Monthly Archives: February 2017

TVD Radar: Sidemen: Long Road to Glory short of its Kickstarter goal

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Sidemen: Long Road to Glory provides an intimate look into the incredible lives of three of the last Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf sidemen, piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, and guitarist Hubert Sumlin.

Premiering last year at SXSW, the film is complete. However, due to the cost of securing the music licensing for a full release, Sidemen may never reach a wider audience. In the final days of the Kickstarter campaign, filmmaker Scott Rosenbaum says “Their amazing story needs to be told. This is for them.” The average music fan might not recognize their names, but these legendary bluesmen, who performed and recorded into their 80s and 90s, played a significant role in shaping modern popular music. The film features some of the last interviews conducted with all three men as well as their final live performances together.

These memorable live performances, vividly capture these blues legends with the blues and rock stars they have inspired including, Robby Krieger of The Doors, Elvin Bishop (recent rock ‘n’ Roll Hall inductee with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band), and Tim Reynolds of The Dave Matthews Band. Personal insights from artists such as, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Perry, Joe Bonamassa, and Johnny Winter offer heartfelt accounts of how these three legendary sidemen helped shape their careers as well as rock ‘n’ roll.

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TVD Radar: Colin Hay–Waiting For My Real Life

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Colin Hay–Waiting For My Real Life is Colin’s inspiring story and journey from dizzying heights to staggering lows to finding salvation through song. The film follows the unexpectedly swift rise to superstardom of Men At Work, to the band’s equally surprising demise, to Colin’s long, slow climb back to relevance and resonance.

Ultimately, commitment to his craft and the development of a truly one-of-a-kind stage show set Colin on the path that leads to a deeply satisfying solo career – one that is still ascending. Colin Hay–Waiting For My Real Life weaves its story around intimate footage from Colin’s successful 2013 world tour and features interviews with close family and friends as well as celebrity admirers Hugh Jackman, Mick Fleetwood, Zach Braff, Sia Furler and many others. Now, with sold out shows, critically acclaimed solo albums, and a word-of-mouth reputation for offering one of the finest evenings a music fan could ask for, Colin finds himself at the top of his powers and simply waiting for his real life to begin.

Colin Hay–Waiting For My Life is written and directed by Nate Gowtham and Aaron Faulls. After building a successful audio career in television and film post-production (Lemmy, The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, Rolling Stone, NBC, CBS, ABC), Gowtham sought to combine his deep love of music and documentary film into transformative storytelling. Aaron Faulls’ award-winning documentary feature, Still On Her Keel, followed the adventures of three treasure-hunting shipwreck divers. His latest documentary, Taking A Bullet, detailed the making of Little Birds, a film featuring Kate Bosworth and Leslie Mann.

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The TVD First Date

“There’s something different about holding a vinyl record in your hands compared to a CD or your iPod. Our new ways of listening to music weren’t built to last the way they were, which in turn gives them a life of their own. Think about it. From the time a record is printed to the point it reaches a store, to when it’s bought, listened to, tucked away, and then found again, a record lives its own life.

“For example, the first time I got my hands on a record I was 14. I was late in the game. Neither of my parents had kept their record players, and I grew up in Italy after my mom had remarried an Italian man, so she had left all her records behind. My closest encounter with vinyl had been this incredibly old gutted out record player that my Nonna kept family photos in. It wasn’t until we were visiting my mother’s parents’ home in Los Angeles one summer that I discovered it. And I really mean discovered because it was never introduced to me like great music was.

I was digging through my mother’s childhood room when I opened the closet and found a crate full of old records. From the Beatles’ Abbey Road to Blondie’s Eat to the Beat—at the time I had no idea how valuable these records were. I was so excited because this was music I loved and the act of finding a way to play these was exciting! I felt like I had stumbled upon a piece of family history. What a story these records had.

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UK Artist of the Week: Mt. Doubt

Mt. Doubt, or as he’s commonly known, Leo Bargery, is no stranger to the Scottish live circuit. Beginning as a solo artist in 2015, Leo quickly realised he needed a few helping hands, and as a result Mt. Doubt was born. With his latest single “Tourists” in stores later this month, here’s why he’s our Artist of the Week this week.

“Tourists” is an instantly catchy indie-rock track from the Scottish native relating Bargery’s fear of flying and how getting bitten by the travel bug just isn’t for everyone. This theme caught our eye in particular as it’s not the usual drivel you hear from an “indie” band, but actually a rather honest account of Bargery’s trepidations. Fans of The National and The Twilight Sad will immediately hear similarities of course, but Leo still seems to be able to make this number his own with his incredibly impressive warm baritone vocal taking centre stage.

“Tourists” is one half of a AA-side Mt. Doubt will be releasing alongside fellow rockers Foreignfox who met after playing a show together in Inverness last year, and the rest as they say, is history. With this release both bands hope to expand their fan base, and we wish them both the very best of luck.

“Tourists” is arrives in stores on 31st March 2017 via Scottish Fiction.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Godfathers,
A Big Bad Beautiful Noise

Emerging in 1985, Londoners The Godfathers promptly injected a dose of muscle into the decade’s sonic milieu. Essentially a hard-rocking update of R&B-infused pre-punk action with occasional ventures into pop territory, they released a string of albums, chalked up a handful of radio hits, and persevered until 2000. Reactivated since 2008, their new record is A Big Bad Beautiful Noise; while uneven, it benefits from focused energy and intermittently sturdy writing. It’s out now on CD and digital through Metropolis Records, with the 180gm vinyl arriving on March 24.

The Godfathers were formed by Peter Coyne and his bassist brother Chris after the breakup of The Sid Presley Experience, a mid-’80s act with a short but eventful lifespan; they managed to kick out a pair of singles, visit a few radio stations including a session for John Peel, perform the A-side of their first single “Hup Two Three Four” on TV program The Tube, and even toured with Billy Bragg.

The Coyne brothers wasted no time in building upon the momentum of their defunct unit, getting at it so quickly that many have chalked up The Godfathers’ arrival as simply that of a name change. That’s not true, as Presleyite (and future conspirator) Del Bartle ended up in the Unholy Trinity for a subsequent spell, but the idea is supported by cover versions of the Plastic Ono Band’s “Cold Turkey” titling Sid Presley’s second EP and adorning The Godfathers’ ’87 full-length Hit by Hit.

Comprised of their first three singles and a smattering of new tracks, Hit by Hit isn’t a mindblower but it does document promise, and it was the final release on their Corporate Image label before Epic came a calling. In something of a reversal of norms, ’88’s Birth, School. Work, Death and the following year’s More Songs About Love and Hate, saw the involvement of a major company improving upon the band’s independent beginnings.

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In rotation: 2/28/17

Sunrise Records to move into 70 closing HMV locations across Canada: Sunrise Records is placing a major bet on Canadian music sales with plans to move into 70 retail spaces being vacated by HMV Canada. The Ontario-based music retail chain has negotiated new leases with mall landlords across the country. Sunrise’s expansion gives the company a quick foothold in the Canadian music scene just as the industry’s largest retailer closes shop. Stores will begin to open this spring after HMV liquidates and removes its signs. “It’s a good opportunity for us to get a lot more stores open,” Sunrise Records president Doug Putman told The Canadian Press in an interview.

Change the record: Having called Stokes Croft home for six years, one of Bristol’s last remaining record shops will soon be moving to 32 City Road in St Paul’s. Idle Hands owner Chris Farrell is looking forward to the move: “It’s got a slightly different vibe. It’s very fresh, it’s very bright, a bit airier: the air’s better out of the pollution! It’s just a slightly nicer space.” For those who will go nowhere else to spend hours flipping through vast record collections, have no fear, you won’t be left high and dry for long. Idle Hands will be reopening in its new home at the beginning of March, and only a two minute meander away from its current home.

Jumbo Records on move to bigger Leeds shop as vinyl revival spins on: Jumbo Records in Leeds city centre is set for a return the Merrion Centre after nearly 30 years at the nearby St Johns Centre as the continuing vinyl revival means they need a bigger shop. Shop manager Adam Gillison said vinyl sales have increased by around 50 per cent and Jumbo Records wants a larger new unit to create a long-term home. Jumbo Records first opened in Queens Arcade in Leeds in 1971 before moving to the Merrion Centre in 1974. The business moved over the road to the newly-built St John’s Centre in 1988 and now shop staff are preparing to move back to a unit at The Merrion Centre on the corner of Merrion Street and Wade Street on March 29.

The Vinyl Countdown! Decades of iconic album covers feature in stunning new collection which will have you dusting down the record player: Vinyl records are enjoying somewhat of a renaissance, with sales soaring to a 25-year high last year. And now record covers are being celebrated as artworks in their own right in a stunning new collection. A new book entitled Art Record Covers is being released by Taschen this month and features 500 record covers from the 1950s through to today. From Andy Warhol’s artwork for The Velvet Underground & Nico to Robert Mapplethorpe’s cover for Patti Smith’s Horses, some of the world’s most famous artists have been behind the iconic covers of our time.

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TVD Live: John Doe at Jammin Java, 2/21

PHOTO: JIM HERRINGTON | It’s a long road from the throbbing epicenter of Los Angeles punk origins to an acoustic Tuesday night gig at a suburban Northern Virginia strip mall, but John Doe has made that road work for him, turning his fame in the occasionally revived X to a solid solo career of dusty, windswept Americana.

Those songs are usually served up with a wallop and a twang with a band behind him, but he returned to Jammin Java in Vienna, VA carrying only a guitar or two. He’s a big enough personality to carry it off, bringing a passion and hard-won skill on the nylon strings to create a driving sound, even when he pulled up a few from the X songbook.

Playing solo gave him a certain versatility as well and once he opened the door to requests, he played some old songs he hadn’t done in some time—some of them perfect for the barroom setting, like the swaggering “Dyin’ to Get Home” from his first solo album, Meet John Doe. Asking for requests is a Pandora’s box—he may have strayed from any intent to feature songs from his latest collection, last year’s The Westerner, but being back in the Middle Atlantic put him in mind of the days the Illinois native spent in Baltimore, before he moved to Los Angeles and helped start the punk scene he writes of in Under the Black Sun (whose audio book version was up for a Grammy this month).

His official bio talks about living in “the rural black community of Simpsonville, MD,” graduating from Antioch College when it had an outpost in Charm City and working as “a roofer, aluminum siding mechanic, and ran a poetry reading series.” Doe must have also picked up on the bluegrass roots of the region, mentioning it a couple of times and pulling up, by request, his version of Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings,” the Jimmie Driftwood oddity “He Had a Long Chain On” played with an urgency, and suggesting that the final song in the encore be picked up by bluegrass bands—the Knitters’ “The Call of the Wreckin’ Ball,” perhaps the only song around about poultry stomping.

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TVD Radar: Whiskey
& Wimmen: John Lee Hooker’s Finest
stores 3/31

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The son of a sharecropper, blues legend John Lee Hooker was one of the very first artists to break out of that genre and become a world-wide force. He based his sound on a driving boogie beat and lyrics that sometimes seemed to come from another world. To begin the centennial celebration of Hooker’s birth year, Vee-Jay Records, a division of Concord Bicycle Music, will release Whiskey & Wimmen: John Lee Hooker’s Finest on March 31. The multi-label compilation features songs from Hooker’s Vee-Jay, Specialty, Riverside and Stax Records releases, and includes many of the bluesman’s most iconic songs.

Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1917, the man who would become known as the “King of the Boogie” was destined for blues royalty. Hooker’s 1948 single, “Boogie Chillun,” sold a million copies and set Hooker on his unstoppable path. Countless recordings followed, and a winding road through different labels and audiences. He was a huge influence on the burgeoning British Invasion in the early ‘60s, and welcomed with open arms by the rock audience around the world. Hooker is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and won four Grammys. He performed with or had his music covered by music’s elite, including Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana and many more.

Whiskey & Wimmen: John Lee Hooker’s Finest is the perfect collection to honor the man. It includes many of Hooker’s most exciting and time-honored recordings, showing how an artist who started with literally nothing but his inspiration and talent was able to make such a lasting impact on music. His work for the Vee-Jay, Specialty and Riverside labels were many of the recordings his unshakeable legend is built on, and provide a sonic tour of what Hooker’s blues accomplished. Music journalist Bill Dahl contributes insightful new liner notes.

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Needle Drop: King Bee, “Hot Pistol”

When the conversation turns to the forgotten band that was King Bee, which it, admittedly, never does, it becomes quite clear that one mono inferno begets another. In other words, a person cannot speak of King Bee without alluding to Dead Moon. Long-revered (at least in these northwestern parts) as the irrefutable sovereigns of the underground punk arena, Portland’s rock ’n’ roll triumvirate, apart from creating some of the most hard-driving and soul-throttling music this side of Detroit, possesses a founding legend like no other.

Formed in ’88 and composed of husband-wife duo, Fred and Toody Cole and late drummer Andrew Loomis, the band was, and is, the truest manifestation of its leading lo-fi mastermind’s essence and vision. The lore surrounding Fred Cole’s road to the status of rock ’n’ roll baron, though heard by far too few, is profoundly warranted, not only because it’s as serpentine as journeys come, but given the newfound rarity of bonafide tales of onerous toil and perseverance among rising bands, the story now rings even more compelling.

Above all, the fact remains that just about every group Cole assembled over the years put out more than its fair share of unthinkably masterful rock ’n’ roll, no matter how brief a tenure.

Cole first emerged at the age of fifteen as the leading man of Deep Soul Cole under the moniker, the “White Stevie Wonder,” a descriptor that would be utterly and demonstratively abandoned amidst his turn towards rock music. As the 1960s progressed, Cole made a living laying it down for lost garage outfits of the era such as the Weeds and the Lollipop Shoppe, whose single “You Must Be a Witch” ranks among the finer high-pressure psych-garage tracks to come out of the tradition’s heyday.

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Graded on a Curve:
Elton John,
Rock of the Westies

Sit back, kids, and I’ll tell you about the baddest punk of them all. No, I’m not talking about Johnny Rotten or Richard Hell or Sid Vicious even. No, I’m talking about Captain Fantastic, The Big E—that’s right, Elton John his tough mofo self. Sure, he’s better known for such anthemic softballs as “Your Song,” “Somebody Saved My Life Tonight,” and that awful piece of treacle “Candle in the Wind.” But John is the same rock’n’roll badass who gave us “The Bitch Is Back,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock’n’Roll),” “Midnight Creeper,” and “Street Kids,” the last of which is off Sir Surly’s punkest LP of them all, 1975’s Rock of the Westies.

In a deliberate effort to be misunderstood, because every good punk wants to be misunderstood, John larded his earlier LPs with love songs, broken heart songs and the like. He threw in lots of oddball tunes as well; the great “Solar Prestige a Gammon” is made up of nonsense words, “Social Disease” is a hillbilly ode to living life as a form of human syphilis, and “Teacher I Need You” is “Hot for Teacher” years in advance. As for the great “Bennie and the Jets,” who else could have conceived of such a thing? And who but Elton John would have thought to write a song called “I Think I’m Going to Kill Myself” and fit it up with a bona fide tap dance solo? That right there is a real punk move for sure.

But on Rock of the Westies Elton John is feeling scurvy and ready to put the boot in. “No more Mr. Tender Genitals,” I can hear him thinking. “I’m the bitch who gets high every evening sniffing pots of glue.” And so he went and he co-wrote a bunch of evil-ass tunes and he went and he set Davey Johnstone’s guitar on stun and then he went to business, kicking out the motherfucking jams.

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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.

Elouise – Saturn Bar
Diamanda Galas – Round Midnight
Tabah – Curtain Call
Curse Of Lono – Pick Up The Pieces
Kill The Precedent – Irrational Anthem
Dot x JNTHN STEIN – No Filter

Jane Weaver – Slow Motion

Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You (MAKJ Remix)
The White Panda X VÉRITÉ – Somebody Else (The 1975 Cover)
Mura Masa – Lotus Eater (Swindail Remix)
Nathaniel Knows & Dirt Monkey – Abba (feat. Shamon Cassette)
A Boy & A Girl x ENGLISH LIT – Beast Widdit (feat. Armanni Reign)

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In rotation: 2/27/17

Bristol record shop Idle Hands to relocate in March, The store is moving from its Stokes Croft premises after six years: The store—which is also a label—is relocating to 32 City Road, a two-minute walk from its current home in Stokes Croft, where it’s been for the past six years. Idle Hands says the move will give customers access to an expanded range of records. The new shop will be open seven days a week. Elevator Sound, the music equipment firm that operates at the back of the Idle Hands store, will take over the Stokes Croft space from March 4th.

Jack White toasts new record plant with private Detroit music bash: The spirits were flowing on the factory floor Friday night as Jack White threw a party to mark the opening of his Third Man Pressing record plant. Several hundred guests gathered at the Midtown Detroit site — part of White’s colorful Third Man Records complex — as the homegrown rocker inaugurated a facility that’s expected to crank out thousands of records a day. Much like the opening of his adjacent storefront space in 2015, the festive night had the feel of a Detroit music reunion, as a diverse cast of figures gathered with members of White’s family, officials from vinyl plants across the country, and workers involved in the facility’s year-long construction.

Ellen Allien announces Vinylism event series at her favorite record shops: The Vinylism performances feature vinyl-only DJ sets showcasing records that Allien hand picks from the record store itself. As these events take place at intimate locations, she invites her fans to hang out and share in her unique selection. The upcoming performances will kick off at Serendeepity in Milan, followed by Clone Records in Rotterdam and Superior Elevation in NYC. ‘Vinylism’ launched in February 2016 at Lucky Records in Reykjavik and carried through five more gigs at her favorite record stores, including Discos Paradiso in Barcelona, Ultrasuoni in Rome, Gravity Records in Turin, Smallville Records in Paris and La fin du vinyle in Montreal.

Setting the “record” straight: Stan’s record store stands out: Sitting on Prince Street in Lancaster City sits one of the best record stores in the county. Stan’s Records is a treat for any record lover. Above the shop reads in big retro letters “RECORDS” where the “O” is actually a record. Vinyl lovers can tell just by looking at the store what it has to offer. When music lovers walk in, they’ll see a bin saying “FREE” sitting by the window. That’s right. Anything in this box is free. It’s unlikely to find Elvis Presley or ACDC records in this bin, but definitely take a peek! The contents of the “FREE” box may surprise some music lovers. And it’s free! What could be better than free music?

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I fell deep, through the holes of your eyes / and what I found resembles dark signs / The kind of hell I’m in ain’t enough to keep me down / the kind of hell I’m in just ain’t enough / just ain’t enough to keep me down

Still I cry and I cry and I cry / cause there is no turning back / I said I cry and I cry and I cry / cause there is no turning back

We’re deep into the wintery canyon this year. Last weekend we had more rain that anyone has seen in decades. Before TVD could even post last week’s Idelic Hour, our house went black. Nada power. Hey, it’s not like anyone was gonna call me and to say “Fuck man, I love that song…” Still, it would have been nice to have phone reception—ie: review texts! No hot water or heat for a cold rainy weekend day? Aagghh!

Nope, it was just hard, cold rain. It ended (or just I say came back on) and we carried on through President’s Day. Speaking of—who is celebrating the fucking president this year?

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TVD Live Shots: Alter Bridge and Nonpoint at the Regency Ballroom, 2/20

Alter Bridge is out on the road for their The Last Hero Tour, aptly named after their most recent release on Napalm Records. While the band last passed through the Bay Area in 2016 with Breaking Benjamin, they haven’t done a proper headlining set since 2014, so the San Francisco fans turned out early and in force … even Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach was on hand for the good time.

Nonpoint has been around for the better part of a decade but seeing them Monday night in San Francisco was like seeing them for the first time. Drummer Robb Rivera had his kit up sideways and, along with the rest of the band, radiated energy during the 40 minute set. They kept their crushing set light, however, jokingly introducing themselves as Korn and slipping in a cover of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” before being joined by Machine Head’s Phil Demmel to close the set with “Bullet With A Name.” No doubt a tough act to follow.

With the Regency Ballroom now packed to the rafters and the front row lined with women, Alter Bridge finally took the stage. One word to sum up their performance … heavy! With The Last Hero out only since late last year, it was clear from the crowd’s reaction that this is an album with a lot of legs. Busting out the new material straight-away with “The Writing on the Wall,” it was clear that the new album had already made its rounds in the Bay Area. No one was standing around waiting for the old stuff … the crowd jumped right in as Tremonti and Kennedy laid down some of the heaviest riffs of the night.

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The Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra at the Hi Ho Lounge on Fat Tuesday!

Finding the black Indians of New Orleans on Mardi Gras is always a challenge. Hearing them sing their songs is even more of a mean feat considering all the photographers vying for the best shot as the tribes march and meet one another. If you want a guarantee that you’ll hear the songs and see at least one Indian, head to the Hi Ho Lounge Fat Tuesday afternoon.

This year’s eagerly awaited return of the all-star Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra honors two of the group’s dearly departed founding members, Big Chief Roddy Lewis of the Black Eagles and saxophonist Tim Green. They will play at 6 PM.

The band, which presents big band arrangements of classics from the black Indian canon of New Orleans, features numerous well-known New Orleans musicians. Big Chief David Montana of the Washitaw Nation Mardi Gras Indian tribe fronts the orchestra along with accordionist, percussionist and vocalist Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes of Sunpie and Louisiana Sunspots and various other ensembles.

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