Monthly Archives: May 2017

Heather Trost,
The TVD First Date

“I associate vinyl records first with my dad. It’s something we can connect with, his memories beginning long before CDs and tapes, and mine from childhood—flashes and images of record covers, hearing the hiss, fuzz, and pop as the needle was gently placed on the grooves. My father no longer uses the Technic record player of my childhood, (he swears he gave it to me, but in my many moves I can’t be sure. I think it’s in the attic at my parent’s house).”

“One of my earliest childhood memories: my parents had friends over for dinner. We go into the living room after eating, my Dad puts on a record and I start dancing on the pea-soup, green shag carpeting, and everyone is laughing and having a good time. The record he put on was apparently my favorite, Halloween Party featuring “Monster Mash,” and of course Screamin Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.”

My dad loved rock and roll. His collection was made up of mostly ’60s and ’70s psychedelia and rock. Santana’s Abraxas (“Black Magic Woman” is still one of my favorite songs), Abbey Road, The Who’s The Kids are Alright, Pet Sounds, Hendrix’s Are You Experienced, and Creedence Clearwater Revival were in rotation. A childhood (and current) favorite was Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors. The cover engendered the need to dress in a leotard, ballet shoes, and tights for an entire summer.

Another album cover that made an impression on me was Boston’s self-titled album, the one with the big UFO in the center and the two little ones behind it. I thought it was super cool and mysterious and I loved the ’70s font, although I can’t ever remember listening to the album.

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TVD Radar: Arthur Alexander’s self-titled album reissue in stores via Omnivore, 7/28

VIA PRESS RELEASE | When the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Humble Pie, Dusty Springfield, George Jones & Johnny Paycheck, Bob Dylan, the Bee Gees and countless other artists cover your songs, you must be on to something.

Arthur Alexander was a songwriter and song stylist whose first records in the early 1960s — such as “Anna (Go to Him)” and “You Better Move On” — were some of the earliest hits recorded at Rick Hall’s Fame Studios and to feature the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. After a short break at the end of the decade, Alexander released the second of only three albums that he made in his lifetime — a self-titled “comeback” album in 1972. On July 28, 2017, Omnivore Recordings will reissue Arthur Alexander, expanded with six bonus tracks — two previously unissued.

With new liner notes by Barry Hansen (better known to most as Dr. Demento), the package also features the piece he wrote for the album’s original issue. Arthur Alexander’s 12 tracks were produced by Muscle Shoals bassist Tommy Gogbill, and include a version of “Burning Love” — covered by Elvis Presley shortly after the album’s release. Alexander’s two Warner Bros. follow-up singles are also here, as well as a pair of tracks from the original sessions, unearthed and unheard until now.

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Graded on a Curve: Various Artists,
Deutsche Trucker Hits

Germans and trucker songs—two great tastes that taste great together! Because if you think the good ole boys who drive Deutschland’s big panzer rigs are blitzkrieging down the autobahn listening to Kraftwerk you’re dead wrong, good buddy.

No, they’re singing along to good old-fashioned country songs about being a trucker, goddamn it, just like the long-haul truckers here in the U.S. of Goddamn A. And good old-fashioned patriots that they are those Deutsche truckers are singing along in German, and say what you will about their awful language, country music sounds just swell translated into Kraut, believe it or not.

On 2013’s Deutsche Trucker Hits you get 18 wonderful songs guaranteed to keep you awake as you drive the graveyard shift from lovely München to bawdy Berlin town, some of ‘em German originals and some of ‘em Germanized takes on American classics like “Auf der Autobahn” (“On the Road Again”)” by Matze Hern, “Sechs Tage jede Woche,” (“Six Days on the Road”) by Joe Raphael und die Party-Singers, and “Ruby” (the lyrics are in German) by The Partypistols. The Partypistols’ take on the Kenny Rogers’ classic is wonderful, as is Stef Eikeman’s take on Rogers’ heartrending “Lucille,” which he sings in English because there’s just no translating that kind of heartbreak into German, sob.

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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: Leather Girls,
Leather Girls

Many bands call Austin, TX home, and with a sound seemingly spawned from an echo-laden garage, Leather Girls are amongst their number. The four-piece’s self-titled debut is poised to spread the word far beyond the city limits, and for folks desiring another serving of ’60s rudiments, ’70s punk energy and contempo clamor, the disc will not steer them wrong. To be fair, it’s not as predictable as all that; just when the group appears to be settling into a specific era/ decade, they shrewdly shift the program. Leather Girls gets the vinyl, compact disc, and digital treatment June 2 through Yippee Ki Yay Records.

In terms of imagery, the name Leather Girls presented this writer with a variety of possibilities; obviously if one is of the certain age, Suzi Quatro will immediately sprang to mind, with additional female silhouettes likely to take shape. In fact, Leather Girls are three dudes and a gal, specifically Erik Camacho on guitar and lead vocals, Mike Garrido on guitar, Dillon Fernandez on drums, and Deborah White on bass.

Garrido and White also contribute vocals to the scenario, which is succinctly described as garage psych. To be frank, there is no shortage of the style in the bins these days, but Leather Girls cut an enticing amount of mustard right out of the gate; “Drawing Lines” oozes ample fuzz gunk and pedal smudge, but the residue is smartly combined with thump, velocity, and holler. The result is very much of the current century.

So, a nice start. However, track two finds Leather Girls delivering something considerably greater than a mere fix for genre fans. “Arabian Daze” weds huge rhythmic elasticity to a decidedly twisted ’60s pop approach; in turn, the mention of Tropicalia in Yippee Ki Yay’s promo blurb gets elevated far beyond standard namedropping.

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In rotation: 5/31/17

It was 50 years ago today… looking back on half a century of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The next Beatles album didn’t have a name, let alone a concept, but the band already knew it had to be different. Very different. Along with his assistant engineer, 18-year-old Richard Lush, and under the gaze of producer George Martin, Emerick cajoled the primitive equipment into creating the extraordinary soundscapes for a band that had no respect for the limitations of the four track tape. Geoff Emerick now lives in Los Angeles, while Richard Lush has lived in Australia since the 1970s. Both of them spoke to 7.30 about the making of one of the most influential albums of the 20th century.

Sgt. Pepper’s redux: Should you buy the $$$ new version of The Beatles classic or save your money? Giles Martin and his team went back to these four track element reels and reassembled Sgt. Pepper’s from these earlier generation tapes, which had been kept in the EMI vaults. The results, whether the new stereo mix or the surround treatment, are remarkable. From the opening moments of the audience anticipating the start of a rock concert, you just know that you are about to experience something amazing—what audiophiles call an “eargasm.” It made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck as if I was really there standing among the audience—or in Abbey Road studios—waiting for the show to begin. Red lights, green lights, strawberry wine, if you know what I mean. And then BOOM it’s on. The title track rocks like a motherfucker.

Meet the critic who panned ‘Sgt. Pepper’ then discovered his speaker was busted. He’s still not sorry. He is 72, with a thin beard and easy laugh, and lives with his husband, Tony Ward, in a 14th-floor apartment Greenwich Village. He stopped writing about music in the late ’60s, but he never left journalism. For decades, Goldstein covered the arts and gender identity issues at the Village Voice, where he eventually served as executive editor. These days, he teaches “Pepper” in a course on the ’60s at his alma mater, Hunter College. Now comfortable in his own skin, Goldstein can explain why he feels he rejected “Pepper” all those years ago. The broken stereo, he says, had nothing to do with it.

Inside Unheard ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Outtakes: Exclusive First Listen: No matter how well you know the album, this remix is full of nuances any fan will notice, especially the bottom end —Ringo’s kick drum really reveals new dimensions. It’s a tribute to the band and their producer. “My dad, especially on Pepper, was almost like a satellite dish that managed to capture all their ideas and mash them down to this little black piece of plastic that changed the way people listen to music.” But the real treasures are the 34 bonus tracks, which will dazzle hardcore Beatlemaniacs — “the socks and sandals brigade,” as Giles Martin fondly calls them.

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Molly Tuttle,
The TVD First Date

“My first memory of listening to vinyl was when I was probably around five or six years old. My dad had a big collection of vinyl and an old record player, which sometimes worked but was broken a lot. My mom once showed me the needle and said that there was a real diamond on the end of it—as a five year old, that blew my mind.”

“The most vivid memory of listening to vinyl as a child was Bing Crosby’s “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” off of his children’s album. I loved getting to look at the artwork while listening to the song. I remember being entranced by the record spinning and the crackling noises that the record player made. It always felt really special and exciting when one of my parents would get out that album and put it on.

My mom’s sister, Sully Roddy, was a well-known radio DJ in the Bay Area for the station KPIG and had an extensive record collection from when she was on the radio. I remember looking through her collection when I was a bit older and finding a lot of classic country and folk music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. I learned a lot from her—she would recommend different albums for me to check out by Buck Owens, Nancy Griffith, Merle Haggard, and others.

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UK Artist of the Week: Stalagmites

Manchester has been known to deliver some incredible talent over the years and those talents have gone on to influence countless others. Our latest Artist of The Week has the potential to be one of these bands, and in all of the best ways possible. Falling somewhere between The Stones Roses and Interpol, Manchester’s Stalagmites are ready to introduce their alt-indie, dark-pop waves to the world.

Their debut single “Binary” has already received support from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Radio X’s John Kennedy as well as having just signed to London’s Veta Records—all onto something good. The track is about “coming from a dark place and finding a way out, hoping it might be a simple switch but knowing it’s much more than that,” lead singer Bradley Lynch explains—something that feels even more poignant in the light of the recent events in their hometown. Combining elements of ’90s indie rock and dark electronic sounds, the single feels nostalgic and forward thinking all at the same time.

Having formed at school in Salford, Bradley and Alex Hardman (guitar) later found Nick Toft (drums) making the trio complete. “Binary” feels as though these guys are completely comfortable in their own skin, embracing snippets of their influencers whilst still their almighty selves.

“Binary” is in stores on 9th June 2017 via Veta Records.

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Graded on a Curve:
Endless Boogie,
Vibe Killer

Endless Boogie hail from New York City, having come together in late ’90s Brooklyn, in fact, but their bluesy stoner-psych-hard rock sounds more appropriate for a back-roads dive bar in the late hours of a wild Saturday night. If this doesn’t read as a significant or especially promising endeavor, through expansion, repetition, and the distinctive vocal approach of Paul “Top Dollar” Major, the band’s qualitative bar gets raised considerably upward. Long noted for stylistic indulgence as a virtue, their new album Vibe Killer streamlines matters a bit, but with no loss of power and eccentricity. It’s out now on vinyl, compact disc, and digital through No Quarter.

The scoop on Endless Boogie is that they formed not to make records, but simply to jam. Although they landed a rather prestigious first live gig opening for Stephen Malkmus in 2001, they didn’t get onto wax until four years later through a pair of insanely limited edition LPs. A widely available full-length finally appeared in ’08 through Focus Level, their debut for No Quarter.

Those familiar with Malkmus’ post-Pavement material can draw a line from his cover of Black Oak Arkansas’ “Keep the Faith” (found on the “Jenny & the Ess-Dog” EP) to the sound shaping the Endless Boogie catalog. The main difference between the two, up until now anyway, has been Top Dollar and company’s disinterest in forsaking their choice of moniker; the handle is borrowed from John Lee Hooker’s ’71 2LP for the ABC label.

Along with an affinity for non-rudimentary blues-tinged groove, Endless Boogie share with Hooker a desire for transcendence through duration. Indeed, the band’s highest-profile releases, namely Focus Level, 2010’s Full House Head, and ’13’s Long Island, are all double albums (and all issued through No Quarter). Additionally, they have a digital release of a three-hour radio session cut for the New Jersey freeform station WFMU.

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TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap (on Tuesday this week) of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

The Yorks Band – Liaison
THE STICKS – Come Back
DEF!CIT – Nightime
Beta Days – Settled for Gold
Office Culture – Favor
Kevin Courtois – Needed You

Colour of Spring – Love

Alex Bent + the Emptiness – Vanilla Blue
Adam Pearce & Miles Away – Echoes
SACRE – Gaia (Neus Remix)
Billie Eilish – Bellyache (Devault Remix)
LIANA BANK$ – People Like Me feat. Ayo Jay
CyImRede – RunnaMan
Destinee Lynn – Wanted

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In rotation: 5/30/17

Record Store Coming To Fairhaven: Fairhaven is getting a new record store this June! Records seem to be making a comeback and Max J Records will soon have plenty of them at their Bridge St location in Fairhaven. As their Facebook photo shows, there is quite the mix of music offered in the new store. And you can start getting your hands on their vinyl at their grand opening planned for June 3rd.

Winnipeg-based ‘doctor of audio’ keeping the records spinning at age 83: In the cramped quarters of Bill Yaworski’s Sanford Street electronics shop some feel claustrophobic, others see charm and feel nostalgic. It’s a business, which has stood the test of time and survived numerous changes in an evolving industry shaped by digital downloads and streaming music services. At Columbus Radio, it’s the resurgence of vinyl records that has helped keep the business running strong. Yaworski – in his white lab coat surrounded by stacks and stacks of audio equipment including speakers, amplifiers and turntables in need of repair – is known by some as a doctor of audio.

8 easy and affordable ways to clean your vinyl records by hand: If you look after your vinyl, then there is no reason why your new, quiet record shouldn’t stay quiet for many, many years. More than that, giving second hand records a thorough cleaning will drastically reduce any noise that you hear. Using a record cleaning machine is the best way to clean a record but they are often prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of cheaper, manual methods of record cleaning that do a great job. What follows is a broad selection of the different types of cleaning gadgets that you can buy.

British-Pinoy’s bag design part of ‘Record Store Day’ celebration in UK: An image created by a British-Pinoy graphic designer was chosen by fashion label Fred Perry for the Record Store Day held last month. Melvin Galapon’s design, which encapsulates his trademark linear-based, geometric, clean, digital, minimal and sometimes monochrome style, is the illustrator’s first contribution to the event. The limited-edition bags were handed out for free to the first 20 customers who lined up at participating venues located in towns and cities across the country.

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We’re closed.

We’ve closed up the shop for the Memorial Day holiday. 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 tomorrow.

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The Best of The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It makes a long time man feel bad / Yeah, it makes a feel so bad / Sometimes I hear you call my name / In the dead of the night, yeah

Yep, some days I feel like a “long time man.” Well, that’s because maybe I am, or soon to be. I’m not a prisoner, as referred to in the old prison song, but there’s a saying, “the road narrows.”

Today marks several occasions and “road signs,” a couple of which I will not write about. I have my superstitions. All I will say is one is a miraculous accomplishment and the other one is a bit touch and go. One thing I will mention with great joy, today in this canyon and much of LA—it’s the last day of school!

Yep, school’s out! FUCK YEAH to that!

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TVD Live: Kiefer Sutherland at the Birchmere, 5/23

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Among the perks of being a successful actor is the ability, at the drop of a hat, to fulfill every vague rock star notion you ever had. Unlike most struggling artists, there is no barrier to hiring a decent band, recording an album, or booking a tour that sells out based simply on your celebrity, giving fans the opportunity to see you in the flesh in their own towns, even if you don’t happen to be doing the thing that made you famous—acting—but happen to be singing or playing music instead.

It’s a formula that’s worked for Kevin Bacon, Keanu Reeves, David Duchovny, Bruce Willis, Russell Crowe, and Kevin Costner. So why not Kiefer Sutherland? The star of TV’s 24 and the current Designated Survivor is spending time away from the camera on an extensive tour to promote his album Down in a Hole, produced by Jude Cole, that was released last summer. His show at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, Tuesday had been sold out for weeks.

With a solid band behind him that handled nearly all of the music, Sutherland, 50, still carried an acoustic guitar, occasionally switching to electric, though neither seemed to add a lot to the total sound. For an actor who has built a career going from theatrical whisper to big declarative shouts—the essence of his approach to Jack Bauer on 24—there was much less range in his singing voice. His aim is to deliver the simple lyrics he devised, but it doesn’t come with much in terms of timbre or style.

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TVD Radar: Strange Freedom: Songs of Love and Protest in stores 7/14, proceeds to benefit Planned Parenthood

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Nashville-based Americana songwriter Matt Haeck was still in shock last year after Trump’s election when a new song from an artist whose album he was producing, Rayvon Pettis, shook him out of his stupor. “Lailly and Abdullah” is the heart-breaking story of two young Aghani lovers torn apart by war, and it came to Haeck just a few days post-election.

Unsure of how to respond and bombarded by fellow folk songwriters looking to fight back, the song unlocked a new perspective on resistance. “Love is protest,” Haeck says now over the phone, and “protest is love. That’s what I realized. I love people and I see vulnerable people getting trampled on. As someone who’s been privileged not to be affected by oppression, I feel responsible to do what I can to fight against it when I see it.”

That feeling of love that Haeck got from being exposed to a humanized Afghani story, as opposed to the daily barrage of virtual news, was something he wanted to pay forward, a new way to resist Trump’s regime. The next day he put out an ask on Facebook for friends to help him put together an album of love and protest and was bombarded by requests, many from Nashville friends and colleagues. Working together with Doug Williams of Wild Ponies, the two took the small bit of money sent them from a willing donor and booked two days at John Prine’s Butcher Shoppe recording studio in Nashville and brought in as many artists as they could for a whirlwind series of recordings. A key idea of the album was to keep the resistance local to Nashville artists.

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