April 27, 2012

De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising Recap

You can find the set list for last night's show here.

You can listen to / download the podcast of last night's show here.

I stupidly forgot to hit record last night for the first few songs and my intro so I redid it this AM using my recording software and crappy laptop mic. Soooooo, the first 5 minutes is a redo of last night's intro and then the rest of the show is the actual one from last night.

Do you wish your guitar tone sounded more like a record?

Well good news, there is a pedal for that.

April 26, 2012

Did You Know Record Store Day Has a Documentary?

Well it does! Written / directed / produced by Jason Wilder Evans.

Taken from the Easy Street Records site:

"Shot mostly in Seattle but also in Nashville, Memphis, and NYC - the documentary uses archival footage showing the process of pressing vinyl records along with interviews from brick and mortar owners, Duff McKagan, Peter Buck, Jody Stephens, and music from Telekinesis, Zoe Muth, and the Lost High Rollers. This documentary also looks at the event and what makes it special."

Hip Yourself To the Philco Hip Pocket Record Player and Record Series


More about Philco here

And then check out these other wacky turntables!

April 26th, 2012 : Cause & Effect : De La Soul / 3 Feet High and Rising Samples

Allow me to pull the curtain back and show you the inner workings of this Cause & Effect with a hint of a confession. There are many things I know a thing or two about but hip hop samples would not be one of those subjects I am well versed on. I am however after years of doing Cause & Effect pretty good at doing homework for the shows I pick. Quite frankly 15 years ago I couldn't have put this show together without the help of a crate digger with a good ear. Luckily the internet is now filled with the wisdom that I lack and thanks to a bevy of blogs I was able to find multiple lists of the samples used for what I consider to be not only one the best Rap albums of all times but a highly pivotal one in the timeline for this genre, De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising. (stylistically, samples, themes, skits, and the lawsuits that were filed against them in regards to using samples without paying to license it / getting permission) Even more amazing to me, the De La crew were Long Island teenagers when they made this pop culture capsule that is so historically important that Library of Congress selected it to be placed in the U.S. National Recording Registry in 2010.

When I heard De La Soul was coming to Richmond to play the Shadrock Music Festival I thought it would be the perfect time to revisit one of my favorite albums and get to know it in a whole new way by deconstructing about half the songs they sampled to make this record possible. Listening to the music that serves as the backbone to Three Feet High and Rising still only tells half the story of what makes this record so brilliant. It is still nearly impossible to listen to these song samples and imagine how anyone had the talent and ear to know how to take bits and pieces from each tune and use them like a painter uses color on a blank canvas, further changing them with speed shifts and other effects. Add in unique lyrical content and an understated emceeing technique and you have the birth of the Alternative hip hop movement.

I can't say after this show I have any better understanding of how one makes such a masterpiece but I am further convinced that all music is connected more deeply than you could ever possibly imagine. When I was a teenager enjoying this record for the first time and limited in my knowledge of music samples, little did I know that I was being introduced to an amazing body of work by artists like Johnny Cash, Cymande, Double Dee / Steinski , Sly and the Family Stone, The Headhunters, Kraftwerk, The Mad Lads, The Turtles, and oh so many more.

Tune in tonight from 7PM to 9PM to hear me play two hours of the original songs (about 35 songs total) that went into the making Three Feet High and Rising. 97.3 fm for locals or stream it live here.

April 24, 2012

More EPs Featuring Women from the '90s I Worship

I sang the praises of Earwig's - Hardly a few months ago but here are two more bands for you.

The Nightblooms : Butterfly Girl : Fierce Recordings : 1992

This was a Dutch band that existed from 1987 to 1996. This band blew me away because they were shoegaze to the most brutal levels of noise and static yet the female vocals were so fragile and delicate (and such a cute accent / lisp!). When I am asked to name my top 10 shoegaze songs of all time, "Butterfly Girl" is always on that list. I was lucky enough to see them play live at Maxell's in Hoboken, NJ in the early '90s but they were a bit on the sleepy side live (although loud), a common issue for many shoegaze bands (including MBV) during this time period.

Delicious Monster (Rachel Mayfield ) :  Snuggle :  Flute : 1993.
 (Oddly this release is not mentioned on Discogs!) They have several EPs (at least 5) and I believe one full length called Joie De Vivre, none of which go for much money on Ebay. I loved the vocals for this band because they go from super darling to daggers in seconds flat.

Hey Cult Movie Fans / Record Collectors

Did you know there is a label that caters just to you? I bring you Death Waltz Recording Company. Their website describes their focus on soundtracks in this way:

Founded by Spencer Hickman, manager of Rough Trade East in London, Death Waltz Recording Company will concentrate on delivering high end collector's vinyl that will include extensive liner notes from composers and directors as well as brand new and exclusive artwork from a variety of fine artists. All releases will be on colored vinyl and contain bonus screen prints and posters.

Death Waltz Recording Company is set to become the premier vinyl soundtrack label for cult film enthusiasts.


Death Waltz Records has the ultimate subscription plan for people just like you. It ain't cheap (around $275.00 with shipping) but dare I say that money is no object when what you get in return is so darn amazing?

* Six LP releases on colored vinyl
* A numbered lithograph print
* A2 poster
* Bonus goodies that include badges, exclusive colors, bonus prints
* After every 6th record you will get a special box that houses all 6 releases
* A shirt
* Special offers on giclee / screen prints at reduced rates in advance of release to the public!

Thoughts on Record Store Day : Not For Everyone

There has been an interesting running commentary / exchange of thoughts on Record Store Day and in particular, the pop up store that Numbero did in their hometown of Chicago. This isn't for everyone but for those of us who work in the behind the scenes side of the music industry, some interesting points on all sides are being made on this blog post by a record store named Saki that is tied into the distribution group Carrot Top, again all in Chicago. (Thanks D for the tip on this!)

And one other thing to ponder. How equal opportunity is Record Store Day? In the hundreds of articles, blog posts, television footage, and first hand experiences with the big day I have had, there is a shortage of diversity to most of the releases and those who turn up to buy them. File under stuff white people like and mostly dudes at that? It seems that way to me. I would love to know, is there a big support for RSD from the Urban Community and I am just clueless to it?

Music appeals to people all over the world, from every possible background, so how can we make this day accessible and interesting to all walks of life and not just the collector crowd? If the idea of RSD is to keep record stores alive and inspire people to become lifetime shoppers at their local stores it seems like we would want to woo as many different kinds of music loving people as possible but then again, are there enough RSD releases for a less Rock focused following to be lured in to stores?

Again, I could be completely ignorant and maybe Record Store Day is more diverse than I think it is. I really look forward to some people schooling me so I can bring those ideas into my local community next time around.

My Wet Calvin : Box Set and Pantone Tribute

This new album was produced by 5 different sound engineers who get their own color coded single; 2 songs per 7"er.

While I can't say much about the band name or the music itself (not to mention a website that doesn't seem to agree with my web browser), they have outstanding taste in packaging. I can't fathom how much something like this cost to make but the final product is pretty damn remarkable.

For a bevy of images of this gorgeous singles box, go here.

April 19, 2012

Let the bidding begin!

I can't begin to guess what this crazy limited Jack White 12" will go for on Ebay / Discogs post Record Store Day. The record can only be purchased at the Third Man store in Nashville so no other store in the world will have it but theirs.

I wonder how many record collectors are plotting out their drive to Tennessee as I write this? And wow, Jack White really is the Willy Wonka of the recording industry! I applaud his creativity and am in awe of the financial freedom he has to create these one of a kind, never produced before in the history of record music vinyl.

And here is a look at my thoughts on Record Store Day from last year in case you missed it.

April 18, 2012

Monsters of Rock Paintings By Jason Edmiston

Jason's paintings remind me of a rock and roll, high art version of the Garbage Pail Kids.

Never Underestimate the Power of Music

If I had my life to do over again, I would have gone to college and studied music therapy.

April 17, 2012

Andy Warhol Album Art Auction Ended : Billy Squier's Music Still Not Awesome

A collection of sixty eight different albums with art by Andy Warhol were on Ebay this week and the sale ended yesterday. The collection went for $10,700.00 and contains some pretty fantastic stuff. For images to the link. There is also a book that features his album art for those who don't have 10k to spend on owning it first hand. He did a lot more than the Velvet Underground + Rolling Stones album art!

Some classic examples of his art can be found here. 

"Up for auction is a collection of Andy Warhol records.  The collection spans from his first design (Carlos Chavez - Program of Mexican Music, 1949) through his final-approved release before his death (MTV - High Priority, 1987) and beyond (e.g., Silver Apples, 1996).  The set includes  RATFAB,  his most rare record cover, as fewer than 300 of these were ever made.  Other near-impossible-to-find covers are included, such as the Velvet Underground's blue flexi-vinyl promotional only 7" for "Thanks Andy Warhol" (see upper right picture of image 12) and Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish, put out by Doubleday books .  Also included are the 2 boxes  to the Andy Warhol's Jazz album covers box sets (each limited to only 500 copies), as these are the closest to the Progressive Piano lp that was designed, but never released  (see bottom right picture of image 12) .   The records present beautifully, and some are still sealed in their original cellophane.   Please see pictures below for full listing of images.  Ebay permits only 12 pictures, so the last picture is a collage.  Outside of the collection held by the Andy Warhol Museum archive in Pittsburgh, this may be the largest private collection of Andy Warhol covers.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I will be out of town for part of the auction, but will try to be as responsive as possible. "

Dunebuggy : OUT TODAY

The Dunebuggy record I released on my label came out today. The vinyl is limited to a mere 100 copies and can be found at stores like Flipside in Pompton Lakes, NJ (makes sense since this is where I befriended the members of Dunebuggy in the late '80s!), Other Music in NYC, and Deep Groove Records in Richmond, VA to name a few.

If your local record shop doesn't have it in stock for some reason, please let the store buyer know that there are still copies available from Cobraside Distribution.

You can stream the whole Dunebuggy record here. Fun fact: the handful of female vocals on the record are me circa the mid '90s. The record can also be purchased from all the usual digital music stores like iTunes and Amazon.

To the left is a still from the re-edited fan version of the 1995 movie Empire Records. In this remixed edition of the film there is a shot of  actress Robin Tunney flipping through 7" singles and the first one facing out is Dunebuggy.  Crazy, right?

Hit So Hard - Documentary

I'll admit that I can get snarky about the number of people and subjects that now have a documentary about them and when I heard the drummer from the band Hole ( Patty Schemel) has done an autobiographical one, the eyes rolled back into my head. Then I watched the trailer and changed my mind.

I am interested in hearing any woman's story who has played in bands, no less one as infamous as Hole. The fact that she survived playing in one of the most infamously drinky (that's a word, right?) / druggy bands on the planet is also worth celebrating. Then it also appears that there is heavy dose of behind the scenes footage of Kurt Cobain. This highly personal look at Kurt will probably polarize Nirvana fans because some people will be hungry for any new looks at their Rock hero but then there is also the age old association of Courtney Love being a Yoko Ono figure who helped to run Kurt into the ground, literally.

I can't begin to wrap my head around what it was like to play in a band with Courtney Love no less how anyone could handle all of the drama and tragedy that came with her. Add in her own battle with addictions, her openly talking about her sexuality (being gay), and no matter what opinions you carry about the band, the human side of the story is a valuable one.

April 16, 2012

Thank You

Here is a recap I did about the Dunebuggy record release party (album streets tomorrow!) on my record label site.  To the left is a picture Keith, myself, and Jon  from Dunebuggy. As I said in my other blog post, I think this is the first time we have all been together since the mid '90s. The location of the party was also significant, a bar in NYC called Hi-Fi that was once called Brownies. Brownies was considered THE venue for small bands to play in New York at the time so it seemed only appropriate to celebrate the long over due release of this music at a place that supported us all back in the day.

Below is a picture of Rizzo, me, and Roman from Garden Variety with Keith Werwa of Number 2 fanzine fame hiding in the back.  If you know our band history you will know that basically Garden Variety and Dahlia Seed were BFFs back in the '90s and both of our bands also happened to break up around the same time. This was the first time we have all been in the same room together since maybe the late '90s and my heart practically exploded with joy to have us all together again.

April 13, 2012

Dunebuggy Record Release Party : Free

169 Avenue ANew York, NY 10009 / 8pm to 11pm

Come celebrate the long awaited release (like 17 years!) from Dunebuggy, a posthumous collection in LP form that marks the first time many of these songs have ever been heard. Those that have been previously released feature alternate recordings or mixes and all tracks have been freshly re-mastered. Not only will we be playing the record for all to hear for the first time, but we will also have it available for purchase. The record is limited to just 100 copies and come on white vinyl so needless to say they are VERY LIMITED. Attending this party will give you the best chances of actually getting your hands on a copy. (plus a freebie 7" of theirs) Founding Dunebuggy members Jon-Michael Procopio and Keith Renna will be in attendance too, making this the next best thing to a reunion show. 

If the release of their incredible music isn't enough, the party will be held at our favorite East Village bar Hi-Fi (AKA THE Hi-Fi BAR) which to many of us old timers might be better known as the location of NYC's seminal indie rock venue Brownies (RIP). Who could ask for a better, more appropriate location for this record release. 

DJ's Lightning's Girl (Little Black Cloud Records owner - me!) and KJC (the label's art director) will also be Djing their most beloved '90s indie Pop records (vinyl!) in the vein of The Lemonheads, Blake Babies, Helium, Beat Happening, Built To Spill, Pavement, ETC followed by our friend DJ Paulie who will keep the music going for the rest of the night.

We would love to turn this fantastical record release party for Dunebuggy into a reunion of sorts for those of you who grew up in the NJ/NY/CT indie Rock / Pop scene in the '90s who probably also grew up going to shows (and playing shows at Brownies).

A huge thank you to Dunebuggy for letting me put out this album and Mike from Hi-Fi for giving us his bar for a few hours. 

band link -  http:// littleblackcloudrecords.com /dunebuggy-bio  
hi-hi link -  #/ thehifibar  
label link -  #/ littleblackcloudrecords  
youtube link :  http://www.youtube.com/ user/LittleBlackCloudRec

April 12, 2012

Roxy Music : Recap

Missed tonight's show?

Download it here.
The set list is here. 


New Squarepusher

I can't contain my excitement for the upcoming Squarepusher full length (Ufabulum) coming via Warp Records May 15th.

The first Squarepusher single (see video below) "Dark Steering" makes me wish their was a new version of the video game Asteroids or Defender to go along with these pumped up classic arcade sounds of blazing laser gun fire. YES ! ! !

April 12th, 2012 : Cause & Effect : Roxy Music

It is difficult to fathom how a group based out of art school friendships and minimal music training could become arguably one of the most influential bands to come out of the England in the '70s but this is exactly what Roxy Music did. By applying an artful approach to not just their music but their highly stylized album art and fashion, Roxy Music created a world of their own and invited listeners to enter it. Four decades later listeners are still being swept up into their sophisticated "new romantic" sound. Even Roxy Music's name is an ode to their influence and person. While it is based off of a cinema theater's name, it is also a pun on the words Rock music. They aren't plain and simple Rock, they are Rock-ish, Roxy  if you will. Not even their name is an accident, every inch of this group has been carefully pruned and manipulated to their liking.

This group's careful design is not only heavily based on non musical influence (again a major nod to art school environment they were hatched from like Pop Art) but the time period of which the members were born into, the mid '40s and early '50s. Singer and primary songwriter / band leader Bryan Ferry's influences are rooted in all the early "cool" movements: American Jazz, Blues, early Rock & Roll (Bill Haley to the Velvets), and R&B (not to mention the fashion attached to these musical movements) as well as the trends of  his own country like Joe Meek produced music, The Beatles, the Mod Teddy Boy scene, and early Art rock bands like the Bonzo Dog Band.

Tune in from 7PM to 9PM tonight to hear how these influences puzzle piece together to form the base to their sound as well as the bands who traveled in the same sound circle and finally, the artists who owe their entire sound and style to the original masters of synth based couture Pop. 97.3 on your dial in Richmond or stream us live at WRIR.

Missed the show? Download it here.
Set list is here.

April 11, 2012

Outstanding 1984 German Synthpop : The Paraplueis

It looks like they only had a cassette release - how ahead of their times, ha! I also like that their name is French for Umbrellas. Those crazy Germans. 

Goodbye Cynthia

My heart ached to read that Cynthia Dall passed away this week. Her musical style has been a big influence on my more recent solo material and I was truly looking forward to hearing new material from her that was rumored to be in the making. Nobody could musically marry dreamy and nightmare better than she could.

April 5, 2012

Stranglers (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)

Besides this song / video being amazing, how exactly one sings, plays bass, and chews gum I will never know.

Perpetual Conversion: 30 Years & Counting in the Life of Metal Veteran Dan Lilker

Hey Metal friends. 

My pal Dave Hofer, who I have gotten to know over the years via his years as a buyer at Reckless Records, is putting out a book about Dan Lilker. It will be a biography following Dan's time in all of his various and numerous bands: White Heat, Nuclear Assault, Brutal Truth, Anthrax, S.O.D. and Hemlock (to name his more well known projects.) The book also goes on to cover Dan's lesser known musical history including a whole host of his lesser known bands (over 10 at least!). While much of the book is interviews with Dan there are also contributions to the theme at hand by: Scott Ian and Charlie Benante of Anthrax, John Connelly and Glenn Evans of Nuclear Assault, Kevin Sharp and Rich Hoak from Brutal Truth, Barney Greenway and Shane Embury of Napalm Death, Fenriz, Faust, Craig Setari, Gene Hoglan, Gloria Cavalera, Howie Abrams, Jim Welch and others. Phew! I can't imagine a book on this subject / scene will ever get more comprehensive that this one. 

Paper & Plastic Records has yet to set an official street date for the book but it is slated for this Summer. 

Musicians like this make for a fascinating read / interview because most people would kill to make in one band no less more bands than you have fingers on a hand. I can't wait to read about how one man has managed to do all this during one career and is still hard at work bring us more Metal. 

Congrats Dave, I can't wait to read this and Dan I salute you for doing the unimaginable. 


April 3, 2012

Gemma Ray - Rescue Me

The song "Rescue Me" is lovely and all but my real affinity for this video comes from my passion for '60s and '70s mod fashions and bright colors. EYE CANDY + EAR CANDY = YUMMY ! ! !

A must listen to for fans of classic girl groups through a Lynchian filter; her new record Island Fire is due out May 29th.

April 2, 2012

Get Satisfied For Just $4,500.00

For those of you who want to get busy with 7, 10, or 12 inches (of  homemade vinyl records that is) in the privacy of your own home.