Author Archives: Jon Meyers

The Best of Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 45: Suzanne Vega

For some folks, New York City is a place they’ve only seen in movies or read about in books; a mysterious, mystical place full of danger and excitement where fame or fortune—or failure—might be lurking around any corner. For those of us familiar with the Big Apple, we know that description is mostly true. No one, however, has characterized New York City in a song quite like Suzanne Vega. Vega began her career as part of the neo-folk scene that was taking hold in Manhattan in the early 1980s, but she broke through to the big time with her songs “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner,” the latter of which was famously remixed to become a global phenomenon.

Vega has, of course, continued writing and performing; crafting a catalog of music that is poetic, clever and adventurous. Location is of paramount importance to Vega and the thread of her body of work always ends up somewhere in New York City. This leads us to Suzanne’s latest project and release, An Evening of New York Songs and Stories which was the encapsulation of a run of shows Suzanne performed at New York City’s famed Cafe Carlyle. Like many projects in the last year or two, the release and tour to support it was hampered by the pandemic, but Vega is ready to get back out on the road to share this song-cycle focused on New York, New York.

Suzanne was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss not only her latest record, but also her career from its humble folk beginnings to finding herself on the international top singles charts. Certainly, we discuss New York City and how events like 9/11 and the recent pandemic have shaped her both personally and as an artist.

Prepare to be allowed to peek inside the mind of a very special songwriter, to get a glimpse of what makes her tick, and how she’s able to process the mystery and madness of New York City; its people, its trials, and its tribulations. You don’t have to have ever set foot in New York City to appreciate the music of Suzanne Vega, but if you ever come to visit, it wouldn’t hurt to have “Tom’s Diner” playing in your headphones as you step out of the airport to hail a taxi cab.

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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TVD Radar: Vice Principals OST Season 1 & 2, 2LP in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Waxwork Records proudly presents the Original HBO Series Soundtrack to Vice Principals Seasons 1 & 2. Created by and starring Danny McBride and co-starring Walton Goggins, Vice Principals is a two season black comedy that focuses on an ill-tempered and disliked Vice Principal (McBride) and his ambitions to be promoted to the principal’s chair. When neither he or the co-vice principal (Goggins) are promoted, they co-conspire to overthrow and destroy the reputation of the newly appointed principal, Dr. Belinda Brown. A series of arson, blackmail, revenge, and even attempted murder ensues in the hilarious and often shocking series.

Waxwork worked directly with Danny McBride, composer Joseph Stephens, and Vice Principals music supervisor, DeVoe Yates, to create and release a deluxe vinyl release featuring the complete series soundtrack by Stephens. The 1980’s influenced synth-driven electronic soundtrack is both dark and droning. It’s melodic and fun, yet moody. It’s classic John Carpenter scored to the best John Hughes movie. It’s 100% awesome, and that’s a Gamby promise!

Album features include the complete series music by composer Joseph Stephens, 180 gram North Jackson Warriors Blue and White colored vinyl (Season 1) and 180 Gram North Jackson Tigers Orange and White colored vinyl (Season 2), artwork by Robert Sammelin, exclusive liner notes by Danny McBride, exclusive liner notes by composer Joseph Stephens, a King Ding-A-Ling insert, a printed insert of the album cover art, and a temporary tattoo of Dr. Belinda Brown’s tattoo featuring Gamby and Russell holding hands and eating sh*t.

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Ghost & the City,
The TVD First Date

“I remember the first time I ever heard a record; I was in my early teens when my brother played Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here while my parents were out. As the opening guitar line started, one thing become clear: this was the way music was supposed to sound. There was a warmth and allurement that had been absent in my life until that moment.”

“From there I began to explore more. My parents’ vinyl collection became a treasure trove of undiscovered music; The Animals, Roy Orbison, Tina Turner, and Led Zeppelin became my after school tutors, they were my inspiration for songwriting well before I ever picked up my first Tascam. I realized that when I put on vinyl, I was listening to the full scope of an artist. I made the decision to flip the record over and delve deeper. I was making the choice to listen again.

As I got older and continued to write and produce, I began to understand why it is that vinyl sounds different. There are dynamics there that are lost in other formats, there are tones and spectrums that I just can’t digest in any other way. This is why I think we’ve seen a resurgence of vinyl by modern artists; it’s why I own the NxWorries EP “Yes Lawd!” and Tricky’s Maxinquaye on vinyl as opposed to just listening to the tracks on Spotify. It’s on a 180 gram–it sounds incredible.

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Garden State Sound
with Evan Toth

All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.

Tune in to Garden State Sound with Evan Toth to explore the diverse music with connections to New Jersey. You’ll hear in-depth interviews with some of Jersey’s best music makers and have the opportunity win tickets to some of the best concerts in the state.

“Producing ‘Garden State Sound’ has forced me to recognize some common threads and traits which are shared between many musicians in our state. Determination is definitely one of them. It’s a personality trait that Brian Fitzpatrick has in spades. Brian has been slugging away as a part of the regional music scene since the 1990s and shows no signs of slowing down.

Having shared the bill at many New Jersey venues over the last many years, Brian and I share some war stories, talk about NJ stages and venues, hear tracks from his upcoming release, and discuss the always looming shadow of Bruce Springsteen.” —EZT

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TVD Recommends:
TVD at the Fillmore
with Drop Electric, Honest Haloway, and Technophobia, 10/3

Well, you know…we’re sure as shit gonna recommend our own show.

The running joke around TVD HQ is that, in contrast to the many going out websites, we’re your favorite staying in source. I mean, turntables pretty much dictate that, right? (We’re a pale bunch.)

But like you, we too can be found at many a show, and as such we’re delighted to announce that in partnership with our friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring, we’ve been asked to curate a recurring series of live events spotlighting bands and artists who we feel should be squarely on your radar.

And the first of these evenings arrives TONIGHT, Thursday, October 3, as TVD Presents at the Fillmore Silver Spring: Drop Electric, Honest Haloway, and Technophobia. Let’s introduce you to the bands…

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Matthew Sweet:
The TVD Interview
in conversation with
Olivia Mancini

When I was 15 or so, I heard Matthew Sweet’s “Girlfriend” on the radio. It took me weeks to acquire his albums 100% Fun, Girlfriend, and Altered Beast (instant musical gratification hadn’t yet been invented), but by the time I’d heard “Sick of Myself” and “I Almost Forgot” 7,000 times, I knew that the only thing I was sure I wanted to do was to be in a rock and roll band. That is how Matthew Sweet changed my life.

Imagine, then, my disbelief and amazement when The Mates were tapped to open for Matthew Sweet and his band at the Birchmere on Friday, Aug. 23. And then the incredulity and (if I’m being honest) nervousness that arose when TVD suggested that Matthew and I interview each other—on the telephone!

The following is a transcript of our conversation, which plays out like a comedy of errors as Matthew and I spend many precious minutes trying to figure out how to actually conduct the interview. Misunderstandings and technical difficulty abound, but we still manage to work in some good discussion about vinyl, Kickstarter campaigns, pottery, and who’s actually opening Matthew’s show. —Olivia Mancini


Hi, is this Olivia?

It is. Hi, is this Matthew?

Yes, hi.

Great. Nice to speak with you, Matthew. So, listen, I don’t know if you had any ideas about how we can do this because I’m not sure what’s the best way. This is going to go on The Vinyl District, in some transcribed form, but I guess that means we have to figure out how to record it. Do you have any ideas on that?

Hmmm…wait, I thought there was going to be someone else transcribing it for us.

Hmmm…yeah, no. It’s just us on the call. How do you feel about Skype?

Skype? Do you have a way to record with Skype?

Well, I was thinking if we Skyped, then both voices would be in the room, and then I could just record it like that.

You have a way to record it through your computer?

I was thinking to hit the old voice memo function on the iPhone.

Ah, got it. Skype. Hmmm. Well, I’m kind of not presentable. I look like I just rolled out of bed…

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Shell Zenner Presents

Greater Manchester’s most in the know radio host Shell Zenner broadcasts the best new music every week on the UK’s Amazing Radio and Bolton FM. You can also catch Shell’s broadcast right here at TVD, each and every Thursday.

“Tonights show is a mish mash of new musical nuggets from artists new and old.

Frankie & The Heartstrings join me in conversation to talk about new album The Days Run Away, touring the bejesus out of the country and setting up their own shop in Sunderland. This weeks Record Of The Week is by Wolf People, it’s the aces Fain and I’ll be spinning three tracks from the album.

With new music in the mix from Younghusband, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, Jacco Gardner, and more you’d be daft to miss it.”

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The Idelic 100: The Best of TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

We’ve noted often that Jon Sidel’s Idelic Hour, TVD’s Friday afternoon podcast, is the beating heart and soul of our endeavor. As we count down to the Idelic Hour’s 100th hour this Friday, we’ve asked Jon to share 5 of his favorites all this week. —Ed.

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Last night was a dreamy Valentine’s evening in the canyon. My goal was to rip a quick and fast Idelic set so I could jump back into a romantic evening with my beautiful wife, Susan.

One of the things I love about Susan is her patience and understanding given my obsession with music. Growing up in Seattle and attending weekend shows at The Gorilla Gardens, Susan like no other understands her man’s love for punk rock.

Like many of my old friends in Hollywood, let’s call them, “homies,” I lean toward punk that was recorded in late 1976 to 1977. Many of the records in this set I purchased as a teenager on 45 the very week they came out. I bought many from Bleeker Bob’s in his shop on McDougal Street. In the case of Eddie and The Hot Rods or The Pistols “EMI” seven-inch, it was Discophile on 8th Street. And there were a few at Discomat uptown where Bryan Gregory from the Cramps ran the import section.

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TVD500: We’ll master, press, design, print, package, and deliver 500 copies of your winning 7″ single. On us.

It’s a popular refrain around here when talking to newer and often established acts, “We’d love to put this out on vinyl, but the funds just aren’t there.” In fact, it’s SO common that we decided to do something about it.

Introducing TVD500—the recurring competition where TVD and our esteemed partners will master, press, design, print, package, and deliver 500 copies of your winning 7″ single—on us.

We’re putting the call out for any individual artist or band—working in any genre—to submit two tracks to us as entries, an A and B side, for consideration for this competition.

Think of it as an internet Star Search. We are.

And, the very first winner of our initial TVD500 giveaway will be the very first single released on TVD Records—our brand new vinyl imprint that will be the home for TVD500 releases as well as special projects to come.

The winner of this competition will see the final mixes of their A and B side tracks mastered at Infrasonic Sound Recording— the state of the art audio and vinyl mastering facility located in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

From there, Furnace MFG, the Official Pressing Plant for Record Store Day, will press 500 copies of your single, assemble, and ship directly to our winner the very first, official TVD Records release. (They’re also printing our 7″ labels!)

While the vinyl itself is in production, Dorado Music Packaging will be printing your custom 7″ sleeves. Dorado hosts a myriad of standard and custom packaging products, and they’ll be printing and shipping your single’s sleeve designed by, well us, the art department here at TVD HQ.

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TVD’s Press Play

It’s our weekly Twitter #MusicMonday recap (on Tuesday this week!) of the brand new tracks from last week that the folks in the press offices want you to be hearing. We post, you download.

Aimee Bobruk – A Day in the Life
Steelwells – Cool Kids
Cosmic Suckerpunch – Cosmic
Pony Time – What If You Caught Me
He’s My Brother She’s My Sister – Tales That I Tell
rEMi. – Twistin’ It Up. (Ft. Chris Scott)
Sin Fang – Young Boys
Frontier Ruckus – Dealerships
Rice Cultivation Society – Honey Hide
David AKZ – Ultralight

Crime & The City Solution – My Love Takes Me There

El Sportivo & The Blooz – Waking World
Strangers – Bred for Breeding
GLISS – Blur
Oceanography – Drinking Water
Wintersleep – Permanent Sigh
Youth Lagoon – Dropla
myopic – Jura
Gracie – Habits
Mwahaha – Sleep Deep
Stubborn Heart – Need Someone

30 more FREE TRACKS after the jump!

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TVD’s Press Play

It’s our weekly Twitter #MusicMonday recap of the brand new tracks from last week that the folks in the press offices want you to be hearing. We post, you download.

Total Warr – Bambastard (feat. The Death Set)
The Cannanes – Bumper
Renny Wilson – By and By
Elephant 12 – Holiday
As Elephants Are – Lucifer
Social Studies – Away For The Weekend
Rice Cultivation Society – Honey Hide
Tashaki Miyaki – Unsatisfied (Replacements cover)
ERAAS – At Heart (The KVB Remix)
Arbouretum – Jagged Promises

Brokeback – The Wire, the Rag and the Payoff

Camper Van Beethoven – Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out
The Yes Way – Barcelona
Apparat – A Violent Sky
Useless Eaters – a6 black night ultraviolet
Arrica Rose – Without My Love
Rosco Bandana – Feels Like Mississippi
FLOTE – The Cascades
Freeze-Tag – Kiss, Kiss, Kiss
Hands – Trouble
Jez Dior – Love Me To Death

10 more FREE TRACKS after the jump!

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TVD’s Press Play

It’s our weekly Twitter #MusicMonday recap of the brand new tracks from last week that the folks in the press offices want you to be hearing. We post, you download.

The 1975 – Sex (Liar Remix)
Big Harp – You Can’t Save ‘Em All
The Black Twig Pickers – Rough Carpenters
Poppy Ackroyd – Seven
Il Sogno Del Marinaio – The Tiger Princess
Kingsley Flood – Down
Paradise – Psychic Returns
At Sea – These Stolen Hours
Amtrac – Money (The Drums Cover)
Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet – Blues Can Be Abstact, Too

China Rats – To Be Like I

Pravada – Campfire Song
Dan Croll – From Nowhere (SertOne Remix)
How To Dress Well – & It Was U (Doss Remix)
Kid Flicks – Dirty Utopians
!M! – Lithium (Nirvana Cover)
Lonesome Leash – Ghosts
Railbird – MIRRORs (School of Seven Bells Remix)
Passion Pit – Carried Away (Mist Glider Remix)
Portland Cello Project – Old Shanghai (Beck Hansen’s Song Reader)
Qurious – Pactolian

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TVD Recommends: A Tribute to Robert Egger at the Hamilton, 1/7

In the annals of giving back to one’s community and Washington, DC in particular, Robert Egger has engendered a wealth of fine karma. The founder of DC Central Kitchen, a non-profit community kitchen that not only feeds the hungry but offers the unemployed on-the-job training, is departing DC for LA. Egger’s LA Kitchen will build on the model he’s established here in Washington.

The aforementioned fine karma will send Egger off to LA with a wet kiss and a big, warm bear hug this coming Monday night (1/7) at The Hamilton with an evening of food, speakers, and some music from some locally sourced talent.

Cocktails and food will be served from 6 PM – 7:30 PM. The tribute will take place from 7:30 PM – 9 PM. Music and fun from 9 PM – 10 PM. Speakers include José Andrés, Bill Couper, Paul Cohn, Dan Glickman, and more.

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TVD’s Press Play

It’s our weekly Twitter #MusicMonday recap of the brand new tracks from last week that the folks in the press offices want you to be hearing. We post, you download.

Dog Bite – Forever, Until
TORRES – Mother Earth, Father God
The 1975 – Sex (Liar Remix)
China Rats – To Be Like I
Sin Fang – Young Boys
FIDLAR – Suburban Home (Descendants Cover)
Bex Marshall – The House Of Mercy
Tv Snow – Downtown
Fine Times – Hey Judas
Photo Ops – It Makes Me Cry

The Record Summer – Brighton

Pascal Pinon – Þerney (One Thing)
Rone – Bye Bye Macadam
Younolovebunny – Attention
Moonlight Towers – Distant Wheels
Poppy Ackroyd – Seven
Aimee Bobruk – Two of a Kind
Oceanography – Napoleon Holiday
TKTTSM – Eyeyeye
Paradise – Psychic Returns
Team Me – Sixteen Steps

33 more FREE TRACKS after the jump!

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Paul McCartney, Kisses on the Bottom

TVD is delighted to have been selected by the team behind the Paul McCartney Archive Collection to exclusively spotlight the meticulous work Paul has personally supervised with the reissue series from his back catalog—all newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios.

In the spirit of the season, the entire Paul McCartney Archive Collection has been available to TVD readers through a series of special giveaways during the month of December, courtesy of Sir Paul and his team. We’ve been selecting five winners for each 180 gram vinyl reissue package.

We end our run of giveaways with a release outside of the Archive Collection and Paul’s latest, 2012’s Kisses on the Bottom.

Kisses On The Bottom is a collection of standards Paul grew up listening to in his childhood as well as the two new McCartney compositions “My Valentine” and “Only Our Hearts.”

With the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band, McCartney’s new album is a deeply personal journey through classic American compositions that, in some cases, a young Paul first heard his father perform on piano at home. The full tracklisting reveals that Paul has been both reverent and adventurous in his song choices.”

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