A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 1/23/18

Is Vinyl’s Comeback Here to Stay? In 2018, the once-forgotten format feels closer to the mainstream than it has in decades. …For all the ease of online shopping, the human interaction that’s involved with actually stepping into a brick-and-mortar record store is still a big part of vinyl’s appeal. Any metropolitan vinyl aficionado can rattle off a list of beloved institutions that have closed their doors in recent years. But nearly 400 record stores opened nationwide from 2012 to 2017, according to industry officials. “Almost every week I get an email from someone, saying, ‘Hey, I’m opening a store in a couple of months,’” says Carrie Colliton, a co-founder of Record Store Day.

Why the vinyl resurgence is great for bands: Despite music consumption largely shifting to digital, figures show that vinyl sales are on the up with an increase in the UK of more than 26% in last year. Belle and Sebastian’s Richard Colburn tells Sky News why it’s important for indie bands that vinyl makes a comeback. “It’s always been there bubbling away, but of late it’s really, really taken off, which is good, and I think part of the reason is often when you buy vinyl now it also has a digital download,” he says. “So people seem to be collecting vinyl, maybe without playing it so much, but it’s just a nice thing to have. “It’s great for us because bands like us also get to make artwork that works for vinyl, which is what you want.”

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day: The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on a good note. Mike Williamson and Davin Kemshed have operated the music and record store in downtown Red Deer for eight years. In a Thursday Facebook post, they announced they plan to shut down the store on Record Store Day, April 21. The commercial realtors wanted to resurrect Records to the Rafters, which was operated for years by Bill Creighton where the Soundhouse is now located. Though they may no longer be able to put in the effort to keep the Soundhouse going, they are open to passing the torch as Creighton once did with them. They are interested in having discussions about continuing the store with new owners or selling off some of their inventory so someone else can get a head start on something similar.

Vinyl Vault is the latest record store to open inside a Toronto bar: The shop, which specializes in used and vintage pressings, has set up shop on the second floor of Sonic Bar & Cafe. …For the last seven years, Vinyl Vault has existed at the Dixie Outlet Mall’s Saturday and Sunday Fantastic Flea Market in Mississauga. Maurice, who’s worked at the store for the last three years, took over the shop after the former owner passed away in May. She’s been branching out with pop-up stores since then at farmers’ markets and live shows, and took over a pink shipping container for four days at Ontario Place for the Ontario 150 Art & Music Festival last summer. But this is Vinyl Vault’s first seven-day-a-week location. It will also continue at its original location on weekends.

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TVD Washington, DC

Save the Date: The
DC Record Fair returns
to Penn Social, 2/18!

Back for its 9th year is Washington, DC’s (almost) twice yearly record rummage, The DC Record Fair which sets up shop on February 18, 2018 in the cavernous confines of downtown Washington, DC’s Penn Social.

As with each event, we’ll have 40+ vinyl vendors from up and down the East Coast, the DJ line up, the bar, the food, raffle items up for grabs just for coming through the door, plus the random other surprises that make the DC Record Fair a special community event.

Our friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring put together the above feature a while back that outshines any descriptive copy we could devise—hit play.

Mark your calendars! 
THE DC RECORD FAIR

Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Penn Social, 801 E Street, NW
11:00–12:00, Early Bird Admission $5.00
12:00–5:00, Regular Admission $2.00

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: The
24-Carat Black Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth
reissue in stores 2/23

VIA PRESS RELEASE | On February 23rd, Craft Recordings will reissue the definitive version of one of the most ambitious, groundbreaking records in the Stax catalog: The 24-Carat Black Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth.

Composed, arranged, and produced almost entirely by longtime Isaac Hayes collaborator Dale Warren, the album draws marked comparisons to the lush, transformative arrangements penned by Warren for the seminal trio of Hayes albums, Hot Buttered Soul, The Isaac Hayes Movement, and …To Be Continued. Often cited as one of the first concept albums in the soul, funk, and R&B genres at a time when such boldly artistic statements were reserved for progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd, this ‘soul opera,’ featuring just eight tracks, is an entrancing mixture of lush, orchestral soul ballads and Blaxploitation-era funk grooves, split into vignettes dealing with aspects of everyday life in some of America’s poorest areas. Its unique blend of immaculately arranged grooves and socially conscious narrative launched the album into cult-classic status among DJs and producers who have sampled it for tracks, most recently by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Digable Planets, Dr. Dre, and many others.

This pressing, released as part of Craft Recordings’ “Made In Memphis Series,” features 180-gram vinyl cut at Ardent studios on the original Stax lathe and pressed in Memphis at Memphis Record Pressing. The Old-school style tip-on jacket with printed inner sleeve contains new liner notes by Rob Bowman, Grammy® Award winning author of Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records. Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth will also be available at streaming outlets, mastered for iTunes, and in Hi-Res digital (96/24 and 192/24) on street date.

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The TVD Storefront

Craig Wedren,
The TVD First Date

“When I think vinyl, my mind splits into three distinct eras.”

“The first would have to be ‘Mom’s Records.’
My mother has a good ear, and a love of music she got from her father (Grandpa Elmer).
Mom came up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and was a real radio sponge.
Throughout the ‘70s we would listen to—and sing along with—whatever came on in the car, basically what we now know as ‘Classic Rock,’ although then it was impossibly new; it’s difficult to imagine ‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen having just come out, but it had, in my mother’s orange Chevy, some Summer on the way tp Park Synagogue Day Camp.
Her record collection was slim, but essential to me.
The Doors, The Doors
Elton John’s Greatest Hits
Pippin, The Original Broadway Cast Recording
The Beatles, Abbey Road
Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water (or maybe Greatest Hits)
And most fundamentally, Hot Rocks by The Rolling Stones.
I still have these albums, and they’re in the DNA of music I make every day, from film/TV soundtracks to Shudder To Think songs, to more personal, experimental stuff of my own.
My new record, Adult Desire, is some kind of shattered, 21st Century inversion of Simon and Garfunkel…at least it feels that way to me.

Let’s call Phase 2 ‘The Formative Years, Part 1 and 2.’
Part 1 begins with family members buying me records on special occasions—Grandpa Elmer loved me so much, he bought me the first Plasmatics album New Hope For The Wretched on an outing one day in Downtown Cleveland.
Butcher Baby.
Aunt Marlene handed me Diary Of A Madman by Ozzy Osbourne like it was a bag of vomit one Chanukah.
And my mom and dad would buy me albums and singles on occasion—chief among them Kiss Alive ll, which I would force my friends to air-play along to (they could be Paul or Peter; Ace and Gene were strictly reserved for ME) when they came over to play, and the Grease and Saturday Night Fever soundtracks.
I just assumed everybody felt the way that I did about music—and these records in particular—so of COURSE my friends would want to air guitar, spit blood, grease their hair and make up line dances all afternoon.
Every afternoon.
I feel like this must’ve been 1977 (I was 8ish) because I associate these particular obsessions—three in an endless parade—with a strange, sad apartment we lived in briefly just after my mom remarried that year.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD’s Press Play

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store.

Blind The Thin King – Hail The Newborn Killer
Nathaniel Bellows – Keep in Mind
Echo Bloom – Comet
Noble Son – Joy In Violence
Dream System 8 – Losing All of You
Lowpines – Broken Wing
HELEN KELTER SKELTER – 21st Century

TVD SINGLE OF THE WEEK:
Alela Diane – Ether & Wood

Narrow Head – Bulma
Red Black Red – Kindness
Eric Benoit – Taos
Felsen – Vultures on Your Bones
Her’s – Loving You (Minnie Riperton Cover)
Jodee Lewis – Buzzard’s Bluff
Paulaa – Know You
Matt Hectorne – Only Way Into Your Heart

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The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Ian Dury &
The Blockheads,
Laughter

You have to wonder how this album came to be called Laughter. The sessions that produced it were stressful and marked by discord; Chaz Jenkel was gone and personalities clashed. Ian Dury, who was juggling addictions at the time, was, by all accounts, almost impossible to work with. The subject matter is often dark, and very dark at that. So why the incongruous title? Said England’s most foul-mouthed polio victim matter of factly at a later date: “I called it Laughter to cheer myself up.”

That said, I have this to say about 1980’s Laughter; it never fails to make me laugh. Which is to say Laughter isn’t such an ironic title after all. Even at his most lugubrious Dury–who was, and will likely always remain, England’s most lovable vulgarian–cheers me up, and that’s a rare gift. Down in the mouth Dury may have been, but he hadn’t lost his cheek, and he still managed to produce an album chockfull of dance friendly grooves and happy-making pub rock sing-alongs. So what if “Uncoolohol” is a dark ode to the perils of alcoholism; I spent plenty an alcoholic night cheerfully slurring along to its rousing chorus while falling down drunk. Laughter is not unlike one of the later Beatles albums; John and Paul may well have hated one another’s guts, but you’d never know it listening to the music.

I have my favorites on Laughter. LP opener “Sueperman’s Big Sister” (that’s no typo) is all swing, strings, and vocal bluster–a funky dance floor raver that will simply sweep you off your feet. “Dance of the Crackpots” comes at you in a rush; Dury can hardly get the words out of his mouth fast enough. Harmonica and some great tap dancing by Will Gaines transform Dury into a mad square dance caller; he name drops Thelonious Monk and Rosemary Clooney, and utters the Inspirational verse: “Being daft is a therapy craft/Which sharpens up your wits.” “(Take Your Elbow Out of the Soup) You’re Sitting on the Chicken” is sheer joy to the ears, what with its mental nursery rhyme lyrics (“The mouse runs up your leg/It’s one o’clock in China”) and chorus you simply have to join in on.

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A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 1/22/18

HarperAudio Goes Retro with New Vinyl Audiobook Series: Following successful vinyl record releases by Amy Poehler and others, HarperAudio plans to produce a series of spoken word vinyl audiobook titles (with accompanying digital editions) in 2018. The vinyl audiobook series will launch in April with Wild Horses Vinyl Edition (including an MP3 version) by Joe Hill. The title is, as HC put it, a “vinyl-first” release. The short story, read by Nate Corddry, is about four teenagers who take a ride on an antique carousel. The seemingly innocent lark results in disastrous consequences. Other vinyl-first editions coming this year include Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning and poet Nikki Giovanni’s Love Poems. HarperAudio vinyl titles will be distributed by Wax, an indie record label that specializes in the format.

The Manufacturer Keeping Cassette Tapes Alive: In manufacturing, it’s hard to know which industries or products will be left for dead, only to see a resurgence down the line. One interesting example of this is vinyl: once a relic for music collectors, this industry has been booming in the last few years, even reaching a record high – no pun intended – in 2017. The Associated Press (AP) recently reported on a less-publicized format that we all thought was dead and gone: the audio cassette. While vinyl has been flying high based on renewed interest in the medium, a plant in Missouri is investing in cassettes – not really because the industry is growing, but because everyone else has vacated it. The last man standing is a manufacturer called National Audio Company, and they’re the soon-to-be final U.S. company to produce the tape that goes inside of a cassette.

Watch: Belle & Sebastian Go Record Shopping At Oxfam: Belle & Sebastian have shot a new video, featuring the group record shopping in their local Oxfam. The charity run a regular video series, inviting the likes of Loyle Carner and Anton Newcome to rifle through their racks. Belle & Sebastian are notorious vinyl fiends, and leaped at the chance to visit their local Oxfam book and record shop in Glasgow’s West End. A great time they had of it, too, picking up rare gems, guilty pleasures, and some off the beaten track titles. An absorbing watch in its own right, you can tune in (above).

Five classic David Bowie albums reissued on vinyl: David Bowie’s Low, “Heroes”, Stage, Lodger and Scary Monsters LPs are being reissued this February, via RCA. The releases follow recent news that Bowie continues to top vinyl album and singles chart sales since his death two years ago, with nearly 300,000 of his records sold in the UK since. Though the albums were remastered and reissued as part of Bowie’s A New Career In Town (1977 – 1982) box set, this is the first time the LPs have been released individually since 1991.

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TVD Los Angeles

TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

It’s mid January and I’m buzzing—so much to jump-start in the new year. Sidel is on the hustle for sure.

Also my mother is visiting. Seems crazy to have mom out at the top of the year, but why not? After all, it’s frigid back east, so what better time to visit our beautiful canyon. The soundtrack of all that is going on is a continued, steady flow of new releases.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Radar: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Announces “Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s”

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Willie Nelson. Waylon Jennings. Kris Kristofferson. Jessi Colter. Bobby Bare. Jerry Jeff Walker. David Allan Coe. Cowboy Jack Clement. Tom T. Hall. Billy Joe Shaver. Guy Clark. Townes Van Zandt. Tompall Glaser. Today, all names synonymous with the word “outlaw,” but 40 years ago they started a musical revolution by creating music and a culture that shook the status quo on Music Row and cemented their place in country music history and beyond.

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s upcoming major exhibition, “Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s” will explore this era of cultural and artistic exchange between Nashville, Tenn., and Austin, Texas, revealing untold stories and never-seen artifacts. The exhibition, which opens May 25 for a nearly three-year run, will explore the complicated, surprising relationship between the two cities.

While the smooth Nashville Sound of the late 1950s and ’60s was commercially successful, some artists, such as Nelson and Jennings, found the Music Row recording model creatively stifling. By the early 1970s, those artists could envision a music industry in which they would write, sing, and produce their own music. At the same time, Austin was gaining national attention as a thriving music center with a countercultural outlook. Musicians of varying stripes migrated to Austin, where the disparate strains of country, bluegrass, folk, blues, rock, and conjunto blended to create a unique environment hosted by music–friendly venues such as the Armadillo World Headquarters, Broken Spoke, Soap Creek Saloon, and Antone’s.

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The TVD Storefront

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: The Soft White Sixties, “Brick By Brick” 7″ Bilingual Single

“The physical nature of vinyl has always had a transportive effect on me. Maybe it’s the extra steps in the listening process—flipping a few switches, unsheathing the record, lifting the needle—that seem to always place vinyl records in a specific time and place in my mind, but the effect is unmatched by any other listening format.”

That’s the The Soft White Sixties’ Aaron Eisenberg from the band’s First Date with us last Fall. And true to the stated inclinations, the band’s current single “Brick By Brick” boasts a sharp looking 7″ vinyl pressing with an English version on the A-side and a Spanish version on its flip. And we have 2 copies to flip to 2 of you.

Says the band of the track, “The very topic of the song is Trump’s proposed wall between the two countries.” Not wanting to be overtly political, but demanding of themselves a certain amount of honesty and transparency, frontman Octavio Genera, a first generation Mexican-American, wrote what was on his mind: “If you build a wall / we’re going to tear it down / brick by brick.”

“We were making this record at the time that Trump had won the election and was going to be sworn into office, so naturally that environment crept onto this record,” Genera reflects. “It was hard not to take some offense to someone claiming that a wall and the people on the other side of that wall were the cause of so many problems. The song is my version of my grandparents coming here to better themselves and their children, and I’m thankful they did. I am here, and I am who I am because of it.”

Enter to win a copy of The Soft White Sixties’ “Brick By Brick” 7″ by citing in the comments below your favorite protest song—and feel free to be overtly political. We’ll choose 2 upstanding citizens with a North American mailing address for a copy of the 7″ each a week from today, Friday, January 26, 2018. Winners will be notified directly via email.

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