Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

30Nov/102

The ATV Interview: Behind The Wall with Kipp Lennon of Venice

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About a month ago, I spent some time talking with vocalist Kipp Lennon of Venice, the California based band of brothers and cousins (and longtime ATV favorites).  Three out of the four Lennons (Kipp, Pat and Mark) are currently on the road touring as backing vocalists for the  Roger Waters tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of the classic Pink Floyd album The Wall.

In a two part interview, I spoke with Kipp about the tour and also spent some time digging into a lot of Venice stuff.  You can check out the first part of the interview here (plus some additional "outtakes") focusing in on the Waters side in a piece for the Riverfront Times.  Here's the rest of the interview with some more Waters tidbits and plenty of Venice chat.

Venice will play a sold out homecoming Christmas Show in Santa Monica this Saturday during a day off from the Waters tour.  A newly released DVD featuring a full live show from 1990 (!!!) will be available at the merch stand that night (or if you're far away like me, you can pre-order a copy).  Enjoy this conversation with Kipp!

Let's talk about how you came to be involved with one of the year's biggest tours. As I understand it, there was a mutual love of the Beach Boys involved.

We just found this out ourselves - when Roger wrote the original Wall album as far as background vocals, he wanted a departure from their usual thing. They usually have women sing on a lot of that stuff or just David Gilmour. On this album, he wanted it to have a feel like Beach Boys vocals over Pink Floyd music. And you can kind of hear it in things like "Goodbye Blue Sky," "The Show Must Go On" and a few things, there's almost a doo-wop kind of vibe in a lot of the music on The Wall as well that people wouldn't necessarily pick up on, considering all of the themes in it. But in fact, there's a lot of doo-wop/street singing kind of stuff in the whole show. When Roger called Jon Joyce, who is one of the original singers from the original album and tour, and from the revival show in Berlin in 1990, he called Jon and said "I'm putting the band back together and we're going to do this tour. Jon said "well, the original background vocalists that you hired are all retired now, but I know a band that's perfect, because they're brothers and cousins and they sing like the Beach Boys."

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29Nov/100

The Jayhawks announce winter reunion shows + new album details

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Good news:  Those expanded Jayhawks reissues for Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow The Green Grass will finally be out on January 18th (and having had the chance to hear them, I can tell you that they are worth the wait, especially the one for TTGG).  (Pre-order Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow The Green Grass from Amazon.)

Better news: The band (with both Mark Olson and Gary Louris) will celebrate the reissues with a set of shows in five major cities, including two nights in NYC and two nights in Chicago.  For those shows, the band will play all of Hollywood Town Hall on the first night and all of Tomorrow The Green Grass on the second night (with selected 'Hawks tunage filling out the rest of the set each night).

A pre-sale for all of the shows except for Chicago will start tomorrow with general tickets for all dates going on sale on Friday with the exception of (you guessed it) Chicago where tickets will go on sale on Saturday morning. (Ticketmaster information for some of the dates can be found at this link.)

(Update:  The Jayhawks Fan Page has ticket purchase links for all of the shows, including the Chicago shows which will go on sale via pre-sale on Friday with the regular on-sale happening on Saturday morning as mentioned previously.)

And perhaps the best news of all, the reunited project is working on their first album of new material (with both Olson and Louris, that is) in 15 years with release planned for summer 2011.

From the official press release, here's some more information + tour dates and the obligatory quotes:

2011 TOUR DATES:

01/18 Toronto, ONT The Phoenix

01/20, 21 New York, NY Webster Hall

01/22 Philadelphia, PA TLA

01/27, 28 Chicago, IL The Vic

01/29 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue

The band’s lineup for these dates will comprise Gary Louris (guitar, vocals), Mark Olson (guitar, vocals), Marc Perlman (bass), Karen Grotberg (keyboards) and Tim O’Reagan (drums).

“I’m very excited about the reissue of Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass,” says Olson. “It’s great that our fans will get a chance to hear some of our earliest songwriting through the bonus tracks.”

Louris adds, “These tour dates will also be an opportunity for fans who didn’t catch us early in our career, to hear these songs played again. The Jayhawks are re-energized and our next chapter starts with these shows in January.”

Tune up for the reunion shows with a couple of cool downloads, including a reaaaallly early show from '85 (opening for Alex Chilton), posted on the band's newly revamped official website and digging back in the ATV archives a bit, here's a TTGG-era show from San Francisco.

Photograph via The Jayhawks Official Website

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29Nov/100

Rush brings their Time Machine to Cleveland (and Toledo too!)

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As my radio pal Nard put it, "Finally, a Rush concert I don't have to fly to!"

At last, the Canadian rock trio will be keying the Cleveland digits into their touring GPS as part of a newly announced extension of additional Time Machine tour dates for 2011 (which will include the band's first ever performance in Ireland).  As it was with last year's performances, the Time Machine tour dates will feature the band performing the classic Moving Pictures album in its entirety in addition to a full set of Rush favorites (read: greatest hits).  I had the chance to see the show in Pittsburgh last year with my good friend Jack and it was a total blast.

The Cleveland Rush date is set for April 15th (at Quicken Loans Arena) and the band will also be performing in Toledo on April 6th at the Huntington Center.  I had heard rumors about the Cleveland date and if the other half of the rumor is true, the Cleveland show will be a special performance.  (Either way, it's a really fun show.)

Select tour dates will be on sale starting next week and fans that opt to purchase the VIP Time Machine package will receive some pretty cool goodies. Complete tour dates and additional PR jabber can be found after the jump.
(update: Cleveland goes on sale Saturday, December 11th at 10am.)

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29Nov/109

Celebrating Christmas with Shelby Lynne

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Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, what comes next? The inevitable onslaught of Christmas holiday hell, of course!

I'll admit that this perhaps isn't the best attitude to have going into another holiday season but all of the holiday cheer can become a bit tiresome, especially when it seems to keep showing up earlier and earlier each year!

Which is why I let out an audible groan when I opened up a package in mid-August and found an advance copy of a forthcoming Christmas album from Shelby Lynne sitting inside.

"What's the next step after releasing a highly-regarded album with no support from the evil major label machine?  How about a CHRISTMAS ALBUM?" were the words that came grumbling out of my mouth.  But as much as I was against it, I had to give it a listen and even though it was a bit surreal to listen to a Christmas album before summer had even finished, I had to hand it to Miss Lynne - Merry Christmas is a job very well done and it stands out in my opinion as one of the best Christmas releases of the season.

I'm not a huge fan of Christmas releases and the ones that I really end up enjoying are the ones that come from the heart, as opposed to a release clearly designed to simply cash in on the holiday with another set of pointless recuts of the same tired holiday standards. Merry Christmas is an honest musical gift with an organically raw recording that practically places Lynne next to your holiday fire, strumming her way through the 11 tracks contained on this disc. If you need one reason to buy this, check out the wonderful rendition of Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here." Somewhere, good 'ol Charlie Brown is smiling...

(And on a side note, Shelby is 2 for 2 with me for this year, because I also loved her latest album Tears, Lies and Alibis. It's been a great year of music from Shelby - can't wait to see what's next!)

Check out some more info on the album plus a sample via the video below:

Hey Cleveland, don't forget that Shelby Lynne will be at the Beachland on February 3rd! Tickets are on sale now.

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27Nov/108

Merry Christmas from Wang Chung!

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For those of you that are still rubbing your eyes in disbelief, spellbound that Wang Chung actually toured the U.S. this year AND released new music, check this out:

There's more.

First, a ukelele-driven romp through "Rain" by The Beatles.

And just in time for the holidays, a brand new Christmas original, from Wang Chung to you!

Both are available for free download - hit up the Wang Chung website to grab "Rain" here and then surf on over to this link to grab the Xmas goodie bag.

There's an extra chorus built into the Christmas tune and the band would like you to record your own version (video or audio) singing along with that chorus. Find more details on their Facebook page and get crackin', because Santa's watching you right now.  Or perhaps Wang Chung is watching. Or both.  Either way, get to it!

On my Xmas wish list:  More great music in 2011 from Wang Chung along the lines of songs like this one!

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26Nov/101

Gonna be an ass kicking at The Beachland

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I'm thinking that this week might finally be the week that I get around to checking out Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass Kickin' Team, booked for a show at The Beachland on Wednesday.

You hopefully know Mr. Terry Anderson from his time spent with The Yayhoos (w/ Anderson, Eric Frikkin Ambel, Dan Frikkin Baird and Keith Frikkin Christopher).  Or perhaps you picked up one of his excellent solo albums, like You Don't Like Me, What Else Can Go Right, etc. etc. etc.  And even if you don't know Terry, chances are you've heard "Battleship Chains" by the Georgia Satellites, a tune that was authored by, you guessed it, Terry Anderson.

One might think that Anderson's sense of humor, translated to song via every lyric he puts to tape would have run out by now, but every time that Anderson brings a new album to market, he delivers a fresh batch of lunacy (and songs about loose women) for the enjoyment of all. God bless ya, Terry.

Anderson and the OAK Team have three releases to their credit, including the latest release, titled appropriately enough, National Champions.  The Beachland dates are nearly legendary for being great times (packed with plenty of inspiration for a bonus hangover included in the cost of each ticket, free of charge).

Wednesday's show will feature Colin Gawel of '90s Columbus rockers Watershed in the opening slot, with additional opening duties being handled by the Paranoid Lovesick offshoot Sky Dragster.  (Cheap plug:  check out my interview with Sky Dragster frontman Bill Stone here.)

Tix are $8 in advance or $1o at the door on the night of the show. What else are you going to do in Cleveland on a Wednesday night?

Here's one of my TA favorites....

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26Nov/106

Black (Vinyl) Friday

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So, did everybody have fun picking up one or more of the Record Store Day exclusive releases for Black Friday today? I hadn't planned to do much, but then I remembered that there was an exclusive release from U2, an exclusive 7" from Tom Petty and oh yeah, an exclusive 7" from that Bruce Springsteen guy.

Well, the U2 ended up being a hotter item than I would have expected.  Shut out. Still looking for one.  HELP?

An early call on my cell phone brought me vinyl pal Stacy to let me know that she had a copy of the Bruce in her hands...and did I want it?  Yes indeed. Score!

As for my own pickups, I grabbed the exclusive 7" release from the Gaslight Anthem for Brian and a copy of the Tom Petty 7" (which means that I now have a copy of "Surrender" for the jukebox if I ever get around to getting one).  The Petty is a numbered limited edition and the copy that I got is #9 in the series.  Awesome!

My personal score of the day had nothing to do with vinyl and instead, it was a used copy of Fresh Out Of Georgia Live Like A Satellite, the import only live DVD (PAL format) from Dan Baird & Homemade Sin.  8 bucks.  Sweet!  (Huge amounts of credit go to Kevin for hooking me up with a CD copy of the same show a year or so ago.)

I'd love to pull the trigger on a copy of the new All Things Must Pass vinyl reissue but I wasn't feeling like making a $50 impulse purchase today.  Yep, I was good for once instead of bad. It happens every now and then.

I love these exclusive releases and although occasionally I feel like some of them could be priced a bit more reasonably, the end result is good: People are buying music instead of stealing it bringing some much needed support to both indie record stores and the record industry.  And we all end up with something new and cool to listen to that we didn't have before.  That's alright with me.

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21Nov/1025

Enjoy The Darkness

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Now that I've had almost a week to soak up selected contents (I still don't have my copy yet) from the new Springsteen box set, I'm very happy to say that this set was more than worth the wait.  This past weekend, we had a really nice time at The Winchester with Springsteen author Lawrence Kirsch in town with his buddy, Springsteen fan photographer Rocco Coviello.  I spent a good solid 4 1/2 hours on Friday night with Lawrence and Rocco at Zocalo, nerding out about a ton of different bands and artists (not just Springsteen!).

Saturday night, we convened for our scheduled get-together at The Winchester where we dove into the contents of the box set, viewing the "house cut" of Houston '78 on the big screen for the first time*.

(* = I cheated a little bit by watching the Houston show on Tuesday night with John "Radio" Hannibal on his beautiful 55" Sony television amidst a stormy night in Cleveland.)

For me, the Houston show is the jewel of the set, a true treasure to watch - three hours of live Bruce from the fabled 1978 touring cycle in quality that's better than good with a performance that is truly great.  When considering the "legendary" shows like the Agora show, the Houston show is noticably different with very little storytelling, but the actual performances are just as golden as any of the classic shows that one might think of.  Ain't it great to have an officially released version of the "long" version of "Prove It All Night?"  The Houston set also has typically great versions of "Backstreets," "Jungleland" and the nice one-two of "Racing In The Streets" and "Thunder Road."

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15Nov/100

Contest: Win vinyl from Warner Brothers and Because Sound Matters

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Having a website called Addicted to Vinyl has its perks and luckily those "perks" don't involve emails offering me the prospect of kinky nights out while wearing vinyl clothing (not that there's anything wrong with that). Instead, I found an email from Because Sound Matters, the vinyl arm of Warner Brothers, asking me if I'd be up for doing some vinyl giveaways here on the site. In fact, the email said "why don't you go through our catalog on the website and choose a few titles to give away."

It wasn't very hard to twist my arm on that idea and as a result, we'll launch with a few giveaways over the next couple of weeks and then the plan is to cherry pick at least one album a month for future giveaways.

Where to begin?

That choice is easy.  I chose to start with the new and spotlight On Approach, the latest album from Los Angeles-based up and comers Everest, one of my favorite newer bands currently making the scene.

I'll admit that it wasn't love at first sight between me and Everest - I was initially underwhelmed when I saw the band open for Neil Young in Detroit in December of 2008, and told my buddy Rob exactly how unimpressed I was with their live show.  He advised me to keep listening and told me that he'd send along a copy of their latest album (which at the time, was Ghost Notes) for me to check out for further reference. (I'm pretty sure Rob also might have told me "pay attention while you're listening to the band this time and you might learn a few things!")

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15Nov/101

Waiting for Darkness

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On Saturday night, we'll celebrate the long awaited release of the Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town box set at The Winchester with Springsteen author Lawrence Kirsch, photographer Rocco Coviello and Springsteen tribute band Jersey.  Listen to V107.3 this week for your chance to win tickets to the event and a copy of the 2 CD version of The Promise.

I held this year's version of the holy grail in my hands tonight. Thanks to a chain of local record stores that you can always count on to break street date, I knew I'd be able to find The Promise sitting on the shelves to get at least a quick look at the future enjoyment that awaits me in the coming weeks.  The event was slightly anti-climactic, thanks to video released earlier this week featuring a page by page look at the contents of the box set.  But still, with the opportunity right there in front of me, I had to take a look at the box set and also the 3 LP vinyl edition of The Promise (which collects only the previously unreleased tracks included in the box set, minus the video content).

Worth the wait?  Absolutely.  But as Springsteen fans, I think we already knew that.

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