Monthly Archives: August 2013

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Growing up in New York, I was raised with the assumption that Labor Day is the last day of Summer. Back east, it seemed fitting. Come September 1—as the days grow shorter, the nights cooler—”the body” craves the change in the seasons.

Here in the Canyon, man and his environment stay still in September. In fact, yesterday was one of the first warm days of Summer. We Californians cruise the month of September to Halloween with our finest weather of the year. So, I guess each September we “Angelinos” go back to school shopping…but our weather? Well, our weather is here to stay.

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UK Vinyl Video:
Rue Royale, “Set Out
To Discover”

Many videos come across our desks here at TVD and it’s nice to see a band putting some thought into their visuals.

Rue Royale are a band whose aesthetics clearly matter. Music and art are so closely related, but independent bands often disregard this for simply just getting something out there to grab some YouTube hits. Bands and labels, take heed – Rue Royale are doing things right!

The Ango-American alt folk duo recently released their single “Set Out To Discover” via Berlin based label Sinnbus and although this video has come slightly late, it’s a real treat—you won’t be disappointed.

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After The Ice:
The TVD First Date

“It was vinyl or, nothing. My childhood wrapped up in a nut-shell, whether it was the care my Grandad showed to his Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan records or, when my mum blasted me with “Atlantic City”by Bruce Springsteen, it was the only force I knew.”

“When I reached my early teens CDs held sway. They were cheap and I couldn’t afford a record player. But, vinyl, ever-present in the background; found its way to my heart again. As my musical tastes started to broaden, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, and The Who became my re-awakening and, from this point, I became obsessed with hearing these artists as they were, raw, original and pure.

I got a record player (I begged my mum and said I’d never need another Birthday present again) and so I set about starting a relationship with the crackle and hum, and the fizz and pop!

The first record of my own gain was B.B. King’s Greatest Hits Volume 1, unearthed in Camden market while trying to look for a pair of 70s Levis (flared, as was my persuasion at the time.) When I found the record I thought “Fuck the flares, the 70s are long dead” and I was holding a piece of history that wouldn’t fade, it was forever in my mind and the minds of the all the friends I forced to listen to the immeasurable quality of “The Man”—B.B. King, on vinyl!

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TVD Premiere:
Callow, “Strange”

“Vinyl is a vestige of a world where things were more tangible and real; when a recording was an authentic capture of a performance; when the experience of listening to music involved sifting through a stack of records, placing the album on the turntable and delicately lowering the needle. Man, I love that visceral quality of vinyl!”

“For us, vinyl isn’t just about the record itself, it’s about the process. It’s about turning off the computer and rolling the tape. It’s about capturing the warmth and vibe of the room and leaving some things to chance.

We recorded Blue Spells live to an 8-track reel-to-reel. That old Tascam machine had been sitting around in our space-—broken and unusable—for a long time. We finally decided to fix it and put it to use, and it was the best decision we could’ve made.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Fall,
Hex Enduction Hour

Long live that booze and sulfate-loving bard of bile, Mark E. Smith. Mad Mark, the Hip Priest, the New Big Prinz–whatever you choose to call him, Smith has worn more bad sweaters and written more inscrutably brilliant songs than The Clash and Elvis Costello (of whom he once said, “When you’re mired in the shit of the times with bland bastards like Elvis Costello and Spandau Ballet, you begin to question not only people’s tastes but their existences”) put together.

Indeed, the hardest thing about this assignment was choosing which of the acid-tongued one’s many great albums to review. I almost settled on 1984’s The Weird and Wonderful World of The Fall, then on their 1979 debut Live at the Witch Trials, but finally chose 1982’s Hex Enduction Hour–the band’s fourth full-length LP–because it’s raw, chock full of barbed witticisms, and makes a big, droning din. At times it comes close to pure caterwaul, and if there’s one thing I love it’s caterwaul. Perhaps the UK Motown Division honcho who balked upon hearing Hex put it best: “I see no commercial potential in this band whatsoever.”

Smith himself more or less agreed with Motown’s assessment; in his slapdash but highly entertaining book Renegade, Smith says, “Hex Enduction Hour was a big fuck-off to the music industry. It was probably the first time I’d got to a point where I knew I was alone with my ideas.” He adds, “I thought this is it… the last one we’re going to do.” Lucky for us, Smith is no soothsayer: not only was Hex Enduction Hour not his swan song, it’s probably his masterpiece, and some 33 years and 26 studio LPs later The Fall is still alive and poking human stupidity in its blind eye.

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TVD Live: Courtney Love at The Phoenix, 8/24

Courtney Love Live at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma shot by Jason Miller-5

God save the queen of rock ‘n’ roll. Courtney Love played a blistering 17-song set list that was everything a fan could hope for. This is a remarkable woman who has led an even more remarkable life. She’s firmly planted on Rolling Stone’s list of all-time greatest albums, was nominated for several Grammys, won a Golden Globe, and led a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle over the past 20 years that would make even Nikki Sixx blush. And I have to tell you this night at The Phoenix in Petaluma, CA, of all places, she blew the roof off of the joint. 

I would have never guessed that Love was 49 years old as she gracefully took to the stage looking stunning in a silver sparkle cutaway dress. Love is famously quoted as saying, “I am not a woman, I am a force of nature,” and this mentality would certainly prove true as the night progressed. The set list consisted of 17 choice cuts, with the vast majority pulling from Hole’s impressive catalog, along with a few from her solo record.

Love opened the night with the song “Plump” from Hole’s 1994 masterpiece Live Through This. It was the perfect sort of “fuck-you-hello-I’m-back,” and the crowd truly embraced the approach. It was the perfect contradiction to the smiling Love that walked on stage and accepted a bouquet of flowers from fans in the front row, which she would later end up returning to them petal-by-petal as a gift of her own.

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Radiators reunion tickets to go on sale
Friday morning, 8/30

In 1980 the Boyz with the Noize released a double live album recorded at Tipitina’s called Work Done on Premises. 34 years later they are reuniting again at Tipitina’s. The three shows are dubbed, “Work Done on Premises.”

Tickets, which are most likely going to sell out nearly immediately, go on sale at 10 AM on line only at the link above.

Although the first reunion was not a full show, the band played two nights last January, and are slated to come back together January 16–18, 2014.

Since breaking up, the members of the band have remained active. Keyboardist and bandleader, Ed Volker has played a number of shows, but has remained true to his plan to never get on an airplane again. The furthest he has traveled is Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, which is about an hour from New Orleans.

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UK Artist of the Week: Artifacts

London-based four piece, Artifacts is brand new to the scene and have been steadily releasing a number of singles over the last year. Each release has been the perfect slice of thoughtful indie loveliness, akin to bands like White Lies and Editors.

It’s the band’s depth that mark them out from the rest—these five write songs that stretch beyond the usual three chord, indie pop that we’re used to. This is the sound of a band with far to go.

Their latest single “Sad Face,” highlights all these elements. It’s catchy but there’s a slight melancholy about it as well. With the band creating some noise online, it feels like it’s time to step up now and hopefully a bigger release will come soon. Watch out for Artifacts!

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Producer Will Yip releasing special comp featuring Title Fight, Circa Survive, more

Off the Board: A Studio 4 Family Compilation will be released next month on October 4th and feature new and unreleased songs recorded and mixed at the famous Studio 4 recording studio.

Conshohocken, PA’s Will Yip is a name that might not be familiar to many listeners. Yet over the years he has worked on a number of great records from the best up-and-coming names in punk, along with some seasoned vets from rock, hip-hop, and more. If you were to go through his discography you would come across names like Title Fight and The Startling Line as well as others like Lauryn Hill, the Disco Biscuits, and The Fray.

Yip began his career at the ripe, young age of 14 working as an apprentice under Chris Grillo and Ground Control Recording. He later landed a job working at Studio 4. Run by Phil Nicolo, Studio 4 has produced numerous gold and platinum selling and Grammy Award winning records over the past 30 years.

Up next for Yip is a full participating partnership in the legendary Studio 4, and to help raise money to put towards the down payment, it was decided to put together a compilation featuring songs that were produced, recorded, mixed and mastered all by himself. “I want to give the punk, hardcore, and alternative community of awesome bands a home.”

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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.

“On tonight’s show I’ve got a Record Of The Week from Young Husband, it’s absolutely glorious and I can’t wait to share three tracks from it with you!

In conversation tonight, Melbourne all girl trio Valentiine will be chatting candidly about their local music scene and how much they love being in the UK to play shows, along with their dreams and aspirations.

There will also be a tribute to the wonderful Jon Brookes who tragically lost his battle with a brain tumour and who enlightened my ears with new music and his boundless enthusiasm over the years.” —SZ

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Graded on a Curve:
Bill Doggett, “Honky Tonk Popcorn” b/w “Honky Tonk”

In 1969, with the help of James Brown and his band, veteran organist and bandleader Bill Doggett returned to the fertile soil of “Honky Tonk,” the song that remains his greatest achievement in both commercial and aesthetic terms. The King Records’ single “Honky Tonk Popcorn” b/w “Honky Tonk” wasn’t a hit however, and its current rep is too often absorbed as part of Brown’s long string of musical triumphs. But in relation to Doggett, it does provide a valuable lesson; never count an artist out. And nearly forty-five years later, the single continues to sound fantastic.

Even though his career spanned a large portion of the 20th century, Bill Doggett’s name will always be associated with his biggest hit. And that hit was indeed a huge one. “Honky Tonk (Part 1)” was simply a monstrous object; not only the most successful R&B single of 1956 (chalking up thirteen weeks at the top spot), the 45 additionally attained the stature of true crossover smash, making it all the way to number two on the pop chart.

Subsequently, that killer and its fabulous flipside “Honky Tonk (Part 2)” have become part of the lore of the early rock ‘n’ roll era, even though Doggett was far from any kind of rocker. Born in 1916 and considered a child prodigy on the piano at age 13, William Ballard Doggett began his career shortly thereafter, and by the ‘30s he was leading his own orchestra.

Tough times led him to sell his band to Lucky Millander. Doggett continued to work with the group, making his recording debut with that outfit in 1939. In 1942 he became the pianist and arranger for The Ink Spots. Employment with Count Basie, Wynonie Harris, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, and Ella Fitzgerald followed, and by 1947 he’d stepped into the piano role for Louis Jordan’s Tympany Five. It was with Jordan that Doggett first played the Hammond organ, the instrument that came to be his calling card.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Laura Marling at the Lincoln Theatre, 9/4

Both talented and striking, Laura Marling is a rare and unique artist.

Marling, a folk songstress from London, is on a tour in support of her fourth record Once I was an Eagle, and we’ve got tickets to give away for her appearance at the Lincoln Theatre on September 4. Singer-songwriter Jay Brannan is opening, so the list of “better things for you to do” is short enough for you to go ahead and put your name in the hat.

Marling has been winning over audiences with her mature folk compositions that carry an uncanny air of overcoming ill occasions. Her voice and performance have a reserved confidence that underscore an undeniable stage presence.

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(Re)Graded on a Curve: Eraserhead Original Soundtrack Recording, Deluxe Edition

Heads up to collectors of soundtracks, fans of David Lynch and general aficionados of the weird; the Eraserhead Original Soundtrack Recording has been given a repress. But its limited Deluxe Edition is far more than just an oddity. It’s also an early claim to greatness from one of the most unusual and unpredictable multi-media artists to have appeared in the last forty years.

Eraserhead was a difficult film to see in the mid-‘80s, or at least it proved to be such outside of the bohemian enclaves that thrived in the major cities. But like a host of diverse motion pictures that possessed a lingering otherness, a quality that helped them to survive being tossed onto the ever growing mountain of ephemera and forgotten, the movie survived as a cult item. And getting to see it meant inclusion into a club, or better put a society based upon sincere eccentricity, the movie meant to be experienced more than once and in the company of new initiates if possible, an artifact that’s reputation truly preceded it into the dark corners of American suburbia’s restless heart.

And its legend became magnified in print, for Eraserhead earned a spot in the first of three Cult Movies volumes authored by Danny Peary, books that were a major educational resource for hungry culture mavens during the decade of their publication. But more importantly, passionate word of mouth carried the flick into the rarefied circle of Outsider Essentials; somebody always knew a person whose friend’s brother saw it at a midnight screening his freshman year of college, and descriptions would often culminate with the phrase “You just have to see it.”

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TVD Recommends:
The Hill Country Hounds at the Maple Leaf tonight, 8/28

Like southern rock and other regionally based musical genres, hill country music is not limited to a specific zip code. This new band specializes in music that draws from many of the musical hills of the United States.

Their heavily blues tinged sound is reminiscent of the Mississippi Hill Country, but pulls from other topographically variant American landscapes as well.

The hills outside of Austin, Texas are traversed in such numbers as The Maverick’s “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down” and the Texas Tornado’s “Hey Baby Que Paso.” Singer and guitarist Jamie Bernstein (pictured above), who fronted his own eponymous project as J. the Savage with two acclaimed recordings, has written some originals for the project imbued with the hillbilly humor that he brings from the hills of West Virginia.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: TV on the Radio “Million Miles” Exclusive Test Pressings

We’ve got the rarest of rarities, TV on the Radio fans. Exclusive, one-off vinyl test pressings. Four of ‘em, with unreleased tracks and new singles for four lucky winners. And we’re the only ones who have ‘em.

The Brooklyn indie rockers are busy in the studio for the next few weeks working on a new release, but they wanted to give their fans a rare treat from the vault—vinyl test pressings of unreleased outtakes PLUS their two new singles, “Mercy” (out late July) and “Million Miles,” out just yesterday.

The test pressings were cut as 12″ EPs and come straight from the vaults of their label Federal Prism, right into our hands. (Good thing we’re a generous bunch…)

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