Monthly Archives: September 2021

UK Artist of the Week: Brian Mackey

Get the tissues ready because this one will definitely make you weep. Brian Mackey recently released the touching new video for his single “Saturday Night Sleeping,” and it’s as poignant as it is powerful.

American singer-songwriter Brian Mackey’s son very sadly died of a heroin overdose on a warm Saturday night and thus, “Saturday Night Sleeping” was born. It’s an extremely emotive single that is bound to pull at the heartstrings and the message it sends is incredibly fitting.

With this release, Brian’s hoping to raise awareness for mental health, opioid dependency, and addiction which has continued to grow exponentially during the Covid-19 pandemic due to isolation, loneliness, loss of work and global normalcy. Channeling the likes of Keith Urban and even R.E.M., Brian combines Americana, indie rock, and country-tinged sensibilities creating something truly special and unique.

Brian has partnered with the US Grammy charity MusiCares to donate 100% of the track’s proceeds this summer and fall in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month through National Addiction Recovery Awareness Month.

“Saturday Night Sleeping” is out now.

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Graded on a Curve: Myriam Gendron,
Ma Délire – Songs of
Love Lost & Found

Born in Ottawa, Myriam Gendron moved around a lot in her youth (Gatineau in Quebec, Washington, DC, Paris), but at 16 years of age dropped anchor in Montreal, where she still lives, having recently completed her second album there. Available on CD and cassette October 1 through Feeding Tube, with 2LP vinyl expected late in the year or early in 2022, Ma Délire – Songs of Love Lost & Found reinforces her skills as a guitarist and singer of natural beauty and verve while incorporating her skills as an interpreter of folksong and as a writer of original material. Astutely conceived over seven years, its 15 tracks cohere into a statement of astonishing power, making it one of 2021’s finest releases.

In 2014, Myriam Gendron’s Not So Deep As a Well was released. The vinyl, now in its fourth pressing with copies still available, has been handled by Feeding Tube as the compact disc was issued by Mama Bird Recording Co. An absolute gem of a record, it featured nine poems, 11 on the CD, by the great writer Dorothy Parker set to Gendron’s guitar-based music.

It is the sort of record that, when discovered long beyond its initial release, can leave a listener momentarily scrambling to reevaluate notions they thought were largely solidified, in this case specifically about the musical highpoints of the year 2014. But hey, it’s best to not ruminate over jackhammered conclusions. Instead, it’s better to rate Not So Deep As a Well as one of the very finest debuts of the decade we’ve only just recently left behind.

After getting hip to the album back in 2018, I will confess to wondering how Gendron was going to follow it up. That is, not pondering if she could; along with its level of success, there is a quality of sustained confidence in Not So Deep As a Well that effectively eradicated assumptions that its brilliance was fleeting. One simply doesn’t attain its level of ambition and achievement by accident. But rather, my thoughts were focused on what Gendron would do next? More Parker-based works? Engaging with another author? Unveiling her own songs? Or maybe, shudder to think, nothing at all?

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In rotation: 9/28/21

Montreal, CA | Montrealers are still getting Cheap Thrills at this downtown record shop 50 years later: Owner Gary Worsley says there’s a market for vinyl as records make a comeback among youth. While it might seem like the whole world has gone digital, there’s a tiny shop in the heart of downtown Montreal that has been keeping it old school for 50 years. “One thing that’s really cool is when I discovered this store in 1985, it looked like it does now, said Gary Worsley, the owner of Cheap Thrills. But the store opened more than a decade before Worsley discovered the often-crowded record store, almost hidden in an attic-like space on Metcalfe Street. It opened in 1971 on Bishop Street, before moving to the Metcalfe location in 1984. Since then, not much has changed. The store features an inventory of more than 10,000 titles of vinyl records. “We have music from all genres; metal, punk, rap, experimental, jazz, blues, rock, soul, international and more,” the shop’s website touts.

Reading, UK | Reading Sound Machine on surviving the pandemic: ‘Vinyl never goes off.’ The town centre institution thrives because “people love to collect things.” A Reading record store got through the pandemic because “vinyl never goes off” and “people love to collect things”. The Sound Machine, in Harris Arcade, off Friar Street, has been in town for more than 20 years, selling music fans second-hand records. It offers a wide range of vinyl from the well-known to the thoroughly obscure. Adrian Maulton, a former musician who was in the band The Complaints, who were “big in Reading”, is now a salesman at the shop. He said: “The great thing about vinyl is it never goes off. That meant when we inevitably had to close, it could all just be put away rather than thrown out like so many other places.” He told BerkshireLive the much-loved shop closed on three separate occasions during the various lockdowns but was inundated with customers when it reopened.

Berwick, PA | Grand opening for Berwick record store: WaxPax Records in Berwick hosted its grand opening Saturday. Music lovers in Columbia County are rejoicing over the grand opening for a new record store. WaxPax Records in Berwick hosted its grand opening Saturday. The owner Mark Collier decided to open up a permanent shop after having success with a pop-up vinyl record sale over the supper. WaxPax is in the same building as Collier’s wife’s chiropractor office. She traded out some extra office space to make his dream a reality. The owner says he will be updating his inventory every few weeks and selling local art at WaxPax Records in Berwick.

La Boite Concept Unveils Two New Stunning Creations Designed For Vinyl Enthusiasts: Luxury French audio brand La Boite Concept has unveiled two beautiful new creations designed for modern living and evolving lifestyles where music and design take up increasing space in our homes. The first creation from La Boite Concept is Lines, a hi-fi stand designed by Stephan Lanez. This is a modular piece of furniture that can be used to house audio equipment such as a turntable, amplifier, loudspeakers or a record collection. The designer’s intention of Lines is to ensure optimal sound without vibrations or edge effects. La Boite Concept has blended its expertise in audio with the design genius of Stephan Lanez to create this modular piece of furniture that can adapt to all types of listening equipment. It’s a flexible arrangement that can be used horizontally or vertically, It can even be combined into a custom shaped by lashing several of the structures together.

North Yorkshire, UK | Skipton Sound Bar plans Ponden Home move: The former Ponden Home store in Skipton could become the new home of an independent record shop and bar. Skipton Sound Bar, currently based in Swadford Street, has revealed plans to move into the vacant interiors store which is located in Keighley Road and has been sitting empty since the company collapsed into administration last year. The building forms part of the Westgate Shopping Centre and has previously been a gift and food store, and before that a Co-operative Travel. Planning documents submitted to Craven District Council said Skipton Sound Bar has seen “a growth in demand” since opening in 2014 and needs a larger premises to “accommodate the increase in popularity.” The documents added: “The extent of fit out will be typical of a music/bar venue and will follow the current format of the existing sound bar on Swadford Street with areas to accommodate customer seating, bar, event stage and retail zone.

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TVD Live: Riot Fest, 9/19

It’s the final day of Riot Fest. Today is set to be a huge dance party, ending Riot Fest with a bang! 3OH!3, Devo, and The Flaming Lips all had their crowds moving, pumping up their energy and having them remember what we’ve all been missing since the stages went dark.

I walk around and check out the tents and spaces set up throughout the park. Goose Island has an area where people can take pictures of their bad tattoos and post it on the wall for each day. I purposely waited until today to check this out so I could see all of them. I can’t help but laugh while looking at everything. Art is subjective, but some of these tattoos are pretty questionable.

Fever 333 put on an amazing show. Not only were they highly energetic, but they also spoke out about different social issues and how we need to protect our communities, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and women in music often feeling unsafe in most spaces. It was refreshing to hear a different topic other than Covid, and I’m so glad they’re raising awareness for these important topics.

Slipknot and Machine Gun Kelly close out this year’s festival. If you stand in the perfect spot, you can see both performances at the same time. Both have packed crowds, both are putting on incredible performances.

I’m so glad we’re able to experience live music once again, even if only for a weekend.

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TVD Radar: Frank Zappa, 200 Motels 2LP and
6CD 50th anniversary editions in stores 11/19

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Released in October 1971, Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels was a miraculous feat, a cinematic collision of the venerated musician and composer’s kaleidoscopic musical and visual worlds that brought together Zappa and his band, The Mothers, Ringo Starr as Zappa—as “a large dwarf”—Keith Moon as a perverted nun, Pamela Des Barres in her acting debut, noted thespian Theodore Bikel, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and an incredible assortment of characters (both on screen and off) for a “surrealistic documentary” about the bizarre life of a touring musician.

A heady, psychedelic stew of low and high brow art forms, the film, written by Zappa and co-directed by him and Tony Palmer, mixed together irreverent comedic skits, madcap satire, eye-popping animation and virtuosic on-screen musical performances from both The Mothers and the RPO for a fascinating and free-wheeling multimedia extravaganza. Shot in just 10 days with a budget of around $650,000 from distributor United Artists, 200 Motels was one of the first movies to be filmed entirely on videotape and Zappa and crew pushed the envelope of the burgeoning new medium’s possibilities, mostly notably through its use of spectacular—and at the time—state-of-the-art visual effects.

Described by Zappa as “at once a reportage of real events and an extrapolation of them… other elements include ‘conceptual by-products’ of the extrapolated ‘real event’ … In some ways the contents of the film are autobiographical,” 200 Motels was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “a stunning achievement” with “just the right touch of insanity,” and the “Zaniest piece of filmusical fantasy-comedy since The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night” by Daily Variety.

The music, and its corresponding soundtrack, was equally diverse, a wild pastiche of avant garde rock and orchestral compositions interspersed with dialog from the film. Up until that time, compositions like the finale piece, “Strictly Genteel,” were some of the most ambitious material ever written and recorded by Zappa.

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Graded on a Curve: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Not Fragile

Celebrating Tim Bachman on his 70th birthday.Ed.

I may or may not have once described that inimitable Bachman-Turner Overdrive sound as meat and potatoes rock, minus the meat. And I may or may not have once called them Bachman-Turner Overweight. But if I did so, I was joking. I love BTO. They remain, no doubt about it, Manitoba, Canada’s finest ever contribution to the un-fine arts. The music critic Robert Christgau, a fan as am I, once summoned up the band’s lead-footed lumberjack charm with the words, “Clomp on.”

BTO were about as subtle as a blow to the head; imagine a Canadian Bad Company. They playfully entitled their 1974 LP Not Fragile as a retort Yes’ LP Fragile, because they felt their music could be “dropped and kicked” without suffering any damage. Hard rock doesn’t come any harder than this; when they call a song “Sledgehammer,” they’re not pussyfooting around like that English fop Peter Gabriel.

No, this is blue-collar rock, and to paraphrase Lynyrd Skynyrd, all you effete pencil pushers are advised to stay out of BTO’s way, especially when C. Fred Turner’s doing the singing. Compared to his gruff, no-nonsense vocals, Randy Bachman may as well be Mariah Carey.

It’s a pity that BTO is perhaps best remembered as the band that brought us “Takin’ Care of Business,” because while nobody in the band strikes me as a Mensa candidate, “Takin’ Care of Business” is too dumb for words. Me, I’d sooner remember them for such great songs as “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” “Roll on Down the Highway,” and “Let It Ride,” to name just a few of the band’s keepers.

Not Fragile’s title track is a midnight creeper, and could easily pass for a Spinal Tap song, and I mean that as a compliment. The only thing cooler than Turner’s singing, “Comin’ to you cross country/ Hoping boogie’s still allowed/ You ask do we play heavy music/ Well, are thunderheads just another cloud, And we do/ Not fragile, straight at you” is the way R. Bachman intones the words, “Not fragile” behind him. The guitar solo is pretty cool too.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 48: Van Dyke Parks

It’s not hyperbole to say that musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer Van Dyke Parks is a legendary or mythical creature in pop music folklore. Sure, you know how Brian Wilson recruited him to join his creative process on what was to be The Beach Boys’ penultimate masterpiece, Smile. But there’s so much more to his career: aside from his critically acclaimed solo albums, Parks has historically been involved in a number of notable musical projects, always searching to shed light on music and stories that are astutely sui generis.

During quarantine, Parks orchestrated four songs for Verónica Valerio, a singer, songwriter and harpist born in Veracruz, Mexico. The EP is titled, “Only in America, Solo En America.” While the lyrics are in Spanish, the mood and emotion of the project is evident no matter what language one speaks. Don’t forget to take a moment to study the album’s cover art: it was created by Klaus Voorman, The Beatles’ chum who created the ever-enduring album art for Revolver.

So, let VDP and me keep you company as we engage in a conversation that goes wherever it pleases. We discuss his connection with Valerio’s music and subject matter, calling Klaus Voorman on his cell phone, how this project compares to his work with Brian Wilson and so much more. You’ll find Van Dyke Parks affable, nimble-witted, and urbane; join me as I try to keep up!

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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Graded on a Curve:
Teena Marie,
Emerald City

In his 1991 book Stairway to Hell: The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe, rock critic Chuck Eddy does a perverse and inexplicable thing—puts Ivory Queen of Soul Teen Marie’s 1986 LP Emerald City in the ninth spot. Bullshit, right?

I had the opportunity speak with Eddy by phone a while back and took the opportunity to tell him that putting Marie—who was to heavy metal as James Taylor is to gangsta rap—in the book’s top ten was an inspired prank certain to infuriate people who take their heavy metal very, very seriously. No, Eddy informed me, he was dead serious, and then proceeded in great detail to explain to why Emerald City merited its position. He also insisted it wasn’t his attention to provoke anyone. I listened politely, thinking he was full of shit. But I didn’t say as much, because I’m a timid guy and was afraid he’d punch me over the phone.

If Emerald City isn’t heavy metal, what manner of beastie is it? A genre-blending Frankenstein’s monster that combines elements of soul, funk, R&B, and jazz, with some rock tossed into the mix. And to Eddy’s credit Emerald City rocks harder than I expected—Teena Marie gives the guitarists (Nikki Sixx shows up, and Stevie Ray Vaughan plays on one track) free reign, and her vocals are tougher than non-fans would expect. But I would hardly call Emerald City a rock album; amongst its tracks you’ll find samba and slow jazz, and I hear a good bit of Madonna in there.

What shouldn’t be lost in the arguments about genre is that Emerald City is a decent album. Too eclectic for its own good, for sure, but its four first tracks stand up against the work of Prince, Michael Jackson, and (yes) Madonna. The heavy on the electronics title track opens with an introduction by Bootsy Collins (nice touch, that), then funks its way into Michael Jackson territory. “Take a walk on the wild side,” sings Marie, echoing a certain somebody, and while the song has that 80s pop feel it’s anything but the same old thing.

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In rotation: 9/27/21

Los Angeles, CA | LA’s Rockaway Records Goes All In On Vinyl, Rare Tees and an Alternative Retail Strategy: During the pandemic, the famed record shop ditched its CD stock and focused on the booming vinyl and memorabilia markets. Wayne Johnson is announcing an unusual change today for Rockaway Records, the indie record store in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood that he’s owned with brother and business partner Gary Johnson since 1982. Johnson is reopening the famed record shop, but no longer accepting walk-ins. Shoppers will need to call in advance and make an appointment. Second, the stacks and stacks of compact discs that used to fill the store are gone. In their place will be vintage vinyl, collectibles and high-end rock memorabilia. For the customers who spent hours hunting for cheap CDs at the indie record store — the largest in LA during the 1990s — these changes aren’t personal, Johnson, an easy-going extrovert and gifted communicator, will explain. Rockaway Records just isn’t making money selling CDs. The money these days is serving the online collectibles market and from now on, that will be Rockaway’s focus.

New York, NY | A Music Obsession That’s Adventurous and Soothing: ‘The trick to crate digging is to simply go at it: Dive into the sections, flip through the jackets and trust your gut.’ I was stuck trying to write in my Brooklyn apartment, overthinking a sentence as usual. In these moments I turn to my records. For inspiration, I tend to need music from some faraway place and time. Perhaps an underground spiritual jazz reissue from 1974 or an Afro-disco record from ’80. Something with noticeable ringwear and audible crackles. Maybe even a pop or two. I’ve learned that this is the music that people come back to decades later. These are the songs you hear in a bar or a film and try to Shazam before the final note fades. On this day I also needed some air, so that meant walking 15 minutes to Head Sounds Records in Fort Greene to plow through the stacks. I went right for the jazz section, and that’s when I saw it: Pharoah Sanders, “Live at the East,” released on Impulse! Records in 1972 — nine years before I was born. I had to snatch it before some other crate digger scooped it up.

Oklahoma City, OK | Still in the groove: After nearly 20 years, Guestroom Records still buying and selling vinyl: Justin Sowers and Travis Searle tossed around more than dough when they were working through college at a Norman fast-food staple. “At the Pizza Shuttle where Travis and I both worked, we (spent) many, many days making pizzas and subs, talking about what we’re going to do at our record store,” Sowers recalled. “We had a Rubbermaid tub full of records, and we had a list of people around Norman that liked records. … We would just call up people and see if they had any money, and we’d run over to their house and hang out for a while, maybe sell some records.” Almost 20 years later, they’ve turned their Guestroom Records into a music staple, with owner-operated, independent brick-and-mortar record stores in Norman since 2003, Oklahoma City since 2007 and Louisville, Kentucky, since 2013. “I don’t think either of us really had any clue that this would be our careers,” said Searle, who started the Louisville store when he and his partner, Kentucky native Lisa Foster, decided to relocate.

South Bend, IN | South Bend Record Show returns Oct. 3: The South Bend Record Show spins into the area once again on Oct. 3 from 11 am to 5 pm at the Ramada by Wyndham. Nearly 40 record dealers from the Midwest and beyond will be filling 87 tables with tens of thousands of items. While the most popular item for sale is pre-loved vinyl records, new releases, CDs, cassettes, posters, memorabilia and vintage stereo gear will also be up for sale. Records have an emphasis on rock, pop, metal and punk music from the 1960s to today. However, jazz, country and movie soundtracks are all set to be at the show too. Admission into the event is free at 11 am, but record lovers can get in at 9 am for $5. Door prizes will be held at noon, 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm. Food and beverages will be available to purchase from 11 am to 2 pm. Cash is the preferred method of payment by all vendors, but some are taking Venmo and credit cards.

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The DC Record Fair returns to Eaton DC, Sunday, 9/26!

Like a phoenix emerging from the ashes… No, wait—like a tonearm lifting from a record, the DC Record Fair rises once more! We’re back at Eaton DC on Sunday, September 26—and you best be wearing a mask.

Just like every event we’ll have 30+ vinyl vendors from up and down the east coast—and it’s free all day. Anticipate DJs, drinks, food, and loads of records designed to put a welcome hurt on your wallet or pocketbook. You’ve been warned.

Our friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring put together the above feature a while back that outshines any descriptive copy of the event we could conjure—hit play.

Mark your calendars!
Sunday, September 26, 2021 at Eaton DC, 1201 K Street, NW DC
11:00AM–5:00PM—and free all day!

RSVP and follow via the Facebook invite!

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

I’m a teenage Jesus superstar without a mighty cross to bear / And when mom complains about my hair / I say hey mom I just don’t care

I’m in hell and the angels cry cause I’m trying to sell my soul / And when mom complains about my clothes / I say hey mom leave me alone

Come on little girl, it’s gonna be alright / Come on little girl, it’s gonna be alright / I got one thing on my mind girl / I got one thing on my mind and I don’t care

I’m a teenage Jesus superstar

Summer’s official end came this week. Yesterday a daunting red sunset filled a smoky sky. For those who follow the stars, Mercury went into retrograde. I guess keeping my stars in line has been on my mind. I always loved the idea of “a star”—movie star, rock star, film star.

East River Pipe sang, “You’re a superstar in France.” The Vaselines’ line, “I’m a teenage Jesus superstar”—a pretty bold statement from the Scottish teenagers. Many decades of rock ‘n’ rollers crying out with the same claim.

“You just don’t understand.”

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TVD Live: Riot Fest, 9/18

I’ve been excited about today at Riot Fest for weeks. Big Freedia is playing an early set and I know it’s going to set the bar high for the day. I thought correctly! Bringing that sweet New Orleans bounce to Chicago, Big Freedia has the crowd twerking for the entire set, even bringing a handful of fans from the crowd on stage so they could show off their moves.

I spend my afternoon catching several sets, including indie rockers Best Coast, eclectic rockers Gogol Bordello, and punk rockers Bayside.

I’m waiting to listen to prominent Chicago rapper Vic Mensa play his earlier mixtape “Innanetape” while I overhear a fan in the front row apologizing to everyone in advance because they are going to be screaming very loudly since he’s their favorite artist.

Another local Chicago act and recent lineup addition Rise Against run on stage and the crowd immediately lights up. These guys really know how to put on a show. They took a moment in the middle of their set to acknowledge the band they replaced, Faith No More, and how important mental health is. Faith No More had to cancel their appearance due to singer Mike Patton needing to take a break for his mental health.

The night is almost over, but not before Run The Jewels make their return to the headlining spot. El-P mentions thinking that their set might have been a little rusty because they haven’t performed in over a year, but as the set progresses he remarks that the set feels like winning a gold medal. This is easily one of the top performances of the fest so far.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 47: Real Gone Music’s Gordon Anderson

Much of the music we listen to today comes from different generations. It may be an old favorite like Led Zeppelin, or it might be a group that was under the radar for many years before finally having their hey day long after they’d ceased to exist as a group, like Big Star. Behind the contemporary music scenes, there is a full-blown industry involved in keeping popular records in print and releasing albums that deserve a second chance.

Meet Gordon Anderson who has spent much of his life doing both things. He was the founder of the ubiquitous Collector’s Choice label in the 1990s which—long before streaming—was the easiest and most sonically pleasing way to track down classics from the ’50s and ’60s. After leaving Collector’s Choice, Anderson and his business partner Gabby Castellana have created Real Gone Music, which is, as they describe it, “a reissue label dedicated to serving both the collector community and the casual music fan with a robust release schedule combining big-name artists with esoteric cult favorites.”

With nearly ten releases per month, Real Gone Music probably has something in their catalog that will appeal to everyone, in fact, it’s this populist, all-encompassing acceptance that gives the label its unique spin: if enough people want it, Real Gone Music will try to find a way to serve it up.

Anderson and I take a deep dive into the world of running a record label, the business of music reissues, and the vinyl comeback. We also question what’s going on with our old buddy the CD, and learn about the origins of Real Gone’s celebrated Black Jazz label reissues. It seems difficult to comprehend, but if it weren’t for guys like Gordon Anderson keeping vintage music catalogs alive, you might not even know that some of your favorite music ever existed.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Felice Brothers,
From Dreams to Dust

On their recent release From Dreams to Dust, The Felice Brothers commit apostasy by setting themselves apart from the Americana pack (a term I heartily loathe) and bravely join the modern age. Gone are washboard and fiddle; James Felice’s accordion stays mostly in the background. The band no longer records in a converted chicken coop in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, and singer/songwriter/frontman Felice is no longer looking over his shoulder at fellow Catskill legends The Band.

On Dreams to Dust he commits that greatest of Americana sins–he says to hell with the Dust Bowl and sings about Marcel Proust, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Friedrich Hegel instead. Why, he even tosses in Jean-Claude Van Damme and AC/DC baseball caps.

The increasing sophistication of Felice’s subject matter corresponds to the band’s more contemporary sound, and will no doubt alienate purists who love the band for old-timey tunes like “Run Chicken Run” and “Frankie’s Gun.” Some of their new songs are streamlined and bottom heavy, and you won’t hear then being played on a honky tonk jukebox or your local folk festival. I can practically hear the same people who booed Bob Dylan at Newport screaming “Sell outs!”

LP opener “Jazz on the Autobahn” is the most blatant offender. A tale of the Apocalypse framed in a story about a sheriff on the run with a woman named Helen, the music owes no debt to Pete Seeger and his mighty axe. And Felice (the best poet working in music today) paints a vivid picture. “This is what the apocalypse will look like,” sings Helen, “a tornado with human eyes” marked by “a sundown of the human heart.” She tells the sheriff it:

“Won’t look like those old frescoes, man, I don’t think so
There will be no angels with swords, man, I don’t think so
No jubilant beings in the sky above, man, I don’t think so
And it won’t look like those old movies neither
There will be no drag racing through the bombed-out streets neither.”

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In rotation: 9/24/21

Stroudsburg, PA | Vinyl records turning profits in 2021: What’s old is new again and vinyl record stores are seeing customers coming in for all kinds of music. Some of the greatest musical hits were first heard on vinyl. Oldies but goodies and today’s hits, you’ll find something to get your toes tapping inside Main Street Jukebox in Stroudsburg. “I saw he had Ike and Tina Turner online. I messaged him to come and pick it up,” said Scholl Hammer, Mount Bethel. This vinyl record store has been around for some time in the Poconos. Owner Tom LeFevre has experienced the ups and downs of the vinyl record industry. More recently, sales have been on the up and up. “Just over the last couple of years, vinyl has really started to take off more. Sales have just been getting better and better, which is a great thing,” said LeFevre.

Los Angeles, CA | Some of the Best Places to Pick Up Used Records in L.A.: Need to scratch that itch for old-fashioned vinyl? Here’s where the needle hits the groove. You Don’t Have to be a Nick Hornby-style audiophile to collect vinyl—these days a lot of folks are rediscovering the joys of record albums (mostly as wall decoration, but still). The Record Parlour (6408 Selma Ave.) looks a bit like the store in Hornby’s High Fidelity, complete with racks of old wood packing crates stuffed with albums (punk, jazz, and folk are big sellers) as well as historic concert posters lining the walls. All it’s missing is Jack Black crooning Marvin Gaye. Another store with classic record shop ambiance is Freakbeat in Sherman Oaks (13616 Ventura Blvd.), which prides itself on an “old-fashioned” approach to reselling albums, keeping the prices “fair and cheap,” according to owner Bob Say. (Translation: most are $15 or less, and there’s always a rack of 99-cent specials.) But Freakbeat also offers expensive rarities like the 1994 promo copy of Prince’s The Black Album that recently sold for $499.

Isle of Man | New shop for Island record store: Sound Records relocates to Wellington Street. An island record store is opening its new shop today. Sound Records, which had been located in the basement of the former Peter Luis building, has moved to Wellington Street. The new shop beside M&S will be open Tuesday to Saturday, 10-4. In a social media post, the team behind the shop has thanked its customers for the part they’ve played in building a community.

Stirling, UK | TOP OF THE PAWPS: Squirrel invades Scots record shop store leaving staff in a spin: Record shop staff were left in a spin for nearly three hours after a squirrel invaded their store. The rodent gave shoppers at Europa Music, in Stirling, the runaround after sneaking into the store on Monday morning. Staff, customers and even dogs were roped in to wrangle the rampant rodent, who shop owner Ewen Duncan dubbed ‘Simon’, with Holly the Tibetan terrier eventually helping to spot the pest. The critter was eventually cornered by a customer using a box and an LP shortly before 12pm on Monday bringing the shop’s walk on the wild side to a close. Europa worker Paul Steadman said: “One of the customers threw a box over it and blocked it in with a 12-inch album. “I’d love to say it was an Alvin and the Chipmunks LP but I’d be lying. “We took it outside and released it into the street at which point Holly chased it off.” [Big news day. —Ed.]

Celt Iwan’s fresh identity for Sain, the iconic record label for Welsh language music: London-based designer Celt Iwan is behind the brand refresh for Sain, an iconic record label for Welsh language music, founded in 1969. The brief was to “celebrate its illustrious heritage while looking forward to a new age of music.” Just like many other small record labels in recent years, Sain has suffered from the streaming-boom and fierce competition from tech giants such as Spotify and Apple. But it luckily has a niche, finding success in Welsh language music. On much stabler ground than others in the industry, Sain wanted to strengthen its brand moving forward. It appointed Celt who crafted a new logo that reimagines the iteration from its 1975 branding, which evokes a vinyl record, split up to suggest the letter ‘S’. Celt added ‘sound-wave’ patterns to reinforce the musical core of the brand and applied colours inspired by classic albums from the company.

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