Monthly Archives: January 2010

Exit Clov’s Vinyl District Parting Shots

We’re wrapping up Exit Clov’s blog takeover with Em and Suz’s personal selections for your Clov-themed weekend to come…

Next week it’s just me flying solo here at TVD for a change. (Odd, huh?) See ya then.

Emily’s tracks:

Sparklehorse – Don’t Take My Sunshine Away (Mp3)
Yeasayer – O.N.E. (Mp3)
Bluebrain – Royal Blue (Mp3)
Jeff Bridges – Hold On You (Mp3)
Beach House – You Came to Me (Mp3)

Susan’s tracks:
Kings of Convenience – 24-25 (Mp3)
Bellflur – Gray Sparkle Finnish Pigs (Mp3)
Dark Night Of The Soul – Revenge (Flaming Lips) (Mp3)
Art of Noise – Close (To The Edit) (Mp3)
Townes Van Zandt – Waitin’ Around To Die (Mp3)

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It’s Exit Clov’s (closing day at) The Vinyl District…

…and it’s been a delight to have them this week. Remember to get out to the Strathmore Mansion tonight and/or to Iota tomorrow night to see the band live. Pick up the brand new CD ‘Memento Mori’ while you’re there too.

Em and Suz brought bagels for us this morning, so I’ll turn it back over to them while I go get me one. Check back soon though…they’ve got 10 tracks you should be listening to as you rev up to see them this weekend.

Well folks, it’s been real! Thanks so much for joining us this week during our takeover of The Vinyl District. We hope you enjoyed what we had to share with you. We also wanted to say a huge Clov thanks(!) to TVD for letting us invade for a week.

But before we go, here are some more Clov-related things to look forward to in 2010 and beyond.

New music video | In the near future, we have plans to shoot a brand new music video for a yet undisclosed track off the album. We’ll be enlisting some film friends in New York to lend us their creative vision and incorporate our own as well. Word on the street is that the video may involve some clay….

Vermont writing sessions | Since last summer, we’ve spent two weeks in the countryside of beautiful, secluded Vermont, penning and demo-ing a slew of new tunes. Some of them have already become set list faves at our shows, including Rainbow Warzone and Autumn of the Patriarch. Hopefully we’ll get enough songs together for another full-length release.

Covers! | Also later this year, we hope to release a covers EP with a handful of songs we’ve put our own spin on (maybe exclusively on vinyl!) We’ll see. We’re ironing out the deets as we speak.

So long, TVD readers!

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It’s Exit Clov’s Vinyl District Ticket Giveaway!

You have to know by now that if we’re going to be promoting a new release and a few live dates around the release that we’re going to give you a chance to win said release and concert tickets, right? We are just that transparent.

Em and Suz of Exit Clov have hooked TVD readers up with a pair or tickets for both CD release shows this coming weekend— Friday night (1/29) at the Strathmore Mansion with True Womanhood and Saturday night (1/30) at Iota with Olivia Mancini and the Mates. They’ve also tossed in the brand new CD ‘Memento Mori’ for each ticket winner. Cuz they do indeed love you back.

Here’s how it’ll go (as it always does:) jump up and down in the comments to this post and plead your case to attend one of the two shows this weekend. We’ll have two winners—one per show—who sufficiently inspire us with their brilliant entry.

Em and Suz are picking the winners too, so y’know, put some effort into it. You’ve got til noon on Friday!

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TVD Recommends | Thornley & Friends, The One Year Anniversary, Monday (2/1) at Solly’s Tavern

John Thornley’s Monday night outing at Solly’s, Thornley & Friends, celebrates its one year anniversary this coming Monday night (2/1) and it’s not only spawned a fine evening of spontaneous music in its lifetime, but a brand new collaborative whose track streams below. John gives us the back-story:

“So this is a little collaboration between John & Paul Thornley, Matthew Hemerlein, and Ryan Mitchell called The Four Horsemen. We play mainly guitar, ukelele, banjo, violin, mandolin and whatever else we can carry around on our stagecoach. We play a mix of originals, gospel/spiritual tunes, blues, and 80’s power pop.

This number is a tune John Thornley wrote on a borrowed ukelele from Ryan Mitchell while at home for the holidays. Everyone then pitched in on several different instruments until we came up with the song you hear now. It’s just a demo version but we thought it would be fun to stream it to promote the show on Monday.

Named after the four great Notre Dame linebackers in the 1920’s, The Four Horsemen have no relation to these men, just admirers. A perennial group comprised of, John & Paul Thornley(1), Matthew Hemerlein(2), and Ryan Hunter Mitchell(3) formerly of Deer Wolf(4), their live shows are seldom performed beyond the confines of their chateau in Montreal. With a keen knowledge of Russian(5) literature, The Four Horsemen lyricist writes strictly on such topics. This show will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to broaden your musical horizons. There will be sing alongs.

Also opening up the gig is good friend Sonny Kilfoyle, “Sonny Boy”, from NYC via Boston. Previously in acclaimed bands such as “Blonde Acid Cult” and “Calypso”, he will be making his debut solo appearance this Monday in DC.”

Doors: 8:30pm | Cover: $5

(Thanks to BYT for the streaming link!)

1. It should be mentioned at this time that the Thornleys, John (1982- ) Paul (1984- ) are brothers by birth and any other rumours to the contrary are suspicious.
2. Mathew Hemmerlein (1983- ) was awarded the Tchaikovsky Award of Honor for his aptitude in violin, but donated his award to various charities.
3. Ryan Hunter Mitchell IV (1984- ) is a recent novelist and world expeditionary.
4. Deer Wolf (tm) is a fictional band with no offense intended to bands such as Deer Tick, Deer Hunter, WolfMother, Wolf Parade or Owl City.
5. Russian in the soviet sense. Referring but not limited to Czech, Ukrainian and other Cyrillic based languages.

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TVD First Date with | Olivia Mancini

It must be a record of sorts—this is Olivia Mancini’s third appearance here at TVD and we’re just now doing a proper ‘First Date’ feature. But it’s timed well indeed as Ms. Mancini and her Mates open for our guest bloggers this week, Exit Clov, Saturday night at Iota (for which we have free tickets for you to join us.)

Now, First Dates just like first loves come in varying guises. For example, my first love was KISS. (No, really.)

Olivia has much more of a discerning palette:

Who was my first love? Umm. Judy Garland.

I would put her Live at Carnegie Hall album on my Fisher Price turntable and imagine us singing “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” together. She blasted “Over the Rainbow” and my little kid voice would try to match hers note for note coming through those built-in plastic speakers. I wrote her love letters–or maybe I just sent her LP love letters, taping a Garfield Post-It note to the record sleeve. “I Love This” I scrawled in four-year-old handwriting. I adorned the rest of the love letter with big red hearts, to really drive home the point.

Fast-forward to 1987 when my dad gave me for Christmas my first “big girl” stereo. If it was an overly large gift designed to mitigate the birth of my little sister, it worked. How I loved that single unit Magnavox with its familiar turntable, radio and state-of-the-art dual cassette player. In the box was an accompanying present, one that my dad never could explain buying. The 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Collection: Jukebox Saturday Night was a three-disc vinyl box set (on discount? An impulse item at the checkout counter?) that blew my eight-year-old mind and made me forget all about Judy. (Perhaps this was Dad’s ultimate goal.) I traded “Putting on the Ritz” for “Earth Angel” and “Stormy Weather” for “Teenager in Love” and never looked back.

Cassettes and CDs and MP3s. Even vinylfiles shouldn’t hate them. They made music portable even as they modified our expectations of sound quality and changed our relationship with the collection of songs known as the album, and I, for one, wouldn’t want to go back. I’ve got the best of both worlds: my iPod in my purse and my favorite LPs stacked on my Garrard RC-98 at home.

But I know because I couldn’t resist throwing on Live at Carnegie Hall when I dug out the records listed above in preparation for this “First Date.” An MP3 is not going to do Judy any favors. But her voice coming through my living room console made me think the four-year-old me was pretty right on the money with that Garfield Post-It note.

Olivia Mancini and the Mates – My Old Ways (Mp3)
Olivia Mancini and the Mates – Turn On The Jets (Mp3)

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

TVD Fresh Pick | Old Killing Joke from the new Bustin’ Out compilation

Killing Joke’s first EP, ‘Turn To Red’, appeared in September 1979 on the new Malicious Damage label set up by graphic artist Mike Coles and distributed by Island. It was followed in November by ‘Almost Red’ – basically the same EP plus new title track, which was initially sold at gigs. The track demonstrates how the Joke were indeed ahead of their time, as dub-disco sensibilities course through the heavyweight thud of the Youth-Ferguson rhythm axis topped by a metallic synthetic replication of the ‘I Feel Love’ riff, Geordie’s sparse guitar shards and Jaz’s caustic, post-nuclear proclamations. Their radical, apocalyptic approach was often cited as a massive influence on anyone from Nirvana to industrial bands, but also incorporated dub reggae and New York dance music.

‘Bustin’ Out, The Post Punk Era 1979-1981′, the first in the New Wave To New Beat series, is an often-startling picture of the no-holds-barred musical ructions which sprang up after punk’s scorched earth revolution. Compiler Mike Maguire has made a rigid stand against being pigeon-holed throughout his 30 year DJing career, spreading the message that no sound or genre should be compartmentalised. This multi-hued set is a fine testimony to this ethos.

Bustin’ Out is available to buy here.

Killing Joke – Almost Red (Mp3)

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It’s a TVD Winter Vinyl Giveaway | Nneka, "The Uncomfortable Truth" EP

Seems a little bit odd to be doing a Winter Vinyl Giveaway when temperatures hit 62 on Monday, but what the hell.

Nneka’s ‘The Uncomfortable Truth’ EP assembles two tracks from her debut US release ‘Concrete Jungle’ with two not found on the record. So, if you’re a Nneka completist or just falling in love with her inspirational mix of hot loops, black consciousness and 21st-century soul music with equal parts Bob Marley, Nina Simone, and Erykah Badu, the EP is the proverbial ‘must have.’

Plead your case in the comments to this post (with contact info!) and we’ll reward the one we’re feeling the most by this Friday (1/29) at noon. It’s just that simple.

Nneka – The Uncomfortable Truth (Mp3)

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TVD Fresh Pick | New Sambassadeur – ‘Stranded’

Perfect for your commute home this evening: Sambassadeur’s second single ‘Stranded,’ from the forthcoming album “European” due out February 23rd on Labrador Records.

Sambassadeur – Stranded (Mp3)

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It’s Exit Clov’s Vinyl District!

I’ve often wondered why we haven’t had one of my favorite local bands, Exit Clov, here on the blog (short of just a show teaser a number of months back.) Hell, we’ve been at this three years now and no proper Clov feature?

Well, we’re about to remedy that in a big way this week as the band is here, inside the TVD offices, ready to type away. All of this is in advance of – well, …wait. I’ll let them spill it.

It’s Exit Clov’s Vinyl District all this week.

Greetings TVD readers! We’re Exit Clov…(well, we’re Em and Suz of Exit Clov actually, because we’re the only blogging nerds in the band). Get comfy because we’re hijacking the blog for the week. Jon Meyers said we could 😛

This unilateral intervention is warranted by a momentous occasion for the band—namely the release of our brand new record, Memento Mori. Latin for “remember your mortality,” Memento Mori is a departure from our previous material. It’s a little on the heavy and melancholy side, but it’s not without its moments of hope, brilliance and happiness.

First things first—all the vitals…To celebrate, we’ve lined up a slew of CD release parties over the next 2 weekends. Hopefully we’ll get to see you at at least one of them! (See dates below.)

If you want to try for some free tickets, there are a few ticket giveaways going on, including one right here on TVD. Also Washington City Paper and Brightest Young Things.

Stream the whole album at or buy it online at iTunes, Amie Street, Lala, Rhapsody and more. A short run of physical copies will also be available very shortly on our very own web store.

SHOW SCHEDULE (Show times and deets are available at
January 29 @ Strathmore Mansion (Bethesda, MD)
w/ True Womanhood

January 30 @ Iota (Arlington, VA)
w/ Olivia Mancini and the Mates, Poor But Sexy

February 5 @ Crash Mansion (New York City)
w/ Heylady, Millybeau

Feb. 6 @ Johnny Brenda’s (Philadelphia, PA)
w/ Pepi Ginsberg, The Armchairs

Now, the album. For those who are more accustomed to our dancey, synthy, politicky-ness, there might be some bewilderment about where the heck these songs came from. In colors, it’s a bit of a grey, prison-colored album, whereas Respond Respond (our 2006 EP) was royal blue, silver, and a little space age.

And it’s true, these songs did come from another place. It was Exit Clov’s Dark Ages, so to speak. We were in a bit of transition… our Rome had fallen – a lot of our fellow DC bands/friends as we knew them splintered up and we ourselves were feeling scattered, collectively and psychologically. Some personal things occupied our hearts and minds, as well, and so the record fell between the cracks. Well now that the dust has settled, we’ve each of us resumed our posts. It’s like we found the record again while we were cleaning the attic the other day! … So today we’ve posted some factoid blurbs for a couple of tracks off Memento Mori, including a free download for “Blue is Your Heart”. We’ll post a few more track blurbs tomorrow (along with another free download!), so do come back.

Blue is Your Heart (Mp3) | This song is about as earthy as Exit Clov will get. It was the first time we used melodica on a recording. And at the time we were listening quite a bit to The Good, The Bad & The Queen and some other Afro-beat influenced records, so we tried to incorporate that sort of space in the song – especially the outro, without going over the top with it. Lyrically, it’s a post-epiphany song about how big, bad and beautiful our earth is. We do so much to it – till it, cultivate it, tend to it, grow things from it, but we also torture and exploit it for natural resources, we dig, plunder, bomb, litter, etc. And at the end of the day, where do we go when we die but right back into the earth. It’s like whatever we’ve done she takes us back in. And there is indeed a tiny bed of earth waiting for each one of us eventually to rest our weary bones and ashes.

Free Zone (Can be streamed the band’s site.) | This song was one of the last tracks to be completed on the record. It started out as a stripped-down piano composition by Aaron, and evolved as we wrote the rest of it together in the studio. As a lone piano piece, it was so bleak sounding but astoundingly beautiful. It seemed to work as a prison song – in this case, the prison of daily routines. The lyrics are surreal, about a person who spends her time mindlessly “building widgets and concrete.” There’s the panic attack that your life is of little consequence, the feeling of suffocation and paranoia, and a strange sense that you’re somehow paying this bottomless debt to an unknown collector. The clincher at the end of the song is that we’re actually the ones building our own concrete walls, and so there is a way out! Walk away from the wet cement and tools. Stop building the walls!

Looking ahead... we have a fun-filled blog schedule lined up for you this week! Here’s a sneak peek:

Tuesday: We’ll post factoid blurbs on three more ‘Memento Mori’ tracks, including ‘District Menagerie,’ which will be posted for free download.

Wednesday: TVD will feature our Iota show opener Olivia Mancini and the Mates. We’ll also talk a little bit about our experience with vinyl, given the main theme of this blog(!), and post a little Q+A with a local record guru.

Thursday: We’ll unveil a brand new arts collective founded by Exit Clov, featuring a variety of projects in music, craft, and writing. Songs from all the musical projects will be posted exclusively on TVD, so be sure to come back and check them out!

Friday: We’ll talk about some exciting new things to expect from the Clov in 2010.

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

TVD’s Sockets Parting Shots

As if it hasn’t been made abundantly clear all week, Sockets Records is throwing its 5-Year Anniversary Party tonight at The Black Cat with label stalwarts The Cornel West Theory, HUME, Imperial China, Buildings, and Big Gold Belt. We thank them all for participating here this week.

Label founder Sean Peoples has some parting thoughts and your Parting Shots this week:

In my 5 years running Sockets Records I learned a lot about releasing music. But more importantly, I made a bunch of new friends and can help highlight new creativity that deserves to be heard. The Sockets showcase tonight will be eclectic and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Big thanks to Jon at TVD for helping put this together and stay tuned for a lot more music in 2010!

Harry Belafonte – Show Me The Way, My Brother (Mp3)
EPMD – Please Listen To My Demo (Mp3)
Ackie – Call Me Rambo (Mp3)
Stereolab – Doubt (Mp3)
Telepathe – In Your Line (Mp3)
The Cure – Play For Today (Mp3)
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Lessons From What’s Poor (Mp3)
Alton Ellis – What Does It Take To Win Your Love (Mp3)
Ennio Morricone – Beat No. 3 (Mp3)
Wire – Strange (Mp3)

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TVD’s Sunday Hangover | Johnny Marr Should Reunite with Morrissey

Adam green is a fucking wild man. I love him.

I went to 9:30 club to see The Dead Trees/Adam Green/The Cribs on Tuesday (in that order) and let’s just say I was increasingly unimpressed as the night went on….

Apparently The Dead Trees were a bit late (they were scheduled to go on at 7) so they ended up going on with Mr. Adam Green, which couldn’t have turned out better. Mr. Green hit the stage, obviously inebriated (I’m not too familiar, I’m guessing this is his shtick?!) and gifted the audience with quite the entertaining comedy/rock/intoxication-infused routine.

“What happened to my elbow? I was delivering a fucking baby! Shit happens!” ahahaha Adam Green really dropped quite the comical quotes at 9:30 club, in-between crowd surfing amongst 13 people and handing off the mic to the few folks who knew the words. The Dead Trees were a tremendous supporting band as well, although I’m still not quite sure of the actual situation… did The Dead Tree’s have a lead singer? Did Adam Green have a back-up band?! Who cares, really, because it turned out fucking terrific.

The Cribs have been described as the “biggest cult band of the UK” and consist of three brothers who were joined by The Smith’s legendary guitarist, Johnny Marr, in 2008. Despite the tremendous hype of the headlining band, they were actually quite un-impressive, and consisted mainly of repetitive power chords and harmonizing guitarists. Perhaps that’s just what flies in the UK, I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never really listened to the Libertines.

No disrespect to the show though. The songs definitely improved towards the end of the set (I now love ‘Be Safe’) and any chance at being 15 feet from Johnny Marr is always amazing. And what a stellar introduction to Adam mothafuckin Green and The Cribs.

The Cribs – Be Safe (Mp3)

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TVD Presents a Sockets Records Showcase Week Giveaway!

What would a Sockets Records Showcase Week be without a giveaway of some sort? Well, that’d be a half-assed week folks, and since we’re not up to any half-assery around here—we’ve got an opportunity to win a pair of tickets for Friday’s Black Cat Sockets live showcase.

And some vinyl…

We’ll have three winners for our Sockets Giveaway: the grand prize winner will get a pair of tickets to attend Friday’s showcase on us, plus a vinyl copy of Hume’s ‘The Phat Daughter String Quartet’ on vinyl. Two runners-up will receive the vinyl alone.

The drill is the same as it always is—get at us in the comments to this post (with some contact info!) and plead your case for either the tickets and the vinyl or the vinyl alone. Make ’em good—we’re closing this one by noon on Friday, 1/22!

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It’s a TVD 24-hour Ticket Giveaway! | Dawn Landes, Saturday, January 23 at Iota

It’s bordering on comical how often I’m completely sold on some band or performer and think “Well, they’d be great to see live…’ aaaand they were in town just last week. Or last night. Or tonight.

But not this week however. I’ve dodged a bullet and have been given 48 hours with which to regroup and reschedule my plans to see Dawn Landes this Saturday night at Iota, touring behind her third album ‘Sweet Heart Rodeo.’

You too get to dodge the aforementioned bullet as we have a pair of tickets to put on your hands for the mere effort it takes to leave a comment to this post (with contact info!) Juggle your calendar, reconfigure your day planner, and let us know what you’re willing to completely reschedule in order to see the exceedingly lovely Ms. Landes on Saturday evening.

You’ve got 24 hours to make those awkward calls and bail on your friends to join us on Saturday. We’re closing this one at 4PM tomorrow. Now, go!

Dawn Landes – Young Girl (Mp3)

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TVD Fresh Pick | New Turin Brakes

Truth is, I started to worry a little bit about Turin Brakes after that last one I bought and promptly gave away. But if this new track ‘Apocolips’ is any indication, they’re back to ‘Ether Song’ form. Which is smart, indeed.

The new album ‘Outbursts’ is out March 30th on Cooking Vinyl.

Turin Brakes – Apocolips.mp3

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TVD First Date with | Casper Bangs

I naively thought at this blog’s inception that 100% of the bands that’d be featured would be bands that I love. No waffling – just the stuff I adore.

But that didn’t play out as I’d hoped. I mean, would you want to read about the same seven or eight bands over and over? Probably not. Hell, I don’t want to.

I sucked it up and in the name of diversity and ‘expanding one’s horizons’ I opened the flood gates. Not wide, mind you, but enough to allow for some acts who aren’t particularly up my alley. Oh, they might be hip and all that and you might have dug some of their Mp3s that went along with the features, but mentally I was sitting a few of ‘em out.

So, I realize that as a result, at times you may not know where I stand on this or that band.

Casper Bangs is 100%.

(Got it?)

We chatted with CB’s Rob Pierangeli a little while back about stuff near and dear to both of us:

What record stores do you frequent within the DC/Baltimore area?
I dig Crooked Beat, Som Records, Red Onion and Smash.

What was your first memory of listening to vinyl or buying a record? What artist was it?
I had a record player when I was a kid, but those memories are not vivid. I had Thiller by Michael Jackson and this Kids Incorporate record, both of which I loved. That TV show was my jam when I was five.

I didn’t really start collecting records until around 21, when I inherited some of my Mom’s Beatles records. The first records I ever bought were Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus by Vince Guaraldi and Thelonious Monk live at the Black Hawk. I bought them both from Smash Records when it was still in Georgetown. I was taking jazz guitar lessons at the time, and listening to EL-P’s jazz-influenced hip-hop production on Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein. The beats on that record are so ill. And speaking of, I need to get that on vinyl.

Why did you decide to put out a 7″ for ‘Whitespace?’
I simply love vinyl, and wanted to document the beginning of Casper Bangs with a vinyl release.

Please divulge some information regarding its artwork if you would…
I’m into the concept of whitespace in art and the space between notes in music. I wanted a minimalist approach to the artwork that conveyed this concept. Charlie Flexon (the designer) and I bounced a bunch of ideas around, until he came up with idea of using braille on the front cover. From there we decided to use no printing and single-level emboss all type and art. I’m really happy with the packaging on this release. It’s gorgeous! And who doesn’t love white vinyl?

Do your friends still buy music?
Yes, most of my friends buy records. I think a lot of my friends (myself included) also download music too, but it’s not the same as owning the vinyl. Vinyl is tangible and more of a commitment. You can browse through my iTunes to see what I dig, but if you really want to know what I love check out my record collection. These are the albums I could not live without.

If you could own the entire vinyl anthology for any band, who would it be?
Easy: The Kinks.

Would you ever issue a single only on a 7″?
Maybe. I think you have to consider your audience. If I wrote punk rock, hardcore, or garage then I’d be more inclined to do so because kids tend to collect seven inches in those genres. Truth is, I was hesitant on doing a 7″ because I write pop songs. That being said, I think releasing vinyl only does make it special. Perhaps down the road I’ll do a vinyl only release.

Casper Bangs – Skylark (Mp3)
Casper Bangs – The Other Half (Mp3)
Casper Bangs – Queen Of Hearts (Mp3)

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