Monthly Archives: October 2020

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

What amounts to a dream anymore? / A crude device; a veil on our eyes / A simple plan we’d be different from the rest / And never resign to a typical life

Common fears start to multiply / We realize, we’re paralyzed / Where’d it go, all that precious time? / Did we even try to stem the tide?

Before I start I want to let you all know the Sidels are doing just “fine” today. As I mention time and time again, The Idelic Hour is my creative outlet. Collecting, gathering, compiling and listening to these records truly gives me “soul satisfaction,” even in, or may I say especially in light of this horrible Covid/election year. So hear I lay, dumping all my emotions, problems, fears, anxieties and joys while sharing an hour of music with friends.

So with this in 2020 I must point out that tonight is the full moon of Mercury in retrograde on the All Hollow’s Eve. With the election looming on Tuesday there is just a lot of weird shit in the air. No exception here. This week’s events were in fact spooky weird. We had an power outage, computer failure, our dishwasher broke, doors need replacing, and worst of all of our Mercury in retro nightmares came to pass as our son Jonah broke his leg skateboarding Monday afternoon.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth,
Episode 10: Halloween Spooktacular

After the year we’ve had, a good Halloween feels like the right ticket. 2020 has been all masks and fear so far, but now we can have a few laughs, too. In fact, I approached this year’s Halloween show a little tentatively; there are – of course – many more important things going on out there. But, if you listen to the program, you can hear me start to really let go and have fun; the childlike silliness of the holiday felt comfortable and welcome. Hopefully, you’ll also get caught up in the goofiness that ensues.

And I enjoyed discovering some new music, too! After many years of creating Halloween programs, I was glad to find a few new things to share. Of course, Alice Cooper, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Danzig ring the doorbell in the hopes of scoring some treats – and wearing those same, old costumes to boot – but things that were new to me like Method Actors and Otis Redding’s “Trick or Treat” also come by for a visit.

So, take a break from the struggle and strife and allow yourself to get a little caught up in the playful nature of Halloween and live a few vicarious hours through the character of your choice. But, no more tricks this year, please. Only treats.

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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TVD Radar: J.F.A. and
The Brand, 7-inch split
EP via AZPX Records
in stores 11/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | ‘Sarah 7″ EP’ (AZPX17) is a labor of punk rock love with previously unreleased original music from Skate Rock pioneers, J.F.A., and posthumous debut from Phoenix’s The BRAND. Two years and a whole lotta heartbreak in the making, this four-song split 7″ vinyl is a little more than just bitter-sweet. It’s a reminder of how nothing is permanent in this world.

On December 22, 2019, just a few days before Christmas, we unexpectedly lost Sarah Shelton due to complications from a serious health condition she had battled with steadfast power and grace for years. Sarah was lead singer, song writer and all-around badass rock star of The BRAND, who were an up and coming five-piece punk band consisting of some heavy talent punk rock veterans if you look up guitarist Chuck Holder (Hellfire), drummer Dennis Walsh (Crowd), bassist Danny Bravo (Dark Hearts), and Sarah’s husband, guitarist Steve Shelton (Glass Heroes).

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of my all-time favorite bands over the course of AZPX’s existence, J.F.A. AZPX produced their 25th & 30 year anniversary shows and helped to organize the legendary Apache Skateboards Skate Jams starring J.F.A. The real stokage is having them appear on several AZPX Records releases (AZPX03, AZPX12, AZPXDD06). I had no idea Steve Shelton was already talking with Don and Brian about doing a split 7″ before he and Sarah told me. They insisted on the record being on AZPX,” says the label’s owner Rob Locker.

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Graded on a Curve:
John Carpenter,
Lost Themes

John Carpenter’s accomplishments as a director include a handful of masterpieces and a larger number of cult classics, his body of work defining him as a maestro of genre flicks and maker of personal films. Part of the distinctiveness relates to Carpenter’s frequent role as composer; he’s credited in this capacity on such heavyweights of the American Cinema as Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, Big Trouble in Little China, and They Live. Now Sacred Bones offers Carpenter’s non-OST debut with Lost Themes, his legion of fans unlikely to require much persuading in order to investigate further.

I guess the mainstream consensus on John Carpenter is that he’s just one in a long line of filmmakers who started out strong, hung in there for a while and then faltered as time progressed. And our current motion picture industry does a good job of making it seem like he’s retired; his last effort was The Ward, which hit US theatres, or a few of them anyway, back in 2011. But for an ever growing pack of buffs, Carpenter is a very special auteur indeed. Gaining his biggest commercial and critical success with Halloween in 1978, it and the titles surrounding it in his filmography are trim, energetic no-nonsense affairs emerging from a motion-picture scene noted for self-consciousness and excessiveness.

Circa the late-‘70s, Coppola, Scorsese, Altman, Cimino, and even that lurid genre-dabbler De Palma were all clearly Artists. Where the family-friendly Lucas and Spielberg danced atop the rubble of the New Hollywood and ushered in the age of the multiplex, Carpenter rose out of the exploitation scene and subsequently spent the majority of his career in unfashionable if not always disreputable territory.

To elaborate, along with igniting the rapidly diminishing returns of the slasher film, Halloween spawned a string of sequels (the first of which he produced and wrote but didn’t direct) and the eventual Rob Zombie-helmed reboot. Also, two of his early features were made for TV (Someone’s Watching Me! and Elvis), while The Thing, now considered one of his triumphs, was once denigrated as a déclassé remake, its bleak tone and gruesome effects thrashed at the box office by the feelgood vibes of ET: The Extraterrestrial.

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TVD Radar: Fanatics from James Marcus Haney explores the unique relationship between artists and
their fans

VIA PRESS RELEASE | James Marcus Haney, the LA based photographer and director of the acclaimed music documentary No Cameras Allowed announces the release of his first photo book, Fanatics.

Haney pulls together photographs of fans from his time touring with Coldplay, Elton John, and Mumford & Sons, alongside the countless festivals and shows he’s been to right across the world. Capturing the spirit and sheer elation of witnessing live music with friends, the book features imagery from concerts in 35 different countries, spanning the decade of 2010-2020.

Accompanying these images are stories and testimonials from musicians Haney has toured alongside, including Chris Martin of Coldplay, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe, Maggie Rogers, Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, Albert Hammond JR of The Strokes and many more, all talking about the importance of fans and anecdotes and memories of their own as fans themselves. The book opens with a foreword penned by Elton John, who Haney has also been out on the road with.

Explaining the inspiration behind the book, Haney recalls: “Back when I was in college, I couldn’t afford to go to music festivals so I would sneak into them with my friends. Often, I used a ‘borrowed’ camera from school and posed as a press photographer. I filmed all the bands I loved and used the guise of a fake press pass to get as close to the stage as possible.

After a few festivals, I cut together a short documentary of my friends and I sneaking into Coachella and Bonnaroo. At another show, I handed a roadie a burnt DVD copy of my short doc, who then passed it onto the band he was teching for, Mumford & Sons. Soon, I found myself on an old-school vintage train chugging across America with Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show as part of the Railroad Revival Tour.

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Graded on a Curve: Rammstein,

Rammstein could teach P.T. Barnum a thing or two. Live, they’re the total entertainment package; simultaneously Goth metal band, fire hazard, and comedy act, they’re Götterdämmerung with guitars, Wagner’s Die Walküre without the woman in winged helmets.

Your average Rammstein show may begin with the band being led through the audience by a cowled druid holding a flaming torch, and things tend to get really weird after that. On the tactfully titled “Pussy,” lead singer Till Lindemann rides a penile ejaculation cannon that spews confetti. And when band crackup Christian “Flake” Lorenz–who plays Flava Flav to Lindemann’s Chuck D–isn’t doing the gerbil on the treadmill while he plays keyboards, he’s doing spastic Sprockets dances, riding a rubber lifeboat on a sea of hands, or being unceremoniously tossed into a bathtub and showered with glitter. You won’t see that at a Katatonia concert.

But let’s not forget the fire. It erupts volcanically from the stage, shoots from the mouths of the guitarists, sets the angel wings Lindemann dons for “Engel” alight, and streams from the flamethrower/ glorified gas station nozzle Lindemann uses to set an extra on fire in “Benzin.” It’s like WWII all over again on that stage, and Lindemann’s grime-smeared face and “Stalingrad Survivor” couture only add to the mood, as does the bands penchant for marching in lockstep. There’s nothing fascistic about any of this, mind you–fascists have no sense of humor, and Lindemann’s fashion sense evokes images of Herbie Mann at a leather bar.

Rammstein are a Goth metal band with the accent on both words; the Goth comes in the form of unabashed melodrama and a lighter touch (think Lorenz’s keyboards), while the metal is top-notch, bones-in-your-ears-crushing fare. In short you get the best of both worlds, and you get it in German, the lingua franca of the country that gave us both Bauhaus and Krupp steel. And speaking of the German language, how is that everybody at their live shows seems to know the lyrics to every single song? Is it possible Hitler actually won the Second World War?

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In rotation: 10/30/20

Toronto, CA | Sunrise music store entrepreneur raises tea shops from the dead: Doug Putman is reopening shuttered David’s Tea locations under T. Kettle brand. It was about eight weeks ago – seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic – that Doug Putman decided to resurrect the tea business. Specifically, the Canadian entrepreneur who resurrected Sunrise Records and Tapes, the Canadian and U.K. branches HMV, and the U.S.-based FYE (For Your Entertainment) had his eye on David’s Tea, the ubiquitous high-end tea shop that had more than 400 locations across the country. Like Sunrise, HMV and FYE, David’s Tea declared bankruptcy in the summer, shuttering 166 locations in Canada and 42 in the U.S., while maintaining its online business. On Oct. 28, Putman announced that Sunrise had taken over the leases of those shops and will be re-opening under the name T. Kettle in November.

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘Right Now It Doesn’t Really Feel’ Like Things Will Turn Around: With cases in Wisconsin continuing to surge, Governor Tony Evers put a 25% capacity restriction in place for retail — until a state judge blocked it. In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, after Ron left a career in the biomedical research field to pursue his love of music full time. Nearly 31 years later, the couple made the difficult decision to shutter in-store operations due to COVID-19, roughly a week before Governor Tony Evers forced a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses. Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Evers’ stay-at-home order — ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” — the Roloffs and their employees have reopened the store. As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, we will be speaking with Roloff regularly to chronicle her experience throughout the crisis.

Light in the Attic Announces Nancy Sinatra Reissue Campaign: The archival label is kicking off the year-long tribute with a deluxe compilation of Sinatra’s work from 1965-1976. Archival record label Light in the Attic has announced a year-long reissue campaign to honor Nancy Sinatra, who recently turned 80. The campaign will include reissues of studio albums and archival releasees on vinyl, CD, and digital formats. Today, Light in the Attic has announced Nancy Sinatra: Start Walkin’ 1965-1976, a definitive compilation of Sinatra’s solo work as well as her iconic recordings with Lee Hazelwood. It will also include interviews, liner notes (penned by The New Yorker writer and Pitchfork contributor Amanda Petrusich), and more. The compilation is available on all formats February 5. Listen to the first single from the collection, Sinatra’s 1976 cover of “(L’été Indien) Indian Summer,” below. The songs on Start Walkin’ have been remastered from the original analog tapes by engineer John Baldwin. In addition to Petrusich’s liner notes, the vinyl edition includes new interviews with Sinatra, a 24-page booklet, and more. Colored vinyl options are available in addition to standard black.

Three Landmark Frankie Goes To Hollywood Albums Set For Reissue: ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’, ‘Liverpool’ and greatest hits collection, ‘Bang!’ are set to return on both CD and vinyl. Three landmark albums by 1980s pop superstars Frankie Goes To Hollywood are set for reissue on both vinyl and CD. Welcome To The Pleasuredome, Liverpool and Bang!…The Greatest Hits will be available through UMC on December 11, except for the US where all three will be available on January 22, 2021. Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s legendary debut album, Welcome To The Pleasuredome was first released by ZTT and Island Records on 29 October 1984. Originally issued as a vinyl double album, it was assured of a UK chart entry at number one due to reported advance sales of over one million. Featuring the band’s signature hits, “Relax”, “Two Tribes” and “The Power Of Love”, the album was also a top ten seller internationally in countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, and New Zealand. Produced by Trevor Horn, it was widely-regarded as a ground-breaking release and helped define pop music production in the eighties.

Verlaines to release on vinyl: Dunedin music veterans The Verlaines will release their first new music on vinyl in nearly three decades this weekend — a limited edition pressing of 10th album Dunedin Spleen. Presented for Record Store Day 2020, October 24, the release is a double album on coloured vinyl, presented in a gatefold sleeve. The genesis of Dunedin Spleen dates back to shortly after The Verlaines’ ninth album, Untimely Meditations, in February 2012, during a prolific songwriting period for band founder Graeme Downes. By the end of 2013, Downes had completed enough material for two albums, setting lyrics to music using notation-playback software. At Easter, 2014, after laying down basic tracks, the band was confident they had enough material for a double album — more than 20 songs making 90-plus minutes of music. It was about this time, Downes and the late Roy Colbert discussed the idea to hold a concert of classic Dunedin songs fleshed out for a full orchestra, and the Tally Ho! concert series was born.

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TVD Radar: Charlie Parker, The Mercury & Clef 10-Inch LP Collection in stores 12/18

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Charlie “Bird” Parker, an architect of modern music nearly universally regarded as the greatest alto saxophonist who ever lived, released five 10-inch LPs via Mercury Records and producer Norman Granz’s pre-Verve label Clef Records in the early 1950s.

For the first time, these building-blocks of bebop — 1950’s Charlie Parker With Strings, 1952’s Bird and Diz and Charlie Parker Plays South of the Border, 1953’s Charlie Parker With Strings (Vol. 2) and 1954’s Charlie Parker, have been packaged together in honor of Bird’s centenary dubbed Bird 100. Parker’s complete recordings from this important cornerstone of his career will be released on Verve/UMe as The Mercury & Clef 10-Inch LP Collection on December 18, available exclusively via uDiscover and the official Charlie Parker webstore. All five records have been newly remastered, pressed to 10” black vinyl, and housed in faithful reproductions of the original packaging.

The boxed set, which features David Stone Martin’s strikingly illustrated original sleeve art, doubles as a tip of the hat to the 10-inch, a format popular in the late 1940s between the 78 and the 12-inch. It also contains an elegant booklet with rare photos, detailed session information, and essays by pianist-journalist Ethan Iverson and author David Ritz. All of the records included except Bird and Diz have been out of print on vinyl since their original releases more than 60 years ago (although the recent iteration of the album was not the original 10-inch). These attributes make The Mercury & Clef 10-Inch Collection the most detailed, collectible presentation yet of Bird’s fruitful 1940s-to-mid-’50s streak before his untimely passing in 1955 at age 34.

Some jazz-with-strings albums are hit-or-miss; Bird’s is a grand slam. He seized on the format; his Strings volumes are two of his recorded pinnacles. Vol. 1 begins with his immortal version of Sam Lewis and John Klenner’s “Just Friends,” which contains one of the most stirring and technically brilliant improvised saxophone solos ever recorded. Thomas Adair and Matt Dennis’s can’t-catch-a-break lament “Everything Happens to Me” receives a heavenly lift when Bird “sings” it on his horn. His take on Rodgers and Hart’s “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” shows how Parker could channel a romantic ballad naturally as if breathing. Vol. 2 is just as inspired, conjuring a nocturnal feel via George and Ira Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz’s “Dancing in the Dark,” and Cole Porter’s “Easy to Love.”

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TVD Radar: ZAPPA documentary in theatres 11/23, streaming 11/27

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Magnolia Pictures will release ZAPPA everywhere November 27th, 2020. Special one-night-only theatrical event on Monday, November 23rd, 2020.

With unfettered access to the Zappa family trust and all archival footage, ZAPPA explores the private life behind the mammoth musical career that never shied away from the political turbulence of its time. Alex Winter’s assembly features appearances by Frank’s widow Gail Zappa and several of Frank’s musical collaborators including Mike Keneally, Ian Underwood, Steve Vai, Pamela Des Barres, Bunk Gardner, David Harrington, Scott Thunes, Ruth Underwood, Ray White and others.

Produced by Alex Winter, Glen Zipper, Ahmet Zappa, John Frizzell, Devorah DeVries, and Jade Allen. Executive Producers Robert Halmi and Jim Reeve of Great Point Media

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Billy Joe Shaver:
The TVD Interview

We remember Billy Joe Shaver with this 2015 conversation from our archives.Ed.

Billy Joe Shaver is a diamond. A rough one, to be sure; no “Marquise cut” here. But a diamond, nevertheless. Playing music since the age of eight, the plainspoken Texan became a songwriter exemplar, receiving accolades (and cover versions) from peers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and legions more. He has also lived a life with more twists and turns than a Mexican telenovela.

While some may pad their resume with exaggerated tales of bravado, Mr. Shaver has no need to do so. The unvarnished truth of his life story comes through in his songs which are direct, emotional, and honest, brutally so at times. Touring in support of his excellent new album, Long in the Tooth, we spoke with Shaver about his career, his Texas heritage, and what lies ahead.

So, you are currently a resident of Waco, Texas?

Yes, I’m the “Wacko from Waco.”

I was born just south of there in Killeen…

(Immediately) Well, I wouldn’t brag about it too much (laughter). Nah, I’m just kidding. It’s a nice spot. A lot of crazy things happen down here.

Well, speaking of crazy, how did Todd Snider convince you to come to Nashville and make a record?

(More laughter) He has the ability to light a fire under me. What he does is pick on me until he gets me mad and then I’ll do it.

He must have made you really mad because this is a great record.

Yeah, it’s a great record, it really is. I like it. I had been planning on making another one but I was waiting for Ray Kennedy to come loose. Finally, he did and I went over to Ray’s studio with Todd and did some demo-type things. It worked out pretty good but not as good as the final version with Ray and Gary Nicholson.

All Todd was interested in was getting me back into recording again. I was doing alright just playing (live). We had built up a big fan base because I play a lot, I always have. It didn’t show up until this record came out and then people started writing me up everywhere I went. As opposed to a young songwriter, it’s easy for them to talk to me because I’ve been around so long and there’s so much to talk about. The new guys, all they’ve got to talk about is their new record and that’s about it. A lot them are so young they don’t have much to say yet.

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TVD Premiere: Kris Gruen, “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory”

The alt-folk artist Kris Gruen has an intergenerational connection with the 1970s rock and punk scene in New York, so it’s more than appropriate that one of the first singles off his new album is a wistful cover of the legendary scene maker Johnny Thunders’ tune “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.”

Gruen said, “When I was born, my parents were working with The New York Dolls. I grew up hearing those various, raucous Dolls anthems that drove punk (as a genre) to the forefront of pop music. Many don’t know that Johnny Thunders, the Dolls’ lead guitarist, had a solo career as a singer-songwriter.” Gruen’s father, Bob, is a one of the leading photographers of the era perhaps best known for his iconic photo of John Lennon wearing a “New York City” t-shirt.

What makes the new single stand out so clearly, besides Gruen’s tender vocal and the song’s heartfelt lyrics, is the way the singer makes the tune his own. Thunders’ version hides some of the lyrics under the explosive rock beat of the era. Gruen exposes the song revealing the heartbreak that must have inspired it.

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

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

NEW RELEASE PICK: Judith Hamann, Shaking Studies & Music for Cello and Humming (Blank Forms Editions) Released conjointly on October 30 (though there might be pressing plant delays), Shaking (on LP) and Humming (on CD) comprise Australian cellist Hamann’s debut as a soloist, though she has recorded with Tashi Wada, Graham Lambkin, Alvin Lucier, and Rosalind Hall. Knowledge of those names will clue one in to Hamann’s boldly experimental bent; suffice to say that lovers of the drone will want to get acquainted with these sets (she has worked La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela), even as the titles make clear that Hamann’s thematic focus for both releases goes beyond “simple” elevated note extension. Far beyond. The abundance of cello on these albums also strengthens connections to the classical avant-garde, though as the label points out, Hamann is consistently resisting “chamber music orthodoxy.” Shaking’s relation to its titular action is subtle but discernible; Humming spreads out to nearly 80 minutes and, due to the human need to breathe, is rife with pauses, strategically executed. A

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Catherine Christer Hennix, Unbegrenzt (Blank Forms Editions / Empty Editions) Along with two books, Poësy Matters and Other Matters, Blank Forms and Empty Editions have already issued two magnificent archival volumes of unheard music from Swedish composer Hennix, Selected Early Keyboard Works and The Deontic Miracle: Selections from 100 Models of Hegikan Roku, the latter sharing the top spot on my Best Reissues of 2019 list. Recorded in Stockholm in 1974, with Hennix (recitation, percussion, electronics) and Hans Isgren (bowed gong) “performing” “Unbegrenzt” (Unlimited), one of 15 text pieces from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Aus den Sieben Tagen (From the Seven Days) the nearly 52-minute piece (split over two sides of vinyl) is to my ear superior to the version from 1969 that features Stockhausen himself. I’m not alone in this view, as the PR describes Stockhausen’s concept of “intuitive music” as “Eurocentric,” while Bill Dietz’s liner notes are considerably less kind to ol’ Karl, and that’s perfectly fine. Parts of this suggest traces of AMM and gamelan music as heard from inside a radio communications outpost, and that’s very fine. A

Zazou Bikaye, Mr. Manager (Expanded Edition) (Crammed Discs) This set follows Crammed’s 2017 reissue of Noir et Blanc, which was the collab of Congolese vocalist-composer Bony Bikaye, French musician-producer Hector Zazou, and modular synth team CY1 (that’s Frenchmen Guillaume Loizillon and Claude Micheli). Mr. Manager, originally a mini-LP, came out in 1985 with Zazou Bikaye solidifying as a band as CY1 exited the scene. There were additional selections recorded at the same time and in ’86, once intended for LP release but shelved as Zazou Bikaye moved on to release Guilty in ’88. This expansion rounds up that set-aside material (including two remixes of “Get Back” dating from 1990) for an 8-song LP (the mini-album held five) and a 14-song CD (a full download accompanies the vinyl). I remain quite enthusiastic over Noir et Blanc, and I like this too, but just not as much. The debut reminded me a little of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (except I consider Zazou Bikaye’s record to be stronger), and the continued African/ European fusion of Mr. Manager hits my ear a smidge like Talking Heads at their most dancy. But more eclectic, which is appreciated. A-

The Fall, The Frenz Experiment Expanded Edition (Beggars Arkive) The reissues by Beggars Arkive of The Fall’s Beggars Banquet output have been highlighted pretty extensively in this column, and by extension, I’ve mentioned at least once that back in the day, the band’s albums for the label were somewhat contentious, as many felt that Mark E. Smith and company (which at the time, included Brix Smith) had lost the plot and smoothed out. The Frenz Experiment, which included a UK-charting cover of The Kinks’ “Victoria,” didn’t curb the griping, but that’s a long time ago now. I find the record holds up well, especially in these 21-track 2LP and 28-track 2CD editions. Both include “Bremen Nacht Run Out” and “Mark’ll Sink Us” from the 45 that accompanied the UK and German first pressings of the LP. Exclusive to the CD version are four tracks from an unreleased BBC Radio session, a cover of “A Day in the Life” (very good), a nine-minute “Bremen Nacht (Alternative),” and an additional version of “Mark’ll Sink Us.” Overall, not as strong as Bend Sinister before or I Am Kurious Oranj after, but sharp, nonetheless. A-

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In rotation: 10/29/20

Why you need to visit a vinyl store: …When walking down the street of your favorite city, you typically come across a beautiful rustic store that catches your eye. When you see it you notice that it is a super nice vinyl store that has all different types of music that will give you the organic sense of music you have been looking for. When walking around a vinyl record store you are immediately strock with the sensation that you are walking around in a music history wormhole. Nothing beats walking around a vinyl record store and hand picking the music that you have loved since you can remember as a young kid. Vinyl will immediately take you back into history and show you that a vinyl record player that was played way back in the 80s sounds like and how it still sounds the exact same as it did back 40 years ago. Yes, the vinyl record player might have gotten a lot more older but when it comes to how it sounds and flows throughout the air vinyl defies history itself.

Burlington, VT | Checking in with Burlington Records: In the past few weeks, I’ve been checking in with local record store proprietors to find out how the pandemic has been treating them. I was also particularly curious about what kinds of records have been moving, as a nod to Seven Days’ formerly weekly and long-retired inclusion of record store sales in this section. Even before I started doing this series, I’d asked record store owners in past conversations about their best sellers. I always presumed, somewhat facetiously, that they sold a lot of copies of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Burlington Records’ Ian Doerner recently confirmed that, indeed, the classic 1977 album is his best-selling disc. “It’s annoying to say that, because if you asked a record store clerk that in 1981 and 1991 and 2001, it’s always gonna be the same goddamn answer,” Doerner said, noting that he sells, on average, one Rumours per day. “It’s just never ending.”

Vinyl records: they just mean more: There’s only a few things I like more than listening to live music. It’s one of those things you just have to see in person to keep your spirit fresh and renewed. It is an art piece unfolding before your eyes and ears that can be so many things, but at its core revolves around usually the same thing: a drum beat and a guitar. It is different for everyone, but it’s never left me going, “Eh, whatever.” Live bands, especially ones playing big venues, are curating their shows every night to be an experience that is best when consumed in full. There is a reason for the beginning, middle and end of a show, and how they order their songs. There are stories being told, emotions being brought to the forefront, skills being demonstrated, all for the sole purpose of creating an experience for the listener that brings an infusion of life.

Denver, CO | Angelo’s CD’s & More: Denver’s businesses respond with a sigh to new COVID-19 rules: Some will lose revenue. Others have been ready for this since the summer. …Despite visiting a dozen retail shops, we couldn’t get comment from most people working at them. For the most part, owners and managers weren’t in, leaving employees to say they couldn’t speak on the record. But we did find the general manager of Angelo’s CD’s & More on South Broadway in Overland. Sean Batz rolled his eyes at the new rules. “I stopped listening to the mayor in March,” he said. “I felt we have been on our own as a business.” When his shop reopened in May, just after Denver’s stay-at-home orders lifted, he decided he’d only allow ten customers in at a time. He’s not exactly sure what his maximum capacity is, but he’s confident he’s been operating below 25 percent for months. He even lowered his maximum allowance to just five customers for Record Store Day last weekend. His staff monitored a line snaking down the sidewalk outside as customers took their turns. He said he wanted to be sure everyone was safe, regardless of what it meant for business.

Record Store Recs: Sergio Acosta Of Zoé Shares Vinyl Gems From Austin & London: Their most recent album, 2018’s ‘Aztlán,’ earned the rock en Español heavyweights their first GRAMMY win, and the follow-up is on the way. …Nowadays, record shops are a fragile entity. Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas, no doubt is my favorite shop. It’s the perfect shop for me because it has a tight, wide and masterfully curated selection in a fairly small space. Curatorship is great at Waterloo. I can almost always find what I have in mind at Waterloo. Amoeba Hollywood, on the contrary, was almost as big as a Walmart, but packed with great music of all sorts of genres. Very well organized, and vast. High ceilings. Last I heard, it is moving out of its iconic temple that was a unique, massive place for music lovers for many, many years. I’m happy to know that it’s changing to a smaller location as the next step. And who can argue with Rough Trade Records in London? It is as fancy as London can be. They are always proposing new music, and curatorship is also impeccable. It is still a very special place.

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TVD Radar: Gang of
Four: 77–81 box set in stores 10/28

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “As a kid, I stumbled upon a copy of Gang of Four’s Entertainment! accidentally and it went on to become one of the most influential records of my life as a producer, lyricist and fan of music in general. Their sparse, unorthodox, riff heavy guitars and nasty, funky, in-the-pocket rhythm section drew me in, but it was their questioning of the world that kept me listening as I grew. I consider them a seminal band, whose influence and effect permeates the music world in a deeper way than many realize. Thank you, Gang of Four, for existing.”
EL-P (Run The Jewels)

On December 11th, Matador Records will release GANG OF FOUR: 77-81, a stunning, limited edition box set gathering Gang of Four’s influential early work. The box set contains Entertainment! and Solid Gold (both remastered from the original analog tapes), an exclusive singles LP, and an exclusive double LP of the never officially released Live at American Indian Center 1980. Additionally, the package includes two new badges, a C90 cassette tape compiling 26 never-before-issued outtakes, rarities and studio demos from Entertainment! and Solid Gold, and an epic 100-page, full-color hardbound book.

The book details the history and legacy of the original Gang of Four with never before seen photos, contributions from surviving original band members, rare posters, ephemera, flyers, essays, artwork, liner notes and more. It also marks the first official publication of their lyrics.

Gang of Four was formed in Leeds in 1976 by bassist Dave Allen, drummer Hugo Burnham, guitarist Andy Gill, and singer Jon King. The band pioneered a style of music that inverted punk’s blunt and explosive energies — favoring tense rhythms, percussive guitars, and lyrics that traded in Marxist theory and situationism. They put every element of the traditional “rock band” format to question, from notions of harmony and rhythm to presentation and performance.

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TVD Radar: Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan in theaters, on demand 12/4

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Magnolia Pictures will release Crock of Gold in theaters and on demand December 4th, 2020. Special one-night-only theatrical event on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020.

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan deep dives into the life of the tortured Irish vocalist, best known as the lead singer and songwriter of the Pogues, who famously combined traditional Irish music with the visceral energy of punk rock. Featuring unseen archival footage from the band and MacGowan’s family, as well as animation from legendary illustrator Ralph Steadman, Julien Temple’s rollicking love letter spotlights the iconic frontman up to his 60th birthday celebration, where singers, movie stars, and rock ’n’ roll outlaws gather to celebrate the man and his legacy.

Directed by Julien Temple and produced by Julien Temple, Johnny Depp, Stephen Deuters. and Stephen Malit.

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