Monthly Archives: March 2013

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

There is nothing that inspires a daydream like a cool song. A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I had heard the new Carla Bruni song. As if Carla’s not dreamy enough, “Chez Keith Et Anita” is about a rock ‘n roll super couple, Keith and Anita Richards, who are this week’s Idelic Hour muse.

After weeks of late nights surfing the web for the hippest bands making the scene in Austin for SXSW, it’s been refreshing to think about…well, to think about “Keith.”

I know Johnny Depp may have taken his admiration for the man a bit too far and too public, however this is still Keith Richards, a living, breathing symbol of all that is cool in rock ‘n roll. From his boots to his haircut, and even the rings on his fingers, this guy is one bad ass motherfucker you gotta love.

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Vinyl Video: Grifters, “Bummer”

The Modern Memphis music scene has a unique style of architecture, the biggest pillars of which are obscure rock icons better known for their eccentricities than their enormous hits. A key example is early ’90s acts The Grifters.

April marks the 20th anniversary of one of band’s most pivotal albums, One Sock Missing, which rests between the sound of the band’s work in the ’80s and what their upcoming work would become. The record garnered positive reviews from the likes of SPIN and New York Press, who rallied behind the band’s unique stripped-down slop rock and their special detail to melody and content.

In celebration of the anniversary, the band is producing videos for the tracks on One Sock Missing. They’ve recently released the video for their song “Bummer,” and it’s something we think you should get your eyeballs on.

To get your hands on The Grifter’s One Sock Missing or any of their other albums, check out Shangri-La Projects.

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TVD Live: Matt Costa, Sam Outlaw, and Carly Ritter at Slims, 3/23

I have to admit that I wasn’t too familiar with Matt Costa before heading over to the show last weekend. The venue was Slim’s which is one of two nightclubs here in San Francisco owned by the legendary singer/ songwriter Boz Scaggs. It has a real charm to it, but it’s challenging to say the least for photographers as the place can get jam-packed very quickly and make it difficult to move around. This was one of those nights.

Matt Costa got his break many years ago when a homemade demo reached No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, who offered to record more demos for Costa in his home studio. Those first recordings led to two EPs that Costa and Dumont distributed themselves. These were later combined and mixed by Phil Ek in order to form Costa’s first full-length release, Songs We Sing. He has since toured alongside Jack Johnson, Modest Mouse, Oasis, and Ryan Adams to name a few, and now he’s built up a rabid fan base filling up clubs across the States.

Costa’s latest release is a comeback album of sorts as he surprised many of his fans with 2010’s Mobile Chateau which took his Jack Johnson-ish acoustic sounds into unfamiliar territory. For me, I think it was Costa at his finest as he honed in on ’60s psychedelic/ cosmic pop rock and did it very well. I love it when an artist throws a curve-ball to his or her fans because is reminds them that they are indeed listening to a true artist in every sense.

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TVD Recommends:
The New Orleans Bingo! Show at One Eyed Jack’s tonight, 3/29

Since the closing of the New Orleans cabaret Le Chat Noir on St. Charles in 2011, BINGO! and fans alike yearned for what was once the premiere venue to witness the BINGO! spectacle. So, they’re bringing it back!

Co-director, producer, and performer Ron Rona (also known by his stage name Ronnie Numbers) looks to bring the cabaret aspect of the show back to their performances at One Eyed Jacks.

“We’ve always enjoyed doing the “rock show” version there over the years, but we’re excited to get back to our roots in cabaret…especially in the theatre spirit of the room that’s still there from the Toulouse Theatre days,” he said.

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Vinyl Video:
Bethesda, “Go”

Kent’s indie darlings Bethesda recently released a music video for their single, “Go,” from their sophomore album, The Reunion, to be released on April 9, 2013. In it, the band faces off with a troop of Irish step dancers to deliver an exhilarating performance. 

We chatted with Eric Ling, who plays guitar and sings backup vocals in the six-piece for a little insight into the band’s relationship with director Cory Sheldon and the video’s concept.

How did you begin working with Cory Sheldon?

We had been told through friends that we should work with him. He was already making a name for himself as a film-maker and had recently premiered a full-length film called Color at the Akron Art Museum. We looked him up, and he had done a couple of Eisley music videos, and we LOVE them! A few of our friends were friends with him, and so we reached out and asked if he would be interested in working with us.

He seemed really excited about it! Since then we have become good friends and are likely going to use him for another music video that we are shooting and releasing soon.

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Graded on a Curve:
Van Dyke Parks,
Discover America

Last year, Graded on a Curve featured a retrospective review of the album pictured above. Since that time the Bella Union label has saw fit to reissue the first three records in Van Dyke Parks’ catalogue, all of them with vinyl editions available now, and thus it seemed highly appropriate to rerun this piece detailing his sophomore LP. —Ed.

Van Dyke Parks is easily one of the most eclectic and engaging musical minds of the last fifty years. Largely known for his involvement as lyricist in the resurrected phoenix that is The Beach Boys’ Smile, he’s also put his stamp on an array of important works, none better than his own 1972 masterpiece Discover America.

Please consider for a moment the impressive range of Van Dyke Parks. Yes, in addition to Smile there is his arranging for “The Bare Necessities” from Disney’s animated classic The Jungle Book. He’s also served as a producer and/or arranger for records as diverse as the debuts of Randy Newman and Ry Cooder, Phil Ochs’ Greatest Hits and Joanna Newsom’s Ys, and contributed as a player to Tim Buckley’s first album, The Byrds’ Fifth Dimension, Linda Thompson’s Fashionably Late, and Vic Chesnutt’s Ghetto Bells. The guy even composed music for TV commercials, including work for Datsun automobiles and the figure skating mayhem known as the Ice Capades.

But to really crack the delicious and nourishing nut that is Mr. Parks, inspection of his solo work is an absolute must. Song Cycle, his 1967 debut is in obvious retrospect one of the truly amazing introductory statements in all of 20th Century music. I say obvious because hardly anybody bought the thing when it came out. This was due in part to his low profile. While he’d released a couple singles on MGM, he wasn’t exactly stormtrooping the era’s cultural radar.

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TVD Live: Django Django and Night Moves at Public Works, 3/22

Night Moves Public Works San Francisco Jason Miller-2

Music can act as a time machine of sorts by transporting the listener back to a certain place almost instantaneously. Now, whether or not that’s a good thing depends on the memory. When it happens in a good way, it’s a wonderful thing, and that’s what happened to me the first time I heard Minneapolis trio Night Moves.

Night Moves are touring in support of their Domino Records debut Colored Emotions. It’s a trip down memory lane for those of us who grew up alongside AM radio in the ’70s. What MGMT tried to do by stripping the electronic beats and pop melodies from their debut album and failed with on Congratulations, Night Moves succeeds and makes it look easy.

Night Moves Public Works San Francisco Jason Miller

It’s a mix of ’70s soul, incredibly well-written songs, a touch of light jazz, and a lead singer who is caught somewhere between Daryl Hall and Bono. The ten songs that make up Colored Emotions clock in at just under 35 minutes, but it’s quality over quantity in this case.

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Cold Cave prep new singles and Spring tour dates

Wes Eisold’s dark synthpop group Cold Cave have announced plans that include new singles through Heartworm Press, as well as a tour that will bring him through much of Asia before coming home to the states. 

It’s been a busy year for Wes Eisold and his band Cold Cave so far. And it looks like he plans on keeping things that way. In late January news came of a new single that would be released on Deathwish Records, a label run by Jacob Bannon (of Converge) and Tre McCarthy and known for their hardcore acts.

The release features two tracks, “Oceans With No End” b/w “People Are Poison.” For the songs, Eisold wrote and performed each alone without any other band members. The single is currently available for pre-order through Deathwish Records.

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TVD Recommends: Young Rapids at the Dunes, 3/29

Young Rapids have garnered a successful following in their hometown of Washington, DC, packing sold-out shows and exciting crowds to get on their feet. For most of April, Young Rapids will tour the country, bringing their infectious spirit to ears up and down the coast. Before they take off, catch the Young Rapids at The Dunes for their tour kickoff party this Friday, March 29, which is FREE, but donations are appreciated.

Special guests will help kick off Young Rapids tour, starting with an acoustic set by Ryan Hunter Mitchell of Shark Week (8:30pm), Adios Ghost from NYC (9:30pm), and headliners Young Rapids at 10:30pm. In addition to music, there will be late night sets from DJ Joe Korbel and a synth set from Collin Crowe of Buildings.

Young Rapids—Dan Gleason, Joe Bentley, Nick Martin, and Colin Kelly—have come a long way since their debut Day Light Savings album release at the Dunes last year. In that time, they have recorded a Daytrotter session, opened for Beach Fossils to a sold-out crowd, and have moved in together to intently focus on their next moves.

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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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TVD Recommends: Alexey Marti Quintet at Snug Harbor tonight, 3/28

Snug Harbor is the place to be tonight as the Cuban percussionist brings his killer band to Frenchmen Street. Sets are at 8 and 10 PM. His special guests will include percussionist Bill Summers and keyboardist/vocalist Davell Crawford.

Alexey Marti first burst on the scene with a percussive blur, jamming with numerous Latin jazz and straight up Latin musicians about three years ago. He has been leading his own working band for a while now, and I have had the chance to see them a few times in recent months.

Marti is mostly a conga player, but he is versed in nearly every percussion instrument including the box-like cajon. Read More »

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The Great GoogaMooga Festival returns to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park

The Great GoogaMooga food, drink and music festival is returning to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on May 17th-19th after its rocky inaugural launch last Spring. Brought to you by Superfly Presents, the great festy minds behind the uber-successful Bonnaroo, the Great GoogaMooga can stand to learn from some of last year’s mistakes and has the opportunity to knock it out of the park this year.

Last year’s first GoogaMooga saw some issues with food supply, extremely long lines, and general confusion, which was all mostly a problem on the first day. But by the second day they had already nipped the major issues in the bud and with Hall & Oates closing out the weekend-long affair, the first GoogaMooga came off a relative success.

This year, it looks like the Great GoogaMooga is ready to take the food and drink-centric festival to the next level. Like last year, there will be free tickets for those who register for them during a small window between April 1st and 3rd. And there will also be a purchasable VIP ticket for you high-rollers called the VIP Cocktail Experience, which gains you Main Stage viewing, entrance to cocktail bars and seminars, and access to the VIP-Only entrance lane.

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Graded on a Curve: Timmy Thomas, “Why Can’t We Live Together” b/w “Funky Me”

In 1973, “Why Can’t We Live Together” b/w “Funky Me” was a massive hit, and it remains the best known achievement of its creator Timmy Thomas. Steeped in socially relevant Soul, it also possesses a beautiful, distinct simplicity that has perhaps interfered a bit with its status as a truly classic single. If not forgotten, it’s a 45 that deserves to be even better remembered.

Not all hit singles enjoy the same fate after they exit the charts. Plenty of big sellers from the ‘60s and ‘70s have landed in heavy rotation on oldies radio of course, the songs adapting to a second life as a representative of the popular whims of a bygone era. But other tracks get passed over by this process, often because they don’t fit the accessible nature of the oldies template. In other situations however, it seems that certain songs are excluded mainly due to the very uniqueness that led to their commercial success in the first place.

Timmy Thomas scored an early-‘70s smash with “Why Can’t We Live Together,” hitting the #1 spot on the R&B chart and making it to #3 Pop with further inroads internationally (#12 in the UK). And yet I’ve never heard it over the airwaves even once, a circumstance that might just be chalked up to the nature of regional playlists or even to the happenstance of not being in the right place at the right time.

However, a little snooping around the internet does reveal some discourse over the song’s lack of retrospective recognition. The reason behind this situation seems to come down not to a lack of accessibility, but rather to the warmly unusual feel of Thomas’s creation. To be frank, it stands considerably apart from the norms of nostalgia.

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TVD Recommends: Glorie at Crosstown Arts, 3/30

Uptempo anything goes great with any night you’re four whiskey-cokes in too deep, but sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses.

Musical gardeners Glorie are a Memphis post-rock band who spend a lot of time, effort, and a little bit of love to carefully construct emotionally complex compositions well worth harvesting.

Earlier this month, the quartet released their latest EP “Falling.” The collection of songs is a dense patchwork of melancholic melodies and gorgeous string arrangements. Among Memphis’ clogged blues and folk genres, Glorie easily stands out with a patient and mature sound that carries a brand of emotional complexity not commonly seen ’round these parts.

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TVD Recommends:
San Cisco at the Grog Shop, 3/27

We get it. The snowy weather has you down, and you’re just plain tired of clearing off your car and driving fifteen miles per hour under the speed limit on your way to work. Really, we understand. We’re tired, too. What we need is something that’s going to take us from frigid to cheerful as fast as the weather changes here in Northeast Ohio.

Dripping with a washy and infectious sound layered with direct, exposed vocals, the Australian four-piece San Cisco is sure to warm up our cold Cleveland hearts tonight at the Grog Shop. The band comprises Jordi Davieson (guitar/lead vocals), Josh Biondillo (guitar/vocals), Nick Garner (bass/vocals), and Scarlett Stevens (drums/vocals).

Don’t read this book by its cover. Yes, they may be completely adorable, but their sound is intelligent pop that has memorable hooks and catchy guitar lines that will stick in your head longer than that to-do list you’ve already forgotten.

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