Monthly Archives: February 2021

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Well, everybody’s lined up at my house, my house / And Sara’s girlfriend is working the door / Got everybody’s PA at my house, my house / All the robots descend from the bus / There’s a freakout brewin’ at my house, my house / In the basement

‘Cause Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house / You’ve got to set them up kid, set them up / You’ve got to set ’em up, ooh ooh yeah

Music never ceases to amaze me. I got home last night overwhelmed, hungry and stressed. Thinking about it, I’m like millions derailed and caught up in a news cycle that, due to mobile devices and the internet, never seems to give the user a break.

In the end it was just another week in quarantine and I’m likely doing way better than most. There is no doubt the music carries me through. I work in music with musicians and it’s my constant backdrop. Soundcloud is my companion.

Thursday nights have become a ritual at this “Idelic” pad. I consider myself lucky to be tucked away in the canyon high above Sunset Strip. Here sounds breathe above this town. It’s a city of glamour, show biz, music, and rock ‘n’ roll.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 25: Jim Keller

PHOTO: JIMMY FONTAINE | The path to success for most successful people in the entertainment business—or any business for that matter—is rarely a straight one.

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, but it’s all about keeping one’s cool and choosing directions that make sense, even if there is a bit of risk involved. Jim Keller knows he didn’t just wake up one morning to become the longtime manager for Philip Glass who is one of America’s most celebrated composers and a Kennedy Center Honors recipient who was presented with the U.S. National Medal of the Arts by President Obama. It was a certain sequence of events that got Jim there.

Keller, of course, is a musician. You’ve all heard Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” blasting from car radios and being played by bar bands, and so has Jim Keller; and he loves it! Except, in his case, he happens to be co-writer and performer of that song and was in Tommy Tutone! After releasing that power pop classic, Keller continued to make music under his own name, on and off through the years, but now he is back with a brand new album produced by the great Mitchell Froom. The record is called By No Means and features Keller’s direct, infectious music that can cut so sweetly you don’t even recognize that you’ve been wounded.

Join me and Jim on this episode of Radar as we talk about the twists, turns, and many lives of his career, seeing the music industry from both sides of the stage, and the production and splendid songwriting that went into his new album, By No Means.

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: Bob Mould, Distortion: 2008–2019 7LP box set in stores 4/16

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On April 16th, 2021, Demon Music Group will continue their year-long Bob Mould reissue campaign with Distortion: 2008-2019, the third of four vinyl boxsets chronicling the solo career of the legendary American musician.

It follows hot on the heels of October’s 8 LP Distortion: 1989-1995 box set, which took in Mould’s early solo outings as well as his records with the much-beloved Sugar, January’s 9LP Distortion: 1996-2007 box set continuing through the next steps in Mould’s solo career and his outings as LoudBomb and Blowoff, and the 24CD Distortion: 1989-2019 box, which covers the entirety of his post-Hüsker Dü output.

Distortion: 2008-2019 follows Mould through a number of standout records that include some of his most celebrated work—collected here are District Line (2008), Life and Times (2009), Silver Age (2012), Beauty & Ruin (2014), Patch the Sky (2016) and Sunshine Rock (2019), as well as a bonus disc Distortion Plus: 2008-2019, which features Mould’s collaborations with Foo Fighters and Butch Walker plus the 2019 single “I Don’t Mind.” It comes pressed on clear vinyl with an etched B-side.

As with the previously released box sets in the Distortion collection, each album in the set has been mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering in Boston and is presented with brand new artwork designed by illustrator Simon Marchner and pressed on 140g clear vinyl with unique splatter effects. The box set includes a 28-page companion booklet featuring liner notes by journalist Keith Cameron; contributions from J Mascis and Shirley Manson; lyrics and memorabilia.

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TVD Radar: The Who, The Who Sell Out
Super Deluxe Editions
in stores 4/23

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Initially released in December 1967 and described latterly by Rolling Stone as “The Who’s finest album,” The Who Sell Out reflected a remarkable year in popular culture. As well as being forever immortalized as the moment when the counterculture and the “Love Generation” became a global phenomenon and “pop” began metamorphosing into “rock.”

The new Super Deluxe Edition of The Who Sell Out features 112 tracks, 46 of which are unreleased, an 80-page, hard-back, full-color book, including rare period photos, memorabilia, track-by-track annotation and new sleeve notes by Pete Townshend with comments from the likes of Pete Drummond (Radio London DJ), Richard Evans (designer) and more.

The Super Deluxe package also includes nine posters & inserts, including replicas of 20” x 30” original Adrian George album poster, a gig poster from The City Hall, Newcastle, a Saville Theatre show 8-page program, a business card for the Bag o’ Nails club, Kingly Street, a Who fan club photo of group, a flyer for Bath Pavilion concerts including The Who, a crack-back bumper sticker for Wonderful Radio London, Keith Moon’s Speakeasy Club membership card and a Who Fan Club newsletter.

As a taster for the set an EP of Pete Townshend’s previously unreleased demos has today been released on all streaming services including “Pictures Of Lily” (New remix, previously unreleased) “Kids! Do You Want Kids?” (AKA “Do You Want Kids, Kids?”) (Previously unreleased) & “Odorono” (Previously unreleased).

The Who Sell Out was originally planned by Pete Townshend and the band’s managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, as a loose concept album including jingles and commercials linking the songs stylised as a pirate radio broadcast. This concept was born out of necessity as their label and management wanted a new album and Townshend felt that he didn’t have enough songs. The ground-breaking original plan for Sell Out was to sell advertising space on the album but instead the band opted for writing their own jingles paying tribute to pirate radio stations and to parody an increasingly consumerist society.

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Emma Webb,
The TVD First Date

“When I think of vinyl I think about being a young kid, and going through my parents’ record collection. I’d look through them for hours, taking in the artwork and images. I’d take the records out the sleeves and would love dropping the needle.”

“The sound of vinyl is still so raw and nostalgic to me. My dad’s collection was a lot of classic stuff; The Who, Queen, The Beatles. I have such a love of The Who because of those records. My mum’s collection was stuff like Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond. I love Joni Mitchell and adore Paul Simon’s Graceland so a lot of that music has totally rubbed off on me.

Records feel like more than just a way to share music. They feel much more special than a tape or CD, so I keep my current collection in tip top condition. Between my partner and I we have really vintage original records handed down from our parents, plus classic albums like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Carole King’s Tapestry, Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Dark Side of The Moon, Queen’s Night at The Opera and a bunch of Paul Simon singles (I need to add Graceland to the collection ASAP!)

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Graded on a Curve:
Jeff Beck,
Blow by Blow

A couple of weeks back I got into a big tussle with some Facebook friends for saying Jeff Beck didn’t impress me and I didn’t much care for anything he’d ever done. I was lying. Some of Beck’s Yardbirds stuff is great, and 1969’s Beck-Ola is a tremendous album and showcase of Beck’s whiz-bang guitar playing.

Exhibits A and B in my case against Jeff Beck are his twin forays into jazz fusion, 1975’s Blow by Blow and 1976’s Wired, both of which strike me as surgically sterile demonstrations of instrumental prowess for its own sake. I’ve searched Blow by Blow high and low for an ounce of soul, but its like that ounce of weed I lost my sophomore year in college. I looked everywhere, but I never found it.

Beck is a guitar player’s wet dream, but where’s the feeling? I wouldn’t go so far as The Village Voice’s Robert Christgau, who wrote upon Blow by Blow’s release that Beck “has absolutely nothing to say.” My gripe with Beck is that what he has to say he says in a cold-blooded language clinically detached from any emotion I can recognize. Beck isn’t a man–he’s a master class guitar workshop.

Unlike your best jazz artists, Beck takes no risks on Blow by Blow. And he’s anything but alone. Virtually all jazz fusion artists (the Mahavishnu Orchestra being a notable exception) play it safe, either because they lack the requisite jazz chops or they’re trying to peddle records to a listening public that finds the real thing too challenging. (See Albert Ayler = Zero Album Sales Formula.) Nothing wrong with making a buck, mind you, but in our day and age great “serious” musicians rarely produce “great art” by playing to the cheap seats.

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In rotation: 2/26/21

Bozeman, MT | This might be the best record shop in Montana: If you are a person that loves listening and collecting vinyl records, this spot is a must go to in Montana. So here in Bozeman we have a few pretty great record shops. Cactus Records in downtown Bozeman is a great spot. They have some of the best new top vinyl’s you can get. Plus, their used collection is rock solid. Then there is the recently new Wax Museum in Bozeman. Their vinyl records are mostly in old school punk and some classics and their used section is pretty incredible if you are looking for classic rock or country. Both of these spots are great but there is a place in Montana that has one of the biggest and fantastic collections of vinyl record’s I have ever seen and luckily it’s a pleasant drive to get there. In Missoula, most people know Rocking Rudy’s for great gifts and a huge music selection(my dad would go here every time we visited) and I honestly thought that was the only music store in Missoula. That was until my brother introduced me to my new favorite spot. Ear Candy Music.

Bend, OR | Audiophiles, physical media fans embrace cassettes in Bend: Though not as popular as vinyl, tapes are making a comeback. Erika Windlinx of Prineville grew up listening to rock ’n’ roll bands such as Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC on rides in her father’s truck. But the 21-year-old didn’t have a physical music collection until about three years ago when her grandfather died, and she inherited his truck. It only had a tape deck, so Windlinx started scouring Smith Rock Records (formerly Ranch Records) in downtown Bend for cassettes. She now has a collection of between 50 and 100 cassettes. “It’s something material,” Windlinx said. “I’m sure I could find some way to hook up my phone to my truck and play media through MP3s and stuff, but I like the material. I like having the little flip booklet that you have that has all the funny little pictures of rock stars in them, and then it has a little cover picture. In this day and age we’re definitely losing that, and I feel like that’s a bit pricier of something to have to pay, to lose the material for more convenience.”

Cleveland, OH | Boss Ladies of CLE: Brittany Benton. Producer, DJ, owner of Brittany’s Record Shop: this Boss Lady is helping to drive Cleveland’s music industry. Brittany Benton says that being prepared has served her well this last year. “It was one of those situations where they say, you know, stay ready so you don’t have to get ready,” Benton said of the events of 2020. As the reckoning around race and equity took shape last summer, her Slavic Village store, Brittany’s Record Shop, saw unprecedented sales. “The first four days of June, it eclipsed what I made all through all my sales channels in 2019 and it’s been pretty steady since,” Benton explained. “People were looking online for all types of black business owners to patronize and then, [it helped that in] the vinyl community were very close-knit.” Benton says that while she had to close her store for about five weeks at the start of the pandemic, her website sales have more than made up for the closure.

Raleigh, NC | Vinyl Record Stores in Raleigh, NC: A pandemic-plagued year presented brutal challenges for businesses of all types and sizes, including record stores. Yet somehow, record stores in the Raleigh area are finding new ways to not just survive but thrive, often by honing in on new features or niches. Here’s a survey of stores on the scene. All have the standard coronavirus protocols with mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, occupancy limits, social distancing and such. Most of them offer curbside pickup or mail-order delivery if you want to truly keep your distance. Pour House Music Hall & Record Shop: As the pandemic picked up speed during the spring of 2020, the record store upstairs at the Pour House Music Hall was ill-prepared for a shutdown, lacking a website. So they had to do what co-owner Adam Linstaedt calls “a quick pivot,” with co-owner Lacie Linstaedt getting a fully functional website up and running by the middle of April. Online sales got the shop through the dark days of the shutdown, and they have since reopened four days per week. The inventory continues to be vinyl-only, and they have done their best to keep things fun even in the midst of harsh times.

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TVD Radar: Can,
Live In Stuttgart 1975
3LP in stores 5/28

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “Their live performances sound like an epic story we are being told—a novel, with differing chapters, changing moods, weather, seasons and exotic landscapes.”Alan Warner

Mute and Spoon Records are proud to announce the first in a series of long-awaited live album releases. Can: Live in Stuttgart 1975 is out May 28 on vinyl, CD, and digital platforms. If you think you knew Can, even after all the albums and through recently discovered material such as the legendary Lost Tapes, you’ll still find masses to surprise you here. This music is never the same river twice. In five parts, Can: Live in Stuttgart 1975 demonstrates an important and formidable element of the Can story—their live performance.

The Can Live series has taken the best of the bootlegged recordings and—overseen by founding member Irmin Schmidt and producer / engineer Rene Tinner—run them through the wringer of 21st century technology to bring you these vital historical documents in the best quality versions possible.

Founded in the late ‘60s and disbanded just over a decade later, Can’s unprecedented and bold marriage of hypnotic grooves and avant-garde instrumental textures has made them one of the most important and innovative of all time. These albums reveal a totally different perspective to the band. You may hear familiar themes, riffs and motifs popping up and rippling through these jams, but they are often fleetingly recognized faces in a swirling crowd.

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TVD Radar: The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present
by Paul McCartney in stores 11/2

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right. The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs. I know that some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life.”
Paul McCartney, The Lyrics

In this extraordinary book, with unparalleled candour, Paul McCartney recounts his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career—from his earliest boyhood compositions through the legendary decade of The Beatles, to Wings and his solo albums to the present. Arranged alphabetically to provide a kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account, it establishes definitive texts of the songs’ lyrics for the first time and describes the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now. Presented with this is a treasure trove of material from McCartney’s personal archive—drafts, letters, photographs—never seen before, which make this also a unique visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

We learn intimately about the man, the creative process, the working out of melodies, the moments of inspiration. The voice and personality of Paul McCartney sings off every page. There has never been a book about a great musician like it.

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Graded on a Curve: George Harrison,
All Things Must Pass

Celebrating George Harrison on what would have been his 78th birthday.Ed.

I have been guilty of saying mean things about George Harrison in the past, most of them having to do with the lugubrious and often wimpy tenor of the ex-Beatles solo work. But I am here today, dear members of the committee, to recant. I’ve been listening to 1970’s sprawling All Things Must Pass, and while it has its share of doleful bummers, what strikes me about it now is how hard it rocks.

The most anonymous Beatle could cook when he felt like it, and on All Things Must Pass he frequently felt like it, as did co-guitarists Eric Clapton and Dave Mason, and when all is said and done I’m forced to agree with critic Mikal Gilmore, who called All Things Must Pass “the finest solo work any ex-Beatle ever produced.”

The studio sessions were a clusterfuck, with superstars being dragooned left and right. The line-up included the players who would soon form Derek and the Dominos as well as the members of Badfinger, to say nothing of folks like Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Ginger Baker, and Gary Wright. Why, even Phil Collins played on one track.

There was also extensive overdubbing, and while the production duties were formally in the hands of the mercurial Phil Spector, Harrison has said Spector required 18 cherry brandies just to BEGIN work, leaving poor George to handle much of the production himself. In addition, Harrison’s mother was dying, and he was nurturing a burgeoning heroin addiction.

Let me make it clear from the start; I’m not much for “My Sweet Lord,” the song the LP is probably best known for, nor am I wild about its companion piece, “Help Me Lord.” LP opener “I’d Have You Anytime,” which was co-written by Harrison and Bob Dylan, does nothing for me, nor do the run of the mill “Run of the Mill,” the milquetoast “I Live for You,” and the “I need love” sentimentality of “I Dig Love.”

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TVD Radar: Making Vinyl’s 2020 Best in
Vinyl Packaging Awards Bestowed Virtually

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The best in vinyl records packaging was celebrated today (2/24) at the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards Virtual Ceremony. The video reply of the ceremony is here.

Now in its 4th year the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards garnered more than 219 entries in 15-categories that were then reviewed by more than 21 judges on both sides of the Atlantic. The ceremony was hosted virtually by renowned packaging legend Craig Braun (the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers and Alice Cooper’s School’s Out) who’s been an actor for the past two decades. The final round judges (Gail Marowitz; The Visual Strategist, Brian Schuman; Concord Music, Scott Pollack; A to Z Media; Sean Mosher-Smith, Echo Designlab, & Bryan Ekus; Making Vinyl) took turns announcing the winners and runners up.

The awards are part of Making Vinyl, the first B2B conference dedicated to the rebirth of the vinyl record industry, and produced by Colonial Manufacturing Cooperative, a buying collective among media manufacturers. More info about the awards is here.

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Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for February 2021, Part Four

Part four of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for February 2021. Part one is here, part two is here, and part three is here.

NEW RELEASE PICKS: Wau Wau Collectif, Yaral Sa Doom (Sahel Sounds / Sing a Song Fighter) Described as “avant-garde cosmic sounds from Senegal,” Yaral Sa Doom (a Wolof phrase meaning “educate the young”) is a gorgeous and life-affirming byproduct of cultural collaboration, as Swedish musician Karl-Jonas Winqvist visited Toubab Dialaw, a bohemian enclave of sorts in Senegal, for a music summit lasting a few weeks’ time. Upon returning to Sweden, Winqvist traded recordings via WhatsApp (good ol’ WhatsApp) with studio engineer Arouna Kane back in Senegal. Immediately striking is the combination of styles across the LP, with Sufi praise songs rubbing up against jazzy horns and dubby rhythms amid voices of young ones (“Mouhamodou Lo and His Children” is simply exquisite), synthetic beats and electronic additives seemingly derived from a celestial video game. Speaking of music of the spheres, “Salamaleikoum” is gently beautiful in a way that reminded me of Washington Phillips, and that’s special praise indeed. Those hoping to feel good in 2021 should try this gem on for size. A

John Tejada, Year of the Living Dead (Kompakt) Born in Vienna and based in Los Angeles, techno specialist Tejada is releasing his fifth album for the Kompakt label with Year of the Living Dead, which as might be ascertained from the title, is a recording impacted by the Coronavirus. Tejada had started production on the record shortly before quarantine and then continued working thereafter (being essentially a solo electronic operator allowed him to do so safely), though he has stated that distance from his loved ones during the process affected him, and by extension, impacted the record. As this set lands firmly in the neighborhood of progressive house, any connections to the pandemic are implicit, with the eight tracks, spread out across four sides of vinyl (but totaling classic album length at a smidge over 41 minutes) aren’t bleak or harried in nature. Tejada’s stuff flows inventively, easily steering clear of club clichés, and is easy to absorb in part due to the generous but not excessive duration. It more than holds up to immediate consecutive spins, which is rare for electronic stuff in my experience. A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: 4 Mars, Super Somali Sounds From the Gulf of Tadjoura (Ostinato) The Ostinato label’s 2019 release The Dancing Devils of Djibouti by Groupe RTD was a direct byproduct of the label being granted access to the Archives of Radiodiffusion-Télévision de Djibouti, a storied vault of East African recordings spanning back decades. Groupe RTD’s album featured new material, the result of an unforeseen but fortunate twist on the way to tapping into the Djibouti archive, of which this is the first volume in a series, dedicated to a 40-member Somali outfit documented through studio and live recordings dating from 1977 to ’94. Similar to Groupe RTD (with whom they share a member, saxophonist Mohamed Abdi Alto), 4 Mars was a band that thrived in service of a political party with a particular goal, specifically unifying the newly formed country through music. But what makes these 13 tracks (plus one Bandcamp digital bonus) such a treat is the stylistic blend 4 Mars honed to sustained excellence, featuring elements from assorted African regions combined with Turkish synths, reggae rhythms, flutes from China and Mongolia, and a healthy dose of Bollywood. Altogether magnificent. A

Don Cherry, “Cherry Jam” (Gearbox) You may recall “Cherry Jam” arriving last September for Record Store Day, but that edition of 1,100 is by now likely hard to come by, therefore necessitating a new press as part of Gearbox’s Japanese Editions, a series inspired by label founder Darrel Sheinman’s time spent in Japan. It features 180gm 12-inch 45 RPM vinyl in mono with an OBI strip (a CD is available in “very limited quantities”). Musically, this is quite a find, capturing Cherry on cornet the year he cut his masterpiece Complete Communion, consisting of three originals and Richard Rodgers’ “You Took Advantage of Me,” cut in Copenhagen for Danish national radio. Cherry’s bandmates for the session are Mogens Bollerup on tenor sax, Atli Bjørn on piano, Benny Nielsen on double bass, and Simon Koppel on drums, Danes all, with the performances dishing elevated hard bop rather than the avant-garde for which Cherry was associated at the time. The band is pleasingly in synch throughout (not always the case with Euro bands of this era) and the three Cherry originals were never recorded elsewhere. A-

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In rotation: 2/25/21

Louisville, KY | Mr. Tees Record Store a lasting memory for Louisville’s music industry: The tunes of a local record store started flowing through the West Louisville community in the 1980s. Mr. Tees Record Store was the spot for local artists to find their beats and where gospel legends passed through the aisles. Willie Glover knows almost every tune of the gospel, from Douglas Miller, to his very own as the lead singer of the group Archie Dale and the Tones of Joy. ”We never could come up with a solid hit record,” Glover said. In 1985, he opened Mr. Tees Record Store, bringing hits to the shelves to make a living. ”The life of a music store is new music,” Glover said. “If you can get new music and get it first, then you can make some money.” …”Everyone knew about Mr. Tees,” she said. “We would listen to gospel music, then hear a song on 1240 LOVE and then WLLV. We would travel down there on Broadway and you’d go in there and get the feeling of physically putting your hands on the tapes and albums.”

Webster, PA | Webster’s Stax of Trax Records provides a variety of unique vinyls: To see if I could stock up on some records for my collection, I visited the records section of Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe: Stax of Trax. Since returning to State College, I have been hunting for more vinyl record shops after checking out Music Underground last semester. When you Google “records shops in State College,” you find a decent amount of opportunities to purchase these musical collectibles. Though Stax of Trax appears as its own individual store on the web, it is actually inside Webster’s. Though I had been to the bookstore and cafe before, it turns out I hadn’t truly experienced all it has to offer. I always enjoy a good bookstore, and I have been to many all over the country, including Strand Book Store in New York City and Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver. Webster’s just seems different to me — but in a good way. I don’t know if it is the older bookstore aesthetic that intrigued me or the smell of food at the cafe, but I enjoy being at Webster’s. The whole store and the smell of old books gave me a bit of nostalgia.

Buffalo, NY | Remember the records? These few vinyl shops in Buffalo had them: Back in the 70s and 80s DJs and record enthusiasts only had a few places to go to get classic vinyl. The known retail record stores in Buffalo carried mostly mainstream music that was being played on the radio at the time. Before I became a DJ, I remember going to The “Record Theater” it was on Mian Street in Buffalo, back then 12-inch singles were $4.99, and I would go at least once a week to try to keep up with what was current. I soon found out, that for DJs to get a good deal on music, one of the places you had to go to, was right downstairs from the Record Theater, and it was called “One-Stop”, they sold music to DJs and people on the radio at a discounted price. The store many of us DJs went to has been around for well over 50-years and still stands as the oldest record store in Buffalo still in operation, Doris Records. I learned to hit up Doris Records when you wanted to get new music first in the 80s and 90s, Doris Records was one of my favorite places.

Lily Allen would have put her albums on vinyl “long ago” if she owned the masters: And she “had nightmares trying to get things pressed” for her 2018 record ‘No Shame’ Lily Allen has told fans she wishes she could have her albums repressed on vinyl. The singer was responding to a tweet after someone asked her about the possibility of getting her discography repressed, to which she revealed that she’s always wanted to but is unable to because she doesn’t own the master recordings. A fan wrote on Twitter: “lily pleeeeease press your records on vinyl again!!! we are BEGGING!!!!!!” with Allen replying: “if i owned the masters i would have done it long ago.” Allen added: “i had nightmares trying to get things pressed on NoShame, wanted to do limited edition of singles but was told it was too expensive.” Another fan wrote: “Can you not re-record them like Taylor? Or is that really expensive to do?” Allen responded: “perhaps. maybe one day.”

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TVD Radar: Spiritualized announces The Spaceman Reissue Program

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Spiritualized and Fat Possum Records are proud to announce the first stage of The Spaceman Reissue Program: definitive vinyl releases of the first four Spiritualized albums. Curated by J Spaceman, the series will kick off April 23 with Spiritualized’s classic 1992 debut, Lazer Guided Melodies.

Elevating the gritty, narcotic garage blues of Pierce’s recently disbanded Spacemen 3 into a crystalline space rock/pop wall of sound, Lazer Guided Melodies was recorded from 1990 to 1991, its 12 songs divided into four distinct movements. Reflecting on the transition from Spacemen 3 to the first realization of the Spiritualized sound, Pierce recalls:

“The last Spacemen 3 record was under-realized to me. When I listen back to that stuff it sounds like somebody finding their way. There was a lot of ideas but no way to put them into a space that would make them all work. So, there was a huge freedom forging over the last Spacemen 3 record and when Spiritualized started it was like, ‘OK it’s all yours. Go’…

We recorded the tracks in the studio near my flat which was a place where they predominantly recorded advertising jingles and it’s where we made all the Spacemen 3 records, but then the recordings were taken to Battery Studios in London, to explore a more professional way of making music… Once I approached that way of doing things I opened up a whole world and I was astounded that somebody could take those tracks and turn it into the record it became…”

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Graded on a Curve: Professor Longhair,
Rock ‘n’ Roll Gumbo

Where to start when talking about the music of Professor Longhair, given name Henry Roeland Byrd? His piano makes you want to do a crazy 3 a.m. strut down Bourbon Street. And his vocals–which quaver and wander willy-nilly off pitch–make you want to smile. A voice like his is one in a million; not so hot you think, until you find yourself knee-deep in glad.

Professor Longhair created the distinctive “New Orleans sound,” which Allen Toussaint called “that mambo-rhumba boogie thing.” Dr. John, who has made hay from the good Professor’s musical innovations, said Longhair “put funk into music… Longhair’s thing had a direct bearing on a large portion of the funk music that evolved in New Orleans.” But enough with the ethnomusicology; suffice it to say that Longhair was one of America’s great originals, with a distinctive style of playing piano developed, it’s worth noting, out of necessity–he learned how to play on a piano with missing keys.

But Professor Longhair is isn’t just a piano original. His vocals–sly, insinuating, and delivered with a wink–are ingratiating, that is when he doesn’t sound flat-out demented, as he does on the great “Tipitina.” Whether meandering off pitch like a drunk staggering down Bourbon Street at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday night or coming off like a deranged Elvis Presley, Professor Longhair’s singing will keep you on the edge of your seat–he’s the most unpredictable singer this side of Black Oak Arkansas’ wild pitch throwing Jim “Dandy” Mangrum.

Everything about Professor Longhair is improbable–he got his start with a band called the Shuffling Hungarians, for Christ’s sake. The toughest part of my job was choosing which album to review: 1972’s New Orleans Piano, which compiles music recorded by Atlantic Records between 1949 and 1953, and includes the original (and definitive) “Tipitina?” 1980’s Crawfish Fiesta, which is nothing less than the good Professor’s final LP and as great a Longhair album as any?

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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