Monthly Archives: April 2011

TVD Recommends: Sweetlife Festival
(Part I)

Over here at TVD, Clark NewmanJenn Bress and I can’t wait for Sweetlife Festival this Sunday! The festival returns this year with a fierce lineup including headliners The Strokes, and over the next two days, TVD will be giving you a little preview of what you’ll be seeing at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Set times were just announced this morning and are listed below. Need a ticket? There are still some available at Ticketfly.

Ra Ra Riot 3:00 – 3:30

Sweet indie rockers Ra Ra Riot released their latest album The Orchard in the US last year, and it is being released in the UK on May 16th. In support of the album, they are kicking off a European tour in London right after their stint at Sweetlife, and this summer they are also set to play the Ottawa Bluesfest in Canada and the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. Sweetlife is your last chance to catch them stateside for a while!

Reminisce for a moment with me [Olivia] as I listen to “Can You Tell” from their 2008 album The Rhumb Line. “My bed’s too big for just me” gets me thinking about boys from the past every time.

Theophilus London 2:15 – 2:45

I [Clark] am really excited about Theophilus London, a rappingman whose style is versatile, authentic and original. Check out the video for “Century Girl,” largely filmed on VHS. Theophilus London hails from Brooklyn and just screams Brooklyn. Look for him to go on at 2:15 for a 30 minute set as a fresh detour from guitar rock.

Walk the Moon 1:40 – 2:00

Walk the Moon is an indie pop rock outfit from Cincinatti, OH consisting of lead singer Nicholas Petricca, bassist Kevin Ray, guitarist Eli Maiman and drummer Sean Waugaman. They have a bright positive sound with strong pipes from the lead man. Their most recent album i want! i want! was released in November 2010. 

U.S. Royalty 1:15 – 1:35

Local heroes (we always call them that because it’s true) U.S. Royalty return for their second Sweetlife Festival, and it’s a far cry from rocking a Dupont Circle parking lot a year ago. TVD went on a First Date with the boys yesterday, which they kindly made time for while they are gearing up for their tour with Third Eye Blind, which kicks off tomorrow in New Hampshire. USR’s debut album MIRRORS was just released in January, and “Monte Carlo” from the album has been called “the best unrecorded Fleetwood Mac song I’ve ever heard.”

Confession: I [Olivia] have a twee-like crush on all of them, and I wish their set was longer.

Modern Man 12:50 – 1:10

Modern Man is a new band out of Washington, DC who describe themselves as “Analog Rock,” a claim supported by their raw rock sound. They’re working on their first EP, set to be released in April, which it is, so where is it? Modern Man is the first set of the day at 12:50, check it out!

From their Bandcamp: We’re going to be releasing a proper EP in April 2011. In the mean time, here are a few rough tracks to tide you over.

We’re impatiently counting down the days till Sweetlife! Check in with us tomorrow for a peek at the other bands who will be playing: The Strokes, Girl Talk, Lupe Fiasco, Crystal Castles, and Cold War Kids!

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

What’s In Store: Heavy Metal Fleet Foxes Get Fucked Up


Listen up, fans of Fleet Foxes, if you’ve been waiting for the release of Helplessness Blues, the second album due out May 3 on Subpop, you’ll be able to find it at Crooked Beat. The double-LP comes with a fold-out poster and the vinyl has a download code for a high quality mp3 version of the album. Oh, and did I mention it’s on deliciously creamy white vinyl? You can order it online or give the store a call to find out if when it’s in stock. (202) 483-2328


If you’ve got a feeling you’re summer’s going to be pretty metal, it’s time to fill some holes in it’s soundtrack. Neal, the owner of SOM Records on 14th St. NW will be returning from Florida with a bunch of heavy metal LP’s including:

Iron Maiden Sanctuary 12″ with the banned Margaret Thatcher cover

V/A – The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years


Josh from Red Onion is returning for Southern VA with some funky finds including a bunch of High School Band LPs where they do funky covers of songs from the 70s and some great new titles arecoming in next week including the new Oh Sees!! AND, they’ve got the Buy Early Get Now version of the new Fucked Up album.

Here are some details:

  • Instant download of 5 non-album songs plus the pre-album digital singles as MP3s on April 26.
  • A full 192k album stream and hi-quality album download in 4 parts over 4 days from May 10-13.
  • The CD or 2xLP and exclusive poster mailed to your house via Matastore or available to pick up on June 7.
  • Download of Record Store Day Exclusive David’s Town comp on June 7.
  • 4 bonus 7″es of 7 extra non-album songs available to pick up on June 28.
Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

TVD Live: Young Prisms/Crocodiles/
The Fresh and Onlys at
The Red Palace, 4/25

I almost missed this show. Not sure if I was up for another night out, after a weekend of little sleep, I could have easily curled up on the couch and watched some X-Files (yes, I’m a nerd.) Reason number two that I am a nerd—this was my first time at the newly combined Red Palace, which has quickly become one of my new favorite places to see a show because it is intimate, comfortable and has great sound.

I arrived in the middle of Young Prisms’ set. Dreamy, neo-shoegaze from San Francisco, Young Prisms do not have a sunny stage presence. Matt Allen and Jason Hendardy’s swooning guitars pay obvious homage to My Bloody Valentine, while Stefanie’s vocals Slowdive into a misty Icelandic lagoon with vapors that rise into clouds over the crowd.

She is rather listless, hiding behind hipster bangs and an over-sized jean jacket. She swayed to the blissful mist of sound coming from her own lips like she was confused that she was singing at all. There was something kind of awkward about her that left me a bit disenchanted by the performance. I have not had a chance to give their full length LP Friends for Now (2011) a proper listen, but the MP3’s I have streamed are all lovely and worth exploring, but I don’t think I’d go see them again.

The Crocodiles should headline every show they play. They know how to rock the fuck out and guitarist, Charles Rowell, likes to show off. Yet another band from California, Crocodiles steal the darker shades of the California sun to flame the Spacemen 3/Jesus and Mary Chain meets Monks/Cramps noise-pop they have perfected.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

Austin Psych Fest 4

In a town full of festivals year round, this is easily one of the coolest.

Presented by Austin’s own The Black Angels, the Austin Psych Fest has gone from being a one day affair with 10 bands back in 2008 to now being a 3 day event featuring 58 bands from all over the world at the Seaholm Power Plant (214 West Ave) this weekend April 29th to May 1st.

A few standouts for this year’s fest include not only the hosts, but also Roky Erickson, Prefuse 73, This Will Destroy You, Spectrum, A Place To Bury Strangers, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, and Black Moth Super Rainbow.

One day passes are $40 or you can get in for the whole weekend for $100. You can purchase tickets at the Austin Psych Fest site.

Schedule after the jump:

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Introducing… The Partizan Elektra

The Partizan Elektra are a four piece hailing from the Black Country & the North of England. Their sound has evolved from a fusion of influences from the likes of The Stone Roses, Brian Jonestown Massacre, T-Rex & countless others.

We slung the boys some questions about life, music and more…

Where did the name Partizan Elektra come from?

There’s no great meaning or mystical story surrounding the name to be honest. We liked the word partizan & what it stands for; resistance group or devotee to a cause, which is what it feels like making music in these times. The word Elektra is a bit of a tribute to the great American record label & it looked aesthetically right. The most important thing about a band name is that you define the words with your music & not the other way round.

How did you guys get together?

Shaun, Rich & I were in a band previously to this, we went to University with Tom a few years ago & when the lead guitarist spot became available he was our first & only choice. We’ve known each other years & are firm friends, which really helps as it gives the music that extra sense of meaning & truth. A lot of our favourite bands are proper gangs & if you’re lucky enough to have that then it can only be a blessing.

I see you are from Wolverhampton, what’s the music scene like there at the moment?

Non existent unfortunately & it’s been like that for as long as I can remember. What sums it up is that Slade are probably still the best band to come out of this City. Tom isn’t actually from here, he’s from a town in Cheshire called Congleton, and the music scene is livelier there. It’s a real shame but it’s something we’d like to have a go at changing, though it won’t be easy.

How much has this area influenced the sound of your music?

Musically not a great deal, as I say there’s nothing really to take inspiration from round here on a musical level. Lyrically it’s completely influenced by these parts; most of the time I’m writing about my life & living here you can’t help but write about what you see & how you see it. Wolverhampton isn’t the most glamorous place in the world but I am proud to be from here, it’s down to earth, genuine & Steve Bull comes from here so what more could you want…

You launched your EP back in March, what is the story behind that and do you have any plans for more recording/releases?

We’re looking to record again in the next few months, we wouldn’t really call this first recording an EP, it’s very much a demo. It’s more of a footprint in the snow than anything else. We’re not quite the band we could be as yet but the rate of progression is rapid & I’m sure that over the next few months we can fulfil our own expectations & become the group we know we can & should be.

Never Hope To Reach

You seem by your band literature that you are pretty pissed off at the current radio/music scene. Are you positive about the future of music and how do you intend to navigate through this malaise?

The band literature is just taking the piss really, we ain’t got no axes to grind with anyone. The thing with the whole 80’s electro / math rock genre is it just don’t speak to me at all, looking at it from outside it seems quite a superficial movement, all based on style with no real substance. It’s Topman rock for clones who will probably grow out of it when the trend changes. I can remember Oasis changing my life & I just don’t see that with this 80’s revival, the 80’s were shit in the 80’s, so how & why it’s made a comeback is beyond me. It is very difficult to get anywhere in music at the moment, we all know how bad things are but the only thing you can do is stay true to yourself & make the best music you possibly can, like minded souls will always find you, you have to remain positive. Just to add to that the only UK band over the last few years to really excite me are Exit Calm, we’ve had the privilege to play with them on many occasions over the years & will hopefully be sharing a stage with them again later in the year. The point is good bands are around you just have to scratch below the surface to find them.

Name four bands you just can’t live without?

Very hard question & this would change on a daily basis. The Beatles were & are the best band that ever lived so we’re excluding them to be fair to everyone else. We have been diplomatic & had one each…

Shaun – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Tom – The Rolling Stones
Tim – The Stone Roses
Rich – The Beta Band

What about live where can people get to see you?

We’ve got something really good in the pipeline that we can’t announce as yet. It’s not that easy to pick up good gigs at the moment, a lot of promoters expect unrealistic guarantees which makes things difficult. The only thing we’ve got 100% confirmed at present is a Scooter weekender in Tom’s home town, Congleton on 18th of June; it’s like a mini festival with a few other groups so that should be good. There will be more to follow over the summer.

Last question; is there any DJ currently alive or dead who you’d like to champion The Partizan Elektra? Now’s the time to name names!

BBC 6 Music has some good shows going on, Radcliffe & Maconie are very good. Maybe someone like Andy Weatherall as well. The options ain’t endless unfortunately. But there’s really only one, the late great John Peel, music really misses his individuality.

The Partizan Elektra are:
Shaun Owen – Bass
Rich Jewell – Drums
Tom Williamson – Guitars / Vocals
Tim Baker – Vocals / Guitars

Web / Facebook / Twitter

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

A Sweet Thursday For Portland Music Fans

Is everyone still working for the weekend? Does that still happen? If so, you people are seriously missing out on some amazing stuff going on during the days that don’t start with “S”.

For starters, if you saunter down to the downtown Everyday Music today at 3pm, you’ll be treated to a free in-store performance (acoustic, I do believe) by Merrill Garbus, the young polymath musician who records under the hard to type name of tUnE-yArDs. Ms. Garbus is on tour right now in support of her second full-length, the also hard to type w h o k i l l. She’ll be playing tonight at the Doug Fir Lounge (with some fantastic opening acts, Buke & Gass, and White Hinterland), a 21+ venue, so all you underagers will get your shot at seeing her in person.

Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages are welcome at the Hollywood Theatre tonight where the peerless record label Sublime Frequencies and local record shop Exiled Records are hosting a screening of two incredible documentaries about music from far-flung parts of the globe. One, The World Is Unreal Like A Snake In A Rope, is a gorgeous collage of sights and sounds from Tamil Nadu region of India; the other, Land of The Songhai, as the description says “explores the music and landscape of Songhai country in Western Niger.”

The directors of the films, Robert Millis and Hisham Mayet (the latter being one of the founders of Sublime Frequencies), will be in attendance to answer questions about their work. And hopefully the label will have some of their amazing limited-edition LP compilations there for sale as well.

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The TVD Preview Week: The First Annual Power Pop-A-Licious Festival with Kurt Baker!

We’re heading up to New Jersey this weekend for the very first Power Pop-A-Licious Music Festival and we’re chatting up a few of the bands whose songs’ll be stuck in our heads for the next month or so! Next up – Portland, Maine’s Kurt Baker!

When it comes to listening to music (and I do it very often), it’s always been vinyl for me. Even as a young child, in the hay day of the compact disc, I was listening to records on my parents beat up record player and my school friends just couldn’t understand how I would spend every afternoon cooped up in my house with my headphones on, plugged into the receiver. I’ve always been a bit behind the times with technology, but with vinyl, it was no problem!

Growing up in Portland, Maine, I was fortunate enough to live down the street from a record shop that is still in business to this day. In the early 90’s I would go in to the shop with my father and buy up all the Beatles records that I could. I’ll never forget the smell of old record shops—it’s the greatest smell in the entire world. In those dusty stacks that take up the entire space of each store there is so much to discover. To think that spending 2 dollars on a 12 inch piece of wax could literally change your entire life as soon as it comes in contact with a needle was an intoxicating idea to me as a young kid. Tapes, Mp3’s, compact discs. . . nothing compares. To this day I feel that listening to music on vinyl is the most organic and real way to take in the vibrations, rhythms and melodies that are all encompassed into your favorite bands sonic catalog.

Kurt Baker | Why You Gotta Lie

The Beatles were always a huge super influence on me, and since they were the first records I ever owned, they were the basis of everything I liked about a good song, a catchy hook, a great beat, and soaring melodies coupled with cleaver lyrics.. and from the Beatles I branched out to Beach Boys, The Turtles, the Monkees and more. When I was growing up, I really couldn’t give a shit was on the radio… I never got into Nirvana, or any of that grunge crap that was popular at the time. (I still hate it today). All I wanted to listen to was old stuff from the 60’s. It all sounded kinda like the Beatles and that’s all that mattered to me, PLUS the vinyl records were about half the price of a compact disc back then too, and I couldn’t complain about that! If I was in the car, I would immediately put on the oldies station. I just couldn’t and still can’t get enough of old pop music from the 60’s and 70’s.

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Smashing Pumpkins Announce Remastered Back Catalog Reissues

A major announcement from The Smashing Pumpkins this week- beginning this Fall, the bands stellar back catalog will be remastered, expanded, and reissued. Working chronologically through the catalog, the first batch of re-releases will include their 1991 debut full-length Gish, the critically acclaimed follow-up Siamese Dream, as well as their 1994 collection of b-sides and rarities, Pisces Iscariot.

Following in early 2012 we’ll see the the remastered Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Adore, and The Aeroplane Flies High. Completing the reissue series in 2013 will be a combined release of Machina/The Machines of God and Machina II: The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music, potentially completely re-mixed. A new album, titled Oceania was also announced, an album-in-an-album of sorts, as it is being considered part of the bands ongoing Teargarden By Kaliedyscope series.

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan hints that extra content to be included will include unheard b-sides, recordings of early practices, and live material. Making this announcement extra sweet is news that all of the reissues will be available on vinyl!

Posted in TVD Chicago | 1 Comment

Show of the Week: Colour Revolt @ The Hi-Tone 04/29/11

Alright, this one’s easy for me. Tomorrow night the 29th, Oxford Mississippi’s Colour Revolt will tear the Hi-Tone apart.

This band has been one of my personal favorites since around 2005. Jesse Coppenbarger’s lyrics and melodies blow my mind and dynamically, the band is utterly incredible. Their new record The Cradle was produced by local Hank Sullivant (The Whigs, Kuroma) and came out this past August. Oh, and it’s badass.

Local math rock (and play shows-every-now-and-again) band Arma Secreta will open. I haven’t seen them in a few years, but I’m guessing their show is still pretty awesome.

This show will be an “after show” for the first night of MusicFest, so it won’t start til 11. $10/18+

Seriously, go to this show and take all the punches to the gut via soundwaves.

P.S. ~ Coppenbarger’s solo project El Obo will release it’s first debut record May 10th…..and it’s great, too.

Tickets / Colour Revolt Site / Arma Secreta

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A favorite nugget from Seattle Record Store Day 2011

I just came across this Record Store Day 2011 gem and love it! A perfect combination of some of my favorite things – The Head and the Heart, Easy Street Records, Sonic Boom Records, KEXP and Record Store Day. I think my favorite part of the video is at 4:12 where a little girl is singing along with her eyes closed, so cute I could die! Enjoy.

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TVD Recommends: Two Headed Dog

I know there’s a lot going on. Jazz Fest starts tomorrow and the music scene is already at a fever pitch. However, I strongly suggest that you head over to the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse at 5110 Danneel Street, just off Jefferson Avenue uptown for 7 PM.

The Songdogs were one of the greatest bands from New Orleans that never made it to the big time. That may sound harsh, but if you were privy to their music in the 1980s, then you know that the world missed out a fantastic band that wrote compelling music and performed at the highest level.

This evening, two of the principal players, the vocalist Alison Young and the keyboardist/vocalist Lisa Mednick, are playing together and they plan on debuting new original songs. Neither musician lives in New Orleans anymore, so it should be a reunion of sorts for fans of the Songdogs.

Incidentally, there’s no You Tube videos or images whatsoever on the Internet. Go figure!


Posted in TVD New Orleans | Leave a comment

TVD Live: The
Crystal Stilts at
The Black Cat, 4/22

Crystal Stilts blow my freaking mind each time I see them. This being third time I’ve seen them at the Black Cat, I wondered how they could top their last performance at the Slumberland Records Anniversary.

It might be because I am a superfan, but Crystal Stilts have proven to me that they are the kind of band that like a fine wine and an even finer woman, keeps improving with age. Their pulsing stage quality continues to crystallize with each performance, and aside from being drunk before they took to the stage, I was, as their most current album suggests, In Love with Oblivion.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

Stroll On Records releases Acid Glasses

Stroll On Records today announced that the debut release from Acid Glasses will be issued on 15th May 2011. This two track digital only single features Polnara Setera and Sloppy Surfin’.

Have a listen to the ‘Stoner Pop Anthem’ Polnara Setera below and make sure you go cop the release!

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

Steve Earle In-Store At Waterloo

If you are a big Steve Earle fan like I am, they you will be happy to know that you get the chance to see him up close and personal (and get an autograph) when he does an in store at Waterloo Records next Wednesday (May 4) from 5:00-6:30.

His new album, I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive (New West) was released yesterday to rave reviews. Also, May 12th will be the release date for Steve Earle’s first novel using the same title as his album. I’m assuming that Waterloo will have advanced copies for him to sign. So get there early, enjoy free beer, free music and a chance to meet Steve Earle!

He’ll also be heading back into town on July 7th for a show at the Paramount.

Posted in TVD Austin | Leave a comment

Dave Hause, Mikey Erg, and Ian Graham WANT YOU!

It Doesn’t Get More Bad-Ass Than This: Dave Hause

When rock and roll first dawned on me, it was through the mainstream. No, I was not lucky enough to have a cool older sibling that let me listen to their bangin’ awesome record collection, nor were my parents collectors of music outside of say, the Time Life Series.

While I was still in the single digits of age, I got the impression that rock stars were inaccessible celebrity gods high above the rest of us in some ethereal rock stratosphere where they basked in the love of their millions of fans and had their every whim fulfilled.

Who Needs Mainstream When You’ve Got Counter Culture?: Mikey Erg Of The Ergs

Golly, was I ever wrong! Eventually I figured out that while celebrity rock stars who rule mainstream airwaves did exist in a world apart from ours, it wasn’t really that great. They were actually not very free people at all, very unhappy in many cases directly due to the isolation their fame created, paradoxically alone despite their visage being emblazoned on hearts and minds everywhere.

Additionally, I also figured out that these artists, for the most part, were not people that I could relate to musically or otherwise, and I quickly became disenchanted with the whole concept of mainstream music, abandoning that showboat for a reliable seaworthy vessel known as indie rock.

Cheap Girls, With Ian Graham, Center

And thank Heavens to Betsy that I did, boy. Welcome to the world of going to a show only to find yourself standing next to the players in the band who, tired of the confines of their stuffy dressing rooms, spend time before or after a performance by hanging out in the venue in the same room you are.

And when you finally muster up the courage to buy them a beer or gush about how you listened to their record until it wore out and you had to buy a new one, the bands who are nice enough to spend a few minutes making music nerd conversation or even, gasp, having a beer with you, will always be my favorite.

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