Local Musicians Weigh in on the Best Music of 2013 | Music Feature | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Local Musicians Weigh in on the Best Music of 2013 

Published December 18, 2013 at 7:03 a.m.

Paper Castles, Vague Era; Alpenglow, Solitude EP; Hana Zara, Tatterhood
  • Paper Castles, Vague Era; Alpenglow, Solitude EP; Hana Zara, Tatterhood

Recapping the best music from a given year is always overwhelming. So we asked local musicians, fans and assorted scenesters for their takes on the best albums (local and nonlocal) and Vermont concerts they took in this year. We also added a “wild card” category that was completely open-ended. Here’s what they said.

Paddy Reagan (Paper Castles)

Local Album: Alpenglow, Solitude EP

Nonlocal Album: Califone, Stitches

Concert: Future Islands at ArtsRiot 

Caroline Rose (singer-songwriter)

Local Album: The DuPont Brothers, The DuPont Brothers EP

Nonlocal Album: Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

Concert: Shovels & Rope at Grand Point North

Brian Nagle (Disco Phantom)

Local Album: (tie) Rough Francis, Maximum Soul Power; Ryan Power, Identity Picks

Nonlocal Album: Daft Punk, Random Access Memories

Concert: !!! (Chk Chk Chk) with Sinkane at Signal Kitchen

Wild Card: Nick Mavodones is the hardest-working music person in Burlington. He should also run for mayor.

Alex Lalli (co-owner, Signal Kitchen)

Local Album: Alpenglow, Solitude EP

Nonlocal Album: Dawn of Midi, Dysnomia

Concert: Phosphorescent at Signal Kitchen

Wild Card: Dan Bolles for president. 

Justin Gonyea (Vultures of Cult)

Local Album: Paper Castles, Vague Era

Nonlocal Album: True Widow, Circumambulation

Concert: Dollars & Cents doing OK Computer and In Rainbows at Nectar’s

Wild Card: Burlington Records [is] my favorite ally to local musicians. They graciously carry local physical releases and take nothing from the sale for themselves. That is a pretty incredible act of solidarity with local artists.

Derek Burkins (singer-songwriter)

Local Album: Dan Johnson & the Expert Sidemen, Bound for Abiquiu

Nonlocal Album: Milk Carton Kids, The Ash & Clay

Concert: The Valley Stage Festival in Huntington

Wild Card: I look forward to hearing more from Hana Zara. I feel the same about Laura Heaberlin.

Knayte Lander (Golden Dome Musicians’ Collective, State & Main Records)

Local Album: Lake Superior, Steam Engine

Nonlocal Album: Iceage, You’re Nothing

Concert: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Paper Castles at ArtsRiot

Wild Card: I am really excited to see the new guard of metal and hardcore bands who are coming up in the central VT/Queen City area. Killer bands like Gorcrow, Chalice, Last World and Vaporizer, just to name a few. Vermont retains the ideal climate for gestation of this music and I want more!

Pete Coccoma (Alpenglow)

Local Album: Paper Castles, Vague Era

Nonlocal Album: Phosphorescent, Muchacho

Concert: Dirty Projectors at Higher Ground and/or Waking Windows III in Winooski

Wild Card: Waking Windows IV?

Dave Keller (soul/blues man)

Local Album: Chris Robertson and the Socket Rockets, The Need for Tweed

Nonlocal Album: Jonny Lang, Fight for my Soul

Concert: Brett Hughes solo during the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival. When is this guy gonna put out a record of his incredibly beautiful original songs?

Wild Card: The newly reopened, fully renovated, incredibly gorgeous Strand Theater in Plattsburgh. It is right up there with the Flynn; almost as large, great acoustics, and beautiful architecture and period details. This is a major “new” resource in the Champlain Valley.

Mike Luoma (music director, 104.7 the Point FM)

Local Album: Hana Zara, Tatterhood

Nonlocal Album: Arctic Monkeys, AM

Concert: Phosphorescent at Signal Kitchen

Alex Budney (president, Nectar’s Presents)

Local Album: (tie) Alpenglow, Solitude EP; The Dupont Brothers, The Dupont Brothers EP

Nonlocal Album: Banda Magda, Amour t’es la

Concert: Tauk at Nectar’s

Wild Card: There’s a lot of talent in this town. A lot of talent that I wish booking agents would recognize more and help get out there. So many acts just need that small agency to help them get on their feet … and would do amazingly well outside of Vermont. And it ain’t easy.

Rob Larkin (The Shandies)

Local Album: Paper Castles, Vague Era

Nonlocal Album: Of Montreal, Lousy With Sylvianbriar

Concert: Metz at the Monkey House

Ben Aleshire (Vermont Joy Parade)

Local Album: Ryan Power, Identity Picks

Nonlocal Album: Bill Callahan, Dream River

Concert: Bloody Maria, the psychedelic Genesis (as in the biblical Genesis) rock musical, by Mickey Western at Off Center for the Dramatic Arts

Wild Card: Hana Zara with Taylor Smith. Watch out.

Bow Thayer (Bow Thayer & Perfect Trainwreck)

Local Album: Billy Wylder, Sand & Gold

Nonlocal Album: Blitzen Trapper, Seven

Concert: Waylon Speed at the Tweed River Music Festival

Bryan Parmelee (Pours)

Local Album: Paper Castles, Vague Era

Nonlocal Album: The Knife, Shaking the Habitual

Concert: Fred Armisen with J Mascis at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington

Wild Card: Best Hair: Eric Olsen (Swale)

Phil Yates (Phil Yates & the Affiliates)

Local Album: Persian Claws, Persian Claws

Nonlocal Album: The Dirtbombs, Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey!

Concert: Elvis Costello at the Flynn MainStage

Wild Card: The emergence of Signal Kitchen and ArtsRiot. Every time you turn around, those two venues are putting on “Shit! [Fill in the band name] are coming to town?!?” type of shows. Now all I need is the technology to clone myself so I can be at as many shows as Tim Lewis!

Tommy Alexander (Jenke Arts)

Local Album: (tie) Alpenglow, Solitude EP; Bless the Child, 100%

Nonlocal Album: Phosphorescent, Muchacho

Concert: Phosphorescent at Signal Kitchen

Jason Cooley (Blue Button)

Local Album: Last World, Demo

Nonlocal Album: Fuck Buttons, Slow Focus

Concert: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion playing to 40 people at Higher Ground

Wild Card: Watching Eugene [Hütz] discussing what I should do with all of my records was pretty funny.

Justin Boland (Humpasaur Jones, Wombaticus Rex)

Local Album: The Aztext, Four

Nonlocal Album: Ghost, Infestissumam

Concert: Waylon Speed

Wild Card: ArtsRiot/Signal Kitchen beautifying all our shit and culturing all over the place.

Pat Melvin (The DuPont Brothers Band)

Local Album: Caroline Rose, America Religious

Nonlocal Album: The Wood Brothers, The Muse

Concert: Shovels & Rope at Grand Point North

Wild Card: The Concrete Rivals from Montpelier. Shit, that dude [Jay Ekis] can play the guitar.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Scene and Heard"

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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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