Monthly Archives: May 2020

We’re closed.

We’ve closed up the shop for the Memorial Day holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores, either online, curbside, or with some sound social distancing?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here on Monday, 6/1.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Take me to the station / And put me on a train / I’ve got no expectations / To pass through here again

Once I was a rich man and / Now I am so poor / But never in my sweet short life / Have I felt like this before

It’s fair to say that I totally love the The Rolling Stones. Many of these quarantined days I’ve had to reach into the crates and pull out a classic album. The other day it was Beggars Banquet. The album is just undeniable in every way. The music, band, (alternative) cover, are rough, sexy and swampy. Delicious dark rock ‘n’ roll magic! For this listen “No Expectations” struck an “Idelic” chord and is the week’s muse.

Yes, “who knows” these days? I’m gonna dwell on the faith that life works out. After all, today, for me, is a special day. My wife and I celebrated our 13th anniversary Tuesday, but it was was 15 years from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend that is more memorable.

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TVD Radar: Elliott Smith, Elliott Smith: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition in stores 8/28

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The impact of Elliott Smith’s music holds no bounds. He has been championed, covered, and sampled by artists from Billie Eilish to Pearl Jam to Frank Ocean and his distinct, solemn sound reverberates in the work of the National, Phoebe Bridgers, and Bon Iver. To commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elliott Smith’s self-titled second solo album, Kill Rock Stars is set to release the Elliott Smith: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition on August 28, 2020.

The package includes a revelatory new remastering of the original Elliott Smith record and a bonus disc of the earliest known recording of Smith performing as a solo act, from September 17, 1994 at Portland’s café and “art salon” Umbra Penumbra. The albums come encased within a 52-page coffee table book with handwritten lyrics, reminiscences from Smith’s friends and colleagues about his life at the time he was writing and recording this album, and two dozen previously unseen photographs from the era by JJ Gonson, who shot the image on the album’s cover (the original photo that became the cover is also seen here for the first time).

Leading up to the reissue’s release Kill Rock Stars will be working with a handful of artists to release covers of Smith’s songs from this album. Artists confirmed for the project thus far include Bonny Light Horseman – the new project of Anais Mitchell (Hadestown), Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats), and Josh Kaufman (Muzz, Bob Weir, Josh Ritter), Marisa Anderson, MAITA, Prateek Kuhad, and Califone, with more to be announced as we get confirmation.

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Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores for
May 2020, Part Seven

Part seven of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for May, 2020. Part one is here, part two is here, part three is here, and part four is here, and part five is here, and part six here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: TALsounds, Acquiesce (NNA Tapes) Chicago’s Natalie Chami is a member of the trio Good Willsmith and is half of Damiana and l’éternèbre, but her solo music, which can be encapsulated descriptively as experimental electronics with vocals, is released as TALsounds. The earliest recording listed in the TALsounds Discogs entry is Sky Face, which came out on cassette in 2013 (it’s still available digitally via TALsounds’ Bandcamp). A deeper inspection of her output shows that magnetic tape has been the preferred physical format for nearly all of Chami’s solo stuff, though there was a split 7-inch with Iron Galaxy released in 2013 in an edition of 100 copies and then Love Sick on LP and CD in 2017 through Ba Da Bing! Acquiesce is also available on wax (standard black or 100 copies in white) and is a truly solo affair, with Chami responsible for all the playing and recording, an improvisational process finding the results “later trimmed down and reformatted into songs.”

Cooper Crain of Bitchin’ Bajas is credited as producer, but as Acquiesce is her fifth album, the process of trimming down outlined above is pretty clearly Chami’s own, a conclusion drawn from the striking confidence of the music here as it unfolds rather than seeking out specifics of/ in her earlier stuff. Equally impressive is how her vocalizing, which is often wordless and described by Chami as “leaning into vowels instead of phrases,” is enhanced by the cascading soundscapes, which indeed have songlike structure but also possess drifting qualities unsurprising in experimental (and improvised) electronics. By extension, her history of opening for artists as diverse as Tortoise, Mary Lattimore, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and Merzbow is easy to understand. One can also easily absorb Chami’s statement that for her, it’s the playing rather than the recording that brings therapeutic value. On that note, we should consider ourselves lucky she’s produced such a large body of work, with Acquiesce the latest example. A-

Ami Dang, “Meditations Mixtape Vol. 1” (Leaving) Dang is a Baltimore-based South Asian-American ambient artist, singer and player of electronics, plus most distinctively, a mean sitarist. This was all in evidence on Parted Plains from last year, also on Leaving and still available on LP, though “Meditations Mixtape Vol. 1,” which, appropriately for a mixtape, is available on cassette in an edition of 300, provides a tidier dose of the same, but with urgency that one might not expect given Dang’s ambient sensibility. Specifically, she was inspired to create this music after her aunt and uncle became very ill with coronavirus. In her words, “Whether you or a loved one are ill, you’ve lost work, or are feeling general anxiety about the state of the world, these meditations are for you.” Her sitar is as strong as on Parted Plains, but it’s really her vocals that stand out on these four tracks and especially in “Simplicity Mind Tool” and closer “Tension, Tension Release.” An inspirational whole. Thank you, Ami Dang. A-

Matthewdavid’s Mindflight “Care Tracts” (Leaving) Matthew David McQueen mastered Ami Dang’s Meditations Mixtape, and he’s also the co-founder of Leaving Records, which has been one of the more consistently rewarding indie labels to have emerged over the last dozen or so years. A part of Leaving’s discography derives from McQueen’s work under the handle Matthewdavid (with LRH001 in fact, DISK Collection Vol.1, a CDR packaged in a hand-crafted 5¼-inch floppy disk), and a sub-portion as Mindflight, which on the new “Care Tracts” cassette EP (300 copies) strives for a plateau of elevated consciousness across three selections of 10 minutes each: “Tract of Animalia,” “Tract of Gentle Healing,” and “Tract of Bell & Flute Magic.” You might be thinking, “New Age?” You can bet your sweet keister this is New Age, bub. But in wholly embracing the style it avoids the clichés of the genre (especially in the final tract) and hopefully, any negative connotations you might still hold regarding the form. Just let go and float, ok? A-

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The TVD First Date

“I will never forget the wave of sensations I felt when I heard Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue on vinyl for the first time.”

“The year is 2002 and I am studying jazz drumming at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida, my hometown. I started playing the drums at the age of 7 years old and ended up winning the audition that year to become a student. I was beyond excited! Everyone at the time was listening to iPods and the radio. I personally had never heard vinyl in my entire life till one day a fellow student invited me to come jam with him.

It was on that faithful day that my life was forever changed. We were studying the art of swinging and I was obsessed with a certain album—Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue. It was on repeat on my iPod! Well my friend and I started discussing my love for the album.

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Graded on a Curve: Emerson, Lake & Palmer,

It’s the coup of the century! I’m talking about my exclusive interview with the shade of the late Greg Lake, singer, bassist and guitarist of the greatest pomp rock band in history, Emerson, Lake & Palmer! Greg had a prior commitment (“I’m off to jam with Rachmaninoff”) but he set aside a few moments from his busy schedule to answer a few questions. So without further ado, let’s get to it.

For starters, I would just like to say how much I love “Nights in White Satin.”

GL: That was by the Moody Blues.

My bad. “Lucky Man” then. And that song, I can’t remember the name of it, that starts “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.” Are you talking about the song, which seems to go on forever?

I see “Karn Evil 9″ a a stripped-to-the-basics rock ’n’ roller. We wrote it in the spirit of Carl Perkins.

I hear that simplicity in all of your work. It has an almost garage-like feel that brings to mind the Standells’“Dirty Water.” With Hammond organ, St. Mark’s Church organ, piano, celesta, and Moog modular synthesizer thrown in.

We liked to think we were playing Chuck Berry with a tip of the old orchestra to Tchaikovsky.

Some would say your music is pretentious.

Is it our fault we were the first band to realize the potential of artificially inseminating rock with the jism of classical music? Why restrain yourself to playing three chords when you could be playing 4017?

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In rotation: 5/22/20

Rochester, NY | Rochester’s Record Archive Likes the Sound of Reopening — Safely: At Record Archive, March 17 was the day the music stopped — the day Vice President Alayna Alderman had to lay off her staff and temporarily shut down Rochester’s long-running music store. “It’s just earth-shattering,” said Alderman. “We’ve been through tough times before, but this was incredibly challenging.” Once the state allowed them to resume, Alderman says online mail orders and curbside pickup have kept the lights on. That business, she says, has been steady. “It’s given me hope through some dark days,” she said. “Because it’s really been an emotional roller coaster.” The music store experience is a unique one — where customers often spend hours browsing through records and CD’s, touching just about everything. With retail stores getting ready to reopen, the key is to do it safely. At Record Archive, hand sanitizer stations have already been placed throughout the store. In a nostalgic twist, adapters for 45 RPM records have been painted on the floor leading up to the cash register — six feet apart — marking off safe social distances for customers.

Vancouver, CA | Vancouver record store works to preserve ‘vibe’ amid social distancing: Record Store Day will look a little different this year. The annual spring event, originally set for April 18 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced multiple postponements, will now take place over three separate dates in August, September and October. It’s not a day at all anymore. It’s also no longer an event, said Ben Frith, the manager of Neptoon Records. “Basically, they’re saying: don’t make an event of it, don’t have bands, don’t have a party,” he told Postmedia Wednesday, while preparing for the Main Street shop to reopen later this week. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing significant changes for businesses, and record stores are no exception. At least for now those days of spending hours in your local record shop, digging through stacks of milk crates, shoulder to shoulder with other audiophiles are gone. So are the listening stations. “We’ve literally just removed them,” said Frith, with a laugh. “Putting headphones on someone’s head is such a bad idea right now.”

White Bear Lake, MN | Longtime downtown White Bear Lake businesses cope with shutdown: White Bear Lake Records. When you say that businesses in downtown White Bear Lake are hanging on by a thread, you wouldn’t only be talking about the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe. “Something has to happen soon or downtown White Bear Lake will be a ghost town real fast, because it’s a small-business town,” said Drew Miller, co-owner of White Bear Lake Records, an 18-year-old enterprise at 4775 Banning Ave. “We are in survival mode only right now, as opposed to making more money,” said Earl Poyerd, owner of Benny’s Barbershop, a downtown fixture at 4742 Washington Square for almost 70 years. “Our biggest concern is that we won’t make it as a business,” said Marjorie Intveld, owner of the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe, which has been open for business at 2185 Third St. since 1991. Relief appears to be in sight after Gov. Tim Walz on May 13 declared that the stay-at-home order would be lifted on May 18, and some businesses on his nonessential list would be allowed to open.

Hamilton, CA | Business owners conflicted about opening doors amid COVID-19 pandemic: Dr. Disc. Mark Furukawa has been waiting to reopen Dr. Disc after shutting its doors in March. He had the chance to welcome customers back into his record shop on Tuesday, but decided to wait. “I want to feel confident I’m making the right decision, the last thing I want on my conscience is somebody getting sick as a result of coming into the store, that’s the bottom line for me,” he told CBC News. With an inventory intensive store on Wilson Street, Furukawa said he would be unable to consistently sanitize the thousands of records in his store. “How do I make sure I disinfect all of the records between visits? I’m not going to open and say you can only look at the rock alphabet or isolate a certain area of the store, that doesn’t make sense,” he explained.

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TVD Radar: Rockers,
The Making of Reggae’s Most Iconic Film
stores 6/2020

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The 320 page, 9” x 12” hardcover book with more than 300 stunning color and black and white images by filmmaker / photographer Ted Bafaloukos explores the inspirations behind—and making of —the hugely influential reggae film Rockers, from 1975 to 1978, with extensive text by the late photographer.

Set amongst the reggae scene of late-1970s Jamaica, the film Rockers achieved instant cult status among music and cinema fans upon its release in 1978, with worldwide distribution by 1980. Rockers director Ted Bafaloukos received many accolades for his work on the film, but the fact that he was also a fine writer and documentary photographer has been overlooked. Bafaloukos penned this vivid autobiography in 2015, less than a year before his passing.

Beyond Bafaloukos’ fascinating story of the making of Rockers, the book tells the tale of a Greek immigrant from a family of sailors and his move to New York, eventually rubbing shoulders with the likes of The Velvet Underground, Robert Frank, Jessica Lange, and Philippe “Man on Wire” Petit. Bafaloukos fell in love with reggae when it was still just an underground facet of Jamaican culture in the City. His experiences in New York eventually led him to shoot Rockers, praised for the portrait it paints of Kingston’s late-‘70s music scene along with its unique style and aesthetic.

The director’s intense experiences in Jamaica and New York between 1975 and 1978 provide the substance of the incredible stories that complement the incredible photos, including: gunshots at his first ever reggae concert in Brooklyn; the director’s bizarre arrest for suspicion of being a CIA operative; paranoia at the Bob Marley compound and “street photography” taken of the legend in NYC years before; musicians-turned actors’ “rude boy” antics; and naturally, sympathetic, highly descriptive recollections of the music that first drew Bafaloukos into Jamaica’s music and culture.

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TVD Radar: High Waisted, Sick of Saying Sorry in stores 5/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | High Waisted have never been afraid to ask for help, encouraging trusted friends to lend their creativity to the songs.

With the input of producers Tad Kubler (The Hold Steady) and Arun Bali (Saves the Day), Sick of Saying Sorry was born from scraps of paper scribbled on at 4 am riding the train from Brooklyn to Manhattan and coming to life in a steamy apartment on a broken acoustic guitar. Frontwoman Jessica Louise Dye would walk through snow to Ludlow street to play with guitarist Richey Rose (Wendy James, Tamaryn, Jennie Vee). Even in the dead of winter, bright, upbeat, summery music came easily, creating an album of many moods, with each song having its own set of rules.

Dye enlisted her old friend and keyboardist Mark Buzzard (The Format) to add final embellishments. The album in its final form is a shared creation and an act of love, with each hand involved leaving a distinct mark.

While High Waisted’s first record was about being the life of the party, their sophomore album embodies what happens when you leave that party at dawn to go home to your tiny apartment, alone. High Waisted’s music has always been sad songs disguised as happy ones, and the tracks on the new record follow the same pattern.

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Needle Drop:
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Mosaic of Transformation

Of course, ambient music is far more multifaceted than the categorizations of drone and electronic might infer. Folks of a certain age were likely to have first encountered it in relation to one Brian Eno, or if not him, then possibly in connection to the then burgeoning New Age/ Environmental/ Space Music/ Kosmische experience.

Modular synthesizers, including those created by Don Buchla (like the Buchla Music Easel) played a considerable role in that uprising (as it were), and the music of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has been one of the finest examples of his synths in the 21st century, especially the run of releases spanning from 2015’s Euclid, 2016’s Ears, 2017’s The Kid, and her subsequent founding of Touchtheplants, which is described in Ghostly’s PR as a “multidisciplinary creative environment” fostering projects including her Electronic Series recordings and pocket-sized poetry books devoted to “the practice of listening within.”

Naturally, much of Smith’s music falls into the realms of ambient, though it’s better characterized through the expanded title of the 2019 vinyl reissue of her 2013 digital-only release Tides: Music for Meditation and Yoga. Now, considering this background and the title of this new one, you could be forgiven for expecting a certain ambient-meditative thing, but Smith isn’t so easily encapsulated (and stereotyped) as she wholly embraces her music’s potential for growth and healing.

The Mosaic of Transformation isn’t an ambient LP, although it is electronic, in fact is body music, but not in the way you might think. Instead of dance music in the common sense, the selections here were produced by physical movement sending currents through her mod synths and then “into the air through speakers.” Each day she would transform the prior day’s work into something else. There is song structure, and there are vocals, but the whole remains as distinctive as Smith’s work has been thus far. That’s great.

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Holy Hive,
The TVD First Date

“Freshman year of high school my friend was given a mixtape by a senior named Josh. Josh had a Renaissance-esque bob haircut and was extremely good at the drums. Handwritten on the spine of the cassette was “The Boogie Back.” “The Boogie Back” was a master class in ’70s funk and became the soundtrack to our summer. I think the context is important—this was the late ’90s and soundtracks and mixtape exchanges were defining parts of adolescence.”

“By sophomore year we were funk obsessed, our teen brains were consumed with hunting for more—more obscure, more authentic, more original. This desire led us to stalk New York City record shops, specifically in the West Village. I dreamt that I, too, could maybe work in a record shop one day, and even more of a maybe, maybe be cool enough to silently judge each customer’s selection at check out. I would dare to hope for approval when I picked up a Kool & the Gang LP. They were never impressed, never amused. Each time I handed over an LP, I thought, “This is it.”

My friends and I uncovered old turntables from our parents’ basements. After school and on weekends, we’d go to each other’s homes and listen to whatever we found. An unheard of funk 45, a song with a funk beat on an otherwise straight-ahead jazz LP became a win in a game we didn’t really have a name for, but I guess it’s the rush of any collector’s habit. I was never very good at this competition but I was keen to discover new music.

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Graded on a Curve:
New in Stores for
May 2020, Part Six

Part six of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for May, 2020. Part one is here, part two is here, part three is here, and part four is here, and part five is here.

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Three LPs from Smithsonian Folkways. The massive archive of this esteemed label (better described as a jewel of public works) is not difficult to investigate, but original vinyl can be hard to come by and occasionally pricey, so the decision to reissue selected titles (in sharp reproductions of the distinctive tip-on jackets that define a significant portion of Folkways’ output prior to founder Moses Asch donating the entire discography to the Smithsonian in 1987), has been appreciated, and covered pretty extensively both in this column and in larger reviews in TVD’s Graded on a Curve. Unsurprisingly, the focus has largely been on folk, blues, old-time, bluegrass and Americana recordings, but Folkways’ interests also spanned into experimental and avant-garde regions, which is reflected in the three most recent reissues, all out tomorrow, and all spotlighted directly below.

The Entourage Music and Theater Ensemble, The Neptune Collection. Of the artists responsible for these three LPs, this group, with connections to Baltimore and Connecticut in the 1970s, likely has the highest profile, due in part to their music getting sampled by Four Tet, but more recently, through the release by Tompkins Square of the Ceremony of Dreams : Studio Sessions & Outtakes, 1972​-​1977 3CD (which also has a scaled back single LP edition). This album, Entourage’s second, recorded in Silver Spring, MD in May 1975, features recordings exclusive to the album, so if you have and dig either or both of those comps, you’ll probably want this one, too (their debut was reissued in 2012). Featuring Joe Clark, Wall Matthews, Rusti Clark and Michael Smith, they collectively composed for dance-theater, with this the home stereo equivalent. Listeners into world-jazz should find its contents appealing, though it often goes beyond that sorta thing, “Space Needle Suicide” in particular. A-

Craig Kupka, Crystals: New Music for Relaxation 2. Okay, so I’ll confess that music specifically made for relaxation hasn’t been a high priority in my life. That means I’m not familiar with Kupka’s prior effort, Clouds, which came out in 1981, also on Folkways. After “extensive field testing found this lovely album as popular as Mr. Kupka’s first” (you have no idea how much I enjoyed reading that on the back cover), this one followed in ’82, featuring Kupka on trombone, MXR digital delay and Arp synth, Norman Beede on Fender Rhodes and Siel synth, Bob Ose on trombone and Kenny Sawhill on bass trombone. That’s a lot of trombone, enough that the nearly 20-minute “Trombones of Lithia” on side one had me thinking of it as a possible distant cousin of ’70s NYC Minimalism, which isn’t a terrible stretch, as Kupka’s other recorded work is three volumes of Modern Dance Technique Environments. Side two’s 21-minute title track goes easy on the ‘bones but lands in early electronic territory to pleasurable effect. A-

Ann McMillan, Gateway Summer Sound: Abstracted Animal and Other Sounds. Across the decades, Folkways has released recordings of speeches, interviews, recitations by poets, authors and educators of their own works or those of others, field recordings of rain forests, junk yards, and cable car soundscapes; there’s even a self-hypnosis instructional album. But one of the more popular “non-musical” LPs, at least in my experience, as I’ve seen it in so many collections, is Sounds of North American Frogs. I own it. I enjoy it. But I appreciate McMillan’s work here a lot more, as it’s intriguing in its abstraction, blending aspects of sound collage, field recordings and early electronic music as she manipulates the sounds of frogs, insects and birds, but also children’s voices, sounds of land, air and sea traffic, pan percussion, harpsichord, and even Frederick Kiesler’s sculpture “The Gong.” There are parts that hit the ear like sound effects for a ’50s sci-fi film but are probably just a hoot owl. ‘nuff said. A-

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In rotation: 5/21/20

Charlotte, NC | Local Business Owners Make Tough Decisions As County Reopens: Lunchbox Records. …Scott Wishart, owner of Lunchbox Records in the Belmont neighborhood, has opted not to open his store for now. “I don’t feel safe yet,” Wishart said. “My employees don’t seem to feel that way either. [We] have kids who are in school. It’s kind of hard to work when your kids are out of school.” Opening up would be especially problematic for a record store, he offered. “It’s the kind of business where everyone has to touch everything and I have to show people stuff,” Wishart said. “I can’t just sit behind plexiglass at the counter like a dude in a convenience store.” Like Hernandez, Wishart shut down in-store operations on March 16. A few days later, he switched to a business model split between mail order and curbside service. Even with his doors locked, Wishart cleans frequently with sanitizer that he makes himself with alcohol, water and aloe. For pick-up, patrons pay for merchandise online and then arrive by car. Wearing gloves and mask, Wishart takes the bagged merchandise out to the parked car. He said only half the people who come up to the door and try entering the store wear masks. “I still don’t think they get it,” he said.

St. Petersburg, FL | St. Pete Records opening new store in Warehouse Arts District: The new shop sits in a warehouse across the street from 3 Daughters Brewing. St. Pete Records closed its store at 6648 Central Ave. back on March 17, right as the coronavirus was shutting down the retail world. “See ya when we see ya,” owners wrote that day on Facebook. They’re almost ready to see you again — albeit in an entirely new spot. The record shop will reopen June 1 at a new location at 2233 Third Ave. S in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District. The new shop sits in a warehouse across the street from 3 Daughters Brewing. The move closer to downtown is a return of sorts for St. Pete Records. The shop began life inside Furnish Me Vintage the old Gas Plant Building near Tropicana Field — the same building that also once housed Planet Retro Records. It moved west to its first standalone location near Pasadena in 2017. When it reopens June 1, St. Pete Records will require guests to observe safety protocol like face masks and gloves, although they’ll have a few on hand for customers who forget them.

New London, CT | Many area book shops, music stores reopening Wednesday (5/20): Mystic Disc: …A funny thing might happen to those hoping for easy access into Mystic Disc when the store reopens Wednesday. A pleasant diversion might be the massive outdoor used-vinyl sale set up out front on Steamboat Wharf. Featuring thousands of albums listed from $1 to $3, owner Dan Curland emphatically says, “These are not garbage albums. There’s Jim Croce, the Beatles, all kinds of good stuff that might surprise you.” The sale suggests Curland has continued to buy collections during the “idle weeks” of the virus. Too, in addition to listening to the Mount Everest of albums in his personal collections, he’s also sorted through the enormous backlog of store stock he’s lovingly accumulated over almost 38 years in business. “Eastern Connecticut has been doing a good job (with the virus),” Curland says. “People seem to have been paying attention, so I’m going into this reopening with cautious optimism. But we have to keep being smart.”

Melbourne, AU | Dutch Vinyl assessed the crisis and adapted quickly, now they’re reaping the rewards: Chatting with the record store’s owner Mark Reuten. Dutch Vinyl has established quite a reputation within Melbourne’s ranks. A city decorated with record stores, both offering new and second-hand, Dutch Vinyl stands out from the crowd because of its heritage, and the idiosyncrasy that comes with that. The store’s owner, Mark Reuten, moved from The Netherlands just over two decades ago and quickly warmed to the Melbourne way of life. After working as a web developer running his own company, Reuten User Experience Consulting, for the last ten years, it was only recently that Reuten decided to start his passion project. That’s when Dutch Vinyl was born. Now about four years on and Reuten’s once-pipedream is more solid than ever. Part of his success can be put down to his Dutch knowledge, retail knack and feel for presentation. “The idea from the start has been to create a destination store where there is something for everyone…”

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TVD Radar: Dark Side
of the Ring
OST 2-LP in stores in July

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In partnership with Vice, Waxwork Records is thrilled to present the debut double LP release of Dark Side of the Ring Original Vice Series Music by Wade MacNeil and Andrew Gordon Macpherson.

Dark Side of the Ring is a critically acclaimed television documentary series produced by Vice that premiered in 2019. The series lifts the veil on professional wrestling’s most controversial stories and subjects. As the most watched show in Vice TV’s history, the series ventures deep into wrestling’s shrouded past, revealing the brutal and often tragic consequences of a life lived in the squared circle. Reviews earned the first season a 100% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and critics called it “thrilling” and “entertaining for everyone, an essential viewing for wrestling fans.” The series garnered attention from the biggest names in wrestling including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who endorsed the show calling it “captivating” and “gripping.” The New York Times called the show “An addictive exploration of pro-wrestling.”

The pulsing series music is a synth driven, electronic score by accomplished film and video game composers Wade MacNeil and Andrew Gordon Macpherson. Wade MacNeil is the founder and guitarist of Alexisonfire. He also served as frontman of the UK punk band Gallows, hailed by the press as the best British band since The Clash. Andrew Gordon Macpherson is a producer, composer, and filmmaker who has worked with countless artists. He is an alum and studio team member of the Red Bull Music Academy.

Waxwork Records worked closely with Vice and Dark Side of the Ring executive producer and writer Evan Husney and executive producer and director Jason Eisener to create the official double LP album of the series score. The deluxe packaging includes 180 gram opaque pink with purple smoke colored vinyl for disc one, and opaque blue with white smoke colored vinyl for disc two, with photography by Nathan Boone and design by James White aka Signal Noise.

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TVD Radar: Ceasar Frazier, Hail Ceasar! clear vinyl reissue in stores 7/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Hailing from Indianapolis, Caesar Frazier (spelled “Ceasar” from time to time) was a funky soul-jazz organist who recorded several albums for the Eastbound/Westbound label family during the ’70s. In addition to recording on his own, Frazier also played keyboards in Marvin Gaye’s backing band. Collaborations with contemporaries were numerous and to this day Frazier’s legacy is still alive through samples and remixes from outfits such as Gang Starr and Arrested Development.

In 1972 Frazier cut his first album Hail Ceasar, which featured musicians commonly associated with the Prestige label’s jazz-funk outings — Melvin Sparks (guitar), Houston Person (tenor), and Idris Muhammad (drums). Those names alone should give you a clear idea what’s going down on this album: slick wa wa guitar lines, the crisp ultra bumpin’ conga rhythms, Idris’s slick funk beats, screaming sax solos and last but not least Caesar’s trademark Hammond organ sound.

Next to his own material you can also find a few cover tunes on here (by Quincy Jones, Isaac Hayes, David Gates of Bread, and Sly Stone). Production on the album was handled by Bob Porter (responsible for many superb jazz productions for Prestige and Atlantic) and to top it all off, recording duties were handled by Rudy Van Gelder (known for recording Miles Davis in the early 1950s and the countless work he did for Blue Note, Prestige, Verve and many others).

This record is a delight for anyone who likes that 1970s organ groove sound and is right up there with some of the best of the Soul Jazz coming out of the early seventies. Hail Ceasar! is a monster album that could keep you grooving for weeks if you so desired.

Originally released in 1972 on Eastbound Records, super rare and fetching large sums on the collectors market, now finally back available as a limited deluxe vinyl edition featuring the original artwork by Tom Curry. Limited to 500 copies with obi strip.

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