Monthly Archives: May 2014

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Not much to report from LA on this short week in May. Gloomy mornings usher in June. School is almost out for the kids and it’s hard to believe little Jonah will be a first grader. The family spent a fairly quiet long weekend keeping ourselves busy and well spoiled with anniversary meals.

Today the family is trekking out to Valley Charter School for Jonah’s benefit jogathon. My love and thanks to all my good friends for donating to Jonah’s public school. I am very proud of your generosity and support. Love to my old pal Luca and my daughter Zoe who I miss very, very much.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Will Dailey at the Tin Angel, 6/5

As the music industry dives further and further into the digital world, Will Dailey is switching things up with his latest album, National Throat, by releasing it on vinyl months before it is available online. 

When it comes to most new albums nowadays, making it available online is one of the highest priorities for any artist, young or old. In a world where a single online stream of a song brings in a fraction of a penny, every play and every online purchase counts. But for native Bostonian Will Dailey, the digital world is taking a back seat this time. His new album, National Throat, does not arrive to online retailers and services until August 26.

However, the album will be available June 7th on vinyl, and Dailey has taken to the road to celebrate. This upcoming Thursday, he makes his way to Philadelphia to share the stage with Mia Dyson for a co-headlining show at the Tin Angel and we have a pair of tickets to give away!

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The DC Record Fair returns to Artisphere, this Sunday, 6/1!

So, here’s a good reason to follow us both on Facebook and Twitter—we’re prone to scoop ourselves. It’s true, those of you who do check in with us on your social media platform of choice will see this announcement as a bit of old news, but here goes regardless—The DC Record Fair makes a return trip over the bridge to our friends at Artisphere in Arlington, VA on Sunday, June 1!

The DC Record Fair—now in its 5th year—will bring with it the trove of attractions you’d anticipate by now: 35+ vendors from up and down the East Coast, the curated DJ line up, the bar, the food, and Zeke’s Coffee will be on site with a special blend just for the DC Record Fair!

11:00 – 12:00: Singh Slim
12:00 – 1:00: Sol Power All Stars
1:00 – 2:00: Dj Jeyone
2:00 – 3:00: Sir Ramases
3:00 – 4:00: The Caribbean
4:00 – 5:00: Rusty B (All Good Funk Alliance)

The summer the DC Record Fair is also presented in tandem with Artisphere’s exhibition entitled Fermata, “…Artisphere’s first exhibition dedicated entirely to sound and the largest of its kind in the region to date. Featuring nearly 30 artists,Fermata takes an expansive approach and is a celebration of individuals using sound in a variety of disciplines, from composer Ryuichi Sakamoto to NASA Kepler scientist Lucianne Walkowicz.

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Six questions with Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday Live (1 of 9)

Taking Back Sunday are currently touring North America alongside fellow emo/ alt rock staples The Used in support of their spectacular new record Happiness Is. It’s arguably the strongest record of their career and the live show supports the fact that these guys are on a tear.

It’s as if they have something to prove to the droves of loyal fans who pack into the theaters to sing along with every single word, when in reality the original gang is back together—and the chemistry is explosive.

Taking Back Sunday Live (1 of 8)

Instead of the traditional long form interview, I thought it would be fun to drop 6 questions in front of TBS bass player Shaun Cooper and get his unfiltered responses. Think of it as a lightning round that cuts right to the chase. Here we go…

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Needle Drop: Random Order, “Black Lipstick Kiss”

Sub rock superstars Random Order have earned that self-proclaimed mantle by maintaining a prolific output since their inception in 1995. They have also toured the world, opening for artists as diverse as Joan Osborne and Salt-n-Pepa, while topping the charts in their homeland of Canada.

The Toronto collective is spearheaded by Lynn Phillips, who orchestrates the eclectic six-piece band around her groovy songs and anti-establishment attitude. There is sense of urgency surrounding their newest LP, Black Lipstick Kiss, which emphasizes their official arrival onto the national scene. This time around the music is steeped in the cinematic tradition of early Tarantino films; Surfed-out stereo riffs, Ska horn sections, and murky club atmosphere.

The title track even unfolds like a mini film, detailing an S&M style encounter with some sort of gypsy sadist. Walking a tightrope of playfulness and sincerity seems to come naturally to Phillips who knows exactly when to duck out and let the bombastic horns take over.

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Chickie Wah Wah unveils “Saturday Night Specials” in June

The fine listening establishment on Canal Street is teaming with Family Fish Productions to bring some of the best New Orleans musicians to the intimate space on the four Saturdays in June.

Seeking to buck the trend of typical summer slowdowns which have bedeviled local clubs for decades, Chickie Wah Wah recently announced these very special shows.

Anchored by the Summer Solstice Party on June 21, the series has something for everyone.

June 7, Twangorama, led by Jimmy Robinson and featuring Cranston Clements and Michael Skinkus with special guests, is scheduled to appear. The legendary guitar supergroup has been reconfigured for this special summer show.

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Graded on a Curve:
Randy Newman,
Little Criminals

Randy Newman is a storyteller without equal. Why, it warms the cockles of my heart, it does, the way ole’ Randy has of telling a tale, and whenever I hear a fella disparage him as a creator of film scores for rug rats, why, I want to haul off and belt that fella in the mouth, take a bit of the smart-ass shine off his canines. Randy (yeah, I call him Randy; you, on the other hand, may address him as Mr. Newman) is best known for his comedic songs, but he has written some of the saddest songs I know. Songs like “Guilty” and “Marie” and “Baltimore,” the last of which is the musical equivalent of your dog dying—in your arms.

Everybody should have a favorite Randy Newman album in order to qualify as a bona fide human being. I of course have one, and it isn’t Little Criminals. But that’s okay, because Little Criminals is my number two. It’s not quite the piece of undiluted perfection that 1974’s Good Old Boys is, but it has gads of great songs on it, and is 100% guaranteed to make you happy to still be above ground with the grotesqueries, unreliable narrators, heartless comedians, and feckless characters that Newman, a genius at writing vignettes without resolution, specializes in.

A very brief bio: Randall Stuart Newman was born in 1943 in Los Angeles, but spent significant time as a child in New Orleans. Both cities have played a critical role in his songwriting, and his time in The Big Easy helps explain his uncanny ability to capture both the southland’s mindset and dialect in such albums as Good Old Boys and 1988’s Land of Dreams. He began his career writing tunes for performers such as Petula Clark, Jackie DeShannon, and Gene Pitney, and was briefly a member of the band that became Harper’s Bizarre. His 1968 eponymous debut, Harry Nilsson’s 1970 LP Nilsson Sings Newman, and his 1970 sophomore LP 12 Songs all helped establish Newman’s critical reputation as a songwriter of immense talent—a reputation he solidified with 1972’s great Sail Away.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Dolly Parton signed
7″ single, “Home” b/w “Blue Smoke”

Back in the ’70s and early ’80s when I was a kid, my pop ran an advertising agency out of our home, and for reasons that elude me, we were flooded with free magazine subscriptions to ostensibly put in a perceived Mad Men-esque lobby—which didn’t exist.

Among the Times and Newsweeks, we’d receive Jet magazine and Ebony, Cat Fancier, automobile magazines like crazy, sports magazines, and somehow among this list, Country Music magazine where even back then to my developing sensibilities it was clear—Dolly Parton was the Queen of country music.

Now, I don’t know Dolly personally but she seems likes the modest sort who’d brush this perception aside, but it’s clear to me now as it was to wee me—she rules mightily. Then and now.

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Broods: The TVD Q&A

Auckland, New Zealand’s Broods—siblings Georgia Nott (lead vocals) and Caleb Nott (multi instrumentalist and production) released their freshman EP, the self titled “Broods,” in February of this year on Capitol Records. 

For their single “Bridges,” Broods enlisted producer Joel Little, who is noted for his work with another New Zealand native, the ubiquitous Lorde and her monster hit single “Royals.” “Bridges” was released to some critical acclaim and even reached number eight on the popular music charts in New Zealand. The vocals are powerful and charming and the instrumental arrangements are haunting and carry enough ambiance to engage even the biggest of venues. 

Prior to a tour stop in Washington, DC this month, we chatted with Georgia and Caleb about music in general and their thoughts on vinyl records in particular.

Since this interview is for TVD, do you guys enjoy vinyl records?

Oh yeah, we have vinyl on the merch stand tonight. We pressed these really cool, transparent vinyl records in this blue-green see-through color.

Do you guys yourselves have a long history with vinyl records?

Our friend has a vinyl player and he plays Cat Stevens on it. I grew up listening to Cat Stevens, so that’s always good.

Do you guys have a major collection going on?

We really don’t get to play vinyl right now, cause we don’t have a vinyl player. It’s been on our to-do list to get one and the kind we want is sort of expensive, for a nice one you know. We want to get a super good player. The funny thing is that I’ve got some really strange vinyl from this huge garage sale in Holland.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Lindsey Stirling with AJR at Echostage, 6/24

Though she placed as a quarter-finalist on 2010’s America’s Got Talent competition with her skills as a “hip hop violinist,” Lindsey Stirling has risen to fame through a new form of media—YouTube. 

Taking the violin to a whole new level, the Arizona-raised violinist, dancer, and composer Lindsey Stirling has proven to audiences everywhere that the violin isn’t limited to just classical music. Integrating her violin skills into Top 40 songs and video game theme songs, Stirling gained a massive following on the popular social media website, YouTube. Stirling’s collaborations with other YouTube sensations, including acapella group Pentatonix for their cover of Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive,” has earned the violinist a YouTube Music Award in 2013.

Since her start in 2010, Stirling has been on three tours and has released two albums. Her second and latest album, Shatter Me, was released this past April. In December, Stirling announced tour dates for her upcoming US Tour. As a part of the tour, Stirling is performing at Echostage on Tuesday, June 24, and we’re giving away a pair of tickets!

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Blair Jollands,
The TVD First Date

“I’ve always felt a bit inferior when talking about vinyl. Vinyl police had a field day at my parents’ house. They owned some real classics – Commodores (Heroes), Linda Ronstadt, Kenny & Dolly, John Denver & The Muppets, War of the Worlds, Brahms, Elton, Neil Diamond… It’s no wonder I cross genres in my own music! But my Dad did have Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall and for that record alone he is redeemed and I thank him.”

“The unmistakable smell of a vinyl sleeve just can’t elude you. To me, it represents a simpler time when people had time to sit back and really listen to music… to an ‘album!’ MP3 culture is so fast food to me although I’m a user but I indulge.

When I was old enough to go out and buy my own vinyl I think I did alright. I was into JJ Cale so I got Troubadour—now that IS cool. I’d just started to learn the guitar; I had a Hondo Stratocaster and I was hooked on melodic guitar style. Players like Albert King—squeezing notes between their thumb and finger—they really got their guitar singing.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top carried that sound and technique on well with a plectrum but players like Knopfler, Marvin, and Jeff Beck captivated me so I bought records from those guitar players—Dire Straits was on that list too. I was once embarrassed to say that. My mates had quite a funny joke: what do you get when you cross Dire Straits with Chris Rea?

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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 this week’s show my ROTW is Singles by Future Islands. I’ll be playing three lovely numbers from the album as well as trying to explain what it was about that Letterman appearance that made everyone go mental for them.

I’ll also have my #shellshock to share with you! This week’s understated shoegaze number is ‘Tall Grey Buildings’ by the awesome Maika Spigel. There will be the usual accompaniment of new and emerging music as I spin some of the best new Alt releases. Love music? Don’t miss it.” —SZ

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Graded on a Curve: The Ornette Coleman Trio, At the Golden Circle Stockholm Volume One

Ornette Coleman is most often associated with his numerous quartets, but his Blue Note debut found him exploring the possibilities of the trio configuration. At the Golden Circle Stockholm Volume One is the first half of that journey into addition by subtraction; it not only inaugurates the highpoint of Coleman’s Blue Note run, it also stands amongst the very greatest work the trailblazing saxophonist has recorded.

The end of the 1980s was swiftly approaching, and the jury was still out on the music of Ornette Coleman. The temporary reign of compact discs was well underway, and it gradually became easier to actually hear (instead of just read about) the sounds that so divided jazz at the dawn of its most tumultuous decade. However, for my first two Coleman purchases I had to settle for cassettes.

Until the CD reissues of Ornette’s Atlantic efforts began showing up in the racks (or more appropriately put, started getting listed in catalogs as being available for purchase), hearing the man’s groundbreaking early material was a struggle. Even the ‘70s fusion work with Prime Time and his ‘80s albums were difficult to locate.

What’s more, none of the meager number of older jazz heads I’d become acquainted with at that point appreciated him; when the subject arose a few were downright dismissive. And dialing the handful of jazz radio programs that my stereo tuner managed to pick up in the wee hours of the AM proved just as futile.

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Luke Elliot, The TVD First Date and Debut

“I grew up in Lawrence, NJ—five miles from the Princeton Record Exchange. My first experience with buying music though was on cassette. Vinyl didn’t come in until later. I would save my money, take the bus into town, and sift through the tapes for hours on end, just to walk out with a few bucks worth of merch.”

“I remember the smell of the album covers while searching through all the music, and I still feel like a kid when I walk in there—it transports me back. I think for me, going in there wasn’t just about the music—it was seeing all the people. When I was a kid, I just liked watching what people would buy, see what they were wearing, hearing their conversations.

A lot can happen in a record store. I’ve seen breakups, people making out, children get yelled at, angry merchants chase out teenagers, smoking, people fall in love with new bands, and I think even a heart attack or two.

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TVD Recommends: Lydia Loveless and the Old 97s at One Eyed Jacks, 5/28

While the rest of the local buzz about this evening’s concert at One Eyed Jacks revolves around alt-country favorites, the Old 97s, we’re especially pumped about the opening act.

Rolling Stone featured Lydia Loveless as one of their “10 New Artists You Need to Know” this past January on the strength of her new album, Somewhere Else. Fans of the alt-country genre should make it a point to arrive early for the show.

Consider the magazine’s description: “Sounds like: Loretta Lynn and Patti Smith slamming shots at a Midwestern dive bar while cowboys and punks brawl out in the back.” Sounds like a killer party.

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