Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's Nicole Atkins' Vinyl District

For the last 8 years that I've lived off and on in Asbury Park, my friends and I have always been like "when is this place gonna get a record shop?" There's art galleries, bars, dance studios, gay specialty stores, doggie ice cream parlors, yet no record shops. In order to buy a record you literally have to drive 30 minutes into Red Bank to Jack's (which is a great shop but a bit tough on the gas tank these days.)

Finally our buddy Joe Koukas did something about it and opened up Holdfast Records on the plum little strip of Cookman Avenue. Holdfast specializes in used and hard to find Punk, Hardcore, Reggae, Old Country, Jazz and Dub 45's from artists like Barrington Levy and Big Youth. I recently picked up a couple of live Zeppelin bootlegs and an Edith Piaf boxed set. As well as a mint condition John Denver and the Muppets album. Score!

If you're looking for something in particular Joe can order it for you and they also offer a special service that I haven't seen at any record shops before. Personal shopping. So basically you hand Joe a list of everything you're looking for and he sets off to acquire all of it for you. This usually takes between 3 and 4 weeks. It's like vinyl bounty hunting.

Holdfast doesn't just have a great selection of vinyl but they also have great vintage clothes and vintage guitars and amps and pedals for sale. JoJo who works in the guitar department also does setups. He'll fix you up real nice! They also feature an awesome selection of graffiti art, rare prints and paintings from popular local artists such as Porkchop and Bradley Hoffer.

But the secret gem lies in the basement...

Silverball Museum resides in the basement of Holdfast. It's a vintage pinball museum featuring 150 machines in mint condition all available to play for ten dollars an hour. And its BYOB! Meowzers! Record shopping, getting your gear fixed, outfit for later, and an hour to kill on pinball and a couple of tall boys.

Holdfast is a little bit of paradise where the debris meets the sea.

Holdfast Records and the Silverball Museum
639 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ

Barrington Levy - Shine Eye Girl (Mp3)
Big Youth - Four Sevens (Mp3)
Led Zeppelin - In The Evening [Live in Berlin, Bonham Last Show] (Mp3)
Edith Piaf - Vie en Rose (Mp3)
John Denver with The Muppets - When The River Meets The Sea (Mp3)

TVD First Person Single | Tina Sugandh

I met Tina Sugandh nine or so years ago and since then her star has not just been on the rise—it's been stratospheric. But events of a more personal nature have taken center stage recently, and in honor of October's Breast Cancer Awareness month, Tina has been giving away a download of what she calls the most important song she's ever written, “Snake Charmer,” free on her website. (...and it's linked a little while longer exclusively for TVD.)
"I started performing with my family, The Sugandh Family, when I was five years old. My older sister, my mother, my father, and I would all have school or work during the week, and then we would fly off and have these magical weekends where we would perform at all types of Indian events! I started singing on stage at age five, and then when I was eight I began to learn to play the guitar, drums, and tabla (an Indian drum). I am so grateful that my mother introduced music and performance into our lives. As kids, she always reinforced the idea that music is a tool used to bring people together, to uplift their spirits, and to make them smile-and I still retain these musical values today.

I began to heavily pursue a solo career in music while I was in college studying biology. This led to me simultaneously graduating with an honors degree in Bio as well as a scoring a record deal! I chose the record deal since music and performance is in my blood! Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to have songs on several Hollywood soundtracks as well as on the Billboard Charts, and I’m in the process of releasing a full length album.

My mother introduced music into my life. She will always be my best friend-and the most radiant, beautiful, genuine, energetic, positive, glowing ray of sunlight that I will ever know. I spent the entire last year watching my mom fight cancer, and I did everything I could to save her. Cancer eventually took her from us. Now, I am using her lifelong lessons of ”positivity” and “focusing on only the good in every situation” in order to only focus on how grateful I am to have had such an incredible mother for so long. I’m  doing everything in my power to keep her legacy alive and to empower people with music and to make them smile as she did.

My mom actually grew up singing Beatles songs on the radio in India, and very shortly after my mom’s passing, Ringo Starr invited me to his house to sing and play tabla on his album. My relatives say that my mom set that up - and I would like to believe that’s true!
Last month, I had the incredible opportunity of hosting and performing for 18,000 people at the American Cancer Society. I was so grateful to be able to contribute, and now I am giving away a free download of the most important song I’ve ever written. It’s my song for survivors, called “Snake Charmer”. For a free download, please visit my website. "

Tina Sugandh - Jao (Mp3)