Monthly Archives: June 2011

TVD’s What’s in Store: Salsa Solo and a Jean Jacket full of Pins

Feeling restless? Som Records has a couple of upcoming events that will push you right through the rest of this week into a long Fourth of July Weekend.

@Som Records
Neal Becton, owner of Som (aka DJ Neville C) will be Djing at the opening of the Brasil 1968 photo exhibition at Monserrat House tonight, Thursday, 6/30 from 7PM til 10PM. Neville will be spinning all original Brazilian vinyl from the late 60’s and early 70’s. HOT!!! He also hosts a monthly Brazilian Rhythms party at Cafe Saint-Ex. (The next one will be on Thursday, July 21.)

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

The Big Boom Showcase: Asheru

The Big Boom is presented by Fort Knox RecordingsCapitol Hemp, and TVD, Sunday, July 3rd (9pm – 3am) at U Street Music Hall. Come celebrate your freedom with us and Asheru!

Asheru.
[ash-eh-roo] a.k.a. Gabriel Benn. a.k.a hip-hop artist. a.k.a. educator. a.k.a. real-ass dude.

No bling. No hoes. No pimped-out rides.

Yeah, he’s a hip-hop artist. And an educator. And a family man.

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The Sound of Memphis: Stream John Paul Keith’s “Live at the Hitone”

Yes, we are huge John Paul Keith fans over here at TVD-Memphis.

Personally, we are really excited about his latest album, The Man That Time Forgot, but if you’re still on the fence – do check out Live At The Hi-Tone with John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives. Stream it for free, this weekend only! HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

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20 Classic Songs Essential for Any Good Dive Bar Jukebox

I’d like to think that I know a thing or two about a good dive bar; I used to play in an 80s hair metal band, had my share of break ups, and I enjoy an occasional Olympia on draft. The dive bar definitely serves a purpose in today’s drinking society. For one, it’s the only place to go after a break up to drown your sorrows, and two, it’s cheap as hell.

As far as the jukebox goes, you won’t find any modern digital music player flashing like a UFO with access to over a million songs. Instead, any reputable dive bar has a classic refrigerator size monster with huge plastic pages full of CD covers and numbers.

You put your dollar in, 5 or 6 times after smoothing out the edges, and then take a gamble on whether or not you are able to see straight enough to correspond the correct number to the correct song. Five bucks can get you about 20 plays or so, and with that being said here are 20 songs that you are likely to find.

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Posted in TVD San Francisco | 5 Comments

It’s Easy When You’re Big In Japan: Yellow Magic Orchestra at The Hollywood Bowl

Yellow Magic Orchestra are one of those bands that many people haven’t heard of, but would recognize the sound they helped create. YMO, along with Kraftwerk and Devo, were pioneers in bringing electronic sounds to popular music in the late 1970’s.

While Kraftwerk and Devo may be better known, it was YMO who experimented heavily with computers and electronic instruments, such as vocoders, and was the first to release an entire album that featured mostly samples and loops. Whatever your opinion is on electronic instruments, sampling and its use in popular music, YMO’s influence is undeniable in what is heard in rock, pop, hip hop and the dance music movements of today.

Sunday night saw Yellow Magic Orchestra back in the U.S. for the first time in more than three decades. Their Los Angeles show coincided with release of YMO, their new compilation album which came out earlier this month. YMO features songs from the band’s catalogue, remastered and hand picked by the band members themselves. Last night’s set at the Hollywood Bowl featured some of their better known songs reworked and played by live instruments. Guitars and brass instruments played along side synthesizers and computers brilliantly. It was a true fusion of old and new, traditional and experimental, classic and modern.

Though last night’s “Big In Japan Festival” also featured performances by a reunited Cibo Matto, a sonic heavy set by Buffalo Daughter, and even a guest spot by Yoko Ono, Yellow Magic Orchestra was truly deserving of their headline status, showing why they remain one of the most influential bands in experimental and popular music for over 30 years.

Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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TVD Album Review: Rave On Buddy Holly

The world has had its fair share of awful tribute albums added to the repertoire over the past few decades. Anyone remember The Beatle Barkers’ musical slap in the face Tails From the Pound – The Lost Tapes? Or how about the memorable Indie Translations of Usher? Yeah, I thought so…

Well fear not, world! Finally we’ve been graced with a tribute album that’s actually worth your while! That’s right. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you Rave On Buddy Holly, a tribute to one of rock & roll’s greatest pioneers this world has ever seen.

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TVD Album Review: Rave On Buddy Holly

The world has had its fair share of awful tribute albums added to the repertoire over the past few decades. Anyone remember The Beatle Barkers’ musical slap in the face Tails From the Pound – The Lost Tapes? Or how about the memorable Indie Translations of Usher? Yeah, I thought so…

Well fear not, world! Finally we’ve been graced with a tribute album that’s actually worth your while! That’s right. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you Rave On Buddy Holly, a tribute to one of rock & roll’s greatest pioneers this world has ever seen.

With artists like Florence and the Machine, My Morning Jacket, She & Him, and The Black Keys, amongst others, Rave On Buddy Holly pays tribute to the late Holly with timeless lyrics and iconic melodies brought together in the upbeat, modern sound of the 21st Century.

There are so many great tracks on the album, but a few artists on the album went above and beyond to create a unique take on Holly’s classics.

Paul McCartney | It’s So Easy

No doubt Buddy Holly was one of the primary influences for The Beatles in their early years both lyrically and instrumentally. Paul has said many times before that he would sit around trying to emulate the catchy riffs and controversial lyrics of the rock & roller himself back in the beginning days of The Quarrymen. Oddly enough, Paul could not have been further from the 1950s vibe when covering Holly hit “It’s So Easy” on the tribute album. Instead, McCartney chose to growl the entire song behind guttural guitar riffs. If that isn’t enough for you, there are some hidden surprises at the end of the song from the “Macca” that leave you scratching your head thinking, “What the hell did I just listen to?” It’s that good.

Karen Elson | Crying, Waiting, Hoping

Nashville local Karen Elson (though recently divorced from music mogul Jack White) still claims her stake in the Nashville music scene by doing things like covering Holly’s “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” with smooth, soft vocals over a giddy, Southern instrumental sound. She keeps the sweet 1950s style and adds in a little bit of Nashville with a fiddle accompanying her sultry voice. Her track is definitely a highlight of the album.

Cee Lo Green | (You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care

Though it was really hard to just pick three favorites, I think the last spot has to go to Cee Lo Green covering one of Holly’s more obscure tunes, “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care.” Who would have thought Cee Lo could whip out the Buddy Holly signature “hiccup” and perform a cover so beautifully behind a steel drum, of all instruments? It’s simple, upbeat, a little tropical, and completely unlike anything Cee Lo has ever done before. It’s a surprise hit. Bravo, Cee Lo, bravo.

Other close favorites that didn’t make the list above include Julian Casablancas’ take on “Rave On,” recent Nashvillians The Black Keys covering “Dearest,” and She & Him doing the popular hit “Oh Boy!”

Oh what the hell, they’re ALL my favorites.

Overall, Rave On Buddy Holly is one of the best tribute albums I’ve heard to date and is a perfect way to ring in what would have been Holly’s 75th birthday. There could not have been better artists chosen to perform on the compilation, and the music does Holly justice to the highest degree. It’s innovative, catchy, and gets the tribute album stamp of approval. This is definitely an album for the record books.

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | Leave a comment

CREEP: None More Noir

Brooklyn production duo CREEP sound like the lovechild of She Wants Revenge and Poe, with some of The xx and Garbage thrown in for good measure. You can finally feel good about breaking out the dark eyeliner and gothing out without having to reassure yourself and others that you are being meta, tongue-in-cheek, or subversive about it, and you are not really a [closet] Goth. [Is there such a thing as a non-closet Goth, btw?]

Well, raise the black flag, my friends, and trash that VNV Nation record because CREEP are here to meet all of your needs.

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Shabazz Palaces at Neumos Today and Friday!

Shabazz Palaces will be celebrating the new album, Black Up, at Neumos today and tomorrow, Friday, July 1st. The new album, released by Sup Pop, was released a couple of days ago and I can dig it. Definitely check out the album and the shows this week at Neumos where OC Notes will be joining Shabazz Palaces both nights.

Shabazz Palaces | Swerve…

For more information on Shabazz Palaces, check out Sub Pop.

Posted in TVD Seattle | Leave a comment

The Hood Internet Comes To The Troubadour 7/22

The Hood Internet is the mastermind production duo behind one of my favorite songs right now, “All Of The Lights,” a mash-up of Ellie Goulding‘s “Lights” and the Portland Cello Project’s rendition of Kanye West‘s “All Of the Lights.”

Two outstanding songs on their own, The Hood Internet mash-up somehow brings out the veiled vulnerability of West’s message, while amping up the subtle angst in Goulding’s song. Goulding’s falsetto seems to effortlessly wrap around the treble of the strings, as if her melody and lyrics were actually written for the string arrangement. The mix of the acoustic strings with the feel of the hip-hop and electronic back beat brings the song to life. I loved it the first time I heard it and that feeling hasn’t failed me yet. It’s the kind of wide-eyed love that reminds me why I fell in love with music in the first place. It’s that good.

Based in Chicago, The Hood Internet will be rolling through LA with a show at the Troubadour July 22nd. Here are the details:

The Hood Internet | Troubadour | Friday, July 22nd | $10/$12 Advance/Door | 8pm | All Ages

The Hood Internet | All Of The Lights

For more information on The Hood Internet:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

Show of the Week: The Greenhornes @ The Hi-Tone 07/06/11

Cincinnati garage rockers, The Greenhornes, are reunited and touring on behalf of their new record, Four Stars (actually, it’s got four actual stars as the title, but…). The band’s last full length was Dual Mono, released almost ten years ago.

Now, with drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist Jack Lawrence off duty from The Raconteurs (and Lawrence from The Dead Weather as well), frontman Craig Fox has his original lineup back in action. The band rescheduled their original Hi-Tone show at the end of May to this Wednesday, July 6th.

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TVD Live: Britney Spears Made It Happen!

Well, she made it happen! Britney Spears made my glitter dream come true and I should have never expected any less from her. All in all the concert definitely fulfilled the experience that we were looking for and it was good to see her back at it. The last time she was in Seattle she didn’t use her microphone once (due to some unfortunate city shout out mix-ups earlier on the tour), and she actually spoke to us a bit last night. We even saw her bust a few free style dance moves and smile a couple times, you go girl! Nicki Minaj opened and put on a great space-themed show that was only a few songs shorter than Ms. Spears’ set.

Well Britney…things may have changed (a lot), but you will always be the Britney Spears we used to make synchronized dances to and for that you will always have a place in my heart.

Posted in TVD Seattle | Leave a comment

TVD First Listen: Earphunk

Nine original songs are contained within local psychedelic soul/funk band Earphunk’s debut album, Comin’ Up. The group features two guitars, bass, drums and keys.

The album immediately brings to mind Coolin’ Off, which was Galactic’s first album because the music is mostly instrumentals with a few songs that feature the vocals of guitarist Mark Hempe. Among the songs with lyrics, “Don’t Pass Go” stands out since the whole song uses the board game Monopoly as its central motif.

The rhythm section of bassist Michael Comeaux and drummer Michael Matthews provide a solid groove foundation for the swelling organ sounds of Christian Galle and the inspired fretwork of lead guitarist Paul Provosty. One cut, “Earuption” features the stellar blowing of special guest Khris Royal on saxophone.

This is a band that has clearly honed its talents on stage and though I have only seem them perform live once, which was on a triple bill with DJ Quickie Mart and Khris Royal’s band Dark Matter, their tightness is reflected in the quality production behind the recording.

The songs may stretch out on stage, but they are all relatively concise on the album. The noodling that can diminish the quality of some groups that fall within the jam band category, and Earphunk certainly jams, is nowhere evident on Comin’ Up. The songs are well-constructed creations that hold your attention because of the details that emerge on repeated listens. Earphunk is earphone music for sure.

Posted in TVD New Orleans | 1 Comment

Jen Buxton: The TVD Interview

Australian singer-songwriter Jen Buxton, formerly of Like… Alaska, is easily one my new favorite artists. Her debut solo record Don’t Change Your Plans for Me deals honestly (often times brutally) with love, heartbreak, autonomy, and the hard and not-so-simple art of getting over someone. I was lucky enough to catch up with Jen to discuss (among other things) motherhood, the Boys’ Club that is the alt-country genre, and her new, optimistic outlook on love. I am absolutely intrigued by her and her music, and I think you will be too.

So, let’s talk about the Boys’ Club that is currently the alt-country genre. You did some guest spots with some of the best of those boys on the Australian leg of The Revival Tour, which had to feel pretty good. What was it like?

It is kind of a man’s game, huh! There are some women out there doing amazing things, especially over where you are—Jenny Owen Youngs, Audra Mae, Valerie June, Mamie Minch, the Anderson family girls—but yeah, it does seem to be mostly boys. I play a lot of shows where I am the only woman on stage for the whole bill, and I am kind of conscious of that I guess. Me and the girl workin’ the door are the only women involved in the whole operation, that kinda thing haha.

The voices I remember hearing growing up are all women’s voices: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou, and all the rest, but maybe that’s atypical. Everyone involved with the Revival Tour are incredible musicians and people, and that’s got nothing to do with their gender. I had an amazing time and have had the opportunity since and prior to play with Chuck [Ragan], Tom Gabel, Frank Turner, Tim Barry, and Joey Cape, and none of them could be thought of in any way as sexist or anything like that. They’ve just put in the hard work and have the talent, and deserve to be where they are. Remembering too that Jill Ragan is the grease on the wheels of the whole thing, she is one incredible lady!

I guess I can’t explain the disparity; I’m probably just not looking in the right places. I think alt-country is just a microcosm of a lot of other music genres which tend to have a gender imbalance, and as a feminist that is kind of an issue for me, but I don’t really have the answers. Coming up through the punk and hardcore scene in my hometown I’ve always thought more girls should be picking up guitars. I look to some of my favourite artists like Ani Difranco, who has been touring and putting out albums for twenty years, Cat Power, Mirah, Kathleen Hannah—they are out there, and they are the people who drove me when I started. Hopefully, I will inspire a few ladies and show ’em it’s not just boys’ fun; you can write songs about drinking and girls too! Hahaha.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

TVD’s Ask Ms. Mixtape

Shoot your questions and tales of woe to Ms. Mixtape at msmixtape@thevinyldistrict.com and she’ll endeavor to unspool your personal and musical dilemmas in this spot each week. —Ed.

Q: My sister just introduced me to her new, serious boyfriend. He seems all right, except for one thing: He’s a Juggalo. Yes, a Juggalo. He only listens to Insane Clown Posse. I’d like to introduce him to some new music that might help him expand his horizons. What should I start playing around him that he might take an interest in?

A: First, I’d like to commend your restraint. I think many people, in your situation, would be asking, “how can I convince my sister to dump the Juggalo?” or “do I need to commit anyone to any sort of facility?”

Second, I feel like I should be saying something very heartfelt and diplomatic here about how this question is really about you and not the music. Like, you should deep within your soul to ask yourself why you want to change this poor Juggalo, and why you can’t just let this Juggalo be.That’s all kind of bullshit though because, well, really.

And now for the practical advice. I suggest you try opera.

I’m not kidding. The appeal of a band like Insane Clown Posse isn’t the music (OH NO SHE DIDN’T) but the drama and the community. Opera has those things in spades.

Ease into the opera thing. Check out Fucked Up’s new album, David Comes to Life. Fucked Up is a hardcore band, so there’s already some overlap with ICP’s sound. But Fucked Up are critical darlings, and David Comes to Life is a rock opera epic in four acts. I don’t entirely know what that last part means, but the album is great and Pitchfork loved it, so it seems like a good starting point for you, o questioner who clearly has discriminating taste.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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