Friday, March 26, 2010

TVD's The Idelic Hour

"Circles" | This year’s SXSW conference in Austin was an amazing convergence of all things “music.” Being a long time SXSW attendee and music bizz “insider,” I knew to expect thick, drunken crowds and lots of “walk-about.” More than anything else I saw tons of great friends. I think all of “us” spent all week walking in circles.

I arrived back into the arms of Laurel Canyon drained. I know I had seen some great music but I was humming not a note. What comes to mind was an expression Don, the lead guitar player from my old band use to use…

“Blown out by rock”!

Upon putting together this week’s mix, I had not a clue what I wanted to hear. I was moody. By chance I stumbled on the Soul Coughing album El Oso. “Circles” seemed like a fitting muse and I started playing off a theme of being drained & lost.

I had just gotten the new Pavement greatest hits album and had read the lengthy press bio on what an important band they had become. It reminded me of moving to LA, after spending the late 80’s in east village NYC. I had been friends with Mark Ibold and was excited to see the band’s 1st LA show.

Funny, back then I often felt a bit lost as a New Yorker in LA. There has never been a time since then that I stopped listening to the songs of Steven Malkmus. It will be surely cool to have Pavement back for one more summer “babe!”

This week in the “mix” a dose of new bands, Portugal The Man is sounding pretty cool. Lo-fi teenagers from Chicago, The Smith Westerns have a buzz coming of out Austin. So does LA’s Fool Gold, don’t sleep on band leader, Luketop’s solo album “Friends.” His song “Lord, Save Me From This Valley” is at the top of the set. Sultry Jonneine Zapata sums it up with the question, “What are we gonna do?”



The Idelic Hour [3/26/2010] (Mp3, 90Mg)

TVD's Record Store Day 2010 Label Showcase | Daptone Records Giveaway Contest

Indeed, it’s been a hallmark of our Record Store Day 2010 Label Spotlights that each label puts together a grab bag o’ swag, and our friends at Daptone Records are no exception.

Here’s what we got for ya:

...the brand new Sharon Jones & the Dap-kings LP, "I Learned The Hard Way"...

...the above, large 22" x 28" poster on a thicker (12pt paper stock) featuring a collage of Daptone LP's and 45's.

...two super-sweet DJ turntable slip mats...

...and a collection of five Daptone 7"'s:

3 Titans "College" b/w "The Life of a Scholar"
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings "Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects" (X-mas 45)
Menahan Street Band "The Wolf" b/w "Bushwick Lullaby"
Darrell Banks "I Don't Know What To Do" b/w "My Love is Reserved"
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens "Wind Your Clock"

That's right—Daptone loves ya' back.

By now you know the drill, in the comments to this post let us know why you deserve to win this killer Daptone Prize Packagewith a contact email address!—and the one person that hits our collective sweet spots will be awarded all of the above. You have until Wednesday, March 31 to suitably impress us.

We await your love letters.

...And we thank Daptone Records for hanging out with TVD all this week with a special shout out to The Honeydripper...

TVD Live Tease | French Letter w/Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie and Olivia Mancini, Saturday (3/27) at Comet Ping Pong

French Letter's music is the result of long periods of random experimentation and the use of loop pedals for composition and performance - especially in "Chester", which begins in a loop-filled swell of instrumentation.

Behind everything is an appreciation for oddities in music, whether in little nods to math-rock but set in a pop context, or unusual covers. But the core group of French Letter, the bass, drums, and guitar, have been playing together for five years, through four band-iterations, and have found a certain understanding on understanding.

In college, they bonded over Pavement and Andrew Bird and being transplanted New Jerseyans, hence two songs on the EP named after small towns in northern New Jersey. And it has taken time - starting with six people, slimming down to three, expanding to four, to get to where they are.

And where they are? Openers for Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie and Olivia Mancini this Saturday night (3/27) at Comet Ping Pong. We'll see you there, right?

French Letter - Chester (Mp3)
French Letter - Short Hills (Mp3)

TVD's Record Store Day 2010 Label Showcase | Daptone Records

It's the last day of our Daptone Records Record Store Day 2010 Label Showcase and we're going straight to the top. Gabriel Roth, aka Bosco Mann, is Daptone's co-owner, engineer, producer, arranger as well as bass player for Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.

I never pass through Austin without a jaunt over to Breakaway Records. Proprietor Gabe Vaughn maintains an extraordinary depth of stock ranging from Jazz to Rock with a particularly heavy focus on Rhythm and Blues. Every time I'm there I leave with a teetering tower of sevens (sweet soul, R&B, blues, gospel...) and a mountain of choice LP's.

Notably, I picked up Little Willie John's "Talk To Me" Lp on my last visit (one of my favorite all time albums of which I had previously owned only a ratty strange pressing,) as well as Carolyn Franklin's "Chain Reaction" (an album by Aretha's sister containing the superb "You Really Didin't Mean It".) I found "Good Things" 45 by the Five Royales there, and Art Neville's "You Won't Do Right" 45 the time before.

The condition of the records tends to be strong for the most part, and most remarkable are the fair prices. Though Vaughn is an incredible DJ and prolific collector (whose enthusiasm and penchant for New Orleans R&B inspired him to name his store after an Irma Thomas song,) he somehow does not sink to the ebay-driven mentality that has lead too many record store owners to over-price every single record based on some mythical Japanese collector who once paid something ridiculous in an online auction.

Breakaway has a mellow vibe and two welcoming listening tables (with WORKING headphones!) which invite you to listen not only to the well sorted nuggets filed under "King" or "Stax", but also dig fearlessly into the undiscovered troughs of "Misc." and "New Arrivals". Next time you're in Austin, head over to Breakaway for a quality afternoon of vinyl digging. Tell 'em the other Gabe sent you.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - I Learned the Hard Way (Mp3)