Monthly Archives: September 2013

TVD Ticket Giveaway: TVD at the Fillmore
with Drop Electric, Honest Haloway, and Technophobia, 10/3

The running joke around TVD HQ is that, in contrast to the many going out websites, we’re your favorite staying in source. I mean, turntables pretty much dictate that, right? (We’re a pale bunch.)

But like you, we too can be found at many a show, and as such we’re delighted to announce that in partnership with our friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring, we’ve been asked to curate a recurring series of live events spotlighting bands and artists who we feel should be squarely on your radar.

And the first of these evenings arrives this Thursday, October 3, as TVD Presents at the Fillmore Silver Spring: Drop Electric, Honest Haloway, and Technophobia—and because it’s a bit of a staple around these parts, we have an early opportunity for you to attend as our guest. First, let’s introduce you to the bands…

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Honest Haloway:
The TVD First Date

“My first memories of listening to music probably date back to 1986 on Saturday mornings with my father.

“He had a record player that worked well enough and he would blast Bruce Springsteen while he was in his work space in our unfinished basement. To this day, whenever I listen to tracks like “Born to Run,” “Thunder Road,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Atlantic City,” it always bring me back to this time of complete innocence where I didn’t have to deal the troubles of life. However, ironically many of Springsteen songs were all about the troubles of life.

My father is also a huge Dylan fan. Growing up, records like The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan and The Times They Are A-Changin were constantly spinning in our house, and I still love folk music and will write a folk song myself every now and then.

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The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing: Steampunk’s reluctant ambassadors

MARC BURROWS, SPECIAL TO TVD | Sometimes you take a wrong turn, fall face-first through the back of the wardrobe and discover an entire world happening just the other side of the wall. That’s what happened with me and Steampunk.

My friend and fellow (more successful) comedian Andrew O’Neill was telling me about the “Victorian punk band” he was putting together, which sounded like such a brilliant idea—especially if it involved Andrew’s magnificently twisted imagination—I immediately offered my services as bass player. It was the moment I smashed through the back of the wardrobe, fell down the rabbit hole, took the red pill, was bodily picked up by a tornado and deposited over the other side of the rainbow, or possibly got pulled through the comic book page like out of that A-ha video. It was the moment I discovered the Other World—I joined a Steampunk band called The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing.

I knew what Steampunk meant, of course. I knew it was a mash-up of Victoriana and future or present day images. I knew it came from literature and Cyberpunk, I knew it had bugger all to do with actual punk rock. I thought it existed in Alan Moore comics, in Doctor Who and on youtube videos where people made their laptops look like they were made out of brass and wood. I hadn’t expected it to be a living, breathing subculture stretching across the world, combining comic book nerds, Amanda-Palmer aping cabaret starlets, engineering enthusiasts with incredible beards, and goths who’d grown out of PVC and wanted something a bit smarter to dress up in at the Whitby weekend.

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SWF: The TVD First Date

“I grew up with vinyl records in the house; they were on a rack about two inches off the floor under my parents’ stereo. My dad would always lament to me how he had sold his first record collection, that had all his old rock & roll records, like Buddy Holly, early Rolling Stones, stuff like that, when he was in college, and how he wishes he still had them. He actually will still tell me that story, probably anytime I mention record collections.”

“I’ve always loved vinyl, the format is just so visceral, physical, it’s big and you can hold it in your hands and really get a good look at the album artwork. There’s a beautiful, ritual element to playing a vinyl record, an intentionality about putting the needle to the record, that you don’t really get with anything else.

When I was in high school, I would hang out at this record store, hi-fi, in the town in Boston where I grew up, and talk to the guy who worked there to learn more about indie rock and get exposed to different kinds of music. I remember he introduced me to Os Mutantes when Beck’s Mutations came out, saying how Beck had gotten a lot of inspiration for that record from them.

I think the first record that I bought was the first album by The Cars. I had played drums in a band at summer camp and we had covered “Just What I Needed.” I must have been 13 or 14. I gave it to my girlfriend because she had a record player and I didn’t. Actually, the first time I had sex was with her, in her room, playing Blondie’s Parallel Lines, side B, on her record player.

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Graded on a Curve:
Dr. John, Gris Gris

I am happy to report there is one town in this God-obsessed land that remains under the sway of the Devil. I am talking, of course, about N’Orleans, that spirit-haunted hotbed of hedonism and home to the legendary likes of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, the prostitute Lulu White, and the never-captured Axeman of New Orleans. God has sent flood upon flood to destroy America’s most depraved and flat-out weird city—where else are you going to find public ordinances banning gargling in public and tying an alligator to a fire hydrant?—but in vain. Either God’s floods ain’t what they used to be, or sin has rendered the birthplace of Jazz, where Lucifer owns a winter home, indestructible.

The Big Easy is renowned for two things: music and voodoo. And no human being has ever combined the two with such funky finesse as Mac Rebennack, aka Dr. John Creaux the Night Tripper. Like most people, the only tune I knew by the good doctor was 1973’s funky “Right Place Wrong Time.” Then Kid Congo Powers—who honed his own voodoo chops with the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s Gun Club—suggested I check out the Night Tripper’s 1968 debut LP Gris Gris, and I promptly fell under its spooky Creole spell.

Its trance-inducing, doom-heavy grooves instantaneously transported me to a shadowy Louisiana swamp swarming with snakes and alligators, voodoo drums sounding in the distance, the Axeman of New Orleans hard on my heels. Then to an incense-choked, unpainted wooden shack on stilts situated deep in the bayou’s perpetual gloom, where I found myself shuffling and shaking to the sound of congas and the Night Tripper’s Muzippi-muddy growl. Suffice it to say Gris Gris is one the most haunting slices of hoodoo you’ll ever hear, and one of the most addictive.

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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 click.

Kim Lenz & The Jaguars – Pay Dearly
The Tontons – Veida
Escort – Cabaret (Little Boots Remix)
Lo Fine – Lie In White
Schooner – Trap
Caroline Smith – Magazine
Lucy Rose – Middle Of The Bed
Morgan Doctor – West Coast
Son Lux – Easy
Lucius – Hey Doreen

Migrant Kids – Canvas Of Me

Jonny Rodgers – Let It Fill Your Whole Heart
Imbogodom – Voices of Lists
Dead Meadow – Yesterday’s Blowin Back
Absolutely Free – Clothed Woman Sitting
Borrowed Beams of Light – On The Wings Of A Bug
Martha Marlow – Days of Roses
Fractal Sky – TenCityLove
Ghost Wave – Here She Comes (Alternate Version)
WE ARE TWIN – Hold on We’re Going Home (Drake Cover)
Jacuzzi Boys – Be My Prism

13 more FREE TRACKS after the jump!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

The other day I saw a blog post on Flipboard which I thought read today was the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind.

Not sure what had gotten into me or the blog, but it was actually the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s third album In Utero. For some reason the “pay to read” blog, Paste asked 20 musicians to discuss Nevermind instead of In Utero. It’s ok…never mind. The point is grunge, and those of us who lived it, are now twenty years older.

It’s a trip to be twenty down the line from anything. Many of us are not really sure where the last twenty went, but I have a conclusion. Best not to complain about aging, especially while many of us should be grateful to just simply still be here! Besides, we have time for plenty more fun and rock ‘n rolling.

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Michael Pink:
The TVD First Date

“I’ve always regarded vinyl as the most direct and pure way one can experience music.”

“I find a great deal of difference between listening to a song on a record versus clicking or tapping to hear a digital music file. The sound seems thicker to me and more er.. musical.. You get what I’m saying, right?

My favorite record I own is the first pressing of Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles. I love how the title track already has a warbling effect and coupled with the warmth and reality of vinyl, it sends me somewhere, like I’m really on a tour hosted by the fab four.

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TVD Recommends:
Tom McBride and the Red Creek Wranglers
at Gypsy Sally’s, 9/27

Don’t have any exciting Friday plans for tonight? Or maybe you’re in need of the nice sound of a guitar strumming to ease the stress of the work week away. If that’s the case, consider enjoying some of the soothing songs of Americana singer-songwriter Tom McBride at DC’s latest waterfront music venue.

We’ve talked about the talented Tom McBride earlier in the year when he hosted a record release party for his latest album. The singer-songwriter is back in DC, ready to, once again, captivate audiences with his easy-going, indie pop country sound.

When it came to writing his third album, McBride says, “I just tried to write good songs.” And if the various gigs at SXSW and CMJ and features in many music magazines don’t vouch for his songs to be classified as “good,” just take a listen to Morning in Glen Burnie. 

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway and Video Debut:
The Parson Red Heads,
Orb Weaver

“Hi, I’m Sam. I play guitar in the Parson Red Heads. I thought I’d write a little tidbit for The Vinyl District. (Thanks for the invitation to do so.)”

“I want to tell you a little bit about my experience working at a record store called Amoeba Music. There are 3 of these stores in California, and for 3 years I worked at the one in Hollywood.

Record stores employ some of the most interesting, caring, and creative individuals I’ve ever met. Ever. Record store employees are so underemployed—most of the ones I worked with had degrees and were extremely intelligent and ambitious. But they just don’t care about money—they care about music and art and people. (I can’t speak for all record stores when I say this, but I know Amoeba isn’t the only one that’s this way. I’ve worked at 2 other record stores and both were similar.)

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TVD Recommends: Marco Benevento in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, 9/27 and 9/28

This weekend you have the chance to see the keyboard sensation twice, if you’re willing to road trip. He plays Chelsea’s in Red Stick on Friday and at the Blue Nile in the Crescent City on Saturday.

For more than a decade, pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive resume of composition and collaboration. His albums set forth a vision that connects the dots between Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise on one side, Brian Eno and Brad Mehldau on the other.

The 35-year old artist took a major step forward last year with the release of his latest album, TigerFace.

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UK Vinyl Video: Pincers, “A Sociopath To Fame”

It’s not often that an artist of the avant-garde persuasion can actually write tunes with any meaning or melody. When these artists do, they become very intriguing indeed, and Pincers definitely falls into this category.

Not much is known about the man behind the art but his video for “A Sociopath To Fame” is possibly the oddest thing you’ll have watched on YouTube for a while. The song itself is about a psychopath who locates his victims via the internet, kills them, and sends the images to his ex in the hope he’ll become famous.

Not a happy track then? Well, not really, but the music is a brilliant blend of Nick Cave, Gotye, Bowie, and Pincers’ own brand of offbeat, outlandish avant-garde that’ll leave you wanting to hear more.

“A Sociopath To Fame” is taken from Pincers’ forthcoming EP “Molt,” which will be released on November 18th via Volkspark Records.

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Graded on a Curve:
Bob Dylan & The Band,
The Basement Tapes

Well, here I am at last, in a deserted warehouse on Desolation Row, about to realize my lifelong dream of interviewing the legendary Bob Dylan. It’s a rather odd place to meet, I know, but I got absolutely nowhere with Dylan’s PR people, so I decided to exercise my First Amendment rights by abducting him, duct-taping him to a rickety wooden chair, and shining a very bright light in his eyes. It’s an unorthodox arrangement, to be sure, but then Dylan is a famously uncooperative interviewee.

“Okay, Schmylan,” I say, opening the interview on a light note. “You’re going to spill or I’m going to shave Vincent Price’s mustache right off your face.”

“You don’t like it?” says Bob in that unintelligible frog-with-emphysema croak that makes his present-day concerts such wonderful exercises in collective audience incomprehension.

“Not really. I think it’s creepy. And if it’s creepy I want, I can always listen to Saved.”

“Vince bequeathed it to me in his will,” says Dylan, unfazed by my criticism. “And I happen to like it. It’s so Dr. Goldfoot and The Bikini Machine. I kept it in the freezer for years, on top of a box of Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks. Hey, would watch the parking meter?”

“Quoting your old chestnuts will get you nowhere,” I say. And to prove it, I slip a cigarette between his lips and smack it out again.

“No, I mean literally. I only fed it enough quarters for two hours. And the last thing I need is another ticket.”

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TVD Live: Prince Rama’s Fame Factory at Artisphere, 9/21

PHOTOS: KRISTIN HORGEN | Last Saturday, Prince Rama, sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson from Brooklyn, took over the Black Box Theater at Artisphere for their all-day installation, a one-off, present-day rendition of Andy Warhol’s Fame Factory.

The space which Prince Rama had to work with was much larger than The Dunes in Columbia Heights, where I last saw them three months ago. They were in the theater all day setting up a “reflective utopian meta-environment where the construction of celebrity can be explored” before performing in the evening. With Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds in full swing upstairs, it was the perfect coupling.

Rosslyn is a weird place in that it’s a suburb with buildings bigger than the city of which it’s a suburb. Before entering the equally weird Artisphere building, I walked around and took in a part of town that I rarely ever go to.

The tall reflective buildings coupled with the dark ominous sky overcast the area, as a downpour that would last the entirety of the day was about to begin. The heavy sentiments would remain, and the mood felt right for the day ahead.

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Lonesome Leash returns to New Orleans for a homecoming show, 9/27


Walt McClements has been one busy musician. What with his stint with Dark, Dark Dark, his memorably named band, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship?, and his work with the Panorama Jazz Band and Hurray for the Riff Raff, he seems to be always on the go. Fittingly, he performs Friday night at the AllWays Lounge in support of his new EP as Lonesome Leash.

Anchored by the sinuous accordion sound that’s become a McClements trademark, Lonesome Leash takes mad aesthetic stabs, incorporating drum loops, lush feedback and brass flourishes, in the end creating a sort of future-rustic musical environment. McClements explains: “I’d always been interested in affecting the accordion to make it sound more like a synthesizer, and more than a synthesizer, as well as including drum machines and electronics into what normally would—or could be—very traditional sounding textures.”

Live, the project takes the form of a one-man band, with McClements deftly navigating drums, accordion, trumpet, and vocals. A spectacle in and of itself, the true achievement is how quickly one forgets the multi-tasking going on, as the arrangements, sounds and words quickly overshadow any thoughts that this may just be technical gimmickry.

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