Sunday, January 08, 2006

Fire the Cannons | Langdon Street Cafe | Jan 6th

On Friday night, I got an early start on my New Year's resolution to spend more time checking out Vermont bands. Based upon a small write-up in Seven Days, some friends and I went downtown to Langdon Street Cafe to catch the Burlington-based band Fire the Cannons.

Langdon Street Cafe is a cool little place that I had been to a few times for lunch. However, I hadn't been there for any music until this weekend. Langdon Street is run as a collective (only in Vermont do you find bars run as collectives; I love this area) which adds to the laid back artsy atmosphere of the place. I wasn't sure how that atmosphere would jive with a rocking, non-folky, non-jammy band but it meshed very well. I'll definitely make a point of checking out more shows there this year.

When we got there, another band (with what seemed like a dozen members) was finishing which I quickly learned was Nest Material. That was a fortunate discovery since I had been reading the blog Highgate recently which is written by one of the members of Nest Material. So, I finally got to hear what they sounded like.

Someone described their sound as an exploration of non-Euclidian soundscapes but that's just a bunch of cool words thrown together that doesn't mean shit. I only got to hear the very end of their set but to me they sounded like a cross between the mellow atmospheric technicians of Tower Recordings and the dadaism of Sun Ra. You can stream and download a few of their tunes from their myspace site. I'd recommend "The Ship Begins to..."

During their set, I also got a chance to talk to the guy who writes the blog, Underpants Records, and works at Buch Spieler. The cool thing he said was that Buch Spieler has sold about 30-40 copies of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah over the last few months. That may not sound like a lot but for a small town like Montpelier, I'm very heartened by the fact that there are 30-40 copies of that album floating around town.

After a little while, Fire the Cannons took the stage. They're a trio. Guitar, bass and drums. Female vocals. Nothing fancy. There not trying to throw anything new at you. But they are writing some good catchy and rocking tunes. I'd say I liked about half of the songs which, for a band that just formed this summer, is pretty good. Rather than try to explain their appeal, it's easier to just suggest listening to them on their myspace site. I'd recommend "Nowhere Feels Like Home".

The most entertaining part of their performance is watching the bass player. The guy plays the bass like a guitar with chords and frantic strumming. The only downside was when the drummer decided to play barechested. Was it really that hot in there?

At some point during the set, I got a chance to meet TMoore from Nest Material who writes Highgate. We had exchanged a few emails previoulsy but had never met. So, it was nice to be able to say hi in person. By the way, the photo above is one of his shots from his review of the show. Thanks, TMoore.

Overall, it was a fun night and a good start to learning about Vermont bands. By the way, I think the bands are playing together again tomorrow night (1/9) at One-Half Lounge in Burlington.


casey said...

Fantastic post.

If you get the chance, check out The Cush, Ryan Power Trio, and Swale for alt/inde rock.

I wish Langdon was closer... I love that room. Very comfy.

K. said...

Best sentence of the post!

"Someone described their sound as an exploration of non-Euclidian soundscapes but that's just a bunch of cool words thrown together that doesn't mean shit."

Lol. Nice post Flatlander.

Tmoore said...

Great post, i was there when the "Non-euclidian soundscape" phrase was uttered and i assure you, my eyes rolled and somewhere in the room, there was a guffaw.
I prefer your Sun ra meets tower recordings since, i love them both, and within the last week i've both listened alot to their 2004 album, and watched Space is the place (terrible. oh god...)
It was cool to meet you, Nest material is taking a couple months off to record and rehearse, maybe even in that order, but when we re-emerge, hopefully we'll be playing langdon street again, we all loved it!


Flatlander said...

The only thing I remember from non-Euclidian geometry was that you could have a triangle with three ninety degree angles in it. I don't know what that has to do with music so it seemed like an unusual description to me.