Friday, July 31, 2009

TVD's Parting Shots

Well, sure. The Finn family is from New Zealand which technically IS down under ‘Down Under.’ So, for ME, it’s works as a bit of a capper to the week...

Tim Finn - Charlie (Live) (Mp3)
Tim Finn - Six Months In A Leaky Boat (Live) (Mp3)
Byrdhouse - Eight Miles High (Live) (Mp3)
Crowded House - Throw Your Arms Around Me (Live) (Mp3)
Crowded House - One Step Ahead (Live) (Mp3)
Finn Brothers - Mary Of The South Seas (Mp3)
Liam Finn - This Place Is Killing Me (Mp3)
Split Enz - Message To My Girl (Live) (Mp3)
Crowded House - Heaven That I'm Making (Mp3)
Split Enz - I Hope I Never (Live) (Mp3)

TVD & Leerone | On the changing nature of the music industry... 1,000 FREE Downloads

...in which we welcome back TVD's good friend Leerone:

I'm a Featured Artist this week (July 29-August 4) in the Microsoft Windows Sponsored Songs program, a campaign Microsoft is doing to advertise their newest Windows Media Player. What does it mean? 1,000 free mp3 or mp4 downloads by indie artists. My song "here on earth/The Opening" is one of ten songs omnipresent here: Myspace.com/Windows and available for free download.


The Sponsored Songs program was launched by ReverbNation.com, a social networking site created to help musicians turn emerging online technology into marketing tools, fanbase monitors and, ultimately, money makers. In more sugar coated terms, it’s a place where genuine music enthusiasts can easily browse, sample, and discover music from established and emerging artists, and where artists can distribute their music across the web regardless of where people want to go get it.

Sponsored Songs is an opt-in program for select artists that use ReverbNation.com as their online marketing platform. 1,000 out of the site's 400,000 indie artists were selected to join the pilot program (by pilot, they mean it is a trial run). Artists are paid for each qualified download, and are shown the exact advertisement for their approval prior to the campaign launch.

Who is the sponsor paying these starving artists for their music and giving it away for free? Microsoft Windows. The program is the latest in the trend— large companies using independent music to reach new audiences. The music can lead the brand into new markets, and simultaneously offers bands a new avenue of access to potential fans while earning the band a pittance.

ReverbNation is probably the most artist-friendly social networking site that I have come across and that says a lot as my music is pretty much on every significant music site there is (I’ve done the research!). “We treat Artists like we would want to be treated,” says Lou Plaia, vice president of artist relations at ReverbNation.com.

The three month campaign will provide reach metrics to the participating brand (in this case, Microsoft Windows) by tracking the songs with a digital watermark as they move through peer-to-peer networks.

According to Jed Carlson, chief operating officer of ReverbNation, “Sponsored Songs aligns the interests of artists, fans, and major brands, creating a win-win-win situation where free music is a shared goal that benefits all parties.” I (want to) believe this statement is true and I’m honored to be included in the program.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

TVD Down Under | Day Four

I’ve taken a particular shine to both bands from Down Under today. As a matter of fact, we named bluejuice’s ‘Vitriol’ our top track for last year and they indeed (along with our friend Will) put this whole week into motion. So, without any further delay...

"Hello from bluejuice. We're a band from Sydney - a band that will do almost anything to get to the top. We'll sell our souls by spending years of our existence in relative obscurity as a stodgy funk band. We'll make a desperate grab for fame by being independent and self-managed for 7 years. We'll tour the country over and over again, and sometimes sleep in the van just like the celebrities we admire so much. We are truly shameless in our quest for overnight success. Let's hope we never make it.

Anyway, we've been described as many things, "punk-hop" being the most recent; "shit" being equally as recent and slightly more relevant. We've just released our first single from our second album, which was produced by Dr Chris Shaw, a Godly man known for his penchant for lip balms and fine red wines. He also has a history of working with people we'd throw up on if we met them - Bob Dylan, Public Enemy, Weezer, JSBX, Paula Abdul. That dude has cyborg ears.

I spent many hours as a youth in various independent record stores in Sydney's CBD - Waterfront, Red Eye, and Good Groove. Waterfront Records was a brilliant place that fulfilled my all of my teenage desires (well...mostly) when the owner asked me to look after the store while he went outside. He was gone for all of ten seconds, but in that ten seconds I felt like a Nerd God. I also felt like making off with his entire collection of JSBX rarities. Sadly, Waterfront is no more, possibly due to their breezy adherence to store security."


bluejuice - Broken Leg (Mp3) The new single!
bluejuice - Vitriol (Pious Edit) (Mp3)
bluejuice - Vitriol (E.L.F. Remix) (Mp3)





"We are a rambling, Melbourne, alt-acoustic, pop four-piece called Skipping Girl Vinegar. I'm obsessed with melody, pop hook and the craft of songwriting. We spent way too long writing and recording the material for our debut album, which took close on four years. It was, however, a process of growing up as writers and trying to stretch ourselves to make something with as much substance as we had within us.

Our name comes from a 1930's, old world neon sign located in Richmond, Melbourne, Australia that features a girl skipping in neon. The girl is belovedly known as 'Audrey' the Skipping Girl Vinegar. She is an old, cracked, underground, pop icon of Melbourne that we felt an affinity with and that is deeply rooted in our childhood memories of driving past at night.

I love independent record stores; they have been a haven for me to discover new music. They are usually run by obsessed music lovers with an encyclopedic knowledge that can turn you onto something new as well as reference you back into influences from the past. Two of my favourite ones in Melbourne are Basement Discs and Polyester Records. We are big supporters of indie stores, who are a life blood for emerging and underground bands. We created an Audio Library bag for our debut album which was exclusively available at indie stores and online from the band in an attempt to support and thank these stores for their support.

I was buying CD's in an indie store yesterday - I need credit card intervention!"

Cheers,
Mark


Skipping Girl Vinegar - Sinking (Mp3)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TVD Down Under | Day Three

There’s actually a photo of Michael Hutchence holding an INXS fan club newsletter with the cover I drew. Snicker if you will, but back in 83/84 they were it for me. There was a newness and a rawness to them in the “Shabooh Shoobah” era that really got me—which didn’t slither fully into that LP’s follow up “The Swing.” Nevertheless, INXS was on heavy rotation.

As I’ve remarked before, songs or LPs are like little pin-pricks of memories for me. In particular for whatever reason, I’m reminded of a mid-June afternoon as school was winding down. We were on half days then and I had come home just before lunch time.

My dad was off at work and mom was standing in front of the bathroom mirror in our coral green bathroom, WCBS newsradio on, cig churning in the ashtray, and we just had a chat. About which I don’t actually recall, just the visual lingers, and afterward I headed down to my little artist studio in the basement where the stereo and the LPs were and grooved on track one, side two of ‘The Swing’ - ‘Johnson’s Airplane.’

‘Four long lines one darker than the rest
Each one has a purpose making borders on the land
Farmer's pride you know he works real hard
From a small aeroplane you can see the fields...’

Last night when I arrived home the phones were ringing like mad. The cell, the house, the cell, the house. The care manager I’ve hired for my mom was trailing the ambulance with her inside as they careened to the emergency room. Mom, at 84 now, had taken a tumble in the kitchen and was knocked unconscious and passed out and had remained on the tile floor until the aide returned that evening to prepare dinner.

Ultimately she became lucid but had a number of pains and precautions were warranted so strapped to the gurney she was and zipped across town to the hospital.

I inhabit pin-pricks of pin-pricks of memories as new ones manifest from the same source material.

‘Four long years one leaner than the rest
The animals are thin and the pasture's dry
Farmer's pride if the weather doesn't lie
From a small aeroplane you can see the sea
Lots of blue very deep blue...’



INXS - The One Thing (Extended Version) (Mp3)
INXS - To Look At You (Mp3)
INXS - Here Comes II (Alternate Version) (Mp3)
INXS - Original Sin (Original 12" Dance Mix) (Mp3)
INXS - The Swing (Mp3)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TVD Down Under | Day Two

Day #2 of "TVD Down Under"...and boy is my jaw tired. (I kid, I kid...)

But hey - Scotland, Ireland, England...step right up for your theme weeks, emm kay? Publicists/promoters get in touch...


...anyway, now where were we?

"We are the five piece band called Special Patrol. We come from a little town in the deep south of Australia called Adelaide. The isolation down here makes for some mind numbing drives. The nearest city to us on a national tour is a nine hour drive and the next one after that, Sydney is sixteen hours away. With five members plus a sound guy in a car one can lose their mind quite easily.

We have been making music for years and the process is one that we enjoy like nothing else… apart from being tickled under the arms... man that tickles! We started making music in high school and have now made three albums and two EP's. We are just gearing up to release the third album recently named "The Stranger's Dozen".

Our favourite record store is a tiny store in the town of Adelaide called Big Star Records. This store stocks all the local bands plus a great selection of national and international artists, has creaky floorboards and home made record shelves. If you are ever down this way come and say hi."


Special Patrol - New Years Eve (Mp3)

"The Paper Scissors (TPS) play rock music that borrows from all of our favorite songs and styles from the past 50 years, and tries to consolidate these into pop music. We come from Sydney, Australia which is a big pretty city, but doesn't have the healthiest of music scenes, there is definitely room to move and play shows and get known, but a lot of the time people are too busy barbecuing or dining al fresco to go and see music. We don't really consider ourselves a part of the scene because we don't really exist as just musicians, we are all pretty chilled - dorky actually - exchanging cooking tips, talking about David Lynch films and drinking tea.

Sydney is a great place to live and write, but you need to escape as much as possible. Our music is usually based on groove and simplicity, but then layered on top of with lyrics and melodies that strive to be memorable and universal- personal stories from cathartic times that have enough ambiguity that people can still project themselves into the story. Sonically though, it usually takes this catharsis and turns it on its head and into something that has elements of fun and joy that hold hands with the darker noisier bits.

We made an EP in 2006, an album in 2007 and just released The Howl EP in July 09. Howl sees us evolving and growing up and is a good snapshot of where we are heading. Our next release is going to be our first vinyl, we are planning on doing a 7 inch single later in the year which is fucking exciting.

My favorite record store in Sydney is Red Eye Records in the city - Red Eye stocks a lot of good vinyl and they have 2 stores- one for new and 2nd hand, and the other one is just 2nd hand. They have in-stores and I love going there to trade, giving them old shit I don't listen to anymore and getting store credit in my hot little hands..."


The Paper Scissors - Howl (Mp3)

Monday, July 27, 2009

TVD Recommends | Jazz Corner of the World 5th Anniversary Party, Wednesday, July 29

You’ll find TVD up at CafĂ© Saint Ex this Wednesday night saluting the 5th Anniversary of Saint Ex’s Wednesday night DJ residency, The Jazz Corner of the World.

Joining DJ Birdman and DC Digga will be original partner DJ Fatback as well as very special guests Larry Grogan—Funky16Corners for those unaware—who will be bringing a distinctly 45 slant to the proceedings—not to mention DJ Neville C and DC's own DJ Provoke. Special giveaways and other party favors will be available as well. Also this Wednesday they’re going all night long in celebration of the anniversary, from 7pm til the bartender closes up shop.

TVD asked DJ Birdman to hit us with a little background and some tracks representative of the evening’s playlist...and he did just that:


"One of the best things about a DJ residency is the opportunity to broaden your own musical horizons in an attempt to keep things fresh for your patrons (and yourself). Of course, when you have a Jazz night, as we have now held down for 5 years, often you find yourself digging deeper in an effort to give shine to artists who don't find themselves a likely subject for a Starbuck's CD comp or even as incidental background in an NPR piece.

The names Grachan Moncur III and Herbie Nichols don't feature prominently in the broader histories of the music, and frankly, rarely see much ink in specific histories that focus on Blue Note Records. Blue Note, that most famous of jazz labels, is really all these musicians have in common. That, and the fact that mainstream canonization of their recordings simply never happened, despite their substantial contributions. These are just two of the forgotten men of Blue Note.

Pianist Hebie Nichols is often referred to as 'The Neglected Genius'. Most frequently compared to his friend Thelonious Monk for his modern style, Nichols' trio work in the mid 50s (with greats Art Blakey and Max Roach often drumming on his sides, as well as bassist Al McKibbon) is thrilling to hear. His piano lines are percussive and full of controlled energy and innovative melody that only become more pronounced with closer listening. In his lifetime he only released 2 10" and 1 12" LP on Blue Note, and a handful of dates for other labels, and for vinyl junkies, the best bet is his 2 LP 70s collection, 'The Third World', which is much easier to find than the original pressings.

For a compelling portrait of Nichols and his tragically short career and life, the book 'Four Lives in the BeBop Business' by A.B. Spellman is invaluable. In addition to Nichols, this 1966 tome celebrates the iconoclastic careers of Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and fellow Blue Note artist Jackie McLean.

Jackie McLean is the artist that first brought Grachan Moncur III to musical prominence. The trombonist, who plays McLean's perfect foil on the landmark 1963 Blue Note recording 'One Step Beyond', would go on to record only two dates as a leader for Blue Note, the exceptional 'Evolution', and 'Some Other Stuff'. Far more of an avant garde modernist than Nichols, Moncur was of that generation of players who had created 'The New Thing' happening in the early 60s, but were still experimenting within a recognizable structure (ie. still swinging). Though not what may typically regarded as Free Jazz today, his Blue Note material was still very challenging to mainstream audiences and the jazz buyers alike. Light Supper Club Jazz this was emphatically not.

While a leader on only two Blue Note LPs, Moncur did continue into the 70s recording for BYG/Actuel and has released new music with larger ensembles as recently as 2007. His work as a sideman is considered to be some of the most underrated contributions in Jazz, on recording dates by Wayne Shorter, Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Joe Henderson and Sunny Murray.

These two innovative and generally unsung musicians demonstrate just how deep the ocean of Jazz is, and how it's sunken treasure continues to enrich and surprise all these years later."


Herbie Nichols - Cro-Magnon Nights (Mp3)
Herbie Nichols - Amoeba's Dance (Mp3)
Grachan Moncur III - Air Raid (Mp3)
Grachan Moncur III - Thandiwa (Mp3)

TVD Down Under | Day One

Time was, say the 80’s or early 90’s, when it seemed that there was a new band from Australia achieving some level of international success by the hour. The ubiquitous Men at Work, INXS, Midnight Oil, Crowded House to the less than mainstream The Birthday Party, The Saints, Radio Birdman, Mental As Anything, Hunter & Collectors, The Church, Divinyls, Hoodoo Gurus, The Go-Betweens, The Triffids...and the list can easily go on.

So, what happened? Certainly there’s still fine music being made down under, but why hasn’t it reached our collective ear-shot?

I don’t have an answer to that rhetorical, but I do have a number of bands this week—all from Austrailia—who merit an introduction to a far larger audience.

So, you can tell your friends TVD’s spending the entire week down under for you. Cuz we’re givers. (With a penchant for double entendres.)


"Phil from Grand Atlantic here. Greetings from the Australia! We’re busy at the moment getting ready to release our second album, entitled “How We Survive.” It’s a collection of songs that we’re very proud of. Most of the tracks are about making sense of life in the 21st century with all the emotions, fears, dramas and good times that we all experience on a day-to-day basis. We’re also very proud to be working with Laughing Outlaw Records in Australia – an independent label that really cares about its bands and putting out good records. It’s been great for us to have that filter down and be able to see our album come out in some fantastic independent record stores.

We’ve got a fabulous record store in Brisbane, where we are based; it’s called Rocking Horse and it’s basically a Brisbane institution for the music fan. The shop has been in existence for over 30 years and has moved locations several times. Every time I go in there, I walk out with an armful of vinyl records – second hand and new. It’s the kind of place you could spend hours and loads of cash…but it’s totally worth it. Anyway, if you get the chance, check out our tunes… Hope to catch you round sometime soon…"


Grand Atlantic - She's A Dreamer (Mp3)

"G'day, were Barrel House - a band from the mid-north coast of Australia, we have been together for nearly 2 years now and have toured constantly, our shows have ranged from multi award winning festivals to the dark corner of a bowling club on bingo night. In a perfect world you show up to your gig, set up, sound check, have a few moments to get yourself together, play the show, pack up, wind down and go to bed. The first thing you'll learn about Barrel House is these chain of events very rarely run smoothly and whether it be a festival or a bowling club there is always a story! We have just finished our new EP "Open Road" which is a very fitting title and is a good representation of where the band currently at, thanks to the support of independent record stores we are able to get our music in stores around the country, making all of our touring much more worth while. So stay tuned for more band info and plenty more crazy touring stories…"

Barrel House - Open Road (Mp3)

Friday, July 24, 2009

TVD's Parting Shots

I played drums for a number of years and like to think I’ve gotten to be a good time keeper, but alas I nearly missed it this week – TVD turned two.

I was rereading last year’s ‘we turned one’ post last night, which if you’re sorta new here, you may want to give a once-over in regard to back story and how the minute and thirty seconds you spend with us each day came to pass.

In fact, read it twice because very little of my sentiments have changed to any degree beyond being in awe that the blog is still clicking along after so many weeks and this being the 900th post.

I don’t think I look for any affirmation from this endeavor although it has come along in varying guises—Best Blog lists, Record Fairs, and being named the official blog for Record Store Day 2009. I often wonder what if I didn’t wake up that Sunday morning two years ago and begin tinkering with Blogspot and slapped the first incarnation of TVD together? What if I just rolled over and and kept dreaming?

For now though, here’s ten from the past two that struck a chord.


Guillemots - Get Over It (Mp3)
David Vandervelde - Nothin' No (Mp3)
The Dig - She's Going To Kill That Boy (Mp3)
Action Painters - 456 (Mp3)
I Am Kloot - Over My Shoulder (Mp3)
Starling Electric - Black Ghost/Black Girl (Mp3)
MGMT - Electric Feel (Mp3)
The Martial Arts - Summer Tweed (Mp3)
The Changes - Her, You And I (Mp3)
The Joy Formidable - The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade (Mp3)

TVD Recommends | Ed Hamell's 'The Terrorism of Everyday Life'

Y’know, Ed’s right. I’ve seen him live maybe 20 times now, and despite my persistent blogging, it really is word of mouth that fills the seats. Despite this, we asked Ed to do his best to impart what you’re in for—blog-style:

"They've asked me to Blog a bit as to what you can expect to see if you were to choose to see my show. Hell if I know. First of all why are you reading this? Do you have too much time on your hands? Are you scrutinizing each and every blog by each and every fringe act? Are you familiar with my work and wanna see what kind of wackiness I'm gonna write? I'll give you some basics and I'll shoot from the hip. It's a one man show, pretty biographical, got a lot of hard hitting music, a bunch of social commentary, and you should, if all goes well, be pretty entertained, challenged and laugh your ass off. It's a reality show. Not like the ones on T.V. that are scripted and insult your intelligence. I'll respect your intelligence and tell you the truth, albeit in a humorous way. I've been kicking around doing my potty mouth anarchistic folk punk for about 10 years and decided a couple years ago that I would script and mold it into a more theatrical setting. Hired a really great director, Kate Valentine who was a heavy hitter in the New York City Art/Burlesque scene and signed onto new management, "The Invasion Group" who brought the world the great comic genius Bill Hicks. My good buddy Ani DiFranco produced the entire venture and we brought our show over to Scotland for The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest in the world. I was honored to have won the coveted Herald Angel Award. Three thousand acts and they only pass out seven of those babies so it was extremely flattering. Now we tour the States and Europe with the production and we'll be bringing it to Washington. Looking forward to it. But the real deal is as follows: Opening night will be a fair showing. How big is the venue? 120 seats? I'll have 40. But those 40 will tell their friends because maybe they're punk rockers and they respond. Or maybe they're artists with a dream who toil away at a thankless job and they need a shot of inspiration and so they get it that night and tell their friends, "I don't know how to explain it but you got to see this guy". Because were you to tell me, "Hey, he's bald, he plays the guitar like he did a kilo of Red Bull, he yells at the crowd, he's got a foul mouth and I laughed until I pissed my pants but then he made me cry and sing songs about genitals with my parents" I don't know that I'd be buying a ticket to wait in line either. Or maybe you got elderly parents and you don't know how you're going to afford to take care of them or you just lost your job and you don't know how you're going to keep your house and you just want 75 minutes, (or how ever long they're going to let me explode) to forget all your troubles. Then I'm your guy. And you're going to tell your friends and I can guarantee by the last night we're gonna have a full house. Blogs ain't gonna sell it. I could wallpaper my bathroom with 5 star reviews from The New York Times, Playboy, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, The London Times and if truth be told that ain't gonna sell it. Word of mouth sells it. So...I hope you come out, I give 150% every night and I hope you spread the word. Watch the sparking demons escape from my brain."



Catch Ed Hamell’s ‘The Terrorism of Everyday Life’ as part of the Capital Fringe Festival this weekend at The Warehouse—Saturday, July 25, at 9:00pm, and Sunday, July 26, at 3:00pm.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

TVD On Your (AM) Radio

Around the time MJ passed away, someone commented on one of the many TV and radio broadcasts that he felt lucky to have had ‘Thriller’ as a kid because, at a very early age one doesn’t ‘choose’ music, your environment and surroundings dictate what's consumed more or less.

Now, in the ‘70’s when I still counted my age in single digits, AM radio out of New York City (WNBC and WABC respectively) was omnipresent in my home. If you were to ask me then, I would have convinced you with the utmost sincerity that my two favorite bands were The Beatles and KISS—but I was absorbing so much more without even knowing it.

So, if you haven’t detected it already, we’re bringing some of that background music to the fore this week.

Oh—and you parents out there? I’d consider just tossing the radio out the window. Just pitch it. Y’know, for ‘the kids sake.’


Donna Summer - MacArthur Park (Original Promo 7'' Version) (Mp3)
The Emotions - Best Of My Love (Mp3)
The Floaters - Float On (Mp3)
Jigsaw - Sky High (Mp3)
Paul Nicholas - Heaven On The 7th Floor (Mp3)

TVD Class of '75 | "Kickin'" by The Mighty Clouds of Joy

On which gospel meets Philly soul and makes it all the way to No. 2 on the Billboard dance chart.

The Mighty Clouds of Joy came out of Los Angeles in 1960 as a traditional gospel group. By the early '70s, they started developing a more secular sound even as they kept the faith. This joyous, upbeat record, from 1975, is proof.



"Mighty High" is that dance hit. "Leanin'" clearly is inspired by the O'Jays' "Love Train." Then there's a funky, mashed-up cover of Kiki Dee's "I Got The Music In Me" and Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." Still not sure what to make of that.

The Mighty Clouds of Joy - Mighty High (Mp3)
The Mighty Clouds of Joy - Leanin' (Mp3)
The Mighty Clouds of Joy - I Got The Music In Me/Superstition (Mp3)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

TVD Live Tease | Paul Michel w/Caverns, Hammer No More The Fingers, Thursday (7/23) at Velvet Lounge

Back in November of last year, Washingtonian did a little Q&A with yours truly and at the time they poked me to name my favorite band or act in DC. I had one name for them then and I remain consistent; Paul Michel.

Don't believe me? Fine. Paul plays tomorrow night at Velvet Lounge with the equally awesome Caverns and Hammer No More The Fingers - so, y'know, you do the homework and check 'em out live.

And hey, Paul - whatcha got in store?


"I'll be playing some songs off the new album, JUNE. Been working on this album for like a year and a half, and I'm really excited about we've been able to produce. It comes out this fall, and we're beginning to play out to help promote the thing. So, though we're in the nascent stages of the touring cycle, it's going to be fun to play songs that we've never played before live, and the energy should be really great. Mike Ushinski, the motha-fuckin best drummer in the world, is playing drums, too. And my boy Sean Davenport's on the keys. I'll also have a shiny, new Macbook Pro doing all other musician-related activities - so it'll also be fun to see what a complete technology meltdown looks like.

Other reasons: we're playing with a couple rad bands, Caverns and HNMTF, who rock in schizophrenically different ways. The one thing that joins us all is badassery. Which is French for, "we like to bring it." These guys are extremely fun, both to watch and to hang out with, and the whole thing is sure to be a blast. It always is with those dudes. Plus, it's the Velvet Lounge. I remember once seeing Mastodon play there and almost falling through the floor. Near death experiences always make a show better!"


Paul Michel - Statues (Mp3)
Paul Michel - Brand New Car (Mp3)

TVD First Date with | Fort Knox Five

You’ve certainly got to hand it to Fort Knox Five. Not just musicians, not just DJs, these guys actually run their own label and are consistently dropping vinyl right along with any digital output. We shot some questions over to FK5’s Jon Horvath and in honor of our second birthday today, we’ve got the entire interview below along with some seriously select tracks:

How important is Vinyl to Fort Knox Five and Fort Knox Recordings?
Vinyl is very important to Fort Knox Five and Fort Knox Recordings. We founded the label on vinyl. It supported our label's growth. In the last couple of years, we have started focusing on digital releases, but still releasing everything on vinyl. The great thing about digital music, is it does not cost anything to release. Making records is very expensive. To keep our label in the vinyl business, we recently signed a P&D deal with Groove Distribution for our vinyl releases.

Do you still play vinyl records?
Generally for dj gigs, we use Rane/Serato Scratch. It is excellent for live shows. You have an unlimited crate. That helps with being able to rock any situation. It still has sound quality flaws, but for the most part, it works very well. Although, nothing sounds quite like vinyl.

Does vinyl have any advantages over digital music?
In the old days, vinyl had many more advantages. It was much harder to bootleg a vinyl record. Vinyl only releases are also more limited than digital music. Some tunes only exist on vinyl. At least until someone rips them. The main advantage of vinyl is its warm sound quality. Digital music can never emulate that warmth.




As a DJ, what do you prefer and why?
In the old days, we were strictly vinyl djs. We did play some exclusives off of cd, but generally it was all vinyl. Nowadays, we use Rane/Serato Scratch to perform. It is amazing. It eliminates the need for carrying lots of records for gigs. It feels great for our backs, but also it is nice to keep the records in mint condition. We used to go through numerous copies of a big record. Now you can make a digital copy, and then the vinyl stays mint. We like that. It is really nice to play exclusives, and our new tracks like their records.

You recently released a remix as a 7" vinyl single to celebrate 60 years of the 7 inch record, how did that come about?
We released FKX018 - Radio Free DC Remixed Vol 5 in celebration of the 60 year anniversary of the 7 inch Record. It features remixes by Ali B of Air Recordings & Fabric, and Boca 45 of Dynamo Productions. A lot of our friends were throwing parties to celebrate its 60 year Bday. We decided what better way to honor its Bday than to have a 7 inch release. The remixes are serious future funk!!

What vinyl have you released recently and will release soon?

There are always tons of releases in the pipeline. We are in the process of releasing the Radio Free DC Remixed Vol 1-10, as well as a double gatefold 2x12" release of the Radio Free DC Album. We have gotten about 8 releases into the RFDC Remixed Series. They are all being distributed by Groove Distribution in Chicago. We also have some new artists on the label, that will be featuring vinyl releases. We are in the process of manufacturing the first Nappy Riddem's record called Nappy Riddem, featuring remixes by All Good Funk Alliance, and QDUP Foundation. Nappy Riddem is a collaboration of Rex Riddem, Mustafa Akbar, and Hash Vyas. A new See-I 7" release of "How Could You" will follow that. This will include a Rodney Hunter Remix. We also just completed 4 new Fort Knox Five songs for The New Gold Standard Vol 2. This will be released in October, and feature lots of VINYL!!!!


Fort Knox Five - Killa Soundboy (Sub Swara Remix) (Mp3)
Fort Knox Five - Uptown Tricks (Shimon's Trix Radio Mix) (Mp3)
Fort Knox Five - Not Gonna Take It (Rob Paine Remix) (Mp3)

TVD | 2


Big Star - Nighttime (Mp3)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TVD On Your (AM) Radio

"An upper level low pressure system spins over the region today and will keep it overcast with limited sun. Areas of rain and some late-day storms are possible. Highs will climb into the low to mid 80s. Overnight, expect partly cloudy skies and an isolated shower/storm and lows in the mid to upper 60s.

This unsettled pattern will continue through the remainder of the week as high pressure sets up off the Atlantic coast. This will make for a chance of showers and thunderstorms each afternoon through the weekend. Highs should reach the low to mid 80s each day, finally bumping back into the upper 80s late into the week and into the early part of the weekend.

Though we may not want a rainy week in the summer, the region desperately needs it, as our region is averaging about 2 inches below normal for rainfall in the month of July. So while showers and storms are forecast each day, by no means will it be a washout. Have a great day."


Nick Gilder - All Because Of Love (Mp3)
Elvin Bishop - Fooled Around And Fell In Love (Mp3)
The Babys - Isn't It Time (Mp3)
Ace - How Long (Mp3)
Player - Baby Come Back (Mp3)

Monday, July 20, 2009

TVD Remembers | Gordon Waller

After the Beatles conquered America in 1964, many other British groups found transatlantic fame and fortune. The first song of this British invasion to top the American charts was Peter and Gordon's A World Without Love, composed by Paul McCartney. The duo were Peter Asher (brother of Jane Asher, the actress) and Gordon Waller, who has died aged 64 of a heart attack.

Peter & Gordon - A World Without Love (Mp3)
Peter & Gordon - Crying In The Rain (Mp3)
Peter & Gordon - Knight In Rusty Armour (Mp3)
Peter & Gordon - Lady Godiva (Mp3)

TVD On Your (AM) Radio

I was commenting recently in regard to growing up that I think the best gift parents can give their children is the gift of fond memories and peace of mind. I know – often a tall order, but I stand by it.

And I can’t help it...summer comes around and I’m nostalgic for summer times that don’t involve the city, or a commute, or a day job, ...or anything else but Sweet FA. And the score to those daydreams is sweet, sweet 70’s AM radio goodness.

So, this week as we did last summer, it’s a dip into the ol’ ‘70’s box of 45’s. But if you had been keeping score previously, we’re endeavoring to not duplicate last year’s flashback in our pursuit of pure 70’s mellow gold. (I mean, have YOU ever been mellow?)


Harry Nilsson - Without You (Mp3)
Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown (Mp3)
America - Tin Man (Mp3)
Jim Croce - I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Mp3)
Neil Sedaka - Laughter in the Rain (Mp3)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

TVD Aches (On a Sunday Night)

Sometimes you ache for a person, other times for a place. A fragment of your past where you left memories and friends. You may be glad you've gone, but you still wish once in a while that you could go back. Home.

Ryan Adams - Oh My Sweet Carolina (Mp3)
Jay Farrar - Dent County (Mp3)
Gillian Welch - Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons cover) (Mp3)
Ray Charles - Georgia on My Mind (Mp3)
Whiskeytown - Jacksonville Skyline (Mp3)