Monthly Archives: April 2012

Gambling With
Royal Teeth

Seven months ago I had been sitting at a bar, scribbling some questions for an interview I was about to have with Gary Larsen and Josh Hefner of the band Royal Teeth. Tonight, the scenery has been appropriately altered to provide a more glamorous, albeit risky environment. One that matches some news the band wanted to share with me. I’m at the Masquerade bar inside Harrah’s Casino, and the bartender places my drink on a napkin that reads, “Come out and play!”

If you don’t know, Royal Teeth makes music for adventures. Gambling at the “Party Gras” slots with Royal Teeth will be no different.

In comes singer Nora Patterson, bassist Joshua Wells, and the familiar co-vocalist Gary Larsen – who along with their missing counterparts Josh Hefner, Andrew Poe, and Stevie Billeaud, can be seen online as the quintessential “good times” pop band. Recent promo shots display the members at a birthday party, having their cake and eating it too.

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TVD Video Premiere:
Heroes of Popular Wars,
“American Loser”

Heroes of Popular Wars hit my radar about 2 years ago with some stylistic comparions to David Sylvian, and while that’s not a wholly apt comparison—OK, maybe the Rain Tree Crow version—we’ve been following them since. We’re delighted to give their brand new video, “American Loser” a TVD Premiere.

They say, “I think the track is better left open to the listener other than we tried to do a tricky job of mixing real playing and sampling, so it’s not always clear what was played and what was sampled.

My favorite clip in the video is the riot where the van gets pushed over. It looks like it’s Beirut or Tehran but it’s from the riot of Penn State students when they they thought they were losing their football coach because he concealed child molesting.”

We say, “One hard look in the mirror, America. And a chill one at that.”

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 1 Comment

Scattered Trees
raise money for their upcoming record
using PledgeMusic

In the world of crowd-funding, sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are making it easier for interactions between musicians and fans to benefit everyone. New to my radar is PledgeMusic, and one of their current campaigns just happens to be from Chicago indie-rockers, Scattered Trees.

Raising money to record a follow-up to the incredible 2011 release, Sympathy, Scattered Trees has already reached 35% of their goal with 29 days left.

At the beginning of April, the band headed to Toronto, Canada, to record with producer Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Los Campesinos!). Along with video updates of the recording sessions and early streams of the new tracks, every level of the fundraising campaign is loaded with worthwhile incentives.

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Posted in TVD Chicago | 12 Comments

The TVD First Date

“In Oxford there were three record shops when I was growing up… Avid, Polar Bear, and Vinyl Frontier.”

“I would spend a huge amount of time at all of them, even though I could rarely afford to buy any records. I would hunt down any Warp Records stuff I could – I had a borderline obsession with that label and their output in the mid to late nineties.

I can’t remember the first record I bought, but I do remember a little collection that me and my brothers inherited off my mum. The two records from that collection that I remember really well were Hunky Dory by David Bowie and The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell. I certainly listened to those a LOT in my early teens, and they remain two of my favorite artists to this day.

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TVD’s Press Play

It’s our weekly Twitter #MusicMonday recap of the brand new tracks from last week that the folks in the press offices want you to be hearing. We post, you download.

Doldrums – Egypt
The Balconies – Kill Count
Moneypenny – Sides
Clare and the Reasons – The Lake
Clockwork Radio – Feel It Up
YACHT – Le Goudron (Edit)
Jonathan Boulet – This Song Is Called Raggard
Mozella – Another You
Black Manila – Hazy Daze

Theresa Andersson – Street Parade

Lana Del Rey Featuring Azealia Banks – Blue Jeans (Smims&Belle Remix)
The Hudson Branch – Piggyback
Lettuce – Bowler
The Trillions – The Experts
Alcoholic Faith Mission – Running With Insanity
Ty Segall Band – Wave Goodbye
STAL – We Are Two (Alcala Remix)
Christopher Paul Stelling – Writhing In Shambles
Larry Gus – Hearing the Words You Said
Adam & The Amethysts – Prophecy

37 more FREE TRACKS after the jump!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I would go so far as to say that that nearly all of us who spent last weekend in the 105 degree heat at the Coachella Festival have been a wee bit toasted this week. Suntanned as we may be, many of us missed flipping through bins of classic vinyl on Record Store Day.

It’s really no matter here in the Canyon. We needed to do a little Spring cleaning, so this week’s show is all about dusting off some of those classic oldies and mixing it up with some newly pressed Record Store Day releases.

New platters from Beach House, Edward Sharpe, JD McPherson, Black Mountain, and Lotus Plaza. This weekend’s resolution; to ingest The Move’s classic, Looking On start to finish! Ummm yum yum!

The Idelic Hit of the Week:
JD McPherson – North Side Gal

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Save the Date: The DC Record Fair, the Father’s Day Edition, 6/17 at the Fillmore Silver Spring

In September of 2006 my Dad passed away, and by July of 2007 I suppose I was ready to move forward to some degree and created the website you’re reading at present—with him in mind and our many trips to the record store where we bonded over music and more.

Happily, life has transcendent arcs; the DC Record Fair returns for a second spin in 2012 on June 17th—or, Father’s Day.

Mark your calendars! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012 at the Fillmore Silver Spring
11:00–12:00 Early Bird Admission $5.00 | 12:00–5:00 $2.00
Records, DJs, Bloody Marys, and all the usual stuff (plus a few surprises!)

The DC Record Fair is brought you by Som Records, DC Soul Recordings, and us!

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+(PLUS) Fest! 10 Free Concerts in 10 Cities, 5/4

Next Friday, May 4th, Bacardi+ is presenting +(PLUS) Fest, a night of live music across the country, to celebrate the national launch of its pre-mixed cocktails, Torched Cherry + Cola and Arctic Grape + Lemon-Lime Soda.

What this means for you is that more than forty acts will appear simultaneously in ten cities, including Chicago, New York, DC, and Austin. Artists include MSTRKRFT, who will be headlining Chicago’s show, Kendrick Lamar, Big Gigantic, Danny Brown, Rob Garza (of Thievery Corporation), Beats Antique, Big Freedia, and The Hood Internet, and all performances are free.

The catch is that venues will be kept secret until they are announced on May 3rd! To make sure that you are included in the fun, RSVP at the +(PLUS) Fest facebook event. Confirmed attendees will receive an email on the evening of May 3rd revealing the +(PLUS) Fest venue in their city.

+(PLUS) Fest is free for adults 21 and older via RSVP.

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Posted in TVD Chicago | 1 Comment

Explosions In The Sky, Surviving Post-Rock in Perpetuity

When turn-of-the-century post-rock was finding it’s voice amidst a constellation of comparable outfits, Explosions In The Sky earned their reputation rounding out that more relatable goldilocks zone between the manic joviality of Sigur Ros and almost soured minors of Mogwai. Earnestness is a word for what Explosions does with their “cathartic mini-symphonies,” and that earnestness is a part of why their work has enjoyed a longevity beyond its genre.

It’s not novel anymore; in fact, even in its nascence, post-pock, by the implication of its name, was derivative of an American musical orthodoxy being reacquainted to an even older compositional progenitor, the symphony, but it’s analogous to a certain shade of human emotions that cannot be accessed, musically, any other way.

Explosions’ Munaf Rayani has said, “We don’t consider ourselves post-rock at all,” but for me and many others, Explosions is the definitive artifact of a genre that moved mountains during its tenure. Whatever they do, they do it better than anyone else, and from the moment Rayani’s guitar washed over The Boulder Theater with the feedback of the first chord of the first song of the first show of their West Coast run earlier this month, it was clear that this is what the electric guitar is meant to be used for.

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The Line Up with Stax
to the Max, Bristerfest, Leftover Salmon, and Keller Williams

Alright Memphians, you know the drill—another week in, another weekend out. Well, this Friday and Saturday are gonna be huge! This weekend hosts not one, but two amazing festivals rich with Memphis culture.

Not only is this the weekend of Stax to the Max: A Soulsville Street Festival, but also the second annual BristerFest! With Friday holding its own with some great material to go out and go see, this weekend is gonna be massive!

Friday (4/27) is going to give you a hefty shot of bluegrass followed by a serving of someone defining the term “multi-instrumentalist.” Leftover Salmon and their quarter century of experience will be playing “Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass” (their words, not mine) at Minglewood Hall. Also billed is one-man band Keller Williams. Williams, who is known for his ability to jam through songs… with himself, will show his advanced super powers in the ways of looping, phrasing, and feeling the vibe enough to unleash some rad solos (err, literally).

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway:
The 4onthefloor,
Lion & Lamb

Dubbed “an unholy blend of Patterson Hood and Glenn Danzig” by scribes in their hometown of Minneapolis, The 4onthefloor are embarking on a spring tour to support the release of their latest 7-inch, Lion & Lamb, a split EP with fellow Minnesotans Roster McCabe.

The 4onthefloor contribute “Sheepskin,” the A-side track, with lead singer Gabriel Douglas’ grizzly baritone navigating the band’s twangy guitar and four (yes, four) bass drum rhythm section as if he’s just swallowed a razor blade and a shot of Bulleit Bourbon, respectively. Scratch that – straight up moonshine might be a more appropriate descriptor. Lion & Lamb is pressed on yellow vinyl, limited to 444 copies and available exclusively on the band’s tour.

This being the 4onthefloor’s third release in just one year, the quartet has plenty of material to draw from live. Standouts include “Bricklayer,” (check out the video below) and their cover of David Bazan’s “Wolves At The Door” from the 2011 EP, … And Four Riders Approached At Dawn.

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Posted in The TVD Storefront | 8 Comments

Weekend Shots!

Looking for some live music in Chicago this weekend? We’ve got you covered. Check out this weekend’s featured show along with a more extensive weekend list below!

STEPHEN PAUL SMOKER (Record Release Show) at The Empty Bottle, 4/27

Relocating to Chicago from Pennsylvania, Stephen Paul Smoker got right to work shaping indie pop music with psychedelic approach. After forming the group Ripe Fruit to to cover live performance duties, songwriting became a more collaborative effort. The debut full length record, Ripe Fruit was written and recorded last summer, and will be released through Kilo Records at the release show tonight. Take the listen to the album below, before heading out to the Empty Bottle.

You can order a copy of Ripe Fruit on limited edition clear vinyl through Kilo Records for just $16. You might want to get moving, because as of typing this, there are only 95 left. You can also pick up a copy in person tonight at the Empty Bottle.

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Weekend Shots, Jazz Fest Edition Part One!

Today I have the picks for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is bound to be one of the most crowded days with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers making their first appearance at the Fairgrounds. It’s on days like this that I recommend “going where they’re not.”

However, if you’re bound and determined to see Petty, get to the Acura stage bright and early (the gates open at 11 AM) and check out Empress Hotel. They are one of a rising number of indie bands that hail from Louisiana. My colleague at TVD NOLA, Ariane, likes them a lot.

The first big conflict of the day emerges in the second time slot. I have raved a lot in this space about Khris Royal and Dark Matter and Marc Stone interviewed me last week about my new book, so it’s hard to choose, but you really can’t go wrong with either act. Of course, you could split the difference and also check out Big Chief Walter Cook (pictured) and the Creole Wild West. They are the oldest Mardi Gras Indian gang and always come strong with many adults and kids resplendent in colorful suits.

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Who the hell is:

Who are you, where are you from, and how did you become Logikparty?

We are Stevie, Daniel, Gib, and Benni and we are a 21st century post-punk band from Dublin, Ireland. We got together just over 2 years ago. Initially it was on a fairly casual basis as four people who, in a round- about kind of way, knew of each other and just wanted to make some music. We were all really into the stuff that we were coming out with and decided to focus the whole thing a little bit more.

Tell us about your track “Anti Omerta?”

“Anti Omerta” is the first track on our debut album Oh Cult! which just came out on White Plague Records. We like playing this one live a lot.

In this age of blatantly crafted bland radio tunes it’s great to hear a band with the spirit of punk. Who would you say has been your major musical influence?

We’ve a whole bunch of influences, both individual and shared. Lots of people, scenes for lots of different reasons and from so many different genres. I guess in the grand scheme of things, anyone who has or is getting out there and doing things themselves, making things happen, and creating something that’s genuine is something we find really influential and inspiring.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Megan Reilly, The Well

Megan Reilly’s third album The Well was just released this past Tuesday, and we want to put a copy of her new LP in one lucky reader’s hands.

Reilly originally hails from Memphis but moved to New York City at the age of twenty-three to further her singing career. Her debut album Arc of Tessa was hailed as an “unheralded gem of alternative-country,” and her second album, Let Your Ghost Go, gave “beauty and pain a palpable sonic presence… Another triumph.”

Since releasing her second album, Reilly has had a child, moved to Philadelphia and then New Jersey, and has embraced a domesticated life. As such, the new album is a reflection of the vast changes that Reilly has undergone in the five years since Ghost.

Her website elaborates, “The album title refers to the muse that lies deep within that propels the music. ‘Despite my fear that I had used up all my talent on my first two records and had nothing to offer, the best work I’ve ever done was lying dormant all along, waiting for me to pay attention.’ The Well is vast and deep, running from Memphis to New York. It’s haunting and lovely. It’s a breakout work.”

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Posted in The TVD Storefront | 12 Comments

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