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What's Good? 

Soundbites: The Bands of Burlington, Twiddle, Greyspoke, Gin Blossoms

click to enlarge In Memory of Pluto
  • In Memory of Pluto

If shameless self-promotion makes you squeamish, you might want to skip ahead to the next column item. Cuz this is gonna get gloriously, back-pattingly dirty. And, yeah, I just made up a word. Do something.

You may or may not have noticed a curious little magazine floating around Burlington in recent weeks. Perhaps in the hallowed halls of our fair burgh's institutions of higher learning. Or maybe in the clutches of any number of the thousands of fresh-faced youngsters currently descending on our lakeside hamlet clad in not-really-ironic-anymore T-shirts bearing the word "college." Ah, frosh.

Anyway, the new rag is called What's Good and it is essentially a reference guide for those new to the area to get acquainted with their newly adopted home. It's written by a slew of Seven Days staffers, including yours truly. Actually, even if you're a townie, I'll wager you will find some interesting bits buried within its glossy pages. But that's not really the point, at least for our purposes here.

The point - you knew I'd get to it eventually - is that to celebrate the launch of our new educational foray, we're throwing a monster two-floor party at Nectar's and Club Metronome on Thursday, September 18. And you're all invited. Hell, half of you are probably playing it.

We're calling the hootenanny - or is it a hoedown? - "The Bands of Burlington" showcase because, well, it features a smorgasbord of killer local acts. We're still ironing out the final details. But here's what we've got so far.

Slated to appear are hip-hop heavyweights The Aztext, jazzy-proggy rockers Japhy Ryder, art-rock stalwarts Swale, loveable smart-asses The Vanderpolls (formerly Phish . . . just kidding), indie-rock up-and-comers In Memory of Pluto, Fourth Wave ska-punk revivalists Husbands AKA and alt-country troubadour Lowell Thompson. Oh, and this just in, alt-something supergroup Cannon Fodder has just been added to the bill as well. By this time next week, we should have another addition or two to announce, so stay tuned.

The evening will be hosted by local funny man extraordinaire Alex Nief and will feature giveaways from Burton Snowboards and Sugarbush. The show will also will also serve as a benefit for Big Heavy World and The Radiator, which will have a podcast from the show available online. UVM's WRUV will be simulcasting live.

And that's what's good.


I suppose that's enough horn tooting - for this week, anyway. And there is a whole bunch of other nifty, non-7D-related stuff happening in the coming week.

First up, jam fans will want to take note of a rare, strictly localvore show on the Ballroom stage at Higher Ground this Friday featuring upstart groovers Twiddle. This is the band's second gig at the area's marquee venue, and after months of touring and grassroots promotion, they're aiming for a sellout. Believe it or not, they just might do it. Good luck, boys.

Also of note on the bill are local openers Greyspoke, yet another recent entry into Burlington's ever-wiggling jam-rock fold. The band is also holding court with a weekly Nectar's gig- love those local residencies! - that is doubling as a live album recording session every Wednesday in September. Jam on.


It has been a pleasure to write about former Zola Turn front woman Alice Austin's recent string of Burlington homecoming shows - I am a sucker for anything related to Burlington's 1990s rock heyday, after all. I have been keeping up on her new tunes through the technological marvel that is the Internet - MySpace: Not just for stalkers anymore!

In particular, two songs that were recently sent my way by local booking dude Sean Altrui really struck my fancy. "Never Cry Halo" and "Graveyard Before Dark" (the latter is the title song from Austin's forthcoming album) are a pair of rockers that would make Joan Jett blush.

Speaking of which, funny story about those two ditties. If you attend Austin's show at Parima's Acoustic Lounge this Friday and sign up for her email list, you'll be sent both songs via email and can rock out like I have been for the last couple of weeks. Local chanteuse Caroline O'Connor opens the show.


A heartfelt "woo-hoo!" goes out to Pine Street Jazz, which turns a whopping 10 years old this week. The sextet is composed of some of the area's finest players, and their weekly collaborations at the Lincoln Inn have featured just about every local jazz vocalist worth his or her scat - um, maybe I should rephrase that? Friday night the band will celebrate in grand style with a special performance at Burlington's FlynnSpace.

Speaking of anniversaries, Honky-Tonk Tuesday at Radio Bean turned three years old last week. Congrats on making it through those terrible twos. Is there anything whiskey can't do?

And speaking of honky-tonk, I'm pleased to report that Mark Legrand's Honky-Tonk Happy Hour, Friday afternoons at Langdon Street Café, are back in action after a lengthy layoff. Yee-haw!

Remember The Gin Blossoms? Apparently someone does, because they're headlining the second annual Burke Mountain Music Festival this Saturday with the pride of Bangor, Maine, Howie Day and Louisiana singer-songwriter Marc Broussard. Speaking of blasts from the pop-rock past, reggae-rock fusionists O.A.R. will be headlining at Burlington's Memorial Auditorium the night before, so you won't have to choose. Whew!

We don't give a lot of ink to The Purple Moon Pub in Waitsfield, but there's a show this Tuesday that indie-folk fans will want to put on their radar. First up is quirky Brooklyn act Leland Sundries, which has some definitively Cracker-esque influences. The headlining act is a fellow named Dan Kaplan, whom discerning alt-country acolytes will remember from acclaimed outfit The Still. Not to be confused with Montréal's The Stills, of course.

Before she hops across the pond to tour with Bon freakin' Iver, local songwriter Anaïs Mitchell will embark on a short string of dates with Chicago's Rachel Ries to promote their new five-song split, country e.p. The duo is releasing the high-lonesome quickie on Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe label. Catch their only Vermont date this Saturday at the Higher Ground Ballroom.

In biz-related news, WRUV will host a free booking seminar Wednesday, September 17, at UVM's Davis Center. The workshop will feature reps from Higher Ground, the Monkey House, Big Heavy World and Tick Tick, all of whom know a thing or two about the ins and outs of booking and promotion. According to a recent press release, the goal is to "demystify the process of organizing a music event." Awesome. But where were those guys when we were putting together the "Bands of Burlington" Showcase at Club Metronome and Nectar's on Thursday, September 18?

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About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles is the Seven Days music editor. His column "Soundbites" appears weekly.


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