Wednesday, February 3, 2010

TVD First Date | Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes

We've been big fans of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes since '40 Day Dream' made itself known to us last summer. But we tend to handle our records carefully by the sides to avoid fingerprints (and more.) Nora Kirkpatrick, ES&TMZ's accordion player, turns out to be a bit more...shall we say... free-wheeling:

"In college, my roommates and I, yet unwise to the immense value and pleasure of vinyl, would use our parent’s old records as plates for parties, or melt them in the oven to use as bowls. I kick myself every time I walk by my Neil Young “On the Beach” party bowl, which is great for chips, but not nearly as great as actually hearing the songs!

Although I have known about the best hidden record store in Los Angeles for a few years now, I didn’t own my own record player or have what could be considered a bonafide collection until two months ago. Now that I have finally seen the light, I am working very hard to retire every digital album I have and replace it with its vinyl counterpart. My first and best stop is Music Man Murray on Exposition Boulevard.

It has been run for decades by 87-year-old Murray Gershenz, a former opera singer turned character actor. (You may recognize him from The Hangover as the half-naked patient in the hospital scene.) Murray has about every album you could ever want, and about 10,000 you’ve never heard of, but should want anyway. Music Man Murray is an experience in and of itself, and if you are looking for rare or interesting records, I suggest giving his store a try.

When I am on the hunt for records I never knew I wanted, I often go to thrift stores such as St. Vincent’s downtown or Oasis thrift shop in Indio, California. I’ve gotten such gems as “The Baja Marimba Band’ (greatest hits, of course), Perry Como “So Smooth,” and some that I have come to cherish, such as “The Art of Charles Mingus,” Little Richard “Gospel” and “The Piano Music of Erik Satie.”

Although my descent into the wild world of vinyl is relatively new, I have come full circle from my neglectful college years, and can’t wait for the day when I can delete iTunes, throw my iPod to the wind, and sit back with my new, much flatter and more sonic version of Neil Young’s “On the Beach.”"

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Home (Mp3)

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - 40 Day Dream (Mp3)

TVD's Alternative Ulcer

Our friend and regular contributor Kris returns with the first Alternative Ulcer of the new year—which arrives without any acid reflux for starters. —Ed.

Last Thursday night Iota hosted its second Haiti Relief Benefit. The line-up advertised was "The Torches with Adrian Hardkor, Wes Tucker, Alex the Red Parez, and more." Unfortunately the extensive trek across the Potomac caused me to miss the first two acts - Adrian Hardkor and Alex the Red Parez.

Those who managed to get to the show before me were able to hear both of the acoustic acts and said they enjoyed them. Both bands play tons of shows in the DC metro area so if you missed them on Thursday you can catch them again in the coming weeks.

Wes Tucker minus the Skillets, took the stage somewhere around 9, maybe a little later. While there were maybe 20 or so people in the room at this point, he and his acoustic guitar made a nice accompaniment to the friendly conversations dispersed throughout the room.

After Wes, the Torches's drummer, Thomas Orgren, played acoustic guitar for a bit on stage before they began their set around 10. The Torches have this gritty cowboy gypsy feel to them that I love so much but rarely hear in DC. The last time I saw the Torches was at the Red and the Black in December when they opened up for The Young Republic and A Sunny Day in Glasgow but they were without their drummer.

The show in December and the show on Thursday could really not have been more different. Ogren was once a guitarist in the Torches but has very recently taken up the challenge to step in as drummer though from the audience's point of view it was as if he'd been playing with them since the band's inception. December's show had been hot, like sweat-drop-down-my-balls hot, the sound quality hadn't been great, and although many of the same songs were played on Thursday as the December show, the pace of the band's former show was more mild.

Last Thursday's show was great—Iota has a really awesome sound guy and with a band that includes an oboe, a banjo and a harmonica it made all the difference. More people poured into Iota and many got off of their stools or stepped away from the wall to get closer to the stage. They played eight songs in all, including my favorites Mr. Vampire and Wish You Well. And I was definitely amped to hear them play Blood and Money because any song where a band can yell a lot with the audience happy to participate always leaves me wanting more.

The Torches lead singer Stephen tells me they have no shows currently booked so all you rad DC venues—get to bookin'!

Hats off to all the bands for playing quality music to help Haiti and making it worth the trip out of DC for the evening.

TVD Fresh Track from Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will return with their new album 'I Learned The Hard Way' on April 6th and anticipation of the new release, Daptone Records is giving away the title track—free!

Although we happen to have the track for download below—an exclusive I might add—we want you to head over to Daptone anyway and leave your email address to join the mailing list.

Fans who follow on Twitter, Facebook, and on the mailing list will receive exclusive pre-sale information for show tickets including the record release party at The Apollo Theatre on April 30th. And you do want to be there.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - I Learned The Hard Way (Mp3)