Monday, June 21, 2010

TVD Summer Vinyl Giveaways | Golden Smog 'Down By the Old Mainstream'

I have to confess that I was ready to launch our Summer Vinyl Giveaways last week. It’s already been damn summery around these parts and the calendar be damned. But last week being what it was, I had no time at all to whip up a snazzy summer graphic...which had me thinking – what’s with the seasonal giveaways anyway? Why tie these into a time period?

Particular soundtracks seem to be wed to a time period in my experience. For example, Joe Jackson’s ‘Beat Crazy’ is most definitely a Winter LP for me. It coincides in my recollection with the still, icy cold after John Lennon’s killing with its thinly veiled cynicism and punk/new wavey tensions. Echoing mine then.

Joe’s ‘Body and Soul’ is a Spring LP...all high school back seats, boy meets girl dreamworlds. Conversely, his ‘Jumpin’ Jive’ is a deep Summer record recalling a sweet and f’n innocent soundtrack of my mid-teens with my buddy Spike and I drawing comics with dreams of our comic brilliance being golden tickets to something big.

Then there’s ‘Night and Day’ - Joe’s sweet ode to Autumn. Well, at least in my head.

I can’t divorce myself from it. I'm stuck with it.

So, first up for Summer 2010, a reissue of a record I’m certain a few of you can extrapolate a time period from and a warm recollection, right? Golden Smog’s 'Down By the Old Mainstream.'

"Like most supergroup projects, Golden Smog's 'Down By the Old Mainstream' is a loose, relaxed affair that sounds like it was a lot of fun to record. Unlike most supergroups, the members of Golden Smog improve on their regular bands. Comprised of a number of alternative country-rock stars - including Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, the Jayhawks' Gary Louris, and Soul Asylum's Dan Murphy - the musicians are relaxed and loose, giving the songs a raw, rootsy kick. Since the album wasn't carefully considered, it has an offhand, relaxed charm that is sometimes lacking from Jayhawks and Soul Asylum albums . . . the performances are full of grit and fire, which is what makes Down By the Old Mainstream such an engaging listen."
—All Music Guide

We have a copy to give away to one winner who ties their entry in the comments to this post to the timeframe that’s conjured up by this record. What and when did it mean something to you? Have at it. We’ll give you a week and close this one out next Monday, 6/28.

And please, don’t forget to leave us a contact email address.

TVD's Etxe Records Label Spotlight

I’m not particularly sure what happened here last week at TVD. Suddenly we became a bit of a ‘going out’ blog with the bevvy of ticket giveaways we lined up suddenly. This week however, we’re back to our roots – talking records and giving ‘em away.

We honored to be spending the week with DC’s Etxe Records and while typically this is where I’d offer some background, we’ll let label provocateurs, Chris and Jenn, handle those duties... —Ed.

Etxe Records started as an artistic concept in 2002. The notion was simple: artistic collaboration and cross-pollination. Etxe (et-CHAY) took formal and official shape in 2007 with the advent of Girl Loves Distortion. Using the creative output of that band as a jumping off point - Etxe Records was born in material form with Earth Beings On Exhibit (etxe001) - released in the summer of 2008.

Emphasizing collaboration over competition, Etxe Records seeks to engage and co-create facets of the artist/label relationship that emphasize consensus and buy-in. As a label, we seek to involve ourselves in ideas, events, and artists that actively participate in growing a positive and supportive creative community. Next week, Etxe Records will be releasing our third record Speech Shadowing (etxe003) by northwest Ohio's own Fangs Out. It will be available on 160g Silver Vinyl (with full CD) on June 29th, 2010.

We are honored to collaborate with TVD, a local and national champion of music in its truest physical form - vinyl. As a result we will be providing one lucky winner with a copy of Girl Loves Distortion's LP You Better Run, Your Highness and Fangs Out's brand new LP Speech Shadowing. Over the next few days you will hear from members of our three artists: Night and the City, Girl Loves Distortion, and Fangs Out.

We invite all of you in the DC area to come out to free show at Comet Ping Pong on Saturday June 26th, 10:30PM for the Fangs Out LP Release show - both Night and the City and Fangs Out will be performing.

Ladies, Tonight We’re Gonna Fuck Shit Up!

Like a lot of kids born in the late 70s, I grew up around my parents’ record collection. My father had this amazing (now) vintage stereo system, every Beach Boys, Moody Blues and Bee Gees album, and a host of Motown recordings. My mother loved Joni Mitchell and Saturday Night Fever. I remember playing Disco Mickey Mouse, The Velveteen Rabbit, and, a bit later, various hair band record singles on his Sony turntable. Sadly, by the time I began collecting underground music on vinyl, that awesome stereo system was dying a slow death in a storage unit. But thanks to my parents love of music, I got used to the feel of placing grooved discs carefully on a spindle, the pop and crackle kick off, at an early age.

The first vinyl I purchased in high school was the Lookout Records double LP compilation The Thing That Ate Floyd. I probably listened to Vomit Launch’s “Life Sucks” and Crimpshrine’s “Summertime” about a million times. And who can forget Cringer’s Winnie the Pooh cover “Cottlestone Pie”? So many memorable, ridiculous songs. The message was pretty clear to this combat-boot-clad kid: Almost anything goes in the Bay Area punk scene (silly, pissed, cute, crass), complete with a healthy dose of us (the punks and outcasts) against them. And their “us” was purposefully inclusive. Most notably to me now, it was very inclusive of women.

I didn’t think about it until my friend asked me to write this blog, but it makes sense that I gravitated toward the music of the San Francisco Bay Area scene. I recall feeling painfully left out of many of my male peers’ conversations about music. They seemed to know it all, past and present. The only reason to spend this expert music effort on a girl was to give her a mix tape if you wanted to go out with her, or maybe to bore your girlfriend to tears by playing song after song, complete with exhausting banter about each artist’s previous bands, politics, cock size, etc. I recall being told not once, but twice, by two different guy friends, “You don’t know shit about music.”

Floyd released the floodgates. I bought more and more vinyl, including the seven-inch compilation “There’s A Dyke In The Pit.” My best friend Monrovia and I had those four songs memorized. We would drive from Virginia Beach to all ages shows at the Kings Head Inn in Norfolk in my folks’ blue Cutlass Ciera singing them out loud to each other (it beat listening to the local radio stations). My collection expanded to include Kamala and the Karnivores, the Yeastie Girlz and Blatz. Imagine how much it meant to an angsty sixteen-year-old girl to hear Anna Blatz sing, “I wanna cry, I want attention. Oh, I wanna cry, but no one would listen… If only I could lose ten pounds… I wouldn’t need to cry. Everyone would listen if only I were beautiful.” And she was a badass punk rocker who could kick your teeth in.

Three years later, I made my first trip out to San Fran and Berkeley, and I’ve been back many times since. No one would deny that there’s something special about northern California. But for me I know it goes back to my love of Bay Area punk, to dreams of seeing bands play at Gilman (damn, I just went to their site and saw there was a Filth reunion show!), the music that took all kinds (vaginas and queers welcome). To this day, when I step out onto a Frisco street, I’m ready to fuck shit up. Real good, motherfucker.

Christin Durham is in Etxe's newest band called Night and the City. She sings, plays bass, and analog synth.