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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Wooden Dinosaur: Live @ Iron Horse

In an effort to get a jump on 2010 year-end round-up stuff — yeah, it's really time to start thinking about it — I've recently begun sifting through reviews and records, trying to compile my local favorites from the year that (almost) was. It's actually been surprisingly fun to rediscover albums that I dug at the time, but have receded from memory in the unending Sisyphean grind that is the newspaper bidniss — you're eternally on to the next thing almost as soon as you've finished the last. 

One such record in which I've thoroughly enjoyed re-immersing myself is Nearly Lost Stars from Brattleboro's Wooden Dinosaur. It's a marvelous effort, showcasing a truly lovely duo, Michael Roberts and Katie Trautz. It features a broad array of stylistic influences, all filtered through Roberts' unique folk lens. In other words, I really, really like it.

Anyway, Trautz was kind enough to send along links to videos from a recent Halloween show at Iron Horse in Northampton. MA. Here's my favorite of the bunch, "Paper Cars."


Friday, October 22, 2010

CMJ Day 3.5: If We Are Trees Fall at CMJ and No One But Drunk People Hear …

It took me three days, but I finally figured out who the mystery band was that opened for Das Racist on Tuesday night. It was a Virginia Beach-based outfit called We Are Trees. And I heart them. They don't have much available online, save for an EP on Bandcamp. But here's a track I found on YouTube. Enjoy!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

CMJ Day 3: The Uke's On Me

So it seems not everything at CMJ is as totally rad as I may have been led to believe following my stellar first night on the town. Who knew?

I began the evening at a Press Mixer at a swanky hotel on the Lower East Side, figuring free booze and food would help bandage my hemorrhaging wallet, at least temporarily. However, what I failed to remember was just how much I despise social mixers, gladhanding and pretending I give a shit about who you are, where you're from and what big name band you just interviewed. Blech.

I left after about 30 minutes and bounced around from club to club, with very little to show for it, I'm afraid. I don't know if the rock gods were simply conspiring against me last night or what, but it seemed as though every show I caught featured band after band even more forgettable than the last.

Cutting my losses, I decided to make my way uptown to Webster Hall a little early for Surfer Blood, who I've been dying to see for months. Unfortunately, I didn't go nearly early enough. On the chance that any of you folks reading this ever attend CMJ with any sort of press or artist credentials, here's a word to the wise. For most of the bigger shows, you can flash your badge to get in. However, they often limit the number of badgeholders they will allow in at one time. And once they reach capacity, it's a one-out, one-in scenario. So it was that I found myself waiting in line with about 50 other disgruntled rock critics whose badges were barely worth the plastic they were printed on. We're kind of a prickly bunch by nature. Knock us down a peg and tell us we're not as big a deal in NYC as we are in our hometowns … what a nightmare. I actually overheard a fairly well-known writer for a big deal music website say, "What the fuck? I write for (insert big deal website here), and they're telling me I can't get in? This is bullshit." (cough) Prick. (cough)

After not moving in line for about a half an hour, and growing increasingly annoyed by my pissy colleagues, I decided to leave, and trek all the way back down to the Canal Room, which was roughly 756 blocks from Webster Hall. I may be exaggerating the distance … slightly. Though I think I must have walked close to that many blocks before I realized that Broadway and West Broadway are two completely different streets … oops. 

Fortunately, I made it just in time to catch most of a set by my old friends Good Old War, who rocked a completely packed house. Those cats are good, and just keep getting better. So glad to see a truly talented young band find so much good fortune and success. It almost made the rest of the night worth it … almost.

On the docket for tonight … um, I'm not sure yet, actually. But I might go check out Neutral Uke Hotel, whom I only just discovered are not, in fact, Neutral Milk Hotel. One more word to the wise: read the CMJ guidebook very carefully, lest you too mistake the word "uke" for "milk" while skimming through it. Ahem. Anyway, here's a snippet. It's actually kinda cool. More tomorrow!



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CMJ Day 1: Hipster Disneyland

Greetings from New York City, Solid State!

Welcome to the first of several-if-and-when-I-have-time-and-computer-access posts from the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC. 

I arrived in NYC yesterday afternoon and had quite the introduction to this here city-wide hoedown. After depositing my belongings at a friend's apartment in Brooklyn, I made my way into the city to check in at the CMJ registrar where I was given my press credentials, a strange, multi-colored neon gift shoulder bag and a voluminous guidebook outlining anything and everything I might need or want to know about the showcase — which also makes me look like an idiot tourist every time I pull it out to figure out where I'm going and when I need to be there, which is often since, well, I'm kind of an idiot tourist this trip.

I loosely planned my attack over a beer or two while watching the Phillies-Giants game — at a Red Sox bar, of all places! With over 1200 bands and 50+ venues, trying to stick to a rigid itinerary at CMJ is foolish. Still, it's good to have a few landmark shows along the way to help structure all the wandering. My idea for last night, roughly, was to make my way from 14th Street to Piano's on Ludlow Street and swing through as many joints as I could en route to — drum roll, please! — Das Racist. Oh, hell yes. 

The first stop was an old favorite NYC haunt, the Lit Lounge. Crammed into the claustrophobic's nightmare that is the punk dive's basement, my virgin CMJ ears were gently broken by the strains of Israeli garage-pop outfit Izabo. Maybe it's only because they were my first band at CMJ, or maybe it's because their pretty merch girl gave me a free lighter, but I friggin' loved these guys. My notes from the show are a little cryptic, but here's my best shot at distilling them:

Narcoleptic psych-pop with a dramatic lead singer caught somewhere between the Velvet Underground, the Yardbirds and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Intricate arrangements and surprising melodic turns, bolstered by cleverly carefree backing vocals. Also, I have something written down about when a bartender asks if you're with a band, just say "yes." Sage advice.

The next group was an experimental avant rock duo, Dada Trash Collage. I imagine these cats might go over well with Aether Everywhere and Mars Pyramid folks. For me, they kind of bridged the divide between my love for catchy hooks and curiosity about crazy-as-fuck noise. The thing that often loses me about "experimental" or "other" music is a lack of something tangible to anchor my interest within the unwieldy maelstrom of sounds. DTC obliged by tackling fairly anthemic pop songs within the unpredictable constructs of an electronic noise band. But even amid all the sonic chicanery, they never lost sight of the song as the focus of their performance. Cool stuff.

I'll check in with more about the rest of the evening in a little while. But I'm running late to a panel discussion featuring CMJ Managing editor Michael Tedder, eMusic's Sean Fennessy (you got some 'splaining to do), SPIN's Charles Aaron, freelancer Maura Johnston and, a personal hero, Rob Harvilla from the Village Voice.    

In the meantime, here's a clip from possibly my favorite find last night, Lily & the Parlour Tricks, who'll actually be at 51 Main in Middlebury on November 6. Enjoy!

Lily & The Parlour Tricks - Vampire Love Song (live) from Gabriel on Vimeo.


Thursday, October 14, 2010


This is gonna be fun. Foxy Shazam, tonight at  the ’nome with Free Energy and a group with maybe my current favorite band name, Hollerado. Check it …  


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Got Dungen?

Get some tonight at the Monkey. In the meantime …


Kemado Records | MySpace Music Videos

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Cuckoo Birds

With (perhaps) the only Vermont performance of fabled proto-punkers Death tonight at Higher Ground, I've been on something of an early punk and rock and roll kick this week. Obviously, Death weren't the only band exploring the roots of what would eventually become punk rock in the early 1970s. There were others, including Rocket from the Tombs in Cleveland and Australia's the Saints — to name only a couple — both of whom got their starts roughly around the same time Death was blowing out garages in the Motor City, and a few years before the "official" advent of punk.

But the genre's roots can be traced even further back, to at least the mid-1960s — and earlier, if you want to get really particular. Below is a concert video from 1965 by a proto-proto-punk outfit comprised of American GIs station in Germany, the Monks. Rumor has it, they were among the first bands to explore the use of feedback. That's probably not true, though they may be among the first to do so with banjo. And they are almost certainly the first to do so with banjo, in Germany. So they've got that going for them, which is nice.

In any event, here's "Cuckoo," by the Monks, live in Germany. (Big thanks, to my brother, Tyler, for posting this sucker to Facebook yesterday!) Hope to see you all at HG tonight.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here?

Howdy, folks.

I'm kinda shocked I have never posted this before. But I have a nifty little story about the continuing rebirth of proto-punk band Death in tomorrow's paper (that includes a cameo from a VERY special guest). So before you read that — and hopefully catch the band at Higher Ground this Thursday — I thought you might be interested in this trailer for the documentary that local filmmaker Jeff Howlett is putting together about the band, Where Do We Go From Here???. Check it out — and, full disclosure, there's a good possibility yours truly will end up in the film in some fashion. Just thought you should know.

Also, if you read this before noon, do yourself a favor and drop by the band's press conference at 242 Main today, noon to 1 p.m.


Where Do We Go From Here??? Trailer from Howlermano on Vimeo.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No Vacancy

Aaaand we're back.

Sorry for the lack of activity in this humble little corner of the interwebs of late. What can I say? It's been an interesting week. But enough excuses already. Let's get down to business.

Agenda item number one is some nifty exposure for one of this writer's local favorites, the Vacant Lots. The duo was recently featured on a mixtape over at Altered Zones, Pitchfork Media's sister blog. The band got some love on the big site too. And a nice review of the track that appears on AZ's August mixtape, "Confusion." 

Here's the Pitchfork link to the mixtape. And here's the AZ review. Congrats, dudes.

In other news, the town seems fairly abuzz over tonight's full-band David Bazan show at Metronome. Count me squarely among those giddy masses. But also count me among those who will try like hell to make it to the 'nome on time (for once) to catch the evening's opening act, Omaha's the Mynabirds. Check 'em out.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Mike + Ruthy, "End of Time"

We're going to take a break from your regularly scheduled retro reminiscences, to focus on a current outfit, Mike + Ruthy, who will be rocking the weekly Bluegrass Thursdays series tonight at Nectar's.

I had a great conversation with guitarist/vocalist Mike Merenda a couple of days ago, which I had hoped to post here. Unfortunately, I won't have time to transcribe the whole thing. So I'll sit on that until they come back around. It'll be worth the wait, I promise.

However, at the end of our phoner, I asked Merenda to choose one song from the duo's new album, Million to One, as a personal favorite and why. Here's what he said, as well as the tune itself, "End of Time." 

"End of Time" is sort of the launching point for the whole record. Just from a sonic point of view, I feel it's where the entire record comes from. And from an emotional point, it means the most for me. I definitely tend to write from the ether, and I never know what's going to come on the page. I don't sit down to write anything specifically. I guess I feel like it's to contrived to be like, "Well, now I'm going to go write a song." I try to keep it more organic — although that might be pushing it to say that's exactly my process. 

But that song came about at a very critical point in my life. It was right when Ruthy and my son was born. But then the same week, our friend was killed in Iraq, maybe two days after our son was born. And I had to sort through all of these very high highs, and very low lows: losing a childhood friend, and welcoming my first child into the world. I think that song bounces back and forth between bliss and desperation, and ends up somewhere in between. It's not telling a linear story, but for me it gets a lot of that emotion out of me, and into the world. -Mike Merenda

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Lock All the Doors: 1995 Revisited

If you missed last night's five-year Honky Tonk Tuesday anniversary … well, my friends, you missed a hell of a night. The cowboy boot-clad Queen City faithful were in rare, glorious form. You also missed the cameo appearance of the year. And no, I don't mean my humble return to the stage. Though I will say I pulled off a half-decent rendition of Buck Owens' "Close Up the Honky Tonks," and did justice to Gram Parsons' "A Song For You." But the real kicker was a surprise appearance from a local legend …

Neko Case.

OK, I'm messing with you. The local legend was none other than Eugene "Country Band-a Style" mothereffin' Hutz, who dropped by and did a killer version of "Folsom Prison Blues," complete with about three off-the-cuff original verses. Simply put, it was friggin' awesome. So friggin' awesome, in fact, that a female friend of mine approached Hutz outside afterward and said — and I quote — "I want to have your Gypsy babies." True story.

Anyway, speaking of mid-1990s Burlington greats, remember Tim Lauben?

To be honest, I had sorta forgotten about the guy. But back in the day, he was among my favorite local songwriters, right alongside Matt Hutton (Envy) and Tom Lawson (The Pants). But then I stumbled upon a Club Fub compilation over at Brad Searle's excellent website, Bradley's Almanac, and rediscovered how much I used dig his bands, Snowplow, Huffy and My Own Sweet.

So, to continue with the self-congratulatory celebration of 7D's 15-year anniversary, I offer two tracks from the aforementioned Club Fub comp. The first, Huffy's "Carry" from their Sunny Drive Time EP, a cassette I believe may still be in the tape deck of my first car, and probably worn away to nothing. The second is "Marble," from Snowplow's never-competed full-length. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Neko's Vanishing Case … Solved!

There's been rampant — and silly — speculation around town regarding the strange and sudden disappearance of one Neko Case from the New Pornographers' show this past Friday at Higher Ground. Did she quit the band? Did she pass out in a drug crazed stupor? Did one of her stalkers show up? (Don't look at me, I was at Nectar's.)

I wrote briefly on this in tomorrow's column. But other than noting that she was a no-show, there wasn't much left to report. The folks at Higher Ground were as baffled as the rest of us. Further inquiries to the club and the reps for both the New Pornographers and Case were not returned. That is, until just after the column went to the press. Of course. [That sound you hear is me shaking my fists skyward, cursing the rock and roll gods.]

HG's Alex Crothers writes that Case was — Are you ready? Can you feel the tension? Deep breaths, deeeep breaths — stricken with food poisoning. Yuck.

Here's hoping Ms. Case is feeling better.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Tao of Tao, Part 2

And without further ado, part two of my two-part conversation with Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, this time around focusing on art, philosophy and the curious importance of Nirvana. Check out part one here.


TaoSeegerBand SEVEN DAYS: You said that you're hesitant to call yourself an artist. Why is that?

TAO RODRIGUEZ-SEEGER: Well, because what we do is kinda commercial. And I guess I feel like art and commerciality don't mix too well. I'm sure there is an inevitable co-existing that they have to do. Otherwise, how can we continue to do it? But it always makes me a little uncomfortable when people call us "artists." "Commercial creators," I prefer. Of course it's not as graceful.

7D: [Laughing] No, that's a bit of a mouthful.

TRS: People like to call us artists, and I guess that's OK. I just don't feel very comfortable calling myself an artist. There is artistry in it, for sure. But there is also artistry in motherhood. And cooking. And yoga. But would people call a mother an artist? Doubtful. But they should. The great mothers of our time have created the artists. So why aren't they the artists? It's a semantic quibble and I don't argue it with people when it comes up. But I do think about it. "Is this really art?" "Is Michael Jackson truly an artist?" Or was he?

7D: I actually think he was.

TRS: So do I. I would have to say Michael Jackson actually was an artist. He brought commercial pop music to a really artistic level, at times. Not always. But when he did that first moonwalk on MTV, that was pretty rad, right?

7D: Sure, but was that art? He also forever revolutionized the way music videos were done and what they could be. I'd say that was pretty artful.

TRS: Yeah. And I would say Madonna was even more of artist than Michael Jackson, because she pushed people's assumptions about women, sexuality. I guess that's what it is. Art should make you think, and it should make you a little uncomfortable. Not really uncomfortable, maybe. But a little bit. Because without that level of discomfort, it's harder to get the brain pushing in a new direction than it normally would. People are lazy and they don't want to make leaps of faith. Sometimes it takes someone thinking outside the box and doing something a little weird to make people go, "Oh wow. I never thought of that. It makes me feel uncomfortable. But I think I like it." So yeah there is an argument to be made for what we do as art, for sure. But I don't think it's safe to assume that all musicians are artists.

Continue reading "The Tao of Tao, Part 2" »

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Tao of Tao, Part 1

As mentioned in this week's upcoming Soundbites column, a Q&A I recently conducted with songwriter Tao Rodriguez-Seeger unfortunately wouldn't fit in the music section due to space limitations. However, in the wild and woolly expanse of the internet, no such constraints exist, meaning I can offer you the full, (mostly) unedited transcript of our conversation, rather than the heavily condensed and edited version that would have appeared in print.

In this case, that's actually a very good thing. Because as I found out, in the Seeger family the apple truly doesn't fall far from the tree. And Tao is every bit the engaging, witty, insightful and eloquent person you might expect the grandson of legendary American folk songwriter Pete Seeger to be.

So, in advance of the Tao Seeger Band's performance at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge this Friday, here is part one of my interview with Tao Rodriguez-Seeger. Part two will appear Wednesday.


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SEVEN DAYS: So, I hear through the grapevine that you play a Creston guitar.

TAO RODRIGUEZ-SEEGER: Fuck yeah, dude! Why wouldn't I? Those things are incredible.

7D: Agreed. How did you find out about Creston?

TRS: It's funny, I've never met him. We talked on the phone and I get his emails with all his new toys. But we've never actually met. I think we're actually gonna meet for the first time at this gig, because he said he's gonna come, which is gonna be awesome.

Anyway, he built a bass for Zack Hickman, who plays bass in Josh Ritter's band. And at the time, he was playing bass in my fiddler's solo project. And I admired the bass. And I said, "Where'd you get that thing?" [Chuckles] And he told me the story. So I called Creston and was like, "Hey, can you make me Bruce Springsteen's Telecaster?"

And he laughed and said, "Well, you know, it's not a Telecaster. It's an Esquire." Which I didn't know.

7D: Me either.

TRS: Anyway, he said he'd love the challenge and he built me this beautiful guitar out of Vermont butternut. It's my main guitar now. I used to be all about acoustic guitars and now I'm all about this electric guitar. I hardly ever play acoustic guitar anymore.

7D: That wasn't the guitar that cracked at the inauguration, was it?

TRS: No. The guitar that cracked at the inaugural was my longtime, sweetheart 12-string guitar made by a good friend of mine, Bruce Taylor, who's been making guitars for my grandfather for years. I had that guitar repaired actually, and I'm still playing it. I mean, Obama signed it. "This land is your land, Barack Obama." I kinda have to play it, don't I?

7D: I think you do.

TRS: I put it on the wall for about a year. And I was sort of, "What do I do with this guitar?" It's this heirloom now and I've never really been into heirlooms. I feel like people who buy Stradivarius and put them on the wall … that's sacrilege. They want to be played. So I had it repaired and actually just took it Colorado with me, which was more of an acoustic-y affair. But the band that's coming with me to Burlington, that will be a loud electric affair.

Continue reading "The Tao of Tao, Part 1" »

Friday, August 13, 2010

Take Only What You Neeeeed From It

Anyone else been whistling the lead lick from "Kids" today? I have been all morning. I honestly can't stop, and I think my coworkers might jump me at any moment. But before they do, a few observations from last night's MGMT show.

- Man, I do love me some shows on the waterfront. And dammit, I want more. It's a beautiful setting, it's convenient and easily accessible. There really isn't a downside. Which reminds me …

- Last year, I wrote a sort of tongue-in-cheek open letter to Phish, asking them to consider turning Waterfront Park and Burlington at large into an enormous hippie carnival for a weekend, mostly 'cuz we could use the influx of cash. Obviously, that plan was not without major (and potentially fatal) flaws — like my floating stage idea, for example. But am I the only one who thinks we're well beyond the point of needing a legit outdoor concert venue? Or even just a legit arena-sized venue? Something like whatever-they're-calling-the-Tweeter Center in Mass. these days would do it. Or better yet, the Fleet Pavilion. And here's a great example of why it should happen …

- Raise your hand if you were psyched to learn that LCD Soundsystem and Sleigh Bells are coming at the end of September. Keep 'em raised if you were equally crushed to learn they are playing in the concrete acoustic nightmare that is Memorial Auditorium. As much as I enjoy both bands — and would REALLY be looking forward to seeing Sleigh Bells — I can't in good conscience recommend anyone pay good money to see a show there. Yes, it's really that awful a venue. It's a shame this couldn't have been slated for the waterfront too. Talk about an epic end to the summer/beginning of the fall. 

- Back to the point, MGMT played well last night. Really well. And the stuff from Congratulations translated much better live than I would have thought. My only quibble is that the mix seemed off the mark all night, everywhere but dead center. In particular, vocals, both lead and backing, were buried so deeply they were often virtually inaudible in the crush of synth and guitar. It's funny, because earlier that day I had a conversation with a friend who recently caught them along the waterfront in Brooklyn and expressed the exact same frustration I would experience later that night.  And no, I don't think the water is the common factor here. Speaking of water …

- Why don't I own a boat? I mean, besides being broke. The party boat scene in Burlington Bay during the show looked like an absolute blast. [Note from the Solid State legal team: Please boat responsibly, and always have a designated captain.]

- Back on land, it was a really interesting crowd. Kind of a funny mix of older hipsters, frat guys, and teenyboppers and their parents. I heard there was a very similar crowd at Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros a few weeks ago. And it can't just be hipsters gobbling up the new Billboard-topping Arcade Fire album, right? So is this recent mass acceptance of "indie" music proof, as NPR recently suggested, that indie rock is the new classic rock? Maybe. Or maybe people are starting to understand that good music is good music regardless how skinny your jeans are. Just a thought. A hopelessly naive thought. (What's more likely: TV commercials are the best exposure for up-and-coming bands since the dawn of the music video.)

- There were also a mildly surprising number of hippies in attendance, perhaps further illustrating indie and dance rock's continuing crossover appeal. But can I offer a potentially pissy observation? Noodle dancing doesn't work for every style of music. Just sayin' …

- Of course, there are already vids from the show making the rounds — thanks, Internet! Here's one of the better ones.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thanks, the MGMT

It seems y'all are pretty psyched for this evening's MGMT show at the Waterfront, which kicks off the 2010 Lake Champlain Maritime Festival. It's no surprise that it sold out, of course. But, perhaps as an illustration of just how much folks in the BTV are looking forward to it, my girlfriend, Plus-One, informs me that her hipster kickball league has moved the start time of their games this evening — playoffs, I should add — ahead an hour to accommodate players heading to the show. On a related note, be advised that a swarm of curiously clad pseudo-athletes on bicycles will be heading north on the bike path from Oakledge Park around 8 p.m. Seek an alternate route. [Also, to my pals on team Danger Zone, best of luck. You can be my wing men (and women) any time.]

Of course, this means those folks will miss the opening band, NYC-based trio Violens. I admit being fairly unfamiliar with the group, so I've spent this lovely morning digging in. I doubt I'll make it down in time to catch them either, as I'm otherwise engaged until about 8 p.m. myself. But those of you with a taste for retro, Smithsian dance pop would do well to get to the tent on time. Here's a sneak peek:

Violens // "Already Over" from Violens on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bieber Fever

It's hard to believe, but the Champlain Valley Fair is right around the corner. Though it's easy to overlook amid the maelstrom of funnel cakes, pig races, giant veggies and carnies, the fair offers a sampling of music unique among the typical fare found gracing area stages the rest of the year. This year should prove to be no different. The lineup includes country star Keith Urban, legendary comedian/parental guru Bill Cosby, Weezer (really?) and Lyle Lovett.

But of course, the biggest little star in the Midway this year is none other than tween heartthrob, Justin Bieber. To that end, I humbly submit the Great Seven Days Justin Bieber Preview of 2010. Enjoy. [Note from the Solid State legal team: Hilarious or not, 7D in no way endorses hurling projectiles at underage pop singers.]

Monday, August 09, 2010

Map Quest

Hey, hey, Solid State! Just a friendly reminder that Chicago's Maps & Atlases will be at Club Metronome this evening with Laura Stevenson and the Cans and blog sensations du jour, Cults. Here's a taste:

Maps & Atlases - Ted Zancha (Live @ AEMMP Records Industry Night 2009) from The Belmont Sessions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Age of Enlightenment. Also, Death Cows.

We've received a lot of interesting feedback on last week's interview with current Gogol Bordello front man and BTV ex-pat Eugene Hutz. Reader responses have run the gamut from "Hey, nice interview!" to "Hey, Eugene wasn't in Wristcutters. Check your facts, idiot!" Good times. (And no, no he wasn't. My goof. Sorry.)

But the most interesting response to that piece comes by way of Trevor Ayer of the Beautiful Ride. Back in the day, Ayer fronted a band called the Death Cows. One of his songs, "Oh Hey, I'm So Enlightened Now" was featured on a totally awesome and long out-of-print compilation called Burlington Does Burlington. If you're unfamiliar, the gist of the comp was a slew of great 1990s era local bands covered each others songs. For example, The Pants did a swimmingly fun version of Phish's "Golgi Apparatus," Belizbeha funked up The Pants' "High Watermark," Barbacoa soaked Envy's "Bloodboy" into a reverb-washed surf-noir gem. Man, I really wish I still had a copy of that …

Anyway, back to Ayer. That comp also featured a very young Eugene Hutz covering Ayer's song with the late, great BTV punk band the Fags. Here 'tis, complete with some pretty awesome old pics. Enjoy! (BTW, if you're interested in checking out more of Ayer's tunes, the link above is basically an archive of everything the dude has ever done. Cool stuff.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Battery Power

Battery poster Just passing this along since it came in too late for the print edition. Our old pals Guides for the Future will take part in a free mini-festival this Wednesday evening at Battery Park called the Vermont Roots Rock Revival. (From 6pm to 9pm, according to the snazzy poster.) The lineup also includes the Prohibition Blues Band, Freight, Y'ardy Yar and Greta Frost. In the meantime, check out this GOF video/slide show for their rousing song, "Chaos Kids."

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