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Regular readers know that I’ve been extolling the virtues of Nectar’s newly minted hip-hop open mike for weeks. What can I say? I’m just ahead of the curve, I guess. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it. It’s a great way to sample the local hip-hop scene and, if you’re so inclined, compare your skillz with the folks who do it for real.

Kicking off the New Year in style, the next installment of “The Spot” should be one for the ages as Burnt MD, the evening’s founder and Mix Master of Ceremonies — prepares to release his long awaited album, Burnt MD & Tha Professor. The album, which features guest appearances from notable underground artists such as Akrobatik of The Perceptionists and Planet Asia of Cali Agents, won’t actually hit the streets until late January. In the meantime, the GTD hit man — and I mean that in a musical way; he’s only a lyrical assassin — plans a sneak peek with a special performance highlighting the choicest cuts from the new disc.

So shake off the auld cobwebs with a little “hair of the dawg,” as it were, and hit The Spot on New Year’s Day. Who wants to watch college football, anyway?

THREE SIZES THAT DAY

Did you know that the 12 Days of Christmas actually start on Christmas Day? It’s true, trust me — I’m the “son of a preacher man,” so I have to know these things. Bearing that in mind, there’s no reason to stop giving just because the presents have been unwrapped/returned, the eggnog’s run dry and your uncle is passed out in a snow bank wearing only a Santa hat. (Or is that just my family?)

Anyway, on Saturday, December 29, grab your five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, both turtle doves and the partridge in a pear tree — fifth day of Christmas, get it? — and swing by The Monkey House in Winooski for “Cindy Lou’s Who-Billation Ball,” presented by the indie-ustrious elves at Tick Tick and Wyld Stallions Records.

Jesus may in fact be the “reason for the season” — along with consumerist overkill. But stories like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” are the reason the season is fun. And few folks in Burlington know how to have fun like Tick Tick.

The Whoville-themed evening features the turntable stylings of the screen-printing impresario’s very own DJs, David Goliath and Mike Device, as well as appetizer and drink specials provided by The Monkey House.

The event is a benefit for Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, a nonprofit organization that provides individuals with disabilities access to the instruction and equipment most of us take for granted. You can donate even more by entering the raffle for a chance to win ski passes and gear.

HE’S COME A LONG WAY

Since he made his great escape to the Left Coast a few years back, Arthur Adams sightings have been increasingly rare ’round these parts. So rare, in fact, that WRUV’s “Exposure” host, Jeremy Ayers, actually wished for a Blammos! show — Adams’ San Fran band with fellow B-Town ex-pats David Stockhausen and Tim Marcus — in the Burlington area in last week’s holiday wish list feature. It appears Ayers has been a good boy this year.

Saturday, December 29, the eclectic songwriter has a special homecoming gig lined up at his old stomping ground, Radio Bean. For those who remember his old Burlington project, The Lazy Songwriter, there will be much rejoicing. Adams will appear solo and with special guests, performing tunes from his days as singer-songwriter to the present.

I likely have been a bit naughtier than nice this year. But if you’re reading, Art, I just wanna hear “Girlfriend Punk.” And I wanna sing backup. Just throwin’ that out there.

BUT HE’S COME FURTHER

While it’s pretty impressive that Adams is traveling from San Francisco for a gig at everyone’s favorite hipster haven in Burlington, he does not win the award for “Most Miles Logged to Play a Gig at the Bean.” That “Beanie” belongs to Ben Patton, son of area jazz guru Will Patton, who is flying more than 8500 miles from the Philippines for his December 28 show. All totaled, the globetrotting songwriter will spend 48 hours en route for a one-hour set. Jeez, I hope he remembers to send the donations hat around.

Patton-the-younger has been scoring films and TV shows for a studio in Cebu while writing and recording his third solo album, The Unquiet and Apart. He’s achieved near cult status touring Asia and Europe with musical partner Jaye Muller, a German-born songwriter whose politically charged solo album We Are the Majority apparently sparked quite a controversy in the EU. How cool is that?

CLOSER TO HOME

Though they’re not burning years of accrued frequent-flyer miles to get there, Northfield’s In This Century are still worth a trip to the Langdon Street Café on Friday, December 28. The twangy indie band just released its self-titled debut, a nifty 10-song effort reminiscent of Social Distortion front man Mike Ness’ solo work, with a touch of Bobby Bare Jr. thrown in for good measure. In This Century were also featured on Wyld Stallions Records’ recent antiwar compilation, Line in the Sand, which I’m told is in frequent rotation in a certain U.S. president’s iPod. If only that were true.

CLOSE TO NOWHERE

Before the snarky letters from jealous hipsters pour in accusing me of giving Grace Potter & the Nocturnals too much ink — when your local band signs to a major label and tours around the world, I’ll write about you, too, I promise — let me say that the point of this next bit is not to pimp Vermont’s best-known starlet-in-training. I’m pretty sure her label has that covered. Rather, it’s to tell you about a good event with a great cause: the second annual “Rock 4 a Cure Benefit,” at the Higher Ground Ballroom.

Friday, December 28, Potter and her merry band of sleep-deprived cohorts headline the event — the first of a three-night run at the marquee nightclub — with support from newly nuptualized art-rockers Swale, to raise money and awareness for the American Parkinson’s Disease Association. In addition to the rocking, the evening will also feature a raffle to win “the ultimate free-ride masterpiece,” a 2008 Super Model X 64 from Burton Snowboards. However, you don’t actually have to go to the show to win the board. You can buy tix at http://www.parkinsonsvt.org.

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Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Bio:
Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor.

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