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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pants on Fire!

Good morning, Solid State!

Last week, I hinted at an upcoming post about my pants, but due to some pesky time constraints, said post never materialized. Red Sox - Yankees game at Fenway, orrrrrrr blog post? Hmmmm . . . The blog's gonna lose that one every time — even with a 5 run lead in the eighth . . . sigh.

Anyway, I returned safe and sound from Boston — though slightly bruised and battered from witnessing the worst Red Sox game of the year — and now that I've shaken off the cobwebs, let's get down to it.

You've probably heard about Bill Simmon's upcoming projects involving late local rock icons iThe Pants!. If you haven't, here's the synopsis:

A little over a year ago, Tommy Law, Pistol Stamen, Hutch and Tad Cautious reunited for a one-night-only blow-out at the Higher Ground Ballroom. The crown princes of  Burlington's alt-rock renaissance rocked like it was Club Toast in 1996, enthralling a room full of aging hipsters eager for a nostalgic romp down memory lane. Or so I'm told. You see, I wasn't there.

That same day happened to be my grandmother's funeral in Jamestown, Rhode Island.

Aside from the obvious emotional distress, the real added insult to injury was missing the only band reunion I've ever been truly excited about — though The Pixies and Big Star had their appeal, I must admit.

I've written this before, but The Pants were hugely important in my formative years, and Tom Lawson's songwriting is directly responsible for my decision to pursue music as a youngster and beyond. Whether he knows that — or cares — is kind of irrelevant. But it's the truth.

I was a Pants superfan starting at age 15, eagerly devouring anything Pants-related I could get my hands on — I still have an over-sized Pants T-shirt. I even joined the prom committee during my Junior year of high school to recruit the band to play at my prom. They did. It rocked. And half of CVU's student body wanted my head on a stake. Good times.

But back to Bill Simmon. The Candleboy is producing a pair of DVD projects centered on the reunion. One is a concert film; The other a documentary retrospective on the band and the impact they had on Burlington's music community.

In the concert film, there's a scene in which Neil Cleary  — more on him in tomorrow's paper — relays a message to the band, sent by my sister, Ariel, that my siblings and I had done a version of the classic Pants ballad "Wounded (You're So Fine)" at my grandmother's wake — we're Irish, so drinking and singing is a big part of any family gathering, especially the sad ones.

We performed the song in tribute to a band that we all loved, out of remorse for missing the show. In our weaker moments, each of us toyed with the idea of trying to make it back to Burlington in time to catch it — and I'm honestly not so sure my grandmother wouldn't have approved. But obviously, we stayed.

Flash forward to this year. I met Bill at the Seven Daysies awards party and he proposed the idea of The Bolles Family Singers recording our version of "Wounded" to be included in the documentary. Flabbergasted and more than a little flattered, I eagerly accepted without consulting Ari or Tyler. Honestly, I would have done it solo, if I'd had to — thank God I didn't.

A few weeks ago —  after no small degree of schedule wrangling and a hastily abbreviated practice session — we descended on Egan Media and recorded the song that served as the soundtrack to all of my romantic follies from age 16 to, well, now. It was surreal, to say the least.

We recorded it live, with acoustic guitar, upright bass and banjo and had to drop the key a whole step — my range ain't quite what it used to be, and I've always had trouble matching Tom's tenor. But it sounded good. Really good.

I think.

Tyler and Ari and I don't have as many opportunities to play together as we used to, and to be able to reunite to show our appreciation for a band that — in very different ways — meant so much to each of us at various points in our lives was an honor.

I'm not sure when the finished product will be available, but when I know, so will you. In the mean time, you can keep an eye out over at Candleblog — which you should anyway. It's really good.

So that's it. You got into my pants. And after only only 4 months, you sly dogs.


the le duo

great post! the pants reunion was a great show- and from what i've seen of the two movies they look good as well. i was just a teenager living in northern vt when the pants were in their heyday, but i used to read all about there goings on in a local music column in the burlington free press' weekend section, written by a guy named steve lemke. that column was great and kept me abreast of the local scene at a time when a trip to burlington was an epic affair. now there are blogs and seven days and the free press can go to hell!


Ummm ...

Just to clarify, do you mean: "now there are blogs and Seven Days, and the Free Press can go to hell?" Or, do you mean: "now there are blogs, and Seven Days and the Free Press can go to hell?"

I don't mind if you want Seven Days to go to hell — I'm well on my way there anyway. Just checking, really. Glad you liked the post!

All shall kneel before the awesome power of comma placement!


Also, I left my copy of "Elements of Style" at home, but when quoting someone as part of a question, does the punctuation — in this case the question mark — still go inside the quotation marks?

In other words, should I have written "'. . . can go to hell.'?"? . . . Arrrgh, there it is again!

I should have paid more attention in sophomore year English.


Great story, Dan. Like you, I couldn't make it back up to the Pants reunion (although for an infinitely less important reason), so I'm obviously looking forward to both of Bill's films (and not just 'cuz I might be in one). Reading about your recording of "Wounded" (yeah, one of their best songs, hands down) just upped my anticipation. Perhaps there'll be an mp3 of it available when the documentary comes out, hmmm? ;)

(pardon my blatant over-use of parenthesis)

the le duo

i meant 'now there are blogs and the seven days, and the free press can go to hell' meaning the free press is junk, seven days is cool...


Ahhhh . . . I figured as much. ;-)

Hey Brad, do you ever hear from Matt Hutton? I didn't really know him when he was in Envy, but they were one of my favorite bands — local or otherwise — back in the day.

I received a nice e-mail from him a few weeks ago with a link to his new group, Birdwatchers of America. Good stuff.

Here's their My Space address:

Anyone else think an Envy reunion would kick ass? Maybe there should just be 1990s reunion show with Envy, Wide Wail, The Madelines, Guppyboy, Construction Joe, Snowplow and whoever the hell else we can find. Calling Andrew Smith . . .


Yeah, if there were ever a guy to make that happen, it would be Andrew Smith. It would indeed be an epic undertaking. Another possible candidate might be Jim Lockridge, as Big Heavy World seems to still be kickin'. exxxciting!


Yeah, I was at that game too. That was the suckiest game that ever sucked.


Hurry up, bill! We're waiting! Dan, details on the near CVU lynching, Please.

We probably passed each other on I-95 that weekend heading to/from RI.

What is Lemke up to, anyway?

How about a Fags reunion show? I'd like to see colorblind, the champions and 12 times over open, myself. All of whose members are scattered to the four winds long ago. Maybe never only once or "slush" is available.


Rocketsled would be my vote for a reunion show. It could be a good way to lure Casey back here!

JB I agree on the Freeps...... however Hallenbeck is a solid dude.


Yeah, I run into Matt H. around town every once in awhile, last saw him (with Sean T.) at a Clientele show a couple months back. I caught Sean doing a solo set earlier this year in Cambridge and it was ace. Real glad Matt's making music again as well...


The CVU lynching, eh?

There were some shenanigans involved in convincing the rest of the class council to go along with The Pants playing as most folks wanted the standard Supersounds DJ crap — what's. With the aid of my good friend, Jon Murray — as in Stuckey & Murray from some of the videos I've posted recently — I was able to hoodwink the powers that were. Let's just say that Diebold has nothing on me.

I'm not sure I can go into too much detail about the prom itself as much of this story may be part of an accompanying interview on the DVD, but I can say that the hockey team had some choice words for Mr. Lawson and myself. I believe the term "Art Fag" may have been used. So clever.

While we're strolling down memory lane, I would love to see Jesus Nut, preferably at 242 — Aaron Carpenter is also a CVU alum, as was Tom Lawson.

Maybe we could have a whole festival! Jesus Nut, 12 Times Over and Slush at 242. Envy, The Madelines and Guppyboy at Second Floor/Toast, Famous Potato, Construction Joe and Invisible Jet at Metronome and Phish at Nect . . . um, maybe we'll have to think about Nectars.


"Art fag." Classic. Bet you missed some good cow tippin' later that night.

Rocketsled! That's a good one.

12 times over - MIA - Chris Munez (spelling?). AKA - "Osbourne"

It's a festival!

Maybe you shoud get Belizbeha to play outside at red square.

Don't forget the geezers. Someone ring up Pinhead, the decentz, the wards and Black hairy tongue.

Where in the world is Aaron Carpenter?


Man, I would lay down some seriously tall dollars to see a Black Hairy Tongue one-night reunion.



I second Jesus Nut...I think I'll go listen to "What Mr. Miyagi Taught Me" right now. Then "Pills of Patience." In fact, I think there's a Rocketsled song on the same Split single 7"....there goes my afternoon.
Here's a fun trip down late-nineties-memory-lane:
Dan, do you still have that "best dressed band" Skamaphrodites poster?
You should scan that for the archives.


Yes, indeed, Rocketsled's on that one, too. We saved the best split for last, obvs. Here, everyone, join Tyler in a slice of his nostalgicism:

You've got me motivated to upload the other two songs on there, too. Hell, I should just do a whole post with every single split track.

(and yes, I know nostalgicism isn't a word. how about nostalgiasm? nostalgiasticity? nevermind.)


Geez, Ty. I'm not sure. I might actually have the original kickin' around somewhere . . . If I find it, I'll scan it in.

The Wards are still playing. They recently had a show at JP's — yes, THAT JP's.

I think Black Hairy Tongue may have been before my time, though.

And I believe it's "nostalgiosity."


I picked up the Split Records "Burlington Box Set" of all(?) 6 Split 7" at Pure Pop a few years was only $12, I think. I considered it a pretty good find. Nostalgiorific.


I'm sorry "JP's" just isn't "JP's" anymore. Its a college bar now. No good 'necker bars in burlington anymore.


That is sad but true. I'm afraid the same fate has befallen my beloved OP as well. And when the hell did Esox become New Williamsburg? If I see one more Urban Outfitters Misfits T-shirt . . .

However, for true necker dives, The Old Northender is still reliably seedy, as is my old neighborhood haunt, Franny O's. If it's a cock-rock cover band you seek, accept no substitutes — but bring a DD.


Yeah, I still get to the OP when I get home. Buck Shepard still swingin' drinks there. It has changed alot, though.

Miss drinkin' beers behind the teen center. Gettin' old, I guess.

Chicken Bone, Alley Cats, T Ruggs, RIP!

Yeah, what the hell happned to Esox? Every time I go home there's a line out the door! A CAN of beer is almost $4. That's just not right.


The most important question is: Does the OP still have pinball, and if so, which ones? I was all about Cyclone back in the day.

I'll be up in Burlington this weekend for the first time in ages... and suddenly I'm feeling the pull of the ol' OP.

bill simmon

Screaming. Fucking. Broccoli.

With the Hollywood Indians and Commodity Fetish opening.

Let's bury Bob!


I used to work with Bob Parker from the Ward's, he's a cool unit. They do a Christmas show every year and its a spagehetti dinner even. They had, I believe twelve bands playing for a price less than a trip to Boves at the Burlington VFW last year. Not sure where it is this year though. I admit I had not heard the wards play, but I still laugh about when I met Bob. We were talking about playing guitar and I mentioned I was getting into crafting electronic music and Bob says, "yeah, I've been really getting into playing death metal" Holy shit Batman! Also, I'm glad to see FSE is back around. Although I've been a bit out of the loop lately and have not heard a whole hell of a lot of new music in town, I still think Null is the best album to come out of B-town.


5SE, sorry its late....

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