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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.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Back to the Future: 1995 Revisited, Revisited

Hey folks. Super busied up today getting ready for 7D's big 15th birthday party this evening (5p.m.-ish. Our offices at 255 S. Champlain St. You should come!) So this post is gonna be a quicky. 

Continuing our look back into 1995(ish), I've two more tunes from Club Fub. Eff's "Stable" and "Bradley's Almanac," the Madelines tune that inspired Brad Searles' totally awesome blog — where you can go to find all of the songs, and many, many other great tunes from Burlington's alt-rock heyday. Enjoy!

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, September 07, 2010

It's Your Birthday: Snapshots of 1995

Hey there, Solid State.

Believe it or not, but 7D turns 15 years-old this week. So in honor of that momentous milestone, I'm digging into the vault to find interesting (and potentially embarrassing) music-related mementos involving local bands who were active circa 1995.

Today's find: press photos. Like, actual, physical photos emblazoned with contact info that were gathering dust an old filing cabinet here in the office. As my boss mentioned while we were digging through them earlier, the idea of hard copy press pics feels so quaint compared to the .jpeg and .tif files we rely on now. But back in my day that's how we did it, and that's how we liked it, dangnabbit! Ahem.

But something else struck me about these pics too. Maybe it's just that 7D photog Matt Thorsen took most of them, but they are generally far more interesting and artfully composed than the bulk of the press pics I see on a daily basis, most of which are of the garden variety band-on-a-wall/bridge/tree/field/etc. Perhaps when you don't have the luxury of disposable digital files, you're less complacent about the pics you do take?

In any event, here is a sampling. I'm guessing they'll inspire some fond memories for many of you, as they certainly did me. Tune in later this week when we raid Bradley's Almanac for some Club Fub classics.

  ContructionJoe Pants2 Pants3 Phish1 ZolaTurn

ChinHo  Dysfunkshun

5Seconds2

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 18, 2010

Summer Summer Summertiiime

As I mentioned in today's column, Burlington's Villanelles will be celebrating their new album with a release party at Radio Bean this Saturday. This is despite the fact that they, um, probably won't actually have the record in hand just yet. (It's cool though. I was once in a band that had at least two "release parties" before we actually had the CD available. It happens all the time, actually. Moral of the story: Get the CD back from the duplication company first, then book the release show. It always takes longer than you'll think.)

Anyway, in lieu of the whole disc, Villanelles were kind enough to send over the album's lead track to tide us over. It's breezy little cut, aptly titled "Summertime Hit." Enjoy!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Shafts, Can Ya Dig It?

I've spent the last two weeks or so digging into Revelation Skirts, the new album from VT ex-pat Dean Wells, otherwise known as the Capstan Shafts. The album, his first proper studio release and first with another musician, hits stores on August 24. So I have a short feature on Wells and his new musical partner Matt Lemay — who, incidentally, was the critic who first reviewed Wells' music for Pitchfork back in 2007 — in this week's paper.

Anyway, in doing some poking around for the piece, I stumbled across this video from Wells' first-ever live show, an acoustic performance at the Stannard Church, shot by Brian Murphy of late, great False 45th renown. It's a good one and, especially in light of the polished brilliance of Revelation, provides a fascinating contrast and a glimpse at just how far Wells has come. Enjoy.

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.]


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blues Brotherly Love

Mark_bill300 Local harmonica master Mark LaVoie is a pretty happy guy this week. And with good reason. A track from his latest collaboration with Delta blues legend Bill Sims Jr., American Roots Duo, was recently picked up by Dan "Elwood" Akroyd's "House of Blues Radio Hour." The duo's version of the Henry Whitter classic "Going Down That Road Feeling Bad" is the featured song on the nationally syndicated radio show's weekly "Blues Break" segment. Below is the clip of Elwood Blues himself introducing the cut — which he correctly points out is "as rich as maple syrup" — followed by a quick commercial interlude, and then the song. The program originally aired over the weekend all across the country and is currently streaming on the HOBRH website.


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.)


Thursday, July 15, 2010

VT Union is … D-d-d-d-dead?

'Fraid so.


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."


Thursday, July 08, 2010

APB: A Thieving Douchebag

15009_1301516261367_1334251569_30921729_708363_n I've just received word that Michael Tonn, guitarist for The Toes, Sons of Dawn and Trainwreck Kelly, was recently the victim of a burglary. According to an email sent by Tonn's roommate, Dan Fancher, their North Avenue house was broken into at some point between July 4 and July 6. The thieves got away with two of Tonn's guitars. Here are Fancher's descriptions of the instruments:

One is the electric that Michael usually plays with The Toes (pictured):

Baby blue Fender Jag-stang, mismatched knobs, mother-of-pearl-look inlay, orange circular sticker below the bridge.

The other is the guitar Michael has written most of his songs on over the past decade:

Seagull acoustic steel string, cedar top. Identifiable by plain headstock with no decoration. Seagull guitars usually have a seagull on the headstock; this one has been replaced 3 times and is plain wood now.

Now, if I were to break into someone's home and steal instruments, I might aim for less distinctive pieces. But then, maybe that's why I'm not a crook. Well that, and, generally speaking, I'm not a total asshole. But I digress.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Burlington police, or Michael Tonn directly. He can be reached at 363-4962.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BiteTorrent, Now With 25% More Freedom

Due to blowing my entire column this week recounting the Furthur fracas, your regularly scheduled BiteTorrent has been moved to the friendly confines of this here blog. And a day early, to boot! Buckle up.

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Small Fourth of July weekend is generally overloaded with live music — and even though there are few things more quintessentially American than Journey cover bands, I'm not just talking about Breakwater before the fireworks. This year is no exception, highlighted by what's quickly becoming a yearly staple: The fourth annual Speaking Volumes July Third Party in the parking lot of the kooky Pine Street shop — which, incidentally, offers a nice vantage point for taking in our annual simulation of bombs bursting in air. This year, the rain-or-shine BBQ (and raffle!) features four up-and-coming, and appropriately eclectic local outfits, including Prana, Brother Through Glass, The Feverbreakers and How to Stay Alive in the Woods. Admission is a $5 suggested donation the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation.

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Meanwhile, just a short jaunt south to Bristol, those who prefer their music a smidgen harder — and a lot louder — should check in with the second annual Screaming for Change Festival at The Hub, which gets under way on Saturday. The two-day hardcore hootenanny features a jaw-dropping array of local and regional hardcore and punk bands. Rather than mention a few, and since I'm not restricted by a word count here — and mostly because I just friggin' love hardcore band names — here's the complete breakdown, in order, from headliners to openers:

Saturday: Bane, Unrestrained, Word for Word, Mantra, Our Fight, Sacred Love, Crucial Times, Problems, Born Under A Bad Sign, As We Were

Sunday: My Revenge!, The Effort, Battle!, Dead Icons, Outlast, Under Anchor, No Love Lost, Coughing Fit, Alive and Well, The Control, Crown of Lions

A two-day pass to all the festivities is $30. Single day passes differ depending on which day you go: Saturday is $20, Sunday is $15.

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28 Degrees Taurus Should your tastes veer more toward the experimental, I'd suggest the post-fireworks bash at Radio Bean on Saturday. The mind-bending bill includes B-town micro-label Aether Everywhere's the le duo, B-town micro micro-label/brewery Mars Pyramid's VIKOMT and a really cool ambient psych-rock duo from Allston called 28 Degrees Taurus. For that last band, imagine if My Bloody Valentine took a fistful of uppers and got really into Jefferson Airplane and/or Burt Bacharach, and you're sort of in the ballpark. Should be a fun show.

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Happy trails to local local soul man Joshua Panda, who embarks on a summer-long busking tour following a pre-fireworks send-off show at The Skinny Pancake on Saturday. Panda will hit the left coast for a spell, busking and playing clubs across the country before returning to celebrate a new album with a big homecoming show at the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival in late August. Safe travels, Josh.

Continue reading "BiteTorrent, Now With 25% More Freedom" »

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ready for Bear

Happy Thursday, Solid State.

All week long I had hoped to offer some choice words on Friday's Bear in Heaven show at the Monkey. But betwixt recovering from a weekend of wedding fun (not mine, thank you), banging out this week's issue, cobbling together next week's issue, working on the next edition of our What's Good college guide, keeping tabs on the World Cup and that crazy ass epic Wimbledon match, buying a smart phone (I caved), figuring out how to use said smart phone, surviving an earthquake, getting in some exercise (for me and my half-crazy, half-pitbull Buckley) and catching up on the new season of Top Chef, frankly, I'm pooped. But enough of my problems.

Instead, I offer you the attached video from the Brooklyn band's episode of The Take Away Shows. I would also urge you to pop over to Pitchfork and dig into this remix of BIH's "Ultimate Satisfaction" by The Field that dropped yesterday. It's pretty cool in a hazy, sprawling, druggy kinda way.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't rehash this week's column love for the debut of Daniel Munzing's (My Dearest Darling) new electro indie outfit Errands, who will open for BIH. Check 'em out here.

And last but not least, have you seen the Monkey's awesome new website yet?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Speeding Up

This just in from our old pals Waylon Speed: the promo video for the band's appearance at this year's Gathering of the Vibes.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Music Wednesday

Hey, Burlington. I have a modest proposal for you. Ready?

Can we just all agree not to have really cool shows on Wednesday nights anymore? Maybe have that be the music scene's collective night of rest or something? (Rock 'n' roll sabbath?) Because frankly, Wednesday shows are a huge pain in my ass, logistically speaking.

Obviously, the paper hits newsstands every Wednesday. So the problem is that I never know whether it's better for me to mention a Wednesday show a full week in advance (and hope you, dear reader, either make note or remember it a week later), ORRRR if it's better to hold the mention until the day of the show  — and hope you both pick up the paper that day and flip directly to my column, which I'm sure you all do anyway, right? Ahem.

What's a music editor to do? (Complain about it on a blog, clearly.)

Anyway, I made a quick mention of the killer psych-rock show at Club Metronome tomorrow night featuring The Asteroid #4, The High Dials and the Queen City's own The Vacant Lots in my column last week. But in case you missed it (or forgot), I thought I'd highlight said show again using the magic of the Internet, where there is no such thing as a street date. So to that end, here's a video of Philly's The Asteroid #4 and their song "Here We Go." Enjoy!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm On A Boat: Scoop Shop Remix

Ignoring the most obvious question — which is of course, "Why?" — here's a vid from the kids at the Ben & Jerry's flagship scoop shop on Church Street. It's a, um, tasty send-up of Lonely Island's "I'm On A Boat."

Oh Dear, Abbey

According to an article in today's Times Argus, Montpelier alt-venue The Lamb Abbey has been shut down by the city's Building Inspector due to numerous code violations. Here's a snippet from TA staff writer Thatcher Moats' piece outlining the infractions:

"A broken sprinkler system, inadequate exits, no emergency lights, combustible drapery, inadequate exit signs, unlevel surfaces near the exit, inadequate handrails, and a door that opened into the building instead of out were among the code violations [Building Inspector Glenn] Moore found last Friday. There also was no valid Certificate of Occupancy for the building, which regulates how many people can be there."

Thatcher goes on to write that LA co-founder Duffy Gardner is unsure how long it will take to bring the space up to code and that "he and others will have to weigh whether to invest the money it would take to make the place code compliant for concerts and other events."

Translation: uh-oh.

We're awaiting direct word from Gardner himself on the topic. Though a brief email response characterizes the closing as "Just a minor setback." Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

LW&OB2X … Extremely NSFW!

I have a love-hate relationship with Lawrence Welks & Our Bear to Cross. On one hand, I honestly appreciate the notion that a band so seemingly unconcerned with conforming to convention (social, musical or of any other kind, really) exists. Also, I really dig their name.

On the other hand, I genuinely despised their last album, Cam Cougar, which I found so willfully obnoxious that it lost any artistic significance it may otherwise have had. On still another hand, I sincerely doubt the band cared what I thought about the record, which really only makes me appreciate them more.

What then to make of this new video for their song "Wet," from their forthcoming "palindromic concept album," Binary Execute Now, directed by Nose Bleed Island's Joey Pizza Slice? On one (more) hand, it is about as, um, "revealing" a music video as has ever breached our local shores. On still another … well, I'll just let you decide.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is really, really, ALLCAPSFREAKINGREALLY NOT SAFE FOR WORK — or school, or church, or old folks homes or polite company of any kind. Please, if very skinny, very moustachioed and very naked dudes offend you, click here.

Everyone else, take a deep breath and click past the jump. 

Continue reading "LW&OB2X … Extremely NSFW!" »

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