Monthly Archives: January 2013

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Blood Red Shoes, 10″ EP “Water” on red vinyl

“Vinyl has always been really important in Blood Red Shoes. When we started the band, the first thing we did was release a string of self-recorded limited 7″s, and since then we’ve made sure every release has a vinyl version.”

“In fact increasingly, we’re not even doing a CD version, just a download and vinyl of our releases. I guess it’s always been important to us because coming from an underground scene, vinyl was always prized the highest. I have fond memories of buying my first Fugazi LPs (which were really cheap) in Brighton indie shops, and every band aspired to releasing a 7” or LP, not a download or CD or whatever.

Vinyl always just seemed that bit more “real,” maybe it’s something about taking it out the sleeve, lifting the needle yourself, having to turn it over halfway through…it’s a more engaging process to listen to, rather than just clicking on a screen and letting it go.”
Steven Ansell

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TVD Recommends:
DJ Vadim at Tropicalia, tonight, 1/31

Scratching and rolling his way around the world, DJ Vadim has made a name for himself internationally as the go-to musician to start the party. Having worked with Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Public Enemy, and The Roots, Vadim has brought down the house in over 63 countries.

The Russia born, UK raised, and States-residing artist founded his own label, Jazz Fudge in 1994 before joining the Ninja Tune force, where he dominated the DJ and producing role. Having remixed powerhouses like Prince, Paul Weller, and The Cure while releasing over 30 albums just under the name DJ Vadim (he also goes by Little Aida and Andre Gurov, to name a few pseudonyms) he has secured himself a prominent voice in the hip-hop/electronic world.

What was the very first vinyl record that you owned? How did it shape you as a music lover/creator?

The first album was Big Daddy Kane, Long Live the Kane. What an album!

Was the turntable your first instrument? If not, what did you pick up first?

Well, yes it was. I kinda sucked at all other instruments!

Who were your major influences during the formative years of your career?

I guess hip-hop was my first love. Listening to BDK (Big Daddy Kane), Rakim, Stetsasonic, NWA, Ghetto Boys, 2 Live Crew, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Juice Crew, BDP (Boogie Down Productions), Run DMC, Slick Rick…

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TVD Recommends: Mice Parade at Schuba’s, 2/1

You’ve got to admire a prolific musician, and when they’re consistently making great music, that admiration comes even easier. Such is the case for New York percussionist Adam Pierce and his anagrammed music endeavor, Mice Parade.

Started as an instrumental/electronica solo project in the late ‘90s, this Tuesday saw the release of Mice Parade’s seventh studio album, Candela. Even though Pierce’s music has taken an audibly poppier tone with this release, Candela still bears the distinct worldly influences that have been a staple of Mice Parade for the last fifteen years.

Out on UK label, FatCat Records, Candela is now available on vinyl in the United States. You can pick up a copy of the new release tomorrow night while Mice Parade stops at Schuba’s Tavern as part of their twelve date tour.

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Small record labels struggling with new postage rates

We all get our vinyl by any means necessary, don’t we? We visit our local shops, we trade with friends, and of course we do plenty of mail-ordering. Whether it be from one of our favorite small independent labels or from eBay or Discogs, mail-order is a big part of our vinyl consumption, allowing us to reach out to all corners of the world to score just the record we were looking for.

Well, new postal rates went into effect on January 27th, and though they don’t change much for domestic shipping, rates have sky-rocketed for overseas shipping. And as co-owner of a small record label, which has plenty of overseas orders, I’m definitely feeling the strain. For example, before January 27th, shipping a record and vinyl tote bag to Finland cost approximately 13 dollars. Now it costs over 18 dollars!

Anyway, dig this story NPR just did on the rising postal costs and their effects on small labels. Read the comments section too if you’re at all interested in this story. Runs the full gamut. Here’s the audio from the NPR piece:

I guess what it really translates to is that customers will have to pay really high shipping fees for records shipped overseas, which could dissuade them from purchasing that way in the future.

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TVD Recommends:
The New Orleans Bingo! Show tonight, 1/31

Tonight, the musical/carnival troupe plays their only show of the 2013 Mardi Gras season. The performance begins at 10 PM at D.B.A.

It’s really hard to describe the experience of seeing the New Orleans Bingo! Show. Here’s the way the band describes itself.

“The New Orleans Bingo! Show is a late night, early morning ride through Downtown New Orleans. It’s the soundscape created by the sirens, a calliope, a car alarm in a dark alley, the pulse of the nightclubs, a horse- drawn buggy, the church bells, the brass on the street, and a passing conversation.

A jagged series of vignettes and a songbook of love letters written while delivering food on a bicycle. A spinning wheel of possibilities entangling the audience in a game of chance. It’s a Musical Game ShowCabaret. It’s the desire to be someone else, with your name in lights.”

See you there!

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Ghost Beach:
The TVD First Date

“I can’t remember exactly when I got interested in vinyl, it was so commonplace in my young life.”

“My parents were always playing something on a record. I think I thought every body listened to music that way. As I got older I got into vinyl just because it was available in my house. My dad has always had such an overwhelming collection of music from every era—from classical to jazz and blues, but my mom had the bulk of the classic rock records that really sparked my interest.

I remember finding a cardboard box in my basement that stunk of mildew. It was full of all my moms records from the ’60s and early ’70s. It was from this pile of old records that I first heard the White Album, Cheap Thrills from Big Brother and the Holding Company, Sly and the Family Stone, Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkel, Cream, and John Mayall. I was also lucky since my dad, being such an audiophile, had no less than 2 great turntables in my house at one time. So, I would bounce between “Cinnamon Girl” and “Girl from Ipanema.”

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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.

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Graded on a Curve: Wild Man Fischer, An Evening with Wild Man Fischer

The records of Wild Man Fischer were once a warped fixture in well stocked record bins all over the globe. He’s left this mortal coil, but as an early example of the often fascinating and sometimes frustrating world of “outsider music,” his reputation is assured. An Evening with Wild Man Fischer was his first stab at immortality, and to this day it remains his best. Never reissued, it’s a 2LP that’s more talked about than heard, but once experienced it’ll certainly never be forgotten.

These days, the desire to take a plunge into the backlog of musical eccentricity that’s accumulated over the years can provide a crazy trip, man, but there’s frankly so much of the out-there residing out there in the nooks and crannies of recording history that trying to gather a full picture of Weirdsville can be more than a little daunting, even for those with a few decades of listening experience under their belts.

Cynical views regarding outbursts of the weird often express how they are mainly attempts at gaining attention in a crowded musical landscape (and sometimes that’s correct), but a general truth regarding expressions of the artistically bizarre is that for every example that rises to prominence, there are many more that never make it beyond the fringe. Indeed, quite a few only find the smallest release or even remain in the vault to be discovered years later through the insatiable thirst of obscurantist researchers.

That’s not the case with Larry “Wild Man” Fischer, one of the first “outsider” musicians and a one-time oddball fixture in the Los Angeles scene. In a sense he was in the right place at the right time, specifically the second half of the ‘60’s, an environment that placed a high value on strangeness, considering it all rather “far-out.”

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TVD Recommends: Goodnight Lights, 1/30

Philadelphia’s noisy Arcade Fire meets Pavement combo returns for their first show of the new year. 

Goodnight Lights came to be in 2007 when the quintet began writing songs that would become their first album. Since then, they have self-released three full length albums and one live album. Each record was produced by the band themselves, and the band has had a hand in recording each release as well.

Starting off the new year with the release of their live record Say What You Want, Goodnight Lights have continued their momentum by getting back into the studio. The group will be working on the follow up to 2012’s studio album, As Far As The Moon.

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The Single Girl: Artifacts, “Echoes”

London five piece, Artifacts release their first single today and it’s quite an impressive one at that. The mild mannered looking young lads certainly have a knack for writing a big indie anthem and “Echoes” is hopefully the first of many.

What Artifacts do is take the best of what indie has had to offer in the last five years and amalgamate that sound into something really epic and beautiful. “Echoes” makes you feel like you can run a million miles or climb the highest mountain—this is epic electro tinged indie at its best.

Although they state their influences as Radiohead and My Bloody Valentine, this is hard to hear; imagine a dreamier sounding White Lies, or a slightly more light-hearted Editors, and they’re something in between. “Echoes” layers etherial soundscapes with hectic indie beats that will have you humming along by the end.

With another single promised sometime soon, we can’t wait to see what these boys have in store for us next.

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First Date

“Buying records was such an intimate part of my childhood. Saving coins to buy my first single (Bee Gees’ “Jive Talking”) or first LP (Elton John’s Greatest Hits) was a rite of passage. Sitting in the backseat of the car looking at the cover, reading the liner notes and imagining what it would sound like once you got home and dropped the needle was the ultimate foreplay. No wonder so many ofthose records changed my life.”

“As I entered my teenage years, those trips to the record store became like weekly worship. I took up residence in the bins around Cleveland at stores like Wax Stax, Record Revolution, and Record Exchange. I loved spending hours going through all the releases. Wax Stax had bins filled with radio promos that must have magically turned into cocaine for the local DJs every week when they dropped them off. I didn’t know you could buy an album without “For Promotional Use Only” stamped on it for years.

Record stores were magnets for eccentrics, freaks, and philosophers. Some of the most curious characters were the clerks behind the counter. They’d set the mood, playing records, drinking beer and mercilessly laying into the unfortunate kid who tried to buy the “wrong” record. Yelling at kids is what you consider “benefits” when you’re working for minimum wage at a record store.

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“Super Bowl Boulevard” opens Thursday, 1/31

Super Bowl week has commenced in New Orleans, and there is so much going on that I decided to give you a head start on planning your musical activities. With Jazz Fest impresario Quint Davis handling the booking, this free festival in Woldenberg Park has something for everyone.

The shows will be on four stages. They begin Thursday evening, and extend through game day. Many of the bands are scheduled to play twice a day on different stages. For the full schedule click here.

Thursday, the Stooges Brass Band plays at 5:40 PM on the NFC stage, and again on the North End Zone stage at 8:40 PM. They bring serous energy, and will wow any and all out-of-town visitors with their unique take on the brass band tradition of New Orleans. Read More »

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TVD Live Shots: The DC Record Fair Photo Booth

For some background information on the David Bowie mug shot that adorned the DC Record Fair poster for last Sunday’s event, we turned to the Smoking Gun. The image was “snapped in Rochester, New York following the singer’s March 1976 arrest on a felony pot possession charge.”

“Bowie, 29 at the time, was nabbed along with Iggy Pop and two other codefendants at a Rochester hotel following a Saturday concert. Bowie was held in the Monroe County jail for a few hours before being released. The Rochester Police Department mug shot was taken three days after Bowie’s arrest, when the performer appeared at City Court for arraignment.”

Sensing a good theme when it presents itself, we asked our friends Sarah & Samantha to document what the attendees at Fair were making off with all day. The Rogues Gallery follows.

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Graded on a Curve: Tunabunny,
Genius Fatigue

Tunabunny has released three records in a relatively brief span of time and while knowledge of their work is increasing they’ve still received nowhere near the attention they deserve. The newest one from the band is titled Genius Fatigue and it finds them successfully elevating their often clamorous and at times quite melodious femme-voiced post-punk to a higher plateau. In so doing they pull off a difficult trick; in taking a big step onto a larger stage they easily avoid creating any disconnect with their excellent past.

While certain rock genres either fall out of favor or simply hold a limited lifespan and influence, folks have been nicking from the sturdy precedent of post-punk for a few decades now, and it doesn’t look like the situation is going to curtail any time soon. Like the blues, ‘60s garage, and guitar-based pop-rock, post-punk possesses an enduring allure, particularly for youthful bands.

This is in part due to post-punk’s general retention of one big lesson taught by its unhyphenated predecessor, that being an emphasis on energy and imagination over chops. And this directly relates to how a well-absorbed post-punk influence can still sound very up-to-date.

This is the case with Athens, GA’s Tunabunny. In a manner similar to Brooklyn’s Talk Normal, they avoid the rather blatant style-cribs that made some of the post-punk focused activity from last decade register as decidedly underwhelming. Instead of connecting like mere copyists, Tunabunny find success by not recalling the sound of any specific band. Where they differ from Talk Normal however, is through an initial impact that, at least to this listener, was distinctly ‘90s in orientation.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Toro Y Moi, Anything
in Return

So, I’m totally gonna be that girl awkwardly dancing at the Toro Y Moi show, kinda like Chazwick Bundick does in his “Say That” video. I mean, I already awkward dance on my bike when I’m riding along listening to Anything in Return. I’m kinda surprised I haven’t flipped backwards because I bounce kinda hard to every single song. 

Better known as Toro Y Moi, Chazwick Bundick has been making music since he graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2009. A close friend with Washed Out’s Ernest Greene, he has helped shape the chillwave movement, along with other bands such as Small Black and Memory Tapes. These bands share a love of the ’80s, with heavy synths that inspire me to make a lot of trippy cat art on Instagram.

Toro Y Moi has released three studio albums and is touring to promote the latest, Anything in Returnvia Carpark Records, released earlier this month. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s really amazing. You’re going to dance your way to high heaven if you are lucky enough to win the LP that we’re giving away right here.

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