Monthly Archives: June 2022

TVD Live Shots: Mushroomhead at the O2 Islington Academy, 6/24

Cleveland, Ohio natives Mushroomhead kicked off their tour in London last week, bringing their signature industrial-infused brand of metal to the European masses. Over the years, I’ve been a bit of a casual fan of the band since someone gave me a copy of Xx back in 2001. This is a beast of a album, and although the band was constantly being compared to fellow midwest metallers Slipknot, I didn’t really get it. Sure, they wore masks and played in a similar ballpark genre-wise, but it was way too easy to dismiss them as simply copycats. With all the hype surrounding Slipknot, I actually thought Mushroomhead was the more interesting band. After seeing them live, I’m convinced. 

They are certainly more accessible and arguably more creative in terms of the mashup of styles that they bring together. Some might say it’s a bit too commercial with their latest endeavor, but who really fucking cares? So was Static X, and they were able to keep their metal cred by crossing over (OK, not the best example, but you get it). Fast forward twenty years, several revolving members, five studio records, a major label stint, I finally get to see the band live. The chaos, the rabid fans, the mystique—it was all about to explode into the twisted metal circus that came to town.

In support of their 2020 album, It’s a Wonderful Life the tour is being called the best lineup and best album since their peak with XIII nearly two decades ago. This is a massive leap forward for the band in terms of production, songwriting, and experimentation. Seventeen songs clocking in at 71 minutes with an overarching Faith No More vibe happening across several songs and a progressive metal feel to a few others, it’s rounded out with some massively heavy grooves and classic Mushroomhead chunky guitar breaks. There is something for everyone here. 

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TVD Radar: Nelly, Nellyville 2LP, first time on vinyl in stores 7/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Two decades ago today, Nelly unveiled his legendary second full-length offering, Nellyville, on June 25, 2002. Twenty years later, the St. Louis-raised GRAMMY® Award-winning hip-hop icon, actor, producer, and philanthropist presents the album on vinyl for the very first time July 29, 2022. The special 2LP release is available for pre-order in multiple configurations through UMe/Republic now.

Upon arrival, Nellyville bowed at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually earned a 7x-platinum certification from the RIAA buoyed by smashes such as the inescapable double-platinum “Hot In Herre,” “Dilemma” [feat. Kelly Rowland], “#1,” “Pimp Juice,” “Work It” [feat. Justin Timberlake], and more. Both “Hot In Herre” and “Dilemma” captured #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. He also took home a GRAMMY® Award in the category of “Best Male Rap Solo Performance” for “Hot In Herre” out of three nominations, including “Album of the Year” and “Best Rap Album.” Speaking to its influence, Nellyville stands out as one of the “Top 15 Best-selling Rap Albums of All-Time.” It even lent its title to his hit reality show of the same name!

Additionally, Urban Legends will unleash a special Deluxe Edition of Nellyville with four bonus tracks. These include “Not In My House” and “Kings Highway” as well as the Copenhaniancs Remix of “Work It” and Corporate Mix of “Hot In Herre.” To celebrate the news, Nelly just uncovered the MTV non-movie version of the “#1” music video, which original graced the Soundtrack to the Academy Award-winning classic, Training Day, as well as videos for “Work It,” “N Dey Say,” and “Wadsyaname,” for the first time ever on the YouTube platform.

Regarding the record, Nelly commented, “Nellyville was the real moment when we realized our impact. The city, the whole Midwest, it was just Nellyville. Everybody that helped bring this project to life made it monumental and that’s why it still rings out like we just dropped it twenty years later.” Allow Nelly to welcome you back to Nellyville now!

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Graded on a Curve:
Fred Schneider,
Just…Fred

Celebrating Fred Schneider in advance of his 71st birthday tomorrow.Ed.

Fred Schneider is famous for his work in The B-52’s, but over the years he’s also released a pair of solo LPs, the second of which found him in some unexpected company and delivering a set of pumped-up, punked-out mania. But ‘96’s Just…Fred isn’t really an outlier in the man’s discography, standing instead as a brief manifestation of an alternate career possibility that also reinforces how the ‘90s produced all sorts of unusual musical documents. The record’s charms could easily encourage a little bit of the ol’ pogo and might even inspire a few appropriate laughs, so in the end it’s very much a part of Schneider’s MO.

I can still remember quite clearly the reaction of certain friends and acquaintances over the arrival of Just…Fred, the out-of-nowhere solo record from instantly recognizable vocalist Fred Schneider. The general idea expressed by these folks was that in deciding to record an LP with a certain highly opinionated and defiantly indie-minded producer and a bunch of oft-noisy underground rockers as his backing, Schneider had suddenly, out of the blue, gotten “hip.”

To put it kindly, that assessment only made any kind of sense if one’s historical perspective spanned back to around 1988 or so. To put it less kindly, it was simply malarkey, a belief wrapped up in denigrating The B-52’s mainstream breakthrough Cosmic Thing and its smash hit single “Love Shack” as unworthy of any serious consideration.

That song’s ability to cross nearly any kind of social lines in its soundtracking of celebrations of all sorts has almost turned it into a cultural inevitability. If you’ll be attending a wedding party any time soon, the smart money is on hearing “Love Shack,” and maybe more than once. The groom’s grandma might even start a conga line. In this writer’s perception the tune has become so associated with revelry that imagining a person listening to it while alone in their abode, simply sitting in a chair and perhaps eating an apple, seems rather ridiculous.

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TVD Radar: The Byrds: 1964–1967, 400-page art book by Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman & David Crosby in stores 9/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Today BMG announces The Byrds: 1964–1967, a new large-format 400-page collectible art book curated by the band’s three surviving founding members, and available in three versions, including a Super Deluxe Limited Edition signed by Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and David Crosby. The Byrds: 1964–1967 is available for preorder now at www.byrdsbook.com.

When the Byrds released “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965, they introduced Bob Dylan’s songs to a new audience and launched a career that would see them grow to become one of the most influential rock bands of all time and eventual Rock & Roll Hall of Famers. With their unmistakable harmonies and Roger McGuinn’s innovative 12-string Rickenbacker guitar work, The Byrds never stopped experimenting. They incorporated folk, country, and jazz influences into a fresh blend that helped define an era. “And not to be too shallow,” Tom Petty once wrote, “but they also were just the best-dressed band around. They had those great clothes and hairdos.”

Now the band’s three surviving founding members—Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and David Crosby—have come together to present The Byrds: 1964–1967, a large format tabletop book that offers a unique visual history of the group’s defining era. Featuring more than 500 images from legendary photographers such as Henry Diltz, Barry Feinstein, Curt Gunther, Jim Marshall, Linda McCartney, Tom Gundelfinger O’Neal, and Guy Webster, the book also includes restored images from the Columbia Records archives and the personal archives of the band’s original manager.

Accompanied by a running commentary featuring McGuinn, Hillman, and Crosby’s memories of the group, the era, and their late compatriots Gene Clark and Michael Clarke, this carefully crafted volume is a truly unique collector’s item for Byrds fans and any collector of photography books featuring the pop culture of the 1960s.

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Graded on a Curve: Psychic Ills &
Gibby Haynes,
FRKWYS Vol. 4.5: Nowhere in the Night

‘twas back in 2010 that Psychic Ills of NYC took part in Vol. 4 of RVNG Intl.’s FRKWYS series of intergenerational collaborations. The resulting three track EP offered remixes by Juan Adkins (pioneering Detroit House producer/DJ), Hans-Joachim Irmler (founding member of Krautrock kingpins Faust), and Gibby Haynes (founding member of Texas psychedelic punk maniacs Butthole Surfers). Released with the intention of honoring the life of Psychic Ills guitarist-vocalist Tres Warren, who passed in March of 2020, FRKWYS Vol. 4​.​5: Nowhere in the Night holds a full studio session between Psychic Ills and Haynes. It’s available now on vinyl in an edition of 400 copies.

The collaboration documented on FRKWYS Vol. 4​.​5 stems from solid roots, as Psychic Ills and Butthole Surfers were touring partners in 2009, a connection that went so swimmingly it spurred the request for that remix from Haynes for FRKWYS Vol. 4 (the track getting mixed; “I Take You As My Wife Again” from Psychic Ill’s second full-length, 2009’s Mirror Eye), with Haynes’ handiwork oozing an unsurprising and highly attractive fuckedness, so that a full-on studio shindig with the tape rolling was all but inevitable. The gathering took place in 2010 between 10pm on February 4 and 4am the next day.

Psychic Ills debuted in 2003, so by the six hour stretch that spawned Nowhere in the Night they were far from greenhorns, though RVNG Intl.’s intergenerational objective is fully realized on the recording, as those Buttholes released their first record in 1983, 20 years prior to Psychic Ills’ formation, when Tres Warren was roughly five years old.

But the connection between Haynes’ work in the Surfers, which helped to bring psychedelia into close contact with punk-era racket, and Psychic Ills’ own brand of heavy, at times experimental, and occasionally Krautrock-informed psych, is strong on Nowhere in the Night, and right away in the opening cut “No Way,” with its ominous pulse-throb, reverb drenched faux-Eastern guitar, and the spoken voice loop of the title phrase.

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In rotation: 6/30/22

Putney, VT | A new home for old vinyl: Retired teacher opens record store in Putney. A retired teacher has turned his love of music into a new business in downtown Putney. Next Chapter Records, which offers new and used vinyl records, is now open at 120 Main St. in the former home of Antidote Books, which moved to Brattleboro earlier this year. The store is run by Mitch Harrison, a 56-year-old native of northern New Jersey. For the past 20 years, he’s been teaching science to middle schoolers in Alstead, N.H. Now retired, Harrison said he has already seen a positive response from a couple of “soft openings” on Saturdays earlier this month. In his youth, he said, he frequented record shops with friends, and hosted a radio show during his days at Rutgers University. Nowadays, he still goes to live music events and festivals. His taste lies with music that “blurs the line,” whose exact genre is difficult to describe.

Whitefish, MT | New on the block: Slow Burn Records opens on Spokane Ave: For several years, Mike and Dyan Colby often traveled from Texas to spend time in Whitefish and enjoy the rhythm of mountain living. Now they own the only record store in town, Slow Burn Records. The store’s Director of Operations, Madde Borg, explained that when the Colbys were in town, Dyan would stop into Spanky and Gus’s — the funky record store that was previously on Spokane Avenue next to Jersey Boys Pizza. She enjoyed bringing her kids, telling them about music and sharing the thrill of looking for unique finds. When she learned Spanky was closing her store, Dyan approached Mike with the idea of buying it; they purchased the store at the beginning of 2021 and it opened this April. Currently, the store is full of Spanky’s collection, about 3,000 albums, but Borg says the plan is to curate their own collection to best suit the desires of the community.

Greenfield, WI | The Exclusive Company Greenfield Location To Become Volta Records: The Exclusive Company is thrilled to announce our Greenfield location will remain a “Locally Owned Independent Record Store”. On July 2, the store name will change to Volta Records. The location, staff, hours, great service, and selection will stay the same. For the past 30 years at this location, The Exclusive Company has done our best to provide the South Side and all of Milwaukee with a record store you can be proud of and call your own. We are certain that Volta Records will carry on with the same values and dedication to music that you have come to enjoy and expect. The Exclusive Company’s final day of business at the Greenfield location will be June 29. The store will be closed on June 30 and July 1 as part of the transition. On Saturday, July 2 Volta Records will open for business. To all of our loyal customers, we say thank you for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Chicago, IL | Pravda Records goes the distance: Beginning with Napster and continuing through Spotify, the nemeses of independent record labels have been legion over the past few decades. The deaths of brick-and-mortar retail chains, including Tower and Borders, have made releasing new music even more of an uphill climb. Yet Pravda Records has weathered it all and continues to thrive. The Chicago label—which toasts its 38th year with a two-day festival, June 24 and 25, at Sketchbook Brewing in Skokie—has survived shifting public tastes, the rise of online piracy, several changes in dominant format, and the collapse of music sales in physical media. Even in the years since COVID-19 hit the U.S. in early 2020, the label has prospered, releasing a string of albums from legacy Chicago artists, among them Smoking Popes front man Josh Caterer, rock band the Handcuffs, retro-pop quintet the Flat Five, power-pop band the Hushdrops, singer-songwriter Steve Dawson, and power trio Sunshine Boys. Those records have all been modest hits—Goodman says each sold more than 1,000 copies. The label’s total sales increased about 50%.

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TVD Live Shots: Tenacious D and
Puddles Pity Party at
the Warfield, 6/24

In the spirit of “the show must go on,” Tenacious D miraculously orchestrated a relocation of their Palo Alto show as a local wildfire impacted electricity to the Frost Amphitheater. With short notice, The D split their one Bay Area show into a Friday show in San Francisco at the Warfield and a Saturday show at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, each serving ticket holders on a first come basis. 

With doors opening at the Warfield at 6PM for an 8PM show, whether this would prove to be an epic save or colossal shitshow was no doubt top of mind for attendees trying to make sense of the last-minute change of plans, but by 7PM the Warfield was packed to the rafters and outside there was a nervous mass of folks on the sidewalk looking hopeful that somehow they could get squeezed in.

The switcheroo most definitely worked in the favor of opener Puddles Pity Party who took the stage to an absolutely packed house, the better part of which had been spending the last hour or two availing themselves of the Warfield bar (notably killing a few taps before the Puddles set even ended). With a few cocktails down, the San Francisco crowd was clearly stoked for 45 minutes of sad clown cover songs which included some elegant mashups of Metallica/Celine Dion and The Who/Johnny Cash (twice!).

Those that managed to upgrade their GA lawn ticket at the Frost Amphitheater for a spot on the rail were chomping at the bit with signs and official Tenacious D c*m rags in hand (“because everything else is just a c*m rag”). And when The Big D took the stage at 9:15 and launched into “JB JR RAP,” the Warfield completely lost its shit.

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TVD Live Shots: Dierks Bentley, Travis Denning, and Elle King at Xfinity Center, 6/24

MANSFIELD, MA | Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley was feeling free and easy during his 2022 Beers on Me tour this past weekend, making a stop outside of Boston at Xfinity Center. Showcasing his enthusiastic stage presence, he entertained fans who sang along to more than 20 of his number one singles. “We’ve had a lot of hits over the years and we’re trying to pack them all in for ya’ll,” Bentley said after asking the large crowd for recommendations on where to get the best “chowdah.”

Bentley continues to be a dominant voice for the genre with over 6.4 billion streams of some of country lovers’ favorite hits, including his latest single, “Beers on Me.” During this song on Friday, show opener Travis Denning helped Bentley hand out beers to thirsty fans, tossing cold brews into tipped cowboy hats. Denning and his band hyped up the crowd early on. The performers were grinning the entire set, looking like they were enjoying every moment and working on “lightin’ that summer on up.”

Ashley McBride has been on the ticket, but for the next few shows Elle King jumped on the tour in her place. A great surprise for fans who had the opportunity to hear King’s hits “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” and “Ex’s & Oh’s.” Her performance did not disappoint. With a husky, sweet sound, an on stage swagger and sly smile, King was unforgettable. Her addition to the tour was also a perfect opportunity for King and Bentley to sing their new song “Worth a Shot.”

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Graded on a Curve:
Men at Work,
Business as Usual

Celebrating Colin Hay, born on this day in 1953.Ed.

Say what you will about the Australian new wave outfit Men at Work—not only did they make the most famous sandwich in the history of rock’n’roll they made it out of vegemite to boot, which an Aussie fella in a restaurant not long ago told me is completely inedible and to be to be avoided at all costs unless you want your taste buds to sue for divorce.

Men at Work produced songs that were as unprepossessing as their name, were frequently jabbed at for sounding too much like the Police, and enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame at the dawn of the eighties. And if I have a mild case of affection for Men at Work while despising the Police it’s because Men at Work aren’t remotely as pretentious as the Police, although being less pretentious than the Police is child’s play. Or maybe I like them because their lead singer has a lazy eye, which made watching their videos on MTV more interesting.

Anyway, Men at Work’s 1982 LP Business as Usual went monolithic and brought in enough moolah to open a kangaroo ranch or two. And this despite the band’s tame and yes even docile exterior, about which no one has ever cried, “Men at Work got my baby!” No, Men at Work did not truck in fury and revolt but simply did their job of producing likeable songs that you can pet without losing your hand. And I for one am glad they did so, because despite being as non-threatening as your average koala, Business as Usual contains some songs I really like even if I am not likely to ever fight about them.

Let me correct that. I will fight for “Down Under,” which boasts a spritely flute, a catchy beat, and some of the weirdest lyrics you’ll ever hear. Why it oozes existential dis-ease, does “Down Under,” what with old lazy eye, or Colin Hay to you, tossing off such great lines as, “Traveling in a fried-out Kombi/On a hippie trail, head full of zombie/I met a strange lady, she made me nervous/She took me in and gave me breakfast.” I’ve spent hours mulling over these lyrics, and things only get weirder as the song goes on—we follow Hay to an opium den in Bombay, watch him get offered a vegemite sandwich by a circus strong man in Brussels, and all this time thunder is roiling and poor Hay is being told to run for cover.

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TVD Radar: Jim James, Regions of Light and Sound of God (Deluxe Reissue) 2LP clear vinyl in stores 7/29

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Jim James has announced the release of Regions of Light and Sound of God (Deluxe Reissue), a newly expanded edition of his landmark 2013 debut solo album available via ATO Records on Friday, July 29.

Regions of Light and Sound of God (Deluxe Reissue) includes the original nine-song album along with a bonus LP featuring 12 rare B-sides, previously unreleased demos, and alternate takes, presented as a 2xLP on clear vinyl with an opaque purple “color-in-color” effect, with a deluxe tip-on gatefold jacket with rainbow foil, custom inner-sleeves, labels, and fold-out insert with new artwork. Pre-orders are available now.

“I have changed a lot since then, many times over,” says James. “So, in a lot of ways, it’s like a time machine, thinking about these songs, remembering what life was like back then. What I have gained and lost since. It makes me feel grateful for all of the gifts I have been given and for all of the love I have experienced in my life. It also makes me really miss some people, places, and things as well that I know I can never get back.

It’s wild how as we age, we become more and more aware, more and more conscious, at least it seems that way to me. For most of my life, I feel like I was just RUNNING…trying my best but not fully conscious or aware of what was really happening. So lost—for better or worse. Not that we ever will be fully aware of anything but when I look back a lot of the time, I get this feeling where I am just blown away by how much we change as life goes on, and it seems to me one of the supreme gifts of getting older is increased awareness.”

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Graded on a Curve: Arthur Brown,
Long Long Road

Arthur Brown…the very mention of the name conjures images of demonic bellowing and flaming headgear (see above). For those unfamiliar, ‘twas he who belted out “Fire,” one of the wildest leftfield hits of the 1960s as leader of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Often called a one hit wonder, he subsequently achieved much of interest, with Long Long Road his latest, out now on vinyl (red or black), in a 2CD set + hardback book, and in a limited box set that includes 180 gram vinyl (orange marble) in a gatefold sleeve, the 2CD + book, a bonus 7-inch, a wall flag, four art prints, and a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by Brown, all via Prophecy Productions and Magnetic Eye Records.

Released in 1968 on Kit Lambert’s Track Records in the UK and Atlantic Records in North America, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s eponymous debut LP is one of the stranger records of its era, but even more twisted is its 1969 follow-up Strangelands, so bent in fact that it didn’t come out until 1988, courtesy of the Reckless label of the UK.

Not long after, Brown split to form Kingdom Come and released three albums, Galactic Zoo Dossier (1971), its title the inspiration for the excellent psychedelic zine by Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow), Kingdome Come (1972), and Journey (1973), all compiled by Esoteric Recordings with plenty of bonus stuff into a 2021 CD box set Eternal Messenger (An Anthology 1970-1973).

Note that after Brown left The Crazy World, the rest of his band became Rustic Hinge, a mostly instrumental outfit influenced by Captain Beefheart. Their terrific sole recording, with Brown singing on one track, was issued long posthumously in 1988 by Reckless as Replicas (and with most of it added to the CD releases of Strangelands).

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In rotation: 6/29/22

More vinyl record plants opening soon. Is it enough to end backlog? The increased demand of vinyl has created quite the backlog recently. However, new vinyl presses are in the making! Will this be enough? Any artist with a desire to release a vinyl record faces the hard reality of a long wait time, with some quotes as long as 12 months out! Of course, that just doesn’t work when it comes to marketing your latest product, but the good news is that help is on the way. Some of them may be small, but there are a host of new vinyl pressing plants about to come on line, which should help ease the backlog. One plant is a new ground-up construction with 8 vinyl presses in Oxnard, California built by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and its parent company Music Direct. Unlike many plants that use older recycled machines, the presses are brand new and are manufactured by Nashville’s Record Pressing Machines. The plant is slated to come on line in 2023. Another is a 14,000 square foot facility in Denver built by VMP that’s slated to come on line in late 2022. No word on the number of presses it will house. New plants in the UK and Berlin will also help ease the back order strain.

Leeds, UK | Crash Records: The history of one of Leeds’ most loved music shops as it celebrates 35 years on the Headrow: As Crash Records celebrates its 35th year on the Headrow, shop owner Ian De-Whytell looks back at Crash’s journey over the years. For music lovers across Leeds, Crash Records has long been the hub to visit for the latest and greatest indie, rock and metal music. First opened on Woodhouse Lane in 1985, before relocating to the Headrow in 1987, the independent music retailer has seen the rise and fall of CDs, resurgence of vinyl and its fair share of groundbreaking gigs. And Ian De-Whytell, owner of Crash, has been there to witness nearly all of it. As a fan of the shop for many years, Ian’s dream came true in 1998 when an opportunity arose for him to purchase the much-loved store. “It just so happened that the owner was expanding into things and he was spreading himself a little bit thin,” explained Ian.

Honolulu, HI | Hawaii’s vinyl album sales are booming in numbers not seen in 30+ years: Everything old is new again, especially when it comes to music—and memories. Vinyl sales have grown rapidly for more than a decade on the mainland — as well as here in Hawaii. 2021 was the biggest year since 1986 for vinyl record sales, with more than a billion dollars worth of records sold last year. Living in a digital world, listeners want something tangible that they can connect to, like 16-year old Grayce Willing, who came to Hungry Ear in Kakaako from Kapolei to pick out her 16th birthday present… a vinyl Bruno Mars album. “I like vinyl because it’s there in my hands — I can see, I can feel it and I can hear it,” says Willing. “You hear the crackles, it gives that nostalgic feel…if you compare to a digital recording it sounds real different, it sounds more raw and it sounds more clear in a way,” says Keli’I Monsell-Talaro, another vinyl fan.

Casitas Springs, CA | Johnny Cash’s Former Home, Listed for $1.8M, Includes Original Turntable: The singer built the house, located in Ventura County, California, in 1961, complete with custom wood built-ins, a black commode and ceilings imbued with glitter. Back in 1961, Johnny Cash and his then-wife Vivian built a home tucked into the hills in Ventura County, California, overlooking the small town of Casitas Springs. The ranch-style 4,500-square-foot, five-bedroom residence was built to the singer’s specifications and included everything from a wall-mounted turntable to custom wood built-ins in the kitchen and living room. Now, the double-gabled house, which is set on nearly six acres not far from the Ojai Valley, has come to market for $1.795 million, listed by its current owner (who purchased the house in 2003 for $739,000, according to The Wall Street Journal). Many of Cash’s original details have been preserved, including painted ceilings imbued with glitter, a curved brick fireplace in the family room and an intercom system. The house also includes a wood-paneled studio where Cash wrote his songs.

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TVD Live Shots:
Ben Folds at Cain
Park, 6/23

It’s not easy to command an audience when you’re the lone musician on stage, but Ben Folds is a seasoned pro.

Between his masterful piano playing, unmistakable voice, and humorous anecdotes, his presence can easily fill any venue. Clevelanders were treated to a beautiful night at Cain Park this past Thursday. It was the kind of night we dream about when we’re buried in our homes under piles of snow during the winter.

Folds provided a setlist spanning his 30+ year career that prompted singalongs, laughter, dancing, and tears. My heartstrings were especially tugged during his Ben Folds Five covers, as I was instantly transported back to jamming out to those records in high school. He plays Chautauqua Institution tonight before heading south to Nashville to play with their orchestra. Catch him on the road this summer!

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TVD Live Shots:
Flogging Molly, The Interrupters, Tiger Army, and The Skints
at the Anthem, 6/22

An enthusiastic group of ska/punk fans gathered on a stormy night in Washington, DC to catch co-headliners Flogging Molly and The Interrupters take on the Anthem. The evening got off to an early start—6:30PM—a necessity given the bill’s four bands.

Kicking off the festivities were The Skints. Hailing from London, this young reggae punk band expressed gratitude to the still small crowd for getting in early—something, they acknowledged, they wouldn’t be likely to do themselves. In a swift 30 minutes, The Skints introduced themselves to the crowd, me included. I’m more of a metalhead but was quickly impressed by the band’s energy and talent. Drummer Jamie Kyriakides and bassist Jonathan Doyle provided the tight rhythms, while guitarist Joshua Rudge engaged the crowd. The remarkable Marcia Richards acted as frontwoman while playing guitar, keyboards, and sax.

After a quick turnover, Tiger Army took the stage. The California psychobilly trio, who’ve been at it since the late 1990s, consists of singer-guitarist Nick 13, stand up bassist Djordje Stijepovic, and drummer Mike Fasano. In a quick set, they gained more than a few new fans, including me. Tiger Army’s brand of psychobilly has a classic but modern sound and doesn’t feel at all dated.

The Interrupters then took the stage like Energizer bunnies to an explosion of cheers from the audience who sang along from the very first note of “Take Back the Power.” Fronted by the charismatic vocalist Aimee Interrupter, the band also features twin brothers Jesse and Justin Bivona on drums and bass, respectively, Kevin Bivona on guitar, and Billy Kottage from Reel Big Fish on trombone and organ.

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TVD Radar: OFF! catalog vinyl reissues in stores late July

VIA PRESS RELEASE | OFF!, the punk braintrust formed in 2010 by Keith Morris (ex-Black Flag, Circle Jerks) and Dimitri Coats (ex-Burning Brides), recently announced they’d signed to the meticulously curated indie powerhouse Fat Possum for both future releases and back catalog reissues.

Details of the latter have just surfaced, with vinyl reissues of the band’s acclaimed first three albums set for release in late July. Comprising deluxe colored vinyl editions of 2010’s First Four EPs (available for the first time ever on LP format, replete with gatefold sleeve), 2012’s OFF!, and 2014’s Wasted Years, the reissues are available for pre order now.

Recently OFF! unveiled their first new recording in seven years: a cover of Metallica’s “Holier Than Thou” that marked the debut of their powerful new rhythm section: bassist Autry Fulbright II (…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead) and drummer Justin Brown (Thundercat, Herbie Hancock).

The injection of new energy into the band’s signature high-anxiety hardcore adds a potent swing to the trademark incendiary thrust. The band are currently working on a plethora of projects, including their first studio album with the new lineup and their long-gestating feature film Free LSD. More to come soon.

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