Monthly Archives: February 2012

TVD’s 10 Weeks of Record Store Day Vinyl Giveaways: Nirvana, Nevermind

As we continue on with our 10 Weeks of Record Store Day Vinyl Giveaways, TVD has a copy of Nirvana’s Nevermind that we want to put in the hands of one lucky fan.

Nirvana is widely thought to be one of the main pioneers of the Seattle grunge sound. Nevermind, the band’s sophomore release and major label debut, is considered to be one of the most influential albums of its time, as well as the album that brought alternative rock to the mainstream circuits.

Rolling Stone said it best when it described Nevermind as “a museum piece, a record that merits a display in the Smithsonian.” Released just over 20 years ago in 1991, it would eventually go on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide, making it not only one of the most significant, but also one of the greatest-selling albums of all-time.

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Posted in The TVD Storefront | 34 Comments

Jesse Miller of Lotus:
The TVD Interview

In 1999, a group of college guys got a band together with the desire to create some groove music. At the beginning, the group was funk-based with vocals, but after realizing their strengths didn’t lie in singing, the band progressed to an instrumental outfit experimenting with dance and electronic styles, creating a new kind of jam band that is known today as Lotus.

Over 12 years later, Lotus is a staple on the worldwide festival circuit and is continuously touring, playing clubs and theats as well. Lotus will be playing at Nashville’s new pride-and-joy venue, Marathon Music Works, on March 2nd.

We recently chatted with Jesse Miller, who’s on Bass and Sampler for Lotus, about everything from festivals and theme shows to his side project and his love for vinyl.

Do you produce your own samples, or do you dig around and borrow?

Produce our own. It’s usually a type of thing that we can’t pull off live. Sometimes we go and record horn parts or live strings, or do different noise manipulation type of things or effects that there’s no other good way to play except triggering the sounds.

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Queens of Vinyl: Emmylou Harris

Queens of Vinyl is a series where we explore the sounds, styles, and impact of some of the most incredible and influential female artists ever pressed to vinyl.

This week: Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris has been making music since 1969. Forty-three years later, she continues to be one of the most sought-after guest vocalists in the music industry. With 12 Grammy Awards and twice as many albums, this power-house musician has earned herself a spot in our Queens of Vinyl series.

Born into a military family, Emmylou spent her early years bouncing around North Carolina and Virginia. It was in college, at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, that she began to seriously consider music as a career and lifestyle. Learning the songs of Pete Seegar, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez led her to drop out of college and pursue a musical career.

While working as a waitress in New York, she cut her first album Gliding Bird. Sadly, this record would not be the one to catapult her to fame, and with a newborn by her side, she returned to her parents’ home in Washington, DC.

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TVD Live: Psychic TV
at the Echoplex, 2/26

It’s not always easy to know what to expect from a Psychic TV concert. The band has been many things over the course of its 30-odd year career. There was the early video art/noise collage phase in the ’80s, then there was the acid house techno phase in the ’90s. Earlier in this decade, more was heard about frontperson Genesis Breyer P-Orridge’s interest in body modification than about the music of his longest-running band.

Therefore, it comes as a pleasant surprise to learn that the latest incarnation of Psychic TV is one of the best psychedelic rock bands currently active.

We caught a portion of their set at SXSW last year, and it was intriguing enough to warrant a closer look. Did they really play a reverent cover of Funkadelic chestnut “Maggotbrain,” or had the Texas heat simply messed with our heads?

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TVD’s 10 Weeks of Record Store Day Vinyl Giveaways: Mount Carmel, Real Women

Today we’ve got some incredible throwback rock vinyl to giveaway to a lucky winner! Mount Carmel is a Columbus, Ohio straight-up blues rock power trio consisting of Matthew Reed, Patrick Reed, and Kevin Shubak. And they are one of my personal favorite new boogie-rockin’ bands!

As it says on the Silbreeze website: “…and by straight-up we mean sans revisionist three-dollar currency, Sub Pop grunge hybridization or ironic posturing. These guys have been weened on a diet almost steadfastly consisting of British blues/rock innovators: Peter Green-era Bluesbreakers, Cream and Ten Years After are immediately recognizable in their sound.

This isn’t a lark or something these guys are doing between noise projects–it’s their life. Good, old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, plain and simple. Some folks never made time for punk, just like you’ve always snubbed your nose at the drum solo. Hard to believe, right? But just because you didn’t live through it the first time doesn’t mean you’re not doomed to repeat it.

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Posted in TVD New York City | 14 Comments

Phantom Limb: new
single and video,
“Gravy Train”

Bristol’s Phantom Limb have unleashed the video for their new single “Gravy Train” taken from their second album, The Pines. It will be released on March 12th via Naim Edge, but here’s a sneak preview:

The band are supporting the release of The Pines, which was recorded in California under the auspices of Black Crowes producer, Marc Ford, with a set of live dates. The tour, which kicked off in Glasgow on February 18th, runs till March 15th with the final show in Plymouth that date.

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TVD’s 10 Weeks of Record Store Day Vinyl Giveaways: Pink Floyd, The Wall

Here’s your chance to get your hands on Pink Floyd’s classic album, The Wall, like you’ve never seen (or heard) it before. The legendary concept record is being re-released today digitally, on CD, and of course on vinyl, and we’ve got a copy of the latter for one of you.

The Wall is widely regarded as Pink Floyd’s magnum opus. Originally released 33 years ago in 1979, it topped the Billboard charts for fifteen weeks and went on to sell more than 23 million copies in the United States alone. The record also spawned the release of an eponymous movie in 1982.

The band’s most theatrical album follows the protagonist Pink, as he rises from life in post-World War II England to become the proverbial isolated rock star. Rolling Stone, which places the album at number 87 on its “500 Greatest Albums” list, says, “rock star hubris has never been so electrifying.” The Wall has also stood the test of time, as Roger Waters continues to tour and perform the album in its entirety.

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TVD Recommends:
Amy LaVere at Mercy
Lounge, 3/1

Never underestimate a little woman with a stand-up bass. Amy LaVere might seem and sound like America’s Southern sweetheart at first, but give her a minute and you’ll soon hear that there’s a lot going on in that seasoned soul.

Based in traditional Country and Americana, LaVere takes those old-school sounds to new places with touches of Jazz, Funk, and Rock ‘N’ Roll fueled with fiery lyrics and eloquent storytelling. LaVere will be opening for Rich Robinson ( of Black Crowes fame) on March 1st at Mercy Lounge, here in Nashville.

Listen through LaVere’s albums and you’ll immediately notice the range and diversity. Her 2005 debut, This World is Not My Home, is a Country-heavy project, while her 2007 release, Anchors & Anvils, explores the reverb and chordal color of a ‘50s high school dance with some interesting style change-ups in the album’s song sequencing (plus, simply kick-ass cover art of LaVere holding a glittery pistol). Her 2009 EP, Died of Love shows a more rocking side of LaVere, and her latest record, Stranger Me, is emotionally-charged capturing the mood of a mending broken heart.

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New Mysteries of the Mind vinyl from DJs Gavin Holland and Chris Burns in stores today

Today is a great day for groovin’, as Washington, DC’s synthed-out dance duo Party Bros. (Gavin Holland & Chris Burns) have released their first effort with the Party Bros. EP, and it hits a couple of stores nearby. Seeking to shine a spotlight on the off-kilter stylings that inspired them, this new release is the first in line to showcase some of the underground heat on their new label, Mysteries of the Mind.

Both Holland and Burns are staples of the disco/house scene of the DC area and have been throwing events of all sizes as well as laying claim to regular weekend spots for years. Burns spotlights at weekly gigs and holds down the Dance/12″ section at Joe’s Record Paradise. Holland’s Nouveau Riche is monthly dance excursion that has been claiming folk’s weekends for 5+ years at venues all around town. The duo uses these parties and events as a platform to play groove-heavy tracks you’d never expect Skrillex or Deadmau5 to drop.

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TVD Live: Galactic
at the 9:30 Club, 2/23

Funk band Galactic has an uncanny ability to create a musical canvas that could lend itself to other styles of music.

This technique is very casual as you watch them play. One moment, a band member or guest commandeers a horn, and then he or she is prone to transition to jazz vocals or staccato rap verses. It’s a natural movement intrinsic to the New Orleans band. And they were generous to the crowd last Thursday night at the 9:30 Club.

There was a royal, luminescent “G” that sat high above the bands. So, by time Galactic began their set it almost glistened a little brighter than for their opener. Trombonist Corey Henry from Rebirth Brass Band led the wild, riffy, musical unrest with the arm of a marksman. This young man was able to bend a note into taffy. He hardly broke a sweat as he went into a spiritual possession, articulating notes at the speed of greased lightning. The comfort level in the crowd was convivial and worldly. Henry channeled the mastery of James Brown’s session trombonist, Fred Wesley.

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French Quarter Festival releases 2012 poster ft. Coco Robicheaux

The annual free music festival in the French Quarter announced today that their commemorative poster is available for purchase. Stay tuned in to TVD for details on how you can win one free.

For their 29th poster, well known local artist, Brandon Delles, recreates a lively French Quarter Festival atmosphere with a triptych display of the Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Jackson Square, and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, while playfully bringing to life New Orleans icon and French Quarter Festival regular, blues musician, Coco Robicheaux.

Brandon captures New Orleans food, music, and culture by including elements that personify New Orleans and the French Quarter through the use of rich colors, unique character, and whimsical charm.

Purchase the poster right here.

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Nova Social:
The TVD First Date

Nova Social release their brand new record “For Any Inconvenience” today, 2/28. It’s also available for free download at their website.

“I’m blessed to have grown up in a time when vinyl was still ubiquitous, so my world has always spun at 33 1/3 RPM.”

“Running to my portable denim print record player to serenade my (still) super cool Aunt Rita with “Lovely Rita” every time she came by my house and waiting for the inevitable hug; visits from my (still) super cool second cousin Linda, better known as “Bay City Roller Linda,” whom you’ll absolve of her plaid, bell-bottomed sins when I tell you she also gave me my first copy of A Night at the Opera; the Christmas I was given Chipmunk Punk and the 45 of “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” and lost my mind (I mean really); the birthday when I received Weird Al’s In 3-D and the Footloose soundtrack and also lost my mind; the trip to The Record Shop in Bloomfield, NJ for a good end-of-third-grade report card when everyone thought I’d choose Thriller but I demanded my own copy of Sgt. Pepper (my dad’s was just too beat up, though I’m reasonably sure I had nothing to do with it).

Things that go to make up a life, as the guy who made the Tarzan soundtrack once sang.

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Graded on a Curve:
Imperial Teen,
Feel the Sound

Feel the Sound, Imperial Teen’s fifth album in a sixteen year career, finds them stretching beyond their well-established safety zone. By no means a failure, it’s unfortunately the band’s least successful LP.

Much has been made of Imperial Teen’s seeming disinterest in modifying their music to reflect recent developments in indie-rock, but I tend to think this observation has always been somewhat overblown. And it mainly seems to come up due to the time-honored template of the band’s sound, a defiantly straightforward strain of pop-rock conversant with punk but smitten with the innate catchiness of pre-crap commercial radio.

If Imperial Teen’s agenda has always been a straightforward one, it bears noting the band has made an admirable amount of progress over the years, at least from within the confines of their specialty. They debuted with the fairly big alt-rock splash of 1996’s Seasick, an affair nicely split between sunny-day power-pop and post-Pixies heavy melodicism, the kind of record that would make a nifty graduation present for that Weezer-loving cousin. ‘98’s What is Not to Love basically reinforced this sensibility while dodging the sophomore slump, but it was with 2002’s On that Imperial Teen gave their music its first big shake-up, producing what will likely be considered the band’s high water mark.

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The Sound of Memphis: Computerless Beats with Oxford Icebergs

Guys, we live in exciting times. The past ten years have seen a rapidly moving renaissance in the field of instrumental electronic music. Genres like instrumental hip-hop, underground electronica, post rock, organic electronica, and many more have all begun openly trading techniques and concepts with each other in a sort of Mr. Potato Head pick-and-choose manner of composition, which leads sounds or genres to be defined and detailed on an artist-by-artist basis.

Here in Memphis, Oxford Icebergs are putting a unique spin on the kick/snare game by throwing popular beat production convention to the wind.

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Posted in TVD Memphis | 6 Comments

On your way down
to SXSW?

It’s that time of year again. Every March, flocks of indie-loving hipsters bounce heads and Americana newbies fly south to Austin for SXSW. What some of them are discovering is that on the way, New Orleans has become a destination not to be overlooked.

In comes the New Orleans Indie Rock Collective (noirCollective). With inboxes flooded with inquiries from touring bands looking for gigs, this group of music aficionados (responsible for the New Orleans Indie Rock Fest and accompanying sampler) organized a 3-day music festival pairing these traveling bands with local favorites. They named it Foburg, a play on the neighborhood home of the festival, Faubourg Marigny.

In its first run, foburg scored nearly 8,000 attendees who collectively caught 100 bands across 10 venues. Headliners included GIVERS, Peelander-Z, and MyNameIsJohnMichael. The follow-up in 2011 featured Toro Y Moi, Das Racist, and Cults, with crowds approaching 10,000. With foburg now less than two weeks away, this year’s highlights are Maps & Atlases, performance art punk-rockers Japanther, and the “Queen Diva” of bounce music, Big Freedia. Of course, there are a slew of mid-tier bands to feast your ears on.

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