Thursday, September 27, 2007

TVD's Morning Wax

Five from the VASTLY underrated Sound. Bright, dramatic and often powerful. A riveting LP — one of the group's best.
The Sound - Winning (Mp3)
The Sound - Skeletons (Mp3)
The Sound - The Fire (Mp3)
The Sound - Contact The Fact (Mp3)
The Sound - Silent Air (Mp3)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TVD's AM Gems | Hal Blaine Edition

From Hal Blaine's official website: Hal Blaine may well be the most prolific drummer in rock and roll history. He's certainly played on more hit records than any drummer in the rock era, including 40 ..1 singles and 150 that made the Top Ten. Eight of the records he played on won Grammys for Record of the Year.

He was the most in-demand session drummer in Los Angeles during the Sixties and early Seventies, and a list of musicians he played with reads like a who's who of popular music. In 1961, Blaine drummed on "Can't Help Falling in Love With You," one of Elvis Presley's most memorable sides, and he would play on Presley's film soundtracks throughout the Sixties. However, Blaine's best-known affiliation is with producer Phil Spector, where he served as the percussive backbone of the "Wrecking Crew" the nickname that younger studio hands on the L.A. scene bestowed on themselves after the rock-hating old-timers complained they were "wrecking the business."

A "short list" of tracks Hal Blaine recorded:
* Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley (12/18/61) * He's a Rebel - The Crystals (10/06/62) * Surf City - Jan & Dean (06/22/63) * I Get Around - Beach Boys (06/06/64) * Everybody Loves Somebody - Dean Martin (07/11/64) * Ringo - Lorne Greene (11/07/64) * This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis & the Playboys (01/23/65) * Help Me, Rhonda - Beach Boys (05/01/65) * Mr. Tambourine Man - Byrds (06/05/65) * I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher (07/31/65) * Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire (08/28/65) * My Love - Petula Clark (01/15/66) * These Boots Are Made for Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra (02/05/66) * Monday Monday - Mamas and Papas (04/16/66) * Strangers in the Night - Frank Sinatra (05/28/66) * Poor Side of Town - Johnny Rivers (10/08/66) * Good Vibrations - Beach Boys (10/29/66) * Somethin' Stupid - Frank & Nancy Sinatra (03/25/67) * The Happening - Supremes (04/15/67) * Windy - Association (06/03/67) * Mrs. Robinson - Simon & Garfunkel (05/04/68) * Dizzy - Tommy Roe * Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In - 5th Dimension(03/15/69) * Love Theme Romeo & Juliet - Henry Mancini (05/24/69) * Wedding Bell Blues - 5th Dimension (10/04/69) * Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel (02/14/70) * (They Long to Be) Close to You - The Carpenters (06/27/70) * Cracklin' Rosie - Neil Diamond (08/29/70) * Indian Reservation - Paul Revere & the Raiders (05/29/71) * I Think I Love You - Partridge Family (10/31/71) * Song Sung Blue - Neil Diamond (05/13/72) * Half Breed - Cher (09/01/73) * Annie's Song - John Denver (06/15/74) * Top of the World - The Carpenters (10/20/74) * The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand (12/22/74) * Thank God I'm a Country Boy - John Denver (04/05/75) * Love Will Keep Us Together - Captain & Tennille (05/24/75) * I'm Sorry/Calypso - John Denver (08/30/75) * Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) - Diana Ross (11/22/76)

An "AM Gems" Hal Blaine Sampler
The Association - Never My Love [Single Version] (Mp3)
The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice [Original Stereo Version] (Mp3)
The Cowsills - Rain, The Park and Other Things (Mp3)
The Mamas & the Papas - California Dreamin' (Mp3)
The Turtles - Elenore (Mp3)

(A Tip o' the Pin to Ol' JC!)

TVD's Morning Wax

...leaf crawl / insect / perfect / gloves, a scarf and hat / bone crack / hollow / wind blow / sunlight daydreams the past / fall is here again / stirring up the leaves / my heart and head...
Fossil - Moon (Mp3)
Fossil - Fall (Mp3)
Fossil - Tethered (Mp3)
Fossil - Rebellion (Mp3)
Fossil - Cargo of High Hopes (Mp3)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

TVD'S Morning Wax

Trouser Press has this to say about King: "From the ashes of promising rock-ska band the Reluctant Stereotypes, Coventry singer Paul King decided to go for the gold ring with a crass chart-geared quartet he thoughtfully named after himself. Launched in 1983, the colorfully uniformed King (the group) served a noxious, unmelodic pseudo-funk concoction that got an inexplicably favorable response: "Love & Pride" and "Won't You Hold My Hand Now" became hits. Produced (and drummed on) by Richard James Burgess, Steps in Time is filled with alarmingly stupid lyrics, fickle stylistic dabbling, arena-rock attributes and art-school pretensions. Awful."

Then why post this a noxious, unmelodic pseudo-funk concoction you ask? Why, King was the first band I saw live here in DC, at the (old) 9:30 on F Street -- waaay back in September of '85. (Yes,...old f*cks.) Plus, it ain't so bad. Really.
King - Love & Pride (Mp3)
King - Won't You Hold My Hand Now (Mp3)
King - Love & Pride (Body & Soul Remix) (Mp3)
King - Won't You Hold My Hand Now (Heavy Times Mix) (Mp3)

Monday, September 17, 2007

TVD: Baby's First LP

Here it is folks, the first LP I ever purchased.
Sometime back at the start of this blog, I wrote about this Beatles reissue LP which also happened to be the first record I ever bought, way back in '76. It seems that once The Beatles contract with E.M.I. expired on February 6th 1976, E.M.I. had the rights to release any of The Beatles previously released recordings. This double set was the first album release where E.M.I. exerted that total control.

Researching this release over the weekend, I came across this commentary, "As with the "Red" and "Blue" albums, the presentation of this package was once again diabolical. The artwork was awful, no "special" tracks, no lyrics, no coloured bags, nothing. In fact, John had actually written to E.M.I. offering a design, and was not at all impressed with E.M.I.'s refusal and the finished product. The art direction was by Roy Kohara, and the amateurish drawings were by Ignacio Gomez."

Man, I couldn't disagree more. Perhaps it's just dewy-eyed nostalgia, but I think the art is quite wonderful and well rendered. The front cover likenesses are spot on (ok, Ringo looks a little dodgy) but otherwise a great package. I dig the hands holding the record too -- a design nuance that has lingered in my brain for all this time.

Most of all though, I vividly recall going to the aforementioned Two Guys in Neptune, New Jersey with my dad to buy this record. "Got to Get You into My Life" was the "new" single from this collection and I was enthralled -- I had mowed the lawn just enough to save the cash, and with the requisite hole burned clear through my pocket, we headed out to buy this thing. What a day. I literally can even recall what the new vinyl and the printed cover smelled like when the outer plastic was removed.

Seems some things you just never forget.

Which is why I had been recalling this trip to the Two Guys in 1976 over the past weekend. Dad passed away one year ago today. I find myself typing at the same desk where this day last year my cell rang to let me know dad had lost the month-long battle with pneumonia. Talk about going numb. The sensation was ten gazillion alarms going off in your head...a paralyzing disorientation. And loss.

Those alarms over the past year have seemingly popped off one by one. Time they say, at 33, 45 or 78 RPMs is a healer, and it's true. You move back into the routine, you're cracking jokes again and meeting the boys at the bar for drinks. But there's a deeper undercurrent to the memories that ultimately comprise just who the hell you are. Music, the old records on the shelf are imbued with a notch in the psyche, a clear bookmark of a place and time.

Which is frankly, why I thought to start this blog -- to recall mine and perhaps ignite those recollections for whoever cares to read and recall their own. And to give dad a shout-out for encouraging his kid to just be himself and follow his interests. He'd say, "Hey kid, it's your money" or when I cut my own hair in a Bono-like mullet, he said "It's your hair, kid. You wanna look that way, fine."

Forgive me if I think he was just the best dad a kid could have. For these things and so, so much more.

H. P. M.
21 March 1930 - 18 September 2006

The Beatles - In My Life (Mp3)

Five from 1980:
Joy Division - These Days (Mp3)
Bauhaus - Dark Entries (Mp3)
Cabaret Voltaire - Silent Command (Mp3)
Modern English - Gathering Dust (Mp3)
Dead Kennedys - California Uber Alles (Mp3)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

TVD Turns Three!

Well, that's months -- don't run out to buy us any gifts just yet.
But we're growing steadily and welcome all of our visitors from both here in DC and across the globe, as it seems we're visited daily from every continent on the planet. We're glad we've struck a chord among the repeat visitors and perhaps with those who stumble across us by accident each day. (It's pretty darn funny to see how many folks find us via the key words "home eye exam." We'll word our snark better next time. Promise.)

We're also happy to announce that both The Hype Machine and DC Blogs have begun to pick up our updates on a daily basis along with the linked Mp3's, so we anticipate the visitor pool to rise quite sharply over the coming months. (You'll also notice a few tweaks in how we operate here to make their tracking possible.)

One last thing to mention -- yea, sure this is a blog where you expect us to mouth off, post and pontificate, but really what we're shooting for is a conversation. Like a linked tune? Let us know. You'd rather eat glass than listen to something we've recommended? Wanna hear it. Got a request? Happy to oblige. Tourettes? We're not afraid of a little dirty talk. Just chime in and participate.

Lastly, here's just a bit of what you'd be humming to yourself by now as a loyal TVD visitor. We'll see you in the morning.

Snowden - Anti-Anti (Mp3)
Bedroom Walls - In Anticipation Of Your Suicide (Mp3)
Bee and Flower - Don't Say Don't Worry (Mp3)
Prefab Sprout - Dragons (Mp3)
I Am Kloot - Working To Work (Mp3)
Silver Sun - This 'n' That (Mp3)
Bram Tchaikovsky - Girl of My Dreams (Mp3)
Foreign Born - In The Shape (Mp3)
The Chameleons - Intrigue In Tangiers (Mp3)
Adrian Borland Sea Of Noise (Mp3)

Friday, September 14, 2007


30 September 1947 - 16 September 1977

Bolan at the Beeb (82 MGs)
23 tracks...Peel Sessions, Interviews, more...

"Heeey, you got your Prog in my New Wave."
"Nooo, your New Wave's in my Prog!"

Yes - White Car (Mp3)
Yes - Into The Lens (Mp3)
Yes - Run Through The Light (Mp3)
Yes - Tempus Fugit (Mp3)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Silver Sun - Test (Mp3)
Silver Sun - Golden Skin (Mp3)
Silver Sun - Julia (Mp3)
Silver Sun - Far Out (Mp3)
Silver Sun - This 'n' That (Mp3)
Silver Sun - Nobody (Mp3)
...we're a little like the 'CD District' this morning. Here's one cover that I'd love to have at 12" for sure. Not to mention the band just kicks proverbial ass. Think the Beach Boys meet Jellyfish, Stone Temple Pilots? Could be...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Talk Talk - Such a Shame (Mp3)
Talk Talk - Dum Dum Girl (12" Mix) (Mp3)
Talk Talk - Living In Another World (Mp3)
Talk Talk - April 5th (Mp3)
Talk Talk - Happiness Is Easy (Mp3)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rhino Reissues Joy Division Vinyl

Limited edition collector's box and individual 180-Gram Vinyl releases due.
Joy Division's 1979 debut UNKNOWN PLEASURES is a landmark album that established the band as principal architects and ultimate icons of the post-punk movement and the U.K. Manchester scene of the late '70s. UNKNOWN PLEASURES' ten classic songs resonate with the atmospheric textures and deep sonic spaces of Martin Hannett's production. Highlights include “Insight,” “Disorder,” “New Dawn Fades” and “She's Lost Control.” The latter song is the inspiration for the title of the 2007 film Control, the acclaimed Anton Corbijn-directed feature chronicling the life and times of Joy Division's lead singer and principal songwriter, the late Ian Curtis.

Joy Division's 1980 follow-up CLOSER, another seminal post-punk masterpiece, ranks #157 on Rolling Stone's “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.” Musically and lyrically driven by the prevailing despair of Ian Curtis - who killed himself only months after the LP was released - CLOSER was also produced by Martin Hannett, who weaves sprawling emotional chaos and shifting atmospheres and textures together into an enormously powerful ten-song tour de force. Stand-outs include “Heart And Soul,” “Isolation,” “Eternal,” “Decades” and the wrenching “Twenty Four Hours.”

The compilation STILL came out in late 1981, over a year after Curtis' death. Comprised of twenty studio outtakes, b-sides, live cuts and other rarities, all the tracks were previously unissued at the time of STILL's original release except for “Glass” and “Dead Souls,” both compelling studio recordings from 1978 and 1979, respectively. STILL also presents material from Joy Division's last-ever concert, recorded at Birmingham University in May 1980 including the only time they performed “Ceremony” live (the song would later become a New Order single). Another track captured at Birmingham is “Shadowplay,” a selection covered in 2007 by The Killers for the soundtrack for the film Control. Other highlights include a live cover of The Velvet Underground's “Sister Ray” and a 1979 studio recording of “Something Must Break.”

Joy Division formed in Manchester, England in 1977, and had an immense and profound impact on contemporary music in a very brief time together. They recorded only two full-length studio albums, UNKNOWN PLEASURES and CLOSER, prior to lead singer Ian Curtis' 1980 suicide, just before the single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” became their breakthrough hit. The remaining members - guitarist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris - disbanded Joy Division after Curtis' death, and re-formed as New Order.

In addition to this limited edition collector's box housing all three titles, individual 180-Gram Vinyl releases of UNKNOWN PLEASURES, CLOSER and STILL are also available.

The Evolution of "Aberdeen."
From demo version, to the production heavy LP version, to the live version. I'm not sure which I prefer...
Danny Wilson - Aberdeen (Demo Version) (Mp3)
Danny Wilson - Aberdeen (LP Version) (Mp3)
Danny Wilson - Aberdeen (Live Version) (Mp3)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Of course we take requests!
The Vapors - Spring Collection (Mp3)
The Vapors - News at Ten (Mp3)
The Vapors - Sixty Second Interval (Mp3)
The Vapors - Waiting for the Weekend (Mp3)
The Vapors - Letter from Hiro (Mp3)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Sophomore Slumps That Weren't Day continues with the Vapors' "Magnets," the follow-up to the hugely (and quite singularly) popular "New Clear Days," which of course contained that tiny little hit "Turning Japanese."

Trouser Press wrote some time back, "One of the first in a breed of fresh-faced bands who fit neatly into the UK pop charts . . . while retaining vague new wave credibility, the Vapors started at the top and quickly sank from view. Their first single, "Turning Japanese," was a coy paean to masturbation and an enormous international hit; the inability to match it made both of the Vapors' subsequent albums big disappointments. They weren't that bad, though.

"Magnets" lacks a peer for "Turning Japanese," although "Jimmie Jones" (about Jonestown) nearly meets the challenge. Unfortunately, Fenton's greater aspirations and budding political conscience are severely out of step with the band's unbreakably commercial image. Had they not been doomed by their own devices from day one, the Vapors might have proven well worth following."

Disappointing indeed.

Interestingly, the "Magnets" cover was designed by Martin Handford, later famous for his Where's Waldo books, depicting an accident scene close up, but from a distance, looks like a man's eye.

So, close your eyes again -- turn the volume way UP -- and pretend these guys are playing Fort Reno or DC9 ...and you'd have your new, old, favorite band.

The Vapors - Lenina (Mp3)
The Vapors - Daylight Titans (Mp3)
The Vapors - Silver Machines (Mp3)
The Vapors - Galleries For Guns (Mp3)
The Vapors - Jimmie Jones (Mp3)
The Vapors - Live At The Marquee (Mp3)

Sophomore Slumps That Weren't Day, wherein we'll make the case for some follow-ups that were quite sadly overlooked. First up -- Modern English's "Ricochet Days." Close your eyes and forget you ever got really, really sick of "I Melt With You" and these tracks sound as fresh as can be...well, 20 or so years on.
Modern English - Blue Waves (Mp3)
Modern English - Heart (Mp3)
Modern English - Rainbows End (Mp3)
Modern English - Spinning Me Round (Mp3)
Modern English - Ricochet Days (Mp3)
In addition -- note the cover art by 23 Envelope, subject of yesterday's 12" Canvas Retrospective. Wonderful stuff...