Barrel o' Monkey | Music News + Views | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Barrel o' Monkey 

Soundbites: Barrel o' Monkey, Bite Torrent

Published April 14, 2010 at 7:53 a.m.

Dirty little secret time. I Hate — capital “H” — compiling music listings every week. Hate it. It is pure tedium and an utterly thankless task. Oh, sure, make the occasional goof and I’ll have three emails, a voicemail and a brick through my window about it by Thursday morning. But does anyone ever write in to say, “Hey, really enjoyed that open mic listing at Radio Bean this week”? Not even once. In three years. Sigh…

Where was I?

Ah, yes. Bitching.

The thing is, music listings are a necessary evil. In fact, it’s the most important part of my job as “that guy from Seven Days.” Music listings pretty much form the foundation for my entire section of 7D. By compiling them, I get a comprehensive overview of what is happening every week in a way most people don’t. I then distill that information into easily digestible pieces, to spare you the soul-crushing boredom of combing through each and every freakin’ listing looking for something cool, until your eyeballs glaze and you brain explodes and…

Where was I?

Oh, right. Distilling.

Typically, I try and spread the love around as best I can and cherry-pick bits from various venues around the state. It doesn’t always work out that way. But that’s the goal. Except this week.

This week, I’m suggesting you be one place and one place only, all week: The Monkey House. [Note to other advertising venues: Just kidding!] Every night they have the coolest show going. Period. Don’t believe me? Check it out, in pandering USA Today snippet style (for brevity’s sake … mostly):


MSR Presents The Tallest Man on Earth, Nurses.

Why It’s Cool: See the spotlight click here. Also, MSR Presents rules.

Recommended If You Like: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Akron/Family, Ikea.


MSR Presents The Morning Benders, Miniature Tigers

WIC: MB’s sun-drenched new album Big Echo is a personal favorite and will be a staple on the summer playlists of beach going pop snobs everywhere. Also, MSR Presents rules.

RIYL: Dr. Dog, Delta Spirit, Surfer Blood, a warm sense of hipsterly superiority.


Township, Brave the Vertigo, Brothers Through Glass, Kairos

WIC: Township rocks wikkid hahd. They also have strong Burlington ties, which should help them get along with all the local openers.

RIYL: Sabbath, Skynard, IROC-Zs with nekkid chick mudflaps.


The Midnight Society

WIC: Features psuedo-local pop favorites Syd and Zac Clarke, who are based in Somerville, Mass. And what is the best breakfast joint in Somerville called? Sound Bites. No kidding.

RIYL: Joe Jackson, early Elvis Costello, really good songs about girls.


Angioplasty Media presents Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, Whales and Wolves

WIC: Thao Nguyen is the best songwriter you’ve never heard. Really. Also, Angioplasty Media rules, too.

RIYL: Cat Power, The Shins, Cat Power, Sufjan Stevens, Cat Power


MSR Presents Heavy Trash, Barbacoa

WIC: Jon Spencer’s dirty-ass rockabilly explosion. Also, MSR Presents rules.

RIYL: Holly Golightly, Chuck Berry, Dick Dale, chicken wire.


Familiar Strangers

WIC: Local blues(ish) supergroup features members of Bearquarium, Wagan, Greyspoke, Bad Suit and Flavor Trio.

RIYL: Things that happen every Wednesday.


  • In news that has (almost) nothing to do with the Monkey, Burlington’s Brian Nagle, in collaboration with the Queen City Social Club, recently started an open turntables series called the Less Digital, More Manual: Record Club, every other Saturday at Radio Bean. The gist is pretty much the same as your typical open mic, only instead of an acoustic guitar and sappy-ass love songs, you bring your favorite stack of wax — sorry, kids, no Serato allowed — and spin it on the wheels of steel. Much like Nagle spins a wide variety of music as his alter-ego DJ Disco Phantom — from hip-hop to house to indie rock and beyond — eclecticism is encouraged. The next installment is this Saturday.
  • Speaking of Disco Phantom, dude was just added to this Thursday’s show at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge with heady alt-jazz outfits Telepath and the AS-IS Ensemble. Oh, he’ll also spin between sets at the Morning Benders gig … ahem.
  • If you still haven’t said your goodbyes to Gabrielle and Burette Douglas of The Cush, you have but one opportunity left: This Sunday at Radio Bean, Gabby’s all-grrrl side project The Dwellers celebrate the release of their new album. And then, that’s it. They’re gone. Finis. Got it?
  • This just in: Longtime local bar band Dan Parks and the Blame shall henceforth be known only as The Blame. That is all.
  • Vultures of Cult have just released their long-awaited stoner rock opera Cold Hum — that’s right, stoner rock opera. As of this writing, I’m only about one listen in. But once is all I need to know that it friggin’ rocks. Hard. And I’m not even a stoner … as far as you know. Download it for free, and read the harrowing tale surrounding the album’s ill-fated recording sessions, at
  • I’m the first to admit that I don’t write much about reggae in these pages unless it involves making fun of Reggae Fest being cancelled, and then not being cancelled, and then being cancelled again and then … where was I? Oh, right, not making fun of Reggae Fest. Anyway, Nectar’s has back-to-back weekends of pretty stellar island vibrations, beginning this Saturday with St. Croix’s Ras Iba, who’ll be backed by Yahkali and Amandla. You can also catch sets from VT’s own Rise Up! sound-system crew. The following Saturday, April 24, brings Toussaint the Liberator with Buru Style and DJ Big Dog.
  • It promises to be a big weekend for the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, which has (count ’em!) six performances lined up this weekend, between the Elley-Long Music Center at St. Mike’s and the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College. The main events are the Vermont Youth Chorus and Chorale Spring Concerts — Thursday at St. Mike’s, Friday in Middlebury — which will feature the premiere of a brand-new composition written by members of the VY Concert Chorale entitled “Come With Me, We Can Fly.” Which reminds me of a great bumper sticker. On it are a few bars of sheet music and the caption: “If you can read this, thank a music teacher.” Indeed. For a full schedule of events, visit
  • I’m told you haven’t bought your tickets for The Low Anthem at Bethany Church in Montpelier on Thursday, April 22. What gives?
  • A very happy birthday to local songwriters Kelly Ravin (4/16) and Zack duPont (4/15) , who will split a bill at Parima’s Main Stage this Friday in celebration of their respective big days. DuPont recently emailed yours truly asking for suggestions for some newish songwriters to listen to. I responded with folks such as Joe Pug, A.A. Bondy and the aforementioned Thao Nguyen, all of whom have been in heavy rotation for me of late. But do you know who I really think you folks should be listening to? Zack duPont.
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    About The Author

    Dan Bolles

    Dan Bolles

    Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor and also edits What's Good, the annual city guide to Burlington. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his coverage of the arts, music, sports and culture. He loves dogs, dark beer and the Boston Red Sox.


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