MORE BLOGS: Blurt | Stuck in VT | Mistress Maeve

Seven Days Blogs: Solid State Music Blog

« March 2010 | Main | May 2010 »

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Heloise & the Champlain Valley Faire

This just in from the good folks over at Higher Ground, who announced a slew of interesting summer shows this morning. In chronological order, they are:

Wednesday, July 28: The Swell Season at the Flynn MainStage. Oscar-winning folk-pop collaboration between The Frames front man Glen Hansard and Czech pianist Markéta Irglová.

Thursday, July 29: Primus, Gogol Bordello and Heloise & the Savoir Faire at the Champlain Valley Expo's Midway Lawn. Do you really need me to tell you who Primus are? Out of curiosity, I wonder when the last time Burlington ex-pats Heloise Williams and Eugene Hutz were on the same bill? Viperhouse and The Fags had to have played together at some point, right?

And rounding out this summer's Lake Champlain Maritime Festival:

Thursday, August 12: MGMT at Burlington's Waterfront Park. MGMT are the proud owners of the single most divisive album of 2010, Congratulations. You're either for it, or agin' it. There simply is no in between. 

Sunday, August 15: Dark Star Orchestra at Burlington's Waterfront Park. If you didn't know that DSO are a hugely popular Grateful Dead tribute band, you must be new to town. Welcome.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why I Love The Low Anthem, Reason #356

Have I mentioned they'll be at Bethany Church in Montpelier tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Video: The Cush, "The Deer and the Owl"

For whatever reason, new records, DVDs and other assorted types of consumer-friendly media traditionally come out on Tuesdays. Why? I don't know. That's just how it has always been and always will be, forever and ever, amen. This year, April 20 (a.k.a. 4/20 … dude) happens to fall on a Tuesday, a cosmic coincidence/mathematical inevitability that is marketing gold for, say, folks like local rapper BURNTmd who releases his new, ahem, joint today, Let's Get Ill. Or for Toots and the Maytals, who digitally release their spliffy new record, Flip & Twist. Or for Phish. In 3D. Sigh …

Anyway, because April 20 has such a doobie-ous stigma (see what I did there?), it unfortunately casts a heady haze over anything released today, coincidentally or not. Like the new Plants and Animals record. Or AC/DC's Iron Man 2 soundtrack. Or the new Willie Nelson rec … oh, right. Or the new live Grateful Dead album from RFK Stad … um, where was I? Ah yes, new music.

Soon to be Burlington ex-pats The Cush "officially" release their new record Between the Leaves today. I use quotes there because Vermonters have been enjoying the album since December. Still, it's nice that the rest of the world will finally have the opportunity to discover the latest work from one of the finest bands to ever call the Green Mountains home. Even if the rest of the world is probably high today. Or maybe especially if they're high. Moving on …

In celebration of the album, The Cush have released a new video for "The Deer and the Owl," directed by Burlington's Arthur Bell. And much like the song — which sounds like what might happen if Mojave 3's Neil Halstead fronted Mazzy Star — the vid is pretty awesome, even if you're stone cold sober. Enjoy.



Monday, April 19, 2010

Get Down

This just in from our fine friends at The Monkey House: Portland, Maine's Lady Lamb the Beekeeper has been added to tonight's bill with headliners Thao with the Get Down Stay Down and local outfit Whales and Wolves. This is cool for two reasons.

One: as Monkey booking dude Paddy Reagan puts it, "[Lady Lamb the Beekeeper is] the best thing Portland has going on, and they have some good shit going on." Duly noted.

And two: our research department has yet to confirm it, but this show may represent the highest concentration of inexplicably named bands in Winooski at one specific moment in time.

Anyway, while we look into that, enjoy these videos from Thao and Co.

Friday, April 16, 2010

For the Records

In case you hadn't heard, tomorrow (Saturday) is Record Store Day. And just what the hell is that? Glad you asked!

A "record store" — a.k.a. Ye Olde Musique Shoppe — is where people used to purchase their music before Steve Jobs made most physical platforms for listening to recorded music, such as CDs, 8-track cassette tapes and wax cylinders, obsolete. Reco …

What's that? Oh, you meant what the hell is Record Store Day. My bad.

Record Store Day is a pretty awesome celebration of independent record stores, which, in case you hadn't heard, have been in a pretty bad way since, well … since the advent of the iPod. Literally thousands of indie record shops around the country have closed in recent years as music consumers focus their attention (and money) toward online marketplaces such as iTunes. And, of course, just straight up ripping shit off. Ah, the glorious time of enlightenment that is the Internet age!

Despite the hard times facing the industry, in certain pockets of the country record stores are actually thriving. Or, at least not completely going belly up. One of those pockets is Burlington, where not only have two longstanding shops (Pure Pop and Downtown Discs) weathered the storm, a third store, Burlington Records, actually opened its doors last year. Even more amazingly, said doors stayed open. Although in fairness, BR's sister store, Riverwalk Records in Montpelier, was consolidated into the Burlington location last May. Still, how many new stores do you think opened nationwide last year?

(Answer: I dunno. But not many, dammit. And if anyone else did open one, they must have read this article that, amazingly, exists. Ah, the Internet!)

Anyway, the point is that Record Store Day is an international holiday of sorts, dedicated to celebrating those bold few indie shops who have managed to survive, despite all reasonable odds to the contrary. And it's a lot of fun. Nationwide, scads of new and special releases are planned to coincide with the day. Most stores will host special in-store performances as well.

In the 05401 — I call it that now — Burlington Records will feature live DJ sets from the crew at my alma mater, The Lab. Meanwhile, the old purple lady, Pure Pop, will host Grace Potter and (a few of) the Nocturnals. They'll give an acoustic performance in addition to signing copies of a new live EP available only on Record Store Day. Nifty.

For more on Record Store Day, we turn now to our chief gypsy-punk correspondent, Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello, in this video that I totally sniped from the Pure Pop website — which you should check out for more specifics about RSD. Eugene …

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On a Bender

Welcome to yet another installment of "I Heart the Monkey House." Today's episode is brought to you by local indie promoters MSR Presents , PBR tallboys and San Fran indie outfit The Morning Benders, whom I heart almost as much as the Monkey. Maybe more. But I'm certainly not the only one.

The MBs' latest album Big Echo, is blog geek tested and Pitchfork approved. The ensuing buzz has landed the band high profile gigs a-plenty, including summer fests such as Lollapalooza in Chicago and Osheaga in Montreal. On their current tour, they are playing a number of impressive, name-droppable venues, including a pair of sold-out shows at NYC's Mercury Lounge, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Chicago's Vic Theater and the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, OR.

Oh … and The Monkey House this Friday.

In tandem with the Osheaga announcement today, the band released a video for "Promises," from Big Echo. Here it is in all its deliciously hazy Cali pop glory. Enjoy. And if you like that, try this on for size.

PS- Happy Jackie Robinson Day.

PPS- Happy Tax Day?

PPPS- Happy Birthday, Tyler! 30 is the new 21, little brother.


the morning benders | MySpace Music Videos

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tall Tales

In all of my excitement over how silly good the Monkey House calendar is in today's column, I forgot to mention that the Nuclear Power Pants show scheduled for tonight at 242 Main has been moved to the North End Studio. Spread the word.

Now, back to fawning over the Monkey.

I've already written a decent amount about why I'm into The Tallest Man on Earth, who is playing Thursday. So instead of filling your head with more music crit gobbledygook, I figured I'd just show you why you might wanna make the trek into the 'noosk tomorrow night. Here's a clip of TTMOE's episode of The Take Away Shows on La Blogotheque. Dig it.

Tallest Man on Earth - The Gardener - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cult of Personality

VOCColdHumThis just in from local rockers Vultures of Cult: their long awaited stoner rock opera — yes, you read that correctly — is finally finished and ready for public consumption. It is available for free download through the VOC's Bandcamp site. The record, Cold Hum, was supposed to have been released last December. It was also supposed to have been, well, a record, released on 12-inch vinyl. So, what the hell happened?

Long story short, the band's ADAT machine ate the tape containing all the guitar and vocal tracks during mastering. What VOC has released is essentially what they could salvage. Or as they describe it: a master made from a cassette tape. You can read the entire sordid tale at the aforementioned Bandcamp page.

VOC concede that this version is not what they had hoped to unleash. But they are also adamant that it still rawks. And based on what I've heard, I'm inclined to agree. Here's a track from the record called "The Getting Place." Somewhere, Layne Staley is smiling.


Friday, April 09, 2010

Pixel Dust

Ever wonder what would happen if Michael Bay did mushrooms while playing Atari?

Uploaded by onemoreprod. - Watch original web videos.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

It Begins. A First Look at Jazz Fest 2010

Though climatologists, meteorologists, and other assorted and sundry smart people may disagree, it ain't spring in Burlington until the lineup for that summer's Discover Jazz Fest is announced. At their annual press conference/ice cream social — yes, really — earlier this afternoon, the fine folks from the BDJF did just that, unveiling what looks to be an impressive and stylistically varied slate of talent.

Flynn MainStage highlights include jazz trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval (6/4), sax legend Sonny Rollins (6/12) and guitar god Jim Hall (6/11). Speaking of Hall, in addition to his own performance, he'll join Rollins to reprise their collaboration on the 1962 classic The Bridge. BTW, did you realize that Rollins is 80 years old? True story.

Notable FlynnSpace performances include The Tomaz Stanko Quintet (6/7), violinist Jason Kao Hwang (6/10) and Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza (6/9). In his description of the last performer, Flynn artistic director Arnie Malina suggested her blend of Bossa Nova and scat vocals evoke more powerful emotions than Ella Fitzgerald. Yeah … um, settle down, Arnie. Hyperbole aside, Souza really is a striking singer. Check it out …

Proving that "jazz" truly is in the ear of the beholder, this year's fest takes unprecedented liberty with the definition of the term. As usual, the Waterfront Tent will serve up not-explicitly-jazzy fare, including reggae (The Wailing Souls, The Itals, and Easy Star All-Stars, 6/12) as well as gospel, funk and R&B (Sharon Jones, 6/10 … woo hoo!). But how Levon Helm (6/13, Flynn MainStage) falls under the ever-widening umbrella of jazz is an argument I'd love to hear. Actually, screw it. I don't want to hear it. Let's just be psyched Levon freakin' Helm is playing in Burlington.

Anyway, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There is a ton of music not mentioned here that we'll get into in coming weeks. For now though, you can check the rest of the lineup here. And there will be even more good stuff announced soon. But there are two stories surrounding the 2010 Burlington Discover Jazz Fest that trump even the names on the Flynn marquee.

The first is that the memorial statue to iconic Burlington saxophonist, vocalist and bandleader Big Joe Burrell is (finally) completed and will be unveiled on the festival's opening afternoon at the Fountain Stage on the top block of Church Street. The second is that the annual Gospel throwdown on the fest's closing Sunday (6/14) will serve as a tribute to the late, great Sandra Wright, who passed away earlier this year. The City Hall Stage show will feature the Sandra Wright Band and plenty of special guests. Just throwin' this out there, but maybe Big Joe could use a pal a couple of blocks up the street …

And by the way, tickets are on sale right … about … now!

No VT Yankee? No Problem!

This just in: Nuclear Power Pants are playing 242 Main next Wednesday (4/14) with fellow Baltimore/Wham City outfit Height and local experimental songwriter tooth ache. Unfortunately, word of this show didn't come along in time for me to work a mention into my column this week. But judging by this video for NPP's "Got Soul, Need Body," it should be a interesting night at 242, to say the least.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010


As I've pointed out at least a couple of times now, Tuesday night pre-Honky Tonk at Radio Bean has become an interesting time slot to keep an eye on. Whether it's a month-long residency by folks like Jamie Masefield and Doug Perkins, or bigger touring acts with a night to kill, such as Christabel and the Jons or The Daredevil Christopher Wright, for some reason it seems there is always something cool going on at the Bean on Tuesdays at 8:30, week in and week out.

Tonight it's a San Fran freak-folk singer calling himself Plastic Fantastic Lover, aka Chris Jeffries, who apparently moonlights as a member of VT ex-pats The Jugtown Pirates (formerly of Lake Champlain). Small world. Anyway, here's a clip of the apparent Jefferson Airplane fan doing his thing. Enjoy.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Live Like a Refugee

Sierra Leone's Refugee Allstars are in town this week, preparing for their upcoming US tour, which begins at Higher Ground on Wednesday. The band, touring behind a new album, Rise and Shine — their first for Charlotte label Cumbancha — will make a special appearance at UVM's Ira Allen Chapel on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. They'll be showing clips from the award-winning 2005 documentary film about the band (trailer below) as well as answering questions about their lives, their story and, of course, their music.  

Recent Comments

Blurt (7D Staff)

Stuck in VT (VIDEOS)

Mistress Maeve (Sex)

All Rights Reserved © SEVEN DAYS 1995-2010 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802.864.5684