Monthly Archives: May 2011

TVD’s DC Record Fair Preview & DJ Showcase: The Metaphysical

This Saturday (6/4) is the DC Record Fair! Brought to you by Som RecordsDC Soul Recordings, and The Vinyl District, almost thirty dealers will be taking over the space at vitaminwater® uncapped LIVE near the U Street Corridor, presented by Brightest Young Things, Art Whino, and G40.

As always, we’ll have vendors from up and down the East Coast augmented by our ever-revolving Guest DJs, plus food, drinks, and everything you’ve become accustomed to.

The Washington, DC Record Fair
Saturday, June 4, 2011
vitaminwater® uncapped LIVE
2217 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

11-Noon early bird $5 admission
12-5PM $2 admission

All week, the DC Record Fair DJs will be talking up some music and some vinyl to get you ready for the DC Record Fair. We’re so, so ready… First up, our charismatic Spinning the Truth columnist and local DJ extraordinaire, The Metaphysical.

Photo Credit: Lauren Jaslow, Snarky Studios

In 2002, two Breakcore artists went on tour, Venetian Snares and Hecate. During this time, they recorded their sexual escapades, including penetrating each other with microphones. The two of them dissected the recording, rearranging, manipulation into drums, and synthesis, and released this record under the name Nymphomatriarch.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Arctic Monkeys’ Suck It and See Ultimate Prize Pack

British indie rock darlings Arctic Monkeys release their fourth album Suck It and See in exactly one week’s time, on June 7th, and we’re bringing you uberfans a fabulous prize pack that includes… Drum roll…

  • the new Suck It and See LP
  • Suck It and See CD
  • UK Record Store Day Exclusive “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” 7″ Single
  • US “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” 7” Single
  • limited, hand numbered, letterpress Arctic Monkeys poster
  • 3”x3” iron-on patch

Ooh what a nice way to start off a short week and kick off a whole summer of giveaways.

The UK RSD 7″ (import! white label!) “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” is a warning. Just don’t do it, right?

Break a mirror
Role the dice
Run with scissors through a chip pan firefight
Go into business with a grizzly bear
But just don’t sit down ’cause I’ve moved your chair

To win the vinyls and the poster, tell us in the comments below, your favorite warning song.

Aha! A little tricky, huh? You must be worthy to deserve such a fantastic prize pack.

I’m calling “Stop Me If Think You’ve Heard This One Before,” including the original by The Smiths, the Mark Ronson remix, and the Oakenfold remix of the Mark Ronson remix. En garde!

The winner will be chosen on release day, Tuesday, June 7th, and must have a mailing address in the continental US or Canada.

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 18 Comments

TVD Live: Javelin, Big Freedia, 5/24 at DC9

Tuesday night DC9 felt different. The people there were different. I’ve seen The XX there, The French Kicks, various local bands among others, but most of those are of the “indie” rock variety (though is anything “indie” anymore?) There was an obvious divide in those that filled the room, those who were there for the Javelin duo, and those there for The Queen Diva her(him)self, Big Freedia.

With Tom on the keys and warbling into a muffled mike and George destroying his drum pad, these two were there to be heard. Their love for what they do was obvious and sincere, there wasn’t any snarky banter, just two dudes there trying to get us to shake our asses. They borrow from all genres, and incorporate as much as possible, my favorite being the electrified kazoo.

Their energy began and ended with the same enthusiasm. As they took us from their early synth-heavy noise pop, to their western inspired recent release and a few unreleased songs as well, all infused with bits of R & B. It’s music made for the most hyper of the ADD kids, or maybe just the kids popping Adderall, just because they can. We all hopped on at ‘C-Town’ and didn’t notice the songs change, they didn’t stop, it all became one cluster of dance singles, though ‘Radio’ and ‘Soda Popinski’ were among the crowd’s favorites.

I couldn’t keep track and they didn’t have a set list, so I asked Tom to write down what he could remember, they played a whopping thirteen songs in under an hour. To hear Javelin is to dance to Javelin, though reluctant DC can be, they eventually got on board and were ready to do it some more when Big Freedia took the stage.

Big Freedia is the embodiment of Sissy Bounce. Bounce is a sub-genre of Hip Hop based largely in New Orleans, it’s characterized by the high energy and fast tempo, but also the very specific type of dancing. It’s largely participatory, and those participating are quite literally bouncing all the way to the floor. Sissy Bounce is a sub-genre of bounce performed by transvestites, Big Freedia’s real name is Freddie Ross.

Bouncing is similar to Daggering, both largely simulate sex, but where Daggering is predominantly straight men taking a dominant role and women playing submissive, Bounce disregards all of that. And Sissy Bounce goes a step further, there are no gender roles, there’s no segregation, and there certainly wasn’t Tuesday night. What could certainly be seen as vulgar out of context was irrelevant because, gay, straight, black and white, the crowd was as diverse as they come and everyone was there to shake their ass, together.

Big Freedia walked out onto the stage announcing, “It’s a Tuesday, but we’re gonna make it into a Saturday night,” and they did. Accompanying her on stage was her dancer Altercation and DJ Rusty Lazer. The stage quickly filled with more from the audience, all ready to bounce. She opened with the call and response, ‘Gin in My System.’ The crowd was into it.

For the popular ‘Azz Everywhere’ she had four volunteers, two girls and two boys, compete for a free copy of the latest album. The first couple were dismissed with boos, while the second was egged on and declared the obvious winners.The set closed with a dedication to the late Magnolia Shorty, to which the crowd uproariously applauded, and danced in her memory. “I’m Big Freedia, Queen Diva!”

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Get Schooled with Nightschool, this Monday in Asbury Park!

Yeah, the one thing that me and Axl do have in common is that I get up around 7/ Get out of bed around 9. And while I do love living the dream, I must confess there is a part of me that is being neglected. I’m willing to bet that your intellectual side could use a little stimulation. That’s exactly why you should join me for class this Monday night. Yeah, school, Nightschool to be precise, is back in session, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Nightschool has a fine administration, including Head Mistress Katie Farhat, co-conspirators Billy T., Jo-Jo, DJ Steven, Dusk Till Donnie, the dashing Craig Stewart and bartender extraordinare JoJo, this evening runs the 1st Monday of every month.

The curriculum is designed to keep your booty shakin, something us rock kids forget when we’re busy trying to look like we’re not enjoying the band while we are enjoying the band—i.e. minimal movement, usually limited to the slight bobbing of one’s head and, if you’re feeling especially moved, a few fingers keeping time with the snare drum against one’s skinny jeans pant leg.

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End Of An Ear New Releases and Events

It’s a big week down at End of and Ear with today’s new releases and Chaos in Tejas starting on Thursday. There are still plenty of tickets still available for a number of these shows down at the ‘Ear. Also on tap, End of an Ear will be hosting a few instores this weekend to coincide with Chaos in Tejas:

Sat, June 4th

3pm Air Traffic Controllers

4pm Unholy Two

5pm Milk Music

Sun June 5th @3pm – Manikin

And here’s a rundown for their latest new arrivals. Not mentioned but also available is the new My Morning Jacket album, Circuital, which drops today.

Pop / Rock

Battles “Ice Cream” 12″ (Ninja Tune) Limited 12” features the first single, ”Ice Cream” from Battles’ forthcoming album Gloss Drop (out June 7th).
Bazan, David “Strange Negotiations” CD (Barsuk) His latest with a full band.
Cave In “White Silence” CD/LP (Hydra Head) Their first full length in more than half a decade.
Foster the People “Torches” CD (Columbia) Debut release. Comes with a free EP.
Friendly Fires “Pala” CD (XL) Their latest kinetic art funk. 10 tracks and on sale for $5.99.
Kids on a Crime Spree “We Love You So Bad” CD/12″ (Slumberland) Debut from new SF pop group.
Lady Gaga “Born this Way” 2CD/CD (Interscope) Her latest. Special edition contains bonus disc of remixes.
Moore, Thurston “Demolished Thoughts” CD/LP (Matador) Third solo album from Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore was produced by Beck and features Mary Lattimore on harp, Samara Lubielski on violin, and Beck on various instruments. Limited blue vinyl.
Pollard, Robert “Lord of the Birdcage” CD (GBV Inc) On this new album Pollard reverses his songwriting process, transforming a dozen previously written poems into songs.
Sleep Over “Casual Diamond” 7″
V/A “Delta Swamp Rock” CD + BOOK (Soul Jazz) Subtitled: Sounds from the South: At the Crossroads of Rock, Country and Soul. “Soul Jazz Records’ Delta Swamp Rock is a definitive guide to the music of the southern states of USA created between 1968-1975 where country, rock and soul met.


Cola Freaks “s/t” LP (Douchemaster) Eleven tracks of quick, clean and nervous new wave / punk rock from Denmark.
Energy, The “Get Split” LP (Team) Killed by Death -ish, heavy psych mix out of Houston.
Eskorbuto “Eskizofrenia” CD (Munster) Reissue of debut 1985 LP. Spanish punk at it’s finest.
Golden Staph “s/t” LP (RIP Society) Female fronted Aussie 5 piece that draws from the history of punk rock and post-punk, without being a homage to anyone in particular. Echoes of the Avengers and the Wipers.
Reatards “Teenage Hate / Fuck Elvis” CD (Goner Records) Deluxe reissue of Jay Reatard’s first full-length LP, with a bonus album of early tracks recorded on four-track and only released on cassettes.

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TVD Package Deal: Laura Stevenson and the Cans at Black Cat, 5/26

Confession; I have been building a mental dream team of female indie vocalists. Laura Stevenson, congratulations, you have a solid spot. This group consisted (prior to Thursday’s performance) of indie-folk badasses Sarah Jaffe and Sharon Van Etten. Their voices penetrate and galvanize, enlivening and depressing us with clever lyrics, dark humor, and indelible sound. My supergroup is filling up, and I would be so pleased to hear it, one day… A girl can dream.

“This one’s depressing,” Laura utters as Laura Stevenson and the Cans began playing a cutesy pop intro; folks unfamiliar with “The Healthy One” swayed and bobbed their heads in anticipation of a love song but received something akin to “Ring Around the Rosie.”

“Oh deary, your mother’s got a fever / And clearly your daddy’s gonna leave her / That leaves you with your little sisters, oh / And you know they didn’t mean to cut you / Just had to see if your blood was sick, too / And it’s clear with all the critters weakening your sisters / And your system’s running quick and not as sickly as you think / And you will live long / You will bury them all in the ground / And your body will grow / And you’ll bury them all.”

The Cans are a rippling lake from which Laura Stevenson explodes, breaking through the surface, belting out graced notes with ease just to softly sink back down. They were fluid and strong, moving perfectly together—imagine synchronized swimming—never once drowning each other out. The term “chemistry” has been shamelessly worn-out in reviews, but here it applies; LS&C sounded polished, they exchanged knowing glances and looked like a real fucking band. I would be confident in taking an exit poll for any shows they perform live.

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Eagle Rock Gets a New Record Store, Chicago Style

Permanent Records has been an institution in Chicago for several years. Owners Lance Barresi and Liz Tooley recently relocated to California to set up a new location in Eagle Rock. The shop will be open for business starting June 1st, with a grand opening party taking place June 4th. Festivities will include live performances from The Cosmonauts and Francis Harold and the Holograms.

We spoke with Lance and Liz about the history of Permanent Records, their limited edition vinyl-only record label, and their motivation for moving to California.

TVD: What brings you to L.A.?

Lance: Liz and I have run Permanent Records in Chicago for about five years. We just wanted to get out of that climate and come west. We looked last time we visited and found Eagle Rock, which we loved as a neighborhood. The space kind of presented itself. So we’re starting Permanent Number Two June first.

TVD: Is someone else going to stay and run the Chicago store?

Lance: Yeah, we have a whole staff in place. We have a web store, and all of our mail order is done from the Chicago location for now. There’s a manager and four employees keeping that store rocking. I’ll be doing a lot of the buying from afar. Both locations will sell similar new products, whereas the used stock will be determined by geographical factors.

We stock mostly vinyl, but we carry CDs as well. A lot of rare things; lots of obscure, hard to find limited releases. We carry a few DVDs and cassette tapes, and a fair amount of magazines and DIY zines.

Aside from the stuff we sell, we’ll be hosting weekly in store performances by local and touring bands. The grand opening party June 4th will have The Cosmonauts, a local band that we’ve dealt with before. We put their debut EP out on our label. So they’re playing along with an L.A. based weird punk band called Francis Harold and the Holograms. Britt and Manda from Not Not Fun are going to be joining in some way. Manda wants to spin records, so she’ll probably be DJing for it. We’re still talking to a few other bands. So it should be an all day affair with freebies, giveaways, and all sorts of festivities. There will potentially be food, snacks, and free beer to those with proper identification.

TVD: What made you want to expand, in this economy where many stores are shutting down?

Lance: Our Chicago store has done well for the past five years, and it always gets better and better. Honestly, the expansion is just as much about the store doing well and Eagle Rock needing a good record store as it is about our desire to live in a nicer climate. We wanted to move here anyway, and this is what we do, so we figured, “why not just do it here?”

We were thinking about running the shop from afar and working from home. Then we stumbled across this storefront and a killer landlord who has been nothing but amazing for us. He’s got a wood shop a few doors down, so we’ve been able to go back and forth. It’s an ideal situation that fell into place, as opposed to us being astute business people. We have this feeling the store will do well here, and we found this space, so we’re gonna give it a whirl. The Chicago store will be able to pick up the slack for awhile, and we’ve already got some really good feedback from people here.

Liz: We love records, and getting to work with records is enough for us. Having live music in-stores combines two of our favorite things. We’re not high rollers, but we’re really happy with where our life is. The rent’s affordable and it’s a wonderful neighborhood. Since we’ve been here, we wake up smiling every single day.

TVD: Tell me about the record label.

Lance: We started in 2007 with an LP by our friend’s band Warhammer 48K. Those guys broke up immediately after we put the record out, which did not help sales at all. But we didn’t start a label to make money either. The guys from Warhammer went on to different things, one of them being Cave, a repetitive psychedelic rock band based out of Chicago. We put out their first record and their first split 10”. They moved on to Important and are now on Drag City.

After that we just started putting out things we liked that weren’t already on vinyl. We do vinyl only releases, no CDs unless they’re included with the package at the request of the band, although most of our releases are also available digitally.

Liz: We’ve done a lot. We’re up to 26 releases. We’re taking a small summer break to set up the shop.

Lance: Our first California release was The Cosmonauts, and they’re from L.A. It was weird doing that record before we’d even thought about moving out here, and now they’re our neighbors. Our next release is by a California based guy from Sacramento named Charles Albright. He does real blown out, lo-fi psychedelic punk. His new 7” is next on the agenda.

It’s mostly limited releases, 500 or less. Some of them have been repressed multiple times, and some have gone out of print.

Liz: It’s a labor of love on that end too. It’s cool after we’ve been selling records for awhile to help give back to some of the bands.

Lance: It’s worth it at the end of the day to get that shipment of finished records in the jacket with 12×12 physical artwork.

Liz: Hopefully they haven’t been smashed by UPS…

Lance: …which has happened more times than we’d care to talk about.

Liz: It’s been a wild ride. We’re interested to see what waits here in Los Angeles.

Permanent Records is located at 1583 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, California.

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New Music Tuesday: 9 Records You Need To Know About Now

The VaccinesWhat Did You Expect From The Vaccines? – Brilliant debut from the London born group falls somewhere between The Ramones and The Jesus and Mary Chain. My pick for power pop album of the year. Incredibly catchy songs and a good reason to get excited about music again. (available on vinyl)

My Morning Jacket Circuital –For six weeks, leading up to April 12 2011, the band released free downloads of tracks recorded at their shows at New York’s Terminal 5 in October 2010. The final free download was the new album’s title track. Fun Fact: “Outta My System” is a rejected musical idea that Jim James wrote for Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem in the upcoming Muppets film. Produced by Jim James & Tucker Martine (available on vinyl)

Death Cab For Cutie Codes and Keys – The band’s seventh studio album. Ben Gibbard and Nick Harmer have both been quoted as saying that the album will be “a much less guitar-centric album than we’ve ever made before. Check out the video below that was shot in only one take. (available on vinyl)

Flogging Molly – Speed of Darkness The seven-piece powerhouse known for their raucous shows and unique, energetic sound that is both feverishly punk and traditionally Irish. (available on vinyl)

The Melvins – Sugar Daddy Live – Recorded at The Busta- Guts Club in Downey, CA with the majority of the tracks coming from the last three stuido albums.[

Robert Pollard – Lord of the Birdcage – The 17th full-length solo studio album released by the leader and creative force behind Guided by Voices. (available on vinyl).

Eddie Vedder – Ukalele Songs – Eddie Vedder makes this seemingly odd match up work gracefully. Get ready as droves of Pearl Jam fans start googling “Ukalele lessons”. Produced by Eddie Vedder, guests include Cat Power’s Chan Marshall, Swell Season/ Frames frontman Glen Hansard.

Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz (Legacy Edition) – Ozzy’s best selling album to date gets a much needed makeover. In 1986, bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake sued Osbourne for unpaid royalties, eventually winning songwriting credits on Blizzard of Ozz. The 2002 reissue saw the replacement of the original bass and drum tracks of Daisley and Kerslake with new ones by Osbourne’s then-current drummer Mike Bordin and bassist Robert Trujillo. Osbourne’s wife and manager, Sharon, explained the re-recordings in a press conference: “Because of Daisley and Kerslake’s abusive and unjust behaviour, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings. Now the original tracks are back and remastered along with a second disc containing the unreleased Ozzy Live.

Black Stone Cherry Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – Need a birthday gift for your brother in law who drives an Iroc-Z and thinks his finest days were during hight school? Here you go. Produced by Howard Benson

Posted in TVD San Francisco | Leave a comment

Elephant Stone: The TVD Interview

The wonderful Elephant Stone, hailing from Montreal in Canada, released their debut album in 2009. ‘The Seven Seas’ made quite a splash (ouch!), garnering positive press across the globe, and attracting the attention of several labels.

When their second release, the EP ‘The Glass Box’ was issued in 2010, it appeared on the band’s own Elephants On Parade imprint in Canada and North America, and 360 Degree Music in Europe. A hectic flurry of activity followed, with a support slot on the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s north American tour, the group’s first trip to Europe and showcases at CMJ in New York, and M For Montreal.

2011 is shaping up very nicely, with dates in Chicago, Toronto and Brooklyn commencing this week (June 3rd) as support to the excellent The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. The band play in Toronto on June 17th, before heading back to the studio to record a new single, which will be released in the Autumn, to coincide with a European tour that runs from October 12th through to Halloween.

We caught up with principal songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Rishi Dhir, and put some questions to him:

You were previously in The High Dials, how did you come to leave that band and form Elephant Stone?

I was in that band and previous incarnations, (Datsons, Datsons Four) for about 10 years. I guess getting married and taking my first real vacation (honeymoon to Indonesia) kind of made me reassess my life and what I really wanted out of it. Also, it made me question my ability as an artist and whether I actually had anything significant to give to the world… Yeah, getting married was definitely a life changing experience! I decided that I really wanted to focus on the sitar (I’d been taking lessons since 2001) and put rock & roll on the backburner for a while. However, two months after leaving the band I found myself writing songs. It was a trip to India in summer 2007 that was really the catalyst for most of the songs on The Seven Seas. Upon returning from the trip I met up with Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes). He runs a great studio (Breakglass) in Montreal. We really hit it off, he was 100% into the idea of making an All Things Must Pass-ish record (i.e. lots of reverb!). A bunch of my friends played on the record and Elephant Stone was birthed on June 9th, 2009 with the release of The Seven Seas in Canada.

How did you recruit the members of the band?

Montreal has an unending supply of amazing musicians. Initially, Elephant Stone was made of friends from the High Dials, Besnard Lakes, and bunch of other Montreal bands. However, as everyones main gigs kept them from committing fully to Elephant Stone, I managed to find some people through friends of friends.

Jules and Gab have been with ES since the release of the Glass Box, Bobby’s been with me since the beginning of ES and Chris joined us last fall.

You have released one full album, The Seven Seas, and an EP, The Glass Box, in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Will you be issuing new material this year?

Yeah, we’re currently working on a UK-only single! Very excited! Lots of sitar, geetars, drums, and drones!

You have toured with the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre and Besnard Lakes, do you have any road stories?

The BJM tour was great. It was the first time I hit the road in about 4 years, it made me realize how much I missed touring. It was actually a pretty tame tour… I’ve toured with BJM in the past and have some pretty wacky stories from back then. But this time was pretty uneventful… except for some great music and great audiences! Sadly, the Besnard Lakes tour never happened as they ended up cancelling their headlining tour for a supporting tour with Band of Horses.

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R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

Over the weekend, we lost one of my favorites, artist, poet, musician, author, and activist, Gil Scott-Heron. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” was one of the first Gil Scott tracks I was introduced to. I remember going through my dad’s record collection back in the day and finding Pieces of a Man, which starts off with “The Revolution Will Not be Televised”. This was his second album which used more of the convential song structure as opposed to his first album, Small Talk, which had a more spoken word feel.

Gil Scott-Heron’s style is a fusion of jazz, blues, blues and soul, mixed in with political references and pro-black subject matter. With over thirty plus years in the music industry and 15 plus albums, Gil is widely considered by many to have been a heavy influence on hip hop music as well as the neo-soul movement. His songs have been sampled by the likes of Dr. Dre, Mos Def, Q-tip, Kanye West, and MF Doom just to name a few. Last year Gil Scott-Heron, released his first album in 16 years, I’m New Here, which proved that he still was a force in the music industry. This album was remixed earlier this year by English group Jamie xx and the end result was We’re New Here, which is on my list of must have album’s of 2011.

The music world will definitley miss Gil. He helped shaped one of my favorite love’s, Hip Hop, and I am sure his legacy will continue to live on. RIP.

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New Faces on the Brass Band Scene

It was over 30 years ago that the Dirty Dozen Brass Band revolutionized the brass band community by infusing the 100-year-old traditional rhythms with modern jazz. The Rebirth Brass Band has been on scene since the early 1980s. Their contribution was adding funk to the stew.

Over the course of the ensuing years, bands like the Hot 8 have become established players both in the clubs and on the weekly second line parades. Meanwhile other groups, which briefly clung to a toehold, either disbanded or other bands absorbed their members. I was reminded of this when I saw the trombonist Tyrus Chapman featured on this past Sunday’s episode of Tremé. He was one of the first brass band musicians to rap on a song, which was released by his short-lived group, the Highsteppers. Other groups that have come and gone include the Looney Tunes and the Lil Rascals.

After Katrina, we saw a surge in new bands. The Free Agents, the Stooges, the Baby Boyz and the TBC all emerged around this time. All four bands are tearing it up along with stalwarts of the scene including old timers like the Tremé and the Pinstripe.

Lately I have seen another wave emerging from the vast ocean of young talent in our city. At the top of the crest is the Young Pinstripe Brass Band (pictured). I first heard the group at last fall’s annual parade by the Young Mens Olympia, Jr. Social Aid and Pleasure Club. They were musically tight and looked the part in matching shirts.

Then wandering around Frenchmen Street on a recent Saturday night, I heard the unmistakable sound of a thundering sousaphone emerging from Vaso, a fledgling club that occupies the space formerly known as the Hookah Café. Inside, a handful of patrons were digging the sound. These guys are still young, but they have the chops. I hung around for the rest of their set and dug their take of the now-classic, “Snowball,” which first appeared on the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s 1990 release, The New Orleans Album.

The Young Pinstripe plays tonight at D.B.A.

Here’s video of them courtesy of Big Red Cotton-

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Good Films: Music Movie Monday on Memorial Day

Well, the three day weekend is coming to an end as are all the BBQ’s and fun in the sun. New TVD Dallas staff writer, Nicole Rea, would like to let you all know that there is still one last thing to check out this Memorial Day weekend:

Head out to Good Records (1808 Lower Greenville Ave.) tonight at 9 PM to catch a free flick and drink some free Lone Star beer. Take a walk down memory lane with Ben Gibbard and gang with Drive Well, Sleep Carefully: On the Road with Death Cab for Cutie which documents Death Cab’s spring 2004 tour.

This Good Film is just in time to celebrate Death Cab for Cutie’s, Codes and Keys album release on Tuesday, May 31.

Can you think of a better (or cheaper) way to spend your Monday night?

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’ve been looking to do a “rock set” for some weeks now and thought I’d take advantage of the long weekend ahead to do what the Idelic Hour is all about—rocking a mix that puts new music in context alongside the “classics.”

When I think of Memorial Day I think of classic rock, kegs, speed, weed, and sweat. It’s a coming out party to welcome the lazy days of summer ahead.

This week’s mix is also a coming out for a crop of new bands who I dare say “rockkkkkk.” Lead by the new and incredible sounds of Black Lips, People’s Temple, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ty Segall, Gross Relations, and The War On Drugs.

Open up the garage doors, plug in and blow some air. Grab a beer and keep it simple…

The Idelic Hit of the Week: Black Lips | New Direction

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The Ultimate Summer Playlist and The Stories Behind The Songs

Summertime and the livings easy…

Now that Memorial Day weekend has arrived, so has the start of summer. That means it’s time to pull together my ultimate summertime playlist. I find myself thinking of songs that remind me of my favorite summertime activities, which include, but are not limited to; drinking beer by the pool, drinking beer while grilling by the pool, and drinking beer from a keg by the pool while grilling and playing lawn darts or as they are more commonly known, “Jarts”. (Yes I am originally from the Mid-west) Now instead of giving you a clichéd list of summertime favorites put together for your next pool party or cookout, I decided to dig a little deeper and find out the stories behind a few summertime staples. The results speak for themselves.

“Feel Good Hit of The Summer” – Queens of the Stone Age– Conceived after a three-day Millennium party, backing vocals by the metal god himself Rob Halford, and a drug cocktail reference that would make Nikki Sixx blush, here’s my vote for all-time best Summer anthem.

“I Fought The Law” – The Clash – Much-covered classic originally recorded by Sonny Curtis and The Crickets (post Buddy Holly) in 1959 and famously covered by Bobby Fuller Four in 1965. Just as the song became a top ten hit, Bobby Fuller was found dead in a parked automobile near his Los Angeles home. The police considered the death an apparent suicide; however, many people still believe Fuller was murdered. The song was later covered by The Clash and then again by Green Day. The Clash version reigns supreme as it turns out that Green Day had never in fact fought the law, having only brushed up against it.

“Doin’ Time” – Sublime – “Doin’ Time” is a loose cover of “Summertime” by George Gershwin, composed for the opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics tell of a cheating girlfriend, whose infidelities and poor treatment of her lover makes him feel like he is in prison.

“Schools Out” – Alice Cooper –What’s the greatest three minutes of life asks Alice Cooper? “There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you’re just getting ready to open the presents. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you’re sitting there and it’s like a slow fuse burning.” Cooper says, ‘If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it’s going to be so big.'” On a seperate note; the greatest three minutes of my life during high school can be attributed to the first time I, um, never mind.

“California Girls” – The Beach Boys – The music for the song came from Brian Wilson’s first LSD experience. According to Brian Wilson himself, shortly after taking LSD, he ran up to a bedroom and hid under a pillow, shouting “I’m afraid of my mom, I’m afraid of my dad.” Randomly, he got up, said “That’s enough of that” and went to a piano. David Lee Roth would later cover the song while suffering a different form of LSD referred to as Less Significant and Disappointing.

“Song #2” – Blur – The first time this song was played live lead singer Damon Albarn stated that “This one’s called ‘Song 2’, ‘cos we haven’t got a name for it yet”. The working title ended up sticking and the number two eventually became associated with the song. Other fun facts: it is the second track on the album, the second single from the album to be released, it reached #2 on the UK singles chart, is exactly two minutes long, and Woo-Hoo are the only 2 words you remember.

“Born To Run” – Bruce Springsteen – The prior year, Springsteen had released two albums to critical acclaim but with little commercial success. The lyrics to the song are appropriately epic for his last-ditch, all-or-nothing shot at the stars, yet they remain rooted in the universal desperation of adolescence. There is a rumor that the drums and cymbals are on separate tracks because the drum track was recorded and played backwards (the sound is consistent with backmasking and ‘tape flip’ can be heard during the middle of the first verse). Springsteen has so far offered no comment about the track’s backwardness.

“Dancing in the Streets” – Martha and the Vandellas – Written by Stevenson and Marvin Gaye, the song highlighted the concept of having a good time in whatever city the listener lived. The idea for dancing came to Stevenson from watching people on the streets of Detroit cool off in the summer in water from opened fire hydrants. The song was recorded in two takes. While produced as an innocent dance track, the song took on a different meaning when riots in inner-city America led to many young black demonstrators citing the song as a civil rights anthem to social change. The British press aggravated singer Martha Reeves by putting a microphone in her face and asking her if she was a militant leader. The journalist wanted to know if Reeves agreed, as many people had claimed, that “Dancing in the Street” was a call to riot. To Reeves, the query was patently absurd. “My Lord, it was a party song”, she said.

“Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves – Estimates are that the song will have earned $1 million per year for the decade ending in 2010. According to a former employee of EMI, “Walking on Sunshine was the crown jewel in EMI’s catalog,” and it was one of EMI’s biggest earners from advertisers. The song is very popular in commercials and advertisers typically pay $150,000 to $200,000 per year to use the song. To put it in perspective, advertisers can get “Walking On The Sun” the mid nineties hit song from Smashmouth for about the same price as a bag of Skittles.

“Hot Fun In The Summertime” – Sly And The Family Stone – The single was released in the wake of the band’s high-profile performance at Woodstock, which greatly expanded their fanbase. It reached #2 on the U.S. pop chart and #3 on the U.S. R&B chart. Thematically, the song is a dedication to the fun and games to be had during the summer, although it has also been analyzed as a commentary on the race riots of the late-1960s. On a lighter note, if the riff sounds familiar it’s because the members of Toto have also cited it as the inspiration for “Hold the Line”.

What songs are essential to your ultimate Summertime playlist? Please join the conversation in the comment section below.

Posted in TVD San Francisco | Leave a comment

TVD Recommends: Lipstick at uncapped LIVE Tonight!

If you haven’t checked out the Brightest Young Things + Art Whino collaboration: vitaminwater® uncapped LIVE, you better get off your ass tonight and go check it out. TVD’s DJ Jennder (Funbags) and BYT’s William Alberque (Razzmatazz) are DJing tonight in the garage. Incidentally, we will also be selling records and DJing at the DC Record Fair that will be happening in the vitaminwater® uncapped LIVE space next week, Saturday, June 4th 11am-5pm, at 2217 14th St NW (14th and Florida).

The vitaminwater® uncapped LIVE space is really awesome, it’s like Art-O-Matic with standards. (Sorry AOM, I heart you, but this is just amazing.) This space is a fucking adult playground featuring four floors of graffiti and installations, a rave cave in the parking garage, a trippy lounge with ping-pong, a ball pit, cash bars, and a main stage for bands and DJs to perform.

There is TONS of kick ass local art to see. For instance, I discovered this little pleasure on the second floor:


Now, what to expect this evening. I’m pretty sure we Lipstick cunts will be downstairs in the garage. There’s a make-out maze and tons of room on the dance floor for (hopefully) Captain Sass (Gareth Moore) to claim a very large portion of the dance floor.

Doors at 8:30 pm. $5 to enter. 18+

Here’s a sneak peek at what we have planned for you:

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

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