Monthly Archives: September 2021

TVD Live Shots:
Big Freedia at the
Grog Shop, 9/23

The Grog Shop kicked off their 29th anniversary weekend with a little New Orleans flair. The queen of bounce, the queen diva herself, Big Freedia, brought the dance party to Coventry Road last Thursday night.

“It’s time to see some azz every-fucking-where,” Freedia declared before bringing a handful of booty-shaking audience members onstage to show off their twerking skills. “You’re here to let that shit go and wiggle!”

On stage or not, there was not a still body in the house. Even the bartenders couldn’t resist Freedia’s beats. From her older hits (“N.O. Bounce”) to her latest (“Goin’ Looney”), Big Freedia kept everybody moving. Her BDE (Big Diva Energy) Tour continues through October and if you’re looking to sweat up a dance floor, then I suggest you grab yourself a ticket.

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TVD Radar: Bobby Rush, “Chicken Heads” EP in stores 11/26

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In 1971, Bobby Rush released “Chicken Heads” on Galaxy Records (later sold to Fantasy Records and Concord Music) and in the subsequent months it inched up the Billboard R&B chart, marking his first career hit. The B-side was a track called “Mary Jane.”

The song’s 50th anniversary is this year. And on Record Store Day/Black Friday (November 26, 2021), Rush will celebrate with new duet versions featuring three blues giants: Buddy Guy, Gov’t Mule, and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. A limited-edition 2,000-unit pressing of a 12″ vinyl will be released exclusively in independent record stores across the United States and Europe on Bobby Rush’s own Deep Rush Records, distributed via Nashville’s Thirty Tigers and The Orchard.

Over the years “Chicken Heads” has been a staple of Rush’s live performance, whether with his full Southern soul band and two booty dancers or stripped down acoustic and solo, with Rush sharing the story of how the record deal came to be with the aid of his colleague, A&R man/producer/songwriter Calvin Carter.

Since 1971, the song has been utilized in film and television, leading to its second emergence on a Billboard chart as part of the soundtrack for Black Snake Moan, the 2006 release starring Samuel L. Jackson and Justin Timberlake. It also appeared in HBO’s Ballers (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), The Deuces on HBO2 (James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal), and several other shows. In 2015, “Chicken Heads,” “Mary Jane” and 72 other gems from the Bobby Rush catalog were packaged into a 50-year career retrospective box set (Blues Music Award and Living Blues Award winning) titled Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush on Omnivore Recordings.

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Graded on a Curve: Richard Harris, “MacArthur Park”

Remembering Richard Harris, born on October 1, 1930.Ed.

In which a Man Called Horse sings a Song Called Horseshit, and turns it into a megahit. If macho thespian Richard Harris seemed an unlikely singing star, Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park” was an unlikely success, clocking in at around 7:30 minutes at a time when songs played on the radio rarely reached 4 minutes. But that’s not what really makes “MacArthur Park” such an oddity. It’s the bizarre lyrics, which raise questions galore, and the histrionic manner in which Harris sings them that make “MacArthur Park” a piece of kitsch so bad it’s great. Which is to say I may mock it, but I never tire of listening to it. It’s too fucking weird.

Famed songwriter Jimmy Webb has written hundreds of hits for dozens upon dozens of famous musicians, Glen Campbell being a prime recipient of Webb’s largesse. But the songs Webb wrote for Campbell were, well, songs, and not “MacArthur Park,” that fantastical overflow of deep thoughts expressed in the form of surrealistic imagery and incoherent similes. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear Webb was on acid when he wrote it. Hell, maybe he was.

As I said before, the song raises questions, enormous existential questions, questions that call into doubt the very dichotomy between being and nothingness, the most important of which is who is the idiot that left the cake out in the rain in the first place? I mean, who leaves a cake sitting uncovered in a public park? If it hadn’t rained, the rats and squirrels would have gotten it.

And who bakes a green cake? And why can’t the cook find the recipe again? Women’s magazines, the Internet—recipes for green cake must be a dime a dozen. And why exactly did it take him so long to bake it? Was he using a children’s E.Z. Bake oven or something? And then there’s the line, “I recall the yellow cotton dress/Foaming like a wave/On the ground around your knees.” What, her legs stop at her knees?

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David Franz,
The TVD First Date

“The first thing I ever bought with my own allowance money at age 7 was Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” 7-inch single. It was either at Musicland or Sam Goody in Minneapolis. From that day on, I begged my parents to bring me to a record store any time we were driving around on errands. Next up were “Celebration” by Kool and The Gang, Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” and The Empire Strikes Back movie soundtrack, all out in the same year, 1980. That’s the year music took over for me.”

“Growing up, we had instruments in the house… guitars, an organ… my parents played them, and I would noodle on them, trying to pick out melodies from the records. I think my early piano lessons didn’t stick because I wasn’t interested in reading music, I wanted to play what I heard. I wanted to play what I heard on the radio and records, not “Hot Cross Buns.”

By the time I was in middle school, Van Halen’s 1984 LP was a serious influence on my musicianship. I had started taking drum lessons by then, and that record brought musical complexity into pop music that inspired me deeply.

Vinyl has so much going for it, and it’s no wonder there’s a resurgence. The sound quality, the large scale artwork, and the physicality of opening the packaging, holding the record, putting the needle down, and flipping it every 20 minutes or so creates a very pleasurable tactile experience.

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Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for September 2021, Part Five

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

NEW RELEASE PICK: V/A, Voodoo Rhythm Label Compilation Vol. 5 (Voodoo Rhythm) This Swiss label is run by Beat Zeller, aka The Beat-Man, aka The Reverend Beat-Man, aka a beautifully twisted cat if ever one was (though we’ve never met). Burrowing into a stylistic zone that’s not far from the great Billy Childish, except it’s swampier and more bluesy (and with flashes of strangeness that are almost Beefheartian), The Beat-Man has been cranking out steaming hot hunks of rant and distortion since the 1980s, with the Voodoo Rhythm label commencing operations in 1992 to document his own prolificacy plus records by those of a similar temperament. The discography now runs well into the hundreds. As I’ve only been soaking up Voodoo Rhythm’s wares for the last 5-6 years, I haven’t heard it all, but it’s still been long enough to have gotten acquainted with a sizable percentage of what’s on this comp. Chances are you haven’t, so let’s give it a rundown.

Right up front, there’s the garage-punk stomp of the Beat-Man’s band The Monsters, followed by the drum-box punk thud of the Bad Mojos, and then some trash dumpster Troggs action from Destination Lonely. There’s the reverb drenched punk-blues throb of Sloks, a zonked busker-billy Venom cover by Rev. Beat-Man and Izobel Garcia, the demented retro-pop of Garcia’s own track, and then a strong dose of Chess Records-inspired punk pound by Trixie and the Trainwrecks. And with the Tom Waits vibes of Degurutieni, things get even more interesting. There’s the decidedly KBD-like track by Nestter Donuts, an ode to well-lubed onanism by Sex Organs, the acid-bent Gibson Bros. fumes of Roy and the Devil’s Motorcycle, a fuzz-punk rave-up by The Devils, the twisted trio chug of E.T. Explore Me, the moody, dare I say goth blues of Honshu Wolves, and a Jimbo Mathus-like closer by The Dead Brothers. And it’s all grooved into a picture disc. My normal reaction to picture discs is to stick those fuckers on the roof, but this one looks pretty cool. It sounds even better. A-

REISSUE/ARCHIVAL PICKS: Little Willie John, The Complete R&B Hit Singles (Real Gone) Back in 2012, Real Gone released Complete Hit Singles A’s & B’s as a 2CD set, a 32-track collection that remains the heavyweight champ in spotlighting this undeservedly neglected R&B (and Soul, and R&R) pioneer. Prior to Real Gone’s endeavor, there had been a few solid single disc comps of his stuff, but the beauty of A’s & B’s is that the flips were far from forgettable as they instead reinforced the man’s versatility and energy. And it wasn’t even all of John’s essential stuff. Well. A’s & B’s looks to be out of print (though a copy can probably be located without parting with too much scratch). This set, which appears to be the first vinyl release in John’s discography since the ’80s, offers just the charting songs, 17 in total, and if it isn’t as deep an experience as the 2CD, it’s still a pleasurable ride as it delivers an abbreviated survey of the guy’s growth. And I’d say it’s a cinch that many vinyl-loving R&B aficionados that already own A’s & B’s will be picking up the wax as well, so my advice is to grab a copy sooner rather than later. A

Baligh Hamdi, Modal Instrumental Pop of 1970s Egypt (Sublime Frequencies) This ever-dependable label does it again, with a superb collection (and first-time reissue) of this crucial Egyptian composer and bandleader’s work. The 2LP (with gatefold and insert) isn’t scheduled to arrive until 11/19, but the CD (in digipak with 12-pg booklet) is out tomorrow, and anybody with an interest in 20th century global sounds will want a copy. There are sitars aplenty, but also Omar Khorshid on guitar as part of Hamdi’s Diamond Orchestra. Organ, accordion, saxophone and even a Theremin are part of an Indio-Arabic equation that’s rhythmically driving and ceaselessly inventive. Hamdi was a Modernizer and also a hybridizer, tapping into jazz, rock (those guitar solos), and even Exotica but without any kitsch ambiance. There are also plenty of stretches that can be described as psychedelic, but they’re strengthened by a seeming lack of deliberateness in this regard on Hamdi’s part. Similar to other Sublime Frequencies collections, track 19 is as engaging as track one. In fact, closer “Love Story” is one of the best cuts. A

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In rotation: 9/30/21

3 Reasons You Should Ditch The MP3 And Listen To Vinyl Records Instead: “Vinyl gives you a deeper appreciation of music.” If you grew up in the early ‘80s, it’s probably not your first time to see a vinyl record, which has been re-emerging in the circles of music enthusiasts and collectors over the last few years. In the age of music streaming apps, why is the vinyl back, seemingly, for good? Let’s backtrack to the ‘30s, when RCA Victor launched the first commercially available vinyl long-playing (LP) record, which was marketed as “program transcription discs.” These discs could hold up to 15 minutes per side, and were designed to be played with a special “Chromium Orange” chrome-plated steel needle. Sound is recorded in the grooves found on the vinyl, and as the record spins, the needle runs along the grooves and passes the information to the player’s electromagnetic head. However, due to the financial hardships during the Great Depression, the discs were considered a “commercial failure” and were discontinued.

Houston, TX | The Memo Record Shop has one of the most eclectic Latin music collections in the country. Houston-Guillermo “Memo” Villarreal grew up with a love of music and has shared his wonderful collection with the city of Houston for over 50 years. Memo opened his record shop in 1968 and sold music not found anywhere else in the city. He has seen the music industry move from vinyl to 8-track, cassette tapes and CDs. The types of music are also increasing. In the aisles of the store, you can find mariachis, conjuntos, the Caribbean, salsa, meringues, tejano and more. Memo Record Shop # 1 also has a huge collection of Latin movies. “If we don’t have it, it doesn’t exist anymore,” the memo said. The memo business has grown into a museum with hundreds of photographs, signs and guitars hanging on the wall.

Records, turntables and books making a comeback. Eight-track tapes, probably not: Against all odds, analog-era media products once left for dead are making miraculous comebacks. For decades, vinyl records, turntables, broadcast TV antennas — and even printed books — seemed destined for the dustbin of technological history. Many of us threw away our record collections and antennas and began migrating from physical books to digital ones. Now, these older technologies are enjoying a revival. What explains their resurgence, and what’s the lesson. Vinyl records are enjoying success not seen since Whitney Houston regularly topped the charts. After a rapid decline in the 1980s, sales were almost non-existent in the 1990s. Today, they’re selling briskly — up 94% currently over the same period last year — and record stores can’t keep up with surging demand. Vinyl topped CD sales for the first time since 1986, despite consumers having to pay twice what they might for CDs or digital downloads.

Bath, UK | We look inside a new record and plant hybrid store in Bath: The store has found a niche in the market. Records and plants aren’t usually something you’d expect to find sold side by side – but a new store in Bath is offering just that. Situated on Broad Street, Chapter 22 Roots and Records offers a unique shopping experience as it combines vinyl records with a wide variety of rare and exotic plants. In addition, customers can also enjoy a delicious coffee while they browse. Behind the shop are Bath residents Dean Brown and partner Nicola Taylor – who took their big passions in life and merged them into a one-off shop. The shop is in its third week of opening and Dean said that so far the reception has blown them away. He said: “We are very busy, it has completely exceeded our expectations – we’ve got plants flying out the door.

Floresville, TX | Dylan Merten gives vinyl a new spin: Dylan Merten is a 20-year-old student at Texas A&M University- San Antonio, majoring in history with a minor in political science. Most of his time is spent on campus, at work, or studying. In his spare time, he enjoys collecting vinyl records. Yes. That’s right. Vinyl records. Merten, from Floresville, surmised that he has been collecting records for four years. “It all started when I was in Houston, visiting my aunt and uncle,” he said. “I mentioned to my uncle that I was thinking about starting a collection.” His uncle left the room and returned with an extra record player, which he gifted to young Merten. Now, Merten estimates that he has collected approximately 50 albums, including at least one album from each main musical genre. His favorite genres to collect are rock and rap, because those are what he listens to the most. His rock collection is by far his strongest. “I have almost every major Beatles album now, and am only missing two!” he remarked.

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Graded on a Curve,
Jerry Lee Lewis,
The Knox Phillips Sessions

Celebrating the Killer on his 86th birthday.Ed.

Placing Jerry Lee Lewis in a studio with a working piano and rolling tape machine is a recipe for interesting results. Deep at night in the midst of the late-‘70s that’s just what happened; after nearly four decades in the can, The Knox Phillips Sessions: The Unreleased Recordings documents the Killer colluding with Sam’s son. The finished product, grooved into 180gm wax by the Saguaro Road label, is an at-times fascinating historical curiosity falling significantly short of Lewis’ finest moments, though flashes of brilliance are in evidence.

By now, the amount of combined ink and bytes employed to describe, discuss, and evaluate Jerry Lee Lewis is immense. A truly bedrock rock ‘n’ roll figure, when Lewis exploded out of Sun Studios in 1957 with “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On” and “Great Balls of Fire,” Elvis suddenly seemed considerably less threatening. Attaining status as a rockabilly crossover with a ten ton personality substantially wilder than Presley’s is enough to ensconce one in the tomes of history, but inspection of Jerry Lee’s ‘50s sides, and there are many, reveals deeper substance. For starters, the piano; along with his partner in pounded-ivories Little Richard, Lewis embodied a legitimate lead-instrument alternative in the years when R&R’s fate was uncertain.

No doubt Lewis will bristle at getting lumped in with Richard Wayne Penniman. Even casual fans of the Killer know that he self-assesses into a class, if not by himself, then including only a select few. Specifically cited on this LP; Stephen Foster, Al Jolson, Jimmie Rodgers, and Hank Williams. But in truth, outside of a pure oldies context, there are hardly any casual Jerry Lee Lewis fans, in part due to his oversized ego; many simply can’t accept the man’s arrogance, a manner that has frequently bypassed swagger to reach a level of borderline hostility.

The other, larger aspect is social behavior that hasn’t gotten less problematic over time. When one marries an underage blood relative people tend to remember. The situation is therefore thus; one either pardons Lewis his transgressions or one doesn’t. This writer makes no apologies for being a forgiver, and one that finds the contents of The Knox Phillips Sessions pretty agreeable for the duration.

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TVD Radar: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Love for Sale in stores 10/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Love for Sale, the new collaborative album from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, will be released on October 1st via Columbia Records/Interscope Records. This historic album will be Tony’s last studio recording, showcasing the Cole Porter songbook of classic popular music with both duet and solo selections from both artists.

Their duet, “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” will be the first single. Tony Bennett celebrates his 95th Birthday today (9/28) and appropriately will be at Radio City Music Hall tonight performing the songs he has spent a lifetime singing and sharing the stage with Lady Gaga, a cherished musical collaborator.

Love for Sale featuring Cole Porter’s songbook was an idea the two performers discussed shortly after their first album, Cheek to Cheek, debuted at #1 on the Billboard album charts upon its release in 2015.

Recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, the album features a mix of jazz ensemble, big band and orchestral arrangements. At the time of the sessions, Bennett had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a condition the family made public in a disclosure earlier this year. Love for Sale will be available in both a standard, deluxe and vinyl configurations as well as a highly collectible box set edition.

In celebration of Tony’s 95th Birthday, Lady Gaga has invited fans to post videos naming one thing they love about Tony to their Instagram Reels using the hashtag #Tonys95thBdayCard. She will choose her favorites and edit them together for a video highlighting 95 Reasons she and her fans love him.

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Graded on a Curve:
Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Capitol Sessions ‘73

Live concert music from Bob Marley & the Wailers during their ’70s heyday has often been presented at mid-size to large venues, as evidenced by their 1975 album Live! and 1978 double-album Babylon By Bus, along with the 1978 video Live at the Rainbow. Sometimes the spectacle of the music is quite pronounced and, as amazing as those albums are, the musical subtleties can get lost.

A new concert recording should rectify that. A live session, for the cameras from October 24th, 1973, just a week after the release of their latest album, Burnin’, produced by Denny Cordell, is finally getting a video and audio release from Mercury Studios, co-executive-produced by Cordell’s son Barney.

Filmed and recorded at the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles using Cordell’s portable rig of four cameras and mixing the sound live on the fly, even though Marley was under contract at the time with Island Records, this one-off show was thought to be lost, but after a twenty-year, international search, the film and audio were found.

The concert came on the heels of the group’s second Island Records release, Burnin’. That album featured the original version of “I Shot the Sheriff,” later made into a hit by Eric Clapton in 1974 from his 461 Ocean Boulevard album. Burnin’ also included a version of “Get Up, Stand Up” and the classic “Burning and Looting.” The group was then on only its second U.S. tour, after having been in the States the previous spring. For both tours, the group also played in England.

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TVD Premiere: Bishop Albert Harrison & The Gospel Tones, “Shake Me”

It was the early part of the last century when musicologists like Alan Lomax would travel to the hinterlands to come up with surprising results. That sense of search and discovery still goes on in the 21st century and it was in March 2020 when Bruce Watson of Fat Possum Records and Tim Duffy of the Music Maker Foundation took a trip to the tiny eastern rural town of Fountain, NC to film and record a series of sacred soul musicians—11 groups in eight days in a makeshift storefront studio in a 100 year old building.

It was just in the beginning stages of the pandemic in the US and they were able to record some of the several groups arising from the quartet tradition of a lead singer and a chorus doing call and response. It dates as far back as the 17th century and continues today with the added power of electric instruments.

The trip netted this performance of “Shake Me” by Bishop Albert Harrison & The Gospel Tones, that we are blessed to premiere today at The Vinyl District. The gritty voiced Bishop and his unerring Gospel Tones lock into a groove in “Shake Me” that translates to music lovers everywhere regardless of religion. “Jubilee singing is what I call it,” Harrison says. “We’re singing from our heart. But we come way down from below.”

Harrison has been traveling and singing gospel since the 1980s, but after a hospital stay in 2006 he decided to get serious and start a group, The Gospel Tones. While Harrison makes his home in the experimental planned Black community of Soul City in Warren County, the rest of the group live in Ahoskie, NC, so that’s the group’s home base.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Cookers,
Look Out!

Choosing The Cookers as a band name establishes a level of self-awareness on the part of the participating instrumentalists. After five albums, it’s clear the moniker has been widely accepted for its accuracy. On Look Out!, trumpeters Eddie Henderson and David Weiss (who also produced), saxophonists Billy Harper (tenor) and Donald Harrison (alto), pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Billy Hart have prepared another cuisine-level platter that’s available digitally, on CD and on 2LP with three sides of music and one with an etching of the band members’ signatures. Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, it’s out now via Gearbox.

If The Cookers’ handle is collectively self-aware, it’s also knowledgeable of jazz history, referencing The Night of the Cookers, a wonderful live set that was released in two volumes in 1965-’66. I say it’s a well-informed choice because those LPs featured a septet with two trumpeters, the credited leader Hubbard and Lee Morgan, with the lineup completed by saxophonist-flautist James Spaulding, pianist Harold Mabern Jr., bassist Larry Ridley, drummer Pete “La Roca” Simms, and the conga specialist Danny “Big Black” Rey.

The band that made Look Out! is easily in the same league as the one documented on The Night of the Cookers, and with a few direct connections, as Billy Harper was in Morgan’s final band, notably heard on The Last Session, issued in 1971. Also, George Cables is heard on a string of Freddie Hubbard’s ’70s albums for Columbia, while McBee is in the band for Double Take, a 1985 set co-led by Hubbard and trumpeter Woody Shaw.

More importantly, these credits aren’t even career highs, as Harper recorded with Louis Armstrong, Max Roach, Gil Evans, and Randy Weston and Henderson cut albums with Gary Bartz, Kenny Barron, and Herbie Hancock (he’s on Mwandishi, Sextant and more). Cables is well-known for his extensive work with Art Pepper, but he was also quite prolific with Bobby Hutcherson and additionally recorded with Sonny Rollins and Roy Haynes. McBee lent propulsive foundation to LPs by Wayne Shorter, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, and a handful by Charles Lloyd.

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In rotation: 9/29/21

Chepstow, UK | Tortoise shop and record store opening in Chepstow: Two new shops look to be coming to Chepstow town centre – with one slightly more out of the ordinary. The two new businesses – a record store and an exotic pet store – will occupy adjacent premises on Bank Street in the town centre. The as-yet-unnamed record store is, according to signs in the window, to open in November. However, people can ring the number in the window to sell their unwanted records already. It will take the place of the tattoo parlour which was previously on the site. There have been calls for a shop of this kind in the town for a while, with nowhere dedicated to selling physical music in Chepstow for some time. Next door and ‘opening soon’ will be the more unusually named

VN | Reintroducing The Vinyl Culture To Vietnam’s New Generation: In recent years, the global music scene has seen the comeback of vinyl, a late-1880s invention known for its rich, high-quality sound. And Vietnam is not the one to ignore the trend. Music producers and artists in the country are exerting efforts to bring back vinyl records, and reintroduce this musical sophistication to the new generation of music enthusiasts. For Minh, having worked in a vinyl record shop owned by his father, the appreciation towards this musical culture is somewhat innate. But he also noticed how, with the music industry’s digital transformation, vinyl remains unfamiliar, almost disregarded. This was when he and his three close friends Huy, Dũng and Vũ, decided to open their own vinyl records brand called Vọc Records. Vọc Records was born from the desire to expand and spread a seemingly forgotten culture as systematically as possible to the Vietnamese youth.

London, UK | Jack White performs surprise set atop Damien Hirst’s balcony at Third Man Records store grand opening: The London streets were raucously serenaded by a cherry-picked set of tracks from White’s formidable repertoire, conjured up via his awe-inspiring pedalboard. Jack White performed a surprise two-pronged set to celebrate the grand opening of a new Third Man Records store in London, England, which saw him serenade attendees from Damien Hirst’s balcony on Saturday (25 September). The White Stripes frontman – who established Third Man in 2001 – was marking the opening of the label’s third physical outlet, located at 1 Marshall Street, Soho, which joins up with existing stores in Nashville and Detroit. And, to celebrate the occasion in style, the blue hair-dyed White performed not one, but two sets – one in the store’s Blue Basement and one out in the open on top of Hirst’s personal balcony. Bassist Dominic Davis and drummer Daru Jones completed the lineup, who hundreds of people flocked to the streets or their windows to see in action.

dublab Shares Historic decades (in space) Vinyl Record Featuring Suzanne Ciani, Dntel, Randy Randall and More: While some might say through radio stations are a thing from the past, pioneer radio station dublab shows the world that radio station are here to stay and they are always forward thinking. This is proven once more with dublab’s new release decades (in space), an album of 10 songs by 20 different artists, released on quadraphonic vinyl. It’s a perfect mixture of classic music elements and the future, then the packaging of the vinyl is so much more, because of the of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory UX Designer Marijke Jorritsma, Experience Designer Daniel Perlin, Architectural Designer John Vieweg & Arts Technologist KamranV, who is also album’s producer, the packaging is also a new piece of art/ furniture. The project was funded through a grant of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Seattle, WA | Effort to give financial assistance to emerging Seattle artists underway: The Seattle World Tour foundation was formed in 2017 in an effort to build a more equitable and healthy community. The Seattle World Tour foundation was formed in 2017 in an effort to build a more equitable and healthy community by helping to provide funding and programing to underserved communities. The foundation unites artists, businesses and community members through events, programs and concerts such as an annual Seattle World Tour concert series. The yearly concert series raised more than $10,000 for Mary’s Place — which helps women and families transition out of homelessness. …Rain City Relief is a new effort to raise money to provide financial assistance to 10 emerging Seattle artists and establish a long-term relief fund for Washington State musicians in need. Rain City Relief is producing a vinyl compilation featuring the selected artists, as well as 10 video performances that filmed one year to the day the venues closed.

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TVD Live Shots: Devo at YouTube Theater, 9/25

“Saturday night’s rare live performance at YouTube Theater in Los Angeles was truly one for the ages. It had everything fans would want in a Devo show (and more) including a killer setlist, multiple costume changes, and even a pre-show sighting of Fred Armisen (a true Devo-tee). Fans from around the world donned their Red Energy Domes and Yellow Radiation Suits, coming together for one night to celebrate the music of a band that, 40+ years later, stayed true to its roots and lifelong fans.

Devo is arguably one of the greatest rock and roll bands of our time (or any other). Founded back in Akron, Ohio in 1973, they have evolved (or devolved, based on one’s point of view) over a storied career that changed music as we know it forever. Devo’s amazing musicianship, targeted satire, and love for one another has withstood the test of time. And four-decades later, these Spudboys are still doing what they love—on their terms.

On Saturday night at the newly minted YouTube Theater, Devo put on a musical clinic for the thousands in attendance under the sloping roof canopy of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Founding members Mark Mothersbaugh (vocals/keyboards/guitar), Gerald Casale (bass/keyboards), and Bob Mothersbaugh (guitar), along with Josh Freese (drums) and Josh Hager (keyboards/guitar) electrified the Devo faithful with a 16-song setlist comprised of covers, classics, and a few surprises—including a Booji Boy sighting!

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TVD Radar: Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel
Free: The Making of Wildflowers
debuts 10/20, in theaters 10/21

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers will see its theatrical release on October 20 (Tom’s birthday) for a one-night global celebration via Trafalgar Releasing, with encore screenings in select cinemas on October 21. Fans can experience the film on the big screen with immersive surround-sound before YouTube Originals will make it available worldwide for free in full 4K resolution on Tom Petty’s YouTubeChannel later this year. Tickets are on sale now at

The uplifting 89-minute documentary was directed by award-winning filmmaker Mary Wharton (Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President, Sam Cooke: Legend, Elvis Lives!, The Beatles Revolution) and first debuted in March as an Official SXSW 2021 Selection, winning the festival’s Audience Award. The film went on to win Best Documentary Film at the Boulder Film Festival and received widespread critical acclaim throughout the film festival season. The picture digs deeper into 2020’s critically acclaimed certified gold reissue, Wildflowers & All The Rest collection (Warner Records) which revealed the long anticipated second half of Tom’s autobiographical masterpiece.

Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers offers a unique look into the creative mastery and turbulent personal life of the legendary rock star, and captures the period of 1993-1995, when Tom worked with legendary producer Rick Rubin for the first time. The film is an unvarnished look at Petty that features never-before-seen footage drawn from a newly discovered archive of 16mm film as well as new interviews with album co-producer and Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell along with Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench and many more.

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TVD Radar: Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road in theaters and VOD, 11/21

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Screen Media, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, announced today the acquisition of all North American rights to Ley Line Entertainment’s feature documentary Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Screen Media plans to release the film in theaters and on video-on-demand in November.

The deeply personal documentary finds the legendary songwriter, composer and producer reminiscing and reflecting with longtime friend and Rolling Stone editor Jason Fine. With Jason behind the wheel and Brian selecting the music, the two revisit many of the periods and locations integral in shaping Brian’s life. Weighing in are admirers and those close to him, including Al Jardine, Don Was, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Nick Jonas, Jim James, Jakob Dylan, Gustavo Dudamel, and Taylor Hawkins.

Punctuated with memorable concert, studio, and interview footage, and graced by Brian Wilson and Jim James’ original song “Right Where I Belong,” recorded specifically for the film, this entertaining, informative and at times heart-tugging road trip provides both a first-hand, intimate look into Wilson’s storied life and further inspiration to anyone who has been touched by his music.

Brian Wilson, an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-founded The Beach Boys, is quite arguably the greatest composer of popular music in the rock era. Often called a genius for his novel approaches to composition and recording techniques, he is widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative and significant songwriters of the 20th century and is considered the principal originator of the “California” sound. Wilson’s honors include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Beach Boys) and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a Kennedy Center Honor, two Grammy Awards, and the Ivor Novello Award.

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