Author Archives: Charles Gray

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Elton John,
The Diving Board

Elton John is an artist who sits on a throne of No. 1 hits fueling his cultural influence. He’s been considered an icon for over forty years and continues to produce music and tour. So where does an artist go when they’re already at the top?

The answer is a return to form. Over the past few years, John has professed a reclaiming of the classic drums/bass/piano line-up that projected him into worldwide fame. In 2012, John released Good Morning to the Night, an album containing remixes of songs John wrote and recorded in the ’70s in his classic stripped-down style. The remixes were carefully put together by Australian dance pop duo Pnau, resulting in John’s first No.1 on the UK charts in over 20 years.

2013 sees the release of his first full-length album in seven years, The Diving Board. Still working with longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, the album was produced by T-Bone Burnett with the idea that it would embrace the sound of classic Elton, with the unique feel he created and is known for. The album has been released on vinyl via Capitol Records, and we have one to give away to one lucky winner.

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Posted in The TVD Storefront | 10 Comments

TVD Video Premiere
and Vinyl Giveaway: Switchblade Kid, “Veronica Sawyer”


Memphis rock outfit The Switchblade Kid is band building a reputation for modern monuments to punk, garage rock, and nostalgia bombs. Much like their music, the band’s aesthetic is full of grain and fuzz in the warmest of ways.

Last year they let loose their self-titled debut via Miss Molly Music. The album was not only notable for its sound, but its accompanying videos, which also carried a very familiar and warm aesthetic. In addition to gearing up to release a new album, the band is coming out with a DVD containing all the music videos to last year’s full-length. We were able to secure the premiere of “Veronica Sawyer” before it is released on the DVD later this month.

For All the Sad Bastards is a quick follow-up to the self-titled album and a collection of solo tracks band leader Harry Koniditsiotis recorded from 2002-2012. The album expands on the Switchblade Kid’s throwback sound, including slowed-down psuedo-country crooners and indie rock tracks with feelsy ’90s vibes. Any fan of guitar music from the era will find at least one thing to fall in love with.

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Posted in TVD Memphis | 3 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Father John Misty “Solo” at the 9:30 Club, 10/23

“What I call it is totally arbitrary, but I like the name. You’ve got to have a name. I never got to choose mine.”
—J. Tillman

So you can go ahead and rule out that Tillman, better known as Father John Misty, is an artist whose name reflects an alignment with modern American religious ideology. The singer/songwriter has been penning tunes and riding their waves since the mid-2000s through releases attached to more than one name. Having stints in both Fleet Foxes and Saxon Shore before venturing out solo under both his own name and then the moniker Father John Misty, Tillman’s talent has seen good company over the years.

The good Father John Misty will be coming to the 9:30 Club on October 23 with comedian Kate Berlant in tow, and we have tickets to give away.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 10 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: The Flaming Lips at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10/4

In April of this year, The Flaming Lips released their newest all-original studio album The Terror. The thematic collection of spacey noise rock tunes with heavy-hearted lyrical content follow the Lips’ fondness for gigantic and engaging rock operas.

Further expanding what the modern definition of psychedelia is, the effort moves in waves of obscure production separated by moments of emotional clarity. As the band continues to wade into the waters of refining their sound, this album extends itself to be intensely personal, bringing with it plenty of weight to throw around.

They’ll be bringing much of their new album to the Merriweather Post Pavilion on October 4, and we’ve got tickets to give away.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 12 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Lissie at the 9:30 Club, 11/24

Lissie is pretty lady with a sultry voice and sort of an oddball success story. The folky artist first gained recognition through dance tracks worked on by DJ Harry and Deadmau5. After she began releasing her own music in the late 2000s, Lissie gained a quick audience through her debut album Catching a Tiger and its resulting hits, “When I’m Alone” and “Cuckoo.”

Three years down the line and much more well-known, Lissie is poised to release her second album Back to Forever. The release arrives in US record stores on October 8, unfolding a matured and focused follow-up to her initial breakthrough.

Lissie is coming to the 9:30 Club on November 24, and she’ll be joined by the talents of the Kopecky Family Band, and we have tickets to give away before you can even buy them.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 3 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Superchunk at the 9:30 Club, 9/29

After an extended hiatus, Superchunk shows signs of sustaining a kick they’ve been on since reforming in 2010. This August saw the release of I Hate Music, their 10th studio album. Power chords, nostalgic guitar tones, and plenty of melodic hooks can be found in I Hate Music. The album dips a bit darker than most of Superchunk’s other material, but still retains a hefty amount of memorable riffs and chord progressions.

The ’90s indie rock quartet will be coming to the 9:30 Club on September 29th. We’ve got tickets to giveaway, so come and get ’em.

The story of Superchunk starts back in ’89. At the time, band members Mac McCaughen and Laura Ballance founded Merge Records as an independent label that would release the material of their own projects, as well as their friends. Through Merge, the first Superchunk single was released to critical acclaim.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 8 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Matisyahu’s Festival of Light Tour at the 9:30 Club, 12/9

Religiously themed music rarely breaks into the mainstream, usually carrying some sort of moral high ground to the commercial realm. Through reggae (off all possible styles), Matisyahu built a persona of relaxed musical vibes with heady lyrical content that broke through the glass ceiling of religious music. 

Jewish rapper Matisyahu is coming to the 9:30 Club on December 9 as part of his Festival of Light tour. We’ve got tickets to give away before you can even buy them.

Ever since his first major hit with “King without a Crown” in 2005, Matisyahu has penned an extensive catalog of bouncy tracks with spiritual lyrical contexts. With four studio albums and two live albums, he’s shown to have consistency in tandem with his religious devotion. 2012 holds his most recent effort, Spark Seeker, which was recorded in both Los Angeles and Tel Aviv, giving insight into his influence and aesthetic.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 4 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Steely Dan at Jiffy Lube Live, 9/20

’70s avant-garde jazz pop act Steely Dan are back on the road. The Grammy-winning group is coming to Jiffy Lube Live on September 20, and TVD has Pavilion tickets to give away.

Through their nine albums, Steely Dan has became known for intellectual pop with innovative arrangements and a perfectionist nature toward the recording process. Not only are their albums acclaimed by critics, but Steely Dan has also won a number of awards and have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The band has worked on two separate occasions, the first run ending after the release of their 7th album Gaucho in 1980. The current iteration has been rolling since 1993 and included the creation of the 2001 Grammy award-winning album Two Against Nature.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 9 Comments

TVD Ticket and Vinyl Giveaway: Sigur Ros at the Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, 9/15

Since the ’90s, the Icelandic troupe Sigur Ros has been laying together minimal soundscapes caressed by bowed guitar and falsetto vocal swoops while being pushed forward by the occasional patient crescendo.

In short, Sigur Ros make beautiful music that would likely enhance even the happiest of occurrences. This year brought about their seventh album, Kveikur, with the lead single “Brennisteinn.” The single has a more blatant lean on a heavier rock aesthetic than the band’s work in the past but still retains their emphasis on a spacious mix.

The post-rock outfit are on tour and will be stopping by the Jacob’s Pavilion at Nautica on Sunday, September 15. We happen to have a pair of tickets and their newest record to give away.

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Posted in TVD Cleveland | 8 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Mazzy Star at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 11/23

If you were around in the ’90s, Hope Sandoval’s voice still haunts you to this day.

Chord-driven guitar band Mazzy Star hit their main success in the mid ’90s. Though many members have played with the act, its music revolves around key members David Roback and Hope Sandoval, who write and sing the band’s material, respectively. 2013 will see the band’s first new album in over 15 years with Seasons of Your Day, a release set for September 24.

The band is known for their somber progressions and Sandoval’s delicate lilt that dips from chord to chord, leaving emotional exclamation in its wake. “Fade into You”  is their most well-known song that showcases this melancholic style.

The alternative rock act is coming to the Fillmore Silver Spring on November 23, and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away before you can even buy them.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 26 Comments

TVD Recommends:
Rock for Love 7

Hey, Memphians! The time has come again to rock out to some local yokels in addition to national notables in support of a great cause. The seventh iteration of Rock for Love is happening this weekend with a slew of talented musicians and fun things to do.

The extended weekend is as much a collection of great shows and fun things as it is a fundraiser for the Church Health Center and its endeavors to help the less fortunate. A portion of the proceeds for the Levitt Shell gig also go to funding the venue, so please go to ensure that the Shell will be there for Memphis for many years to come.

Also of note is a CD compilation of 20 exclusive/previously unreleased tracks of Memphis music available through the weekend’s event. The release includes John Paul Keith, Memphis Dawls, Dead SoldiersMark Stuart, and Snowglobe, and will come out via Unclaimed Recordings with help from Select-O-Hits and Audiographic Masterworks. Pick yours up and show support for local music and publishing!

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Vinyl Video: ilkae, “1121”

The late ’90s saw a significant shift in the way electronic music was made and received. Across the pond, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada, and many others all contributed to a growing interest for intellectual electronic-based composition, but Europe wasn’t alone in this endeavor.

Though it was much more successful at flying under the radar, North America had its own hustling and bustling, heady electronica scene. Often reserved to message boards and underground labels, These artists helped define what intelligent electronic music outside of Europe sounds like.

One artist who contributed to the culture and has been prolific in the time since is ilkae. The Montreal-based electronic producer has now covered a lot of ground between the simple tag of “intelligent dance music” and a long list of genres and styles ranging in textures, atmospheres, and content.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Spiritualized at the 9:30 Club, 9/8

Space rock frontiersmen Spiritualized are coming to the 9:30 Club on September 8, and we’ve got tickets to give away.  

After an extended break, 2012 saw the release of Sweet Heart Sweet Light, Spiritualized’s 7th full-length. Returning to what they know best, Jason Pierce and company deliver spaced-out rock with hints of  garage rock and experimentalism.  Staying true to form, Spiritualized retain the inclusion of orchestration and obscure quirks in their otherwise straightforward pop songs.

Spiritualized rose to prominence in the mid-nineties. The band had its most major success in 1997 with Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating Through Space, a rock record with dense production and many random production oddities. Though many musicians have played a part in Spiritualized, Jason Pierce remains the sole songwriter and creative force of the band.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 14 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Porcelain Raft at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 9/7

The DIY dream pop of Porcelain Raft is coming to the Rock and Roll Hotel this Saturday, September 7, with Honest Haloway opening, and we’ve got tickets to give away.

Porcelain Raft is the main project of musician and singer Mauro Remiddi. Remiddi, who is featured in many different bands, has been writing music professionally since he penned the soundtrack to La Matta dei Fiori. Thick with a DIY aesthetic, Porcelain Raft has gained a fan base through melancholic chord structures and familiar synthesis. The project has just release its second album Permanent Signal via Secretly Canadian.

Opening for Porcelain Raft are DC natives Honest Haloway, who’ve actually talked about how Porcelain Raft was an influence in the development of their sound. They’ve just announced a new bassist, Fico Lazzaro-Colon, who first met frontman Tim Kratzer six years ago in their old band Cedars, before Kratzer went on to lead the now-defunct, beloved local band The Vita Ruins. The band with two H words make electronic pop music that has as much emphasis on rhythm as it does melody. Also, they’re good at making videos with women wearing little clothes.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Laura Marling at the Lincoln Theatre, 9/4

Both talented and striking, Laura Marling is a rare and unique artist.

Marling, a folk songstress from London, is on a tour in support of her fourth record Once I was an Eagle, and we’ve got tickets to give away for her appearance at the Lincoln Theatre on September 4. Singer-songwriter Jay Brannan is opening, so the list of “better things for you to do” is short enough for you to go ahead and put your name in the hat.

Marling has been winning over audiences with her mature folk compositions that carry an uncanny air of overcoming ill occasions. Her voice and performance have a reserved confidence that underscore an undeniable stage presence.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 10 Comments

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