Monthly Archives: August 2020

TVD Radar: Van Duren, Are You Serious? and Idiot Optimism reissues in stores 10/30

VIA PRESS RELEASE | A Memphis pop icon, Van Duren was not only a contemporary of Big Star, but also played with that band’s alumni Chris Bell and Jody Stephens in the Baker Street Regulars, in 1976. As a solo artist he was managed by Andrew Loog Oldham (The Rolling Stones). His 1978 debut album, Are You Serious?, found folks comparing him to artists like Todd Rundgren and Paul McCartney. He recorded a second album that was shelved and, 20 years later, released without his involvement. Thanks to the acclaimed 2018 documentary film Waiting: The Van Duren Story and its soundtrack, many have recently encountered Van Duren for the first time, while those who knew of him discovered what became of him.

Now, finally, Are You Serious?, along with its follow-up, Idiot Optimism, will return to the marketplace remastered from the original analog tapes on CD, double LP, limited-edition colored vinyl and, for the first time, digital. The packages, from Omnivore Recordings, will be released on October 30, 2020. The vinyl editions (while supplies last) will be available exclusively from All versions are available for pre-order now. With 13 originals written by Duren (with Jody Stephens the only co-writer, on one track), and packaging featuring new liner notes from Van and previously unseen photos, Are You Serious? looks and sounds better than ever, a boon for, well, serious collectors who’ve been looking high and low for this album.

After the release of Are You Serious?, Van Duren immediately returned to the studio, recording 14 tracks (one a medley of two songs) that rivaled his tremendous debut. But the album didn’t see the light of day for two decades, when inexplicably, it was released in Japan without any input from the artist.

With full creative control from Duren, this reissue of Idiot Optimism will be packaged with new art, liners from Van outlining the story of the album, and many previously unseen photos. Featuring his 14 originals and a cover of Bell’s “Make a Scene,” this new edition is remastered from the original analog tapes. Like Are You Serious?, Idiot Optimism has never looked nor sounded better. These are the definitive versions of two lost classics.

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TVD Radar: At Home with The Kids comp to benefit Save the Children available now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Atlantic Records is proud to announce today’s release of the all-star children’s music benefit compilation, AT HOME WITH THE KIDS. 100% of Atlantic Records’ net proceeds from AT HOME WITH THE KIDS will benefit Save the Children, an organization helping better the lives of children across the globe by providing them with a healthy start, an opportunity to learn and protection from harm. AT HOME WITH THE KIDS is available now at all DSPs and streaming services.

AT HOME WITH THE KIDS features 23 classic children’s songs, lullabies, and brand-new original family favorites, performed by an amazing lineup of top artists and rising stars. The album has been heralded in recent weeks by a series of exclusive track premieres, including Matt Maeson’s moving “Giants,” gnash’s lullaby “night night,” Portugal. The Man’s take on the Annie musical classic “Tomorrow,” “Star Design” by The Knocks, “Riding On My Bike” by Sia, and “I Ain’t No Zebra I’m A Bumblebee” by Anderson East. All tracks are joined by official companion videos, streaming now via YouTube, use the atlanta home theater installation for the best experience.

In addition, AT HOME WITH THE KIDS also features genre-spanning new music from such diverse superstars as Shelley FKA DRAM, Chromeo, Christina Perri, Tove Lo, and A/J of Saint Motel. Further family fun comes from artists including Charlotte Lawrence, IV JAY, Emma Jo Cobb, KYLE, Royal & the Serpent, Midland, Aaron Raitiere, Ben Abraham, chloe moriondo, A Thousand Horses, Charlotte Cardin, and Winona Oak.

The announcement of AT HOME WITH THE KIDS was met by critical acclaim from outlets such as Rolling Stone, Billboard, and SPIN, with SPIN praising Sia’s “Riding On My Bike” as “some new music that’s great for the whole family…The sing-song piano-driven children’s tune effortlessly shows Sia’s affinity toward the carefree, fun and whimsical.”

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The Love-In,
The TVD First Date

“Vinyl is the best part of Love-In parties.”

“The only good speakers in our house are hooked up to the record player, so we exclusively listen to vinyl when we throw house parties. At the end of the night, you can always see how the mood changed based on what records are left out on the table. I think our last party before COVID started with Beyonce’s Lemonade and ended with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. I guess whoever put on that last record must’ve known something the rest of us didn’t.

Our collection is pretty eclectic because we all buy records for different reasons. My part of the collection consists of records I like to cook to, be alone to, dance to, and old jazz records featuring recordings I’ve never been able to find anywhere else. We stop at record stores in most cities we tour in, so it’s cool to be able to find little gems all over the country. The problem is keeping them safe for the rest of the tour. Our van’s AC is not the most reliable so I always worry they’ll melt in there.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 5: Paul Collins, Part 1

Paul Collins was in what he calls, “the greatest band that never was.” As an integral member of California’s first power-pop trio, The Nerves, Collins was an early architect of a sound that wasn’t quite punk or new wave, it was power pop, but it was more: it was 24 carat rock and roll. Their music was so tight, well crafted and full of youthful energy and spunk that Blondie chose to cover The Nerves song, “Hanging on the Telephone” on their massively successful Parallel Lines album; in fact, it was the lead-off track. Today, Parallel Lines has sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million copies; anyone who ever put a needle down on side one of that record had to hear a Nerves song first.

Today, music historians view The Nerves as a major rock and roll influence on modern music, but the band had challenges pushing through to the mainstream during their own time. Post-Nerves, Paul Collins wasted no time scrounging up the gumption for his second attack on worldwide success by creating another extremely influential rock band, The Beat (aka Paul Collins Beat). This time, Collins stepped from behind the drumset, wrote a barrel full of infectiously pure rock and roll and—with the help of Eddie Money, a record deal from CBS and management from Bill Graham—set out to take over the world.

Well, his career didn’t quite go the way he planned. In fact, most things didn’t and that’s what makes Mr. Collins’ new book I Don’t Fit In such a hypnotic read. It’s a rock and roll showbusiness story full of backstage realities, near misses, one-way plane tickets, addresses written on napkins, and smiles in the spotlight. But it’s also a tale of commitment and one man’s dogged pursuit of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Paul Collins and I discuss all of these things, and boy did we discuss: in-fact, we discussed so much that this will be a Radar two-parter, the first coming to you at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend holiday, and the conclusion will find you when we see you again on the other side, in September.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Sharp Notes each Saturday evening at 6pm and TVD Radar on Sundays at 5AM on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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Graded on a Curve: ABBA,
The Best of ABBA, The Millennium Collection

I love ABBA. I love them so much I contacted the Swedish ambassador last week to see if I could buy them. “ABBA are a national treasure,” the ambassador informed me. “But a thousand kroner would probably do it.” I was rather taken aback really, given ABBA are Sweden’s biggest export behind Swedish Red Fish and Swedish meatballs.

ABBA’s frothy brand of Europop and disco bring back fond memories of my first and last visit to a discotheque. The experience was unforfeitable insofar as it ended with me throwing up in the parking lot, but it wasn’t ABBA’s fault–staring at the revolving glitter ball above the dance floor gave me vertigo.

From disco classic “Dancing Queen” to “Waterloo,” ABBA’s songs were good, innocent fun. Who can resist their infectious melodies and perfect harmonies? Lots of people, evidently. ABBA were anathema to the “Let’s burn down the disco crowd,” and none other than Robert Christgau saw fit to describe their “real tradition” as “the advertising jingle.”

Formed in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, ABBA first made their mark by winning the 1974 Eurovision Contest–a sure step to superstardom, as evidenced as by such memorable bands as Teach-In and Herreys. It took awhile for ABBA to catch on with US listeners, but when they did they did it big—in the years between 1974 and 1981 they placed a dozen singles on the American Top 40.

The ABBA sound is a study in contradictions. On one hand their music is as frothy as it’s frosty; detractors will tell you their music is as cold as a dip into a Hellasgården ice bath. But to pop and disco lovers their music is something you’ll want to warm your hands over—especially if you spent your formative years listening to “Dancing Queen.”

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In rotation: 8/31/20

Bournemouth, UK | Vinyl enthusiasts queue for more than 24 hours on Record Store Day: Vinyl enthusiasts waited more than 24 hours to snap up rare and collectable releases on Record Store Day. At Square Records in Wimborne two customers set up camp just after 7am on Friday – and the sale didn’t even start until this morning. And at The Vault in Christchurch a customer arrived at 3am yesterday to ensure he got his hands on the latest release from U2, pictured below. The annual event usually takes place in April but it has been cancelled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year it is taking place in three stages, the first of which was today. Alan Rowett at The Vault said: “We weren’t sure how many people were going to turn up because of all the changes but it went very well.

UK | Record Store Day 2020: ‘We’ve all been starved of music’: Like every event everywhere, Record Store Day 2020 is no stranger to rescheduling due to coronavirus. For the first time in its 12-year history, there’ll be no in-store parties or live gigs. Instead, the annual celebration will be socially-distanced with pre-booked buying slots for collectors. But at a time when the music industry has been virtually silenced, this year’s edition is seen as vitally important for stores struggling to stay open. “We were all so relieved when they said it was going ahead,” says Hannah Tinker from Wilderness record store. Based in Withington, a small village on the outskirts of Manchester, Wilderness opened on 13 April 2019 (which happened to be the date of last year’s Record Store Day). “Our first year’s been an odd one,” she says.

Rochester, NY | Record Archive Celebrates Record Store Day: Due to the pandemic, Record Store Day is being celebrated on three separate days this year instead of one. With Saturday being the first, record archive in Rochester was packed with eager customers. The backroom lounge was dedicated solely to the celebration. There was a variety of music on vinyl for sale, featuring artists ranging from The Weekend to Glass Animals. Record Archive staffers say this year was different with the pandemic, but say their customers had a good time. “Everybody in some way is happier because they realize that we’re taking their safety first, and we can still execute this smoothly and completely and they’re all still getting what they’re looking for, so it’s a win for everybody,” said Alayna Alderman, vice president and co-owner of Record Archive. Record Store Day will also be celebrated on 9/26 and 10/24.

San Francisco, CA | Bay Area record stores ‘fight the good fight’ as pandemic drags on: For most of the Bay Area’s independent record stores, Record Store Day typically means long lines at the door and tight aisles packed with rabid music fans. Everything is different this year. As many Bay Area businesses remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, local record stores are struggling to stay afloat. Even Record Store Day, the annual promotional event that started in 2008 to draw attention to independent music retailers by providing them with exclusive vinyl-only releases, has changed. What used to take place on one day in April is now divided across three monthly events starting Saturday, Aug. 29. The staggered dates are an effort to help stores ease back into the market when it is safe to once again tap their fan base. 1-2-3-4 Go Records in Oakland is one of the few Bay Area shops that will open its doors for the first event, called RSD Drops 2020.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Tonight the city is full of morgues / And all the toilets are overflowing / There’s shopping malls coming out of the walls / As we walk out among the manure

That’s why / I pay no mind / I pay no mind / I pay no mind

Give the finger to the rock ‘n’ roll singer / As he’s dancing upon your paycheck / The sales climb high through the garbage-pail sky / Like a giant dildo crushing the sun

That’s why / I pay no mind / Sleep in slime / I just got signed

So get out your lead-pipe pipe dreams / Get out your ten-foot flags / The insects are huge and the poison’s all been used / And the drugs won’t kill your day job honey

That’s why / I pay no mind

Happy Friday to ya. If I was an ostrich I’d surely have my head in the sand. Instead I’m gonna hide behind a stack of mostly old records. As I fumble through a few “crates,” I’m only paying half of mind. My other thoughts dash from late summer childhood memories growing up in NYC and a future that might resemble HBO’s new series Lovecraft Country.

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TVD Radar: Talk – Action = Zero Vol. 2 compilation to benefit Spread The Vote available today via Bandcamp

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Independent artists from around the world have come together once again to create Talk – Action = Zero Vol. 2: a political action project curated and organized by Bank Robber Music and Rough Trade Publishing. The compilation album will be available exclusively on Bandcamp on Friday, August 28th and all proceeds will benefit Spread the Vote.

The first volume of Talk – Action = Zero paid tribute to the countless Black Americans who have been murdered due to police brutality, with all proceeds benefiting Black Visions Collective. With a pivotal election on the horizon, Volume 2 highlights the importance of voting and empowering citizens to be heard at the polls. It features over 45 unreleased songs including the debut of Sunroof (Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones), and Repressed, a new collaborative project featuring Kurt Wagner (Lambchop), Mac McCaughan (Superchunk), Phil Morrison, Sarah Louis and Sally Hanson (House of Land).

The compilation also features tracks from Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, Neal Francis, Jennifer O’Connor & Travis Stever, Gary V, LIP TALK & WooF WooF, NY HUSTLERS, LoneMoon, Say Hi, Alanna Royale, Power of Attorney, Roots & Tings, Karyn Kuhl, Pink Mountaintops, The Long Ryders and many more. A majority of the songs featured on the compilation are related to voting, the election or the current state of the country, whether covers or new original songs.

All proceeds will benefit Spread the Vote, a national foundation that helps US citizens and communities empower themselves to be heard at the polls and helping with voter IDs, registrations, education and turnout. “Spread The Vote is thrilled to be working with BankRobberMusic / Rough Trade Publishing on this incredible compilation,” says Spread the Vote founder Kat Calvin. “Music has always been critical for every movement and at this moment, we need great music that inspires us to stand up for our democracy more than ever.”

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Graded on a Curve:
Trader Horne,
Morning Way

The Brit folk scene of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s was a deeper happening than a casual observer might suppose, and prime evidence is offered by the duo of Judy Dyble and Jackie McAuley. Borrowing John Peel’s nickname for his nanny, they called themselves Trader Horne and in 1970 cut a terrific LP for Pye Records’ underground subsidiary Dawn. 

At a glance it would seem that Judy Dyble is uncommonly familiar with the precipice of fame. To begin, she was replaced in Fairport Convention by Sandy Denny before the group broke big (in context). But if overshadowed her contribution was far from negligible; there’s the sunshiny psych-folk of the debut single’s “If I Had a Ribbon Bow” plus two Joni Mitchell interpretations, “I Don’t Know Where I Stand” and “Chelsea Morning,” strengthening the eponymous first album. She also co-wrote the nifty instrumental “Portfolio” with Ashley Hutchings.

She’s further noted as a pioneer in multitasking, knitting scarves and dishcloths onstage while her bandmates took flight. Shortly thereafter she was out of the Fairport picture, and it was around this point that she guested on The Incredible String Band’s The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter, lending her voice to “The Minotaur’s Song.”

Dyble’s second dalliance with wide recognition came in the prelude to King Crimson, specifically as a contributor to Giles, Giles, & Fripp. A handful of tracks on The Brondesbury Tapes carry her mark, most notably “I Talk to the Wind,” the alternative to Greg Lake additionally collected on A Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson. Just as interesting but significantly less retrospectively cited is her brief spot on “Ashes of the Empire/The End” from G.F. Fitz-Gerald’s Mouseproof.

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Belly, The Best of
the TVD First Date

Quite a number of years back, the TVD First Date feature was inaugurated to introduce new talent to the site and to follow an artist’s development while getting to know their own music via their record collections. ’twas a nifty idea earlier on, however over the course of a decade some more than well-established artists have lent their time to the feature to shed a light on what brought them to their first stages and into our own consciousness—and we’re resharing a number of our favorites this week.Ed.

“The first vinyl I ever bought with my own hard-earned babysitting money was The Go Go’s Beauty and the Beat.”

“I know the phrase ‘it changed my life’ is thrown around pretty freely, but I sat in my basement bedroom listening to this album for hours and hours that day, alternately cross-legged on the floor studying the cover and then dancing like crazy. It changed my life.”
Tanya Donnelly, 2018

“The first record I bought with my own money was the debut album by Boston. At that age it was probably birthday money.”

“I chose it over Kiss Destroyer. I’m not sure if it was the art that tipped the scales or because I already loved the track “More than a Feeling.” I can remember playing it over and over at my friend Nick’s house (his family had a serious stereo) and we beat the stuffing out of his couch with his brothers marching-band drum sticks.”
Chris Gorman, 2018

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Graded on a Curve:
Red Hot Chili Peppers,

Here’s a question for your UFO nuts: If there are really advanced alien life forms out there, why haven’t they vaporized the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Your guess is as good as mine, but here’s what I do know–these Southern California socks-on-cocks have come close to killing me on multiple occasions, as I swerved into oncoming traffic in a frantic effort to turn the car radio dial to avoid “Under the Bridge.”

As my many near scrapes with mortality attest, the Red Hot Chili Peppers aren’t merely an annoyance; they’re a menace to all but the legions of Caucasian frat boys who’ve mistaken their ersatz funk for the real thing over the past 35 plus years.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music isn’t, in and of itself, much worse than your average indie rock funk band. No, as anybody with intelligent ears will tell you, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ real downfall is Anthony Kiedis. Kiedis sings the way Bruce Springsteen dances, and not even the combined efforts of Flea and John Frusciante–whose decision to rejoin the band is an even bigger mystery than the fate of the Marie Celeste–can overcome his singing, which does a grave disservice to vocal cords everywhere. Think of it this way; Kiedis is the iceberg that sank the Titanic, and Flea and Frusciante are the band that kept on playing as the ocean liner sank beneath the waves.

What makes Kiedis’ singing so god awful? That’s an easy one. On the ballad he aims for pathos, ands hits bathos right betweens the eyes. And on the funk numbers his rap shtick is as wooden as a cigar store Indian. Given the choice between Kiedis and Mitch McConnell, I’ll go with Mitch any day. He has more soul, and probably has cooler tattoos.

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In rotation: 8/28/20

West Chester, PA | Rock Music Menu: Record Store Day 2020 finally kicks off this weekend: Like just about every event set to take place around the world in recent months, plans for Record Store Day 2020 came to a screeching halt when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now, four months after it was originally scheduled, the vinyl-centric holiday is finally happening this Saturday. Typically occurring the third Saturday in April each year, organizers hit pause due to Covid-19, initially electing to postpone until late June. When it became clear things were going to get worse before they got better, the decision was made not just hold to off a bit longer but spread the event across three weekends in the name of social distancing, retooled with the name Record Store Day Drops and concurrent hashtag #RSDDrops. “In 2020, that world is different, so Record Store Day will be too,” organizers said in a statement. “RSD is now scheduled to be celebrated with special, properly distanced release dates on Saturdays in August, September and October.”

Greenslopes, AU | Back in the groove: A hole new spin on Record Store Day: Independent record stores are expecting to do a roaring trade this weekend, with the first of three separate drops of limited-edition vinyl hitting shelves on Saturday as part of a reimagined version of Record Store Day. Record Store Day – which is normally held in April but was cancelled this year due to the global coronavirus pandemic – was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent US record store owners and employees to drive business for indie retailers that had experienced a downturn in trade with the rise of digital devices. The first Record Store Day was held on April 19, 2008 and was an immediate success, with hundreds of stores across the US and the UK taking part, and artists including R.E.M., Vampire Weekend and Death Cab for Cutie issuing limited-edition releases to mark the event. The event quickly spread throughout the rest of the world and has become the biggest day of trade of the year for independent record stores but due to social distancing, this year’s event has been split into three separate days, which will take place this Saturday and the final Saturdays of September and October.

Bridport, UK | Record Store Day at Clocktower Music and Bridport Music Centre: Music fans have not been let down as the popular Record Store Day (RSD) will still go ahead despite coronavirus – although a little differently this year. The event, which celebrates independent record shops across the UK, is having three dates rather than one, with the first taking place this Saturday. Each of the three days, the others on September 26 and October 24, will release certain special vinyl releases that would have come out together had there been just one day. To check which records are released when, visit Both Clocktower Music at St Michael’s Trading Estate and Bridport Music Centre in South Street will be taking part. Clocktower Music is running an appointment system for those collectors who are not able to queue or are travelling some distance to find RSD releases. There will be no queuing with five people allowed in at one time and a separate area in the store for the limited edition RSD releases.

Washington, DC | Here’s How Local Stores Are Celebrating A Socially Distant Record Store Day: Record Store Day, like so many events, will look very different this year. The annual event usually brings out music fans to record stores nationwide to score special releases and rare vinyl. After being postponed from its usual April date due to COVID-19, it will now take the form of three separate drops in August, September, and October. The first of those begins this Saturday, August 29. In addition to the day’s special releases, including a John Prine box set, a 50th anniversary edition of Al Green’s Green Is Blues, and more, many local stores are stocking up on hand sanitizer and latex gloves, and taking new safety precautions. We’ve rounded up the stores that are participating this year in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. All stores are requiring face masks while shopping, and their plans are subject to change for the September and October drops.

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TVD Radar: Pylon, Pylon Box 4LP and hardbound book in stores 11/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Formed in 1979 by four UGA art students—guitarist Randy Bewley, bassist Michael Lachowski, drummer Curtis Crowe, and vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay—Pylon were the first band to connect the local party-rock scene with the art school scene at the University of Georgia.

Before they even picked up musical instruments, they were painters and sculptors and gallery tricksters who applied their classroom lessons to rock and roll. After the B-52’s moved to New York, Pylon proved a small Southern town like Athens could maintain an active scene and produce important bands. “We saw them very early, and they were absolutely amazing,” says Mike Mills, bassist of R.E.M., a band that is by its own admission deeply indebted to Pylon. “They were melodic and driving and machinelike in a really good way. And very human. It was all so new to us. Pylon made us want to be better.” The producer and musician Steve Albini stated the band created “a kind of music that hadn’t been made before.”

Pylon’s first shows outside of Athens were a handful of support dates with Gang of Four, including both band’s New York City debuts. Gang of Four’s Jon King insists they’re “really, one of the best indie bands ever.” The Atlanta-based DB Records released Pylon’s legendary debut single, “Cool” b/w “Dub,” in 1979, with their overwhelmingly critically acclaimed studio albums Gyrate (1980) and Chomp (1983) to follow. Chomp was barely off the press when Pylon were booked to open a run of dates for a hot new Irish band called U2 (after previously playing two arena shows with them leading to the album release).

Most bands would have jumped at the opportunity, but Pylon were skeptical. At a critical point in the life of Pylon, they opted to become a cult band rather than stretch their defining philosophy too far. “There were a lot of people putting pressure on us about what we were supposed to do or what we had to do,” says Vanessa Briscoe Hay. “It wasn’t sitting well with us. We don’t have to do anything. It was a good life decision. And it was our decision. We made it together and we went out at the top of our game.” Pylon played their final show in Athens on December 1, 1983.

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Demand it on Vinyl: Brazil: Samba, Bossa and Beyond! in stores now

The world of Brazilian music is a vast one that Putumayo Records has explored in previous releases. This latest collection spans the vast country’s wide range of styles of music.

The album opens with the velvety voice of Vania Abreu, sister of superstar Daniela Mercury, who gives a silky rendition of the Djavan classic “Embola Bola.” Abreu’s laid-back Afro-Brazilian rhythms transition to the bossa nova of Rogê’s, “Fala Brasil,” a love song to his home country. The nomadic songstress Bïa follows with “Beijo,” an ode to Brazilians’ passion for kissing. It blends the forró style of Brazil’s Northeast with the laidback charm of a Parisian café.

The exploration of Brazil’s diverse multicultural influences continues on the rest of the ten cuts on the album. There’s heavy samba with killer brass arrangements, a homage to traditional West African saints, a flashback to 1970s Brazil, the golden era of samba soul, and a traditional candomblé song among others.

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Jason Falkner, The Best of the TVD First Date

Quite a number of years back, the TVD First Date feature was inaugurated to introduce new talent to the site and to follow an artist’s development while getting to know their own music via their record collections. ’twas a nifty idea earlier on, however over the course of a decade some more than well-established artists have lent their time to the feature to shed a light on what brought them to their first stages and into our own consciousness—and we’re resharing a number of our favorites this week.Ed.

“I’ve been obsessed with vinyl records my whole life.”

“Literally my earliest memories are of playing my dad’s small but cool collection of records on a portable phonograph in my suburban bedroom in LA. Pretty choice records too. Everything from Da Capo by Love, Deja Vu by CSNY, to the bizarre experimental synth meditation of Terry Riley’s A Rainbow in Curved Air and Taj Mahal.

I used to inspect every millimeter of the artwork looking for hidden details—meaning and or clues as to how this music was created. The art, band photos, fonts, and music were all part of the same experience for me at that very young age. I clearly remember the cover of that Love record scaring the shit out of me. Of course it had to do with the violence of some of the music but they (some more than others) also looked like they would fuck you up pretty bad if you disrupted their photo shoot at those ruins they are posing in.

The first record I bought with my “own money” (pretty sure my parents gave me the money as I was in elementary school) was the double LP Beach Boys compilation entitled Endless Summer. I was obsessed with the early Beach Boys ballads like “Warmth of the Sun” and “In My Room,” but the stand out track for me was “Don’t Worry Baby.” I credit that song’s teenage longing and palpable sweetness for ushering in my feelings for the opposite sex long before they would’ve naturally arrived!

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