Friday, January 29, 2010

Exit Clov's Vinyl District Parting Shots

We’re wrapping up Exit Clov’s blog takeover with Em and Suz’s personal selections for your Clov-themed weekend to come...

Next week it’s just me flying solo here at TVD for a change. (Odd, huh?) See ya then.

Emily's tracks:

Sparklehorse - Don't Take My Sunshine Away (Mp3)
Yeasayer - O.N.E. (Mp3)
Bluebrain - Royal Blue (Mp3)
Jeff Bridges - Hold On You (Mp3)
Beach House - You Came to Me (Mp3)

Susan's tracks:
Kings of Convenience - 24-25 (Mp3)
Bellflur - Gray Sparkle Finnish Pigs (Mp3)
Dark Night Of The Soul - Revenge (Flaming Lips) (Mp3)
Art of Noise - Close (To The Edit) (Mp3)
Townes Van Zandt - Waitin' Around To Die (Mp3)

It's Exit Clov's (closing day at) The Vinyl District...

...and it's been a delight to have them this week. Remember to get out to the Strathmore Mansion tonight and/or to Iota tomorrow night to see the band live. Pick up the brand new CD ‘Memento Mori’ while you're there too.

Em and Suz brought bagels for us this morning, so I'll turn it back over to them while I go get me one. Check back soon though...they've got 10 tracks you should be listening to as you rev up to see them this weekend.

Well folks, it's been real! Thanks so much for joining us this week during our takeover of The Vinyl District. We hope you enjoyed what we had to share with you. We also wanted to say a huge Clov thanks(!) to TVD for letting us invade for a week.

But before we go, here are some more Clov-related things to look forward to in 2010 and beyond.

New music video | In the near future, we have plans to shoot a brand new music video for a yet undisclosed track off the album. We'll be enlisting some film friends in New York to lend us their creative vision and incorporate our own as well. Word on the street is that the video may involve some clay....

Vermont writing sessions | Since last summer, we've spent two weeks in the countryside of beautiful, secluded Vermont, penning and demo-ing a slew of new tunes. Some of them have already become set list faves at our shows, including Rainbow Warzone and Autumn of the Patriarch. Hopefully we'll get enough songs together for another full-length release.

Covers! | Also later this year, we hope to release a covers EP with a handful of songs we've put our own spin on (maybe exclusively on vinyl!) We'll see. We're ironing out the deets as we speak.

So long, TVD readers!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Exit Clov's Vinyl District Ticket Giveaway!

You have to know by now that if we’re going to be promoting a new release and a few live dates around the release that we’re going to give you a chance to win said release and concert tickets, right? We are just that transparent.

Em and Suz of Exit Clov have hooked TVD readers up with a pair or tickets for both CD release shows this coming weekend— Friday night (1/29) at the Strathmore Mansion with True Womanhood and Saturday night (1/30) at Iota with Olivia Mancini and the Mates. They’ve also tossed in the brand new CD ‘Memento Mori’ for each ticket winner. Cuz they do indeed love you back.

Here’s how it’ll go (as it always does:) jump up and down in the comments to this post and plead your case to attend one of the two shows this weekend. We’ll have two winners—one per show—who sufficiently inspire us with their brilliant entry.

Em and Suz are picking the winners too, so y’know, put some effort into it. You’ve got til noon on Friday!

TVD Recommends | Thornley & Friends, The One Year Anniversary, Monday (2/1) at Solly's Tavern

John Thornley’s Monday night outing at Solly’s, Thornley & Friends, celebrates its one year anniversary this coming Monday night (2/1) and it’s not only spawned a fine evening of spontaneous music in its lifetime, but a brand new collaborative whose track streams below. John gives us the back-story:

"So this is a little collaboration between John & Paul Thornley, Matthew Hemerlein, and Ryan Mitchell called The Four Horsemen. We play mainly guitar, ukelele, banjo, violin, mandolin and whatever else we can carry around on our stagecoach. We play a mix of originals, gospel/spiritual tunes, blues, and 80's power pop.

This number is a tune John Thornley wrote on a borrowed ukelele from Ryan Mitchell while at home for the holidays. Everyone then pitched in on several different instruments until we came up with the song you hear now. It's just a demo version but we thought it would be fun to stream it to promote the show on Monday.

Named after the four great Notre Dame linebackers in the 1920's, The Four Horsemen have no relation to these men, just admirers. A perennial group comprised of, John & Paul Thornley(1), Matthew Hemerlein(2), and Ryan Hunter Mitchell(3) formerly of Deer Wolf(4), their live shows are seldom performed beyond the confines of their chateau in Montreal. With a keen knowledge of Russian(5) literature, The Four Horsemen lyricist writes strictly on such topics. This show will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to broaden your musical horizons. There will be sing alongs.

Also opening up the gig is good friend Sonny Kilfoyle, "Sonny Boy", from NYC via Boston. Previously in acclaimed bands such as "Blonde Acid Cult" and "Calypso", he will be making his debut solo appearance this Monday in DC."

Doors: 8:30pm | Cover: $5

(Thanks to BYT for the streaming link!)

1. It should be mentioned at this time that the Thornleys, John (1982- ) Paul (1984- ) are brothers by birth and any other rumours to the contrary are suspicious.
2. Mathew Hemmerlein (1983- ) was awarded the Tchaikovsky Award of Honor for his aptitude in violin, but donated his award to various charities.
3. Ryan Hunter Mitchell IV (1984- ) is a recent novelist and world expeditionary.
4. Deer Wolf (tm) is a fictional band with no offense intended to bands such as Deer Tick, Deer Hunter, WolfMother, Wolf Parade or Owl City.
5. Russian in the soviet sense. Referring but not limited to Czech, Ukrainian and other Cyrillic based languages.

It's Exit Clov's Vinyl District!

Sometimes it's hard to believe, but Exit Clov's been a band for 6.5 years. We've survived quite a lot together—relationships come and gone; broken down vans in Marshall, TX; 22-hour drives from Austin to DC; shady motels; and even the passing of loved ones. At the end of all of it, we're still making music together.

As we've grown together, each of us has also started up other projects with friends involving art in many forms. We've all branched out beyond Exit Clov as musicians & songwriters, crafters, audio engineers, writers, producers, entrepreneurs and even web & graphic designers. So we decided to create an umbrella entity -- called the Nervous People Collective -- to house all of these projects. We're launching the new website (designed by Susan!)

Please indulge us by reading our mantra, along with a brief description of each of the Nervous People projects. Hopefully you'll enjoy them, knowing they all have little pieces of Exit Clov. For each music project, we've posted a song for free download.


drunken sufis | Glenn Beck is edible...a dollar item on the duality menu...Obama smokes butts...he's still a shape shifting reptilian...Karzai's got warlords living can't believe what you we just watch... "What would we do baby without us..." Watch our video and listen to our track Torture Me, off our latest release. Free download: "Torture Me"

imoM | imoM is an independent line of artwork, jewelry and fashions we (em & suz) founded, inspired by the work of artist Ming-Yen Hsu. Our shop offers various adaptations and prints of his works on jewelry (acrylic earrings and necklaces), 4x6 cards and 11x14 prints that can be framed. Visit our etsy shop; friend us on Facebook; and follow us on Twitter!

milly beau | Milly Beau is a band from NYC making pretty sounds from urban grit... calling it soul thrash. We are named after a good ol' southern storyteller with a big heart and a salty mouth. We come from hip hop, jazz and indie rock. Beat and LES poems ignite the lyrics and the JMZ train lives in every recording. Visit our myspace page or follow us on Facebook. Free download: "So Chic"

mousybabe | mousybabe is a website that houses all of Em & Suz's miscellaneous projects. We blog, we read, write & play music, rant, meet interesting people, eat food, make jewelry and little videos. Our latest video is a holiday stop-motion film short, featuring imoM art/jewelry and the soundtrack of a holiday tune we wrote/recorded last winter 2008. Last summer, we also filmed a home fundraising video that went viral on YouTube across the Pacific Ocean!

the sounds of domestic living | Spare dark folk country soulful pop blues. Debut track just released and available for free download below. The track was mixed/mastered by Greg Maly of Basshound, engineered by Patrick White and Greg Maly. Check back for a lounge remix of this track from Greg, which should be available shortly. Be our friend on Myspace and Facebook. Free download: "Gold to Refine"

sri | An "avant-pop" duo from New York City, formed in late 2008. Self-produced and engineered, their debut EP, Bone Bazaar, is the result of nearly a year of experimental recording, meticulous sound design, and richly layered instrumentation. A haunting example of modern-day DIY, keep an eye out for upcoming live performances! Get Sri's Bone Bazaar from iTunes or visit their Myspace page. Both members of Sri are also the founders and chief engineers of Stitch Sound Mobile Recording, Mixing and Mastering. Free download: "Vog"

stitch sound | Guerrilla-style recording, mixing & mastering. Located in Billywick. With an emphasis on performance and creative solutions, at Stitch, we pride ourselves on capturing unique sound in any location. Wherever we end up, our sessions are always pressure-free and set to inspire. Whatever the time table, whatever the budget, our greatest joy and satisfaction comes in seeing each project reach its fullest potential. Visit our website for more!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TVD First Date with | Olivia Mancini

It must be a record of sorts—this is Olivia Mancini’s third appearance here at TVD and we’re just now doing a proper ‘First Date’ feature. But it’s timed well indeed as Ms. Mancini and her Mates open for our guest bloggers this week, Exit Clov, Saturday night at Iota (for which we have free tickets for you to join us.)

Now, First Dates just like first loves come in varying guises. For example, my first love was KISS. (No, really.)

Olivia has much more of a discerning palette:

Who was my first love? Umm. Judy Garland.

I would put her Live at Carnegie Hall album on my Fisher Price turntable and imagine us singing “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” together. She blasted “Over the Rainbow” and my little kid voice would try to match hers note for note coming through those built-in plastic speakers. I wrote her love letters–or maybe I just sent her LP love letters, taping a Garfield Post-It note to the record sleeve. “I Love This” I scrawled in four-year-old handwriting. I adorned the rest of the love letter with big red hearts, to really drive home the point.

Fast-forward to 1987 when my dad gave me for Christmas my first “big girl” stereo. If it was an overly large gift designed to mitigate the birth of my little sister, it worked. How I loved that single unit Magnavox with its familiar turntable, radio and state-of-the-art dual cassette player. In the box was an accompanying present, one that my dad never could explain buying. The 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Collection: Jukebox Saturday Night was a three-disc vinyl box set (on discount? An impulse item at the checkout counter?) that blew my eight-year-old mind and made me forget all about Judy. (Perhaps this was Dad’s ultimate goal.) I traded “Putting on the Ritz” for “Earth Angel” and “Stormy Weather” for “Teenager in Love” and never looked back.

Cassettes and CDs and MP3s. Even vinylfiles shouldn’t hate them. They made music portable even as they modified our expectations of sound quality and changed our relationship with the collection of songs known as the album, and I, for one, wouldn’t want to go back. I’ve got the best of both worlds: my iPod in my purse and my favorite LPs stacked on my Garrard RC-98 at home.

But I know because I couldn’t resist throwing on Live at Carnegie Hall when I dug out the records listed above in preparation for this “First Date.” An MP3 is not going to do Judy any favors. But her voice coming through my living room console made me think the four-year-old me was pretty right on the money with that Garfield Post-It note.

Olivia Mancini and the Mates - My Old Ways (Mp3)
Olivia Mancini and the Mates - Turn On The Jets (Mp3)

TVD Fresh Pick | Old Killing Joke from the new Bustin' Out compilation

Killing Joke's first EP, 'Turn To Red', appeared in September 1979 on the new Malicious Damage label set up by graphic artist Mike Coles and distributed by Island. It was followed in November by 'Almost Red' - basically the same EP plus new title track, which was initially sold at gigs. The track demonstrates how the Joke were indeed ahead of their time, as dub-disco sensibilities course through the heavyweight thud of the Youth-Ferguson rhythm axis topped by a metallic synthetic replication of the 'I Feel Love' riff, Geordie's sparse guitar shards and Jaz's caustic, post-nuclear proclamations. Their radical, apocalyptic approach was often cited as a massive influence on anyone from Nirvana to industrial bands, but also incorporated dub reggae and New York dance music.

'Bustin' Out, The Post Punk Era 1979-1981', the first in the New Wave To New Beat series, is an often-startling picture of the no-holds-barred musical ructions which sprang up after punk's scorched earth revolution. Compiler Mike Maguire has made a rigid stand against being pigeon-holed throughout his 30 year DJing career, spreading the message that no sound or genre should be compartmentalised. This multi-hued set is a fine testimony to this ethos.

Bustin' Out is available to buy here.

Killing Joke - Almost Red (Mp3)

It's Exit Clov's Vinyl District!

Vinyl: A Testimonial | As this is a blog dedicated to vinyl, Jon asked us to talk about the role of vinyl in our lives. For most of our band life, the 5 of us have been pretty darn broke, so suffice it to say that record collecting, not to mention an actual turntable, has been a luxury just out of reach of our grubby hands. Some things have changed, thankfully. ;-)

However, here is our personal testimonial about vinyl. There is an ugly green dumpster perched right on our front lawn (don't ask about the property value of our apartment, we're just renting heh). So naturally, it's the dumping ground for all of our neighbors who are either cleaning house or moving. It's not always the most beautiful sight, but for foragers like us, it's a treasure trove. It's like having your own personal Goodwill on your front lawn actually.

So one time Em hit the jackpot, and she found.... nuh-UH! A Sony Turntable!! The needle was a little busted but the black circle - it spun. And spin the black circle we did :) A good friend of ours helped us get it repaired, and now we've started a budding collection of records, including Talking Heads, Led Zeppelin, Electric Prunes, Pet Shop Boys, Joy Division and Crosby Stills Nash & Young. It's a piddly collection so far, but Suz fawns over it every now and then, the way she sometimes fawns over some cool new shoes that she's really excited about... only this is way better :)

As far as Exit Clov, we have a couple releases coming up in the near future, and we're seriously considering pressing vinyl only. Should be exciting!

Q+A With KEVIN COOMBE (DC Record Fairs, DC Soul Recordings)
Since Memento Mori, unfortunately, is not going to be available on vinyl, we decided to feature friends of ours who are doing some good things for the vinyl community in the District. You might know Kevin Coombe as one of the partners in crime behind the events, (as well as the guy featured on NPR and WashPost for his personal archiving project DC Soul Recordings and DJ gigs.) He graciously let us pick his brain.

Psst - if you haven't been to one of these Record Fairs, you're missing out! We've watched the events grow, even though the turnout at the first one at Civilian Art Projects was already pretty mindblowing. It was jam-packed with people, mostly vinyl geeksters with huge satchels slung around their shoulders to carry their records, and very excited looks on their faces. The next fair is coming up soon - Feb. 14 at Black Cat, with DJ's like Eric Hilton (Thievery Corp), Geologist (Animal Collective) and Ian MacKaye (Dischord). Certain to be a Love fest.

EC: We're always fascinated by the idea of a group of 'kids' getting together, hammering out a vision and just making shit happen. It sounds like this is what happened with the Record Fairs - you're coming up on the 4th one and it's probably the biggest one yet. Can you tell us where the idea came from to do these events, who was involved, how it all transpired and what your goals were in doing the event?

Kevin: The idea came when Neal Becton (Som Records) and myself became frustrated with another record fair in Maryland. This fair was not well organized, and furthermore, it was lacking in fun and atmosphere. A large & brightly lit showroom space filled with nothing but cafeteria tables and record dealers, might sound luxurious for the hardcore digger types that would dig in the web of a giant spider if the right record was there. But for the average adults that want to cruise somewhere nice, and the younger generations that're often in learning mode (and are looking for an exciting scene), it's something more that brings the new heads out and old heads back.

We feel we've added that element by utilizing interesting locations, marketing to non-vinyl heavy audiences, commissoning unique and collectible promotional posters per show, local celebrities, fantastic DJs, good food, and serious drinks (our signature has been the Bloody Mary).....far beyond the cold slice of pizza and soda record fairs often offer. And our team works beautifully; we all discuss each stage in process, but specifically we have Neal scouting spots, dealing with venue owners, and overseeing general operations, Jon Meyers (The Vinyl District) heading up massive promotions, contracting for design work, and securing the tables for the event, Chris Knott being the go to man for any project or job we need done quickly and done correctly, and myself securing the record dealers, determining the layout of the venue, and coordinating w/ the DJs & celebrity entertainment.

EC: What do you think is unique to DC historically, culturally that lends itself to an event like this? We've talked about the "punk spirit" of the event before, because it's open to everybody, it's all ages, it has a bit of an underground feel, it's safe, and people are just gathering to talk music, hear music, trade music. Plus the $2 cover is really reasonable.

Kevin: There are certainly many aspects of DC that are unique. I know I can't discuss them all, and so I'd rather stick to the topic at hand and give some examples of DC's music past & present setting itself apart and explaining how that relates to the Fair. The direction of the DMV music scene has resulted in artists and genres that are undoubtably noteworthy. Go-go is especially unique, so getting its godfather aka Chuck Brown in the second Fair was very important to us. The last Fair featured poster art designed by an artist/imaginary music hero who is very much a DC only phenomenon.....Mr. Mingering Mike.

This next show features many local stars playing some of their favorite records including Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation and Ian MacKaye, 2 pillars of DC's past and present music scenes. I can't even begin to say how much impact Ian and Dischord have had, and Eric has just basically killed it as both part of Thievery Corp and in his capacity as a scene developer in DC, being that he is behind so many of DC's coolest bars. Regarding how this show differs from others in the rest of the country, see the question above about making shit happen. Those things I mentioned are important to us and certainly separate us from many of the traditional shows. The low cover charge is a result of our commitment to making the Fair about having fun, rather than about filling our own wallets.

EC: From a personal standpoint, being at these Record fairs really brought back that feeling as a teenager when you're digging through CD's or cassettes and you find the killer record you've been looking everywhere for. It's such a thrill. But kids now might not ever have the opportunity to have this memory. Do you think this kind of experience has any practical importance for the way people experience music? Or is it all essentially the same good music - just different time, different place? What's different about going to a record fair, versus just going to a store, like a Borders, Best Buy or even a mom-and-pop?

Kevin: Well, many many kids are browsing Amazon and I-Tunes for mp3 downloads right now, and I'm sure that tons of them happen upon cool remixes, or songs associated with something that they didn't know about and then can download on the spot. Nowadays, the instant gratification from downloads certainly does give people access to the same good music....but without the learning experiences of interacting with other like-minded people at record fairs or flea markets or general music stores. In many ways it's better, but in many ways it's worse. Take it with a grain of salt.

In regards to Record Fairs vs. a place like Best Buy, the Best Buy probably has a slowly changing stock of CDs and/or download stations, laid out for you, relying heavily on hits and pop music culture......and it's ultimately up to you to find something that looks good. It's a solitary activity and limited in scope. A Record Fair can feature pop too, but it will likely showcase some material that isn't easily available for purchase or download at a retail store. Another difference is that a record fair doesn't have to be such a solitary activity if you don't want it to be. Chances are good that many buyers and dealers will have information they can share with you to point you in the right direction, or maybe even a new direction. Plus, you get to buy a physical product which is cool. Owning that piece of history has got to stand for something.

EC: It's odd when you think of the mad rush toward digital, and it's happening with all aspects of art & culture—books to Kindles, snail mail to e-mail, landline phones to data phones. And then there's vinyl. It's like you have this silent legion of vinyl junkies deliberately marching the opposite direction of the masses. What is so special about vinyl, beyond just the technicalities of better sound quality, that is so important to people that they would give their left arm to walk 'backwards'?

Kevin: Well, I'd say there are a number of mixtures involved here. First, you have the old school vinyl heads & collectors that refuse to accept anything else. Why are they this way? Well, there could be many factors...... things like prior commitments to collecting as it relates to vinyl, or a true belief that vinyl really sounds better and so that's that. Then you have the old school vinyl heads that love vinyl, but are cool with digital for personal entertainment, or/and for DJing purposes. These guys may even have downsized their vinyl collection a bit. I'm one of these guys, and I feel that....if used appropriately as a DJ (using a high bit rate, not going tooooo crazy with the massive availability that's out there right away) can only up your game.

Next you have the old school vinyl heads that decided that vinyl wasn't for them anymore because these new digital files don't take up space, aren't heavy to load into gigs etc., and so they sold off all their vinyl. DJs that used vinyl strictly for work purposes could easily fit into this category. Then you have the opposite side of the spectrum....people coming from digital w/ limited vinyl exposure, mostly younger, that have decided that the iTunes world just isn't enough. For any number of reasons, they then decided that vinyl might be a good addition to their large music collection, keeping the digital but adding a physical element that they can touch, hold, look at, display, and use in interactions with others. We target both the hardcore guys and this big market of casual buyers for our Fair.

EC: Lastly, you're a DJ too. Have you played DJ Hero yet? Yea or nay?

Kevin: Yeah. I played it at Best Buy while waiting for my oil change. If you like controllers with all kinds of buttons and thingys that you apparently have to move and hit randomly along with the screen movements, you might like this. But if you're looking for a controller that actually mirrors DJing and gives you freedom, you're in for a disappointment. My advice is to make friends with a DJ and give the real thing a shot :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's a TVD Winter Vinyl Giveaway | Nneka, "The Uncomfortable Truth" EP

Seems a little bit odd to be doing a Winter Vinyl Giveaway when temperatures hit 62 on Monday, but what the hell.

Nneka's 'The Uncomfortable Truth' EP assembles two tracks from her debut US release 'Concrete Jungle' with two not found on the record. So, if you're a Nneka completist or just falling in love with her inspirational mix of hot loops, black consciousness and 21st-century soul music with equal parts Bob Marley, Nina Simone, and Erykah Badu, the EP is the proverbial 'must have.'

Plead your case in the comments to this post (with contact info!) and we'll reward the one we're feeling the most by this Friday (1/29) at noon. It's just that simple.

Nneka - The Uncomfortable Truth (Mp3)

It's Exit Clov's Vinyl District!

Welcome to the 2nd day of Exit Clov's TVD Takeover :) So, several people have asked us to post the lyrics from our latest release, Memento Mori. We're planning to upload them to our website soon, but in the meantime, we're offering up little factoid blurbs about select tunes from the record.

Yesterday, we wrote about 'Blue is Your Heart' and 'Free Zone.' We have three more for today, including 'District Menagerie' which is available for free download (exclusively on TVD). The rest of the album tracks can be streamed from our website. You can buy digital copies online (see for a list of vendors), or a physical copy of the CD at our webstore.

District Menagerie | This song is pretty melancholy and has to do with the fear of failure, which anyone can relate to. No matter how successful you are, I think you reach a point where you look around and say, "Is this it?" or "Is this all there will ever be?" It's not that you haven't achieved anything, it's just that the way you always envisioned it - where all the things in your house will one day be in its right place - hasn't actually happened. The default reaction is to feel trapped or confined, or to blame the things around you, which is why a 'menagerie' seemed to be a good way to describe the feeling.

Ritchie Valens | No matter how many times we tell ourselves to appreciate life and live it fully without regrets, we get mired in petty and negative things. And inevitably your tower crumbles, and you hurt and regret. But then you build it back up, a newer and better one than before. There is an art to suffering, a way to not let hardship break you. Maybe you just have to learn to be ready to let go, of everything, because at any moment you just might have to. Things you think you want and need in your life but don't, things you always try to control but can't. It's a learning process to not live safely but to love or what you will, and to love now because in the end, "everything becomes, then goes."

Death is a Song | We remember writing portions of this song on headphones while sitting in a hospital room just weeks before our father passed in May 2007. The song is a tribute to who he was and what he gave us. There was an African woman who worked in the hospital parking garage, and she'd seen us come into the hospital every day for several weeks. We were surprised one day when she asked about our dad, we weren't sure how she knew our story. But she told us to take heart, that God is the healer, and to leave everything to him. It was strange, she was such a minor character in the whole experience, not a doctor or nurse or surgeon ... just a lady who worked in the parking garage, yet those few words gave us so much comfort and wisdom.

Monday, January 25, 2010

TVD Fresh Pick | New Sambassadeur - 'Stranded'

Perfect for your commute home this evening: Sambassadeur's second single 'Stranded,' from the forthcoming album “European” due out February 23rd on Labrador Records.

Sambassadeur - Stranded (Mp3)

It's Exit Clov's Vinyl District!

I’ve often wondered why we haven’t had one of my favorite local bands, Exit Clov, here on the blog (short of just a show teaser a number of months back.) Hell, we've been at this three years now and no proper Clov feature?

Well, we’re about to remedy that in a big way this week as the band is here, inside the TVD offices, ready to type away. All of this is in advance of – well, ...wait. I’ll let them spill it.

It's Exit Clov's Vinyl District all this week.

Greetings TVD readers! We're Exit Clov...(well, we're Em and Suz of Exit Clov actually, because we're the only blogging nerds in the band). Get comfy because we're hijacking the blog for the week. Jon Meyers said we could :P

This unilateral intervention is warranted by a momentous occasion for the band—namely the release of our brand new record, Memento Mori. Latin for "remember your mortality," Memento Mori is a departure from our previous material. It's a little on the heavy and melancholy side, but it's not without its moments of hope, brilliance and happiness.

First things first—all the vitals...To celebrate, we've lined up a slew of CD release parties over the next 2 weekends. Hopefully we'll get to see you at at least one of them! (See dates below.)

If you want to try for some free tickets, there are a few ticket giveaways going on, including one right here on TVD. Also Washington City Paper and Brightest Young Things.

Stream the whole album at or buy it online at iTunes, Amie Street, Lala, Rhapsody and more. A short run of physical copies will also be available very shortly on our very own web store.

SHOW SCHEDULE (Show times and deets are available at
January 29 @ Strathmore Mansion (Bethesda, MD)
w/ True Womanhood

January 30 @ Iota (Arlington, VA)
w/ Olivia Mancini and the Mates, Poor But Sexy

February 5 @ Crash Mansion (New York City)
w/ Heylady, Millybeau

Feb. 6 @ Johnny Brenda's (Philadelphia, PA)
w/ Pepi Ginsberg, The Armchairs

Now, the album. For those who are more accustomed to our dancey, synthy, politicky-ness, there might be some bewilderment about where the heck these songs came from. In colors, it's a bit of a grey, prison-colored album, whereas Respond Respond (our 2006 EP) was royal blue, silver, and a little space age.

And it's true, these songs did come from another place. It was Exit Clov's Dark Ages, so to speak. We were in a bit of transition... our Rome had fallen - a lot of our fellow DC bands/friends as we knew them splintered up and we ourselves were feeling scattered, collectively and psychologically. Some personal things occupied our hearts and minds, as well, and so the record fell between the cracks. Well now that the dust has settled, we've each of us resumed our posts. It's like we found the record again while we were cleaning the attic the other day! ... So today we've posted some factoid blurbs for a couple of tracks off Memento Mori, including a free download for "Blue is Your Heart". We'll post a few more track blurbs tomorrow (along with another free download!), so do come back.

Blue is Your Heart (Mp3) | This song is about as earthy as Exit Clov will get. It was the first time we used melodica on a recording. And at the time we were listening quite a bit to The Good, The Bad & The Queen and some other Afro-beat influenced records, so we tried to incorporate that sort of space in the song - especially the outro, without going over the top with it. Lyrically, it's a post-epiphany song about how big, bad and beautiful our earth is. We do so much to it - till it, cultivate it, tend to it, grow things from it, but we also torture and exploit it for natural resources, we dig, plunder, bomb, litter, etc. And at the end of the day, where do we go when we die but right back into the earth. It's like whatever we've done she takes us back in. And there is indeed a tiny bed of earth waiting for each one of us eventually to rest our weary bones and ashes.

Free Zone (Can be streamed the band's site.) | This song was one of the last tracks to be completed on the record. It started out as a stripped-down piano composition by Aaron, and evolved as we wrote the rest of it together in the studio. As a lone piano piece, it was so bleak sounding but astoundingly beautiful. It seemed to work as a prison song - in this case, the prison of daily routines. The lyrics are surreal, about a person who spends her time mindlessly "building widgets and concrete." There's the panic attack that your life is of little consequence, the feeling of suffocation and paranoia, and a strange sense that you're somehow paying this bottomless debt to an unknown collector. The clincher at the end of the song is that we're actually the ones building our own concrete walls, and so there is a way out! Walk away from the wet cement and tools. Stop building the walls!

Looking ahead... we have a fun-filled blog schedule lined up for you this week! Here's a sneak peek:

Tuesday: We'll post factoid blurbs on three more 'Memento Mori' tracks, including 'District Menagerie,' which will be posted for free download.

Wednesday: TVD will feature our Iota show opener Olivia Mancini and the Mates. We'll also talk a little bit about our experience with vinyl, given the main theme of this blog(!), and post a little Q+A with a local record guru.

Thursday: We'll unveil a brand new arts collective founded by Exit Clov, featuring a variety of projects in music, craft, and writing. Songs from all the musical projects will be posted exclusively on TVD, so be sure to come back and check them out!

Friday: We'll talk about some exciting new things to expect from the Clov in 2010.

Friday, January 22, 2010

TVD's Sockets Parting Shots

As if it hasn't been made abundantly clear all week, Sockets Records is throwing its 5-Year Anniversary Party tonight at The Black Cat with label stalwarts The Cornel West Theory, HUME, Imperial China, Buildings, and Big Gold Belt. We thank them all for participating here this week.

Label founder Sean Peoples has some parting thoughts and your Parting Shots this week:

In my 5 years running Sockets Records I learned a lot about releasing music. But more importantly, I made a bunch of new friends and can help highlight new creativity that deserves to be heard. The Sockets showcase tonight will be eclectic and I wouldn't have it any other way. Big thanks to Jon at TVD for helping put this together and stay tuned for a lot more music in 2010!

Harry Belafonte - Show Me The Way, My Brother (Mp3)
EPMD - Please Listen To My Demo (Mp3)
Ackie - Call Me Rambo (Mp3)
Stereolab - Doubt (Mp3)
Telepathe - In Your Line (Mp3)
The Cure - Play For Today (Mp3)
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Lessons From What's Poor (Mp3)
Alton Ellis - What Does It Take To Win Your Love (Mp3)
Ennio Morricone - Beat No. 3 (Mp3)
Wire - Strange (Mp3)

TVD Presents a Sockets Records Showcase Week!

It's Day #5 and the last day of our Sockets Records' TVD Takeover and we've got The Cornel West Theory and Tool in the same post. You don't see that everyday.

It's not the best, but to me it is one of the most adventurous. An album cover should be like a body and the audio is the soul. Because the digital revolution is thrusting its way in and an album cover has to take a new approach.

Of course this will be more expensive but it's not about having a plan...which is the case with a picture. It should be a tangible experience representing an artistic statement - i.e. like a children's book with mirrors and movable slides, etc. Or these new books on writers and musicians that have letters/postcards in them.

The Cornel West Theory - Durito's Revenge (Dirty Bombs) (Mp3)

TVD's Sunday Hangover | Johnny Marr Should Reunite with Morrissey

Adam green is a fucking wild man. I love him.

I went to 9:30 club to see The Dead Trees/Adam Green/The Cribs on Tuesday (in that order) and let’s just say I was increasingly unimpressed as the night went on....

Apparently The Dead Trees were a bit late (they were scheduled to go on at 7) so they ended up going on with Mr. Adam Green, which couldn’t have turned out better. Mr. Green hit the stage, obviously inebriated (I’m not too familiar, I’m guessing this is his shtick?!) and gifted the audience with quite the entertaining comedy/rock/intoxication-infused routine.

“What happened to my elbow? I was delivering a fucking baby! Shit happens!” ahahaha Adam Green really dropped quite the comical quotes at 9:30 club, in-between crowd surfing amongst 13 people and handing off the mic to the few folks who knew the words. The Dead Trees were a tremendous supporting band as well, although I’m still not quite sure of the actual situation… did The Dead Tree’s have a lead singer? Did Adam Green have a back-up band?! Who cares, really, because it turned out fucking terrific.

The Cribs have been described as the “biggest cult band of the UK” and consist of three brothers who were joined by The Smith’s legendary guitarist, Johnny Marr, in 2008. Despite the tremendous hype of the headlining band, they were actually quite un-impressive, and consisted mainly of repetitive power chords and harmonizing guitarists. Perhaps that’s just what flies in the UK, I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never really listened to the Libertines.

No disrespect to the show though. The songs definitely improved towards the end of the set (I now love ‘Be Safe’) and any chance at being 15 feet from Johnny Marr is always amazing. And what a stellar introduction to Adam mothafuckin Green and The Cribs.

The Cribs - Be Safe (Mp3)

TVD Presents a Sockets Records Showcase Week Giveaway!

What would a Sockets Records Showcase Week be without a giveaway of some sort? Well, that'd be a half-assed week folks, and since we're not up to any half-assery around here—we've got an opportunity to win a pair of tickets for Friday's Black Cat Sockets live showcase.

And some vinyl...

We'll have three winners for our Sockets Giveaway: the grand prize winner will get a pair of tickets to attend Friday's showcase on us, plus a vinyl copy of Hume's 'The Phat Daughter String Quartet' on vinyl. Two runners-up will receive the vinyl alone.

The drill is the same as it always is—get at us in the comments to this post (with some contact info!) and plead your case for either the tickets and the vinyl or the vinyl alone. Make 'em good—we're closing this one by noon on Friday, 1/22!