Monthly Archives: September 2012

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

“Shanah tovah” is a Jewish, well Hebrew saying, used this time of year. It’s wish of wellness in the wake of Yom Kippur, a somewhat somber holiday. The saying means “Yo, have a sweet and good year.” Be sweet (like a Greg Duli song). I love that.

Let’s face it, I look pretty Jewish. It’s an “identity” I will never shake. Over the years, I’ve grown comfortable with the rituals and practices of religion, but by nature have never been a church goer. Spirituality however, comes to me with ease, and this week what us Jews call “the high holidays,” do feel spiritual.

My high holiday playlist was sparked by a new review on Pitchfork for the reissue of the 1987 R.E.M. album Document. The review, like R.E.M., was rich in thought, so I set out to do a thoughtful mix. Maybe I’d riff on songs like “The One I Love” or the amazing “It’s The End Of the World As We Know It?” Somehow the song felt ripe. I love the concept, but is it deadly serious or a goof?

A couple of days of digging through crates and I had no answers. R.E.M. and their 1987 hit album has served as muse for this “spiritual” Idelic Hour if only in title, “The Document.” The truth is I don’t often know what the fuck I’m doing, just as we really don’t know what will happen this coming year. My wish is for sweetness.

In the end, this playlist is spiritual and psychedelic. From Twink to Tame Impala, Dylan LeBlanc to Westerberg. Yes, sweetness.

The Idelic Hit of the Week:
Paul Westerberg – My Road Now

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TVD Live:
The Wallflowers at
the Black Cat, 9/26

Last night I did something I never thought I’d do, and that no right thinking sentient being should ever contemplate doing–I went to see the Wallflowers.

You heard me right. I went with the ex-wife, who has–and who doesn’t?–a major crush on Jakob Dylan. Why, I have a man crush on him myself. Still, there’s a big difference between loving a man–there’s no shame in that–and going to see his band, which may well be the unhippest group this side of Maroon 5. Why, even admitting you listen to the Wallflowers–much less that you love them–is grounds for commitment in 35 states. There are some things you just don’t do, like make love to a fish. I love Counting Crows’ “Mr. Jones,” but you don’t see me going to see them play live. Yet anyhow.

But I went, because the ex asked me to, and the truly horrifying thing–the unconscionable, impossible, unforgiveable thing–is that I loved them. They rocked the house, which was full of women who were obviously there because they love Jakob Dylan every bit as much as my ex-wife does. Their guitarist had major chops, and their keyboardist leaped around like a dervish filling out the sound, and they were LOUD–loud and raucous and not at all wimpy like their dopey and forgettable records.

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TVD Recommends: Grammy GPS, A Road Map for Today’s Music Biz, 9/29

Becoming educated and hanging out with some of modern music’s most influential don’t always come hand-in-hand.

Thankfully, The Grammy’s GPS exists to mend this conundrum. This Saturday marks another installment of Grammy GPS, a concentrated effort put on by the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, whch aims to help those trying to break into the industry burst through the glass ceiling of amateurism. Every year the Grammys bring an assorted and impressive guest list of speakers, panels, and shows to the Stax Academy and local venues to educate and open doors for anyone overwhelmed or curious and musically ambitious.

This year begins Friday evening at the New Daisy with dirt-rustling Alabama Shakes. The Shakes will have a sit-down Q&A as well as a short exclusive performance for GPS members before they take the stage in a fullscale production for a sold-out show at the New Daisy.

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Weekend Shots: Gonerfest 9 Edition!

Vicious vibes are brewing up in Memphis this weekend. Thrashing guitars are king and snuff out any hope for sugary pop.

Memphis’ underground and legendary label Goner is hosting its 9th reccurance of GonerFest, bringing in the most known unknown icons from all around the world. Although the opening ceremony and subsequent first evening of Gonerfest have come and passed in the past 24, there’s still A LOT of great shows to see. Get your IDGAF attitude ready, it’s time for weekend shots!

Friday (9/28) starts at the break of waking for the late nighters at 1pm at the Buccaneer Lounge. Memphis band Toxie brings talent from the city’s vast musician sound scape. Will McElroy and Ben Bauermeister (Magic Kids) and Madison Farmer (Coasting) give Toxie its reputation of being an all-star bluff city line-up well worth seeing. After that, stick around to see a Madison, WI standout. The Hussy are a two-piece well versed in both psychedelic and garage. They’ll be closing the afternoon set so come out to rock your face off before the sun sets.

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Weekends Shots!

September flew by, didn’t it? In a last-ditch effort to win your allegiance, it seems that many of Cleveland’s local venues have scheduled fantastic shows this weekend. If that’s not enough to confuse your decision, Cincinnati is hosting its annual MidPoint Music Festival, which has an impeccable lineup as always. 

We really think you ought to catch Margot & the Nuclear So & So’s at Grog Shop tonight. This band first caught our ears because of its lush orchestration, but since its earlier years, the band has grown and embraced a heavier sound, often switching from tender moments of pop purity to hearty moments that are a darker rock. The band released its fourth full-length album, Rot Gut, Domestic, earlier this year.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, here’s the best of the rest:

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TVD Live: Metric
at the Music Center
at Strathmore, 9/21

The pristine Music Center Strathmore took a break from its typically orchestral stylings with energetic synth-rock courtesy of Metric on September 21.

The night had a slow start, opening with low-tempo tracks from the Canadian group’s latest release Synthetica. But once “Help, I’m Alive” off 2009‘s Fantasies kicked in, the sold out crowd was on their feet.

The venue itself put Metric in an odd spot. The Strathmore was built for musical performances; the room’s acoustics were impeccable, not that seasoned performing pros Emily Haines & Co. needed the boost. Yet the clean, light-wooded, seated Music Center felt too mint and bright for the gritty, infectious electro-rock which all but requires mimicking Haines’ constant jumping and trashing.

Then again, Metric sold-out the almost 2,000 seat venue so the space’s size was necessary, especially considering the band’s history with D.C. and their affection for the 9:30 Club.

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Weekend Shots!

Friday is finally here, Seattle. If you find time during your last days of this shockingly long Indian summer, (which you should, for Decibel Festival is here) these are my picks for the shows that shouldn’t be missed!

Bloc Party at Showbox Sodo, 9/28 | Heading off the weekend with a tour to promote their newest album, Four, comes British indie-rock favorites, Bloc Party. Bloc Party goes back to their roots with Four, so expect a little bit of jerky, guitar riffs and softer tracks to mellow their set out when they perform at Showbox Sodo on Friday.

Punk-band Ceremony opens up for the Brit foursome. Doors open at 8PM for the all-ages show. $25 for advance tickets, $28 at the door.

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Posted in TVD Seattle | 2 Comments

Weekend Shots!

For those of you who didn’t quite get Song of the Summer Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” and are passing on Sunday’s Merriweather Post Pavilion gig, there’s still plenty going on at D.C.’s venues this last September weekend.

Friday 9/29, Angus Stone (sans Julia) plays the Rock & Roll Hotel for an evening of soothing indie for a sweet, relaxed end to a long work week. Those with energy to spare can dance the night away with U Street Music Hall and DC9’s weekly ragers, Red Fridays and Liberation Dance Party, respectively.

The trippy Crystal Castles begins its two night-stint at the 9:30 Club with a sold out show Saturday (9/30), and tickets are still available for Sunday’s gig. Grimes’ UHall Saturday synth-pop set is sold-out, but come at 10 to for disco-tinged Classixx supported by Will Eastman and Ozker.

Synth seems to be the theme for Saturday night, with D.C.’s Dance for the Dying celebrating the release of their second EP at Red Palace. Ugly Purple Sweater and Fire and the Wheel are set to join the dance-rock group.

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TVD Kickstarts: Zachary James
& the All Seeing Eyes

Zachary James & The All Seeing Eyes have launched a Kickstarter to fund their sophomore release “SPACE CASE,” a new full length album drenched in James’ signature brand of infectious hooks and cosmic rock ‘n’ roll, on a never-before pressed limited edition vinyl.

Inspired by the glam-rock possibilities of space and alien-rockers (ala Ziggy Stardust), James is taking the interstellar themes within the record to a bold new frontier. The record will be pressed on GALAXY themed vinyl for the 12” LP.

Swirled with black, blue, white, purple, and pink vinyl, and dusted with silver glitter resembling stars, each record forms a microcosmic galaxy you can spin on a turntable or hang on the wall as a unique, hand-signed piece of art!

Every record also comes with a double-sided, 12 x 24” poster print of original artwork by Alexandra Starlight. Because each record is completely hand-crafted, every record in the series is a unique GALAXY.

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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!


Tonight’s recommendation comes in the form of self-described “fourth generation Chicagoan, born and bred,” Al Scorch. Wrapping up a national tour in support of his latest, self-released record Tired Ghostly Town, Al will be bringing himself and the Country Soul Ensemble to the Hideout tonight for his narrative and banjo driven country/bluegrass tunes. Al will be back out on the road throughout the fall, but will return to Chicago this winter for a residency at the wonderful Empty Bottle.

The 21+ show kicks off at 10:00 PM at the Hideout – 1354 W Wabansia. Supporting Al Scorch will be Betse Ellis and DJ Lawrence Peters. You can grab tickets online before the show or pick them up at the door for $8. If you can’t make it out to the show, you can always get a copy of the Tired Ghostly Town LP on vinyl for just $15 through Al’s online store.

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Weekend Shots!

There’s a festival in town, two important benefits, and some searing gospel-inspired guitar playing. Here’s a look at what’s happening around town this last weekend in September.

The New Orleans Swing Dance Festival takes place all weekend in the French Market. This is a chance to see some really insane dancing by some of the best in the world. New Orleans trad jazz bands provide the soundtrack. The outfit I am most excited about plays on Friday afternoon. Aurora Nealand’s Royal Roses take an original approach to trad jazz. Their songs are not the same ones that a lot of the other bands in the genre play. The group takes its cue from Sidney Bechet.

Bechet is well respected as one of the founding fathers of jazz, but for some reason he gets short-shift in New Orleans despite being from here. Perhaps it’s because he decamped to France and spent much of his life there. The Royal Roses rectify the slight with great ensemble playing.

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Schubas presents their Pig, Swig & Record Dig this Saturday, 9/29

Schubas Tavern (3159 N Southport) is bringing their Pig, Swig and Record Dig back this weekend for its second year, and you can take part in the festivities from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM this Saturday, 9/29. With support from Goose Island, and some of Chicago’s best record stores and labels, there’s no reason not to head out to the free, all ages event.

Some of the record stores and labels that will be out at the event selling new and used LPs and CDs include Permanent Records, Reckless Records, Saki, Bucket O’ Blood Records & Books, Dusty Groove, Hozac, Jazz Record Mart, and Numero Group. Schubas and Lincoln Hall will also be using the occasion to offload a whole bunch of screen prints from a number of incredible artists.

While you’re digging, pulled pork sandwiches ($6) and plates of pork ($11) will be available and Goose Island will be supplying $2 312 drafts and cans for the entire event. If you’re not sold yet, check out the details of the impressive raffle, below.

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Death Rattle:
The TVD First Date

“As a kid, I always loved to play around with anything electronic or anything with moving parts. I had a habit of breaking up anything I could get my hands on in to bits. So, at six years old, when I first discovered my Dad’s record player and began prodding it, he decided it was better if he showed me and my older brother how to use it, instead of coming home one day to find it in pieces.”

“Instead of a normal record player though, he had this crazy player, where – when you turned it on, the platter would slide out. You would place the record on it and then it would slide back in and start playing automatically, like some kind of robot. I’m pretty sure my Dad used Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains The Same for our first lesson in Record Player 101, which was what changed everything for me and my brother. From then on, we’d rummage relentlessly through all my Dad’s records looking for anything that was loud – usually settling on Led Zeppelin IV and Paranoid by Black Sabbath.

I’ve attempted several times over the years to steal his records, but after quite a few failures (and one or two successes) I realised I had to start buying my own. I can’t quite remember what my first purchase was, but I know that it came from a large second hand record store in South London called Beanos.

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TVD Live Shots:
Band of Horses at
House of Vans, 9/18

There are few things better (in my opinion) than seeing Band of Horses in a full (but not packed) open warehouse with the rain drizzling and a slight chill in the air. That just seems like the perfect weather and listening conditions for one of my favorite bands of all time. Not to mention, this incredible show was held on the release day of their newest album, Mirage Rock.

For a band that has and will be playing festivals to tens of thousands of people, including this Saturday’s Global Fest (featuring Foo Fighters and Neil Young), Band of Horses put on just as an energetic performance as any time I’ve seen them, playing in front of 500 or 5,000.

What Band of Horses did though, that I find extremely refreshing, is what I believe most bands should do. Nowadays, it seems that bands play (either) a bunch of old/new songs, and then change the pace by asking the audience if it’s “okay to play a couple old/new ones”; obviously the crowd chants and says it’s okay. Band of Horses, however, played one song from the first album, followers by another song from another album, followed by another song from a different album, and so on. This made the band’s set unpredictable, and for me, even more captivating.

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TVD Recommends:
The New Orleans Suspects record a live album, 9/28-9/29

The Maple Leaf Bar has hosted tens of thousands of shows, but only a handful of live albums have been recorded in the intimate room. This weekend, you have the chance to be part of history.

The Suspects, as everyone local calls them, have only been together for a little over a year. But this band is eager to get more of the attention of New Orleans listeners. They have been tearing it up all over the country, but have only played a select number of local dates. “First off all, I am just excited about the band having two nights at the Leaf,” said bassist Reggie Scanlan. “We’re really getting a (local) presence going.”

The band is working double duty this week while they are in town. Besides prepping for the live recording, they are also working on a new studio recording. “The live one will be out at Christmas and the studio at Jazz Fest,” said Scanlan.

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