Friday, April 2, 2010

TVD's The Idelic Hour

Soulfood | Hey — today is Good Friday what better day to pose the question, what does the word Soul mean? I was thinking about the expression “the gospel truth,” it has a nice musical ring to it. The soul, while defying all boundaries, is there at the “heart” of it. For me it’s a vibe all about instinct and intuition.

What is indescribable with words is easy recognizable through music. Soul became a genre of music almost as quick as rock n roll. Over the last few years I’ve revisited, re-discovered, and for myself as a fan, redefined the genre.

Soul power and songwriting ability are two traits I cherish most on a record. It’s not always easy to find a contemporary artist with these qualities and as a result this mix came together like an egg that was not so easy to crack. I started with mostly old seven inches. My plan was to add a few new songs and a couple of 70’s artists who must have been listening to all those great 60’s soul records.

Highlights in the mix… “Tighten Up” new from The Black Keys, Solomon Burke’s Bob Dylan cover, LA’s Fritz and The Tantrums as they go right to the top, and Tinariwen who roam the Sahara desert with soul crushing guitar licks!

Dig deep, fill your cup, and enjoy Good Friday with “soulfood.”


The Idelic Hour [4/2/2010] (Mp3, 87Mg)

TVD's Record Store Day 2010 Label Showcase | Ardent Records, Music, and Studios | On the Record with Jody Stephens

The death of Alex Chilton on March 17th was a terrible shock to the music world. It happened on the eve of Big Star's triumphant return to SXSW where a panel was scheduled to discuss the band's legacy and a performance by the band was one of the most anticipated showcases of the festival. The panel and performance went on as planned, although each turned into a sort of wake for Chilton, one celebrating the man, the other celebrating the music.

With the release of the Big Star Box Set
'Keep an Eye on the Sky' and Chris Bell's 'I am the Cosmos' 2CD Deluxe Edition from Rhino Handmade, Big Star was back on the musical map big time.

Just days before Chilton's death,
Rachelandthecity sat down with drummer Jody Stephens to discuss the legacy of the band. In the same studio that Big Star recorded #1 Record, Radio City, Third/Sister Lovers. Jody discusses how the band began, what their influences were, the impact of the death of Chris Bell, the very first rock writer's convention, and what the future plans were for Big Star. Plus, you'll get to preview tracks from both 'Keep an Eye to the Sky' and 'I am the Cosmos.'

On the Record with Jody Stephens | The TVD Podcast [131Mg] (Mp3)

SETLIST: 00:00 Intro | 00:57 Thirteen (Alt Version) | 03:33 In the Streets (Alt Version) | 06:31 September Gurls | 09:16 Interview with Jody Stephens of Big Star | 31:27 Ballad of El Goodo | 35:43 O My Soul | 41:17 Stroke It Noel | 43:20 Thank You Friends | 46:24 Interview with Jody Stephens of Big Star | 57:34 Make A Scene | 60:00 You and Your Sister | 63:21 Get Away (Alt Version)

TVD Sunday Hangover | Bmore gets Bonkers for Major Lazer!

I like to think of Wednesdays as 'Pseudo-Fridays.'

Last night I made the trek ALL THE WAY TO BALTIMORE (blech) to take-part in the epic insanity that was Major Lazer at Bourbon Street. Most. Epic. Party. Ever.

Major Lazer is the collaborative dancehall/dj project from djs/producers Diplo & Switch. Diplo is well-known for his collaborations with M.I.A. while Switch is better known for his ubiquitous house remixes.

Although I had never been to Bourbon, the venue was surprisingly HUGE, with a stellar rooftop patio to smoke cigarettes and whatnot. Despite my general dislike of Baltimore, I was actually very impressed with this spot.

Between the hour-long drive equipped with bottled-water-disguised-vodka to the underage drunk/raver kids recklessly hump-dancing and crowd-surfing, I think I time-traveled back to highschool last night. I got in that zip-car and all of a sudden I was 17 and heading to an HFStival, all over again.

The sold-out show was packed solid with crazy mofos ranging from the jersey-shore-esque bro’s to the neon-ed out raver chicks to the not-so-sober underage kids (there were far to many of these). Somehow I managed to get 5feet in front of the stage in a sea of sweaty moshers where the energy was so wild and insane I think I blacked out sans booze. Frontman Skerrit Bwoy dominated the crowd with his dynamic and unstoppable energy and the entire room was fist-pumping and jumping in unison amidst the neon green laser-lights and fog. A suit-clad Diplo worked his turntable magic in the background while a dancing gorilla and a scantily clad, sweaty, gorgeous girl teased the crowd (who looked exactly like Rachel True, i.e. ‘Mary Jane’ from Half Baked).

The show was absolutely bonkers (true delirium hit at Pon De Floor) and it may have been the most fun I’ve had in my entire life (did I just say that?! Yes, I did.). I left the Major Lazer show five pounds lighter, reeking of stale booze and cigarettes and drenched in the sweat of 50 strangers.

Bottom line: Major Lazer Show = blown ear drums, insane mosh pits, reckless daggering, and rave-sational underage kids on E.

Hear Morgan Tepper's interview with Diplo & Switch @ WVUA here.

Major Lazer - Hold the Line ft. Mr. Lexx & Santigold - Album Edit (Mp3)
Major Lazer - Pon De Floor [Ernold Sane Remix] (Mp3)

TVD's Record Store Day 2010 Label Showcase | Ardent Records, Music, and Studios | Lori Friday on Big Star

Super 400's Lori Friday on Big Star:

I wrote these thoughts a few days before Alex Chilton's passing...

Super 400
had just left Memphis after spending a wonderful time with Jody Stephens and John Fry. We wished Big Star well on their upcoming SXSW appearance, wished we could be there to hear them play. The news hit us the next night in Chicago. Super 400 had just gotten offstage and we all had texts waiting in our phones from friends at home, saying that Alex was gone. Here are my feelings about being lucky enough to have Big Star in my life:

I remember 21, hopeful and hungry to start a sensation in a rock and roll band of my own. I dreamed to be in step with the impossible feel and taste of my childhood heroes. Young writers have a habit of molting a conglomeration from the cool around them, this is true in all the arts I guess.

Our group of friends would gather in whomever's apartment was hosting snacks and smokes, and we'd spin records all night, absorbing the goodness of youth. At that age, you already have the Hendrix, Beatle, and Zeppelin benchmarks, and much of the lesser known stuff doesn't stick with you. When Big Star's '#1 Record' hit me for the first time, it was so true and right, I felt cool just listening to the sound. I have been hooked ever since.

There is a short list of artists that have achieved such a combination of swagger and tenderness. Their music has been the soundtrack to my adult life; these four musicians hold a claim to many of my cherished memories as a woman, a musician and a lover of sound.

Our band listens to the Big Star records constantly on the road. We've been turning people on to them for several years and in every state and country we visit. Last year we realized a long time dream of recording at Ardent in Memphis, where Big Star's records were made. The walls there do talk; you can visit this Mecca and find out for yourself.

I've heard people say that once they hear Big Star, they realize what an influence the band has had on much of music since, particularly in the past decade. It's fair to say that Big Star had a foothold in my brain's understanding of Rock and Roll, long before I was lucky enough to hear a note of #1 Record or Radio City.

Super 400 is a rock band from Troy, New York. Active since the mid 90’s the band has released 4 studio albums and one live set as of September 2009.

The band was formed by long time friends Kenny Hohman (guitar and vocals) and Joe Daley (drums) and played in various incarnations throughout New York City and Woodstock. The lineup would not be finalized until the addition of bassist Lori Friday in February 1996.

The band was signed to Island Records and released their self titled debut on July 13th 1998 on the Island/Trade 2 label. In December 1998 Seagram purchased Island Records and many of their lesser known bands including Super 400 were released from their roster.

Super 400 continued to play and record, self releasing Blast the Message (October 1st 2004), 'Live 05' (November 26th 2005), '3 And The Beast' (April 21st 2007) and 'Sweet Fist' (September 15th, 2009).

The band is a taper friendly band and encourages the recording and free trading of their live shows.

Everyone has an artistic point of reference. Enter to win Super 400's 'Sweet Fist' on vinyl by sharing your Big Star-inspired tale—your band's—or a band or performer who can cite Big Star as a unique influence. Please remember to leave a contact email address. The winner will be notified next Monday, 4/5/2010.

TVD's Ten Weeks of Record Store Day Vinyl Giveaways - Week 8

Eight weeks in and we're taking a different approach this week - not a current release but a seminal release: Uncle Tupelo's, 'Anodyne.'

Alternative country-rock group Uncle Tupelo was formed in the Midwestern backwater of Belleville, Illinois, by high school friends Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heldorn. Their marriage of punk rock animus with the simplicity of American roots music ignited a major movement heralding rock's return to traditional country origins.

Heldorn had departed, Ken Coomer signed on, and in 1993 the band released one final album, 'Anodyne,' widely considered their definitive work. Recorded live in an Austin studio, the disc reinterprets country, rock, and folk idioms with the compelling vision that was Tupelo's own.

After parting ways, members went on to found Wilco and Son Volt, but the brief and shining moment that was Uncle Tupelo will forever cast a long shadow on American roots rock.

The rules can't be any simpler for our RSD2010 Vinyl Giveaways. All you need to do to enter to win is to leave a comment in the comments section to that week's giveaway letting us know why you deserve to win that week's LP.

Be creative, funny, incisive—whatever it takes to grab our attention to deem you the winner. Most important however is to leave us a contact email address! You can be brilliant as hell, but if we can't track ya' down, you're out of the running.

All winners will all be notified on Monday (4/5) upon the launch of the next RSD2010 Vinyl Giveaway!

TVD's Record Store Day 2010 Label Showcase | Ardent Records, Music, and Studios | Todd Agnew

Breaking through the Christian music scene in 2003 with his debut album Grace Like Rain and back-to-back #1 hits, “Grace Like Rain” and “This Fragile Breath”, Todd Agnew soon became one of Ardent Records' most popular and best selling artists. Seven years later, Todd has sold over 1 million copies of the track “Grace Like Rain” and 700,000 total albums combined, received six Dove Award Nominations, and performs over 150 dates a year.

A Memphis, TN resident throughout his career with Ardent, Todd recently married and moved to his native homeland of Texas in the “live music capital” of Austin and quickly became enamored with its exquisite options for his favorite pastimes. Next time you venture down to the Austin area, consider Todd's highly recommended hot spots.

1. Go to the movies.
I like going to the movies in Austin more than anywhere else. The screen isn't bigger or the sound better. It's the vibe and the food. If you come to town and want to check out a movie, you have to go to Alamo Drafthouse. We visit three of their locations: the Village (nearest our house), South Lamar (our first visit), and the Ritz (downtown on sixth street). First, the vibe is amazing. It's really creative. For big releases, they often build their own pre-show. For opening night of Iron Man, they played Sabbath's Iron Man video, some old Iron Man cartoons, some old RDJ footage, and a homemade series of clips with two comic book guys. And the food is awesome. I normally get "Once Upon a Time In Mexico," which is an amazing steak salad. Plus the fried pickles, of course. But everything I've had there has been awesome. Sometimes they'll have a new menu item or two to go along with a big movie. When we went to see Sherlock Holmes, I had their Shepherd's Pie. I wish they had that all the time. Incredible. Plus they have special events, like a free midnight ninja movie, or a showing of Lost, or a night where they play all 80's love song videos and everyone sings along. Anyway, great place to go.

2. Go out to eat.
There are so many great local places here. If you like pizza, we have Eastside Pies or Home Slice. If you like Thai, we have Madam Mam's. Chinese? China Café. Sandwiches? Thundercloud. Hamburgers? Phil's Ice House. And understand, that in each of these categories, I just picked one place. There are many. But let's focus on four things. First, barbeque. Now I can admit I don't really eat ribs here. I lived in Memphis for 7 years and don't eat them anywhere else. Although I might have to try Dreamland eventually. But as far as brisket and sausage go, we have awesome places. Stubb's, which has great music as well. County Line. And my favorite, Salt Lick. Second, Airstreams. Now that may not sound like food, but in Austin, that's exactly what it means. There are little airstream trailers all over the place that are little places to eat from. Maybe Tacos, like Torchy's. Or desserts, like Hey Cupcake. Lots of places with cool stuff that might not make it somewhere else just because of the expense of a building, but they make it here. Third, Ice Cream. If you come to Austin, you have to visit Amy's Ice Cream because it's amazing. You won't ever want to eat anywhere else. They have great flavors, with new ones checking in all the time. And they have combos where they mix stuff in, but the combos are on a chalkboard because they change all the time. My favorite is Mexican Vanilla with coconut, oatmeal cookies, a little cinnamon, and pecan praline sauce. It will fill your sugar quotient for the month but it's awesome. And lastly, Mexican Food. There are so many places it's not really fair. Everyone knows about Chuy's, and it's not even close to my favorite, although still better than most places outside of Austin. Sazon is probably one of my faves. It's down on South Lamar as well. Authentic and amazing, plus great salsa.

3. Go to church.
I know it's probably not what you were expecting, but it is a favorite. My church is called the Austin Stone Community Church. We meet at Austin High School every Sunday. It's a great place. Lots of college kids, lots of real people. The music is great, which says a lot considering my standards. We mainly have two guys leading worship, Andy Melvin and Aaron Ivey. No matter who is leading, it's top notch every week. We have three main guys who preach, all incredible. It doesn't matter if Matt, Halim, or Jeff are preaching, they are going to teach something great, true, applicable, and understandable. We have missional communities where you can get to know others and be a part of what God is doing here. It's a church that really wants to connect to Austin, not get away from it. Recently they have had a Music for the City event where one of our bands played with Fastball, one of Austin's top bands. A couple of our bands played down on Sixth Street for a Haiti benefit as well. It's a great place and we love it.

4. Go hear music.

This is obviously a big one for me. Whether it's the big festivals or the small clubs, there is great music around Austin all the time. In the spring we have SXSW, known as South by Southwest to the uninitiated. I believe there are 1500 bands here this year. So much new, and often, great music. They play in pretty much every venue in town. In the early fall is the Austin City Limits festival. This is a more classic, one weekend, multi-stage festival. I was on tour this year and missed it, but the years previous I saw amazing shows there: the Raconteurs, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Patty Griffin, Old 97's, and so much more. And of course, we have more live venues than just about anywhere, so you can see a good show just about any night you have free time. I love Antone's, the old blues club downtown. We went to see my fave, Doyle Bramhall II, out there recently and he was amazing. Before him, we got to hear a local guy I didn't know, but he was great too. Just bought tickets to a show at Emo's here in a few weeks. A birthday present to myself. Needless to say, tons of great music to hear.

5. Go for the arts or the parks.
We have so many cool things come through town, whether because of the city itself or the University of Texas being here. David Sedaris and Anthony Bourdain are both due in town next month. Phantom starts next week, with Stomp coming in May. Plus, we get many plays and dance troupes. My family saw The Nutcracker ballet over Christmas with the distinctly Austin flavor of having a local weatherman play the part of Mother Ginger. Also, Austin has a lot of museums. No, it's not Chicago or anything. But I was in one building for an event and noticed an original Gutenberg Bible. Pretty amazing. We love going downtown to the Children's Museum as well. Educational, fun, and a way better afternoon than Chuck E. Cheese. If you like to be outside, there's a lot to do as well. There's a ton of bike trails. It's not Albuquerque, but it is the home of Lance Armstrong. You can always head downtown and check out his bike shop, Mellow Johnny's. I've heard they have showers so you can ride in in the morning, hop in the shower, then head over to work. Our family's favorite is probably Zilker Park. Beautiful and fun. Great playground. Great open field full of soccer players, frisbee throwers, and kite fliers, with plenty of room for all. Plus a huge bike/jogging trail. This is where they hold ACL fest and a Christmas light show. And Blues on the Green in the summer. And the spring Kite festival. And a lot more.

6. Go shopping.
I know that doesn't really sound like me, but it felt wrong to leave it out. I love Austin, because small business works here. There's not just a mall with the same stores that are everywhere else. If you've seen anything about Austin, it's probably one of those t-shirts that say, "Keep Austin Weird". Well, that's actually a slogan to support local businesses. You can walk down South Congress Ave. and see store after store of unique things. And there's a lot of it here in our neighborhood as well. Anyway, maybe that will help if you ever get stuck in Austin for a day, or a week. Don't stay too long though, because you won't want to go home. It's that great. Maybe I'll see you here sometime.


Todd Agnew - Give Me Jesus (Mp3)