Monthly Archives: January 2017

We’re moving!

We’ve suspended the editorial side of TVD this week to move TVD to its new HQ. 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 and we’ll see you back here on Monday, 2/6.

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TODAY! The DC Record Fair returns to Penn Social, 1/29!

Back for its 8th year is Washington, DC’s twice yearly record rummage, The DC Record Fair which sets up shop on January 29, 2017 in the cavernous confines of downtown DC’s Penn Social.

As with each event, we’ll have 40+ vinyl vendors from up and down the East Coast, the DJ line up, the bar, the food, Zeke’s Coffee back with their bold brew, raffle items up for grabs just for coming through the door, plus the random other surprises that make the DC Record Fair a special community event.

The Winter 2017 DC Record Fair DJ Line-up:
11AM-Noon – Alpha Betts
Noon-1PM – Leon City Sounds
1PM-2PM – Neal Augenstein
2PM-3PM – DJ Dola
3PM-4PM – Mikie Love
4PM-5PM – Jake Starr

Our friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring put together this piece a while back that outshines any descriptive copy we could devise:

Mark your calendars! 

Sunday, January 29, 2017 at Penn Social, 801 E Street, NW
11:00–12:00, Early Bird Admission $5.00
12:00–5:00, Regular Admission $2.00
RSVP at the Facebook invite!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Another Friday is in the books and by next week the first month of 2017 will have flown the coup. It feels like the beginning of something. I think the scary question is, “the beginning of what?” To quote Young Fathers’ new song from Trainspotting 2, “Only God Knows.”

So, with this said, all that remains is really tons and tons of stuff. Ha ha! This week I’ve been working hard and listening to music. I realized I’ve managed to not get overwhelmed with politics, Facebook, and the news on TV—and that’s a cool thang.

For this week’s Idelic Hour I focused on skinny chicks and mud—I kinda dig both. Fuck man, after all it rained like hell here in canyon this week. It was likely the biggest storm in last ten years. The power went off for almost eight hours.

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TVD Live Shots: Meshuggah and The Haunted at the O2 Kentish Town Forum, 1/20

I’ve seen some metal shows in my time, but Meshuggah is by far the heaviest. They make Lamb of God sound like Air Supply. Their time signatures are so incredibly insane that even Stephen Hawking would have trouble deciphering them. It’s controlled chaos that’s orchestrated perfectly by one of the most forward-thinking bands on the planet—and it’s a fucking mind trip to watch live.

Meshuggah‘s name (almost) literally translates to “crazy” in Yiddish. It’s the perfect word for encapsulating the contribution this Swedish experimental death metal band has provided the genre over the past 25 plus years. The band’s eighth studio album, The Violent Sleep of Reason, continues to push forward and evolve their very complex sound.

Drummer Tomas Haake (named by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest drummers of all time) recently talked to Loudwire about the songwriting process which is equally as complicated as the song structures. Haake says, in a nutshell, that the band doesn’t write on tour because “they tend to compartmentalize their responsibilities and even a show three months out can disrupt the writing.”

The process of writing actually starts on a computer and later translates into a live setting. Rehearsals take months to perfect the mind-bending rhythms and time signatures, and the band has reported playing one song more than 50 times straight through in rehearsal with an additional 20 in order to nail the recording.

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Jazz Fest reveals its
2017 lineup!

Today is day! The fine folks at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival released the lineup for the 2017 event, which is scheduled for April 28 through May 7. Big names aplenty are on the schedule including another shot for Stevie Wonder after his rainout last year. Here are my thoughts on some of the undercard acts after my first look. The full lineup with all the big names is here.

Cuba comes to Jazz Fest! This is huge. In years past when the fest has celebrated a specific country, aficionados of the music of that land have occasionally griped about the choices. Not this year!

The cream of the crop of Cuban musicians will appear including Los Van Van, Chucho Valdes, and relative newcomers like Daymé Arocena. Her new album is due in stores on March 10 and has been in steady rotation on my speakers. All in all, twelve Cuban acts are scheduled.

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TVD Radar: The Damned 40th Deluxe Edition of Damned Damned Damned in stores 2/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Damned blazed a trail when they became the very first British punk band to release a single, the mighty “New Rose,” on 22nd October 1976, which was swiftly followed by the release of the very first British punk album, their classic debut long-player Damned Damned Damned, originally released by a nascent Stiff Records on 18th February 1977. Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s dramatic breakthrough, BMG will release a very special Art Of The Album deluxe edition of that incredible debut album, Damned Damned Damned, on 17th February 2017, almost exactly 40 years to the day since its original issue.

Formed in 1976, The Damned really need no introduction… As well as releasing the first ever British punk single and album, they also broke further new ground as the first UK punk act to tour America. The Damned still receive their dues in the US where they are often cited as a major influence on many future rock acts, including bastions of the nascent US hardcore scene such as Black Flag and Bad Brains plus heavy metal heavyweights such as Green Day, The Offspring, and Guns ’N’ Roses (the LA rockers acknowledged the debt when they covered “New Rose” on their 1993 album The Spaghetti Incident).

In the recording studio (Pathway Studios) alongside producer Nick Lowe in late 1976, the band – David Vanian (vocals), Captain Sensible (bass), Brian James (guitar), and Rat Scabies (drums) – produced an alchemic, heady new British rock sound; a menacing mix of tough New York punk rock (chief songwriter Brian James was an early-adopter with a passion for The Ramones that quickly fed through to his bandmates) and Detroit sleaze – the album ends with a cover of The Stooges’ “1970,” here renamed “I Feel Alright.”

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White Lies: Finding Gold on Record–and in Record Stores

Ready to embark on their first US tour in years, White Lies has a lot to be excited about. Lead singer, Harry McVeigh talks with TVD about playing new songs, playing in new hometowns, and filling his suitcase full of vinyl along the way.

Hi, Harry! How are you?

I’m very well. Just recovering from some serious rain in San Francisco.

Are you there for a show?

No, I live here. I moved out here about seven months ago with my wife. She works here. We thought it would be a nice change of scene, so we moved here.

Are you enjoying it, besides the rain?

Well, we’re use to the rain, we’re British. But I love it. It’s a great city. I’ve really enjoyed it here.

What are looking forward to most in your upcoming US tour?

Well, it’s been a few years since we’ve played in the US and I think it’s going to be great. I say this when we play anywhere in the world, but we have so many wonderful fans who really love our band. We really enjoy meeting them and playing to them. There are people who really love the songs, especially love the lyrics and I enjoy being in that moment hearing them sing them back to me.

I know that sounds like a bit of a cliched answer, but it is wonderful. Especially when you’re playing in a city you don’t get to play in that often. It’s really great. There are a few shows on this tour in towns we’ve never played before. I think even if they’re not crazy busy, when people show up it’s a great experience. Also moving to San Francisco, I’ve made a few friends here and you tell people that you’re in a band—but to actually have the opportunity to show them what I do and to play in my new hometown, I’m really excited about that.

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Graded on a Curve: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Not Fragile

I may or may not have once described that inimitable Bachman-Turner Overdrive sound as meat and potatoes rock, minus the meat. And I may or may not have once called them Bachman-Turner Overweight. But if I did so, I was joking. I love BTO. They remain, no doubt about it, Manitoba, Canada’s finest ever contribution to the un-fine arts. The music critic Robert Christgau, a fan as am I, once summoned up the band’s lead-footed lumberjack charm with the words, “Clomp on.”

BTO were about as subtle as a blow to the head; imagine a Canadian Bad Company. They playfully entitled their 1974 LP Not Fragile as a retort Yes’ LP Fragile, because they felt their music could be “dropped and kicked” without suffering any damage. Hard rock doesn’t come any harder than this; when they call a song “Sledgehammer,” they’re not pussyfooting around like that English fop Peter Gabriel.

No, this is blue-collar rock, and to paraphrase Lynyrd Skynyrd, all you effete pencil pushers are advised to stay out of BTO’s way, especially when C. Fred Turner’s doing the singing. Compared to his gruff, no-nonsense vocals, Randy Bachman may as well be Mariah Carey.

It’s a pity that BTO is perhaps best remembered as the band that brought us “Takin’ Care of Business,” because while nobody in the band strikes me as a Mensa candidate, “Takin’ Care of Business” is too dumb for words. Me, I’d sooner remember them for such great songs as “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” “Roll on Down the Highway,” and “Let It Ride,” to name just a few of the band’s keepers.

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In rotation: 1/27/17

Alli on the Job – Stocking Vinyl at Waterloo Records: Record sales may have peaked in the 80s, but they are not going down without a fight. Forbes just released an article, saying this year, Vinyl sales will reach 40 million! For this Alli on the Job, Allison meets up with Patrick Floyd at Austin’s iconic Waterloo Records to see what all the fuss over the grandfather of CDs is about.

Stained Class Records gives Toronto a heavy metal injection, The new record shop throws a grand opening in-store on February 18: Who knew Toronto would get so excited about a heavy metal record store? Inti Paredes and Ian Kilpatrick opened Stained Class Records a month ago in the back of Parkdale Platters, and already the vinyl bins are getting slightly thin. “I guess a lot of people feel the same way we felt – that there weren’t really any shops in the city for heavy metal,” says Paredes from behind the counter. “A surprising number of people still like heavy metal – more than we thought.”

Love vinyl? Don’t miss this daylong record fair and concert in Dallas March 4: Crate Diggers is a daylong fair and concert that brings vinyl vendors together with the people who love the medium most for a day of “digging and dancing,” according to Liz Maddux, community manager for Discogs. The event began three years ago as a one-time pop-up in Portland, but met such enthusiasm, it gradually expanded to other areas of the country. Beginning at noon, about 30 vendors from around the region will set up shop at Club Dada where patrons can come and dig through the goods.

Vinyl record fair heading to Birmingham is set to cash in on sales revival, Fans of vinyl records will be in their element at this Digbeth event: A huge record fair is to be staged in Birmingham, with rare gems and fantastic bargains among the discs on offer. With record sales now exceeding digital downloads, lovers of all things vinyl will be in their element at the VIP Big Brum Record Fair. It will be held on Saturday, February 4, at Birmingham South and City College, Digbeth. The UK has witnessed a huge resurgence in vinyl sales over the last decade and last year it hit a peak when it topped a massive three million.

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TVD Radar: Jethro Tull–The String Quartets releases “Songs and Horses (Songs from the Wood/Heavy Horses)”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | CDs and LPs available now for pre-order.

Formed in 1968, Jethro Tull has released 30 studio and live albums, selling more than 60 million copies worldwide. With nearly 50 years’ history, the band has performed more than 3,000 concerts in 40 countries, playing 100+ concerts each year. Now, Ian Anderson, John O’Hara, and the Carducci Quartet are set to release Jethro Tull – The String Quartets, a collection of 12 re-imagined Tull classics, allowing Tull fans and classical music connoisseurs to enjoy the band’s vast catalog in a new way.

The album will be available in the U.S. on March 24, 2017 via The End Records/BMG. A 2017 global tour will accompany the release. Reserve your physical copy today!

“Songs And Horses,” an adaptation of Jethro Tull’s “Songs From The Wood/Heavy Horses” is available now for instant download with the full album iTunes pre-order.

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Tank and the Bangas return to Chickie Wah Wah with special guest Kettle Black, 1/28

Tank and the Bangas will return to one of the clubs where they got their start on Saturday night. The opening act is a fine new aggregation featuring local and national rock and world music heavyweights.

Kettle Black is the brainchild of keyboardist Keith Burnstein, former leader of the Mumbles and keyboardist with Kristin Diable and Cole Williams among many others. The band features dueling percussionists Michael Skinkus and Luke Quaranta (Toubab Krewe), guitarist Raja Kassis (Antibalas), and saxophonist Charles Lumar.

The music of Kettle Black takes its cues from the African and Cuban influences found in New Orleans music. It is funky, heartfelt; like a quiet dance. Burnstein’s inspirations as a songwriter come from a deep pool. Tin Pan Alley is the touchstone, but he cites modern songwriters like Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, jazz great Keith Jarrett, and New Orleans’ own Dr. John as important in his musical development. He has toured with funk legends the Headhunters (on the piano bench of no less a luminary than Herbie Hancock) and has released three albums as a leader.

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Emma White, The TVD First Date and Premiere, “Not That Into You”

“I just recently watched the documentary about Tower Records, All Things Must Pass—it was so amazing (and everyone should go watch it). I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall when they first opened up.”

“I loved the stories about Elton John being the first one in the store in the morning before everyone else and how he’d buy several copies of albums he liked for each one of his houses. And Dave Grohl worked there (are you kidding me, how cool is that?) Apparently the record companies never thought it would work, but supported the store and then it did really well. It seemed to have been built on this genuine passion for music and a respect for it; something to be shared. That’s what I think of with records. It’s not so much about finding something commercial or popular, but finding something rare, special. Each album embodied, quite literally, the artist and a period of time they captured. It’s tactile and lived in—that’s what I love about them.

My main memories of vinyl stem from my parents record collection. Their favorites were John Prine, Linda Ronstadt, and Bonnie Raitt. We often played those records and danced around in the living room as little kids. However, the record that comes to mind the most and probably the one in heaviest rotation was a Christmas album, Mitch Miller & The Gang, Holiday Sing Along With Mitch. That’s when Christmas really felt like Christmas (and that album was a big reason why). My sister and I were actually at a bar back home over the holiday and asked the bartender to change the playlist to the Mitch record. It seemed like a good idea at first, but it definitely did not have the same effect being played from his iPhone.

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Graded on a Curve: Art Pepper Presents “West Coast Sessions!” Volume 1: Sonny Stitt & Volume 2: Pete Jolly

When the great saxophonist Art Pepper made his late-in-life comeback, he didn’t pussyfoot around. The first two installments in Art Pepper Presents “West Coast Sessions” are illustrative; Volume 1 teams him with fellow alto kingpin Sonny Stitt and is followed by a date with pianist and West Coast peer Pete Jolly. Originally issued in the early ’80s only in Japan on the Atlas label and later lumped into the 5CD box The Hollywood All-Star Sessions, Omnivore Recordings is individualizing the dates once again with bonus tracks and engaging liners by Art’s wife Laurie Pepper while removing the contractual pretense of her husband’s sideman role. Flush with casual mastery, both are out on compact disc February 3.

Altoist Art Pepper debuted professionally in the group of Benny Carter, but it was under the employ of the big band mainstay Stan Kenton that he came to widespread notice, his profile further blossoming through a series of ’50s recordings made as a leader; solidifying his artistic reputation and enduring musical importance, a persistent addiction to heroin severely impacted his personal and professional life.

By the mid-’50s Pepper had already chalked up a stint behind bars, with his difficulties making his output from ’56-’60 even more impressive. This included a five LP run for the Contemporary label that holds the jewel of the saxophonist’s ’50s discography, Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, a record capturing a near-impromptu studio date with the lauded Miles Davis-associated team of pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones.

As detailed in Pepper’s biography Straight Life, post-1960 he endured a series of prison stays related to his continued drug struggles, but when he made the last of his comebacks in the mid-’70s the performances and recordings gushed forth like an opened fireplug on a sweltering July afternoon; occasionally, the gigs and the tapings fruitfully intermingled. Such is the case with the series of albums (later combined into a bountifully expanded box set) documenting his engagement at New York’s Village Vanguard.

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In rotation: 1/26/17

New vinyl pressing plant to open in Sydney, The Marrickville facility will have the capacity to press three million records each year: A new vinyl manufacturing facility is opening in Sydney with the capacity to press three million records each year. Tone Deaf reports the yet-to-be-named plant will be set up in the inner west suburb of Marrickville with “full analogue mastering, a Neumann disc cutting system, stamper making facility, fully automated record presses, and a manual press for specialty records such as picture discs, split and splatter colours.” The factory will offer Australian artists, who often use offshore plants, an opportunity to get their releases produced closer to home and cut back costs.

Ryan Adams Reveals Quirky ‘Prisoner: End of World’ Box Set, Seven-inch vinyl versions of each single, 2-D action playset to be included in massive collection: Ryan Adams announced a limited edition box set of new album Prisoner, out February 17th. The release comes with vinyl records as well as a 2-D action playset. The Prisoner box set is career-spanning level massive, with each of the album’s 12 songs getting pressed to their own, individual seven-inch vinyl. Each song’s vinyl copy will not only be a different color but will each feature a unique cover as well. Seventeen previously unreleased B-sides will be featured on the various LPs. A 2-D action playset is also included with action figures of the full band, Adams’ actual stage set-up, working lights and sounds and a variety of assorted objects and animals.

Man Prefers the Warm, Crisp Sound of Telling People He Only Listens to Vinyl Records: Local music connoisseur Dominic Wyatt announced earlier today that “nothing quite compares to the pure, warm tone” of his own voice informing people that he only listens to vinyl records, witnesses confirmed. According to Wyatt, each release in his collection of over 1,000 vinyl records has its own original melody when he speaks of them. Family, friends, and strangers all say he never misses an opportunity to tell them that LPs are “the optimum way to listen to music.” “I just love the pops and cracks in my voice when I tell people they haven’t truly listened to Neutral Milk Hotel’s Aeroplane Over the Sea unless it’s on vinyl,” boasted Wyatt. “Anytime I talked about using a CD, I just remember feeling so robotic and cold. I had no soul to my description. It had to be so irritating for them to listen to.”

This Device Turns Your Smartphone Into A Turntable, The LOVE turntable looks promising… (No, it doesn’t. —Ed.) “Once LOVE is synced with your audio device, put any size vinyl on one of the two complimentary 7″ record bases. LOVE then scans the vinyl to determine its size and number of tracks. If you’d like to start your listening experience with track 3, simply Press LOVE’s top shell three times or select the track through the app. From there, sit back, relax, and enjoy your record.”

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TVD Radar: Jimmy Scott, I Go Back Home OST in stores 1/27

VIA PRESS RELEASE | I Go Back Home is the heroic creation of German producer Ralf Kemper who risked fortune and sanity to produce his longtime hero. The albumʼs tenuous and emotionally draining, yet inspiring creation is told in an accompanying award-winning documentary film, Jimmy Scott: I Go Back Home—a story as compelling as the album itself. The film captures the challenges and sacrifices that lead up to the recording sessions, a document that makes I Go Back Home an even richer record.

With the presidential inauguration occurring a week before the release of I Go Back Home, it is important to note that Jimmy Scott’s universally beloved voice sang at both the Clinton (Democrat) and Eisenhower (Republican) inaugurations forty years apart (1993 & 1953). An oppressive recording contract hounded Jimmy Scott through most of his recording career and prevented him from releasing albums (including the only album Ray Charles ever produced). It wasnʼt until 1992 that Jimmy, aged 63, recorded the first album with which he had creative control, All the Way.

Fittingly, the album was nominated for a Grammy and brought him to a new audience including director David Lynch who cast him in his television series Twin Peaks. Scott began touring and regularly releasing albums. Itʼs not untilI Go Back Home that Scott was given the budget that allowed him unfettered control over song selection, personnel, and orchestration. Recorded before Jimmy’s untimely death in 2014, I Go Back Home is ultimately a record of collaboration, companionship, and redemption; the sound of a singer going out on top.

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