Monthly Archives: December 2009


Starling Electric – New Era (Mp3)
The Sound – New Dark Age (Live) (Mp3)
Talk Talk – New Grass (Mp3)
Rain Tree Crow – New Moon At Deer Wallow (Mp3)
New Musik – Living By Numbers (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 9 Comments

TVD’s Sunday Hangover | Gifts Galore

Hello music-savvy friends. Right, so I’ve been M.I.A. for a while ‘cause I haven’t been attending too many shows recently…. Not because I don’t WANT to, but b/c the federal govt pays me like shit and I’m too damn broke. There were some good shows recently that unfortunately I did miss…. Anyone make it to Lee “Scratch” Perry/See-i? Totally bummed I had to miss it……..

Anywhooo…. I know you were all massively worried you hadn’t heard from me so I’ve decided that from now on I shall grace you with a WEEKLY dose of my mind-numbing DC/music accounts every Monday morning, in what I like to call, “The Sunday Hangover.” Please bear in mind my brain is generally functioning at a third of the capacity on Monday’s so you’ll be sure to get the most honest and possibly semi-incoherent recap of the past weekend’s events. Sounds tremendous, I know…. but entertaining, none-the-less.

On another note…. Out of the kindness of my heart, as a holiday gift to you, I’ve decided to burn all of the loyal Vinyl District readers a ‘digital cd’. It’s chalk full of new indie tunes such as BEACH HOUSE who are blowing up recently (new album drops Jan 26th and if you like My Morning Jacket then you should check that out!) and the new SPOON song, ‘Written in Reverse’ which is sorta darker than you would imagine, yet incredible. Not to mention a HOT CHIP cover of JOY DIVISION (Transmission), an ARCADE FIRE cover of TALKING HEADS (Naïve Melody), and THE XX/FLORENCE and the MACHINE. I’ve also put some of my fave electro/disco jams in there to spice up your new years. Enjoy… and if you don’t…. at least pretend you do!

Caio and see you in 2010!

TVD’s Sunday HangoverHoliday Mix 2009

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TVD | Regifted (It’s a contest actually.)

Here at TVD HQ, we’re the happy recipients of a lot of good will arriving via the mail each day. Like, a lot of good will …from bands, PR folks, labels, etc. SO much good will that we’re passing on the clutter…to you.

Typically a record or CD arrives, we preview, burn the suggested tracks, and more often than not, post for you guys to download and spread like a healthy dose of H1N1.

But there’s only so much room. So, in an effort to actually see the floor once more, during this shortened holiday week, we’re offering the overflow in a series of giveaways.

Giveaway #1: Despite being The Vinyl District, we get a shit ton of CDs. I’m looking at a random stack of perhaps 15-20, all 2009 releases, that we’re willing to just give to ya. Go ahead – take ’em. Just take ’em. And they’re not crap either—easily major label, indie releases.

So, get at us in the comments to this post as to why these CDs should come home with you and these aging dinosaurs, er…CDs…can be yours. We’ll choose our winner on Thursday, 12/31 by noon.

One catch however: the winner can come from any corner of the globe, but the aforementioned winner has to pick up his or her CDs at TVD HQ located in the heart of downtown DC. (Really, have you seen the lines at the post office this time of year?)

Two more to come over the following days…

Gang of Four – Return The Gift (Mp3)
Aztec Camera with Mick Jones – Consolation Prize (Mp3)
Vanilla Swingers – Back To The Present (Mp3)
New Model Army – The Prize (Mp3)
The Wedding Present – Montreal (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

TVD | Happy Holidays and…

Ki:Theory – Holiday Heart (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 4 Comments

TVD’s Best of ’09

Well, here’s one Pitchfork got right:

“Put on a Clientele record and you’re entering a space, one crafted as much through sound as lyrical associations, which tend toward the kind of quasi-cinematic string-pulling that makes for the band’s own brand of enjoyable cliché. It’s lonely without tipping into alienation. It’s in tune with the power of memory without being deadened by generic nostalgia. It’s someplace where changes in the weather can leave people dumbstruck. And if the music itself were a hair more melodramatic, its wistfulness would probably be unbearable. But the band’s restraint, skirting emotional didacticism while still providing room for listeners’ own specific states, appeals to humanity’s more evanescent (and maybe pop-resistant) feelings.”

Simply put, the best of the year.

The Clientele – I Wonder Who We Are (Mp3)
The Clientele – Share the Night (Mp3)
The Clientele – Never Saw Them Before (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

TVD wants your choices for the Best & the Worst of ’09 (…and we’ve got some records to give away.)

Every day without fail, there’s no shortage of half-baked opinions here at TVD. And trust me, they’d be fully-baked if I could locate my dealer. (Hey XXXX – please get in touch – thanks!)

And while we hope for your feedback throughout the year on any given rant, this week we’re asking for it in a more formalized setting as we invite you to offer your best of the best or the worst of the worst for ’09.

It needn’t even be in regard to vinyl or music. Why, give us your tired, your poor, your existential angst—and hell, you may even win a prize.

Courtesy of our friends at Factory 25, we’ve got a LP/DVD copy of Rosie Thomas’‘All the Way from Michigan Not Mars’ featuring intimate live performances with fellow songwriters Sufjan Stevens and Denison Witmer and the DVD of the movie and soundtrack LP to ‘Frownland’ which the New York Times’ Manohla Dargas raved as “…personal cinema at its most uncompromising and fierce” for ONE commenter on the year soon to expire who hits some sort of home run or grace note in the comments to this post.

Please remember to leave us some contact info (important!) and we’ll choose our winner on Monday, January 4, 2010 as to kick your year off on a certified high.

(And, hey XXXX – please get in touch – thanks!)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 12 Comments

It’s a TVD Winter Vinyl Giveaway | Caravan Palace (s/t)

The upside of the work here at TVD HQ is being constantly introduced to new music that we can subsequently introduce you to.

Last week French act Caravan Palace came across our radar who, as their bio states, have chiefly been influenced by Django Reinhardt but also cite Vitalic, Cab Calloway, Justice, Lionel Hampton and Daft Punk as influences. You have to give these guys a spin, right?

And we’re glad we did. Check out the video (and the amazing art direction!) and we’ll pick up after you’re done…

…pretty cool right?

And we’ve got a copy of Caravan Palace’s self-titled double-LP debut to send the person who comments in regard to the joys of discovering new music in the comments to this post. New, old music or new, new music – you choose. Make certain you leave us some contact info (important!) and we’ll choose our winner next Wednesday (12/23) by noon.

Caravan Palace – Jolie Coquine (Mp3)
Caravan Palace – Suzy (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 11 Comments

TVD Spun Most in ’09

The truth is coming out…I’m list-averse. Shopping or to-do, I just don’t do ‘em. And the finale of another year won’t kick me in gear.

But I do have some year-end cappers in the form of my one pick for record of the year and one for the release that I actually listened to the most. Intellectually, both could be miles apart. But are they?

The actual release most listened to in ‘09 truly breaks two ‘cardinal rules’ in a manner. Firstly, the thing came out in August ‘08. Secondly, I own this neither on LP (don’t believe it was released as such) or even on CD. I know – fuck me – just digitally. Egad.

That said, Ann Arbor’s Starling Electric released the best of 2008, which ear-wormed itself clear into my brain throughout 2009 to become the most listened to of the year.

The Posies’ Jon Auer put it the best, “Startling and superlative orchestral pop that reminds me why I fell in love with music in the first place…Clouded Staircase is to my ears one of the best records of the modern age – a bona fide stunner.”

And he’s right.

Starling Electric – She Goes Through Phases (Mp3)
Starling Electric – Death To Bad Dreams!/The Black Parade (Mp3)
Starling Electric – Lions (Mp3)

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TVD’s Got ThinkIndie’s Top Releases for 2009

We’re fans of reading lists…not so much on compiling them. Thankfully, our pal Andrew over at ThinkIndie has taken the weight off our shoulders and compiled ThinkIndie’s best of the year. And the first half commences below:

Behold! The Monolith – S/T
A friend turned me onto these guys by sending me a link to their myspace page. They are a three piece doom metal band out of the Los Angeles area and I really dig this album. One of the great things about working at and with indie record stores is the chance to find bands that aren’t signed to a label or anything and get them some exposer. We worked out a direct deal with em to get their content on the digital site cause i feel they are just a good as any of the bigger “doom” bands out there. They have a little bit of a psych feel to them at parts so it’s not all “slow and low” as you would think. Besides, you got to love an album with a song like “Battle For Balls Deep” on it.

Big Business – Mind The Drift
Big Business is Coady Willis (Murder City Devils) on drums and Jared Warren (Karp/Tight Bros From Way Back When) on bass and vocals. They also happen to be 2/4 of the current Melvins lineup so you kind of get an idea what they are going to sound like if you know the Melvins at all. This is their third album but first with full time guitarist Toshi Kasai who has helped em in the pas on the production side of things. With the addition of a full time guitarist their sound has only slightly changed. This album has a bit more of a “spooky” feel to it as the layers of sound give it a little bit of mystery. Long time Big Business fans will recognize some of the songs as they had previously shown up on a couple of tour only EPs the band sold in the past.

John Frusciante – The Empyrean
You probably know him from his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but this is John Frusciante’s 10th solo album. I bought his first solo album right after it came out, but wasn’t a big fan since it’s really out there being as though he was strung out at the time he was working on it. Now that he’s clean and sober his music is still slightly “weird,” but extremely beautiful at the same time. Every time I listen to this album, i can describe in detail where I was, what the weather was like and everything else the first time I heard it. It’s been a while since an album has been able to do that for me. The album starts off with a 9 minute instrumental track where Frusciante just wails on the guitar, but he doesn’t wank on it all. From start to finish this is an amazing record. Go buy it.

Assjack – S/T
Working at a record store in San Diego, one of the questions I got most often was, “Do you have anything by Assjack?” You might find that a weird question to get asked often, but San Diego is one of the best markets for Hank III aka Hank Williams III. Why does Hank III have to do with Assjack? Assjack is his metal band that plays the second part of his live shows and they’ve never officially released anything. Hank III’s second album he gave to Curb Records was a metal album called “This Ain’t Country” and they refused to release it or anything else unless it was another country album. This caused a huge legal battle and in the end, Curb was forced to release a metal album after Hank III turned in a few more country albums. It’s a pretty kick ass metal album especially since Hank III recorded everything on the album.

The Love Me Nots – Upsidedown Insideout
Four piece fuzzed out, organ drenched garage rock band out of Phoenix, AZ. This is their third album is three years and again it’s produced by Jim Diamond (The Dirtbombs/The Mooney Suzuki/The White Stripes) but this time it was recorded in Phoenix rather than Detroit. Fronted by Nicole Laurenne with her sultry voice that intertwines with her Farfisa organ, fuzzed out guitar work from Michael Johnny Walker that you might find on one of the “Nuggets” box sets and a rhythm section of Kyle Rose Stokes and Bob Hoag holding it down. They are constantly touring the US so if they come to a town near you check em out. While you’re there you can pick up their albums on great looking colored vinyl as well.

Naam – S/T
Tee Pee records knows how to pick their bands. Such a great album I can’t think of how to describe it, so I’m gonna let the band describe it, “Disgusted by the lack of heavy, psychedelic rock and roll, We deliver our deafening sermon to bring a new dawn for all civilization. The vast seas cannot drown Us, the darkest caverns cannot conceal Us, We will conquer insurmountable foes. We are war, We are peace, We are time and space, We are infinite, We are Naam.” Yeah… It’s that damn good.

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TVD’s Beatles Christmas Fan Club Records Parting Shots

So, I was all set to close up shop early today and board a flight down south to New Orleans. That is, until I woke up with my throat on fire, chills, aches, etc. Trip: off.

And that my friends, is bullshit.

What’s not bullshit however is TVD’s second annual look back at The Beatles’ Fan Club Records simply because I can’t think of anything more cheery and seasonal.

See ya on Monday…

The Beatles Christmas Fan Club Record,1963 (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Chatter, Saturday Club (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Chatter, Astoria (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Fan Club Record, 1964 (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Chatter, 1964 (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Fan Club Record, 1967 [Edit] (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Fan Club Record, 1967 [Complete] (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Fan Club Record, 1968 (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Chatter, 1968, Jockyono (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Chatter, 1968, Once Upon (Mp3)
The Beatles Christmas Chatter, 1968, Paul [Edit] (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 3 Comments

A TVD Special Holiday Giveaway | An Ed and Donna Christmas!

Just because I’m not in the holiday spirit (…just yet, anyway) doesn’t mean others aren’t rockin’ the halls with Christmas cheer. On Sunday night (12/20), Galaxy Hut presents “An Ed and Donna Christmas” and we asked ‘Donna’…er, Olivia Mancini, for the low down on what we can expect and some background on that name.

So, uh, Donna?

“Last fall, old music buddies Ed Donohue (Donny Hue & the Colors) and Olivia Mancini (Olivia Mancini & the Mates) packed themselves, two acoustic guitars, and some of their favorite originals and oldies covers into a Volvo station wagon for their first ever tour as an acoustic duo. At a particularly memorable show in Charlottesville, a well-meaning but confused MC introduced them first as “Ed and Donny.” And then as “Eddie and Don.” And then, finally, serendipitously, as “Ed and Donna.” Ed and Donna were born!

Ed and Donna specialize in the kind of harmony-heavy oldies songs they love to listen to, and they’ve crafted some of their own songs to reflect their appreciation for groups like the Everly Brothers, the Association, and the early Beatles.

For this Christmas-themed show, Ed and Donna invited some of their musical friends from around town to play some of their favorite holiday tunes. Meredith Bragg will appear, as will May Tabol of Pree. Comedic rapper The Randipulator will dazzle audiences, as well as reggae princess Lady Hatchett. Good times groups the Staccattos and the Fond Regards are also set to appear, in addition to Maureen Andary of DC’s The Sweater Set. We’ll have percussion instruments for those who want to join in and we’ll encourage everyone to sing along with popular holiday tunes like, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”

Tickets are $4 and the show will start at 9.”

Yes, the tickets are just $4.00 but we’ve got a pair to give away along with a copy of Olivia Mancini & the Mates’ latest ‘You Can See Mountains From Here.’ Hit is with your seasonal anecdote in the comments to this post (with contact info—important!) and the cheeriest of the lot will get one extra gift this year courtesy of Ed and Donna. We’ll choose our winner by Thursday (12/17) at noon!

Olivia Mancini & The Mates – Graphology (Mp3)
Donny Hue and the Colors – Mr. Red Blues (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

TVD First Date with | Caverns

They’re heavy, …dense, …crushing, …then melodic. In addition, DC’s Caverns also have a huge fan of vinyl in drummer Ross Hurt:

“The idea of going to a record store in general is very exciting to me… Whether it is a local shop I stop at when playing a show out of town, winning a bidding war on a tough to find record on ebay, or making a day of it in Adams Morgan and the U Street area shops.

When I was in Jr. High, I really began taking my music seriously… I really started studying the theory side of music, and particularly fell in love with the blues. My dad has an massive catalogue of some incredible blues LP’s, and I would spend hours flipping through them and listening to Jon Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and of course some early Zep records. I fell in love with the music, but more over the tone and emotions captured on the guitar… That sound and tone can only be captured on wax!

I collected a couple 7″s and records in high school, mainly ska, punk, and some hard rock stuff… but cd’s were all I cared about. Going to places like Tower and Sam Goody were adventures… Going through the shelves and finding music that I NEEDED to hear; and this was all done not having the ability to preview it or listen to it in the car on the way home. This forced me to rush home, sit down and truly listen to the album start to finish.

That really made me appreciate the idea of “an album” a lot more. I missed out on that in more recent years with ipods and in-car cd players, making it easier to hear music at anytime. But it all came back to me when the band The Bronzed Chorus came touring through needed a place to play and a place to crash; my basement provided both, and they were kind enough to give me their latest record on vinyl as a sign of thanks.

Hearing them talk about it with such pride and excitement made me remember those times when I really appreciated actively listening to a record, listening to the work put into an album as a whole… after that I was on for hours, hitting up Crooked Beat, Smash and so on… but for me, Joe’s Record Paradise in Rockville is the store that really brings me back to those days in middle school and high school where I would go through shelf after shelf of whatever the store has, buy a shitload of stuff and then sit in front of the stereo going through box after box of my cds or dad’s LPs for hours.

That tone is still there on all those records, just listening to any Terry Reid record on vinyl gives me chills… And odds are Joe’s is going to have all that and more buried somewhere in their shelves. Plus EVERY member of Solar Powered Sun Destroyer is obsessed with finding good records on vinyl, so I am comfortably surrounded by it all the time.”

Caverns – Dance You Son Of A Bitch (Mp3)
Caverns – Brodown High Noon (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

TVD for the Holidays | It’s a Washington, DC Record Store Shopping Spree!

Did you know you can walk to four of Washington, DC’s finest record stores in a span of maybe 15-20 minutes? It’s no joke. I do it often.

The folks who wake up each morning, head downtown, and turn on the lights at Crooked Beat Records, Red Onion Records, Smash! Records, and Som Records would like to remind you this holiday season that vinyl makes THE perfect gift for yourself or some other crate digger on your shopping list.

As a reminder, all four shops are dangling a carrot in the form of $25.00 in store credit for ONE winner to extend the season of giving—right to your turntable. That’s $100.00 to wander from store to store in TVD’s very first DC Record Store Shopping Spree.

Here’s how it’ll work: we invite you to sing the praises of your local scene in the comments to this post with contact info (very important!) and the one that warms our collective spirits will be awarded the shopping spree. You don’t have to be a DC resident to enter and win, but you have to redeem your store credit in person at each of the four shops.

We’re choosing the winner for the DC Record Store Shopping Spree on Wednesday, 12/16, to give you the last weekend before the Christmas holiday to make the 20 minute trek from store to store.

(…best after a Bloody Mary or 5. Trust me on this.)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 15 Comments

TVD Class of ’72 | "Brother, Brother, Brother" by the Isley Brothers

We’ve always had some doubts about our correspondent from the ’70s. We hadn’t heard from him in a while, not since Rocktober.

Then we started to wonder. Have all those good times way back when started to affect him? The ’70s were a long time ago. Was he …

But then, to our great relief, he checked in from the sweet blue haze of time. “Sorry, man,” he said. “Busy.” Then he dropped this on TVD. All the way from 1972. “Brother, Brother, Brother” by the Isley Brothers. Mercy.

The Isleys start with a Carole King cover (no surprise there — they liked putting up the covers back then) and things get progressively funkier from there. By the time you’re done with these, you won’t associate “lay away” with Christmas shopping any more.

It’s out of print but is available digitally.

The Isley Brothers – Sweet Season/Keep On Walkin’ (Mp3)
The Isley Brothers – Pop That Thang (Mp3)
The Isley Brothers – Lay Away (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

TVD | Holiday Bullshit

There’s an old George Carlin bit where he rails on people who tell him to “have a nice day.” “It places the burden on ME to go have a nice day…” he’d joke.

Which pretty much sums up the holiday season for me at present. Sure, sure…the tree’s up and Pete the dog has a jaunty new winter coat to sniff around in. But me? I’m not feeling it.

I think back to the past 20 years when at this time, I’d be on a train or in a car going up to see my folks in NJ. The holidays weren’t for kicking back in comfort…they were packing a bag, sitting in traffic, dealing with headaches, touching base to be ‘present and accounted for’, and then doing it again on a return trip. Rest stops, fast food, weight gain. Years checked off from your life span.

I began to resent it frankly—the dog and pony show as ritual. Performing like the trained bear in the graphic above…peddling this way and that and losing yourself in the process.

I resent that I resented it and muddled through these visits with my folks because they’re no longer here. I’m angry that I poured through so much wine at dinners which would have my folks wondering if I had a drinking problem. “I only have a drinking problem during the holidays!” I’d say.

But now they are gone and it’s a hollow victory to not face Amtrak delays or schedule changes. But the dog and pony shows remain. Office parties, awkward gifts, the visits, the absolute burden of holiday cheer. The bullshit.

I mean, I want to feel this rarified holiday ‘spirit’…yet, I’m spiritless.

So, as our friend Ed Hamell sings, “…I’m all alone but I’ve got my [records]/let’s think of some stuff we can smash…”

More bullshit:
40 years after John & Yoko’s X-mas single, we’re fighting two wars. 25 years after Band Aid, people are still struggling with hunger.

(Sheez. Should I be expecting a visit from three ghosts?)

Rosie Thomas – Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year? (Mp3)
The Pale Fountains – Benoit’s Christmas (Mp3)
Gangway – Violence, Easter And Christmas (Mp3)
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas (Mp3)
John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 6 Comments

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