Friday, October 30, 2009

TVD's Parting Shots

While most of the blogosphere is celebrating the looming Halloween holiday, I thought it best this year to rattle the bones of some FM AOR dinosaurs to exorcize the demonic spectre that has become: ...Rocktober.

(And really, there’s no way I could top last year’s frightful Halloween mix. Truly scary indeed.)

Next week we’ve got something BIG planned that we’ve never—ever—done before! So, see ya back here Monday, right?


Led Zeppelin - How Many More Times (Mp3)
Bad Finger - If You Want It (Mp3)
Cheap Trick - Surrender (Mp3)
David Bowie - Moonage Daydream (Mp3)
Kansas - Dust In The Wind (Mp3)
Foreigner- Fool For You Anyway (Mp3)
ELO - Can't Get It Out Of My Head (Mp3)
Elton John - Dirty Little Girl (Mp3)
Triumph - Fight The Good Fight (Mp3)
Rush - Spirit Of Radio (Mp3)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TVD First Date with | The Blakes

During a week when we’re discussing influences, I’m trying to put my finger on just who Seattle’s The Blakes are channeling. Could be Plimsouls...there’s some Beatles in there...The Who...The Kinks too. But it’s all entirely fresh and new as it should be.

Find out yourself when The Blakes play The Red & The Black on November 8th. We chatted with the band’s drummer and resident crate digger Bob Husak, in advance of their DC date:

"Vinyl has become a huge part of my life in recent years. Although I'd been an on-and-off casual collector since high school, a fateful trip to a giant rummage sale on Bainbridge Island in 2007 propelled me headlong into vinyl obsession. At that sale I filled a grocery bag full of any and every LP I could get my hands on, from Liberace to Andy Gibb, and I haven't looked back since.

I'm now dealing vinyl on eBay as my chief means of income, and I've found the act of selling records to be much more rewarding than simply collecting them. I regularly spend uncounted hours sifting through dusty bins and boxes at thrift stores, yard sales and old ladies' garages, obsessing over the condition of each piece I come across. I'm learning to quickly evaluate any given record's worth. I often research labels, pressings, acts, and so forth.

I've noticed that the hyper-detail-oriented approach to vinyl required by turning dealer has essentially demythologized the medium for me. In my opinion, a clean copy of a good pressing played on a good needle through a nice system can sound great, but if you're into analog, reel-to-reel is superior sound-wise. Digital remasters often sound better than vinyl, I believe.

I love vinyl mainly because of the vast amount of music pressed on it that's simply unavailable in any other medium. Entire genres have been practically forgotten, particularly classic easy listening, which I've grown to love. And records are a wonderful link to the past; for example, if you really want to know the sixties, you can't just spin your copies of Pepper, Pet Sounds and Forever Changes, you also need your Herb Alpert, your Man and a Woman soundtrack, your Johnny Mann Singers, your Ray Conniff. Of course, you can always take things to the other extreme and just collect esoterica from the margins, like The Godz or something. It's all fun to me.

Oh yeah, and liner notes. Try reading Maynard Solomon's erudite notes from the early Vanguard releases and tell me you don't suddenly consider yourself a folk expert."

The Blakes - Ramshackle Hearse (Mp3)
The Blakes - Basket (Mp3)

TVD | Flares of Brilliance

From yesterday’s points for consideration, we have my pal Shamus delighting in the experience of discovering new sounds and new music, film auteur Woody Allen commenting that, "When you first start out you're always striving for greatness and perfection and then after some years reality sets in and you realize that you're not going to get it," and Mika performing at the Palladium with his vocal tracks on hard drive. (Now with youtube’d evidence.)

The first band to snake charm me into music was Sweet. The eight year olds of today being seduced by garbage and I stand like the Native American Indian in the antilittering TV commercial with one tear ...streaming down my cheek.

This morning I noticed a few grey hairs.

Sweet - Ballroom Blitz (Mp3)
Sweet - Fox On The Run (Mp3)
Sweet - Action (Mp3)
Sweet - Love Is Like Oxygen (Mp3)
Sweet - The 6-Teens (Mp3)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TVD | Flares of Brilliance

Three things are informing my thought patterns this morning after yesterday’s post. Firstly, the comment from my long-time friend Shamus from yesterday where he makes fine points, but I think misses what I was striving for. Nonetheless:

“I just love new music. I love finding it, listening to it, devoutly following it and proselytizing it. I can't imagine not. I know some of this is just for the sake of novelty but it's a habit I never broke.As to why bother listening to music. Well, while we're definitely in a post-rock and post-art in general world there is still great innovation, new sounds, new combinations, bands singing about contemporary feelings and topical subjects, new personalities; looks and styles, new cool bands like MGMT, White Stripes, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Rattatat, Phoenix, of Montreal, Muse, The Firemen (Paul's fantastic band with Killing Joke's Youth), Fleet Foxes, The Decemberists, and Bright Eyes. And these are all just easily accessible rock bands. I'd rather have them take your $17 or 9.99 itunes purchase than the truly awful sounding Who or Pink Floyd or The Dead sucking $175 dollar concert tickets out of the lazy and confused wouldn't you? To make a statement that no art since time X is as good anymore strikes me as a huge insult to the great bands that have put out music since 1972. It seems you pigeon-holing a genre by the strictures of the styles that developed up to that point neglecting the expansion of the genre by Krautrock, prog, post-punk, rave, mad-chester, dream-pop, brit-pop, electronica, avant-garde, trip-hop. etc, etc, etc. My god where would we be without Kraftwerk, Soft-Machine, Joy Division, Orbital, My Bloody Valentine, Nick Cave, Portishead, Radiohead, Manic Street Preachers, Boards of Canada. All these bands have put out art as valid, as important as will be listened to in 100 years as The Beatles, Led Zep, and Rolling Stones. The smart kidz will grow out of My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park just like I grew out of Men at _Work and U2. I think it's perfectly valid to be a like a specific genre and style of music, I don't have to tell you that. It's personal preference. It's opinion. But to say the expansion of the genre, the great contribution to the art is invalid, inferior and less significant betrays fear and ignorance doesn't it? When I watch Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity I see similar fear. Fear of the new, change and wistful reverence for a past that posits that everything should have stayed the same. If it did everything would be alright forever. BUT things don't stay the same do they? Be ambitious boys, be ambitious girls The beautiful thing about the internet. It's no longer a cadre it's thousand of people worldwide. I belong to many online communities who can agree that something is good and talk of it's merits and demerits. And, I can meet people on line and play in bands and get people to come to my shows who already agree that a genre is valid and move on to enjoying the music. It's okay to make mistakes when listening to new music and enjoying it. Some things don't age well, and sometimes I just plain old had bad taste or got fooled by a fad- that's okay, 'cause some of the stuff remains great. Thankfully I was open to trying it!” —Shamus

The second from Jeffrey Wells' excellent blog, Hollywood Elsewhere:

Aahh, Youth
"When you first start out you're always striving for greatness and perfection and then after some years reality sets in and you realize that you're not going to get it." -- Woody Allen between shots of his latest London-based film (allegedly titled You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger), talking to the Telegraph's John Hiscock in a piece than ran ages ago (i.e., 9.29).

Maybe you're "not going to get it" just so, but urgent creative strivings of talented young (or younger) directors looking to mark their mark tend to produce their best films. Allen seems to be saying he'll never make a film like Manhattan or Annie Hall or even Stardust Memories ever again, and that he's more or less content with that. That's a rather grim attitude. I'll take the young Scorsese (Mean Streets to Raging Bull) over the latter-day version any day of the week. Ditto young Coppola vs. old Coppola. Or young Bertolucci (Before The Revolution, The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris). Or young DePalma (The Phantom of the Paradise, Sisters, Greetings). Or young Jim Cameron (Piranha, Terminator, T2, Aliens) over the silver-haired Avatar techno-maestro he's since become.

Third, Bob Lefsetz’s review of Mika at The Palladium:

"We’re fucked.

I was standing in the back of the Palladium, all jazzed up, when I realized something. Almost this ENTIRE SHOW was on hard drive!"

Please read the rest right here.

Yes, I’m thinking out loud today.

T-Rex - Spaceball Ricochet (Mp3)
T-Rex - Jeepster (Mp3)
T-Rex - Cosmic Dancer (Mp3)
T-Rex - Ballrooms Of Mars (Mp3)
T-Rex - Girl (Mp3)

(...all live radio broadcast performances.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

TVD | Flares of Brilliance

Last week our lil hometown newspaper, The Washington Post, introduced a redesigned top to bottom print edition, and while I quite like much of the overall redesign—as an art director by day—I’ve got some problems with some of the changes which had me pining away for the ‘old’ and discarded look. The ‘golden days’ if you will. Of a week back.

But I didn’t even realize I was in the halcyon, ‘golden era’ of the Post two weeks back. I was in the present, not fully appreciating something that arrives day in and day out with regularity and familiarity. But yank that away, or better yet allow something to ‘evolve,’ and suddenly there’s a rearview mirror which renders what came before into focus from an entirely new perspective. That of, well, ...the past.

Along with the Post each morning, I’m also reading and scouring the blogs on a daily basis. It’s a routine—pour the coffee, browse the blogs. But it’s become a hollow experience...I mean, who the fuck cares about a Julian Casablancas solo record? Who gives a crap if the four preps of Vampire Weekend have another Paul Simon record in the can? Why would I ever care to read about, be inspired by, or find worthwhile the likes of Male Bonding, Bear Hands, We Are Enfant Terrible, Reni Lane, and Yes Giantess? (Random examples there.) But really, why should I CARE?

And I’m sorta pissed off because ‘fringe’ is the mainstream now of course. You might think you’re an indie kid with your Pitchfork and Stereogum bookmarks (to poke a trite example) but you might as well be reading Rolling Stone or Spin. Despite your Bobby Brady fashion inclinations, you are mainstream, corporatized, and while you were following along perhaps a bit too closely, the world turned on its head, sold you out, and your favorite band from Brooklyn’s in an iPod commercial. Or endorsing a beverage. Or selling you sneakers.

Deride the dinosaurs all day long, mock their reunion tours or their Walmart deals, but there was an authenticity at their genesis that none of the aforementioned acts who graced CMJ stages last week can lay claim to. The classic rock dinosaurs left a weighty footprint—but a rehash of a rehash from the same blueprint smothered in frosty, arty artifice is leaving me cold. Man.

I’m adoring the new Big Star box set that contains the working sketches of brilliance and DESPITE the Beatle influences, offers a newness these many years on. And yes, Big Star’s the blueprint for so many bands that followed—do the list in your head. If you do, that’s a pretty strong coterie of bands there.

So am I laying claim this week to the old adage that everything was better in ‘my day’ with the veneer of a crusty old fuck?


Big Star - Thirteen (Mp3)
Big Star - Give Me Another Chance (Mp3)
Big Star - What's Going Ahn (Mp3)
Big Star - Nighttime (Mp3)
Big Star - For You (Mp3)

It's a TVD Fall Vinyl Giveaway | U.S. Royalty, 'Midsommar' EP 7"

Believe it or not, this is our very first 7”.

(...go ahead, run the jokes. I’ll wait.)

Ahem. And there’s no better way to debut our first 45rpm giveaway than with the new EP from DC’s homegrown heroes, U.S. Royalty.

The ‘Midsommar’ EP features the new single ‘Every Summer’ offered right down there for download. But you don’t care so much for downloaded Mp3’s do you now, which is probably why you’re here. (It sure as hell ain’t for the nifty dog walking tales, no siree.)

The U.S.R. ‘Midsommar’ EP is yours for the asking in the comments to this post, so fire away. Make ‘em good. Make ‘em compelling. And leave us some contact info too, please. We’ll choose a winner by noon, Monday (10/26) for our very first 7”.

(Right. We know. The jokes write themselves.)

U.S. Royalty - Every Summer (Mp3)

Friday, October 23, 2009

TVD's Parting Shots

Two universes mosey down the street
Connected by love and a leash and nothing else.
Mostly I look at lamplight through the leaves
While he mooches along with tail up and snout down,
Getting a secret knowledge through the nose
Almost entirely hidden from my sight.

(The rest is here.)

ABC Radio Mystery Time Theater (1957) - Death Walked In (Mp3)
The Sisters of Mercy - Walk Away (Mp3)
Ravonettes - Aly, Walk With Me (Mp3)
Exile Parade - Fire Walk With Me (Mp3)
Crowded House - Walked Her Way Down (Mp3)
The Room - Things That Have Learnt To Walk That Ought To Crawl (Mp3)
Aztec Camera - Walk Out Yo Winter (Mp3)
Paul McCartney - I Want To Walk You Home (Mp3)
The Ventures - Walk Don't Run (Mp3)
Wilco - Outta Mind (Outta Sight) (Mp3)

TVD First Person Single | The Rest

New feature!
Have a band? Fill us in directly on the meandering ways of a career in the music industry right here. We want the heartbreaking trials and tribulations and the lofty heights as you wend your way through the music making machinery. Because you need to vent, right?

First up, Adam Bentley from our friends to the north, The Rest.

"I was honoured when Jon first asked me to be a guest blogger on The Vinyl District, and had planned to get to work right away, but life had other plans. The intial reason for me to write this article was the first obstacle that obstructed my path. We’re currently working on a four part illustrated novel/EP titled The Cried Wolf Book. The story revolves around a surrealist take on the adult adventures of the boy who cried wolf. Each month (beginning October 1st) we’re releasing a free downloadable song from this site.

October’s song is a cover of Robyn’s smash hit With Every Heartbeat and on November 1st will see the next part of the story unveiled with the song The Close Western (which I’ve included here for the first time).

So, two weeks ago I was madly trying to complete the second part of the story for the illustrator before the band left to do a mini tour in the UK. I fell behind quickly with flight plans and scheduling issues taking up most of my time. I then promised myself to finish the post in England. Once we arrived in England in was pretty clear I wasn’t going to have much time to be typing away at the computer as shows, BBC interviews, press, photos, videos, and sampling the amazingness that is a foreign country reigned supreme.

I spoke with Jon and promised that would complete the post before the beginning of the week, but almost the minute I touched Canadian soil a brutal, coma inducing sickness attacked my sleep-deprived body. I felt like an aging prizefighter with a sinus problem. Up and down meant nothing and could barely tell you what day it was let alone the time. However, I woke up today and the fog was lifted. Almost comparable to the day after a wicked hangover…I felt alive again!
So, enjoy the songs, and keep checking the site above for a new song and the continuation of the story!"

The Rest - With Every Heartbeat (Mp3)
The Rest - The Close Western (Mp3)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TVD | I Go Walking

I spent a little time up at Som Records last night after a perfectly agreeable walk from the office downtown in some lovely, warm mid-October weather, picked up the new Clientele and Manics LPs AND a bottle of wine, and took the long route home.

True to his newly established schedule, Pete was ready for his last walk of the day shortly after I got back and out we went, the sun down now but still quite balmy indeed. He’s pretty particular about where he does his thing, so I had plenty of time to meander and think. Like a full half hour.

So... I’ll confess something without any hint of irony or sarcasm—I had a great epiphany during last night’s walk. Something crystallized for me, something I knew was churning but hadn’t reached the level of conscious expression:

I think I want to open a record store.

Remember this post.

Oh, and thanks Pete. Looks like I owe you one.

The Clientele - I Wonder Who We Are (Mp3)
Vanilla Swingers - Danger In The Past (Mp3)
Magnet - Jaws (Mp3)
Crowded House - Walking On The Spot (Mp3)
Blue Nile - Saturday Night (Mp3)

TVD | Art Brut in Retrospect

I realize that I go on and on about this blog being your forum too, so to underscore that a bit, our Art Brut ticket winner Valerie has a thought or five on last Sunday night’s show:

It’s hard not to root for Eddie Argos. Art Brut is like the musical equivalent of the Chicago Cubs: they won’t be on Top of the Pops and despite their assurances, they certainly won’t beat Satan but whenever there’s a new Art Brut album, it’s exciting and whenever they’re in town, it’s even more exciting. Because the kitschy speak-sing over angular guitars can get old on repeated listens but I would shell out fifteen dollars to see them every night if given the option. Here’s why.

1. Eddie Argos has remarkably good stage presence. He looks like Doc Oc with a bad dye job and a stupid earring and he sings about embarrassing things like drinking chocolate milkshakes when nearing thirty and not being able to get it up. But while the rest of us would get up there, sing about those faults and still sound like complete losers, he manages to get up onstage and actually look cool. Oh sure, he does things like play jump rope with the microphone cord (and consequently damage it) that never look cool. He also does things that are clearly canned, like letting the microphone droop pitifully out of his hand during “Rusted Guns of Milan.” But for the most part, he can throw himself around stage (or jump amidst the crowd offstage) and rock out just as hard as his idols. Which brings me to number two.

2. He appreciates all that was great about rock and roll and honestly seeks to emulate it. For starters, Argos is clearly a huge Jonathan Richman fan. If this wasn’t obvious from the offset when he bungled the lyrics to “Roadrunner” before going into “Formed a Band,” it should have been obvious before the end of the set. Before every song he asked, “Ready, Art Brut?” as if channeling the spirit of that first Modern Lovers album where Richman repeatedly asked that same summoning question to his own band. He also recognizes the value of continued rock and roll education or questions like, “How am I just finding out about The Replacements?” wouldn’t show up in his lyrics and he wouldn’t punctuate his set with votes of confidence to The Ramones and Iggy Pop. Iggy Pop brings me to number three.

3. He’s not afraid to poke fun where fun poking is due. He regaled the audience before the start of “The Passenger” that he originally had dedicated the song to Iggy Pop since Iggy had an identically titled song. Then Argos found out that the song was about heroin and can no longer dedicate that song to him. Not because of the heroin use, but rather because they no longer have that appreciation for public transit in common. When poking fun at the titular little brother in “My Little Brother” he said that the first song on the mixtape made by the little brother had the very unoriginal “Karma Police” at the beginning. He actually had to leave stage to remind himself how to sing that song. I don’t know that he necessarily has anything against Radiohead (or the Velvet Underground for that matter) but more so the bands that they’ve inspired who have received great success for derivative music and mediocre energy levels. Which is why having Princeton as a tourmate confuses me greatly. They were pretty boring. 

4. He’s just as nerdy as we are. He changed the words to “Modern Art” to make it “DC Comics makes me want to rock out.” And then went on this long story, while hopping up and down in the audience about how he went to the DC Comics headquarters and had the bat signal shined in his face. Among other things. And it was glorious.

5. He’s as much of a purist as we are. He went on a rant in the middle of, I think “Bad Weekend” about how last time he went to a record store he first saw DVDs and computer games...and he hates both. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TVD | I Go Walking

“...Of all the stupid things I could have thought / This was the worst / I started to believe / That I was born at seventeen / And all the stupid things / The letters and the broken verse / Stayed hidden at the bottom of the drawer / They'd always been / And now I plough through piles / Of bills, receipts and credit cards / And tickets and the Daily News / And sometimes I just . . .Wanna go back to my home town / Though I know it'll never be the same / Back to my home town / 'Cause it's been so long / And I'm wondering if it's still there...

We think we're pretty smart / Us city slickers get around / And when the going's rough / We kill the pain and relocate / We're never married / Never faithful not to any town / But we never leave the past behind / We just accumulate / So sometimes when the music stops / I seem to hear a distant sound / Of waves and seagulls / Football crowds and church bells / And I . . .Wanna go back to my home town / Though I know it'll never be the same / Back to my home town / 'Cause it's been so long / And I'm wondering if it's still there...

Back to my home town / Though I know it'll never be the same / Back to my home town / 'Cause it's been so long / And I'm wondering if it's still there...”

I could have sworn ol’ Pete was singing this song on his walk this morning. Something about it ‘hitting him on some visceral level’ he mumbled with a leaf hanging off his mouth.

Ah, ...dogs.

King - These Things (Mp3)
Ocean Blue - Drifting Falling (Mp3)
King L - Life After You (Mp3)
L.E.O. - Distracted (Mp3)
Joe Jackson - Home Town (Mp3)

TVD First Date with | The Jet Age

Silver Spring stalwarts The Jet Age have a brand new release in "Love" on the shelves later this month, and leading up to its debut, TVD chatted with Eric Tischler, the band's lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for some thoughts on inspiration of the vinyl variety—and beyond.

"I don't think I could've made in "Love" without vinyl. A collection of songs that asks you to sit down with the sleeve and pay attention? That's a relic of the vinyl age; could you have such an idea today without vinyl's example?

in "Love" is the story of a man and a woman, each otherwise spoken for (he's married with kids; she's got a long-term boyfriend), how and why they fall in love, and the reactions of (and commentary from) those around them. In other words, it's an examination of love, fidelity, and the value of family and personal happiness, and it takes 10 songs to tell the story so, right there, hitting "shuffle" on iTunes brings you diminishing returns (although I wrote the songs so they could stand alone; the test is each one's gotta be suitable for a mix tape, but I guess that's for another blog). As a result, it's a record that asks you to sit down with the lyric sheet and listen (the lyrics are color coded to make it easier to figure out who's "saying" what, when); again, something many of us first learned to do with vinyl.

Even the sound of the record is an attempt to capture the meaty sound of vinyl. My studio is state-of-the-art 1984. The kick drum figures prominently and you don't REALLY get the mix until you're sitting in front of some speakers that can handle it. The record sounds thick and muscular, and deliberately so; it's the sound I grew up with.

As a kid, it felt like my family listened to Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life every weekend; the changing of sides was a ritual unto itself, and the ebb and flow of the record was intrinsic to that. My music always comes before my lyrics, and that's because I need to sequence the record first, establish that same type of ebb and flow.

I remember vividly the thrill of picking up The Kids Are Alright on vinyl: Gatefold, inner sleeves like film cans, and a glossy, heavy stock book for the liner notes. You can't beat it. When we designed the package for in "Love," our designer, Jeffrey Everett of El Jefe Design, was a little concerned about making sure the lyrics were readable; we did some brainstorming, and I think we came up with a package that lives up to vinyl's example (except, y'know, it's smaller).

It all sounds a bit fetishistic when I type it down (and that's after I cut the part about slavishly hunting down Duran Duran 12"s), but then, so's music, right? A somewhat idiosyncratic passion that's personal, intimate. It's why I buy records. And why I make them."

The Jet Age - It Could Be Brand New (Mp3)
(From the brand new in "Love")
The Jet Age - O, Calendar (Mp3)
(From 'What Did You Do During The War, Daddy?')

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TVD's Comet Calendar for October, 2009 | The show of your choice is FREE!

TVD and Comet Ping Pong are excited to launch a new series of ticket giveaway contests where each month you can see your show of choice at Comet—FREE. Simply because we're looking out for you and your good time.

Here's how it'll work: each month we'll publish Comet's full schedule right here at TVD, you choose the show you'd like to see and be the first person to claim the tickets for that show in the comments to this post (with contact info!) and you're in FREE—no questions asked.

It's that simple. No long love letters, nothin'.

There will be just ONE winner for a pair of tickets allowed per show and you can't win more than once in a month. (Hey, we gotta have SOME rules...)

We're starting mid-month this time so the schedule below picks up where we are on the calendar right now. Check back soon for November's full calendar and updates as bands get added.

The giveaways start TODAY, so get to it...

Lovvers/ ZZZ

Post Punks hailing from the UK. "These kids are alright" Lovvers are a strange mix of music’s forgotten / blank generation, re-calling the spirit of Darby Crashes’ Germs, the weirdness of Flipper, Wipers style pop and the careless attitude of The Replacements; at one show a girl was so confused / annoyed that she wrote to KERRANG describing this music as “highly offensive, wanting to erase them from her mind." Offensive? Then it has to be good...right?

Birds of Avalon/ Loose Lips

Birds of Avalon
The monsters of North Carolina psycherock blow into the city with howls and roars. Testify.
Loose Lips
Don't say a word, let the blood shake your heart as DC's own shows you what you need to know.

The Heiz (Tokyo, Japan)/Love the Bomb

This one's already FREE!
The Heiz
Shaku and Asako were members of the well-known Tokyo electro-rock band Milkteath while Kimura played drums for indie rock band Outside. Both bands released many CDs and DVDs, toured Japan nationwide numerous times, and appeared on several television shows. But Shaku, Asako, and Kimura couldn’t get any satisfaction…

The three members of “the heiz” first met in 2005 when their respective bands played together for the first time. Three years worth of jam sessions later and “the heiz” were born.

The theme of "the heiz" is "DO NATURALLY”. "the heiz" eat MUSIC and excrete ROCK’N’ROLL. "the heiz" want to make pure music, like the musicians that inspire them. “the heiz” really want you to hear their ROCK’N’ROLL.

Love the Bomb
Sal used to be in Blondsai, Mike used to be in the Gamma Rays and still is in Geisha Lightning. One night they got drunk at a lackluster Jay Reatard show and decided to form a band.

TVD | I Go Walking

Four times a day, often at half hour stretches...there’s plenty of time for reflection and the mind to wander. A song to sing. A record to recall.

Pete just sniffs along too. The perfect spot is here – no, there. Here – no, there. And no perceived lack of shame to be doing it outdoors at the height of the evening’s rush hour. Business men wind their way around Pete’s business.

I recall my dad saying goodbye to Pete the morning he left for the hospital before his heart operation. ‘I’ll be back...’ he said in his best Arnold impersonation, but didn’t return. So Pete became my mom’s dog alone.

My mom had her fall this summer and was yanked from her home by paramedics without, I’m guessing, a farewell Pete. And from what I understand, she hasn’t been asking for him from the Alzheimer’s wing of the nursing home at all.

So, four times a day, often at half hour stretches...he takes his sweet ol’ time.

Richard Pryor - Acid (Mp3)
Silver Sun - Far Out (Mp3)
Shudder To Think - Hot One (Mp3)
Bee & Flower - Wounded Walking (Mp3)
Starling Electric - She Goes Through Phases (Mp3)

TVD | Musique Non Pop

New column from Brandon of We Fought The Big One!

Punk, Post-Punk, Rock and Roll, Jazz, Avant Garde, Rap and any other genre that sprung up in the 20th century never made a total break from any existing tradition. They only, in their own ways, redefined traditions and/or played with them. Sometimes this was done lovingly; sometimes not so lovingly. But ultimately, by tradition, one of these untraditional new sounds would be pressed up on vinyl as all other sounds before.

These were then circulated to the unsuspecting and unreceptive. Perhaps these unpopular children would languish in total obscurity only receiving a serious audience late at night in an older brother or sister’s room or as heard by a curious ear through the speakers of a radio tuned to a small college radio station. In this way good, but unpopular music hung around as electronic pulses generated off some scratches on a thin, circular piece of vinyl.

The yet-loved song would travel a complicated path through collections and parties and radio stations and families until one day its intended mark was found and a world was turned on its head. But only by physical presence has the innovative spirit of music persisted; perhaps made for the few at the time, but over time proving that the second act is much more important than the first.

Right now, being hip to vinyl is a way to ensure consistency in the way the generations talk to each other. Weird thought, that. But it’s important because there is no earthly way that someone is going to pick up an mp3 at an mp3 fair in 20 years time and CDs have already shown themselves to be simply shiny coasters. The internet has changed the way we all listen to and buy music with literally a whole world of music available at any time. Things move so quickly that some legitimately great pieces of work might be passed over before they have even had a chance to impress.

But without that solid tangibility--that fat chunk of vinyl--brings the chance that a great tradition-defying, transcendent work will escape recognition completely. Today’s artists understand that implicitly and as such, vinyl is again the medium of choice.

So here I am bending the old-time traditions of dissemination and trying to catch the great (and maybe not so great) pieces of forward-thinking vinyl on their way by on limited pressing runs and give them greater exposure via this monthly online column with new-fangled digital sound samples (now you don’t even have to hang out with your jerky older brother!)

Musique Non Pop is its name. I sincerely hope that other people will become excited by what we hear and in turn, also buy the record and then maybe play it for a friend or even their kids someday. Shit, podcast it if you must. Or at very least, if the tunes ultimately fail to excite, sell the record to a nearby shop so that someone might be lucky enough to discover a dollar bin keeper. Everyone knows E-bay is for thieves. The beat goes on.

And with that I say: “Welcome to my electronic living room.”

Nothing People - Twinkie Defense (Mp3)
From their first 7" single, "Problems" on s-s records, 2006. From Orland, California.

Dead Luke - Jumpin Jack Flash (Mp3)
Record Two 7", Sacred Bones Records. Sometimes a cover is a measure of band (man) even if originals are mandatory in these ego-forward times. To take a rock classic and distort it through some heavy synth seasoning, taking liberties with it before dumping it in an industrial wasteland while somehow never really abusing it is right gentlemanly and pretty brilliant. Dead Luke is the alias of one Luke William Gasper who runs an excellent cassette-only label (a whole other blog) called Jerkwave Tapes. He promises a new album soon, "Cosmic Meltdown" on Troubleman Unlimited Records.

Cheveu - Like A Deer in the Headlights (Mp3)

Live on Viva Radio, Brooklyn, 2009. From tiny-town, Metz, France. Cheveu, along with such luminaries such as The Anals and A.H. Kraken, make Metz a good bet to unseat Brooklyn as the undisputed capital of world hipster cool. Here is a much more sonically agressive radio version of a song on 7" only from 2009 on Born Bad Records, Paris. Cheveu are one of the best bands out there. Period.

Monday, October 19, 2009

TVD | I Go Walking

Having taken the time to rummage through 1,000 previous posts as I did last week, one thing has become apparent: I've COMPLETELY lost the plot to this whole endeavor.

But found a different one I didn't anticipate.

At the outset, the pipe dream was pretty standard—your one stop for vinyl news and reviews coupled with some personal anecdotes. Y’ know, the obvious bullshit. And I guess it could have been great if say, there weren’t a zillion of those sites out there doing just fine, thank you.

So it veered off somehow—less emphasis on the regular stuff and more toward the personal which seems to have struck a chord and resonated somehow. MY bullshit was more interesting than the regular bullshit. Who knew?

But as TVD’s grown in readership and expanded, I’ve sensed a disconnect—the general and personal are at odds and often clash here in tone and substance. The source material’s more the EXPERIENCE rather than the literalness of the vinyl medium for example, and mining that resource is finite. AND one note. (Mine.)

So, I’ll reiterate a plea to all of you reading this in your office cubicle today—share YOURS. Write here. Yes, this spot – (here.) Because I’m frequently told that it’s not the stuff we give away daily, the Mp3’s or the tickets or vinyl that keep some coming back, it’s the personal bent on what could have easily been distant and merely informative in substance and in subject that has ultimately resonated beyond what I assumed at the outset.

It’s a niche which I easily didn’t expect, but welcome nonetheless.

I’ll keep ticking away here daily, but know there’s a forum for you to upchuck whatever’s burning in there.

...that said, back to Lake Me.

My parents' dog Pete has come to live with us in TVD HQ. You’d be surprised at how much of the day unfolds before you among four walks daily. It’s grand indeed, the prattling of the brain and music recalled while you’re scooping poop.

We should take a walk.

The Blue Nile - A Walk Across The Rooftops (Mp3)

Queen - Funny How Love Is (Mp3)
The Plimsouls - Lost Time (Mp3)
Wilco - Impossibly Germany (Mp3)
Post Post - Sober (Mp3)

Friday, October 16, 2009

TVD's 1,000 Parting Shots

...the one thousand post mark (...AND some serious symptoms of carpel tunnel. Ow.)

To celebrate this slightly auspicious milestone, we’ve got six of DC’s hottest bands who’ll be up in NYC next week, gigging and partying at CMJ.

We corralled them the same way the folks at CMJ did— through their Sonicbids accounts—and all were pleased as punch to send us the low down on where they’re buying their own records from in the District o’ Columbia:

True Womanhood
We are big fans of Crooked Beat in Adams Morgan. From the extensive show fliers and bulletin boards by the door to the prime placement of local artists in their record racks, Crooked Beat makes it clear that they are invested in the DC music scene.
True Womanhood - Magic Child (Mp3)
True Womanhood - Dignitas (Mp3)
(The brand new, as in released yesterday, digital EP.)

Title Tracks
My favorite record store in the D.C.-area is Joe's Record Paradise out in Rockville. It's the largest vinyl selection by far and the prices are generally low. It's a very rare occasion for me to leave there disappointed. It's inevitable that I wind up having to put records back 'cause I've pulled so many and I'm going to wind up spending way too much if I don't rein it. A big part of what I like about the store is the variety that is found along with their depth. I've found gems in every section (rock, jazz, soul, easy listening, soundtracks, country, folk, etc.)

Middle Distance Runner
Red Onion in Adams Morgan is a favorite of ours. It's a little walk-in basement place with a lot of cool, obscure stuff but also a good selection of affordable vinyl. The staff is friendly and helpful, and they let you leave out your own free CDs to promote shows, which a lot of record stores won't let you do.
Middle Distance Runner - The Fury (Mp3)

U.S. Royalty
We love Som Records on 14th St in DC. Neal Becton has some choice selections and it's got a cool vibe there. The owner also does a Brazilian night at the bar next door and his music taste is impeccable.

These United States
Sadly now closed, my favorite record store in the DC area was Orpheus Records in Arlington - not the coolest place nor the place to find the record to impress your hip friends. Just a massive amount of pristine classic jazz and rock records and an equally knowledgeable staff. When I first moved to DC and started buying records, it was one of the few places I never left empty handed.

Our first is Joe's Record Paradise in Rockville, MD. We love it because of the number of years that its been in business (approximately 30) and it remains this hidden gem of dusty vinyls and incredible rare finds. Also, its really close to the warehouse where we rehearse and record and develop the visual aspects and samples for our show. Old vinyl is just an inspirational medium in its own right.

However, since Joe's is up in Rockville, our go to place in the District is Crooked Beat. I discovered this shop shortly after I moved back to dc in 2001, and I immediately liked its aesthetic in comparison to the neighborhood in which it resides. Adam's Morgan is lively and diverse, sure... but I like that this viable, but overlooked medium is right under the noses of masses of people who couldn't be bothered with a music format if it's not quickly accessible and downloadable. The selection is great. The atmosphere is cozy. And the staff is always on top of their game.

Bellflur - Gray Sparkle Finnish Pigs (Mp3)


Now, you’d think after traipsing through the TVD archives this week, something OTHER than vinyl, or music even, is at work here daily. Well, not so.

From the core, it all goes back to:

Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (Mp3)
Mott The Hoople - The Golden Age Of Rock N' Roll (Mp3)
David Essex - Rock On (Mp3)
Death - Rock 'n Roll Victim (Mp3)
Thin Lizzy - The Rocker (Mp3)
The Vaselines - I Didn't Know I Loved You ('Til I Saw You Rock 'n' Roll) (Live) (Mp3)
Paul Collins' Beat - Rock 'n Roll Girl (Mp3)
The Kinks - A Rock 'n Roll Fantasy (Mp3)
Nick Gilder - Rockaway (Mp3)
The Replacements - Rock 'n Roll Ghost (Mp3)