Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TVD & MJ | Remember The Time

(Ed. note: Since having thwacked us into covers mode with her Friday Parting Shots guest post, Lemmonex returns with some thoughts on the passing of MJ...)

I have a memory that I am not entirely sure is accurate. It's one of those childhood blurs that I may have incorporated as a result of constant retelling, not of actual recollection. I choose to believe this mental snapshot is mine and not some sort of fabrication pieced together over the years.

I was a little girl, about four-years-old. My mom had driven my younger brother and me to Syracuse to visit my Aunt Carol. It is the first time I remember meeting my cousin Sara...she was perhaps a year old. My aunt put on the "Thriller" album and I danced wildly in her apartment. It is a somewhat muddled memory, but I remember flinging myself gleefully on her water bed and my mother and aunt laughing as I practically bounced off the walls. I was a pretty wound up child so didn't need much encouragement, but if Michael Jackson doesn't force you to dance...well, you may be dead.

This is one of my earliest memories, a moving Polaroid that always brings a smile to my face. In the past several days, I've read countless blog posts peppered with similar tales. Such a cultural force was MJ that these stories cannot be avoided. Everyone wants to share their remembrances of a man who no doubt was devastatingly talented and a true visionary.

What I cannot help but reflect on is while so many of us were touched by his words and music, there were countless people impacted by the man's eccentricities and his certainly odd curiosity with young boys. While we have been constantly reminded in the days since his death to focus on the man's talent and promise, and not the pathos which enveloped him, I can't help it. Though it was never proven he touched those children, at the very least he had a highly inappropriate relationship with them. His own children were held veritable prisoners in their own homes and forced to wear masks in public, robbed of any sort of normalcy. He leaves behind crippling debt and a somewhat unsure future for his sons and daughter.

It seems some people are so concerned about defiling the crown of the king they turn a blind eye to his sins. I have a hard time separating the music from the monster, the talent from the tormentor. I danced to his songs this past weekend, blaring "Dancing Machine" and "Dirty Diana", enjoying the simple pleasure they brought me, smiling as I thought of a little girl in pigtails jumping on furniture. I just can't help but feel a bit conflicted about celebrating the man, no matter how much I want to, knowing what he has done to the childhood of others. These simple stories are ones these kids will never have the joy of recounting.

TVD | Covered

The beauty of having added new contributors here at TVD is certainly a diversity of voices that didn’t exist prior—and if it isn’t obvious already—the diversity of music offered over here.

But alas, as we run our covers week(s) into the ground, you’ve got me back to inspire the sweet same old, same old. (Chin up, kids.)

Guns 'n Roses - Mama Kin (Aerosmith cover) (Mp3)
Japan - Ain't That Peculiar (Smoky Robinson cover) (Mp3)
KISS - Then She Kissed Me (The Crystals cover) (Mp3)
Placebo - Johnny and Mary (Robert Palmer cover) (Mp3)
Peter Murphy - Final Solution (Club Mix) (Pere Ubu cover).mp3 (Mp3)

Monday, June 29, 2009

TVD | Covered

I went home to the small town where I grew up listening to my grandpa's country records this past weekend, so I thought it appropriate that TVD covers week (which continues after last week's break due to the MJ news) should include 5 old time country covers. Some performances better than the originals, some worse, but all 5 songs are immaculate.

Willie Nelson - Always on My Mind (Brenda Lee cover)
Johnny Cash - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams cover)
Ray Charles - I Can't Stop Loving You (Don Gibson cover)
Patterson Hood - Pay No Attention to Alice (Tom T. Hall cover)
Norah Jones - Be Here to Love Me (Townes van Zandt cover)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

TVD Remembers | Michael Jackson

"...All the beauty gets taken for granted / All the pain gets put in the way..."

Jackson Five - I Want You Back (Mp3)
Jackson Five - ABC (Mp3)
Jackson Five - Dancing Machine (Mp3)
Jackson Five - Goin Back to Indiana (Mp3)
Jackson Five - It's Too Late to Change the Time (Mp3)
Jackson Five - Who's Loving You (Mp3)
Michael Jackson - Ben (Mp3)
Michael Jackson - I Wanna Rock With You (Mp3)
Michael Jackson - Beat It (Mp3)
Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Startin Somethin (Mp3)
Michael Jackson - Thriller (Mp3)

TVD Class of ’72 | “Smokin’ O.P.’s” by Bob Seger

(Ed's note: As we mentioned earlier in the week, our pal Jeff from AM, then FM will be joining us several times a month with a dip in the box of LP's from the 70's. Today is his first installment, and given our covers themed week, it's quite timely indeed.)

If you know Bob Seger only from “Night Moves” and the Silver Bullet Band in the late ‘70s, you really ought to get to know the other Bob Seger.

He’s a pretty cool guy. Those of us who grew up in the Midwest have known that guy since the early ‘70s, maybe even the late ‘60s. That’s when we started digging his stuff, which was – and is -- passionate, gritty, hard-rocking and energetic.

“Smokin’ O.P.’s,” released in August 1972, is an album made up mostly of covers. It’s sort of a bridge between the earliest tunes by Bob Seger and the Last Heard and then the Bob Seger System -- tunes that were big mostly only around Detroit -- and some early ’70s solo albums that were big mostly only in the Midwest.

On this one, Seger is standing smack at the intersection of Rock, Soul and Blues. You’ll also dig his formidable backing band. In particular, Mike Bruce on guitar, Skip Knope on Hammond organ and Pam Todd and Crystal Jenkins on lead and backup vocals.

Bob Seger - Bo Diddley/Who Do You Love (Bo Diddley cover) (Mp3)
Bob Seger - Love The One You’re With (Stephen Stills cover) (Mp3)
Bob Seger - Turn On Your Love Light (Bobby "Blue" Bland cover) (Mp3)

All from “Smokin’ O.P.’s,” Bob Seger, 1972.

It's a TVD Ticket Giveaway | Wild Fictions, Saturday, 6/27 at The Velvet Lounge

It’s just seems like we have tickets for show after show now, doesn’t it? Well, it should—and we’ve got not just a pair of tickets, but a t-shirt and the most recent EP from local brother/sister, drum/keyboard duo Wild Fictions. Kelly and Chris are joined by Loderunner and Ribbons this Saturday night at Velvet Lounge for what’s shaping up to be a fine night of music all around.

The drill: the comments box. You: leave a comment within pleading your case (with contact info!) for the grab bag of gifts. TVD: chooses one winner come Friday. You: rock out on Saturday. TVD: you’re welcome.

Wild Fictions - Secret Society (Mp3)
Wild Fictions - 1943 (Mp3)

It's an TVD/Ash, Handmade, Autographed CD Giveaway! (CD...?!)

I’ve always argued when it comes to CDs that they’re impersonal and physically just 25% of the artistic aesthetic I’ve long appreciated with vinyl records. But your bleary eyes aren’t confusing you this morning—TVD’s got a CD giveaway.

For the past year Ash have been holed up in their New York HQ, Atomic Heart Studios, writing and recording a series of songs that will form what the band is calling the A-Z series. Starting in October, every two weeks for the next twelve months, Ash will release one single on limited 7” vinyl and digital download...Starting with ‘A’ and ending at 'Z', all 26 songs will be released on Ash’s own Atomic Heart Records and will be available through shops and by subscription through the band’s website.

Ash kick of this series with a bonus track (not one of the forthcoming 26 songs)—the Mark Hamilton penned song "Return of White Rabbit."

TVD’s got our mitts on a set of limited edition promo CDs for "Return of White Rabbit" which have been handmade and signed personally by members of the band; Rick’s pack of playing cards, Tim’s apocalyptic bunny rabbits and Mark’s day-glo stencils. So, yes—they’re CDs, but they can’t get any MORE unique than this set.

The drill is the same: grab our attention in the comments (with contact info!) and the entire set of three CD’s will land on your doorstep no matter where you’re reading us. We’ll choose our winner next Friday (6/26) for the set.

Download the track "Return of White Rabbit" free at Ash's official site.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TVD First Date with | Fanfarlo

It’s a cool gimmick to give your new record away for a dollar. Better still when that release is simply STELLAR. (Note: caps.)

Fanfarlo's 'Reservoir' is on heavy rotation this week here at TVD HQ and as such, we tracked down the band’s drummer Amos for a chat:

"I came to record buying late on, mainly through being content watching my mix-video tapes of bands performing on long lost British TV shows such as Snub TV, Club X, Night Network, Rapido and an imported Canadian show called The New Music which warranted setting the video player's timer for a ridiculous time in the morning.

Somewhere along the line, under the guidance of John Peel's ears, who was my other source of new music, I purchased my first 7" from the Our Price record shop on Wembley High Road. Released in the summer 1991, whilst I was still at school, Heavenly's "So Little Deserve" on Sarah Records would be the start of my record collection, and two years later, my graduation to live music, sending me across London to watch a slew of experimental (Rollerskate Skinny), instrumental (C.B. Beaumont), surf-punk (The Mummies) or Riotgrrl-affiliated groups (Lois, Heavenly and Delicate Vomit is one gig that sticks in my mind as inspiring).

By the time I'd reached art college, I was attending more gigs than galleries, as I had to explain to my tutor. This was after he'd requested I compile a tape of Dick Dale for him, who was now in vogue due to the inclusion of "Miserlou" in the opening credits of Pulp Fiction. When I moved into my new space at college and tacked some striking 50's B-movie posters above my desk which I'd found discarded in my locker, Jamie, a kid from the year above me threateningly asked, "Why have you put my posters up?" Realising that we shared the same pop-culture aesthetics, we bonded over a love of Pavement and Dischord records, whilst his girlfriend, who was my classmate, was a fan of The Sea Urchins - Sarah Records's first ever release.

After college, another defining moment was the Bowlie Weekender in 1999, a one-off festival which was the brainwave of Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. The venue was a holiday camp in Camber, on the South-East coast of England. I was having a bad day at the office when a friend phoned up and persuaded me to re-think my decision of not wanting to go. He was right. Under one roof you could witness Godspeed You Black Emperor!, The Pastels, Sleater-Kinney, The Flaming Lips and the headliners Belle and Sebastian amongst others. Labels brought their back catalogue to sell on makeshift stalls, and bands welcomed newly made friends into their chalets. Such was the influence of the event, that club nights, festivals, indie labels and bands formed mere months later. At Bowlie, I was reunited with Jamie and by the end of the year, we had a band that, before we'd even played live, had released a 7" of our own.

I had seen Fanfarlo play as a duo in the winter of 2005 and immediately fell under their spell. I bought their first 7" on the same day I decided to join the band, and within two months we were performing those songs and others that would be released on a variety of London based labels (all on vinyl too). Our album "Reservoir" will be pressed onto vinyl for the first time this year, which is a format that excites us - from the enlarged cover art and design to the new dynamic of having a pause after track five, which is when you'll have to flip to Side B."

Fanfarlo - Luna (Mp3)

TVD | Covered

TVD covers week marches on. A few weeks ago I introduced myself to this blog as a child of the 80s. Today's post showcases covers of some great 80s songs. You remain free to post your favorite covers in the comments!

Paul Westerberg - Postcards From Paradise (Flesh for Lulu cover)
Matthew Ryan - Somebody Got Murdered (Clash cover)
Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Orion (Metallica cover)
David Gray - Say Hello Wave Goodbye (Soft Cell cover)
Ben Harper - Sexual Healing (Marvin Gaye cover)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's a TVD 36-Hour Ticket Giveaway! | Wheat at DC9, Thursday, 6/25

I’d tell you how much I listened to “Don’t I Hold You” over and over again a while back but that’d defeat the purpose in announcing that Wheat is back with a new record “White Ink/Black Ink” and in advance of its July 21st release, the boys play DC9 this Thursday night AND as the title to the post says: we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away!

As is the rule oh so often here, the most effervescent commenter to this post (who leaves contact info – important!) gets the pair of tickets and a dose of good karma for playing along. Make ‘em good – we’re pulling the winner Thursday morning.

Wheat - El Sincero (Mp3)

TVD | Covered

So continues our cover theme week. I think that the natural, but misguided, instinct when covering a great song is to try and be faithful to the original. But even bar bands can do faithful covers. So today's post is a nod to originality, even in mimicry. Some of these covers merely employ different melody or instrumentation, while others are not even identifiable with the original song. But they're all different. Again, feel free to post your favorite covers in the comments!

Red House Painters - Silly Love Songs (Wings cover)
Uncle Tupelo - I Wanna Be Your Dog (Iggy and the Stooges cover)
Lucero - Kiss the Bottle (Jawbreaker cover)
Herbie Hancock - All Apologies (Nirvana cover)
Mark Kozelek - Rock and Roll Singer (AC/DC cover)

It's a TVD 3-Way Giveaway | Mittenfields, We Were Pirates, Vox Pop at The Black Cat, Tuesday, 6/23

We've been promoting this show all this week and it seems only fitting that we give you guys a chance to see it, right?

TVD's got a pair of tickets for Tuesday night's Black Cat, back stage 3-fer and a copy of We Were Pirates’ debut release “Cutting Ties” for one lucky commenter who stands heads and shoulders above the rest.

Make 'em good — we'll choose our winner Tuesday morning...

Monday, June 22, 2009

TVD | Covered

Following up on Lemmonex's guest post on Friday, we decided to do a TVD theme week around cover songs. We'll try to run the gamut as best we can, but today I'll start off with some old reliables—more obscure takes on my favorite rock classics of the 60s and 70s. Feel free to recommend your favorite covers for future posts in the comments!

Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield - $1000 Wedding (Gram Parsons cover) (Mp3)
Social Distortion - Under My Thumb (The Rolling Stones cover) (Mp3)
Andru Donalds - Somebody's Baby (Jackson Browne cover) (Mp3)
The Lemonheads - Mrs. Robinson (Simon and Garfunkel cover) (Mp3)

TVD Pop-Overs | AM, Then FM

This morning we’ve a Pop-Over with Jeff over at AM, Then FM...and an announcement into the bargain:

"AM, Then FM has been loitering on the Internet for more than two years now. I dig out some tunes from my collection and I tell a few stories. Which is more interesting? That’s your call.

AM, Then FM comes to you from Wisconsin, where I started listening to AM Top 40 radio out of Chicago and Milwaukee in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, then moved on to free-form FM radio in the ‘70s and ’80s. Thus the name.

Radio was more diverse then than now. That’s why the posts at AM, Then FM careen from rock to R&B to soul to funk to pop to country to jazz. I heard it all back then, and I still listen to it all. What I should have bought then, I’m crate digging for now.

Which might explain why TVD has tapped me to be your guide to the ‘70s. We’ll be mining my old vinyl albums for familiar and less-heard cuts from that decade.

And what year preceded that decade? Enjoy five faves from AM, Then FM, all from 1969:"

The Grass Roots - I'd Wait A Million Years (Mp3)
The Isley Brothers - Somebody Been Messin' (Mp3)
Creedence Clearwater Revival - The Night Time Is The Right Time (Mp3)
Dionne Warwick - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (Mp3)
Mason Proffit - Two Hangmen (Mp3)

TVD Live | Girl in a Coma with Miss Derringer, 6/17/09, The Red and The Black

Tuesday night I arrived at The Red and The Black in the Atlas District to see Girl in a Coma. It was about a quarter to nine and I figured I’d catch the end of the opener, Miss Derringer’s set. Fortunately for me they were running behind due to some problems with the sound system. I was able to wait in their newly redone patio in the back, definitely worth checking out the next time you’re that way.

At about a quarter after nine Miss Derringer took the stage. They are a band from Los Angeles and it shows. With a very distinct west coast sound that draws from the early years of Rock and Roll and Do-wop bands of the early sixties, they were able to keep the audience hooked despite the technical difficulties. There were many points where had they had a larger following would have been great opportunities for chorus sing-alongs.

While the rest of the audience bobbed their heads in time, I was transfixed on Liz’s outfit. While they were all done up in would be sad clown make-up, she was sporting men’s briefs as hot pants over tights. I asked their manager if I was seeing things and he said “No, she has plenty more (outfits) where that one came from.” Though her explanation came between songs when she said, “I love musicals and he (Slade, her husband and guitarist) loves mob stories.” This was also relevant to their stage presence overall, each song had movements and there were typically two sides being represented in each song, Liz was often the mediator. Tracks “Better Run Away From Me” and “Black Tears” were highlights of the evening despite her vocals often being slightly flat.

Girl In a Coma took the stage at ten. They quickly broke into their signature post-punk influenced pop. While the Smiths comparison is impossible to ignore, it comes across better on the album, though it could have been the sound system, yet again, that contributed to their sounding off. The majority of the set was played in earnest but kept missing the mark. At one point Nina and Jenn had to trade mikes because Nina’s kept going out.

It was apparent that the small audience there was there just for them (the maximum capacity is only 100) as there was more movement and words being mouthed across the room. They kept things relaxed with friendly banter between songs at one point saying “they’re just so sweet I want to sop them up with a biscuit” of opener Miss Derringer.

Both of Girl in a Coma’s albums have come out on Blackheart Records, Joan Jett’s famed label. Jett’s influence is also apparent and comes through in their sound and aesthetic. “Say” reached for more post-punk roots while “Road to Home” was relevant and relatable.

Girl In A Coma - Clumsy Sky (Mp3)
Girl In A Coma - Say (Mp3)

Friday, June 19, 2009

TVD's Parting Shots

The Friday ‘Parting Shots’ feature, our last dance for the week usually, has been a forum for you, the attuned TVD reader to guest DJ your playlist of choice over at our place. That held true for well over a year but fell by the wayside for some reason that I simply don’t recall.

So, it’s with some fanfare that we announce that the forum for you guys is back in play and ushering in the era of the Parting Shots—Mach Two—is none other than one of my favorite bloggers, Lemmonex.

Ms. Lemmonex is the author of the very excellent Culinary Couture which “consists largely of recipes, but also includes culinary-related musings and thoughts on DC restaurants from time to time” as she writes. But that description only scratches the surface. Her writing is personal, candid, courageous, and very often out and out hilarious and is a bit of a rarity in the blogosphere: a true gem.

Now, normally I assume that when she’s discussing ‘covers’ it’s usually something on the stove-top, but today at TVD it’ll mean something else entirely:

"There is just something about a cover song, hearing an old favorite as if it is the first time. It is like running in to an old love; they are familiar, yet somehow experiencing them through a new filter sets your head spinning.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and I left out some favorites. The Door's version of "Alabama Song/Whiskey Bar" and Faith No More's "Easy" nearly made the cut, but Bowie bests them both with his complete re-envisioning of a punk tune. And "Jealous Guy"? Perfection in every form. This list has a bit of everything; the sickeningly saccharine song reveals itself as sweet lover's lament, an ode to masturbation suddenly becomes even dirtier at the hands of a rock God, and a pitiful croon transforms itself into a desperate plea.

I am sure I left some of your favorites out, but for me me? These are perfect reunions with old loves."

Mark Ronson - Stop Me (originally The Smiths) (Mp3)
Johnny Cash - Hurt (originally Nine Inch Nails) (Mp3)
The Bird and the Bee - How Deep Is Your Love (originally the Bee Gees) (Mp3)
Scissor Sisters - Take Me Out (originally Franz Ferdinand) (Mp3)
Jem - Maybe I'm Amazed (originally Wings) (Mp3)
David Bowie - China Girl (originally Iggy Pop) (Mp3)
Foo Fighters - Darling Nikki (originally Prince) (Mp3)
The Sundays - Wild Horses (originally The Rolling Stones) (Mp3)
Rage Against the Machine - How I Could Just Kill a Man (originally Cypress Hill) (Mp3)
Elliot Smith - Jealous Guy (originally John Lennon) (Mp3)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TVD Live | An Horse @ The Black Cat, 6/17/09

If you're a fan of live music, your life encompasses rare but regular performances that validate all the time and effort you put in to find worthwhile artists in the hardscrabble itunes landscape of Linkin Park and Beyonce. For me, the list is short but oh so sweet - The White Stripes, 1999, Recher Theatre, Baltimore. Lucero, 2007, Ottobar, Baltimore. The National, 2008, 930 Club, DC. An Horse, 2009, The Black Cat, DC. Yes, there is a tough 8 year stretch of living in upstate NY, where good music goes to die. There is also the fact that I didn't really discover music until young adulthood. That's not really the point is it?

The headlining act last night was Telekinesis, and they were really quite good, but with all due respect to them, last night's show and this review are about An Horse.

From the opening chord Kate Cooper and Damon Cox captured every eye and mind in the dingy backstage at The Black Cat. Their energy wasn't the punch in the gut of most rock bands, more an arm around your waist and a tender but insistent kiss. They didn't demand your undivided attention, but they sure as hell took it.

Damon's drumming is perfect for a two-piece. Strong, insistent, busy without being aurally monopolizing. Kate is a star. Sprite-ish but kick ass in her boyish slim jeans, flannel shirt and close cropped blond hair I spent the whole hour wishing she was my little sister. Her guitar playing is lush and full as power pop demands and her vocals are perfectly affected, just rough enough to convey the reality that she's lived them.

An Horse steamed through almost every song from their debut LP, "Rearrange Beds," the punchy rock of songs like "Postcard" and "Camp Out" interspersed with the ethereal 4 am perfection of "Listen" which saw Damon momentarily abandon his sticks for a more appropriate (and perfectly rendered) melodica to accompany Kate's emotive performance, her fingers audibly sliding up and down the neck creating a sound that in the context of such a song eerily evokes gentle weeping.

As they left the stage I tried to text my best friend, to sum up everything I had seen, to capture the first thoughts on a band I am sure to like for a long long time. All I could muster was "Wow fucking wow," and wow fucking wow was appropriate.

An Horse - Camp Out (Mp3)
An Horse - Postcards (Mp3)
An Horse - Listen (Mp3)

TVD Three-Way Action | Mittenfields

We’ve got a bit of an atypical week here at TVD in advance of a show we’ve been looking forward to for some time. On June 23rd, the Black Cat hosts a stellar triple bill with We Were Pirates, Voxpop, and Mittenfields and in lieu of our normal First Date feature this week, we’re just gonna date ‘em all. One a day, three-way style.

Our glorious three-way finishes (!) this week with next Tuesday’s headliners Mittenfields who’ve steadily grown on me and continue to impress with their development as a ‘newer’ band. It’s been a real joy to hear this project morph into an outfit that’s growing leaps and bounds beyond their peers.

We chatted with Dave Mann, Mittenfield’s bassist (and a guy who’s been a real supporter of this blog for some time now) to get the skinny on the comings and goings within the group leading up to Tuesday’s last show before the band takes a break to write new material.

"Mittenfields are all about [well, its debatable as to whether we are "all about it"] switching up their line-up. In fact, Emily (violin/vox) played her last show with MF at Black Cat back in December of 2008. She then moved to Chicago and has just recently moved back to the area. So it is only fitting that she returns to Black Cat with MF. A match made in heaven...perhaps.  

Andy Ayers (cello/vox) joined MF back in January and had to leave the band unexpectedly (not voluntarily) in April of 2009. So we weren't looking forward to having a 3rd line-up change but with Emily being back....it's almost as though we are back at square 1, which is a 4 sided friendly shape for us to be at.

Now if the stars align and Andy is able to return to the band....well, this will make us all feel like gathering around a campfire with some smores because it will be good times indeed."

Mittenfields - Cut To The Chase (Mp3)
Mittenfields - Fog (Mp3)
Mittenfields - Natural Disasters (Mp3)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A TVD Ticket Giveaway | Elizabeth & the Catapult, Friday (6/19) at The Red and The Black

Last Wednesday we sung the praises of Elizabeth & the Catapult in our weekly First Date feature—and this week you can sing right along with us as the band pull into The Red and The Black this Friday night (6/19).

TVD’s got a pair of tickets to the show for one effervescent commenter who wishes to be catapulted front and center. State your case in the comments below with some contact info and we’ll hook you up for Friday night. We’ll choose our winner Friday morning...

Elizabeth & the Catapult - Taller Children (Mp3)

TVD Three-Way Action | Vox Pop

We’ve got a bit of an atypical week here at TVD in advance of a show we’ve been looking forward to for some time. On June 23rd, the Black Cat hosts a stellar triple bill with We Were Pirates, Voxpop, and Mittenfields and in lieu of our normal First Date feature this week, we’re just gonna date ‘em all. One a day, three-way style.

Next up: Vox Pop who ALSO happen to be appearing this Friday night along with Elizabeth & the Catapult at The Red and The Black...a show for which STILL have some FREE tickets. We chatted with VP's Jess Because earlier in the week:

"I still remember when my grandma sold her old record player at a garage sale. I must have been 4 or 5 but even then I was sad to see it go. I have been collecting vinyl for years and my living room reflects this hobby. Between Patrick (vox and guitar for Vox Pop/boyfriend/roomie) and I, we probably couldn't listen to all of our records one time through even if we were snowed in for a month. Although we sure would love to try.

Most of my best purchases were based on aesthetics and design. For almost a year I have had a specific piano melody stuck in my head. I've tried digging through and finding it by sight since I couldn't remember the name of the composer anymore, but just wasn't having any luck. A week ago I rented ‘Man on a Wire.’ Halfway through the film you'll never guess what beautiful piano solo played while Philippe Petit danced on a high wire. I spent the next day buried in boxes determined to find this album. And I did. √Čric Alfred Leslie Satie has been spinning on my record player ever since.

Vinyl is art. It's a tangible thing you can hold and admire. Vinyl has the power to possess memories and trigger emotions. And my favorite thing about vinyl is the fact it is makes listening to music an activity. With the advancement of technology music is everywhere, it's like wallpaper. With records, when I put one on, it's to listen to it. Not to do a million other things while it is on. I like to cuddle up, beverage in hand, alone or with friends and just enjoy a great album. I feel like "listening to music" has gone the way of the Dodo bird, but I refuse to give it up."

Vox Pop - Ten by Ten Square (Mp3)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TVD Three-Way Action | We Were Pirates

We’re planning a bit of an atypical week here at TVD in advance of a show we’ve been looking forward to for some time. On June 23rd, the Black Cat hosts a stellar triple bill with We Were Pirates, Voxpop, and Mittenfields and in lieu of our normal First Date feature this week, we’re just gonna date ‘em all. One a day, three-way style.

First up: We Were Pirates!

We Were Pirates is DC-area native, Mike Boggs. In 2007 Boggs set out to record a few songs that had been playing in his head for quite some time. Armed with an electric guitar, a casio keyboard, a sparse drum kit, and his trusty old iBook, he crafted a five-song EP, entitled, 'The Wolf.'

Some people liked the EP very much. So he kept making music and started playing shows here and there with good friends sitting in as the backing band. Since the release of 'The Wolf,' Boggs has been hard at work building a new home studio and recording a whole bunch of new songs for a full-length record.

Nearly two years later, on June 23rd 2009, Boggs will be releasing We Were Pirates' debut LP, 'Cutting Ties' at a CD release show at the Black Cat in DC.

So, we asked, "Hey Mike - how'd you become part of this stellar triple bill?"

"I've spent the past year building a home studio and then recording We Were Pirates' debut full-length. I record everything on all of the recordings in my studio and then my good friends Gabe Fry (bass/guitar) and Ben Skinner (drums) play music with me. I wanted to choose the right setting to release the CD and when our good friend Dave from Mittenfields asked us to join the bill, we were quite excited to combine our first time playing with Mittenfields with the release of the new record, "Cutting Ties." All of that, and the fact that we all love the Black Cat and are really happy to be playing there for the first time, pretty much guarantees a good show.

Oh and my favorite record on vinyl is "Bridge Over Troubled Water." "Baby Driver" sounds like heaven spinning on a turntable."

We Were Pirates - Settle Down (Mp3)
We Were Pirates - The Three of Us (Mp3)