Monday, August 18, 2008

TVD: We Get Letters!

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

Hello Vinyl District. My name is Sean Dunne and I used to think I was record collector. During college I worked at a deli and spent every penny I earned slicing Genoa salami on my pursuit of the punk rock classics on vinyl. When I tracked down and paid $40 for a first pressing of the Angry Samoans outstanding sophomore effort Back From Samoa, I began to realize my collecting had reached crisis level. My small room in my parent’s basement was getting increasingly cramped with my 400+ LP’s and EP’s. If it weren’t for the fact that I had a girlfriend and a bitchin’ Mustang some may have qualified me as a dweeb, I can admit this now. This never deterred me though. I loved the music, I loved the records and I loved the pursuit. Like I said, I used to think I was a record collector. That was until I met Paul Mawhinney.

Paul Mawhinney puts people like me to shame. In his presence I find myself embarrassed to even mention my puny little “collection”. It would be the equivalent of meeting Wayne Gretzky and bragging about your 4-goal game in peewee hockey, embarrassing for both parties associated. Paul has the world’s largest record collection. He has well over 3 million records. He has spent the past 40 years acquiring and meticulously cataloging everything the pop music landscape had to offer and in the process he cemented his legacy amongst the great obsessive collectors.

In June I visited Paul and made this little film about him. He is a pretty interesting specimen. He had lots of stories, most of which I couldn’t fit into the film because everyone has ADD and I wanted to keep it around 7 minutes. But if you guys like this maybe I can make a longer director’s cut that includes his rant about how he hates Tom Hanks and how he is unacknowledged for launching the career of David Bowie. But until then fellow Vinyl District readers, I give you…The Archive.


TVD's Daily Wax | Heart "Dreamboat Annie"

While visiting family and friends in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia this weekend I got a call from my best friend asking me if I wanted to see Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey on Tuesday night. Now, being a "baby of the eighties" I was never able to see any of these bands at the height of their fame, unlike my father who saw Heart and the Cars (among others) play at Denver's Mile High Stadium almost 30 years ago, so of course I quickly responded "YES!!!!!". Although Cheap Trick and Journey played a good set, I was absolutely amazed by Heart.Those Wilson sisters still have whatever caused them to sell millions of albums in the 70s and 80s. I think this was the first time I've ever seen a non-headliner come out for an encore (consisting of an excellent rendition of Zeppelin's Going to California). I have a few Heart albums and was debating which to put up here, but I think "Dreamboat Annie" is perfect because it showcases Nancy Wilson's fantastic acoustic guitar skills and Ann's ability to rock the socks off anyone- including Robert Plant who she is oft compared to.

Heart - Crazy On You (Mp3)
Heart - Dreamboat Annie (Mp3)
Heart - Magic Man (Mp3)
Heart - Sing Child (Mp3)
Heart - Soul of the Sea (Mp3)

TVD Giveaway | A Hamell On Trial Bag 'O Swag

True story...I'm backstage with Ed and Big Andy. The two have known each other for years and years, going back to their early days up in Syracuse together when Ed fronted the The Works and Andy was an underage hanger-on. Somehow it slips out that Andy brought his mom to the show. (Could've been me on beer #20. I dunno.) But anyway, that didn't sit so well with Ed. "Sheez, Andy, "he's wincing and rubbing his bald head, "did you tell her about my show...I mean the language, alone...who brings their MOM to a Hamell show?" "No, no, no," Andy's going on, cig hanging from the corner of his mouth. "You just do your show--keep it out of your mind."

What followed was a improvised, blistering evening of soul searing, over the top, foul-mouthed genius BECAUSE Andy's mom was in the audience...y'know, AFTER he introduced Andy's mom TO the audience. I laughed so hard I told my chiropractor to pencil me in for an additional hour the next day. (Lil tip: think twice before bringing small children and 'the greatest generation' to a Hamell show. Really.)

Ed himself will tell you he's a tough sell. One guy alone on stage making like he's Keith Moon-era Who with this beat up, eighty year-old acoustic guitar he's pummeling like a punk rock Otto Preminger. Then there's the comedy bits ala Bill Hicks and the off the cuff insights. What to make of this salad? I admit that at the time, after much Andy urging, I was a bit of a skeptic. Twenty minutes in however, I was SOLD. But don't take it just from me - in August '07, Hamell received a slew of outstanding reviews and a coveted Herald Award for the production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Three Weeks raved, “The man may very well be a genius. Obscene, outrageous and brilliant.”

So friends, in an effort to cut that first twenty minutes down to a mere three or four for future generations, Hamell himself, in concert with the super swell folks at Righteous Babe Records, bring you another TVD Giveaway--the Hamell On Trial Bag 'O Swag! Said swag bag consists of Ed's three RBR releases, "Tough Love", "Songs For Parents Who Enjoy Drugs", and an autographed copy of the brand new DVD/CD combo "Rant & Roll" which includes the DVD of Ed's one-man theatrical production “The Terrorism Of Everyday Life”. Oh, yea - there's a Hamell tee shirt in the Bag 'O Swag too. And some Righteous Babe stickers you can affix to your forehead. Cool huh?

How do you score this bag, you say? 'Tis simple. Have you seen Hamell live by chance? We want to hear about it. Have you seen Ed run a traffic light or did he flip you off on the Jersey Turnpike? Fill us in. Do you have a similar experience seeing an act for the first time and becoming ye olde convert for life? Pull up a chair - we'll hear your confession. Just leave 'em in the comment section (with some contact info!) and we'll choose the most compelling comment from the lot and announce the Bag 'O Swag winner this time next week--8/20.

And for all you readers in the UK - Ed's in your backyard as you read this very post. Check him out live--just leave the folks at home, K? Dates that include a week of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival can be found right hea'.

All week we'll be going through Ed's Righteous Babe Records back catalog...collect 'em all.

From 2008's "Rant & Roll"
Hamell On Trial - When You Are Young (Mp3)

From 2006's "Songs For Parents Who Enjoy Drugs"
Hamell On Trial - Heat (Mp3)
Hamell On Trial - Inquiring Minds (Mp3)
Hamell On Trial - Pretty Colors (Mp3)

From 2003's "Tough Love"
Hamell On Trial - A Little Concerned, That's All (Mp3)
Hamell On Trial - Don't Kill (Mp3)
Hamell On Trial - Hail (Mp3)
Hamell On Trial - There Is A God (Mp3)