Thursday, July 31, 2008

Best Looking Arcade Fire Fan

I generally don't think of Arcade Fire fans as being the model-types; more untucked than primping. However, AF fan, Andrew Savage, is setting the bar a bit higher for the rest of us after being named in the recent release of the 50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill by

Savage, the Communication Director for Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and native of East Montpelier, was the person responsible for Welch using AF's "Rebellion" as the intro to his victory speech on election night in 2006. It was a pretty ballsy choice considering (1) that most campaigns play it safe by selecting tired classic rock tunes and (2) the full title of the song is "Rebellion (Lies)" which some right-wing blogger could have jumped on.

By the way, regarding the list of the most beautiful people on the hill, the blog DCeiver has a hilarious post up mocking it (including calling Savage "the white Barack Obama"). Well worth the click.

Arcade Fire | Rebellion (Lies) | Buy

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Portugal. The Man

Holy cumbersome band name Batman. A place, period, a definite article AND "Man." Welcome to Portugal. The Man. I guess when you hail from Alaska (Wasilla to be exact) an unwieldily name is par for the course. A 4 piece folk-blues-americana-experimental-rock outfit, the group is on the verge of releasing their 3rd LP (entitled Censored Colours due 9.16.08).

Below is a stripped down slow going video highlighting a track off the new disc. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pitchfork Festival | Chicago | Jul 18 - 20

False 45th's Senior Midwest Correspondent, TK, is busy these days. After hitting Les Breastfeeders last week, he went down to Chicago for all three days of the Pitchfork Festival. Very jealous.


Friday, July 18 - All Tomorrow's Parties "Don't Look Back"

The format for the first night, like last year, is to have three bands play a "classic" album of theirs from start to finish. First up was Mission of Burma, who had already started even though my watch showed 5:55 p.m.. They decided to take the stage early and play some cuts off of Signals, Calls and Marches before launching into Vs., the album they were scheduled to play. Mission of Burma was fantastic here two years ago and turned in another impressive set. They got off to a somewhat restrained start, an interesting bit of tug-o'-war for a band that seems to relish pushing to the edge of flying apart at the seams. The album format did make for several jokes in between songs - we forgot our set list, now we have to flip the record, it takes a certain talent to screw up the track list on your own album - but drummer Peter Prescott had perhaps the best hoot by bellowing "Welcome To The Burmadome" at the start of the set. When they played, MOB has a no-nonsense sincerity that really pulls you in, particularly when the dude face-butts his mic every time he goes up to sing into it. The churning of "Weatherbox" was a highlight and they ended the set strong. Now I know who I want to be when I grow up. If only more rockers aged this gracefully. I can only hope they have something else even approaching The Obliterati or Vs. left in them.

Sebadoh was up next with Bubble and Scrape. I can't say I'm very familiar but they didn't turn me off.

Next up was Public Enemy with It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. I told friends beforehand I couldn't lose because it would either be a laughable train wreck or an impressive show and it was some of both. Public Enemy has long stood above nearly every other rap group in mind and Friday was further proof of that. Evidently you lose street cred if you show up on time for your gig in hip-hop but Public Enemy took it to a whole new level with Flavor Flav showing up after his own freaking band started. Seriously. Chuck D had to rap into two mikes during Bring The Noise because Flav had his mike and...Flav wasn't there. They'd both get into a slight tiff over it later in the set with Chuck D saying Flav left him hanging and Flav telling Chuck he could have waited. Heaven forbid Flav make it to the stage by 8:50 for an 8:30 show. This touched on a bit of a rift between the two because Chuck D remains razor-sharp on his social commentary while Flav has turned himself into a circus sideshow with his reality TV exploits. Flav would try to plug his new reality TV show at one point. Wrong gig. He got his ass roundly booed and then got pissy about being booed. Chuck D, however, still has his game and his voice still cuts through. PE seemed like it would get it going only to sputter until about the last four songs of the set. They salvaged the night with a half-hour plus encore of greatest hits, starting with Welcome To The Terrordome and finishing with Fight The Power. If the entire set had that same rhythm and energy, and showing up on time would have helped, it would have been something special.

Sat., July 19

I'll just start reviewing this day off by giving a special Pitchfork, rounded to the nearest tenth, grade for all the sound crews the first two days:


Just brutal. One mishap after another. Then again, we started the day by missing a train (and Jay Reatard in the process) and not packing folding chairs, umbrellas, sunblock...I would have forgotten my freaking head if it wasn't stitched on tight.
Anyway, at least we got there in time to see Caribou. Not familiar with them before but that will change. Really impressive.
Then we scooted over to the Balance Stage, which they moved to the back and away from the two main stages, for the Fuck Buttons. I can't speak for everyone, but with the exception of Air, I have my own math on this type of music:

Band + keyboards/synthesizers only = Jerking off

Two guys playing with their toys on stage had us leaving early. And memo to Dizzee Rascal: Public Enemy wants their siren back.

Then we caught Vampire Weekend, who really excite some people and leave others wanting to smash acoustic guitars over their heads. They succeed Jamie Lidell as The Pitchfork Act Most Likely To Get Its Ass Kicked By Anyone Here. Maybe if they just stuck with their laid-back vibe I wouldn't have minded so much but then their lead singer had a couple tunes where either something bit him in the ass or he had Tourette's, which ruined what the rest of the band tried to accomplish. And spare me the whole bashful routine in between songs like you asked your mom for permission - you're the lead singer of a band playing a festival. I figured I'd make a verdict on Vampire Weekend and I was still indifferent, still mumbling just like their lead singer does in between songs.

Then came !!!, who got their disco on and delighted the crowd with their energy.

Finally, it was curfew for the kiddie bands to go home and time for the adults to take the stage. I've seen The Hold Steady a bunch of time and they have yet to disappoint me. They had sound problems (grrrrrrr) too but we intentionally watched from a distance so we could bail quickly to catch No Age. Oh yeah, and give The Hold Steady brownie points along with Mission of Burma for actually giving a shit about the fans and taking the stage early so they could squeeze more songs in. Take notes, future Pitchfork acts.

Before No Age was Atlas Sound, and if I my theory holds true for synth only bands, then the same wanking bylaw holds true for just one guy and sound tracks. Yawn.

At the risk of losing out on Jarvis Cocker and Animal Collective, I had to go see No Age in the back because I've been entranced by their new album, Nouns. Talk about taking the stage by force. Midway through Cappo, their second song, I though my chest was going to explode. Every so often someone comes along like a breath of fresh air and reaffirms your joy of music. Seeing Les Breastfeeders and No Age in the same week has recharged my batteries. What is it with groups that have just two people producing such huge sound? It's like number of times I've seen a soccer or hockey team go a man down, only to play better because everyone knows they have to do more. They dragged the beginning of Here Should Be My Home but they were only setting us up for a full-on thrash from the chorus on. Unfortunately, they had to overcome tech issues and drummer Dean Spunt had to stop just shy of the end of Sleeper Hold because the security guys roughed up a bodysurfer (Note: I used to work security 2-3 years and I had a band yell at me once but not once did I or anyone I work with ever do anything to make a band stop and bitch them out in mid-song. Especially at Pitchfork, a place I don't feel is overrun with felons.). To cap their night perfectly, guitarist Randy Randall bailed early on the encore with tourmates Abe Vigoda by leaping into the crowd and bodysurfing, a perfect F-you to the security goons. I can't wait to see No Age again, hopefully in a small club doing their own thing.

Sun., July 20

Far more prepared this time, we were able to kick back in our chairs, see both stages and use umbrellas to beat the heat, which was straight rather than the fall-over-and-wilt humidity that marked the first two days.

Just as I get comfy in my chair, Japanese imports Boris take the stage. From the first riff, it seemed like Boris showed up with the intent of turning into rubble whatever No Age left standing from the night before. I quickly had a grin and kept it through 30 minutes of mayhem. Boris has this ability to have its guitars soar over the driving rhythm section and differ from just straight speed metal. Between them and Caribou, 2 p.m. was the money slot, making you wish they could play more than 30 minutes. They said they had to stop because the power went out, yet another aggravating glitch in a weekend full of them.

Fortunately, the music was strong most of the rest of the the day. The Apples In Stereo were solid and Les Savy Fav sounded pretty good as well, but with a catch. Their lead singer came out in sparkly red tights with one leg cut up to the cheek before going shirtless. If fat, bearded bald guys with jiggling moobs and hairy asses are your cup of tea, this set was bliss. Not only did I throw up slightly in my mouth as I just wrote that, but you're so used to watching a band as they play that it was difficult to just listen and not watch that spectacle. I'm sure these are exactly the type of people Vampire Weekend's moms don't want them hanging out with.

The Dodos put on an energetic set. Spiritualized followed and impressed with their overcaffeinated take on gospel.

Dinosaur Jr. continued the string with a heavy, crunchy set that satisfied. Then it seems we bailed on the wrong headliner.

We were pretty tired so we lost out on Animal Collective, in part because No Age ran late and in part because we had to catch a train. Now I wish it had been Spoon that headlined Saturday.
I'm sure Spoon hold great appeal to a lot of people but I'm not one of them. I've tried but I just can't get into what they're doing. We borrowed the gong from Boris and bailed after 30 minutes.
I don't want to completely unload on Pitchfork for all the sound problems because it's still a great way to hear a lot of good bands for $60 total. Hell, I'd gladly pay that much for a Boris/No Age show. I'm sure sound problems are more likely to occur at festivals but it needs to be addressed before next year.

Early wish list for '09: Les Breastfeeders, Deerhoof, Mudhoney, The Earaches, Liars.

Next up: Lollapalooza.

Mountaineers | Rain Out

With the Mountaineers leading Holyoke 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth tonight, we were treated to a picturesque rainbow across the outfield.

However, that led to this in the fifth.

Which led to this.

Unfortunately, the game was suspended with Vermont up 1-0 with one out in the top of the fifth (and a runner on second). Two more outs and it would have been an official game. Damn. it would have been nice to book that win. The other thing that sucks is that it burns a quality start by the team's ace Casey Harmon. If his innings pitched had counted, he'd be up to 36 innings pitched this season without having yielded a single earned run.

One note, in the middle picture, that's the players dragging the tarp across the field. Players from both teams did the yeoman's work in the rain. Hell, even Casey Harmon was out there getting soaked and pulling plastic around the field. One of the things that I like this about this league is the lack of ego among the players which is evident when you see them out there helping the ground crew like this.

Note: I just noticed this press release which says that the game will be resumed in the top of the fifth when the Mountaineers visit Holyoke on Thursday. Good to hear. At least a lead and good start by Harman wasn't wasted.

Okkervil River | The Stand-Ins

While I was writing that last post, I was listening to Okkervil River's upcoming album The Stand-Ins (Sep 9 release) and I gotta say, it's a really boring album. I loved their live show at Higher Ground last year but this album just isn't doing it for me. Where's the passion they showed on stage? This album sounds like something an artist would release when they're just trying to complete their obligation to a record company.

Maybe it'll grow on me but I don't know how many more listens I can give it. Too many other top-shelf albums to listen to these days.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Higher Ground 10th Anniversary Book

10 years of Higher Ground...thousands of shows...millions of notes...and one Sonic Youth show.

I didn't realize this milestone but I guess Higher Ground is ten years old this year. Considering how clubs come and go, ten years in this business is impressive. It also speaks to some good timing on their part as the concert business has grown significantly over the last decade while the labels have sunk. However, the club's success isn't dumb luck. The fact is that the place would be gone if its owners hadn't had the guts to move into a larger facility following the eminent domain takeover of the original location in Winooski. I'm glad that it appears to have paid off for them.

Part of the book is going to be a display of all the artwork that JDK has done for the various shows held at HG over the years. You can see a lot of the artwork on their site. Sweet posters.

One of the more memorable pieces they did was for the Sonic Youth show in 2007. They basically printed signs that said "Thank you Sonic Youth. You made it OK to:" and had a large blank space where fans could fill in their own thoughts. They then photographed everyone with their signs. Mine is the one on the left (above), Tanner from Aether Everywhere is in the middle and Nick from Angioplasty Media is on the right. You can see the whole series here.

Well, to use the photos in the book, they need signed releases from the folks in the photos. So, take a look at the photos and check to see if you know anyone in the photos. If so, tell them to download the release form here, sign it and get it back to HG ASAP. They are at their deadline.

The bonus is that anyone who signs the release and is used in the book will receive a free copy of the book (normally $29.99). Very kind of them. I would have signed it even without the incentive.

The book will be released on Sep 4 at the South End Art Hop.

Sonic Youth | Purr (acoustic/Mark Goodier version) | Buy

Strawberry Jam

Trying to figure out what to do with that last bowl of strawberries deteriorating in the fridge? Went a bit overboard at the "You-Pick" stand? Well, I was answering "You betcha" to both of those questions last weekend. So, I decided to try to make some jam and you know what? It worked. In fact, the stuff is damn good. It even works as strawberry topping on ice cream.

You can find the recipe that I used on this site.

In about two weeks, blueberry season will be in full swing and I'm guessing that I'll over-pick again and be looking to make some blueberry jam. Then I'm going to spend the winter trying to figure out what to do with all of this friggin' jam.

Anyone want to come over for toast?

College of Musical Knowledge

Alfred Snider is a professor of forensics at UVM and had a radio show on WRUV for eighteen years. Like many of us who did college radio shows back in the day, Snider recorded his shows on cassette tapes. However, unlike many of us, he thankfully held onto them. Plus, he's been kind enough to burn those shows into mp3 files and post them on his site College of Musical Knowledge.

Lots of cool stuff from the 80's and 90's.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Calexico | "Two Silver Trees"

Touch & Go has posted a track from Calexico's upcoming album Carried to Dust. The song "Two Silver Trees" sounds more like their earlier stuff than anything from Garden Ruin (which is a good thing). However, musically, it isn't as dark as those tunes form the late 90's.

Carried to Dust comes out Sep 9; the same day as the new self-titled album from The New Year. Touch & Go's publicity department are going to have a busy late summer.

Also, I completely missed this but apparently the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Discovery last month were awoken to Calexico's "Crystal Frontier". Pretty cool. I guess one of the astronauts wives is a big Calexico fan and made the choice.

Calexico | Two Silver Trees | Pre-Order

Lendway | Nectars | Jul 24

One of the best new bands in Burlington is Lendway. The post-Beatles foursome will be releasing their debut album late next month but have been regularly playing the Queen City circuit for the last six months. In fact, they'll be bringing their "Joe Pernice meets Elephant 6" sound to Nectars this Thursday Jul 24 when they'll be playing with the Villanelles.

Another note about Lendway: they are up for Band of the Month over at The Deli Burlington site. I'm not crazy about turning music into a competition but if they have the poll going, I'd rather see a band like Lendway win. So, listen to the songs below and if you like them go over to The Deli's site and vote for Lendway. The poll is in the upper right hand corner.

Lendway | Yard Sale

Lendway | Beauregard

Les Breastfeeders | The Frequency | Jul 12

False 45th's Senior Midwest Correspondent, TK, caught one of my favorite bands, Les Breastfeeders, at The Frequency in Madison, WI last weekend and sent over this review. By the way, Les Breastfeeders will be back in Montreal at Le Divan Orange on Tuesday, Jul 22.

Note: photo is from a show this week in Harrisburg, PA (courtesy of imingall)


Les Breastfeeders
July 12
The Frequency, Madison

Five weeks into its existence, The Frequency was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal under a bit called "Know Your Nightclub" last Saturday.

If The Frequency continues to get shows like the one Les Breastfeeders put on that night, it will quickly become common knowledge on the Madison music scene.

Described as garage rock (yes, there must always be a label) by multiple publications, I would go more with Quebec surf music (they 'fessed up to it before one song) for the Montreal outfit. In any instance, I'll thank my dumb luck that I found they were going to make a Madison appearance.

OK, so it was three appearances. They played an afternoon set at Friday's La Fete de Marquette festival and taped a bit for Wisconsin Public Radio before playing The Frequency that night.
The Frequency is a tiny place with a bar in the front and a walkway to the small room and stage in the back. It was a relatively cool night so the fact that the air conditioning was broke didn't make the room overly oppressive with heat but rather brought the place to a boil.
I made the decision to get up toward the front because I don't see how you can watch a band with their infectious energy and just stand in the back. Several patrons had the same idea and the band wasted no time whipping the place into a frenzy, even though they sing every song in French.

They played mostly songs off of Les Matins De Grands Soirs, their latest release, and just tore the place up. They even got coaxed into an encore to cap the set with both sides clearly reluctant to let the night end.

One of my favorite interludes of audience interaction came when the lead singer said the next song would be a sing-along. He then proceeded to give the instructions in French.
There were plenty of other chances to share with the band. I got the chance to help pass around World's Greatest Tambourine Player Johnny Maldoror and one of their guitars and other lucky fans got to yell into the microphone during one frenzied interlude.

Out of curiosity, I lingered around afterward to see what kind of reception they've gotten in the States. Multiple band members said the show was without a doubt a highlight among live shows, a sentiment echoed by a couple of locals afterward.

One band member was startled that some audience members were actually singing along (I'll take partial credit for that one, having had their two CDs coming in). In talking to guitarist/vocalist Suzie McLelove afterwards, she said that music and energy are universal.
I couldn't have put it any better. For an $8 ticket at $8 worth of PBR, it's tough to imagine having a better time for $16.

Opening acts: Local act Fermata, who described themselves as acoustic chamber rock, just wasn't my cup of tea. I wasn't sure what exactly The Protomen were trying to accomplish because their Halloween dress rehearsal stage persona distracted way too much from the music. Then whether it was intended or not, their cover of Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone made me laugh so hard I cried.

Next up: The start of a busy month. Next weekend it's my third straight trip to the Pitchfork and two weeks later, it's my first trip to Lollapalooza.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vermont Mountaineers

It really wasn't that dark at the game when I snapped that picture. But that's how crappy point and shoot cameras work. At least it captured the beautiful sunset and rising moon over Recreation Field during last Monday's win over Lowell.

After a slow start to the season, fueled by some of the crappiest fielding I've ever seen outside of Little League, the Mountaineers have won 8 of their last twelve games and are now three games above .500 and four games out of first place with 11 games to play. If the season ended today, they would be the final playoff team in the Northern Division.

Here are the remaining home games:

Tues Jul 22 vs Holyoke
Wed Jul 23 vs Keene
Mon Jul 28 vs North Shore
Tues Jul 29 vs Sanford
Wed Jul 30 vs North Shore
Thur Jul 31 vs Manchester

+ any necessary make-up games from rain outs

One other thing to follow with the team is the Roof Watch. Shortstop Jonathon Roof, who was actually drafted by the Red Sox in 2007 but chose to remain at Michigan St, has been having a dreadful season in the field and is danger of finishing the season with more errors than hits. Right now, he has 14 errors (in 24 games) and 17 hits. Hopefully, he'll get hot over the last two weeks and avoid flirting with the ignominy of his errors outpacing his hits.

One last Mountaineers note, the hitting star of the two championship teams, Curt Smith, was drafted by the Cardinals and is off to a hot start in rookie league for the Johnson City Cardinals. In his first 23 games, he's batting .372 with a slugging percentage of .649, six home runs and 28 RBIs. Even better, he's hitting .559 with runners in scoring position. The guy is simply clutch. He's making all of the scouts that bypassed him in the draft due to his height (slightly under 6') and let him slide to the 39th round look like fools.

Willie Nelson | Moonlight in Vermont | Buy

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Super Sweet Sixteen = Al Qaeda Recruitment Film

Mocking that show is like shooting fish in the barrel but sometimes, it's fun to shoot a few fish.

Friday, July 11, 2008

REMINDER: Bottomless Pit + The Kadane Brothers | Montreal | Sunday Night

Just a quick reminder that Bottomless Pit and The Kadane Brothers will be playing at Le Divan Orange on Sunday, July 13. Tickets are available via Blue Skies Turn Black.

Bottomless Pit | Dogtag | Buy

The New Year | Age of Conceit | Buy

Bedhead | Liferaft | Buy

photo courtesy of billellisonphotographer

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Capstan Shafts | Fixation Protocols

Here's a first for The Capstan Shafts (aka Dean Wells)...his new album Fixation Protocols got a "Clean" logo on the iTunes music store. It has to be a mistake. Not because Wells drops f-bombs regularly in his songs but because the "Clean" label indicates that a different version has been recorded with cleaned-up lyrics. Considering that the reigning king of lo-fi barely completes one take of some of his songs, the idea of him going back and re-recording a "Clean" version is kind of comical.

As for the music itself, it picks up right where his previous 17 some-odd albums left off...the thoughts and emotions of Dean Wells wrapped into minute-long lo-fi pop gems. The most noticeable change is the addition of some simple keys to the background of a few songs. Otherwise, you get another 22 songs that make your head bop up and down and an expansion of your vocabulary with words such as monometallists and cenozoic making their way into song titles. In fact, while looking up those words on the internet, I also learned that "fixation protocols" is a scientific term relating to tissue culture cells.

By the way, The Capstan Shafts have blown past Sufjan Stevens, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Mountain Goats, Yo La Tengo, The National and The New Year to grab the top slot on my Last.FM "Overall Top Artists" chart. Yes, some of that is due to the short song lengths but even if you were to divide the number of listens by three to compensate for the different song lengths, they'd still be in my top five most listened to artists. Considering I had never heard of them before last October and my Last.FM account has been active since April 2005, I've been spending a lot of time dialing up Wells tunes.

Lastly, for folks in NYC, Wells will be performing at The Knitting Factory on Thursday, August 28 at 8pm. Also on the bill will be Get Him Eat Him which has cover Capstan Shafts songs in the past. Tickets are available here ($10).

The Capstan Shafts | Eyeliner Skywriting etc. | Buy

The Capstan Shafts | A Heart that Never Flies | Buy

The Capstan Shafts | Boy to Take You Nowhere | Buy

Warren 4th of July Parade

Eva Sollberger of Stuck in VT has put together another fun video and it perfectly piggybacks on my earlier post about small town living and the 4th of July. Warren is an odd town that's quite in love with itself (not unlike Montpelier) but this parade looks like a lot of fun.

Dark Knight Premier | Kellogg-Hubbard Library Fundraiser

Vermont's most well-known comic book enthusiast, Sen. Patrick Leahy, has a cameo role in the new Dark Knight film. It's nothing new for him since he was also in Batman and Robin and has lent his voice to the animated version of Batman. However, the bonus this time is that he has a line and made it into the final cut opposite Heath Ledger.

Always being good to his hometown, Leahy is turning his brief role into a fundraiser for the children's section of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier. On Saturday night, July 12th, there will be a reception (5:30pm) at the Capitol Plaza and two showings (7:15pm & 7:30pm) of Dark Knight across the street at the Capitol Theater. Tickets are $50 for the reception and $50 for the movie with the money going to the library.

You can buy tickets at the library or over the phone by calling the library (with a credit card).

Leahy's scene has shown up on YouTube and from this tiny snippet of the movie, Ledger looks fantastic as The Joker.

Steve Keene Painted Guitar Autographed by Apples in Stereo | Up for Auction

Cross-posted from extrawack!

Hardcore Pavement fans will remember Steve Keene as the artist who did the artwork for their Wowee Zowee album (in fact, my t-shirt from that tour with Keene's artwork on it is still going strong a dozen years later) along with numerous other pieces over his career. Well, Keene has now painted a First Act guitar to raise money for Housing Works. Plus, to up the interest in the piece, the guitar has been signed by the members of the Apples in Stereo.

The auction is going on right now and you make a bid here. It's at a mere $115 right now.

Apples in Stereo | Can You Feel It? | Buy

Remi Gaillard

ACDC + Soccer Tricks + Attitude = Fun

As an added bonus, it appears that the video was shot in Montpellier, France. So, folks in town can get a look at the town we're named after.


I'm not sure if The Montpelier Bioblitz is supposed to appeal to nature lovers or just people who like to count crap but folks seem to be excited about it. So, I thought it was worth a post.

Apparently, hundreds of scientists, naturalists and people who like to walk in the woods and count will be descending upon Montpelier this weekend to...well...count everything. From 3pm on Saturday, July 11 until 3pm the next day, they will attempt to catalog how many of each species live in Montpelier.

I can just envision people replacing "Montpelier is the only capital without a McDonalds!" with "Montpelier is the only capital with over 1,400 hermit thrushes!"

If you want to participate, you can get all of the details here and register here. Start counting.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Small Town Living

When I was a kid I loved Christmas for all the obvious reasons. However, as an adult, the 4th of July has become my favorite holiday. Great weather. No pre-holiday stress. No need to travel. No family obligations. Just BBQ, beer, parades, fireworks and fun. Basically, small town living.

Over the holiday weekend, we hit three different parades and took in a bunch of other activities. I thought I'd share a few photos to give a sense of the simple fun of 4th of July in VT.

The photo above is from the party they had on the green in Worcester following their parade. My favorite activity was the birch pole. Someone had stripped all of the bark off a birch tree and buried it in the field with a $20 bill attached to the top of it. First one to the top got the $20. The hard part was that the pole is very smooth and slippery after stripping the bark and it gets a bit tippy when you get 20 feet in the air.

A bunch of kids tried it first but none of them got more than halfway. Most of the adults then shied away; not wanting to look like fools in front of their families and friends. Then after about 45 minutes this guy took over and cruised right to the top. Must have been a logger or something.

It was just a good example of how you don't need any expensive elaborate games and rides to make for some good entertainment.

Also from the Worcester celebration, do you think the owner of this grease truck regrets his/her 2003 paint job?

That night we caught the Mountaineers game. The team is struggling this year but it doesn't matter. Watching a game at Rec Field on a warm July night is always great.

The next day, we hit the parade in Maple Corner which is tiny but fun since pretty much everyone is in the parade. The ratio of marchers to spectators is about 4:1.

I loved this guy's spirit.

And who needs a fancy float when you have a rolling pin drill team?

There were lots of other activities too such as strawberry picking and hikes at the Nature Center but no photos to show. Just good memories to hang onto to. 4th of July is a great holiday.

Calexico | Carried to Dust | Teaser

Calexico's new album, Carried to Dust, comes out in September but Touch & Go has put up a brief teaser video of one of the songs. It's tough to make any judgments from a 30-second clip but it sounds musically closer to Spoke than Garden Ruin which makes me happy.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Where I've Been

No apologies for the lack of postings when I'm soaking this up.