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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just Because …

New Video: The Vacant Lots, "Let Me Out"

This just in from The Vacant Lots: A brand spankin' new video for "Let Me Out," a tune from their excellent sophomore album According to the Gospel, which was released earlier this summer. The vid was directed and produced by local high school student/filmmaker Graham Raubvogel. Thanks to Eva Sollberger for posting this to Facebook, which is where I first came across it. Enjoy.


Let Me Out from Graham Raubvogel on Vimeo.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Showtalkers: Douchebaggery Captured for Eternity

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this blog before, but I'm rather enamored with I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, run by Denver resident Heather Browne. In addition to having pretty similar tastes, we also share a borderline unhealthy affinity for the late, great Jeff Buckley.

Unbeknownst to me — or maybe I just forgot — November 17 was Jeff's birthday. So in honor of what would have been his 43rd, Browne posted a bootleg of an acoustic performance Buckley gave in Berkeley's Sproul Plaza in 1995. And it is, predictably, really good. Except for one minor detail: the fucking showtalkers gabbing through the first 4 minutes of the recording.

Now, I received a number of emails following last week's column rant about showtalkers at a recent Blind Pilot show, many of which suggested I give up my crusade to curb the obnoxious phenomenon. Not because they disagree, mind you. Rather that it is simply a losing cause. And frankly, those folks are probably right. But will I stop? Not a chance. And this is why.

Listen to the show and a take a moment to think about the long-term implications. Here we have two dudes, probably good people, just having a friendly conversation while checking out a show. Seems fairly innocent, right? How could they possibly have known they would single-handedly ruin the beginning of an exceedingly rare live acoustic recording of one of the most tragically iconic singers of the last 25 years? (And yes, we could debate Buckley's place in the pantheon of dead rock stars. But that's a discussion for another time. For the sake of argument, just agree with me for now, OK?)

This recording was made in May of 1995, one year after Grace was released and two years prior to Buckley's death. In other words, he was still a relative unknown at this point in his career, or at least far from the legend he has become posthumously. So as far as these guys knew, they were just catching a good show by a talented up-and-coming songwriter on a lovely day in San Francisco. Kind of like how two weekends ago at the Showcase Lounge, about 150 of us were just catching a good show by a talented up-and-coming band.

See where I'm going with this?

The point is that you never know. Will Blind Pilot ascend to mythical rock and roll status? Honestly, I doubt it. But hey, it's possible (ish). What's even more possible is that someday 15 years from now, someone for whom the band profoundly resonated — as Jeff Buckley does for me — might stumble across a bottlegged recording of that show, or one just like it, and have the first three songs ruined by some asshole in a Phillies hat.

So listen to the first four minutes of that Jeff Buckley recording. Annoying as all hell isn't it? Think about that the next time you're out at show and about to engage in a conversation that absolutely, positively just can't wait, and ask yourself if you really want to be that guy. The guy who ruined a great show for all eternity. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Canceled: The Monkey House, Apparently

This just in: My Dearest Darling's CD release party at the Monkey House this Friday is a late scratch from the weekend's entertainment docket. What's worse, Middle Distance Runner has apparently canceled their Thursday night appearance at everyone's favorite Little Williamsburgh hot spot as well.

These two cancellations lead me to wonder if I'm developing something akin to the "Madden Curse." For the non-sports inclined, this refers to the not-as-ridiculous-as-it-sounds notion that the NFL star featured on the cover of that year's Madden football video game is doomed to be seriously injured that season. You'd be surprised how eerily prescient this superstition has become. Just ask any Steelers fan.

Anyway, this week I spotlighted MDR, and mentioned MDD's release show in my column. Less than 12 hours after this week's issue hit newsstands … poof! Both shows went up in smoke. Are we witnessing the birth of the Bolles Curse? (Cue creepy music and a crash of thunder.)

The MDD release party will now be held on Thursday, December 10 at Nectar's with support from Villanelles. To tide you over until then, here's another cut from the band's forthcoming album called "Secrets." Enjoy.

Finger Follies

I am almost embarrassed that I find this as funny as I do. But if you're having the kind of day where you just need a (really) cheap laugh — as I am — just click here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Music Blog Alert! See Ya in the Pit

This just in from our old pal, Brad Barratt:

Brad Barratt by Jordan SilvermanBarratt, a.k.a. "the Humble Janitor," has recently launched a new music blog called See Ya in the Pit. The blog runs in tandem — sort of — with his weekly WRUV radio show, "Janitors From Mars," which airs Saturday nights at 10 p.m.

As you may remember from a story I wrote about Brad a few months ago, he's a hardcore, punk and ska aficionado. And as evidenced by his impeccable taste — and now, his informed bloggerly musings — dude really knows his stuff. Oh, and did I mention Brad is deaf?

Welcome to the blogosphere, Brad!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mimicking Videos

Tomrrow's paper features an almost unhealthy amount of love for Friday's Blind Pilot show at the HG Showcase Lounge. What can I say? I'm excited. In addition to running an interview with BP co-founder/drummer Ryan Dobrowski, I decided to lead my column with a bit about one of the opening acts, Laura Viers and the Hall of Flames. You may remember them as the band who opened for — and by more than a few accounts, upstaged — The Decemberists at the Flynn in September.

Anyway, in my excitement about those two groups, I fear I may have overlooked the other supporting act, Portland, Oregon's Mimicking Birds. That, it appears, was a mistake.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any live footage high quality enough to be worth your time, so the attached vid is one of those weird "unofficial" music videos making the rounds on YouTube — presumably made by folks with iMovie and way too much time on their hands. But the song is great. And if you're feeling spacey and/or really high, the "visuals" are actually kind of cool. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Just a couple of notes to pass along about this weekend's live music shenanigans that didn't make this week's print edition.

First up, for some reason tonight's shows at Metronome and Nectar's were omitted from the paper. Not sure why, cuz I distinctly recall entering them into the system and thinking, "Oooh. Cool local show at Nectar's!" and "Hey! Local support for a big regional band!" Effin' technology.

Anyway, Nectar's plays host to three of my personal local favorites this evening: The Vacant Lots, Lendway and Barbacoa. Show starts at 9 p.m. Meanwhile, upstairs at the 'Nome, we have electro-rock outfit The Indobox and local jam torchbearers Greyspoke. Rock and/or roll.

Next up is a show that wasn't listed because no one told me it was happening until after deadline. Still, it should be a good one, and it's happening in one of the more interesting venues in town, Muddy Waters. Saturday night local ska-punk hooligans Husbands AKA take the stage with The Flood (aka Patrick Brownson) and Boston's You Can Be Wesley, who friggin' rock (and also recorded their last album with our old pal Jeremy from Pretty & Nice). Here's a vid from Wesley, whom apparently, you can be. Oh, and this show is free.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Jazz Guys: They Rock, You Decide

A couple of a weeks ago, Burlington's crown princes of pop, The Jazz Guys, took the local interwebs community by storm with a great cover and video of "Single Ladies," the recent chart scorcher by pop diva Beyoncé. If you haven't seen it yet — or simply wish to relive the glory — here it is again.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my SoundBites column two weeks ago, they are itchin' to get back into the studio and do it all again. The only hitch: they need your help to figure out which song they should lampoon next. Decisions, decisions.

Below is a list of five songs the band is currently considering. Take a look, cast your vote and in a couple of weeks, The JGs promise to rock our worlds yet again with another funny tune — and maybe a copyright infringement lawsuit.


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