Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Posies: In-store with TVD at DC’s Som Records

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSThe recollection is still quite vivid—my pal Shawn sidling by my room with a copy of The Posies’ 1990 release Dear 23 in hand. He’s tapping the CD jewel case deliberately. “I know you…you’re going to love this record.” And, as it turned out, both were true. Plus, it didn’t hurt one iota that I was, in fact, 23 at the time.

Hooked since then through stylistic turns, rhythm sections, break-ups, solo projects, Big Star status, reformations, and happily new (vinyl) releases, The Posies’ brand new full Length LP Solid States is in stores as you’re reading this right now.

Touring to support Solid States, Jon Auer, Ken Stringfellow, and new drummer Frankie Siragusa embarked on a set of band-booked, intimate house concerts. The day after what was apparently one hell of a Washington, DC show, The Posies joined us at DC’s Som Records for a rummage through the racks—warm, chatty, and hilarious throughout.

So, onward—we’re record shopping with The Posies at Washington, DC’s Som Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Rootwork

Rootwork may appear like three mild-mannered office workers, but don’t let looks deceive you.

Since the release of their EP “Gallows Humour” last year, the London-based trio has been receiving steady praise for their tight riffs and abrasive sound. They’re a heady combination between Queens of the Stone Age and Mastodon, bringing both the heavy and melodic elements of metal together in glorious harmony.

They recently released the video for track “Code Talker” (also available on the aforementioned EP), and whilst it may not be the most spectacular visual accompaniment, it shows a band that are slowly finding their feet on the scene—these boys can certainly make some noise. Who knows what they’re capable of next and, quite frankly, we cannot wait to find out.

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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.

What will happen to your body when you die? Jason at has an option; get your ashes pressed into vinyl records to be enjoyed by your loved ones. Hear his interview as well as some discussion on cratedigging in Northern China. I travel to the city of Dalian and made a video of a record hunt, available on

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Graded on a Curve:
John Coltrane,
The Atlantic Years
in Mono

John Coltrane’s Atlantic period presents an arresting convergence of circumstances. It was a time of raised profile and of considerable transition, the artist’s confidence audibly growing as he united jazz tradition and experimentation; most of all it was an era of major breakthroughs establishing the saxophonist as a leader in his field. The Atlantic Years in Mono doesn’t include the entirety of his work for the label, but it does ably document a thrilling era that brought Coltrane to a mainstream audience. Don’t be scared by the audiophile angle; Rhino’s 6CD/6LP+7-inch set is a splendid acquisition for both newbies and longtime fans. One gets to hear the thriving mastery as it was originally released.

By the time John Coltrane hooked up with the Ertegun brothers he’d already chalked up a significant list of achievements, serving as a powerful voice in post-bop’s development via the bands of Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis, guesting for a track on Sonny Rollins’ Tenor Madness, teaming with Hank Mobley, Al Cohn, and Zoot Simms for Tenor Conclave, and leading bands for Prestige and for one LP Blue Note.

Top billing came with Coltrane in 1957, and next was Blue Train for Blue Note, which many consider to be his first great album. John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio followed in ’58 (aka Traneing In for its ’61 reissue), and Soultrane retained the services of the Garland band. As Coltrane’s fame grew Prestige would later release nearly a dozen albums under his name from unissued sessions and elevated sideman dates, in turn possibly lending a false impression of the saxophonist as unusually prolific during ’57-’58.

Coltrane was constantly playing but was nowhere near popular enough to have that many albums produced in such a short span; indeed, his two ’58 records with Wilber Harden as co-leader, Jazz Way Out and Tanganyika Strut, are rarely discussed in spite of their being positioned directly before Coltrane’s move to Atlantic. Well, not quite; the closest correspondent recording to his ’59 Atlantic debut Giant Steps is Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.

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In rotation: 6/28/16

TONIGHT! Other Music Second Line Parade & 75 Dollar Bill In-Store Performance: Following 75 Dollar Bill’s in-store performance at 5:30 p.m. (the final in-store performance at Other Music ever!!), the incredible Matana Roberts will lead us on a march from the shop, across 4th Street, down the Bowery, to the Bowery Ballroom on Delancey. We want to celebrate 20 years of New York City music and arts culture with all of you, and we hope that whether or not you have tickets to our farewell show later that evening at the Bowery Ballroom, you will join us for this free event — let’s show NYC that music still matters!

Brighton bucks the trend once again with new record store: WITH record stores across the country closing down, Brighton has once again bucked the trend. Bella Union opened in Ship Street Gardens earlier this month with sales already better than expected. It is thought to be the only music stote in the country selling exclusively the releases of just one record label, also called Bella Union. The label has bands such as Fleet Foxes, Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips on its roster. Owner and label founder Simon Raymonde said the first weeks had been promising.

In Springsteen’s home state, a start-up feeds vinyl’s revival: The past has caught up with the future, or maybe it’s the other way around, on the sweaty factory floor of Independent Record Pressing just off I-295 in Bordentown. Most of the workers there weren’t born when what they’re making today was big. General manager Sean Rutkowski, 46, was, though he came of age in the era of cassettes and CDs. But in a surprising return from near-death, vinyl records are back on the turntable, in demand by recording artists and music consumers alike after years of relegation to flea markets and used-record stores.

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TVD Live Shots: Cage
the Elephant, Portugal. The Man, and Sunflower Bean at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 6/23

It’s been a long 6 months since Cage The Elephant paid San Francisco a visit, last touching down on Bay Area soil for an opening slot on Metallica’s “The Night Before” concert at AT&T Park back in February. Let’s just say that there was a slightly different demographic packed against the rail this past Thursday night for CTE’s headliner at the Bill Graham Civic.

Openers Sunflower Bean took the stage at 7 pm to the gathering crowd. The New York trio was tight and powerful, delivering a set that was clearly influenced by Zeppelin and the Doors while still feeling fresh. Bands like Sunflower Bean are the reason to get to shows early for the opener.

By the time Portugal. the Man took the stage, the floor of the Billy Graham was packed. Their generous hour-long set, the stage pumped with thick smoke, drew the mostly young (and mostly female) crowd out and had them singing along.

As the crew readied the stage for Cage the Elephant’s headlining set, it was clear who people had come to see. The energy was palpable as the band casually strolled onto the stage with a wave and broke into “Cry Baby,” the lead track from their December 2015 release, Tell Me I’m Pretty.

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TVD Live Shots: The
Cure at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 6/22

The Cure embarked on a US tour in early May playing sold out shows at every stop. Merriweather Post Pavilion hosted the band last Wednesday who played to a venue filled with enthusiastic fans. As I waited for the show to begin, I overheard conversations such as “Do you think he’ll play ‘Love Cats’?” “What do you think he’ll open with at this show?” “Do you think he’ll play something new?”

The most impressive element of this particular tour is that The Cure are keeping their fans in anticipation by playing a slightly different set list at each show and throwing in some unusual surprises. The fans never know what they are going to get. Of course, the band has been playing the classic crowdpleasers such as “Lovesong” and “In Between Days,” however there is that moment before each song where you listen and think…what IS the next song going to be?

Highlights of this 32 song set included rare live performances of “Kyoto Song” and “Bananfishbones” as well as a high energy Encore #4 that had everyone dancing on their feet to songs such as “Hot Hot Hot!!!” and “Close to Me.” Having had the opportunity to see this band perform live over 20 times in my life, I can honestly say that this band does not disappoint. They will be playing in Miami tonight before heading to Hawaii for their last two performances in the US.

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Spinning: The Style Council, “Changing of
the Guard”

Look, it’s hard to tell people how you feel, what’s going on, the tides pushing and pulling.

Time was when a mixtape was that bridge, or the spin of a well-intentioned record eliciting its own waltz about a candlelit room with the object of one’s adoration.

It’s an emotional world, it is. Thus TVD HQ’s recurring fuel for your fires and mixtapes. Reading between the lines—encouraged.

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The Best of Garden State Sound with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

A musician’s vehicle often says a lot about their dedication to the craft. Francie Moon’s well-worn mini-van displays the many miles this young lady has logged in search of a stage and an audience. The vintage bicycle hanging on the back of the van communicates that she likes to explore, and the red bandana hanging off of the lift gate, exclaims that she’s a bit of a free spirit.

Francie is one of those NJ musicians who always seems to be out there, doing a gig somewhere, getting some people together, and making some sounds.

And then there are the sounds that Francie makes: her voice surprises; explodes out of her small frame and fills the room. And her guitar chops: meaty, riffy, and chewy. When coupled with her unique vocals, she grabs you by the lapels and dares you to do something else while she’s performing. Come on in, meet Francie Moon. There is a lot to learn about her. You’ll be charmed.

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Otto Niklasson Elmerås,
The TVD First Date

“I was born right at the end of the golden era of vinyl recordings but I remember, at an early age, sitting in my father’s bedroom listening to his vinyl records for hours on end. There were various artists like Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Mike Oldfield, Stevie Wonder, Cat Stevens, and of course The Beatles.”

“A few years later The Beatles would become a huge influence in my life but by then I was more interested in painting the cover of Tubular Bells and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as photo realistic as possible, without much success. However, I do remember vinyl sounding extremely good, a different kind of depth and warmth compared to CD. Might be an afterthought, perhaps. I think that was the beginning of my lifelong interest in analog recording.

Me and my best friend used to record a rhythm track to one cassette tape and then play and sing to that recording while recording to another tape recorder. Then back to the first tape recorder with more instruments and so forth. When I was ten I bought a multitrack cassette tape recorder with four tracks. A huge improvement. I made countless demos on that one. Today I use a 24 track Studer tape machine.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Felice Brothers,
Life in the Dark

I’ve said it before, goddamn it, and I’ll say it again: The Felice Brothers are the best folk and country rock group to come our way since The Band. Strong words, I know; but I’ve seen them live on numerous occasions and listened to their LPs more times than I can count, and I’ve come to the conclusion there’s something in the drinking water of those Catskill Mountains both they and The Band called home that is pure glory.

And I’m happy to report that Life in the Dark is the Felice Brothers at the top of their game, veering from hillbilly tunes to murder ballads to the best nonsense tunes to come our way since Dylan and The Band recorded The Basement Tapes in that famous pink house in West Saugerties, New York. Life in the Dark will break your heart, it will send you reeling, and it will make you smile at the sheer absurdity of life, and an album, no album, can do you any better than that.

The Felice Brothers are Ian Felice on guitar and lead vocals, brother James Felice on accordion, keyboards, and vocals, Greg Farley on fiddle, and Josh Rawson on bass, and they recorded Life in the Dark in a garage on a farm in the lovely Hudson Valley. The results speak for themselves; you’ll come away, I kid you not, from listening to Life in the Dark, with its rich musical textures and Ian Felice’s distinctive voice and always surprisingly lovely lyrics, with a new appreciation for the joys and sadness, to say nothing of the imponderable mystery, of this life.

As familiar with the folk tradition as they are with classic rock, The Felice Brothers carry the history of American music on their backs like a bag of gold coins, and happily empty that bag at our feet. “Aerosol Ball” is a happy-making number, heavy on the fiddle, tambourine, and accordion, and it bounces along while Ian Felice tosses off non sequiturs (“The rain in Maine/Is made of novacaine/In the Florida Keys/It’s made of antifreeze/In Maryland, it’s made of heroin/In Minnesota/It’s made of baking soda”) before getting down to business, namely his love for the “Doll of St. Paul/At the aerosol ball/She’s such as special girl/She’s been all around the world.” But I would be remiss not to quote the song’s most wonderful lines, to wit: “Well the cat ate the rat/And the beast ate the cat/And the boy ate the beast/And the beast made him fat.”

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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.

Katie Rose – Wonder
Amy Blaschke – Running My Heart To You
LION BABE – Jazz Drums
Modern Studies – Dive Bombing
Young Mister – Pasadena
Carl Creighton – I bought a card at the Hallmark. No, at the Walmart. It’s a Hallmark.
The Dirty Clergy – Decades

Beyond Beyond is Beyond 2016 Summer Jam Sampler

Dot Dash – Daddy Long Legs
Warshow Angels – Bang Bang Love
Matt Bennett – Hook Pt. 1
Fialta – Another Lonely Heart
Cafe Disko – Can’t Stop The Feeling (Justin Timberlake Cover)
Ariana Delawari – Here Is My Love
Liana Bank$ – Off
EXSSV – Hangover (feat. Jitta On The Track)

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In rotation: 6/27/16

The world’s best record shops #025: Real Groovy, Auckland: Real Groovy has weathered a chequered past, moving location multiple times and just about managing to survive the 2008 recession – when lots of stores worldwide closed – to revitalise itself as vinyl-orientated fun palace. Apparently past customers have been as varied as Kurt Cobain and Stephen Fry. The shop says that it has “the classic Kiwi relaxed attitude towards fame, where we leave people alone to enjoy their time and not pester them for autographs or photos.”

Long Play Cafe has expanded by opening a second coffee shop and record store in the heart of Newcastle’s city centre: Newcastle’s Long Play Cafe has opened its second coffee shop in the city’s Grainger Market. Owned by friends and baristas Chris Jackson and Jon Marley, Long Play Cafe opened its first cafe and record store on Newcastle’s Quayside last year. Based in the former Jimmyz Bar on Sandhill, Long Play Cafe is a coffee house and record store which sells vinyl records and merchandise alongside an all day brunch menu and coffee.

Vinyl culture alive and well in East Lansing: In an era when newfangled music streaming services have contributed to the disintegration of albums and overall music purchasing is easily avoided, against all odds, vinyl culture paradoxically thrives and prospers. The only form of music acquisition that requires investment in an entire musical collection, let alone one that is bulky, potentially losable, and not preserved in some immortal, intangible “cloud,” has experienced ten straight years of growth, according to Nielsen, a company that tracks the sale of music.

Meet the Cult Film Superfans Who Turned Vinyl Soundtracks into an Empire: For Kevin Bergeron and Suzy Soto, selling vinyl online came as a natural way to combine two of their greatest passions: Horror movies and great music. Their business, Waxwork Records, re-issues classic vinyl soundtracks from cult films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Warriors, carving out a niche audience of horror and sci-fi superfans looking to own a slice of the movies that the love. Over the past three-and-a-half years, Waxwork Records has catapulted Kevin and Suzy from the world of New Orleans punk rock to rubbing shoulders with film legends like Martin Scorsese and George Romero.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

With A Mirror In My Hand / And My Eyes Burned In The Fire / Drunk On Self Deception / And Punished By Desire / Leaping Directly Into A Bright White Sea / I’ll Keep Myself Breathing / And I’ll Swallow The Sound / Of Freedom

Yesterday I announced to my wife that I had given up on life. She looked at me and quickly asked, “What does that mean?” I responded from the hip, “It means I’m taking the summer off.”

It’s a relief to have left Susan in charge of everything for a while. Although with that said, I did agree to drop off and pick up our kid—and go fishing of course.

In the meantime, this combination of heat, fog, smoke, and haze has gone to my brain and shortened my patience. I’m in full “June gloom.” Funny, any time of I hear the word “gloom” I’m transported to the ’80s and the desire to date a hot goth girls. Gloom would not be somewhat cool if it weren’t for those strange but sexy pale chicks and the uneasy feeling I’d get when asking myself the question, “How am I going to get this goth chick to go out with me?”

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Satchmo SummerFest moves to Jackson Square

The annual celebration of the life and music of Louis Armstrong has moved from it’s longtime home on the grounds of the old U.S. Mint to Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. It’s scheduled for August 5-7, 2016. The Vinyl District is back as an official media sponsor of the festival for the sixth year in a row.

The festival continues to evolve as they have also added an indoor stage, which will be a welcome addition for dancers and music lovers eager to get out of the heat of early August in New Orleans.


The new “Back o’ Town” stage will be located inside the Louisiana State Museum’s Arsenal, which is right off of Jackson Square at 600 St. Peter Street on the second floor. The “Back o’ Town” stage will feature a dance floor, NOLA Jitterbugs, and live dance music on Saturday and Sunday.

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