Monthly Archives: August 2021

Graded on a Curve:
U.S. Maple,

Good morning, class. I was going to open today’s lecture with a long and rambling monologue about the time I burned a casino in Montreux to the ground with a flare gun, but why don’t we just charge into today’s lecture instead. Show of hands if you’ve heard of U.S. Maple. Okay, I see a few. Now, show of hands if you’ve actually listened to U.S. Maple. Kudos to you, woman in the back row wearing the Melt-Banana T-shirt. You get to skip next week’s lecture on The Collected Works of Grand Funk Railroad. Now before we start, does anyone mind if I light up a Marlboro in this clearly marked No Smoking lecture hall? Congratulations, guy in the iconic Kangol hat. I’ll expect a 15-page analysis of No Trend’s Tritonian Nash-Vegas Polyester Complex by next Tuesday.

The rest of you sit back while I tell you about perhaps the most innovative band of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. On first listen—excuse me while I shake myself up a stiff martini—the now defunct Chicago quartet seemed to be playing a radically skewed improvisational noise rock akin to free jazz. But—and I see Melt-Banana’s shaking her head no—they weren’t, were they? In fact, they were doing just the opposite. Every one of their disjointed songs was meticulously constructed down to the tiniest detail. The problem is they sound wrong. Songs are supposed to have a beginning, middle, and end. But if you listen to a U.S. Maple song, the beginning may be in the middle and the end may be in the beginning and the middle may be in the other room sleeping one off. And to go one step further, parts of the beginning, middle, and end may be incorporated into the middle, end, and beginning. Are you following me? Yes, woman in the “ironic” Toto T-shirt, you may be excused for reasons of vertigo.

Now why would U.S. Maple do such a thing? Out of sheer polymorphous perversity? Because they wanted to be damn sure they never sold more than six albums? No, they were out to destroy rock music as we know it. Yes, you heard me right! The bastards! The pricks! People! Calm down! Stop shaking your fists in impotent rage! I’m as disgusted as you are! But wait; let’s give this quartet of anarchic apostates a chance to explain themselves before we burn them at the sacred stake of Sammy Hagar. According to vocalist Al Johnson, U.S. Maple’s goal was to “to erase Rock and Roll entirely from our collective minds, then set out to devise a working method for reorganizing Rock and Roll], keeping what we [felt were] its most important core elements.”

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In rotation: 8/27/21

Tokyo, JP | Symphonic Distribution Partners with Qrates to Expand Vinyl Services to Full Roster of Independent Artists and Labels: Qrates, the world’s premier destination for fast, hassle-free creation, financing, distribution, discovery, and sales of vinyl records, has partnered with Symphonic Distribution, the latest leading music distributor to provide its independent artist and label clients with discounted access to Qrates’ end-to-end services, from crowdfunding through to fan fulfillment. This deal gives all of Symphonic’s clients access to vinyl creation and sales, giving them the ability to capitalize on one of the most lucrative and fastest-growing formats in the music industry today. …Because Qrates has direct relationships with pressing plants, it is able to turn around orders more quickly than other companies, with priority given to independent artists and labels. And with free warehousing in North America and the U.K., artists and labels can choose whether to have Qrates handle order processing, storage, customer support, and distribution for them.

Adelaide, AU | Clarity Records is expanding into the shop next door: Cult Hindmarsh Square record store Clarity Records is expanding into an empty bricks-and-mortar space next door, and plans on also throwing (sometimes boozy) gigs on weekends. Clarity Records is much more than just a record store. After opening on Pulteney Street in 2010 as a specialist music shop – slinging vinyl, CDs and other music merch to die-hard punk and hardcore fans – it morphed in 2015 when the business launched annual music festival A Day of Clarity. Clarity co-owners Matt (also known as Footy) and Laura Hovarth are deeply embedded within Adelaide’s underground music scene. They both run the festival, record shop and all its affiliated appendages, such as the self-titled record label that manages bands such as Hydromedusa. Unsurprisingly, in 2021, the business needed space to grow. That’s why last year Matt and Laura decided to lease the vacant 100sqm retail space next door to sell more records – now from artists spanning other musical genres such as jazz, soul and funk – and offer a space for permanent live music.

Has the pandemic created a brief blip or permanent shift in traditional media consumption? There are plenty of articles, whitepapers and reports out there that have been tracking the changes in media consumption over the past year and, perhaps inevitably, an acceleration further into certain digital channels is quite apparent. But for a while now, having read and heard various things, I’ve been musing over whether this tells the whole story. A frequently recurring theme that has been present over the past year has been one of nostalgia, and it got me wondering whether this has begun a trend toward an occasional hankering for some traditional media, or is it merely a fad; a symptom of these extraordinary times. …The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reported in December that sales of vinyl records in the UK had reached their highest since the early 1990s. Now, this was following a trend in growth for the 13th consecutive year, but given the frequency and depth of lockdowns during this period and people’s focus on their finances in other areas, this is some achievement.

Warner Music Is Worth a Spin: Record label’s stock has lagged behind even as consumers are paying up for music. The nice thing about being Warner Music these days is that the company still does well even when listeners go old school. Streaming is now the main driver of the music business, accounting for about 83% of the industry’s $12.2 billion in U.S. revenue last year, according to data from the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA. But the industry is also seeing a strong uptick in sales of vinyl albums, which generated nearly $620 million in U.S. sales last year—up 29% from the previous year. That is the highest sales figure for the vinyl format in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1988. …But as Tim Nollen of Macquarie put it, Warner is “having it both ways” of late. Vinyl demand powered a 155% surge in physical music sales to $130 million in the company’s fiscal third quarter ended June.

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TVD Radar: The Beatles, Let It Be Special Edition Releases in stores 10/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | This fall, The Beatles invite everyone everywhere to get back to the chart-topping 1970 album, Let It Be, with a range of beautifully presented Special Edition packages to be released worldwide on October 15 by Apple Corps Ltd./ Capitol/ UMe.

Three tracks from the newly remixed and expanded edition make their digital release debuts with today’s preorder launch: “Let It Be” (2021 Stereo Mix), “Don’t Let Me Down” (first rooftop performance), and “For You Blue” (Get Back LP Mix).

The Let It Be album has been newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell in stereo, 5.1 surround DTS, and Dolby Atmos. The album’s sweeping new Special Edition follows the universally acclaimed remixed and expanded anniversary editions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017), The Beatles (‘White Album’) (2018), and Abbey Road (2019).

All the new Let It Be releases feature the new stereo mix of the album as guided by the original “reproduced for disc” version by Phil Spector and sourced directly from the original session and rooftop performance eight-track tapes. The physical and digital Super Deluxe collections also feature 27 previously unreleased session recordings, a four-track “Let It Be” EP, and the never before released 14-track Get Back stereo LP mix compiled by engineer Glyn Johns in May 1969.

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TVD Radar: William Lava, Dracula vs. Frankenstein OST pumpkin orange vinyl
in stores 10/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | As head of publicity at Hemisphere Pictures and then founder of Independent International Pictures Corp., Sam Sherman is truly one of the godfathers of the drive-in/ grindhouse/ horror/ B-movie genre.

Composer William Lava made his reputation scoring 1930s Westerns and serials for Republic Pictures including The Three Mesquiteers (with John Wayne) and Daredevils of the Red Circle. But for Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, Lava—who was friend of producer Sam Sherman and his favorite composer—let his atonal freak flag fly, employing eerie glissandos and ominous rhythms to conjure suspense and dread.

Special bonus: Independent-International Pictures’ amazing radio spot promoting the movie. Also comes with a full-color LP-sized insert featuring the cover illustration…out for its 50th anniversary in a pumpkin orange pressing limited to 1,000 copies.

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Graded on a Curve: George Harrison,
All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary

All Things Must Pass was not the first solo release that George Harrison recorded outside of The Beatles. He recorded the soundtrack album for the film Wonderwall in 1968 and released the experimental instrumental music album Electronic Sound in 1969. All Things Must Pass came out in November of 1970 after The Beatles had broken up and included some songs Harrison initially wrote or demoed while in The Beatles or even in some cases had played on sessions with The Beatles but which, for whatever reason, never made it on to any of the group’s albums.

The album was a huge commercial and critical success and could arguably be considered one of the four best solo albums from any of The Beatles, alongside The Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, and Band on the Run. For me, it’s the best. This new 50th anniversary reissue of the album on Capitol, through Universal Music was delayed because of the virus and has been met with mixed reactions, not because of the unanimously praised music, but due to the price and formatting of some of the editions.

The release comes in various configurations, including standard 2CD, a 3CD Deluxe Edition, Super Deluxe Edition 5CD/Blu-ray, standard 3LP black vinyl, 3LP E-Commerce Exclusive Edition pressed on green and black splatter color vinyl, 5LP Deluxe Edition, Super Deluxe 8LP, and limited Uber Deluxe Edition. For this review, we will be covering the 8LP and 5CD/Blu-ray editions.

The original release included three albums housed in a box, unheard of at the time for popular music. That release contained two albums that represented the traditional song-based cuts and one album called “Apple Jam.” All of the new configurations include a new mix by recording engineer Paul Hicks. The new editions include a size variation of the original poster. They also include either an insert or a booklet. The deluxe 5CD/Blu-ray edition (housed in a seven-inch, 45 RPM-size, lift-off box and the 8LP version includes a 60-page book, with the LP version’s being album-sized and hardcover. The 5CDs and 8 LPs contain the same music. The Blu-ray only contains the new mix of the original three-album track listing and, like on previous Beatles and solo Beatles releases, contains an imaginative and seamless on-screen menu. The Uber Deluxe Edition contains many unique items that have been reviewed elsewhere.

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Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for August 2021, Part Three

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

NEW RELEASE PICKS: James McMurtry, The Horses and the Hounds (New West) There isn’t a lot of elbow room in the scene McMurtry inhabits, specifically the country-folk-Americana-roots rock singer-songwriter zone, but frankly very few do it better, with his stature in a crowded field only amplified by a six-year break between releases. How’s he do it? Well, he and his band play bright but rugged, and more importantly, his tunes are consistently strong. That McMurtry, the son of prolific (and recently passed) novelist Larry McMurtry, doesn’t do autobiography (as quoted in a recent Rolling Stone article), certainly helps, though even more crucially, his songs avoid the staleness of creative-writing class cliché. And it makes a big difference that he’s open to taking chances, with none bigger than “Ft. Walton Wake-Up Call,” a sort of talking storyteller ditty where McMurtry flirts with sounding like C.W. McCall but ends up pulling it off, mainly through astute observations; likewise, “Operation Never Mind.” At this stage, I dig the anthemic up-tempo rocker “What’s the Matter” best, but the record doesn’t falter. A-

Thalia Zedek Band, Perfect Vision (Thrill Jockey) Entering her fifth decade making music (having debuted on wax as part of Dangerous Birds in the early ’80s), guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Zedek’s latest exhibits no signs of creative fatigue. To the contrary, Perfect Vision underscores her adaptability, as it was recorded remotely due to (you guessed it) the pandemic. Operating in this manner allowed for a wide array of guest contributors. There’s Karan Zarkisian on pedal steel, Brian Carpenter on trumpet, and cellist (and Zedek’s labelmate) Alison Chesley aka Helen Money. And of course, there are familiar elements, including her regular collaborator, violist David Michael Curry, plus her bandmate in the outfit E, drummer Gavin McCarthy, but most recognizable is the tough and assured expressiveness of the singing and the distinctive way the songs unwind. Fully capable of writing catchy tunes, Zedek’s focus encompasses the layering of textures, the juxtaposition of timbres and the tension that builds through methodical repetition. In short, it’s another sweet record from Thalia Zedek. A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Destiny Street (Complete), Destiny Street Remixed, & Destiny Street Demos (Omnivore) The first of these titles is a 2CD set that includes the contents of the second and third, both vinyl sets. In addition, the 2CD opens with a remastered version of the original Destiny Street, the second album by Hell and the Voidoids, a record that’s mix Hell has hated since the album’s release in 1981. It’s followed on the first CD by Destiny Street Repaired, which featured guitarists Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, and Voidoid Ivan Julian overdubbing guitar in place of original Destiny Street guitarists Robert Quine (who passed in 2004) and Naux (Juan Marciel) (whose death occurred in 2009), with Hell singing the tracks anew. Destiny Street Repaired was made possible by the then recent discovery of the tape holding the original album’s rhythm tracks, while in 2019, three of the four Destiny Street masters, long thought lost, were discovered, allowing Hell (with the aid of Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) to finally remix the record to his satisfaction.

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In rotation: 8/26/21

Toronto, CA | Toronto’s beloved music store is closing soon and here’s how much rent will cost: When one of Toronto’s beloved record stores announced it was closing, it rocked the local music community, and the space is now up for rent. People were absolutely heartbroken when Soundscapes announced they’d be closing their doors. As inventory is being sold at deep discounts, the storefront will soon be rented out. The store is known not only for an extremely thoughtful stock of CDs, vinyl and books, but also as a hub for concert tickets and a mini venue where artists used to pop in to perform. The store will be closing in September but the listing is already up and the landlord is asking for $6,000 per month. The space is 1,184 square feet, and is fully air conditioned. Annual property taxes are listed online as $2,187.

Ryuichi Sakamoto and Christian Fennesz’ Cendre album gets first vinyl edition: Shimmering guitar meets electronics and piano. Ryuichi Sakamoto and Christian Fennesz’ collaborative Cendre album is being released on vinyl for the first time, via Touch, this October. Cendre was recorded across 2004 and 2006 with the pair responding to and building upon each other’s compositions, Sakamoto working in NYC and Fennesz in Vienna. The resulting album fuses the “unstructured and imaginative qualities of improvisation with the satisfying sculpture of composition,” explains the label. It follows the release of Sakamoto’s Minamata score, in July.

Lenco Launches Two New Vinyl Turntables To Mark Its 75th Birthday: The incredible comeback of vinyl shows no signs of slowing and hardly a week goes by without a new turntable being launched for a whole new generation of music lovers. This week hi-fi and consumer electronics Lenco is revealing two new turntables. Lenco is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The Lenco L-92WA turntable is a premium-quality belt-driven turntable with a stylish design and a built-in dust cover to prevent unwanted dust and debris. It’s an ideal turntable for any vinyl music enthusiasts thanks to its pre-installed AT3600 Audio Technica cartridge so records can be listened to straight out of the box. The belt drive Lenco L-92WA has a robust aluminum platter for improved stability and an anti-skating feature to ensure the tonearm tracks in the center of the record’s groove. The L-92WA has a strobe light feature that not only references the turntable speed but which is useful for lowering the needle onto the record without having to ruin the ambiance of the room by turning a light on.

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TVD Radar: Paul Weller, Days of Speed and lllumination reissues in stores 10/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The long-awaited vinyl reissue releases of Paul Weller’s early ’00s long-players Days of Speed and Illumination will be released on October 15, 2021. The original vinyl versions of these fan favourites have been much sought after over the years. Craft Recordings are finally and faithfully re-releasing both albums in beautifully packaged 180-gram black vinyl sets. The pre-order is available now.

Originally released on Independiente in 2001, Days of Speed is an acoustic, double live album featuring songs which were performed solo and acoustic at various venues around Europe. The tracklisting features old classics which sit beautifully with Paul’s later catalogue and include The Jam’s ‘That’s Entertainment,’ The Style Council’s ‘Headstart for Happiness,’ and solo hits ‘You Do Something to Me’ and ‘Wild Wood.’ This is Weller presenting his songs unplugged and in the raw. Here he sounds intimate and alive, as if he were performing his favourite songs in your room.

Originally released in September 2002 on Independiente, Illumination was Paul’s sixth solo studio album and his second solo number one. With soul taking center stage and displaying effortless production and songwriting, Illumination includes the hit singles ‘It’s Written in the Stars’ and ‘Leafy Mysteries’ and features guest performances from Carleen Anderson, Jocelyn Brown, Kelly Jones, and Noel Gallagher.

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Candice Hoyes,
The TVD First Date

“I fell in love with vinyl, like many fortunate kids, through my parents.”

“As a child of two super responsible Jamaicans transplanted to the Bronx and then Long Island where they raised me and my sister, dancing to records in our family room, or better yet at a basement party, brought out their sunny, fun loving nature. I was like a fish to water going through the cover art, reading the liner notes, and essentially teaching myself how to sing and phrase. My favorite of the bunch was Whitney Houston’s eponymous first album, all in peach like an 1980s Aphrodite.

Vinyl took on a totally gigantic presence at the Jamaican basement parties of my youth. My Uncle is beyond a weekend warrior when it comes to his vinyl collection, from dub, soca, reggae, dancehall, Bossa, jazz, soul. I feel that vinyl collections shaped my musical style as a vocalist and recording artist. The songs I write and gravitate to are always beyond genre when you really peer into them. They most likely draw from different styles like a super rounded, well stocked vinyl collection.

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Graded on a Curve: Emma-Jean Thackray, Yellow

Although it was preceded by a few EPs, Emma-Jean Thackray’s debut full-length Yellow still connects like an audacious but steady-handed breakthrough, mingling genres with confidence and smarts. Suffice it to say that listeners with collections encompassing funky R&B, jazz of the spiritual, fusion, and avant-garde persuasions, and groove-oriented but expansive electronica and hip-hop, will find much to enjoy in this album, which has been out for a while but hit vinyl in the USA just last week via Thackray’s own label Movementt in affiliation with Warp. Skillful compositions and arrangements for brass and vocals intensify the deft combination of styles, with the whole secure as one of the best albums of 2021.

Leeds-born and London-based Emma-Jean Thackray studied jazz trumpet at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama with instructor Keith Tippett and then followed that with a master’s degree in jazz orchestral composition at Trinity Conservatoire of Music and Dance under the tutelage of composers Issie Barratt and Errollyn Wallen.

These achievements are deserving of a highlight, as Yellow is clearly the byproduct of ability that’s honed through both disciplined study and playing for the sheer joy if it. Put another way, Thackray didn’t arrive at Yellow by accident, and while she’s not shy about her influences, this set’s 14 tacks are the result of much more than just good taste in records.

Although Thackray wastes no time in establishing the album’s bold flow, I never got the impression that she felt there was something she had to prove. Instead, with a glorious mixture recalling Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra in “Mercury,” she’s clearly trying to hook the listener and then slowly reel them in. But there are distinct elements as well, such as the application of synths, Thackray’s superb trumpet solo, and also the bedrock of Ben Kelly’s tuba, here delivering an unwavering line that reminded me, just a little, of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.

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In rotation: 8/25/21

Boise, ID | The Record Exchange: Some Boise businesses requiring masks as coronavirus surges, again. …The latest guidance spurred The Record Exchange, a downtown Boise record store, to reinstate its mask policy for employees and customers. Marketing and Promotions Director Chad Dryden said the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant and rising case numbers in Ada County — currently identified as a high transmission area by Central District Health — made re-masking a necessary step. “Our policy since the start of the pandemic has been keeping our customers and staff safe,” Dryden said. KIN, a downtown restaurant, went a step further. “(I)n order to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our guests all attendees must provide proof of vaccination,” a recent Facebook post said. Such protocols are not easy to enforce.

Sheffield, UK | Record fair set to be held at Sheffield’s Crystal Peaks shopping centre: Music lovers will be getting in a spin as Crystal Peaks hosts its first record fair. Presented by Real Deal Record and CD Fairs, the free event will be held at the award-winning Sheffield shopping centre from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, September 4. “We are very pleased to be bringing this exciting new event to Crystal Peaks,” said centre manager Lee Greenwood. “This is the latest in series of special events for the autumn period and one which should appeal to vinyl collectors and people who love their classic albums.” For more information about Crystal Peaks and all forthcoming events simply visit

Wall-Mounted Record Players: The TT-90 System Vinyl Record Player Concept is Connected. This TT-90 System vinyl record player concept has been designed by Oscar Olsson as an ultra-stylish audio solution that speaks to the increased popularity of the old-fashioned medium that is continuing to see a revival amongst audiophiles alike. The record player is imagined as a wall-mounted audio system that would suit the aesthetic preferences of modern consumers and catch the eye of visitors. The system would also speak to a need for a space-saving alternative to horizontal alternatives to make it more applicable for modern consumers. The TT-90 System vinyl record player concept is designed with three colors including black, white and orange, and is incorporated with a smartphone-connected functionality to help accommodate the needs of today’s user.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula Soundtrack Getting Vinyl Release From Mondo: Bram Stokers Dracula was first published in 1897 and, over the past century, the character has been brought to life dozens of times. While some might argue the most defining interpretations of the character came in 1922’s Nosferatu or 1931’s Dracula, acclaimed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola put his mark on the character with Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1992, starring Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and Anthony Hopkins. Nearly 30 years later, Mondo is celebrating that seminal horror story by releasing the original motion picture soundtrack on vinyl, with the album slated to go on sale this Wednesday, August 25th at 12 p.m. CT. You can try to snag the record at Mondo describes the release, “Deep in the Carpathian Mountains, in the country of Transylvania, lies the castle of one who would have domain over all evil on Earth … and with that blood and the fury comes the captivating and hypnotic music of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

UK | Noel Gallagher: ‘I’ll do Mind Games for Record Store Day’ …Noel says his version of Mind Games – recorded for John Lennon’s 80th birthday – will be released, potentially as part of a collection of covers. “I’d done something for Sean [Lennon] on the day of John’s 80th birthday, and [the gift] was like ‘thank you very much for that’ kind of thing. They wanted me to get involved with this album, and I couldn’t get involved because I was doing something at the time. And on the eve of his birthday, Sean said ‘oh you know how it’s dad’s birthday tomorrow, and can you do something on your socials?’ I happened to be in the studio and I said ‘well, let’s record.’ We just did a version of ‘Mind Games’ and did a little film. …I’ll finish it off and do it for… I’ll do it for Record Store Day maybe or something. I’ve done a lot of covers recently. I’ll probably collate them all and do it for something or other. It came out pretty good actually.”

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Charlie Watts,

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ Drummer and Inimitable Backbone, Dead at 80: Rock & roll legend “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier [Tuesday] surrounded by his family,” according to publicist

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TVD Live Shots: Rise Against, Descendents, and The Menzingers at Five Point Amphitheater, 8/21

An open-air triple header featuring Rise Against, the Descendents, and The Menzingers took Southern California by storm under a star filled night in Irvine, CA. This trio of punk rock heavyweights brought their A-game to a nearly sold-out show at Five Point Amphitheatre for what was for many their first night of live music in nearly two years. Fans were on their feet and screaming for more throughout a three hour show that left little to be desired for all ages in attendance.

If you are a fan of punk rock, there was no better place to be on Saturday night than Five Point Amphitheater for what would end up being a one incredible mosh-pit under the stars. Although I’m not a huge punk rock fan, I walked away mesmerized by three uniquely different bands, each bringing something special to a near packed house deep in the heart of Orange County.

Opening up for Rise Against were two incredible bands, The Menzingers and the Descendents. I’d never heard The Menzingers before and was literally blown away by their on-stage presence coupled with a killer sound that captured me from the very first note. Their energy was off the charts, and they definitely loved being on stage in front of the ever-growing crowd. Next up were OG punk legends—and Southern California natives—Descendents. This band has been flying the punk rock flag for almost 45 years and their killer set was everything I could have dreamed of (and more). They slayed 24 of their classics in ways that most bands half their age could only dream of doing.

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TVD Radar: R.E.M., New Adventures in Hi-Fi 25th anniversary 2LP reissue in stores 10/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Recordings proudly celebrates the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.’s tenth studio album, New Adventures in Hi-Fi, with a special reissue, available for pre-order today and set for release on October 29.

The bonus-filled 2-CD/1-Blu-ray Deluxe Edition offers a trove of audio-visual content, including the newly remastered album, 13 B-sides and rarities, a never-before-released 64-minute outdoor projection film (shown on buildings across five cities in 1996 to promote the album’s original release), and a previously unreleased 30-minute EPK. Additionally, the Blu-ray features New Adventures in Hi-Fi in stunning Hi-Res and 5.1 Surround Sound audio, plus five HD-restored music videos including “Bittersweet Me,” “Electrolite,” and “E-Bow the Letter.” Housed in a 52-page hardcover book, the collection includes archival photographs—many of which have never been published—plus new liner notes from journalist Mark Blackwell and reflections from all four original band members, as well as from Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, and Scott Litt.

An Expanded Edition is also available as a 2-CD or digital collection, including the remastered album along with B-sides and rarities. The 2-CD offers an exclusive 24” x 24” poster and four collectible postcards, as well as a booklet featuring new liner notes and archival photos. Additionally, the newly remastered album will be available as a 2-LP set, pressed on 180-gram vinyl, with lacquers cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. A limited-edition pressing on clear and black marbled vinyl is also available exclusively at R.E.M.’s official store (limited to 1,000 worldwide), along with special New Adventures in Hi-Fi merchandise.

Available via digital platforms today, ahead of the album, is the advance single “Leave – Alternate Version.” Originally recorded for the A Life Less Ordinary soundtrack, the single offers a haunting, sparse, siren-less version of New Adventures album track “Leave,” for which Michael Stipe re-recorded the vocals. Reflects Stipe, “I actually might prefer this version to the one that’s on the record… Well, I wouldn’t say I prefer it, it just tells a different story with the lyric.” Fans can stream or download the single now, and pre-save the album.

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UK Artist of the Week: Jonny Wildey

PHOTO: FABRICE BOURGELLE | Take it easy this week with Jonny Wildey and his jazz-funk infused AA-side single “Your Dreams” / “Lonely,” out now. Quite rightly, we’ve decided to make him this week’s AOTW and after listening to both singles, we’re sure you’ll see why…

Wildey is no stranger to the music scene, having previously released a string of acclaimed singles under the name of Alphabets Heaven via the likes of Nightmares On Wax, Tru Thoughts, Soundway, and King Deluxe to name a few. But now, he’s decided to go it alone under his own name and it certainly seems to be paying off.

His latest release is the AA-side single “Your Dreams” / “Lonely”—a perfectly encapsulated pairing of tracks that combine elements of jazz, funk, neo-soul, and electronica creating some totally mesmerising soundscapes as a result. Both tracks are taken from Wildey’s upcoming album Nitely, a record written and recorded over a period spanning three years.

It’s an exciting new step for the London-based artist who is now keen to embrace a more traditional form of songwriting. Wildey’s celestial falsetto is at the forefront of both singles, giving us that warm and fuzzy feeling we’re all craving a bit of right now.

Nitely is in stores on 15th October 2021 via WotNot Music.

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