Monthly Archives: November 2009

TVD’s Rate That Record

We receive an incredible number of emails each week from bands or PR firms hoping for air time for their clients on TVD. And I say ‘air time’ because the blogs are doing the work that radio has performed in the past, that is introducing the readers/listeners to new music because, let’s face it, terrestrial radio is a Top 40 Garbage Heap at this point in the game.

So, the emails pour in and we do our best to listen to each and every one of them. Often times if a band’s up our alley, they end up in a ‘First Date’ feature or in some other capacity on the blog. But with the number of emails and Mp3s pouring in, there simply isn’t the time in the day or the manpower to feature everyone we think should merit ‘air play’ and there’s less time of course for those who are middling or not particularly within the blog’s niche—whatever that may be.

To remedy this conundrum, and perhaps as an homage to Dick Clark who was running this bit on American Bandstand for eons, we’ve got a new running feature whereby we post the tracks submitted to TVD and we let you be the judge along with us in what we’re calling ‘TVD’s Rate That Record.’

Thumbs up or thumbs down, it’s your call. Feel free to use foul language, rant or rave, and/or champion the little guys who’ve made that killer track you’ve been trying to turn your pals onto for ages who abruptly and finally find their one moment of downloadibility here on the blog. Or simply decimate the wannabes.

In the future we’ll post them as they come in (within reason) among our other running features, but this week, we’re gonna give you a taste of what’s come in over the past few weeks and what positions itself in the queue this week in real time.

Beautiful Supermachines – Oakland 2008 (Mp3)
Davis Williams, “…the only person who could credibly write tracks for Terry Riley and Teddy Riley” introduces his Beautiful Supermachines.”

Over a career that spans more than three decades, he’s been at the leading edge of various watershed moments of punk, post-punk, noise-rock, and hip-hop, rubbed elbows with Ice-T and Dr. Dre, played “the secret white dude” behind the scenes of The Jungle Brothers’ seminal J. Beez Wit The Remedy, and more recently settled into an in-demand role as a local producer.

Bbop & KidVid – Rapture (Remix) (Mp3)
(Emailed to us without comment or background…)

Dragon Turtle – Island Of Broken Glass (Mp3)
Haven’t heard of Dragon Turtle yet? Seize the day! Brian Lightbody and Tom Asselin, the duo that is Dragon Turtle, have just released Almanac, their debut full-length last week on La Société Expéditionnaire (Lewis & Clarke, Strand Of Oaks).

The recordings for Almanac were crafted using an M Box and 3 mics in Asselin’s Pocono Mountain basement, and over the course of time, acquisition of gear, and massive trial-and-error, the bunker blossomed into the One Forest Studio. An empty roller rink was even used to create reverb! “Island of Broken Glass” takes its name from Robert Smithson’s sculptural work, recanting destruction and violence inherent in the relationships between nature and man. The lyrics from this song inspired the cover of the album, a spiraling double helix/DNA strand made of burning books. Smithson is responsible for creating the Spiral Jetty in Utah in 1970.

BYOB – Prescription (Videomix) (Mp3)
“…this time, I am emailing you on behalf of an artist who I am very fond of, I have incredibly high hopes for. . . . BYOB is 21 years old, from South London, he writes, produces and performs all his own material. It a fusion of many different genres and I can’t really decide where it fits. The closest I can compare him to is The Neptunes.

The New Loud – Don’t Dance (Mp3)
“Part weirdness of Sparks, part killer dance of The Bravery and part insistent hook craftsmanship of XTC.” —Amplifier

The New Loud is a three-piece electro/punk/new wave band from the blue collar city of Milwaukee, WI. Its debut EP, Can’t Stop Not Knowing consists of six tracks including an intense, frenetic cover of Radiohead’s “2 + 2 = 5.” The EP was produced by band member Shane Olivo and displays a tight mixture of electronic elements and natural sounds, layered obsessively with some songs using up to 80 tracks in the mix.

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TVD | Thanksgiving!

Percy Sledge – Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird) (Mp3)
Wildbirds & Peacedrums – Bird (Mp3)
Hollowblue – No Wings Inside (Mp3)
Queen – Spread Your Wings Live ’78] (Mp3)
The Icicle Works – Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream) (Mp3)
The Tallest Man on Earth – A Field of Birds (Mp3)
Peasant – Birds (Mp3)
Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing (Mp3)
Andrew Bird – Plasticities (Mp3)
The Jam – And Your Bird Can Sing (Mp3)

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TVD Live Tease | A Night with Chris Grier, Friday, November 27th, Comet Ping Pong

Chris Grier has been making brutal and beautiful music here and abroad since 1988, primarily with guitars and their assorted accoutrements, with results that skitter along that rarely glimpsed border where “wildly seductive” meets “what the hell?” He has publicly been called everything from “inscrutable” to an “inhuman guitar abuser,” sometimes in reaction to the same performance.

He has collaborated, recorded and performed with some of the planet’s most interesting and inventive musicians, including Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Andrew W.K., Tom Smith, Don Fleming, Matthew Wascovich, Hugh McElroy, Ian Wadley, Little Wings and Little Howlin’ Wolf. Since 2004, he has been a member of the long-running avant-garde collective To Live And Shave In L.A., and he is also a member of the Cleveland-based art-punk ensemble Scarcity of Tanks. With Kohoutek’s Scott Verrastro, he created the terrifying drums-and-guitar duo Ultimate VAG, which toured with legendary psych-rockers Ya Ho Wha 13 in 2009. He was also recently tapped to be the guitarist for punk legend Jayne County’s new band.

With Thurston Moore, Grier curated the 2005 “Noise Against Fascism” festival in DC and recently, he played on Sean McArdle’s debut solo LP, “Northern Charms,” some of which can be heard, oddly enough, being piped through the ceiling speakers of every Starbucks outlet in North America. As a group and solo artist, he has appeared on bills with the likes of Faust, Bob Pollard, Dan Higgs, Max Ochs, Grey Daturas, Flower Travellin’ Band, Ya Ho Wha 13, Wolf Eyes’ Nate Young, Sightings, Magik Markers, Wooden Wand, Religious Knives, Six Organs of Admittance, MV+EE, and many other fellow adventurers in the world’s rock and underground scenes. Recordings featuring his solo and group work have been released on a plethora of labels in the U.S., Europe, and Australia.

He is also a violent karaoke enthusiast.

Grier is currently writing and recorded a vinyl-only LP to be released in 2010 through the Sockets label.

(The above from the official press release…)

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TVD Live | Langhorne Slim, The Rock and Roll Hotel, 11/17/09

Langhorne Slim and I have an interesting history. I first discovered him (him being Sean Scolnik) a couple years back and I enjoyed the folksy upbeatedness of the songs and singer Scolnik’s interesting voice. Half a year after I started listening to the band, I was driving with a friend of mine and had Slim’s self-titled album playing. My friend turned to me and suggested that if I enjoyed what was playing on the radio I should check out Langhorne Slim. After informing him that it was Langhorne Slim’s new album my friend proceeded to tell me how he went to SUNY Purchase and his friend Lucas and Langhorne made some whacky music (one song he played me was all about water) together. Long story short, I always figured that if the few people I’ve met who knew Scolnik were awesome, then he must be too. And after seeing him in concert there definitely is a strong and honest connection between his on-stage persona and the first-hand accounts I’ve heard about him.

Now, I said I’ve always liked the music. Have I ever loved it to the point of screaming out the lyrics at his show? No. But I’ve enjoyed it. So, I was slightly anticipating Langhorne Slim’s newest album, Be Set Free, which came out a month and a half ago. His first album came out 5 years ago and while his two LPs definitely exhibited a slowly evolving style, they weren’t so different that I expected (not optimistically nor pessimistically, just expectantly) this latest one to be too far off par. While I’ve read reviews that have called it “cohesive work” this and praising it for its straightforward simplicity. I call bullshit, friends. It’s just too simple. Too sappy. And frankly, too slow for my liking. Perhaps the only song on the album I actually enjoy is the piano-heavy call-and-response “Cinderella.” I also rather like “Back to the Wild” as the kind of song you’d use as an accompaniment to a film’s train-riding montage and “For a Little While” because it embodies that type of sound (a-la-Jeff Buckley) that makes me want to make out with someone for a few hours. I can’t say I love, or even really like, the rest of the album. It feels as though he is going through the motions, trying to continue on with a sound that he began playing around with years ago.

I last saw Slim at Iota this spring. There was a pretty good sized crowd compared to other shows I’d seen at the venue, so I expected there to be a large number in attendance at his show at Rock & Roll Hotel this past Tuesday. In fact, the entire downstairs was packed to the exit with concertgoers. My boyfriend and I arrived for the Dawes in the last few songs of their set. I knew nothing about them going in and, although they clearly had a strong following at the show, their music wasn’t really for me. At the last Langhorne Slim show there was no drummer- something was mentioned about how he was sick or hurt and wouldn’t be playing, which for one lucky fan who got to accompany a few songs was probably a dream come true. On Tuesday there was not only a drummer but a pianist/banjoist and an upright bassist. Despite having just released an album, a good portion of the set list featured music from previous albums, which I was more than grateful for. I probably zoned out for any of the songs off of the new album, except for when they played “Cinderella,” “For a Little While,” “Blown Your Mind,” and “Land of Dreams.” The latter song I don’t like and after reading a review comparing its lyrics to a Hallmark card, I like it even less.

Say what you will about Langhorne’s music, but you can’t really knock his stage presence. He and his band interact beautifully together and it’s really refreshing to see everyone on stage clearly enjoying themselves. They played some of the more vigorous songs like “Honey Pie” and “Hello Sunshine” and “And If It’s True” along with some other crowd pleasers like “Rebel Side of Heaven” and “Colette.” It wasn’t a bad show, and Scolnik really knows how to engage his audience (note- to the guy who shouted most of the lyrics and then during an interval where Scolnik was talking shouted “TESTIFYYYYY”- please, shut up. No matter how many times you apologize for screaming into the ears of the girl next to you, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to continue doing so for the rest of the show, especially when it’s things that make everyone around you feel completely awkward.).

All in all it was a pretty decent show, and if you’ve never seen Langhorne Slim in concert, you should the next time he rolls through before he gets picked up to play in a bigger venue and ticket prices double. As for me, I think I’ll be setting my Tuesday night free.

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TVD | That Old Familiar Moon

Walking through downtown DC’s rush and push of office workers hitting the pavement on their commute home last week, I lingered a bit on the moon above, hung wistfully low and large in some forgiving November temperatures. If you ever care to feel truly big about yourself, remember that all who’ve ever lived or will live gaze upon the same luminous face above. It’s a familiar equalizer, I tell you.

Our pal Davy H found a vinyl gem by sheer happenstance last week and posted a few tracks in celebration of the find: The Lotus Eaters ‘No Sense of Sin,’ an LP I’ve had since ‘85 or so from one of my very first trips up Rockville Pike to Yesterday and Today Records (RIP).

‘No Sense of Sin’ has remained one of those odd constants ever since and its ‘well loved’ condition speaks to that. Yet it’s this sort of obscure gem that I too found and purchased by luck and happenstance—yet it’s familiar as can be all these years on.

It’s no secret either that as much the vinyl nerd I’ve become and stayed, I too have an iPod to keep me company on those walks to and from work AND to make it appear as if I’m totally oblivious to the numerous panhandlers who attempt to shake me down me daily.

With consistency and frequency, these obscure yet familiar gems make themselves known once more on shuffle—among the more common tracks from rather non-obscure bands. Sort of like the moon appearing yet again in the sky above, hung wistfully low; its relationship with me an oddly personal one. Just like your own with it.

This (short) week some atypical standard bearers.

Blanket of Secrecy – Say You Will (Mp3)
Blanket of Secrecy – Close To Me (Mp3)
Blanket of Secrecy – Love Me Too (Mp3)
Blanket of Secrecy – Something I Don’t Need (Mp3)
Blanket of Secrecy – Tell Me Baby (Mp3)

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TVD Video Premiere | Paul Michel ‘Surround Me’

In September we tipped you to the alcohol infused Saturday brunch that was Paul Michel’s video shoot for the track ‘Surround Me’ and today TVD’s proud to premiere the finished gem:

Our friends at All Our Noise shot some behind the scenes footage and also chatted with Paul before the cameras rolled. Check that here.

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It’s a TVD Fall Vinyl Giveaway | Little Fish, ‘Darling Dear’ Maxi-Single 7"

My mom used to run that old line on me all the time, “Well, mister – if EVERYone jumped off a bridge, would YOU?” To which the answer was always no, I guess.

But if EVERYone was talking about a new band you HAVE to hear…would you? To which the answer is well, …sometimes.

So, let’s get you ahead of the curve and introduce you to Little Fish — before they make their big splash:

“Great to see a rock band focusing on melody rather than senseless riffery….they certainly pack a punch.”
—London Daily Star

“Everybody’s new favourite band Little Fish.”
—Oxford Mail

“My new Patti Smith. Juju has an amazing voice”
—Gaz Coombes, Supergrass

“Twice as good as the best unsigned act you’ve ever heard… and then some.”
—Tim Bearder, BBC Radio Oxford

“When it comes to hearing good new bands for the first time, there’s sit-up-and- take-notice music and there’s jump-up-and-accidentally-bang-your-head-on-the- ceiling music. Little Fish are the first, immediately transposed by the second.”
—Dave, BBC Radio Oxford

“Little Fish are destined to rule the airwaves.”
—BBC Radio Oxford

“It took Juju 6.9 seconds, wearing a wife-beater suggestively perked in two places, her brilliant vocals, wicked guitar playing and hard accompanying drums to turn us all into a Sex Pistol. Little Fish is music’s missionary position and why they’re NOT on NME’s list of New Bands to watch in 2008 is beyond me. I would definitely make space for Little Fish.”
—Hugh Tomasz, Tavern Times

Little Fish is a duo; one half is guitarist, singer, and songwriter Juju, the other half is Nez, powerhouse drummer. They release their Linda Perry-produced LP ‘Baffled & Beat’ in 2010, but we’ve got the advance single for one savvy commenter to this post who’s 180-degrees ahead of the curve.

Download the single below and shoot us your raves about that band in this post’s comments (with contact info—IMPORTANT!) and we’ll award the single to the most insightful of the bunch. You’ve got ‘til Friday at noon…

Little Fish – Darling Dear (Mp3)

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TVD’s 401K

My dad worked for years after his retirement. In fact, when I think about it, I don’t believe he ever really ‘retired’ at all. He and my mom were on a fixed income, so my pop took a job with a local pharmacy delivering medications to seniors who were home bound to supplement his tiny Social Security check each month.

To make matters worse, my dad’s bosses at the drug store were the worst of the worst. I won’t mention the business’ name—Butler’s Drug Store in Point Pleasant, NJ—but suffice it to say the drudgery of having to continue to work in one’s golden years was made even more taxing by the powers that be who my dad answered to day in and out.

I pleaded with him for years to move on, OR if he felt that he needed to continue working, at LEAST find something he genuinely enjoyed. But he remained at the pharmacy until the end of his life. He once explained to me that the position allowed him some time between deliveries to check in on my mom who was beginning to show the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease although we didn’t have a diagnosis at that point.

So, yea—right. My dad was a gem.

To think if I’m afforded the 76 years of life he had, I’m long overdue for a mid-life crisis. Or better yet, the economy being what it is these days, I better begin to supplement my plan for retirement in some manner.

Remember my epiphany I had a few weeks back? Well, I’m accepting applications from savvy investors. With exceptional taste in music.

Field Music – Working To Work (Mp3)
Tears For Fears – The Working Hour (Mp3)
The Members – Offshore Banking Business (Mp3)
China Crisis – Working With Fire And Steel [12-inch Version] (Mp3)
Small Amp – We Will Work It Out (Mp3)

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Evangelicals’ TVD Parting Shots

Oklahoma’s Evangelicals had one of our favorite LPs last year in ‘The Evening Descends,’ so with that we asked front man Josh Jones to DJ our Friday Ten this week. The bar was set pretty high last week with Nicole Atkins’ DJ turn, but Josh has come through with flying colors.

Rather inspired and diverse colors, I might add:

“On our way to Kansas City from Denver earlier this evening, and while dj’ing from the passenger seat, I momentarily fell asleep and dreamt that it was me who was driving down the interstate. In this dream a hovering translucent vision of Dave Matthews head appeared in the road ahead of me and spoke in a booming voice, absent of Dave’s trademark vocal inflections, saying…

“China gates, China gates… your quest is not a question”. I wake with a start thinking that I’m really driving and hallucinating or falling asleep at the wheel and desperately grab at my laptop trying to steer the van while Crash Into Me overdrives the tape-adapter and distortedly blasts over the van’s speakers.”

Sun Ra – China Gates (Mp3)
Bathory – One Road to Asa Bay (Mp3)
Janet Jackson – That’s the Way Love Goes (Mp3)
Tiny Vipers – Dreamer (Mp3)
Sinead O’Connor – Black Boys on Mopeds (Mp3)
Betty Davis – Stars Starve, You Know (Mp3)
Dwight Yoakam – A Thousand Miles from Nowhere (Mp3)
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Jewel (Mp3)
Prince – God (Mp3)
Busta Rhymes feat. Mystical – Iz They Wildin Us & Gettin Rowdy Wit Us? (Mp3)

You can catch Evangelicals this coming Monday (11/16) at The Red and The Black.

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TVD First Person Single | Ed Hamell

Last summer as a build up to his six appearances at DC’s Fringe Festival, I bent the ear of anyone who’d give me the time about how truly great and unique and f’n hysterical a Hamell on Trial gig can be. Hell, I caught four of those six performances, did the lights for two of them, and STILL I was laughing my ass off each and every time.

Then the unexpected and the well-deserved occurred: Ed won the Fringe Festival’s distinguished Director’s Award. That’s right—HE WON THE WHOLE FREAKIN THING. Not that it’s a competition, but it’s a fine honor indeed.

Ed returns to Washington with a series of dates that feature the best of the best of the Summer Fringe acts in a mini Fall Fringe Festival which kicks off this Wednesday the 11th and runs to the 22nd of November.

From the Fall Fringe Fest site: Returning bold and victorious as the Winner of the 2009 Capital Fringe Directors’ Award, Artist Ed Hamell brings his terror-ist threat back to DC “…a one-man punk band– and by punk we mean (mostly) loud, fast music informed by politics, passion, energy and intelligence, played by a guy with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of humor,” Winner of the prestigious Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Anyone who witnessed the raw energy of “The Terrorism of Everyday Life” at this past years Capital Fringe Festival show knows that live performance is where Ed is at his irrefutable best.

Last summer we hit Ed up for his first person take on “The Terrorism of Everyday Life”:

“They’ve asked me to blog a bit as to what you can expect to see if you were to choose to see my show. Hell if I know. First of all why are you reading this? Do you have too much time on your hands? Are you scrutinizing each and every blog by each and every fringe act? Are you familiar with my work and wanna see what kind of wackiness I’m gonna write? I’ll give you some basics and I’ll shoot from the hip.

It’s a one man show, pretty biographical, got a lot of hard hitting music, a bunch of social commentary, and you should, if all goes well, be pretty entertained, challenged and laugh your ass off. It’s a reality show. Not like the ones on T.V. that are scripted and insult your intelligence. I’ll respect your intelligence and tell you the truth, albeit in a humorous way.

I’ve been kicking around doing my potty mouth anarchistic folk punk for about 10 years and decided a couple years ago that I would script and mold it into a more theatrical setting. Hired a really great director, Kate Valentine who was a heavy hitter in the New York City Art/Burlesque scene and signed onto new management, “The Invasion Group” who brought the world the great comic genius Bill Hicks. My good buddy Ani DiFranco produced the entire venture and we brought our show over to Scotland for The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest in the world. I was honored to have won the coveted Herald Angel Award. Three thousand acts and they only pass out seven of those babies so it was extremely flattering.

Now we tour the States and Europe with the production and we’ll be bringing it to Washington. Looking forward to it. But the real deal is as follows: Opening night will be a fair showing. How big is the venue? 120 seats? I’ll have 40. But those 40 will tell their friends because maybe they’re punk rockers and they respond. Or maybe they’re artists with a dream who toil away at a thankless job and they need a shot of inspiration and so they get it that night and tell their friends, “I don’t know how to explain it but you got to see this guy”. Because were you to tell me, “Hey, he’s bald, he plays the guitar like he did a kilo of Red Bull, he yells at the crowd, he’s got a foul mouth and I laughed until I pissed my pants but then he made me cry and sing songs about genitals with my parents” I don’t know that I’d be buying a ticket to wait in line either. Or maybe you got elderly parents and you don’t know how you’re going to afford to take care of them or you just lost your job and you don’t know how you’re going to keep your house and you just want 75 minutes, (or how ever long they’re going to let me explode) to forget all your troubles. Then I’m your guy.

And you’re going to tell your friends and I can guarantee by the last night we’re gonna have a full house. Blogs ain’t gonna sell it. I could wallpaper my bathroom with 5 star reviews from The New York Times, Playboy, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, The London Times and if truth be told that ain’t gonna sell it. Word of mouth sells it. So…I hope you come out, I give 150% every night and I hope you spread the word. Watch the sparking demons escape from my brain.”

Hamell on Trial – Sugarfree (Mp3)
Hamell on Trial – Disconnected (Mp3)
Hamell on Trial – Big As Life (Mp3)
Hamell on Trial – John Lennon (Mp3)
Hamell on Trial – Rupert Smiley (Mp3)
Hamell on Trial – Glover’s Eulogy (Mp3)

Catch Ed Hamell’s “The Terrorism of Everyday Life” From November 11th-22nd. Dates, times, and tickets can be found here.

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TVD’s Fall Vinyl Giveaways Week

Sometimes running this blog is akin to a juggling act. We’re quite happily inundated with offers and opportunities often too numerous to address, yet find ourselves saying “…yes!” to the point of having a backlog of contests in the queue.

With that said, …welcome to ‘TVD’s Fall Vinyl Giveaways Week!’ whereby we get to upend the backlog of vinyl offers we’ve been given and pass on the vinyl right to you guys. Right from the ‘first taste is free’ playbook.

Here’s how it’ll play out: each day this week we’ll post a new LP on the blog in anticipation of your breathy comments to come. Persuade us in some manner that you should be the rightful owner of said LP, and in turn we’ll choose all of the winners this coming Saturday (11/14) and ship all of the vinyl out on the following Monday (11/16.)

And man do we have some cool stuff to offer every day of this week.

First up: The Gossip’s new Rick Rubin-produced ‘Music for Men’ on double 180gram vinyl which has seen pretty heavy rotation here at TVD HQ.

More surprises await tomorrow and all week, but for now, you’re up!

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TVD’s The Screening Process

I am often asked about the criteria for a great poster. The immediate answers are pretty simple: decent concept, nice image (boobs optional) and competent type. A more in-depth answer is that a poster must be able to hang on a wall for years, stared at and dissected AND still be able to hold your attention. It could be the poster is multi-layered with colors allowing the viewer to focus on different imagery. Or the designer could have placed small jokes, flourishes, text, details that takes time to find and enjoy.

Either way, the designers of Young Monsters (Zach Hobbs, Nick Dupey, and Scott Cambell with Alison running the store) have found a way to create time spanning, INCREDIBLE posters – posters I proudly hang on my walls to gaze at whenever I need a jolt to make my work better. Their posters are distinct, have incredible palettes, rich imagery, layers and layers of goodness, and come from an unknown time. And yes, some even have boobs on them.

Not content being solo, the designers have teamed up to make one of the best and most interesting new design firms out there creating posters. I am always eager to see their latest batches of prints. I was lucky enough to have two of the Monsters answer some questions! Enjoy.

Nick Dupey – 30 – Chattanooga, TN
Scott Campbell – 31 – apartment hunting in New Orleans

How did you start doing posters?
ND – I played in a band and booked shows. I wanted to make the posters for them. Kinda typical story. The posters won the battle for my heart.
SC – I always made posters for my bands and friends’ bands. That led to working with Bullhorn Bandits and Spanish Moon (Baton Rouge, LA), which has given me a chance to do posters for tons of great bands.

How did all of you start working together as Young Monsters as you originally worked individually?
ND – I got a grant from a local organization to start a screen printing / design collab. I had lunch with Zach and talked posters. We had meetings and decided how we were going to do this thing with Ali, Zach and Scott. Next thing you know, things are totally different than how we planned them.
SC – I was living in Atlanta last year and met Nick through a friend, after he had gotten the grant and set up the shop. I’ve been a fan of Zach’s for a few years, so I was stoked work with him.

What’s your favorite thing about being a designer in your city or town? The most challenging?
ND – Chattanooga is beautiful. We are between Nashville, Knoxville and Atlanta – so we get a lot of perks (bands coming through) with out the big city crap. We have a fantastic local music scene with a lot of talent. The challenge is finding work that pays the bills.
SC – I’ve moved around a couple times this year (Atlanta, Chattanooga), but I’m excited about living in New Orleans. There’s a great vibe there right now, lots of new galleries opening & great music. I agree with Nick, the challenge is finding work that pays the bills.

You are primarily known as poster designers, do you have “straight” design work – such as logos, annual reports, etc. – that pays the bills.

ND – I just resigned from my day job to do Young Monster full time. Young Monster is now really scary!
SC – YM does it all

Describe Your Creative Process. Collaborative? Designated roles?
ND – I manage jobs as they come in. Or hustle to get them. Then I kick the coolest ones to Zach or Scott cos they don’t really get paid much. We have mountains of top secret source material. We scan and draw a lot. Then we may or may not show them to each other. If we do we usually get a response like, “eh, that’s pretty cool” which means its crap or, eh “it’s cool” which means all systems go! Then we work out a print day and mix colors and DO IT!

Fight about clipart and bands?
ND – We have some secret magazines that Zach STOLE from me when I was on vacation. I want those back before he uses them all up! Steely Dan maybe the best band on the planet and I am not wild about Grizzly Bear.
SC – It’s usually a first come, first served type of deal with the source material. There have been multiple usage situations, but we try to avoid them. Grizzly Bear maybe the best band on the planet and I am not wild about Steely Dan.

Describe your work day:
ND – Wake up at 8:30. Cereal or nothing. Emails and scanning and Facebook distractions. Lunch on the cheap. More emails and clients and bills and scanning and designing. Dinner and TV. Printing at night in our haunted building.
SC – Shower. Yogurt & grapefruit. Emails and Facebook distractions. Work on something. Cereal for lunch. More emails. Work on something. Dinner and TV. More cereal. More work. Sleep.

What has been your favorite piece you have done (gig poster or art print):

ND – I tend to be tough on myself. Especially with all the talent around me. I was really proud of my Superdrag poster and the Died Young Stayed Pretty poster that I collaborated with Print Mafia on. Also this poster I did for a Psychedelic poster art show that our friends at Leo Handmade Gallery did. (Of course, Zach did the second part of the exhibit and blew mine outta the water)
SC – I guess my favorite at the moment is the Andrew Bird poster I did recently

Group(s) you wish you could do a poster for (Current):

ND – I’m working with a lot of the bands I love (Hiddens Spots, Future Virgins, Harlem). I would love to do some bigger bands like The Flaming Lips, Jay Z, Lil Wayne… scary stuff like that that I would freak out and be all worried about whether or not it was right.
SC – Boards of Canada, Washed Out, Black Moth Super Rainbow

ND – Oh man. Talk about freaked out. I would love to do a take on classic bands like The Clash or the Stooges. Those bands are so classic historically that you would almost want to make something epic out of it while maintaining the rawness of the sound. But who knows, cos those bands are dead. I’ll say the Wednesdays or Harlan. Those bands would be tough to please.
SC – Beach Boys, Kraftwerk (70s), Miles Davis (late 60s)

Do you do your own printing or outsource – pros and cons.
ND – We print 99% in house. It is difficult from an organizational standpoint, but it helps to know the process. That being said, eventually we would like to get to the point where we can just design and outsource to the real pros. (Even though I think we are pretty damn good).

Currently listening to:
ND – Jay Z, Blue Print 3 / Flaming Lips, Embryonic / Hidden Spots 100million Voices – WATCHING a lot of horror movies. This is a huge influence on what I do and October is our month! I stick to the classics (Halloween, Texas Chainsaw, Friday the 13th – boogie men!)
SC – Washed Out, Neon Indian, Toro Y Moi, Grizzly Bear, Memory Cassette, Generationals, Cut Copy.

Upcoming projects:
ND – Mostly local shows. Monthly gig for JJ’s Bohemia (local venue), Jucifer, A bluegrass Night, and I will be helping my friend from the Shaking Ray Levis with some art prints. Right now I am making beer bread with jalepenos in it!
SC – Shirt design for a surf shop in Belize, shirt design for Dirty Coast in New Orleans, album art for a friend’s band, more posters for Spanish Moon.

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It’s a TVD Ticket/Vinyl/Meet & Greet Giveaway! | Eccentric Soul Revue, Tuesday, November 10, 9:30 Club

Man, we’ve got a great night of music planned for you on Tuesday, but first some background:

Motown had one, so did Stax. Three deep soul acts and one smoking hot band to back them up. The triple-header of R&B: the soul revue. Once a mainstay of theaters, gymnasiums and VFW halls everywhere, the soul revue ultimately vanished in the late seventies as recorded sound pushed live performance out of the limelight and onto car stereos and refrigerator-sized boom boxes. The performers returned to their day jobs and the world was the poorer for it.

That is, until April 4th, 2009, when the Numero Group, the world’s premier reissue label, mounted the first Eccentric Soul Review, packing Chicago’s Park West Theater with soul-hungry acolytes, satisfying them and then some with the real thing: a seventeen-piece band backing, The Notations, Renaldo Domino, The Final Solution, Nate Evans and Syl Johnson, putting on a show that combined seventies slick with revival meeting fervor.

It was a magical evening, as the past lived and breathed and got on down, right here in the present. Those in attendance went home that night knowing they’d seen something that just wasn’t done anymore. And they went home wanting more. Well, the wait and the want is over. The Numero Group is taking this show on the road: Syl Johnson, Renaldo Domino and the Notations, backed by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound are hitting Columbus, Washington DC, and two boroughs of New York City.

Eccentric Soul Revue hits the East Coast in November with the totally explosive Syl Johnson, the silky smooth Notations, and the man with the voice like Domino sugar, Renaldo Domino, plus special guests, a slide show, and an autograph line.

There is absolutely nothing else like The Eccentric Soul Revue. A ticket is a time machine…and we’ve got a pair to give away for what promises to be one special night—which ALSO includes DC’s resident funk and soul archivist and curator, DJ Nitekrawler, spinning before and after the show.

In addition, the ticket winner will be granted access to the exclusive meet and greet before things kick off AND a 7″ gem from the mighty Numero Group: Renaldo Domino’s “I’ll Get You Back” b/w “2 Years, 4 Days.” Some background on the 45 from Numero’s site:

Renaldo Domino’s “I’ll Get You Back” b/w “2 Years, 4 Days”
“Renaldo is one of our favorite artists and a great friend and it always brings us pleasure to release his music. Taken from an acetate turned up by Jamie Hodge years back, “I’ll Get You Back” was a recording Renaldo thought was long lost. Produced by William Sandy Johnson and Nate Taylor, this was intended for release on Johnson’s Sincere label, alongside LaShawn Collins and Wendy Woods. On the reverse is “Two Years, Four Days” which eluded release until last year’s Eccentric Soul: Twinight’s Lunar Rotation. This is the tune’s historic first appearance in vinyl form.”

To check out the Eccentric Soul Review on us, the rest is up to you! State your case as to why YOU should be picked to attend Tuesday’s show, the meet and greet, AND to take home the 45 in the comments to this post (with contact info — important!) and we’ll choose the smoothest voice on Monday (11/10) by noon. Step to it!

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 5 Comments

It’s Nicole Atkins’ Vinyl District Parting Shots

…and so brings to a close our very first Blog Takeover Week. We’d like to thank Nicole Atkins from the bottom of our Jersey-loving hearts for her time and contributions during the week, for locking up and shutting off the lights to the office each night—and for restocking the liquor cabinet. How about that shit?

We’ll see all of you at The Rock and Roll Hotel tonight when she and The Black Sea roll into town, right?

‘Til then, Nicole’s DJ’d the week’s Final Ten from the road…

The Last Shadow Puppets – Standing Next to Me (Mp3)
Big Star – The Ballad of El Goodo (Mp3)
The Flaming Lips – Silver Trembling Hands (Mp3)
Andrew Bird – Souverian (Mp3)
Laura Marling – Tap At My Window (Mp3)
Bonnie Prince Billy – I See A Darkness (Mp3)
Bert Jansch – Reynardine (Mp3)
The Gun Club – Ghost On The Highway (Mp3)
MC5 – Teen Age Lust (Mp3)
Dax Riggs – Dethbryte (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

It’s a TVD Ticket Giveaway | Peter Bjorn and John, Saturday, November 7, The 9:30 Club

We’ve been fans of Peter Bjorn and John from the first puckered whistle of ‘Young Folks’ but apparently we’re pretty late to the party because the band is celebrating ten years together with a tour that brings them to the 9:30 this Saturday night with El Perro del Mar.

We’ve got three, count ’em THREE, pairs of tickets to give away for Saturday night’s birthday party for the band. Leave your birthday wishes in the comments to this post (with contact info – important!) and we’ll choose the most creative three to attend er, …free.

Contest closes this this coming Friday at noon!

Peter Bjorn and John – Don’t Move Me (Miike Snow Remix) (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 9 Comments

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