Monthly Archives: October 2017

TVD Live Shots:
Tori Amos and Scars
on 45 at the Chicago Theatre, 10/27

Tori Amos brought her Native Invader tour to the Windy City for a beautiful night of songs last Friday. At times, I forgot it was just one woman on the stage, as her impeccable voice, her piano mastery, and her commanding presence filled The Chicago Theatre. She is, and always has been, a thrilling performer.

The setlist spanned her impressive discography and she even managed to throw in a couple of lovely covers during her “Fake Muse” segment—Sade’s “Smooth Operator” and Jim Croce’s “Operator.” Each night Tori’s setlist evolves, so there was an air of anticipation in the theatre. But the audience was visibly and audibly thrilled, particularly after “Yes, Anastasia,” “Take to the Sky,” and “Precious Things.”

British pop trio Scars on 45 opened the show. Tori’s U.S. tour continues through early December, and a ticket to one of them is worth every penny.

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TVD Radar: All Day Thumbsucker Revisited: The History of Blue Thumb Records, in
stores 11/10

VIA PRESS RELEASE | From 1968 to 1978, Blue Thumb Records was one of music’s most adventurous and imaginative record labels, with a far-ranging roster of cutting-edge acts and an unconventional visual sensibility. Nurturing an eclectic assortment of artists from a wide variety of genres, Blue Thumb embodied the restless creative spirit of the era in which it was born, reflecting the emerging attitude that albums were worthy of being taken seriously as artistic statements.

Blue Thumb’s expansive musical vision was anthologized on the 1995 label retrospective All Day Thumbsucker Revisited. Verve Records/UMe is releasing the long-out-of-print collection, originally compiled by Gary Katz, known for his work with Steely Dan, in an updated two-CD edition on the eve of next year’s 50th anniversary of Blue Thumb’s founding. The first in a projected series of releases to celebrate the revered label, the CD set offers 32 vintage tracks spread across two discs, while the digital edition, due November 10, marks the first time this collection will be available as a digital download and for streaming. In showcasing Blue Thumb’s influential artist roster, the album also honors the iconoclastic musical vision of late label founders Bob Krasnow, who died on December 11, 2016, and Tommy LiPuma, who passed away on March 13, 2017.

Danny Bennett, President & CEO of Verve Label Group comments, “With the release of All Day Thumbsucker Revisited, we are so proud to honor Tommy LiPuma and Bob Krasnow by celebrating their Blue Thumb Records legacy and the incredible music they curated, all of which is well represented on this must-have collection.”

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Nick Heyward,
The TVD First Date

“The new record, Woodland Echoes, I made for vinyl. That was the main thing, to make it an album. This is my first album that came out on vinyl since, well, the late ‘80s probably.”

“Even though it was made in my spare room, it’s a record, so I planed it like a record. I compiled it like, Side A, Side B, six tracks, six tracks, and there’s a story. So I thought, OK, and I made an album.

The concept of an album hasn’t gone away at all. I think people misunderstood. They thought when vinyl wasn’t selling they mistook it for the album going away. It’s a bit like thinking if books aren’t selling, then the novel is obsolete. It’s not. The stories are always going to be there. People will need—I will need—stories in that way.

The album concept is always there. I was brought up on albums, so I think albums. So even through the time of CDs, it was still an album, really. It just wasn’t vinyl—even if I wanted it to be vinyl. I didn’t like the plastic thing—I wanted it to be vinyl.

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UK Artist of the Week: The Deportees

Once again those pesky Scots have produced another musical gem. This time it’s new finds The Deportees who take our Artist of The Week crown.

The band’s latest single “I Lost Her To The Sea” is a catchy piece of melodic folk from the offset and throughout. Hints of Mumford & Sons are certainly there via the band’s feel-good harmonies, but there’s also elements of Idlewild and The Waterboys for those who appreciate that age-old Scottish twang. This is the second single to be released from The Deportees’ debut album The Birth of Industry, out this Friday.

The band formed in rural Aberdeenshire in 2010 after having played in separate bands previously. The five-piece take influence from their Celtic roots as well as Americana and folk-rock, however we feel it’s their ability to write highly addictive melodies and flawless four-part harmonies that will set them apart. If you’re a fan of upbeat, catchy folk, then these guys are certainly for you.

The Birth of Industry is in stores 3rd November 2017.

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Graded on a Curve:
John Frusciante,
Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt

John Frusciante is primarily known as a guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, filling that role from 1988-’92 and again from ’98-’07. Shortly after his first departure, a collection of the guy’s home recordings saw release on Rick Rubin’s Universal subsidiary American Recordings. Due to the RHCP association, Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt’s ragged, surreal atmosphere has likely confounded more listeners than it’s thrilled, as major label-funded records don’t get much stranger. In a sweet development, Superior Viaduct has given it its first ever vinyl issue in a gatefold jacket with printed inner sleeves; the bonus pre-order 7-inch is sold out, but the meat of the matter is available now.

During the post-grunge and Alternative/ Indie ’90s, the once cool, calm and collected major labels were scrambling amid uncertain waters, signing acts with reckless abandon and funding a bunch of sub-labels and side ventures along the way; the economy was booming, after all, and nobody wanted to miss out on a potential Next Big Thing.

These circumstances resulted in a few truly bizarre records receiving corporate funding. A pair of examples: in ’92, Reprise issued Pop Tatari by Japan’s Boredoms, which gave underground noise rock the Carl Stalling treatment, and two years later Geffen released Zero Tolerance for Silence, a solo noise excursion by noted and normally well-mannered jazz fusion guitarist Pat Metheny.

Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt also came out in 1994, and if it was better received than Metheny’s curious one-off stylistic left turn, the overall response, seeing that it was the debut solo album from the former guitarist of one of the most popular rock bands of the era, was still somewhat muted.

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In rotation: 10/31/17

Revival of vinyl helps record shop to its 50th year: A Resurgence in vinyl sales has helped Scotland’s oldest surviving record shop to reach its 50th anniversary. Bee Gees hit Massachusetts was the UK’s best-selling single – with the Beatles’ Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band on top of the album charts – when Concorde Music first opened its doors. The shop in the heart of Perth grew out of an earlier business owned by Scottish accordion legend Sir Jimmy Shand that went into liquidation, prompting Norman and Rena Smith to pay £2,640 to purchase the leftover stock, fittings and goodwill.

Coffee & Vinyl: 10 record shop cafés that serve both your addictions: Record shops as you know them are changing. In many of the world’s major cities, pressure on rent in central areas is such that the humble record shop, the musty, chaotic, dog-eared caves so many call home are often not able to support themselves by peddling wax alone. Shifting bargain racks to let the natural light flow in, moving new arrivals to one side for the odd table and an espresso machine, many shops now serve its customers’ coffee addictions as well as their vinyl ones. What’s more, they are often in spaces that have embraced the minimal aesthetic of contemporary interior design in stunning ways. From Hong Kong to LA here are ten of the best and most beautiful spots to grab a hot brew and a 12″ slab of pie.

| WBTV Charlotte

Long-time Charlotte record store calling it quits: Vinyl records are making a comeback, but one well-known Charlotte music store is getting out of the business. Four weeks from now, the owner of Wax Museum will close the doors for good. Thousands of people pass by the store at the corner of Monroe Road and Sharon Amity Lane during rush hour, but the days for the record store are numbered. “The Wax Museum has been fun,” said Chris Beachley. “It’s been 45 years, but it’s time to retire.” Thousands of records on the shelves, walls, and filing cabinets cross the musical spectrum. Liquidating that vast inventory of used records fuels a flood of memories for Beachley.

7-Eleven to move into Long Beach’s iconic V.I.P. Records store; not everyone is happy: A petition started months ago that sought to block the convenience store from opening garnered a few thousand signatures, and, as a result of public pressure, V.I.P. claims 7-Eleven agreed to move to a neighboring storefront and allow Kelvin to keep the original location. But that deal fell through, and 7-Eleven decided in September it would support the community through a $50,000 donation to Long Beach Poly High School while simultaneously severing ties with V.I.P., according to an email obtained by the Press-Telegram. That news came as a shock to V.I.P. president Shirin Senegal, who was handling the negotiations, but, she said they have decided to move forward with preservation while pursuing a lawsuit against 7-Eleven for breaching a “good faith contract.”

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TVD Live Shots: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile with Jen Cloher at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 10/26

When I first heard that Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile were coming out with a collaboration album, I had two thoughts: (1) musically speaking, that makes a ton of sense, and (2) this is gonna be a good album. (Spoiler alert: it is.)

Now, after watching them play together for the first of three Chicago shows in honor of the Empty Bottle’s 25th birthday, I wonder if it’s possible that they were separated at birth. Tall, slender, and flanneled, their long, dark hair covered their faces as their guitars and voices conversed with one another. Just two musical soulmates born across the world from each other, destined to meet to eventually spoil us all with their creative riches.

It was a memorable evening to say the least. It’s always a treat to see Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, but to see them play together was a full-on dessert tray. They seem perfectly paired, bouncing sounds back and forth. Their chemistry is natural, innate. It’s a fated partnership for sure—one that I hope will continue to give us a Lotta Sea Lice.

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TVD Radar: The 110
Best Australian Albums,
in bookstores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The 110 Best Australian Albums is sure to re-ignite one of the most heated arguments around Australian music this summer.

In 2010, three of Australia’s most highly regarded music writers—John O’Donnell, Toby Creswell and Craig Mathieson—thought it was time there was a definitive overview of contemporary Australian music: the best-selling book The 100 Best Australian Albums. The book highlighted the albums that have had the greatest influence on the musical fabric of our country. It celebrated the desert soundscapes of Midnight Oil’s Diesel and Dust; the sampladelic madness of the Avalanches; the unique, Australian narratives of Cold Chisel, Paul Kelly and Slim Dusty; the international explosions of AC/DC , Kylie, Silverchair and Nick Cave, and the influential noise of The Saints, The Birthday Party, The Drones, and more.

Fast-forward to 2017 and the three authors and Hardie Grant decided it was time for a new edition—The 110 Best Australian Albums. In those 7 years, the Australian music landscape has changed markedly, experiencing widespread digital disruption, the globalisation and open economy of the streaming world … and the emergence of Sia’s weird and wonderful wigs. More than ever, Australian music is plugged into the international zeitgeist. Flume is on the forefront of an electronic vanguard; Courtney Barnett is showing what can be done with intelligent, witty lyrics and a guitar, bass, and drums; Tame Impala is huge around the world with its neo-classic psych rock… Australian music isn’t standing still and we shouldn’t either.

The book also includes exclusive guest essays from leading artists discussing some of these great albums and artists: Peter Garrett writes about Skyhooks, Rick Rubin discusses AC/DC, Hoodoo Gurus’ Brad Shepherd raves about Radio Birdman, Nick Cave waxes passionate on Dirty Three, Paul Dempsey talks about Courtney Barnett.

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PHOTO: KIKI CONWAY | “Thaassophobia is the fear of boredom or idleness. In our hyper-connected modern society, we are constantly stimulated. New lives enter the world bombarded by more light and sound than ever before.”

“We are now challenged by the prospect of sitting alone in a room in silence. Without an LED glow or the dull ping of a text message, how do we measure a day in a life? This is the new reality. Technology, and the real-time availability of boundless, immeasurable information, has come to replace the silence and tranquility of a still moment. It’s becoming harder and harder for human beings to hold attention. Everything happens, everyday. Everything is news. Everything is packaged for maximum attention and impact. There is no such thing as boredom anymore.

But if we are to be constantly stimulated, what does boredom even mean anymore? We are bored now not by our lack of access to excitement, but rather to its ubiquity. We are bored by stimulation. Thaassophobia (also spelled Thassophobia) is the irrational fear of boredom, idleness, or stillness. The Thaassophobic personality is one that is constantly moving, constantly shifting, constantly searching for the next shiny object. Something happens when nothing happens in our lives.”
Nathan Lithgow

NØMADS are releasing one new song from their sophomore album PHOBIAC each month in 2017 leading up to its official release in February 2018. We’re pleased to premiere October’s “THAASSOPHØBIA.”

NØMADS Facebook | Twitter

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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.

Warning Light – At the End of the Road
Goon – Monday Monday Monday (Tegan & Sara Cover)
Lone Kodiak – Someone Else’s Future
Caroline Reese – Ease My Mind
Emily Curtis – Battleshade
Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes – CONTROL
Pistoleros – NYC Queen
rotoscope – Clean Lines

Bloods – Bug Eyes

Helen Kelter Skelter – GUUD
TOMKAT – Drowning
Beat Fatigue – Dragonfruit Funk
Neosho – Big G
CO Defendants – 100
BROHUG – Boogieman
Hi I’m Ghost – 1NGHT
Friskie Business – Friskie Business presents Funk The World 41

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Graded on a Curve:
Peter Frampton,
Frampton Comes Alive!

I’ve spent decades trying to fathom the pull Frampton Comes Alive! had on me when it came out during my senior year in high school back in 1976. It couldn’t have been Frampton’s pureed baby food take on hard rock, or the songs that went on forever, or Frampton’s “talking guitar,” or those ubiquitous pop touchstones “Show Me the Way” and “Baby, I Love Your Way” even.

No, I’ve been searching my soul for years, and I’ve finally figured it out: Peter Frampton was the hottest babe I’d ever laid eyes on. Just check out the album’s cover. Frampton is a bigger turn on than seventies’ sex symbol Farrah Fawcett, God rest her soul, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I didn’t want to listen to the Framp so much as lose my virginity to him. And I don’t think I was alone. I suspect a very large swath of America’s hormonal teen nerds longed to bed Peter Frampton, cock and all. And he made the girls scream as well, which certainly helps to explain his otherwise uncanny rise to superduperstardom.

And that’s really all I have to say about Frampton Comes Alive! I doubt many of my acned cohort still listen to it; I certainly don’t know anybody who does. That said, an album came with the swoon-worthy cover, and like most album that album has songs on it. So I feel obligated to say a few brief superfluous words on those really rather superfluous songs.

The first word that comes to mind, when taking the album as a whole, is limp. Not limpid, mind you, but limp. There’s a difference. Frampton may have emerged from Steve Marriott’s very very ‘eavy Humble Pie, but he was always the squishy side of the HP equation, and it shows on his take of Humble Pie’s “Shine On” as well as on his menace-free cover of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” True, the latter has more stones than anything else on Frampton Comes Alive! besides “(I’ll Give You) Money,” on which Peter demonstrates that he has chops. But “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is overly polite at best, and hardly designed to put a scare in your granny.

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In rotation: 10/30/17

Scotland’s oldest indie record shop comes ‘full circle’: The man behind Scotland’s oldest surviving independent record shop says the revival of vinyl records has brought his store “full circle” to how it all began 50 years ago. Garry Smith was still at school when his parents bought the shop in Perth on 30 October 1967. Concorde Music started in the former St John’s Square before moving to Scott Street in the early 1980s. Mr Smith has worked in the shop since it opened and has been there full time since he left school. He told BBC Scotland’s Stephen Jardine programme that in the early days it was easy to sell records despite the competition from large stores such as Woolworths. But his shop has had to change with the times to survive.

Record breaking indie music store in Perth celebrates 50 years of trade: Scotland’s oldest surviving record shop celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend on the crest of a vinyl renaissance. Bee Gees hit Massachusetts was the UK’s best-selling single – with the Beatles’ iconic Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in the midst of an epic five-month stay at the top of the album charts – when Concorde Music opened its doors in Perth on October 31, 1967. The shop was started by Fair City couple Norman and Rena Smith and their son has worked there continuously since he was a pupil at Perth Academy. Garry Smith, who manages Concorde with his wife Hazel and son Craig, said his parents paid £2640 to take over a liquidated music business previously owned by accordion legend Jimmy Shand and his then partners, Messrs Morison and McLeish. “My father was a great music lover,” Garry recalled yesterday.

A new 50,000 sq ft pressing plant is opening in Virginia: Furnace Record Pressing has announced the opening of a new plant in Fairfax, Virginia this January 2018. The 50,000 square foot space will have sixteen machines capable of producing 9 million records a year, including refurbished Toolex Alpha automatic record presses, Viryl WarmTone automatic 12” record presses, and Furnace-designed semi-automatic 12” record presses. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Furnace, as the company’s packing manager Mark Reiter describes, “the experience of tracking down and bringing these record presses home has been amazing. We had some tense moments. Hiding from (rumours of) kidnappers was one.”

Music man who sells vinyl from his Graham Road house to launch pop-up record store at Dalston pub: People often have amazing ideas during drunken pub chats, or think they do – but not many wake up the next morning and act on them. Benjamin Venus did. The music-mad university researcher was discussing his dream job over a pint one night in 2014, and by August Venus Vinyl had set up stall on Broadway Market. After a year as perhaps the only UK market stall exclusively selling new vinyl, Benjamin found he didn’t have the time to progress the business and took the hard decision to instead focus on online sales. The website, which Benjamin been running for two years now from his Graham Road home, is updated daily with new stock and has built a reputation as a go-to site for limited edition releases. Now he has teamed up with his local, The Prince George in Parkholme Road, Dalston, to run a pop-up record shop – and it launches next week.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Be careful ‘Cause I’m an ax Victim / Hung up on these silver strings / Like Wings / Like time machines… / Like voices in the winds

Voices in the winds? I’ll say. The weather here in the canyon this week has been classic pre trick o’ treat—dry, windy and hot as fuck. Dirt, ash, and fairy dust fill the air. Blood boils and cauldrons brew toward Hallow’s Eve. We are, after all, in the city of angels and it’s the season that kicks up the magic around these parts. And the nights become dark. Darker than dark.

Although I’m obviously feeling the magic today, I’ve sidestepped this year’s Halloween hype. Is it me or has it been a bit low-key year this year? Maybe the shadow of 2017 is softening the “boo” out of trick o’ treat?

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TVD Radar: Tom Waits
to release remastered Anti- albums, in stores November, December

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Tom Waits is set to release this year, newly remastered versions of each of his acclaimed albums in the Anti- catalog. In addition, the album Real Gone has been fully remixed and individual releases of each of the 3 discs of Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards will be available early 2018.

Remastering significantly improves the quality of sound files and restores the integrity and intent of the original recording. Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan personally oversaw this process for both the vinyl and digital formats of the catalog. Tom Waits explains, ”This restoration project could arrogantly be compared to restoring a faded tapestry, a painstaking process that requires meticulous attention to each color faded thread. Spending months on something completed once, many years ago was necessary though cursedly laborious for us.”

The albums roll out beginning November 2017 and continue through December. All albums will be available on 180 gram vinyl.

November 10 – Bad As Me
November 24 – Real Gone
November 24 – Blood Money
November 24 – Alice
December 01 – Glitter and Doom
December 15 – Mule Variations
2018 – Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (released separately)

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Boyfriend presents “Hag” at Preservation Hall, 10/27–10/28

PHOTO: JASON KRUPPA | Preservation Hall will resound with the mile-a-minute raps of Boyfriend, the nerd-eclectic rapper, songwriter, and performance artist on Friday and Saturday night long after the traditional jazz bastion has said goodbye to the last fans of clarinets, sousaphones, and trumpets. Her sets start at midnight both nights.

The show is a very special one coinciding with both the Voodoo Music Experience, which is taking over City Park all weekend, and Halloween celebrations in New Orleans. The show, called “Hag,” is a scripted and immersive, three-act concert-experience. Boyfriend wrote, directs, and produces the show.

“Hag” features a variety of performers playing different roles. Boyfriend is listed as the “bride,” the “whore,” and the “hag.” The three acts each have names. Act I is “The Ideal Woman,” act II is “Into the Brothel…,” and act II is “To the Dark Side.” For fans of Boyfriend and curious newcomers interested in the sex-positive, female artist known for performing in lingerie and giant curlers, this will be an experience like no other. Tickets are going fast, so get yours a soon as possible.

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