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Friday, August 28, 2009

Maybe I'll Break Down And Get An iPhone After All

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 3:28 PM

iPhone Commercial for Ex-Boyfriends - Watch more Funny Videos

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Big Girls Don't Cry. They Rawk.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 1:44 PM

This just in from our old pals/arch-nemeses the Fatal Flaws. The deliciously curmudgeon-y local garage-rawkers recently collaborated on a track with a new(ish) Montreal outfit called the Broken Jugs for a compilation CD produced by Vancouver-based Mongrel zine. The title of the comp, which focuses on (really) underground Montréal bands is — and this is my second favorite part — Mongréal Zine. Nice. I love a good pun, almost as much as I love a bad one.

The track — this would be my first favorite part, for anyone keeping score — is entitled "She's a Big Girl" and represents something of a departure from the grainy, lo-fi misanthropy we have come to know and love (and hate?) from the Flaws. As drummer Sasha Rodriguez puts it in a recent email, "It's very different from the Fatal Flaws' sound — much more of a sixties sound, and much more produced."

And how.

I would go a step further and submit that this might be the sunniest little ditty Rodriguez and husband/guitarist/second coming of W.C. Fields, Chris Beneke have ever been a part of. (Granted, my sample size is admittedly small. Like, one album. For all I know they could have been in a Monkees cover band in a past life. But I digress.) And, much as I love the Flaws' independent work — and believe me, I do — this song friggin' rocks. In fact, I'd say this little blend of garage crunch and subversive pop sparkle is just about the perfect tune for a day like today, as summer, nearing its final throes, begins to surrender to the steely, ceaseless inevitability of fall. Or something like that.

Anyway, here's the cut. I hope you enjoy it. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vick's VapoRub

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 11:08 AM

(Editor's note: This post comes to us from regular 7D music section contributor and occasional Solid State blogger, John Pritchard. Yes, it's about sports. But it's also freakin' hilarious. I think you'll enjoy it, even if grown men playing a kid's game in funny pants ain't your bag. -DB)


With the dawn of another football season just weeks away, it's been difficult to ignore the media morality circus surrounding the NFL'sreinstatement of convicted dog fighting kingpin Michael Vick, who returns to the field tomorrow night.

One would think the PETP protest lines would trump the beer lines at NFL stadiums on days these gentleman (and I use that term loosely) were anywhere near a gridiron. Itoo find it rather despicable that a man capable of such inhumane actson dogs has been granted the opportunity to regain his job throwing pig parts around for the official sports vehicle for my second favorite macro-brew. What kind of example is this for the kids?

It's time for a long look in the mirror. Where does Vick rank amongst all time NFL goats, er, greats?

9. Plaxico Burress,New York Giants: Plax toted a handgun to a New York nightclub but couldnot ward off that most elusive of assailants: himself. He fumbled thegun — which he carried tucked in his sweatpants and it accidentally went off — injuring his million dollar leg and foolish pride. Theincident sparked a nationwide debate on holster laws. Game day status: Two years imprisonment; lifetime of embarrassment.

8. Joe Namath, New York Jets: This lovable 70's pop icon was America's favorite drunk uncle until he voiced hiscomplete disregard for 'the team struggling' during a nationallytelevised lunge in 2008, garnering a cultural penalty flag forillegal contact. Game day status: Hasn't been invited back to America's collective family gatherings since.

7. Frank Gifford,New York Giants: Lured by an airline stewardess and bagged by atabloid-installed hidden camera cheating on his wife. Where was theoffensive line on this play? Some protection scheme — he just never saw'em coming. Game day status: The more-famous Mrs.Gifford-Philbin was later accused of quarterbacking sweatshop labor forK-Mart, and Frank's infidelity scandal thinned out like a poorly madesweatshirt during a backyard scrimmage.

6. Lawrence Taylor,New York Giants: L.T. liked to party … a lot. And while that's nocrime, this NFL legend is remembered more for tackling prostitutes,crack and gallons of liquor then he is for tackling opposingquarterbacks — even claiming to purchase such treats anonymously foropposing players the night before games. Now that's encroachment! Game day status: Now speaks of fun and dangers of drugs and alcohol, Dances with Stars.

5. Rae Carruth,Carolina Panthers: Carruth was speedy receiver with sound hands, amember of the league's 1997 All-Rookie team. But all would agree he wasmore-then-a-little out of bounds in 1999 when he thought it would be agood idea to lead a conspiracy to murder his pregnant girlfriend. Questionable, indeed, when your career highlight reel is an episode of American Justice. Game day status: Doing 20 years.

4. Ray Lewis,Baltimore Ravens: The ten-time all-star and league icon has beennothing but a gentleman and a scholar during his NFL tenure,discounting one minor slip up: his suspected involvement in a double homicideafter a 4AM nightclub brawl on — of all nights — Super Bowl Sunday (OK,so it was technically Monday.) His piercing of the Giants offense oneyear later earned him Super Bowl MVP and all was pretty muchforgotten, not unlike the flavor in the ironically named "life water"he now touts. Game day status: Pleaded guilty to a lesser charge; settled out of court with victims families, eying post-playing career role in Naked Gun 44 1/4

3. Donte Stallworth, Cleveland Browns: Stallworth was one of the leagues premier receivers until last year, when he intercepted a Florida pedestrianwith his Bentley. Stallworth later claimed that he "flashed his lights"at the jaywalker. But the 59 year old man — a construction worker onhis way home after an all-night shift — later died. Donte's two-pointconversion: he was drunk and speeding at the time, merely taking an air-out ride after an all-night bender. No dogs were harmed. Game day status: Twenty-four days in jail, out of court settlement, one year NFL suspension

2. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles: Does Philadelphia play in Cleveland (a.k.a. the Dawg Pound) this season? That would mark the first game in NFL history where an opposing team would desperately avoid the end zone. It's probably only a matter of time before the true class act of the Vick family, Michael's brother Marcus, regains some headlines again. Blow the whistle! He just did. Game day status:Two years in jail. Vick now claims to be on a personal mission toadvocate for animal rights, so what if it's two unannounced hours at aback alley Philadelphia animal shelter signing autographs once everyoff-season.

1. O.J. Simpson,Buffalo Bills: With a stalwart 99.9%, Simpson is the NFL's all timeleader in one crucial but obscure statistical percentage:Almost-Making-Michael-Vick-Look-Like-a-Half-Way-Decent-Guy. Game day status: Vick could swallow a goldfish during the Superbowl half-time show and not even come close to this Hall of Famer.

Please e-mail me if you know where I can get a Vick #7 in cat sizes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Burly Power

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 11:44 AM

You know who I love? Ryan Power. And I'm guessing after you check out the latest installment of Rebecca "Nuda Veritas" Kopycinski's "Burly Song" show for Channel 15, you will too — if you don't already, that is. Enjoy. And keep 'em coming, Rebecca!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Solid State Podcast #1

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I'm pretty sure I've been promising a podcast for, oh, more than two years now. Or in other words, since I started at Seven Days. Well, guess what? I finally got around to doing one. And I enjoyed it so much, I think I'm going to make this a (semi) regular thing.

For the inaugural edition of the as-yet-unnamed Solid State podcast series, I caught up with our old pal, Casey Rae-Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition in Washington DC — and in a former life, 7D Music Editor extraordinaire.

The topic of the day was the Performance Rights Act currently being bandied about in our great halls of legislative discourse — and championed by none other than Patrick Leahy, no less.

For the unfamiliar, here's the Reader's Digest version: the bill would help prevent recording artists from getting screwed by — hold on to your hat — requiring terrestrial radio stations to — are you still holding your hat? — actually pay the artists whose music they play. 'Cuz right now, they don't. Crazy, right?

Under the current system, American radio stations are only required to pay licensing fees to a song's copyright holder and songwriter, but not the performer. Ironically, in virtually every other "radio" medium, from satellite to internet, stations are required to pay the copyright holder, the songwriter and the performer. But for some reason, terrestrial radio gets a free pass. I won't even get into how this works on a global scale, except to say that you'll be shocked at the handful of countries that claim similar warped systems to our own. Shocked.

Anyway, Casey does a much nicer job of describing the ins and outs of the bill and why it is important than I have time to divulge here. So click the download link below and enjoy.

A couple of notes about the podcast:
1. It's a first attempt and admittedly rough around the edges. Any constructive feedback is much appreciated.
2. Yes, it's totally corny that I used tracks from my old band, the Middle Eight, as the intro and outro music. However, I didn't have time to ask permission to use someone else's. Given the subject matter, I thought that was kind of important. Also, these songs were actually part of my very first collaboration with Casey, as he mastered the album way back in the day. So there's that.
3. On that note, I imagine I'll either work up a real intro once this gets rolling, or mix up intros with tunes from various local bands. Haven't really decided yet.
4. Casey has a pretty cool guest blog post here.
5. He also maintains his own thoroughly excellent blog here.

Solid State Podcast #1
Topic: Performance Rights Act
Guest: Casey Rae-Hunter, Communications Director, Future of Music Coalition
Music Credits: "Easy Chair," The Middle Eight, Lubec (D. Bolles); "The Sun Always Shines," The Middle Eight, Lubec (D. Stockhausen)

Download SolidStatePodcast1.081809

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fun With Aging Rock Stars

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Well, this is just hilarious:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Brain Dribblings

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 12:19 PM

What it is, Solid State?

'Tis a lovely late-summer Friday in the Queen City. It's the sort of day when one's thoughts turn to free flowing flights of fancy. For me, that means a symphony of randomness I like to call "Friday Brain Dribblings." Here we go.

It was sad to say goodbye to Les Paul yesterday. The man was a giant. Predictably, there was a smattering of  tribute-y pieces floating around the interwebs and TV yesterday. But I think our very own Mike Luoma sums it up best with this Twitter post: "Les Paul's contributions to & impact on music tower over Michael Jackson's. So... his passing will get more coverage, right?" Sigh.

Did you realize GWAR is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year? I feel old.

Earlier this week, Phish announced they will release Joy, their first studio album in five years on September 8. That's it. No joke here. Just passing that along. (That was a big step for me.)

Dogfighting douchebag Michael Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles last night. As a dog lover and doting owner of a half-crazy half-pitbull, I'm not nearly as upset about the QB's return as I thought I would be. Actually, I'm almost sorta rooting for him. I'm either a sucker for redemption stories, or so fed up with PETA that I can't help but equate their screeching protests to something on par with the Town Hall Meeting idiots.

Speaking of which, fuck Glenn Beck.

I had a nifty conversation yesterday with Alex Budney, who is running "Nectar's South" on Martha's Vineyard. Most of that will appear in next week's paper. But if you're looking for a late-summer weekend getaway, you could do worse. Sounds like a lot of fun.

I had an equally nifty conversation with the esteemed Casey Rae-Hunter — a.k.a "the old Dan Bolles" — this week for the inaugural edition of my forthcoming and as-yet-unnamed podcast, about the Pat Leahy-sponsored Performance Rights Act. Really interesting stuff. I've still got a little editing to do on that. Look for the debut early next week.

Anyone else notice that Higher Ground's fall calendar is looking increasingly awesome? Yo La Tengo, The Decemberists, Sondre Lerche, Andrew Bird, Son Volt, Great Lake Swimmers, etc. I wonder if the "HG never books good indie bands" crowd will actually show up for any of them. Just sayin'.

And finally, I'm reviewing James Kochalka's new album, Digital Elf, in next week's issue — sneek peek: I like it … mostly. And I guess I'm not alone in digging our resident Superstar's singular weirdness. Apparently, Moby is a fan too.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Daysie Dukes

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Hear me now and believe me later: I will not mention the Red Sox again until at least October.

I went most of the year with nary a sports-related post, and they were the best team in the American League. I write one (mildly) comical post about my beloved Beantown nine and they self-destruct. Can those two things possibly be related, you ask? As any self-respecting Sox fan worth their Nomah jersey will tell you, yes. Yes, they can. We're that superstitious.

So that's that. I am declaring a sports moratorium from now until such time as it is reasonably safe to bring up the topic again (which quite honestly could be never).

Moving on, let's talk about the Seven Daysies awards, shall we?

Last Friday night was our annual Daysies awards party at the ECHO Center in Burlington. If you've never been, it is quite the to-do. The place is always mobbed with local luminaries dressed to the nines boozing and schmoozing like it's a post-Oscars party. In short, it is a lot of fun. And this year was no exception. Well, at least what little of the party I was able to attend.

You see, everyone who works for 7D has a specific job to on the big day in order for us to pull this thing off. In previous years, I was responsible for helping to set up the sound equipment because, as the "music guy," it is presumed that I know something about setting up PA equipment — I don't.

Anyway, this year 7D threw me a curveball, assigning me to oversee our weekly Friday night "Up Your Alley" concert series at Red Square with two of our interns from 5p.m. to 7 p.m. Just so we're clear, someone actually thought it would be a good idea to send the music editor and two college kids to the bar for two hours prior to the party. Seriously, that was my job for this year's Daysies. Awesome. Anyway, long story short, I couldn't make it to the ECHO Center until the party was about half over. We'll just leave it at that.

During the course of my Daysies carousing, I had several interesting conversations — with folks who shall remain nameless — concerning the need to revamp the music categories. I have to say, I kind of agree. While the old standbys do a decent job of recognizing the usual supects, there is room for improvement. The fact of the matter is that said usual suspects are going to win, year in and year out. Which is not say those folks are undeserving. Merely that we could do a better job of recognizing people for whom there simply isn't a legit category they can win.

My favorite suggestion from Friday night was to create a "Best Small Live Music Venue" award. The current category, "Best Live Music Venue,"  will always go to Higher Ground — and Nectar's will always be the runner-up. And I can't really argue with that. But here's the thing, the vast majority of venues in and around the state are — drum roll, please — small.

The Monkey House, Radio Bean and the Skinny Pancake (among others) are all deserving of Daysies recognition. Will any of those joints ever compete with HG or Nectar's? Nope. Not a chance. But why should they have to?

Going a step further, I would also like to see a category for "Best Live Music Venue Outside of Chittenden County." We do it for "Best Dance Club," ferchrissakes. How does it make sense not to have a similar category for places like Langdon Street, the Black Door or the Bees Knees? Answer: it doesn't.

Some other ideas:
Best New VT Band: I could swear we used to do this, maybe even as recently as last year. I love this category. (My vote for this year: a tie bewteen Rough Francis and Strength in Numbers)

Best College/Independant Radio Station: VPR will usually win the biggie. And they should. But how 'bout some love for the little guys? (My vote: WRUV barely nudges out the Radiator, mostly because of the sheer awesomeness of Exposure)

Best Music Festival/Outdoor Concert Series: Yeah, we have a "Best Fest" category that will always go to Jazz Fest or Brew Fest. That's cool. But why not recognize the Champlain Valley Folk Fest, or the NEKMF or even the WOKO Country Club Music Fest? Again, these guys are never going to stack up against Jazz Fest, or even Brew Fest. And again, they shouldn't have to. (My vote: I'll abstain here, though I think NEKMF probably wins a popular vote)

Best Music Journalist: OK, totally (mostly) kidding about this one.

So that's my two cents. If you could, what music categories would you most like to see in the Daysies?


Friday, August 7, 2009

Of Red Sox and Music

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 1:16 PM

*ring-ring. ring-ring* (click)

"Yes, this is John."
"John Smoltz?"
"John, it's Theo. Theo Epstein."
"Oh, Theo. Hey, listen. About last night. I …
"John, John. It's OK. Don't worry about it."
"Really? Because I thou …"
"Look.I just thought you should hear this from me first. We're working on awaiver trade that would send you to the Brooklyn Cyclones for a hamsandwich and a bag of doorknobs."
"Wow. Well, I guess that seems reasonable under the circumstances. But I was kind of hoping …"
"It's a small bag."
"I see."
"Yeah … Um, I just wanted to, er, "thank you" for your services. And I hope you enjoyed your stay with the Boston Red Sox."
"Well, thanks for the opportunity, Theo."
"We'll see you in Cooperstown in a few years, buddy. Oh, and do you happen to have Tom Glavine's number?"

The preceding was a conversation I imagine to have taken place at some point after the bottom of the fourth inning of Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz's "Breakdown in the Bronx" at the hands of the hated New York Yankees last night. Ughhh.

With a huge 4-game Sox-Yanksseries underway, regular readers can probably guess where my head is atthe moment. (Come on, I've been pretty good about the sports stufflately. And it's Friday. Indulge me, OK?)

Anyway, as I often dowhile watching baseball — especially during a blowout — I startedpondering what sort of intro music I would choose if I were a proballplayer striding to the plate. As with many sports-relatedcontrivances (cheerleaders, announcers, etc.) I really think that intromusic should be incorporated into more facets of everyday life.(Although, the trend of introducing newlyweds at wedding receptions viamusic has gone too far. In the last two years I have been to two suchreceptions that left me cringing. At the first, the bride and groomwere introduced to the theme music from Kill Bill. The second? An electric piano version of "A Whole New World" from The Little Mermaid. I wish I was kidding.)

Youcan tell a lot about a person based on what sort of music they chooseas an introduction. The best is undoubtedly Yanks' closer MarianoRivera, who enters every game to the bruising strains of Metallica's "Enter Sandman." Even as a Sox fan, I have to acknowledge the consummate bad ass-itude in that, mostly because Rivera is a consummate bad ass. If you ever see it in person, you'll get chills. Trust me.

Theworst might be an Atlanta Braves player (whose name escapes me at themoment) who approaches to the plate to — and I'm not making this up —"Your Love" by The Outfield. Still, despite the thorough wussiness of that choice, it is kinda funny.

Personally, I tend to vacillate between a few different tunes. And I think they would work in most any situation, not just on the diamond. They are:

1. "The Imperial March" from Star Wars. Probably the most iconic intro music ever written.
2. "Loser" by Beck. Sort of a reverse psychology strategy here. Plus, I love that tune.
3. "The Price is Right" theme song. "Dan Bolles … come on down!"
4.The theme song from "Beverly Hills 90210." OK, this isn't my idea. Iheard it mentioned on an ESPN podcast recently. But that song might bethe single funniest way to enter a serious moment ever. Think about itfor a minute. (World Series Game 7. Two outs. Bottom of the ninth. Tiescore. And then … admit it, that's funny.)

I could go on withthis all day and night (and on certain occasions I have, believe me).But we're all busy people, right? So I put it to you, folks. If youcould, what would be your signature intro tune? Again, it doesn't haveto be a sports thing. What song would announce your presence at, say,the bank? Or work? Or the VD clinic? The floor is yours.

And while you think about that, here is the greatest pitch ever thrown (this is freakin' amazing):

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm Gonna make You a Star!

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM

This just in: Local hip hop group Neighborhood is back in action and have put out a casting call for extras for a music video they plan to shoot tomorrow (Friday) at Lift. The first 100 people to show up at the Church Street club at noon will have a crack at hip hop immortality. Or at least be on camera. I'm guessing booty-shakin' attire is encouraged.

For more info, email the folks at Lotus Entertainment:

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