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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"I Was So Wrong" — Justin Levinson

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 2:16 PM

In today's column, I mentioned Justin Levinson would be taking to the stage at Nectar's this Friday, celebrating the release of a new single he recently recorded with Nashville's Madi Diaz. Here's that very single, in clever video form.

  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tell Us How You Really Feel

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM

It's hardly news in Burlington that the Vacant Lots are blowin' up. The garage-psych duo have had quite a run of late, touring the country with the likes of Spectrum, dropping by showcases such as SXSW and the Austin Psych Festival, and signing to hip indie label Indian Summer. For TVL, it has been a very good year indeed.

But it seems in the midst of his wandering, TVL founder and front man Jared Artaud may be souring on the scene in which his band cut its teeth. In a recent interview with music website Rock Edition, Artaud offers some provocative words on the Queen City and its music scene. Here's an excerpt:

Rock Edition: What’s the music scene like in Burlington, VT?

Jared Artaud: It’s a small city with a big scene: a lot going on, but not a lot happening. In the 4 years I have been in Burlington, I have always tried to get the most out of this city, but I am continually disappointed. There is a lot of activity locally, but not a whole lot that is drawing me out to experience it. There is a lot of mediocrity in Burlington. I think there is a great amount of comfortability and conformity here that I don’t correspond with. Honestly, I feel pretty detached with the scene here. [There are] not a lot of people making music that I like seeing live either. I spent my first year here going to everything, every show, every night. It took me a year to find a drummer to play with!

It’s equally difficult to invite other bands to come and play here, with a low attendance rate and excitement surrounding live shows. I think the greater disappointment with the Burlington music scene is this unspoken notion of, “Well, they’re playing this Friday night, but I’ll catch them next time they play.” How does a local musician make a living with that kind of attitude? That really doesn’t work for me. There are also only a few cool venues to play. Consequently, the scene gets old pretty quick, if you know what I mean. It’s a city that has great potential but continually disappoints, because there is so little really happening here, [and so few] bands that are really saying something. Do you know what I mean? That’s the kinda sad truth of the small city.

We play so few shows here, mostly just incorporating the shows into our future tours and not doing a lot of one-offs. Maybe one to two shows a year, tops. The funny thing, too, is people are always asking, “When are you playing here next?” You tell them you are playing next week and they don’t show up! So why bother at all? I’d [prefer to] just concentrate on writing, recording and developing my ideas, rather than worry too much about when or if we should play here soon. There is also a continual trend with bands leaving Burlington for bigger cities. We’ll see what happens.

Curious sentiment from a guy who said this in a 2009 interview with Seven Days:

“There’s just something about Burlington,” he says. “I really believe that a revolution is necessary and that we need to redefine our values and explore new roads. I believe that art can pave that road. And I really believe that is happening here.”

Artaud points to the wealth of artists and musicians, new and old, currently combating what he calls “the decay around us.” When asked to be more specific, his eyes light up. “There are some really great bands doing things here that weren’t happening a year, two years ago,” he says. “There’s a revitalization of spirit. Rough Francis, Blowtorch, Nose Bleed Island . . . these are all people who are expressing in this new light for our generation.”

In his RE interview, Artaud didn't air any grievances we haven't heard before. Disillusioned local musicians have been grumbling about the perceived limitations of the Burlington scene for decades — often blaming fans, as if a packed house is a birthright in BTV. We're not Brooklyn or Austin or Portland. And, for better or worse, we probably never will be. Still, Artaud's apparent change of heart is interesting. Maybe the scene really has diminished in the last two years — at the least, it is always in flux, and ebbs and flows constantly. Maybe for Artaud, Burlington has simply lost its lustre. It happens. Or maybe tasting the riches of higher profile scenes has just made ours seem provincial and plain by comparison. Or maybe Artaud is dead on and Burlington needs a kick its artistic ass. Still, one can't help but wonder how TVL would have fared without the support from bands such as Rough Francis and Blowtorch, and the Burlington scene at large that embraced them in their early days and helped put them on the map. Whether he's right or wrong, as TVL continues its ascent, here's hoping Artaud remembers that.

 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

So, About All Those Fun Shows at Parima …

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 3:14 PM

It seems things at Parima are devolving faster than anyone expected. As Joe Adler, now-formally the talent buyer at the doomed Thai restaurant/music joint, writes today, the upcoming music calendar has been pretty much wiped clean, from now until the Pearl St. haunt closes in mid-September. All but a few shows have been canceled — including Burgundy Thursday tonight and the entirety of this weekend's slate. The full list of canceled shows is below. In other news, fuck.

Canceled Shows

Thurs, 8/4 - Burgundy Thursdays with Joe Adler featuring The Beerworth Sisters / Dusty Jewels / Don & Jenn
(Singer/Songwriter / Main Stage) 8:30pm, $3

Fri, 8/5 - Kelly Ravin with Lisa Marie Fischer opening
(Blues Rock / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Fri, 8/5 - Second Agenda
(Rock Hop Rebel Folk / Main Stage) 10pm, $3

Sat, 8/6 - Modern Grass Quintet ?
(Bluegrass / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Sat, 8/6 - Squid City / Project Organ Trio
(Jazz / Rock / Main Stage) 9:30pm, $5

Sun, 8/7 - Queen City Bossa
(Bossa Nova / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Thurs, 8/11 - Eric and Matthias
(Singer/Songwriter / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Thurs, 8/11 - Burgundy Thursdays with Joe Adler featuring Carrie Ferguson / Bill Buyer / Chris Lewis / Tim Berry
(Singer/Songwriter / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Fri, 8/12 - Last October
(Acoustic/Folk / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Fri, 8/12 - Charley Orlando with Steve Hartmann opening
(Jam/Soul/Rock / Main Stage) 9:30pm, $5

Fri, 8/12 - African Party
(Acoustic Lounge) 11:30pm, $5, 60/40 (doors at 11)

Sun, 8/14 - Sarah Louise Pieplow / The Wendigos
(Punky Folk/Garage Rock / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Wed, 8/17 - Too Tight Trio with Kip Meaker
(Blues Rock / Main Stage) 7pm, $5

Thurs, 8/18 - Burgundy Thursdays with Joe Adler featuring Phil Yates & The Affiliates / Jimmy Ruin / Chris Jenkins / UMMA / TBA / TBA
(Singer/Songwriter / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Sat, 8/20 -  Matt Graham Quartet
(Jazz / Main Stage)7pm, $3



Wed, 8/24 - Too Tight Trio with Kip Meaker
(Blues Rock / Main Stage) 7pm, $5

Thurs, 8/25 - Burgundy Thursdays with Joe Adler featuring Robin Reid / James McSheffrey / Clara Berry / Kevin Greenblott / TBA / TBA
(Singer/Songwriter / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Fri, 8/26 - Ragged Glory
(Neil Young Tribute / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Fri, 8/26 - Funkwagon with Dr Ruckus opening
(Funk/Soul / Main Stage) 10pm, $5

Sat, 8/27 - Clara Engel
(Blues/Experimental / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Sat, 8/27 - Bobby Messano Band with Midnight Jones opening
(Blues / Main Stage) 10pm, $5

Fri, 9/2 - Black Mountain Symphony
(Progressive Folk / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Fri, 9/2 - Roots Center Benefit featuring TBA
(Main Stage) 10pm, donation

Sun, 9/4 - Zack duPont's "Let's Make A Record" Sessions featuring The Bob Wagner & Brett Lanier Duo and Maryse Smith
(Singer/Songwriter / Acoustic Lounge) 7pm, $3

Wed, 9/7 - Too Tight Trio with Kip Meaker
(Blues Rock / Main Stage) 7pm, $5

Thurs, 9/8 - Burgundy Thursdays with Joe Adler featuring Robby Hecht / Raph Worrick / Hillary Reynolds Band / Voices2
(Singer/Songwriter / Main Stage) 8:30pm, $3

Fri, 9/9 - Small Change
(Tom Waits Tribute / Main Stage) ?7pm, $3

Sat, 9/10 - Jen Berger (Acoustic Lounge) 7:30pm, doors at 7pm

 

Sun, 9/11 - Zack duPont's "Let's Make A Record" Sessions featuring Nuda Veritas and Paper Castles
(Singer/Songwriter / Acoustic Lounge) 7pm, $3

Mon, 9/12 - Mildred Moody's Full Moon Masquerade featuring TBA
(Main Stage) 10pm, $5

Wed, 9/14 - Too Tight Trio with Kip Meaker
(Blues Rock / Main Stage) 7pm, $5

Fri, 9/16 - Triage
(Jazz / Main Stage) 7pm, $3

Fri, 9/16 - Red Hot Juba
(Hot Countrified Jazz and Blues / Main Stage) 9pm, $5

 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Heavy Metal Recital

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM

I ran into Matt Hagen of Lendway/Nefarius Frenzy a week or two back, and he was positively raving about a surprise act at a recent Metal Monday, the metal series at Nectar's he's been curating/hosting with Metal Matt Longo from WRUV/mindovermetal.org. I mean, like, wouldn't-shut-about-it raving. The performer's name is Vika, and she plays instrumental versions of metal songs on her piano. And she rawks. Here's a clip from her last appearance at Metal Monday, playing Slayer's "Reign in Blood." FYI, I'm told she'll be back at Nectar's tonight …

 

 

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