Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Karen Dalton: In My Own Time in theaters 10/1

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Greenwich Entertainment announces the release of Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, a brand new documentary that not only honors the long-overlooked legacy and musical impact of the late folk legend, but saves her largely misunderstood story from near devastation.

Directed by Robert Yapkowitz and Richard Peete, and executive produced by the multi Academy Award-nominated Wim Wenders, Light in the Attic Records and Delmore Recording Society, the film will open in theaters across the country beginning October 1, 2021, with a premiere at New York City’s Film Forum.

Following a tragic fire in 2018, which destroyed all the remains of Karen Dalton’s personal archive, Yapkowitz and Peete worked closely with her family and estate to capture the vanishing fragments of her life. From troves of newly unearthed material and raw footage, to candid conversations with Dalton’s daughter Abralyn Baird and commentary by loved ones, ex-lovers, collaborators and close friends, Karen Dalton: In My Own Time serves as an essential portrait of her singular voice and indelible influence.

Karen Dalton: In My Own Time also features Karen Dalton’s handwritten poetry and journals read by Angel Olsen, music composed by Julia Holter, plus interviews with fans like Nick Cave and Vanessa Carlton, Woodstock creator and Dalton’s one-time label head Michael Lang, country singer-songwriter Lacy J. Dalton, Peter Walker, Peter Stampfel and more. The film was produced by Traci Carlson and Richard Peete at Neighborhood Watch (Blue Ruin, Low Tide, Super Dark Times), and The Hollywood Reporter says, “As [Karen Dalton: In My Own Time] introduces a one-of-a-kind artist to the uninitiated and celebrates her for aficionados, above all it listens – and invites us to do the same.”

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Graded on a Curve: Motörhead, No sleep ‘til Hammersmith

Remembering Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, born on this day in 1954.Ed.

On which the late metal minimalist/ genius/ proud-to-be-a-lummox Lemmy Kilmister delivers the hard rock goods live in a couple of halls not including London’s Hammersmith Odeon. No sleep ‘til Hammersmith features Motörhead at their ferocious and pummeling best, and is the perfect corrective to the lyrical excesses, grand themes, and emphasis on musical virtuosity that characterized much of the metal then popular.

With the able assistance of “Fast” Eddie Clarke on guitar and backing vocals and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor on drums, Lemmy bangs out some tunes (most of them of unfashionably short length and unfashionably fast tempos), announces in DIY fashion that Motörhead is its own damn road crew, and demonstrates that his very hoarse bark has real bite.

Kilmister possessed not a whit of glamor and about as much charm, but that’s exactly what made him so lovable; he wasn’t good looking, his tonsils hardly made the little girls swoon, and when push came to shove he was the perfect antithesis of, say, Robert Plant. “No Class” is addressed to (or so I suspect) some anonymous groupie hanger-on, but Lemmy would no doubt have agreed it applied to him as well; he had about as much class as your average lorry driver, and never pretended to have better manners than your average lorry driver.

In short, you could relate to Lemmy Kilmister. He sang about all of the things you cared about, and said fuck it to the darkest depths of Mordor. He was a creature of the road and of the tedium and excesses that entailed, didn’t give a shit about Xanadu or hobbits, and didn’t want to write the next “Stairway to Heaven” either. He was down to earth, didn’t look like he placed a very high premium on personal hygiene, and probably would have come in handy in a bar fight. He’s as close as English music has ever come to producing an outlaw country musician.

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Graded on a Curve:
Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980–1989

Readers with an insatiable appetite for synth-pop and new wave should prepare themselves for a treat. On September 24, the Dark Entries label is releasing Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989, its ten tracks enlighteningly enjoyable and with a prevailing DIY sensibility that lends appealing cohesiveness to the whole. Just as important is range in both style and temperament, so that the contents are likely to please curious newbies as well as obsessives. It’s out digitally and on vinyl combined with a 12-page booklet printed on neon green, pink and orange paper and loaded with photos, lyrics in Spanish, and background info in English.

Right up front, the most fanatical of synth-wavers mentioned above may already be hip to the majority of the selections featured on this set, as eight of the ten were snagged from Backup: Expediente Tecno Pop, a collection issued in 2005 by the AT-AT label. But as that release was a CD-only affair, the Dark Entries edition earns the distinction of being the first ever vinyl compilation of Mexican new wave and post-punk, with this stature enhanced by two exclusive tracks.

There is also some reconfiguring of sequence, as side one begins with the CD’s twelfth track (out of 13), “Pesadillas” by the Tijuana-based trio Avant Garde. The sound is tangibly Euro-wavy (the cited comparisons are Ultravox and Alphaville), but with fidelity that favors tape hiss over glossiness. While surely not the band’s preference, the modest acoustics do reinforce that Mexican Tecno Pop was largely an underground phenomenon. Instruments were scarce (it was an economically precarious time) and monied record labels were reportedly disinterested).

And as captured audio of a live performance (unreleased prior to the 2005 CD), “Pesadillas” does honestly represent how Avant Garde sounded: rhythmically punchy with a dash of retrofuturist iciness and modest levels of crooning. These ingredients are also present in “Cambios en El Tiempo” by Tijuana four-piece Vandana, but in a song that’s appreciably more anthemic and sporting higher levels of glisten. I’ll submit that Vandana is what Avant Garde would’ve sounded like if they’d gotten into a legit studio, but with the caveat that I’m not operating from a position of expertise with these bands.

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TVD Radar: Learning
To Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen
in theaters 10/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Abramorama announced today that they have acquired distribution rights to Jesse Lauter’s music documentary Learning To Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen. An electrifying documentary jam-packed with music spotlighting the celebrated “Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” Joe Cocker’s short-lived tour featuring a mammoth thirty-piece band, told through the lens of the reunion of 12 remaining band members, 45 years later, to perform with Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks at the Lockn’ Festival. The film features archival footage alongside current performances and interviews with Leon Russell, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Rita Coolidge, Chris Robinson, Jim Keltner, Dave Mason, Claudia Lennear, and many more.

Filmmaker Jesse Lauter stated, “The original Mad Dogs & Englishmen album and documentary played a foundational role in my early years as a music producer and musician, so it’s only appropriate that my first film as a director is about this critical piece of music history. There has always been a shroud of mystery around this tour—how it came about, what was it like, why it never happened again—so I felt it was my duty to reveal the truth, beauty, and yes drama, behind the music, in hopes to uncover why this music has resonated for so many generations. It was the greatest honor of my career to capture this once-in-a-lifetime reunion.”

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks added, “Mad Dogs & Englishmen were one of the groups that inspired us from when we first started our band and paying tribute to their work with so many of the original members on hand was a highlight on many levels. This film is a labor of love many years in the making, and we’re so proud to share the music and the stories of the men and women of Mad Dogs & Englishmen.”

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Graded on a Curve:
This Is Hardcore

Celebrating Jarvis Cocker’s 58th birthday yesterday.Ed.

Some albums give off light; others suck it up like a black hole. They’re so dark you’d need Diogenes’ lantern to negotiate their lightless depths. Such an album is Pulp’s 1998 release This Is Hardcore, one of the most unremittingly bleak LPs this side of Lou Reed’s Überbummer Berlin. The brainchild of Jarvis Cocker, jaded romantic in search of purification through immersion in the squalid, This Is Hardcore is a joyless (but always melodic) diagnosis of the human condition, and the diagnosis isn’t good.

You’ve got the Fear, says Cocker, because you’re taking too many drugs, and you equate sex not with love but with pornography, and you fail your young and are terrified of growing old. And there aren’t enough kicks or kink out there to save you; and even the man who does right is dissatisfied.

Cocker is the same fellow who 3 years earlier had written “Sorted for E’s & Wizz,” which eviscerated rave culture and reduced it to a lost soul who’s seriously lost the plot: “And this hollow feeling grows and grows and grows and grows/And you want to phone your mother and say/’Mother, I can never come home again/Cos I seem to have left an important part of my brain somewhere/Somewhere in a field in Hampshire.'” A nattering nabob of negativity he may have been, but no one else of Cocker’s time–which was marked by a rebirth of pride in the culture of the UK–wrote so cogently and forthrightly about the “hollow feeling” at the core of Cool Britannia.

Pulp was formed in 1978, but it wasn’t until 1995’s Different Class–with its hits “Common People,” “Mis-Shapes,” “Disco 2000,” and “Something Changed”–that the band became bona fide rock stars and reluctant members of the Britpop movement. And while Different Class was chock full of class-conscious satire and dark sarcasm, it sounded upbeat; “Sorted for E’s & Wizz” may well be the cheeriest-sounding song ever written about the down side of a drug culture, while “Common People,” as sarcastic a song as any ever written, is also perky and upbeat sounding.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 47: Real Gone Music’s Gordon Anderson

Much of the music we listen to today comes from different generations. It may be an old favorite like Led Zeppelin, or it might be a group that was under the radar for many years before finally having their hey day long after they’d ceased to exist as a group, like Big Star. Behind the contemporary music scenes, there is a full-blown industry involved in keeping popular records in print and releasing albums that deserve a second chance.

Meet Gordon Anderson who has spent much of his life doing both things. He was the founder of the ubiquitous Collector’s Choice label in the 1990s which—long before streaming—was the easiest and most sonically pleasing way to track down classics from the ’50s and ’60s. After leaving Collector’s Choice, Anderson and his business partner Gabby Castellana have created Real Gone Music, which is, as they describe it, “a reissue label dedicated to serving both the collector community and the casual music fan with a robust release schedule combining big-name artists with esoteric cult favorites.”

With nearly ten releases per month, Real Gone Music probably has something in their catalog that will appeal to everyone, in fact, it’s this populist, all-encompassing acceptance that gives the label its unique spin: if enough people want it, Real Gone Music will try to find a way to serve it up.

Anderson and I take a deep dive into the world of running a record label, the business of music reissues, and the vinyl comeback. We also question what’s going on with our old buddy the CD, and learn about the origins of Real Gone’s celebrated Black Jazz label reissues. It seems difficult to comprehend, but if it weren’t for guys like Gordon Anderson keeping vintage music catalogs alive, you might not even know that some of your favorite music ever existed.

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: Jim Morrison and The Doors, An American Prayer

There’s a game I like to play. It’s called “Who’s the worse poet, Jim Morrison or Patti Smith?” Morrison generally wins by a nose. Like Patti Smith, the late Mr. Morrison viewed himself as a visionary in the grand tradition of 19th Century French poète maudit Arthur Rimbaud, but the duo’s sum contribution to poetry consists of a few decent song lyrics and some very bad books of poetry.

So why don’t I give the nod to Morrison? He wrote “L.A. Woman” for one. And he possessed a sense of humor. “Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts” is a great one-liner, as is “Actually I don’t remember being born, it must have happened during one of my black outs.” So far as I know Smith hasn’t delivered a legitimate quip in her life—she’s far too busy taking herself seriously.

All of which brings us to 1978’s disgraceful American Prayer, which I doubt Morrison would have found amusing. What you get for your wasted money is shit and shinola without the shinola. American Prayer is a dog’s breakfast comprised in part of short (and purposeless) fragments of Morrison spouting off at live shows and “collages” melding well-known Doors’ songs to scraps of Morrison’s verse.

But what you mostly get are tracks on which the surviving Doors add after-the-fact musical accompaniment to Morrison’s poetic detritus. Most of said music is mediocre jazz fusion along the lines of later Steely Dan, although you also get tastes of bad funk and (believe it or not) disco.

American Prayer includes examples of Morrison at his poetic worst. There are too many examples to cite in full, but let’s start with “Lament,” with its lines “Guitar player/Ancient wise satyr/Sing your ode to my cock.” Equally awful is the title track’s “Cling to cunts & cocks of despair/We got our vision by clap/Columbus’s groin got filled with green death.”

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TVD Radar: KISS, Destroyer Super Deluxe 2LP 45th Anniversary Edition in stores 11/19

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Celebrating its 45 anniversary, Destroyer was originally released in 1976 and is considered to be one of the quintessential KISS albums. It is the band’s first album to sell one million copies in its first year and holds the title of being their all-time best selling studio album. Packed with concert staples and KISS Army favorites including “Detroit Rock City,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “God Of Thunder,” and “Beth,” on November 19, 2021 UMe will release KISS – Destroyer 45th in the form of a Super Deluxe 4-CD + Blu-ray Audio box set as well as on standard double black vinyl and limited edition yellow and red double colored vinyl, 2-CD set, and digital. Destroyer 45th can be pre-ordered, HERE.

For the recording of Destroyer, Bob Ezrin was brought in as KISS’s new producer, helping the band reach new levels, both sonically and creatively. The album also showed the band’s growth as musicians and songwriters, experimenting with new sounds which came in the form of the softer side of songs like “Do You Love Me?,” and songs heavy with orchestral arrangements including “Great Expectations” and their Billboard No. 7 hit single “Beth.” Following the breakthrough success of 1975’s No. 9 Billboard charting Alive!, Destroyer was the KISS album that brought them to the forefront of the mainstream and transformed them into global rock icons. For its anniversary, UMe celebrates this seminal album’s legacy with a staggering amount of bonus material.

CD 1 includes the original album newly remastered at Abbey Road Mastering, while CD 2 features 15 demos from Paul Stanley’s and Gene Simmons’s personal archives—9 of which are unreleased. CD 3 is packed with studio outtakes, alternate versions / mixes and single edits—most notably a brand-new stripped-down mix for “Beth (Acoustic Mix),” and CD 4 contains an electrifying performance from the band’s visit to Paris France at the L’Olympia on May 22, 1976.

For the Blu-ray Audio disc, Steven Wilson was brought in to create a first-ever Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround mix of the original studio album plus 2 bonus tracks “Beth (Acoustic Mix)” and “Sweet Pain (Original Guitar Solo)” the latter featuring Ace Frehley’s original recorded guitar solo that was not released on the studio album (this track is available on the 2012 Destroyer: Resurrected project.)

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 46: Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter embodies the best of what a popular singer should be: he’s a suave and stylish songbird with the heart of a poet, painting the lyrics he’s reciting onto his canvas while letting his soul lead the way. With six albums under his belt, he’s had the opportunity to do a little bit of everything, and do it well: from traditional interpretations from the Great American Songbook to more contemporary fare. If that weren’t enough, he’s also a talented songwriter.

Like all of us, Mr. Porter is ready to get the needle back in the groove that his career was in prior to the pandemic which included five Grammy nominations and two wins. In fact, Gregory won two Grammys in the same category, in the same year for two different albums. Has anyone ever done that before?

Porter is back on the road. Our New York City area listeners have one treasured opportunity to catch him in our region at the beautiful New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, September 21st before he jets off to the UK and Europe in November.

So, join us as we discuss his latest work, our mutual affinity for Nat “King” Cole, whether, or not, he’s a vinyl disciple, and hear some secrets about his creative process. You’ll find him incredibly intelligent, insightful, and passionate about his work, and hopefully you’ll walk away feeling lucky that we have a vocalist as skilled as Porter is in our modern midst. I know I do.

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:
The Rolling Stones,
Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out:
The Rolling Stones in Concert

1970’s live Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out is the first Rolling Stones album I ever heard. It was 1974, I was just an impressionable kid, but even so I remember thinking Get Yer Yawn-Yawn’s Out would make a better title. Afterwards I asked my older brother what all the hoopla was about, and he replied that Mick Jagger used to be Satan in the flesh but he’d become an old fart and Alice Cooper had taken his pitchfork. He then recommended that I file the album under D for Decrepit and buy a copy of Billion Dollar Babies. I was inclined to agree. I didn’t catch a whiff of brimstone as Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out was playing, and “Midnight Rambler” in particular struck me as being about as demonic as tapioca. If these were The Rolling Stones, I’d stick with Elton John.

My problem with Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out goes beyond its bogus Satanism. It lacks energy and fire; if Mick and Keith are both elegantly thin, their bloated cover of Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie” isn’t. “Stray Cat Blues” should be alley cat quick—instead it’s a spayed “look at what the Stones dragged in” proposition. “Honky Tonk Women” has a ham-fisted feel, and to make matters worse the cowbell is MIA. Missing! The cowbell makes the damn song.

The Stones turn “Midnight Rambler” into a Saucy Jack mini-musical and kill the song’s momentum during the histrionic and tedious psychodrama that is Act II. The band slows to a crawl, stops playing altogether, then works its way back to a crawl—that “rambler” in the song’s title is all too appropriate.

Somewhat better is show opener “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” although to be honest the part I like most is when Jagger says, “I think I busted a button on my trousers, hope they don’t fall down. You don’t want my trousers to fall down, do you?” I once dated a woman who’d previously gone out with Engelbert Humperdinck (only two degrees of separation from the world’s greatest entertainer!) and she swore up and down he’d said the exact same thing the one time she saw him live.

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TVD Radar: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle 2LP in stores 10/8

VIA PRESS RELEASE | After nearly six decades, a private recording of a rare, nightclub performance by John Coltrane of his magnum opus, A Love Supreme, is set for commercial release.

Recorded in late 1965 on the culminating evening of a historic week-long run at The Penthouse in Seattle, A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle is a musical revelation of historic importance, capturing Coltrane as he began to expand his classic quartet-adding Pharoah Sanders on second saxophone and Donald Garrett on second bass-and catapulting him into the intense, spiritually focused final phase of his career. Today, you can listen to A Love Supreme, Part IV – Psalm. The full album A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle is for release October 8, on Impulse! Records/UMe.

The significance of A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle is heightened by the fact that Coltrane seldom performed his four-part suite after originally recording it in the studio in 1964. Composed and created as a public declaration of his personal spiritual beliefs and universalist sentiment, it became a bestseller and received a GRAMMY nod the next year.

For more than six decades, it seemed the only recorded public performance of A Love Supreme took place at a French festival at Juan-Les-Pains in July 1965 and was released almost twenty years ago. The tape reels containing this performance from October 1965 sat in the private collection of Seattle saxophonist and educator Joe Brazil, heard by a few fortunate musicians and friends-and largely unknown until now.

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TVD Radar: The Black Keys, El Camino 10th anniversary deluxe 3LP, 5LP in stores 11/5

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Black Keys will release a special tenth-anniversary edition of their landmark seventh studio album El Camino via Nonesuch Records on November 5, 2021.

El Camino (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) will be available in several formats including a Super Deluxe edition of five vinyl LPs or four CDs, featuring a remastered version of the original album, a previously unreleased Live in Portland, ME concert recording, a BBC Radio 1 Zane Lowe session from 2012, a 2011 Electro-Vox session, an extensive photo book, a limited-edition poster and lithograph, and a “new car scent” air freshener. A three-LP edition, which include the remastered album and the live recording, will also be available, as well as a special fan club version of the three-LP set. The Super Deluxe version will also be available digitally (full details below). Pre-order El Camino (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) here.

El Camino was produced by Danger Mouse and The Black Keys and was recorded in the band’s then-new hometown of Nashville during the spring of 2011. The Black Keys won three awards at the 55th annual GRAMMY Awards for El Camino – Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album—among other worldwide accolades. In the UK, the band was nominated for a BRIT Award (Best International Group) and an NME Award (Best International Band). The week of release, the band performed on Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, and The Late Show with David Letterman, and later that year, went on to perform their first Madison Square Garden show.

Rolling Stone, which featured the band on its cover around the release, hailed El Camino for bringing “raw, riffed-out power back to pop’s lexicon,” and called it “the Keys’ grandest pop gesture yet, augmenting dark-hearted fuzz blasts with sleekly sexy choruses and Seventies-glam flair.” The Guardian said, “They sound like a band who think they’ve made the year’s best rock’n’roll album, probably because that’s exactly what they’ve done.”

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Graded on a Curve:
Chairs Missing

Celebrating Colin Newman, born on this day in 1954.Ed.

While the punk genre has its share of great albums, and the same can surely be said for the refinements, expansions, and disruptions in post-punk’s playground, the list of those having excelled at both is short indeed. If any outfit makes the cut, it’s Wire. Having delivered the UK class of ’77 a cornerstone LP, their next two full-lengths helped to define the sound of post-punk; they remain amongst the finest records the styles ever produced. Out now through the band’s label Pinkflag are special edition CD books of all three, 80 pages each and sized like 45s, featuring text by Jon Savage and Graham Duff plus additional tracks. Here’s our look at 1978’s Chairs Missing.

The enduring stream of adulation awarded to Wire’s debut Pink Flag can mask the fact that the esteem wasn’t instantaneous. As the printed observations in these CD books helps to clarify, the band was strikingly distinctive as part of the whole ’77 punk shebang, as they garnered a pocket of fervent advocates, including then Sounds writers Jon Savage and Jane Suck, but overall, Wire existed as just one outfit amongst many, and this lack of a microscope of expectation surely allowed for creativity to flourish without the hinderance of unnecessary pressures.

If somewhat ambivalent to the punk tag at the time and in retrospect, it’s pretty apparent now that Wire benefited from their emergence in connection to the sheer tumult of the time. Just as importantly, they weren’t anointed the saviors of its essence, the crucial destabilizers of convention, or the inevitable deliverers of what comes next.

Simply put, making rock music is hard. Making rock music that will produce an immediate audience reaction (and critical response) is harder. And making rock music under outsized expectations has been the end, literal and figurative, of many a band, resulting either in breakups or a nosedive in quality. At the very least, the avalanche of attention will irrevocably change the music.

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TVD Radar: True Love Cast Out All Evil: The Songwriting Legacy of Roky Erickson in stores 11/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | True Love Cast Out All Evil: The Songwriting Legacy of Roky Erickson is due out November 15, 2021 through Texas A&M University Press. “Roky was one of Texas’ most original and unique singer-songwriters,” author Brian T. Atkinson says. “His short time fronting the psychedelic rock pioneers the 13th Floor Elevators in the ’60s made him a cult legend, but his 50-year solo career that followed was barely noticed. Hopefully, this book will shine a light on that important and influential time in Texas music.” This is Atkinson’s fifth book with TAMU Press following volumes on Erickson’s fellow icons Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Mickey Newbury.

In True Love Cast Out All Evil, more than 70 friends including Henry Rollins, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Stu Cook and Butthole Surfers’ King Coffey, as well as disciples such as the Meat Puppets’ Cris Kirkwood, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, the Black Angels’ Alex Maas, and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff testify. “Roky’s voice was undeniable,” Coffey says. “He screamed and yelled like great Texas blues singers — freaky, rocking, weird. Roky was a visionary singer and songwriter.” “Roky Erickson opened the door,” echoes legendary outlaw country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard. “He showed the way. Bands today still strive for what he brought.”

Erickson simply sang like serpents shaded his shadows. After all, the mystical and mythical Austin-based singer-songwriter and psychedelic-drug enthusiast delivered from deepest depths. However, his “transcendence came with a price,” Atkinson writes in the book’s introduction. Through interviews with those who were there and presentation of Erickson’s own words, Atkinson chronicles how Erickson was haunted for most of his life by mental illness, likely compounded by his liberal use of hallucinogens.

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TVD Live Shots:
The Sisters of Mercy
and Jesus Jones at the Roundhouse, 9/10

The Sisters of Mercy returned to the Roundhouse to up the ante on their two sold-out shows back in 2017—and add a third. The Sisters are a national treasure here in the UK, and their shows remain bleeding edge with mastermind Andrew Eldritch firmly at the helm. These shows are so fucking cool because they not only breathe new life into genre-defining songs, but they add the sonic upgrade that can only be delivered in a live setting.

Although the Sisters only gave us three studio albums, they each stand on their own today as goth rock classics. Eldritch goes beyond the pigeonhole of goth and calls them a rock ‘n’ roll groove machine which paints a much more vivid picture of what to expect. Clad in black leather jackets and mirrored sunglasses, these guys are the essence of cool, and the look adds to the mystique. The swirling spotlights and smoke bring the feeling of being at a rave in the ’90s, but the sound is big enough to fill an arena. Half dance party, half rock show, half-man, half-beast—all fun and very entertaining.

The setlist pulled heavily from the three studio records while also pulling in a few rarities and new songs. For years, there have been rumors that new music will be recorded and released, but no official dates or reliable expectations have been set. It seems that if you want to hear new music, you have to go to the live show. Pretty ambitious move, but again, it all adds to the mystique, and it works. While Floodland remains the favorite, I particularly loved Vision Thing (that could be based on my love of ’80s hair metal), but “I Was Wrong,” “More, and “Ribbons” were highlights for me, along with the new song and opener “But Genevieve” which fits right into that era’s sound.

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