Monthly Archives: October 2018

Lauren Morrow,
The TVD First Date

“My very first vinyl records came from my mother.”

“I was in high school, and I flat out asked her if I could have her old records. They were in boxes in the garage, and I loved looking through them all—it felt like I was finding treasure. Not long after this, my grandma gave me her old record player (which I still have), and I started listening to Mom’s old vinyl in my bedroom.

She had close to 100 albums—anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Steely Dan to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. I remember hearing the crack and pop on “Imagine” by John Lennon and wondering why I’d ever listened to CDs.

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Graded on a Curve: Public Image Ltd.,
The Flowers of Romance

Talk about your careering; John Lydon upset the rock ’n’ roll apple cart forever with the Sex Pistols, made a pioneering post-punk statement with Public Image Ltd.’s First Issue, and took existential dread to new heights with the dub-wise Metal Box, and I was with him all the way.

Ah, but then came 1981’s The Flowers of Romance, and it brought me up short. With bassist Jah Wobble gone Lydon said to hell with the dub experiments and doubled down on the percussion, and released one of the least listener friendly LPs you ever will hear. The Flowers of Romance’s severe, musique concrète-cluttered soundscapes are daring, no doubt about it–Lydon made no concessions or compromises whatsoever in pursuit of his musical vision, and this LP is as radical a statement in its way as Never Mind the Bollocks was in its.

The problem, at least for me, is that the LP is interesting in a way I don’t find very interesting, and challenging in a way I don’t find very rewarding. The devil’s in the details on such musical drags as “Phenagen,” “Track 8,” and “Hymie’s Him,” but picking them out isn’t much fun–I hate to use the word boring, but it’s the word that springs to mind.

Public Image Ltd. came up the loser when Jah Wobble left and Lydon decided to dispense with the bass altogether, and the proof is on the refreshingly propulsive “Banging the Door,” on which Keith Levene condescends to play the instrument. It alone packs the oomph of good rock ’n’ roll, and while it’s true that Lydon wasn’t out to make rock ’n’ roll music–probably thought it was dead and saw himself as a citizen of some brave new world trying to produce something new from the rubble–those of us who still detected signs of life in the beast can hardly be blamed for checking out.

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In rotation: 10/29/18

Los Angeles, CA | Iconic Record Store Returns: DTLA – A leading independent hip-hop record store has returned to Los Angeles. On Sept. 22, Fat Beats opened its first physical location since declining sales forced the owners to close their New York and Los Angeles shops in 2010 (it continued to do online sales). It is located at 916 S. San Pedro St. in the Fashion District. Specializing in hard-to-find underground hip-hop vinyl, the original Fat Beats in New York debuted in 1994 and became famous for employing a host of future hip-hop artists including Ill Bill, DJ Eclipse and Rhettmatic. The previous Los Angeles location was on Melrose Avenue. The Los Angeles store is open daily from noon-7 p.m. It joins fellow Fashion District vinyl emporium Pop Obscure Records, which is at 735 S. Los Angeles St.

Buffalo, NY | How a 31-year-old record collector turned a hobby into an expanding business: While a student at Niagara Wheatfield High School, Phil Machemer used to skip out of class to check out new releases and used albums at Elmwood Avenue stores such as Home of the Hits and New World Record. “I was a big fan of both stores,” he said. Machemer, 31, parlayed his love of music, particularly vinyl records, into a career. He began selling used albums at flea markets before opening Revolver Records at 1451 Hertel Ave. Now, with more than 30,000 records, he will soon open his second location in the former Spoiled Rotten store at 831 Elmwood Ave. A fan of many genres including classic rock, he has dreamed about running two record stores since he was a teenager.

Wheeling, WV | A new business is looking to bring some music into the heart of downtown Wheeling. Nail City Record celebrated its ribbon cutting Thursday morning. The shop, located in the McClain building, sells vinyl, cassettes, CDs and posters. It also has a room where guests can plug the music in and just listen. The owners had started out selling vinyl online, but after traveling to Colorado and seeing a record store, they wanted to open something like that in Wheeling. “I noticed when I came back that Wheeling had a very vibrant music scene, above and underground, and I wanted to be a part of it,” said owner Jonathan Napier. “So, we decided we might as well go ahead and open the store since we were selling online. So now, we have a physical location.”

White Rock & South Surrey, BC | The vinyl countdown: How 40,000 records ended up at a Surrey store. Newton’s Innovative Audio has become a go-to place for record collectors. With so many cardboard boxes of vinyl records to sift through, Mark Smith is feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. “There’s a lot of them,” Smith said nervously as he scanned the interior of Innovative Audio, the Newton-area store devoted to fixing and selling vintage sound equipment. In a rear storage area rest boxes full of close to 40,000 titles culled from the collection of Howard Tsumura, who previously ran the record bins as an independent arm of Gord Sauck’s store operations. Earlier this month, Smith acquired all that vinyl and, with the help of a half-dozen people, moved it from Tsumura’s house to the store on 78th Avenue.

Raleigh, NC | Nice Price Books and Records will open a vinyl shop in Oakwood this week: A pint-sized version of Hillsborough Street’s Nice Price Books and Records will move into Oakwood this week, with a strong emphasis on records. Nice Price Jr. occupies the space at 222 N. Bloodworth St., Suite 103, and according to co-owner Enoch Marchant, it will primarily be a vinyl record store that (soon!) will sell beer for people to sip while listening to tunes. In addition to a selection of new and used vinyl, the 500-square-foot space will have a small curated selection of books (likely music biographies and rock music books), one rack of cassettes and a few T-shirts, Marchant said in a phone interview Wednesday. The beer, when all of the licenses are obtained, will be available in what Marchant describes as a “baby bar” because of its small size.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I wish that they’d swoop down in a country lane / Late at night when I’m driving / Take me on board their beautiful ship / Show me the world as I’d love to see it / I’d tell all my friends but they’d never believe me / They’d think that I’d finally lost it completely / I’d show them the stars and the meaning of life / They’d shut me away / But I’d be alright / Alright / I’m alright / Alright

You can call a great band “a great band”—but what of a band like Greta Van Fleet? Well, maybe? Isn’t a bit late for Pitchfork to be flying the banner for rock ‘n’ roll? Who am I to judge, but when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll, I ain’t no spring chicken. I’ve seen a few shows. Been at it, livin’ and breathing it…yep, all the way.

At some point this week I felt seasick and stupid. But I heard Ty Segall’s cover of, “Class War,” an old Dils song, and it reminded me of early days. The summer of ’77, much of it spent at my dad’s attic apartment in Pacific Heights, San Fransisco. How my old man landed in SF in the ’70s is a long story.

For most of his 84 years dad’s been a die-hard New Yorker, but there we were—father and son in the Bay. I was 16 and had recently discovered Max’s, CBGBs, and punk rock. Thirsty for it, I combed all the SF newspapers and record shops for clues and landed on Broadway in North Beach at a cool club called The Mabuhay Gardens. It was a place in time. It was there I saw The Dils—they were not much older than me and could barely play a note. They were a cool combination of pissed off and just having fun. They also looked amazing and left a lasting impression.

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TVD Radar: Filter,
Short Bus vinyl reissue
in stores 11/2

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings has confirmed plans to re-release the debut album from influential industrial rock band Filter. The platinum-selling Short Bus will be reissued on two vinyl configurations: black vinyl (available widely), plus a limited-edition white vinyl edition available only to indie record stores (1,000 available). Both have been mastered by George Horn and Anne-Marie Suenram at Fantasy Studios and pressed at Memphis Record Pressing.

The e-album will also receive the deluxe treatment, with a digital version to be released featuring six bonus tracks composed of remixes and B-sides from the Short Bus era. Ben Grosse, who mixed Short Bus, also produced “Dose (Ben Grosse’s Morning After Mix),” and all remixes of “Hey Man Nice Shot” were produced by famed songwriters and producers the Dust Brothers, whose previous work includes the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique and Beck’s Odelay. These bonus tracks were featured on the original 1995 CD and vinyl singles.

In 1995, Filter emerged as one of industrial’s most vibrant, vivid, and vitriolic voices with the release of their debut, Short Bus. The record introduced the world to the immortal “Hey Man Nice Shot” and went platinum.

Richard Patrick (Filter vocals, guitar) had been working with Trent Reznor as a touring guitarist for Nine Inch Nails when he penned what would become Filter’s first single—the demo for which was recorded at Reznor’s home studio. Upon its release, Filter, Patrick and Brian Liesegang (co-producer and sound designer), gained immediate traction with the song. “Hey Man Nice Shot” was awarded MTV’s “Song of the Week” with a review proclaiming, “This is the most infectious piece of industrial rock since NIN’s ‘Closer.'”

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TVD Radar: Buzzcocks, Another Music In A Different Kitchen and Love Bites reissues in stores 1/25

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To mark the 40th anniversary of the original releases, Domino are very proud to announce details of the reissue of Buzzcocks seminal first two albums, Another Music In A Different Kitchen and Love Bites, on Friday, January 25th, 2019.

Both albums have been lovingly restored and re-mastered from the original ¼” tapes for the first time and come packaged in the original Malcolm Garrett designed sleeves with lavish 8-page booklets containing unseen images and extensive liner notes by famed writer, broadcaster, music journalist, and cultural commentator Jon Savage. Faithful to their original tracklistings, the reissues see the albums released on vinyl for the first time in many years and will be available on deluxe 180g vinyl and CD. The albums follow the Domino re-releases of their debut EP, “Spiral Scratch” and Time’s Up, a collection of demos, from 1976.

Famously taking their name from “It’s the buzz, cock,” a headline from a Time Out review of 1970s TV music drama Rock Follies, Buzzcocks formed in Bolton in 1976 by Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto, who have a strong claim to have kick-started a musical revolution in Manchester having organized and played at the now famous Sex Pistols show at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976—a show which inspired and spawned the likes of Joy Division, The Fall, and The Smiths.

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Deanna Devore,
The TVD First Date

“My fondest record store memory was at a place called Sam The Record Man.”

“It was a Canadian record store that, at one time, was Canada’s largest music recording retailer. They would have a Boxing Day Sale every year which became somewhat of a Toronto tradition. Probably around 500 people would stand outside the door in the morning to save 20% off all inventory.

I remember as a kid, looking forward to it every year. My dad and I would go and we would spend hours there. He would come home with so many different CDs and albums. Vinyl made everything feel cozy. He exposed me to a variety of music genres when I was young. From The Beatles, to Pat Metheny, to Brazilian music like bossanova. It was the Brazilian music that influenced my guitar playing as a kid. I started playing very rhythmically.

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Graded on a Curve:
Minor Threat,
Complete Discography

I’m straightedge! My Stay Clean t-shirt is straightedge! My cat won’t even touch catnip because he’s fucking straightedge! My kitchen table is straightedge! I don’t drink, smoke or shoot pool because I’m straightedge! I haven’t smiled in six years because I’m straightedge! I don’t laugh at jokes because I’m straightedge! And I’m totally pissed off at the wall and everything else because I’m straightedge! Come to think of it, I’m so fucking straightedge I can’t stand it! Do you think a beer might help?

Ah, but let’s be serious for a moment. Washington D.C.’s Minor Threat has always been a conundrum to me. Their patented brand of hardcore was the catchiest and most abrasive this side of early Black Flag, and by far the purest; Greg Ginn’s guitar lent Black Flag what can only be called an art rock touch, one that Ian MacKaye and Company had no use for whatsoever.

In short, when it came to the hardcore medium Minor Threat were the shit, and if you like hardcore as much as I do what could be the problem? The answer, of course, was the message: MacKaye famously used the band’s songs as platforms for his straightedge philosophy, and unless you’re a fan of the kinds of strident moralizing that made Cotton Mather such a well-spring of human warmth, Ian’s preaching was, well, off-putting. Especially if you enjoyed the sorts of extracurricular activities (drinking, smoking, fucking, smiling) that MacKaye seemed to find so reprehensible.

On such straightedge anthems as “Straightedge” and “Out of Step” Minor Threat took direct aim at people like me, and I couldn’t help but push back. It did not escape my notice that puritanism didn’t seem to make MacKaye very happy, and it certainly didn’t imbue him with a sense of humor–rage was his metier, and he unlike a lot of other angry young hardcore types he wasn’t about to leaven it with a welcome touch of levity. In short, he was a puritan, and being a puritan ain’t supposed to be fun.

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In rotation: 10/26/18

Reykjavik, IS | Iceland’s 12 Tónar Named One of World’s Top 10 Record Stores: Music journalist Marcus Barnes has named the Reykjavík institution 12 Tónar among the ten best record stores on the planet. As the author of the newly published “Around the World in 80 Record Stores,” Barnes can safely be considered something of an authority on the topic. 12 Tónar opened its doors two decades ago and has long since cemented itself as an Icelandic cultural institution. Much more than a record store, they also run a record label of the same name, which has over 100 releases under its belt from some of the most notable artists in Iceland. In addition, their cosy store on Skólavörðustígur in downtown Reykjavík has played venue to a number of concerts throughout the years, and the place has become known as an unofficial community centre for the Icelandic music scene.

Halifax, NS | Iconic record store hails town centre’s resurgence: One of Halifax’s longest-serving independent retailers has admitted he was initially sceptical of major investment projects he now believes has rescued the town’s fortunes. Revo Records owner Nick Simonet said that multi-million pound injections into projects such as the £19 million Piece Hall renovation have made all the difference to small businesses like his. The iconic vinyl record and entertainment store, based in the Westgate Arcade which itself undertook a stunning £2 million redevelopment in 2007, is celebrating its 31st year. It’s a stretch of time in which Nick has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of retail in Calderdale. “There’s been ups and downs,” he said, “but what we’ve seen over the last few years is a huge resurgence in the town. The footfall has improved massively and there’s a buzz about the place again.

Plainfield, IN | Multimillion-dollar plan would revitalize downtown Plainfield: This Hendricks County town is working to revitalize its downtown area and is starting with a project on the eastern portion. A new complex will spread about 2-1/2 blocks from U.S. 40 and Avon Avenue to East Street. Town leaders hope it will serve as a catapult to revitalize the downtown area. Business owners are hoping the same. At Rock Bottom Treasures in downtown Plainfield, what keeps business spinning is its unique collection of vinyl records. “They like, of course, the music. That’s the big thing. I also specialize a little bit in video games, retro toys and clothes,” said Rock Bottom Treasures owner Scott Burress. But, because business is business regardless of what you do, there are some challenges. “You need to sell quite a few records to break even and try to realize a profit,” Burress said.

Indianapolis, IN | Best of Indy 2018—Shops + Services: Irvington Vinyl & Books. Like so many others, we took it hard when news broke earlier this year that two favorite local shops were closing: Irvington Vinyl and Bookmamas. Our sadness was, thankfully, short-lived. Lucky for us, and everyone else, both shops now continue under the ownership of Elysia Lucinda Smith. After only three months at the helm, Smith has managed to keep what’s best about both previous stores and add her own spin on things—primarily, adding a hefty dose of programming that involves the neighborhood and creating a space where her neighbors feel welcome to buy, browse, or simply “be.” “People can only use the tools they have access to; and I want to help make those tools available,” says Smith about the shops plentiful in-store resources and programming.

Swindon, UK | XTC albums re-release on vinyl as sell-out show comes to Swindon Arts Centre: XTC fans will be able to see two original band members play this weekend just days after three of the band’s albums have been reissued on vinyl today. Founding members of the Swindon band Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers will play a four-night marathon of sold-out shows at the Swindon Arts Centre over the weekend. And by chance the show coincides with the re-release of three of the band’s albums on vinyl, Apple Venus Volume, Wasp Star, and Skylarking. Red House Records, based in the family-run Holmes Music, on Farringdon Road, will have copies of the newly-made vinyl in store from today. Paul Holmes from Holmes Music told the Adver: “It’s the musical equivalent of an astronomical happening which occurs only once in a lifetime.

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TVD Live: Guided by Voices at the Black Cat, 10/19

They were playing Captain Beyond before the Guided by Voices’ super marathon at the Black Cat Friday and that was about right: post psychedelic, pre-prog rock Brit/American mix with all kinds of fanciful medieval references. The kind of thing that GBV leader Robert Pollard would relish, in other words, or put out on his own.

Except that by now Guided by Voices is way, way beyond even Captain Beyond. At 60, with a mop of white hair, Pollard may look like an out-to-seed golf pro who might gingerly be stepping into retirement, but he may be one of the most prolific figures in rock ’n’ roll history, with more than 2,400 song titles in the online GBV database alone. While zooming through an enjoyable, rollicking set through a fraction of them Friday—a whopping 53 songs over two and a half hours—Pollard was ostensibly promoting the band’s latest release, Space Gun, its 26th or so release (Pollard also has nearly as many solo albums).

But he also was playing quite a lot from the three (!) albums the band has in the can that are being readied for release next year. “And one of them is a double album,” he added. He named them: Zeppelin Over China, Warp & Woof, and The Rite of the Ants. All of this output despite the fact of at least a couple breakups and multi-year hiatuses of the band over its 35 year career—one lasting for six years, the other for two—and a wholesale change in members backing Pollard about 20 years ago.

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TVD Live Shots: Jeff Lynne’s ELO at the O2 Arena, 10/17

One of the most iconic songwriters of all time is about to turn 71 years old, but you would never guess that based on his touring schedule.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO took to the stage at the O2 Arena in front of a capacity crowd to play the first show of a four-night run at the legendary venue. It’s truly a show for the ages as fans both old and new turned up in droves to see the Birmingham native play the classics with his incredibly talented band. The cross-generational impact of ELO’s music is evident with the diversity of the crowd and even a bit surprising as I saw several millennial hipsters dressed up with fake wigs, beards, and sunglasses in honor of the signature look that has defined Lynne’s brand over the years.

Having seen Jeff Lynne’s ELO last year at Wembley, I was excited to see him in a more “intimate” venue. While the O2 holds a meager 20,000 vs. Wembley’s 90,000, it was a stadium show for an arena crowd, and it was magnificent. Opening the set with “Standing in the Rain” immediately began to warm up the eager audience before launching into “Evil Woman”—then it was game over as the crowd lept to their feet and sang along with every single word.

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TVD Live Shots: Brant Bjork, Nick Oliveri, and Nebula at the Redwood Bar, 10/10

The spirit of Sky Valley was in abundance at the Redwood Bar in downtown Los Angeles. Brant Bjork, the former Kyuss and Fu Manchu drummer, has been blazing his own trail for years now with a catalog that spans ‘70s grooves to heavy stoner rock to soulful acoustic jams, with a who’s who of the desert rock scene by his side along the way. His latest album, Mankind Woman, just dropped in September, and he brought a solid stoner rock lineup out on the road with him.

The only part of the evening that felt like a formal “concert” was when the Redwood staff cleared the place out for 30 minutes or so to set up and soundcheck. The small, intimate setting combined with the nautical theme and decor of the venue made the rest of the night feel like a stoner rock basement party on the orlop deck of a pirate ship. The mood was friendly and the vibes were mellow as Nebula took the stage.

Together again for the first time in over eight years, the trio began playing without any fanfare or formality, only to ask at the song’s end if that was soundcheck or if the set had begun. After a quick regrouping, singer-guitarist Eddie Glass returned with a slightly more formal intro and thanks before beginning a terrific set. Returning bassist Tom Davies was exemplary, and new drummer Michael Amster was a high point of the night. Hopefully their set is a sign of good things to come.

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TVD Radar: Blondie’s Chris Stein photo book Point of View: Me, New York City, and the Punk Scene in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Blondie’s Chris Stein has released Point of View: Me, New York City, and the Punk Scene, his latest photo book—out now. Following in the footsteps of the successful Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, this newest book is a highly personal and visually arresting collection of Stein’s photographs which captures an important, but fading chapter in Manhattan’s history—complete with candid photographs of pop-culture icons—through his insider lens.

For the duration of the 1970s—from his days as a student at the School of Visual Arts to founding member of the era-defining band Blondie and the architect of its success with lead singer Debbie Harry, to his subsequent reign at the epicenter of punk’s golden age—Chris Stein kept an unrivaled photographic record of the downtown New York City scene. Focusing mainly on a single decade in Stein’s own world, the images presented here take us from self-portraits in his run-down East-Village apartment to evocative streetscape shots in all their most longed-for romance and dereliction.

An eclectic cast of cultural characters—from William Burroughs and Lydia Lunch to Debbie Harry and Andy Warhol to Basquiat and Shepard Fairey—is captured during this moment in time, juxtaposed with children sitting on stoops, torn-down blocks, the graffiti-ridden subway, and the burgeoning club scene of the Bowery.

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

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

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Makaya McCraven, Universal Beings (International Anthem) Everything I’ve heard thus far from Paris-born, New England-reared, and long-time Windy City resident Makaya McCraven has been sweet, but this 90-minute 2LP/ 2CD is a knockout, in part through sheer enlargement, comprised as it is from four sessions (one per vinyl side), two of them live (in NYC and Chicago), one in studio (in London) and one at guitarist Jeff Parker’s house (in L.A.). Hitting a sweet spot between the flowing expansiveness of spiritual jazz and the rhythmic thrust of hip-hop (which adds some crucial toughness), there’s also some beneficial avant-garde edge as drummer McCraven provides significant post-production to the whole. Overall, it clarifies how the “jazz is dead” crowd remains utterly full of shit. A

Neneh Cherry, Broken Politics (Smalltown Supersound) Given the title, you might expect Cherry’s latest (and first since 2014’s Blank Project) to be a (perfectly appropriate) rage fest, but while anger is an element in this sonic stew, no; in some ways this is an antidote to the exhaustion that can result from too frequent bouts of furiousness. Working at Creative Music Studio in Woodstock and again with producer Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet), there’s mucho nuance here, and the range of topics, amongst them the refugee crisis in “Kong” and gun violence in “Shot Gun Shack,” fruitfully combine with a broad musical palette (vibraphonist Karl Berger guests for a track). Along with Cherry’s rich voice (whether singing, speaking, or rapping), Hebden’s occasionally trip-hoppy production lends focus. A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Bauhaus, In the Flat Field & Mask (Beggars Arkive) Even if the qualitative track record of subsequent Gothsters was pretty dang poor, Bauhaus shall not be blamed; often credited as the kick-starters of said musical (life)style (given Siouxsie, it’s a distinction that’s at least somewhat arguable), Bauhaus was a fine band (‘tis true many didn’t think so while they were extant), and one that I don’t think ever sounded better than they did early on. Commencing a hefty reissue program that stretches into December, here’s full-length debut In the Flat Field and follow-up Mask. Keeping in mind the lack of extras from later CD editions, Flat offers a handful of the band’s strongest moments, while Mask’s positive refinements help to shape their most consistent, and best album. A-/ A

Space Streakings, First Love 初恋: Debut Album and Demo Tracks (Skin Graft) Part of a fertile Japanese u-ground scene that’s highest-profile export was Boredoms, Space Streakings sometimes sounded like an espresso company-sponsored video game tournament taking place in the pit of a battle of the bands where the horn-section-flanked spazz-core finalists nix the idea of taking turns and just go for broke simultaneously. This glass-mastered compact disc in a six-panel jacket collects their ’93 debut Hatsu-Koi, originally released on Nux Organization (the label of Zeni Geva’s KK Null, who also produced), and adds a prior demo. For those bummed over the lack of vinyl, both of Space Streakings subsequent efforts, ’94’s Steve Albini-assisted 7-Toku and their ’96 collab with Mount Shasta, are currently available on wax. A-

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In rotation: 10/25/18

Buffalo, NY | Revolver Records rides the rising vinyl tide: Three years ago, when Phil Machemer opened Revolver Records on Hertel Avenue, success for the new venture was far from guaranteed. Streaming services had all but decimated the world of walk-in, local music retail. In the time since Revolver opened, local stores Spiral Scratch and the last of the once-bustling Record Theatre stores closed. And though a handful of local record stores specializing in used vinyl – Record Baron in Kenmore, Black Dots on Grant Street and Rick’s Record Shack on Woodlawn among them – the survival of new independent music retailers in Buffalo – or anywhere, really – seemed unlikely.

Reykjavik, IS | Iceland’s 12 Tónar selected greatest record store in the world: Music magazine NME (New Musical Express) just published an article on a new book by journalist Marcus Barnes on the world’s best record shops. Barnes selects his top ten record shops for NME and lists Icelandic record store 12 Tónar as his number one record store in the world. In the book, Barnes lists 80 record shops worldwide. Barnes writes about 12 Tónar: “Iceland has a sterling reputation for producing incredibly talented, unique artists. This shop is owned by a few of them and its selection is top notch. Add to that the fact that it has been designed so that customers can chill out and socialise with one another and you’ve got a winning formula.”

Chicago, IL | Beverly Records’ Dreznes celebrates 70th birthday: Beverly Records owner Jack Dreznes holds his granddaughter Delaney at his surprise 70th birthday party on Oct. 14 surrounded by family and all of his 14 grandchildren who surprised him at the Frankfort Bowl themed party “Split Happens, Jack’s 7*10 Birthday Bowling Bash.” Beverly Records has remained in the Dreznes Family since 1967 when Jack’s father, John, bought the store for his mother, Christine. The store began as a small gift, novelty and record store and has become one of the foremost go-to record stores in Chicago at the same location, 11612 S. Western Ave.

Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special’ to Get 50th Anniversary Box Set Release: On November 30th, a comprehensive, deluxe box set featuring a dizzying array of audio and video components will celebrate the special’s 50th anniversary. The five-CD and two-Blu-ray disc set will mark the first time ever that all previously-released audio and newly-restored video from the taping of the special will be available in one package. Spotlighting unused performances and studio outtakes of Presley in his element, the collection also features an entire disc of the legendary sessions for the NBC special, which Presley recorded with the studio musicians collectively known as the Wrecking Crew…Fontana and Moore are both featured in the two-LP vinyl release The King in the Ring, also included in the boxed set. Released in limited quantity for Record Store Day earlier this year, the set showcases the laid-back “sit down” sets from the special, performed in the round for an intimate audience.

Austin, TX | Legendary blues club rolls out po’ boys: Antone’s Nightclub is having a family reunion. On October 23, the legendary Austin blues joint announced that it would start serving Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys, bringing the popular Houston sandwich company to Central Texas for the first time in decades. The po’ boy company was founded by Jalal Antone, the uncle of the club’s founder, Clifford Antone. Starting October 27, the po’ boys will be available at the bar and front record shop, Big Henry’s Vinyl & Gifts, daily from noon-2 am.

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