Monthly Archives: July 2022

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

You got soul, and everybody knows / That it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right / When you wake up early in the morning / Feeling sad like so many of us do / Hum a little soul / Make life your goal / And surely something’s got to come to you

And say it’s all right / (It’s all right) / Say it’s all right / (It’s all right) / It’s all right, have a good time / ‘Cause it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right / Now everybody clap your hands / Give yourself a chance / You got soul, and everybody knows / That it’s all right, whoa, it’s all right

It’s the last weekend of July. It’s hot so I’m gonna keep it simple: listen to a bunch of old records and maybe hit a few new sides.

At some point this weekend I’ll ride my kid to the beach and watch him surf. I’ll BBQ some chicken and eat crunchy yellow cucumbers. I’ll try to do it all with a smile because “life’s a sweet ride.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: Red Hot Chili Peppers with HAIM and Thundercat at Petco Field, 7/27

I was so excited when I found out that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were going to be performing in San Diego at Petco Field. I have been a fan of their music for decades, and it was an amazing experience to see them perform live again after a number of unforeseen “Covid cancellations” the past few years. The sold-out show was absolutely incredible, and I would highly recommend grabbing tickets to this one if they come to your hometown. The energy RHCP released on stage was contagious, and they had the entire stadium dancing and singing along all night long. If you are a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers—or rock and roll for that matter—you need to go see this band live.

I’ve honestly been a huge RHCP fan my whole life. As a teen growing up in Southern California, they were my hometown heroes from day one and pioneered a whole new genre of music encompassing funk, rap, and alternative into a unique sound that has been their signature ever since. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have often been imitated, but no one has been able to duplicate their unmistakable sonics or swagger. That in a nutshell is a testament to the incredible musicianship of Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith, and John Frusciante.

Opening Wednesday’s show at Petco Field in San Diego were two Los Angeles based bands, HAIM and Thundercat. Both bands were uniquely different and provided those who arrived early an amazing opportunity to rock out as the stadium began to fill up. Thundercat took the stage first and electrified fans with his funky baselines and smooth as butter grooves. HAIM was up next and brought Thundercat’s surge of energy to a whole new level. Sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana ripped off a powerful 9-song set that captured the mind and invigorated the soul of the San Diego faithful. All in all, both openers performed brilliantly and set the stage for what was about to come.

Read More »

Posted in TVD Los Angeles | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: R.E.M.,
Automatic for the People

Celebrating Bill Berry in advance of his 64th birthday on Sunday.

On 1992’s Automatic for the People—one of the finest LPs released that year or any other year for that matter—Michael Stipe and R.E.M. play Risk. The goal of the board game is to conquer the world, and that’s exactly what Automatic for the People did. Sure, the LP had its detractors and haters, but they were holed up in Yakutsk and things weren’t looking good.

R.E.M. arose from the burgeoning Athens, Georgia indie rock scene with 1982 EP “Chronic Town,” a record that bore an element of mystery that had as much to do with Stipe’s indecipherable vocals as it did the fact that nothing else sounded quite like it. I spent significant amounts of time trying to figure out what Stipe was saying in “Gardening at Night,” but he may as well have been speaking Quechua. Stipe kept mumbling on 1983’s aptly titled Murmur, but indecipherable lyrics notwithstanding “Radio Free Europe” was one of that year’s best songs.

As Stipe began to enunciate the band lost some of its luster—1984’s Reckoning, 1985’s Fables of the Reconstruction, and 1986’s Life’s Rich Pageant all had their moments, but none broke new musical ground, and R.E.M. seemed a band going nowhere. Then came 1987’s Document and “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)” and suddenly R.E.M. found itself with a mass audience. They cemented their place as a commercial pop contender with the playful “Stand” on 1988’s Green and “Shiny Happy People”on 1991’s Out of Time. Both showed the band had a lighter sound, while “Losing My Religion” on the latter LP proved R.E.M. could produce a commercial blockbuster.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

The Best of Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 62: Marshall Crenshaw

Marshall Crenshaw bridged an important gap during the end of the twentieth century. His early hits glimpsed into the recent past; recognizing the work of the ’50s and ’60s masters but soldering it onto 1980s pop, thereby creating a sort of vintage-modern hybrid. Crenshaw also portrayed Buddy Holly in the 1987 film, La Bamba which added yet another layer to his aura back then: as if he were saying, “Hey, I’m going to nail this Buddy Holly cover right now, but stick around to hear my original music, too.”

And there was always plenty of fantastic original Crenshaw music to hear: “Someday, Someway,” “There She Goes Again,” and “Cynical Girl” and his co-written super-hit, “Til I Hear it From You” with the Gin Blossoms, a tune that was inescapable on rock radio during the 1990s (and beyond). He was also always writing and working. During the ’90s, Crenshaw forged a partnership with Razor & Tie Records, releasing several albums with the label.

Today, Crenshaw is revisiting those ’90s albums and reissuing them with fresh masterings and bonus tracks—many released on vinyl for the first time. In this episode, Crenshaw and I discuss his 1999 release, #447. Of course, we also talk about his major label days, the process of recording before digital became de rigueur, getting his act back on the road, and we also reminisce about the last time he and I spoke 10 years ago.

So, join us and remind yourself of how lucky we are to have Marshall Crenshaw in our midst. He might take an occasional glance in the rearview mirror, but his eyes are firmly planted on the road ahead.

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.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Zager and Evans,
2525 (Exordium & Terminus)

Your kind human being will tell you it’s in poor taste to speak ill of the awful, but speaking well of the awful is downright dangerous—it just encourages it. In the case of classic one-hit wonders Zager and Evans, finding good things to say about them and their 1969 LP 2525 (Exordium & Terminus) doesn’t make you a kind human being—it makes you their doting aunt.

Most everybody I know thinks bad thoughts about the LP’s title track—which topped both the US and UK pop charts—and no one I know has ever heard any of their subsequent singles, perhaps because not a single one of them made the pop charts. This is both a historical record and a good thing—it was as if the band’s later singles evaporated into the ether upon release, for the good of all mankind.

“2525 (Exordium & Terminus)” is an exercise in the ridiculous. It begins as a flamenco or something, boasts some spaghetti western horns and overt string treacle, over which the duo (Denny Zager and Rick Evans) quaver portentously and sententiously about mankind’s technology-induced doom, one century at a time.

Every stanza boasts at least one howler; my personal faves include “In the year 4545/Ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes/You won’t find a thing to chew,” and “Everything you think, do, and say/Is in the pill you took today.” As if that pill wasn’t already available in 1969—it was called LSD, and the borderline freaky “2525 (Exordium & Terminus)” notwithstanding, I doubt the duo ever tried it.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 1 Comment

In rotation: 7/29/22

San Antonio, TX | Best record store: Southtown Vinyl. The digital media boom has some folks convinced that physical media is dead and that streaming is the name of the game. Whoever subscribes to that notion clearly hasn’t checked out LP sales data lately — or visited Southtown Vinyl. The store provides a comfortable, spacious browsing experience. That’s vital because physically digging through stacks of records is a big part of the vinyl shopping experience. Customers praise the staff for being friendly and knowledgeable — qualities that can be hard to find in tandem at record stores. This year, Southtown Vinyl even unseated long-running champs Hogwild Records in this Best of San Antonio category. If that’s not enough to lure vinyl fiends, there’s a Daft Punk mural on the side of the building. Hard to go wrong.

Chicago, IL | Graveface Records And Curiosities Opens This Weekend, Bringing The Weird, Eclectic And Sometimes Shocking To Bucktown: The business includes a record store, John Wayne Gacy exhibit, horror shop, museum and arcade. It will also house thousands of items from former video store Odd Obsession. “This is going to be a jail cell.” Ryan Graveface is standing in the back room of a cluttered Bucktown store, describing what will soon be a recreation of where John Wayne Gacy spent his final days alive. The cell will display paintings, books and other items Gacy owned before he was executed in 1994, memorabilia Graveface has collected over the years as part of his research and interest in the infamous Chicago-area serial killer. The jail cell is just one part of a museum Graveface is building in his expansive store, Graveface Records and Curiosities, 1829 N. Milwaukee Ave., which is holding a soft opening Saturday.

Asheville, NC | Asheville FM’s Record Fair and record release set for Sept. 10: Continuing on the success of their previous Record Fairs, 103.3 Asheville FM announces the return of their annual event, partnered with the release of a local music compilation EP on a vinyl record. On Saturday, September 10, 2022, Asheville FM will host the Record Fair at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville (87 Haywood St, Asheville). The fair brings together an estimated 30 professional and personal vinyl record dealers and collectors in a single venue for an all-day record shopping experience. …“This is the best example of a community collaboration we could think of,” said KP Whaley, General Manager for Asheville FM. “It includes local talent, recorded locally, pressed locally, and promoted by your favorite local community radio station!”

Best Bluetooth turntables 2022: wireless record players for streaming vinyl: Beam your favorite vinyl to a wireless speaker or a pair of headphones. The popularity of vinyl continues and that means more and more people buying turntables for the first time or upgrading their existing record players. And one turntable feature that’s proving increasingly popular is Bluetooth. The best Bluetooth turntables deliver great vinyl sound from your deck to a pair of Bluetooth speakers or headphones, making listening to records – and building your vinyl system – easier than ever. How to choose the best Bluetooth turntable for you: As with any new purchase, you need to decide on your budget. We’d suggest limiting it to around a quarter of your system’s cost if it’s being added to an existing hi-fi set-up. With that in mind, make sure you read up on the sonic characteristics of all your components – even five-star products benefit from the right partnering.

Read More »

Posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: Mark Knopfler, The Studio Albums 2009–2018 9LP and 6CD in stores 10/7

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “The Mark Knopfler songbook, since the Dire Straits years, is literally and pleasingly all over the map, and yet without any sense of an album being a miscellany—being merely the next thing Mark Knopfler comes up with.”

“Cohesion seems instinctual to him, both as a writer and a guitar player. He has his subjects, as any writer luckily will – youth and aging (often his own), the working grind, the demi-monde, the louche, wandering life of the road, women and love, history, literature, The North of England, Geordie issues. All of these preoccupations get fused into songs – melodies, stories (always stories), settings, characters, dictions, breathtaking guitar virtuosity burning hot from within – which seem always to come round to being about seeking grace; a real-time, minor key, on-the-ground grace. And also frequently about not finding it.”
—Richard Ford

Mark Knopfler – The Studio Albums 2009-2018, a 9 LP vinyl/6 CD boxset & digital SD/HD, will be released on October 7 by UMe/EMI, gathering together the second half of his solo songbook with his more recent studio albums, to add to last year’s ’96 – 2007 collection. The box will include Get Lucky (2009), Privateering (2012), Tracker (2015), and his latest release Down The Road Wherever (2018) plus a collection of studio b-sides and bonus tracks and two previously unreleased songs – “Back In The Day” and “Precious Voice From Heaven.” The audio quality has been overseen by the original mastering engineer Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, while vinyl was cut by Bernie Grundman. You can pre-order/pre-save the album HERE.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Pink Floyd,
The Dark Side of
the Moon

Remembering Richard Wright, born on this day in 1943.Ed.

Back in the day–and I’m talking very back in the day–Pink Floyd’s 1973 stoner masterpiece The Dark Side of the Moon played from behind the door of every pot smoke-filled room in my college dormitory. I say this with authority because I was in every one of the those dorm rooms, which meant I heard The Dark Side of the Moon a lot. And by that I mean I heard it to death, and by the time I got booted out of that dorm for smoking pot in dorm rooms, I hated The Dark Side of the Moon so much I vowed to never listen to it again. And for decades I kept that vow.

But you know how it goes. One day your curiosity gets the better of you. You think you’ve thrown The Dark Side of the Moon out with the bong water when one day you wake up and decide to give The Dark Side of the Moon another listen. This is what is commonly called failing to learn from experience. But in the case of The Dark Side of the Moon I was pleasantly surprised. I would hardly call our reunion a joyful one; it was more like running into an old friend you’d grown tired of only to discover he wasn’t the bore you remembered. Indeed, with the exceptions of “Money” and “Time” (both of which had continued to annoy me thanks to incessant radio play over the years), our reunion was actually cordial.

The Dark Side of the Moon, which was produced by the band and engineered by wizard behind the control panel Alan Parsons, is very much a “studio as band member” affair. Gone were the days when Pink Floyd, as guitarist and Syd Barrett replacement David Gilmour put it, went in for “the psychedelic noodling stuff.” Plenty of fans weren’t particularly pleased to discover there would be no more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants LPs along the lines of 1971’s Meddle, but The Dark Side of the Moon attracted a slew of new fans and made the guys in the band rich and famous. “Money” indeed.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 26 Comments

TVD Radar: The Kinks, Muswell Hillbillies / Everybody’s In Show-
Biz–Everybody’s A Star
deluxe reissue formats
in stores 9/9

VIA PRESS RELEASE | In 1971, the great British rock group The Kinks embarked on a new phase of their career by signing with RCA Records. Freed from their old label Pye’s insistence on hit singles, Ray Davies’ songwriting accelerated his band’s move towards a new identity as makers of thematically ambitious, tenderly personal albums, building on preceding cult successes such as The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. Buoyed by one more smash to start the decade –“Lola” – this most English of bands also firmly turned its sights towards the USA, where their exciting, charismatic live shows were reciprocally building a fervent new American fanbase.

This period’s first Kinks album, Muswell Hillbillies, is for many people their best of all. It conversely looked back on Ray and Dave Davies’ London roots, telling tales of working-class families migrating from the war-torn and redevelopment-ravaged inner city to the strange, leafy suburbs of North London.

“Now with a new record company and a new image, I could bring some of the old wild western spirit into my music,” Ray Davies said. “These albums capture the re-emergence of the Kinks as a touring band.” Dave Davies adds “Muswell Hillbillies is one-of my favourite Kinks albums. It’s a bit of a backstory to the Davies family and the characters involved.”

Muswell Hillbillies’ release was supported by more US touring, including two 1972 nights at New York’s iconic Carnegie Hall. Tapes of those anarchic shows, heavy on Muswell material, formed the live half of 1972’s double-album, Everybody’s In Show-Biz – Everybody’s A Star. Its studio sides explored The Kinks’ long months on the American road with wistful humour. Its epic finale, “Celluloid Heroes” confirmed the band’s new world. Among the elite cream of Kinks songs, it saw Ray use Hollywood as a prism through which to view ordinary Americans’ bittersweet dreams.

The announcement comes alongside the release of “Celluloid Heroes (US Single Version 2022 Edit).” Ray Davies composed the classic Kinks track reflecting on everyday folk aspiring to be Hollywood stars. The song names several famous actors of 20th century film (including Greta Garbo, Rudolph Valentino, Bela Lugosi, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe) and mentions LA’s Hollywood Boulevard, alluding to its Walk of Fame. Taken from The Kinks’ seminal 1972 RCA album Everybody’s In Show-Biz – Everybody’s A Star.

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Glenn Jones,
Vade Mecum

With his latest album, the unfettered brilliance of guitarist-banjoist Glenn Jones perseveres unabated. Long established as one of the prime extenders of the American Primitive guitar style, Jones is a nimble-fingered rememberer, but he is also a builder. Never one to retreat into the comfort zones of nostalgia, his playing is as progressive as it is invested in history. And further testifying to his consistency is the allegiance of his label; Vade Mecum, available now on translucent red vinyl, compact disc, and digital is once again released by Thrill Jockey of Chicago.

Spanning back almost a decade now, I’ve reviewed every full-length record Glenn Jones has made since My Garden State, his second for Thrill Jockey, came out in 2013; and as his solo LPs go, he’s only been on one other label, Strange Attractors Audio House, that Washington State-based enterprise the issuer of his first three loner efforts after they put out a string of records by Jones’ experimental rock band of the 1990s, Cul de Sac.

I mention my dedication to Jones’ efforts not as a brag, but rather, to set up the observation that many will no doubt have, and that admittedly entered my own mind when contemplating a review of Vade Mecum; that is, specifically, the possibility of running dry of new things to say about the work of a solo instrumentalist, and one with such a clear disinterest in any pretense to “originality.”

Much has been made of Jones’ relationship with John Fahey, which extended beyond influence to friendship and then to collaboration, as Cul de Sac cut a record with Fahey, The Epiphany of Glenn Jones, in 1997 (that one came out on Thirsty Ear). Interestingly, Fahey’s creative trajectory began in what many unfamiliar with the American Primitive guitar movement would simply assess as a folk-blues place and ended up in the midst of the ’90s avant-underground, which is where Jones came to prominence before intersecting with Fahey and then going solo in distinctly American Primitive mode.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

In rotation: 7/28/22

New York, NY | Limited to One record store celebrating 5 Years at Brooklyn show with rare record mart: Limited to One, the East Village record store that focuses on rare, collectable vinyl, turns five this week and to celebrate they’re throwing an anniversary party at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus on Sunday, July 31 featuring live performances and a record mart. Tickets are on sale. The music lineup includes NYC emo/post-hardcore group Common Sage, Providence screamo band Amitié, Light Tower (featuring members of Spotlights / On the Might of Princes) and some “special guests.” One of those special guests is Ryley Walker who will be doing a set of XTC covers. As for the record mart, Limited to One says it features “rare records never sold in the shop” and “exclusive releases direct from select indie labels” like Sacred Bones, DAZE, Expert Work Records, and more.

Muncie, IN | Muncie gets back in the groove with new record store opening: Good news for music-lovers who prefer their tunes delivered via old-fashioned vinyl: Muncie’s getting a new record store, and in a very familiar spot. Locked Groove Records opens Saturday, July 30, in the same space that housed Village Green Records for more than 15 years until this past spring. After Village Green announced it was leaving, but before it actually closed down in May to shift its operations to Montgomery, Alabama, Celeste Outen was looking into opening another independent record store in Muncie. An employee at Village Green, Outen was encouraged by Village Green’s owner and others in the community to pursue establishing her own store. …The new store—which will be not just a locally-owned business, but a woman-owned and Black-owned one as well—will start out with a stock of used records acquired from dealers, a “really amazing jazz record collection” she came across and Outen’s extensive record collection. Selling off her own collection is hard, but Outen looks forward to sharing what she loves with her customers, she said.

Cleveland, OH | One Year Later: How This Cleveland Record Store Continues To Thrive. In 2021, GOBankingRates featured “Small Business Spotlight” nominee A Separate Reality Records, a record store in Cleveland started by music industry vet and cancer survivor Augustus Payne. At the time, Payne shared how he adapted his business during the pandemic to keep it going through difficult times. Now, one year later, we’re checking back in with Payne to talk about what he’s learned over the past two years and what his hopes are for the future of his business. “…I wish I knew how totally consuming it is to own a store. If you have a store, it’s best to love what you do.”

Wichita, KS | New record store to open in Wichita: Les Easterby was a teenager in high school taking an entrepreneurship class when he was asked to create a business plan. “My business plan was to open a record store,” he said. Now, just over two decades later, that’s what he’s doing. Next month, Easterby is opening the Record Ship at 230 N. Cleveland, just up from the Workroom. He considered more prominent sites along Douglas and Central avenues, but Easterby said, “People kept telling me a record store is more of a destination, so you don’t necessarily need to be seen on Douglas.” He’ll have 600 square feet of retail space and another 1,000 square feet of warehouse space where he eventually also plans to host events, such as concerts or vinyl swap meets. Record Ship will sell a variety of music, including rock, soul, jazz and alternative selections. Easterby also wants to offer new wave, punk and experimental music, which is much of what he likes.

Read More »

Posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: Keith Urban with Ingrid Andress at the Xfinity Center, 7/22

MANSFIELD, MA | It was a “long, hot summer” night—nearly 90 degrees outside of Boston—for Keith Urban’s “The Speed of Now” world tour at The Xfinity Center, an intimate and energy-packed evening.

Ingrid Andress opened the show with a sweet, sassy enthusiasm, and gave several shout outs to those sitting in the “way back” of the venue, recalling that it wasn’t long ago that she was in the grass seats. No stranger to the Boston area, the Berklee College of Music grad expressed an abundant gratitude to the fans and appreciation to be on the bill with Urban. Andress played her recent singles, including “Wishful Drinking.”

Cheryl Leary and her daughter Allison, of Tiverton, RI, traveled from the Ocean State to see Friday’s show. This would be Leary’s 27th Keith Urban concert, and first Urban show since before the height of the pandemic. “My daughter has been coming with me since she was 13 and I just told her that when I’m elderly, she needs to continue to bring me to see Keith Urban,” said Leary, her smile beaming.

Leary said she would travel anywhere to see Urban, adding that she would soon drive up to Gilford, NH to see him play at the Bank of NH Pavilion, two days later. “I listen to him every day. It’s all about Keith Urban. I’m so excited for the show to start—I can’t wait.”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

TVD Radar: Can, Live
in Cuxhaven 1976
in stores 10/14

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Mute and Spoon Records today announce Can Live in Cuxhaven 1976, the third in a series of Can live albums. This is the latest in the acclaimed series which began in 2021 with Can Live in Stuttgart 1975 and presents a shorter, more concise performance by Can over four sections. The new album is set for release on limited edition blue vinyl, CD, and digital platforms October 14.

The Can Live series has taken the best of Can’s bootlegged recordings—many of which were recorded by Andrew Hall, who sadly died in April 2021—and, overseen by founding member Irmin Schmidt and producer/engineer René Tinner, have fed them through the wringer of 21st century technology to bring you these vital historical documents.

Can Live in Cuxhaven 1976’s sleeve notes were written by the French author Pascal Bussy, whose books include The Can Story (co-authored with Andy Hall, 1989) and Kraftwerk: Man, Machine, and Music (1993). Talking about Can live, Bussy states, “Until the end, Can gigs were not only logical extensions of their studio work, they were definitely a work in itself. And we are so fortunate to still have a lot to discover.”

This new album follows Can Live in Brighton 1975 and Can Live in Stuttgart 1975. The albums have been featured in the year end round ups from Uncut, The Wire, MOJO, Record Collector, Electronic Sound, Treble, Aquarium Drunkard, and more.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Electric Light Orchestra, The Ultimate Collection

How great are ELO? Randy Newman wrote a song (“The Story of a Rock and Roll Band”) making fun of ‘em! Talk about your honors. That’s better than a Grammy! Six Grammys! A dozen Grammys even!

And how dumb was poor Roy Wood, who split Electric Light Orchestra before they sold like a gazillion records to form Wizzard, who sold like six! No wonder hairy Roy looks like a crazy recluse who’s spent the past 40 years in the wilderness, subsisting on a diet of spotted squirrel and sterno–he has!

The words “symphonic rock” frighten the bejesus outta me. But (at least on the best of their songs) ELO pulled it off, partly on the strength of their top-secret recipe (write Beatlesque melodies, then just add strings) but also because–and this is critical–unlike the pompous schmucks in Emerson, Lake & Palmer, ELO approached their classical-rock fusion in a spirit of fun. I don’t much care for many of their songs for the simple reason that I have a low tolerance for cellos and the like, but there’s something self-consciously preposterous in their shtick that makes me love them anyway. Call it ironic distance if you like, but the distance counts for a whole lot in my book.

There are plenty of ELO best-of compilations out there, but I’ve yet to run across one that makes me completely happy. They either dispense with the filler but fail to include some of my favorite songs, or include my favorite songs but toss in a bunch of songs I really don’t want to hear. With its 38 cuts 2001’s The Ultimate Collection falls into the second category; I have no use for “Shine a Little Love,” “The Diary of Horace Wimp, “Ticket to the Moon,” or “Last Train to London,” but the comp includes such personal must-haves as “Do Ya,” “Ma-Ma-Belle,” and “10538 Overture.”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Needle Drop: Brynna Campbell, 1,000 Masks

1,000 Masks is a new album release from California-based singer-songwriter Brynna Campbell. Its title track, whose themes run throughout the album, is a quick-paced and racing meditation on the various roles we inhabit throughout the course of a day, and the corresponding masks we wear to communicate these roles to the world around us. The result is an energetic sprint of a song that inspires the listener to reflect on their own mask-wearing, and the seemingly endless chase we are all on to maintain a successful balancing act for the needs of others, of our immediate selves, and of our individual ego dragons that never sleep.

In part, most of the album’s seventeen tracks swim through waters of the inner mind. Brynna Campbell offers a wry yet sensitive voice depicting the female experience amidst wistful piano lines that offer hope among somberness. Her musical character is in the spirit of intelligent chanteuses such as Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette, but with two feet planted firmly in 2022 and in full view of the year’s trials and tribulations.

Many of the songs’ voices are full of angst that only a pandemic era could have inspired, or at least brought out into the light—thoughts previously half in shadow. There is social anxiety (the title track) and a standout on the album,“Party” which cleverly articulates the tug of war that goes on inside the mind of a person who does—and does not—want to go into the party, and who focuses a great deal of energy amid the song’s chorus with the mantra “just get out of the car.” The songwriting brings to mind Andy Shauf’s similarly focused “Early to the Party,” yet offers a fresh female perspective.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text