Before we get into the weighty topics of the day, I wanted to take a moment to indulge in some utterly shameless self-promotion. I know, you’re shocked, right?
If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of this year’s edition of Seven Days’ award-winning college guide, What’s Good … well, what the hell are you waiting for? Damn thing’s been out for a month. And it’s awesome — at least partly ’cuz I helped write it.
Cheeky ego trip aside, it really is good. I’m proud of it. And I think it’s useful, not only for incoming college students, though that’s the target demographic. I’ve been living in and around Burlington for the better part of 20 years, and I found all sorts of cool stuff in it. Like, for example, did you know Burlington has a crazy good music scene? It’s true. I read all about it.
I’m joking, of course. Burlington’s music scene blows.
Kidding again! I love our music scene and relish any chance to celebrate it. Which is why I’m chewing up precious column space — and personal credibility — to tell you about the launch party for the WG guide this Friday at Nectar’s.
As we’ve done for each of the past two editions, 7D is throwing a big ol’ party at the House That Phish Built that will simultaneously serve as a pat on our own backs, a local music showcase and, most importantly, a benefit for Big Heavy World and the Radiator. (Speaking of which, I’ll be on Jim Lockridge’s “Rocket Shop” Wednesday, September 22, at 8 p.m. to talk up the show. Tune in.)
This year’s showcase is a bit scaled back from previous years. We’re sticking to one floor, and “only” six acts. But man, oh, man, what acts!
The lineup features a mix of veteran bands and rising scene stars, including truck-stop rockers Waylon Speed, In Memory of Pluto offshoot Spirit Animal, indie-folk wonder Maryse Smith, column favorite Zack duPont and his band Stacked, and indie up-and-comers Whales and Wolves. Oh, and just because I figured he could use the work, DJ Disco Phantom will be spinning between sets.
So, I hope you’ll consider dropping by. After all, it’s free. Plus, there’s a very good chance you’ll get to see me make an ass of myself trying to emcee the show. Good times.
In a week top-heavy with marquee talent, the biggest names on the docket are undoubtedly LCD Soundsystem and Sleigh Bells this Monday. In my recent travels around town, several folks have asked if I would be covering the show in any special way. My response: probably not.
Here’s the thing: Under any other circumstances, this show would have led this week’s music section. Generally, if I choose to give something serious ink in these pages, it’s because I think a lot of you will want to see it. I dig LCD, and really love Sleigh Bells. But I’m trying to reconcile the fact that this show will be held in Memorial Auditorium. Much as I appreciate Higher Ground bringing bigger bands through the region, it’s difficult for me to advise listening to music in that acoustic black hole. On the other hand, if you dig LCD and love Sleigh Bells as much as I do, go anyway. Some help I am, right?
- This month’s 7D/North Face/Higher Ground “Hot Ticket” promotion features a nifty little pop band called fun. Regular readers may recall that I have something of an unhealthy obsession with a pop-tastic band called the Format. Sadly, that group is no more. But get this, fun. is fronted by ex-Format founder Nate Ruess, and, much like his late, great band, the new group packs more pop wallop in their hooks than anyone since, well, the Format. Catch ’em on Wednesday, September 29, in the Showcase Lounge.
- The days are getting noticeably shorter, which can only mean one thing: It’s almost bowling season — Dan doesn’t ski, Dan bowls. (See what I did there?) Well, that, and it is once again time for the After Dark Music Series to get under way. It does just that this Sunday at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater, as Grammy-winning folk and bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien kicks off the series’ 16th season.
- Band Name of the Week: Lazerdisk Party Sex. No, this isn’t porn on obsolete, giant plastic discs. LPS is a duo featuring local DJs ZJ and Pres. Here’s how the former described the project in a recent email: “a stormtrooper DJ duo mashing up dance/electro/hip-hop live.” Rad. This Friday, LPS headline the Lazerdisk Party Cruise aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III, with DJ Craig Mitchell and Queen City dance crew Cheeks. May the force be with you.
- If I weren’t already booked that night, Friday would likely find me in the cozy confines of Winooski’s Monkey House, swooning to the sweet, indie-licious art-folk of Breathe Owl Breathe, Chris Dorman and Almonzo’s Plow. Say, would it be bad form to ditch my own party?
- New Collective Alert: the Golden Dome Musicians Collective. The Montpeculiar-based rock ’n’ roll co-op introduces itself by taking over the Langdon Street Café this entire weekend. Friday, catch sets from indie-pop outfit Pluto / Brontosaurus, “drunken country” troubadour Jack Vendetti, art-rockers the Sick Feelings, singer-songwriter the Pageantry and rockers Sweet Hound. Saturday highlights include “hellish blues duo” Lake Superior, experimental rockers Bedeviled Eggs, noise rockers Trogpite, hip-hoppers BoomSlang, dance band Champagne Dynasty and 1990s cover band (seriously?) That’s What She Said. Most of these folks are new to me, but, based on names alone, I’d say this could be another fun weekend in the capital city.
- I gather you’re pretty psyched about the Tallest Man on Earth at Club Metronome this Sunday. Me, too, me, too — thanks again, MSR Presents! But get there on time for once, OK? You don’t want to miss either of the opening acts, Portland, Ore.’s Nurses and Eau Claire, Wis.-based songwriter S. Carey. The former are just rad in that Emerald City kinda way the cool kids are so into these days. And you may know the latter as the drummer from Bon Iver. Turns out, dude’s a pretty stellar songwriter in his own right. His latest, All We Grow, has been in heavy rotation for yours truly of late. It aches in much the same blissfully melancholy way that made Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago such a sublime masterpiece. Yes, really.
- Last but not least, next week’s issue will — fingers crossed — feature an interview with Bucket from ska legends the Toasters. As you might imagine, I’m pretty excited about this, since the dude is something of a personal hero. Unfortunately, the show falls on a Wednesday (September 29), which always makes scheduling coverage tricky on my end. Do I run something a week early and trust you’ll remember? Or do I run it the day of and hope you read it in time to be useful? Decisions, decisions. Anyway, stay tuned.
And finally, 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.