Tuesday, August 25, 2009


"To get back to the warning that I received. You may take it with however many grains of salt that you wish. That the brown acid that is circulating around us isn't too good. It is suggested that you stay away from that. Of course it's your own trip. So be my guest, but please be advised that there is a warning on that one, ok?"

But the BLUE acid? Totally, totally cool.

UPDATE! WEXT Radio, New York talks TVD and and their TWITSTOCK! appearance. Download the podcast here!

Valerie Paschall, DCist

Five Songs that Can Slow My City Walk:
One of my coworkers gave me the nickname "Mafia" because apparently, I walk like I'm about to put a hit out on somebody. And that's just at work. I've lived in the DC area for just over two years but I've already perfected my city walk and whether I'm listening to Stereolab or The Stooges, I probably look like I'm about to run you down. However, much to the delight of anyone who I've ever willed out of my path, I've found a few that can slow me down without boring me, depressing me or putting me to sleep.

Animal Collective - Banshee Beat (Mp3)
Honestly, I could fill this list with tracks 5-8 of Feels, but something about the minimalist instrumentation and hearing Avey Tare at his most hushed and melodic just makes me want to stare upward and smile. Thus, making it difficult to concentrate on where I'm going. 

Four Tet - Hands (Mp3)
The undercurrent of twinkling hi-hats and chimes under warn keyboard samples gives a very vivid mental picture of some waterfall a hemisphere away from the siren-filled streets of the District. It's very rare that something with this prominent of a drum beat will actually stop (er, slow) me in my tracks since I'll latch onto most any beat and walk at that pace. Then again, most songs aren't as vividly atmospheric as "Hands." 

Portishead - It's a Fire (Mp3)
"Breathe on, little sister, breathe on." That may seem like more of a mantra for getting feet moving but the slowest beat on Dummy has a tryptophan-like effect: I want to sit down in my aural food coma and believe that everything will be okay. But more often than not, I don't sit...but I do notice more details in the buildings and people that I pass. 

Grizzly Bear - Colorado (Mp3)
Some Grizzly Bear tracks move out of the relaxing category and straight into slumber-inducing, but the lush orchestration and singing in round on this one is more beautiful than boring. An absolute must for days where I leave for my one-hour break truly wanting to beat some sense into my senseless coworkers. 

The Breeders - Off You (Mp3)
Although some of their most celebrated work contains bizarre sound effects (see: sewing machines), distortion or sugar rush tempos, don't sleep on the Deal sisters' ability to do minimalism. This brooding track that comes in just shy of five minutes and features little more than sparing vocals and acoustic guitar and begs for introspection, even if I'm just coming off the metro.

Chris Wienk, program director
Exit 97.7, WEXT is a progressive radio station from Amsterdam, NY that serves the state's Capital District (in and around Albany, NY).

Hello TVD reader,

As you might expect, being chosen by TVD to find songs to post and to write up a blog blurb is a great honor. However, it is also a very intimidating thing. Like you, I am an avid reader of Jon's missives. I find his stories compelling, and of course there is the music. He has gotten me back to my roots of 70s rock, and for that I thank him. But how does one measure up?

The post I leave you with today tries hard to encompass the philosophy I have always about music, and that embodies our radio station, is that great music has no boundary of genre, or age. I love all kinds of music, classical music from Baroque to early 20th Century, pop, rock, country, R&B, and the list goes on.

The songs I leave you with today will hopefully find a space in your heart. Whether you know the songs, or not, I trust that you will find value in their art.

Where to start?

Phantogram - When I'm Small (Mp3)

The radio station I work for is a champion of local music. We call it Local 518 (yup...that's our area code). The hardest task I had in choosing these five songs was to decide which Local 518 song/artist to give you to sample. For all the Local 518 artists reading this post, please know that I do not slight you by not selecting your song. I chose this one because it has already been sent out as a free to download song from another radio station. Phantogram is now making a large push to become known around the world (with a national radio push and releases internationally).

I think you'll find the ambient sounds, ethereal vocals, and hip-hop rhythms juxtaposed to give you a real sense of a chilled out urban setting. When Sarah sings, you don't even need to understand the words, which feel like a psychedelic ride in a car bouncing on its shocks. Just bob-nod your head and you'll be smiling in no time.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - 40 Day Dream (Mp3)
Dang, what a cool sound. Remember that TVD has ignited the 70s once again for me. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros have been posted/blogged/written about/talked about. I need not tell you more about them. Just the sound and feel of this song take me back to the heady era of 73-75. Love it! Todd Rundgren would be proud of this (I hope!).

Aztec Camera - We Could Send Letters (Mp3)
I remember hearing this little Scottish pop song (Oblivious) and thought "ooo, how cool." Then we heard the album, and you at once realized what an amazing musician Roddy Frame was (and is). He was just a teenager when he first hit the music scene. Astounding that someone a year younger than I could create something as beautiful as this song. Back then, I didn't know it was possible to be so young and create such art. If you ever find the song "Hot Club of Christ"by Aztec Camera, you have to listen in. This video is hideous, but love the fretwork:

Bob Dylan - The Times They Are a Changin' (Mp3)

Dude! Seriously, I was never really into Bob. Don't tell anyone. I've never denied his influence on pop and rock music though. I just never really got into this guy who couldn't sing, and just strummed an acoustic guitar. Off to American Bandstand: "Dick, you can't dance to it; so, I'd have to give it a 24." So, why would I include Bob on the list on TVD? I am decidedly not all that cool, but this past year, I think I finally joined those who are cool in "getting Bob Dylan." His latest album, "Together Through Life," blew me away. It came out of nowhere to club me over the head. So, why didn't I include a song from this new masterpiece? Because I wanted to remind myself of his true influence, and remember, I now "get" Bob Dylan. The times they are a changin', indeed. Thanks, Bob.

Otis Redding - Hard to Handle (Mp3)
OMG! R&B and Soul are the genres that really fire me up. The opening of this 1968 hot hit are sure to get a dance floor filled. Otis Redding will live forever! From 1964 to 1967, he release 6 amazing albums, and yet his biggest hit, (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay, came after his death in a plane crash at the age of 26, on December 10th, 1967. This came from the other album released posthumously in 1968, "The Immortal Otis Redding." Many people who are not familiar with the genius of Otis Redding would perhaps know this song better by The Black Crowes, who surely did the song justice. I bet even Otis would smile to hear it.