Author Archives: Roger Catlin

TVD Live: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with Waxahatchee at Wolf Trap, 9/14

Americana kingpin Jason Isbell is always a gracious frontman and performer. But he had to stop his show with his band The 400 Unit a couple of times Tuesday at Wolf Trap in Virginia to take in what he was seeing: a nearly full outdoor amphitheater packed with fans who had been waiting as long as he had to hear songs from his most recent album Reunions, released in May 2020. Sixteen months later he was performing it as he intended before an appreciative crowd under a rising half moon. “Here we all are!” he marveled. “No screens!”

A lot of the new album’s songs were built for playing live and the first couple selections from his set, “Overseas” and “What’ve I Done to Help,” snarled with expressive guitar solos from he and guitarist Sadler Vaden. Both favor a kind of wild, electric slide tonality echoing the best of ’70s inventiveness from Duane Allman to David Lindley. Isbell has attracted wide attention with his songwriting, though, with compositions that are full of the kind of detail and turn of phrase that can stun midway through.

With his wife Amanda Shires back in Nashville recovering from an unnamed malady, it’s tempting to say the band played harder and tilted more toward rock than they might have had she been there with her countrified fiddle and backing vocals. Vaden added Pete Townshend-style windmill slashes to his guitar more than once, which might have triggered drummer Chad Gamble to rumble like Keith Moon, while bassist Jimbo Hart conjured up a bass solo or two in the tradition of John Entwistle. But then again, Isbell can turn on a dime and produce quieter acoustic meditations that are all the more astonishing when they quiet a big outdoor audience that had been rocking along minutes earlier.

To keep things interesting for himself, his band, and maybe audience members who catch more than one show, Isbell switches the setlist around each night. As a result, those who peek at what he’d played in previous shows may be disappointed when he didn’t play them here. But then again, pulling things out of the hat means playing some unexpected selections, from “Alabama Pines” in the first half of the show to “Speed Trap Town” toward the end.

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Willie Nile,
The TVD Interview

Longtime rocker and esteemed songwriter Willie Nile is back on the road, and releasing his 14th studio album this week on River House Records, recorded with his mask-wearing band earlier this year under unusual conditions.

He spoke to us from his pad in Soho about the album, The Day the Earth Stood Still, his series of streamed shows during the lockdown, and the first 45 purchase he ever made.

I understand the title of the new album had to do with the lockdown.

Absolutely. It’s a direct result of the pandemic. It’s about the pandemic. There’s a few songs on there that are pandemic-related. A lot of the events of the past year and a half, 17 months influenced it big time. I live in New York and if you told me two years ago that New York was going to become a ghost town, I would have thought you were nuts. There was no way. But it happened. It’s fascinating. I live in the village and in April, May, you step outside and there’s hardly any people. Just this eerie [scene], haunted buildings, looking down empty streets, a handful of people and very few cars. I found it really interesting and fascinating.

I have a storage space a block from the Holland Tunnel which heads towards Jersey and points South and West. A block away and every rush hour it’s brutal. It can take 45 minutes to go three blocks. And on a Friday night—we’ve done it with the band—we have to leave extra early. So end of last May I coming out of my storage space. Get to the corner of Varick and Spring and there was not a car in sight, literally. I would look uptown and could see a long distance, not one car, not one person. It’s a Friday at six o’clock. You look south, the tunnel and beyond, I took photographs. I stood in the middle of the street, I thought wow. I could have played down in the street and sung Rolling Stones songs.It was really remarkable.

And then walking home through this ghost-like zombie apocalypse. I dug it. It was fascinating. Obviously, scary nightmary stuff. But I thought immediately of The Day the Earth Stood Still, that old sci-fi film from 1951. And a couple weeks later, I was coming down Fifth Avenue in a cab, and seeing places boarded up and no people—all the way down Fifth Avenue. It was fascinating. I wrote the song then. So it’s directly inspired, the title is. And a number of the songs are inspired by the pandemic.

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Showtime Documentary Reminds Us: He’s Rick James

More than 20 years after his hitmaking heyday, Rick James became a household name to a whole new generation in 2004 when Dave Chappelle mocked his brash personality with the catchphrase “I’m Rick James, bitch!”

The singer was still around and trying to catch a break after drug binges, prison, and record company indifference had sidelined his career. So James played into the lampoon when he appeared on the 2004 BET Awards with what was supposed to be a comeback performance, declaring the catchphrase anew as if to make it his own. He’d be dead two months later.

The phrase repeats in the title of the compelling new documentary on the musician’s career, Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, premiering on Showtime tonight, Friday September 3.

It’s surprising that there hasn’t previously been a full film documenting the singer’s remarkable life of ups and downs. Director Sacha Jenkins, who previously directed Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, takes on the task with a verve that reflects the artist at hand.

Taking from old interviews and rare live performances, as well as interviews with ex-wives and lovers, his kids, and members of his Stone City Band, it tells a full tale of what was anything but an overnight success story.

Born in Buffalo, James began playing in bands as a teenager. A member of the US Naval Reserves, he fled to Canada when he got called up and fell into a burgeoning Toronto music scene that eventually had him in a band with Neil Young and Bruce Palmer, before they went off to form Buffalo Springfield. Signed to Motown as a rare rock band, we hear the Mynah Birds single (and it’s pretty good) but James was caught for desertion and the band stalled.

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TVD Live: Willie Nile at the Hamilton Live, 8/28

Willie Nile’s pent up energy for getting back on the road was fairly palpable in his show Saturday at the Hamilton in DC.

Originally scheduled for April 2020, it had been postponed by the pandemic to summer that year, then to April this year, to finally this late summer date 16 months later. In the interim, the rocker released two strong albums of new material to play to fit along with favorites from a 40 year career.

Blending the drive and heart of the Stones with a raspy delivery of a Dylan, Nile is a master of combining the simplicity and sheer fun of Chuck Berry with the poetic insight and effective wordplay of the folk scene where he rose. With a veteran three-piece backing, his set careened from carefree, anthemic rockers to declarative stands that are durable enough to endure for future issues than the ones from which they sprang.

The title song for his new The Day the Earth Stood Still, as well as its “Blood On Your Hands” rose from the pandemic’s rise and spectacular initial fumbling by the government. “The Innocent Ones,” about another humanitarian crisis, was dedicated to Afghanistan refugees. From the uprisings for racial and social justice came “The Justice Bell,” inspired by the lifelong civil rights work of Sen. John Lewis.

Nile’s long-awaited DC show came on the day of a march marking not only the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, but to endorse the voting rights act that bears Lewis’ name. Many of the streets adjoining the venue were still closed off from the day’s activity.

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TVD Live: Elizabeth Cook and Waylon Payne at Union Stage, 8/14

Elizabeth Cook could well be the best of the legion of DJs on Sirius XM. Her weekday “Apron Strings” show on the Outlaw Country channel reflects her personality, as she speaks frankly and sometimes brashly about her life, her musician friends, and everyday hard knocks in her engaging twang. She’d bring that same charm to solo appearances with just a guitar accompanying her stories and really well written songs.

Out on tour for the first time since the pandemic shutdowns, she has emerged as a completely different performer. Dressed in kind of a silvery space age Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit and surrounded by a three-piece rock band, she roared through her headlining set at the Union Stage in Washington Saturday—a transformation that surprised at least some in the seated audience.

Cook has dropped the names of rock bands in her sassy songs before going for a full bore sound 0n her 2020 album Aftermath, whose excessive production more aligned with crossover roar of “The Perfect Girls of Pop” of which she refers to on one of its singles. But in front of an electric band of long haired guitarists and a Mohawked drummer—and following a quiet and very well-received acoustic solo set from Waylon Payne—you’d hardly associate her with the honest and vulnerable persona she beams out on satellite radio.

At first playing a powder blue electric mandolin and then a guitar—whose plug fell out at least once; you couldn’t hear much of what she was adding on strings either way—Cook concentrated on her sharp lyrics, which were often muddied inside those hard-charging arrangements.

Cook has crafted some strong anthems, from “Thick Georgia Woman” to kick off the set; the popular “El Camino” mid-show, and the triumphant “Sometimes It Takes Balls to be a Woman” to end her encore. When it came time for a cover, she went not to any of the classic country she plays on the air, but the Velvet Underground. Nice to hear “Sunday Morning” anyway.

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TVD Premiere: Loveland Duren, “Tumbledown Hearts”

PHOTO: JAMIE HARMON | Van Duren emerged from the same burbling Ardent Studios evolutionary pond alongside Jody Stephens and Chris Bell, with whom he played in a Memphis band (and also auditioned for their onetime band Big Star). He recorded a couple of Todd Rundgren-like albums in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that became collectors items for power pop fanatics, and inspired a couple of smitten Australian fans to to seek him out, a pilgrimage captured in their subsequent 2018 documentary, Waiting: The Van Duren Story.

Not a long-lost songwriter like Sugarman had been in his similar rediscovery documentary, Duren could easily be found right in the same rich musical territory where he was raised: Memphis. After years with his well-considered band Good Question, he has more recently been turning out duet albums with Vicki Loveland, a well-kept Memphis secret of her own.

The third Loveland Duren release, Any Such Thing on Edgewood Recordings, won’t be out until October 1, but The Vinyl District is proud to debut a track from it today, “Tumbledown Hearts.” Like a lot of their music, it’s both catchy and emotional as it addresses real relationships among grown up people.

The two say it’s “really is a song about two people finding a way to celebrate life together in spite of turmoil, misunderstandings, disappointments, and a life lived long enough to know that while rose colored glasses may not be reality, we can sure put them on if we choose to.” Such is life among creative romantics. But, they add, the song is “also about sharing companionship and comfort in an adult world with another battered but hopeful and optimistic soul.”

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Clearing the Smoke
at Dylan’s Streaming ‘Kingdom’

Out of all the musicians knocked off the road by the pandemic, it must have been a real strain on Bob Dylan. A guy who has essentially played one tour after another since 1988, totaling more than 3,000 shows, pausing only a few months during a health scare in 1997, he had seen nothing like this eradication of his touring schedule. 

He filled it initially with his remarkable “Murder Most Foul,” an unexpected, 16-minute rumination about the assassination of JFK that was also his first No. 1 single, 57 years into his recording career. Released March 20, 2020, soon after lockdowns began, it was an anchor for his 39th studio album Rough and Rowdy Ways, released in June 2020.

It took a while, though, for Dylan to catch up to fellow artists using the internet to stream concerts as a way to connect with fans and maybe make up for all that lost touring revenue. Dylan had gotten used to traveling the world and reworking his tunes while dressed in cowboy garb and maintaining his career-long mystery before devoted fans.

His streaming event Shadow Kingdom on Sunday allowed him belatedly to continue that interest. On stages he surrounds himself with old Hollywood klieg lights and smoke to create a kind of atmosphere. In his streaming concert, smoke almost takes over.

The idea is that he’s in an imaginary ’30s cafe — the nonexistent Bon Bon Cafe in Marseilles, France (given “special thanks” in the credits). But with the cowboy hats of the denizens, surrounded by columns of long neck beers and overflowing ashtrays, it’s more like a period cafe in Hollywood, where it was almost certainly created. A slightly different setting for some songs has him on a checkerboard linoleum, adding to the dreamlike Twin Peaks nightclub vibe.

Not a live event, the 50-minute, 12-song presentation is more like an extended black and white video. There are no songs from Rough and Rowdy Ways (whose cover suggested a similar fantasy juke joint), and nothing in fact from the past 30 years of the Dylan songbook.

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TVD Live: ‘Purple Reign: The Prince Tribute Show’ and ‘All Shook Up: A Tribute to the King,’ Las Vegas, 6/26 and 7/3

Rising like a shimmering fever dream in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas has always been about fakery.

Magicians and impersonators continue to be top draws in showrooms, the best of them mystifying the tourist flocks. Casinos are constructed to emulate ersatz pyramids, Roman coliseums, Parisian skylines, and the whole of New York City. Inside them, you are led to believe you might actually win at the tables.

So as Vegas lumbers to reopen with the rest of the country (though its pandemic numbers and deaths are currently worst in the nation) it is the tribute artist fill-ins who largely fill the musical bill in showrooms.

They currently include a fake Rat Pack,  three different fake Motown revues, a generic Queens of Rock show, and a couple of Michael Jackson recreations. There is a rock revue of questionable taste, 27 – A Musical Adventure, impersonating rock stars who died at age 27, from Jimi, Janis, and Jim to Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain. There’s an Australian Bee Gees (though the originals were Aussies too, right?) and the long-running smorgasbord of subterfuge, Legends in Concert.

There’s one show dedicated entirely to Elvis and two for Prince. One of the latter is Purple Reign: The Prince Tribute Show which has been performing around Vegas long before its subject died in 2016. Its star Jason Tenner has been putting on the purple costume for 25 years and generally stays in the realm Prince created in his 1984 film—down to giving a big chunk of the hour long show to Morris Day and the Time. Nothing wrong with that. Prince wrote and produced most of that music as well, their appearance and cavorting allows Tenner to go off and do costume changes.

Adding shimmying dancing girls is probably a law for every show on the Vegas strip so a couple of them gyrate here. Add a singer and they become Vanity 6 (paying tribute to yet another singer gone before her time; Vanity died in 2016 at 57).

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McCartney 3,2,1:
Sir Paul Recounts
His Singular Oeuvre

Given the size and power of the Baby Boomers demo, it’s a wonder the whole of TV isn’t back to back classic rock documentaries. But there are actually quite a lot of them.

The most annoying of the lot are like PBS’ new Icon: Music Through the Lens, an exhaustive and exhausting six-hour (!) celebration of the rock photographers who brag about the work they’ve done, repeat the same points over and over (“It’s about capturing a moment”) and use the word “iconic” to mean “a picture I did that I remember.” Perhaps because it’s Brit-centric, none of the images held up as iconic actually are. Like me, you may have never even seen many of them before.

For all their celebration of rock stars, they’ve neglected to license much of their music, so generic music plays underneath the boasts and florid remembrances. One guy who has stayed remarkably humble despite making music that actually is iconic is Paul McCartney, whose television appearances can be wanting. Even so, it looked like his 2018 Carpool Karaoke with James Corden would ever be topped.

But now comes the unexpected delight of Hulu’s new McCartney 3,2,1, a black and white document of the meeting of the former Beatle with famed and supremely bearded producer Rick Rubin to dissect the old songs. Mulling over the Beatles oeuvre on a mixing board so that individual tracks can be isolated is something their producer George Martin did on a public TV series a decade or so back.

But here it’s McCartney himself who takes the sliders in his hands to hear previously unnoticed aspects of songs we all thought we knew front and back. More often it’s Rubin, an admirer of his guest but never fawning, who takes the controls. From the first of six half hour segments, something as seemingly simple as “All My Loving” is shown to have all kinds of complexity beneath, with John Lennon’s frenzied rhythm guitar parts underlying the entire song.

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Record Store Day’s Michael Kurtz,
The TVD Interview

It was Free Comic Day that inspired Record Store Day, the annual celebration for vinyl fans that began in 2007. And what started as a promotion among 100 stores in the US has grown into an international event that not only survived the pandemic but had its biggest year ever last year by splitting its annual Record Store Day drops into three separate days to keep the crowds smaller and distanced.

At a time when the vinyl version of Taylor Swift’s six month old Evermore album took her back to No. 1 (from No. 74) this month, we talked to event co-creator Michael Kurtz in the lull between this summer’s two events, June 12 and July 17.

What have you heard about the success of this year’s first Record Store Day June 12?

The reports I’ve seen is that, with the second one, it should actually surpass the success of last year’s event.

How do you measure that?

Breaking all records for selling the most vinyl at independent retail. And the only barometer for that is MRC Data for Billboard, which we know is not perfect, but it definitely gives you a clear indication and we heard from the store owners themselves that the data supports.

How did last year become such a big year despite the pandemic?

We did a lot of work in advance for the three drops we did last year—Zoom calls with record store owners, lots of email discussions about how to morph and allow stores to operate. If they had no restrictions they could sell as normal, but if there was a lot of restrictions, and mandates for mask wearing and social distancing, then they would benefit by splitting all the release over three days, so we didn’t overwhelm the store with too many people and then we allowed the stores to online at 1 PM eastern time on their store websites to take care of people who were not comfortable shopping. All three of those things enabled it to be just a huge success.

And that’s why this year’s was broken into two dates as well?

Yeah, it’s the same thing.

Do you hope things will be back to normal by Black Friday or next year?

Yeah, we hope so.

What’s the reason there has been an increase in vinyl sales for 15 consecutive years?

I think it’s because the vinyl format has been adopted by whatever the youngest two generations talk about in marketing terms. For people that are less than 38 years old, vinyl is their format. They completely adopted it. The majority of people who shop in record stores now are female and the average age is 28. So they’ve taken it over. That’s why you also see the top sellers are Lady Gaga, Haim, Ariana Grande, that kind of thing, because it’s that next generation.

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TVD Live: Laurie Anderson at the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, 6/15

On a splendid summer’s night in the shadow of Rodin’s greatest work, Laurie Anderson sat with her electric CR violin before a laptop before two invited audiences of a couple dozen each last week to tell some stories that cast their usual spell. Live performance in any form is still a rarity as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides; the joy of gathering as we once did to share in artistic expression is something that felt as rare and lovely as the summer night’s breeze.

Anderson’s own plans were altered during the lockdowns as well; a major exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum was bumped now until September 24. The museum itself, closed for 15 months, won’t reopen until August 20. Anderson’s appearance in the splendor of the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden beneath the famous curved Brutalist building, now covered with scaffolding, was being filmed for its use in conjunction with the upcoming “The Weather,” billed as the largest ever U.S. exhibition of her artwork.

Anderson was there now, she said, to share some of her stories, inspired by the stories of Balzac, whom she credited with piercing observation and powers of description of ordinary events made extraordinary. She told one of his stories, or what she could recall of it, of a wind that blows into a town, under its door jambs and under dresses.

This connected with her own aim for the exhibit, inspired by John Cage’s famous “Lecture on the Weather,” commissioned in Canada and read by US war resisters there. With her own work on “Weather “devised in the Trump years,” the pandemic-caused delay means “some of the imagery has different meanings to it, to say the least.” But her tales, so strange but not entirely unbelievable, touched on the oddity of modern life with the artist as a kind of sociological spy into different corners of American life.

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Artistry ascendant:
1971: The Year
That Music Changed Everything

Picking an epochal year in music can be tricky. While 1954 or 1977 may be easy choices for turning points in rock, I was always partial to 1966. Ronald Brownstein’s new book Rock Me on the Water zeroes in on 1974. And an inviting new eight-part series on Apple TV+ picks 1971.

At first sight, the tight focus on that 12-month period in 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything seems almost arbitrary—except that we’re in the golden anniversary of it.

Fifty years ago was two years after Woodstock, a year after The Beatles broke up and Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died, but years before punk or hip-hop would fully emerge. Other than the historical symmetry of being exactly 50 years ago, did it stand out? Sure, there was a lot of great music that year, the series makes clear, but did it actually change everything?

The series by Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees, who worked their magic in the Oscar-winning Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, makes its case thematically, with historical turning points saturated with the music of the day—songs that were not just influenced by the events surrounding them, but actually influenced the events as well.

Based on its own book, 1971 – Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Greatest Year, by David Hepworth, the filmmakers rely solely on archival material, news clips, TV performances, home movies and still shots, stitched together to create a visually captivating portrait of an unsettled era not unlike our own. They match it to the voices from interviews both contemporary and archival, lending it an immediacy that doesn’t take one out of the era by actually seeing those who are speaking from today’s vantage point (so we dwell on how old they of course may look 50 years later).

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Emilio Castillo of
Tower of Power,
The TVD Interview

A year in quarantine lockdown can be overwhelming, especially for a band that is so used to being on the road as Tower of Power, the mighty soul outfit from out of Oakland, California. “I’ve toured 200 days a year for the last 53 years, so yeah, it’s difficult,” band co-founder Emilio Castillo says.

But they’ve used their time wisely to put finishing touches on their new release 50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater, Oakland, CA – June 2018, a three-LP set due out March 26 from Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group that includes versions of its biggest hits from “What is Hip” and “Don’t Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream)” to “So Very Hard to Go” and “You’re Still a Young Man.”

The Vinyl District caught up with Castillo in his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he’s lived for 26 years but never so much as in the last 12 months.

Has Tower of Power played at all in the past year?

We did one gig in September where it was a drive-in gig. We did two shows with Los Lobos and it was very successful.

How does a drive-in concert even work? Do people have to stay in their cars?

No, they could get out and be in front of their car, and the mix was broadcast on an FM frequency so it went to the radio. We played in Ventura [at the Ventura County Fairgrounds], and got a lot of lowriders up in there so they came in with those big sound systems in their trucks and in their cars, It was sort of like a tailgate party. They’d be in front of their vehicles, booming it really loud, and we were on a stage, and there was an LED [screen] on all four sides of the stage, and they were all around us in a circle, spread out.

It sold out, and it was a huge parking lot, because it was a fairground. The turnout was successful. They were pleased, and two more gigs were booked immediately. It was like, all right! But then as it got closer, three days before the gig they canceled because the pandemic was spiking.

Do you have things on the calendar for this year?

Yeah we do, and then we got all these dates that we’ve got to make up. Every time we have a Zoom meeting with the band, our new manager Ivory Daniel, says, “To start the meeting right off, I want you to know: You’re booked completely all over the world. So as soon as this thing opens up, get ready to go.” So yeah, we’re booked.

There’s people that had gigs on the books that just cancelled, they’re like “We want you.” They’re opening Jazz Alley in Seattle. I’m sure we’re going to be one of the first ones back there. People in Japan, they want it. Europe. It’s going to fly.

It’s hard to know how it’s going to play out. But I know this: People are jonesin’ to get to concerts, man. They’re dying, dying to get out there and go to venues again. I hope it all just opens up completely and we let all this stuff go.

After they hear the live album they’re going to want it more.

I believe so!

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Chris Frantz,
The TVD Interview

Drummer Chris Frantz has already gotten acclaim for his 2020 memoir Remain in Love, chronicling his life with Tina Weymouth in Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club. But now he’s planning a second book, using the skills he honed at the art school where Talking Heads sprang.

“I just got a shipment of art supplies,” Frantz announced at a recent online chat sponsored by the Mark Twain House in Hartford. “I’m going to start a new book, which I’m going to illustrate. I’m giving you the exclusive. I’ve never illustrated a book before. I didn’t study illustration or anything, but I’m going to give it a go.”

Frantz’ event was part of his Covid-era book tour chat that I was lucky enough to host. What was his connection to the Mark Twain House? Well, he and Tina Weymouth have lived in Connecticut for years, as Twain did.

And there’s more: Weymouth’s great-grandfather, the French poet Anatole Le Braz, “the Bard of Brittany” was a contemporary and friend of Sam Clemens. And Twain’s celebrated Hartford neighbor, Harriet Beecher Stowe, witnessed a Kentucky slave auction that led to Uncle Tom’s Cabin during a time when she was  staying at the house where Frantz’s grandfather was raised.

But mostly we talked about what also filled his memoir—life with Weymouth in Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club. And how it all came out of art school—a common place for UK bands to form, maybe, but not so much in the states. In their case, it was the Rhode Island School of Design, circa 1973, and they were out for fun.

“It was called the Artistics,” Frantz said of the band they formed at the Providence school. “It was David Byrne and myself and another guy named David Anderson who is a friend of mine from Washington, Kentucky, and Hank Stahler on bass. People came and went. We had friends coming and going in the band all the time. But that’s where we wrote our first songs.”

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TVD Video Premiere:
Eric Bazilian, “Sarah When She’s Sleeping”

Awaking from a nap to someone staring at you can be a little creepy. But it’s all benevolence and love in Eric Bazilian’s jangly new single “Sarah When She’s Sleeping,” getting its video premiere today at The Vinyl District.

The co-founder of The Hooters, whose songwriting has included Joan Osborne’s enduring “One of Us,” Bazilian says the new song is meant to be “a shameless declaration of love and redemption, for and by a good and kind woman. He says he’s trying to convey “the sense of home that I get when I see my partner peacefully at rest and hear the sweet sounds she makes when she’s there.”

That explains the bit of soft snoring at the beginning and end of the succinct single, but it’s all catchy power pop in-between, with Bazilian on guitars, bass, keyboards, and the mandolin-adjacent mandola. Drums are from Roman Ratej, recorded in Slovenia by Martin Stibernik.

It’s the fourth in a series of singles that precede Bazilian’s new solo album expected later this hear—his first since 2002’s A Very Dull Boy. (He released What Shall Become of the Baby with Swedish collaborator Mats Wester in 2012.)

Bazilian still lives in Pennsylvania, where the Hooters once sprang and notably played Live Aid in 1985. But he often records in Sweden, where he has a basement studio. It’s been in Stockholm where he’s been riding out the pandemic while working with developing artists like Slovenia’s Manu and Philly’s Alexis and the Medicine.

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