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Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday trifles.

Back from a lovely weekend.

Highgate and Spitting Out Teeth both have nice summaries of the Sun Circle/The Wind-Up Bird show at Green Door Studios last Saturday. I was thinking of going, but the temperature was prohibitive to leaving the house for anything other than an emergency. I heard a bunch of folks actually went sledding after the set. How do they do it?

Saw The Police on the Grammys last night. I thought they were much better than their 2003 appearance at the R&R Hall of Fame. Then, they were hobbled by Andy Summers' shockingly weak guitar playing. He frankly had me worried — was it arthritis or carpal tunnel? Maybe he was just boozed up and rusty. Anyway, Sunday's appearance bodes well for their full-fledged reunion tour, which will supposedly be announced today. I just wish they'd gotten to play more tunes than "Roxanne." Guess I'll have to actually catch them on their upcoming jaunt. Better start saving now; shit's bound to be pricey.

In other Grammy news, that show sucks.

Like vintage psych-folk? Than you might enjoy Mark Fry's 1972 offering, Dreaming With Alice, recently re-released on Sunbeam Records. See my full review here.

Give a listen:

Mark Fry — "The Witch"

UPDATE: The Police play Montreal's Bell Centre on July 25. Tickets on sale this Saturday:

Charge by phone : (514) 790-1245 or 1 800 361-4595
Order online at :  and
TICKETS. :  $59.50 - $95.00 - $225.00  (+ service charges)
4 ticket limit per person.

Also: the opening band for the North American leg of the tour is Fiction Plane (who once labored under the apallingly horrid name Santa's Boyfriend). The leader of this group is one Joe Sumner, who just so happens to be the son of Sting. Let's hear it for nepotism! Guess Arcade Fire don't get all the aging rock star endorsements...



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Temperature? I was ridden with the plague & I still made it out--suck it up old man! :)

I love that Mark Fry track; I definitely will be picking up that album ASAP--thanks!

And thanks as well for posting to my review of the Sun Circle/Wind-Up Bird show. I lost my site counter when I upgraded my blog software and I've been wondering if anyone still visits anymore.


Yeah, the cat's outta the bag, if it ever it was in: I don't like VT winters. They're rough on my old man bones.

Mark Fry is definitely some airy-faery goodness, fo sho.

I visit your blog every damn day, dude — often up to and/or exceeding five times! In fact, I'm heading there right now!


Awww, shucks.... **blushes**

I wasn't sure if I was getting five hits a week at this point; guess I better keep it going!

So here's a question--what's going on at Higher Ground? I had been so disillusioned with their booking decisions for awhile, and suddenly it's like someone discovered the Pazz and Jop poll and had a life-changing experience. Is someone new handling the booking there or are outside influences at play? Inquiring minds want to know....


I don't have the direct mindlink to the HG hive, but I do have a few pet theories as to why this happens.

To my understanding, those who book/influence the booking at HG are definitely interested in indie-rock, experimental and other, non-jam musics. But at a certain time of the year (ie: when the college students return) they typically shift towards stuff that they know will put asses in the building. This is akin to squirrels hoarding nuts before a long winter; all local businesses seem to practice a form of this.

Then, once it gets really brutal outside, things kind of slow down on all fronts. It's tough to motivate folks to leave their houses on nights when it's below freezing — I'm certainly no exception, and it's part of my job. The shows reach their lowest ebb around the holidays. They'll continue to pick up from now 'til spring.

At that time, a lot more bands will start touring more heavily, which increases the lot from which to pick. It still takes convincing to bring some bands up here, especially if they're percieved to be on a fast track. It's better for them to saturate major markets at that point. If it weren't for Montreal, we'd likely be dead in the water.

Vermont is weird in general... the perception is we're ruled by jam, and to be honest, we are one of the more reliable markets for touring acts of that ilk. But it's been demonstrated that there is an audience for other stuff; it's just more difficult to predict turnout. I think HG is doing the best they can considering all of the variables. They bring in metal, comedy and mainstream country, too — all performance genres that can easily be overlooked in a town this small. So I say, be psyched when something you like comes to their club. The best way to ensure it keeps happening is by attending the show.


Excellent theory Casey, and I think you're dead on. It's hard enough for a music venue like Higher Ground to stay in business in small area like Burlington, and damn near impossible if they were only catering to specialized tastes. Martin Scorcese had a quote about filmmaking that said (to paraphrase) you have to make an entertaining movie & try your best to sneak the art in. This is what I see Higher Ground doing--catering to the popular taste & then booking some more challenging acts that might not bring in as much revenue.

I also agree with your theory on seasons--not only do more people go out to shows in the summertime, a lot of people tend to enjoy more introspective music in the winter and fun, jump-around kind of music when the seasonal depression wears off. So again, it makes since that we would be seeing more experimental bands making an appearance at HG now.

But even still, it seems like the next few months has more indie/experimental/whatever talent compressed into it than I have seen at HG over the past couple of years combined. It definitely seems like something is going on there, whether it be newly enlightened staff, new inputs or just a good year revenue-wise so they figured, what the heck, let's give some people a treat. Either way, I'm just happy to have it while it lasts!


Well, in the few years that I've been at this post I've witnessed some surprising acts come through HG: Antony & The Johnsons, Brightblack Morning Light and The Books are among the first that come to mind. Then again, it seems like moe. and G. Love are here at least a couple times a year. But they also had Wolf Parade, Wolf Eyes, Of Montreal and Deerhoof. And, love 'em or not (me = not) this is CYHSY's second HG appearance.

So I dunno.


Point well taken! It just seems like The Books didn't perform until well after the initial glowing reviews of "Lemon of Pink" appeared, and same with CYHSY. I guess to me it's not so much the shock of the talent, it's that there's so much in a short time period & they're such timely bookings--right after some major critical recognition and/or album releases for Clipse, Deerhoof, CYHSY, Akron/Family (fingers crossed), etc.

It's just so seldom that I get into a band and just weeks or months later they're playing at Higher Ground. I feel like I'm living in NYC only without the traffic, high rent & revival movie houses :)


casey you missed the gong bath dude....

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