Monthly Archives: July 2013

TVD Recommends: Truth and Salvage Co. at Gasa Gasa, tonight 7/29

Hot on the heels of their second release, which came out last week, the jamming Americana band takes the city by storm on a Monday night at Gasa Gasa.

Here’s what American Songwriter magazine had to say: “For their second album, Truth & Salvage Co. left the California coast, crossed the country and shacked up in Asheville, North Carolina.

There, surrounded by mountains ranges and southern hospitality, they tracked the songs that became Pick Me Up. On the album’s lead single, “Appalachian Hilltop,” the guys pay a harmony-rich, twang-heavy tribute to the region that has always inspired their music.

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Graded on a Curve:
Neil Young,
Tonight’s the Night

On 1974’s Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (a band that was hoovering so much coke at the time they became known as “The Frozen Noses”) cash cow reunion tour, Neil Young fought to include a frenetic tune he’d written about the Manson Family, “Revolution Blues.” Unfortunately, the song’s incendiary lyrics (“I got the revolution blues/I see bloody fountains/And ten million dune buggies/Comin’ down the mountains/Well, I hear that Laurel Canyon is full of famous stars/But I hate them worse than lepers/And I’ll kill them in their cars”) so unnerved counterculture scaredy-cat David “Almost Cut My Nose Hair” Crosby that he was afraid to play it. Thought Squeaky Fromme might come after him. As for the rest of the band, they found it too much of a bummer. As Young himself put it, “They all wanted to put out the light, y’know, make people feel good and happy and everything, and that song was like a wart or something on the perfect beast.”

Neil Young was far from “good and happy and everything” at the time. He had come to regard the success of “Heart of Gold” as a curse–as he famously wrote in the liner notes to greatest hits LP Decade, “[“Heart of Gold”] put me in the middle of the road. Travelling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there.” Worse, he’d lost two close friends, CSN&Y roadie Bruce Berry and Crazy Horse guitarist and vocalist Danny Whitten, to heroin overdoses, and their deaths had hit him hard.

The result, which came at the recommendation of The Band’s Rick Danko, was 1975’s Tonight’s the Night, one of the darkest, sloppiest, most-wasted-sounding and greatest LPs ever made. Indeed, the album–which was recorded by a scratch band Young dubbed The Santa Monica Flyers, who included Crazy Horse’s Billy Talbot and Ralph Molina on bass and drums respectively, Nils “Grin” Lofgren on guitar and piano, and Ben Keith on pedal steel guitar–was so slapdash-sounding, unrepentently out of key, and unremittingly bleak that the mortified execs at Reprise, Young’s record label, not only refused to handle it without gardening gloves, but declined to release it for two years.

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TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday morning recap of the new tracks received last week—provided here to inform your vinyl purchasing power. We post, you right-click.

Mucca Pazza- Boss Taurus
Speedwell – Calling On Columbia Pike
Body Parts – Desperation
Sunset Graves – Safe and Empty
Junior Astronomers – Touching War
Flashlights – Don’t Take Me Seriously
sleepmakeswaves – in limbs and joints
The Dead Daisies – Lock N Load (feat.Slash)
Algernon Doll – Aerosol
Gross Relations – Cut the Final Scene

Gaoler’s Daughter – St. Peter

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Wild Heart
Anvil Smith – No Time For Sorrow
Barry Harris – I Got My Pride (Remix by KRONO)
Phoenix – Be Cool (EMiL remix)
Bonobo – Know You (SuperVision Remix)
Colette – When The Music’s Loud
The Even Stevens – Do The Disaster!
Young Dreams – Footprints (Naysayer & Gilsun Remix)
The Fades – Heard it on the Radio
Hunx And His Punx – Bad Skin

13 more FREE TRACKS after the jump!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Many of us in the rock ‘n roll biz travel the country much of the Summer. As July rolls into August, most of the country finds itself drenched in Summer heat, and in Small Town USA as sun and humidity pound time to a crawl, the midday vibe becomes so dense, only sweat and beer get us to do anything, yet we’re traveling toward another state line.

Much to our “Idelic delight,” Summertime is often cool here in Laurel Canyon, and like this year, most Julys are forgiving. This weather reminds me of the Summer of 1985. It was my first LA Summer and I was blown away by how mild those nights were. Fuck man, did we have a blast those Summer nights of ’85!

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at the Hollywood Bowl, 8/4

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will be coming to the Hollywood Bowl on August 4. In an incredibly fortunate non-sequitur, The Sun Ra Arkestra and “tuku” artist Oliver Mtukudzi will be opening.

We’ve got tickets to the show—if you’ve already learned how to use a computer, you’ve already done the hard part of putting your name in the running.

Springing to notoriety with 2009’s ubiquitous “Home” on the Up from Below album, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have kept the momentum going with last year’s Here album. They have been busy bees this past year with the release of their self-titled third album earlier this week and have been touring like crazy for months, a common sight at festivals from Sasquatch to Firefly all year. Their new single “Better Days” shows that Sharpe and the Zeroes stuck to their warm analog sounds with pop compositions built from late ’60s musical cues.

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Girls Rock! DC & TVD: We’re at the Summer Camp 2013 Sessions

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Girls Rock! DC Summer Camp is a local non-profit established as a place for girls from the ages of 8–18 to find and develop their self-confidence through music. The camp is run daily for one week during the year by an all-volunteer staff, some saving a week’s worth of leave to make the camp a reality for the girls. Campers form bands and are coached by volunteer musicians to write and perform original songs and DJ sets.

After a week of long, hard work, the girls will perform in their very own showcase at the legendary 9:30 Club this Saturday, July 27 at 11:00am. The showcase is open to the public and tickets are only $10—kids 8 and under are free. All proceeds will go to Girls Rock! DC Summer Camp. Get your tickets at the door or online to attend one of the best shows of the year.

We had the opportunity to spend time with the girls at camp on Thursday, July 25, for a day of “Telling the World About My/Our Greatness,” which also happened to be Crazy Hat Day. We spoke with a former camper-turned-professional-DJ, now camp instructor, a newly formed teen Reggae band, two spunky girls, and the woman who helps keep the camp running. The small amount of time spent with the campers and volunteers was enough to witness that the Girls Rock! DC Camp is truly a very special program.

Girls Rock- DC-07-25-2013-43

Arriving at camp yesterday I found myself in the Spinderella Room and excited to see the crates of vinyl records used for the DJ portion of the camp. I talked with 20-year-old DJ instructor, Jamilla Okubo (DJ Lilla Jams) and a former Girls Rock! DC camper.

Talk about your experience as a camper versus now being an instructor.

It’s different, but it was really fun as a camper because I got to go to all the different workshops. It was also nice to learn how to DJ from professional woman DJs in the area.

As an instructor and former camper I know how campers feel about learning new equipment, especially as a DJ because it’s different from being in a band. DJs have to learn about a lot of different music to be able to put it together. It was really nerve-wracking to teach the campers how to DJ because I’m not much of a talker; that’s been the hardest part. The first day, I was really nervous, but once I got comfortable with the kids it was a lot easier.

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TVD Recommends:
Nick Sanders at Snug Harbor, 7/28

The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts has a lot of high-profile graduates including some of the best known musicians in the world, such as Harry Connick, Jr. and the Marsalis brothers. The school continues to churn out A-list talent.

The latest is pianist Nick Sanders. Originally focused on classical music, he switched to jazz after an encounter with the great pianist Danilo Perez. The academy’s loss is our gain.

Sanders earned a Master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2012, where Perez is among the distinguished faculty. He had already made his debut at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival back in 2005.

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Atlas : Empire:
The TVD First Date

“I’ve always loved the warmth, detail, and organic nature of listening to vinyl. It just feels more natural for me to stick on a record rather than a CD or digital download. I’ll still listen to downloads for portability’s sake, but my favourite albums always sound fuller and more complete on vinyl.”

“I was fortunate to have access to my father’s extensive collection of LPs growing up which sparked my passion for music and collecting. I discovered so many great albums raking through my Dad’s records and was turned on to so many bands this way. The first record I ever heard was Return of the Grievous Angel by Gram Parsons. I’ve no memory of this as I was only a few days old at the time ,but I’d like to think this contributed to my love of music and still think of it as an outstanding piece of work. This went on throughout my upbringing uncovering everything from the Beach Boys to the Clash.

With so much vinyl in the house as my collection expanded along with my Dad’s, we decided to create a listening space in our loft, not only down to space issues but the unearthing of my father’s favourite record player, Pioneer PL11D, Roto Amp and Goodman speakers. The sound from that deck was overwhelming, pure, driven and classic.

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TVD Live: Smith Westerns at the Black Cat, 7/23

PHOTOS: KRISTIN HORGEN | Can you imagine forming a band in high school only to have it be noticed by record labels who not only want to put out your music but slingshot you into the Hype Machine cogs?

It’s hard to believe that the system ever works, but for Smith Westerns, it seems to have had a positive outcome. I’ve seen them three times now, including a performance in their hometown of Chicago at Lollapalooza, and I have to say that their jangly pop has gotten tighter than ever. They took a breather after the massive support behind 2011’s Dye It Blonde and are back with their new album Soft Will. They were joined by one of my new favorites, Wampire, at the Black Cat on Tuesday.

“We have a lot of songs to play tonight. So I hope you like our band ’cause if not…this concert kinda sucks,” explains Cullen Omori near the beginning of the set. Obviously, he still has some of the snark left for which he is known, despite that he and the rest of the band all seem more mature, not only in attitude but also in their development as musicians and performers. Smith Westerns have become masters of the flow of their set.

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TVD Premiere:
Briar Rabbit, “So Long”

“…This must have been when I first moved to Chicago. I went home for some holiday and went digging through my parents records then I found Still Bill by Bill Withers. I was like “Use Me,” “Lean on Me”—great! I had just gone through it with a woman who wasn’t in the right place to really be with me (blah blah blah, I just got out of a break up so I wrote songs that ended up on The Company You Keep.)”

“I remember it was snowing, everyone in the house was asleep and all I could really see was the LED off the record player and “Let Me in Your Life” came on. I don’t know how it escaped me, but holy hell that song hit me like a ton of bricks.

I must have put the needle back 10 times that night—in all fairness it’s a short song. It was for sure a moment and the vinyl was a little warped so it was like my own version of the tune. That song still gives me chills.

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Black Clouds:
The TVD Interview

Signed to the local label Australopithecus Records, Washington, DC’s Black Clouds—Justin Horenstein (guitars, keyboards), Jimmy Rhodes (drums), and Ross Hurt (bass) released their first full length album Everything Is Not Going To Be Okay last year—composing a cinematic tale that celebrates the dark skies that haunt our time, infiltrated with hints and glimpses of light.

The album begins with a penetrating fear that perhaps the beginning simply starts with the end in “Telluric” and turns a brighter corner with “Parallels.” “Divide” arrives suggesting some hope, yet slowly heads back into the unknown—each song creating the next movement within a thematic journey.

You can catch Black Clouds headlining the 9:30 Club this Saturday, July 27, presented by the DC Party Action Committee (DCPACC). This is a unique, all DC-based bill that includes Shark Week, Warchild, Typefighter, True Head, and Highway Cross. The party will continue through the night with Black Out DJs, but get there early as the first band comes on at 7pm sharp.

In addition, Black Clouds will have Everything Is Not Going To Be Okay for sale on vinyl with limited color copies. Shark Week will also have their debut 7″ single, “Santurce,” available for purchase.

We went record shopping with Ross and Jimmy of Black Clouds last week at DC’s Crooked Beat, where we talked about their inspirations, the importance of visuals for their music, and of course vinyl.

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TVD Recommends:
Seth Walker at D.B.A. tonight, 7/25

A peripatetic lifestyle has lead the songwriter and guitarist around the country with stops in Nashville and Austin. Now, he is the latest addition to the scene in New Orleans. Tonight will be his first time playing in his new home with a band. Doug Belotte will be on drums and James Singleton will be on bass.

Walker grew up on a small commune in rural North Carolina and recorded his first album in 1997. By the time he released his eponymous fifth LP in 2008, he had developed into an accomplished guitarist and an even better singer, distilling the soul of Ray Charles, the Southern boy roots charm of Delbert McClinton, and an uptown blues turn of phrase (à la Percy Mayfield) into his own distinct voice.

Seth also began to write with other musicians, an endeavor that led to a fruitful collaboration with Gary Nicholson, a prolific songwriter and record producer based in Nashville. The two co-wrote most of the songs on Leap of Faith, which came out in 2009.

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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 and Bolton FM.

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

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Graded on a Curve: Tuscadero,
“Mt. Pleasant” b/w “Nancy Drew” 7″

Tuscadero was a ‘90s mixed-gender indie rock quartet that hailed from the capitol city of the US of A, and they knocked out some terrific songs during their roughly six-year reign. In fact, two of their strongest tunes came via the band’s very first 7-inch, ‘94’s “Mt. Pleasant” b/w “Nancy Drew.” It’s a sonically varied yet thematically savvy effort that’s equally hefty on both sides of the vinyl, and anybody curious over the mightiness of this group’s motion should begin right here.

So much music spewed forth during the course of the ‘90s that even a very slight misstep in presentation was often all that was needed for this writer to take a powder on the prospect of checking out the offerings of some budding new act. That might seem harsh, but band names, song titles, and record design shouldn’t be taken lightly. If the moniker is poorly chosen or the sleeve delineates shoddiness or a lack of imagination, that’s very often an accurate indicator of what the sounds hold in store.

And these issues of presentation can often relate to the shallowness of mere trend jumping. For example, in the ‘90s a whole lot of bands hitched a ride like a pack of disheveled hobos onto the Grunge train, and those who made these maneuvers brutally apparent through a simple gander at their debut 7-inch as it sat in the bin of your local record shack were quite frankly almost always the stuff to avoid.

We aren’t exactly experiencing a shortage in sonic possibilities these days either, but the advancements in digital make it a whole lot easier to scope out a questionable release without getting burned in the bank account. When your fiancés sister’s boyfriend emphatically urges you to check out his favorite new band, streaming or grabbing a promo download is just the polite thing to do, even if they are named Big Baker and His Boffo Donuts.

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Truth & Salvage Co.,
The TVD Tour Diary

BY SCOTT KINNEBREW | On Tuesday, July 23rd, my band Truth & Salvage Co. released their second record, Pick Me Up. It had been a very long time in coming. We started working on the record in Winter of 2012. A year and two producers later we were still completely without a record, and the label was approaching the point of releasing demos for our “sophomore effort.” At the final hour (almost literally) our saviors at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, NC, came to the rescue, and invited us to come make the record of our dreams in their church studio.

It was two weeks of magic. I am not just throwing out that word for color. After the previous attempts of recording and dealing with some difficult situations and crazy creative visions, getting into the tracking vibe at Echo Mountain was a monster delight. It was a liberating experience. Every morning before the session began, we smudged the room with sage to neutralize any negativity.

And then we got right to work: grooving and smiling and having a good old time with the songs. We didn’t have a lot of time, so no song got more than 5 takes. All the beds—drums, bass, guitars, keys—were recorded to tape. After we got a good take we’d dump it to Pro Tools and overdub the vocals and extra tasty musical bits. We were tight but loose in all the right ways, we sounded like ourselves.

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