Readers, you know how much I love to push your buttons once in a while. OK, pretty much on a weekly basis. But I digress.
Last week, the fair city of Plattsburgh had its collective feathers ruffled by a feature story penned by yours truly, titled “Things to Do in Plattsburgh When You’re Drunk.” If you missed it, 7D dispatched me to the Lake City to get a feel for the town’s nightlife as part of our Adirondacks issue. I responded by barhopping with some fellow Burlingtonians on a Saturday evening and presented my thoughts, such as they were, in diary form. It was a fun night and, I thought, a fun story.
It seems Plattsburghites disagree.
Not since my first few months on the job have we been flooded with so many angry letters, emails, phone calls, tweets, carrier pigeons and bricks through our office window regarding something I’ve written. (Kidding about the birds and bricks … so far.) Responses have ranged from sheer outrage and indignation to deep disappointment and bewilderment. A variety of issues have been raised, but the prevailing sentiment can be distilled to two choice words. I’ll let you guess which two. Ahem.
While I can’t address any specific letters or phone calls, I’d like to take a moment to answer some of the comments from the west side of the lake. Here goes:
You’re an asshole.
— Hey! That’s mean. Kind of true. But mean.
Plattsburgh is not in the Adirondacks.
— We know. Thanks.
Why didn’t you go to Rumors?
— Honestly? I was kind of scared.
You get paid for this?
— I know, right?
You should have gone to more bars.
— Maybe. But we went to five in one night. How many drinks does it take to make a city look good?
Have you looked into alcohol counseling?
— No. I don’t have drinking problem. Except when I can’t get a drink. (Rimshot!)
Isn’t this a music column?
— Thanks for reminding me. Let’s get back to it asap.
In all seriousness, Plattsburgh, I never meant to offend your apparently delicate sensibilities. That story, while recounted as accurately as my notes would allow, was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, more humor piece than Fodor’s travel guide — which I thought was pretty obvious from the headline. But still.
Honestly, I had a fun night bouncing around your town, and it was not my intention to hurt your feelings or disparage an entire city based on one rowdy night. I might even come back sometime, if you’ll have me. First round is on me. Because, hey, at least you’re not Rutland. (Note to Rutland: kidding!)
As we turn the calendar to August and the dog days of summer, even generally reggae-averse music fans often experience a thirst for breezy island vibes. Fortunately, the irie folks at Nectar’s and Club Metronome have us covered for the next month and a half with an epic series of reggae shows they’ve dubbed — dub, get it? — the 2011 Summer Reggae Series. I think we may want to work on that name.
In the meantime, the series kicks off this Sunday at Metronome with a very special incarnation of DJ Big Dog’s weekly Mi Yard Reggae Night featuring Mykal Rose, of Grammy-winning Black UHuRu renown. But that’s really just the tip of the dreadlock.
The series continues on Saturday, August 13, with Fear Nuttin Band and Doctor Doom Orchestra at Nectar’s. The following week, on Thursday, August 18, the pressure drops at Metronome with toasting legend — and albino — Yellowman, with the Sagittarius Band.
After a week or two for reggae fans to catch their collective breath/find more weed/enroll in classes at UVM, the series resumes on Saturday, September 10, with Dub Is a Weapon and Sophistafunk at Nectar’s, before wrapping up on Friday, September 16, with Mighty Mystic and local reggae all-stars Pulse Prophets, also at Nectar’s.
On an unrelated note, is anyone else depressed that we’re starting to talk about shows happening in September? Sigh.
The big haps this week is likely the start of the fourth annual Rhinofest. But if you’re not planning to make the trip to Plainfield this weekend, or perhaps you just want to get started early, Club Metronome hosts a RhinoFest pre-party this Thursday, August 4, with 2K Deep, Who Do You Know? and the Human Canvas.
In other news, my man-crush on Angioplasty Media was taken to a new level when Nick Mavodones announced late last week that Daytrotter’s Barnstormer series would be making a Vermont stop. The traveling indie-rock caravan featuring White Rabbits, Deer Tick, We Are Augustines, Blood Orange and Doug Paisley pulls in to the Old Lantern in Charlotte on Sunday, August 28. Tickets are on sale now.
When Rough Francis play Charlie O’s in Montpelier this Saturday, August 6, there is a distinct possibility the combined awesomeness of one of Burlington’s best punk bands and the greatest bar in world — granted, I say that having not been to Rumors in Plattsburgh — may just cause a tear in the fabric of time and space. Throw in the fact that up-and-coming Mont-p outfit That’s What She Said are also on the bill, and the Golden Dome itself may simply shatter under the weight of epic rocking.
This just in from Parima: It is still closing in September. Would you excuse me for just one second?
(MY EMPIRE IS CRUMBLING!)
Sorry ’bout that — any Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy fans out there? Anyway, no change on the Parima front, I’m afraid. However, Joe Adler and Co. are still bulking up the music schedule through mid-September. This weekend, the joint has a number of noteworthy acts lined up, including songwriters Kelly Ravin and Lisa Marie Fischer, followed by rebel folk-hop hybrid 2nd Agenda on Friday, August 5, and the Modern Grass Quintet followed by heady prog rockers Squid City and funky jazz-rock outfit Project Organ Trio on Saturday, August 6.
Jericho-based songwriter Derek Burkins unveils a new monthly series this week at On the Rise Bakery in Richmond. “Songwriters in the Round” is, um, exactly what it sounds like. Songwriters. In the round. The series will run the first Thursday of each month, and gets under way this Thursday, August 4, with Rebecca Padula and Celia Evans.
Band Name of the Week: Vermont Piano Moving Company. Like the Vermont Joy Parade? Then you’re gonna love their more muscular cousins, the Vermont Piano Moving Company. Actually, VPMC is technically an offshoot of the VJP, featuring lead songwriters Anna Pardenik and Galen Peria and other assorted friends and cohorts. They’ll be at Red Square this Saturday, August 6, as part of the Festival of Fools.
Last but not least, I had a great time at the Concerts on the Green at Shelburne Museum this past Friday. Conor Oberst was, well, much less of a whiny whelp than I had expected as Bright Eyes delivered a pretty rollicking set of older tunes and new material — none of which made me want to slit my wrists! So there’s that. And the Mountain Goats were just silly good. After last year’s Furthur debacle, you couldn’t help but wonder whether the COTG series would live to rock another day. There really is something special about shows on that lawn. I’m glad Higher Ground and the museum were able to bury the hatchet for the greater indie-rock good, at least for a night. And word has it more shows are to come next summer.
Once again, this week’s totally self-indulgent column segment, in which I share a random sampling of what was on my iPod, turntable, CD player, 8-track player, etc., this week.
Prussia, Four for Attention
Nerves Junior, As Bright as Your Night Light
Raphael Saadiq, Stone Rollin’
Gang Gang Dance, Eye Contact
Cass McCombs, Wit’s End