Monthly Archives: May 2019

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

See the dwarfs an’ see the giants / Which one would you choose to be? / And if you can’t get that together / Here’s the answer, here’s the key / You can freeze like thirty century man / Like a thirty century man / I’ll save my breath and take it with me / Till a hundred years and so / Shame you won’t be there to see me / Shaking hands with Charles de Gaulle / Play it cool an’ Saran wrap all you can / Be a thirty century man / You can freeze like a thirty century man / Like a thirty century man

I’m your man, man! Funny, my daughter sent me a photo saying she thought she was looking more and more like me? Fuckkkk that’s scary thought but it’s true…I am her man.

And yeah man, there’s a whole lotta wax and song about being a man, the man, your man, or “THE man.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: The Cure–Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park: London in theaters 7/11

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Trafalgar Releasing, in collaboration with Eagle Rock Entertainment, today announced the global cinema release of The Cure – Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park London, celebrating 40 years of The Cure, cementing them as one of the defining rock bands of music history.

The film, slated for release from Thursday, July 11th, sees The Cure take the stage on a perfect July evening in London’s Hyde Park to deliver a set of a songs celebrating four decades of music making. The ensuing film Anniversary 1978-2018 directed by longtime collaborator Tim Pope, captures them in glorious 4K. The 5.1 audio mix by Robert Smith and Paul Corkett complements and completes this fabulously immersive cinematic experience. From Lovesong to Lullaby, from Boy’s Don’t Cry to Burn, from Fascination Street to Friday I’m In Love, Robert Smith and his extraordinary band – Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Roger O’Donnell and Reeves Gabrels – take us on a magical trip through time.

The now seminal gig received widespread critical acclaim including five stars from The Independent, calling it “a perfect set.” Rolling Stone said there was a “unique power in The Cure’s live performance,” whilst NME called it “epic” and The Metro awarded four stars saying that the show was a “testament to how iconic The Cure’s music is that ticket-holders covered all generations.” Lead singer of The Cure, Robert Smith says: “This really was the perfect way to celebrate 40 years of the band. It was a fabulous day none of us will ever forget.”

Marc Allenby, CEO at Trafalgar Releasing added: “The influence and impact of The Cure is unquestionable and last year’s 40th anniversary concert captured the band at their very best, representing the breadth of their amazing career. It’s a great honour for Trafalgar Releasing to be given the opportunity to work on this theatrical release and we look forwarding to sharing this special film with fans in cinemas around the world.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Mike Doussan celebrates Yesterday’s Troubles vinyl release tonight at the Maple Leaf Bar, 5/31

Guitarist Mike Doussan will be celebrating the release of his sophomore effort, Yesterday’s Troubles, with a party tonight at the Maple Leaf Bar. A limited number of autographed, green vinyl records are available through his website.

The album is being released on CSB Roxy Music and was produced by Charlie Wooton. Yesterday’s Troubles features a who’s who of local musicians including bassist Wooton, drummer Doug Belote, keyboardist Keiko Komaki, trombonist Mark Mullins, guitarist and cello player Marc Paradis, saxophonist Jeff Watkins, and vocalist Arsene DeLay.

The record is being released on the last day of Mental Health Awareness Month in honor of Doussan’s brother, Brett, who died by suicide in 2014. A portion of the proceeds from the vinyl release will be donated to the Brett Thomas Doussan Foundation.

The release party will feature Doussan on guitar and vocals, Wooton on bass, Komaki on keys, Rurik Nunan on fiddle, Dave Freeson on guitar, and DeLay on backing vocals. Jermal Watson will be on drums. His band, Watson’s Theory, will be kicking off the evening at 8 PM.

Posted in TVD New Orleans | Leave a comment

Field Division,
The TVD First Date
and Video Premiere, “River in Reverse”

“Vinyl is warmth, real grit, and tangible music come to life.”

“I’ll never tire of the ceremonial movement of putting on a new record. When the wax meets the needle and music casts a spell upon the room… few things make you appreciate the art of an album like listening to vinyl. No ads, no true distractions, just sound waves spinning on a table. Slowly my collection has grown since I got my first (shitty) record player at 19 and ever since I joined a record of the month club that my friends started (Vinyl Me, Please), I’ve been adding vinyl I wouldn’t normally seek out.

Nowadays I mostly search for rare Beatles pressings or in particular, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass because the copy I bought has Santana as the third disc. (!!!) When we’re on tour we search for three things in every town: good coffee, vegan food, and the best vinyl store, of course. My hope for the future is that vinyl lives on through this crazy age of streaming, for the sake of art and for the sake of all of us who create it.” —Evelyn

“My first memories of vinyl being played in my family’s home were very formative, and a lot was in the collection.”

“Anything from Simon & Garfunkel to Nat King Cole to ZZ Top got play, and I was as much fascinated by the music as I was the physical aspect of a spinning platter with a needle being dragged within the grooves of its surface to produce this glorious sound. It was contagious, what putting on a vinyl record did to a dead room.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
My Dad’s a Fuckin’ Alcoholic

Mention the Rocky Mountains and music, and people immediately think John Denver, the chipmunk-cheeked eco-folkie who sang about sunshine on his shoulder making him high and going crazy and trying to touch the sun. I don’t know why the man’s considered such a square commodity. He sounds like a raving acid casualty to me.

John Denver will always be Colorado’s most famous spiritual son, in part because he was all over your television set and in part because he liked to hang with such high-profile glamour set types as the Muppets. But Colorado was also home to one of my favorite hardcore bands, Frantix.

If you’ve never heard of Frantix, I get it; Colorado was barely a stopping point on the hardcore circuit, much less a breeding ground for indigenous bands. Denver was Deadsville, and Frantix didn’t even come out Denver–they were spawned in the sprawling Denver suburb of Aurora. But no surprise there; many of America’s greatest hardcore bands emerged from the teenage wastelands of suburbia, and in the early ’80s Aurora had the distinction of being the fastest growing suburb in the United States.

I like the John Denver-Frantix dichotomy–it speaks to a Colorado schism that is both geographical and spiritual. You have Denver seeking God and Inner Peace in the mountains, and Frantix finding nothing worth living for in the God-blasted cities of the plains below. In their own ways both Denver and Frantix were spiritual entities–Denver sought the divine in the sanctified heights, while Frantix cursed God’s absence in the urban sprawl of materialist America’s equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

In rotation: 5/31/19

Kelowna, BC | Record maker looks to Kelowna to solve a mystery and make a movie: Scott Gibson was digging through the records at the SPCA thrift shop in Rutland when he struck by inspiration. Gibson, whose company Sleepovers for Life makes small batch vinyl records, found an album from the 1970s by a band called The Country Happy Gang that was based in Kelowna. “(We) looked it up online and couldn’t find anything,” said Gibson. “The record packaging was black and white, and you could see it was done on a budget … but the question was who was making records in this town back then? It was just a small orchard town.” The idea sparked a conversation with his friends and then a project. “We set out to do a 15 minute documentary for our own enjoyment, where we would try and find the band,” said Gibson.

Phoenixville, PA | New Pop-Up Vinyl Record Shop Opening Up In Phoenixville. A new pop-up vinyl record shop will open up for the first time this weekend in Phoenixville. The shop, Forever Changes, will be located inside Heart Stone Coffee in Franklin Commons. As a pop-up store, it will be open every Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Owner Shawn Cephas hopes to capitalize on the thriving economy that takes hold of the borough on Saturdays, pointing to the farmers market and the borough’s various festivals. He called the new space a “celebration of music and the arts.” “Forever Changes is not just a place for the vinyl record fan, it’s a place where our friends, family, and lovers can shop and support local merchants,” he said. “It’s more than records” Cephas traces his love of music to the day he was born above a record store: King James Records, one of the first African-American owned record stores in Philadelphia.

‘Born in the California sun’: how Pentagram rebranded the 61-year-old Warner Records: …The final identity hinges of a clean circular icon, which represents the record label’s vinyl heritage, the globe at large and the sun setting over the Pacific. “The idea of having an icon be able to be just a circle with a little slice taken off the bottom seemed so clean and simple,” said Oberman. “It’s the most pared down representation that we could think of. It’s like that old Coco Chanel quote – ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off’ – it’s that version of an icon to me, as simple as it could possibly be.” It may be a circle but the logo is also a sponge, too – one that can seamlessly soak up any colour, platform, artist, animation or space. Norman Wonderly, Warner Records’ executive vice-president of creative, has already “taken this identity and run with it”, according to Oberman. “The strength of any identity always comes from what you do with it,” she said. “I hope that what we do doesn’t look like it just came out of the agency. [Um. —Ed.]

YES 50 LIVE double album to be released in August: Yes celebrated the band’s 50th anniversary over the last year with an extensive tour that included shows in Europe, North America and Japan. This year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are back with a new double live album that was recorded during the group’s anniversary tour. YES 50 LIVE will be available from Rhino on August 2 as two CDs ($19.98), or four LPs ($79.98). On the same day, the music will also be available digitally to download and stream. For a limited time, will also have exclusive color vinyl versions available while supplies last. The cover of YES 50 LIVE was painted by Roger Dean, whose artwork and trademark calligraphy are synonymous with the band’s identity. The CD and vinyl versions both come with an eight-page booklet that includes photographs from the tour taken by the Gottlieb Brothers. YES 50 LIVE features 13 live performances of key songs that helped make Yes the most enduring, ambitious, and virtuosic progressive band in rock history.

Auckland, NZ | The Others Way Festival returns for 2019: Since the event’s inception in 2014, the beloved grassroots music festival has become somewhat of an institution in the independent music scene of the city, attracting swarms of music-loving festival goers each year as Karangahape Road and the surrounding streets host a magical night of music and good vibes. For 2019, the multi-venue extravaganza will take place across beloved venues such as The Wine Cellar, Whammy! Bar and its adjoining Whammy! Backroom, Neck of the Woods, The Fale at Samoa House, Cross Street Market, Galatos, The Studio, The Thirsty Dog, and Audio Foundation. Joining the venue bill this year, The Others Way Festival organizers are proud to announce the addition of two new venues; the majestic Hopetoun Alpha and iconic Mercury Theatre. The annual event is hosted by Flying Out, an Auckland-based record store, distributor and home to Flying Nun Records, Arch Hill and numerous other local and international labels.

Posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: John Lee Hooker, The Country Blues of John Lee Hooker reissue in stores 8/2

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings is proud to reissue The Country Blues of John Lee Hooker, a showcase of traditional (folk/country) sound and one-chord blues all with John Lee Hooker’s smooth baritone vocals.

Unaccompanied and playing acoustic instead of his usual amplified guitar, Hooker recorded a wonderfully varied set of deep Delta blues, moans, boogies, one field holler, and even a bit of hokum. Due out August 2nd, The Country Blues of John Lee Hooker was cut from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a tip-on jacket, these recordings are stripped down so the listener can hear the details and nuances from the original recording.

John Lee Hooker is the most down-home of the major post-war blues figures, “a most authentic singer of the way-back, close-to-the-soil kind of blues,” as Orrin Keepnews commented in this 1959 album’s original liner notes. Of Hooker’s innumerable recordings, the Riverside session is perhaps the truest to his Mississippi roots. Some are autobiographical, others reworkings of blues standards—all stamped with the hauntingly personal Hooker touch.

Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1917, the man who would become known as the “King Of The Boogie” credited his stepfather, a blues singer, for his unique guitar style. As a young man, Hooker worked his way from the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia down to the Gulf of Mexico and across Texas. All the while, his mission stayed constant: play and sing the blues. Twenty or so years later John Lee found himself in Detroit working at a club called the Monte Carlo where he was discovered by local record label, Riverside Records.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: Steven Van Zandt, Lilyhammer,
The Score Volume 1
and Volume 2 soundtracks in stores 7/12

VIA PRESS RELEASE | For his starring role in Netflix’s groundbreaking first original series, Lilyhammer, actor/musician Steven Van Zandt explored uncharted waters as a New York mobster who flees to Norway under the witness protection program. In addition to acting in, co-writing and co-producing the acclaimed show, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also scored the music for most of the three seasons, where just like his character, the musician best known as Little Steven of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and an accomplished solo artist who helped pioneer the rock-meets-soul sound, also delved into some terrain foreign to him: the worlds of New York jazz and Norwegian folk music.

For the first time, the music from the show, which ended in 2014, has been collected together and will be released as two separate albums – Lilyhammer The Score – Volume 1: Jazz and Volume 2: Folk, Rock, Rio, Bits And Pieces – on CD, digital and 180-gram black vinyl on July 12 via Wicked Cool/UMe. Starting today, “My Kind Of Town, Van Zandt’s spin on the Frank Sinatra standard featured on Volume 1, and his Tito Puente-inspired mambo tune “Mojito” on Volume 2, are available for streaming and immediate download with the corresponding preorder.

The music of Lilyhammer was arranged and produced by Van Zandt and recorded at his Renegade Studios in New York and at various studios in Norway while in the midst of filming. It was recorded, mixed and co-produced by Geoff Sanoff and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering.

When Van Zandt was tasked with coming up with the music to soundtrack Lilyhammer, the veteran musician, songwriter and producer who had pretty much done it all in the worlds of songwriting, including dozens of albums, hundreds of songs, tracks for movies, a Broadway musical, as well as music supervision and musical direction, had never scored a television show and was up to the challenge. Knowing he wanted to create something that combined New York jazz to represent his character Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano with the Norwegian folk music of his exotic new environs, he turned to friend and fellow E Street Band member Max Weinberg for some advice on who could help him put a band together that could flawlessly execute these two disparate genres.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

New Soul Finders!
bring classic Eddie Bo
45s to stage at Little
Gem Saloon, 5/31

I have written about the New Soul Finders! a few times in the past. A highlight of their shows is the still-vibrant vocals of the legendary Marilyn Barbarin. She is responsible for some of the hottest and most revered tracks in the New Orleans funk and soul canon as a member of Eddie Bo’s Soul Finders in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They perform on Friday night at the Little Gem Saloon.

An added treat will be the addition of bassist Noah Young and the horn section from Naughty Professor. Since emerging out of Loyola University’s music program, Naughty Professor has crisscrossed the country bringing their unique horn-driven funk to festivals and nightclubs hungry for the latest development in the ever-evolving New Orleans sound.

This will be the second time Naughty Professor as collaborated with the New Soul Finders! in concert. They also provide the slick and soulful horn arrangement for the New soul Finders! upcoming debut single.

Show time is 7:30 PM. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. They are available here.

Posted in TVD New Orleans | Leave a comment

Needle Drop: The Last Bees, “True or False”

Milwaukee-based, retro pop aficionados The Last Bees have been making waves with their eerily authentic odes to the British Invasion. TVD is pleased to offer an exclusive download of their latest single “True or False”—an acerbic stab at The Beatles’ catalog, more Lennon and less McCartney, but still a clear melodic ode to the direction they were forging in the early ’60s.

Ian Ash, the bands spearhead, wrote the track in collaboration with veteran songwriter and Grammy winner Jim Peterick. Peterick, formerly of the band Survivor, is credited as a co-writer of dozens of hit songs, including “Eye of the Tiger,” so it certainly lends a stamp of approval to The Last Bees debut EP. The song’s chorus is a complex network of major and minor chords that weave in and out of the seamless melody, creating a nostalgic slice of ’60s pop.

It’s a joy to revel in the sticky, lo-fi abandon, but there is also something fresh about Ash’s retro appropriations. After all, countless bands have cited The Beatles as inspiration, but few have recaptured their early sound with the same attention to detail as The Last Bees.

“True or False” is available as a free download on Soundcloud and can also be grabbed directly here.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores for
May 2019, Part Five

Part five of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases—and more—presently in stores for May, 2019. Part one is here, part two is here, part three is here, and part four is here.

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Emily A. Sprague, Water Memory / Mount Vision (RVNG Intl.) Sprague was born in the Catskills but currently resides in Los Angeles, and maybe I’m just succumbing to possible stereotypes relating to ambient synth-based sound design of this style (we’re not far from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith territory), but the work offered here seems a perfect byproduct of the US West Coast. This 2LP collects two prior cassettes self-released in small editions by Sprague, and it adds previously unheard tracks to each, so even if you have the tapes, there is reason to invest in a copy of this set; the edition of 200 with ocean blue and mountain green LPs is sold out, but the 800-copy flat black run is still available, as are CDs. Also, a portion of the proceeds benefits the LGBTQ center in Kingston, NY.

The first 300 mail order customers will receive Ambient Poems (2017 – 2018), a Risograph-printed booklet of Emily’s poetry. However, if you’re late to the game or just pick up a copy of the release at your local brick and mortar, Sprague’s writing still enters the equation, as both Water Memory and Mount Vision begin with a short poem; make that short, appealing poems recited by the author. They provide just enough of a taste to instill the desire to read more of her stuff, as the records shift focus to her music, which stands up wholly on its own (notably, neither poem was part of the original tapes). It’s not that further word-sound combos wouldn’t be of interest, it just that doing so here would (seemingly) diminish the music’s standalone power. Which is considerable. This is very fine work. A-

Causa Sui, Summer Sessions Vols. 1-3 (El Paraiso) These early LPs by this Danish space-rock/ stoner outfit are available together as a slipcase boxset, but only directly from the label and in an edition of 200. Importantly, the albums are also purchasable separately in stores and from online retailers, with numbers totaling 750 each. Initially released separately in 2008-’09 (on wax and CD) by the Elektrohasch Schallplattenin label, it appears they corralled the contents into a vinyl box in 2010 and again in ‘13, but it’s pretty clear that non-used copies of those are scarce, and of course the original standalone vinyl. At the onset, the Summer Sessions were intended as a side-project of sorts for Causa Sui, and more specifically a way to branch out stylistically, with inroads established into free jazz, Krautrock and more.

The branching is handled well, with guest saxman Johan Riedenlow blowing hard on Vol. 2’s “Rip Tide” as the electric piano and extensive guitar soloing bring a non-lame fusion flavor to the track that follows, “The Open Road,” which also features Riedenlow (he’s all over all three LPs, in fact). But Causa Sui also like to stretch out, doing so right away on side one of Vol. 1 with the appropriately temperate “Visions of Summer,” though the cut does offer some organ grinding that put me in a decidedly prog state of mind. Although “The Open Road” breaks 14 minutes, Vol. 2 drops the side-long number “Tropic of Capricorn” on side two, and fans of unhackneyed rock heaviness are unlikely to be disappointed. The multipart “Manifestations Of Summer” wraps up Vol. 3 on a nicely expansive note. A-/ A-/ A- Box A-

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Record Store Club | Leave a comment

In rotation: 5/30/19

Toronto, CA | Grigorian Says Goodbye To Yorkville To Exclusively Sell Online: Grigorian, Canada’s last standing classical music store, will shutter its Yorkville location in June. First opened in 1980, Grigorian will continue its online presence where it has successfully sold records for the past 20 years. John Holland, Grigorian’s gregarious web site manager, and one of the resident musical gurus, says, “while the transition is bittersweet, it is certainly not due to lack of business.” He cites the problematic cost of doing business in Toronto, the proliferation of streaming, and a shift in focus at record companies as factors in the decision. “Let’s just say that it has become very restrictive and that is a reason why a lot of independent businesses are closing in this city,” Holland volunteered when pressed for details about the Yorkville store’s closure. Rents have tripled in Yorkville and Grigorian, like other fleeing Yorkville retailers, i.e., David’s Shoes, Over the Rainbow, Pusateri and Chanel, need better cost efficiencies in this changing retail environment.

Manchester, UK | Record store has re-opened in Manchester after HMV went into administration: Owners of the company have secured a new lease for the shop on Brown Street in Manchester city centre. Popular record store FOPP has re-opened in Manchester city centre three months after it was forced to close when HMV went into administration. Back in February the music shop, on Brown Street, closed when HMV was acquired out of administration by Canadian retailer Sunrise Records. Hundreds of shops were saved, but FOPP was among 27 stores deemed unprofitable and was closed with immediate effect. However, on Sunday, May 27, the store was able to re-open after the owners of the company managed to secure a new lease. A spokesman for HMV said the retailer was very disappointed the shop closed back in February 5 and has worked to get the doors back open again. The spokesman said: “It is a very important store for people in the city. It is an iconic record store.

Memphis, TN | To mark Goner’s silver anniversary, the company is throwing a party this weekend. Back in 1993, when Eric Friedl decided to start the Goner Records label – putting out a limited vinyl release from Japanese noise-rockers Guitar Wolf – he did it because “their music was so wild that I didn’t think there was a label that would dare release anything by them.” Back then, Friedl couldn’t have expected Goner would be going, bigger and better than ever, 25 years on. But in 2019, Goner is its own little empire: one that includes a still-flourishing label, a thriving retail store and the annual Gonerfest concert extravaganza, which draws bands and fans from all over the world each September. To mark Goner’s silver anniversary, the company is throwing a party this weekend. Goner25 is a three-day bash that will include a performance by Guitar Wolf and other longtime label acts and supporters like The’s, Royal Pendletons, Jack Oblivian and Bloodshot Bill, plus film screenings and other fun.

St. Petersburg, FL | Daddy Kool Records and O’Berry Succulents will host a St. Petersburg listening party for plants: Plants like music, right? Studies done by Dr. T. C. Singh in the 1960s suggest that sound waves do have an effect on how plants grow, but Daddy Kool Records is going to give you a chance to experiment on your own. On Saturday, June 22, the recently relocated Sunshine City record shop staple is teaming up with O’Berry’s Succulents to stage a listening party for plants and people who love them. The occasion will celebrate the first official reissue of a album from Julliard-educated pioneering electro composer Mort Garson, which has become something of a cult favorite. Released in 1976, Mother Earth’s Plantasia (subtitled “warm earth music for plants… and the people that love them”) was given to folks who bought a plant at Los Angeles’ Mother Earth on Melrose Avenue. Recorded especially for plants, the album was also a Moog-driven stoner’s delight. The album wasn’t popular upon release, but original pressings — which include Mother Earth’s Indoor Plant Care Booklet — now go for up to $600 on Discogs.

Leeds, UK | It’s the Vinyl countdown as Leeds-based Norman Records goes green: …Mr Raine admitted there is a conflict between wanting to sell more records and being conscious about the environment. “Vinyl records are basically made from oil and chlorine, which are extracted from hydrocarbon and salt resources using vast amounts of energy and pollutant chemicals,” he said. But he added: “While vinyl records undoubtedly have a high environmental cost, they are the antithesis of single-use, disposable plastics. If all plastic objects had the long lifetime that vinyl records do then we wouldn’t be seeing nearly as much controversy around ocean pollution and landfill.” Norman Records has introduced a number of new green initiatives this year to try to reduce its carbon footprint including a free vinyl disposal service. Anything with value is handed over to charity and anything that can’t be reused is sent to a specialist unit for recycling vinyl in Selby, where it is broken down into pellets for future use. Meanwhile, 100 per cent of the considerable amount of cardboard the company receives from suppliers is now recycled. It also offers the cardboard for local residents to reuse.

Posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: Juliana Hatfield Three at the O2 Academy Islington, 5/21

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than three decades since Juliana Hatfield burst onto the scene as a core member of the Blake Babies. Ever since, she’s consistently released some of the most unique and celebrated indie pop records of our time.

Even though I’m a fan of pretty much anything she touches, my favorite will always be The Juliana Hatfield Three. 1993’s Become What You Are was my introduction to Hatfield and the entry point into her world. This was her major label debut, and in the ’90s when a major wanted to push something to break through, they did a hell of a job. Not so much anymore. Furthermore, this was the record that polished Hatfield’s garage-rock, folkish punk while adding a dark overtone and touch of mystique. Combine that with the tongue in cheek lyrical genius that is Hatfield, and you have the makings for a remarkable debut.

The setlist that night was a bit of a surprise, to be honest. Touring as The Juliana Hatfield Three one would suspect that material would be the majority of the set. Become What You Are was represented with the classics “Spin the Bottle,” “My Sister,” and “I Got No Idols.” Curiously missing from the set however was “Supermodel.” Even more surprising was the lack of songs from the 21 years in the making follow-up, Whatever, My Love, with only one song in the set, “If I Could.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: Carole King, Live At Montreux 1973 in stores 6/14

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Eagle Vision today announced details of this never-before-seen concert film which celebrates Carole King’s landmark first show outside of the United States. Performed live at the Montreux Pavillon in 1973 as part of the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival, the set features hits from the albums Tapestry, Fantasy, and Writer. Live at Montreux 1973 finds King at a fascinating crossroads. It took place two years after she altered the course of pop history with Tapestry, and one month after she issued the album, Fantasy, which demonstrated her determination to move her music boldly forward.

The early segment of the concert exudes the intimacy that made Tapestry a personal touchstone to millions. “Usually I don’t get to see my audiences,” King beams, while addressing a crowd cozy enough to sit cross-legged on the floor before her. “Tonight, I’m seeing you.” Six weeks before Montreux, King headlined a free concert in New York’s Central Park that drew a whopping 100,000 fans. The early part of the Swiss concert gave her the chance to regain a closer relationship with her fans, while performing classics like “Home Again,” “Beautiful,” and “I Feel the Earth Move” alone at the piano. That kind of one-person set-up was a hallmark of the musical revolution King helped herald in the early ‘70s—namely, the singer-songwriter movement.

The camera work echoes the sincerity of the music, with close-ups and tight-shots capturing King’s fine, and playful, piano work as well as her easy relationship as a singer with the microphone. Everything about the presentation and performance signals authenticity, from her scant make-up and peasant blouse to the sisterly imperfections in her voice.

Five numbers into the show, King brings on stage an eleven-person band, including six horn and woodwind players. Together, they perform nearly every track from Fantasy, whose material was, at the time, untested. To up the stakes, almost everything about the new music broke with King’s past. This was her first attempt at a song cycle, a format which purposely blurs the songs into an unbroken piece, starting and ending with two distinct versions of the title track.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Steve Harley
& Cockney Rebel,
The Psychomodo

My all-time favorite rude dismissal of second generation (and second tier) English Glam rocker Steve Harley comes from the New Musical Express’ Roy Carr, who wrote, “By the way Steve, when you’re finished with it, David Bowie would like his voice back and Bryan Ferry his vibrato. You can keep the clothes.”

Mean, I know. And not really fair, either; I suspect Carr’s onus was directed as much towards Harley the human being as it was towards Harley the singer. A childhood bout with polio left Harley with a limp, and like Shakespeare’s lame Richard III that limp left him a kind of egomaniacal villain. Harley shared Richard III’s pride and ruthless drive to become King, but unlike the cunning Richard, Harley lacked the guile and cunning to cloak his vainglorious ambitions. To put it bluntly, he invariably came off in interviews as a megalomaniacal twat. And he was a twat to his long-suffering band members as well.

That said, on 1974’s The Psychomodo, Harley’s second (and final) outing with the original members of Cockney Rebel, Harley delivers the glam goods. The man’s hardly a known quality in the States, and more’s the pity, because The Psychomodo is nothing less than a lost glam masterpiece.

The Psychomodo is a surpassingly strange LP. This is primarily due to the fact that Cockney Rebel was a band without a guitarist. Instead, the band’s sound was chiefly dictated by a pair of hyphenates–Jean-Paul Crocker on electric violin and Milton Reames-James on keyboards. Harley’s animus towards the electric guitar is almost hilariously fussy; he didn’t want them around because they made “rude noises.” Perhaps he was confusing them with whoopee cushions.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text