Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TVD's Four Way | Bellflur

Our Four Way conversation continues...

My roommates and I recently moved into a new house and we decided to get a record player, as we all had small stacks of vinyl lying around. It did not take long at all for us to become much more enraptured with records. Tom, in particular has gone into overdrive on his quest to build a fantastic collection. In addition to that, he purchased two turntables and a mixer for both.

While I used to be the type who became happier each time technology fixed aspects of life, from not having to fast forward tapes anymore (thank you CD’s), not having to fast forward VHS tapes (thank you DVD’s) and so on up to Mp3’s and my Ipod, I have now gone just the opposite way. I enjoy sitting down and listening to albums, one side at a time, without the ADHD necessity of having to have my entire music catalogue randomized for my listening pleasure.

Records make this possible. I choose what I want to hear, and with the knowledge that I will have to get up in about 25 minutes or so and flip sides or change albums, it makes the listening much more important. I guess that is the biggest difference between the medium of record players and everything else. Small windows of finite music listening are created, and each becomes more intimate, important, and in doing so creates more atmosphere for the music being played. Each side you decide to listen to becomes a small commitment you are entering into with yourself and the artist. This has the tendency to bring the world to a slower pace and wilts time’s overbearing pressure.

I wish more artists would commit to a return to the vinyl format. Both for my enjoyment and for a return to putting together well constructed series of songs. Where the tracks themselves would undulate and melodies would move from one to the next gracefully as they naturally would, rather than pack as many changes into one song as possible so that the pushed single can have as many fans as possible.

There is nothing like putting an album on a turntable and lowering the needle and hearing the slight scratches begin as the first track is approaching. Those few seconds of limbo. They make you excited every time you head back to put on another album.
—Carlos Gonzalez-Fernandez

Bellflur - Insect Politics (Mp3)
Authorized for download!

TVD Ticket & Vinyl Giveaway | The Constellations, Friday (6/18) at the Rock and Roll Hotel w/Eli "Paperboy" Reed

See, the beauty of this blog gig is that I'm tuned into new music on the regular. But I'll also admit it can be a bit overwhelming, yet with the right mindset and finesse, one can rummage through the emails to uncover a catchy thing of beauty.

Which brings me to Atlanta's Constellations, the band behind my favorite song of the minute and one seriously hot and sweaty NSFW-y video.

It turns out we have a pair of tickets you can win so that my band of the moment can be your band of the eveningspecifially, this Friday evening (6/18)—when they join Eli "Paperboy" Reed over at the Rock and Roll Hotel for one psychedelic soul-rock explosion.

The Constellations are also offering their latest 'Southern Gothic' on vinyl to continue those hot and sweaty moments deep into the night (or morning) in the privacy of your own home.

Since we're going easy on you guys this week in regard to the giveaways, just tell us you want the vinyl and to be front and center Friday night in the comments to this post—along with a contact email address!—and we'll consider you sufficiently entered into the giveaway.

We'll choose one winner for both on Friday at noon!

The Constellations - Setback (Mp3)
Authorized for download!

TVD's Sunday Hangover | HOLY EFFING GHOST! (a U-Street Music Hall Giveaway)

If you’ve been lucky enough to experience the ear-drum blowing, arm-hair-raising, and just truly phenomenal sound-system at U-Street Music Hall here in DC, you know that this club and the immensely-talented DJ’s from around the globe that play there have every crowd walking out the door semi-delirious and blissfully dripping in sweat.

This Saturday (6/19) will be no exception when Holy Ghost! the talented DJ duo from NYC, will be taking over the soon-to-be-(if not already)-legendary club, spinning some seriously serious indie-dance/neu-disco/pop-radness [or insert alt-genre of choice here] to ensure that everyone in the room is grooving.

Holy Ghost! are Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser, a DJ duo since 2003 who have long worked together as musicians, having grown up in the Empire State and still residing in the never-sleeping city of Brooklyn, NYC. Meeting in Elementary School, the two played in a rock band together (they still keep it real on tracks and record all of their instruments into pro-tools) and subsequently a hip-hop group by the name of Automato where they met Mr. James Murphy, the electronic-mastermind behind LCD Soundsystem and co-founder of DFA Records. Holy! released their first single (and my fave original track) ‘Hold On’ on DFA in ’04 and have since remixed a number of notable artists, including Moby, Cut Copy, MGMT and recently the track “Drunks Girls” from the new LCD Soundsystem album.

Alex! of Holy Ghost! was kind enough to answer a few questions for us via email, a few questions that I know we were all dying to find out . . . thoughts on U-hall, the Big-V, quantification's of cool, and other very, very important thangs.

TVD: Have you guys ever played in DC before? Have you heard about the radness of the U-Street Music Hall Sound System??
Not specifically, but have only heard AMAZING things about U-Hall in general. It's rare that a clubs' name is passed between artists as frequently as I've heard that name the last few months...very excited to play there.

TVD: You guys have been killing it with the ‘neu-disco’… what do you think about the genre and what other artists out there are you guys diggin’ at the moment?
Something about that genre name - not the genre, just the name - just doesn't sit well with me - I think it's almost an aesthetic thing, it's just ugly and temporary looking. It's like a really shit new condo versus a pre-war. "Hi, we've revamped the classic sounds of yesteryear!" Eh...I like the term pop music for our music. But yeah, I know what it means and roughly who it refers to. People I like that would fit under the roof of the genre: Jacques Renault, Still Going, Shit Robot, Classixx, Todd Terje, Aeroplane, Mike Simonetti...

TVD: Anyone you would really like to collab with? (Dead or alive- lets get crazy here...)
Andre 3000, Stevie Nicks or Bernie Worell (Talking Heads' keyboardist). Or Tony Thompson, the drummer for Chic.

TVD: At the end of the night, how do you know you really put on a good show?
It's interesting. With DJ'ing you know how you're doing because people are either dancing or they're not, it's that simple. Playing live is more complicated because the audience may be standing still, but that could just be that TYPE of crowd or that VENUE or that CITY, etc. Also, I could feel like I played awfully, but Nick might feel like he played his best, so we don't know until we walk off stage and ask each other "How'd you feel?" and most of the time the answer is "Fine, it was a show, let's load out quick so we can have a few beers."

TVD: Any plans on ever moving outta NYC? Do you think any other cities compare?
I love LA and Austin, no offense to anyone else, but those places just resonate with me. Probably because of the friends. But yeah, after 27 years in NYC, I think I owe myself 6 months in LA at some point.

TVD: As you know, this interview is for The Vinyl District…. any thoughts on the big V? Do you spin vinyl or are you mostly Serato dudes?
We play a mix of Vinyl and CD's. Vinyl sounds better than anything, end of story, but I could care less what someone is using if they sound good. We both still buy a lot of new and old Vinyl.

TVD: Which of you two is cooler and why?
Nick. Always has, always will be. I'm too talkative, a lot more room for error.

TVD: Who’s the better dancer?
We both need lessons.

TVD: Celebrity crush? Go.
John C Reilly.

Holy Ghost! have just released a discolicious EP, Static on the Wire, which you can DL on Amazon.

The sound system at U-hall (as many U-streeters call it) is quickly becoming well-known by party-goers and professionals alike. If you are not already aware, the bass at U-hall can quite literally vibrate a full beer-can off of a table. The club, which opened in March of this year, boasts a ‘no-frills’ policy with no bottle service or pretension and just an amazing dance/music experience to be had. “It’s been built from the ground up to be a world class venue hosting both DJs and live acts,” states long-time DJ and DC resident Will Eastman. Eastman is co-owner of U-Street Music Hall along with fellow renowned DJ, Jesse Tittsworth.

So, come! Show off your fancy footwork this Saturday at 1115 U Street in NW DC (next to the 7-11) . . . I guarantee you, you will dance like an asshole (I mean, you will dance like Micheal Jackson), sweat your balls off (or other unmentionables) and really just have the time of your life.

WIN 2 TICKETS to Saturday's show courtesy of U-Street Music Hall, by telling us (in the comments section) a little bit about your favorite/signature dance move. The raddest answer shall win (winners contacted FRIDAY at noon), and PLEASE, include your email address in the post!

Holy Ghost! - Say My Name (Mp3)
LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls (Holy Ghost Remix) (Mp3)
Approved for download!

TVD First Date and a Ticket Giveaway | Andrew Belle, Saturday (6/19) at Iota

I feel slightly embarrassed to admit that I never really discovered or, at least, learned to appreciate vinyl records until within the last year or two. I was born in 1984 - by the time I was interested in listening to anything besides the Fragglerock soundtrack, vinyl was already on its way out.

Tapes and even CDs were very much the norm by the time I hit adolescence, but even still, I actually was not allowed to listen to much music until later into my teen years. I can remember wandering into record stores with my friends - jealously watching them flip through record after record, deciding which new audible adventure they would embark on that day. They would make their picks; Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, REM...even a Sarah McLachlan record here or there; but nothing made me more envious than when my friends mother would drive us home and someone would pop in a Counting Crows record. I had developed a love for their 'August and Everything After' record merely by visits to my friends house or by sneaking listens to the radio in my bedroom here and there.

But owning it was never an option. My father felt very strongly about me not being exposed to secular music at such a young age - and rightfully so. I was young and very impressionable - probably not capable of handling a lot of the adult content and subject matter laced into pop music. But honestly, the fact that I wasn't allowed to listen to certain music is probably what intrigued and tantalized me about music from the beginning. Music had become a mysterious, dangerous, exotic commodity in my head and that may be the reason why I chose to perform it for a living in my adulthood.

I can remember making mix tapes off of the hip Chicago station during the day—while my dad was at work—and then listening to them on my Walkman at night when I was supposed to be asleep. Sure, I was interested in typical things as games, rated R movies, girls....but for some reason, music has become more mysterious and taboo than any of those things - almost to a point of obsession.

So, it was finally at the age of 16 that the ban on secular music was slightly lifted (not completely though; I still remember my dad breaking my first Bush record in half after I came home with it haha) - probably because I now had a car and thus was given my own private, mobile, listening box.

I'll never forget walking into that record store I had left empty handed so many times before, filled with a confidence and excitement like I'd never felt. I walked straight to the rack marked 'C' grabbed both Counting Crows records and Pearl Jam's 'Vitalogy' record, checked out as fast as possible, and drove around for hours listening to them.

As I grew older, the taboo slowly faded but my love for a new record didn't. I now own more music than I know what to do with - but I always try to remember that time in my life when I treasured and found mystery in every note and lyric. After all, that's where my love for music was born.

Andrew Belle - Static Waves (Mp3)
Approved for download!

We've got a pair of tickets to catch Andrew Belle this Saturday (6/19) at Iota. Door opens at 5PM for this early show. Simply get at us in the comments to this post with your plea for the tickets—with contact info!—and we'll choose one winner by noon on Friday, (6/18.)