Monthly Archives: August 2016

TVD Live Shots: Queensryche at the O2 Academy Islington, 8/28

Queensryche made a triumphant return to London with an epic headlining performance at the O2 Academy Islington over the weekend. This is the fourth time I’ve seen the band live over the past couple of years, and I think this was their best performance. Then again, I would guess it’s a cold day in hell when these guys have a bad show. Singer Todd La Torre continues to be in top form and gel effortlessly with the rest of the band. The question of whether or not he could front the band moving forward while respecting their legacy has been answered yet again with a resounding yes.

Opening the set with “Guardian,” from the brilliant 2015 release Condition Human, Queensryche hit the stage all guns blazing. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Condition Human and it’s a solid record from start to finish. I would even go so far to say it’s the best record the band has made in the past decade.

The rest of the set was a stellar selection of Ryche favorites old and new. “Operation Mindcrime,” “Best I Can,” “Empire,” “The Mission”—you get the idea (see the entire setlist below). They even slipped in “Damaged” from the terribly under celebrated Promised Land record which was a true highlight for me.

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Spinning: Crowded House, “When You Come”

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—wildly encouraged.

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Graded on a Curve: Wilson Pickett,
Hey Jude

Hear ye hear ye: I am going to begin this review of Alabama native son Wilson Pickett’s 1969 LP Hey Jude by stating right off that the title cut is one of the most phenomenal songs ever recorded, and is in fact so great I would probably give this album an A even if every other song on it was a jingle for a cereal commercial.

Pickett, whom I consider the best screamer in the history of soul and R&B, if not rock too, lays into “Hey Jude” like somebody just chopped his foot off with a hatchet, while the horn section kicks ass and Duane Allman, who was just beginning his career as a sessions musician, tears off one of the most brilliant and in-your-face guitar solos you’ll ever hear. It’s a bravura performance, “Hey Jude,” and supernatural in its greatness, and if I die tomorrow I will die having heard a sound so pleasing to God that he decided (I’ve talked to him about this) to push the date of the Last Judgment back a hundred years or so.

Fortunately Pickett fills out the album with a bunch of other songs that, while they can’t (what could?) compare with “Hey Jude,” are excellent in their own right. His voice is a miracle, his screams make Joe Cocker sound like a pee wee leaguer, and in short he turns in a whole slew of superb performances, demonstrating his mastery of phrasing and the wild scream even on those songs (his unfortunate take on Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild,” the gospel-flavored but not very exciting “People Make the World,” and the funky but unhappily titled “Toe Hold”) that don’t quite measure up to the rest of the songs on the album.

Putting Pickett, Allman, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (the so-called Swampers), and some great horn players together in the studio was a stroke of genius on Atlantic Records honcho Jerry Wexler’s part, and it paid off in a royal flush as the bunch of ‘em simply could not fail to turn an okay song into a great one.

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Rebel Westerns,
The TVD First Date

“When the needle hits the groove, everybody recognises that signature sound.”

“I think it is built into our DNA now from generations of our grandparents hearing ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ for the first time—it’s hereditary and the reason it’s remained as a format for so long is you can’t deny the intoxicating experience of spinning a record for the first time. It’s an addiction, there’s something sensual about it that is truly unique in itself.

My parents have an exhaustive record collection and they bonded through music. Pop hits of the ’80s when they were growing up like Tango in the Night, those club Bowie records that took the world into a new dimension. Music was such an obsession back then, falling in love with a band was like picking a team. It identified you, and you lived your life through the shared ideals of other like-minded people.

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Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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Graded on a Curve:
Sam Coomes,
Bugger Me

As one half of Quasi and a participant in a bunch of other activities, Portland, OR’s Sam Coomes has a rather imposing résumé, but until now he’s not released a solo LP. Bugger Me puts an end to this lack as the singer-songwriter-keyboardist goes it truly alone; the results ooze a compelling strangeness as honest-to-goodness songs are cloaked in home-recorded lo-fi finery via organ and rudimentary drum-box. Ripe with underlying complexity without clamoring for attention, it’s the kind of left-field record that could only be made by a veteran; it’s out now on vinyl, compact disc, and digital through No Quarter in the USA and Domino everywhere else.

Actually, describing Sam Coomes as a veteran is something of an understatement. First emerging on the scene in late ’80s San Francisco via the trio Donner Party, after their breakup in ’89 he split the Bay for Portland and formed Motorgoat with Janet Weiss. Proving a short-lived entity, Motorgoat gave way to the enduring combination of Weiss’ big beat and Coomes’ distorted keyboard tones in Quasi.

Plainly Coomes is adept at collaborating; joining Heatmiser in time for their final album, he subsequently contributed to the records of bandmate Elliott Smith and additionally chalked up extensive involvement with Built to Spill, played on The Go-Betweens’ The Friends of Rachel Worth and Jandek’s Portland Thursday and Seattle Friday, and helped turn Pink Mountains, Crock, and the Deep Fried Boogie Band into realities.

Blues Goblins could perhaps be considered as Coomes solo debut, except that in diving so deeply into a pool of blues covers the disc kinda registers as a one-off. That’s decidedly not the aura emanating from Bugger Me, a record its creator has described as “Suicide meets The Beach Boys,” with Coomes quick to emphasize the early “Surfer Girl” period over the later more sophisticated Pet Sounds.

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In rotation: 8/31/16

After Months of Delay, Joe’s Record Paradise Finally Reopens, But the process has left owner Johnson Lee thousands of dollars in debt: Today, Joe’s opened its doors for the first time in months, at its new location at 8700 Georgia Ave.—five blocks from its previous location. Lee says the delays were mostly due to build out of the new space and waiting for city inspections to be passed. As for the space, he says it’s “about the same size” as the previous location, but with storage rooms instead of a huge open showroom, like the previous location.

WSIU Classic Vinyl Sale Coming Sept 17, Item Donations Needed for Annual WSIU Fundraiser: Find your treasure at WSIU Radio’s 9th Annual Classic Vinyl Sale, coming for one day only to WSIU-TV Studio A, located in the Communications Building, Room 1065, 1100 Lincoln Drive on the SIU Carbondale campus on Saturday, September 17 from 9am to 5pm…All sale proceeds will support WSIU Public Radio’s programming, services, and community engagement activities.

Vinyl lives: 65 years LP in Germany: Berlin. Using vinyl master of pop, jazz and classical music around the globe have made career. Some music lovers remember sentimental to their first records. 65 years ago, appeared in Germany the first LP with 33 1/3 revolutions and revolutionized the music business. They still exist, these black striations in extruded vinyl. 30 centimeters in diameter, about 180 grams, moved at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute, small center hole. Kenner shout still on: The Sound. The crackling. The heat. Unique.

The Beach Boys Celebrate 50 Years Of “Good Vibrations” With Commemorative Sunburst Vinyl EP: October 10th marks the 50th anniversary of the release of one of popular music’s most iconic songs of all time, The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” The Beach Boys and Capitol/UMe will celebrate the golden milestone with the worldwide release of “Good Vibrations” (50th Anniversary Edition) on a 12-inch sunburst vinyl EP on October 7. Named the “Greatest Single of All Time” by MOJO magazine, “Good Vibrations” is a musical treasure for the ages…A crown jewel of popular music, “Good Vibrations” has been called a “pocket symphony,” with its still-innovative production, lush, layered arrangements and range of instruments, including the world’s most celebrated use of the theremin.

Juan Gabriel music flying off the shelves at local music store: Music by Juan Gabriel is flying off the shelves of an El Paso record store. The singer/songwriter died Sunday. George Reynoso, the owner of All That Music and Video, told CBS4 he sold about 95 percent of the artist’s music he had on hand. “He was particularly big here on the border,” he said. When KFOX14 stopped by, only about a dozen CDs were still on the shelves. Reynoso said Gabriel is one of the store’s top sellers.

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TVD Live Shots: Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa at Concord Pavilion, 8/28

Snoop Dogg

Hip-hop superstars Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa have teamed up for their first ever “The High Road Tour” with support from Kevin Gates, Jhene Aiko, Casey Veggies, and DJ Drama. The tail end of the run found the touring group hitting up the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California for a Sunday night hip-hop extravaganza.

As one can easily imagine, a tour with the word “high” in the name that includes Snoop and Wiz is going to place a heavy emphasis on the weed. Well, the NorCal stoners rolled in late and lit up early. By the time the alternating Snoop/Wiz set came up, the Pavilion was packed with people and a thick haze floated over the crowd, fed by billows of smoke popping up all over the place as ads for Khalifa Kush filled the side stage screens.

Wiz Khalifa

Not one to be left out of the party, Snoop took the stage with a giant blunt in hand for “Smoke Weed Everyday” before swapping duties with Wiz who strolled out similarly equipped. What followed was ninety minutes of hip-hop, weed smoking, songs about weed smoking, and good times that best be appreciated stoned.

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Spinning: Gene Wilder, “Pure Imagination”

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.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 1 Comment

Heroes of Toolik,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl—the format exists in multiple dimensions.”

“My mother brought home Sgt. Pepper—the original U.S.-released, Capitol label—and handed it straight to me. I was eight. We had my grandmother’s record player, an imposing piece of mahogany furniture about chest high on a grown up. I stood on a chair and watched Sgt. Pepper go round and round while that mind altered and altering music pouring out. It smelled of hot wiring and the speakers were covered in tweed.

The music was three-dimensional, happening all around me. But it existing in a fourth as well—time—either moving past me or I moving forward through it. Yet the record was flat. Two dimensional.

Mom explained how the groove of the record wound around the disk, each tightly packed against the next, and how the needle travelled along it. So, it was a line, too, not just a disk! And the needle was a point on it! And the whole thing moved, but the needle stayed still, right there in the record player, while tangerine trees and lovely Rita and ten thousand holes filled the room like a Maurice Sendak dream.

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UK Artist of the Week: Beauty

Singer, songwriter, and dancer, the multi-talented Beauty (aka Mark Thompson) creates his own unique style of electro-pop and is set to release his brand new single next month.

“Grown Up” is filled with twinkling synthy melodies alongside pulsating electro beats and Thompson’s distinctive impassioned vocals. Influenced by the likes of Sia, Robyn, and Sam Smith, Thompson describes “Grown Up” as being inspired by a much-needed conversation with an old friend.

Hankering back to simpler times, the track is an ode to childhood and the importance of holding onto what’s close to you when the responsibilities of adulthood become overwhelming. Oozing uptempo, poptastic vibes, “Grown Up” is a gritty slice of mature electro-pop.

“Grown Up” is out 16th September 2016 via BeautysMusic.

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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.

On December 4, 1971 the worlds of Deep Purple, Frank Zappa, and Claude Nobs collided in Montreux, Switzerland. What was almost a massive tragedy turned into one of the most popular and enduring songs in the history of rock and roll music. We tell the full story, complete with an interview with Don Preston, keyboard player for The Mothers of Invention. Plus we discuss the upcoming Pink Floyd box set, The Early Years, 1965-1972.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Frightnrs,
Nothing More to Say

In terms of retrospectives, 2016 has been a pretty good year for Rocksteady, the Jamaican subgenre that briefly flourished in the second half of the 1960s as the stylistic bridge between ska and reggae; in an unexpected twist The Frightnrs’ Nothing More to Say is loaded with high-quality contemporary slow-groove action. Thankfully eschewing a revivalist approach while being highly versed in tradition, the group’s soulful flair makes them a perfect fit as Daptone Records’ inaugural excursion into long-playing reggae. It’s out on vinyl, compact disc, and digital September 2; those ordering from Daptone’s website prior to that date will receive Victor Axelrod’s dub version of the track “Purple” as a download.

Rocksteady might be a relatively brief flash in the grand continuum of Jamaican music, but it’s been far from pushed aside by ska, reggae, dub, or dancehall. As evidence, earlier this year the 17 North Parade label issued a boxset of seven 45s and a 40-track 2CD collection; both titled First Class Rock Steady, they offer a sweet appetizer and immersive banquet into a style that’s more than just a transition.

The Frightnrs hail from Queens, NY, with the lineup that made Nothing More to Say featuring Preet Patel on bass, his brother Chuck on piano, Rich Terrana on drums, and Dan Klein on vocals. Sadly, Klein passed away in June after being diagnosed with ALS last November, a cruel circumstance turning this fine debut full-length into a vivid and surely durable document of his considerable abilities at the microphone.

Residing in the USA, The Frightnrs hurdle a major geographical stumbling block like Olympic champs, for far too frequently Jamaican-inspired sounds wafting from the North American mainland conjure up a Patchouli-reeking patchwork pants-clad nightmare. A clue to their success would seem to derive from the “punk rock spirit” mentioned in a Daptone press release.

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In rotation: 8/30/16

How Long Beach’s Fingerprints record store brought intimate music moments to FYF Fest 2016: Fingerprints record store in Long Beach is known as a place where big acts like Foo Fighters and Cage the Elephant come to perform small intimate shows. This weekend the record store was again the place to be at FYF Fest when it came to seeing big names in small places. FYF artists like Moby, Wild Nothing and Charles Bradley appeared at the pop-up store to sign copies of their albums and posters. And for those who missed the signings, the store was selling records and tapes from the performing artists as well as curated collection of other music that reflected the spirit of the festival.

‘Sexist’ labelling in record store prompts angry rant from singer Kate Nash: Women’s battle for equality has been well documented for centuries, but while we might have the vote and equal pay there are still instances of everyday sexism which can leave us dumbfounded. These are seemingly ‘harmless’ throwaway comments, jokes or lazy categorisation. One instance of damaging labelling spotted by singer Kate Nash in a record store led her to post an angry rant on Twitter – and it’s totally clear why. The British songwriter, who found fame with her hit Foundations in 2007, had spotted a category in a record shop which read: “Females of all description” in which a Florence and the Machine vinyl was filed, alongside genre categories such as as “Reggae/Tamla/Rap etc”.

Houston record shop owner recalls friendship with Juan Gabriel: Inside Memo’s Record Shop in southeast Houston, owner Memo Villareal played a special song Sunday. “It was a big hit. This is my favorite song,” he said. The song is “Querida” and the man on the cover of the cd case, is famous Mexican singer Juan Gabriel. He’s not only the well-loved artist, whose death has stunned his fans, but he was also a close friend of Villareal’s. “He invited me every time he came to Houston. I was in the front row watching him,” said Villareal. Their friendship spanned more than 40 years, and the photos cover his store.

Entourage Music may be forced to close by Glenbrook Square: A local music store may have only a few days left before it’s forced to close its doors to make room for a national music chain. Entourage Music is a small record shop currently located in the Glenbrook Square Mall, selling eclectic items, vinyl records and CD’s — a “mom and pop” shop locals like. Store owner Chris Roets was, and still feels, blindsided. “I have been a tenant for three and a half years and at 4:30 yesterday [Thursday], told my lease was not being renewed so F.Y.E. could move into Glenbrook Square,” Roets told us.

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TVD Live Shots: Heart and Cheap Trick at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, 8/23


The “Rock Hall Three For All” tour packed the Shoreline Amphitheatre on a balmy Wednesday night for what proved to be one of the can’t-miss rock tours of the summer. Featuring headliners Heart along with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick, the tour name gave nod to each band’s recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cheap Trick in 2015, Joan Jett in 2015, and Heart in 2013). Collectively and individually, these three bands have sold millions of albums, played thousands of shows, and left an indelible mark on music.

First up was Cheap Trick, taking the stage for their hour-long set as the sun set behind the amphitheater lawn. A respectable number of people wisely beat the weeknight traffic to make it out early and pack the amphitheater for a band that never disappoints live. As the band kicked things off with their standard opener, “Hello There,” lead guitarist Rick Nielsen did double duty as hype man, encouraging the audience and peppering the crowd, the crew, cameramen, and anyone else who came into his view with expertly aimed guitar pics, sometimes by the fistful.

Cheap Trick

Not to be outdone, Tom Petersson impressed on the 12 string bass and vocals on a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man.” And then there was Robin Zander who soared on his vocals mixed with the showmanship that comes with over 40 years of experience.

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