This just in: Reggae Fest is not, repeat NOT canceled.
Oops, hold on a sec … yes, yes, it is. Sorry, folks. Pack up the bongs, funny hats and move alo … wait. What? It’s back on?
Just what in the name of Jah is going on around here?
No doubt you’ve heard some variation of this head-spinning information, misinformation, disinformation and otherwise weedy speculation circulating the ever-active local rumor mill of late. One day Reggae Fest is canceled. The next day it isn’t. Then it’s back on again. Then it’s not. It’s enough to make a guy swear off reggae for good … again. But fear not, dreadheads. Seven Days is here to set the record straight once and for all. And maybe even shed a little light on the cause of all that rampant mellow harshing.
Here’s the deal: There were two reggae fests scheduled to happen in the area in June. One of them, the Vermont Roots Reggae Festival slated for the Burlington Waterfront last Saturday, was, in fact, canceled, reportedly due to some issues with Burlington Parks & Rec that in no way involved disc golf. Imagine that.
The second, Rise Up Vermont Roots and Culture Festival slated for this weekend is — as of this filing — on. Repeat after me: Reggae Fest is on. Got it?
Now that we’ve cleared that up, maybe we should, oh, I don’t know, talk about the fest itself?
The three-day throwdown begins this Friday, June 26, and will take place on 1500 acres of protected national forest in beautiful Washington, Vt. The fest’s monster lineup features the legendary likes of Don Carlos, Anthony B, Everton Blender, Queen Omega and Ras Iba, as well as Senegalese kora player Youssoupha Sidibe and regional acts Black Rebel and Jah N I. Also, the $75 all-weekend ticket includes camping — leave your dogs and your glass bottles at home, though.
So, that’s that. For more info about tickets, camping and the complete list of artists gettin’ irie this weekend, click here.
Where Is My Mind?
Lucky for us, we can find out this Saturday as the band hosts an evening of Pixie-lation entitled “Monkey House Gone to Heaven” at everyone’s favorite music joint in Little Williamsburg, er, Winooski. The gist is pretty simple: a bunch of bands show up and play their favorite Pixies tunes. Got it? Good. Slated to appear are Osage Orange, Brett Hughes, Les Voleurs des Couers, members of The Dwellers, Moustache Ride and Workingman’s Army. And it gets better.
Also on tap is — drum roll, please — you! Maybe. The word from Osage front man Nick Gorgeous is that anyone and everyone who wants to can show up, plug in and get their Velouria on. (Note to prospective performers: Please don’t everyone plan on playing “Velouria.”)
Speaking of The Monkey House, perhaps you looked at the club’s June calendar, saw this Sunday’s show with Let’s Whisper and Transmittens and thought, “Are you effing kidding me? Another Smittens side project? Do these folks sleep? And if not, how do they stay so damned cute and cheery? Yow!” Well, that’s what I thought, anyway.
It’s an honest mistake to make. As most savvy locals know, Let’s Whisper is the nifty bedroom pop duo of Colin Clary and Dana Kaplan, both of The Smittens. So it’s not much of a reach to think that Transmittens are some sort of new Smittenly offshoot, right? Right.
Well, sort of.
As it turns out, Transmittens are a boy-girl duo from Lawrence, Kan. And from a purely literal standpoint they are in no way related to our local indie-pop sensations — though the bands do share a label, WeePop! Records.
However, it’s fair to say they’re kindred spirits, if not exactly kin. Fans of The Smittens and/or Let’s Whisper will dig on Transmittens’ bubblegummy electro fare. And there are certainly indie-licious parallels among all three bands. Much like The Smittens, Transmittens mask just the slightest hint of Gremlin-y, churlish deviousness behind their cuddly, Gizmo-like exterior. And, yes, I rewatched Gremlins recently.
So, Transmittens are not a Smittens side project. But I’m guessing those with a taste for twee will love them just the same.
While we’re on an indie kick, Middlebury will get a taste of some up-and-coming Queen City stylings when Paddy Reagan’s Paper Castles make a stop at new(ish) alt venue The Art House, with Rob Voland’s mysterious — and awesome — psych trio Dangerbird this Friday.
Meanwhile, the same night back in B-Town, Radio Bean will be a-rockin’ — well, maybe a-swoonin’ — to the swirling psych-pop sounds of Connecticut one-man band Sore Eros. Bean bookin’ dude and Angioplasty Media maven Nick Mavadones made a point of personally espousing the virtues of this show, which he only does if something is really, really good. And FYI, Sore Eros’ new album, Second Chants — which has been getting loads o’ blog love — was mastered by none other than our own Greg Davis. And stick around for sets from Villanelles and Neon Magus — the latter of which features current 7D intern Will Ryan.
Moving on, Muddy Waters has been quite the live music hotspot of late. Last Thursday, Burette Douglas of The Cush, Lowell Thompson and Ryan Ober played a “Triple Threat Round Robin.” Then, on Saturday, The Cush played a duet set with opening support from Ryan Power. The hit parade continues this Friday — cuz there’s not enough good stuff happening that night, apparently — with Burlington’s art-rock royalty Swale. According to booking dude/barista/Jazz Guy Max Schwartz, the java joint is just getting started on the live local music front. So expect more good stuff on the horizon.
Checking in on our friends in Montpelier, Langdon Street Café has a pretty killer weekend of acoustic music lined up. Friday it’s the Crunchy Western Boys and the Charlie Messing Duo . But it’s the Saturday night show I really want to draw your attention to, as Doug Perkins, Gordon Stone, Patrick Ross and Mike Santaosusso light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle. And, yes, I just used a Vanilla Ice lyric to pimp a local bluegrass supergroup. I’m that good.
Speaking of Montpelier, if you missed Myra Flynn’s CD release at FlynnSpace last weekend, you can catch the Golden Dome release this Saturday at the Black Door Bar and Bistro.
Finally, if you’ve seen the handwritten fliers making the rounds, you might know that Jimmy T. Thurston is back in action. In addition to being the self-proclaimed “grandfather of Vermont rock and roll,” he’s also the father of country star Jamie Lee Thurston. You can catch Thurston the elder with his band The Jimmy T X-perience this Saturday, June 27, at the Lincoln Inn. As 68-year-old Jimmy writes on a recent show poster, “It’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on.” Or, as he also writes on the same poster — and in a few emails — “Urggh!” ’Nuff said.