Monthly Archives: November 2020

TVD Radar: RUN DMC limited edition vinyl comp in stores 12/8

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Following their acclaimed project with Travis Scott and fashion house Saint Laurent, 12on12 announce their latest collaboration with cultural icons and hip-hop legends RUN DMC. The pioneering New York group have curated an exclusive limited edition 12″ vinyl only compilation with bespoke artwork by rising LA artist Reena Tolentino, aka ‘RT’.

The 12on12 deluxe, double disc package is limited to 500 hand-numbered editions and embodies the story of RUN-DMC’s legacy within the handpicked iconic track-listing, featuring songs that inspired, affected and changed the ground-breaking group’s music. The first release in celebration of the 35th anniversary of seminal 1986 album Raising Hell, RUN DMC pay tribute to their late bandmate Jam Master Jay and dedicate this project in his honour.

The release offers a fascinating insight into RUN DMC, one of the most influential groups of all time. Alongside tracks by early rap trailblazers The Sugarhill Gang and Afrika Bambaataa, the group have also highlighted songs that helped form the sonic foundations of the nascent hip hop sound as it emerged and evolved in New York in the early 1980s, including the breaks-goldmine of MFSB’s Love Is The Message and Kraftwerk’s game-changing Trans-Europe Express, a song rarely licensed for any compilation.

The unique work of art for the record has been designed by one of the most exciting names on the LA art scene, Reena Tolentino. A visual artist and actor, RT’s work rose to prominence after her acclaimed mural of late basketball icon Kobe Bryant. In addition to providing artwork and portraits of RUN DMC for the project she has also reinterpreted one of the most iconic hip-hop logos of all time with a rework of the classic RUN DMC logo.

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TVD Radar: What
The Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?
doc announced

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Jesse James Films in association with Crew Neck Productions are producing a fully authorized documentary blending music, politics, social commentary and a mystery involving one of the biggest rock bands of the late ’60s/early ’70s: Blood, Sweat & Tears. The film will be written, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary and The Happy Days of Garry Marshall) who is diving deep into the mystery of what actually happened to the band that suddenly fell from grace at the peak of their fame.

In 1970, Blood, Sweat & Tears was one of the biggest bands in the world. They had exploded on the scene with both daring and promise, selling millions of records, winning multiple Grammy Awards including Album of the Year (beating out The Beatles’ Abbey Road) and one of the headliners at the legendary Woodstock festival. In demand for concert and TV appearances, BS&T was a darling of the mainstream and rock press, icon of the counterculture and inspiration for a generation of horn-based bands. Their future was limitless. And then it all went wrong.

Created with the full cooperation of Blood, Sweat & Tears, the film will overflow with great music, international political intrigue, compelling human moments, humor and fresh insight into this strange never-before-told story.

“John Scheinfeld is a unique combination of filmmaker, historian and detective,” says BS&T’s Bobby Colomby. “He asked me a simple question: ‘What the hell happened to Blood Sweat & Tears?’ My convoluted answer somehow ignited an engine inside of John that was the beginning of an unexpected adventure: creating a documentary film to reveal the answer to this decades old question. This won’t be your typical music doc, in any way, shape or form.”

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Devon Allman of
The Allman Betts Band,
The TVD Interview

Much like the families and groups from which it was bred and sprung, The Allman Betts Band has consistently thrived as a live performance act. But just last year they proved their studio mettle by releasing a debut album Down to the River, and in late August of this year—and what a strange and volatile year it has been for the universe—they released Bless Your Heart, a versatile, expansive, and guitar-driven record that serves as a testament to the band’s studio abilities.

Possessing a penchant for live performance The Allman Betts Band has configured themselves to operate within the newly outlined confines of these strange days. They are in the midst of a socially-distanced live tour—at select venues across the United States that vow to honor safety precautions—to share works from the new album. And what works they are. For those music fans still possessing some interest in the legacy of the guitar, Bless Your Heart does not disappoint.

The band is spearheaded by talented offspring of the legendary Allman Brothers Band: Devon Allman, son of Gregg, and Duane Betts, son of Dickey—not to mention bassist Berry Duane Oakley, son of founding member Berry. Through songwriting, production, and instrumental acumen, both Devon and Duane prove themselves to be worthy of their own independent musical footprint, while—to the probable satisfaction of longtime Allman Brothers fans—still being wise and thoughtful enough to honor the enduring legacy of the Allman Brothers Band.

Bless Your Heart is a modern album that seeks to make the old new again. There’s the authentically collar-grabbing album opener “Pale Horse Rider,” the 1970s-romantically charged epic “The Doctor’s Daughter,” the cross-country road trip of “Much Obliged,” and the scene-stealing, tripped-out yet sophisticated instrumental piece “Savannah’s Dream,” amidst a sea of solid and varied songs to create an album experience. The album proves that the echoes of classic rock are not dead and finished but instead still malleable and up for grabs. Plus, it’s been released as a nice-looking coke bottle clear, 180 gram vinyl double record.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 15: Holiday(ish) Music Monday

Now that our Thanksgiving feasts have digested, it’s time to get straight into the holiday swing! This week, we begin to feature the Christmas music that it seems everyone is yearning for lately.

The Goo Goo Dolls have released a very enjoyable new album, It’s Christmas All Over (Warner). You can hear their new track, “This is Christmas” which has that GGD vibe that you know and love. In 1994, the great blues pianist, Charles Brown released Cool Christmas Blues (Craft Recordings) which was nominated for a Grammy, it is just now seeing its first vinyl reissue! Brown was involved with two classic Christmas tunes during his career (“Merry Christmas Baby” and “Please Come Home For Christmas”), you’ll have to tune in to hear which one we play this week. Popular pop princess, Meghan Trainor also comes by to drop some presents under the tree as we explore her latest release, A Very Trainor Christmas (Epic).

This week, we also celebrate many 50th anniversary reissues released in 2020 (that’s 1970 for those of you playing at home). You’ll hear what Jim Morrison really wants for Christmas from the recently reissued Morrison Hotel (Rhino) release and we pick a track from the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty (Rhino) reissue and remaster. Ray Barretto’s Barretto Power (Fania/Craft Latino) salsa classic is also 50 years old this year and it’s been reissued as an all-analog vinyl pressing—let’s take that one out for a spin as well, shall we?

Of course, we wade through other usual eclectic fare: Sturgill Simpson’s new bluegrass release Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 1, Sharon Jones’ recent compilation of covers, Just Dropped in to See What Condition my Rendition Was in, and AC/DC’s hotly anticipated new Power Up album. There’s more, but you’ll have to tune in to hear it. Happy December!

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:
Mott the Hoople,
Mad Shadows

To most the backstory of Mott the Hoople goes something like this: nothing much special hard rock led by lead singer with Dylan fixation is on verge of throwing in towel when David Bowie tosses them lifeline in form of “All the Young Dudes.”

There are several problems with this narrative. First, Mott the Hoople were anything but a conventional hard rock band–they were a rock ’n’ roll band fronted by Ian Hunter, a singer/ songwriter with a penchant for ballads. Toss in the oversized presence of eccentric Svengali/ producer/ legendary wrecker of recording studios Guy Stevens, who was more than happy to indulge Hunter’s idiosyncrasies, and what you had was a band that set itself well apart from the hard rock pack.

Seriously, how many hard rock bands could have come up with songs called “Death May Be Your Santa Claus” and “The Wheel of the Quivering Meat Conception”? Or recorded a brilliant cover of Sonny Bono’s “Laugh at Me”? Or an equally brilliant cover of Dion’s anti-heroin ode “Your Own Backyard”? Or produced as many anthemic ballads as hard rockers for that matter?

All four of Mott’s pre-All the Young Dudes LPs merit high grades, and their 1970 sophomore outing Mad Shadows is no exception. Like the others it splits the difference between heavy and soft, and showcases the mad skills of Hunter, guitarist Mick Ralphs, organ player Verden Allen, bass player Pete “Overend” Watts, and drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffith.

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In rotation: 11/30/20

Vinyl set to hit three-decade high sales this year: Vinyl is on track to hit a three-decade high in sales in the UK this year. In September, it was announced that vinyl records had outsold CDs in the US for first time in over 30 years during the first half of 2020. In total, the Recording Industry Association of America reported $232million sales of vinyl music between January and June of this year, compared with just $144million CD sales. Now, it has been revealed that the UK is looking to follow suit with vinyl sales increasing almost 10% this year. It means the format is on track to rake in over £100 million by the end of this year, making 2020 the best year for record sales for thirty years. Drew Hill, managing director of Proper Music, told The Guardian: “We have seen 250% growth from the bottom of lockdown to where we are now. I thought it could be catastrophic for the industry but during lockdown the kind of people buying records also probably went to a lot of gigs. They can’t do that so it seems fans are spending the money they used to on going to gigs each month on records.”

UK | Love Record Stores campaign launches Independent Albums Of The Year initiative: The Love Record Stores campaign has announced the launch of the inaugural Independent Albums Of The Year list. The new #loverecordstores campaign, which was set up earlier this year to raise awareness of the challenges faced by record stores during the Covid-19 pandemic, is aimed primarily at the UK’s wider independent music sector. The list features releases from independent labels voted for by a cross section of notable independent record stores including Drift, Resident, Rough Trade, Normans, Piccadilly, Bear Tree, Assai, Banquet, Stranger Than Paradise, Bleep and Monorail, and will be unveiled on Thursday, December 3. Jason Rackham, UK MD of PIAS and co-founder of #loverecordstores said: “As we head into the winter months it is clear that record stores face a challenging end to the year. We hope and believe that this celebration of the year’s best independent music will help to support the record stores and remind people to continue to support this vital sector of our industry.”

Portland, ME | Bull Moose to close store in Portland: Bull Moose Music’s store in the Old Port will close at the end of November. “Our lease is up and there is very little foot traffic downtown,” a tweet from the company read Tuesday night. The retailer is a cultural institution in Maine and New Hampshire, selling records, CDs, books, movies, toys and games. Its 8 other Maine locations in Maine and 3 New Hampshire stores will remain open. Several Old Port retail stores and restaurants have been forced for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic. Those in the city’s performing arts industry have been fundraising to support live music venues. Founded in Brunswick by Brett Wickard in 1989, Bull Moose’s Portland location at 151 Middle Street was considered to be its flagship location. The store, set below street level, was a hub for those in and surrounding the southern Maine music scene and typically stayed open until 11 p.m. and frequently hosted live performances from local and touring artists. The record store shared a lobby with Videoport, an independent video and DVD rental store, before it closed in 2015. “Downtown Portland will rebound and when it does we will look for a new location in Portland. Until then, the Mill Creek and Scarborough stores are only a few miles away…”

‘People in their 40s were crying’: the sad final days of New York’s coolest record store: Other Music fuelled New York’s 00s indie boom, boasting Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective among its fans. Then it closed. A new documentary tells the story of the store’s tragic demise – and its ‘terrifying’ staff. A lot of skulking went on at Other Music, the celebrated New York record store. It was an odd kind of dance: nervous customers, hiding behind CD racks or LP sleeves, trying to conjure up a question that wouldn’t result in utter humiliation. The staff there had quite a reputation, after all. The experience is relived in a surprisingly moving new documentary about the shop, also called Other Music. Notable fans Regina Spektor and Jason Schwartzman still sound daunted by Other’s intense atmosphere. “If I’m completely honest, I was never just ‘chill’ in there,” confides Spektor, to camera. “I always got that first-day-of-school feeling, like: OK, just don’t fuck up.” Several former staff admit to their serial moodiness, although the management seem slightly upset at the accusation. This is understandable, given the devoted community they built up over 21 years; the film goes on to capture the store’s final days, before it gets physically ripped apart.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ve closed the office for the Thanksgiving holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our free Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores during Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, 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, 11/30.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon and happy Friday!

Though you may not drive a great big Cadillac / Diamond in the back, sunroof top / Diggin’ the scene / With a gangsta lean / Gangsta whitewalls / TV antennas in the back / You may not have a car at all / But remember brothers and sisters / You can still stand tall / Just be thankful for what you got…

Heading into Thanksgiving week everything is as “fine” as can be in this canyon.

Throughout the decade or so that I’ve been creating the Idelic Hour, the show has been following the new album release cycle for artists and their labels. Now with a singles based streaming paradigm and the pandemic, the landscape of new music is and will be shifting.

Fuck man, gone are the days when I would make the rounds to the 4 or 5 local record shops in my neighborhood to ask when the new Led Zeppelin record would be in. I’m actually very grateful that as a kid in New York City I fully experienced record shopping at its height.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth,
Episode 14: Thanksgiving Wish (Bone)

Thanksgiving is a little different this year, there’s no denying it. However, even though these are complicated times, it doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of things to still be very grateful and thankful for. That’s what we celebrate on this week’s episode of Radar and we do it with some help from some of our favorite musicians who share with us an overarching theme of thanks.

You’ll hear Gregory Porter, Sly and the Family Stone, Led Zeppelin, Leonard Cohen and much more; old favorites and new. I don’t know about you, but the holiday season for me is always synonymous with those four Liverpool lads, The Beatles, so they of course stop by as well. We also have a “Thank You” contest between ZZ Top and Sam & Dave, make sure to tune in and see how that one turns out.

All in all, it’s an opportunity to bask in a glow of gratefulness with some of our favorite musicians and performers; we can use their comfort and support now more than ever. So, a Thanksgiving toast to all of our loyal Radar listeners and readers: may you enjoy this special season with your closest of loved ones and may you also recognize that—even during these very weird times—we all still have much to be thankful for.

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: Joe Bonamassa documentary Guitar Man streaming on-demand, 12/8

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Discover the extraordinary story of legendary bluesman Joe Bonamassa in the inspirational documentary Guitar Man, arriving on Video-On-Demand and for Digital purchase December 8, 2020 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

From average Joe by day to guitar hero at night, Guitar Man tells the incredible rise of blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa, whose hard work and determination have made him one of today’s top-selling blues artists. With more #1 Blues albums than anyone else in history, Bonamassa pulls back the curtain on his incredible career, allowing us to see his remarkable musical achievements and pioneering style. Featuring behind the scenes interviews and live concert footage showcasing some of the biggest names in music, kick back and enjoy the exhilarating soundtrack of his phenomenal life.

Guitar Man showcases Bonamassa’s astounding talent from his childhood as a “wunderkind” discovered and mentored by Blues legend B.B. King. At the age of only 43, Bonamassa has an illustrious career spanning over three decades. Through highs and lows, Joe persevered, taking his musical journey into his own hands to overcome challenges and reach his goals. In 2009, Bonamassa fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall and was joined on stage by Eric Clapton, marking a pivotal moment that elevated his music to the next level.

Filled with an abundance of music, live concert footage, and interviews with music industry legends, Guitar Man chronicles a musician growing in his craft, traveling the globe, collaborating with top artists from across the world of music, and ascending to the heights of inevitable success.

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TVD Radar: Mary Timony, Mountains expanded 20th anniversary 2LP in stores 1/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To date Matador’s Revisionist History series has set its focus on the hallowed year of 1995 – surfacing critical releases by Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Guided by Voices, and Chavez. Today, however, we whirl the dial on the in-house wayback machine and travel toward the future: the year 2000 and Mary Timony’s debut solo album, Mountains, which will be reissued on January 15.

Remastered by Bob Weston, Mountains comes back to us as a gold foil-embossed gatefold 2xLP and will include the previously unreleased original takes of “Return to Pirates,” “Poison Moon,” and “Killed by the Telephone,” which were delivered along with the original master tapes 20 years ago, but were omitted from the final album. The record is completed by a newly recorded orchestral version of “Valley of One Thousand Perfumes” produced by composer Joe Wong (Russian Doll, Midnight Gospel) and mixed by Dave Fridmann.

At the turn of the century, Timony (Ex Hex, Wild Flag, Hammered Hulls) was already a celebrated presence in American underground music ­­– a fixture of D.C. and Boston rock ’n’ roll via her work in Autoclave and Helium respectively. By 1998, though, Helium was drawing to a close and Timony was feeling uncertain about the future. “I had never been good at the rock’ n’ roll business, and making a living from being in a band just didn’t seem like it was in the realm of possibility for me,” she writes. “I just knew I wanted to make another record because that was the part of being in a band that I liked the most.”

At the time of its original release, Timony called Mountains, “A Trip to the New Underworld.” “A bunch of hard stuff was happening in my life: family illnesses, people dying, people leaving, relationships ending. I fell into a deep depression,” she explains. “I tried new ways of making music: I tried writing songs without any filter at all, and I purposely didn’t think about what the music would sound like to anyone else. I was only interested in describing what was in my head.”

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Katie Kuffel,
The TVD First Date

“My first date with vinyl followed the arc of a classic ’90s romcom. A series of almosts and missed connections before finally we each turned the corner, caught the other’s eye, and fell in love.”

“Like most folks who have a dad with a garage, I unearthed his high school and college collection of records while exhuming my family’s Christmas decorations. I was a braces-laden eleven year old, and though I theoretically knew what the records were as objects, the band names within bands ‘The Temptations’ and ‘Marvin Gaye’ were entirely alien to me. My family didn’t own a record player, so they stayed in the box, forgotten.

It was many years before vinyl and I crossed paths again. I was in my early twenties and just played a gig with Drew Martin, a local in the Seattle music scene who lived most of the year in Hawaii, but would manage to sell out venues like The Sunset simply by sending out one group text message. He’s a mythic underground figure, to say the least. I don’t drive, so he was carting me to and from the venue.

We were loading my gear into his car and he had some left over merch in his trunk. A home-printed T-shirt, and a deluxe vinyl of his record The Valley, an invaluable object only available in physical form since he hadn’t bothered with streaming sites or digitizing his music at all yet. He offered them, and I happily accepted both proffered gifts. I’d conveniently forgotten that I didn’t own a record player.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Nice,
Five Bridges

I keep having the same nightmare. In it, Keith Emerson is hitting me over the head with dead classical composers. First he hits me over the head with Johannes Sebastian Bach, then he hits me over the head with Modest Mussorgsky, then he hits me over the head with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, then he hits me over the head with Béla Bartók, then Jerry Lee Lewis bursts into the room and hits Keith Emerson over the head with a piano. Thank God for Jerry Lee Lewis.

Keith Emerson didn’t start bashing me over the head with dead composers when he joined the Evil Triumvirate Emerson, Lake & Palmer. No, it started back in 1968, when the classical blowhard formed the Nice with singer/bass player Lee Jackson and drummer Brian Davison. The trio quickly set about mixing classical music with rock, creating a tidal wave of bands set upon putting a conductor’s baton in the hand of a popular music form guilty only of minding its own business.

Emerson showed early promise as a live performer, taking a whip to his piano, riding it across the stage like the Lone Ranger, and stabbing it to death with knives. Unfortunately he grew up, quit the shenanigans and went full SymphProg, sealing the fates of those of us who believe that once you’ve buried a classical composer you should have the common decency not to dig him back up again.

On 1970’s live Five Bridges The Nice, aided and abetted by a horn section and the Sinfonia of London, play a classical hash that incorporates the music of Bach, Tchaikovsky, and Jean Sibelius, with a dash of jazz schmaltz tossed in for flavoring. The entire album’s a horror show, but The Nice reach a world historic nadir with “Country Pie”/“Brandenburg Concerto,” which they presumably created by cramming Bob Dylan and J.S. Bach into a prototype of Seth Brundle’s telepod.

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In rotation: 11/20/20

Tower Records launches online store: The legendary Tower Records is back and better than ever! Founded back in 1960 in Sacramento, California, the record store had to unfortunately file for bankruptcy in 2006 and has been closed ever since then. It previously had 89 chain stores across America, and their store in Japan became iconic – but had become separate from the business back in 2002 – and still runs as popular as ever today. The original Tower Records, though, is now back in an online store form. Not going anywhere now, this is brilliant news for the independent record store market, and their online form means that it will never leave us again. It’s been 14 whole years, but now the revival of Tower Records is in full swing. Stating that they’re open 23/7, they boast over 500,000 titles on CD and vinyl including 468 pages in the electronic section filled with some of the greatest dance albums of all time. Also on their store is a merch section where you can purchase logo shirts, record slipmats, hats, sweaters and much more.

Louisville, KY | Would ear X-tacy Survive in Today’s Vinyl Revolution? For music lovers in Louisville, it’s almost a citywide shared memory: You carve out some time, head to ear X-tacy in The Highlands and get lost for the next two hours checking out new music on the many listening stations scattered around the store. The hope was you’d hear that next band or artist that you were about to fall in love with and listen to incessantly, as the thrill of “discovering” that new favorite band is something that cannot be explained, only experienced. The iconic store opened Aug. 1, 1985, at 4264 Poplar Level Road, moved to a space next door to Great Escape where it did business for three years, then to the 1534 Bardstown Road location that became its long-time home. It ultimately landed in a smaller spot down the street, at Douglass Loop, before closing for good in late 2011. The classic Bardstown Road space then became a Panera restaurant, adding insult to injury. Ear X-tacy’s legacy would spark the 2012 documentary “Brick and Mortar and Love,” and many remain wistful for those days of browsing through albums and CDs and soaking in the quirky atmosphere of the destination music shop.

Rehoboth, DE | Rehoboth’s Extended Play triples size with new location: Record store moves from Rehoboth Avenue to Village By The Sea complex. After more than two years in one of the smallest retail locations in Rehoboth Beach, record store Extended Play has tripled its size with a recent move to the Village By The Sea shopping center. Owner Steve Fallon opened Extended Play in July 2018 in the space next to Dos Locos Stonegrill. At the time he estimated it to be roughly 400 square feet. The new location, Suite 8B, across from Arena’s Deli, is about three times the size, he said. Fallon said the extra space was the reason for the move. In addition to more room for records, the space allows for the display of the business’ audio equipment, he said. “Too many tiny hands could touch things in the old place,” said Fallon. Estimating 2,000 vinyl records sitting on the floor now, Jackson Beckner, Extended Play store manager, said the new location will allow him to sort out and display the remaining 4,000 records the shop has in storage. “More space means more inventory,” said Beckner, happy to have the task in front of him.

San Diego, CA | Folk Arts and Jupiter join forces: “When you own your own store it’s the real education.” Brendan Boyle began his vinyl education while working at a record shop in Sacramento. Following that, he went solo and spent about ten years selling vinyl online. The combined experiences gave him a 20-year education when it came to buying and selling records, but he claims that it wasn’t until he purchased Lou Curtiss’s Folk Arts Rare Records that he entered the uppermost realms of vinyl expertise. “When you own your own store it’s the real education,” he explained. “What you’re learning is on a whole other level than anything else. So, the biggest education I’ve had is the last six years.” Boyle’s El Cajon Boulevard Folk Arts location had been chugging along fine since it opened in 2014, but about four years into that run he decided to open Jupiter, a second record shop. It wasn’t so much a stab at increased profits as his inner soothsayer predicting bad days on the horizon. “I built Jupiter in 2018 partially as a fallback plan,” he explained. “It was a fallback plan for a potential Great American Shitshow. I was worried about Donald Trump not being the greatest president and some kind of shitshow happening — and I ended up being right.”

Poppy reveals her favorite store is Newbury Comics, announces holiday EP: It’s uncertain to really know just how many things Bostonians have in common with Poppy. But as of today (November 18), we can add our favorite chain of record stores to the list. News dropped this morning that the increasingly enigmatic metal-pop-fusion star will release an album of Christmas tunes called A Very Poppy Christmas on December 1. New England-based pop culture and record shop Newbury Comics also shared via Twitter that they’ll have 1000 white vinyl copies of the album available to pre-order, exclusive to their shops. Then came the big reveal: Poppy responded to the tweet, writing “My favorite store since I was a bb.” The news, while glorious, isn’t altogether shocking; Poppy was born in Massachusetts and lived here until her early teens until she moved to Tennessee, and then later, to Los Angeles. Multiple articles, fan pages, and her Wikipedia page state that she was born near or in Boston, making her birthplace one of the few facts about her life that isn’t constantly disputed on online message boards.

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TVD Radar: Richard
Hell and the Voidoids, Destiny Street Remixed and Destiny Street Complete in stores 1/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Destiny Street was the follow-up album to one of the greatest punk albums of all time, 1977’s Blank Generation. The album was originally recorded in 1981 and released in 1982, but not to Richard Hell’s satisfaction. As he says in his new liner notes to Destiny Street Remixed, “The final mix was a morass of trebly multi-guitar blare.”

Now, for the 40th anniversary of its creation, the album is at last presented improved the way Richard Hell has long hoped and intended: “The sound of a little combo playing real gone rock and roll.” The resultant Destiny Street Complete, due out via 2-CD set and Digital, is set for January 22, 2021 release on Omnivore Recordings. Omnivore will also release a vinyl version of the new Destiny Street Remixed set for the same date.

Richard Hell co-founded his first band, the Neon Boys, with Tom Verlaine in 1973. That band became Television. When Hell left Television in 1975, he formed, with Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan, both formerly of the New York Dolls, the Heartbreakers. After another year, Richard departed the Heartbreakers and created Richard Hell & the Voidoids, which, along with other CBGB bands of the era, such as the Ramones and Patti Smith, formed the template for punk, the effects of which are still being felt.

Apart from Hell on vocals and bass, the original Voidoids comprised Robert Quine (guitar), Ivan Julian (guitar), and Marc Bell (drums). The Destiny Street-era band retained Quine, but otherwise the backing lineup became Naux (Juan Maciel) on guitar and Fred Maher on drums.

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