Wednesday, January 20, 2010

TVD First Date with | Casper Bangs

I naively thought at this blog’s inception that 100% of the bands that’d be featured would be bands that I love. No waffling – just the stuff I adore.

But that didn’t play out as I’d hoped. I mean, would you want to read about the same seven or eight bands over and over? Probably not. Hell, I don’t want to.

I sucked it up and in the name of diversity and ‘expanding one’s horizons’ I opened the flood gates. Not wide, mind you, but enough to allow for some acts who aren’t particularly up my alley. Oh, they might be hip and all that and you might have dug some of their Mp3s that went along with the features, but mentally I was sitting a few of ‘em out.

So, I realize that as a result, at times you may not know where I stand on this or that band.

Casper Bangs is 100%.

(Got it?)

We chatted with CB’s Rob Pierangeli a little while back about stuff near and dear to both of us:

What record stores do you frequent within the DC/Baltimore area?
I dig Crooked Beat, Som Records, Red Onion and Smash.

What was your first memory of listening to vinyl or buying a record? What artist was it?
I had a record player when I was a kid, but those memories are not vivid. I had Thiller by Michael Jackson and this Kids Incorporate record, both of which I loved. That TV show was my jam when I was five.

I didn't really start collecting records until around 21, when I inherited some of my Mom's Beatles records. The first records I ever bought were Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus by Vince Guaraldi and Thelonious Monk live at the Black Hawk. I bought them both from Smash Records when it was still in Georgetown. I was taking jazz guitar lessons at the time, and listening to EL-P’s jazz-influenced hip-hop production on Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein. The beats on that record are so ill. And speaking of, I need to get that on vinyl.

Why did you decide to put out a 7" for 'Whitespace?'
I simply love vinyl, and wanted to document the beginning of Casper Bangs with a vinyl release.

Please divulge some information regarding its artwork if you would...
I'm into the concept of whitespace in art and the space between notes in music. I wanted a minimalist approach to the artwork that conveyed this concept. Charlie Flexon (the designer) and I bounced a bunch of ideas around, until he came up with idea of using braille on the front cover. From there we decided to use no printing and single-level emboss all type and art. I'm really happy with the packaging on this release. It's gorgeous! And who doesn’t love white vinyl?

Do your friends still buy music?
Yes, most of my friends buy records. I think a lot of my friends (myself included) also download music too, but it's not the same as owning the vinyl. Vinyl is tangible and more of a commitment. You can browse through my iTunes to see what I dig, but if you really want to know what I love check out my record collection. These are the albums I could not live without.

If you could own the entire vinyl anthology for any band, who would it be?
Easy: The Kinks.

Would you ever issue a single only on a 7"?
Maybe. I think you have to consider your audience. If I wrote punk rock, hardcore, or garage then I'd be more inclined to do so because kids tend to collect seven inches in those genres. Truth is, I was hesitant on doing a 7" because I write pop songs. That being said, I think releasing vinyl only does make it special. Perhaps down the road I’ll do a vinyl only release.

Casper Bangs - Skylark (Mp3)
Casper Bangs - The Other Half (Mp3)
Casper Bangs - Queen Of Hearts (Mp3)

TVD Fresh Pick | New from Laura Burhenn: The Mynabirds

TVD Two Word Review: Absolutely fantastic.

Official site right here.

The Mynabirds - Numbers Don't Lie (Mp3)

TVD Presents a Sockets Records Showcase Week!

We've been excited to do this Sockets Records blog takeover week, but, do I say this? Big Gold Belt's walking us down some dark, dark record cover alleys. (Where's my mace?)

Here is an album cover we came across that made us feel happy. It is from Rare Silk’s 1986 record “New Weave.”

Reasons this cover is good:

1. The South Floridian mom color palette.

2. The geometric composition typical of paintings selected by shrinks in the Rockland County, NY area. They hang these in their waiting rooms.

3. The splatter texture and shadow relief adds cheesy depth.

4. The font the name 'Rare Silk' is written in what looks like it was derived from the slashes of some soft-rock pirate's cutlass.

5. Corny cleverness: "New Weave" (as in “new wave.”)

We cannot say we love the music that Rare Silk produces—a bizarre combination of the Andrew Sisters, soft jazz and funk guitar. We do however thank them for their stylish design sense!

Big Gold Belt - Ice Cream (Mp3)

TVD Fresh Pick | New Fyfe Dangerfield

Oh, we love press releases. And that's all you're gonna get with these 'Fresh Picks' to speed these along and to ...uh, to keep 'em fresh.

"Following Guillemots 2008 album Red, mercurial singer-songwriter Fyfe Dangerfield used the window of time created to spread his wings and lovingly record his beautiful debut solo album 'Fly Yellow Moon.'

Fyfe recorded the album in five days in what he describes as ‘the best ever little studio’, which ended up being the happiest days he has ever spent in studio land. The songs were written over a 12-month period in snatched moments after soundchecks, before nights out, and after moments of unmitigated lovestruck bliss.

He met up with Bernard Butler to mix a couple of songs ("She Needs Me," "Faster Than The Setting Sun") on a 1960s-mixing desk to color the record in a different shade. The rest of the tracks remained just as they were from their first recording session. “It often sounded best this way, says Fyfe. “Capturing the moment they were recorded and not being painted over too much.” "

Fyfe Dangerfield - When You Walk In The Room (Mp3)

We post - you decide! (Although we think this is great.)

It's a TVD Ticket Giveaway | Langhorne Slim, Friday, January 22 at Ottobar

I know this blog's read from Athens to Zurich (really, I check the stats) but do we have any readers in, uh...Baltimore? Well, we're about to find out because we have a pair of tickets to check out Langhorne Slim along with April Smith, this Friday night at Ottobar in our sister city to the north.

Raise your hand in the comments to this post, jump up and down, do what you need to grab our attention if you're in Baltimore (or willing to hit the road) for what's certain to be a fine night of music. Leave us some contact info too. We'll choose a winner Friday morning. Now, get going, hon.

Langhorne Slim - Say Yes (Mp3)
April Smith and the Great Picture Show - Colors (Mp3)