Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TVD's Pie in the Sky

#3. Reinvigorate COMMERCIAL Radio | Truth is, I subscribe to satellite radio, largely for Howard Stern. But I have indeed found myself tooling about on the various and sundry 'genre channels' from time to time and I was hit by an odd notion—I miss the commercials.

Howard has commercials which surprised me for a bit at the outset—some he'll read and the regular prerecorded type. It's refreshing frankly, whereas the 'Deep Cut Bullshit Channel' might not have any. It's like a secret handshake club for the ad averse.

But it's not the advertising I want to underscore but the content—the meat on said bone—that is lacking on the traditional, terrestrial airwaves.

Old guard, want your way back in with us? Take your grip off of radio programmer's necks. Free up the playlists for DJs to wing it. Remarry the legitimacy of the medium with inventiveness. Offer immediacy and a rapport not based phony radio-ims. Allow for a station's identity to be no identity at all, other than music driven. Become a community partner again, not a global enterprise.

...and maybe we'll just come back to you.

Selecter - On My Radio (Mp3)
Elvis Costello - Radio Sweetheart [Live] (Mp3)
Wall of Voodoo - Mexican Radio (Mp3)
Radio Stars - Nervous Wreck (Mp3)
Shellac - The End of Radio (Mp3)

TVD First Date | Alex Gruenburg

"For me, vinyl is a lot like watching a movie in 3-D. It’s the next best thing to actually being there. If I can’t see the band in person then I want to hear them on vinyl. Seriously, the fact that the music is physically being played and that needle is dancing along those tiny, little grooves… there’s just something really honest and authentic about that. I mean you don’t even need electronics to play it!

And of course there’s something really iconic about a vinyl record. Artists want to win platinum records and not platinum mp3’s for a reason. From a visual perspective alone it can’t be beat and the sleeves on vinyl are to be missed. Having that much space to look at and display makes them pieces of art in their own rite. It’s something you’d be proud to listen to and hang on your wall. Physically, it’s really nice to be able to hold some music in your hand that big. I truly believe that music has lost a lot of its prestige and value since it has become so small and convenient.

It’s a lot like getting hand-written letters in the mail. I get emails all the time but rarely ever receive a written letter from any of my friends anymore. Occasionally though, when you do, it really makes you smile. You can almost feel the writer when you read it and the message feels just a little bit closer to you. Vinyl is a lot like that. And I dig it."

Alex Gruenburg - Put On Your Shades (Mp3)

Grab Alex's full EP here!

TVD Fresh Track | Lawrence Arabia

Methinks if John Lennon were still kicking around, we'd have this bit of canny song craft perfection on the regular—if he were in top form, that is.

A former member of bands like The Ruby Suns (Sub Pop), The Brunettes and The Reduction Agents as well as a touring member of Okkervil River, Lawrence Arabia—the savant-like songwriting alter ego of James Milne—is shedding his sideman status and stepping alone into the bright light of the U.S. music scene with Chant Darling.

The album is his first full-length on Bella Union, the UK-based label credited with discovering hallmark influencers Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Beach House and Explosions in the Sky among others.

Already receiving four-star reviews from UK tastemakers like Mojo and Uncut, Chant Darling melds irreverent lyrics with West Coast melodies and lush harmonies, playing like a modern take on the work of classic popsmiths like Jonathan Richman, John Lennon and Brian Wilson.

The first single from Chant Darling ‘Apple Pie Bed,’ received New Zealand’s highest songwriting honor the Silver Scroll award this past September.

Lawrence Arabia - Apple Pie Bed (Mp3)