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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Subliminal Message Attached

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 5:17 PM

(Editor's Note: As inferred by the above headline, Bryan Dondero's ensuing post contains a running subliminal thread. While I won't spoil the fun by revealing exactly what it is, I will tell you that the blatant breach of journalistic ethics — which really do exist, albeit marginally, in the blogosphere, even on this blog — within said subliminal thread is my fault, as I never explicitly explained them to Bryan prior. Under normal circumstances, we wouldn't publish what follows. However, this one time I'm gonna allow it, because 1.) it's a funny post. And B.) it leads into a killer video. Also, I'm waaay too busy to post anything of my own today.

That said, please know that Dondero has been thoroughly scolded for his misdeeds — his punishment may or may not have involved Swine Flu injections and being pelted with disc-golf discs. -DB)


After doing a Facebook test to see what 80s band I was (go see Farm at 242 on Saturday), the result was Journey (Farm). Those who know me (242), know that I have "Separate Ways" as my ringtone (this Saturday). Let me just get this straight, I like Journey. I may even LOVE Journey. I thought that at first my love for Journey was ironic, which made me uber cool. Everyone (Farm) knows that any self-righteous hipster needs at least one ironic guilty pleasure band. Had I come across an old tattered (242) Journey t-shirt at some hip NYC (Sat.) thrift store, I woulda bought it. Hence making me super cool.

But then something unpredictable happened.

Every time my "ironic" ring tone went off, saturating whoever was around me with Steve Perry's searing vocals, I felt something tingle in my spine. His vocals are known to cause that. (And so does Farm) It forced me to face this ironic love of mine, stare it down and say, "What's the deal, man?! Am I going to have to go out and buy all of your albums now or what?!"

(Farm is also at the Vergennes Opera House on Friday night)

What's my point here, other than shameless self-promotion?

It is that you watch this video — and this is one of the greatest rock videos ever made, so buckle the fuck up. And this is in NO WAY meant to flatter myself (Farm rules), in fact it is pretty self deprecating . . .which is not to cause Steve Smith any offense, because he turned out to be one sexy mo fo. It's just that in the era of this video, he was still in that "my hairline is pulling out like the tides, but I'm gonna hang on to my rockin' long hair as long as I can" phase.  And he and I both know, that never works. 

But despite that disturbing hair phase, as it was pointed out to me, I have an uncanny resemblance to drummer Steve Smith in this video. Check it out for yourself.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100 Days and Still Barackin'

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM

In honor of President Obama's 100th day in office, I reflected on my own past 100 days. Well let's see how I have been doing . . .

Jan. 27: In New Orleans — was raging drunk on Bourbon St. (go figure).

Jan. 28: Didn't do a heck of a lot. See Jan 27th, above.

Feb. 2: Came home to VT and apologized to girlfriend . . . See Jan 27th.

Feb. 3: Bought some flowers.

Feb. 10: Bought some more flowers, and some nice perfume for V-day.

Feb. 11: Decided to stop drinking and/or doing anything that would cause my liver harm. Also, took up Aikido.

Mar. 13: Made a bold decision which allowed me to spend more time in Vermont. A career change, if you will.

Mar. 18: Wondered what President Obama has been up to lately.

Mar.19: Watched President Obama on The Tonight Show

Mar.22: Lamented the fact that it was still bloody cold in VT?! Also was curious if CEO's at A.I.G. and Rick Wagoner play poker together on Saturday nights.

Apr. 1: Had an awful nightmare that a drunken Dick Cheney shot me in the face with a magical potion that made me sneer uncontrollably at anything that was humane and reasonable.

Apr.11: Got up at 4 a.m. to celebrate the 1st day of trout fishing. Stopped fishing after about an hour because I got tired of clearing the ice off my rod and was beginning to see little pink fairies flying over my head - the 1st sign of hypothermia . . .

Apr.15: Tried to think of a job that would make fly fishing tax-deductable.

Apr.20: Tried to see if there was a business market for a roller coaster theme park at Gauntanamo Bay. But then realized that a waterboarding coaster could be a liability.

Apr.22: To celebrate earth day, I wrote to GM to propose the blueprints for a cow shit car in place of the Volt.

Apr.29: Still haven't caught any fish. But I bet neither has Obama . . . well, 'cept for that one old fish.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Herb van der Poll & the BBC

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Once upon a time, my dearly departed family band, The Middle 8, was playing a show in the cozy confines of Burlington's 1/2 Lounge — no easy feat for a sextet with an upright bass and accordion. We had a decent crowd that night, certainly befitting our 7D designation as "alt-country darlings" — thank you, Ethan Covey!

In between tunes, our co-front man Dave Stockhausen delivered a wince-inducing one-liner. Though the exact line escapes me, I can tell you that among our finer qualities — hooky twang-pop, sugary four-part harmony, etc. — stage banter was never really our strong suit. After a short, awkward lull — and maybe a passing tumbleweed and chirping crickets — a familiar voice echoed from the back of the room, "You should stick to music!"

Following a pregnant pause, the room erupted in laughter, including the band. Looking out into the crowd, we noticed our old pals, The Jazz Guys, at a booth, yukking it up — there may or may not have been some awkward white guy high-fivin' as well. Without missing a beat, Dave raised his gaze from the guitar tuner on the floor, glared at JG's bassist Herb van der Poll, the speaker of the remark, and coolly offered his retort: "And you should stick to comedy."

Oh. No. He. Didn't!

Actually, he did. The room again exploded at Stockhausen's riposte. Even Herb tipped his hat — I don't think he was actually wearing one, but you get the idea. It may have been the only time The Middle 8 was ever funny.

Herb van der Poll, on the other hand, is consistently funny. Long before The Jazz Guys blossomed into a seriously tight, lean, mean rock machine, their calling card was humor, particularly van der Poll. His "Letters to the Band" shtick is still probably my favorite of their many, many gags.

Though The Jazz Guys are presumably biding their time while guitarist Maarten van der Poll does whatever it is that he's doing in Thailand, it appears they're keeping busy. And still making with the funny. Exhibit A: this new vid from Stuck in Vermont auteur Eva Sollberger, which features Herb in the "role" of a mincing record store clerk, interviewed for the BBC by reporter Henrietta Henspecker. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just the Facts: Soundbites Addendum

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Man, it's a busy week 'round our cozy little music scene. And with my extended riff on soon to be dearly departed Tick Tick booking in today's column, there were a number of things I didn't have room to print. Such is life in 1200 words or less, I suppose. Anyway, here is the stuff I was forced to hold, nuts and bolts style.

Local alt-country supergroup The Lonestar Chain have a show this Friday at Muddy Waters. This is notable for a few reasons. One, it's at Muddy Waters, which is criminally underutilized as a performance space. Two, The Lonestar Chain rock. And three, this will be the band's second performance with pedal steel player Matt Hayes (ex-Chuch).

Thursday night goes to the dogs with a benefit show for Northern New England Dog Rescue at Club Metronome. The lineup features a trio of UVM bands: The Fred, Electric Mandala and Flavor Trio. And local reggae stalwarts Pulse Prophets close out the night.

Speaking of benefits, Olive Ridley's in Plattsburgh is hosting a Sunday matinee fundraiser for Rock Against Rape with Flip the Bus, Elephantbear, Lucid, The Natalie Ward Band and Shameless Strangers.

Greg Davis is at it again. This time around he's presenting a multimedia electronic ambient show at Firehouse Gallery on Thursday night. Slated to appear are Somerville-based sonic soothsayer Brendan Murray and NYC's Corridors, whom Davis describes thusly: Byron Westbrook (b. 1977) is an artist working with the dynamic quality of physical space using multi-channel sound and images. His audio/video performances under the name CORRIDORS involve the distribution of processed instrumental and environmental recordings through a multi-channel environment with a focus on energy distilled from sound and light. Giggity.

Guitarist John Kasiewicz has a couple of show this week (Friday at Black Door, Saturday at the Bean) with Giovanni Revetto and Gabe Jarrett. That's one serious jazz trio. He's also just released, count 'em, four "debut" albums with his new ambient duo, 5turns25. A couple of questions, though: can you really release four debuts? Aren't you really only allowed one? Isn't that why it's a debut? Anyway, you can download 'em all right here.

And last but not least, erstwhile disc jockey, and all-around nice fella, Mike Luoma is keeping busy, even though he's yet to find a new radio gig. He has a comic-related online column at and is releasing new epicodes of his own epic comic series Pantea Obscura every Wednesday and Saturday at

And that's all the news that's fit — or, I guess wouldn't fit — to print.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 3:39 PM

This just in from the Dept. of Homeland Absurdity: Kid Rock is coming to the Champlain Valley Fair. And I thought Toby Keith was rad last year!

Actually, dude's pretty funny:

This is shaping up to the strangest summer of music in Vermont, maybe ever. I, for one, can't wait.

Rainy Day Music

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 1:12 PM

OK, before we get down to business, I'm just gonna get this out of the way. Did anyone catch the sheer glory that was last night's Celts-Bulls playoff game? Even the most casual fan/non-fan would have been gripped by the last five minutes (which is pretty much all I could catch 'cuz I was buried in the office until about 9pm or so). Ray "Jesus Shuttlesworth" Allen, you are my hero. If there is a better time to be a sports fan than late April, I can't think of it. Moving on . . .

As I was lurking 'round the office last night waiting for the first music section proofs to come down the pipeline, I happened to stumble across what might just be my favorite new(ish) band — for this week, anyway. At the very least, they're the perfect duo for a gloomy, early spring afternoon.

Human Highway is a collaboration between ex-Unicorns front man Nick Thorburn (currently of Montreal pop darlings Islands) and Toronto songwriter Jim Guthrie (occasionally of Montreal pop darlings Islands). And before you ask, the answer is yes. He's Woody's grandson. (Editor's Note: Actually, I'm not 100% sure on that. I can only find one source to corroborate that Guthrie is, in fact a GUTHRIE. For now, let's just say that he is . . .  -DB)

If you were to peruse the interwebs looking for reviews of their debut, Moody Motorcycle, you'll find the band the band described roughly as such: breezy So-Cal bedroom pop with Everly-esque harmonies. My take: yes . . . well, no.

Simply put, invoking the brothers Everly is not to be done lightly. While Human Highway does trade in swooning, often plainly pretty harmonies, there is a ragged quality to their performance that is distinctly, well, non-Everly. And that's not a bad thing. The album's lo-fi sleepiness is undoubtedly part of its charm, and a big reason why I haven't stopped playing it since blowing some eMusic coin on it last night — save for the last five minutes of the Celts game, of course.

Anyway, here's a cool video of the the album's first track, "The Sound." (Note, this isn't the song's official vid, but I actually like it quite a bit more)


Friday, April 17, 2009

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 5:03 PM

So, yeah . . . no more Tick Tick shows. Ain't that a kick in the head?

In a remarkably short period of time, Tick Tick established themselves as a vital and seemingly indispensable piece of Burlington's music scene. You know you've arrived in the Queen City when people just sort of take you for granted, assuming you'll always be there. And that's the level of admiration — and familiarity — Tick Tick achieved in its all-too-brief two and-a-half year run booking shows around our fair state. I, for one, am really gonna miss them.

In my perch as 7D music dude, I deal with artists, promoters, club owners, fans, non-fans and an otherwise comprehensive assortment of music-related folks from all levels of the PR spectrum on a daily basis. And in my almost two years in this chair, I have never had more pleasurable professional interactions than I had with Tick Tick. Amid the typical din of over-hyped, hyperbolic PR nonsense that floods my inbox every day, their genuine affection for the shows they put together was simply refreshing. They had no ulterior motives beyond sharing great music. And their enthusiasm was nothing short of infectious, which is a big reason I wrote about them as often as I did. Well, that, and the music was almost always top notch.

I'm sensing this is quickly turning into a eulogy, which wasn't my intent — what can I say? I'm bummed. Rather, I'd just like to take a moment to sincerely thank Tick Tick for everything they've done for Burlington music. It's been fun, guys. Thank you.

The End of an Era: Tick Tick Booking Calls it Quits

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Words can't convey — at least at the moment — how unhappy I am to have to report this, but Tick Tick has just announced they are ending their booking operations, effective pretty much immediately. They will have one final show, Monday, April 27 at The Monkey House. Once I've had a few minutes to wrap my head around this, I'll try and weigh in with some parting thoughts later this afternoon. But for now . . . sigh.

Here is the farewell letter, in its entirety, that they posted this morning on their website:

Dear everyone,

Tick Tick Booking is officially entering retirement. 

Please join us on Monday, April 27 at the Monkey House for ourfinal show and going away party, featuring Son of Salami, BlackFeelings, Ponytail, Think About Life, and DJs Drew Stock and MikeDevice. 

When we started booking bands in Burlington three years ago, ourvision was to bring the music we wanted to see and the city we lovetogether.  Burlington’s location in the northeast made it seem sensibleto ask our favorite bands to stop here.  And they did, and peoplestarted showing up to see them, and we kept asking bands that said yes,and so we asked our dream bands, and they said yes too. 

We are proud to have connected Vermont to so many other placesthrough our shows, and we are grateful that we’ve been able toexperience so many wonderful happenings with you all, as Burlingtondevelops a fuller and more viable underground music scene.   

The three of us are looking forward to relaxing and moving on toother projects.  Nick Mavadones will continue to be the lighthouse ofBurlington music on his blog, ( and willtry to maintain regular sleeping hours.  Julia Lewandoski isghost-writing a novel and gardening.  Dale Donaldson II is drawing andgiving drawing lessons to a nine-year-old, and considering art school. Graham Keegan will continue to run Tick Tick Printing as a business andis thinking of moving to La-La-Land. 

We consider everyone that has played music, designed something,done a thankless job, hung posters, told someone to come, carried a PA,let us borrow stuff, promoted us on the radio, let us use their space,hosted a band, never came but said something nice, paid extra at thedoor, paid at the door, bought t-shirts, or just showed up, a part ofTick Tick.  So thank you.   

We would like to thank, first, EVERYONE, and then this short list:

Continue reading »

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Damon Brink Leaves Nectar's

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 1:58 PM

As he states in a lengthy, and at times emotional, farewell letter posted last night on his blog, Damon; Whirled!, neo-Nectar's architect Damon Brink has left the building.

Rumors of his impending departure had been swirling for weeks. Actually, speculation concerning the future of The House That Phish Built had been rampant pretty much since Brink and Co. purchased the downtown landmark six-and-a-half years ago. In that time, the club has undergone a near total — and frequently controversial — face lift from divey juke joint to upscale(ish) nightclub.

Gone is the narrow stage along the northern wall. Ditto the cafeteria-style kitchen by the front window and with it the homey diner feel of the restaurant. The original circular bar was moved from the center of the room to allow space for the new circular stage in the opposite corner. They put in real bathrooms. The list goes on and on — and that's to say nothing of the work done upstairs.

Like many locals, I've viewed most of the renovations with a fair degree of skepticism. Largely out of nostalgia, I originally mourned the loss of the old stage setup and the bar's bluesy roadhouse atmosphere — to borrow a line from "The Simpsons," "Aw, Moe. Not the dank!" But after playing on the new stage and spending some time in the crowd, there's no question that it is now a vastly superior room for live music. Although I have to admit, I'm still not sold on the stainless steel sterility of restaurant side. Perhaps in time.

Regardless of how you feel about the changes, one thing is certain: Damon Brink left his mark. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how the new management leaves theirs. And though we haven't always seen eye to eye, I wish Damon nothing but the best in this next stage of his life.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Penis Mightier: Asher Roth UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Yes, that's two SNL "Jeopardy!" skit references in as many days. Thanks, Hulu!

As 7D What's Good blogger Tyler Machado reports this morning, Asher Roth has been uninvited to perform at SMC's spring concert next week. Further proof that a little bitchin' goes a long way.

Cheers to the SMC Student Association for manning up and rectifying an unfortunate situation. Kudos as well to the SMC student body for rejecting the stereotype that college is a "Girls Gone Wild" video. Because everyone knows it's really more like Animal House.

And on that note, I present the innermost secret desire of music critics across the globe:

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