Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 59: Corey Feldman

Corey Feldman is an icon: he represents a certain time and place for a generation of moviegoers who existed just prior to the internet’s big bang, before wi-fi conquered civilization.

In the 1980s, one didn’t begin watching a film without assuming Feldman might pop up somewhere; he appeared in an astounding batch of pop culture blockbusters; many of which still roundly resonate today: Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985), Stand By Me (1986), The Lost Boys (1987), and many more. Feldman—with his entertainment pal, Corey Haim—was also one half of the eighties showbiz power-duo known as “The Two Coreys,” appearing in nine films together, including a popular reality television series.

While Corey has experienced the entertainment industry’s pinnacles, he’s also glimpsed its dark side. But through it all, Feldman has maintained a stiff upper lip and a positive outlook while putting his creative energies into a musical career which he kicked off in the early 1990s. Since then, he’s released albums such as Love Left, Former Child Actor, Angelic 2 the Core, and now a sprawling box set (Love Left 2.1) containing a remastered version of his first Love Left album, rarities, and also a brand-new follow up to that album titled, Love Left 2. Feldman and I explore his wide-ranging musical thumbprint, including the production influences and professional discipline he learned during his friendship with Michael Jackson.

We speak with Corey about his newest music and examine how it relates to his past, yet serves to presage the future. For, as you’ll learn, there are few people who understand the transition from the golden age of cinema to the entertainment machine that exists today as intimately as Corey does. Fortunately, he’s happy to share some war stories and explore what he believes is the future of the entertainment industry, but he also warns about the vampires that still lurk around Hollywood after midnight; they might not have fangs, but they sure are bloodsuckers.

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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Graded on a Curve:
Kid Acne,
Null and Void

Sheffield, UK-based emcee Kid Acne is a savvy extender of underground hip-hop’s possibilities, teaming once again with Chicago-based producer Spectacular Diagnostics for Null and Void, a 12-track LP driven by deep beats and infused with edgy, echoey flow of the sort that’s bound to please fans of u-ground hip-hop’s salad days. But Kid Acne is also a visual artist focused on illustration and printmaking, with his talents front and center for his latest, as the LP gets tucked inside hand printed sleeves in three limited editions, 75 silver (neon pink vinyl), 150 warm grey (black vinyl), and 100 cool grey (color mix wax, with obi strip). All three are signed and all are available now, fittingly, through Lewis Recordings.

If Kid Acne (birth name Ed Bradbury) is a torch carrier for u-ground hip-hop, it should be clarified that he’s been at it long enough to be considered part of the subterranean subgenre’s renaissance, specifically in Mongrels, the on again-off again duo (with DJ Benjamin Hatton) that debuted in 1997 with the “Slingshots” 7-inch EP and last heard in 2018 on the “Over Eggin’ It” b/w “Shoot the Breeze” 7-inch (which welcomed guests James Williamson from the Sleaford Mods on side A and fellow UK hip-hop figures Cappo and Juga-Naut on the flip).

Along with a half dozen other EPs issued on 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch wax (plus a cassette collaboration with Brit hip-hop act Burgundy Blood), Mongrels released the full-length Attack the Monolith in 2016. But Kid Acne’s been even busier on his own, having completed four LPs (plus a few white label instrumental sets) prior to Null and Void’s emergence last November, with its predecessor Have a Word dating from 2019. And this is to say nothing of the slew of EPs, the numerous guest spots, and the long list of solo art exhibitions.

The long distance collab that shaped Have a Word; again, that’s Kid Acne and beatsmith-producer Spectacular Diagnostics, gets repeated here as Null and Void lacks any tangible pandemic-era concessions. Instead, the reteaming bursts out immediately strong as “Welcome,” the album’s samples-infused intro and trim slice of hip-hop classicism remodeled for the post-underground age, leads straight into the incessant pulsing crunch of “Flame Wars,” where Kid Acne shares the mic with the record’s first guest emcee Taja.

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We’re closed.

We’ve closed TVD’s HQ in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. While we’re away, why not fire up our Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 58: Eric Valdivieso

We begin the new year by trying something a little different. This week, we focus our radar’s attention on food. And we talk about it with the “highest paid professional restaurant server on the planet.” Meet Eric Valdivieso, he’s a longtime food service industry insider who has a new book out called, “The Valdivieso Method” which explores the idea of applying the tools he learned in the service industry to other service oriented businesses.

You’ll hear Eric’s story of how he went through the restaurant ranks and learned his craft so well that he now mostly coaches servers and managers in the hospitality industry. But, it’s more than just food that Eric and I discuss; we explore how you can become your best self, how some of these skills can be used in any business that thrives on relationships, and – really – what business doesn’t? Of course, I don’t let Eric off the hook without giving us some great restaurant recommendations.

Above all, though, Eric’s program and experiences are mostly centered around taking care of others and enjoying the glow that comes from making someone feel special and cared for. It’s about not missing the many opportunities we’re all presented with each day to elevate someone else’s experience; how caring for others can become a habit. And nowadays, that’s a skill we could all use a little bit more of.

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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Graded on a Curve:
David Byrne,
Grown Backwards

Let’s give a round of applause to David Byrne. He’s been on a long quest for musical irrelevance, and for the most part he’s succeeded. Once upon a time Byrne was the leader of arguably the best rock band in the world. But since the breakup of the Talking Heads in 1988 Byrne has become an art rock gadfly with world music inclinations. He has sung Pan-American dance music. He has sung opera. Rumor has it he is ready to release an album of Euro-disco hillbilly music with Giorgio Moroder and Bloodshot Bill.

Byrne’s dilettantism has come at a cost. Incalculable music listeners—Talking Heads fanatics amongst them—tuned Byrne out long ago. Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel have both reached a mass audience by incorporating world music into their work. Byrne did it himself in a big way with Remain in Light. But Byrne’s solo work has left him an artist on the fringe. You’ll never hear his music on the radio—I’ve never even heard it on college radio. None of which matters much if 1) he doesn’t much care that he’s sloughed off fans the way a snake sloughs off its skin (he’s always been a cold-blooded creature, our David) and 2) the music he produces is top quality.

I’m relatively certain Byrne is okay with the snake comparison; unfortunately the body of work he’s produced has been uneven at best. None of his solo works come close to meeting the exacting standards of the Talking Heads. The solo Byrne has created no More Songs About Buildings and Food or Remain in Light. Idiosyncratic, sure. But plenty of artists create idiosyncratic music that needs be listened to.

And so it goes with Byrnes’ seventh LP, 2004’s Grown Backwards, which enthralled just about no one. There’s a reason the album peaked at No. 178 in the US charts, and it certainly wasn’t for lack of name recognition or the goodwill of faithful Talking Heads fans. The LP fails because the music doesn’t grab you and the work as a whole doesn’t cohere. To call Grown Backwards eclectic is paying it too great a compliment. Hot mess would be a more appropriate description.

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TVD Radar: King Rocker Special Edition bookback DVD/CD in stores 3/18

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Following the soundtrack vinyl release last month, King Rocker will now also be available on 18th March as a deluxe bookback DVD/CD.

Following the huge recent success of King Rocker, spotlighting The Nightingales as one of the best bands in Britain, comes the soundtrack and DVD to one of 2021’s break-out films. This special King Rocker bookback DVD/CD deluxe package includes the full length feature film with over 90 minutes of extras and unseen footage alongside the soundtrack. This collector’s edition is beautifully encased with 20 pages of unreleased behind the scenes photos and liner notes from Michael Cumming and Stewart Lee.

Comedian Stewart Lee and director Michael Cumming (Brass Eye, Toast Of London) investigate a missing piece of punk history. Robert Lloyd, best known for fronting cult Birmingham band’s The Prefects and The Nightingales, has survived under the radar for over four decades.

But how, if at all, does Robert want to be remembered? The anti-rockumentary King Rocker weaves the story of Birmingham’s undervalued underdog autodidact into that of the city’s forgotten public sculpture of King Kong, eschewing the celebrity interview and archive-raid approach for a free-associating bricolage of Indian food, bewildered chefs, vegetable gardening, prescription medicines, pop stardom and pop art.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Flaming Lips,
In a Priest Driven Ambulance (With Silver Sunshine Stares)

Celebrating Wayne Coyne on his 61st birthday.Ed.

You know there’s something wrong when you go to see a band you thought you loved, only to discover you’d sooner be at Altamont. Such was the case for me with The Flaming Lips. This was sometime after 2002’s Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, and the sight of Wayne Coyne in his plastic bubble and all those happy people playing with those wacky giant bouncing balls left a sour taste in my mouth. The Flaming Lips I loved were psychedelic schizoids who played their guitars real loud and sang wrong. And their songs were dark, really dark. This seemed like recess for elementary school kids. I left disgusted.

I haven’t been able to listen to their new stuff—it’s far too lush, high tech, smooth, and “inspiring” for my jaded tastes—since. Or to most of their older stuff either. Indeed, the only Flaming Lips album I continue to love and think is utterly brilliant is 1990’s In a Priest Driven Ambulance (With Silver Sunshine Stares). It’s sublimely bleak, religiously obsessed, ragged, and sublimely strange: The Lips’ very own equivalent of Neil Young’s in-the-gutter masterpiece Tonight’s the Night.

The Flaming Lips’ line-up on the LP was Wayne Coyne (guitar, vocals), Michael Ivins (bass), Jonathan Donahue (guitar), and Nathan Roberts (drums). Donahue of course later returned full-time to Mercury Rev, whose 1991 debut Yerself Is Steam is that band’s In a Priest Driven Ambulance. Both The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev utilized producer (and arch-villain) Dave Fridmann, whom I personally hold responsible for transforming both bands from LSD mutants into overly produced, bloated, symphonic shadows of their former selves. Dave Fridmann, phony Phil Spector of phreak rock, get lost! And take your damned singing saw with you!

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TVD Radar: Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave from Bill Kopp in stores 2/14

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The story of groundbreaking indie label 415 Records is told in a new book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, due out February 14, 2022 from HoZac Books. The label founded by Howie Klein released era-defining singles, EPs, and albums, and influenced other labels that followed.

In the late ’70s and early to mid ’80s, San Francisco was a creative incubator, bringing forth all manner of new music acts. Ground zero for the scene was the Mabuhay Gardens, home to huge barrels of popcorn, once-a-week spaghetti nights, colorful emcee Dirk Dirksen, and punk/new wave bands from all over the Bay Area. Concert booker and renegade radio DJ Howie Klein joined with Chris Knab, owner of the local Aquarius Records, to launch a record label in support of that scene.

Measured in strictly commercial terms, 415 Records was at best a modest success. But then, for Klein and Knab, financial gain was never the primary goal. Ask Klein about his objectives, and he’ll tell you: “F-U-N,” he’ll say. “It was all about fun.”

But 415 Records would have a lasting impact, one that extended far beyond the minor chart action that a few of the label’s artists achieved. Klein and his cohorts established new ways of doing business in the music industry, and were at the forefront of a resurgence of independent labels.

Disturbing the Peace is Bill Kopp’s chronicle of the groundbreaking independent record label founded by Howie and Chris, featuring the stories of Romeo Void (“Never Say Never,” “A Girl in Trouble”), Red Rockers (“China,” “Shades of 45”), Translator (“Everywhere That I’m Not”), Wire Train (“Chamber of Hellos,” “Skills of Summer”), Roky Erickson (“If You Have Ghosts,” “I Walked with a Zombie”), The Nuns, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, and nearly two dozen other bands.

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TVD Radar: America’s Deadliest Rock Concert: The Guest List premieres 2/20 on REELZ

VIA PRESS RELEASE | REELZ today announced the network’s original documentary America’s Deadliest Rock Concert: The Guest List premieres Sunday, February 20 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT presenting the deeply personal stories of lives forever altered by the tragic Station nightclub fire that left 100 people dead, more than 200 injured and devastated the tight-knit community of West Warwick, Rhode Island. It is also a story of the triumph of the human spirit, as seen in a community’s resilience and the recovery and rebirth of Joe Kinan, who was the last survivor pulled from the fire and the most severely burned.

On the night of February 20, 2003, more than 400 music fans packed into the small Station nightclub. Just seconds after ’80s sensation Great White took the stage, pyrotechnics ignited a fire that raced up the walls and across the ceiling of the packed venue. In less than 90 seconds, most of those who hadn’t already made their escape would be trapped inside. They would be burned alive, identified days later only by dental records or tattoos. The Station fire was a perfect storm of human error that became one of the worst nightclub tragedies in U.S. history. It remains America’s deadliest rock concert.

“Seen through the human lens of victims, survivors and their families, the fire and milestones of healing physical and emotional scars all come into focus in this poignant television event,” said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. “With intimate insight from people who were impacted by the tragedy, this is a potent portrait of humanity, from deep resentment and brutal suffering to resilience and the power of community.”

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Graded on a Curve: Einstürzende Neubauten, Kollaps

Celebrating Blixa Bargeld on his 63rd birthday.Ed.

At long last, a rock album capable of shattering my nerves. I’ve sat through all manner of horrible noise for decades, but the sheet-metalheads and industrial music pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten are the first to make me wish I was deaf.

Einstürzende Neubauten may translate as Collapsing New Buildings to English speakers, but they don’t sound like an architectural disaster to me. They sound like the foundry where I worked during my summer years at college only worse, because Einstürzende Neubauten are both foundry and insane asylum, and the lunatics have taken over the machinery.

Is Einstürzende Neubauten’s Industrial Revolution clang and clamor a negative commentary on the robotic dehumanization celebrated by the futurists in Kraftwerk? A conservative retreat to the glory days of steam power, when manly men forged manly things with their manly calloused hands? The final revenge of metal shop kids over the pencil-neck geeks destined for lucrative jobs in the towering high-rises of the private sector? All are questions worth pondering, but having just listened to Einstürzende Neubauten’s 1981 debut Kollaps, I have too much of a headache to think clearly.

Theirs is, I must admit, a novel concept–establish rhythmic din by means of building tools, scrap metal and sundry other detritus of the machine age, then set Blixa Bargeld to the task of barking, growling, muttering, moaning, shrieking, bellowing and ululating all over them. It works wonders, that is if your idea of a good time is having ground augers shoved in your ears whilst being beaten over the skull with a 2-1/2 inch split head hammer.

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Graded on a Curve: Sacred Soul: The
D-Vine Spirituals Records Story Volume One & Volume Two

On January 14 a crucial chapter in the history of hot gospel gets fresh illumination thanks to Bible & Tire Recording Co.’s two-volume retrospective Sacred Soul: The D-Vine Spirituals Records Story. Across four sides of vinyl (available separately or as a bundle), two compact discs (ditto), and digital (available through Bandcamp), these 28 recordings by nearly as many different groups and performers document a sustained run of inspired artistry and savvy production that was originally released on 45rpm singles. Eminently listenable, the contents also celebrate the no-nonsense go-for-it gusto of grassroots independent record making.

By now, it’s no secret that African-American gospel is one of the indispensable fibers in the grand weave of 20th century music, and not just for its foundational role in the development of Soul. No, the undiluted stuff, almost always waxed by smaller, if not necessarily independent record labels, is worthwhile, indeed highly prized, entirely on its own for its combination of skill and intensity sharply honed through commitment and belief.

Formed in downtown Memphis, TN in the early 1970s by US Air Force veteran, preacher, radio personality, and soon to be record producer Juan D. Shipp, D-Vine Spirituals is as vital to hot gospel’s growth narrative as Nashboro and Pitch/Gusman, both labels from the southern region of the USA that flourished in the same approximate timeframe.

The proof is in the listening, as Bruce Watson’s Bible & Tire Recording Co. has already released two volumes focused on D-Vine Spirituals subsidiary JCR (stands for Juan, Charles, and Robert, not Jesus Christ Records) and an LP dedicated solely to Elizabeth King and the Gospel Souls, who cut the label’s paradigm-shifting first single “I Heard a Voice” in 1972.

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New Release Section: Cate Le Bon, “Remembering Me”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The third single from Cate Le Bon’s new album Pompeii.

Today, Cate Le Bon shares “Remembering Me,” the third and final single from her forthcoming album Pompeii, out February 4th. The song exists in Le Bon’s signature aesthetic paradox: songs built for now that miraculously germinate from her interests in antiquity, philosophy, architecture, and divinity’s modalities. “In the classical rewrite / I wore the heat like / A hundred birthday cakes / Under one sun,” Le Bon sings.

The accompanying video was directed by Juliana Giraffe and Nicola Giraffe of Giraffe Studios and features costumes by Monica Adriana Rowlands.

“‘Remembering Me’ is a neurotic diary entry that questions notions of legacy and warped sentimentalism in the desperate need to self-mythologise” —Cate Le Bon

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New Release Section: Johnny Marr,
“Night and Day”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Johnny Marr has released “Night and Day,” the brand-new single taken from the “Fever Dreams Pt 3” EP – the third quarter of forthcoming double album Fever Dreams Pts 1-4, due February 25th via BMG.

Featuring backing vocals and bass from Primal Scream’s Simone Marie, “Night and Day” encapsulates the confusion, the torpor and the entropy of the way we’ve all been living. Speaking about the new single, Johnny said, “I need songs after all the news, news, news. It gets too real in the hotspots.”

Most importantly, “Night and Day” and the themes of Fever Dreams Pts 1-4 also look to the future, and the idea that even in the most trying times, hope endures. “I’m trying to be positive, for me and my audience, really,” Johnny adds. “My personality is such that it occurs to me to think that way. I’m not just writing with positivity for the sake of a song. It’s real, and it’s also very necessary.”

“The Fever Dreams Pt 3” EP features four brand new songs from Johnny Marr’s anticipated first double LP – “The Speed Of Love,” “Night and Day,” “Counter-Clock World,” and “Rubicon.” The EP will be released on limited edition gold vinyl on May 20th, pre-order HERE.

Fever Dreams Pts 1-4 will be available on CD and double vinyl with the official store offering exclusive limited edition white vinyl and cassettes, alongside merch bundles with signed prints. HMV and independent record stores will also be stocking a limited-edition turquoise vinyl pressing. Pre-order/presale HERE.

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Graded on a Curve:
Janis Joplin, Pearl
(MFSL Ultradisc
One-Step Pressing)

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has reissued Pearl, from Janis Joplin, originally released in 1971 as an Ultradisc One-Step Pressing. One-Step packages include an album spread over two vinyl discs, playable at 45 RPM for extra fidelity. The albums are pressed on Super Vinyl, developed by NEOTEC and the uber pressing plant manufacturer RTI, offering vinyl with the quietest surface.

The key to the One-Step format is that aside from using the normal MFSL process of working from the original analog master tape recording, the album goes directly from lacquer to what’s called “convert” negative, adjusting the normal mastering process where the lacquer would go through two more steps before being pressed onto vinyl.

Pearl was Joplin’s third studio album. Her first was as part of the self-titled album from Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1967, and the second was I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, released in 1969, after she left Big Brother. The live Cheap Thrills with Big Brother was released in 1968.

For Pearl, Joplin was backed by Full Tilt Boogie, who was her backing band on the famed Festival Express tour through Canada in 1970. The album was produced by Paul A. Rothchild. All of her albums were produced by a different person. Rothchild worked with many of the most acclaimed American acts of the late-’60s and early-’70s, but he is most known as house producer for Elektra Records and for the albums he did with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Love, and especially The Doors.

Like Cheap Thrills, Pearl went to number one, but was released posthumously on January 11, 1971, a little over three months after Joplin’s death. The album’s centerpiece, “Me and Bobby McGee,” co-written by Kris Kristofferson, went to number one and was Joplin’s most popular song.

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Graded on a Curve:
Fazer, Plex

Fazer is a Munich-based quintet that specializes in a combination of jazz and post-rock with African polyrhythms. Yes, that means two drummers. The men behind the kits are Simon Popp and Sebastian Wolfgruber, with trumpeter Matthias Lindermayr, guitarist Paul Brändle, and bassist-producer Martin Brugger completing the group. Plex is their latest, an 11-track affair that nicely balances groove complexity with buoyant melodicism. It’s out January 14 on clear or black vinyl, compact disc, and digital through City Slang.

The scoop is that the five members of Fazer all met while attending the Academy for Music and Performing Arts in Munich, a circumstance not the slightest bit surprising, as their collective skill is not only easy to discern but impossible to deny, even as they firmly favor the mingling of rhythmic flow and gestures of beauty over the mere flaunting of chops. Or at least that’s the case on Plex, their third full-length and the first this writer has heard (the prior two are Mara from 2018 and Nadi from the following year).

The impact of jazz on Fazer’s sound is also indisputable, but the same is true for the elements of post-rock in the equation. To elaborate, in the promo text for their latest, the group cites Talk Talk, Can, Fela Kuti, and Rhythm & Sound as influences, though it’s to their credit that none of the acts mentioned are blatantly obvious in the overall scheme as Plex unwinds.

Instead, they forge their own personality as a unit, an approach that leans more toward finesse than grit as the record plays, but with enough twists in the progression to keep matters consistently interesting. Opener “Ghazal” immediately establishes an African-tinged rhythmic bedrock, followed in short order by guitar, first a tight plucked pattern complementing the cyclical drum and bass and then a little post-rock atmospherics.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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