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Yum, Ill Itches, and Rough Francis at the Monkey House October 13, 2014

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis


I had a great time seeing music last Monday at The Monkey House. It was a long work day, and I was feeling drained. I debated skipping the show, but it had been a while since I’d seen ROUGH FRANCIS, and it looked like an early show, so instead of taking the right turn and the 10 minute walk home, I took the left, and walked the 25 minutes to Winooski.

I arrived shortly after the 7:30 start time. It looked like the first band was almost ready to go, but it was just a sound check. The second band did a sound check too, then left the stage empty for a while. Having not eaten since lunch, I got some food from the bar. On the second bite, the first band hit the stage. I never have luck mixing food and music.

Yum, a duo from Detroit, played a killer set of off kilter rock and roll. The songs had great changes and a nice flow. I ate quickly for the first two songs then ran up front. The singer/guitar player kept the rhythm and leads flowing nicely and the drummer propelled the songs forward. I loved the show from first moment to last. I had to listen close to try and keep up with them, and was heavily rewarded for it. The Monkey House has a great tradition of bringing bands I’ve never heard of, and love from first moment to last, and Yum are among the finest I’ve been lucky enough to encounter.

After they wrapped up, another band from Detroit, with the same drummer, hit the stage. Ill Itches played some nice heavy grooves and rocked hard. It took me a bit to get into it, but once I found the path, I happily rocked out. They worked the growing audience hard with their heavy and fun songs. It was easy to hear all of the instruments and vocals, thanks to the attentiveness of Alyssa Solomon who was doing sound all night. There was a great insistence to all of their songs, and they were as solid of a rock band as you could hope for.

After their set, I was feeling pretty wiped out. I help strong, and soon enough, Rough Francis hit the stage. They played a few songs from their first album, but played a lot of newish ones. I’m starting to like them a lot. The audience was full and rocking, though not quite moshing. Paul jumped into the audience, while ripping out some killer leads, to try and get us going, but we never quite made it to the slam dancing. As usual, drummer extraordinaire Urian Hackney played about 15 notes per one note for the rest of the band. It was nice being close enough to watch him work, and he is up there with Jane Boxall Percussion, and Mike Billington as the best drummers in Burlington’s history. Bobby Hackney Jr. was a great front man as usual, and his scream singing kept the energy at dizzying heights all evening long. As it was Columbus Day, he had some great comments about how the day can now just be a license to take whatever you want, whenever you want. They wrapped up the killer set just before 11 with a rousing Comm To Space.

There were still two bands left, Kal Marks and Pile, but after the Rough Francis set, it felt like I had hit the wall. All the energy was drained out of me, so I settled up and took the long walk home. It was an effort to get to the show, and I wish I had just a bit more and could have caught the last two bands, but I’m so happy I caught what I could.


October 21, 2014 Posted by | Rock Shows | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

Gov. Peter Shumlin, who plans to address the deal at a press conference later Monday morning, called the deal “good news” for IBM’s Vermont employees and pledged to work with GlobalFoundries to “make this a successful transition.”

“GlobalFoundries plans to maintain the workforce and continue operations in Vermont, good news for the talented Vermonters employed by the plant and for our whole state,” Shumlin said in a written statement.

For years, the governor said, the state has “felt uncertainty regarding IBM’s future in Vermont.”

“That is why it is very good news for Vermont’s longterm future that IBM’s facilities here will be acquired by GlobalFoundries, a successful and growing chip-manufacturing company that views our highly skilled workers and advanced R&D and manufacturing facilities as important to its strategic growth,” he said.


October 20, 2014 Posted by | Politics, Quote of the Day | , , , , | Leave a comment

Alpenglow and Joseph at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington, VT October 19, 2014

I had a great time seeing music tonight. I’ve seen Alpenglow a couple of times and really liked them. They just released an EP that was recorded at a church in Middlebury, that they named Chapel. They set up a tour of 5 churches in New England and New York, and one was the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington. Woo hoo.

Money was a bit tight, but Britt Shorter hooked me up with a ticket, so just after 7, I took the lovely walk through the chilly, windy Autumn evening, to the church at the top of Church street. I met up with Britt around the corner from the church, got a ticket, then stopped in for a quick drink at the OP. Around quarter of 8, I headed back to the church and was delighted to find that just outside the front door they were giving away cups of hot mulled cider. It was perfect on such a cool night, though hot enough to take some time to cool down. Just inside the door I ran into Alyssa Solomon, who did a killer job at the sound desk for the ROUGH FRANCIS show at The Monkey House last week. We chatted music for a bit, then headed in to the show.

Joseph came on first and enchanted the room with their delicately beautiful songs. They are three sisters from Portland Oregon, with voices like angels. One played acoustic guitar, and all three sang. The harmonies were gorgeous and the songs had just enough strength to keep me happy. The natural reverberation of the room let every note flow to a beautiful conclusion. The audience was completely silent, except to explode with applause between songs. Their set was wonderful and I was fortunate to have been there.

After they wrapped up, there was a 20 minute, or so, break, then Alpenglow took the stage. With low lights shining on the high stage, they unfurled the mellow intoxicating songs that make up the new EP. The music has a fantastic mix of quietness and power and they had the audience listening in silent appreciation. The low lights cast green shadows on the wall and it was fun to mix up watching the band and their shadows. They played all five songs on Chapel then said they would play some of their newer songs. The pace picked up into a mix of Jangle Pop and Americana, and all the songs were really fun. The last two new ones really rocked. It was great to see them let loose a bit and let the songs soar. After several new ones they said they had two more and switched gears a bit. They went back to the title song of their first EP Solitude. It brought cheers of recognition from the audience. It is one of those songs that after you hear a couple of times, you will just love forever. I thought they might follow it with Catskills, but they played something with a drenched organ intro and I was elated. It was a great song and when they left the stage, the audience quietly but reverently asked for another. They came right back out and Catskills sounded great and rocked hard at the end. I’m so glad I went. I think my soul is still humming from the experience.


October 20, 2014 Posted by | Rock Shows | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

John Fugelsang “‘And yes, the Empire destroyed Alderaan, but aren’t both sides really to blame?’- Wolf Blitzer in space.”

October 17, 2014 Posted by | Politics, Quote of the Day | , , , , | Leave a comment

Radio Show 83 Thursday October 16, 2014 9-11pm Eastern US Time WBKM.ORG





I just got back from my local music radio show on internet only Wbkm Dot Org. I got in early and recorded all my breaks and set them in the queue and only the first one played and I introduced a band that did not play. I was supposed to start with 3 songs by Anachronist, but none played. None of my breaks between bands played. Rats! It turned out to just have the intro then only the songs played until the outro. I knew it would be better to do it live, but I really wanted to see The Vacant Lots at the BCA center, and at least they were excellent. I’m feeling like I let us all down tonight.

Songs Before:
Dreams of Reason – The Tea Party (Official)
Something On – The Tragically Hip



From our small city to the great big world, these are the sounds of Burlington. My name is Tim and I’m recording this early and Heading out to see Pours and The Vacant Lots at the BCA center. Tonight let’s play sets by different bands so you can hear how they evolve. Let’s start with the next song on Row. This is He’s Still Here by Anachronist on WBKM and this is Burlington’s Kind of Music.

1.) Dimedrop – Swale
2.) Armadillo – Swale
3.) Soul Piggy Bank – Swale
4.) The Next Instead – Swale
5.) Catskills – Alpenglow
6.) Eliza – Alpenglow
7.) Shout It Out – Alpenglow
8.) Sequoia 1 – Binger
9.) Sequoia 2 – Binger
10.) Sequoia 3 – Binger
11.) Still Life Scene – Engy
12.) Bionic – Red Telephone
13.) Half Way Home – The Red Telephone
14.) On The Railroad – The Red Telephone
15.) Gold In California – The Red Telephone
17.) Paint This Town – The Vacant Lots
18.) Mad Mary Jones – The Vacant Lots
19.) Errol McSquisitor – Elephants of Scotland
20.) Endless Part 1 – Elephants of Scotland
21.) Endless Part 2 – Elephants of Scotland
22.) U Can Love if U Want To – Peg Tassey
23.) First Kiss – Peg Tassey MUSIC
24.) High Wood – Fish
25.) Crucifix Corner – Fish
26.) The Gathering – Fish
27.) Thistle Alley – Fish
28.) The Leaving – Fish
Regular programming



October 17, 2014 Posted by | WBKM Burlington's Kind of Music | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said in a recent interview that President Barack Obama was one of the most successful presidents in American history, topping even Ronald Reagan.

In a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine titled “In Defense of Obama,” Krugman defends Obama against critics on the right and the left.

“High office shouldn’t be about putting points on the electoral scoreboard, it should be about changing the country for the better,” Krugman wrote. “Has Obama done that? Do his achievements look likely to endure? The answer to both questions is yes.”

“People who thought Obama was going to bring a transformation of America, I thought were being naive,” Krugman told ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl in a recent interview. “But by God, we got health reform, we got a significant financial reform. We are getting — the environmental action is not everything you would have wanted, but it’s more than anyone else has done for decades.”


October 13, 2014 Posted by | Politics, Quote of the Day | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Binger – Roots In The Rabbit Hole


Binger - Roots in the Rabbit Hole album cover

Binger – Roots in the Rabbit Hole album cover


I first ran across Binger when I saw them open the local VT music festival The Precipice.  I liked their sound, and had a good time listening to them, but did not catch too many lyrics.  They seemed comfortable floating through a few different styles of music, had a nice relaxed vibe and rocked out plenty hard enough to keep me focused.  They said they would have an album coming out soon, and I made a note to check it out.

A few weeks ago, I bought Roots In The Rabbit Hole and started to listen more deeply.  The music has a wonderful flow to it.  There is some solid rock and roll, plenty of hip hop, a bit of jazz, and some Caribbean grooves.  Like seeing them live, it’s a great album to listen to in the background.  It can fill the space while you are focusing on other parts of your life.  While a lot of music can be described this way, there is something extra special about Binger.  Once you start listening more deeply certain lyrics start to jump out and sound familiar quickly.  How can you not sing along to lines like We all started from the same root?

When listening to the music, the first thing that comes through is the flow.  It has some nice peaks and valleys but is always smooth and elegant.  The next is, despite the smoothness of it, this really is a rock and roll album and the music gets very intense at times.  Deeper listens show a prog rock influence here and there and a few guitar lines that sound like Steve Howe.  Steel drums bring out a calypso influence in the hip-hop flow now and then, and as you dig into the song structures, it becomes quite intellectually stimulating.

When listening to the lyrics they are bright and positive and give a nice vibe.  As you listen deeper there are lots of ideas about what it means to be a human being living on the planet.  Deep questions are posed and ideas that will make you think profoundly about your existence are thematically strewn through the whole album.  One of the many great examples is in the song Calypskango:

Look in the mirror, you might forget what side you live your life on
You’d never know – until your reflection moves and *poof* you’re gone
Who are we here for? Do we live life for ourselves or our ideal?
And when we die we will finally learn which one of us was real

This is the tip of the iceberg and it really takes a few listens to follow all of the words down the rabbit hole.

The true strength of this album is that it allows you to enjoy it on many levels.  You can listen casually and really enjoy it.  You can listen with a bit of effort and get even more out of it.  You can take it apart line by line and phrase by phrase and let it spark your imagination.  When that happens, it’s completely up to you to take it as far as you want.


You can listen to it here:





October 12, 2014 Posted by | Album Thoughts | , , , | Leave a comment

Quote of the day

John Fugelsang “Some US Christians make me wonder if their Bible is just Revelation, Golden Calf & 2 lines of Leviticus duct-taped to a Left Behind book.”

October 12, 2014 Posted by | Politics, Quote of the Day, Religion | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quote of the Day

Arkansas Rep.—and Senate hopeful—Tom Cotton is a smart man. He has two degrees from Harvard University, a sharp mind, and the clear admiration of conservative intellectuals…Earlier this week, the GOP Senate candidate held a town hall meeting with voters, where those present asked why the government allowed children crossing the border to stay temporarily…

“The problem is with Mark Pryor and Barack Obama refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and refusing to secure our border, And I would add, it’s not just an immigration problem. We now know that it’s a security problem. Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism. They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.”

Republicans in Tight Senate Races Are Hoping ISIS Will Help Get Them Elected

October 10, 2014 Posted by | Politics, Quote of the Day | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radio Show 82 Thursday October 9, 2014 9-11pm Eastern US Time WBKM.ORG





I just got back from my local music radio show on internet only Wbkm Dot Org. It had a wet and cool feel to it.

Song before: Life On Mars? – David Bowie (Official)



From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. It’s a cool evening in Burlington and we just had a strong rainstorm come in from the west. I went to Montreal on Monday with my brother Ken to see Judas Priest, and when I got home, the new album by The Red Telephone was waiting for me. This is Under The Northern Sky by The Red Telephone on WBKM, and this is Burlington’s kind of music.

1.) Under The Northern Sky – The Red Telephone
2.) Waiting For You – Swale
3.) Say Something – Silent Mind
4.) The Mime – Joe Adler

Great song from Joe’s new album. I just got Say Something and really like it. I will have to check them out more. Great song from Swale. Here is the next song from Anachronist‘s Row EP.

5.) Say It – Anachronist
6.) Tumbling Down – Raq
7.) New Atlantis – Aaron Flinn

Great song by Aaron. I thought it would fit the mood of the evening. The Raq song had me rocking. Up next is a classic Burlington band that I have not played. It’s time to change that!!

8.) West Wind – The Eames Brothers Band
9.) Masquerade For Heartache – The Starline Rhythm Boys
10.) Flood Victim – Zoot Wilson

Zoot is a legend in this town. Eames And Starline have been playing around for a long time and play a lot now. I’m happy to finally get them on my show. Wednesday night I went to Radio Bean to see Hana Zara. She opened with this one.

11.) Afterlife – Hana Zara
12.) Mad Captain – Brother Zag
13.) Under Bright Stars – Alice Austin
14.) All The Same To You – Milton Busker

I just love that Milton song. Great newish song from Alice. Brother Zag, Burlington’s most unknown performer, though kind of known otherwise. I love the lyrics that Hana sings. Let’s kick up the pace a bit.

15.) Spy-Fi – Barbacoa
16.) Flypaper – Persian Claws
17.) Any Day Now – The Dig
18.) The Last Thing – The Dig

Those two were from 2006, but they are playing Signal Kitchen tomorrow, so I wanted to play something by them. Great songs from Barbacoa and Persian. This next band have played around so much, they are honorary Vermonters. They will play the Flynn Theater in January.

19.) New Orleans Is Sinking – The Tragically Hip
20.) The River – The Tea Party (Official)

The Tea Party used to play town all the time. They just released a new album and are playing at Metropolis in Montreal in November. That was a song from their first album that was recorded at White Crow Audio in Burlington. It would be great if someone brought them back to town. This next band are coming back to town on November 7th at Arts Riot. I don’t have anything new to play, so here is a song from the last album.

21.) Telepathic Headdress – The Cush
22.) Today Is Tomorrow – The Red Telephone

Another new song from Places You Return, the new album by The Red Telephone. I haven’t played any Binger yet tonight.

23.) Buttonz – Binger
24.) Sequoia 3 – Binger
25.) Last Night In Amsterdam – The Red Telephone

That was the last song from Places You Return. I’m so psyched to get to know the album. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s do it again next week, shall we?



song after: Scattering Crows – Fish


October 10, 2014 Posted by | WBKM Burlington's Kind of Music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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