Monthly Archives: February 2011

TVD Live!
The Low Anthem at
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 2/24

Photo Credit: NPR

I think I may have been one of the few attending The Low Anthem’s show last week at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue who were not already convinced of their overarching supremacy. Despite my adoration of the oft-compared Fleet Foxes, I had always been of the (erroneous) mindset that The Low Anthem were “pretty ok.” I was wrong, and now I repent.

After an impressive opening performance by BOBBY, the foursome opened the show as they harmonized circled around the mic as if it were a campfire. The entire show could have been taken as a musical traipse across America, with timeless folk music sung along the way. The group huddled around the mic intermittently, reverent and graceful, as the respectful yet captivated crowd collectively held their breath; at other times the audience whistled and applauded while the band caroused as if at a country ho-down.

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TVD’s Press Play

It’s our weekly Twitter #MusicMonday recap of the tracks from last week that the folks in the press offices and PR agencies want you to be hearing. We post you decide.

The Mean – Keep Time (Mp3)
Baron Bane – My Slow World (Mp3)
Candy Claws – Snowdrift Wish (Mp3)
The Dodos – Dont Stop (Mp3)
The Found – You’re No Vincent Gallo (Mp3)
Moddi – Magpie Eggs (Mp3)
1, 2, 3 – Riding Coach (Mp3)
ASKA – I’m a Hunter (Mp3)
Rocky Business – Rocky’s Theme (Mp3)
Afrobeta – Play House (Brass Knuckles Remix) (Mp3)
Hosannas – Walrus (Mp3)
Pendulum – The Island (Iacabone Remix) (Mp3)
John Blaze – We Should Talk About Toast (Mp3)
Loch Lomond – Blue Lead Fences (Mp3)
Man Miracle – Don’t Waste It (Mp3)
Robotanists – On/Off The Ledge (Mp3)
Shit Robot – Take ‘Em Up (John Talabot Remix Edit) (Mp3)
Israel Cannan – Set Me Free (Mp3)
WOLFRAM – Fireworks (feat. Hercules Love Affair) (J.AGEBJORN Remix) (Mp3)

TVD Cleveland Pick of the Week: Cloud Nothings: Turning On

While this release is not new, with all of the buzz surrounding their self-titled Car Park Records debut, it is certainly worth revisiting.

The infectious debut from Cleveland-based Cloud Nothings is an unexpected and energetic dose of fuzzy bedroom pop songs. These maxed-out jams pick apart the space between youth and adulthood, flippantly avoiding both. This is a 9-song full length with chiming guitars and undeniably catchy hooks tucked perfectly under a layer of home-recorded fuzz.

There are a limited number of sky-blue wax copies available through indie record stores, and every copy comes with a free mp3 download of the entire album.

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SXSW Band Names: Categorical Fun!

Everyone loves to scour over the list of bands that are scheduled to play during SXSW. And every year there are quite a few band names that stand out and might make you chuckle. Here, TVD Austin’s Jessi Cape has compiled an amusing and categorized list of bands playing this year’s festival.

It’s baaaack: SXSW is upon us once again. The economy is (finally) on the up-and-up, folks have a few bucks to spare, and we all have some post-winter wiggles to get out which makes mid-March the most wonderful time of the year. Thankful for my new glasses, I finally had a chance to scour the (tiny font size of the) official list of SXSW 2011 Showcasing acts.

I must say that one of the best parts of the initial reveal is checking out the often bizarre, hilarious, super creative, and sometimes even downright nasty band names.

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Shore Alternative Presents: The Amboys

“Once upon a time, there were broken hearted boys. Then came words, then in came a beat, and The Amboys were born. Born of willingness to try. Trying to give meaningless its due. Doing this the best they can. Caring for you and only you. You should know better. Better knowing that you don’t. So kick off your boots, and prepare to shake your booties.”

So is the declaration from Asbury Park’s own Alt-Country-Rock foursome, The Amboys C.M. Smith (Vox/Guitar), Manny Castanon (Bass/Vox), and brothers Connor Effenberger (Drums) and Daniel Effenberger (Lead Guitar) recently released the album Everything Between The Moon And The Sun, and the effort has received some pretty rave reviews, like this one from The Asbury Park Press:

Everything Between the Moon & the Sun is a brassy, rousing collection of scrappy, country-fired rock ‘n’ roll. On the album, the ‘boys capture the dusty drawl of classic soul-driven Memphis rock ‘n’ roll better than any group of East Coast guys who’ve never done time should ever have the right to, fusing a gamut of sounds ranging from Johnny Cash to the Stax/Volt Collection.” Steve Bove-APP

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at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 2/24

I was intrigued by BOBBY, and seeing them actually perform hasn’t done much to quell the mystery behind this band from Western Massachusetts. Even Pitchfork recently and aptly described them as “un-Googleable.” Prior to the show, I scoured the interwebs for band photos; there were none. Even at the show, only NPR’s cameras were on hand for headliners The Low Anthem, save for one irritating rebellious audience member whose bright camera screen could be seen in the front pews of the sanctuary at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

I happily confirmed that BOBBY wasn’t just an ephemeral mist, but composed of real-life persons, although Molly Sarle’s (Mountain Man) soaring melodies could have been something out of a dream I once had, that I couldn’t hold onto. Her voice twisted and filled the cavernous space, which was dimly-lit with fluorescent candles.

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Welcome, TVD Portland!

Today we welcome the fourteenth city in the TVD Network, TVD Portland!

Portland, Oregon’s thriving music scene is home to such bands as The Decemberists, Modest Mouse, The Shins, Blitzen Trapper, and the late Elliott Smith. Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein also writes and stars in the popular new IFC comedy series Portlandia, which she created with SNL’s Fred Armisen.

Newsweek describes the Pacific Northwest as “the most tragically idealistic place on earth, where everything must have a greater good, even if it makes your life hell.” Perhaps that’s what inspired “The City of Roses'” Chuck Palahniuk to write Fight Club. Portland also boasts Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening as one of its own.

We’re just as proud to claim TVD Portland as one of our own, and we’ll celebrate Portland’s quirky idealism and musical culture. TVD Portland will make you stop and smell the roses.

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I Want My New York Noise

One of the things the Internet is great at is preserving things that never should have ended in the first place. For every time the Internet aides in the discovery of a new fact, current event, or something relevant in general, there are at least a dozen other times that it serves as a comfort blanket/black hole of nostalgia and ubiquitous reference library for the past. At least that is how I explain away the all too often scenario of suddenly realizing I have spent 2 hours watching skate punk videos from junior-year-of-high-school-era on YouTube.

New York Noise is one of those great things that got cut short by reality but is now being slowly resurrected by the good archival graces of the world wide web. Having aired on NYC TV from 2003 to 2009 (or according to loveable producer Shirley Braha, 5 years and 8 months – the same amount of time as the original run of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) New York Noise brought us a twice-weekly hour of amazing music public television covering every indie band that even remotely thought about setting foot in the tri-state area.

Slowly but surely, clips from the 89 episode run of the show are being uploaded to an online collection here. You can also browse through old photos and playlists featuring hundreds of bands like the Hold Steady, Panda Bear, Mae Shi, The Dodos, the list goes on and on. Actually, I wish I could say the list was as endless as it feels, but I guess that’s what our friend, the Internet is here for.

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Chaos in Tejas 2011 Update

The Chaos in Tejas website is up and running and they’ve got some schedule updates and breaking news posted. The biggest news is that Killing Joke is now playing on Thursday, June 2, on the outdoor stage at Emo’s instead of the Sunday, June 5, as previously announced. Bookmark their website and TVD Austin for future CiT updates.

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RSD Newswire: Vanguard Records’ Lost Psychedelic Era, Lost No Longer

Our in-box is filling up with a cache of special Record Store Day vinyl releases, but this one stuck out today from our friends at Vanguard Records. Some official details:

“Deep within the Vanguard Records vaults lies a curious story framed by some of the craziest and most mysterious green and purple paisley’d rock music to come out of the mid-to-late-sixties. On April 16th, Vanguard will unveil these releases for the first time in celebration of Record Store Day!

Follow Me Down: Vanguard’s Lost Psychedelic Era (1966-1970), co-produced by Vanguard staffer Stephen Brower and Birdman Records founder David Katznelson, is a double gatefold, 18 track vinyl compilation that encompasses hand-selected tracks from Vanguard’s best “lost” records and 45’s. Many of the bands featured here only released one record, or a smattering of singles, before drifting into obscurity, though many of the artists went on to greater fame after their stint at Vanguard was done. And while they are stylistically varied, there lies a common thread of musical proficiency and integrity that represents the trademark of quality Vanguard strived (and still strives) to uphold…no matter how bombastic, fuzz-soaked or outer-worldly the music may have seemed.

Some of the artists on Follow Me Down include: The 31st of February (A Nickel’s Worth of Benny’s Help) – Originally forming in 1965 under the moniker The Bitter Ind – short for Independents, this Florida band recorded one album for Vanguard Records. The band disbanded shortly thereafter, and drummer Butch Trucks was invited to join the Allman Brothers as a permanent member. Circus Maximus (Travelin’ Around) – The band recorded two albums for Vanguard, a self-titled 1967 outing and 1968’s follow-up Neverland Revisited. Each album is driven by the dual songwriting contributions of the band’s leaders and co-founders, Bob Bruno and Jerry Jeff Walker, with the band gaining most of its still-modest notoriety from Bruno’s 8-minute epic “Wind,” which became a minor hit on FM radio at the time.

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Music Monday: The Outdoors

This past weekend, a particular Echo Park indie rock four-piece caught my attention. The Outdoors, forming this past summer, recorded their debut EP over a period of two weeks in an Arizona condo.

Sweating in the desert air, the result was a standout record of distant guitars and elevating vocals, reflecting a Radiohead-esque feel like in “I’m Just Drifting” and “The Listener.” But the song that has been stuck on my mind these last few days is “Seven Six Zero,” which you can hear in this fun video of the guys just being themselves…sunbathing on a moving RV named “The Rogue” and so on.

Download The Outdoors’ self-titled EP for free HERE and if you donate a couple bucks to their Kickstarter campaign then that would make for one heck of a good deed this week.

Check out the guys performing March 9 at the Bootleg Theater with Kiev and more artists for a benefit show supporting the Los Angeles Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. More information and tickets can be found here.

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My First Record: Alicja Trout (Black Sunday, Mouserocket, River City Tanlines)

Somewhere in the 70’s in a house with wood panelled walls, split level rooms, multi-colored shag carpet and a non-ironic sad-eyed clown painting a 7″ record was spinning. Two little kids knelt on the floor and listened. It was the Chipmunks doing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand“. It spun on a chunky record player housed in a textured fabric box with a metal latches, a clear handle, and a built-in speaker. It sounded soooo good. The melody, the words, and the harmonies… I loved them. I loved this song but I don’t think I loved the Beatles. I loved the Monkees! This was my friend Johnny’s record. We were both HUGE Monkees fans. Back then it was already a syndicated show but we didn’t know or care that it was passe. Johnny and I perused his parents’ record collection to listen to more music, in particular Jesus Christ Superstar.

I had two record players. One was jungle themed and colored in dark jewel tones and tans. The other was Mickey Mouse and when you opened it up Mickey’s head and upper body was on the inside of the record player cover and Mickey’s arm folded down with the needle under his pointing white hand. ( As an adult I have seen this record player more then once in several various antique malls. ) I used to go to the library and check out records. I was 6 maybe. There was soo much to choose from. The vinyl was always kind of scratched. I remember crying at this song about a whale named “Whichy”, the end was sad for some reason. I was angry that I had gotten a sad record, but I liked it too.

Mom gave me a Monkees Greatest Hits record, purchased from some department store. Still have that. Johnny and I loved the more obscure Monkees songs that were on the records at his parent’s house. We’d already heard the hits a hundred times on tv, like the “Monkees Theme” and “Daydream Believer“. Also Mom had given me a Christmas Greatest Hits record with “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” and “Rockin Around The Chrstmas Tree.” I loved that song. I had no cool records. My parents didn’t like rock music.

We went to Disney World when I was a kid and I really wanted this cartoon covered record, it had Brare Rabbit on it and maybe a bunch of Uncle Tom’s Cabin cartoons, and my parents were pretty blatantly opposed to getting me this record. They were both easily annoyed by some music so maybe they thought this record would be annoying to them. But they did get me the “It’s A Small World” record, and I DID really like it. I still have it and I play it for my daughter Valentine.

My parents did have a few records. Some classical collections and a boring Joan Baez record. There was some weird record with naked ladies on it. It was all about the sounds of the red light district in Hamburg, Germany. I never listened to it as a kid out of fear of getting caught. But I kept up with it over the years and when I finally re-found it it was not what I expected. There was just this nerdy guy speaking into a recorder as he walked down the street and was claiming that these were the sounds of the red light district. It was boring. What a ruse.

We had one interesting record that my dad always called his father’s record. It was about an 8 ” size and it was very thick and heavy in a discolored thin and plain paper sleeve. My Granddad played the ukelele and sang with a friend in harmony. It was an old hit of his day about packin’ up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile smile smile. It had come from a record making machine, and had been cut as they performed the song into a mic. Pretty cool.

-Alicja Trout

Alicja Trout lives in Memphis and plays in several musical ensembles like River City Tanlines, MouseRocket, and Black Sunday. She ran a record label/mail-order store called Contaminated Records from 1999-2007. Today she is a mom, guitar teacher, and property manager. She likes sushi, long walks on the beach and confesses to being somewhat of a pack-rat, especially with many formats of audio recordings.

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5 Rules to Compiling a Killer Soundtrack

Staff Writer Dulani Wallace gives us 5 Rules to get us started on our own Oscar-winning soundtrack. Dulani did his time in the film industry — six years, three of which were spent producing and selecting music for a short film called How My Dad Killed Dracula.

Music supervision has come a long way since the days of silent film when pre-selected pieces were plugged into scenes to cover up the shutter clapping of a projector. In the light of the Oscar ceremonies this past weekend, big ups to pupils of the post-Tarantino age who continue to blaze new trails in the way songs are chosen for film and television, especially to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for winning Best Original Score. I can thank all of them for contributing to my diverse catalog of songs that are associated with some of my generation’s most memorable movie scenes. If you had the musical giddiness of TVD’s own Jon Sidel and had the opportunity to pick songs for a project (motion picture or ad), here are five things to consider:

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The Sound of Memphis: Fareveller Festival Trailer

Live Music for You and Yours.

Memphis, Tennessee.
March 24-27.

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NOPD and Dept. of Finance Shut Down Costume Bazaar

A twenty-year-old tradition was interrupted yesterday at the Blue Nile when the annual NOLA Designer Costume Bazaar was closed at 2 PM. The bartender on duty was ticketed for selling retail merchandise without a permit and the owner of the nightclub on Frenchmen Street was issued a summons. Individual vendors, none of who operate retail shops, were asked to show identification.

While it is common knowledge that the city of New Orleans has been having a difficult time collecting sales tax, it seems heavy-handed to go after a tight knit group of local crafters, costume designers and milliners.

Revelers looking for unique items to enhance their Carnival costumes eagerly anticipate the costume bazaar. It appears that this year’s Mardi Gras celebration will be a little less bright.

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TVD Recommends: Mittenfields at
Galaxy Hut

“. . . There have been plenty of times I have heard bands talked up around town, full of promise with stars in their eyes, and then gone to see them only to be massively underwhelmed. The buzz around Mittenfields was almost deafening only one show in, and it became difficult to separate what was the real word on the street and what was being generated by those close to the group.

I happened to see their second show and was officially stunned. They were an intriguing mix of a myriad of influences that was quickly approaching something unique. I made sure to see them every chance that I could and then – as suddenly as they appeared on the scene – they were gone.” —John Foster, BYT

. . . but they’re not gone. In fact, Mittenfields (with new line up in tow) return this evening for a show benefitting We Are Family DC at the ever lovely Galaxy Hut.

The ever lovely you should be there. With us.

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