Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Deli Magazine | Band of the Month

How about a vote for Lendway?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lykke Li + Bon Iver | Dance Dance Dance

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sixpoint Hop Obama

From the beer list at The Sierra Grille in Northampton, MA this past weekend. I tried to order it but they had already sold out of it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

REMINDER: The Radiator Benefit Show

The Radiator is having a benefit show on Monday, Nov 17 at Club Metronome. Here are two reasons to go:

♫ The Radiator is a great radio station playing a wide variety of DJ-chosen music. However, nobody is getting rich. This is a community focused project that survives on volunteerism and some minimum underwriting from local businesses. So, you can support it by going to this show.

♫ There's a sweet lineup. I've not caught The Vacant Lots twice and am loving their VU-inspired sounds. And I've been hoping to catch Nosebleed Island for a long time.

$5 donation at the door.

False 45th Record Club | Dec 2

What's a better way to kick off the holiday season than sharing music with some friends? With that in mind, the next date for the False 45th Record Club is Tuesday, Dec 2. Due to the growing number of people that want to participate, we'll start an hour earlier this time at 7pm.

The change this time is that we are going to do a night of cover songs. So, your two submissions must be cover songs. Our working definition of a cover songs is: a song by a band that was originally released by a different band. Simple enough.

All of the other rules still apply:

(1) Every genre and time period is fair game.

(2) The two songs must be from different artists and different albums. The emphasis is on variety.

(3) The songs have to be eight minutes or less.

(4) They can't be from your own band.

So, if you want to join the fun, email me two cover songs by Sunday, Nov 24th. Please include the name of the artist that did the original version since I'll include it with the tracklist.

Email songs to:

See you on Dec 2.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sock Sale | Nov 15, 16, 22 & 23

Here's my annual reminder about the sock sale at Cabot Hosiery in Northfield. It runs from 8:30-4:30 on Saturday and Sunday this weekend (and next weekend). If you are heading south on Rt. 12 from Montpelier, the Cabot factory is on your left a mile or two before downtown Northfield. Look for the sign along the road.

The video above is Eva Sollberger's excellent take on last year's sock sale. Some girl in Argentina even made a parody of her video. Check it out here.

More Love for Lendway

Dan Bolles has a nice review in this week's Seven Days of Lendway's new album The Low Red End. Here's the money quote:

The band’s full-length debut, The Low Red End, casts a saccharine sheen over the city’s thriving lo-fi rock set. Their bright, hook-laden indie-pop owes heavy debts to Built to Spill, Olivia Tremor Control and, of course, Lennon-McCartney — but don’t we all?

See the info below for their CD release party on Friday night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lendway | CD Release Party | Club Metronome | Nov 14

It's been a good year for albums from local bands and you can add one more to the list. On Friday, Nov 14, Lendway will be releasing their debut album The Low Red End. The CD release party will be at Nectar's (9:30pm).

I was lucky enough to get a copy of it last month and it's been getting constant play ever since. The album is part Luna, part Grateful Dead, part Beatles and lots of foot-tapping melodies. It's one of those albums where a few songs immediately catch your ear and then you eventually find your focus shifting to other songs on the album. That's a recipe for an album that'll stick with you a lot longer than the typical debut CD.

Apparently, their goal is to immediately record a follow-up EP and then another full-length album in the spring. Then they'll be hitting the road out of VT on the strength of those albums. In the meantime though, they'll be at Nectar's on Friday night.

Lendway | Two Sleepy Arms | Buy

I May Never Eat Skittles Again

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Capstan Shafts | Cretin Flowers

A few bits of Capstan Shafts news...

♫ About a month ago, Dean Wells moved to West Virginia from Lyndonville, VT. So, we no longer have a claim to the latest torch bearer of the lo-fi movement. However, he said in an email that he'll periodically be back up in VT. Hopefully, that'll mean a show or two in the area.

♫ The Capstan Shafts have recorded a song for a new indie rock compilation called "Fake Bookshelf" which is from an Australian zine called The Lifted Brow. it comes out on January 17. They still have zines in Australia?

♫ Last month, he played CMJ in NYC.

♫ Lastly & most importantly, Wells just released his third album of the year. This time it's a 6-song collection of singles called Cretin Flowers. The album is available via Wells just asks for $2 or $3 to be sent his way via paypal. You can use his address of deanedwardwells at yahoo dot com.

It's a packed and stacked ten minutes of music; not a single dud in the six-pack. In fact, it even includes my new favorite Capstan Shafts song, "Space Nut to Ape Length", which is a cruising rocker with some odd "twangy yet humming" guitar in the background. I was painting the ceiling of our living room this weekend which meant the room was clear of furniture. Well, I had Cretin Flowers blasting away and the kids completely busted out into a dance party. In fact, I thought my son was going to go spaz straight through the wall during "Space Nut to Ape Length". Good stuff.

The Capstan Shafts | Space Nut to Ape Length | Buy

Swedish Dance Bands from the 70's

Oh, those Swedes! So filled with pop yet so poorly dressed.

Then again, it wasn't like VT was lighting up the fashion world in the 70's either. Regardless, it's fun to laugh at these promo shots from yesteryear.

Log Fail

I Value the Drawing at $233.95

If you haven't seen this yet, it's worth reading for a good laugh; particularly if you like Don Novello's Lazlo Toth books.

Fantastic Contraption

Looking to kill a few hours? Well Fantastic Contraption is your answer.

Fantastic Contraption is an online physics game that my kids and I have been playing a lot lately. The game works well because it's a simple premise (move a ball into a box) that uses simple tools (wheels and sticks) but gets progressively more challenging. It's easy enough for my kids to work on solving the problems but complex to keep me interested. That's a recipe for many hours of free time disappearing.

You can also save your designs so they can be shared with others. Then once you've completed a level and shared your design, you can view other designs for that level. It's interesting to see how others have approached the same problems. On the higher levels, when I've been completely stumped, I've resorted to YouTube for help. Lots of people record their designs and post them there.

You can view a few of my designs here, here, here and here. And my son has one's here and here.

Just remember...I warned you about it eating up hours and hours.

Women | The Fifth Element | Oct 18

One of my favorite albums this year has been Women's debut self-titled album. Imagine The Kinks recording in a garage into a boombox and you get an idea of what Women sound like. Lo-fi pop gems.

Well, they are starting to get some attention as shown by their recent swing through CMJ where they seemed to have played about nine shows in five days or something ridiculous like that. Fortunately, the VT is blessed with the killer instincts of the Tick Tick crew who got Women to make a stop in Burlington on their way to NY from their homes in Canada.

Besides have great ears for talent, the Tick Tick folks are great about pairing artists with cool and appropriate locations. Whether it's the solitude of a remote church for an acoustic show by an artist looking for confidence or, in this case, an industrial basement packed with local hipsters for a hot lo-fi band, Tick Tick gets the right venue for the right artist.

I had never been to The Fifth Element but was told to make a left onto Battery St. and go until it ends. The show will be downstairs. What could go wrong with such directions? I suspiciously followed the directions and found myself in some sort of industrial quarry/cement site. However, sure as shit, when I got out of the car I heard music. I found a door at one end of the building that was less then a typical entrance to a show and more like a door you'd see in a indistrial garage door at an auto repait shop. Then it was a concrete ramp into what looked like a pre-war storage basement for the neighboring business. A low celing with lots of exposed wooden beams and electrical conduits surrounded by random boxes, old windows and other stored items. However, it was actually somebody's apartment that Tick Tick uses occasionally for shows. Perfect atmosphere for a stripped down rock show. Minimalist for minimalists.

I missed Ryan Power's set but got there in time to catch The Vacant Lots. I had heard them briefly one night while walking past Red Square with my wife. Not knowing who they were, we stopped for a few minutes to listen. After about one song, I decided I wanted to know who they were. So, I asked a waiter and later dug up their myspace page.

This show was my first time to take in a full set of theirs. They are two people. Jared Artaud sports the Joey Ramone look as he knocks out deep fuzzy VU-sounding licks on his hollow-body guitar. Brian McFadyen is a teenager schooled in classical music but who hammers away at a stand-up drum set Mo Tucker style; someone needs to get him an upside down metal garbage can to complete the sound. Regardless, the kid does a great job of driving the droning beat until you find your head knocking up and down; similar to what happens to me during a Yo La Tengo show. Sucked in by the drone but floating on the melody. Good stuff.

After The Vacant Lots, Women were up. I wasn't sure what they thought odd playing such a unique venue but I later heard that they loved the place and were very excited to play there. Between their enthusiasm for playing an intimate show for about 40 people in a basement and my joy of seeing a band with only a debut album that I knew inside and out, I felt it would be a good show.

Here's the funny thing about Women. The production of their album is so rough that they sounded much cleaner live; even playing in such an industrial setting. They played everything I could think of off the album and everyone was into the show as they danced along. There was about a ten minute break while they restrung a broken string and they didn't play an encore. However, those were minor issues. Overall, it was a fun show.

At the end of the show, someone yelled "DANCE PARTY!" and immediately dance tunes came over the PA system. I was on the way out but for the rest of the folks, the night was just heating up. Well done, Tick Tick.

Women | Black Rice | Buy

Women | Shaking Hands | Buy

Paul Metzger & Tim Kaiser | Coming to Burlington | Nov 16

From Greg Davis

paul metzger and tim kaiser are coming to town & im really really excited about this show. itll be a rare chance to hear these guys play live. if you are at all interested in hand built, homemade, modified, circuit bent instruments, then this is the show for you. this promises to be a visual & aural delight. dont miss it!

About Paul Metzger

With some of the most inventive (and brilliant) playing heard in a long time, the buzz about Paul Metzger is raging through the improvisational music community like wild fire. His weapons of choice are a heavily modified fretless guitar and a 21-string banjo. On these almost-alien instruments, Metzger creates otherworldly sounds unique unto themselves. His long, elaborate gypsy raga improvisations are skillful sonic meditations that sound both ancient and fresh in their immediacy.He has released several recordings (including vinyl) in the past few years on the Archive, Roaratorio and Locust labels.

About Tim Kaiser

Having built over 150 electro-acoustic contraptions, Tim Kaiser has truly mapped out his own musical frontier. His sonic atmospheres are a kind of adventurous experiment leading to a singular, artistic voice. This is a hand-made music that Make Magazine calls "eclectic genius." Kaiser's recording Analog was released on the Innova label last year and he just finished work on two limited edition projects: Elements and Machine Music.

Burlington Underground

There's a nice new addition to the VT music scene...Burlington Underground. The site basically is a listing of shows in the Burlington area. The functionality works well with you being able to search either by date or by venue. The list of venues seems pretty exhaustive too. It's missing The Firehouse Gallery but I'm having trouble finding any other absent venues.

It seems like a good tool for planning a night out or checking out to see what's coming up for the weekend. Hopefully, the updating process is an automated program because keeping that calendar current would be a major pain-in-the-ass. I can barely keep the tiny show calendar in our sidebar updated.

1,240 Cupcakes

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama Has a Posse

Bo of Eat More Kale Shirts has a new design for the historic moment. It's based upon Shepard Fairey's OBEY Giant design of the 1980's but with President Obama. Very cool shirt.

I love writing "President Obama".

By the way, Fairey also did the well-known Obama poster that hung in every field office for the last few months. I wonder if Bo has shared his shirt design with Fairey. He'd surely dig it. | Yes We Can

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Clues + Elfin Saddle | Thursday | Burlington

Tick Tick presents Montreal (and BTV) goodness:
CLUES (Montreal, featuring Alden Penner of the Unicorns and Brendan Reed of Arcade Fire)

At 143 North Avenue, 8pm, $6-$10 suggested donation
Thursday, November 6th

Elfin Saddle has come in the past, and also played a memorable show in Stannard on a very smoky december evening as the church's woodstove backdrafted crazily. They have a really creative approach to being a two person band.

Clues | Perfect Fit

Elfin Saddle | The Sun

Leap Day

Billy Bragg | Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards | Buy

Monday, November 03, 2008


Sunset Rubdown | They Took a Vote and Said No | Buy