A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/22/18

CDs on decline as dorm rooms become studios, streaming becomes king: …With this steady decline in physical CDs, a surprising listening device from the past has made a renaissance. Durbin said vinyl has seen its 12th straight year of sales growth and more and more retailers are jumping on the trend. For Cicero, he said he thinks the nostalgic nuances CDs and vinyl bring back will stick around for awhile. “I like buying physical music from a store,” he said. “I think that physical music holds a sort of sentiment that digital music cannot match. Physically owning an album now to me means I am passionate about supporting the artist.”

Delicious Pizza carries on the Delicious Vinyl music tradition: Dough. Cheese. Sauce. All three words can double as slang for money and influence in the pop and hip-hop universe. But brothers Mike and Rick Ross have since 2015 taken a more literal approach with their music-inspired restaurant Delicious Pizza. With roots in Los Angeles hip-hop label Delicious Vinyl, their two pizzerias have gradually become communal hubs where pepperoni matters as much as beats. The brothers, who hail from Long Beach, opened the first Delicious Pizza at 5419 W. West Adams Blvd. in 2015. In the fall of 2016, the siblings, both in the early-to-mid-50s, opened a second outpost in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard just a short stroll from another pop nerve center in Amoeba Music.

Schlafly getting retro with new limited pilsner and vinyl pairing: Beer and records. Never thought to put those two together, but perhaps that is why I’m not in marketing. But leave it the brains at Schlafly Beer to come up with a way to bring the retro cultural revival of vinyl to beer, in the form of a new promotion for a limited edition version of its Pilsner pack. The Pilsner pack made it’s return to the market back in August and thanks to all of us, the sessionable style is now part of the brewery’s 2018 portfolio. Today, the brewery announced that for a limited time, the 12-bottle pack of the golden, crisp lager will come with a record affixed to the front which will feature a voucher inside for $5 off of any vinyl at local participating record stores across Schlafly’s distribution. The special record packs will be available now through spring.

Friels Cider launches Record Store day competition, Friels First Press Vintage Cider is running an on-pack competition to support its sponsorship of Record Store Day UK (21 April). A limited edition can design on 330ml cans will promote the competition, which offers consumers the chance to win a home vinyl package, including a Friels limited edition turntable, amp, loudspeakers, £200 to spend in any participating record store and four cases of Friels. To enter, shoppers need to enter their details on the Friels website. There will also be five smaller monthly prize draws from February to June for the chance to win a limited edition turntable, £50 to spend in local record shops, or a limited edition FrieIs Record Store Day bag. Each of the monthly winners will also get a case of Friels First Press Vintage 330ml cans.

My Bloody Valentine Confirm Isn’t Anything Surprise: My Bloody Valentine recently released a pair of all analog vinyl reissues of their albums Loveless and Isn’t Anything, and they’ve now confirmed that they slipped a little something extra in with some fans’ orders. Taking to Twitter, they said that they have been giving away an alternative cut and pressing of Isn’t Anything, but the LP has now sold out directly from the band. The pressing was only available to fans who ordered the record as part of its initial run. The band are currently at work on the follow-up to their 2014 LP m b v, with Kevin Shields having said last year that he wants the album to be available in the traditional LP format running at 40 minutes with seven songs. “It could turn out to be only five tracks. I hope not, but I don’t want it to be a double album and I don’t want it to be really long,” he said.

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TVD New Orleans

The Revolution bring the Prince catalog to the Joy Theater, 2/22

With the untimely passing of Prince, the world lost one of the true geniuses of music. While his death has left a major void, see the Superbowl halftime show a month ago, it also sparked the reunion of one of the Purple One’s most formidable backing bands. The Revolution will be appearing at Joy Theater Thursday night with DJ Soul Sister opening.

While Prince was known for writing the songs, producing the music, and playing most of the instruments on a majority of his albums, he had some strong collaborators throughout his career. Most prominent among them are Revolution band members Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z, BrownMark, and Dr. Fink.

These are the musicians who performed with Prince on some of his best works including Purple Rain, Around the World In a Day, and Parade. Some of the musicians also played on 1999, Controversy, Dirty Mind, and Sign O’ The Times.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Steve Miller Band’s Complete Albums Volume 1 (1968-1976) vinyl box in stores 5/18

VIA PRESS RELEASE | It’s been 50 years since Steve Miller Band’s first two Capitol Records albums were released in 1968, and now Miller and Capitol/UMe are incredibly excited to announce the May 18 release of the legendary Steve Miller Band’s first nine studio albums in an unprecedented new 180-gram vinyl box set collection called Complete Albums Volume 1 (1968-1976).

Spanning the band’s first studio album, Children of the Future, through 1976’s multiplatinum masterpiece Fly Like an Eagle, the albums have all been remastered and are available now for preorder. Each album is also available for preorder as individual 180-gram black LPs to be released on the same date, as well as limited edition 180-gram color vinyl LPs for sale exclusively via uDiscoverMusic.us.

The Steve Miller Band’s first nine studio albums have also been newly remastered for HD digital audio (96kHz/24-bit). Starting with today’s global release of Children of the Future, the albums’ HD digital audio debuts will continue weekly in chronological order ahead of the Complete Albums Volume 1 vinyl release.

A much-loved summer tradition, the iconic Steve Miller Band has been performing inspired versions of Miller’s incomparable songbook to legions of fans across the globe for many years. Among the many highlights of the tour, the SMB will be performing at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, and will be closing out the final day of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Blue Öyster Cult,
Blue Öyster Cult

Good news! You don’t have to fear the Reaper! Blue Öyster Cult were only joking!

For years morons like yours truly were so wrapped up in Blue Öyster Cult’s ethos (evil as career choice) that we never caught on to the (manifestly obvious in hindsight) fact that the band was pulling our collective leg!

That’s right. Here we hayseeds thought they were, like, a bunch of Satan-worshipping Aleister Crowleys dabbling in Nazism and S&M when in reality they were just a coupla nice Jewish boys from Long Island sniggering down their collective sleeve at the hard-rock-loving suckers retarded enough to take them seriously. As occasional lyrics contributor and full-time rock critic Richard Meltzer said of the boys’ music, “This is really hard rock comedy.”

I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m some kind of terminal moron; I caught on to the joke a long, long time ago, and would have never fallen for it in the first place if I hadn’t been spending all my time smoking pot with pig farmers. Pig farmers and bikers make up the bulk of the Blue Öyster Cult fan base, and by that I don’t mean to imply pig farmers and bikers are stupid. Most of them are in on the joke too, and love it, because not only were Blue Öyster Cult funny back in 1972, they were one hotshit boogie band writing great songs that sounded even better after you drank a bottle of Wild Turkey and popped a few Placidyl.

Blue Öyster Cult’s eponymous 1972 debut may have less laughs than some of their later LPs, but it’s heavy on screaming diz-busters, inspiring anthems, a lil taste of the rock ’n’ roll apocalypse, and one very cool psychedelic threnody to a foot. In short it’s one helluva rock record, and well deserved the plaudits it received from just about every critical luminary (Christgau, Bangs, etc.) of the time.

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TVD Washington, DC

Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Mark Renner,
Few Traces

Mark Renner’s name may not ring a multitude of bells, but for those hungering for unearthed ’80s sounds, RVNG Intl.’s release of Few Traces might just change that; influenced by John Foxx-era Ultravox, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Bill Nelson, The Skids, The Associates, and Van Morrison’s mid-’80s period, Baltimorean Renner fully embraced the smart pop possibilities of the era. The maturity should stoke fans of the above names, as well as David Sylvian, Cocteau Twins, and even Felt, as the impact of the written word (from Herman Hesse to William Butler Yeats to John Greanleaf Whittier) helps the whole in standing out. Available now on compact disc and digital, the double vinyl arrives February 23.

Although Mark Renner’s entry into musicmaking began by answering an ad to join a band (the enticing factor in his case was the mention of big fave Ultravox), the music collected on Few Traces was recorded later and largely solo, with the artist utilizing a four-track recorder, voice, electric guitar, and a Casio CZ101 synthesizer.

Renner debuted in 1986 with the self-released All Walks of this Life. Most of that album is included here, and along with early singles, compilation tracks, and unreleased material, there appears to be one cut from his full-length follow-up Painter’s Joy, which came out on ’88 through the partnership of the labels Dimension and Restless. Decades later, RVNG Intl.’s Matt Werth picked up a copy of Renner’s debut at a Philadelphia flea market, and the seed of Few Traces was planted.

This is not to suggest that Renner hung it up creatively after Painter’s Joy. While he’s been more active recently as a painter and printmaker, there are a handful of releases available digitally via Bandcamp. I’ve not heard those, but the consistent high quality of Few Traces does instill interest in checking them out, and Maia Stern’s upcoming documentary on Renner, as well.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 2/21/18

Turntable sales fell in 2017 despite rising record sales: Turntable sales fell by 5% in 2017 from the 2016 total, according to new figures by industry watchdog Gfk, What Hi-Fi reports. Despite rising sales in the UK and abroad, optimistic forecasts of continued growth, and expansions at some of Europe’s biggest turntable makers, sales of decks didn’t reach expected heights in 2017. As we reported last year, turntables were forecast to be the highest selling tech product for Christmas 2017, although the majority of these will have been cheap, faux-vintage decks capable of ruining your records. After over ten years of continued growth in vinyl sales, it’s not altogether surprisingly the growth in turntable sales would begin to plateau as the majority of record buyers stick with their current set-ups or buy second hand, a metric not included in the survey.

Napan Sherry Moser spins successful record business: Sherry Moser’s business is going in circles — and that’s exactly how she likes it. Moser’s business, RebelGirl Records, sells vintage vinyl records. RebelGirl Records was launched in in 2016 when Moser decided to try her luck at selling a handful of records at her booth at the former Tews Treasures resale shop. To her surprise, the records were popular with customers. Moser began buying — and selling – more and more records. Today, “business has skyrocketed,” said Moser. RebelGirl Records now has more than 7,000 records for sale. “It’s amazing to see how large the collection is now and how that small stack of records started my journey,” said Moser, who lives in Napa.

Records, furniture or tattoo? Speakeasy a unique one-stop shop in Decatur: Brian Abbott said he knows it’s risky operating a unique, even “kitschy” sort of business in Decatur. But where else could someone find a one-stop-shop for vinyl records, furniture or a tattoo? “On the one hand, it may seem really bold because it’s like, ‘Well how is that going to fly in Decatur?’ But on the other hand, it’s not like we have a lot of competition here,” said Abbott, one of the three owners of the building and main proprietor of Speakeasy Records & Oddities. The business is approaching its one-year anniversary at 530 N. Water St., the site of the former Rupert’s Sport Shop, slightly off the beaten path north of downtown’s main shopping and dining district. Three businesses have opened in the space since April, and a coffee shop, The River Coffee Company, could be open by the end of the month, Abbott said.

dig! music up for sale in Ukiah: Rare though they have become in American life, Ukiah has its own record store. Yes, it’s called a record store although much of what you’ll find in it are compact discs, but not all by a long shot. Mike Roumbanis is the friendly face behind the counter and the promoter behind loads of in-store concerts at dig! music, the store he and his wife, Denise, (they met in a record store in Santa Rosa in 1979) have owned for 15 years and are now getting ready to sell – or close on June 30 if no buyer comes along. Mike just turned 65 and is ready to retire, but he wants the store to live on. Its been-there-forever vibe and “Gosh, look at all this stuff!” atmosphere draws customers who love music, love vinyl, love classics and can’t help themselves.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Live: Sara Evans
at the Palace Theatre, Albany, 2/15

In a partnership with Country Music Television, ACM, and CMA Award winning country music artist Sara Evans took the stage at Albany’s Palace Theatre Thursday, February 15 as part of the Next Women of Country: All The Love Tour. The Palace is one of 15 shows in her coast to coast travels featuring artists RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr.

“We’re doing this tour because there ain’t enough country women on the radio,” said Evans smiling. “I grew up singing country music from the age of four years old and I’ve built my entire life around it so I’m so incredibly grateful that you’re here tonight.”

The tour recently kicked off in New York City, where Shorr (“Fight Like A Girl,” “Two Hands”), who opened the show, got to see her name in Time Square for the first time. “It was amazing,” she said. “I’m so excited to be here with these amazing, inspirational girls and to do something I care a lot about and that’s women supporting other women.”

RaeLynn whose current singles include “Lonely Call,” and “Love Triangle” shared that her first album WildHorse, recently debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Albums chart. “Only a few females have done that, one of those is Shania Twain—I can die a happy girl,” she said. “I’m so honored to be a woman in country music right now.”

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Tank Girl OST on vinyl for the first time, in stores 4/6

VIA PRESS RELEASE | It’s a tough call which is the bigger cult classic, the Tank Girl movie or its accompanying soundtrack, but on balance, we’d have to go for the soundtrack.

Yeah, the film had a cast composed of some of the most colorful characters (Iggy Pop, Ann Magnuson) and character actors (Malcolm McDowell, Ice-T, and of course the almighty Lori Petty!) in show biz. And, its dystopic, resource-starved desert setting, intense action sequences, and lead female character mark it as a feminist (albeit funnier) precursor to Mad Max: Fury Road.

But check out the soundtrack’s bonafides: assembled by Courtney Love herself, it features a Who’s Who of ‘90s female rock including Hole, Björk, L7, Veruca Salt, and Belly among others.

Plus, it even has tracks that were exclusive to its release, like a unique version of Devo’s “Girl U Want,” “Mockingbird Girl” by The Magnificent Bastards (a side project of the late Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots), and a duet of “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love” between Joan Jett and The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg.

There’s one more thing, though, that elevates this particular release from the mere cultish curio to gotta-have-it collectible: because it came out in 1995, the Tank Girl soundtrack NEVER came out on LP! Yup…this marks the first-ever release of Tank Girl on vinyl, and if there ever was a score that needs to be on wax, this would be it.

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The TVD Storefront

Emmy Wildwood,
The TVD First Date

“I was born in Tucson, AZ where records melt. In the summer the heat would rise to 117 degrees sometimes, so both people and vinyl had to be stored in a cool, dry place.”

“My father was a musician turned businessman and avid record collector. He made a media center with our record player in the cool and dim living room of the house I was born in. I’m not sure if I’ve been told the story a million times or if I have retained the actually memory of my mother rocking me before bed in an old wood rocking chair while she played Joni Mitchell’s Blue.

When I close my eyes I can see the electric melon color of the dial in radio lit up in the dark and I can remember the needle on vinyl’s subtle fuzz as an indicator that I going to be wrapped up safely in loving arms and carried peacefully into sleep. Even though I wasn’t a crier (then), she rocked me every night to their collection of Joni Mitchell, Emmy Lou Harris, Crystal Gayle, Juice Newton, The Beach Boys, and The Beatles to ensure we bonded. From time to time, a song comes up on the radio that I feel like I’ve never heard before and somehow I know all the words. Most likely, those are songs my parents put on the turntable before bed.

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