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Friday, September 22, 2017

Playtime: Freakshow Industries Makes 'Audio Effects for the End Times'

Posted By on Fri, Sep 22, 2017 at 11:17 AM

Screenshot of Freakshow Industries' landing page - FREAKSHOW INDUSTRIES
  • Freakshow Industries
  • Screenshot of Freakshow Industries' landing page
If one applied the Dungeons & Dragons Alignment System to audio startups, Freakshow Industries would definitely be plotted as Chaotic Good. The audio effects company allows users to steal its first plug-in, Backmask, which aligns with a general mission of good-natured disruption against order .

On its website, Freakshow states, "We believe that people who would buy software will buy software and we would rather give you our effects directly and unencumbered by archaic DRM." The company, which has a Burlington tie, adds that prefers not to send users "into the dark corners of the internet to grab questionable or altered versions of our work."  The theory is that offering freebies will encourage satisfied users to support the company by buying merch or other programs.  The statement concludes: "We believe that trust, generosity and goodwill are principles worth taking a chance on and so we put our continued existence into your very scary hands."
Freakshow's motto is "Audio Effects For The End Times,"  and they certainly dance on the grave of numerous conventions. The company's founders are audio industry veterans who formed Freakshow to "lovingly and repeatedly combat creative stagnation in the face, opening portals to new and unique sounds with exceedingly affordable audio product."

One of the founders, former Soundtoys employee Jasper Duba, is based in Burlington. Duba is the kind of modern renaissance man you'd expect to hide out in Vermont — he hunts mushrooms and throws pottery in his spare time.
Freakshow's first release, Backmask, is a chaotic reverse effect that appears to have been made by Rick Sanchez, the alcoholic scientist from the Adult Swim animated series "Rick and Morty." The interface is intuitive, with the emphasis on experimentation; basically half the fun is figuring what the controls actually do.

Backmask functions as a sample reverse with multiple effects options. But beyond that, describes it as "the most conceptual plug-in we've seen."

Don't let its eccentric design deter you from trying it: Backmask is actually super fun and fairly easy to create useable sounds with. The overall aesthetic is damn refreshing in an industry dominated by sterile design. Instead of technical explanations or comparisons to classic equipment, Freakshow's website offers mostly warped demo videos with a nihilistic sense of humor.

Check out Freakshow Industries haunted virtual laboratory at

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Seven Things to Know About Shrinedom 2017

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 11:00 AM

  • Courtesy of Vince Neil
  • Vince Neil
In the ’80s, the union of pop and rock and roll reached a critical mass. The guitar riffs were big, the hair was bigger and a monolithic, blown-out sound ruled the arena circuit. Whether you called it hard rock, cock rock or hair metal, maximum rock riffage and shout-along hooks dominated the charts and left a permanent mark on rock and pop culture at large.

In the ’90s, other styles — such as grunge and jam-rock — swept in to take pop metal's place. But for some devotees, the electrifying strains of juiced-up riffs and screechy vocals were as good as it gets. And this weekend, fans of coiffed locks and tight pants can return to the arena, figuratively speaking, with an epic concert: Shrinedom 2017.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Playtime: Kevin Reilly, 'Help Meat'

Posted By on Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 9:28 AM

Kevin Reilly, 'Help Meat' - KEVIN REILLY
  • Kevin Reilly
  • Kevin Reilly, 'Help Meat'
You know the kind of person that exhales creativity like some sort of divine respiratory system? Kevin Reilly is that kind of person. Currently a student at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Reilly's fingers channel otherworldly illustrations. His comics have been featured in the Nashville Review and the independent Nashville zine Huis Clos.

Reilly is also a musician and recently released his first album, Help Meat, after a push from filmmaker Miles Joris-Peyrafitte. Joris-Peyrafitte included Reilly's song, "Appalachian Moon," in the soundtrack of his 2016 Sundance Special Jury Prize-winning film As You Are.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

LoKi's Feat: 25 Songs in 24 Hours

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 7:32 AM

LoKi, 0-25 (The 24HR Challenge) - COURTESY OF LOKI
  • Courtesy of LoKi
  • LoKi, 0-25 (The 24HR Challenge)
The standard gestation period for a record — writing, pre-production, recording, mixing, mastering, promotion and distribution — is generally two to three years. But Burlington-based rapper LoKi (real name Liam Corcoran) recently decided to test his limits and record an entire album in 24 hours. The project is titled 0-25 (The 24HR Challenge).

Corcoran presents his work, along with visuals, on Saturday, August 26, at MilkHaus Studios' 5th Annual Art Show in Ferrisburgh.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

TLC's Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas Talks Sisterhood, Social Media and Scrubs

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 8:00 AM

TLC: Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins (left), Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas - COURTESY OF TLC
  • Courtesy of TLC
  • TLC: Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins (left), Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas
You know their name. You know their music. You danced around your bedroom singing their songs into a hairbrush. You mimicked their outlandish fashions. You can effortlessly rattle off the qualifications of the garden variety "scrub."

They're called TLC, and they headline I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues Tour on Friday, August 25, at the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex Junction. Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, Rob Base, All 4 One, C&C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams and SNAP!  add support.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Playtime: Jennie Sadler, 'was never.will never be'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 9:56 AM

'was never.will never be,' Jennie Sadler - JENNIE SADLER
  • Jennie Sadler
  • 'was never.will never be,' Jennie Sadler
As a systems engineer for internet music-hosting platform Bandcamp, Brattleboro's Jennie Sadler is embedded in the current hub of artist-to-fan culture. Sadler has been self-releasing music on the site since it was founded in 2007. In her past work, Sadler's songwriting was akin to the outsider artist nature of (Sandy) Alex G's genre-blending indie rock. Sadler's upcoming eighth release, was never.will never be, contains vulnerability, guarded with distortion that would make PJ Harvey proud.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hop Jam Canceled Due to Slow Ticket Sales

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 10:27 PM

Hop Jam is canceled - FILE
  • File
  • Hop Jam is canceled
Hop Jam, a beer and music festival scheduled for August 19 at Bolton Valley, has been canceled, according to the festival organizer. Meg Schultz told Seven Days that she is calling off the event due to poor ticket sales. News of the cancellation was posted on the Hop Jam website.

Fewer than 200 tickets to Hop Jam had been sold as of Thursday afternoon, Schultz said. Last year at this time, 700 tickets had been sold — more than half of the 1,300 in total sales to the daylong festival, according to Schultz. She'd hoped to sell 1,000 tickets for this year's event.

"The numbers are not encouraging," she said. "There's only so much debt I'm willing to take on, and we were way out of my threshold."

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Exclusive: Dwight & Nicole Unveil New Video, 'Wait'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 11:06 AM

Dwight & Nicole, "Wait" - STILL FROM "WAIT"
  • Still from "Wait"
  • Dwight & Nicole, "Wait"
In these troubled, turbulent times, it's likely you've found yourself thinking, Self, you know what I could really go for? A gorgeous, rock-tinged, soul-snuggling new single from Dwight & Nicole, that's what. Also, at the risk of getting greedy, maybe a cool new video, too.

Well, guess what? On Monday, July 24, the Burlington-based trio released "Wait," the A-side for a forthcoming  45rpm release. Today, the band unveiled the video for said single. Let's just jump right in, shall we?

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Half Lounge to Reopen in August

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 11:18 AM

L-R: Boudee Luangrath, Aaron Chiaravelotti, Adrian Sackheim - COURTESY OF HALF LOUNGE
  • Courtesy of Half Lounge
  • L-R: Boudee Luangrath, Aaron Chiaravelotti, Adrian Sackheim
When Half Lounge closed its doors in March, it left a fairly large hole in Burlington's nightlife scene. But the pint-sized, live music hotspot will reopen soon under new ownership.

The proprietors of Mr. Mikes Pizza, Aaron Chiaravelotti and Boudee Luangrath, along with SideBar talent buyer Adrian Sackheim, purchased the business in May and hope to reopen it in early August. Chiaravelotti and Luangrath also own SideBar, which they opened in 2016.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Flynn Center Presents New Concert Series: Exhibitionists

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 1:29 PM

  • Noise Floor Photography
  • Death Pesos
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts is exploring unknown territory with its new, evocatively titled free concert series, Exhibitionists. Starting Friday, July 7, and continuing on Fridays for the remainder of summer, a horde of mostly local rock bands will take over the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery for a sonic assault the likes of which have never been attempted in that particular space.

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