The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve: Live LPs from Richie Furay, James Taylor and Carole King, and Graham Nash

The 2022 live concert season looks like it will shape up to be a vast improvement over 2020 and 2021, although as of this writing, the vagaries of the virus continue to complicate people’s lives and create uncertainties. Regardless of how the season plays out, it’s a good time to take a look at some of the better live concert releases that have arrived on store shelves. The live album doesn’t get the love it used to, but many excellent releases come out every year and shouldn’t be overlooked. All of the releases covered here, except for one, are available on vinyl and that one is also out on DVD. For this article, we will cover releases from artists primarily associated with the West Coast ’70s and singer-songwriter album genres.

First off, let’s start with Still Deliverin’ / Deliverin’ Again: 50th Anniversary Return to the Troubadour, Live In Concert, from Richie Furay from DSDK, available as either a two-CD set or a DVD. The Still Deliverin’ title refers to the live album Deliverin’ released by Poco in 1971, a group Fury founded. Furay was, of course prior to Poco, a founding member of Buffalo Springfield.

This live concert consists of two sets, recorded at the Troubadour in West Hollywood from November 16, 2018. The first set is a retrospective primarily of Furay’s non-Poco material, featuring two Buffalo Springfield and solo songs. The second set is a recreation of the famed live Deliverin’ album recorded at Madison Square Garden in 1971.

Furay really makes this material work well. Most of the songs here came from Poco, where Furay was joined by Jim Messina, Rusty Young, Timothy B. Schmit, and George Grantham. Through his sheer talents as a band leader and especially peerless vocalist, he comes up with one of the best live albums in memory. The set where Furay recreates the Deliverin album is flawless and a reminder of what a great band Poco was. Former Poco member and current member of the Eagles Timothy B. Schmit joins in on “Good Feeling to Know.” Poco was never really given its due and the merciless East Coast rock press gave them short shrift.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Gun Club, The Las Vegas Story 2LP, 2CD reissues in stores 6/17

VIA PRESS RELEASE | With a howling and unholy mix of punk rock and the blues, Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club exploded on the L.A. club scene in the early ’80s. By 1984, the band had gone through a few lineup changes and expanded their musical palette to deliver The Las Vegas Story, their most diverse effort to date.

Now the album is back as a super deluxe two-CD/DVD and double-vinyl set, containing a digitally remastered version of the original 11-track album produced by Jeff Eyrich. Both the vinyl and CD versions feature a bonus disc with 10 live tracks recorded at Scorgie’s in Rochester, New York on August 8, 1984. The CD package includes a DVD of rare footage of the band both on and off stage. This isn’t your typical high-gloss concert footage, but rather appropriately rough and raw footage that’ll make you feel as if you’re watching the iconic band in a club. The LP will include an exclusive download link for the video footage featured on the DVD.

For The Las Vegas Story, Pierce’s original Gun Club co-conspirator guitarist Kid Congo Powers returned to the fold after quitting The Cramps to find that Pierce had now become an accomplished guitarist in his own right. Original drummer Terry Graham also was back behind the kit, with his former Bags bandmate Patricia Morrison recruited to fill the bass slot vacated by Rob Ritter (who coincidentally had played guitar in the Bags alongside Morrison and Graham). This is the only Gun Club album to feature this classic lineup.

The CD version includes a 24-page booklet with liner notes by Terry Graham, Kid Congo Powers, and Patricia Morrison as well as producer Jeff Eyrich, and guest musicians Dave Alvin and Phast Phreddie Patterson. It also includes rare photos and ephemera. The LP version, housed in a gatefold package, also includes those liner notes, photos and ephemera.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Zoh Amba,
O Life, O Light

To say that Zoh Amba is making a sizable splash on the current scene is something of an understatement, as O Life, O Light, which features bassist extraordinaire William Parker and the brilliant drummer Francisco Mela, is one of three recordings coming out in 2022 with her name on the cover. Across three cuts (plus one short vinyl-only bonus) she more than holds her own on O Life, O Light, shining brightly throughout. The CD/ digital are available now and the vinyl arrives later this year.

Although currently based in New York City, tenor saxophonist and flautist Zoh Amba is originally from Kingsport, TN. Having moved up north to study with tenor titan and composer David Murray, along the way she attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for two years and more recently the New England Conservatory in Boston.

I’m eager to hear Amba’s debut recording O Sun, which was released by the Tzadik label on March 18 of this year. Along with Amba on tenor, the band on that CD is comprised of bassist Thomas Morgan, drummer Joey Baron, pianist Micah Thomas, and on one track, alto saxophonist and Tzadik head honcho John Zorn.

Did I say eager? Yeah. That’s an attractive lineup to be sure, but the primary reason I’m so amped up to hear O Sun is that Amba plays so exquisitely across O Life, O Light’s appealingly tidy runtime, and in a configuration that effectively emphasizes her music’s similarities to the fiery beauty of the great Albert Ayler. Specifically, both the trio lineup and the instrumentation here is the same as on Ayler’s cornerstone free jazz masterpiece, Spiritual Unity, though there is enough variation in the combined execution to avoid any insinuation of the imitative.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/25/22

CT | Connecticut record stores rekindle memories and resurrects record collecting: In this day and age of music apps and MP3s, there are some that have missed out on the magic of vinyl. Vinyl records give you a sense of classic nostalgia and bring back memories for many. It’s not just the sweet crackle of the analog you hear, it’s the feeling like you’re there in the recording studio hearing the music as if you were getting a personal concert from your favorite artist, these records can bring back memories for many. I am so glad I was a part of a generation who grew up collecting and listening to vinyl records and the recent resurgence in popularity has me looking at building back a collection. I searched for and found some cool record stores around the Greater Danbury area and here are a few that I found.

Cork, IE | 6 of the best record shops in Cork for a dig through the crates: For a music fan, there’s nothing quite like vinyl. Sometimes we have to try out all the new, cool, and shiny before we can appreciate what we had the first time around. Over the last few years, the vinyl revolution has dominated music lovers’ imaginations and increasingly, their collections. Vinyl has clawed its way back from near extinction; due in large part to the commitment of record collectors and DJs. Luckily for us, there are plenty of dedicated record shops in Cork that cater to every taste and budget. Whether you’re eager to get on the vinyl property ladder or just want to add to your collection, head on down to these record stores and flip through the bins

Portland, OR | Too Many Records opens brick-and-mortar Portland store: What started as a tribute to old vinyl records on YouTube has now become the newest music store in Portland. Too Many Records held their grand opening Sunday at their store, 1854 North Lombard. Owner Matt Kessler, who started the YouTube channel that has more than 5 million views, said the brick-and-mortar store will be more than just a place to buy records. “I want to have live performances so I want to give local artists a chance to play music in an intimate setting,” Kessler told KOIN 6 News. “I want to build a music community out here in Portland where people can come in and listen to music and (have) listening parties.” Kessler also started a record label that has released 14 albums. They show off his love for the analog style of listening to music.

Stockton-on-Tees, UK | Attention music lovers: Record Fair returns to Stockton: Records, CDs and music memorabilia will all be on offer when the Record Fair returns to Stockton High Street this weekend. The specialist market, organised by in partnership with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, will be held in Stockton town centre from 9.30am to 3pm on Saturday 28 May, in its new location on the High Street Car Park. Entry is free of charge. Music fans can pick up new and vintage vinyl, CDs and DVDs, as well as books, magazines and memorabilia from a wide range of genres. Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said: “After two years away, the Record Fair will be back on Stockton High Street with plenty for music enthusiasts in the Borough to enjoy. “The marquee in the High Street Car Park space will jam-packed with traders selling new records as well as collectable rare vinyl and memorabilia that can’t be found anywhere else, but even if you’re not an avid collector it’s still a brilliant day out so come along and browse the stalls.”

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TVD San Francisco

TVD Live Shots: Bauhaus and Vinsantos at the Masonic, 5/21

Apparently May 22nd was World Goth Day. Oh, you didn’t know such a thing existed either? Well apparently, someone at San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium was on top of the holiday and had the foresight to celebrate with a pair of concerts by the legendary purveyors of gloom, Bauhaus.

Night one of the weekend double-header was kicked off by Vinsantos, the self-described “witch drag artist” who kept the mood dark as the crowd gathered for what would prove to be nothing short of memorable for fans young and old that dared to think that the opportunity to see Bauhaus live again would ever come to pass.

Taking the stage a hair past 9PM, the original four piece took the stage and launched right into “Rosegarden Funeral of Sores,” the band stepping in and out of the shadows as the bass line dirged on as Peter Murphy’s vocals pierced through the din. A commanding presence on stage, Murphy worked the crowd like a pro, engaging the front row directly without sacrificing the carefully curated vibe.

For their part the crowd soaked it all in and gave it right back, helping the band out on the chorus of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” without prompting and were rewarded by Murphy with fistfuls of red rose pedals. The set peaked with “Dark Entries” that seemed to have the general admission floor on the verge of a mosh that never quite materialized.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD Live Shots: BeachLife Festival, 5/13

BeachLife is quietly becoming one of the premier music festivals in the US. With nearly 40,000 turning out, attendees could not have asked for more over a picture perfect, 3-day weekend in beautiful Redondo Beach. Fans from all over the world rocked out to over 55 bands across four unique stages featuring some of the best live music on the planet today. Whether you were into classic rock, alternative, or reggae, there was something for everybody at this year’s festival.

My initial mission on Friday was to get a lay of the land and better understand some of the improvements BeachLife had implemented since last year’s festivities. Right out of the gate, it was clear that concertgoers encountered a much-improved check-in process where fans experienced few (if any) lines heading into the festival grounds. And if check-in efficiency wasn’t enough, attendees probably noticed a few general layout changes that allowed fans to move about the festival effortlessly throughout the day. For me, moving from stage to concessions to restrooms and then back to the action was as simple as I’d ever seen it at a festival (and I’ve been to many).

From a musical perspective, Weezer and 311 co-headlined BeachLife on Friday. These are some of the ’90s finest, and by the reaction of the capacity crowd at both the Hightide and Lowtide Stages, delivered in fine fashion. Weezer ripped classics like “Hash Pipe,” “Undone – The Sweater Song,” and “Say It Ain’t So,” while 311 tore up standards like “Beautiful Disaster,” “Transistor,” and “Down.” In addition, The Black Pumas and Cold War Kids crushed their respective sets with contrasting sounds and styles that clearly illustrate why BeachLife is such an awesome music festival. Special recognition goes out to DREAMERS, Hoist the Colors, and The Aggrolites for their incredible Day 1 performances.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The Libertines, “What A Waster” 7-inch reissue
in stores 6/3

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To mark its 20th anniversary, The Libertines’ era-defining debut “What A Waster” is being repressed on seven-inch single (backed by original b-side “I Get Along”), while the new “What A Waster Live From The ICA” EP will be made available on streaming services.

This digital only edition features live versions of “What A Waster” and “I Get Along” recorded during the band’s legendary show at the iconic venue just up the road from Buckingham Palace on the original day of release, 3rd June 2002. Preorder here.

Part calling card from the stars, part postcard from the gutter, “What A Waster” dropped you straight in the middle of the energy and chaos that surged through the lives of Pete’n’Carl’n’Gary’n’John. It wasn’t a song to help you get your bearing with a new band, it was a clarion call that made you realise The Libertines would become your whole world.

Produced by Bernard Butler, “What A Waster” came out of the blocks at full pelt, but there was a preciseness and a thought behind its ramshackle charms. Twenty years on from its release, The Libertines’ opening salvo retains a freshness that is as much down to its wisdom beyond its years as it is the youthful exuberance it inspired. Available for the first time, the live recordings of “What A Waster” and “I Get Along” from the ICA show capture the first fruits of a band destined to make a long and enduring impression.

The single and digital EP will be released on 3 June 2022. Stay tuned for Up The Bracket anniversary releases.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Bob Dylan,
Time Out of Mind

Celebrating Bob Dylan on his 81st birthday.Ed.

Lots of supposedly sane folks shouted “Masterpiece!” when Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind came out in 1997; Elvis Costello, to pick a seemingly sober-minded celebrity name out of a hat, said, “I think it might be the best record he’s made.”

Hoo ha, said I. Sure, Time Out of Mind was a marked–no, make that very marked–improvement on the rather desultory couple of albums he’d released before it. So if you wanted to call it a resounding comeback, that was fine by me. But masterpiece? Forget about it.

Well, time has softened me some. I still wouldn’t call Time Out of Mind a masterpiece–so far as I’m concerned Dylan stopped producing them in the mid-seventies, at latest. But it includes at least one song that stands with the very best of his work and a couple of others that are pretty damn good, and that’s not bad for an artist who was born before America entered WWII.

And the album as a whole is noteworthy for its unremittingly dark tone. Dylan sounds lost, desperate even; love makes him sick and has him all mixed up, things are disintegrating, and while it’s not dark yet, it’s getting there. This baby is one long twilight stroll through the graveyard of Dylan’s mind, and he’s not whistling; he taking a reckoning, and wondering whether the journey was worth the cost.

Time Out of Mind is an autumnal, and even elegiac, work; you can practically hear the shadows gathering. The dark and sublimely lovely “Not Dark Yet” is the album’s linchpin and one of the greatest songs Dylan will ever write. On it Dylan finally looks back, if only because there doesn’t seem much ahead; “Behind every beautiful thing,” he sings, “There’s been some kind of pain.” This is the sound of a man sinking beneath his burden of years, and you’re forced to wonder; does he fear the darkness, or look forward to it?

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UK Artist of the Week: WYSE

WYSE is a producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who hails from the South Coast of England. Her dynamic, layered alt-rock sound is perfectly illustrated on latest single, “Run Away,” and we are delighted to make her our UK Artist of the Week.

“Run Away” combines angular guitar and pumping percussion as the track undulates throughout. Accented by WYSE’s aggressive lyricism and unique vocal, “Run Away” is a fiercely driven alternative modern rock song.

WYSE received a well of press support for her debut EP “Anomolies” from BBC Radio to Atwood magazine in the States. “Run Away” is one of a number of singles to be released as the talented artist prepares to unveil sophomore EP, “Allusions.”

“Run Away” is in stores now and is taken from the “Allusions” EP, out 29th July.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
V/A, Soul Jazz Records Presents: Studio One Women Vol. 2

As a label based around the musical activities of Jamaican producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, Studio One’s output is almost comically immense. By extension, the Soul Jazz label’s extensive reissue dive into the Studio One vaults, which has been underway since the early 2000s, is showing no signs of running thin on quality. The latest offering in the series, Studio One Women Volume 2, is a model of consistency as it offers a variety of island reggae styles. It’s expected May 27 on double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with a download code, and on a single compact disc.

To drive home the enduring vitality of Soul Jazz’s Studio One endeavor, it’s stated by the label that many of the tracks on Vol. 2 are impossibly rare, and in some cases, are being reissued for the first time. This only heightens the set’s thematic focus as the quality and the scarcity of the contents are primed to satisfy reggae newcomers and seasoned fans alike.

Numerous high-profile artists are featured, however. By my count, seven artists are reprised from Volume One, which Soul Jazz released in 2005, also on 2LP and CD. Of the returning singers, Marcia Griffiths is the most prominent, and on two of her three tracks she’s backed by Sound Dimension, Studio One’s house band, led by bassist-vocalist Leroy Sibbles with contributions from such heavyweights as guitarist Ernest Ranglin, keyboardist Jackie Mitoo, and saxophonists “Deadly” Headley Bennett and Cedric Brooks.

Both “Melody Life” and “Shimmering Star” are pop-savvy rocksteady groovers amply spotlighting Griffiths’ vocal prowess. Likewise, the set’s concluding number, the flip side to Griffiths’ recording debut from 1966 (“Wall of Love”), a nifty version of the oft-covered “You’re No Good.” First cut by Dee Dee Warwick and a chart hit shortly thereafter for Betty Everett and the Swinging Blue Jeans (long prior to Linda Ronstadt’s ’74 version hitting #1), Griffiths’ reading of “You’re No Good” is the nearest Vol. 2 comes to straight-up R&B (notably, the style that was Dodd’s primary early inspiration).

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 5/24/22

Colchester, UK | Colchester’s Best Days Vintage launches vinyl venture: The owners of an independent business specialising in retro clothing have said they “believe in the power of records” after launching their new vinyl venture. Steve Hurdle and Jez Dixon are the familiar and friendly faces of the ever-popular Best Days Vintage, located in Eld Lane, Colchester. Since opening their shop in 2013 the fashionistas have prided themselves on kitting out the town’s younger generation in a range of cool and unique garments. In recent years the store has started to offer counselling sessions in addition to a safe space in which customers can enjoy tasty hot beverages and a calming chit-chat. Steve and Jez have now founded Best Days Vinyl, a new project which will see them offer both new and second-hand records from established and local artists.

Klang Valley, MY | 7 Record Stores In The Klang Valley For All Your Vinyl Needs: In the age of Spotify and free digital streaming platforms, you would think that vinyl records are a thing of the past. But as it is with fashion, it’s all cyclical, and the vinyl movement in Malaysia is making a solid comeback. Some may argue that it never left, but that’s a conversation for another time. Not into the oldies? You’ll be glad to know that vinyl records extend beyond the sounds of the 70s and 80s. Most respectable modern musicians still release their albums on vinyl because it simply sounds better. It isn’t just the nostalgia of listening via turntable either, as vinyl playback is the closest one can get to what the musicians intended for their songs to sound like. But don’t just take our word for it, head on over to one of these record stores in the Klang Valley area to pick out an album or two and listen to them for yourself.

MY | Stream time: Talking vinyl collecting in Malaysia, beat of the mridangam: This Aswara (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage) mini documentary, presented by its faculty of creative writing and film, gives viewers a glimpse of vinyl culture in Malaysia. The localised views definitely sets it apart from the usual international vinyl chatter. In the last 10 years in Malaysia, there has been a big revival in record collecting, and a healthy secondary market for used local vinyl has emerged. The arrival of several independent record shops (since 2014) and online vendors has added to the buzz. But the days of affordable records and cheap digs are rare now. Prices have shot up due to various factors (mainly the weak ringgit) and there have been question marks if young collectors can sustain this hobby, which can be an expensive one.

Worcester, MA | Worcesteria: A trek in search of retail shopping downtown: …That was certainly the case at Joe’s Records on Friday. I didn’t even intend to buy anything, I just found myself in the neighborhood and realized I hadn’t browsed there in ages. Honestly, I don’t even own a record player, but I still love the look and feel of vinyl. I don’t have a lot of deep sense memory connections, but the feel of a vinyl record is definitely one of them. As to the rest of the merchandise, do I have use for a Johnny Cash lunchbox? No, I do not. Do I really want the Johnny Cash lunchbox on display? Yes. Yes, I do. I also had to stop myself from buying a Rush T-shirt for the sole reason that someone posted an old pic of me from the ’90s wearing one on Facebook, and I kind of miss it. I left with a set of Police pins, because I was starting to feel guilty about not buying anything and I’ve been listening to the album “Ghost in the Machine” a bit lately.

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TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: Royal Blood and Cleopatrick at the 9:30 Club, 5/19

The sold out 9:30 Club felt tropical last Thursday night as Royal Blood made a stop in Washington, DC on its Typhoons tour. Canadian rock duo Cleopatrick provided support.

Security provided water to those in attendance; the sold out club felt like a sauna. It hardly seemed to matter to the crowd, which collectively lost its mind over the English rock duo (vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher), touring to support its latest album, Typhoons, the first since 2017’s How Did We Get So Dark?. It wasn’t just a great gig, it was one of the very best I’ve seen in recent years.

Canadian rock duo Cleopatrick kicked off the night. In thirty minutes, they showed they are musical kin to Royal Blood, blasting the crowd with a steady stream of aggressive rock, which was infused with punk energy. While drummer Ian Fraser provided the rhythmic backbone for each song, Luke Gruntz played guitars with an intensity that set the tone for the rest of the night.  The already full club responded with an enthusiasm usually reserved for headliners.

Singer-bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher took the stage at 9PM sharp and kicked off their set with two songs from the new album, “Typhoons” and “Boilermaker” (with additional support from a keyboardist who sang backup). The set drew from all three Royal Blood albums, weaving the loud, sexy, metal-edged rock of their early tracks (which famously got the attention of Jimmy Page), such as “Loose Change” and “Out of the Black,” with the more danceable, but equally hot, new material. Wow, does it ever work—the crowd spent 90 minutes nearly bouncing off the walls.

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TVD Cleveland

TVD Live Shots: Turnstile at the
Agora, 5/18

Baltimore’s Turnstile have been around for a decade but are just beginning to get their credit due. Their 2021 release Glow On received critical acclaim for good reason—it fucking rocks. Ever since, this hardcore band has been catapulted into the mainstream. They’re also one of the most exciting live bands around.

Each member of the band—Brendan Yates, Franz Lyons, Daniel Fang, Brady Ebert and Pat McCrory—have such captivating stage presences that it’s hard to know who to focus your eyeballs on. Especially since you’re probably headbanging. Or crowd surfing. Or screaming along to the lyrics.

Catch them on tour this summer and you won’t be disappointed. That’s a promise.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Beastie Boys, Check Your Head 4LP box set reissue in stores 7/15

VIA PRESS RELEASE | To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Beastie Boys’ multi-platinum album Check Your Head, on July 15, UMe will release a limited-edition reissue of the rare 4LP deluxe version of the album, originally released in 2009 as an artist store exclusive.

The long out-of-print and much sought-after box set features the 2009 remaster of the original double album, plus two extra LPs of bonus content including remixes, live versions, and B-sides. All four LPs are pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a fabric wrapped, stamped, hardcover case. The Check Your Head 4LP box set can be purchased at participating independent retail outlets and will also be available to pre-order exclusively through the Beastie Boys online store, HERE.

Originally released in April 1992, Check Your Head was a milestone for Beastie Boys on multiple levels: It was their first album to be produced, in its entirety, by Beastie Boys with Mario Caldato Jr. and to feature keyboard player keyboard Money Mark, as well as the first to be recorded at the band’s own G-Son studios in Atwater Village, CA. Most significantly, however, Check Your Head marked the return of live instrumentation to the forefront and backbone of the Beastie Boys sound, with the bulk of the album featuring Mike D on drums, Adrock on guitar, and MCA on bass for the first time since the band’s early 1980s hardcore punk recordings.

Featuring the now-classic tracks “So What’cha Want,” “Pass The Mic,” “Gratitude,” and “Jimmy James,” Check Your Head stormed the U.S. Top 10, ultimately returning Beastie Boys to hard-touring, platinum-selling status, and setting the band up for the pop cultural dominance it would achieve in the decade to come.

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New Release Section

New Release Section: Suede, “She Still Leads Me On”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The London Suede return with the announcement of Autofiction, their ninth studio album, due for release on September 16, 2022 via BMG and available to pre-order HERE.

Later today, The London Suede will debut the brand new single “She Still Leads Me On” live on stage at a headline performance in Belgium at Brussels’ Cirque Royal. Fans can livestream the performance HERE from 4 PM EDT. Following a premiere on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6Music show this afternoon, the new single is available to listen to now, HERE.

As The London Suede began work on the songs that would become Autofiction, they decided to go back to basics. In a move that recalled their most formative days, Brett Anderson, Mat Osman, Simon Gilbert, Richard Oakes, and Neil Codling schlepped to a rehearsal studio in deserted Kings Cross to collect a key, hump their own gear, set up and start playing.

Speaking about Autofiction, Brett Anderson said: “Autofiction is our punk record. No whistles and bells. Just the five of us in a room with all the glitches and fuck-ups revealed; the band themselves exposed in all their primal mess.” Autofiction was recorded live at Konk studios in North London with long-time The London Suede collaborator, Ed Buller. Ed first worked with the band producing their debut single “The Drowners,” which sees its 30th anniversary this month.

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