Monthly Archives: March 2017

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Never liked nobody / That’s been mean to me / I’ve got a heart full of stone / And I hate the misery / Then you came along / Into my life / Destroying my mind / Mounting up the toil and strife / But I’m a fool for you / I’m a fool for you / But I’m a fool for you

Tomorrow is April Fools—an obvious and wonderful muse for which to make a playlist of music. Although 16th Century Shakespearean England was likely the era of “the fool,” we sure sung about a “chain” of them in the late ’60s. Now, in this here millennial, another “chain of fools” is on parade—so let those tunes fly.

I don’t have much to say other than I really enjoyed listening to the records on this week’s playlist. Maybe this is because I’ve been meditating of late. Nothing too radical. Five or ten minutes of clearing my thoughts each morning. Hey, sometimes when you clear shit out—new ideas, people, places, and things can enter. I guess today’s new thought is don’t be a fool and enjoy shit while you can. Am I just playing a little April Fools prank on myself? Why not?

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Sam Price and the True Believers celebrate debut album at Chickie Wah Wah on Saturday, 4/1

Sam Price is best known around town and across the country as the irrepressible pogoing bass player of the Honey Island Swamp Band. But he has always harbored a dream of playing and recording his own music. Over the last year or so, he has put together a band, performed multiple shows, and on Saturday will celebrate the release of his first solo recording with his band at Chickie Wah Wah.

The album showcases Price’s songwriting and vocals. It also features four special guests. Guitarist John Fohl, a former long time member of Dr. John’s band, and saxophonist Tom Fitzpatrick, known for his decades with Walter “Wolfman” Washington, are on the first song, “Right Where I Want To Be, “ which is arguably a mission statement for Price.

Trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom of Lettuce plays a blistering solo on “Down To You” and raises the energy of the band leading into a searing solo from guitarist Matt Galloway. Bloom rips another solo to bring the song home. On this cut as throughout the album, backing vocalist Whitney Alouisious provides deep soul wailing suggesting she’s a breakout star in the making.

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TVD Radar: Frank Turner doc Get Better–A Film About Frank Turner announces screenings

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Xtra Mile/Interscope Records recording artist Frank Turner screens the documentary film Get Better–A Film About Frank Turner—an exhilarating and candid film about a year in his life—for U.S. audiences this spring. Turner will join filmmaker Ben Morse for a Q&A at screenings in Chicago, Pomona, Boston, and New York. A DVD of the documentary will be available at a later date. Advance tickets for the screenings are available here.

Filmmaker Ben Morse spent a year trailing one of the most hard-working musicians currently operating and what emerges is a raw, insightful portrayal of an underground hero. A close friend of Turner, Morse originally intended to capture Turner and his band, The Sleeping Souls, in constant motion only to discover a man facing up to his demons, forced to pause touring for the first time in his career.

Get Better–A Film About Frank Turner includes never-before-seen footage from friends, family and fans across the world as well as extensive interviews with Turner and his band as they contemplate what drives a man to stay on the road and the effect that has on his life and those around him.

Turner has been one of the breakthrough artists of the millennium, emerging from his punk-rock roots to become a rock icon to diehard fans all over the world. In 2015, everything came to a head as Turner slipped off the wagon and confronted the commercial pressures of mainstream success.

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The TVD First Date

“DJing was my thing; I was the only one I knew at my high school with a heavy obsession for vinyl. I graduated in 2007 when iPods were still new and expensive, streaming hadn’t happened yet, and burning CDs was weirdly a little bit controversial.”

“For my 14th birthday my parents were awesome and bought me a DJ-in-a-box set of belt drive Stanton turntables and DJ mixer. I had no idea how they worked, how to DJ, or which speakers I needed to make them work. My amazing parents brought me to the local record store every few weeks, the owner would spin whatever new records he was feelin and I learned to DJ by watching him. I bought my first drum and bass records there, like Shy Fx, LTJ Bukem, and Dieselboy.

Eventually I moved on to ordering most of my records from the UK. I would literally plan an entire DJ mix ahead of time while I waited for the records to be delivered. I grew up playing instruments in school, but I wasn’t really into music until I found electronic music. Every weekend I brought my crate of records with me where I went. I was living on the tail-end of the ’90s rave scene. I even think my senior quote in the yearbook is ‘the party ain’t over til’ the last record spins.’

I still own all of those records, they sit in hard cases in my old bedroom with fliers from mid 2000s raves. Now I buy albums of my favorite current music. I think my most recent purchases were the new Tribe record, Solange, Deerhoof’s La Isla Bonita, Arca’s Xen, and Tim Hecker’s Piano Drop. We’re pressing our EP to vinyl too. There’s something about owning a physical copy of music that you can’t get with streaming.
Elliot Glasser

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Graded on a Curve:
Jarvis Cocker,
Further Complications

Former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker is the most accomplished dramatic actor in rock’n’roll. He has an unforgettable voice for starters, and possesses an uncanny knack for inhabiting the bodies of the various louts, philanderers, and other shallow and morally repulsive men he likes to write about. Cocker is a moralist at heart. Sometimes he’s funny about it; at other times the tone is much, much darker. But jesting or not, he’s always serious.

In his time he’s painted dark portraits of rave culture (“Sorted for E’s and Whizz”), of a man of small soul warning his son not to follow his shallow and destructive path through life (“A Little Soul”), of a rich girl gone slumming (“Common People”), and “the sound of loneliness turned up to ten” (“The Fear”). But the acme of his horrifying peek into male sexuality remains “This Is Hardcore,” in which the song’s speaker spells out his vision of lovemaking in clinical detail: “I’ve seen the storyline played out so many times before/Oh, that goes in there/Then that goes in there/Then that goes in there/Then that goes in there/And then it’s over/Oh, what a hell of a show/But what I want to know/What exactly do you do for an encore?”

Cocker’s plummy actor’s voice and darkly satiric vision made Pulp the most intellectually and spiritually probing band to emerge from Britpop, and Pulp’s dissolution left me inconsolable. Fortunately Cocker continues to record, and 2009’s Further Complications measures up to the best of his former band. The sound is much harder, thanks largely to an unlikely alliance between Cocker and Steve Albini as producer, and has a wonderful glam rock feel to it.

Never before has Cocker committed to recording a song as hard-hitting as “Pilchard.” The punchy and fast-paced “Homewrecker!” boasts a great Roxy Music-school saxophone and could pass for an Aladdin Sane-era Bowie tune, while the title track (and album topper) boasts a big beat, some Eno-school backing vocals, and opens with the wonderful lines, “In the beginning there was nothing/To be honest that just suited me fine/I was three weeks late coming out of the womb/In no great rush to join the rest of mankind.”

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In rotation: 3/31/17

Local record stores to host free concert for Record Store Day: Joe’s Records of Marion and Hard Copies of Carbondale will host a free concert featuring Thrill Jockey recording artist Bobby Conn at Hangar 9 in Carbondale on Friday, April 21, with Record Store Day events following the next day. Record Store Day is an annual effort to recognize the unique culture and importance of independent record stores. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, overall vinyl sales grew 28.3 percent in 2015, making it the format’s highest-revenue year since 1988.

Record Lounge relocates after months of unpaid rent: “We were informed today that the owners of this space need this space, as we were on a month to month lease. Due to the given circumstances, we have to move the shop out of here in 2 days. Where we will go, I have no idea at this point as this incredibly sudden. With Record Store Day coming in a few weeks, I am not quite sure how we will work that out, as we made our order and everything already. Bear with us until we can get things in perspective.”

Vinyl Market at Stanley Beer Yard on Sunday: You are cordially invited to join Johannesburg’s best record dealers and record shops for a Vinyl Fair extravaganza, featuring Mr Vinyl, Record Mad, Vinyl Junkie & others. #VinylSundays is the longest running vinyl market in the country. Hosted at the Stanley Beer Yard (free entrance and child friendly), enjoy an incredible selection of craft beers, breakfast prego rolls & join us for a wonderful lunch in the incredible setting that is 44 Stanley.

For The Chulita Vinyl Club, Crate Digging Is More Than A Hobby: On her days off, Claudia Saenz scours used record shops, thrift stores and yard sales, keeping her eyes peeled for records her parents grew up on. They remind her of her childhood. “I just feel that [vinyl] is definitely more intimate than playing it on my phone on, like, Spotify or a streaming app,” Saenz says. “I just like holding that piece of history.” She’s founder of the Chulita Vinyl Club, an all-girl vinyl collecting crew spread throughout the Southwest and California. And although they collect all kinds of records, Chicano soul is one genre that rings near and dear to the club’s heart and style.

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TVD Live Shots: LA Guns at the O2 Islington, 3/25

When it comes to Sunset Strip metal in the ’80s, Appetite For Destruction is always hailed as the crown jewel of the genre. While that record was, of course, a brilliant piece of work that was ahead of its time, there was another—the self-titled debut masterpiece from LA Guns.

Released in January of ’88 and clocking in a just over 30 minutes it was the “Never Mind the Bullocks” of hair metal. It had a sound that was distinct given the killer vocals of Phil Lewis, and monster riff after riff from arguably one of the best guitarists on the planet, Tracii Guns. Rough around the edges, every song led perfectly into the next, giving birth to instant classics in the form of “Sex Action,” “Electric Gypsy,” and “No Mercy.”

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-13

LA Guns took it up a notch on their second record with Cocked and Loaded and continued successfully until Nirvana arrived and single handily murdered the genre. It was a shame that LA Guns got looped into that mess of hair metal at the time because they had the substance that many of the others lacked. Either way, many years later the band would later dissolve into two versions, one led by Phil Lewis and the other by Tracii Guns. 2016 found the two back together again and I absolutely had to see this for myself.

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Free festival 3-fer: Jazz in the Park, the Delgado Music Festival, and the Freret Street Festival for your weekend

With Jazz Fest releasing the eagerly awaited cubes on Tuesday and French Quarter Festival kicking off next Thursday, festival season is in full swing with lots of free offerings all around town this weekend.

Start off with Jazz in the Park tonight (3/30), the wonderfully intimate festival in Armstrong Park in the heart of Tremé. Spodie and the Big Shots will open for the Soul Rebels. Spodie is the one and only Derek Shezbie (pictured at top), the longtime trumpeter for the Rebirth Brass Band.

Though he has been gigging a lot around town with his new outfit, this will be the highest profile gig thus far of his solo career. There is a ticketed event as part of Jazz in the Park’s Tremé Crab Fest on Friday night with Stephanie Jordan, Roy Ayers, and Michael Franks. But the free music continues on Saturday and Sunday.

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TVD Radar: Max’s Kansas City: 1976 & Beyond expanded vinyl reissue in stores 5/5

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Max’s Kansas City is the legendary New York City nightclub that became the focal point for the city’s hip artistic community from the late ’60s until the early ’80s. In its initial period, it was famously often populated by Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd, and played host to new artists such as the Velvet Underground, New York Dolls, the Stooges, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others. It became a base for jet-setters, glam rockers, and celebs until the scene faded and it shut its doors at the end of 1974.

Reopened in 1975 under new management, Peter Crowley was hired as music director. The new young bands he booked helped spawn, in tandem with CBGBs, the New York City punk scene. In 1976 Peter compiled a studio album of acts associated with the club, Max’s Kansas City 1976, to help promote the club. It featured the first released recordings of Suicide, The Fast, and Warhol-era veteran Wayne County, whose title-track gave a roll-call of many of the famous acts who’d regularly performed there.

Now the original album is reissued as Max’s Kansas City 1976 & Beyond, greatly extended to 40 tracks on a double-CD and a selection of 25 tracks on a double-LP. As well as the aforementioned Suicide, Fast, and Wayne County, the new extended album features the New York Dolls, the Stillettos, the Offs, the Senders, Philip Rambow, VON LMO, Iggy Pop, Knots, Roland Alphonso, Cherry Vanilla, Nico, Joy Ryder, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers, and Sid Vicious amongst many others. It includes many previously unreleased tracks and rarities. Compiled by Peter Crowley, who also contributes notes detailing the history of the album. Writer, musician, and Max’s scenester Jimi LaLumia provides historical overview sleeve-notes along with biographies of the artists in a 20-page booklet.

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Needle Drop: Evening Darling, “Another Long Drive”

Alt-folk quartet Evening Darling crank out the kind of tunes that force you out on the highway.

The NYC-based bands newest single, “Another Long Drive” finds lead singer Erica Lane sparring with singer/guitarist Nick Lerangis over a perfected blend of top down, Tom Petty-ish Americana. Evening Darling has played up and down the Eastern seaboard and their music is seasoned with the kind of heartland rock vibes that area made famous in decade’s past.

There is a mutual longing in both Lane and Lerangis’ approach to their respective versus that is accentuated when they combine their yearning in a sensual harmony. The desperate search to find stability somewhere outside themselves is hard to shake and it’s even harder to decipher if they are addressing each other, a former lover, or the open road itself.

Evening Darling’s self-titled album is in stores on April 14.

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Peter Bradley Adams, The TVD First Date
and Premiere, “My
Arms Were Always Around You”

“I wrote this song in a van with one of my touring partners, Todd Lombardo, on a long drive from New York to Nashville. We would switch off driving and sitting shotgun playing the guitar. We had the bulk of it by the time we crossed into Virginia. The lyrics are a conversation between two people. It may not always be clear who’s talking, but that’s kind of the point.”

“The first record I remember playing was The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I was five and discovered it in my dad’s old vinyl collection. I would play it on my aqua-green plastic Playshool suitcase record player over and over. I was completely astonished by it. Everything about it—the songs, the sound of it—and slowly I would unearth other Beatles records and wear them out one by one. I convinced my friends across the street to start a Beatles lip-sync band and we gave basement concerts to our parents. I was beyond obsessed.

A few years later, I branched out of the Beatles and started walking to the local record store, Charlemagne Record Exchange (Birmingham, AL). The place became a sanctuary for me. I’d spend hours poring over their used collection, agonizing which one to buy, and then finally bringing one home in a brown paper bag with a big gold sticker on it.

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Graded on a Curve: Diamanda Galás,
All The Way, At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem

Crowned as an avant-garde diva way back in the mid-1980s, Diamanda Galás has spent the ensuing decades embodying and eclipsing the designation. Her oeuvre evinces pure operatic skill, elements of cinematic and literary horror, consistent activism on the behalf of the victimized, potent threads of blues and jazz, and boldness of personality likely to make many popstars jealous. After a nine-year recording absence, she’s back with a double whammy; All the Way (vinyl, compact disc, and digital) and At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem (CD and digital only) reinforce that Galás’ abilities and creative passion are undiminished. Both are out now on her Intravenal Sound Operations label.

An avant-garde diva indeed, but for many budding music enthusiasts of the 1980s, Diamanda Galás’ music was a primary escape from the predictability and smallness of scale that occasionally afflicted the rock output of the time (yes Virginia, even the underground variety). In this, she can be placed in the company of Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, and John Zorn, but with the distinction that Galás, at least at this point in her development, was untethered to “rock” in any form.

She did find herself attached to the industrial fringe in part due to a large lump of her work carrying the logo of the Mute label. This relationship made it easy for curious suburbanites to special order LPs from their local wax shack, but to this day some erroneously assume that it was Mute’s Daniel Miller who discovered her.

Nope. Her debut on record came on Jim French’s 1979 effort If Looks Could Kill; she intermittently appears on side two alongside the multi-horn specialist and guitarist Henry Kaiser, who issued the disc on his Metalanguage label. An interesting artifact, it establishes Galás as part of the late ’70s West Coast avant-garde (she was born in San Diego and moved to San Francisco in the ’80s), but it’s ’82’s The Litanies of Satan, first released on Y Records and reissued in ’89 on Mute, that effectively commences the lengthy first phase of her discography.

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In rotation: 3/30/17

Record Store Day Australia Announces Anthony Albanese as Final Ambassador for 2017: Perhaps better known as the Federal member for Grayndler, former Deputy Prime Minister and member of the Shadow Cabinet, the magnificent seventh ambassador for Record Store Day in Australia is a passionate music lover and DJ. ‘Albo’ is a familiar face in the many record stores in his electorate as well as at live gigs, most recently Adele, The Pixies, Spiderbait and Nick Cave. He owns an extensive record collection which includes his first record ever which was Elton John’s Honky Chateau and the record he is most proud of owning is Midnight Oil’s Bird Noises. He strongly believes in live music as a force for enriching communities and as an industry providing jobs.

Twist & Shout on the origin of Record Store Day and 2017 plans: “…I was in the hotel room with Michael Kurtz and four other people when Eric Levin of Criminal Records in Atlanta said, ‘There’s this thing called Free Comic Book Day – we should do that with records!’ And that was the genesis of the whole thing. This was a bunch of stoned record store owners sitting a hotel room saying ‘man, we should do something cool’ – and that’s how it started.”

Albo Talks Up Record Store Day Australia In Parliament: Former Deputy Prime Minister the Honorable Anthony Albanese has spoke up for Record Store Day in Parliament today…In Parliament Albo spoke about the importance of record stores. “We all know independent record stores are important in our communities as small businesses, generating economic activity and providing jobs, but the importance of independent record stores extends well beyond economics. It goes to our culture, our lived experience and the way we understand and engage with the world”.

Australia’s Recorded Music Market Reports Growth in 2016, Streaming Revenue Soars: Australia’s record business is on the upswing. Fueled by a surging streaming music sector, the recorded music market enjoyed a 5.5% bump in revenue to A$352.2 million ($269 million) in 2016, according to wholesale trade figures published Wednesday by ARIA. It’s the second successive year of growth in this top 10 market, which reported gains of 5% in 2015…Though a niche format, vinyl continues to play a positive tune. Vinyl sales grew by 70% to more than A$15 million ($11 million in value, for the sixth consecutive year of gains, ARIA reports in its trade figures.

Czech firm sees surge in sales of turntables amid vinyl boom: As vinyl records make a global comeback, so do turntables. The biggest maker of quality turntables, a company in the Czech Republic called SEV Litovel, has increased its production fourfold between 2009 and 2016, when it made 124,825 units. “I really can’t see the end (of the growth),” said Managing Director Jiri Mencl, who estimates production of 150,000 in three years. His firm has opened a new production site worth 180 million koruna ($7.2 million) this year to meet the demand for turntables, which has been rising globally.

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TVD Live Shots: Richard Ashcroft at Terminal 5, 3/27

Touring to support his latest solo release These People, Richard Ashcroft, former frontman of The Verve, performed at New York’s Terminal 5 on Monday evening and treated a packed house of dedicated fans to a night of music that spanned the prolific artist’s catalog—both old and new.

To say the New York stop on Ashcroft’s current tour was an excellent, flawless performance would be a dramatic understatement. Nearly every song in Ashcroft’s set on Monday had some degree of improvisation lending his live show a genuinely unique tone and experience as he led his backing band in a myriad of directions.

Ashcroft himself stated at the beginning of his set that watching some bands perform you’d do just as well watching a hologram, and given Monday’s performance, by comparison I’d have to agree. Ashcroft truly gave his New York fans a gift that will linger in memories for some time. I only hope he returns to play again.

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TVD Radar: Judee Sill’s classic self-titled debut and Heart Food 180gram reissues in stores in June

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Intervention Records is thrilled to announce Judee Sill’s classic 1971 debut, Judee Sill (Cat# IR-016), and her stellar followup Heart Food (Cat# IR-017). Each album is cut as a double-45RPM LP set and pressed on dead-quiet 180-gram vinyl. Both LPs are anticipated to street in June 2017 and are available for pre-order now.

The astonishing Judee Sill was the first artist signed to David Geffen’s Asylum Records, and Judee Sill the first album released on the label. Sill’s music is intensely spiritual, redolent of mystical and divine imagery, yet grounded by great songwriting and a pure but powerful singing talent. Her songs impart incredible intimacy that is enhanced by her sometimes complex string arrangements (remarkably Sill arranged and conducted the strings/orchestra on these albums!).

Sill’s life was tragic personally and professionally. Her father and brother were killed when Sill was young, and her tempestuous relationship with her alcoholic (and remarried) mother resulted in her leaving home at 15. She committed robberies and began a battle she was destined to lose against drug addiction. When stardom didn’t follow the critical acclaim of these two albums her career never recovered. Sill was dead from a drug overdose in 1979 at just 35. The brevity of Judee’s musical legacy is outweighed by the emotional power and weight of these two extraordinary albums.

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