Sunday, January 2, 2011

. . . or you can just click right here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Friday, December 31, 2010


TVD's Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Well,'s TVD Jon.

This very last Idelic Hour is the very last official post here at this Blogspot address. The feeling's akin to having moved to grand new home, only to have to return to the old apartment one last time to clean up.

Y'know - let's get this done quick, just enough to get the security deposit back.

So, no weepy words. Just a thank you to all of you who've actually touched me, us, back. Thank you for visiting and sharing. It's been a pleasure indeed.

Monday you'll find us right here. Same home, a bit roomier perhaps. Same stuff, same features. And quite a few surprises that'll turn this blogging adventure into another animal indeed.


See ya Monday.

OK, Sidel, you're up...

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

When I was thinking about writing a list of my New Year's resolutions, not much really came to mind. Maybe the first thing was to fix the power cable for my Audio Research turntable? I guess it's because I long for a bit more "crackle crackle" on the show?

Then I thought it might be high time to put some new strings on my 68 SG hanging on the wall next to me. Come to think of it, all my old "axes" could use new strings and a little "TLC." Wait a minute, I have more friends than just a few old guitars and vinyl jackets hanging on my wall.

So, my new years resolution is to stay connected with my old crew. OK, this is what I mean to do in 2011!

Getting back to the rock n roll, this week is part two of my year end countdown. It's not really much more that some of the shit I thought was cool in 2010. Stuff like obscure blues singles, french bands, Bo Diddley, hippies, and Matador Records.

Have a safe and happy new year thanks for tuning in 2010 and rock on in 2011!

THE IDELIC HIT OF THE WEEK: The LimiƱanas - "Funeral Baby"

xosidealer | @sidelic

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TVD's Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Dear Santa,

Greetings from Laurel Canyon! I'm sure you have been busy with many requests so I'll make it short. I just wanted to remind you "the teenager" Zoe, wants anything vintage Hermes, "the wife" Susan, those Rick Owens combat boots and Jonah wants a "stick" whatever that means? At two and a half the "little rocker" is just looking forward to your visit? And me, I just want you to grant me a Christmas wish—keep that cool rock n roll coming in 2011!

Enclosed is a copy of this week's Idelic Hour. It's the "my take on a top 40 list." It's a countdown of sorts but really it's a mix of some cool shit for you to listen to on your long journey Friday night.

So godspeed, drive safe and don't eat too many cookies.

THE IDELIC HIT OF THE WEEK: Candi Staton - "I'm Gonna Hold On (To What I Got This Time)"

xosidealer | @sidelic

TVD's 2010 | A few of our favorite things...

In a year of losses. . . my mother, and another close, close friend. . . this track, either on vinyl or digitally in some form, was the most played all year.

Sort of fitting, really.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TVD's 2010 | A few of our favorite things...

"Vinyl is the at the absolute core of everything music in my life" Melissa Auf der Maur wrote in this spot last May.

Any wonder why she had one of our favorite 'First Dates' among the many gems?

"The time, the place and the way you discover music, has a permanent affect on the way you remember it and feel it from that moment on. Just like falling in love or making a new friend- those first impressions sit with the relationship for good.

So to decipher my relationship with vinyl and certain albums in particular, it all comes down to the fact that I grew up in the album (and then, cassette) era. I grew up in the 70's & 80's and like the rest of us evolved into the now, CD and digital era, but my first impression of "MUSIC" was on vinyl…

Once upon a time, in 1969 to be precise, my mother Linda Gaboriau, was the first female rock disc jockey in Montreal, Canada. I was not born yet, but her record collection exploded around then, and I was born and raised on it. I always credit my mother's record collection and her relationship with her generation's music, for the reason I am making music today. The non stop soundtrack around the house, the amazing stories she'd tell me when looking at the album art together "Dylan. He's the greatest poet of our time", "Cohen: He's the sexiest man alive" or the confusing stories about "the one that died". Her connection with her generation emanated from those records, and I was sent on my mission to find my generation and my generation's music.

The first album I bought with my own money, was "Head On The Door" by The Cure. I still listen to it, and it's forever one of my favorite. My record player is front and center in my living room, and that is always the choice ritual and listening choice when hosting or having a party at my house.

My collection also includes a decent amount of those amazing 1970's box sets. I collected them while thrift shopping across the USA in the '90's. Those are epic artifacts! Up to 7 albums in a beautiful sturdy box, with lots of liner notes, cool flaps and art work. The best one is the "Space Shuttle Landing 1969" box set with all the audio and news reports from the journey. The rest are mainly easy listening versions of old standards. Perfect background music, that you have to stay tuned to and flip!

I put myself through college as a "Cassette DJ" : The Bifteck St-Laurent is Montreal's, now legendary, "Grunge" bar. An old Portuguese steak house turned broke musicians bar, that payed me and my friends 40$ a night to flip tapes from 9pm - 3 am 7 days a week. I lived in that bar from 16 till the day I joined Hole in 1994. There was always music playing and most of the time my picks. My mixed tapes were made from all my vinyl. Every month I'd set up my turntable and cassette deck to make my new mix tapes, then I'd play them on auto- reverse while I played pool and drank a pint of local auburn micro brew…..

Vinyl is the at the absolute core of everything music in my life.

Of course we all got distracted by CD's for a while, and I have a massive collection still not entirely digitized. I still to this day don't buy MP3s, I usually buy it on CD, because I still need to read the liner notes. Who engineered? Who are the writers? Most of my listening time is in the car listening to CDs and in my living room most often albums.

However, dear reader, it's worth mentioning this recent music "discovery" I made. This past weekend at my friend Steve's birthday / housewarming party, while everyone was in the backyard, I entered the empty living room while someones iPod was on shuffle. Led Zepplin's "Kashmir" came on… it stopped me in my tracks, and I sat in the middle of the floor, and in a strange psychedelic way, I re-discovered that song, and cried (yes it's true) out of my love of music. The next morning back at my house, I went down to my record collection, found my vinyl copy of it. It's the high quality, double album, long play version, with only two songs per side… and I cranked Kashmir.

I must tell you dear Vinyl District… That song remained the same… as good digital, as it is analogue. Music CAN transcend all physical realities, even though vinyl is the coolest format. I Love Music."

Thanks for listening….
—Melissa Auf der Maur
May 2010

P.S. My new record OUT OF OUR MINDS is available exclusively at my website!

TVD's 2010 | A few of our favorite things...

One might think it could be a hard sell to ask any number of musicians or bands to sit down and pen a love letter to the medium most appreciated around these parts—but not so.

Wednesday's "First Date" feature ostensibly began as an introduction to new bands or whomever, but somewhere along the way it morphed into. . . well, I don't know what it morphed into.

You decide with a look back at a cross section of 2010's "First Dates."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"...Fast-forward to 1987 when my dad gave me for Christmas my first “big girl” stereo. If it was an overly large gift designed to mitigate the birth of my little sister, it worked. How I loved that single unit Magnavox with its familiar turntable, radio and state-of-the-art dual cassette player.

In the box was an accompanying present, one that my dad never could explain buying. The 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Collection: Jukebox Saturday Night was a three-disc vinyl box set (on discount? An impulse item at the checkout counter?) that blew my eight-year-old mind and made me forget all about Judy. (Perhaps this was Dad’s ultimate goal.) I traded “Putting on the Ritz” for “Earth Angel” and “Stormy Weather” for “Teenager in Love” and never looked back..."

Olivia Mancini & The Mates - Easy Way (Mp3)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"...Although I have known about the best hidden record store in Los Angeles for a few years now, I didn’t own my own record player or have what could be considered a bonafide collection until two months ago. Now that I have finally seen the light, I am working very hard to retire every digital album I have and replace it with its vinyl counterpart. My first and best stop is Music Man Murray on Exposition Boulevard.

It has been run for decades by 87-year-old Murray Gershenz, a former opera singer turned character actor. (You may recognize him from The Hangover as the half-naked patient in the hospital scene.) Murray has about every album you could ever want, and about 10,000 you’ve never heard of, but should want anyway. Music Man Murray is an experience in and of itself, and if you are looking for rare or interesting records, I suggest giving his store a try..."

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Home (Mp3)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"...It can go either way when you grow up in a family of bootleggers and record collectors; you either catch the bug and join in or snub music completely. I was in cahoots from the start and absolutely reveled in my parents near library of vinyl, cds, cassettes and reel to reel. The vinyl section covered 2 walls and stacked on top were four large boxes of 7" singles.

I decided that this would be the starting point of my listening habits, I'd try and listen methodically to every single in every box. Black Coffee in Bed, Say a Little Prayer, Sex Machine, Family Affair, Fire, Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart.... so many brilliant tracks. I got quite far in the quest of going through every box; the joy and calamity of being an only child..."

The Joy Formidable - Austere (Mp3)

Friday, March 19, 2010

"...If I had any advice for young musicians coming up it’d be to learn the history of music. Study what came before, in the 40s and 50s. If you don’t know that stuff, the foundation of what you’re doing is built on, then you’ve really got no business doing it. Rock and Roll, and music period, were created a long time ago, its not something that just came up yesterday. Music is too attached to fashion now. It always has been, but now it’s mainly the fashion, and a little music. So hopefully people are going to look back and see where it all came from. There was a period in rock and roll from the mid-fifties through about 1973 or 1974 when they did pretty much everything, so don’t try to reinvent something. Have your own mind, but do study where it came from, and the independent record store is where you can do that..."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"...When I was in high school I discovered what it was like to find a record and fall in love, to feel like that music defined who I was—like the person singing was the only person in the world who really understood me. I have some good brand-new-to-me vinyl finds from those days, including a limited edition pressing of Tori Amos' "Boys for Pele" on clear blue vinyl (which I got from the Intergalactic Garage in Shepherdstown, West Virginia—the lifeblood indie record shop I frequented that had all the best imports and rarities) and a hand-numbered pressing of Portishead's "All Mine" single from when I saw them play 9:30. But as much as I loved those records (still do), I really loved listening to my mom's 45s. Made me feel like I was getting a window into the past, finding out something I would only know by listening to her records.

In that sense, I've always felt like vinyl is a real way of connecting people through time and space. There's something about the physics and physicality of it all. You have to touch the records, hold them in your hands. And they've got those grooves, little ranges of mountains that bounce sound around like people shouting "Echo! Echo! Echo!" into the air, into our eardrums, into our brains. And there it sticks. That, to me, is an incredible process—something that digital music (all summed up in 1s and 0s) will never quite do. I love working with Saddle Creek, a label that still values and puts out vinyl. They keep this whole cycle alive..."

The Mynabirds - Let the Record Go (Mp3)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"...San Fernando Valley, CA. Now, who am I kidding - the best wailings to be had are in the school gymnasium. Here, I was temporarily acquainted with my now, long lost friends, who were bussed in from a good 30 (or more) miles away. Not only did I learn to clap on 2 and 4, I was introduced to the world of gospel. They would tape record their families precious vinyl and I would go home and memorize the songs that we were all to sing together during gym. I couldn’t harmonize all that well at first, but could sing a perfect 5th without any guidance whatsoever. They say money knows no color, well neither does vinyl (to tape)…"

Joniene Zapata - Good Looking (Mp3)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"...A year or so after my dad’s death, when my mom began cleaning out his solitary haven in the basement, I was given the responsibility of hauling his records up the stairs. My mom didn’t want to give them away because she knew how much they had meant to him. She suggested I hook up my grandma’s record player in my room and keep my dad’s collection up there. I obliged, partly because my seventeen -year -old brain thought vinyl was cool (although I really knew nothing about it at the time), but also because I was curious and wanted to explore this facet of my dad’s life that I knew nothing about.

Through his records I learned something about him that I never knew when he was alive: that he loved psychedelic rock bands from the late 60’s and early 70’s. The first record of his that I ever listened to was Spirit’s album, The Family That Plays Together. Shortly after I became acquainted with Son’s of Champlain’s 1969 release, Loosen Up Naturally..."

Jessica Lanza - Time is Such A Cruel Device (Mp3)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"...The lobby and surrounding pools played musak, including a surprising amount of Guns n Roses songs. A live reggae band played by the pool one day, while someone came around with a monkey you could have your picture taken with. In this picture, I am getting a drink at the pool bar during water aerobics.

When I was touring Europe with Edie Sedgwick, we had a very sweet driver from the Czech Republic named Ales. After the first few days, I asked Ales not to play metal, particularly the Czech blast-beat kind, before noon in the van. He was ok with that and played Czech Hip Hop, Monty Python, Tenacious D, and Hank Williams..."

America Hearts - Be My Jones (Mp3)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"...Some may say it's a dying breed, or a dying business, but I still love the ritual of going to record stores or junk sales and buying vinyl. I love the warmth of the analog, the size, the artwork, and I love the experience of having to get out of the house and shop spontaneously.

The first records I got as a kid were records that my babysitters were playing. I would read the lyrics, stare at the artwork, and dream of a better life and other places than my tiny apartment in Queens, New York. Music gave me the confidence to not feel alone and like a total freak in a suburban middle class mainstream world. It is my favorite format to hear music..."

Jesse Malin - All The Way From Moscow (Mp3)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"...But my favorite was a somewhat obscure record by a 60’s era folk duo called “Lily and Maria.” What grabbed me about them were their unsettling harmonies and almost creepy psychedelic touches. It was my mom’s record—turns out it was reissued in 2008—and she didn’t remember much about them other than that they never made it very big. The picture on the album cover was of the two women resting their heads against one another and staring hauntingly into the camera.

The image was overexposed and washed out, so much of their features remained indiscernible other than long, straight hair, and no makeup other than looong lashes. My mom would tell me “that was the style back then,” and I would get her to elaborate on stories about being a teen in the 60’s – like when her older sister, my aunt Bonnie, ran away and hitchhiked to Woodstock at 16..."

Film School - Heart Full Of Pentagons (Mp3)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"...My love affair with vinyl began when I was 18. I had just began a DJing residency at The Bar; a club in Hanway Street, located in London’s Soho area which specialised in Mod, Jazz and Soul. I had started the night with another musician friend called James Bone (although he got barred after that night but that’s another story!) and we didn’t own a single record between us! My whole set was made up of CDs (which I didn’t realise at the time was a big NO - not cool at all!).

It didn’t take me long to work it out though and before long I was up in my Nan’s loft, trawling through boxes upon boxes of records, hunting out various little gems - the first of which was Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ which was backed with ‘Can I Get A Witness’ the latter is a track which I still play at every single DJ set I do and have done since!"

The Supernovas - City Of Smoke (Dub Cartel Remix) (Mp3)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"...I have been wondering for well over ten years now why my father hasn't invested in a more structurally sound, or at least a more youthful bookshelf to house his precious record collection that is nearly double my age (I am currently 24 years old) and easily seven times my size.

I'm not boasting - I'm sure your dad was hip too in his day. My point here is really just that the shelves of this bookcase are sinking at the middle. Think about the material value, not to mention the perfectly-aged nostalgia that could be shattered from such faulty shelving in the event of a sudden polyvinyl avalanche! You know, this unassuming piece of furniture has continually made me more nervous, more frightened, than the Fung Wah bus I am writing this from ever has (except for that time one flipped over while my dad was aboard, but that's a story for a different shelf.)

Perhaps there is hidden meaning in these saggy old shelves. They have lost their youth but still remain standing, rather, shelving, to fulfill their duty: To protect the music of decades past and it's cathartic, turbulent, funny, erotic, and revolutionary message and to 'carry that weight a long time'..."

Jukebox the Ghost - Empire (Mp3)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"...My mother (a singer, actor, and writer) was onstage doing the musical Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope when she was pregnant with me, hence why I probably gravitated towards musicals in the beginning, I think for the drama. I vaguely remember watching it, but I know for a fact that I was deeply moved by the Broadway production of The Wiz and then to have the record in my possession, in my own living room. In my solitude, I’d push the coffee table off to the side to create my own stage to choreograph my own The Wiz. I swirl around the four corners of the room transforming myself into the powerful tornado that took Dorothy out of Kansas or I’d get on my hands and knees and act as the Mean Ole Lion, roaring and singing gruffly. And times when I’d feel a little scared or lonely at school or in my young life, I’d sit in a corner comforting myself, rocking myself back and forth singing the song that Dorothy sang when she was scared and lonely:

“When I think of home,
I think of a place where there’s love overflowing…
I wish I was home,
I wish I was back there with the things I’ve been knowing…”

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"...The sun is getting big and low now, and it’s harder to drive west. I used to work at a record store that was slowly phasing out cassettes, it’s interesting how long it takes small towns to catch on to new technology, but why hurry? The music is the same and the technology always changes. That record store is now closed. We are passing a peaceful swampy river in Mississippi. Makes me want to buy a flat bottom fishing boat and an old radio to spend the day with. The sound of radio is right up there with vinyl for me. I will unapologetically say that right now most of the music on commercial radio is empty. It’s bleached and it’s bleaching me. I am a girl about interesting sounds and lyrics, about music that is living. Music with bones and bacteria, and fungus. Music that breathes and grows with you..."

Angie Mattson - Cool Water (Mp3)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"...This is why I love vinyl so much: it forces the listener to hear the artist's work exactly in the way that the artist intended the listener to hear it. You cannot make a playlist with LPs and you cannot skip from favorite track to favorite track with the same ease of iTunes. I typically buy a record because there is one song in particular from a band or artist that I love. Initially, when I listen to the record my experience revolves around my desire to hear that one song, and I will typically dislike most of the other tracks on the record. After listening to the record a few times that desire fades and the songs that I didn't particularly like emerge as the underdog, becoming my favorite tracks on the record. It breaks my heart to think of all of the people creating playlists, missing out on having to make an effort to understand and enjoy the songs surrounding their favorite single on an album..."

The Kopecky Family Band - God & Me (Mp3)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"...Not undertaken lightly, a purchase would be treasured, sleeve notes memorised, including details like 'laminated with Clarifoil.' Mono or stereo were available—mono was uncool, but you were warned that your clunky radiogram needle could destroy a stereo record. Then college, then darkened rooms where someone would 'skin up' using an LP sleeve as a lap tray.

Finally I acquired money, pre-recorded cassettes, CDs. A music recording doesn't have to be a physical object at all now of course. But that came too late for me—I look round the room at shelves of LPs, singles, cassettes (many are collections of copies of the one or two decent tracks off disappointing album purchases.) Upstairs are boxes of many more of all of the above by the Soft Boys, Katrina and the Waves, etc..."

Kimberley Rew - Stomping All Over The World (Mp3)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"...Around a year and a half ago came a very very sad moment…. It was my housemate's birthday. We were all out and I decided to stay out longer with some other friends. The others went back to our house… I went home and found my kitchen in a trashed state and red wine poured all over my bed. Seriously pissed off, I went to sleep to deal with it the next morning. I had to go to work early so thought I'd sort it when I got home.

I had to work till really late again so then it was only 2 days later that I saw a Bad Boys Inc vinyl cover (a joke present given to me by my old uni housemate Lucinda) out of the bathroom window lying in the rain, in our back garden. Assuming it had blown out the window, I went into the garden to investigate to find my entire 45 collection smashed against the back garden wall, sodden sleeves strewn around the garden, covered in mud. I climbed into the tree to retrieve a Morrissey single, only to see a load more of my vinyl in pieces in the next door neighbor's garden..."

Anika - Yang Yang (Mp3)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TVD's 2010 | A few of our favorite things...

While 2010 was filled with quite a number of guests here at TVD putting pen to pixel and offering first hand accounts of life on the road or in the studio, Title Tracks' John Davis might just take home the prize for musical scholarship.

And for probably one of our most favorite 'Takeover Weeks' of all time.

From the week of 9/1/2010:

Back with Day #3 of our Story/Stereo event in advance of Friday night's unique confluence of words and music at Bethesda's Writer's Center and it's Day #3 with Story/Stereo's musical guest for the evening, John Davis, who returns with the first five random tracks off his ipod—and musings upon each:

The Pixies were one of those bands that helped me bide time until I found punk. I heard “Doolittle” shortly after it came out in the late 80s and then I played it to death when I was away at camp that summer. There were five tapes that made the trip with me – that two of them were cassingles demonstrated a tremendous lack of foresight on my part. In my bag I had R.E.M.’s “Chronic Town,” The Pixies’ “Doolittle,” The Who’s “Who’s Next” and the aforementioned cassingles – R.E.M.’s “The One I Love/Maps and Legends (Acoustic)” and The Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man/Into The White.” A bit of overkill on that second cassingle since “Here Comes Your Man” was already on “Dootlittle,” though I really did love that b-side, “Into The White.” I had only recently started to really get into “real” music, abandoning top 40 radio and my collection of hair metal tapes. I don’t know what sparked it but I picked up “13” by The Doors and my musical tastes changed dramatically. A few months later, inspired by raves in Rolling Stone magazine, I got into “alternative” music – The Replacements, The Clash, Elvis Costello and The Pixies. I was about 12 at this point. It was a steady diet of college rock/alternative and classic rock until one magnificent summer where I got into Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Minutemen/firehose, Dinosaur Jr., etc. I still enjoy The Pixies and they have my eternal gratitude for keeping me busy those few years. For the record, “Trompe Le Monde” is my favorite record of theirs.

Eric IdleGibberish
When I was a kid, my uncle passed along to me a mix tape that he had in his possession (someone he knew had given it to him). I’m not sure why he wound up giving it to me and I remember very little about what was on it other than a Last Poets track and this, Eric Idle’s “Gibberish,” which opened the mix tape. It’s originally from the “Rutland Weekend Songbook” record and has always made me laugh every time I hear it (as does Idle’s “Fuck Christmas,” which should be a holiday anthem). Idle does a news broadcast in a steady stream of nonsense that is so effortlessly and smoothly administered that it actually starts to make a strange kind of sense. “Machine-wrapped with butter? Machine-wrapped with butter.” That “meanwhile on Rutland Weekend Television, it’s time for music” line at the end totally makes this perfect fodder for opening up a mix tape, for those who still make them. When we were making the Georgie James record, we briefly thought we were going to include something like this gibberish bit on the record, believe it or not. We were struggling to come up with an intro for a song that badly needed one and we thought we might do a pseudo interview back and forth where the question was literal and the response was Idle-style gibberish. I’m pretty sure we got as far as starting to write out a script, as I recall fitting in references to Jim Vance and Arch Campbell in there, for some reason. It’s probably for the best that we didn’t do this, though the song that we intended to append it to wound up being my least favorite on the record so it maybe could’ve used something after all.

Bill FoxOver And Away She Goes
Bill Fox is great. I’ve been hoping that the recent reissue of his first solo record, “Shelter From The Smoke,” will get him at least part of his due. After making some fantastically spiky power pop records with his band The Mice in the mid-80s, Fox went solo and went almost entirely acoustic on both “Shelter” and its follow-up “Transit Byzantium.” An image is easily created in my mind when listening to those two solo records of Fox sitting in a cold Ohio kitchen banging out classic songs into his 4-track tape machine. “Over And Away She Goes” is nearly anthemic with its chiming acoustics and insistent maracas that hiss like sprinklers. Tight harmonies and hooks and a slight glaze of analog hiss combine to make a nearly perfect record. While I’d love it if Fox made another album (it’s been more than a decade since his last one now), I’m happy to even have these two solo ones (and The Mice records, too).

Elizabeth CottenRun…Run/Mama Your Son Done Gone
I first heard of guitarist Elizabeth Cotten via a mix CD that my Q And Not U bandmate, Harris Klahr, made me several years ago. Cotten’s story is fascinating. After decades of anonymity, working as a housekeeper and only playing her guitar in church, she was discovered in her 60s and soon became a darling of the folk set in the late 1950s/early 60s. A southpaw guitarist who, like Jimi Hendrix, played a right-handed guitar upside down, Cotten’s style is singular. Maybe a bit like John Fahey and his ilk in parts but with a Spartan elegance and deceptive dexterity which give her a clear signature. “Freight Train” and “Ain’t Got No Honey Baby Now” are two of her best. This track, “Run… Run/Mama Your Son Done Gone” is not one of her best but it still boasts her fluid fretwork and also features her weathered, papery singing voice -- a charming instrument on its own. A clip exists of Cotten doing a few songs on Pete Seeger’s short-lived, mid-60s TV show, “Rainbow Quest.” Seeger is comically earnest and Cotten’s laconicism makes the scene even more awkward. Still, the thrill of watching Cotten play guitar transcends all of that. It can be found on DVD, if you’re interested.

The Beach Boys
Time To Get Alone
This one is from one of my favorite Beach Boys records, if not my favorite, “20/20.” Brian Wilson was already getting deep into his infamous mental funk by the time the Boys’ put this album together in 1969. Still, the record features some quality contributions from Brian and “Time To Get Alone” is one of them. I think that’s Carl singing lead on this, though. My true favorite song on this record, though, is Bruce Johnston’s rapturous “Pet Sounds” ripoff, “The Nearest Faraway Place.”

Eric Idle - Gibberish (Mp3)
Bill Fox - Over And Away She Goes (Mp3)
Elizabeth Cotten - Run…Run/Mama Your Son Done Gone (Mp3)

TVD's 2010 | A few of our favorite things...

Far and away, our favorite feature for 2010 has become Friday afternoon's "The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel"—TVD's weekly podcast from Jon's studio in Laurel Canyon, CA. I was waxing nostalgic last April about the lack of freeform radio on the radio dial in general, and like a karmic affirmation, Jon walked into the picture to deliver just that, each week here at TVD.

Jon has this unique ability to pair new music with older, classic tracks putting both in fresh perspective. I can't tell you how often I've re-appreciated something or finally 'got' some band beyond the hype in the press. As has been said to me which I'll reiterate, Jon's taste is impeccable.

While our 2010 retrospective is TVD's last full week for the year, Jon will have a podcast this coming Thursday and next Thursday to kick you in gear for New Year's Eve.

This morning I'd thought we'd repost a recent Idelic Hour along with a few of Jon's previous "Hits of the Week" which come tagged onto each Friday's post.

For now, we leave you in capable hands...

Turbo Fruits - Mama's Mad Cos I Fried My Brain (Mp3)
Best Coast - Boyfriend (Mp3)
Kurt Vile - In My Time (Single Edit) (Mp3)
OFF! - Upside Down (Mp3)
The Fling - The Breaks (Mp3)
Alexander - Truth (Mp3)

Monday, December 20, 2010

TVD's 2010 | A few of our favorite things...

Had you asked me way back in 2007 at this blog's inception who I'd hope to have on TVD in any capacity, The Posies would have been one of the first few names cited. I've been that type of fan since 'Dear 23.'

So it was quite special indeed to have Jon and Ken blogging away last last summer at the release week for the new(ish) and spectacularly hook-laden, 'BLOOD/CANDY.'

Cut to a few months later and The Posies kick off our brand new...oh - ...wait.

That'd be getting ahead of myself.

The Posies' | The week of September 27, 2010

Right. That's not the actual Gary & the Hornets 45 that Ken gets into below. But pretty sweet looking, hm? (Courtesy of So Many Records, So Little Time.)

It's day #2 of The Posies Vinyl District Takeover...

Fuck iTunes.
I paid the most I have ever paid, via an ad in Goldmine, for one single. TWO SONGS. $40. I didn’t use the internet, I mailed a fucking check and got the thing. Why? Because I’d played a cover of a song called ‘Patty Girl’ by an Ohio group called Gary & the Hornets with Alex Chilton, who had heard about the song from Teenage Fanclub, who had heard about the song from Calvin Johnson. And I had to hear the original.

The story was too good: Gary & the Hornets were three kids—age 9, 11, & 12—who had a record deal and did these amazing, beat group-era songs, maybe just a little too sweet for the consciousness-bending preamble to the Summer of Love, so they didn’t have too long to enjoy the spotlight before looking quaint. ‘Patty Girl’ is not on iTunes. The band never released any album that I can find, so there’s no CD reissue. Basically, except for this 45 and some youtube videos, this music is extinct. And what a crime! Two and half minutes of chimey, glorious 60's pop, with a chorus that defies the laws of gravity in terms of melody—it was shocking to hear Alex pick off the high notes with such ease—we played it the last time that Alex and I played together, in Brooklyn last year.

So, now, iTunes saving grace: As a kid, I dutifully picked up Robert Plant’s solo music after the demise of Led Zeppelin, and was somewhat nonplussed by the mellow, unfocused and puzzling ‘Big Log’ 45 that I surely got at a drugstore or something. But, as one did, I flipped it over and found another enigmatic title—'Far Post', a non-album B side and a far more interesting piece of music. The recording sounded so deluxe back in the day and now I can hear it’s possibly a really well recorded live take; just one guitar, bass, drums, piano and voice.

The song is fast, but dreamy too—it seems to be about the tug between regret and letting go over a lost love—or something. It’s pretty haunting, and was a good soundtrack for the intangibles of fog and mist and early sunsets that were part of life in Bellingham c. 1982. Blazing piano solo, stereo chorus/modulating slapback delay on everything, awesome. And you know what? It’s on iTunes. A B-side. I bought it recently, and was happy not to have to dig thru my storage space 9,000 miles from my home to look for it.

Just a thought here: we were all told when we signed our record deals in the late 80's that due to the excessive packaging costs of the CD vs. the LP, that our royalty rate for CD's would be significantly lower than for LPs. And guess what? The LP's were a fraction of sales shortly thereafter. Duped. I think an LP is roughly twice as expensive to make and package as a CD now.

Along comes iTunes and offers even LOWER rates for selling something that DOESN’T EVEN EXIST. It’s not like there’s a factory banging out all those files. You upload your master, and you’re allowed to make a copy and store that somewhere. It’s like charging more for a bunch of photo copies than for a book. So, now, that I reach the end of this paragraph, I’m mad again and can say fuck you, iTunes.

TVD's 2010 | A few of our favorite things...

All Top 10 Lists are bullshit.

There - I said it. Yours, your favorite blog's, Pitchfork's, Stereogum's, Rolling Stone's, your local City Paper - whatever. Who cares how you've numbered and ordered things according to your collective taste from the past year? (Especially if you've given Kanye's latest a 10.0 or 5 stars—your taste is bullshit.)

Man, that feels good to say, hm?

If you're to navel gaze then, why not spotlight the folks who actually affected you over the previous year, who dropped a little ear candy and some good wishes along the way. A dose of insight perhaps? We're going to have a bit of a go at that this week as the year winds down.

Looking back, TVD had quite a number of 'Takeover Weeks" by some lovely ladies this year. So, we thought we'd kick off our lil' 2010 retrospective this morning with the women who made us look forward to turning on the lights each morning at TVD HQ and come to work:

The Submarines | The week of January 11, 2010

"...I just came inside from making this little mp3 with John from an old 78 of Billie Holiday's, "The Very Thought of You." John gave me a beautiful old phonograph, a Columbia Graphophone, for my birthday a couple of years ago. This is one of the nicest 78s we've collected.

Most of the others are cheapies from the flea markets—Tahitian recordings, Hawaiian guitar music, strange old jazz tunes with naughty lyrics. It's a little rough actually listening to them because they're quite harsh. The phrase 'put a sock in it,' comes from muffling the cone of the phonograph, which we usually do. But, it's fascinating to think you're hearing these recordings just as people did back when the records were pressed—there's a real connection to that time period, in the decades before the technology evolved to give the players a richer sound..."

The Submarines - Tugboat (Mp3)

Exit Clov | The week of January 25, 2010

"...This unilateral intervention is warranted by a momentous occasion for the band—namely the release of our brand new record, Memento Mori. Latin for "remember your mortality," Memento Mori is a departure from our previous material. It's a little on the heavy and melancholy side, but it's not without its moments of hope, brilliance and happiness...".

Exit Clov - District Menagerie (Mp3)

The Watson Twins | The week of February 8, 2010

"...We spent our childhood listening to records, staring at the sleeve for hours while listening to each track intently... there is a ritual that comes with flipping each side and so seeing this resurgence brings what I call the nostalgic tidal wave. A large beautiful sonic wave that we hope people will explore..."

The Watson Twins - U-N-Me (Mp3)

Jesca Hoop | The week of August 2, 2010

"...I'll never forget listening to Joni Mitchell's 'Song for a Seagull' on vinyl one a misty morning while sitting on the covered porch in a rocking chair amidst the redwood trees.

The songs, the mist, the tea, the trees all became the same thing a total environment. We listened to the record like it was a movie. And again and again. That record (and on vinyl) signifies those days of a gorgeous simplicity... of unfettered youth... of freedom..."

Jesca Hoop - Feast Of The Heart (Mp3)

The Mynabirds | The week of September 20, 2010

"...The long drive between Toronto and Montreal included a long conversation about great lyricists. I realized three of my all-time favorites are Canadian: Joni Mitchell, for knowing how to set a scene; Leonard Cohen, for his Zen way saying the most with the least; and Neil Young, for his jazz standard strength in simplicity. Then we all wondered aloud about the great lyricists of today. Who's our Dylan? Who can turn a phrase and get the zeitgeist of our whole generation? Do we have a zeitgeist? Or are we just the dregs of a non-movement, content with our bougie coffees and fancy phones while the world turns to shit?

I'd like to think not, to hope that the good voices will rise above the top 40 radio crap and redeem us. Sorry for the rant. Probably just preaching to the choir anyway. (Good that we've got a choir on the good side.) But seriously, who moves you these days, lyrically? How do you feel about politically - and socially-minded music? I, for one, eat it up. Reminds me of being a kid with pink hair and combat boots, my friends in bands with high ideals and punk patches, all of us excited about the world we were about to make our own. I say let's do it. There's still time. We'll tear it down and build it back up one lyric at a time..."

The Mynabirds - Numbers Don't Lie (Mp3)

Kitten | The week of October 18, 2010

"...Sometimes you're on and sometimes you're off. We were off. The nicest way to say it is that I just never hit my groove but to be honest it just felt like it was our first time playing these songs. We didn't do what we do. Usually if the world's shit, I can get on stage, rock it out and forget about it but we must have brought the B.S. with us 'cause it wasn't happening up there..."

Kitten - Kill The Light (Mp3)