Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all.

If you have kids (or you're just a kid at heart), you can track Santa here.

As a holiday gift to everyone, here's a mix of out-of-print and rare soul tracks. They always make for a good party mix regardless of the occasion.

Young Holt Trio | Wack Wack (live)

Melba Moore | The Magic Touch

Betty Swan | Kiss My Love Goodbye

Marlena Shaw | California Soul

Cliff Nobles | The Horse

Jimmy Radcliffe | Long After Tonight

Ramsey Lewis Trio | In with the In Crowd (live)

Hugh Maskella | Grazing In the Grass

Alvin Cash & the Crawlers | Twine Time

Dusty Springfield | Spooky

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Tallest Man on Earth

One of the most addictive songs that I've found this year is Walk the Line. When I first discovered the track on KEXP I thought it to be sung by some Dylan-esque troubadour from the heartland. But in this age of Polynesian tech support things just aren't that straightforward. The truth is that this acoustic-folk Americana hails from Dalarna, Sweden. Performing under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth, Kristian Matsson is obviously inspired by the American tradition of Son House and his emulators. But this isn't just historical remake, Matsson's wavy voice grabs and his tempo is addictive. Currently available is a self-titled five-song EP out on Gravitation Records. Debut full length, Shallow Grave, is expected in the new year.

The Tallest Man on Earth | Walk the Line | Buy

2007 Year End Survey | Michael Nordstrom

2007 saw the end of Deep Soda as they played their final show at Club Metronome in September. It was impossible to categorize the Burlington band over the years as they comfortably floated from the hyper-pop of faux jingles to scorched earth art metal. Regardless of where they were on the sound spectrum though, they always brought memorable visuals and an innovative edge to their project.

Since the disbanding of Deep Soda, frontman Mondhexe (aka Michael Nordstrom), has been working on various projects as he scratches that creative itch. The latest is that he has wrapped up the definitive English-language article on Garamon, an iconic monster from the 1960’s Japanese television show Ultra-Q, and that early 2008 will see the dawn of two new musical projects, including his long-whispered-of supergroup cover band, Fogwood Bees.

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

"Fear", from the album of the same name by John Cale.

A goddamn perfect tune.

John Cale | Fear Is a Man's Best Friend | Buy

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

Honestly, this whole thing is difficult for me, as I can barely distinguish one year from the next, any more...

As far as stuff actually released in '07, nothing got me too terribly excited.
The Coast Explodes by Mammatus was good.

I re-re-re-discovered John Martyn's Solid Air in '07.
Fantastic album, and it hit me more deeply than ever before, this time out.

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

I really didn't got to many shows this year; I guess I'd have to go with seeing Battles in Montreal. They're a great band with a pretty freaking revolutionary approach...but what really blew my doors off was John Stanier's drumming. The guy is a complete monster- I've rarely seen anyone play as solidly, with such superhuman intensity, for as long. A friend o' mine summed it up neatly: "The guy lays down a backbeat that sounds like it's from the planet Testosterone."

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Definitely the iPod Lido Shuffle. If I remember 2007 for anything, it will be as the year Apple finally got smart and put out an iPod with a fixed, pre-loaded 1-song playlist of the Boz Scaggs classic.

Playing a great last show with Deep Soda at Metronome was pretty kickass, inna bittersweet stylee.

We were always our own worst critics (especially me), but we all agreed that we hung it up on a high note.

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

Generally- peace, love and understanding, natch; specifically, I really hope that 2008 will be the year in which Huey Lewis & The News and Ray Parker Jr. finally bury the hatchet and let bygones be bygones.

Deep Soda | Red Carpet | Buy

Deep Soda | New Dorp | Buy

Deep Soda | Viy | Buy

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2007 Year End Survey | Caleb Daniloff

One of my few pet peeves about VPR is the high number of commentators that come from the "gentrified Alzheimer's clan" with their curmudgeonly views on life. That's why I like Caleb Daniloff (on the right with fellow surveyista Philip Baruth). As a VPR commentator, the freelance writer from Middlebury regularly brought a contemporary view of life in the Green Mountains. Rather than waxing on about how "things just aren't the same anymore", Daniloff would speak to the anxiety and joy of being a blogger or about taking in Bill Clinton's address at Middlebury.

A few of Daniloff's commentaries are archived here.

Unfortunately, Daniloff's last few commentaries dealt with his move from Vermont to Boston where he now resides. However, we thought we'd bring him back to tap his thoughts on the year in music.

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

Nettie Moore (Bob Dylan)

Bob Dylan | Nettie Moore | Buy

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

Modern Times (Bob Dylan)

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

Bob Dylan at the Pines Theater in Florence, Mass., last June. We lucked into front row center seats at the refreshingly low-tech (the security guards were scrawny twenty-somethings who sat on folding chairs in the corners) 2,000-seat outdoor venue. The stage was so low we could have rested our feet on the wooden planks. Dylan was maybe ten feet away, you could see the whites of his eyes. Attached is a stellar re-working of Shelter From The Storm from that evening as well as the always-great It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding).

Bob Dylan | Shelter From the Storm (live at Pines Theater)

Bob Dylan | It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (live at Pines Theater)

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Exploring life outside my comfort zone

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

The return of awe and wonder

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trendwhore | Los Campesinos!

Los Campesinos - You! Me! Dancing!
Uploaded by trendwhore

About two weeks ago, I was up in Montreal to see Los Campesinos! and Kevin Drew shake the house. You can read my review of the show here.

Well, the folks at Trendwhore were there too and are now sharing some goodies from the show. They have video of six songs from Los Campesinos! set and the accompanying mp3 files to download. The video above is from their performance of "You! Me! Dancing!" which got the whole room shaking and bobbing.

Trendwhore is just a good site to bookmark. They record a bunch of Montreal shows and post the files a week or so later. So, if you miss a good show, you can always check Trendwhore to see what you missed.

VPR | Annual Music Show

Each year, VPR does an annual music show where they discuss their favorite albums of the year and take calls from listeners about our favorites. This year the show will be on Friday from noon to 1pm during Vermont Edition.

I've managed to call in each of the last two years but that was when the show was at night. I don't know if I'll be able to call in during the workday...but you never know. At least they were good enough to post my choice for album of the year on VPR's site along with the other submissions.

You can add your favorites to the list by using this submission form.

Lastly, this is a great chance to re-post the audio file of my call into last year's annual music show on VPR. It's amusing simply because the hosts, Bob Kinzel and Steve Zind, referred to Yo La Tengo as Yellow Tangles. They do it a few times and then around the 4:20 mark of the cut, they come back and apologize for it.

Bob Kinzel & Steve Zind | Yo La Tengo = Yellow Tangles?

I doubt they'll screw up The National this year though if I get through because the new host, Jane Lindholm, has listed Boxer as her favorite album of the year also. In fact her list is very solid.

Here's the rest of her list:

Radiohead, In Rainbows
Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog
The Shins, Wincing the Night Away
Andrew Bird, Armchair Apochrypha
Kings of Leon, Because of the Times
Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
Beirut, The Flying Club Cup

Jens Lekman Odds & Ends

Two odd items from Jens Lekman's blog, Smalltalk.

The first is that the bass player in Jens' band, Terese Nordström, wants to sell her bass. So, if you're looking for a world traveled 1977 Fender MusicMaster, drop her an offer at ineedthatbass@gmail.com.

It's uncommon to find a musician in a prominent band using their website to sell their equipment. Don't they have Craigslist in Sweden like everyone else?

The other odd thing from Smalltalk is this little ad on Gumtree where a fan claimed he wanted to buy all the tickets for Jens' Dec 11 show in London so he could have the Swedish King of Pop perform just for him.

Yeh, that feels weird too. Does anyone know how the show turned out?

511 Is No Joke In My Town

Here's a good new website for Vermonters to bookmark. 511 Next Gen is the broadband access site for the 511 telephone-based road information program. It uses Google Maps and is updated every minute with the latest info on traffic delays and road conditions.

Traffic delays are a bit of a joke in VT in comparison to the rest of the country but, with the winter we're having, the road conditions part will be helpful. Plus, you can get info on construction issues during the summer road work months.

2007 Year End Survey | Paul Searls

Paul Searls is a professor of history at UVM, author of the book Two Vermonts, the former faculty adviser to WRUV and the possessor of one of the best collections of indie music in the Green Mountains...which he appears to be properly passing along to his kids.

I first knew Paul in the mid-90's when we were both members of the Pavement mailing list. Do you remember the heady days of mailing lists? They were quaint microcosms of the blogosphere except that we burned through cases of Maxell tapes rather than disk space. Years later, after the list largely disbanded, it turned out that Paul and I had both moved to Vermont and he was reading this blog. Small world and now I'm back to peppering him with requests for music suggestions; just like back in the 90's.

Paul was also a guest on VPR's Vermont Edition earlier this week to discuss "The search for a common understanding of the intangibles that make Vermonters Vermonters - values, priorities, attitudes has been a part of our culture since the first settlers arrived here." I was sick and missed it while I was at the doctor's office. However, VPR has archived the show. You can stream and download the broadcast here.

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

I'm from Barcelona, We're from Barcelona

I actually am burned out on this song and wouldn't mind never hearing it again. But it remains for me the song of prospective world peace for 2007. I'm serious: watch the video for it, and then imagine replacing those adorable, nerdy Swedes with American soldiers, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds intermixed on those risers, singing this song. Bang! War's over.

Other contenders:
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Our Love is Fucking Right
California Snow Story, Suddenly Everything Happens
Los Campesinos, Death to Los Campesinos
Moscow Olympics, Still
Panda Riot, She Dares All Things
The Besties, Rod 'N' Reel
Wilco, Impossible Germany

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

Ferns, On Botany

Oh, On Botany, how I love thee. Breathy Asian female backing vocals; soaring, distorted guitars; wistful, haunting lyrics: my vision of musical heaven. There was a period in the early autumn when I had a ton of new things backed up to hear, but all I wanted to play was this album. If I could compare it to another album, it would be Sun Kil Moon's Ghost of a Great Highway, even though they sound nothing alike: both are records one can put on at any time, over and over again, and upon hearing the first notes be delighted by the prospect of listening to it in its entirety. It's that good and better.

A few other contenders:
Tracy Thorn, Out of the Woods
A Smile and a Ribbon, The Boy I Wish I Never Met
Club 8, The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming
The Math and Physics Club, Baby I'm Yours EP
Annemarie, ABC on TV
The Lucksmiths, Spring a Leak
Sunny Summer Day, self-titled EP
Electrelane, No Shouts, No Calls
Amida, Arts & Crafts
Sambassadeur, Migration

And a special mention for Pia Fraus's Nature Heart Software, which was released in late 2006 but which, being from an Estonian band and released on a Japanese label, didn't reach me until 2007, three months after I ordered it. Like everything Pia Fraus has done, it is brilliant.

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

I actually got out to see a few shows this year. The best has to be Saturday night at Popfest New England in November. Seeing The Pains of Being Pure at Heart in 2007 is as close as I'll ever come to seeing Rocketship circa 1996, and it was an exhilarating experience.

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

I smoked my last cigarette. I really mean it this time. It won't be like the last fourteen times I quit. I swear. Really.

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

Five year-old: learns to read and ice skate. Three year-old: is once and for all finally potty-trained (dear God, I'm begging you!). Leyton Orient to contend for a playoff place (and if that happens, Brian, next year I'll wish for promotion). Steve Malkmus's album due in February doesn't suck. The Radio Dept.'s next album is even better. A Democrat elected president. I get substantial work done on my next book. And another great twelve months of reading False 45th.

I'm From Barcelona | We're From Barcelona | Buy

Ferns | Wistful Thinking | Buy

2007 Year End Survey | Green Mountain Film Festival

In a year of unique responses, this is the first time we let someone answer a different set of questions. Why? Because we love the Green Mountain Film Festival, wanted to include the festivals organizers in the survey and they don't know shit about music.

However, they do know movies which if you've ever seen the roster of films they put together each year, would surely agree with. The 11th Green Mountain Film Festival this winter will run from March 21 to March 30. The list of films will be announced in February.

By the way, along these lines, Juno, starts playing at the Savoy Theater (home of the Green Mountain Film Festival) on January 4. The movie features music from The Kinks, Sonic Youth, Cat Power, Belle & Sebastian and the eternally awesome Mott the Hoople.

Here's the trailer for it:

Donald Rae, the Grand Poobah of the festival, took some time to send over his answers to our modified questions.

1. What was your favorite movie of 2007?

PUDOR by David and Tristan Ulloa, a Spanish film about death and secrets, starring the stunning Elvira Minguez. I saw it in Montreal last year back to back with LA CAJA, another Spanish film about death and secrets, also starring the stunning Elvira Minguez (come to think of it) but I'm pretty sure it was my favorite so far (anything could happen before the month is out.)

Here's the trailer for PUDOR:

2. What was your favorite comedy of 2007?

All I know is I haven't yet seen it. Still plenty of time.

3. What was your favorite rental of 2007?

GOODBYE LENIN, Wolfgang Becker's witty and inventive story about what happened to one particular family when the wall came down. With the ubiquitous, and always excellent, Daniel Bruhl.

Here's the trailer for GOODBYE LENIN:

4. What was your favorite thing of 2007?

Same as 2006. Pumpkin seed oil. Obviously.

5. What are your best wishes for 2008?

Reliable high speed rail link Boston-Montpelier Junction-Montreal. But not too fast, because there will be a dining car.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Okkervil River | Golden Opportunities

Without any hype or advanced notice, Okkervil River has dropped an album of cover songs on its fans. The bonus is that it's free and available for download from their website. There's also a link to download the zip file on a post on their message board if you have any problems with the other page.

I've only listened to Golden Opportunities a few times but my favorites are the covers of John Phillips' "April Anne" and Serge Gainsbourg's "I Came Hear To Say I'm Going Away". The latter was done for a French radio broadcast and came out really well despite being converted from French to English.

They also did an interview session with their fans surrounding the release of the album which is highly entertaining (go here and click on "News"). The interview starts with Will Sheff explaining why the album was handled in this manner which turns into his views on the current state of the music business. Then some fan pops up with the classic "Hey, I said hi to you once. Do you remember me?" question, to which the proper answer is "No. Next." However, Sheff spends five paragraphs explaining his feelings toward these interactions with fans.

After reading that painfully drawn-out answer to the fan's question, my eyes were rolling up into my head. However, my vision was saved by another fan who uncorked this humdinger of a question. I'm still giggling about it:

How does such a fucking fragile, tortured emo soul as yourself survive in a world that is oh so cold and cruel? Do you just cry yourself to sleep every night? How to you keep from just ending it all?

-Alan (via email)

I love Okkervil River and their sense of humor to post that question (and answer it) but I have to say that Alan perfectly sums up my lingering doubts about the band. They do tip the scales onto the "dramatic" side of life.

Regardless, a free album is a sweet gift for their fans.

The Capstan Shafts + SwedePop = Nice

According to the "fan run" yet highly informative myspace site for The Capstan Shafts, Dean Wells has written a song for the Gothenburg indie pop band The Faintest Ideas. The song is called "Lose the Downside" and sounds like a classic Capstan Shafts' tune. Immediately infectious; literary, melancholy and mysterious lyrics; and it clocks in at a little over a minute.

Yep. Sounds like a CS song to me.

The song is from The Faintest Ideas' album What Goes Up Must Calm Down which is available on emusic. If you like SwedePop, be sure to give The Faintest Ideas a listen. They have a few songs on their myspace page that are catchy garage pop numbers.

The Faintest Ideas | Lose the Downside | Buy

2007 Year End Survey | The Spinto Band

photo courtesy of rdonnell

It was a quieter year for The Spinto Band. However, it was only quiet in relation to their previous years of relentless globe trekking as they played hundreds of shows. This summer, they took a break from the road to spend some time in L.A. recording the follow-up to their endlessly catchy 2005 pop album, Nice and Nicely Done.

According to their website, the album is in the mixing stage but no specific release date has been released. However, if you want a sneak peek at what the songs might sound like, be sure to check out the Daytrotter Session they recorded last spring. Three of the four songs were previously unreleased and good bets to be on the upcoming album.

For fun, you can also check out their visit to the Qwik-E-Mart they made while recording the album.

Like last year, due to their connection to Vermont, we asked Thomas and Sam Hughes of The Spintos to help with the survey. Thomas is a recent graduate of Bennington College and his brother, Sam, spent the last semester back at Bennington working towards finalizing his degree.

That's quite a dedication to education. After taking some time off from college to tour the world playing hundreds of shows, it must have been brutal to re-focus on stuff like organic chemistry, comparative religions and Asian art history. Ugh. He's a better man than me for being able to do it.

photo courtesy of hollyerskine

Sam Hughes | Keyboards

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

Heart Gently Weeps - Wu-Tang Clan

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

I Am a Wonderful Man - Michael Ian Black

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

The Pulsars in Los Angeles. First concert they have played in ten years.

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Jones Soda. Football, Christmas, and Hanukkah packs? Way to go, guys.

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

I don't want to be a political douche about this, but I'd like to see a Democrat back in office. Preferably Kucinich, but I don't think that's likely.

Wu-Tang Clan | The Heart Gently Weeps | Buy

photo courtesy of freekorps

Thomas Hughes | Guitar & Vocals

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

At the moment I can't refrain from listening to Justice's "D.A.N.C.E"

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

There have been many contenders, but no true champion. The Teeth, Of Montreal, Asleep in the Sea, Spoon, and The Eames Era all made excellent efforts to my ears.

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

A St. Vincent show that ended with her and John Vanderslice performing a duet of the Magnetic Fields' "Yeah! Oh Yeah!".

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Getting to visit the Musée Mécanique.

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

A Kucinich victory!

Justice | D.A.N.C.E. | Buy

The Spinto Band | Late | Buy

2007 Year End Survey | Farm

2007's Year End Survey has so far seen a video and a naked guy. We continue your sensory overload with a phone in response from St. Albans/Enosburg Falls stoner-blues rock trio Farm.

When originally approached about the project, Ben Maddox stated that multi-instrumentalist Joshua Givens didn't have a computer, but he offered to transcribe it for the post (dedication!). We decided to get rid of the middle man and have them lay it down as an mp3. Seems like an appropriate medium given the whole idea behind False 45th.

Farm put out an excellent long player this year entitled Gray Birds. The unreleased tune "bloodmobile" plays in the background of the survey. Also, I've been asked to point out that Jedd Kettler meant to say Upper Jay, not Albany, NY, in his response. I guess we've found the shortcoming of audio responses.

Farm's Full Audio Survey Response

Skip James | Crow Jane | Buy

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss | Polly Come Home | Buy

Farm | 31 | Buy

Monday, December 17, 2007

2007 Year End Survey | Hannah Teter

Between baseball's steroids scandal, Michael Vick, Marion Jones, Floyd Landis and a slew of other ne'er-do-wells, it's easy to dismiss athletes as selfish, greedy and lacking integrity. That's why Hannah Teter is refreshing. Not only is the Vermont native rocking the winner's podium, appearing in movies and traveling the world, she's focusing on feeding children in Africa that have been orphaned by AIDS.

Hannah's Gold is a brand of Grade A Vermont Maple Syrup that her family boils and is sold to help those children in Africa. The proceeds of the sales go to World Vision which is a "Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. They serve the world's poor- regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, or gender."

Plus, she's a music fan which makes it even easier to get behind her.

You can order a bottle of Hannah's Gold from her website.

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

Asian Dub Foundation- black/white

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

Ky-Mani Marley- RADio

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

India Arie in south Lake taHoe at the dirty casinos that pollute the lake, but put on good shows none the less.

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Learning about Darfur and reaching out to try and help and raise more awareness... because still today people dont know ! And if you reading this & dont know about the genocide in Darfur..... over 600,000 have been murdered and/or starved to death, and 2 million are homeless and living in a hellish state of life. Very sad. But it can be changed if everybody reached out and said this sort of crap can't happen.

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

pEace for everybody world wide! filming a snowboard part in Kenya where we will take some of the kids up to the mountains and watch them experience snow for the first time of their lives... and then we're just going to hang out with the locals in the town that my charity sponsers... chillin', grasping the other world that people live in so gratefully, but how hard that other world is.. its gunna be life changing and full-filling ! not too excited to get the shots you have to get to go there, but hey, its worth it!

Asian Dub Foundation | Black White | Buy

2007 Year End Survey | Rogue Birds

Last year, Bo, the Eat More Kale Guy, was one of only two people in the survey that saw their wish for 2007 come true (Alex Wolff of the Frost Heaves got his ABA championship). Within a month of him wishing for a Police reunion tour, Sting and company were putting their differences aside and hitting the road. So, watch out for his wish in 2008; or better yet, watch out, Willie.

This year, Bo started an Americana folk band called Rogue Birds which in its short life has played a lot of gigs and even appeared live on WGDR. Their rootsy sound with cello, guitar and drums is a bit reminiscent of The Kamikaze Hearts in the way they attacked their strings and skins.

Here's a list of upcoming shows:

Jan 3 Stonecutters Brew, Barre
Jan 18 Worcester Town Hall
Feb 9 Skinny Pancake, Burlington
Feb 14 Bees Knees, Morrisville
March 14 Bees Knees, Morrisville

Bo, the Eat More Kale Guy | Drums

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

First Night the Hold Steady

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

The Boxing Mirror Alejandro Escovedo

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

Public Enemy on a Sunday night in Burlington. At 1 a.m. Chuck D., Flava Flav, and Professor Grif were all doing one are push ups on the stage during a song!! Say what you will about Flava Flav....but there is NO BETTER HYPE MAN! He keeps the party going.

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Being called a "Funny Dude", out of the blue, by my 2 yr old daughter. ( 2nd place discovering how good YOUTUBE is for live music clips)

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

This is the year that Willie Nelson and my Mom are going to admit that I am one of Willie's LOVE CHILDREN.

Carl Witke | Cello and Guitar

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

The Ballad of Love and Hate – The Avett Bros.

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

Separation Sunday from the Hold Steady

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

Alejandro Escovedo’s String Quartet, or maybe The Code Talkers pumping it out through a Leslie 122 speaker, or maybe still the Rogue Birds Live on WGDR October 21st.

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

My children’s well being/happiness, their academic/life advancements and The Rogue Birds!

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

Lots more good music!!

Duffy Garner | Vocals and Guitar

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

Everybody knows Ryan Adams

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

Easy Tiger Ryan Adams (*****heard and loved Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson for the 1st time in 2007***)

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

Ryan Adams

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Birth of my baby girl Rose, born May 10th........birth and development of my band.

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

I'd like to record a stirring punk/gospel album

The Hold Steady | First Night | Buy

The Avett Bros. | The Ballad of Love and Hate | Buy

Ryan Adams | Everybody Knows (live) | Buy

All from their WGDR session:
Rogue Birds | Before the Flood After the Fall

Rogue Birds | The One

Rogue Birds | Sampson and Delihah (Grateful Dead cover)

Rogue Birds | Railroad Man (Eels cover)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Danners Benefit Concert | Postponed

The Danners Benefit Show at Bethany Church in Montpelier scheduled for this afternoon has been postponed due to the storm. Once it's been rescheduled, we'll be sure to post an update.

Yo La Tengo | 8 Nights of Hanukkah Shows | Hoboken

Come on. Tell me that's not the best concert t-shirt you've seen in a long time.

extrawack! was at the the third night of the shows and posted this review.

Also, nyctaper was at the show and has the show available to download here.

Wax Poetics | Cover Story: Album Cover Art

We're into crunch time of the Christmas shopping season. So, if you're still struggling to find the killer gift for that goovular music fan in your life, I have a fab suggestion. In fact, I just ordered a copy for my brother-in-law (shhh...don't tell him).

Wax Poetics, the great soul, jazz & hip hop, has started a line of books and one of their first releases is a coffee table book called Cover Story: Album Cover Art. It's as simple as a collection of cool album covers from decades of soul, jazz and hip hop. What makes it great is that a lot of the covers are relatively obscure but still ranking high in the "Holy crap! Look at that!" category; as you can see from the three samples I pulled. I love the $1.98 price sticker on the Paul Humphrey album (1973 release).

It takes 2-5 days to have it shipped though. So, if you want to order a copy, better get on it.

2007 Year End Survey | TK

Regular readers of this blog know that we occasionally post show reviews from our Senior Midwest Correspondent, TK. It's always easy to tell his posts from the rest because they tend to be much more well written. Plus, they give us a view into festivals like Pitchfork and other big shows (and Harry Potter shenanigans) that we wouldn't otherwise get to post.

By the way, that's TK on the left on a glacier in Argentina earlier this year.

1. What was your favorite song of 2007?

There wasn't any song that really jumped out and grabbed me this year. I'm more into CDs that can put together a full body of work. The ones that stayed in my head for the most part were Mistaken For Strangers by The National, Grip Like A Vice by The Go!Team and Bodysnatchers by Radiohead.

2. What was your favorite album of 2007?

I can't decide between Boxer by The National and In Rainbows by Radiohead so they split the prize. Other CDs I liked a lot included Neon Bible by The Arcade Fire, Liars by Liars and Proof of Youth by The Go!Team.

3. What was your favorite concert of 2007?

The Vermont barn dance. Just kidding. I'm convinced The Arcade Fire and Art Brut are incapable of putting on a bad show. And normally, The National's show at High Noon Saloon in Madison would have walked away with it. Except Deerhoof put on a show at Chicago's Metro in January that was as good as any concert I've seen, regardless of year.

4. What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Going to Argentina for almost three weeks. Hiking on a glacier. Eating lunch in front of glaciers for four straight days. Disappearing in stunningly beautiful places. Staring in wonder at the sheer power of Devil's Throat at Igauzu Falls. Spending a lot of time walking around with a really dumb grin on my face.

5. What are your best wishes for 2008?

Getting rid of an administration I consider responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis would be nice. Health of family and friends. More wonderful experiences, be it music, travel or otherwise.

The National | Mistaken for Strangers | Buy

The Go! Team | Grip Like a Vice | Buy

Radiohead | Bodysnatchers | Buy

Thursday, December 13, 2007

2007 Year End Survey | Rusty Romance | Update

Of all the stuff we post on this blog, this is one of the more important ones. Here's the info from Rusty Romance:

I'm just writing to remind you that Rusty Romance and Bad Monkey (Mark LeGrand's new rock trio) are playing a benefit concert at Bethany Church this Sunday afternoon
(Dec 16) starting at 3:00 PM.

The show is to benefit Jackie (Benjamin) and Richard Danner - a family in dire need of medical and travel expenses. Jackie is suffering from cancer that appears to be terminal. She and Richard wish to return to Montpelier to be with their family for the remaining months that she has left. They are without sufficient insurance and means to return home.

In the spirit of the holiday season, both bands are donating their time so that all proceeds from the event will go directly to the Danners. Admission is $10 each or $25 for a family, there will also be refreshments.

Bad Monkey will play from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Rusty Romance will play from 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM.

For those who can't make the concert but would like to offer their financial support, donations may be sent to Bethany Church Deacons Fund at 115 Main Street in Montpelier and specify Danner Relocation Fund on the memo line. For more information contact Liz Sykas-Ringgenberg at libbi_ringg@yahoo.com

If the show is postponed due to the expected nor'easter on Sunday, I'll post an update.

UPDATE: The Danner Benefit Show at Bethany Church has been postponed due to the storm. When it gets rescheduled, I'll add another update.

Bill Fraser | Guitarist (and Montpelier's City Manager)

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

Ah Mary by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

Sky Blue Sky by Wilco

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

Gogol Bordello at Vermont College

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

Red Sox winning the World Series!!

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

Health and happiness for everyone in Montpelier. (That and Patriots to win the Super Bowl, Celtics to win the NBA Finals and Rusty Romance to go platinum!)

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals | Ah Mary | Buy

Kevin Macneil Brown | Guitarist

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

I guess I’ll have to go with “Anna Leigh” by the Sadies, since it got stuck in my head a lot. It’s a good thing I like the way it blends country- rock twang, dreamy psychedelia, and story-telling lyrics.

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

For the first half of the year it was Susan Alcorn’s AND I AWAIT…THE RESURRECTION OF THE PEDAL STEEL GUITAR. Susan’s music is brave, adventurous, and always emotionally engaging in its explorations of new sonic territory.

For the second half , Robert Fripp’s AT THE END OF TIME-CHURCHSCAPES LIVE. These elegant, devotional soundscapes for looped and delayed electric guitar carry a quietly powerful sense of journey and arrival

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

Rusty Romance, two nights at Montsweag Roadhouse in Woolwich, Maine. Maine: the way life should be.

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

The way the movement toward revering and protecting our local landscape, economy, and community went mainstream. It seems we are waking up and taking action by making our ideals a living part of our selves.

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

That we take the new possibilities offered -- both political and personal--to manifest compassion within our minds, hearts, bodies, and souls.

The Sadies | Anna Leigh | Buy

Rusty Romance (feat. Michelle Gardner) | Midnight Special (Lead Belly cover) | Buy

2007 Year End Survey | Rusty Dewees

Does Rusty Dewees really need any introduction? If Vermonters vote you as the person they would most like to see naked, you're "a household name"...or in Vermont, a "deer camp name". For your curiosity...Sen. Bernie Sanders came in second.

However, about 80% of the readers of this blog come from outside Vermont and they may not be as familiar with The Logger as we are. Rusty Dewees is the Sammy Davis Jr. of the Green Mountains. He does everything. He's a comedian (Flynn Theater on First Night). He recently released a book, Scrawlins. He acts on both the big screen and small screen. You'll find him racing cars at Thunder Road. He even has his own variety show where you'll find him playing drums.

He even answers our emails.

BTW, a print of the above picture was auctioned off for a pretty penny earlier this week in a fundraiser for Burlington City Arts. Imagine coming home and your significant other has that framed over the mantel. People REALLY love their Rusty.

1) What was your favorite song of 2007?

"Johnny Cash" - Jason Aldean

2) What was your favorite album of 2007?

I don't buy albums but I like that Justin Timberlake, maybe if I got his I'da liked it. Or if Dean Martin was still alive and cutting, I'da liked his.

3) What was your favorite concert of 2007?

I really don't get to concerts. I'm generally busy evenings. Now that I think about it,I did go to George Jones (2006) at the Flynn and thought he did a really fine job. It worked for me.

4) What was your favorite thing about 2007?

It rhymes with, "Tryin to get ta heaven."

5) What are your best wishes for 2008?

Who wouldn't say to see the end of the war, if in fact an outcome can be reached that works for as many as possible.

Jason Aldean | Johnny Cash | Buy

Viva-Radio Dance Party | Burlington | Dec 15

From the folks at Tick Tick:

Don't forget to come out on Saturday night, to the lovely, the upstairs, the Second Floor (lower church st), for a fascinating night of dancing!!

Featuring Mike DeVice (Tick Tick's official DJ)
and Neil & Jordan of Get Low!!, Tedward of Springbreak, Glen of Absinthe & Presents, and Matt of Sticky Wickets, all Viva-Radio.com DJs coming from far away just to please you.

Its $3 at the door if you're over 21, $8 if you're under 21, and FREE if you RSVP to PARTY@viva-radio.com - there are a few spots left.

Beginning at 9 pm. Ending at 2 am.

If you don't come, we may not see you until after the holidays that many but not all people celebrate, when we will all DANCE AGAIN (on the 29th, details to come).

We'd like to recommend Barnes Elementary performance of the Nutcracker as a pre-entertainment on Saturday afternoon at 3pm.

Watch your steps, don't slip on the ice out there!

Love, Tick Tick

Madonna | Hung Up | Buy

Ski Vermont Burger | UPDATE

With all the snow falling this season (we were up at Bolton Valley last weekend and the conditions were "mid-season-like"; plus we're getting more tonight and a dumping on Sunday), a lot of folks are going to be heading for the slopes this year. Well, while you're there, here's a little something you can do for local farmers.

The Vermont Ski Areas Association has teamed up with local beef farmers to create the "Ski Vermont Burger". Basically, it's just a burger but the cool thing is that it entirely comes from local farms. It'll be available at Bolton Valley, Okemo, Jay Peak and Stowe this year. So, whether you're just coming up for the weekend or live here year-round, you can help out the 1,000 Vermont beef producers by chowing down on a Ski Vermont Burger.

Out of curiosity, where the hell is the rest of the Vermont ski areas on this project? Why aren't Killington, Stratton, Bromley, Mount Snow, et al participating? They can't accept a smaller profit on their burgers to help the local farmers who probably can't even afford to ski at their resorts?

UPDATE: I've heard from Ski Vermont and they say that Mount Snow has now joined the program too and they are working with the other resorts. Good to hear. Oh, and we got another dumping this weekend. Stowe said they got 26 inches. It'll be the best "Christmas Week Skiing" in years.

Wagon Rides | Montpelier

If you're looking for something to do with the kids this weekend, there will be horse drawn wagon rides through downtown from noon-3pm on Saturday. I think it'll also be running the following Saturday, Dec 22.

The wagon picks people up in front of City Center near the corner of East State St. and Main St. The ride goes down Langdon St. to Elm St. to State St., down past the Capitol building and then back up State St.

We went last weekend and had fun until the winds picked up for the trip back up State St. Then we froze and it kind of sucked. However, if the wind is calm, it's fun to roll through town to the sound of the clip clops of the horses hoofs.