Archive for March 2012

Madonna night at Radio Bean on March 24, 2012   Leave a comment

The last time a bunch of local musicians got together to play Madonna songs at Radio Bean, it was a remarkably fun time.  I’m not a fan of the Superbowl Half Time performer, but local music often provides a fun time.  I knew that Vedora (pictured above in a photo from Caroline’s Facebook page) and Dino Bravo would be on the bill, so I thought I’d check it out.

I worked until 9:30 then stopped home for a minute.  A long work day drained me, and I was very close to just sitting on the couch.  It would have been so easy.  Earlier in the day I walked to Winooksi to check out the Vermont Small Press and Comic Fair.  It’s amazing how much talent there is out there.  Everyone’s books looked nice and professional.  What a great time we live in.  I then walked back to Burlington for 8 hours of very intense work.  I walked home, and contemplated not walking anymore for the day.  I did not have to go out to check music.  The Bears DVD that I recently ordered came that day, so I could have just sat and watched a show.  Hmmm, Vedora were really good last time I saw them.  Hmmm it’s been a while since I’ve seen Dino Bravo.  Hmmm, OK, Let’s go!

Out the door I went.  Unlike last time, there was no line and I walked right in.  The Bean was pretty full, but not packed.  Lots of women were dressed like Madonna from various stages of her career.  A very tight schedule of performers was taped to the door.  As I settled in, the show began.

A woman named Jodi and an acoustic guitar player, who’s name I did not catch, opened with a nice breezy version of La Isla Bonita.  Last time Caroline played a sweet version of that one.  This time, Jodi’s voice was rich and full and made it sound wonderful.  The guitar had a nice sway to the music, and the night had begun in style.

Next up, Joe Redding took the stage with an acoustic guitar and a super deep voice.  I’ve forgotten which two he played, but he gave the songs a country flair.  They stood up well to the treatment.  He remarked about how much is really going on in her songs.  The audience were having a good time, but seemed to want something more dancy than the acoustic versions.  It would not be long.

Joe Adler followed solo on the electric guitar.  He played a subtle version of Dress You Up.  It started slow enough that it caught the audience by surprise when he hit the chorus.  It was pretty nice.  He was just going to do the one, but Dino had not shown up yet.  I did not know what the next song he played was, but he did say it was the last song that Madonna wrote on her own, before she started working with other songwriters.

After a bit of a load in and sound check, Dino Bravo took the stage.  Matt played it up as if this was a gathering to celebrate the life and passing of Madonna.  We’ll all remember where we were when we heard the news, you know, stuff like that.  They followed with a heavy and haunting Borderline.  Full of rage and pathos, they made the former dance song into a funeral dirge played at metal speed.  It was pretty cool.  I loved it, though the rest of the audience was really wanting to dance.

Vedora came up next, and gave them what they wanted.  A smooth, cool version of True Blue lit up the room.  People started dancing, and you could just feel the spark.  They followed with a hard rock version of Papa Don’t Preach, and again I was moved to a happy place.  It took a while for me to recognize it, and until I did, I just enjoyed the rock.  Vedora are a band with a bit of firepower, and they let it loose on that one.

Pooloop moved it back to the dancy zone with Don’t Stop.  Instead of straight up dance music, they moved it into a jammy Phishlike dance groove.  Following Vedora’s lead, they pulled out a straight up rock and roll vibe for Burning Up.  The full room was dancing and having a great time.

I had intended to hang out for Dino and Vedora, but I did have to work in the morning and knew I could not stay too late.  Still, it had been a while since I had heard Jenny Montanna sing.  I knew it would not be long until she took the stage, so I stuck it out for a bit more.

At 12:15 or so, cake was brought in and everyone sang Happy Birthday to Caroline O’Connor.  She put the whole night together and played wonderfully with Vedora.  It was a joy to be able to sing to her.

Again the stage became filled with musicians.  Lily Sickles took the stage in a veiled white wedding gown.  She was joined by a woman keyboard player that I did not know (Angie Mae according to Caroline), Matt Perry on guitar and the mighty Frank on drums.  They did a bouncy Like A Virgin, making the lyric seem even more absurd than the original.  They followed with a huge, over the top Like A Prayer.  The music swelled and filled the room with it’s delightful sound.  The party was going strong.

I was pretty tired after they wrapped up, but Jenny Montana was next and I was going to stick it out.  She took the stage with a guitar player on her left, Alyssa on drums, and I think it was Paddy Reagan on bass.  Her subtle voice and the bands true to form arrangements, made her set sound the most like the pop diva that everyone was here to celebrate (except for Dino Bravo, who were here to mourn).  Open Your Heart sounded classic Madonna, with a bit of indie guitar to keep it cool.  White Heat kept the party dancing.  I thought that would be it, but they kept going.  They played a full band version of La Isla Bonita that sounded sweet.  Material Girl wrapped up their set and featured a nice robotic ending.

Though there were more bands on the bill, it was late and I was done.  The minute the last Jenny song finished, I took the door and headed home.  It would be another long work day on Sunday, but I was so glad to go listen to local music.  Everyone took Madonna’s songs and made them their own for the evening.  It was a joy to behold.  I could have just sat on the couch and missed it.  Instead I went out, and am richer for it.





Posted March 31, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Bill Maher “This was a tough week.  This is the week the Supreme Court heard all the arguments about health care, and that could be going down the drain.  The mood in Washington: very tense.  Angry, incoherent Tea Party protesters were everywhere, including the five on the Supreme Court.  What we heard today, apparently, is they made their decision, but we will not know about it until June.  It’s like an election in Florida.  But, apparently, they have made the call, and I don’t want to like bum you out, but if you get cancer, put ice on it.  Unfortunately, because of global warming, we’re out of ice.”

Posted March 31, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Barack Obama 3-29-12 “Good morning. Today, Members of Congress have a simple choice to make. They can stand with big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people.

Right now, the biggest oil companies are raking in record profits – profits that go up every time folks like these pull into a gas station. But on top of these record profits, oil companies are also getting billions a year in taxpayer subsidies – a subsidy they’ve enjoyed year after year for the last century.

Think about that. It’s like hitting the American people twice. You’re already paying a premium at the pump right now. And on top of that, Congress thinks it’s a good idea to send billions more of your tax dollars to the oil industry?

It’s not like these are companies that can’t stand on their own. Last year, the three biggest U.S. oil companies took home more than $80 billion in profit. Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour. And when the price of oil goes up, prices at the pump go up, and so do these companies’ profits. In fact, one analysis shows that every time gas goes up by a penny, these companies usually pocket another $200 million in quarterly profits. Meanwhile, these companies pay a lower tax rate than most other companies on their investments – partly because we’re giving them billions in tax giveaways every year.

Now, we all know that drilling for oil has to be a key part of our energy strategy. And we want our oil companies to succeed. That’s why under my administration, we’ve opened up millions of acres of federal lands and waters to oil and gas production. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough oil and gas pipeline to circle the Earth and then some. And just yesterday, we announced the next step for potential new oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic.

The fact is, we’re producing more oil right now than we have in eight years, and we’re importing less of it too. For two years in a row, America has bought less oil from other countries than we produce here at home – for the first time in over a decade. Simply put, American oil is booming.”

Posted March 30, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

David Letterman 3-26-12 “But this raises the greater question, which is, it’s 2012, why are we still shooting and killing other humans?  Why hasn’t that worn off?  You know, I feel ridiculous expressing…when is that going to go away?”

Rachel Maddow “I don’t know, but whoever makes that happen gets to write the next Bible”

Letterman “Good gig.”


Rick Santorum “My public policy isn’t written on an Etch A Sketch, it’s written on my heart.”

Stephen Colbert “Of course, the only way to read what’s written on Rick Santorum’s heart is with a transvaginal ultrasound.”

Posted March 27, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

Tagged with

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Matthew Dowd, President George W. Bush’s former chief strategist, on Sunday observed that the same conservative legislatures and governors who are championing so-called Christian values like prayer in schools are also pushing for dangerous gun laws that are counter to Christian teachings.

During a panel on ABC, “Nightline” anchor Terry Moran noted that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law gave officials cover to not arrest neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African American boy.

“No other state has a law like this,” Moran explained. “Not only is it a ‘Stand Your Ground’ law — in the olden days under common law you had a duty to retreat. ‘Stand Your Ground’ says, no, you don’t have to. Florida goes one step farther. ‘Stand Your Ground’ is self defense — defense at trial. It would go to trial where the jury would figure out what happened.”

“In Florida, the law says if you raise a claim of self defense after killing someone in public, you can’t even be arrested,” he added. “It’s why prosecutors and police hated this law. It sabotaged our justice system. All this discussion we’ve heard — What did Zimmerman do? What did Trayvon do? — Juries are supposed to figure that out. The Florida law destroys that American system.”

“There is such irony about this,” Dowd agreed. “Most of the states that have passed this including Florida and the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws and the expanded gun-ownership laws where you can carry a concealed weapon are also the same states and the same legislatures and the same governors who sort of pushed for prayer in the school.”

Dowd continued: “To me, there is such and irony here, that we want to be a Christian nation and we want to act in a Christian manner, but oh, by the way, we don’t believe in the turn your other cheek and we don’t believe in love your enemy. We believe in loading citizens and basically giving them an opportunity to shoot people.”



Posted March 26, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day, Religion

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Rachel Maddow “Mr. Romney is OK with lying as he runs for president even when he gets caught and it is amazing. I think it is the most notable thing about his candidacy. It is an important thing about his candidacy that we have to grapple with as a country, whether this sort of thing is just the sort of thing we expect, whether it`s OK for somebody running for president or whether it`s not OK, whether it goes to a question of his character and what we expect of people running for an office this high.”

Posted March 25, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Bill Maher “You know what you get when you place a premium on never offending anyone and only saying what’s safe?  You get this guy (shows a picture of Mitt Romney), the least interesting man in the world.  A man who never takes a position on anything that he cannot reverse in the second half of the same sentence.  Like last week when he said “We may make mistakes, as a nation, and we’ll say we’re sorry for that, but apologizing for America is something I will never do’.  That’s right, Mitt refuses to apologize, and he’s very sorry about that.  The Mittbot 3000 has been programmed to take both sides of every issue everywhere.  For example, his position on pulling out of Afghanistan.  He’s for it.  And also against it.  He’s for-against it.  This is the Frankenstein we have created.  Mitt Romney, the least interesting man in the world.”

Posted March 24, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

Everybody’s Favorite Irish Drinking Songs Band at Red Square March 17, 2012   Leave a comment

This is my favorite St Patrick’s Day tradition.  Every year an assortment of Burlington musicians get together and play some Irish drinking songs.  They cleverly call themselves Everybody’s Favorite Drinking Songs Band.  Songbooks are handed out and everyone is encouraged to sing along.  Hot potatoes are tossed to the audience, and green trinkets are given away as well.  It’s pretty fun and usually wraps up pretty early.

I had to work Saturday, but got out at 3, since they usually go on around 5.  Nice, plenty of time.  A few days before the show, I realized they were going on at 2 and another band would be on at 5.  Grrrr.

I got out of work and sailed downtown on a warm sunny day.  I walked in and they were playing Bleep You I’m Drunk.  I settled in as Becky was ready to give away a green teddy bear.  She called me out as I walked in, and handed me the bear.  Cool.  I had a bit of green with me anyway, but the bear put it over the top.

The bear and I sang a few songs with the band.  We sang Dirty Old Town.  We sang Beer, Beer, Beer.  We sang In Heaven There is no Beer.  We sang loudly and enthusiastically.

Unfortunately, the band were almost done when I arrived.  They singled out one of the many guitar players to salute.  The rest of the guitar players started a bit of For Those About To Rock…then Becky sang a song about the Irish.  I know, that really narrows it down, doesn’t it?  They wrapped the night with Whiskey in A Jar.  What a fun song to sing.  I can never get the mush-a-ring part, but Diane and Becky do it so well, I just skip to the next line.

And that was it.  Five or so songs over 20 or 30 minutes.  It was a lot of effort to get down there for so little, but I’m so glad I made the effort.

I thought maybe everyone would head to the OP for after show drinks, so I wandered over.  The bear found a nice riding spot in my coat jacket.  I’m sure there is a picture or two out there in the world.

While I never did run into the band, I did find a fun new person to talk with.  That’s the great thing about Burlington, there are wonderful people all around just waiting to be met.



Posted March 24, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

Vedora at the Monkey House Friday March 16 with Kairos and Cameo Harlot   Leave a comment

What a difference a few days make.  The last time I saw Vedora, also the first time, they started a bit rough but caught a nice rocking groove.  Matt’s songs stood in contrast to Caroline’s, with his a bit more blues based rock, and hers a more steamy understated minor chord rock.  Apparently they had spent much of the last few weeks practicing.  When they hit the stage Friday night, they were locked in and rocking hard.  Their songs had plenty of rock and roll muscle, and it stunned me to see how much they had advanced in such a short time.  There were no Matt songs.  There were no Caroline songs.  There was just Vedora!

They opened with a fun rocker that set the pace for the night.  Maria came second and added a Spanish nuance to their sound.  Song after song found the audience attentive and enthusiastic.  Somewhere in the middle of the set they pulled out Dragnet.  This time I knew what I was in for, but as the song built and built, then turned the edge into that wicked chorus, it just took me for a ride.  It took me for the ride I want to be on when a cool band has me captivated.  I was in a very happy place.

They played a few more, and they were all good.  They spoke of recording their album.  The basics are done, but it may be a while until it’s released.  I can’t wait.  They finished the night, like they did at Radio Bean, with Terrarium.  That is quickly becoming a favorite, even though I’ve only ever heard it twice.  I’m so glad I made it out to the show.  They are so good and getting better by the minute.

Vedora started early at 8:30, so I thought it might be nice to catch some of the rest of the music on the bill.  I had to work really early the next day, but did not have to leave just yet.  I hung out for the switchover until Kairos took the stage.

Kairos are a three-piece from Rutland who play progressive metal.  I’m not sure if that’s their preferred label, but that’s what it sounded like to me.  The songs were all instrumentals and went off on musical tangents.  There are no choruses or verses, they just lock into a groove and get rocking.  The songs are heavy and intricately played.  The musicianship was tremendous.  They play with savage fury and rock on and on and on.  I really enjoyed seeing them, but did have a hard time finding the groove.  They were fun to watch and listen to, but they didn’t really pull me into any of the songs.  They are the kind of band that I would enjoy listening to, but would not compel me to follow.  Their hour long set was well received, but soon it was time to turn the stage over to Cameo Harlot.

I stuck it out for another long set break, and finally Cameo Harlot took the stage. Their first few songs were pretty rough, and did not sound very good, but as the mix improved, so did they.  I only made it for a few songs, as I had to be up early.  Their sound was a pretty dirty rock sound.  They let loose some gritty hard rock that made me think of deep album songs by UFO.  The songs, the attitude, and the playing were all telling me to stay and enjoy, even as my sense of timing was telling me to leave.  I left, but did not feel good about it.  I should check them out again.  Soon.




Posted March 24, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, blasted religious leaders and politicians who told their followers that Christianity was persecuted in the United States.

“They’re trying to scare them,” he told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, “because they know that if you get people scared, they’re going to say, ‘what can we do to change this.’ And they’re going to say, ‘follow us.’ Just do what we say and we’ll get it done for you.”

“I appreciate the fact that Santorum has been honest. I think he’s told us some of the scariest things that I’ve ever heard about religious freedom. It’s made me probably more fearful than any presidential candidate ever has. But he’s been honest with us. He’s told us what he will do with that office.”

“But know this,” Gaddy continued, “if you go with this Republican path of a ‘war on religion,’ of taking back this country for God, all of those kinds of things, you’re going to see religous freedom minimized if not done away with altogether.”

Posted March 23, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day, Religion