Friday, October 29, 2010

TVD's Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

Alas Halloween is here. As far back as I can remember it’s been my favorite of all holidays. From a rocker’s perspective, it’s hard to find fault with any of the festivities going on this weekend. Dia De Los Muertos (aka Day of the Dead) is Saturday and that's an Angelino highlight. We’ll be sure to party on more than a few graves.

My goal for Idelic's “boo!!” was to create a Halloween mix you can cruise the strip to. While compiling this show some spooky things came to mind—DJ sets at Cramps shows from Tim Warren of Crypt Records. His playlists were spellbinding and inspired me to dig deep for weird and spooky sounds of the past.

I’ve always also dug those rock personas who embraced Halloween as an everyday way of life. Certainly Screaming Lord Sutch, Glenn Danzig, Siouxsie Sioux, Dave Vanian, Lux Interior & Poison Ivy come to mind as dedicated “24-7 ghouls”

So pop this mix in the car stereo and let’s celebrate “Ghoul’s Night Out” on The Idelic Hour. “Boo!!”

The Idelic Hit of the Week:

xosidealer | @sidelic

TVD Takeover Week | Diego Garcia

Our week with Diego Garcia draws to a close...

The Education of Diego | Part 5:
“Iggy, Julio, and Separate Lives….”

Iggy Pop released the album Preliminaries in 2009. An album he sang in French in which he “after 40 years, could finally release his inter-continental.”

He goes on to say he could try to write and record something like “Search and Destroy” but it wouldn’t be as good.

I’m no Iggy Pop my friends, but I can relate…

I just couldn’t wait 40 years to make this album.

My new record is done….

The Girls Are Yours

Nine songs on the malady of love.

Before I wrap up, I'll leave you with a a few clips:

One from a young Julio Iglesias.

It’s a recording of his song “Gwendolyne” for the Eurovision song contest that broke his career back in 1970. Three years later he would be world famous.

It shows a side of Julio I’m sure many of you have never seen. One in which he is still vulnerable. In which he is very much “there.”

Before the tux and the tan.

And a live video for my song “Separate Lives” shot a few months back on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel, Los Angeles.

The song deals with an old story that everyone has lived….

It's direct.

I love you. You love me. We were one.

And then, as it always does, life separates the two lovers…

Expect the new album early next year..

I'm sure well see each other soon.

All the love,


TVD Recommends | The DC Rollergirls' Garage/Soul Halloween Party

Is it me or are there a million things to do this Halloween weekend? From rallies to marathons to live shows, there's no excuse to not be hyper-social over the next 48. And we're going to toss another into your weekend mix: The DCRoller Girls Present The Garage/Soul Halloween Party!

The Blackberry Belles' Tony Ferrari offers a subtle arm twist by way of background on the night:

This Saturday, October 30th, The DC Rollergirls are hosting a Garage/Soul Halloween Party at the Rock and Roll Hotel featuring Billy Woodward and The Senders, The Blackberry Belles, The Dirty Names, The Dupont Circles, and DJ MAC spinning to keep the party moving. There will be a costume contest with $50 - 3rd place - bar tab, $100 - 2nd place - bar tab, and $200 - 1st place - bar tab. Plus, the DC Rollergirls will also contribute prizes for the costume contest!!!

DCRoller Girls Present The Garage/Soul Halloween Party!
Saturday, October 30th | Doors at 8PM bands at 9PM | ALL AGES $10.00 | The Rock and Roll Hotel | 1353 H St NE DC

First up are The Dupont Circles. Shrouded in mystery, the seldom seen psychedelic garage pop outfit has been lurking about the District since 1988.

The Dirty Names take the stage next conjuring the dark art of pure rock and roll.

Light as a feather, stiff as a board, The Blackberry Belles go bump in the night.

And finally, with the voice of an angel damned to sing the devil's music, Billy Woodward and The Senders will put a spell on you.

Won't you join us? We have such sights to show you...

WE'VE GOT A PAIR OF TICKETS TO POUT IN YOUR HANDS! Scare our skates off in the comments to this post and the most frightening of the bunch will get in free on us and the DC Roller Girls. Remember to leave us a contact email address too - boo!

The Dupont Circles - Sarah the Weather Girl (Mp3)
The Dirty Names - Cadillac (The Way She Goes) (Mp3)
The Blackberry Belles - Love Me Not (Mp3)
Billy Woodward and the Senders - The One (Mp3)
All approved for download!

TVD Live Tease | Yeah Gates' Spooktacular


You've attended them. You've been witness to musical meltdowns and horrific evenings. Yet, from the audience, you've been just a spectator.

The bands playing Yeah Gates' 'Spooktacular' on Sunday night at the Black Cat—America Hearts, The Cheniers, and Foul Swoops—have their own frightening tales to tell. Of their own on-stage nightmares. The shows that went hideously wrong. The gigs they'd never, ever want to relive.

These are their stories.

Foul Swoops, who celebrate the release of a new 7" on All Hallows Eve (along with America Hearts) share their Tales of the Macabre:

Dear Vinyl District,

“Are you afraid of the homeless men who occasionally ask you for cigarettes outside of Velvet Lounge?”

That’s probably the question we should have been asked, because to be honest, in the 12-15 shows we’ve played as a band, that’s about as bad as it's ever got.

Also, the answer is no. At this point those guys make up a good majority of our fanbase.

Maybe someday one of us will be Dimebag Daryl’d but until then this is the best we got…

We did play a really spooky show in Boston last Halloween. Spooky almost entirely because it took place on Halloween. Here are some details of the horror:

Boogers: That was our costume and yeah we even slacked on that.

Microphones: Like most young/poor bands we have shitty equipment and our mics will shock you. Don’t think for a second that they won’t.

Four Loko vomit: Luckily this didn’t come from any of the Swoops. Scary to see in person nonetheless.

Burger King: 4 band members. 4x. 1 weekend. Scared yet?

Metal band: When we showed up to my friends house there was a metal band practicing right next door. They seemed pretty bad ass.

Cops: Neighbors called the cops twice during our show saying they were “afraid of the noises coming from the basement” We’re pretty sure it was the Metal band that called.

Andy Warhol/uninterested audience: We’re not sure everyone who attended the show was fully aware what we were all about. Even the dude who dressed as Andy Warhol didn’t really dig our VU cover. At one point one of us asked the audience if anyone liked Beat Happening and one dude yelled back “Probably not.” After we played there was Girl Talk dance party.

Inhaling old kitty litter: No, this doesn’t actually get you high, but we’re pretty sure multiple years have been taken off our lives as a result of playing in what was essentially a litter box.

Stalker: Two of our members got one. To finally get her out of the house she was convinced they were all about to go get breakfast at 6am. She walked outside first. They closed the door.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

TVD Takeover Week | Diego Garcia

Our visit with Diego Garcia (and his record collection) continues this Thursday:

The Education of Diego | Part 4:
“The Sound, Sandro, and the Cello”

Back to Matisse:

“You must, when the time comes, change course, search for something new.“

So for the last four years I’ve been following my instincts in search for a new sound.

A sound that could properly deliver my message on love, or I should say the malady of love.

A sound only my story could tell.

Minor keys, cello, nylon guitars, light drums, and wooden tambourines would help create an environment for me to whisper the words into her ear…

“You will always live inside my heart in memories long after we’re apart.
Even when my days are long and dark, you will always live inside my heart.”

So with each new song, came a little healing, until eventually I started feeling “better.”

The irony is that as soon as I accepted closure, my heart opened up and the sound was born…

I was ready to love again.

A few records that helped along the way:

Sandro “Yo Te Amo”
He passed away earlier this year while we where in the studio. It made everything a bit more real…

Serge Gainsbourg “Le Poinconeur Des Lilas”

Leonardo Favio “Fuiste Mia Un Verano”


You've attended them. You've been witness to musical meltdowns and horrific evenings. Yet, from the audience, you've been just a spectator.

The bands playing Yeah Gates' 'Spooktacular' on Sunday night at the Black Cat—America Hearts, The Cheniers, and Foul Swoops—have their own frightening tales to tell. Of their own on-stage nightmares. The shows that went hideously wrong. The gigs they'd never, ever want to relive.

These are their stories.

Today, it's The Cheniers' nightmares:

David Malitz | My old band played a show in Baltimore at a place called Charm City Art Space. The performance area is in this low-ceiling basement and it was all musty and dusty. The first song we played was one that I sang and I go up to the microphone and get shocked. Not a little zap, but a serious fucking SHOCK. I jumped back, approached again with trepidation. Same result.

I'm an idiot when it comes to technical stuff—every time my amp makes a crackling sound I'm convinced it's blown a tube, even though I barely know what a tube is—so I didn't know that the problem was that I wasn't "grounded" or some bullshit.

So for the entire song I keep thinking, "Oh, maybe it will get better" only to be stung each time. This happened about 10 times. We "grounded" everything after that but the next time one of my songs came up in the setlist I was too scared to go up to the microphone, like a mouse that gets shocked trying to eat a piece of cheese and eventually backs off.

John Masters | We decided to make a pit stop at a certain "gentlemen's club" in Atlanta after a Stamen & Pistils show back in 2007. The friend we were staying with spent a little too much time in the champagne room and insisted on driving us home on the freeway. He started passing out at the wheel and we swerved entirely off the road numerous times as we all screamed in terror.

Once we convinced him to let one of us drive, we got him back home to the apartment where we were all staying. He sat in a chair drunkenly mumbling and made me laugh, and that's when he quickly changed demeanor. "Is this guy making fun of me?" he asked everyone. "I'm gonna kick his ass." Aware of the fact the guy was about 15 times the size of skinny indie rock frame, I fled to my cot until he passed out—needless to say I didn't sleep well that night.

Ben Vivari | The scariest shows are always the first shows, right? An old band I was in, our first gig was at the probably-now-closed Vault in Baltimore. We were barely a band - we had two guitars, drums, no bass ... and we had never even heard of the other bands we were playing with, and outside of a few friends knew hardly anyone in the crowd. In the end we got through it with no major disasters but it was a stupid environment to play our first show and probably was the scariest - though far from worst - show we ever played.

TVD's Obscure Alternatives

It's our Thursday flashback, culled from the rare and (ultra) obscure crates of 80’s vinyl, curated by our pal Gil:

The Flex - From The Vacuum
The Flex was an alternative indie rock band with three core members. They were founded and operated out of Chicago, IL. The group enlisted session assistance from seven other members, who supported on saxophone, guitars, and vocals.

Overall, the band sticks with the alternative rock formula that was very prevalent during the mid 80’s with such bands as Husker Du, The Replacements, The Pixies, and many more. There are times where The Flex trio push the boundaries and create a roaring hybrid of punk pop, which ended up becoming a popular off shoot genre in its own right. With song titles such as "Drunken Aerobics," one can see that they have their creativity genes intact.

The Flex spent a few years traversing the Chicago alternative underground scene and never reached the critical acclaim as their mainstream compatriots, however they didn’t feel the need to conform either. Thus you get a thirteen song album of uncompromising music that hasn’t lost any integrity or creative control due to major label meddling.

This lone album was recorded at The Pits in Rockford and independently released on Sonic Dinner Music. Check out the crawling excellence of "Sleeping Boys" in the song selection below.

The Flex - Sleeping Boys (Mp3)
The Flex - China Dolls (Mp3)
The Flex - Dschungle World (Mp3)

For more obscure and unknown titles, check out Vinyl Obscurity.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TVD Takeover Week | Diego Garcia

It's Day #3 with our guest for the week, Diego Garcia:

The Education of Diego | Part 3:
“Lolita, My Soul, and Mr. Walker”

Before moving on, I feel a need to address the second Elefant album The Black Magic Show.

I have a hard time going back on this one, given the simple reason, “I simply was not there.”

Listening back to that record I hear someone else.

A product of late nights, neon signs, reckless abandon, and loneliness…

The innocence was gone.

My heart was on empty.

And the recording reflects this…

Just check out the video shot to the lead single “Lolita” which was shot in NYC at the legendary Chelsea Hotel.

I want to stress that I am in no way knocking the album.

It was what it was: an honest extension of my life at that time. More importantly, of where the band was at that time.

I am very proud of it for that reason.

Now, imagine reliving this record every night on stage?

I was out of my mind…

In fact, I broke my foot touring the album. More specifically, I fractured my “soul” which in retrospect was the ultimate sign:

I had to heal my heart to survive

In other words, I had to get my girl back.

So if our whole generation’s mission is to kill the cliché, then I'm a dead man. And I will proudly take romance to the grave…

It was time to go solo.

To start over.

It was time to write a record that only my story could tell and that sounded like nothing else…

I'll leave you with one of the greatest songs on love/life before picking up again tomorrow.



TVD Live Tease | Yeah Gates' Spooktacular

Arlington, VA indie label Yeah Gates is bringing a decidedly non-spooky trifecta of bands to the Black Cat this coming Sunday night—America Hearts, The Cheniers, and Foul Swoops—on the spookiest night of the year: Halloween.

Sunday's 'Spooktacular' is also the 7" release party for the Hearts and Swoops, so we wanted to be certain this show is in your bag of treats for the weekend.

We've got all three bands with us for the balance of the week sharing some truly nightmarish and horrific stories from the road in a series we're calling "Creepshows." (Because I can't think of anything funnier.)

First up, the night's headliners, America Hearts:

Mark Cisneros | A Freegan House Show
We were a little freaked out upon arrival and perhaps even genuinely scared when they told us how the ingredients of the food we were in the middle of eating, was procured. The show turned into a mini-Burning Man of sorts. Body piercings, dancing and lots of skin and sweat. Like a crusty-punk Woodstock, complete with bare, muddy feet. All in the living room. The same living room in which we had to sleep later that night. Great food and homemade booze though.

Justin Moyer | Tough Times?
In 2002, I played a show in Cheb, Czech Republic. Cheb is the 'Wild West' of Czech. It belonged to Germany until WWII. After the armistice, it was given to the Soviets, and everyone who could fled. Those who remained were not exactly an economic elite. We played in what's best described as a Czech roadhouse.

Inside, there was no P.A. We sang and ran drum machines through our guitar amps. We played with a punk band that did goose steps and Heil-Hitler salutes. We couldn't figure out whether this was ironic.

The promoter had just gotten released from Czech prison. He had served 7 years for possession of marijuana. We stayed at his house after the show and he grabbed our keyboardist and tried to pull his pants down. Luckily, he was handsome.

Jess Matthews | Southern Scales
There was a really weird house show in Little Rock. It was the middle of the week and everyone at the party was wearing 80s glam rock face paint. The house had pet tarantulas in a tank, but some of the shells the spiders had shed were lying around looking like fully formed or crushed spiders.

Beforehand, we went to a nearby drive through beer distributor. It was a small, dingy building and it was hard to get the van around the corner to the drive up window. When we got to the window there was just a long set of fingernails coming out of a hand that was wrapping on the counter. We waited and waited. We asked for PBR, but the nails didn’t respond. When the woman finally appeared in the window she said, “I’m sorry. You know, I was just here looking at men on the Internet again.”

Mike Tasevoli | Nightmare on U Street
I can't think of any gig-related spookiness, but last year I was having a re-occurring nightmare about being trapped in the Velvet Lounge for eternity.

TVD First Date | Angie Mattson

"As we drive past the bayous and bays of the south, a lot of good tunes come to mind, as well as inspiration for new ones. Despite the fact I am on the road as I write this, my vinyl collection amasses. At the moment we are whizzing through Pensacola. Thrift stores along the way carry these priceless discs of black for less than $1, and the gum chewing, child-rearing clerks have no clue what they are parting with. They take my money and recognize me for the garbage collector that I am. I tuck them away in the truck, behind amplifiers and guitar cases, under boxes of merchandise and next to notebooks of lyrics and songs ideas. They hide there in the dark corners chatting with each other about gear and venues and chord changes. When I get home in a couple weeks we will all move into my studio apartment, and they will share a room with the other songs resting in their cardboard sleeping bags.

Just crossed into Alabama. The sound and feel of vinyl can't be beat. If a new record that I want is available in vinyl, I will buy that first. My parents had a fantastic collection of records that traveled from our living room, to the basement, to my apartment, my car, storage units, and back to my apartment over the course of my life. I still use stolen milk crates to display them, but plans are in the works. The house in the clouds that I am currently building has 500 ft. high shelves with electric lifts and a 100-album record changer. There are a million speakers like mutant fly eyes around the rooms, and they sparkle in the night when the music plays. Galactic mobiles orbiting my crib.

The sun is getting big and low now, and it’s harder to drive west. I used to work at a record store that was slowly phasing out cassettes, it’s interesting how long it takes small towns to catch on to new technology, but why hurry? The music is the same and the technology always changes. That record store is now closed. We are passing a peaceful swampy river in Mississippi. Makes me want to buy a flat bottom fishing boat and an old radio to spend the day with. The sound of radio is right up there with vinyl for me. I will unapologetically say that right now most of the music on commercial radio is empty. It’s bleached and it’s bleaching me. I am a girl about interesting sounds and lyrics, about music that is living. Music with bones and bacteria, and fungus. Music that breathes and grows with you.

Welcome to Louisiana. Besides the sound of the vinyl it’s the size. A 12" record is a piece of music meat. But I can't take it fishing or on the road, it's music for the home, for getting intimate. We just arrived in New Orleans, our destination for the evening. When it comes down to it, vinyl, CD, cassette, radio, mp3, I just love the music and the song and the voice, the medium is just the pan it’s heated up in."
—Angie Mattson

Angie Mattson's Official Site | Myspace | Twitter | Facebook

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TVD Takeover Week | Diego Garcia

It's Day #2 with our guest for the week, Diego Garcia:

The Education of Diego | Part 2:
“Elefant RIP 2001-2010, Mother Fuckers, and Matisse”

The vulnerability and sincerity in a song like “Plastic Jesus” combined with my best attempt to sing led to Elefant and our debut album, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid.

I'll never forget hearing playback of my first vocal take to “Tonight Let's Dance.”

Or getting high from the hours spent on singing “Love.”

The bridge on “Sunlight.”

The past is a blur…


When I think of Elefant, this is the record I identify with the most. And for those of you who care, we have 2 more in the vault I hope eventually see the light of day.

Before moving on, I'll leave you with a video a fan made for the song “Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid” cut to the footage of one of my favorite movies in the last few years “Let The Right One In.”

I guess one can say that we were ahead of our time in regards to the whole vampire thing.

I thought I would add that Bowie’s Honky Dory album as my favorite record of his… why? Because were just getting to know each other and these kind of things are important.

Go and listen to “Kooks” if you have any questions.

And one cannot leave out the self titled The Stooges debut when getting to know each other…

I had a cigarette with Scott Asheton, drummer for The Stooges, a few months ago in Los Angeles. I told him how covering the Stooges got me started. His reply: “Me too.”

Back to NYC. Back to where I am now. Staring out of my bedroom window as I take a break from writing this.

This quote I saw while visiting the Matisse exhibit at the MOMA comes to mind: “When you have achieved what you want in a certain area, when you have exploited the possibilities that lie in one direction, you must, when the time comes, change course, search for something new.”

I'll get into this tomorrow, but before I go, I'll leave you with Piero’s Mi Viejo.

An artist I came across on one of my many trips to Argentina.

Released in 66, I believe.

This record took my hand and led me to where I am now, the eve of my debut record as Diego Garcia…

Monday, October 25, 2010

TVD Takeover Week | Diego Garcia

I have to credit Jon Sidel who delivers TVD's very own free form radio show/podcast, The Idelic Hour each Friday afternoon, for putting Diego Garcia on my radar.

I had been a fan of Elefant, Diego's previous band and their Mc5 meets Bowie and Suede leanings (where 90% of my musical tastes reside.) I wasn't aware though that he'd struck out on his own and in a wholly different direction.

Diego referenced Julio Iglesias to me as a marker for his new musical trajectories which at once seemed very appropriate upon hearing the tracks and at the same time a little limiting. Perhaps in tandem with the fresh material, it's the production behind his new recordings which wraps Diego in the warm blanket of an entire era—the romantic, pop sensibilities of the 1960's to be exact.

To my ears it's somewhat similar to what The Clientele have achieved, which makes that band such a personal favorite and what has kept Diego on constant play over the past few weeks.

We'll be hanging out with Diego over the coming days here at TVD, dipping into his new music and into the bands that inform his background and tastes.

All this week, it's Diego Garcia's Vinyl District.

“My Plastic Jesus” | The Education of Diego

The following is my take on a quote from Tarkovsky: “The purpose of music should be to help people live, even if it sometimes causes unhappiness.”

“Peel Slowly and See,” the box set by the Velvet Underground released in September of 1995, months before my 19th birthday, should have come with the following warning: These 5 records listened to all at once will mess your brain up and you will sound like the “Velvet Underground” when you make your first record.

Add a little Bowie, the Ramones, Stooges, some Beatles, The Smiths, Stones and you pretty much start getting it…

Any relevant artist today had to have gone through at least one of these bands.

And then there are the records with songs made just for me. Records that I owned the only copy of.

1. “Plastic Jesus” from The Flaming Lips' “Transmissions from the Satellite Heart.”

Fifteen when I first heard this record. And over the years I would play it on my guitar to anyone that might listen , and no matter how wasted or high I was, it always felt good.

Chapeau Mr. Wayne Coyne.

You changed my life with your cover of “Plastic Jesus.”

And continue to inspire.

2. “Weird Horses” from Teenage Fanclub's “Thirteen”

Around the same time I got into the Flaming Lips, I heard the track “Weird Horses” and had the same kind of reaction. Had to learn it. Saying “fucked up” in the opening of this song was always fun… immediately drew people in…

3. “The Strange Effect” by The Kinks' “The Songs We Sang for Auntie: BBC Sessions 1964-1977”

Important to note that I recently sang this song for Karl Lagerfeld at a dinner held in his honor… why is this important? I don’t know, but singing the line “you got this strange effect on me and I like it” to Karl while wearing a chef hat should not be left out….

Check out me and Zeke Zima from my new band playing it acoustically poolside in Miami a few months ago. Please note the mistake I make on the guitar at the 1:09 mark.

Goes to show a good song is really hard to mess up. Simplicity is key.

Maybe it was part of the discovery, or the vulnerable nature of the recordings that made these songs so special to me.