Wednesday, August 4, 2010

TVD First Date | Ari Shine

Ari Shine joins Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants this coming Monday night (8/9) at DC9. Watch this space for your chance to see them both and win tickets to Monday's show.

"My parents had loads of vinyl from the 60s and 70s, mostly by Israeli artists and singer/songwriters from that golden age of music. My dad harmonized beautifully with his favorites and introduced me to Simon and GarfunkeI as well as the Beatles, whose Magical Mystery Tour was so inviting. Who were these masked characters on the cover and where were they taking me? Another early vinyl memory is of staring at the cover of Teaser and the Firecat by Cat Stevens on our living room table. I pondered his lyrics about being followed by a moonshadow and created cartoons in my mind inspired by the drawings on the sleeve. Billy Joel was a family favorite and served as my gateway drug to rock and roll. His new wave era album Glass Houses has one of my favorite pairs of LP photos. The cover features a leather jacket clad Billy raising a rock to the glass house indicated in the title. The back is a shot of his unrepentant image from behind a shattered window. From examining the artwork to putting the stylus in the groove, listening to these records provided me with a full sensory immersion experience. These albums seemed to leap off the turntable. The moments of scratching leading up to when they kicked in were an essential part of the dramatic arc.

By middle school I was playing guitar so I spent most of my free time cutting my teeth to the music of my heroes. I used Eric Clapton’s live version of “Crossroads” from the “Princes Trust Benefit Concert” as a launching pad and traded licks with him for hours. I also made journeys to the public library to borrow records. My local branch had tons of LPs, many by acts I did not recognize. I was fascinated by their quasi-mystical covers and the names on their dusty jackets. Who were Blue Oyster Cult and Earth Wind and Fire? They all sounded equally heavy to me. Then came the rumblings of puberty and I found two records there that blew my rapidly rebelling preteen mind: “Electric” by The Cult and “Appetite For Destruction” by Guns And Roses. The latter I took home to our house with the original Robert Williams artwork which was soon banned.

A couple years later I had a girlfriend a few years older than me with a college radio show. She was a purist who would rarely buy anything but vinyl. I remember walking through the station library while she was on the air. I was intrigued by the white stickers different DJs left on the albums. Their comments seemed like secrets passed down from an invisible musical mentor; older, wiser and willing to share knowledge.

In high school we congregated at friends houses and listened to Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Allman Brothers albums. It was here I was exposed to a heretofore unimagined use for gatefold sleeves. Used record shopping became a new obsession. I remember how excited I was to have found a copy of the rare Captain Beyond debut album, even with its holographic cover mostly ripped off. While heavy rock was the order of the day, it was by no means the only genre on my radar. I first heard Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and Innervisions by Stevie Wonder on vinyl and marveled at the sonic depth of the classic analogue recordings. Syncopated 70s masterworks like these provided an important counterpoint to the sludgy riffing that was a constant part of my musical diet. Later, it was on LP that I first experienced Sunny Day Real Estate’s debut, Alien Lanes by Guided By Voices, and Urge Overkill’s seminal Touch and Go releases. Of the burgeoning Britpop scene, Pulp’s Different Class LP and the sublime debut by Gene were favorites and two of the first 180 gram pressings I owned.

So much of my musical education is tied in with vinyl that it’s difficult not to feel like I am leaving out some essential moment or memory. As a band member I can think of few things as exciting as having a box of a release on 7 or 12 inch vinyl delivered to the door. Record stores are safehouses for me when touring. I have particular affection for the Mom and Pops that continue to stock new vinyl and have supported the reemergence of the format. I like to imagine people around the world taking chances on records fueled by the same love of discovery." —Ari Shine

Find Ari at his Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Myspace

Ari Shine - Not Your Trial (Mp3)
Authorized for download!

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