Monthly Archives: July 2012

TVD Video Premiere and Ltd. Ed. Vinyl Giveaway: Big Tree, “Augury”

California-by-way-of-New-York quintet Big Tree recently released their sophomore LP This New Year on absolutely stunning “autumnal split color” vinyl (see a snapshot of the test pressing below), and we have a chance for one lucky reader to win his or her very own copy of the official release.

Big Tree was kind enough to let us premiere their new video for “Augury” from This New Year, a TVD exclusive. The rolling grasslands and beaches in the video are a fitting backdrop for the lush vocals of Kaila McIntyre-Bader and Anna Ghezzi.

Soul Step Records released this limited edition run of only 100 split color records, which are sure to sell out soon. The album, the Lexington, Kentucky label’s second release, is also available on black vinyl.

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Grooves Shared:
Jeff Ogiba of
Black Gold Records
in Carroll Gardens

Since we’re all a tight-knit music-lovin’ community, we created this segment so that some of our good friends who are doing good things in the industry of human happiness could share the records that they’ve been diggin’ on lately.

This edition of Grooves Shared comes from Black Gold Records’ co-owner and head record buyer, Jeff Ogiba. Jeff has been buying and selling records for nearly a decade. Originally from the suburbs of New Jersey, Ogiba had many collecting hobbies before getting caught up in records. With his love for music and collecting combined, he figured he might as well make a living off of the countless records he was beginning to encounter. The rest was history.

Black Gold opened in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn in the spring of 2010. Black Gold’s concept includes new and used record sales alongside a coffee bar. The bins are stocked with a large variety of music from indie to jazz, blues, rock, funk, soul, punk, metal and everything in-between. The walls are adorned with antiques with a focus on the occult that range from the Victorian era to the mid century. Nearly everything is for sale. The shop has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, press, and support. And this here editor digs it fully.

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Love Sessions: A Festival of Giving announces appearances by Dee Dee Bridgwater

This morning, Grammy-award winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield announced the fourteen non-profit organizations that will receive funds from the annual concert series that occurs every August.

The concerts are returning to Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel and Irvin Mayfield’s I Club at the J.W. Marriott New Orleans for “twelve night of music and twelve nights of giving.” The series extends from August 18-29, 2012.

Jazz vocalist extraordinaire Dee Dee Bridgewater (pictured) will be the special guest at the I Club from Saturday, August 25 through Wednesday, August 29. Doors open at 7:30 PM and the performance begins at 8:30 PM.

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The Kennedys:
The TVD First Date

“I was lucky to have had an older brother who left his Bob Dylan and Ramones albums lying around.”

“But the first time I heard his Queen albums, I was floored by the sound of their harmonies. I used to lock myself into my bedroom in 9th and 10th grade and learn each of the harmony parts and piece together my own arrangements. I knew their songs inside and out.

One day I went to a local record shop with my friends and we were looking at all the albums we couldn’t afford. That’s when I spotted the import section. They had a Japanese import of Queen’s A Day At The Races. I went straight from hand-me-down LPs to buying the most expensive.

I had no money, and that import was priced at nearly twice as much as the U.S. version, but the Japanese script was so pretty, and the album was wrapped in a thick plastic sleeve with a colorful printed cuff around it. The vinyl was so THICK, that I knew it would last longer than my other Queen records, which I had practically worn through.

I started saving up that day. I had a paper route and I figured that in three weeks I’d have enough money to buy the album. I went to the store twice a week to make sure nobody else had bought it, and on the day that I had enough money, I walked into that store like it was a shrine, and I picked the album out of the rack and brought it to the front counter.

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TVD Recommends: John Michaels & Seven Ships at Uncommon Ground tonight, 7/31

Alt-folk rock group, John Michaels & Seven Ships, led by none other than John Michaels himself, has recently released a serious and seriously enjoyable sophomore record.

The Chicago folk outfit puts the depth of their eclectic and seasoned musicians on proud display for the latest release, Other Side of the Stars.

Other Side of the Stars will be out on limited edition vinyl later this year, and the band will be performing tracks from the LP tonight at Uncommon Ground. Grab all of the details you’ll need below.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Gaslight Anthem, Handwritten

Handwritten, the fourth record from The Gaslight Anthem, the New Jersey concern fronted by songwriter Brian Fallon, opens and closes in good form. It’s what’s in between that creates a huge problem. Long on the influence of certain archetypes, it’s regrettably short on songs that transcend them.

Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer, Kurt Cobain; something all these mythic figures share is the status awarded them by legions of fans as being worthy of the honorific “real.” Some are heavy in the quality known as roots, other excel at offering up large doses of what’s often called sincerity, and all are lacking in pretention, instead possessing an abundance of the authentic.

Since its very beginnings, rock music has had a constantly shifting relationship to the concept of the real. Before the big mid-‘60’s shift (Sgt. Pepper, Dylan, Pet Sounds and the rumblings from the LA and San Fran scenes) that resulted in the form gaining real cultural capital, there was no significant friction with a band hailing from a land-locked heartland state and playing surf music, or in stepping onto stage wearing thematic, borderline ridiculous costumes. In fact, if you named your band the Pirates then it made total sense to dress up like practitioners of nautical thievery.

That ‘60’s sea change toward the serious continues to influence music to this very day. David Bowie’s enshrinement in the pantheon aside, there is a sizable contingent that gets nervous over any open desire by a musician or band to engage with the artificial or to adopt a persona. For instance, many still debate the worth of glam rock, and the tendency for theatricality is often seen as suspect, even though it encompasses names as disparate as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, Kiss, Parliament, The Residents, Gwar and even non-rock fellow travelers like Sun Ra’s Arkestra.

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Colin Blunstone:
The TVD Interview

Colin Blunstone has enjoyed a serendipitous career in music. When he met Rod Argent in 1961 and formed what would become The Zombies, he couldn’t have imagined they’d win a Decca recording contract and write some of the most memorable music of the era. Equally surprising to some is that Blunstone and Argent continue to write music as The Zombies, and have released more albums in the last twenty years or so than they did during their ’60s heyday. Their latest LP, 2011’s Breathe Out, Breathe In, has been a critical benchmark, rivaling the praise received for their ’60s psychedelic epic, Odessey and Oracle.

And they continue to move forward, recording in Argent’s home studio, releasing albums on their own label, and booking their own wildly popular tours. Colin is one of the most affable of frontmen, and he took time from The Zombies’ massive touring schedule to talk about his musical inspirations, what it was like to be part of the British Invasion, and the freedom of creating music like an indie band well into his 60s.

It’s cool how your website is divided up into Past, Present and Future. It’s not often that bands that got their start in the ‘60s continue to put out music that fans love AND that’s critically-acclaimed. Are you surprised that you’re still so well-received?

Well, I’ll be absolutely honest with you… We are completely surprised, but of course in a very pleasant way. I think when Rod [Argent] and I got back together again — although, we’ve worked together continually over the years — Rod has produced many of my albums, and I’ve worked in concert with him regularly. But when we got back together again to tour in the year 2000, to start with we didn’t play many Zombies songs. We honestly didn’t know the intensity of the interest in The Zombies records were. But it just came as a very pleasant, total surprise!

Gradually we gauged from the audiences’ reactions that they loved The Zombies’ songs and we introduced more and more songs, and we’re very happy to play as many songs as people want from our back catalog. Perhaps we would always just add that we like to play new songs as well, and that’s been the biggest thrill of all — that the new songs we play get as strong a reaction as the classics from the ‘60s. And that’s been really, really heartening.

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The Dead Tricks:
The TVD First Date

“Punk is restless, passionate, impulsive, and always over too soon.”

“It lends itself so well to the vinyl seven inch format. So many of its greatest bands are forgotten, just one brilliant single that they couldn’t match in album format. I loved that crackle of the needle hitting the vinyl and all the pent-up anticipation of what the ensuing music would sound like.

My first experiences with vinyl were well before streaming so once you set the needle down, you had no idea what the music would actually sound like. I used to pop caffeine pills, like 4 a day, (with coffee!) and these short bursts of intensity soundtracked me finding myself within punk rock. It was a manic time, but as a budding guitarist and a songwriter I studied these 5 singles and they shaped me.

The UK Subs “Betrayal” / “Nobody Move” – Yes, this isn’t one of the Subs classics, but it was my first exposure to them and it blew me away. The thing about this single is that Discharge’s Terry Bones played guitar on the B-Side, “Nobody Move.”

His rhythm guitar tone (yes, I’m sort of a geek with this shit) just leveled me. It was so powerful and exacting. I got a chance to tour with these guys in 1999 and they destroyed every band on the bill every night. It was so inspiring.

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Vinyl Video: Sillyboy, “All the Records”

Last week on my personal Facebook page I was lamenting the absence of anything of quality from a new (or new to me) band in my mailbox—then along came Athens’ (as in Greece, not Georgia) act Sillyboy with two tracks I couldn’t get out of my head this weekend.

The first of the two tracks, “Supply Chain,” is TVD’s Single of the Week, and above is the actual first single off the forthcoming release, Nature of Things, due on store shelves in September, 2012 on Just Gazing Records.

Catchy, huh? 

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Butchers & Bakers:
The TVD First Date

Butchers & Bakers play Washington, DC’s Paperhaus on Saturday, 8/4.

“I wanted that white Sonic Youth record. Soundtrack to some art film, I’d look at it at least once a week at Kim’s Underground, in the back of the video store, imported, maybe Japanese vinyl.”

“But I did buy at Kim’s: Call the Doctor: “This is love and you can’t make it in a formula or shake me,” which lead to Sleater-Kinney’s self-titled album— I believe on 10 inch vinyl. Corin Tucker’s blood-curdling chorus in “Wedding Song,” “I don’t owe you anything,” the perfect cadence of her rage gave voice to my own.

Bits of each record went on to mixtapes, painted with sparkly nail-polish and inserts painstakingly collaged and annotated in tiny teen-print. I bought out everything Sleater-Kinney related at Kim’s and Rocks in Your Head, down to the compilation Move into the Villa Villa Kula with a twelve minute Eileen Myles spoken word piece on the B-side and Sleater-Kinney’s “More Than a Feeling” cover. I don’t think I’d even heard the original version.

But it started with 45s, books on record, probably age three. “This is the story of Star Wars. You will know its time to turn the page when you hear R2-D2 go like this.” And Sesame Street Disco, the Lady and the Tramp soundtrack with the Disney image emblazoned on the record, and Karl Orff’s Music for Children— marimbas, timpani, before Orff became the soundtrack to twee indie rom-coms.

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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.

Ruarri Joseph – Anyway
St. Lucia – Closer Than This (Viceroy Remix)
Ugly Winner – Fret One (Grow Old)
DiRTY RADiO – Holiday
This is Cinema – Mädchen
Lymbyc Systym – Prairie School
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Visions
The Orwells – In My Bed
The Sea and Cake – Harps
Empresarios – Volume

Sillyboy – Supply Chain

Bushwiccan – Malatesta
Snowblink – Black & White Mountains
Mean Creek – Young And Wild
Ape School – Cocaine & Guns ASAP
Height With Friends – Hard Work
Sophie Madeleine – Oil & Gold
Lee Bannon – Impressions
Deleted Scenes – English as a Second Language
Sondre Lerche – Boxing Day
Bear Mountain – Two Step

29 more FREE TRACKS after the jump!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Ok, it’s almost the end of July. We’ve been to the beach and I watched my 4 year old, Jonah take to swimming and a sun tan. I’m crusin’ through my list of summer activities, one of which is none other than an Idelic tradition; the Summer Playlist.

I’m calling this Hour’s set “Sum Fun.” The first half hour is songs inspired by going to the beach with a “go” attitude—call it, Hollywood surf- punk. The second half of the set is what I’ll call, “Beach Blanket 2012.”

Funny… I was thinking about that summer in 1980, the days I moved from NYC to LA. As a young punk rocker, I thought punk was over, so what’s next? Might as well move to California and learn how to surf and see what California chicks were like. I was thrilled to find out that surfers were just turning onto punk. LA had Rodney Bingenheimer playing a mix of local punk bands and old surf legends.

Once or twice a week I’d drive to the coast and pick a beach and “paddle out” to test my NYC surfing skills. The Hollywood spot to hang late night was not a club, but a grubby Hawaiian style burger stand on Santa Monica Boulevard called Oki’s Dogs. Dude! Teriyaki burgers and burritos—stuff with a crazy mixture of hot dogs, chilli pastrami, and cheese. What a kooky mix, but what a blast!

Southern California is where the city meets the beach like absolutely no other place in this world! Let’s explore it—past and present—on this week’s Idelic Hour!

The Idelic Hit of the Week:
Poolside – California Sunset

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Weekend Shots!

There are literally a lot of musical things going on in DC this weekend. Brace yourselves.

Friday (7/27) Violinist-vocalist Kishi Bashi will be in town Friday night at U Street Music Hall, bringing along Tall Tall Trees to the sold-out show.

The Red Palace will be hosting Royal Bangs’s “kinetic rock and roll,” with talented local openers The Blackberry Belles. If you’re hungry for some food and tunes, head over to Comet Ping Ping for Natural Child, The Doozies, and Birdcloud and chow down on delicious pizza pre-gig festivities. And if you’re thirsty, the Rock & Roll Hotel is holding its monthly Spelling Buzz. Take shots and spell ‘til you can’t no mo’.

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TVD Live: Ed Sheeran
at Irving Plaza, 7/24

What more could you want from someone than being able to sing, play guitar, plus have an English accent? Personally, that’s really it for me.

Ed Sheeran brought those three things along with an uncanny ability to catch an audience’s attention to his show this past Tuesday at Irving Plaza. Sheeran’s most recent success stems from the single off of +(Plus) entitled “The A Team.” It took less than 20 seconds to get the entire crowd singing along to Sheeran’s songs. Opening with the album’s closer, “Give Me Love” (my personal favorite track off the album), Ed led the audience in an eight-minute-long sing-a-long leading simply with his voice and an acoustic guitar.

He continued to woo the audience members with his spectacular voice and unbelievable rapping skills. Yes, rapping.

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TVD Live: The Vans Warped Tour at Nassau Coliseum, 7/21

Flash flooding and thunderstorms in the surrounding cities did not stop the rock at the Vans Warped Tour at the Nassau Coliseum last weekend.

Tens of thousands of eager fans, young and old, lined up hours before doors opened to see their favorite acts, including some of this year’s headliners: New Found Glory, All Time Low, Taking Back Sunday and The Used. 60+ bands took to the stages between the hours of 11:30AM to 8PM to show off their rock and roll, punk rock, R&B, pop, and hip-hop chops.

Although I haven’t been going to Warped Tour since the day I was born, I have been an avid attendee for the past four years. This year was no different, with the large crowds, numerous mosh pits, and parents in the corner watching over their kids.

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