Monthly Archives: April 2012

TVD Video Premiere:
Capgun Coup, “Q&A”

“Sometimes you learn more about yourself than someone else when you ask a question. But some people never learn anything. Such is the plight of the questioning protagonist in this little number. Are you real life? As real as my hand crashing into your face. Are you free tonight? I’m not sure that I’ve ever been that way. Etcetera, etcetera.”

I know.

You’re in your office cubicle or somewhere else superficially going about your day then suddenly you’re contemplating the complexities of life via Capgun Coup’s self-described background for their brand new video for “Q&A” which we’re delighted to premiere this afternoon. Who knew gravitas could be so damn catchy?

Capgun Coup’s new release, Contextual Doom is out on May 8 via ORG Music. Doom marks their ORG Music debut after two records with Team Love. The band will be touring out to LA in June with dates to be announced soon. Anticipate a vinyl edition of Contextual Doom later in 2012.
Band photo: Tony Bonacci

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TVD’s Jazz Fest Picks,
Day One

Well it’s finally here—the event we’ve all be waiting for. You know who all the big names are that are on the schedule, so don’t expect to read about them here. My picks are bands and musicians that you may not be so familiar with. Remember—it’s a marathon not a sprint and if you’re not there all day, you’re not doing it right.

You can’t go wrong starting your day with some Mardi Gras Indians and the Semolian Warriors are led by one of the most impressive Big Chiefs on the streets. Yam, as he is known to all, has masked under some of the most legendary uptown Indians and now leads his own tribe.

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Graded on a Curve:
Esquivel, Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music

It’s not often that a compilation of thirty-year old music is almost as representative of the time of its issue as it is of the artist that originally made it, but that’s the case with Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music from the always suave and ever distinctive musician known to many as simply Esquivel. If the ‘90s fad for lounge and exotica sounds is often perceived as an unfortunate occurrence, it did hold a few pleasant twists and turns. This is one of them.

When Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music, a quite unexpected compilation of material by one-of-a-kind Mexican band leader/composer Juan García Esquivel first hit the racks back in 1994 via Bar/None Records, it was a welcome curveball of smooth lounge/exotica strangeness and a dish unspoiled by the potential taint of contemporary approximation. For outside of Combustible Edison I consider the ‘90s retro-lounge field to be a rather dismal bunch of pikers, and while I do enjoy them in doses I’m not even all that bonkers over Edison (though I am rather taken with Edison members Michael Cudahy and Elizabeth Cox’s non-retro inclined previous group Christmas). For the record I consider the excellent Chicago band Coctails to fall outside the genre.

The only sticky thing about Esquivel’s unlikely rise from obscurity was pondering if people were sincerely digging him (or fellow exotica specialists Martin Denny or Les Baxter); it was always possible they were just being infuriatingly ironic. This situation was sorta similar to the ebbing and flowing penchant of folks attaching themselves to Z-grade movies, but different in that nobody would actually fess up to believing it was “so bad its good.” However, spending too much time wondering about the ultimately innocuous motives of others is a surefire way to end up in a straightjacket. And whenever I would listen to Esquivel’s stuff my concern just evaporated anyway, for it’s a truly inspired and loony trip.

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Show of the Week: Social Distortion at Minglewood Hall, 5/1

Punk godfathers Social Distortion will tear through Minglewood Hall here in town on May 1st. Formed in 1978, the band has seen its ups and downs, but has forever changed punk rock and will continue to inspire on Tuesday night.

Their last record Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes was released early last year; a new one is planned for next year sometime, which as Social D fans know, would be a very short wait between albums.

Doors at 7pm. Show at 8pm. The Toadies and Lindi Ortega will open the show. Get tickets here.

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The Hives invade
the States in June

As if quickly taking the lead in my Album Cover of The Year wasn’t enough, The Hives have announced a North American tour that kicks off June 19 in Washington, DC which follows the release of their new (and excellent!) album, Lex Hives, on June 5. More dates will follow this fall. Tickets will go on sale to the general public, Friday, April 27 at 10:00am EDT via Ticketmaster.

The band recently visited the Jimmy Kimmel Show performing their current single, “Go Right Ahead”:

The band made a return to the live stage with two explosive Coachella performances, which were widely regarded as a festival highlight. During the first weekend, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist enticed the crowd of thousands to sit down during their last song, then rise back up en masse. However on the second weekend, he upped the ante by getting the entire crowd to lie down!

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Jack White’s solo debut Blunderbuss rolls into NYC this week

Jack White‘s Blunderbuss was released Tuesday by Third Man Records/Columbia, immediately receiving a particularly warm reception from the New York media.”

“And now, Jack White will be giving back to the city that’s so warmly embraced his debut album, as his Third Man Records Rolling Record Store hits the Big Apple on Thursday the 26th to bestow upon the citizenry free tickets to Jack White’s American Express Unstaged concert at Webster Hall on Friday, April 27th.”

“An educational vinyl adventure center on wheels, Third Man Records’ Rolling Record Store will be wheeling into locations all over the New York City area, then Tweeting each location along with instructions on how to claim a pair of free tickets to the show. There are only five pairs of tickets, one pair to be given away at each of five locations.”

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Louisiana Music Factory kicks off Concert Series tomorrow

Our favorite folks at the downtown record store have a full slate of in-store performances scheduled for the next ten days. They take off on Jazz Fest days, but the fun begins on Thursday.

The performances begin at noon with trombonist and Where Y’At magazine cover boy Glen David Andrews (pictured) and continue on the hour until 7 PM when the Royal Southern Brotherhood will be concluding their set. In between expect to see Joe Krown, Sarah Quintana. Little Freddie King, the Soul Rebels and the Young Pinstripe Brass Band.

The Soul Rebels are a must-see if you can’t stay for the whole day. They are on a hot stretch since releasing their newest record on Rounder Records. I am also excited about the Royal Southern Brotherhood. This is Cyril Neville’s latest project and I missed then at the French Quarter Fest.

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NYC -> AUS for
Austin Psych Fest

This New Yorker sidestepped the (perhaps) overblown SXSW music and media conference this year and instead chose to visit good ol’ freaky Austin, Texas this weekend for the 5th annual Austin Psych Fest.

My head would just spin (in the wrong way) with the number of bands playing at SXSW. Whereas Austin Psych Fest has filtered through a lot of the absolute best acts out there now making mind-expanding, reverb-drenched psychedelic jams.

This lineup is absolutely sick and includes heavy hitters like the Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Lips, Wooden Shjips, The Entrance Band, and Olivia Tremor Control. And APF also showcases some of my very recent favorites like Quilt, The Paperhead, Amen Dunes, Night Beats, Psychic Ills, Strangers Family Band, MMOSS, Orange Revival, Peaking Lights, Sun Araw, Spindrift, Bombino, Allah Las…and I could go on and on.

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TVD Recommends: Archie Powell & the Exports record
release show at the Subterranean, 4/27

Feeling a bit burnt out after the craziness of Record Store Day? Well, you better pull yourself together, because this weekend Chicago’s Archie Powell & the Exports are gearing up to release their sophomore record, Great Ideas in Action.

The pop rock quartet has been gaining major traction across Chicago and the rest of the country and are preparing to embark on a 25 city tour across the US and Canada.

Archie Powell & the Exports will be celebrating the release and kicking off their tour at the Subterranean this Friday, 4/27. Grab all of the details you need, below.

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Graded on a Curve:
Allo Darlin’, Europe

The finest examples of indie-pop manage to feel deliciously out of step with current trends, leaving their mark by confidently being themselves in a sea of records spinning variations on the latest thing. London’s Allo Darlin’ has a secure handle on this tradition, and their second long player Europe is not only a well-done expression of what makes the genre so appealing, but also bodes well for the band’s future.

In a manner not unlike how zydeco is identified with Louisiana or no-wave is described as a style of New York development, indie-pop is essentially thought of as a form born from the United Kingdom, for that is where its generally acknowledged roots (the melodically inclined punk of The Buzzcocks, pop-savvy post-punkers such as Television Personalities, Josef K, and Orange Juice) are all located, and it’s also the locale that really kick started the whole movement in earnest (think The Smiths, C86, and both Sarah and Creation Records).

Sure, there were certainly a few likeminded groups across the globe (say Beat Happening in Olympia, Washington, The Cannanes in Sydney, Australia, and Shonen Knife in Osaka, Japan) but these outliers weren’t really integrated into the scheme of things until indie-pop spilled out into a global movement in reaction to the post-grunge ‘90s (one instance of a parallel scene, New Zealand’s proliferation of small bands centered largely around the Flying Nun label, rests almost entirely on its own merits and should be looked upon as a scene unto itself).

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Alias Punch: New 4 track EP Hyperborea

Alias Punch seem to inhabit a strange and slightly surreal world. It’s a place that appears to exist someway down the psychedelic Yellow Brick Road in a caravan next to Fred Schneider’s angry Love Shack. You’ve only got to look at both sides of the cover art of their new vinyl release to get a feel of where they are coming from.

The band are based in Orlando, Florida and are Dusty Mondy (bass/vocals), Jasper Bleu (guitar/vocals), and Arkie Jay (drums/vocals) and have just released their new 4 track 7″ EP entitled Hyperborea, through Glowmobile Recording Company.

In their own words, they say they have “a relentless ambition that tickles them during the sleepless hours of the night” and you can just imagine them mentally riffing in their 2 am meanderings, then legging it down the road at first light to lay the track down.

All credit to them. They have managed to take the gruelling monotony of life, (again their own words) and mix it into a Psychedelic / Garage / Rock ‘n Roll cocktail that deserves to be imbibed in quantity on a drunken Saturday night. All in all, a very cool piece of work. Party on!

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TVD Recommends: FORWARD Festival, Educational Forum, & Record Sale, 4/25-29

FORWARD DC is back! Entering its fifth year, the five-day celebration of electronic creative culture is presented by EightyEightDC and showcases music, art, and new media.

Through electronic creative culture, FORWARD aims to unite artists, attendees, and the greater D.C. community in cultivating a caring, conscious society interested in pro-actively pushing things forward.

The festival, which features live performances, art exhibitions, and workshops, kicks off tomorrow and runs through Sunday, and this year’s theme is “Organic.”

The aim is “to get back to our roots, live healthy and embrace that which is raw and pure. Artistically, organic will be represented in all visual aspects of the festival, with a particular focus on the 5 Chinese elements of the natural world: Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal. Musically, the festival will focus more on back-to-back DJ nights, artists that we feel have an organic sound, and installations that reflect the theme.”

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TVD Live: Cursive, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and The Conduits at
the Hi-Tone, 3/17

Generally speaking, there are not many reasons to like Tuesday. It’s right next to Monday, so it only reminds you that the weekend is far away. Furthermore, the television won’t even offer you respite from your hard day at work. (I mean, who still watches Biggest Loser anyways?)

Well, this past Tuesday, The Conduits, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and Cursive came to the Hi-Tone Cafe, and if you happened to miss out—it was much better than anything NBC had to offer.

What sweetened the pot is that I had the chance to chat with Conduits about touring and music before the show. We spoke of their moody and dark aesthetic and its ability to still sound big. When discussing arrangement and their sense of crescendo, we touched on influences ranging from Jon Bonham to Mogwai.

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Brooklyn’s Great
Googa Mooga Festival Announces Lineup

Not too long ago, we told you about the upcoming first-ever Great GoogaMooga festival, which will go down on May 19th and 20th at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

Brought to you by Superfly Presents, the besties in festies who created the Bonnaroo juggernaut, the Great GoogaMooga is something altogether different. It’s as much a food and drink festival as it is a music festival. And there are free general admission tickets as well as the all-inclusive paid ticket experience.

From the press release: “Like a great chef decides upon the perfect food combination and then picks the ideal wine to go along in order to create the ultimate meal, Superfly has curated the music to complement the unprecedented food experience that is GoogaMooga. It is a line up that has something for everybody — from soul to gospel to jazz to punk to indie rock and even cover bands – and the thread connecting it all is that each band is upbeat, fun, and brings the party to wherever they perform.”

So let’s take a look at the just-announced music schedule for the Great GoogaMooga:

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway:
I Break Horses, Hearts

While our 10 Weeks of Record Store Day Vinyl Giveaways have come to an end, we’re still in the mood for some giving. Today we have a copy of Hearts, the debut LP of Swedish export I Break Horses, that we want to put in the hands of one TVD reader.

The Stockholm-based I Break Horses, made up of Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck, met each other through an online medical forum for hypochondriacs. In addition to sharing the same disease, the two also learned they shared similar music tastes. They would go on to spend the next three years gathering ideas and recording music before releasing their debut album, Hearts, on Bella Union last year.

The band’s haunting, atmospheric sound has garnered I Break Horses comparisons to the likes of Zola Jesus and My Bloody Valentine, as well as widespread critical acclaim. The Guardian praises the band’s earthy instrumentation and Lindén’s vocals, noting that Hearts is full of “heady, sumptuously textured soundscapes that pulse with feeling.”

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