A storm is coming. No, not another Nor'easter. I'm talking about the yearly maelstrom of binge drinking and misplaced aggression that is St. Patrick's Day. It's probably my least favorite holiday. I feel like it combines Halloween's ubiquity with Independence Day's righteous fervor. But it excludes what makes those two holidays actually fun — costumes and explosions. Maybe it's just that I have a really, really low tolerance for drunken hordes. Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon. Anyway...
There's a pretty kickass lineup of Irish music this week at Rí Rá Irish Pub in Burlington leading up to the day of green, Friday, March 17. The Brayzen Heads, a traditional barroom duo out of Orlando, Fla., are in the midst of a five-night run. Originally from Dublin, they've played more than 4,000 shows since the early 2000s. I suppose playing seven nights per week at Walt Disney World for years helps bolster one's scorecard. You've got four more chances to join the foot-stomping fun this Wednesday through Saturday, March 15 to 18.
If that's not enough to quench your thirst for Irish jams, you might head across the street on Friday to Red Square for Everybody's Favorite Irish Drinking Songs Band. Seven Days' art director, Rev.Diane Sullivan (Dirty Blondes), heads a rowdy troupe of merrymakers who lead the crowd in rousing jigs and choruses. The group provides songbooks for an immersive, inclusive experience. And you should come hungry — the band serves hot and buttery baked potatoes. And by "serves," I mean they hurl them at the audience.
Some exciting things are happening on the other side of Lake Champlain. Plattsburgh-based musician Matthew Hall (Comrade Nixon, BREN, Marco Polio), a champion of his local scene, just announced two new weekly music happenings at Monopole. You can read all about Hall and his web series, "TRASHburgh," in this week's music feature.
In a recent Facebook post announcing the series, Hall wrote that this new series is a slow burn, and that he's aiming to build something sustainable for the Plattsburgh music community. He also mentioned in an interview with Seven Days that he hopes the series' earlier start time of 9 p.m. entices both performers and patrons. (Shows at Monopole usually start at 10 p.m.)
The two new music happenings alternate on Thursdays beginning in April. First to debut is "New Sounds," which promises to be a low-key affair featuring singer-songwriters, folk musicians and pop-oriented acts. The current lineup includes singer-songwriter Kevin Lewis on April 6, reggae band Last Nugg on April 20, North Country folk singer Jon Wagarand Friends on May 4 and epic folk-rocker William Hale on May 18.
The other series, "Deconstruction" aims to be more earsplitting. This one's all about the metal, punk and experimental acts. The initial lineup includes Burlington's doom-metal band KiefCatcher on April 13, punks Model 97 on May 11 and thrash-metal band Executive Disorder on May 25.
June dates are up for grabs, so if you're looking to get involved with either series, check out diyplattsburgh.wordpress.com, the hub for independent music in the Lake City.
Oh, by the way, Hall's band Comrade Nixon play on Wednesday, March 22, at Radio Bean in Burlington.
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Courtesy of Ashley Rosemeyer
Congratulations are in order for Burlington-based "grunge" band Clever Girls! (In an email to Seven Days, the band's vocalist, Diane Jean, clarifies that by "grunge," she means she and her bandmates, Rob Slater and Winfield Holt — the latter of 1881 — rehearse in a basement.)
Just days after the release of Clever Girls' new EP, Loose Tooth, they were nominated for the Deli magazine's New England Artist of the Month. The Girls are going up against some promising regional talent: Boston-area acts Mad Yonder, Pendejo. and Eva Cassel, as well as Fake Frank from Providence, R.I.
If you want to make your voice heard, head over to newengland.thedelimagazine.com to vote. Voting ends on Sunday, March 19. And be on the lookout for a review of Loose Tooth in an upcoming issue of Seven Days.
The 2017 summer concert season is rapidly approaching. Several big-time artists are set to play the Shelburne Museum as part of Ben and Jerry's Concerts on the Green, courtesy of Higher Ground Presents: Cake on Saturday, May 27; My Morning Jacket on Wednesday, July 12; and Elvis Costello & the Imposters on Sunday, July 23. Also, Higher Ground Presents brings the Shins to Burlington's Waterfront Park on Sunday, July 30, as part of the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival — just one week after Mr. Costello.
First of all, I want to acknowledge that this is an impressive group of performers, and I'd be psyched to get my peepers and earholes on any one of them. What strikes me as a little funny — and I could be totally, utterly wrong — is that these artists seem to appeal to a demographic that's ... well ... old. And, without revealing too much personal information, I do include myself in that demo. Just to be clear.
Again, I could be wrong, but I wonder: Is anyone under the age of 25 super psyched about any of these shows? Feel free to let me know. Obviously, buttloads of other summer festivals are undisputedly youth-oriented — a few of which Higher Ground also presents, such as Wilco's Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, Mass., this June. Rest assured, we'll be checking in with all that as the weather warms up.
As for the aforementioned stand-alone shows, I'd hazard a bet that babysitters are likely to be in high demand on the nights in question. If I had kids, I'd probably need one, too.
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Courtesy of Tim Galdunik
The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association has a new music director: Benjamin Klemme, DMA. Klemme hails from Davenport, Iowa, where he currently serves as the music director and conductor of the Quad City Youth Ensembles and is associate conductor for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Klemme also serves in the Minneapolis area as the concert orchestra conductor for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and held the position of orchestra conductor at Augsburg College.
Klemme takes over for interim VYO conductor Edward Cumming, who held the position after Jeffrey Domoto's resignation in 2016 and while the organization searched nationally for a permanent replacement. Klemme takes over on July 1.
If I were a superhero, my superpower would be the ability to get songs stuck in other people's heads. Here are five songs that have been stuck in my head this week. May they also get stuck in yours. Follow sevendaysvt on Spotify for weekly playlists with tunes by artists featured in the music section.