Fire) Released in 2010, this was Hersh’s eighth full-length, making its vinyl debut here with a new sleeve design. There was a CD issued in ’10 (Fire has a CD out with fresh cover, as well), but Crooked was notably first issued as a book with digital download that included ample extra material; that stuff ain’t here, but that’s alright, as the core is represented, though interestingly with a new track sequence. “Mississippi Kite” opened matters in 2010, but now it’s the fourth track and side one’s closer. This is also alright. Hersh is a writer, and writers are prone to the need to revise. What hasn’t changed is the intensity of her work; I like her stuff in Throwing Muses but tend to love her in solo mode, where the power kick only increases. She’s weathered, but not beaten. A-

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/19/19

Kelowna, BC | For Kelowna record seller, it’s time to face the music: Vinyl’s on the upswing, but the proverbial series of unfortunate events means Milkcrate Records will be closing forever at the end of the month. “We’re being forced out by our landlord (at 527 Lawrence Ave.),” said Milkcrate owner Richard Rafton. “And then, we signed a deal for a location in the North End for October, November and December to get us through the busy and important Christmas season, but the landlord there reneged. Plan C was a location on Pandosy, but that fell through too.” With only 13 days left in the month and all options exhausted, Rafton has no choice but to reluctantly shutter the business. “My wife and I are both turned 65 this year and she was going to retire,” said Rafton. “Instead, she’s going to have to continue working. And I’m going to have to sell off all the inventory because we’re deeply in debt and find another job, probably something in commercial construction, which is what I did before.”

New York, NY | Bushwick’s Daptone Records Will Host a Stoop Sale Friday With Free Beer: Vinyl collectors, fans of soulful Daptone Records, and beer-drinkers will have a field day at this Friday’s Daptone Super Soul Stoop Sale. The record label is credited with the soul and funk revival of the last decade and a half. One of the label’s first major successes was recording the backing music to Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” as the Dap-Kings. You may also remember the Dap-Kings as Sharon Jones’s permanent backing band, recording seven full-length albums with her before Jones’ untimely death in November of last year. The recording studio is nestled into an unassuming converted house at 115 Troutman St., making it possibly the most unlikely hub for world-class soul and funk out there. This Friday, June 30 between 4 and 8 p.m. come down to the studio for $10 LPs, a 5 for $20 deal on Daptone 45s, and a deal on a limited Sharon Jones Record Store Day recording. Plus, there will be free beer courtesy of local Braven Brewing to sweeten the deal.

Bury, UK | Record store launches blue and white milkshakes to help fundraise and save Bury FC: A record store is “shaking things up” to help save Bury FC. Wax and Beans vinyl and coffee shop has added a new limited edition blue and white milkshake to its menu to show its support for the town’s football side and raise vital funds. All profits made by the shakes over the next week will be donated to the club by the shop. Owners Ben Soothill and Louise Jackson came up with the concept together with a customer who is a huge Shakers fan, and thought it would be a great idea for businesses to get behind efforts to save the club. Mr Soothill said: “We’re delighted as a business that is very close to Gigg Lane to be able to contribute in some positive way to help highlight the fight to save the club. “We have conversations every day with customers that are really hurting about the current situation and we need as a community to join together in support to fight this.”

Anthony Bourdain’s Chef’s Knife, Records & Other Belongings to Be Auctioned: Over 200 items will be on the block this October. Nearly 200 items personally accrued by the late Anthony Bourdain will go to auction next month including a custom chef’s knife, some of his personal record collection, apparel, art, and more. The auction—set for October 9 through October 30—is broken into categories the reflect Bourdain’s varied interests in film, music, art, travel, and cooking. Among items up for auction, via online auction house iGavel, are a custom Bob Kramer steel and meteorite chef’s knife, a U.S. Navy bomber jacket Bourdain received while “leaving Beirut in a hurry in the midst of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict in 2006,” and a small record case with vinyl records from Bourdain’s collection including The Kinks and The Velvet Underground… Per the official auction page, 40 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at The Culinary Institute of America (his alma mater) with remaining proceeds benefiting Anthony Bourdain’s personal estate.

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TVD Chicago

TVD Live Shots: Riot Fest Chicago, 9/13

3:30PM: It’s going to take us 90 minutes to get to Riot Fest thanks to traffic, so my wife and I are busy compiling a list of bands we hope to see play Riot Fest in the future. The highlights from our lengthy discussion include: Spinal Tap (my #1 wish), R.E.M. reunion, Smashing Pumpkins playing Siamese Dream in full, The Fugees, Talking Heads reunion, the band from School of Rock, Led Zeppelin reunion, Ben Folds Five, The Muppets, Tool, Missy Elliott. Pretty solid list, don’t you think?

4:45PM: Made it! The grounds seem more crowded than last year—especially for a Friday. It’s snug.

5:08PM: Neck Deep get some laughter and claps for their cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.”

5:17PM: The Riot Mall is packed with the usual suspects—Fat Wreck Chords, the fake pot candy booth (Chronic Candy), and my favorite To Write Love on Her Arms—and some new faces including a tent simply labeled “I Love Vagina.”

5:42PM: The Violent Femmes are bringing me right back to high school. It’s a crowd sing-a-long—and it’s necessary. The sound is so low they might as well be whispering. Turn that shit up, Riot Fest!

6:55PM: Dashboard Confessional is playing The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most in full at sunset and I’ve witnessed at least 20 people crying.

6:59PM: Over at the Radicals Stage, Pennywise is covering a classic: Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”

7:14PM: Descendents are roaring through their set and packing it with classics (“Everything Sux,” “Hope”). Solid.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Munsters, gray vinyl reissue in stores, 10/11

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Did you know Herman, Grandpa, Lily, Marilyn and Eddie Munster doubled as a rock and roll band?!

Well, despite the subhead on the album proclaiming them as ‘The Newest Teen-Age Singing Group,’ they didn’t but that didn’t stop the label execs at Decca Records from trying to cash in on the new CBS hit TV show! Veteran producers Joe Hooven and Hal Winn had the good sense to hire the Wrecking Crew (most notably Glen Campbell and Leon Russell) to play this surf-tinged set of songs, and brought in The Go-Go’s (nope, not those Go-Go’s, they were just out of diapers’this was a male vocal trio that cut one LP for RCA back in 1964, the same year this record came out) to sing the lyrics to such gems as ‘You Created a Monster’ and ‘Make It Go Away.’

The whole thing is a hoot, and a highly collectible hoot at that—original copies of this album command ‘monstrous’ sums! Aaron Kannowski remastered our reissue, and for this vinyl reissue, we’ve pressed up a limited edition of 1000 copies in ghoulish gray vinyl. Get ready to do the Munster creep this Halloween and beyond!

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Ecstatic Vison,
Raw Rock Fury

Ecstatic Vision’s 2017’s Raw Rock Fury is a double-headed beast. On one hand it includes a couple of the most devastating blasts of sonic power to come down the pike since the Stooges’ Fun House. On the other, it contains some of the best Krautrock autobahn boogie this side of Hawkwind and Neu!.

Those are some bold claims, I know. But them’s what my ears tell me, and my ears haven’t lied since they proclaimed Black Oak Arkansas the next Beatles (and they weren’t really lying, cuz they shoulda been!). But they’re right on this one; on Raw Rock Fury–which more than lives up to its title–Ecstatic Vision prove they’re the City of Brotherly Love’s best exploding act since Phil “Chicken Man” Testa.

My pal and world-renowned musical expert Bill Barnett recently saw Ecstatic Vision play live, and he reported their set included covers of both “TV Eye” and Hawkwind’s “Master of the Universe,” so the band is hardly attempting to deny its influences. But they’re anything but a tribute act.

Both “You Got It or You Don’t” and “Keep It Loose” take the anarchic energy of 1970’s Fun House to whole new levels. Which is something the Stooges themselves couldn’t do; in comparison 1971’s Raw Power–and it would be wrong to place all of the blame on producer David Bowie–sounds positively emaciated. And they infuse their takes on Krautrock/psych-rock with some good old Stooges punch.

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The TVD Storefront

Independent Minded: A podcast with Ron Scalzo: Baroness

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

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

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

Baroness, Episode 104 | Episode 104 features John Baizley of Savannah, Georgia heavy metal band Baroness. John talks about cut-off t-shirts, critical acclaim, giving the fans their money’s worth, and why he’s not comfortable with having his signature on your arm. Songs from Baroness featured on the podcast include “Throw Me An Anchor” and “I’d Do Anything.” Find out more about Baroness at yourbaroness.com.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Solid Bronze,
The Fruit Basket

The core of Solid Bronze is Ian Everett and George Miller, both New Jersey residents with a loud-and-clear love of the soulful and funky. This fact is evidenced on The Fruit Basket, their full-length debut, a deliciously off-kilter ’70s-styled groove-fest spiced with strains of jazziness, touches of reggae, and excursions into psychedelia. Recorded and co-produced by Dean Ween with notable guests including Atlanta-based hip-hop artist CLEW, Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley, Ween/ Blood, Sweat & Tears keyboardist Glenn McClelland, and Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist Michael Hampton, this last name is quite appropriate as the influence of P-Funk is strongly felt. It’s out now on LP via Schnitzel Records.

Earlier this year, Solid Bronze released a 45 featuring The Fruit Basket album track “The Invisible Man.” It was and remains an enjoyable little number, but it was backed with a dub mix of the track by Lee “Scratch” Perry, not in itself a bad thing (to the contrary, the version added to the general positive vibrations of Perry’s most recent comeback), it just didn’t necessarily provide further insight into Everett and Miller’s overall thing.

That Michael Hampton contributed guitar to “The Invisible Man” did present a clue into one possible avenue in Solid Bronze’s roadmap, though just as prominent in the track is the Auto-Tuned crooning of Atlanta rapper CLEW, along with a contrasting deep voice offering spoken smoothness of a decidedly ’70s comportment.

But The Fruit Basket’s opener “Papa’s Bug” jumps right into buoyant Clinton-esque funkiness with wiggly tech flourishes and unperturbed vocalizing that also nods back a bit to Sly Stone. It’s an appetizing start that’s followed by the slower groove of “The Invisible Man” as Hampton’s soloing accents the psychedelia in Solid Bronze’s equation. From there, “Hard to Keep the Faith” introduces a danceable mid-tempo spiked with saxophones and capped with sharp jazzy jaunts and an instrumental passage putting keyboards and additional rock guitar action squarely in the foreground.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 9/18/19

Birmingham, UK | What Bankruptcy? HMV Is Opening a Massive, 25,000 Sq. Ft. ‘Entertainment Store’ In the UK: Venerable British music chain HMV certainly has had its ups and downs in recent years. While HMV has filed for bankruptcy multiple times, including last December, this seemingly has not stopped it from expanding its operations. In February of this year, Sunrise Records in Canada bought the chain for £883,000 ($1.4 million), and now HMV is about to open a 25,000-square foot entertainment store in the English city of Birmingham this October that it is calling the ‘HMV Vault.’ While brick-and-mortar retail stores are closing all over the world, HMV is defying this trend by opening what they say will be “a nirvana for music and film fans.” Located near Birmingham’s city center, the Vault will offer an enormous range of music, film, tech products and other types of merchandise. HMV says that they will offer thousands of LPs. The store will also cater to those who love specialty music.

Whitefish, MT | Electric Record Shop moves to Whitefish storefront: After 15 years and nearly as many moves, Spanky Guzman believes she has found her record store’s forever home. Since moving Spanky’s and Gus to a Spokane Avenue location in Whitefish this summer, she said “I’ve never seen my business like this before.” “It’s a really big change,” said the longtime business owner who has operated record shops, toy stores and Western gear outlets in Whitefish, Kalispell and Eureka since the early 2000s. When the Spokane Avenue location became available, she remembered, “I saw a chance and said ‘I have to take it.’” At the time, she was operating out of the alley behind her current location, after previously moving around between Railway Street and U.S. 93 North. “I’m pretty psyched,” she gushed, and it appears local music lovers and visitors share her excitement. “There’s been an immediate response. I didn’t expect this reaction. “People walk in expecting it to be a typical record store,” but Guzman insisted Spanky’s and Gus is carving out its own niche in the local retail music scene.

Miami, FL | The Six Best Free Things to Do in Miami This Week: Sunpress Vinyl. Music fans know that vinyl sounds excellent and record sleeves look great on a shelf. But how are these musical items made? Learn about the vinyl production process from some of the best in the biz during the Wav.Room Workshop. Sweat Records founder Lolo Reskin will moderate a chat with Sunpress Vinyl cofounder Dan Yashiv to discuss South Florida’s only record-pressing plant and some tricks of the trade. 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, September 19, at Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission is free.

Penticton, BC | Okanagan Vinyl Fest spins into Penticton: Fundraiser for Peach City Radio features albums from vendors all over the province. Vinyl collectors and music lovers will be picking through a wide selections of albums from vendors all over B.C. at the eighth annual Okanagan Vinyl Fest this weekend. Organizers said there will also be opportunities to find the perfect turntable and other audio equipment at the event held as the primary fundraiser for Peach City Radio, CFUZ, who will be selling audio equipment donated through its recent audio equipment drive. There will also be other venders selling both new and used audio gear. Peach City Radio is a not-for-profit society with an online radio stream at www.CFUZ.ca, and a terrestrial signal at 92.9FM in Penticton. A member of the National Campus and Community Radio Association of Canada, Peach City Radio strives to promote volunteerism, social engagement, independent music, community capacity building, citizen journalism and diversity.

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots:
Squeeze and X at the
Fox Theater, 9/12

Anchored by founding members Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, Squeeze has been making music for going on forty-five years and, to cut straight to the chase, sound fan-freaking-tastic today. “The Difford and Tilbrook Songbook” Tour hit Oakland, California’s Fox Theater with Los Angeles punk veterans X for what would prove to be a stellar evening of music.

Having sallied past their own fortieth anniversary, X proceeded to show why they’ve maintained relevance over the years, all while maintaining the original lineup of John Doe (bass/vocals), Exene Cervenka (vocals), Billy Zoom (guitar/sax), and DJ Bonebrake (drums/vibraphone). Kicking off with “The New World,” X stuck to their roots with a setlist that didn’t stretch beyond 1983’s More Fun in the New World yet was sure to please both the casual and hardcore fan.

Squeeze kicked off their set with each member being introduced as they strode on stage, Tilbrook and Difford posting up in the center as they were surrounded by the rest of the band members. Straight into “Footprints,” the band immediately awed, their high and low vocals perfectly complementing one another in a manner that defied their years.

What did not defy time was the deep catalog of music that the band made their way through. The 23 song set spanned the catalog and covered the hits (of which there are many) and got the crowd singing and dancing along with little encouragement from the band, and in some cases what appeared to be a couple of cocktails (this era of band seems to attract folks that are not used to getting out much and have a tendency to have too much fun). But what else can you expect when classics like “Another Nail in my Heart” and “Goodbye Girl” are delivered so flawlessly.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live Shots: The Flaming Lips at the O2 Brixton Academy, 9/7

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of The Flaming Lips’ masterpiece The Soft Bulletin. Hailed by critics and fans alike, it was a landmark record that saw the band transforming from the weirdest band on the planet to the most respected one. In 2009 during its 10th anniversary, the critics were at it again calling it an “undeniably essential listen that belongs in every record collection.” 20 years on, it still holds up incredibly well as a record, but when performed live it’s on another level—it’s nothing short of magical.

This is the fourth or fifth time I’ve seen The Flaming Lips, but the first time seeing them in London. The legendary Brixton Academy brought the fans out in droves to see the spectacle that creative genius Wayne Coyne would deliver. I’m not really sure how to describe the crowd that included someone wearing a giant crying baby head and numerous rainbow and glitter-infused outfits. I even ran into The Clash’s Mick Jones at the show as it was rumored that he would be guesting that evening in one form or another (unfortunately, it was just that, a rumor). Earlier this year The Flaming Lips tapped Jones to serve as narrator on their surreal new song, “Giant Baby,” from their latest album King’s Mouth.

The Flaming Lips took to the stage, and an incredibly humble and personable Wayne Coyne chatted the crowd up and welcomed them to the show an detailing the night’s setup. Gazing into a mystical disco ball center stage, Coyne began to orchestrate the opening number with his back to the audience as a perfect build-up to what’s to follow. The show instantly transformed into an insanely colourful explosion of smoke, confetti, giant balloons, with a crowd that is losing their minds. But it’s not like one of those shows where the giant balloons bounce around the audience for one song, this went on for the ENTIRE show.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Damned, Black Is The Night (The Definitive Anthology)
4-LP gold vinyl set in stores 11/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | They were the first, and they may just well be the last. As any good punk fan knows, The Damned released the first UK punk single with “New Rose,” the first UK punk album with Damned Damned Damned and toured America when the Sex Pistols were still thinking about being pretty vacant.

And so things came full circle with the release of 2018’s Evil Spirits, giving The Damned their first ever Top 10 UK album, and legendary bassist Paul Gray re-joining Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian after nearly two decades away. The Damned entered 2019 on a high. Smash It Up? More like on smashing form. There couldn’t be a better time to finally compile the ultimate Damned compendium as they finish the year playing New York’s hallowed Madison Square Garden and the London Palladium for their “Night of a Thousand Vampires.”

Gathering The Damned’s original four protagonists together to share their thoughts on this very unique compilation was never going to be easy. Guitarist Brian James, songer and gravedigger Dave Vanian, the inimitable Captain Sensible, and drum demolition king Rat Scabies were plied with the promise of a few ales, and tales were told, blood was spilled, and here we have it—Black Is The Night—the first truly comprehensive Damned anthology, spanning their entire career. These tracks have been specifically chosen by the band themselves and every track and every Damned album tells a different story. They are a band that never repeats themselves, with every record charting new territory and breaking new ground.

PUNK | Original Damned guitarist and Mr. “New Rose” himself, Brian James had the idea for a hard and fast-hitting rock ‘n’ roll band after his group Bastard split in 1975. “Basically, I had ideas for a bunch of songs and when I met Rat, him being the right drummer, it just brought out the rest of the songs in me really. Once we met Captain he joined in. I knew what I wanted Captain to do because he just had to follow the chords and keep it very basic. I didn’t want any jazz runs or anything stupid, just tough and to the point. Then when we found Dave, it was roughly the same kind of thing. I wrote the lyrics and sang in his ear how I heard it—a kind of second-rate Iggy imitation. It was a gradual process.”

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Sun Bloom

Summer may be over but thankfully London trio Sun Bloom are here to give us another sprinkling of sunshine before the year is up.

Their latest single “Take It Away”—from their debut EP of the same name—is instantly warming, so warming in fact that its actually pretty surprising this sound has come straight out of London and not California.

Sun Bloom’s sizzling surf-rock sound feels instantly reminiscent of the likes of Alvvays or Best Coast—but British. Their surf-inspired dream-pop sound is undeniably addictive and clearly a strong start for this budding band.

If you happen to be in London on the 27th September you can catch Sun Bloom performing live—and free—at The Constitution, Camden.

“Take It Away” is in stores now.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Patty Waters,
Live

No discussion of the 1960s avant-garde is complete without touching upon the work of singer Patty Waters, as she predated such vocal iconoclasts as Yoko Ono and Linda Sharrock. Additionally, she was a prime influence on Patti Smith and perhaps most pertinently, Diamanda Galas. Live, her latest and first new release on vinyl since 1966, was captured in performance at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn on April 5, 2018 with the pianist from her debut Burton Greene, bassist Mario Pavone, and percussionist Barry Altschul. Dedicated to the great pianist Cecil Taylor on the day of his passing, its run of 1,000 LPs and 750 CDs is out September 20 via Blank Forms.

“People ask me (about) my influences, I would have to say Patty Waters. They say other people and I say, nahh, Patty Waters, listen to Patty Waters. I listened to her twice. That’s all it took for some grain of inextricable influence” —Diamanda Galas

Patty Waters’ two greatest albums, Sings from 1965 and College Tour from the following year, combine to secure her reputation as an avant vocal priestess of the first order. They were cut for the storied label ESP Disk, an enterprise known for its stable of fringe ’60s artifacts ranging from the proto out-rock of The Godz and Cromagnon, assorted strains of folk including The Fugs, Pearls Before Swine, The Holy Modal Rounders, Erica Pomerance, and Ed Askew, and most prominently, a ton of the era’s avant jazz; in fact, it was saxophonist Albert Ayler who introduced Waters to ESP’s owner-operator Bernard Stollman.

Instead of its deceptively plain title, her debut for the label could’ve been called The Vocal Extremities of Patty Waters, for its first side offered seven short tracks of hushed and isolated intensity, with Waters’ accompanying herself on piano, while the second held one side-long dive into the emotional abyss, with Waters working herself into a wailing screaming frenzy as Burton Greene plays piano and piano harp, Steve Tintweiss works the bass, and Tom Price delivers percussion.

Like many ESP Disk titles, the back cover stated, “You never heard such sounds in your life.” This was no exaggeration. Her detonation of “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” still has the power to unnerve a room. While Sings has much in common with the ’60s free jazz movement, to simply label it as an out-jazz record does it and Waters a disservice. It’s undeniably an avant-garde experience, and I rate it as one of the decade’s very best.

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