The TVD Storefront

TVD Video Premiere: ZAALWE, “Lakeside”

Zane Allen West, aka ZAALWE, has been a fixture in many different notable bands, collaborating with artists ranging from R&B to progressive metal (Tiny Gun, Joanna Teters, Citris, Jak Lizard, Mid Atlantic Title, to name a few). Now he is releasing his first solo project, a long overdue venture into his fully-formed artistic identity, ZAALWE.

The multi-instrumentalist has an innate knack for lush arrangements, crafting dreamy bedroom pop that is chock-full of substantial, heartfelt songwriting. Concerning the pastoral music video, ZAALWE notes, “The ‘Lakeside’ visual was captured in rural Alabama. I felt the property that my partner and I briefly stayed on was a Garden of Eden type paradise. We all have to leave what we perceive to be paradise sometime, be it a relationship that is comfortable but may not fulfill you. Leaving the comfort of your family home to create your own life.

Quitting a job you’re unhappy at that may afford you more than enough but isn’t close to what you want to be doing with your life. These types of life events that require this leap of faith that we all go through, which the dive is symbolic of. It’s about the feeling of responding to that call to grow that you can’t refuse—honoring the inevitable growing pains.”

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Laurie Anderson,
Tenzin Choegyal,
Jesse Paris Smith,
Songs from the Bardo

Eastern spirituality has inspired a lot of music, with only a small percentage aptly assessed as substantial. An even tinier amount rises to the level of artistry found on Songs from the Bardo, the new release from NYC avant-garde cornerstone Laurie Anderson, multi-instrumentalist, composer and musical director Tenzin Choegyal, and multi-instrumentalist, composer, and climate activist Jesse Paris Smith. Described as a collaborative composition featuring Anderson’s readings from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the results are contemplative and exploratory without ever meandering into facile formlessness. A major work, it’s out now on 2LP, CD, and digital from Smithsonian Folkways.

It might read as if I’m being unnecessarily hard on music that’s infused with Eastern spiritual-philosophical qualities. Twenty years ago, that would’ve been true, and I’d probably have expressed matters much more harshly (and with less maturity), but in the ever-loving now I’m merely riffing on Sturgeon’s Law (and that’s not to suggest Ted’s maxim is the gospel truth).

I’ll add here that the term Eastern spirituality is a rather severe generalization, so let me highlight the specific; Songs from the Bardo is described by the label as a “guided journey through the visionary text of the Tibetan Book of the Dead,” the enduring masterwork of Nyingma Buddhism, with the intention to open up the philosophy’s traditions to current and future generations as both pure listening and a store of insightfulness.

Accompanying downloads are certainly useful, but for those buyers with working turntables, they are generally inessential. In the case of Songs from the Bardo, which does offer the card with the code, this observation is somewhat arguable, as listening to the music in one uninterrupted stream, having done so now numerous times, feels optimal.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/16/19

Austin, TX | Get Drinks, California Burritos, and Records at Austin Newcomer Troublemaker: The new bar and store is taking over the old Hightower space. The team behind East Austin restaurant now-closed The Hightower revealed what they’re turning the 1209 East Seventh Street space into: a bar and record store called Troublemaker. The name is from Willie Nelson album, which was released in 1976 and features popular songs like “Uncloudy Day.” It’s aiming to open sometime in late October or early November. Hightower/Troublemaker co-owners chef Chad Dolezal and general manager Victor Farnsworth are partnering with Austin record shop End of an Ear and co-founders Dan Pluckett and Blake Carlisle. (The record shop, which opened in 2005 on South First, relocated to near Ben White on Clawson Street in 2016). That means actually selling records, as well as letting people play records from the store’s stock and bringing their own. There are also plans to host live music.

Newcastle, UK | Thieves smash their way into popular Newcastle record shop leaving owner furious: The record shop was left covered in rubble after the thief broke in through the basement and knocked through the walls of the store. Thieves have ransacked a West End record shop leaving the owner devastated. Beyond Vinyl, on Westgate Road, was targeted by thieves early on Saturday who made off with £1,000 in cash, as well as an iPad and a small amount of stock, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. David McGovern, who owns the shop, was left stunned after realising the business had been broken into and fears it may cost thousands to rectify the damage. Mr McGovern, said: “When I arrived at the store on Saturday morning, everything seemed normal. “It wasn’t until I went behind the counter and found the till smashed that I realised we had been targeted.” Upon assessing the damage, Mr McGovern says he believes the culprits broke through the wall above the fire exit to gain access.

Saskatchewan, CA | Former army mechanic keeps record players spinning: Dave Lindhorst isn’t sure where the turntable on his kitchen table came from. “It’s definitely a homemade rig,” he said. Lindhorst runs a small record player repair business. The former army mechanic doesn’t advertise but has customers from all over the Saskatoon area. The enterprise is a labour of love for Lindhorst. He owns almost 20 turntables — including one he built himself — and has several hundred albums. He fixes turntables on the kitchen counter because there isn’t space left in the spare bedroom. His passion began when he was posted in Germany several decades ago. “I had a really nice, high-end turntable that’s highly sought after. And I thought if something happened to me somebody would get it for pennies on the dollar so I decided to sell it,” he said. “Immediately after selling it I got seller’s remorse.”

Lincoln, NE | Motorcycle crashes spur Lincoln man to open record store: Two motorcycle accidents in the span of a few months changed the course of Rich Tuttle’s life. He had spent the past 12 years working at a pizza restaurant, but he had to have shoulder surgery after the second accident, and he no longer felt like he could do the work required. As he was considering what kind of a job he could or would want to do, he thought to himself, “I’ve got all these records around, let’s open a record store.” Tuttle, who’s lived in Lincoln his whole life, said he’s been collecting records, cassette tapes and CDs for several years. Much of it has just been one at a time, but he said he’s also bought collections from others, including more than 3,000 records from a collector in Missouri that he found on Craigslist. Tuttle said he worked on the idea of a record store on and off for about a year and a half but got serious about it after visiting a cousin in Augusta, Georgia, who owns one. “I said, yeah, I need to do this,” he said.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live: Shovels & Rope at the 9:30 Club, 10/9

PHOTO: CURTIS WAYNE MILLARD | Like the White Stripes before them, Shovels & Rope bring the two person, man and woman, guitar and drums lineup to life. The exception is that they dwell more in country roots, with Appalachian gospel seeping through their down-home harmonies and lots of wistful tales of traveling on the road.

But there’s more—in addition to the drum work, Cary Ann Hearst also plays a short Korg keyboard and harmonica (sometimes at the same time). At times, she also gave up her drum seat for the guitar of her husband Michael Trent, who also switches around from acoustic and electric guitar, to drums, piano, harmonica, mandolin and keyboard.

Though the duo showed in a headlining show at the 9:30 Club in DC Wednesday that they have the kind of songs that could benefit from a larger outfit backing them, they resolutely kept it a twosome. They don’t even have a roadie handing them guitars or tuning, maintaining a busker’s approach as if they were always ready to go back to playing smaller venues or, if fortunes really change, to the streets.

But look around: It was a large crowd that came out to see them and many knew their older songs well enough to sing along without squinting at the lyrics that had been painted on five backdrops behind them—for decorative purposes only. (Also part of the stagecraft: a pair of busts covered and wrapped as if by Christo). It was a strange crowd though—one of those who fill a room but aren’t entirely quiet enough for the quietest parts, with yammering going on in corners of the room, as if the duo were there as background music for their party.

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots:
Flogging Molly, The
Devil Makes Three, and Le Butcherettes at the Greek Theater, 9/26

It doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day to get your party on when Flogging Molly comes to town. Their Thursday evening session at Berkeley, California’s Greek Theater with co-headliner Social Distortion proved that again to be the case.

The evening kicked off with a fiery set from Le Butcherettes that featured a mesmerizing performance by vocalist Teri Gender Bender which demanded the attention of the gathering crowd. A quick change-over later and The Devil Makes Three was on stage and the general admission floor was packed. Hailing from Santa Cruz, TDM3 is pretty much considered a local band in these parts and the crowd welcomed them as such, dancing and singing along with a fervor that’s rarely reserved for the opening acts.

As the sun set over the San Francisco Bay, the drinks were flowing and the eager crowd was sufficiently lubricated as Flogging Molly took the stage, Dave King toasting the crowd with a can of Guinness, before appropriately launching into “Drunken Lullabies.”

Even with a co-headliner in toe, playing Berkeley’s Greek Theater with a capacity just shy of 6,000 was an ambitious endeavor. And while certainly nowhere near sold out, at no point did the venue feel empty; in fact, the extra elbow room on the general admission floor made room for some pretty epic pit action … I mean, what else are you supposed to do when the band busts out “Devil’s Dance Floor?”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Jay & Silent Bob Reboot OST “weed green” vinyl edition in stores 11/129

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Entertainment One (“eOne”) is excited to announce the CD & digital release of Jay & Silent Bob Reboot – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, on November 1, 2019 at physical and digital retailers everywhere. The 26-track soundtrack features 13 dialog clips as well as 13 musical tracks, including Moby Rich, Nappy Roots, REO Speedwagon, P.M. Dawn, the tenth, Mary Born and more. Director Kevin Smith executive produces, while Amine Ramer serves as music supervisor and producer of the collection.

Jay & Silent Bob Reboot is an all-new, 2019 American comedy film written, directed, edited, and starring Kevin Smith. Referring to his 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Smith has described the film as “literally the same fucking movie all over again.” It is intended to be the seventh film in the View Askewniverse. The film also stars Jason Mewes, and features Smith regulars, including Jason Lee, Brian O’Halloran, plus other classic cameos. The film will be shown on over 600 screens as a two-night Fathom event on October 15 and October 17. Co-stars Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes then commence a special 60+ city tour on Oct. 19th, personally attending 80+ screenings through February 2020.

Kevin Smith says, “I grew up listening to movie soundtracks. We had no home video or internet back then, so a soundtrack was the only way to keep the experience going after the movie ended. A soundtrack is still an amazing way to relive a movie, and eOne let me put together a selection of songs that summon up not only Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, but a few of my other flicks as well! Many thanks to my partners at eOne for keeping the magic of movie soundtracks alive in our Reboot record!”

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TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: The Frampton Sisters

First there were The Gallaghers, then The Jonas Brothers, and now? Well it’s The Frampton Sisters of course! This fabulous folk duo have just dropped their debut single and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

The Frampton Sisters—aka Freddie and Charlie Frampton—are certainly not new to the music scene, but it seems they’ve chosen to take their time with their first official release and it’s definitely paid off. “Birds Of A Feather” is a stunningly intricate piece of folk-pop that will give you all the feels.

Fans of the First Aid Kit and Lily and Madeleine will inevitably draw comparisons to the duo, but what these siblings have acquired so uniquely is an undeniable connection, making their harmonies 100% on point throughout. Utterly glorious. 2020 is looking like an extremely exciting year for this rising duo. Watch this space.

“Birds Of A Feather” is in stores now.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Tomeka Reid Quartet,
Old New

When the conversation turns to jazz, the integration of tradition and innovation is a reliable topic of discussion. Hey, it’s right there in the two adjectives that make up the title of the sophomore effort from the Tomeka Reid Quartet. Featuring the leader’s cello on nine selections alongside guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Jason Roebke, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, Old New is a superb blend of historical heft, contemporary verve, and unified personal expression. Rather than a tactic faltering into a trope, a high level of quality is sustained, partly because the combination of then and now isn’t belabored or overly codified. Instead, it just sounds natural. The CD and digital are out now on Cuneiform Records.

Make no mistake, in addition to the roles of bandleader, composer and arranger, Tomeka Reid is a player of distinction, and only partially due to her chosen instrument, the cello, persisting as somewhat unusual in the jazz scheme of things. It should come as no surprise that prior to her move into jazz, Reid was focused on classical music, a realm where the cello is much more common.

In the promo notes for this release, Reid mentions that one of her early gateways into jazz was a book of basslines by Rufus Reid (no relation), and one would be hard-pressed to come up with a deeper example of jazz’s core principles than that. She then moved from Washington, DC to Chicago, which stands as one of the enduring hotbeds for the music’s intermingling of tradition and stylistic growth.

There, she met flautist-composer Nicole Mitchell and other members of the AACM (Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians) as she began playing at the Velvet Lounge, a venue then owned and operated by the late and very great tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson. Reid’s contribution to the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s excellent We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration, released earlier this year, could perhaps be taken as a culmination of her Windy City activities, but really, her work is just as notable for its fluid, evolving trajectory right up to Old New.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/15/19

UK | Revealed: The surprising problem which may have hampered HMV’s success in the past: HMV hit the headlines today after the company announced it will be opening its largest store in Birmingham – but an unearthed article has offered an explanation as to why this former family favourite has been so close to closure in the past. HMV has opened a 25,000 sq ft shop called HMV Vault in the midlands city, which it claims will be a “nirvana for music and film fans”. The store will sell vinyl, CDs and DVDs and offer a live performance area. The brand used to be the go-to place for music or film requests, but since the rise of the digital era and streaming services, the chain has gradually become less successful. Canadian businessman Doug Putman took over HMV UK in February this year, saving it from administration and rescuing 100 stores from closure and 1,600 staff from unemployment. He also acquired HMV Canada two years ago and merged it with the record store chain Sunrise Records.

Parkersburg, WV | Collectors show draws vinyl enthusiasts: The first Mid-Ohio Valley Record Collectors show, held in March, was a success. The second, held Sunday afternoon, appeared to be just as popular. More than 30 vendors, including some from our area, sold vinyl records, tapes, CD’s, and other music-related items. Other vendors came from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and other states. Similar shows have been held in nearby larger cities such as Columbus, Pittsburgh and Dayton, and have attracted local collectors. “It was a gamble to bring this kind of event to the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Aaron Whited, one of the organizers, “because it’s something that had never happened before. But the event seems to get bigger and bigger every time we hold one of these. It kind of comes full circle bringing in these people we usually see at all the shows we usually travel to… It’s an amazing thing.”

With Streaming And Vinyl Growing — What About CDs? Between the still-growing music streaming services and the return of vinyl, the compact disc is in danger of disappearing. As the medium becomes more rare, some of those CDs stacked up on your bookshelf could actually be valuable. Most won’t, of course. For financial purposes, most are no more of an antique goldmine than cassette tapes. But there are a few rare CDs that still could fetch some serious coin. Is It The Real Slim Shady? Before you chuck them in the garbage, see if you have Eminem’s 1997 “Slim Shady EP” from 1997. Likely you don’t, because only 250 copies of it were sold, and only a few more than that made. The CD has sold online for more than $800, and on Amazon, it starts at nearly $6,000. Without shipping. According to a Michael Jackson memorabilia and collectors’ website, a withdrawn two-track Austrian version of the King of Pop’s “Smile” CD is one of the rarest and most sought Jackson memorabilia items, and could fetch $1,500. The site says watch out, though, because it’s also a frequently bootlegged item.

Dallas, TX | Twenty-two turntables memorialize black people slain by police in ‘American Monument.’ After pulling the plug on an earlier exhibition, Dallas artist Lauren Woods has found a new home for her work, a dark and deeply researched one. Last Sept. 16, Dallas artist Lauren Woods abruptly walked out of the reception for her multimedia installation American Monument at California State University Long Beach’s University Art Museum. After the firing of the museum’s art director, Kimberli Meyer, five days beforehand, Woods decided to put her show about police brutality and the killing of African-Americans on hold indefinitely, in an act of protest. A year later, however, her exhibit has resurfaced at the Beall Center for Art + Technology at the University of California, Irvine. Meyer was Woods’ chief collaborator on the exhibit in its original incarnation, and her dismissal, for which Cal State did not initially provide an explanation, led Woods to believe the university was attempting to kill American Monument. A statement released later by Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, who was dean of the university’s College of the Arts at the time, disputed this.

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots: The Who and Liam Gallagher at the Chase Center, 10/9

Since San Francisco’s Chase Center opened a little over a month ago, it has packed the house with some of the biggest acts in the world including The Who’s “Moving On!” Tour which, for the third time since the Chase Center’s opening (Metallica’s two S&M shows being the others), featured a full orchestra.

Liam Gallagher’s brief 25 minute opening set was mostly met with apathy on and off the stage as the San Francisco crowd gathered (though it should be acknowledged that 7:30 on a Wednesday evening is not an ideal set time for anyone). Clearly the crowd was there for the evening’s headliners and every seat in the house seemed to fill quickly as the crew prepared the stage while the 48-strong orchestra and conductor Keith Levenson started to set up and settle in for what would prove to be an epic evening.

The band took the stage a smidge past 8:30 and launched into the instrumental “Overture” from Tommy as frontman Roger Daltry bashed away on a pair of tambourines. The band continued on with the Tommy material, the orchestra providing a nice but not necessary dimension to the material without overshadowing what was a truly inspiring performance by Pete Townshend. The crowd totally lost their shit when Pete broke out the windmills during “Pinball Wizard” as Roger spun his mic around.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Joy Formidable, A Balloon Called Moaning 2-LP 10th anniversary edition in stores 10/25

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Joy Formidable have announced the release of a special commemorative 10-year double album edition of their acclaimed debut release A Balloon Called Moaning.

The double album, due October 25 via Hassle Records, will include their 2009 EP “A Balloon Called Moaning” plus a newly recorded acoustic Welsh language version, “Y Falŵn Drom.” A Balloon Called Moaning (10th Anniversary Edition) will be available on double CD and double coloured vinyl, limited to 1000 copies and can be pre-ordered HERE. In celebration of A Balloon Called Moaning / Y Falŵn Drom, The Joy Formidable are pleased to announce a North American tour this winter, “The Ten Years Floating Tour” as well as the recently-announced co-headline acoustic shows with Devotchka. All upcoming shows are listed below and tickets are available HERE.

Written and recorded in a bedroom over a decade ago by lead singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan, and bass player and vocalist Rhydian Davies in North Wales, A Balloon Called Moaning was an instant hit. Rated 8/10 by NME, it was the first of the band’s releases to feature their now iconic single”Whirring”—a track that was named amongst Pitchfork’s Top 100 Tracks of The Year and described as “the song of the year” by Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl.

In the passing decade, as the world tours, festival main stages and stadium shows have racked up, it has always been especially important to the band that they continue to recognise and highlight the importance of their Welsh heritage. In this new anniversary edition, each song from the original release is re-worked acoustically and presented again in the Welsh language.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: 2Pac,
Thug Life: Volume 1,
25th anniversary vinyl reissue in stores 11/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Interscope Records announces the release of a 25th anniversary vinyl reissue of Thug Life: Volume 1—the only studio album from Thug Life, the group founded by rap legend and cultural icon Tupac Shakur. In addition to the vinyl reissue, the anniversary celebration includes the release of all-new Thug Life merchandise, including t-shirts, a hoodie, jacket, overalls and beanie. Album t-shirt and hoodie will also be available as a purchase bundle with vinyl.

Initially released on September 26, 1994, Thug Life: Volume 1 received gold certification from the RIAA. Among the album’s notable tracks are “How Long Will They Mourn Me?” ft. Nate Dogg, a reflective but powerful piece featured on 2Pac’s diamond-selling double-album Greatest Hits. In addition, the largely-self-produced Thug Life: Volume 1 includes tracks like “Pour Out a Little Liquor” (which also appears on the soundtrack to Tupac’s 1994 film Above the Rim), “Cradle to the Grave,” and “Str8 Ballin’.”

Prior to forming Thug Life in 1993, Tupac had established himself as a formidable new force in the hip-hop world with his 1991 debut album 2Pacalypse Now and 1993’s platinum-certified Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. With its unapologetically honest and deeply personal look at street life, Thug Life: Volume 1 is widely considered a crucial midpoint between Tupac’s early work and his history-making, diamond-selling, massively influential 1996 album All Eyez on Me.

ABOUT TUPAC SHAKUR | Though his recording career lasted just five years, Tupac Shakur is one of the most popular artists in music history, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Over half of his eleven studio albums have sold in excess of three million copies each, and two of his releases—1996’s All Eyez On Me and his Greatest Hits collection—have received diamond certification, with sales of over 10 million copies each.

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The TVD Storefront

Lady Lazarus,
The TVD First Date

“I think the best way for me to articulate my love and appreciation of vinyl is in moments. Because vinyl is so tangible, analog, “in the room,” it dictates in its essential form how and where you listen to it.”

“It’s not easily portable—unless you’re a DJ and that’s your thing. It’s physical, a “slow” form of music consumption, and best for home listening. And unless you have a fancy, multi-vinyl-flipping record player (which I don’t), you’re forced to actually sit down and listen to a whole side of a record before turning it over or changing albums. The whole mechanics of playing vinyl naturally lends itself to listening to records in their entirety. Vinyl both forces and creates intimacy. And the most memorable moments in my life I’ve experienced listening to vinyl reflect this push to human closeness.

Growing up, my parents had a big old, wooden record console and we’d play Thriller, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, and many other records they had in their small but solid catalog. Me and my little brothers were even entrusted to use the thing ourselves, and we’d put the records on, and dance and play around in the living room for hours. Looking back, I don’t think there was a time beyond that in our family where we were as close, and vinyl happened to be one of the things that united us then.

When my ex-boyfriend and I started dating and later moved in together, he didn’t have a record collection, but we immediately spent a lot of time playing the records I had, smoking, and drinking wine. It slowed us down. Made us sit and just be, and it was beautiful. Over time, we inherited a box of some incredible records from our friend and neighbor—All Things Must Pass, The Concert for Bangladesh, Van Morrison’s Beautiful Vision, and others—records that would come to have a great influence on me.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
The Who,
Live at Leeds

Many have called the Who’s 1970 Live at Leeds the best live album of all time. Me, I’ve always scoffed. It made no difference that I’d never actually sat down and listened to it. A good rock critic doesn’t have to actually listen to an LP before passing judgment on it. He simply knows, based on gut instinct and certain arcane and occult clues, whether an album is a dud or not. In the case of Live at Leeds, there are three clues to the album being rated far greater than deserved.

The first is the LP’s inclusion of “Summertime Blues,” a song that has always given me hives and put me off my dinner of Hormel’s Chili on hot dogs, which is the impoverished rock critic’s version of pan-fried foie gras with spiced citrus purée. The second is that Live at Leeds suffers—if only in one notable case—from that early seventies affliction, song bloat. You know what I’m talking about: live albums where the bands stretch their songs to extraordinary lengths, in some cases obscene two-sided lengths, forcing the stoned listener to stand up, stagger to the stereo in a Tuinal haze, and turn the damned record over to hear the second side. Finally, there was the issue of song selection: six tunes, three of them covers, with none of the covers being particular favorites of mine. And I’ve never been a big fan of one of the originals, “Magic Bus,” either.

Which has always left me to wonder, “What’s in it for me?” And I’m not alone; in particular, Live at Leeds failed to impress those twin pillars of rock criticism, the generally unintelligible Greil Marcus, who called the music dated and uneventful and the ever-crotchety Robert Christgau, who singled out “Magic Bus” for special abuse, calling it “uncool-at-any-length.”

Besides, I’ve always been more than satisfied with the three Who LPs I consider indispensible, namely Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, Who’s Next, and Quadrophenia. As for the rest of the Who’s catalogue—including Tommy—I had no use for it. But having finally listened to the Live at Leeds, I’m flabbergasted; it may not be, as critic Nik Cohn called it, “the definitive hard-rock holocaust,” but it does rock balls, probably because the Who was the best live band in the world at the time.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/14/19

Calgary, UK | Prairie Records Tops the Charts: Named Top Cannabis Retailer in Canada at Grow UP: Singing a different tune in cannabis retail, the award win is a testament to how Prairie Records is offering Canadian’s a truly unprecedented purchasing experience. It is extremely gratifying to have Prairie Records be recognized at one of the industry’s largest events and to be able to stand out amongst a field of very worthy retail competitors, says Adam Coates, Chief Commercial Officer at Westleaf and Retail Brand Strategist for Prairie Records. We set out to make waves in a sea of sameness by creating an immersive experience like no other in the marketplace, and we are pleased and honoured to receive this, the first Grow UP Conference retail award. Ten companies were nominated in the Grow UP retail category at this year’s event, the first for the industry. Among the nominees were independent stores and well-known national chains. Prairie Records was recognized based on delivering an unparalleled consumer purchasing experience and creating a welcoming brand for cannabis consumers.

Kelowna, BC | Vinyl-loving couple to sell records inside Kelowna collectibles store: A Kelowna couple has decided to partner up with a collectibles shop in the city, giving record-lovers a new spot to get their vinyl fix. Doogie and Rita Irvine have been actively collecting LPs and 45s since the ‘60s, garnering over 50,000 albums and singles along the way. After decades of adding to and caring for their collection, the pair decided that they wanted to share the love and bolster their retirement fund by selling it off. “We never made the complete switch to CDs,” said Reta. “The sound quality of vinyl is just so much better,” added Doogie. “We just kept collecting albums and it was always our plan that when we retired to have our collection help fund it, so we are lucky it has come back in such a big way,” laughed Rita. For the last 10 years, the Irvines have been traveling and setting up makeshift shop at vinyl fairs across the country, selling their beloved records to the new wave of waxheads.

Manningtree, UK | Vinyl shop shortlisted for best small shop gong: A wine and record shop has been shortlisted in a national competition which celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on high streets. Winyl, an independent record and wine store based in South Street, Manningtree, is in the running to be named Britain’s Best Small Shop by the Independent Retailers Confederation. Winyl specialises in new, special edition vinyl and some vintage vinyl, which has been cleaned and graded. The shop hosts regular free events and clubs. Mark Walmsley, chairman of the Independent Retailers Confederation, said: “It’s all about recognising the community and culture that is independent retail.”

Belfast, IE | HMV to open more new stores over the next year: The owner of HMV said the company will return to opening new stores over the next year, just eight months after it shut a raft of high street shops after being rescued from administration. Doug Putman, who purchased the music retailer in February, said the business will pump cash into new sites and refurbishments. He said the retailer is “under-indexed in London”, saying there is room for expansion in the capital as the company eyes new locations for its growth strategy. Mr Putman revealed his ambitions ahead of the launch of HMV’s largest ever store, which is being called HMV Vault, at Dale End in Birmingham. The store, which the retailer said will be the largest entertainment store in Europe, is due to open on Friday after a “multimillion-pound investment” in the new site. The store, which will stock more than 100,000 LPs and CDs, has been constructed with a large performance area at its centre and will be launched with a live performance by former One Direction singer Liam Payne.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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