Monthly Archives: May 2012

TVD Vinyl Giveaway:
Marley, Original Movie Sountrack

The Original Soundtrack for the excellent Bob Marley doc, Marley has been on my desk at TVD HQ for close to two weeks now, staring at me, in anticipation of this vinyl giveaway. But I held off on purpose so I could catch the film first, for which I was able to set aside some time away from the turntable last weekend.

And how could I not? Bob’s music has been omnipresent for what seems like eons now. But in an odd twist, Marley’s strength as a portrait of the man lies not with music, but with the life lived.

Sure, the music informs the background, but it’s the man as a human being and a natural force—some might say, mystic—which propels the doc’s narrative. Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald is far more concerned with flesh and bone, rather than rattling off LP releases or meandering through the Marley discography, year by year, event by event—and it’s refreshing to say the very least.

But however refreshing a portrait the doc paints, it’s unfathomable to separate the man from his music—so we’re going to put the gorgeous 3 LP soundtrack into the hands of one of you.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 8 Comments

First full review of
Up Front and Center

I am very pleased to share with TVD readers the first print review of my new book. It was written by Geraldine Wyckoff and appeared in last week’s issue of the Louisiana Weekly. You can purchase your copy here.

“Finding Jay Mazza in a crowd at a club, festival or any musical event is easy. As his latest book directs, just look for him Up Front and Center. From that vantage point, Mazza, who for 13 years wrote a column, “Jazz City,” for The Louisiana Weekly, maximized his listening and dancing pleasure, devouring an impressively wide variety of music offered in New Orleans during the last 20-plus years.

Mazza takes the readers with him uptown, downtown and back-of-town as he offers personal reminiscences of singular and then again not so singular shows complete with who was on the bandstand. The author writes of the rise of such artists as the ReBirth Brass Band while setting the economic stages and mindsets that saw Tipitina’s become the king of the clubs and institutions such as Dorothy’s Medallion close its doors.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD New Orleans | Leave a comment

The Cake Shop
Needs Some Help

Well, as our economy makes it harder and harder for real independent small businesses to thrive, or even stay afloat, in these here United States of America, there are cities that still care about keeping this non-corporate part of our culture alive…like our beloved NYC!

I got an email a couple days ago from Nick Bodor, co-owner of the Lower East Side establishment, Cake Shop. I can’t tell you how many great rock shows I’ve seen in Cake Shop’s sweaty little basement with the Christmas lights above the “stage.” The last one being the absolutely kickass Mount Carmel. And EVERY time I’ve been to the Cake Shop, I’ve had a good time!

And the upstairs is great too: affordable drinks, friendly service, plush seating, good vibes, a small well-curated selection of vinyl, and of course CAKE, duh.

So the Cake Shop is having some financial trouble and could use the help of people like us who give a shit and don’t want to see the Lower East Side turn into a strip mall:

Read More »

Posted in TVD New York City | Leave a comment

The TVD First Date

“Growing up, my parents had and an old Victrola. I remember being so fascinated by it. It was like this giant mythical beast in our house.”

“Even the records were huge and heavy to me. I was always getting busted for trying to slow down the record (by hand) and hear what the record sounded like backwards. Then I would hear “ELIZABETH!” (you knew shit got real when you heard your full name) and then scamper to my room.

To be honest, the whole process sort of freaked me out. I had a pretty wild imagination when I was little and I was convinced that there was an entire family of tiny musicians inside the Victrola being controlled by the record. I also thought that unicorns traveled at night while we were all sleeping…

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
The Clean,

Over the decades there have been many bands in the post-Velvets guitar-rock sweepstakes, but none better than The Clean, New Zealand’s on-again off-again kings of post-punk/DIY string splendor and one of the cornerstones of the whole Flying Nun sound. In 1988, the generically titled Compilation LP helped introduce to world to their brilliance.

In the world of heavy-duty record collecting, single artist compilations are often viewed like a small army of redheaded stepchildren. The words Best Of and Greatest Hits are the tip off to a certain type of casual abbreviation, a CliffsNotes or Condensed Classics treatment for careers that obviously encompass much more than can be adequately summarized through the cherry-picking of chart-toppers or the most noteworthy tunes of an artist or act.

But sometimes these comps provide a valuable service in the procurement of music that was originally released on 78 RPM discs or vinyl 45s, records that would be tremendously difficult to obtain in their original form. Indeed, there is a big difference in perception between a lowly Best Of cash-in and a well-ordered anthology presenting often scarce and forbiddingly pricey material.

You want the easiest route to The Falcons, a ‘50’s-‘60s R&B group with members that included Eddie Floyd, Sir Mack Rice, Joe Stubbs, and Wilson Pickett? Well, that would be You’re So Fine and I’ve Found a Love, a pair of far from perfect yet basically indispensible LPs chronicling this historically titanic acts’ progress for the Lupine and Flick labels. You want to taste the root of jazz via New Orleans in the ‘20s? Any physical format other than shellac that holds Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens is a comp, some obviously better than others. You want the full picture on the early belladonna-whacked work of Siouxsie and the Banshees? Then please don’t neglect Once Upon a Time: The Singles.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Shell Zenner Presents

Greater Manchester’s most in the know radio host Shell Zenner broadcasts the best new music every week on the UK’s Amazing Radio.

You can also catch Shell’s broadcast right here at TVD, each and every Thursday.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Live: The Cult at The Fillmore, 5/27

What can I say about this band live that already hasn’t been said a million times? They are amazing on stage 30 years after their debut.

Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy might be the most underrated British rock duo of all time, but they couldn’t care less. Touring in support of their masterful new album Choice of Weapon, The Cult reminded the sold-out crowd why they still matter—maybe even now more than ever.

Opening the show with the classic “Lil Devil,” Billy Duffy struck his signature pose holding up his beautiful Gretsch guitar while iconic frontman Ian Astbury came out dressed as unusually as any longtime fan of the band might expect. They sound better than ever and they had all the confidence in the world as San Francisco welcomed them back in fine form.

The new track “Honey From a Knife” sounds surprisingly fresh and is a true standout on the new record. Without going through every song of the set, the band pulled heavily from their early material, including several songs from the legendary Love record. They played four songs from the new release, including “The Wolf,” “For the Animals,” and what I consider their best new song, “Lucifer.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD San Francisco | Leave a comment

Plants and Animals:
The TVD Interview

Montreal’s Plants and Animals have been around for a long time. Ten years, to be precise.

In that time, they’ve released an EP and four full-length albums, the most recent released in February of this year. This newest album, The End of That, was written with the idea of keeping the sound pared down, more natural and free of over-processing.

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with drummer Matthew “Woody” Woodley in anticipation of the band’s visit to Cleveland. Get to know the band a bit, and if you’re in Cleveland tonight, head out to the Beachland Tavern for their show.

Was there a record from when you were growing up that had a major impact on how you listened to music?

Hmmn… that’s a good question. Yes, of course. I discovered music growing up, and it probably had one of the most profound effects on me. I don’t know, when you find a record that you listen to over and over and over again, you like it because it connects with you, connects with what’s going on in your life. Maybe that’s better than listening to the timbre of John Coltrane’s saxophone.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Cleveland | Leave a comment

Do-Division Street Fest takes over Division St. this weekend, 6/1 – 6/3

This weekend, Chicago’s Division Street will once again be home to the annual Do-Division Street Fest & Sidewalk Sale, now in its sixth year. Kicking off on Friday, the now three day street fest spans 10 city blocks, from Ashland to Leavitt, and will play host to some of the best food, crafts, and music from the surrounding neighborhoods.

With an estimated turnout of 60,000 attendees, Division’s salons, spas, cafes, bakeries, boutiques, and restaurants will be participating in a massive sidewalk sale and Shedd Aquarium-sponsored scavenger hunt.

Throughout the weekend and across two stages, the Do-Division Street Fest will feature live music programmed by Empty Bottle Presents and Subterranean/House Call Entertainment.

Grab the complete lineup of amazing local and national talent, as well as all of the details you’ll need about the Street Fest, below.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Chicago | Leave a comment

Gary Hirstius, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Detective passes, Funeral set for 6/1

An accomplished and well-regarded singer/songwriter and guitarist who was musically affiliated with some of the best known musicians and bands in late 20th century New Orleans died at home on Friday, May 25, 2012.

Gary Bruce Hirstius was a New Orleans native who began playing music as a teenager. His father, Bruce, who survives him along with his mother JoAnn, is a Dixieland trumpeter. Hirstius gravitated to the guitar, and by 17 years of age was playing on Bourbon Street at the legendary Big Daddy’s nightclub.

He began his “other” career at the age of 21 when he joined a cousin who had experience as a police officer and began working as a private investigator. As he matured as a songwriter, some of his tunes were inspired by the gritty nature of detective work and were populated by the characters that he encountered doing surveillance work.

Read More »

Posted in TVD New Orleans | 2 Comments

Sophie Auster:
The TVD First Date

“My first taste of vinyl came from my brother.”

“Over the years he has amassed a giant collection ranging from classical to ’70s rock to house music. The collection has gotten so enormous that my Dad is storing hundreds at his studio in Brooklyn. I remember being six years old and flipping through the beautifully colored packaging of his 12 inch records and slowly slipping the thin black disks out of their sleeves.

My brother gave me my first record. It was by France Gall, the popular French singer of the Sixties. I remember how beautiful I thought she was on the cover of the record with her blonde bobbed hair and red turtleneck. I used to sit and sing along to the songs in French trying to make sense of the lyrics in a language foreign to me.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD 24 Hour Ticket Giveaway: CHAPPO at Rock and Roll Hotel, 5/31

Psychedelic-pop-electric-space-rock group CHAPPO is currently touring in support of their first full-length LP, Moonwater. The quartet will be stopping at the Rock & Roll Hotel tomorrow, May 31st, and we want to send you and a friend to the show!

The album was recorded in Vermont and produced by the band’s drummer/vocalist Zac Colwell. Colwell notes that the album is a slight departure from the group’s previous releases, saying, “We wanted to capture a certain energy and vibe, stripping down the gear, going really minimal to focus on the performance and obtain that freedom in the sound.”

While it has a more stripped down sound, Moonwater is still full of catchy, upbeat songs that will be sure to translate well into live performances. The Brooklyn-based band is notorious for raising the bar during their concerts, which usually feature feather headdresses and copious amounts of glitter and confetti.

The band’s infectious pop tunes have some describing them as “The Rolling Stones meets Beck in outer space, The Flaming Lips minus gravity.” To be honest, I don’t know for sure what this means, but I do know that it sounds awesome.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

Graded on a Curve:
J Mascis, Heavy Blanket

J Mascis plugs in and freaks out on Heavy Blanket. A blissfully heavy slab of instrumental scorch, it’s an expansive yet tidy expression of one aspect of his musical personality. It’ll likely appeal to only a portion of Dinosaur Jr.’s fanbase, but it’s no less interesting for that.

In case you didn’t already know, J Mascis is quite the adept guitarist. In fact, along with Thurston Moore, he served the role of guitar hero to a late-‘80s u-ground rock scene that was still close enough to its punk roots to consciously disdain the concept of string heroics as antithetical to what made the period’s hip crux of bands bubbling under the radar such a supreme kick.

That is, if Moore was Jimi Hendrix then Mascis was Jimmy Page and most of the wigs getting flipped by their abilities, if presented with such an analogy, would’ve likely sneered in disgust and berated the person making such an uncouth comparison as a total, um, dinosaur.

Yes, some folks comprehended the significance of the moniker Dinosaur (the Jr. being added after some real dinosaurs from the San Fran psyche scene demanded they change it), but for most listeners back then the name was simply a name, and indeed most of those same listeners didn’t know or particularly care that Dinosaur Jr. soaked up influence from such relics as Crazy Horse, Sabbath, and the general blunt sludginess of power-trio rock.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: 2:54, S/T

Right on the heels of the Scarlet EP last fall and the new album’s first single “You’re Early” last month, the ladies of 2:54 release their eponymous debut LP today via Fat Possum, and we would love to send a copy to one lucky reader.

“Creeping” was debuted earlier this month by Zane Lowe on BBC’s Radio 1, and next week, London-based sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow kick off their thirteen date North American headlining tour with support from Widowspeak after a festival stint, a few UK dates, and lending support to The xx. Busy, busy!

Stereogum has described 2:54 as is “a pair of British blood sisters with shoegazer and eyeliner smeared all over their music,” and mentions how they named themselves after a specific moment in “A History of Bad Men,” at their favorite (and totally fierce) part of their favorite Melvins song.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 9 Comments

Courtney Taylor-Taylor:
The TVD Interview

The Dandy Warhols have been called “The best British band from America.” In my professional musical opinion, I simply call them the best overall rock n roll band to come out of the 1990’s who continue to make amazing music.

Touring in support of their new record This Machine, lead singer and primary songwriter Courtney Taylor-Taylor took time to sit down with me before his sold out show at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore to talk about his ambitious new album, as well as a fascinating career of making incredible music.

What’s your favorite touring moment, past or present?

Meeting Stevie Nicks and hanging out with her when we were out with Tom Petty. We played the Greek; it was just an amazing show and an amazing time. It was right after Earth to the Dandy Warhols came out. She’s probably the single coolest human I ever met in my life.

Really? Is she a fan of the band? Does she know your music?

I don’t think so. I think she just heard us play and was like, “Wow! Your harmonies are really good, you guys are awesome.” We all had beards at the time and dressed in these tight pinstripe suits without the jackets. So, you’ve got the vest, pinstripe trousers, high heel boots, and blousy shirts with an ascot. She was like, “Man, I was seriously tripping earlier when the 4 of us were downstairs talking. I kept having to go, wait this is not my band. It is not 1975. This is not –” And I just kept thinking to myself, I wonder if she’s thinking that.

Ever had a Spinal Tap moment on tour?

Are you kidding? Everything about touring is so continuously Spinal Tap. I’m trying to think of a moment that isn’t Spinal Tap right now.

Read More »

Posted in TVD San Francisco | Leave a comment

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text