Monthly Archives: July 2018

Needle Drop:
Verse Metrics,
“The Nightmares Leave
Us All Inoperational”

Post-punk rockers Verse Metrics are certainly giving Interpol a run for their money with latest single “The Nightmares Leave Us All Inoperational.” Despite its slightly tediously long title, the single is incredibly notable.

Combining elements of post punk and math rock, there’s no denying the fact that this single is not only impressive sonically, but also technically. As the guitar’s jangly twang comes in on the off-beat, lead singer Bob Dick carries the melody effortlessly, reminding us a little of Editors’ frontman Tom Smith.

As the song progresses, so does the chaotic musicality, filled with eerie tones, pulsating drum beats, and math rock-inspired guitar chords to create something undeniably unique. With “The Nightmares Leave Us All Inoperational,” it feels as though Verse Metrics may have just found a niche that no one else in Scotland is really doing at the moment. They’re changing it up, playing with genres, and we can’t wait to see what these guys get up to next.

“The Nightmares Leave Us All Inoperational” is out now.

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Graded on a Curve:

Today on the Wayback Machine… we return to the Battle of Britpop! In last week’s corner at The Vinyl District: Northern England standard-bearer and contender for the crown, Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?! In today’s corner: Southern England’s pride and glory, Blur’s Parklife!

Let the fight begin!

I should state from the outset that this is a battle involving different weight classes. The heavyweight Mancunians in Oasis opted for the knock out; (What’s the Story) is a slow but methodical series of big, telegraphed hooks to the pleasure center of your brain. Blur, on the other hand, is a lightweight and a dancer, and Parklife comes at you like a flurry of lightning quick blows to the thinking part of your cerebral cortex.

While Oasis opted for monolithic, Blur went the eclectic route; stylistically they’re all over the place. And they’re all over the place for a reason; they’re making a statement on the richness and variety of London itself. Samuel Johnson once said, “If you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life,” and Damon Albarn is clearly not tired of London or the multiplicity of genres and influences that have long made it one of the world capitals of rock music.

Unlike Noel Gallagher, who took his cue from Seinfeld and wrote a whole slew of songs about nothing, Blur’s Damon Albarn is a social satirist and details man. From the polymorphous perversity of “Girls and Boys” to the closely observed details of the title track to the working class desperation of the very punk “Bank Holiday” to the industrial dehumanization of “Trouble in the Message Centre,” Albarn is concerned with what it means to be young and English.

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In rotation: 7/27/18

Chicago, IL | Business owner Val Camilletti dies: “…She had the gift of gab,” said Val’s halla Records Store Manager Shayne Blakeley. “Val always wanted things to be synchronized and come full circle around the anniversary of her ownership of the store. When we moved locations she insisted that the last day at the old store had to fall on the store’s anniversary. Our present location is a mile away from where she grew up and that is why they moved the store to Harrison Street. That is when the pattern clicked and everything came full circle. When I got the news of her death I called my own mom and told her I lost a parent. She was more than a boss, she was family to me and many others. Val was a font of knowledge and the store was a free mental health clinic because of her. I hope to continue that legacy.”

Brattleboro, VT | Over beers, shop switches hands: Downtown has been home for the last 13 years to Byron Greatorex’s record store, which now has a new owner. “Brattleboro is unique,” Greatorex said. “It’s bittersweet. There will be a day this week, where I walk out and won’t walk back in for a while. The reality of that is starting to sink in a tad bit.” On Wednesday, Greatorex sold In The Moment Records to Sujay Patel. The two had discussed the possibility via email then things happened quickly. Through social media, Greatorex had made it known that the store was for sale as he planned to relocate to the Philadelphia area. But several potential buyers had dropped out in earlier talks. Eventually, Greatorex and Patel made a deal over beers. A mix up on an order resulted in more drinks coming to their table than planned.

Wheeling, WV | Nail City Record relocating to Downtown Wheeling: A new record store will be opening up this week in Downtown Wheeling. Nail City Record is relocating from their old spot in Elm Grove to a new location on the third floor of the McClain building off 12th Street. This new spot is double the space which has allowed them to almost double their inventory. Owner Jonathan Napier says, “We are angling towards a place where everybody can come and spend some time record collecting, and music is multi-generational experience so it’s just a place for every one.” The store will be open Tuesday through Saturday from Noon until 7 PM, Sundays Noon until 4. They will remain closed on Mondays. They will be doing a soft opening this Friday with a grand opening sometime in the future.

Telluride, CO | An addiction that feeds: Music occupies an enormous amount of my life. It is not an escape from reality, but it is my reality. Music is therapy. It inspires, it incites, it soothes, it soars. Music is life. Given its importance, the delivery method is key. If it can’t be heard live, the only legitimate way that music’s depth and range and nuance can be experienced is when the needle hits the groove on a delicious slice of vinyl. My love affair with vinyl — I more often refer to them as albums or records — began as a curious, small human skittering my parents’ jazz, folk and classical records across the living room floor. I have no recollection of this event, but obviously, the attraction was evident.

AU | How Your Record Collection Is Damaging The Environment: There’s no denying the devastating impact single-use plastic bags are having on the environment, but there’s another debate that’s been gaining traction among the music industry as of late that could change the way the vinyl business operates. Vinyl addiction is real, and while you could argue for days about the plastic they’re pressed on, there’s another element to the industry you might have overlooked: the plastic shrink-wrap they come in. Sure, it protects your precious vinyl – especially those exclusives you can only get overseas – but the process of shrink-wrapping is adding to a larger problem. As artists like Wolf Alice and James Bay join the fight overseas, Green Music Australia – who headed the Splendour Beach Clean last weekend – is pushing for change at home.

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TVD Live Shots: Ministry at the O2 Kentish Town Forum, 7/21

The last time I saw Ministry was in 1992 at the second Lollapalooza. They were touring in support of their genre-defining masterpiece Psalm69 while being groomed by their record label as the next big thing.

While Ministry were arguably at the top of their game regarding songwriting and live performances, what was happening behind the scenes would ultimately push the band to the brink of extinction. It’s the classic story of drugs and rock ‘n’ roll but retold in an extreme manner. Ministry founder and frontman Al Jourgensen not only invented the genre of industrial metal, but he also reinvented a mystique and intrigue around an entire rebranding of a band.

How does a group start off sounding like Depeche Mode/ New Order but later find their breakthrough moment pushing the boundaries within an entirely new genre? I think it’s all about timing. Furthermore, you give a musical genius a shit ton of money, an enormous amount of pressure, and some mind-altering substances, and you are likely to generate something no one has ever heard before.

The follow-up to Ministry’s breakthrough is one of the coolest stories of artist vs. major record label. The band was so pissed on drugs and trying to control the chaos of newfound success, that they basically delivered a huge middle finger to Sire/ Warner Brothers called Filth Pig; a noise infested sludgefest that would make the Melvins sound commercial. What could have become the band’s “Thriller” moment brought confusion and alienation to its fanbase. This was sort of the beginning of the end of the beginning of Ministry and begs the question, what would have become if the band did deliver a proper follow-up to their seminal masterpiece?

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TVD Radar: Small Faces, Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake 50th anniversary vinyl reissue in stores 9/28

“They were the most complete pop group for me. They had everything—they were amazing players that all had the same influences. The image, the haircuts, blimey they were even all the same height. A kinda dream band that everyone would want to be in.” Paul Weller

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Immediate Records via BMG Music and Charly Records are to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Small Faces’ much loved third album Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake with the release of a variety of new and very special deluxe editions across various formats (including deluxe triple 180-gram red, white & blue coloured vinyl LP box-set and a comprehensive 3CD+1DVD earbook set) on 28th September 2018.

The 180-gram vinyl LP formats have been newly mastered at half-speed for optimum sound quality and pressed in conjunction with Optimal : Media in Berlin and The Vinyl Factory in London from restored original Immediate Records tape sources. Originally recorded during 1967 and 1968 by Glyn Johns at Olympic Studios, Trident and Pye Studios, the expanded editions of Ogdens’ also feature rare material from the archive of surviving Small Faces member Kenney Jones.

All editions have been prepared under the watchful eye of Small Faces reissue producer and Immediate Records label manager Rob Caiger with remastering engineer Nick Robbins (Soundmastering Ltd) and vinyl cutting engineer Matt Colton (Alchemy Mastering) and approved by Kenney Jones.

Talking about the mastering process for this 50th Anniversary, reissue producer Rob Caiger says: “Listening back to the original first pressing of Ogdens’ on both mono and stereo, we’ve captured a lot more purely because we can do so much more with the technology we have now, cutting more information to the vinyl than was able to be done back in the day because of the limitations of technology then.”

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Needle Drop: BUNGALOW,
“Loving It”

PHOTO: RAYMOND VAN MIL | Having received acclaim from Noisey and Indietronica, Thomas Harmsen and Camille van de Pavert—aka BUNGALOW—create genre-defying sounds from an underground studio along the canals of Amsterdam. Support slots with big names like Public Service Broadcasting already under their belts, they have now released an utterly infectious new single.

An immense slice of glitchy indie-pop,”Loving It” races with soaring ‘80s-inspired hooks, building to a whirring electro anthem interweaving intergalactic layers of sound. A perfect summer dance-floor anthem, this latest offering will have you grooving all night long to its catchy, synth-filled sonic waves.

So, if it’s sumptuous, danceable earworms you’re after, then BUNGALOW are your guys. Just one listen of “Loving It” and you’ll be doing just that…

“Loving It” is in stores now.

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Geoff Downes,
The TVD Interview

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just last year, progressive rock stalwarts Yes is capping a 50th anniversary tour that covers material from 1970s’s Time and a Word to the 2011 Fly from Here, with classic rock staples like “Roundabout,” “Close to the Edge,” and “Yours is No Disgrace” in between.

It comes at a time when there is more reissued Yes in the vinyl bins than there has been in decades, 90125 just out this month on 140-gram colored vinyl following the release on Record Store Day in April of a 140-gram picture disc of Tormato. All this after the first five albums were reissued last year in a vinyl box set Yes: The Steven Wilson Remixes.

The band today features longtime guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White with guitarist Billy Sherwood and vocalist Jon Davison. On an array of keyboards is Geoff Downes, who first came to fame as a member of The Buggles with Trevor Horn in 1977. Three years later the two joined Yes in time for the Drama album. When the band broke up, Downes co-founded Asia in 1982 with Howe as well as John Wetton of King Crimson and Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He left Asia in 1986 and returned in 1990 amid solo recording and releases with Wetton. He rejoined Yes seven years ago.

We talked to Downes, 65, from a Manhattan hotel stop, where he discussed his road to Yes, the prescience of “Video Killed the Radio Star,” and the proliferation of keyboards around him on stage.

What goes into putting a tour on like this covering such a long period of time?

I think it’s a good idea to go into some of the more obscure material. What we’ve tried to do is get a very good cross-section of Yes’s music across the years and that in many ways dictates what you’re going to do. You look at a band like Yes, and there’s an enormous catalog of music. So it’s quite difficult to decide what to do. But I think once you get the bookends and you know what you’re doing at the front, and you know what you’re doing at the end, it’s a lot easier to fill it all in.

When you began as a musician you were a fan of Yes, right?

Absolutely. I was listening to Time and a Word when I was studying for my exams at school. So it’s very strange that I’m actually a member of the band and have been certainly since 1980, and then of course seven years ago when I rejoined.

And yet your career went a little bit different path. Tell me about your road to, say, The Buggles.

Well, when I first came to London, I had come out of music college and I got a job doing advertising jingles and various session work, and it was really through that that I bumped into Trevor Horn, and that’s how we joined up as The Buggles—we had common interests and very common ideas. When we had the success of “Video Killed the Radio Star,” we got so we were looking for management and we were approached to join up with a guy called Brian Lane, who was the manager of Yes, and that’s how the whole connection came about that we were managed by the same company and we met up through that.

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Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores, July
2018, Part Four

Part four of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for July, 2018. Part one is here, part two is here, and part three is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Daniel Bachman, The Morning Star (Three Lobed) Bachman is deservedly well-known for his post-American Primitive guitar prodigiousness, but as quietly forecasted by his S/T effort of 2016, he came to a stylistic fork in the road (coinciding with a move back to Virginia from North Carolina), and he chose the more experimental path to brilliant, often captivating result. Experimental can often be shorthand for “fluctuating level of success,” but time was taken with The Morning Star (Bachman’s first release in two years), and the 74-minute 2LP is remarkably consistent with the focus on drone and field recordings; at 18-plus minutes, side-long opener “Invocation” brought Henry Flynt to mind. Plenty of fine guitar playing is to be heard, but sometimes there is none (e.g. “Car”). A

V/A, Freedom of the Press (Kith & Kin) A benefit for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, featuring such worthy names as The Weather Station, Garcia Peoples, Hans Chew, Wooden Wand, Tom Settle & Friends, Bob Hughes, Elkhorn, and 75 Dollar Bill. A lot of various artists collections aiming to help good causes round up participants that are so stylistically broad that actually listening to the assembled contributions can become something of a chore, but new label Kith & Kin have tightened the focus to the “modern psychedelic songwriter scene,” and the results flow like a mixtape from an old, discerning friend. CD and digital only, but as phony populist fascists, corporate whores, self-serving political frauds, and contemptable bigots are currently attempting to destroy the USA, format is immaterial. A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Charles Mingus, The Complete Sessions of The Clown & East Coasting (Wax Love) Of these two 1957 recordings, The Clown was originally released on Atlantic, and is the better known. Opening with the glorious “Haitian Fight Song” and closing (on the original wax) with the title track, an ambitious piece featuring an improvised story by the great writer-broadcaster Jean Sheppard, a solid blues and a sublime Bird tribute in between help solidify The Clown as an early masterpiece from the bassist-bandleader. Quibble: the bonus cuts eradicate a powerful ending. I’ve have no such issues with the extras on East Coasting; first issued by Bethlehem, the set persists as underrated, especially since the pianist for the session is Bill Evans. If not as bold as The Clown, it’s still essential. A+ / A

Paul Page and His Paradise Music, Pacific Paradise (Subliminal Sounds) This 2LP/ CD collection documenting a little-known but indefatigable Alaska-born, Indiana-bred, and as an adult, Hawaii-based singer-bandleader-record maker offers a bountiful plunge into private press tourist lounge exotica. As detailed in Domenic Priore’s extensive liners, across a long string of LPs and 45s, Page combined Bing Crosby-ish pop sophistication (he was quite a crooner), a “seafaring Anglo working sailor man” approach, and legit Hawaiian-Polynesian-Pacific influences. With a few exceptions, e.g. the wonderfully zonked “Chicken Kona Kaai” and the spectacular “Auwe, Wahine,” this is pretty well-mannered stuff, but it coheres into an impeccably assembled and researched tribute to one guy’s passion. B+

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In rotation: 7/26/18

Oxford, UK | Floating record store sets course for Oxford: A floating record store is set to drift into Oxfordshire this weekend. The Record Deck UK – a narrowboat selling new and second hand vinyl – is hoping to moor in Jericho, Oxford, between Isis lock and Hythe Bridge Street on Saturday. Assuming the boat runs to schedule, owner Luke Guildford is planning to open from 11am to 7pm, but is encouraging would-be customers to check their social media feeds closer to the time, as ‘delays to travelling can occur in boat world.’ He added: “It’s a floating record shop that travels England visiting towns, floating markets and canal & river festivals. “I mostly sell a mix of secondhand vinyl.”

Minneapolis, MN | Hymie’s Records, a famed spot for vinyl in Minneapolis, is for sale. The owners are pledging to sell it only to someone who wants to keep the music spinning there. One of the Twin Cities’ best-loved record stores is for sale, but the owners are pledging to sell it only to someone who wants to keep the music spinning there. Dave and Laura Hoenack, who bought Hymie’s Records in Minneapolis nine years ago, want to spend more time with their two kids. So they are fielding offers to sell their vinyl specialty store, located on a revived stretch of East Lake Street in south Minneapolis. They are not interested in just liquidating their stock of vinyl records, however. “I want to still be able to go to a neighborhood record store in my own neighborhood,” Dave Hoenack said.

Abbeyleix, IE | Vinyl record party night to raise funds in Abbeyleix: Fans of vinyl records and people looking for a fun night in Abbeyleix are welcome to a fundraising party this weekend. Abbeyleix Heritage House has lined up a DJ to spin vinyl records at a fundraising party. You can bring some favourites from you own collection to add to the mix. Finger food will be provided but bring your own wine or preferred tipple. Entry fee is €10 and can be paid in advance or on the night. Please contact 057 8731653 for more information. The event takes place on Saturday, July 28 from 8 pm

Cuyahoga Falls, OH | Pekar Music celebrates 20th anniversary in Cuyahoga Falls: …After nearly 30 years of working for someone else, Pekar said he decided he wanted to be his own boss. He first opened his shop on Portage Trail between Third and Fourth streets. When he opened his doors he had six guitars and $600 worth of S.I.T. brand guitar strings (made in Akron) hanging on the wall, along with some posters. He also had some record albums. Rent was $400 a month for 1,500 square feet of space. “I had $600 in the bank and I was wondering how I was going to pay the UPS driver,” he said. “The UPS trucks were pulling up with merchandise and I had to pay them [cash] because I wasn’t established … at that time.”

Spartanburg, SC | Sound Observations: Thrift shop record find is a vintage Kieran Kane LP: There was a time when I’d regularly scour record bins at thrift shops in search of vintage LPs. That rarely happens anymore…A few weeks ago, however, I was reminded of why I still visit thrift shops from time to time and why it’s still worth taking at least a cursory glance of what the record bins have to offer. As I casually flipped through an assortment of records at a local thrift shop, I was struck by the image of a young Kieran Kane seemingly staring right at my face. In my low-expectation haste, I think I actually flipped past the record sleeve and was forced to thumb backward for a double-take to make sure the image was indeed of Kane. Once I realized for sure that it was his mug, I anxiously pulled the vinyl record from the sleeve and carefully inspected it to make sure it wasn’t scratched or warped. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

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TVD Live Shots: Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers, Ann Wilson, and Deborah Bonham at FivePoint Amphitheatre, 7/20

On Friday July 20th, Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers, Ann Wilson, along with special guest Deborah Bonham, joined forces for their long-awaited Stars Align Tour at FivePoint Amphitheatre. For classic rock aficionados, this was a “bucket-list” tour that brought together these legendary musicians for one incredible night of music mastery under that stars in beautiful Irvine, CA.

Kicking off Friday’s show was blues vocalist extraordinaire, Deborah Bonham. While many know her as “the late John Bonham’s sister,” I don’t feel the reference truly gives her the respect warranted as a world-class musician. Although her set was abbreviated, it was evidently clear that she deserved to be on the same stage with the likes of superstars Beck, Rodgers, and Wilson.

Next up was the multi-talented musician and front woman of Heart, the incomparable Ann Wilson. I was blown away by her incredible vocal range as she covered several tracks from her 2018 release, Immortal. Although fans seemed to resonate with the 1977 classic, “Barracuda,” I found myself hanging by a thread as she killed The Who’s “The Real Me,” from their 1973 masterpiece Quadrophenia. It was an amazing tribute and left me wanting more from this once in a lifetime talent.

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Demand it on Vinyl: Linda Clifford, four classic reissues in
stores 8/24

If you stress it, they’ll press it. —Ed.

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On August 24, Blixa Sounds, a new Los Angeles based label, will release four classic albums by American R&B and disco icon Linda Clifford, If My Friends Could See Me Now (1977), Let Me Be Your Woman (1979), Here’s My Love (1979), and I’m Yours (1980).

Linda Clifford emerged as a powerhouse vocalist during the 1970s, bridging pop, R&B, and disco with her phenomenal voice and electrifying stage presence. Her #1 Billboard disco hits, including “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” “Runaway Love,” “Gypsy Lady,” “Red Light” (from the Grammy-nominated Fame soundtrack), “Shoot Your Best Shot,” and “It Don’t Hurt No More,” accompanied her American Music Award nomination for “Favorite Female Disco Artist” (1979). Her marathon version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” even yielded a Top 20 hit in the U.K. Blixa Sounds celebrates Clifford’s white-hot streak from 1978–1980 with four albums originally released on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label, featuring productions by Mayfield, legendary Motown arranger Gil Askey, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame icon Isaac Hayes.

Currently based in Chicago, Linda Clifford is still spellbinding audiences with her solo performances and sold-out shows alongside Martha Wash, Evelyn “Champagne” King, and Norma Jean Wright as the First Ladies of Disco, recently climbing the Top 10 Billboard dance charts with a remix of “Show Some Love” (2015). However, If My Friends Could See Me Now, Let Me Be Your Woman, Here’s My Love, and I’m Yours show where it all started.

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Graded on a Curve: Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson,
A Star Is Born (OST)

News of a remake of A Star Is Born starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper is causing consternation in capitals across the globe. An official in Pyongyang, North Korea issued a terse communique warning, “We consider this an act of crass, imperialist show business aggression.” And a spokesperson at the International Court of Justice in the Hague said sternly, “A remake of this maudlin monstrosity could well constitute a crime against humanity.”

Why all the upset? If you’ve ever listened to the soundtrack to the 1976 version of A Star Is Born starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson you’d know.

While the movie was harmless Hollywood pablum, the music wasn’t so benign. Composed by such legendary rock’n’roll animals as Paul Williams, Kenny Ascher, Rupert Holmes, Kenny Loggins, and Babs herself, the soundtrack is a nauseating stew of pop schmaltz, disco schlock, and ersatz rock. Rolling Stone scribe Ken Tucker called it “the worst sort of histrionic supper-club stuff, much of it made ridiculous by being cheered raucously by a crowd at a pseudorock festival.”

The film founders on its ludicrous premise. To wit, out-of-control rock star John Norman Howard (Kristofferson) meets up-and-comer Esther Hoffman (Streisand), recognizes her immense talent, and lures her on stage at one of his shows. Where she performs some Cher-quality disco rock–and the audience roars!

Had this really happened in the “Disco Sucks” days of 1976 Barbra would have been pelted with unopened beer cans and used condoms. When Allman and Woman attempted something along these lines in Europe, riots broke out. Had they tried it on America’s festival circuit, God knows what would have happened.

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The Best of TVD’s
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: Okonkolo,

Brooklyn’s Big Crown label remains primarily known for soul, R&B, and funk both new, and with increasing frequency, in reissued form, but their bag also holds other stylistic treats; there’s the psychedelic rock of Paul & the Tall Trees, the psych-kissed femme-voxed pop-rock of The Shacks, and most interestingly, the Yoruban Santeria music of the New York-based Okonkolo. Led by vocalist and Yoruba Chango priest Abraham “Aby” Rodriguez, the group is powerful of voice, rhythmically strong, and through the contribution of guitarist and producer Jacob Plasse, instrumentally diverse. Blending sounds from Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and NYC, Cantos is a rich treat, out on vinyl and compact disc July 27.

Cantos might just be your first taste of Yoruban Santeria music, though perhaps you were hip to Big Crown’s 2016 release of “Rezos,” Okonkolo’s 10-inch debut. Although I’m fairly well-versed in the label’s wares, that one managed to slip by me, but as all four of the EP’s songs are included on Cantos, catching up is a cinch, and highly advisable; the insight the album provides into the music of the Santeria religion is matched by the depth and beauty in its grooves.

The religion and its music survived the transatlantic slave trade, spreading to Cuba and then through Caribbean immigrants to NYC (notably, Santeria music also has roots in Bahia, Brazil). Okonkolo at once embody this long tradition and build upon it, and in doing so easily transcend the by-now worn platitude of “giving it a contemporary spin.” If you know Yoruban Santeria music, it suffices to say you haven’t heard it like this. Of course, that isn’t an inherently good thing, but thankfully Cantos’ newness avoids both novelty and the predictable.

Along with the singing of Rodriguez, who is joined in that role (and in the Yoruba language) by female counterparts Amma McKen and Jadele McPherson, rhythm is of upmost importance, with the Bata and Coro drums played by Rodriguez, Gene Golden, and Xavier Rivera. This is the root stuff. The elements of stylistic departure (or better said, enhancement) are bass (played by Nick Movshon), guitar (played by Plasse), saxophones, clarinets, trombone, sousaphone, violins, violas, cellos, and organ (deducing from the credits for “Rezos,” in addition to producing, Plasse delivered Cantos its string arrangements).

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In rotation: 7/25/18

Nashville, TN | Community Tries To Save Randy’s Record Shop: A Sumner County staple, Randy’s Record Shop, is in jeopardy of being torn down, but the community has come together to try to save it. Randy’s Record Shop opened in the 1940’s by Randy Wood. It quickly became the world’s largest mail-order record company. The vinyl shop also became a hangout spot for residents of all ages. It closed in 1991, but the building still stands — barely. Neighbors are afraid it’ll be torn down. Lifetime Gallatin resident Johnny Griffin is trying to drum up support to help save the historic spot. “It means so much to people. We’re here in a small town, there’s no putting it back. So I’m just trying my best to help it,” said Johnny Griffin. Griffin is working to contact the owner and possibly start a Gofundme page to save the building. Griffin said he would love to see it open as a revived record store.

Chicago, IL | Val Camilletti dies at 78; ran Oak Park record store loved by music fans: Music lovers would walk into her Val’s halla Records store and say, “I heard this song I love, and it goes like this” — and start humming. Owner Val Camilletti could usually figure out the artist, the label and the pressing — sometimes, instantly. She died in hospice care early Tuesday at the British Home in Brookfield, about two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Joanne Busiel, her friend since they attended Chicago’s Austin High School. Ms. Camilletti, who lived in Cicero, was 78. For 46 years, Val’s halla Records — overflowing with thousands of CDs, LPs, cassette tapes, eight-tracks, 78s and 45s, from Abba to ZZ Top – has been an audiophile’s portal to another world…Her devoted customers, who preferred “Auntie Val” to Amazon, sometimes included three and four generations of families.

GameStop Should Consider Selling Vinyl Records: According to The Revenge of Analog (citing a record store owner in Cincinnati, Ohio), profit margins on a new record can be as high as around 40%, while the margins are even fatter on a used record – which can sell for double their cost. The price of used records is increasing as well, as new vinyl users “invest” in new turntables and go out looking for more records. This would likely match up favorably with the margins found on GameStop’s current new and used video game sales…Older records, especially rare ones, also carry a “collectibility” factor. Collectors also apparently flock to exclusive new releases. Both these seem to fit right into GameStop’s business model, and I think it’s something they should pursue aggressively.

Gizmo Geek: The sound that you can touch: There is a photograph often circulated on social media of a cassette tape and a pencil lying side by side. The caption says something to the effect that kids today have no clue about the connection between the two. Yet for those of us above a certain age, the image never fails to elicit a smile. For true audiophiles, though, analogue sound is no smiling matter—sales of vinyl records have never been higher over the past few decades, and there are whispers that even the cassette might nudge its way back. Analogue sound and magnetic tapes are serious business because nothing else can replicate the experience of “being there”. As Roland Schneider of Ballfinger said, “Digital media is great, but experiencing music is more than just listening to a sound file—it’s sensual, it’s reels that turn and can be touched.”

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