Author Archives: Mike Foreman

TVD Recommends:
Los Campesinos! at Beachland Ballroom, tonight!

Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom & Tavern invites all of us to hop on and ride the wave of indie pop goodness with Welsh rockers Los Campesinos!

It must be nice living in Cardiff. Home to the world’s oldest record shop (Spillers Records opened in 1894. Cardiff wasn’t even an official city until 1905!) and one of the best rock scenes out there (Lostprophets, Bullet For My Valentine, Funeral For A Friend, Kids in Glass Houses, and The Automatic to name a few), the City of Arcades has recently bequeathed upon us one more gem: Los Campesinos!

With a name that literally translates to “The Peasants,” a sound that is an indie pop band musically reverting back to childhood, and an insistence that all band members make their surname Campesinos!, this 7-piece upstart is destined for big things around the world with their energetic shows and lively, joyous music.

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David Bowie:
65 Golden Years

“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, ‘Fuck that. I want to be superhuman.’ ”

No words could have better described David Bowie’s ascension as a musician. This is fitting because they were said by, well, David Bowie. During the ’70s, when rock was too scared to be anything but itself, David Bowie changed the landscape by daring to be anything but himself.

From the constant musical reinvention to rejecting the norms society and music put on him (exploring the ideas of sexuality and transvestism) in order to push his own musical growth, David Bowie has always been ahead of the curve by simply creating his own (intentional) wave. So to commemorate his birthday—which was last Sunday—we thought it a good idea to look into what has made David Jones into David Bowie and a beacon from which all future musicians could learn.

From a young age, Bowie had shown a particular single-mindedness that would become one of his best and worst qualities. With a penchant for dance beyond his years (and a reputation for brawling that preceded those years), he was searching for direction. Along came Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti,” about which he was quoted as saying, “I had heard God.” With that, he would take up instruments and record collecting within the year. He soon took up piano, began playing covers and had his first band, the Konrads, by the time he was 15.

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Local Artist Spotlight: Barbacoa

As part of an ongoing effort to highlight local music, we here at TVD Cleveland have decided to highlight a series of bands at different stages in their careers to show you how the music scene is shaping up around here.

We start with a band, Barbacoa, that has only been together for about a year. Though young as a band and not even currently living in the same state together—Joel Grant lives in Elyria, while Kyle Evanchuck is from the area, but is serving in the Navy’s Submarine Service and residing in Groton, CT—they (Grant takes care of the music with Evanchuck handling vocals) create a surprisingly polished and expansive sound that gives them hope for a very bright future. I chatted with Evanchuck for a bit on music, how they got their start, and what the future holds for them.

How did you get your start?

Joel and I have been friends for a couple years now. When we first met, we didn’t actually get along that well. We had a mutual friend and that kind of caused us to hang out more and more. Eventually we both realized how musically awesome the other one was, and we kind of started throwing some ideas together. At this point, though I had already joined the Navy, so we started a band while we were 600 miles away from each other. Not the easiest thing to do, but he started sending me mixes of songs over the internet, and I would save them to my iPod, then write the lyrics and melodies to them while I was on the submarine.

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5 Albums to Listen to While You #Occupy
Your City

With all of the political and social unrest occurring, TVD decided to give you five great albums to listen to while you picket the man bringing us down. Today marks 2 months of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and its related offshoots in other cities globally. Born in New York City’s Liberty Square, #OWS fights back “against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations.”

Today will be a Day of Mass Action in cities everywhere, to commemorate the struggle thus far. Here in DC, Occupy DC is holding a Teach-In Rally on Education, Jobs, and Infrastructure from noon to 2pm in McPherson Square, and at 2:30pm, there will be a march from McPherson Square to the Key Bridge “in protest of the deterioration of our public infrastructure and public services.” (Please note, their plan is not to block Key Bridge traffic.)

Whether you are marching in solidarity today or just commisserating from the office, here are 5 of our albums for the 99%.

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TVD Album Review: Pancho-san’s
Oh, Mellow Melody

Former and current Rogue Wave and Beulah members pay tribute to Don Quixote and Bay Area culture with melodic jangles and abstract hooks.

Fearlessly marching to the beat of their own musical challenges, Pancho-san has put together an eclectic set of songs that evoke early-era prog folk musicians like Fairport Convention and The Incredible String Band with their dream-like structures and bold instrumentals that would make Cervantes proud of the tribute.

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TVD Album Review: Atlas Sound’s Parallax

Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox’s third solo release shifts from shoegazing to stargazing in this well-crafted musical introspection.

Bradford Cox, is all at once, everything and nothing. The enigmatic frontman for Deerhunter is an interesting figure, doing things onstage like cross-dressing or smearing blood all over himself on stage to spice things up, or creating adventurous music with his post-punk revival band; he is always conjuring up something.

He is also an introverted man who struggled early in life due to being born with Marfan’s syndrome (a genetic disorder that often results in skeletal abnormalities and unusually long limbs) and his parents divorcing when he was young. These things have shaped him into creating his own unique musical world, with artists such as Brian Eno, David Bowie, and My Bloody Valentine helping to influence his sound. Cox has often let these ideas come out in his solo project, Atlas Sound, and on his newest release, Parallax, he may have created his best musical work ever.

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Richie Furay:
The TVD Interview

Richie Furay is a living legend. The man has played in Buffalo Springfield with Neil Young and Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills, & Nash), and Poco with Randy Mesiner of the Eagles. Along the way he has recorded over 20 albums, found time to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, helped lay the foundation for several modern music genres, and toured the world many times over.

Furay is currently on tour with the Richie Furay Band (of which his daughter is also involved), and TVD was able to snag an interview with the rock icon in between shows.

Before you formed Buffalo Springfield you were part of the Au Go Go Singers. How was that experience What was Cafe Au Go Go like back then?

There was a sense of anticipation when three college boys from Ohio arrived in NYC to become “folk singers.” We were living a dream that none of us knew where it would take us. Truly not many people are able to set their sights on a dream and then “go for it.” All we wanted to do was make music and we thought we were god enough to make it. The entire experience was pretty amazing – an “off Broadway” play; a record contract with a major label; a national TV show (Rudy Valee’s “On Broadway Tonight”) and a super club tour of Texas – all in about a six month period of time. It was a whirlwind.

The Café Au Go Go was a well known club in Greenwich Village at the time and all along, being the “opening act” for whoever the headliner was just another step in enjoying what we thought was the Big Time. I can’t remember all we met during that time – of course Peter Tork was a friend of ours; the Modern Folk Quartet (Henry Diltz – famous photographer; Chip Douglas who would go on to produce many hit records were in the group.) I’m sure we crossed paths with John Sabastian. It was a fun time.

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TVD Album Review: Robin Bacior’s
Rest Our Wings

West coast transplant Robin Bacior finds a place in the New York music scene with her sleepy melodies and sweet vocals.

Listening to Robin Bacior’s first full-length album, Rest Our Wings, one can’t help but be transported back to a time when Regina Spektor and Fiona Apple (and currently Adele, Diane Birch, and other new artists) found great commercial success with off-beat folk and jazz songwriting, unique structures, and oddly catchy music.

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TVD Album Review:
Lo-Watt Radio’s Thousand Days of Rain

Listening to Akron-based band Lo-Watt Radio is both simple and complicated all at once.

It is complicated because you hear the melding of bluegrass, country, folk, and some old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll into something all its own and might have a hard time figuring out what genre to call it. But it’s simple to say that they cut their listeners a big ol’ piece of Americana with the release of their first full-length LP, Thousand Days of Rain, which is an accessible collection of songs that will please a lot of people who like all kinds of music.

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TVD Album Review: Elba (s/t)

Eschewing traditional pop rock music for a more stripped-down sound focused on unique structure and songwriting, Seattle band Elba embark on their third (and self-titled) release with hopes of finding their way into your everyday listening rotation (and your next lazy day road trip).

The first thing that jumps out at you is that this album is a rarity these days: a complete album, with tracks that build on top of each other and compliment each other, instead of individual tracks that were designed to be singles.

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Elliott Smith:
A TVD Retrospective

From the beginning, Elliott Smith didn’t fit in. He was born into a broken household. He had a difficult upbringing, bouncing back and forth between his parents. He began drinking and drug use at a young age because of this. He was a band geek, playing clarinet in his high school’s band.

During the grunge era, Smith went against the generational angst with intimate and well-crafted songs that were often stripped down to their basics. To put it simply, he was an indie musician in an era where such music was rare, and more importantly, almost completely irrelevant. Elliott Smith changed all that with one song on a film that wasn’t supposed to be anything.

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