Vinyl Press: Version Blog-o-sphere

Bonnaroo Recap-Thursday

Posted in Bonnaroo, lion, live music, mongoose, music, UNC, Vinyl, WHAT THE FUCK, Zoology by Reed Turchi on June 24, 2009

As  pre-festival volunteers, I and fellow attendee Paige Smith had been at the Bonnaroo site since Sunday afternoon, preparing hundreds of RV beds for VIP’s, high level staff members, and celebrities. While this may sound like ludicrously easy work, it’s important to point out that the AC was not on in these RV’s, resulting in inside temperatures around 110 degrees. With six beds in each RV, it was not a fast job, and resulted in some frustration–but overall, I give a big thumbs up to the Bonnaroo volunteer program. Though it’s hard to believe that  Bonnaroo really gets much out of it, the experience itself is a good time, and serves as an excellent orientation to the wild days ahead.

While Thursday brought the beginning of the music and the continued onslaught of 70,000 campers, my first job was to find a way offsite to the local Manchester radio station in order to retrieve my much coveted Media Pass. While in the van off the Bonnaroo grounds, the thunderstorm that had been threatening all morning broke and dumped its contents all over the freshly prepared campsites. Somewhere, a certain tent was being flattened and soaked…but that’s irrelevant for this story.

Paige Smith enjoys some natural cleansing

Paige Smith enjoys some natural cleansing

After waiting out the storm at a hotel, Paige Smith and I made it to the radio station, and began the wait to pick up the credentials. I felt rather out of place in this line of reporters, photographers, and official “press” folk, all tweeting, texting, and emailing away–but a grilled cheese sandwich, sweet tea, and fries with honey mustard put all my fears to rest.

We managed to enter Centeroo not long after it opened, and were able to enjoy the various activities scattered around that are generally over crowded. The “Fuse barn” was offering vinyl records (hey, that’s us!) to turn into spin art, a paint company was offering temporary tattoos, and most importantly: Paige Smith and I both had time to experience and graduate from the Bonnaroo “Scratch DJ Academy”. While all of these activities were a little silly, getting to partake in them without the usual crowd was great fun.

Mixing, spinning, painting...

Mixing, spinning, painting...

But what you care about is the music, which began a few hours later. Thursday at Bonnaroo seems to routinely pick out bands on the rise, and this seemed to be the case once again with Hockey, Chairlift, and Passion Pit all playing at This Tent.

Hockey (with their single’s “Learn to Lose” and “Too Fake”) put on a very fun show, with an electro-indie-pop style and a captivating energy to their performance.

Hockey

Hockey

The lead singer was by far the most fun to watch, though he may may have taken it a little too far when he managed to unplug his own microphone in the midst of “Learn to Lose” (disaster averted, however). Hockey’s full length album “Mind Chaos” is set to be released August 25th, off of Virgin Records, and will receive a full review on Vinyl Press as the release date nears. 

Following Hockey was Chairlift, known best for their song “Bruises” which was featured on an iTunes commercial. Featuring a drummer, guitarist, and the front-woman vocalist, Chairlift

Chairlift

Chairlift

did demonstrate an impressive range in song composition and textures. From songs that sounded like they were straight from the 80’s (synth guitar and wispy female vocals), to traditional “indie-pop” songs such as “Bruises”, to songs with rapped versus which utilized a drum machine rather than the standard drum kit.

Both Chairlift and Hockey broke into rap verses at times, with the each song temporarily derailing in order to encompass a more “hip-hop” percussive quality and offer the each lead singer a beat to rap over. Is this the new direction of indie-rock? The heavy bass and drum machines featured in ultra-indie bands such as Animal Collective (or Hockey and Chairlift) proves the hip-hop influence to some degree, while simultaneously many new hip-hop releases such as Rick Ross’ album feature “synths” that come from the electro world. What does all this mean?

Well, it’s hard to know, but my night ended with a visit to the Dutch DJ’s Kraak and Smaak (who, if we’re really seeking to make cultural connections, made heavy use of the hi-hat rhythm traditionally found in Baltimore Club tracks).

Next up…Friday! With Gomez, Animal Collective, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, TV On the Radio, Phoenix, Crystal Castles, Girl Talk…

Lafcadio at the Cave Tonight

Posted in Lafcadio, lion, mongoose, music, UNC, Vinyl, Zoology by Matt on February 28, 2009

 

Lafcadio!

Vinyl Zoology!

That band that named themselves after a lion (we love zoology at Vinyl Records) is oping up the late show at the Cave tonight. They should start at 10 o’ pm. You should be there to fawn over them.

Also, for good measure – mongoose.

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SHOWCASE TOMORROW NIGHT

Posted in Colby Ramsay, february showcase, love, mongoose, music, UNC, Vinyl, Zoology by Reed Turchi on February 26, 2009
design by Matt Poindexter

design by Matt Poindexter

In less than 24 hours it will happen…the big moment you’ve been waiting for…the event of your lifetime….the night you’ll tell your grandchildren about…it’s the VINYL RECORDS FEBRUARY FACE-OFF.

Colby Ramsey

Colby Ramsay

Colby Ramsay, Jacquelyn Lee, The Huguenots, Eric DiMarzio, and It is Rain in My

Jacquelyn Lee

Jacquelyn Lee

Face all compete to become a member of the Vinyl label. Who could make such a difficult decision? You. That’s right, voters from around Chapel Hill, around the state, around the country, and around the world will be sitting anxiously by their computers, casting their votes. Reports come from Beijing, from Baltimore, and from Arizona that the voting frenzy is likely to be beyond any predicted scale. With all of this in mind, IF you are reading this, and IF you are in the Chapel Hill area–how could you not attend?

Eric DiMarzio

Eric DiMarzio

It Is Rain In My Face

It Is Rain In My Face

If those artists aren’t enough, then come for the DJ’s before and between sets, or come for your friends, or come so you have a free place to take your date! Beginning at 8:00 at Garrard Hall (near Memorial Hall), the face-off is not to be missed. If you’ve checked out the artists myspace, and like their songs–come hear it live! If you’ve

The Huguenots

The Huguenots

checked out the artists myspace, and don’t like their songs–come hear it live!

There is simply no better way to spend your friday evening, and so I look forward to seeing you there.

-Reed Turchi

Showcase Preview!-The Huguenots

Posted in february showcase, mongoose, music, UNC, Zoology by Reed Turchi on February 25, 2009
The Huguenots at the Local 506

The Huguenots at the Local 506

“Try to remember always just to have a good time.” With this motto, The Huguenots–a quartet of lovers of all things timeless “be it clothes, instruments, (or) sounds”, play their rock n’ roll music all night long. Heavily influenced by The Beatles, The Kinks, The Strokes, and the Libertines–The Huguenots perform their classic “three and a half minute songs” with an accuracy and precision that is impressive. Rather than make claims to some “brand new” synthesis of sounds, they dive into the realm of good ol’ pop songs that just make you feel good inside. Or, in the words of the Independent Weekly, “The Huguenots are invitingly familiar, as warm and fuzzy as your favorite sweater or treasured vinyl crackling underneath a needle’s touch”. And it’s hard not to appreciate that familiarity, in a music world that often seems solely bent on finding something “new” and “original”  (if you remember the Monty Python skit of the man who uses tuned-mice as keys for his mallets…),why not welcome something that’s just downright fun to dance to? Give them a listen at http://www.myspace.com/thehuguenotsmusic, and be sure to come out on friday night! Only two nights away!

-Reed Turchi

Do the Whirlwind St. Louis

Posted in mongoose, Uncategorized, Zoology by vinylrecordsunc on October 21, 2008

I spent the weekend in St. Louis, MO, which is a lovely city, if not rather far away from North Carolina.

St. Louis, MO - not just an arch

St. Louis, MO - not just an arch

Nonetheless it is worth the trip and was a great first foray for me into the untamed Midwest. My girlfriend and I visited a friend at Washington University, who generously let us stay at her place and showed us around town. It was a bit of a whirlwind few days, and since it took so long to get there we tried our best to squeeze a lot in.

We first checked out Wash U’s campus, which is slightly smaller than ours, but still beautiful and traditional, based around a central quad, and boasting shiny new facilities thanks to plenty of funding. Later on we got a chance to sit in and guest DJ her radio show at the College station KWUR. Loads of fun to be able to string songs together for 2 hrs and hear oodles of new music, including the new Calexico record Carried to Dust off Quarterstick/Touch & Go Records. It’s reminiscent of The Black Light in my opinion, which is a phenomenal record, but why not read a well written review here.

During the show, apart from comparing the Cosmic Cantinas in Durham and Chapel Hill, I got a chance to dedicate a song (“Rocky Raccoon” off the Beatles White Album) to my best friend back in NC and heard a lot of fantastic blues as well as the new Kings of Leon album called Only By the Night put out on RCA Records. Check out track three, a blistering shred entitled “Sex on Fire”.

St. Louis also has a great park right down the road from Wash U called Forest Park, which is full of free and fun attractions, minus the golf course (yeah it’s that big of a park). There’s a huge zoo where I saw for the first time Dwarf Mongooses (Mongeese?) and bunches of other creepy crawlies and critters, a free art museum complete with Jackson Pollock and Monet, and a free science museum.

Dwarf Mongoose - small yet still deadly to snakes

Dwarf Mongoose - small yet still deadly to snakes

But the absolute highlight of the weekend was on Saturday night, when I saw Broken Social Scene perform at an underground venue on campus called The Gargoyle, which sadly is scheduled to be torn down. Our friend somehow got us both in for free with her (its cool man, we’re on the list), and we were treated to a great opener, which is always an unexpected bonus.

They were Land of Talk, from Montreal, fronted by Elizabeth Powell, who got her start playing her own anti-rock anthems on the local scene of Guelph, Ontario, during her mid-teens. Along with Bucky Wheaton on guitar and Chris McCarron on bass, Land of Talk display influences as broad as PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, and Dinosaur Jr. on their eclectic compositions. Their most recent and second album called Some Are Lakes off Saddle Creek Records showcases their melodic, richly woven sound brilliantly and was produced by Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver fame).

Land of Talk

Land of Talk

Afterwards Broken Social Scene stormed the stage with an ensemble ranging from 8-12 (out of their full repertoire of 19) musicians playing a variety of percussions, guitars, brass and keyboards to create intricate and complex songs. This “superband” from Toronto formed in 1999 and has since included members of bands as diverse as Stars, Do Make Say Think, Metric, Feist, Raising the Fawns, and The Dears. They traded instruments constantly on stage and invited members of Land of Talk to come sing songs with them, creating an atmosphere of inclusion, everyone was a part of this set. Towards the end lead guitarist and trumpet player Charles Spearin announced that he was going to share some results of an experiment he had conducted on Audiology, specifically the sound and cadence of everyone’s voice. He claimed that we all “sing” when we speak and proceeded to play a short recorded speech by his neighbor who described what happiness was to her, accompanied by matching notes on a saxophone. BSS utilize layering and vocal harmonizing constantly to add a very sonorous quality to their music, and surprisingly it translates well live. I was very impressed by the impromptu mood of the show and yet its clean and polished feel. Certainly a treat to hear and see, by the way front man Kevin Drew has some pretty choice dance moves.

Broken Social Scene - a Canadian superhero

Broken Social Scene - a Canadian superhero

Boogie Woogie everybody, last thoughts: St. Louis has much more to offer than just an arch, underground venues with free BSS shows are great musical experiences, and there is a Gelato store employee somewhere in downtown St. Louis missing his sparkly pink lighter.