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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blame It On Me

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 1:19 PM

So … remember Barenaked Ladies?

The word on the street is that the Canadian foursome will be appearing at T-Bones Restaurant and Bar in Colchester at 4 p.m. today as part of as promotion with local radio station MP103. That's right. Barenaked Ladies have been reduced to playing a hotel restaurant next to an interstate off-ramp and up the street from Costco and a bowling alley. Yikes.

Only 40 tickets were made available to the show, and those were given away through a contest on MP103's Facebook page. But anyone with a morbid enough curiosity can show up and watch via TVs in the bar and lounge area for free.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Never Cry Wolff

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Since today's paper hit newsstands this morning, I have had an usually high volume of responses in regard to certain pieces in the music section. A few have been to congratulate me on quitting smoking, which I appreciate, even if I don't entirely understand the sentiment. It's not like I got married or had a kid or something. Still, the support is nice. Thanks!

The remaining comments have almost entirely been in regard to a spotlight I wrote about Wolff, a Tuba-centric rock duo from New York City, appearing at the Monkey House this Saturday with The Cave Bees and The Smittens. Here's what I wrote:

A Boy and His Tuba :: On the surface, New York City’s Wolff could appear asnondescript as any number of rock acts du jour. Hell, they even boast aname semi-ironically evocative of an animal. But the duo stands out inone big, shiny way: the tuba. Employing all manner of effects-pedalwizardry, bandleader Brian Wolff (get it?) uses the brass behemoth asboth a melodic vehicle and a percussive tool. Oh, he sings through it,too. But here’s the really crazy part. As critics from the Village Voice to the New Yorkerhave noted, it works, and makes for a live show the likes of whichyou’ve probably never seen. Catch Wolff this Saturday at the MonkeyHouse with local favorites The Smittens and Cave Bees

Most of the day's inquiries can be characterized as some version of the following: "OK, Bolles. You got me. I'm interested. Tell me more."

Don't mind if I do! Although, I think in this case it might be better to show you. So what follows are two clips from Wolff's MySpace page. The first is sort of an introduction to the man, the myth, the tuba. The second is footage from a recent performance at Piano's in NYC. I hope you enjoy 'em. And if you still have questions, just swing by the Monkey on Saturday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Video: The Cush, "The Vigilant Ones"

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM

The rest of the world has yet to experience the brilliance that is The Cush's new record, Between the Leaves. And they won't until it is "officially" released this March. Of course, unless you managed to get your hands on a copy before they left for Texas in December, you might not have experienced it yet either. And yes, I'm overusing the word "experience" for a reason. As this trippy-as-hell video of "The Vigilant Ones" (directed by PJ DeViliers, who also drew the album cover) suggests, an experience is exactly what the album is.

It appears I picked the wrong week to quit smoking opium.

New Japhy Ryder Cuts: "Set Self Sail" and "Theme For Moses"

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Here are a couple more sneak peeks from Japhy Ryder's forthcoming new record.

The first is a slinky little tune called "Set Self Sail." Unlike Friday's entry, this is decidedly non-porneriffic. Enjoy.

Next up is a cut from a live recording residency at Nectar's last year. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first track we've seen from any of the bands involved in those monthly(ish) shindigs. Here's hoping there are more to come. It was a cool idea. Anyway, submitted for your approval, "Theme for Moses." And if you like what you hear, you can catch the band at Red Square tomorrow night.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Japhy Ryder Cut: "Ain't That A B"

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 3:21 PM

You know what genre is woefully underrepresented in these here Green Mountains? 1970s classic porn music, that's what. Thankfully, we've got Japhy Ryder, who fill that … er, void, with this freaky little cut, "Ain't That A B," from their forthcoming studio album. Calling Mistress Maeve?

Say What You Will About Jimmy Kimmel. But …

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:37 AM

… dude has brass balls.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hurly Burly: Lady Lioness on Burly Song

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 12:04 PM

This just in from Rebecca Kopycinski, a.k.a. Nuda Veritas: Following a nearly five-month hiatus, her nifty local music/interview show Burly Song is back. The new episode features Burlington-based songstress Lady Lioness. Check out the clip below. Then click here to watch the show in its entirety.   

Monday, January 11, 2010

Your Pledge Drive Dollars at Work: New Spoon Album on NPR!

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 3:49 PM

I say your pledge dollars because I'm withholding mine money until Jane Lindholm invites me back on Vermont Edition's year-end music show. Was it something I said?

Anyhoo, the new Spoon album, Transference, hits shelves next Tuesday. But you can listen to the whole thing at all this week. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go put my Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga t-shirt on and giggle like a schoolgirl. Enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009 in Review Pt. 5: Um … Maybe Later. But For Now …

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Hipsters in Space!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2009 in Review Pt. 4: Automatic for the People

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Like most self-respecting music snobs, I have long despised AutoTune, viewing it as a music industry scourge and a crutch for talentless hacks who can't match pitch. And as the phenomenon increased in popularity over the years, becoming virtually ubiquitous on commercial airwaves, I had little reason to change my, um, tune. But 2009 delivered an unexpected change in attitude towards this particular studio device, brought on by exposure to several projects, nationally and locally that employed AT to chilling effect. Ultimately, they revealed that, much like reverb or multi-voicing, in the right hands AutoTune can be as effective a tool as any other in a producer's belt.

My awakening came slowly. While reviewing Gregory Douglass' latest album Battler last winter, I thought I noticed faint traces of AutoTune scattered throughout the disc. Even given the local tunesmith's well-documented proclivities for skewering conventional pop constructs, the mere notion of Douglass — who certainly doesn't lack for vocal chops — resorting to using AutoTune was shocking. So I asked him about it.

In an email response, he wrote that he had in fact used AutoTune. What's more, he admitted "surrendering" to it to augment a particularly challenging vocal part which he had recorded out of his "comfort zone." Frankly, I was a little dismayed. Until I paid closer attention. The more I listened to it, the more I found myself enjoying it, and the more I realized that it subtly added a certain provocative quality to the performance that, oddly enough, felt completely organic given his general approach to song craft. Color me baffled. 

Around the same time, I got my hands on Bon Iver's Blood Bank EP, the followup to his/their much ballyhooed 2008 debut For Emma, Forever Ago. I've made no secret of my unbridled man crush on Bon Iver/Justin Vernon and For Emma. Honestly, it ranks among my top five albums of the decade — alongside the likes of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha and M. Ward's Transfiguration of St. Vincent, in some order. In fact, I think Emma inadvertently planted the seed that would develop into my ability to appreciate AutoTune.

Where AT makes almost imperceptible appearances throughout Emma, on the a cappella "Woods," Vernon shatters any pretense of subtlety, overdoing the effect like a reverb-happy Jim James in an echo chamber. Check it out below. (And my apologies for the cheesy vid. There isn't an official one for the song.)

Of course, no discussion of the merits — or lack thereof — of AutoTune would be complete without mentioning its humor potential. If you haven't, I highly recommend revisiting AutoTune the News. But since this is a music blog, I will leave you with this vid of Lonely Island's "I'm On A Boat" (featuring the Mozart of AutoTune himself, T-Pain). I don't even want to admit how many times this track popped up on my iPod this summer.

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