Monthly Archives: May 2016

TVD Live: Rogue Wave
at Thalia Hall, 5/26

Two west coast bands, California’s Rogue Wave and Seattle’s Hey Marseilles, played Chicago’s Thalia Hall this past Thursday—an intimate and vibrant show that turned into a celebration of the city finally getting some summer weather.

When I walked in the venue I was overtaken by the immense sound of Hey Marseilles. I had to take a moment to count all the people and instruments that filled the stage. There were five band members but multiple strings, guitars, and keys waiting to be played. The audience kept close to the stage and couldn’t help but move to the music. I watched two friends high-five to the beat during clap-alongs, just to not disturb the drink in their other hand. Everyone wanted to be a part of the band’s energy. They ended their set with popular songs, “Eyes on You” and “West Coast” off their latest album. Hey Marseilles’ self-titled album released earlier this year is now available on vinyl.

After being away from Chicago for three years, Rogue Wave was certainly ready to be back. A few songs in lead singer, Zach Rogue leaned into the mic and asked the crowd, “Wanna have some fun?” The cheers and claps assured him we were. With six albums under their belt, the band was able to play a wide variety of new and old. Fans were delighted as each song started, earning them a dedication, “This is for the fans that have been with us since the beginning” before “Salesman at the Day of the Parade,” a song from their second album.

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UK Artist of the Week: Lessons

Our Artist of the Week this week is Lessons—a synth pop trio from Germany and Finland respectively, who are bringing the ’80s back with a vengeance.

Now, we say synth pop, but its difficult to really pin down a genre for these guys. The title track from their latest EP “Tempest” oozes a wide range of authentic ’80s sounds but is also filled with shoegaze snippets and a whole lot of bass. Fans of SOHN, Deluxe, and Cocteau Twins will not be disappointed.

The trio met after brothers Samu and Ville Kuuka left their hometown of Helsinki for Berlin and soon met Patrick Sudarski (vocals), and despite each of them eventually moving away from Helsinki, they all stayed in touch and were soon to form Lessons.

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The Vinyl Guide Podcast
with Nate Goyer

The Vinyl Guide is a weekly podcast for fans and collectors of vinyl records. Each week is an audio-documentary on your favourite records, often including interviews with band members and people who were part of the project.

It’s hosted by Nate Goyer, a self-described vinyl maniac who enjoys listening to records and sharing the stories behind them. Despite his Yankee accent, Nate lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, 2 kids, and about 1,500 records. (But only about 1,000 of them his wife knows about.)

The Vinyl Guide takes records one by one, telling the tale of how they came to be, why the work is important, and then shares how collectors can tell one pressing from another. Learn more at the or simply subscribe via iTunes or RSS feed.

The Amen Break is the most popular, most used, most sampled drum beat in history, and it’s appeared on over 2,000 separate recordings and spawned new music genres. Hear the story of the song, the track, the sample, and the man behind it. We speak to Richard L. Spencer, owner of the song “Amen Brother” and the Amen Break.

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Graded on a Curve: Jackie Lynn,
Jackie Lynn

The promotional synopsis for Jackie Lynn reads like the young Jim Jarmusch filming a screenplay by Barry Gifford. Gritty and lurid but tangibly stylish, Thrill Jockey’s blurb is a fictional construct; the straight scoop on the album is that it’s the latest from Haley Fohr, the distinctive singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for a handful of recordings as Circuit des Yeux. This concise LP intriguingly and highly effectively spins off from her past achievements and underlines Fohr as a major artist. It’s out on vinyl and compact disc June 10.

In addition to Circuit des Yeux, Haley Fohr was once part of the duo Cromagnon, but given her desire to create a fictive yarn and then write and record this album around it, extensive background info (such as Cooper Crain and Dan Quinlivan of Bitchin’ Bajas reportedly lending their musical expertise) can seem somewhat superfluous.

The tale: the titular country girl (born in 1990 in Franklin, TN) hops a Greyhound bus for Chicago in 2010 and quickly meets up with Tom Strong (not his real name). Cocaine is dealt, money is made, and parties are thrown in an apartment on Sacramento and 26th street; the cops are on their trail, but without probable cause, they can’t make an arrest. Summoned to the apartment in February of 2015 in response to a domestic dispute, the fuzz finds it empty. A red and gold LP jacket was left behind; along with traces of cocaine, this recording was enclosed.

It’s a narrative that could’ve been banged out on a manual typewriter in a fleabag hotel by a down on his luck writer trying to procure a few bucks for bottles of booze by selling a manuscript to the pulp paperback market (the makings of another story, perhaps), and at just over 21 minutes, the length of Jackie Lynn can give the impression of a fleeting moment of inspiration captured in a studio and then grooved into vinyl; an impulsive act unlikely to be repeated.

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TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

Auditorium – Mt. Moriah
yllwshrk – Pull Me Under (In Memory Of Jeff Buckley)
ODDITY – Settle Down
The Julie Ruin – I’m Done
Glimmermen – Bang
Jack Ellis – Pocket Of Lint
Scientist – The Lighthouse
C A R A L I S – Parting Shots
Iconique – Sitting Pretty
Jon Kennedy – Free

Wesley Fuller – Runaway Renee

Cantina – Bulletproof
American Monoxide – Get Into My Way
Jackson Whalan – Cradle feat. Qwill
Tiger Love – Space in Space
Holy Balm – Fashion
Cafe Disko – One Dance (Drake Cover)
Neal Infinity – Highin’
KRYCHEK – My Limit
Elonious X Alexa Lusader X The Vizzion – BLVRD
Damien N-Drix – Stacks

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In rotation: 5/31/16

Friendly Records – the first vinyl record store in a generation – to open in South Bristol: A new shop selling vinyl records is opening in Bedminster – the first record shop south of the river in a generation. Tom Friend is opening Friendly Records, in what is currently an antique furniture shop at the eastern end of North Street…The store is due to open in the first week of July, and has already had big name backing, with a celebratory retweet from Portishead’s Geoff Barrow.

The needle hits the groove at Leeds’s Crash Records: The shop on The Headrow in the city centre is home to thousands of albums, ranging from classic rock, dance, hip-hop and punk rock – something for every palette. Crash Records, like so many music shops up and down the country, has benefited massively from the recent resurgence of vinyl, stocking many times the amount it did just five years ago, as music fans once again turn to the warmth and comfort that the classic format brings. It’s easy to see why, you simply cannot beat the feeling of the needle dropping.

Rad Girlfriend Records pumps out punk product: As a punk rock musician, Josh Goldman had helped with some DIY 7-inch releases from his band Rad Company, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to run his own label. That’s when Brandi Smith, who is now his wife, stepped in and convinced him they could make it work. Rad Girlfriend Records began in Dayton in 2011, with a pair of 7-inch reissues and split 12-inch record. Since then the label has built up a catalog of more than 50 vinyl releases by punk acts like White Flag, the Soviettes and Pretty Pretty.

Sam the Record Man Sign Set to Light Up Toronto Once Again: Sam Sniderman’s Yonge & Dundas record shop was a musical landmark for generations of Toronto music lovers, but since Sam the Record Man permanently closed its doors back in 2007, the fate of its iconic spinning neon sign has been up in the air — unfortunately, not literally, though. Now, after years of confusion (during which the sign has sat in storage), the massive lit-up pair of records is finally slated to be raised again by the end of this summer.

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We’re closed.

We’ve closed up the shop for the Memorial Day holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our FREE Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up, thank those who’ve served, and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday, May 31.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

And he said / “Who are you to go against the word of my father? And / Who are you? the scum of the earth” / No we are just we are just we are just teens of style / Oh we are just we are just we are just teens of style

There were people getting drunk, there were people getting high / They were falling to pieces right before my eyes / And I said “mmhmm” a lot (mmhmm)

And there was one guy there who kept asking me how does it are you sure feel and I / Didn’t even you don’t want to know how to talk about begin to answer what you’re / Experiencing that question and I just said so I just said no I don’t want to talk about it

So there I was, just another shitbag civilian / Afraid of the cops when I was outside, afraid of my friends when I was inside / And I grew tired of the scene / And then my dad showed up

May 26th, this Friday of Memorial Day Weekend is indeed special, a day of joy and reflection. Well, it’s the anniversary of the day I asked my wife out. Seems odd we’d celebrate “the Friday” rather than the day the wedding bells rang but then again, how magical is a chance rendezvous that changes the course of people’s lives?

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The TVD First Date

“I grew up in Foster City, California. It’s kind of like Legoland there—an aggressively suburban neighborhood built around the San Francisco Bay.”

“My parents ran a tight ship. There was always smooth jazz playing. David Benoit. John Tesh. Our white carpet remained white for years. There wasn’t really any recorded music around. My parents weren’t ‘cool.’ They just had KOIT on all the time. Lite rock, less talk.

I think for this reason I didn’t really encounter vinyl until I was about 13, when I bought a limited run Starchildren 7” at Tower Records in San Mateo. Starchildren was Billy Corgan’s side project. There was a Joy Division cover on the B-side, which is probably how I ever heard of Joy Division. I was the biggest Smashing Pumpkins fan ever. I didn’t even have a record player and that thing sat on my shelf until I sold it on Ebay for $70 sometime during the early 2000s.

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We’re seeking interns
for Summer 2016

They come, they go—every 6 months or so it seems, leaving an indelible mark at TVD and on their own careers. Some depart to labels. Some are drafted by PR firms. Hell, some even stay on as TVD editors from their own home city—they’re just that good.

We’re seeking bright, self motivated, articulate future music industry professionals to join our team on the content side as well as the marketing and social media outreach that informs the day to day at TVD. Candidates need not be in Washington, DC where we’re based to be considered—just be awake when we are.

Interested? Drop us an email introducing yourself.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Pooh Sticks,
“Alan McGee” EP

Swansea, Wales’ Pooh Sticks are one of my favorite bands, this despite the fact that they’re not really a band at all. They’re a collaborative enterprise between producer/svengali Steve Gregory and singer and instrumentalist Hue (or Huw) Williams aka, Hue Pooh-Stick, along with some “members” the duo invented (Trudi Tangerine, Paul, Stephanie Bass-Drum, and Alison) out of whole cloth. Together, the Pooh Sticks—with some real life vocal assistance from Amelia Fletcher of Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, etc.—started out as a lo-fi outfit but went power pop big time on 1991’s brilliant The Great White Wonder.

But it’s worth going back to 1988 and their “Alan McGee” EP, both because it’s a lo-fi lark and includes some great numbers besides. On “Alan McGee” Gregory and Williams—who have made a career of appropriating other peoples’ songs, song titles, album titles, you name it, filching whatever they find shiny in rock’s past like so many musical magpies—send up twee pop and its fanatical fans, bands, and producers, but it’s all in good, non-snarky fun.

“Indiepop Ain’t Noise Pollution” is typical, as are the hilarious female fans out to get their paws on Hue that open and close the EP. As for the Alan McGee of the title, he founded Creation Records and the Poptones label, and the winsome “I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well” is the perfect parody of twee Scottish bands looking for a chance to finagle their way into the legendary career maker’s good graces.

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In rotation: 5/27/16

Beechwood speaker simulates the resonance of vinyl records: If you’ve fallen in love with the sound of vinyl records but can’t bring yourself to invest time in the hobby, the Louis speaker by Paolo Cappello might be exactly what you’re looking for. The speaker is completely free of electronic components and uses the shape of the smartphone dock on top to project your digital music through the large, trumpet-like opening. The sound augments music with a deeper, hollow tone that the video describes as “warm,” but it hardly sounds similar to an actual record to me.

The Record Room To Move From Old Town Scottsdale to North Phoenix: Hopefully, we are long past all of the silly chatter about vinyl being dead and no one caring about buying records anymore. At least around these parts, people can’t seem to get enough of the spinning platters. The massive crowds that flood local music stores on Record Store Day alone should be enough to shut some mouths and lay those thoughts to rest. Take The Record Room. The store has outgrown its former location in Old Town Scottsdale and is in the process of taking over a much bigger space in northwest Phoenix at 2601 West Dunlap Avenue.

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TVD Live: The Kills at the Riviera Theatre, 5/23

If I’m being honest my familiarity with The Kills begins and ends with their album, Midnight Boom. I know this is shameful. Since writing this I have become familiar with their catalogue and I now know what I was missing. So, when attending their concert this past Monday at the Riviera Theatre I wasn’t sure what to expect. Their new album won’t be released until next week, but I listened to the singles and watched the new video, yet still felt uncertain–would this be the same band I fell in love with in 2008? I’m happy to say, yes indeed.

Upon entering the theatre I quickly made my way to the front. After seeing Ben Folds here earlier this month and spending the entire show on my tip-toes, I knew if I didn’t arrive early and move fast I might just catch a light show played to a soundtrack of The Kills. Luckily I got within spitting distance from the stage, planted my feet, and stayed there for the rest of the night.

L.A. Witch opened the show creating a great early vibe. I could feel their music run through me and the rest of the crowd felt the same way, swaying to the rhythm. I thought my heart was going to explode as drummer, Ellie English, ferociously banged out each beat. Every measure provided twists and turns aiding the inability to guess where the song would go next. L.A. Witch’s recent EP, “Drive Your Car” is currently available on 7’’ black vinyl.

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Blue Orchids,
The TVD First Date

“My dad got a record player in ’71, when I was fourteen.”

“I remember The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Buddy Holly. But with my pocket money I bought ‘Jeepster’ by T Rex, Sly & the Family Stone’s ‘Family Affair’ and others. As unhip as it was, the first piece of vinyl I remember was my dad’s copy of America’s attempt to write a Neil Young song, ‘A Horse With No Name.’ It was played a lot around the house.

Interestingly, it was a massive influence on Mark E Smith, the lead singer of my first real band, The Fall. You can hear its impact in the sprechstimme style of Mark’s voice. He doesn’t really sing or hold a melody. A lot of what he does comes out like that one long line—’in the desert you can remember your name, ‘cause they’re ain’t no one for to give you no pain,’ which barely has any melody. It’s perfect for the tone-deaf, I think that’s why it was a hit. I still hear America’s nearly tuneless ‘la la la la la la…’ in nearly every Fall song.

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The New Soul Finders begin Mag’s 940 June residency, 6/1

Guitarist and bandleader Marc Stone has become a cottage industry in New Orleans by shining the spotlight back onto old school musicians of all stripes. Every Wednesday in June he is presenting a new version of the seminal New Orleans funk band, the Soul Finders featuring two of the original players at a new music venue on Elysian Fields Avenue.

The Soul Finders were one of many bands led by the late, great piano player/ singer/ songwriter Eddie Bo. Vocalist Marilyn Barbarin and bassist/ vocalist Paul Boudreaux were members of the group, along with another late, great New Orleans master, the drummer James Black.They cut masterpieces like “Hook and Sling,” “Can I Be Your Squeeze,” and “Reborn” on tiny labels like Seven B, Bo Sound, Scram, and Fire Ball in the 1960s. Both Barbarin and Boudreaux are part of the New Soul Finders.

The rest of the band features players who are acolytes of the sound and the musicians. Stone will be playing guitar. He served a very significant musical apprenticeship with Eddie Bo when he first relocated to New Orleans. Tom Worrell, a musical heir to the funky New Orleans piano sounds of the era, who also played with Bo, is on keys. The group is rounded out by drummer Eric Bolivar—a player with deep respect of for the traditions and culture of New Orleans.

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