Monthly Archives: June 2014

Clockwork Radio,
The TVD First Date

“Having carried on with an instrument after childhood recorder classes, it is almost a musician’s duty to declare that they were surrounded by music growing up. It is here, like many others that I admit I did not pack my musical suitcase myself, it was of course my parents and older siblings that did the duty.”

“Growing up, I was lucky enough to have music serving a soundtrack to most of my younger life. Queen, Greatest Hits One on an early trip to France, Womack and Womack battling for airspace against the hoover and Alanis Morissette enticing a guilty snigger in the back of the car for me and a host of other late ’80s kids. We were stood firmly in the lobby of the digital age and my first solo expedition into a record shop saw me leaving with a CD in hand, Big Willie Style no less.

At home however, my older brother had already been out and about on the Manchester DJ scene before I was even thought about. Accordingly, it was through him that I first came into contact with the physical vinyl and it was to remain in his hands until I was old enough to buy my own. Early on, in my presence, the record was solely an item to be fetishised and collected by DJs, to be blended, mixed and occasionally scratched but it was the CD, easy enough to drop into my school blazer pocket, that became the weapon of choice in forming musical allegiances in my early teens.

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Needle Droppings: Foreigner, “Hot Blooded”

When it comes to the wretched Foreigner, rock crit Robert Christgau said it best: “You’ve heard of Beatlemania? I propose xenophobia.” He also called the Brit-American band, whose vocalist Lou Gramm may well be the only rocker I’ve ever been glad to see defect to Christian rock, “the dullest group ever.” And he’s right. Compared to Foreigner, the oafish Bad Company played avant garde art rock.

Funny thing though: Christgau actually kinda liked “Hot Blooded.” Not me. I think it’s one of the dullest songs ever, right up there with Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” A hornirific ditty about Gramm’s priapic lustardation, it features him singing the immortally doltish lines, “I’m hot blooded/Check it and see/I’ve got a fever of 103.” Check what, I ask you Lou? Your penis thermometer? “Lou, uh, I’m having trouble getting a reading, the numbers are so tiny. Is this as big as it gets?”

It reminds me of the story about Truman Capote, who autographed a drunken woman’s breast at a party only to have her jealous boyfriend whip out his cock and challenge Capote to autograph it. Truman took one look at the fellow’s member and said, “Do you mind if I initial it?”

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Death Of Samantha:
The TVD First Date

“The radio was always on in the house or the car, but occasionally, as a tot, the folks would play the bit of vinyl they owned, and my sister owned some records that she actively bought, along with some LPs, welcome and unwelcome, that had come to her as part of the record club she belonged to. For some reason The Lovin’ Spoonful’s 7” of “Nashville Cats” stands out to me as the first memory of experiencing a record in person on the home stereo, with friends visiting the folks.”

“After that night, I would then go on the open the console stereo and find and play whatever looked interesting. The stereo was a long piece of furniture from Sears that hid away both the records and the turntable. There were my dad’s Buck Owens and Chet Atkins LPs, and my sister’s Monkees, Beatles, and Paul Revere & The Raiders albums. Glen Campbell, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, and 2 albums from Petula Clark were also in that mix. (Both Andy Williams and Roger Williams LPs figured in there too, I guess, but those got one spin each and shelved, save the song “Born Free.” Hey, I was a little kid.)

One day the folks brought me home a gift from the department store, an Archies single. Then it was a Mark Lindsay 7″. Then I would pick out things I saw in stores. I had confused the Who and the Guess Who (prominently played on WKYC from Detroit which we had on all the time) and saw this amazing colorful LP cover called Magic Bus on Decca in the grocery store and made mom buy it for 3 bucks. I then saw the “Join Together” 45 in a store and got it, having just seen it on a video clip show that was on TV in ’71 or ’72. K-Tel’s Fantastic comp, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry compilations followed, and I would marvel at my sister and brother-in-law’s own collection they had in their house and play them on their stereo while my folks visited with them in the other room. Did a lot of reading of covers, liner notes, photo browsing, etc… I asked for albums for Xmas and birthdays, scoring Osmonds’ Crazy Horses and Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me… in consecutive years!

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TVD Video Premiere: Christian Lee Hutson, “Mess”

“I wrote “Mess” in September of 2013 while packing my car to move to Nashville.”

“This song is about being pursued by the “Mama Bear” type, who wants to coddle you and help you figure out how to convert what ails you into something sustainable or at least temporarily manageable. I think it implies some kind of question as to the true motives of that type of person.

It was a time in my life when I felt immense vulnerability; like I was wet clay and wasn’t comfortable being shaped. “Mess” is another chapter in the long and tedious tale of the exorcism of my egomania.

Kim Griffith directed, shot, and edited this video in Fort Worth last month. This is a snapshot of what life on the road can be like, and was inspired by an early tour I did where low turn out was repeatedly blamed on the fact that The Avett Brothers were playing in the same town on the same night and ‘anyone that would be here is probably at their show.'”
Christian Lee Hutson

Christian Lee Hutson Official | Facebook | Twitter

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Graded on a Curve:
Dion,
Born to Be With You

Poor Dion DiMucci. In 1975 the singer-songwriter from the Bronx—still seeking to recapture the fame he achieved in the late 1950s and early ’60s with vocal group The Belmonts and as the solo artist who gave us “The Wanderer” and “Runaround Sue”—made the same mistake so many musicians seem to make: he decided to hire fellow Bronxite Phil Spector to produce his album. Fortunately Spector—a stick of unstable human dynamite on a good day—didn’t shoot Dion, or so much as brandish a gun at him or even give him a wedgie, as he did the Ronettes. But Spector was his normal—which is to say volatilely abnormal—self, and the sessions were chaotic, to say the least.

And what did Dion get for his trouble? A flop. The critics panned Born to Be With You and record buyers shunned it. Even Spector and Dion hated it, the latter going so far as to disown it as “funeral music.” But the winds of fortune are nothing if not mercurial, and in subsequent years the album has become a cult fave, with critics reversing their opinions and many prominent rockers citing it as an influence on their own music.

Dion’s career trajectory is complex, zig-zagging improbably all over the place like the Kennedy Assassination’s Magic Bullet. He began with The Belmonts, which made him famous and almost killed him on the frigid evening of February 3, 1959, when Dion—travelling with the Belmonts as part of the Winter Dance Party tour—declined for financial reasons to board the infamous Beechcraft Bonanza that crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing fellow tour members Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper. In 1960 Dion went solo, and more hits followed. Then he fell prey to heroin addiction, and his style of music became instantly antiquated the moment the British invaded.

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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. Click, preview, download, purchase.

Be Calm Honcho – Step Out
Penguin Prison – All Night Long
Identical Homes – Miles&Miles
Lowell – I Love You Money
Ladada – Comets
Mechanimal – Freezer
Gitar – New Martyrs
Shy Boys – Life Is Peachy
SOS – Youth in Decline
Young Rebel Set – Yesca & The Fear (North Base Remix)

TVD SINGLE OF THE WEEK: KITTEN – #G

Vato Gonzalez – Dirty House Mixtape 8
Everyone Dies In The End – We Bears Are A Proud Race
One Finger Riot – Give Me A Drug That Works Forever
Magicicada – Glancing Off the Edges
Fire and the Romance – She’s a Devil
City Walls Autumn Falls – Let Love
Crash – High Wall
The Verve Pipe – Overboard
The Moles – Beauty Queen Of Watts
Oh, Be Clever – Lost You

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Hey! “School’s out for the summer!” Yeah well, last week officially for li’ Jonah. I don’t think I’ll ever lose a connection with that special feeling I had as a kid. A warmth of excitement and testostrone. The realization that for the next 10 weeks I was free.

“…No more pencils no more books / No more teacher’s dirty looks / Out for summer / Out till fall / We might not come back at all…”

For this week’s Idelic hour I tried to imagine what it would be like to have that youthful free feeling of “no school”—to transport myself to the “warmth of the fun.” You know, the Idelic way, with song.

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TVD Ticket & Vinyl Giveaway: KITTEN in the city and the venue
of your choice AND the brand new LP!

We kinda want to say we told you so.

From March of 2010: “I go on these tears when I hear a new track that I’m totally into—I play it over and over and over and over again as if to brainwash myself so I can walk around singing the thing. Or inhabiting it. So far I’ve played this KITTEN track 16 times. And I first heard it about 3PM yesterday.

Oh—and KITTEN’S lead singer, Chloe Chaidez is, uh—15. And a star.”

Since 2010’s off the cuff prediction, KITTEN has taken over the site for a week, we’ve covered the band live numerous times, we’ve given away tickets, we’ve given away vinyl, they’ve had our Single of the Week, and we even went on a little record store shopping trip together last October.

So, we’re pretty proud that our hunch has been proven accurate as KITTEN is still making some seriously fine music which lands on store shelves today in the form of the band’s self-titled debut release AND their first ever headline tour kicks off in a matter of days—and we have the exclusive opportunity for three of you reading this to win tickets to see Chloe and Co. on any date of the tour in any city—AND the debut record on vinyl! The headline tour is as follows:

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TVD’s Four Days at Firefly 2014

By NICK NEMPHOS and OLIVIA UNG | In its third year, last weekend’s Firefly Music Festival was quite a spectacle, with an estimated 80,000 fans seeing over 100 acts on seven stages during this year’s expanded run of four days, from three previously. 

The headliners were Foo Fighters, Outkast, and Jack Johnson, and for the most part, the artists I saw did not disappoint. Here are the acts that I caught at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Here are all the reasons I think you should start planning next year’s trip now.

THURSDAY

Parade of Lights, 6:30-7:15 PM, Lawn Stage

The first band I caught on last Thursday, Firefly Festival’s opening night, Parade of Lights was upbeat and danceable, and they went over pretty well with an audience ready to get things started. I only caught a few songs of this electro-pop quartet from LA, but I enjoyed what time I had with them. A song worth checking out on their website was their set closer “Golden,” which I thought was the highlight.

Courtney Barnett, 8:00-8:45 PM, Lawn Stage

Courtney Barnett played from 8:00-8:45 PM on the Lawn Stage. Dressed all in black, she began her set just as the sun was starting to go down opposite to the stage. For most of their performance, Courtney and her band were bathed in the golden light of a setting sun.

This was the first full performance of the festival that I watched, and it was a great way to start off the weekend. From her studio work, I expected something a little more relaxed, but it was a great choice to ramp up the tempo a little bit for a festival to keep people engaged.

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TVD Live: King Buzzo
at the Great American Music Hall, 6/15

King Buzzo

The Melvins’ Buzz Osborne, a.k.a. King Buzzo, might have unplugged for his solo debut, This Machine Kills Artists, but he hasn’t mellowed in the slightest. If you haven’t noticed his incredibly fun Twitter and Facebook posts documenting his solo acoustic tour, you are missing out. This guy knows how to connect with his fans and he does it better than almost anyone else out there.

With a barren stage that hosted a small amp and a road beaten guitar case, Buzzo came to the stage, set himself up, and began to strum. Opening with the Melvins’ classic “Boris,” Buzzo crept across the empty stage grinding out the heavy-duty riff on an acoustic guitar that knew it was in trouble. Slowly, he took a close look at the crowded room of fans on both sides…and then he came alive.

King Buzzo

In one burst of Buzzo vocal superiority, the entire crowd knew that this was not going to be your average acoustic show. This was some sort of new genre being invented before my eyes. It was like Black Sabbath recording a soundtrack to the apocalypse—during MTV Unplugged set; powerful, a bit eerie at times, but incredibly well done.

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White Arrows,
The TVD First Date

“I grew up in a household with two parents, one sister, 5 cats, a Technics SL-D2 turntable (direct drive), a Sansui 2000x Amplifier, and an ungodly loud-sounding pair of Bose 901s.”

“It was less entertainment center than altar to music. On weekends my father would blast albums. The standards—Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin—being well represented. Some of my earliest memories consist of listening to The Doors’ self-titled debut.

He’d tell me about Vietnam—how this was a favorite album at the time. Heavy incense smoke in the room. “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” roaring full volume. It felt as if the world was ending; as if everything was shaking apart. How could this exist? I could anything this overwhelming exist?

I loved it.

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Needle Drop: Woods, “Tomorrow’s Only Yesterday”

New York psych-rockers Woods have released the fuzzed up, tightly mixed “Tomorrow’s Only Yesterday” as a companion piece to their just-released sixth album, With Light and with Love. It might have been an after-thought, or perhaps someone unearthed the mix—perplexed that it was left off the album… either way, we are all grateful it has been brought into the light.

The song is slightly more refined than their previous output, without losing the wonderful low-end fuzz and dreamy reverb that embodies their sound. It is a jangly good time that harks back to the more experimental, latter period of British Invasion.

Woods are embarking on a two month tour that is taking them overseas, hitting tons of great spots from Big Sur to Liverpool including an opening slot for Foxygen in Seattle, WA on 7/31.

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TVD Recommends:
The Foreign Exchange
at Tipitina’s, 6/29

The hip-hop duo known for soulful, R&B flavored tracks that showcase Nicolay’s conscientious beat making and Phonte’s spitfire rapping and heartfelt vocals, will be performing at Tipitina’s.

Last Monday, Pont:Productions and TVD co-hosted a listening party for the album at Gasa Gasa in preparation for the show. We gave out stickers, t-shirts, and tickets to Sunday night’s performance. Additionally, attendees were given free invites to Nicolay’s DJ set at Eiffel and enjoyed happy hour drink specials. There was a great turn out, with a full dance floor grooving to the tracks off the album.

DJ RQway, who will be opening the show, also spun a bunch of funk, house, R&B, and hip-hop numbers from artists as diverse as Curtis Mayfield, Nas, and his own homemade beats.

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Graded on a Curve: Johnny Winter,
Still Alive and Well

Famed music critic Frank Sinatra once called rock’n’roll the “most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear.” The crooner who liked to eat scrambled eggs off the breasts of prostitutes added it’s the handiwork of “cretinous goons,” and called it a “rancid-smelling aphrodisiac… that fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people.” Wow! Sounds great! Where do I sign up?

Good thing The Chairman of the Board never (I’m assuming) got a gander at the Winter Brothers, Johnny and Edgar. One look at Edgar Winter on the cover of 1972’s They Only Come Out at Night would have confirmed his every prejudice, and struck him dead with a coronary thrombosis as well. That or he’d have amended his comments to say, “cretinous, undead goons.”

But to hell, says I, with Frank Sinatra. And God bless dem low-down pink-eyed blues. The Winter Brothers have given us so much great music over the years you’d need a fleet of dump trucks to haul it all away. And it hasn’t been all blues by any means. Edgar, an inveterate dabbler, has recorded pop, blues, rock, boogie, jazz-fusion, and whatever the hell you call “Frankenstein,” while Johnny has played his fair share of straight-ahead hard rock.

In any case, I had a heckuva time deciding whether to review They Only Come Out at Night or Johnny’s 1973 classic Still Alive and Well. I finally opted for the latter because (1) Edgar’s a Scientologist, and I’m a bigot and (2) while Edgar boasts one fantastic set of mutton chops, Johnny has better hair. And a less flamboyant taste in neck bling. The choker Edgar sports on They Only Come Out at Night looks like a Versailles chandelier.

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TVD Premiere:
Edward Rogers,
“After The Show”

“I first heard the song in my late teens and was taken away by its casual, but yet meaningful lyrics.”

“It always sounded like something one would hear in an old English fair—a real troubadour classic for the end of a warm summer English evening. “After The Show” was always on my mind to record someday.

We approached it by recording two versions: a more uptempo arrangement and the arrangement you hear on Kaye. Comparing my version with Kevin Ayers’, I think we did the song justice.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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