Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Angel Canales, Sabor remastered reissue
in stores 8/27

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Craft Latino, the Latin repertoire arm of Craft Recordings, proudly announces the release of an all-analog remastered vinyl reissue of Sabor, the electrifying salsa album that established Angel Canales as “El Diferente”—one of the most idiosyncratic and charismatic singer/songwriters in the annals of tropical music. So memorable and unique was Canales’ artistic style, that he gained a rabid following among salsa aficionados throughout the Americas.

Out August 27th and available for pre-order, the new edition of Sabor was remastered from its original analog master tapes by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters and pressed on 180-gram audiophile quality vinyl. The iconic album will also be released in hi-res digital for the first time, including 192/24 and 96/24 formats.

Born 1950 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Angel Luis Canales moved with his family to New York when he was only eight years old, and grew up listening to the albums that Ismael Rivera recorded with Rafael Cortijo’s orchestra—a paradigm of Afro-Caribbean singing with personality and flavor. After working as a jeweler and a stint in the army, Canales devoted himself to music. Lacking any formal training, he used the limitations of his voice to maximum effect, perfecting a style that is instantly recognizable: stressing vowels in unusual places, emphasizing lyrics in theatrical fashion and creating a particular groove and emotional connection to the music that draws from previous masters but remains inimitable to this day.

Canales’ recording debut couldn’t have been more auspicious. He was lead vocalist on Markolino Dimond’s 1971 Brujería—one of the most transcendental and atmospheric albums in salsa history. Produced by Joe Cain and released in 1975 by Alegre Records (Alegre was acquired by Fania Records in 1975), Sabor introduced Canales as songwriter, bandleader and star vocalist, featuring a provocative cover with a naked female torso and the bald-headed singer flaunting his love of jewelry.

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Graded on a Curve:
Paul & Linda McCartney, Ram

Celebrating Paul Mccartney on his 79th birthday.Ed.

Paul McCartney was the member of the Fab Four that so many used to relish knocking around. Whether it was in spirited bar chats or animated discussions at parties, when the tide turned to The Beatles somebody could always be counted on for a hearty jibe at Macca’s expense. And in my above use of “so many” I’m generally referring to males and by “somebody” I’m specifically speaking of those who indisputably considered John Lennon to be the Best Beatle.

While for those truly devoted fans of the band there could simply never be a Worst, for many Paul was the Square Beatle, a designation not borne out by the facts, for he was as interested in the avant-garde as any member. Hell, in ’68 he co-produced “I’m the Urban Spaceman” by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band for Pete’s sake, an act that places him rather high up on the meter of cool. However, others derided him as the Corporate Beatle. And yeah, it’s true that Paul never lost track of the business aspect of the whole affair, but his behavior in this regard hasn’t really played out as particularly odious in comparison to other rock star types of not even half his stature or talent.

But both Paul’s image and the assessment of his post-Beatle solo career has rebounded in recent years. Much of this might have to do with the constantly regenerating fanbase of the Four consistently growing older and perhaps letting go of the rebelliousness that inspired easy identification with Lennon or Harrison. It also might be related to the race for Coolest Living Beatle being down to him and Ringo “No More Mail, Thanks” Starr.

But seriously. In my estimation Paul’s general critical resurgence is a welcome phenomenon, if only because his first two solo records have finally gotten something approximate to the proper level of respect. And yes, for years I bought the baloney regarding the collective underwhelming nature of McCartney and Ram, too.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 38: Bass Race

Laura Benack and Steven Mertens are a duo that go by the name Bass Race. They may have created a 21st century fusion of music on their new release Tender Vittles, but something about them feels comfortably old fashioned. You can feel their familial connections to music and the arts, the respect they have for old-school Los Angeles, and the way they nurture their own relationship in a respectful and fruitful way.

As you’ll hear, their musical influences are rich and tasteful and pull inspiration from some of the best r&b, soul and funk music of the last 50 years: they love their Earth, Wind and Fire and Donny Hathaway records. They lean on analog recording techniques and instruments, but fuse them together with modern-day beats and technology to create something fresh, but pleasantly familiar. There’s something about a duo that’s a little forgotten and underappreciated in today’s day-and-age: Sonny and Cher, Louis Prima and Keely Smith, Ashford and Simpson, or Marty and Eliane: they all work best when they work together; their teamwork makes the dream work.

Laura and Steven bring that same harmonious synergy to Tender Vittles making it more than just a geat record; perhaps the album serves as a love-letter or a representation of the relationship Laura and Steven have together, but it’s also a testament to all of the good things that a mighty duo can accomplish when they make a choice to set aside their own needs and focus on their partner.

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:
King Crimson,
In the Wake of Poseidon

I’ve spent years trying to winnow my horror of progressive rock down to a simple formula. Little did I know the enemy (in the form of progrocker Dave Stewart of Egg and National Health non-fame) had already done it for me. In Stewart’s words progressive rock was “hard to learn, hard to play, and probably hard to listen to.” Take away that “probably” and I’d say he had it spot on.

Amongst the early progrock progenitors stand King Crimson and their overrated 1969 debut In the Court of the Crimson King. Aside from “21st Century Schizoid Man” the LP is both overblown and overwrought, but that hasn’t stopped seemingly intelligent listeners everywhere from venerating it like a splinter from the holy rood. Me, I’m with The Village Voice’s Robert Christgau, who upon its release labeled it “ersatz shit.” And the band’s follow-up, 1970’s In the Wake of Poseidon, is worse, if only because its pretentious levels remain in the red zone and it doesn’t have a “21st Century Schizoid Man” on it.

Despite the excellence of Robert Fripp’s guitar and Keith Tippett’s piano, the LP’s problems are your typical progressive rock problems–this ain’t rock’n’roll, this is genrecide. Pomposity is the order of the day, as is what I can only call the bucolic plague. England’s green and pleasant land is a breeding ground for such pastoral nonsense as “Peace–A Beginning,” ”Peace–A Theme,” and ”Peace–An End,” on the last of which Greg Lake sings like he’s being castrated in Winchester Cathedral. The same goes for the sylvan “Cadence and Cascade,” which should give even the staunchest ecologist pause to consider the positive aspects of urban blight. And to punch Mel Collins’ flute solo in the mouth.

The title track’s only plus is that King Crimson keep things relatively simple. Sure, Lake’s vocal interpretation of Peter Sinfield’s lyrics–which are godawful throughout–belongs at a Renaissance Faire, but you get no 19/8 rhythms, poly-tonality or other high crimes and misdemeanors of the progressive rock genre. The jazzy “Cat Food”is the only number on In the Wake of Poseidon that doesn’t make me puke pomp, thanks primarily to Tippett’s dissonant piano going-ons.

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TVD Radar: Travis,
12 Memories first ever reissue in stores 8/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On August 13th, the first-ever vinyl reissue of UK Top Five album 12 Memories from Travis continues the reissue streak from the Scottish rock band. Cut at London’s Metropolis Studios, the pressing features all original packaging replication including photography by Anton Corbijn. Available for pre-order today, the album will be released on standard black vinyl, with a limited white pressing available exclusively at Travis’ official UK store. Meanwhile in the US, Newbury Comics will offer an exclusive Black Ice edition.

None other than Sir Elton John raved that 12 Memories would “take you on a real journey… like The Beatles’ Revolver.” And, just like The Beatles in 1966, Travis were at a critical juncture when it came time to record their fourth album and the follow up to the multi-Platinum international breakthrough The Invisible Band.

Coldplay had launched a career patterned on Travis’ The Man Who-era song writing, while frontman Fran Healy was secretly battling depression. With the Iraq War newly raging in the background, the group began to look outwards in their song writing, penning socially conscious singles like “Re-Offender,” which dealt with domestic abuse, and “The Beautiful Occupation,” which was inspired by the US invasion of Iraq.

If “Love Will Come Through” was more like the Travis of old, it was filtered through a darkness that defined much of 12 Memories, with the album as a whole taking on tinges of electronica, and the band rocking with a harder edge than before.

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TVD Radar: My Morning Jacket launch new vinyl series MMJ LIVE, 3LP in stores 9/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | My Morning Jacket has announced the launch of their new MMJ LIVE vinyl series, kicking off with LIVE 2015, collecting 16 previously unreleased live tracks recorded during 2015’s THE WATERFALL Tour. LIVE 2015 will arrive Friday, September 3 exclusively on 3LP white vinyl (with digital download card), with a digital release at a later date.

My Morning Jacket’s first official live release since 2006’s groundbreaking live album and concert film, OKONOKOS, the 16 tracks on LIVE 2015 were expressly chosen by the band and then mixed by longtime studio collaborator Kevin Ratterman.

My Morning Jacket recently unveiled plans for their first US headline tour in five years. Highlights include festival appearances and multi-night-stands at Queens, NY’s Forest Hills Stadium and Seattle, WA’s Paramount Theater. Special guests throughout the tour will include Flock Of Dimes, Brittany Howard, Durand Jones & The Indications, and Bedouine. In partnership with PLUS1, $1 from each ticket sold will go to support non-profits working for environmental justice, racial equity, and securing access to mental health care for all.

My Morning Jacket has also announced the return of One Big Holiday to the shores of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, this time in partnership with CID Presents and On Location.The four day destination event, hosted March 2 – 5, 2022 at the spectacular Moon Palace Cancún, will feature three headlining performances on the beach by the band, as well as appearances by Lord Huron, Brittany Howard, Black Pumas, Sharon Van Etten, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Steel Pulse.

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Graded on a Curve:
Venus and Mars

Celebrating Paul McCartney in advance of his 79th birthday tomorrow, June 18.Ed.

I finally got to see the comandante. It nearly killed me. Between the trigger-happy checkpoint guards, the high-speed ride in the bouncing wooden bed of a rickety pickup along the perilously narrow roads hanging precariously over the steep mountain gorges, and the 3-day trip upriver through alligator- and piranha-infested waters, with government troops occasionally firing upon us with AK-47s from the riverbank, I didn’t think I’d survive. But I finally arrived, having braved it all to get the STORY, the real lowdown from the general himself on the bloody revolution.

But if I thought he was as interested as I was in talking about the insurgency, I was dead wrong. The moment I entered his office he said, “Do you have it?” He was referring to my cost of admission for our tête-à-tête. “I do,” I said. He smiled. It was not a thing you would want to see. Some men smile, and it is a show of teeth. “Gimme,” he said greedily. So I handed it to him and he gazed at lovingly and said, “Amigo, Venus and Mars are alright tonight.”

Some people love sex, and some people love macaroni and cheese. The general loved two things: killing and Wings’ 1975 LP Venus and Mars. He pressed a button on his desk, and an adjutant in white gloves rushed in. “Put this on the turntable,” said the general, “and if you make so much as a shadow of a scratch, you will pay for it with your head.”

So instead of talking about the insurgency as I’d hoped, we listened to Venus and Mars. The general was rapt. No one knew how old he was (my guess: 110) or his origins (some said a patrician family, others that his mother had been a whore) or what he’d done before becoming the comandante (Proust scholar, said some, gun runner said others.) But I knew this; the bald and wrinkled old man with the great pair of big black mustaches, who looked like a character straight out of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, loved Venus and Mars. And in the end I got my STORY, only it wasn’t the one I’d expected.

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Piper Street Sound,
The TVD First Date

“Without any carpentry skills to speak of, I found myself emptying my ‘guest bedroom’ of all furniture in order to build enormous shelves, floor to ceiling, to store thousands of records, mostly for Latin American electronic music labels, combined with some of my own Reggae productions in the horde as well. Why not? This was during a pandemic, so it wasn’t likely that we would be having any guests staying with us anyway. How did I get to the point where I would have a whole room of my house dedicated and filled with vinyl, not to mention a vinyl collection in the living room and my parent’s walk in closet too?”

“My first experience with vinyl was through my parents’ record collection. Mostly ’60s and ’70s rock. The usual suspects for their generation were Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Jimi Hendrix, things like that. It wasn’t a very large collection, but I really enjoyed something about the process of selecting a record, putting it on the turntable and hearing it come out of the large Kenmore speakers. This was in the era of the battery powered boombox, somewhere between the decline of tape and vinyl, and the domination of the CD, so my parent’s stereo felt quite impressive and powerful in comparison to the little speakers on my little boombox.

The stereo was in the same room as the family library, a room without a TV, with a large west facing window, and it received nice afternoon sunlight which lay in rectangular pools on the carpet. I liked bathing in these and reading the record jackets as the music played, and absorbing the information in the liner notes as best I could. I enjoyed panning the music from left to right, especially on the more drastic stereo mixes, and messing with the graphic EQ on the stereo receiver. This was an epiphany!  I could alter the sounds coming out of the speakers. On some mixes I could even remove (Ringo’s) drums, or some of the vocals, just by shifting a little slider from left to right! Some proto-inkling of a remix concept was growing in my mind.

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TVD Radar: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown OST pumpkin-shaped vinyl in stores 9/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | This fall, Craft Recordings will celebrate Halloween with a collectible, pumpkin-shaped vinyl album featuring Vince Guaraldi’s evocative music from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Pressed on orange wax, the 45-RPM LP features 17 selections from the 1966 animated TV special, including the timeless “Linus and Lucy,” “The Great Pumpkin Waltz,” and the ghoulish “Graveyard Theme.” Available for pre-order today and in stores on September 17th, the festive reissue also includes liner notes from Peanuts historian Derrick Bang, plus a 2018 introduction from the late producer Lee Mendelson, who oversaw It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, among other Peanuts specials.

By the time that Vince Guaraldi entered the studio to score It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, he was well into a highly successful creative partnership with Lee Mendelson and the Peanuts franchise. Just two years earlier, Mendelson had commissioned the Bay Area jazz artist to score a TV documentary about Charles M. Schulz, who created the popular Peanuts comic strip.

While the film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, never aired, the duo reconvened a year later for A Charlie Brown Christmas. The animated special was an instant hit—as was its best-selling soundtrack. In June 1966, they followed with Charlie Brown’s All-Stars!, while It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was slated for October.

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TVD Radar: Ronnie Wood and the Ronnie Wood Band, Mr. Luck–A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall in stores 9/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Ronnie Wood and the Ronnie Wood Band return to the blues with the second installment of his live album trilogy, Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall will be released by BMG on September 3, 2021. The 18-track album features The Ronnie Wood Band including Mick Taylor with incredible special guests, Bobby Womack, Mick Hucknall, Paul Weller, and pays tribute to one of Ronnie’s musical heroes and major influences, blues pioneer Jimmy Reed.

The album is recorded live on a memorable night at the Royal Albert Hall on November 1, 2013. It features stunning tracks including “Good Lover” and “Ghost of A Man.” With unique album artwork specially created by Ronnie, Mr. Luck will be available digitally, on CD, as a vinyl release, and as a beautiful limited-edition dual-tone smoky blue vinyl.

A ‘Tayle’ of Two Sidemen: When self-taught guitarist Eddie Taylor imparted his skills onto his friend Jimmy Reed, he surely couldn’t have imagined the effect this was to have on the Chicago blues scene. Backing up such luminaries as John Lee Hooker, he is best remembered for his work with his former student.

Sweet coincidence, then, that in 1974 another Taylor, Mick, would make way for Ronnie Wood in the Rolling Stones, paving the way for these two friends and celebrated guitarists to work on projects ever since. The culmination of this to date is Taylor’s place in The Ronnie Wood Band at the Royal Albert Hall for 2013’s Blues fest, where they played the now-legendary set that would come to birth to this recording.

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Graded on a Curve: Harry Nilsson,
Nilsson Schmilsson

Remembering Harry Nilsson, born yesterday in 1941.Ed.

Harry Nilsson is one of the rock’n’roll’s stranger paradoxes; a songwriter of real genius, and one of rock’s great interpreters of other people’s songs, his gradual descent into round-the-clock consumption of Brandy Alexanders transformed him into the bawdy lush responsible for such dubious tunes as “You’re Breakin’ My Heart” (“You’re breakin’ my heart/You’re tearing it apart/So fuck you”) and “I’d Rather Be Dead” (“I’d rather be dead/I’d rather be dead/I’d rather be dead/Than wet my bed.”)

Nilsson established his critical reputation with such early classics of pop baroque as 1967’s Pandemonium Shadow Show and 1968’s Aerial Ballet, and his groundbreaking interpretative showcase, 1970’s Nilsson Sings Newman. He achieved his popular breakthrough with 1971’s Nilsson Schmilsson, an amazing collection of originals and covers, and won critical praise for that same year’s soundtrack to the ABC animated film, The Point, which spawned the hit “Me and My Arrow.”

However, by 1972’s Son of Schmilsson and 1973’s A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (a selection of pop standards), Nilsson’s magic touch was fading in direct proportion to his consumption of alcohol. His definitive fall from pop grace came during his notorious connection with John Lennon during the latter’s 1975 LA Lost Weekend, with its tragicomic episode at the Troubadour, Lennon’s destruction of Lou Adler’s bedroom, and Nilsson’s hurling a bottle through a hotel window.

Their non-stop boozing and carousing culminated in the wasted, Lennon-produced fiasco that was 1974’s Pussy Cats, which included such mediocrities as the Lennon-flavored take on Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross,” a truly insipid cover of Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” and a sub-par “Save the Last Dance for Me” (Nilsson ruptured a vocal chord during the sessions, and hid the fact from Lennon; as a result, his normally lovely vocals were very rough). Indeed, the only song I find listenable is the truly raucous cover of “Rock Around the Clock,” which features (remarkably enough) Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, and Jim Keltner on drums, as well as Jesse Ed Davis on guitar and Bobby Keys on sax.

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TVD Radar: Allman Brothers Band, The Final Note in stores 7/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | An extraordinary piece of rock history is being celebrated with the first-ever vinyl release of the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND’s last show with founder and guitarist DUANE ALLMAN.

Recorded October 17, 1971 at the Painters Mill Music Fair in Owings Mills, MD, the recording marks Duane’s last show, as he was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident 12 days later. Recorded on a hand-held cassette machine by 18-year-old radio journalist Sam Idas, this music was released on 10/16/20 and is now being made available on limited and numbered color vinyl in conjunction with Record Store Day Drops on July 17 (via the Allman Brothers Band Recording Company, distributed by The Orchard).

The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND were riding a wave of great success in late 1971 and wrapped up an intense summer of touring with the two shows at Painters Mill that day. The July 1971 release of their breakthrough At Fillmore East live album had brought them critical acclaim, hordes of new fans, and even a little money. The band—DUANE ALLMAN, GREGG ALLMAN, DICKEY BETTS, JAIMOE, BUTCH TRUCKS and BERRY OAKLEY—had toured all summer long and were looking forward to some time off before heading back to the studio.

The Final Note package features some remarkable never-before-published photos from that night’s show, extensive liner notes from ABB archivist John Lynskey plus a photo of the actual cassette Idas used. On hand to interview Gregg Allman after the concert, Idas recalls how it happened: “My only intention was to record the interview. This was a brand-new cassette recorder with an internal microphone, and I had one 60-minute cassette tape.

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Graded on a Curve:
The Tremolo Beer Gut, You Can’t Handle…The Tremolo Beer Gut

Copenhagen, Denmark’s The Tremolo Beer Gut describe their sound as Surf & Western. That means not only do they emphasize the twang, but they burrow deep into the pasta variations of cinematic oaters. You Can’t Handle…The Tremolo Beer Gut is the band’s fifth studio full-length but first in six years, offering 16 cuts and a load of guest spots. While the sound can be assessed as unapologetically retro, there is a high level of smarts enhancing the sharpness of attack. As with their prior output, the Crunchy Frog label is handling this release in Europe, but in the USA, it’s coming out on June 18 via the combined efforts of MuSick Recordings of Los Angeles and No-Count Records of Seattle.  

Although I remain appreciative of bands that are dedicated to roots styles and general R&R simplicity this deep into the 21st century, I will confess to approaching the fruits of their labor with varying degrees of trepidation, as disappointment frequently arises. But it’s not a total wasteland. Preferable are the raunchier and more destructive approaches, but occasionally, a well-honed act acquits themselves through astuteness and sheer energy.

So it is with The Tremolo Beer Gut, who, save for the infrequent hoop, holler or repeated phrase, is an instrumental outfit that was founded by Jesper “Yebo” Reginal and Sune Rose Wagner back in 1998. Some may recognize Wagner’s name from The Raveonettes, whose popularity required him to step away from the Gut, with the lead guitar duties then assumed by producer The Great Nalna. He’s still in the band along with guitarist Jengo, bassist Per Sunding, and Yebo on drums.

However, this LP’s “Hot! Hot! Heatwave!” features some guitar playing from Wagner, his presence likely to deliver an added treat for fans after the long wait for this new record. And as the intensity of the track’s chiming motions rises, the thrust gets further boosted by the guest vocal interjections of Flavia Couri and Martin Couri, the duo that comprises contempo Danish-Brazilian guitar-drum bashers The Courettes.

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Graded on a Curve:
Slade, Slayed?

Celebrating Noddy Holder on his 75th birthday.Ed.

So there I was, listening to Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch and being all jazzbo pretentious and shit, when really deep down inside I was miserable when it hit me—what I needed at that moment was not the chill vibraphonic rebop of Bobby Hutcherson, but the atrocious spelling, abominable haircuts, and abysmal glitter gear of those inimitable Black Country lads, Slade.

It may be easy to make fun of ‘em, but the quartet ruled the UK charts in the early ’70s, with artists like Roxy Music and David Bowie eating their dust. And vocalist Noddy Holder and the boys have been cited as an influence by everybody from Twisted Sister and Nirvana. Not bad for a couple of skinheads-turned-glamsters from Wolverhampton, whose misspellings, I kid you not, led to protests by an entire nation’s worth of outraged school marms.

The band’s classic line-up (Holder on vocals, guitar, and bass; Dave Hill on guitar, vocals and bass; Jim Lea on bass, vocals, keyboards, violin, and guitar; and Don Powell on drums and percussion) was formed in 1969 as Ambrose Slade. Their first album tanked, and they abandoned their skinhead look due to its negative association with football hooliganism. The “Ambrose” went too, and following the release of some poorly spelled hits and a well-received live album the band blew out the pipes with LP #3, Slayed?

Filled with anthemic sing-alongs, Slayed? remains one of glitter rock’s seminal albums, despite the fact that the toughs in Slade looked about as absurd in their Glam clobber as Mott the Hoople looked in theirs. Holder wore a mirror top hat, tartan pants with suspenders, and striped socks, while Hill sported an ungodly Prince Valiant haircut and silver outfits that made him look like an alien with a retarded Venusian hair stylist. But who cares? The kids ate it up.

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Graded on a Curve: Thomas Comerford, Introverts

Chicagoan Thomas Comerford is releasing his fourth solo album, Introverts, on July 18. He’s drawn comparisons to early Wilco, which is apt as his work benefits from the heft and interactive spark of a multi-piece band, but more striking is the stated influence of Gene Clark and Tim Hardin, acknowledgements that reinforce his singer-songwriter bona fides. Like many who fortify the annals of the vocalizing tunesmith, Comerford’s compositions possess an instantaneous allure that only grows with repeated listens. His latest, which offers eight selections on vinyl and digital, is available via Spacesuit Records.

The immediate appeal described above is indeed right there in Introvert’s opening track “Not Like Anybody Else,” specifically through guitar strum that hangs halfway between Loaded-era Velvets and the biggest hit by Stealers Wheel (you know the one). However, the largeness of Matthew Cummings’ bass playing favors the VU side of the equation (definitely a positive), while the vividness of Comerford’s words establish him as an uncommonly astute exponent of the singer-songwriter tradition. Adding to this is distinctive inflection that at times recalls Bill Callahan and David Berman.

Don’t let those comparisons insinuate that he’s aping either of the two. It’s just that Comerford has a tone, likeably unsmooth, that’s well-suited for the flowing musicality of his delivery. Setting him apart is a lack of awkwardness or the idiosyncratic in his singing, as he alternates laidback flirtations with impassioned crescendos in “Cowboy Mouth,” a combination that’s complemented by the song’s almost soft rock feel, and with this ambience itself tweaked with effects-laden backing vocals.

As Introverts progresses, an alt-country-tinged sensibility does occasionally take shape, though it’s to Comerford’s credit that his strain of the style resists the orthodox. In “Three Sisters” for example, the hovering synth suggests a mellotron and by extension, offers a brief dalliance with cosmic country, though together with the brisk tempo, the track simultaneously gestures toward guitar-pop.

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