Archive for September 2012

Black Rabbit, Vedora, Rawsome, Spirit Animal and Torpedo Rodeo in Max’s basement September 21, 2012   Leave a comment

It was a Friday, so my Monday, and Nathan said Max was having a party with bands playing in his basement. I was not excited to go out, but he said Vedora were playing, so I just had to. Max is a really good guy and plays guitar in a couple of bands and often does sound at the Monkey House. Despite having to work early the next morning, I went over to Nathans and we headed for the party. We made a pact to stay for the the first song of the third band, Vedora were on second, grabbed some beer and off we went.

Max lives in town, not far from Winooski, so it took no time to get there. We arrived, chatted a bit, but someone said Black Rabbit were about to go on, so down to the basement we went. It was a pretty small room, with lots of concrete and natural rock formations. That worked well, as you could sit on the rocks, if you are the kind of person who can sit with live music playing.

Black Rabbit were ferocious. Their songs are loud, fast, heavy, catchy and fun. They played with a searing intensity. The room made for a nice full rock sound. Everything about their set was great. The last time I saw them, it took a few songs for me to get into them. Not this night. I was hooked from the first note and rocked their whole set away. I really like these guys and must see them more!

After the set we wandered upstairs for some air, and another beer. There were lost of fascinating people hanging out. Soon enough, Max came around and said Vedora were ready to play. Back we went, and Vedora kicked off their show. While they may have lost of bit of of subtlety in their sound, due to the small cement room, they made up for it by rocking hard. They sounded great and the set was wonderful as always. Dragnet stands out as one of the songs that unleashed the wow factor from the audience, but really, the whole set was lots of fun. They played like crazy, had the small but committed audience loving them at every moment. They always do a great job, and Friday was no exception. They wrapped the night with In the Pines/Chain and everyone had a great time.  You can check out the video someone shot of Terrarium.

After their set it was time for another beer and a bit of air. It was a warm night and really nice to just walk around after being in a crampt space. That did not last long since Rawsome came on to play. We headed back down as Max picked up the guitar, Jessie-Lou, grabbed a mic and they were joined by a drummer who’s name I did not catch. Rawsome were raw, loud and fun. The music was pretty punk. The lyrics were a little buried in the mix, but what I caught was fun and sassy. Their last song was a nice back and forth between Max and Jessie-Lou that was brilliant. I’m sure they will bring it to a wider stage soon. I’ve seen Rawsome twice and really enjoyed both shows.

Again, after the set it was time to head upstairs. Nathan and I hung out with some cool people on the patio and chatted about life, the universe and everything. At one point I could hear Spirit Animal start to play. I hung out for a bit, but then had to head down. I only caught a couple of songs, but they were catchy. They had nice hooks and were loud and fast. They rocked hard. I should have caught more of their set, but was glad I at least caught a couple.

Having stayed so late anyway, we just hung out for a bit until Torpedo Rodeo took the stage. They rocked hard, and were just tremendous. I sometimes forget just how good they are, and really need to catch them again sometime soon. They playing is tight and it’s very easy to get into their songs. I’m so glad I stayed.

When they wrapped up, Nathan and I said some goodbyes, and headed out. I was kind of tired the next day at work, but also filled with a warm glow. Thanks guys!

Jason Anderson, Swale and Mount Eerie at Studio A in Burlington VT September 13, 2012   Leave a comment

How easy is this? Walk a few blocks and see a great show in the North End of town. I like it. Being a huge Swale fan, bought at ticket for the show. It was set as doors at 8, but when I arrived they were not letting people in, the band was loading in and Mount Eerie had not shown up yet. I walked home, hung out for a bit then went back. People arrived and the show began.

Studio A is not a usual concert spot and the room was long and thin and had an extended section to the left, that went off at an angle. The floors were wood and the walls cement. It seemed a bit of an odd but workable venue. The show started when Jason Anderson dragged a chair into the middle of the room, stood up on in, and invited the audience to surround him. We did. He began playing his acoustic guitar and singing an odd song about addiction. While the tone seemed quirky at the onset, it changed into a very positive and uplifting attitude. He really worked all the lyrics, frequently stopped to say how much he appreciated our choice to spend a Thursday night with him, each other and music. It was very touching all the way through. Towards the end he asked us to sing the chorus of one of his songs. We did. There was a warm reverberation happening in the room and the several dozen people singing sounded like a full blown chorus. It was wonderful. Every moment of his show was riveting and enchanting. If you ever need a positive boost, just check out some of his music. He will get you turned around.

Since Jason just used an acoustic guitar in the middle of the room, it was a pretty quick wait for Swale to hit the stage. They came out and played a pretty gentle set. Most of the songs were mellower ones, though a couple rocked hard towards the end. Unfortunately, something was a bit off. They played a nice version of Soft Fireworks, but it took me half way through the song to recognize it. Something just did not sound right. I think what happened was that the room had so much reverberation that the sound was bouncing around the corner and coming back, and some of the sound got lost. Swale did a great job, as always, but in the end, it just was not the musical experience I was hoping for. Oh well.

After a bit longer of a break, Mount Eerie took the stage. They played as a five-piece, two guitars, bass, drums, keys. They had a nice heavy rocking sound, but again all of the detail got lost in the reverberation. There was no distinction between the guitars, and the whole sound was pretty muddy. I kind of like the intensity of Waves, and some of the others,but the sound was disappointing. I hung out for half a dozen songs, then headed home.

In the end, it was not the experience I hoped for, but I’m still glad I went. The Jason Anderson set made it all worthwhile. As for Swale, I would be seeing them again soon.

Posted September 30, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

From Meet the Press Sept 23. 2012

David Gregory “How much trouble is the Romney campaign in this morning, and what changes it?

Joe Scarborough (host of Morning Joe on MSNBC and former Representative R-FL) “Well, they’re in a lot of trouble this morning.  But, thank God for them, the election is almost 45 days off….He’s going to do well in the debates, I think Ryan will do well in the debates.  We’ve got a long way to go, so it’s not over.  That said, the trajectory of the campaign has to change.  This has been a horrific week for him.  Even the Romney people behind the scenes will tell you, the Libya press conference was a nightmare for him.  Even worse than the 47% video.  They’ve gotta right the ship.  If they do?  Long way to go.”

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

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Stewart “Yes, the Senate voted on a bill that would provide a billion dollars to veterans that wold help them get jobs in law enforcement, fire departments, and on federal lands.  The bill was affirmed by 58 Senators, rejected by only 40, thus failing to pass, because apparently in Senate world 58-40 is a losing score….Leading the charge against America’s fighting men, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who opposes on grounds of fiscal responsibility.

Coburn 9-20-12 “If in fact we’re going to start addressing the bigger economic problems of this country, you gotta quit playing felonious accounting with what you’re doing, which is exactly what that bill did….It’s exactly the same, pardon my word, crap that congress has done for years.”

Stewart “That’s right.  This bill is felonious crap…..The Senator and some of his colleagues felt that the proposed methods of paying of paying  for this bill, imposing penalties on medicare providers who have been delinquent on taxes, was a less than solid fiscal foundation.  I’m just spitballing here, how did we pay for the actual wars, that made these individuals veterans who now need jobs?”

Reporter February 23, 2009 speaking about war spending “Engaging in accounting gimmicks over the years, leaving big ticket items, like war spending, out of official budgets.”

Stewart “Oh right, by not paying for them at all.  We didn’t even put the wars on lay-away, paying them down a little bit at a time, only taking the wars home when we were done with them.  Of course, we could have funded it, but that would have been wrong for America.  Obviously Senator Coburn was not in the Senate when the war began, but I’m sure the minute he got there, he brought the fiscal integrity he’s famous for to even the supplemental war funding bills.”

Coburn March 30, 2007 “The Congress has taken a vacation…While we haven’t passed the supplemental for our troops.  The American people ought to be outraged that we would leave here before we’ve taken care of our troops.  I think it unconscionable.”

Stewart “What kind of felonious crap?  So, once again, 800 billion dollars unfunded for war, a billion dollars, but paid for in a way you weren’t crazy about, to help the guys who fought the war get jobs afterwards, we’re not made out of money people.”

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Stewart “So, let me get this straight.  All this destruction and bloodshed was over a dumb internet video, made by some bleephole, and it was promoted by the Koran burning Florida pastor, Terry Jones.  I believe we have a clip of him as well.”

Terry Jones (from the movie Life of Brian) “He’s not the messiah.  He’s a very naughty boy.”

Stewart “I’m sorry.  I’m being told that’s a very different Terry Jones, mocking a different world religion, in a film that’s been around for 33 years.  Well, that must be a lot of burned embassies.  Really?  None at all?  Fair enough.  Look, I’m all about cultural sensitivity.  It’s the whole point of my 1996 rap album: Black and white and great all over – celebrating our differences through phat beats.  But, I gotta say, I don’t understand this one.  An online film, that nobody’s seen, made by some bleephole.  I mean, it’s the thinnest pretext for violence imaginable.  It’s almost as if certain leaders in that part of the world are deliberately exploiting whatever they can get their hands on, to rile up the populous for their own political gain.  Ah!  Hey, wait a minute.  You really are getting the hang of this democracy thing pretty fast.”

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FAREED ZAKARIA: Michael Lewis enters into a world and writes vividly about it. Whether it’s the bond trading rooms of Salomon Brothers for his best selling “Liar’s Poker” or the locker rooms of the Oakland A’s for “Moneyball.” This time he entered an even more rarefied world. Flying on Air Force One sitting in the Oval Office, getting a tour of the White House private resident and playing basketball with the president of the United States. The result published in this month’s “Vanity Fair” is a unique and fascinating account of the day-to-day life of a sitting president. Thanks for joining me, Michael. MICHAEL LEWIS, AUTHOR: Good to see you again…………

ZAKARIA: Interesting. Now, I was — I was just shocked by something else. He shows you his private office, that little cubbyhole, and there are a lot of books in it, which, you know, we know he’s a reading president. But there’s a novel on top, Julian Barnes. And we know from a couple of other things that you think — I mean, he must be the most — the most writerly president — a person to have become president in a long, long time. Because it’s not just about reading, I mean, lots of them read, but he’s reading novels.

LEWIS: If he had time, he’d likely be writing them, too. That’s the interesting thing to me. I think that he’s as literary a president as we ever had, and more literary than probably anybody since Lincoln anyway. In that he lives — the written word means a lot to him, and he — and you know, this isn’t in the piece, but I can remember talking to him about this a bit. Because he was an indifferent student in high school up to toward the end, and he had a very late awakening as — in his mind. And I kind of identify with this, because I was a very late bloomer in high school, and I had the same sort of experience with books. He was — I said he was like passing by a church yard sale in Hawaii when he was a junior in high school and he saw all these novels. And they were available for a nickel apiece. It was “Moby Dick”, it was Dostoyevsky, it was Saul Bellow. He thought, a nickel? You know, I’ll get these books. And he took them, and he took them, and he started reading them and just in a kind of innocent way he got very absorbed. And his first, in a way, a writer learns — I mean he just kind of blended with the books.

And when he got out of school, the first thing he started to do is write short stories. And I don’t know if anybody — I don’t know if anybody knows that. I didn’t put this in the piece, but he tried to submit short stories to literary magazines, and they’re very literary short stories, so that’s — it’s an unusual trait in political — in someone who ends up being a political person. That’s right.

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Ezra Klein “After three consecutive years of increasing poverty rates, new data released by the Census Bureau finds the poverty rate remained unchanged at 15 percent in 2011. That`s better than going up. That means 46.2 million Americans are living at or below the federal poverty line.

But, and this is important to remember, that`s before you take into account all the anti-poverty programs, like Food Stamps and the Earned
Income Tax Credit that we have going. When you bring those into the calculation, the number is probably lower by many millions of people. So
that`s good.

While the poverty levels held, the census did find a rise in income inequality. The income of the highest quintile of earners rose 1.6
percent, while the middle income quintiles fell. So the rich are getting richer and the rest of the country is not.

But we do have some genuine good news here tonight. The number of uninsured Americans, which usually goes up in bad economies, is dropping. About 1.4 million more Americans have health insurance than had it one year ago. After three years of rising uninsured rates, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage dropped from 16.3 percent in 2010 to 15.7 percent in 2011.

And for the first time in a decade, the percentage of people with private insurance did not drop. Some players are not throwing people off. Census officials cited two major factors driving down the uninsured rate. The number of young adults ages 19 to 25 without insurance dropped two percent, the largest of any group. That is largely because health reform, the Affordable Care Act, allowed kids up to age 26 to stay on their parents` insurance, which has kept an estimated three million young adults insured.

And the number of Americans covered by government programs such as Medicaid has expanded. There are a lot of things government doesn`t do well. But one thing it does know how to do, which you can see here, and you can see, frankly, in every other developed nation on Earth, is give people health insurance.

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Secretary of State Hilary Clinton September 14, 2012 “In the days since the attack, so many Libyans – including the Ambassador from Libya to the United States, who is with us today – have expressed their sorrow and solidarity. One young woman, her head covered and her eyes haunted with sadness, held up a handwritten sign that said “Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi nor Islam.” The President of the Palestinian Authority, who worked closely with Chris when he served in Jerusalem, sent me a letter remembering his energy and integrity, and deploring – and I quote – “an act of ugly terror.” Many others from across the Middle East and North Africa have offered similar sentiments.

This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.

The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts. And we will, under the President’s leadership, keep taking steps to protect our personnel around the world.

There will be more difficult days ahead, but it is important that we don’t lose sight of the fundamental fact that America must keep leading the world. We owe it to those four men to continue the long, hard work of diplomacy. I am enormously proud of the men and women of the State Department. I’m proud of all those across our government, civilian and military alike, who represent America abroad. They help make the United States the greatest force for peace, progress, and human dignity the world has ever known. If the last few days teach us anything, let it be this: That this work and the men and women who risk their lives to do it are at the heart of what makes America great and good.

So we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines, and face the future undaunted. And we will do it together, protecting and helping one another, just like Sean, Tyrone, Glen, and Chris always did. May God bless them and grant their families peace and solace, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

And now, let me have the great honor of introducing someone who came to the State Department earlier this week to grieve with us. He well understands and values the work that these men were doing for our country. The President of the United States.


President Barack Obama September 14, 2012 “Four Americans, four patriots — they loved this country and they chose to serve it, and served it well.  They had a mission and they believed in it.  They knew the danger and they accepted it.  They didn’t simply embrace the American ideal, they lived it.  They embodied it — the courage, the hope and, yes, the idealism, that fundamental American belief that we can leave this world a little better than before.  That’s who they were and that’s who we are.  And if we want to truly honor their memory, that’s who we must always be.

I know that this awful loss, the terrible images of recent days, the pictures we’re seeing again today, have caused some to question this work.  And there is no doubt these are difficult days.  In moments such as this — so much anger and violence –even the most hopeful among us must wonder.

But amid all of the images of this week, I also think of the Libyans who took to the streets with homemade signs expressing their gratitude to an American who believed in what we could achieve together.  I think of the man in Benghazi with his sign in English, a message he wanted all of us to hear that said, “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.  Chris Stevens was a friend.”

That’s the message these four patriots sent.  That’s the message that each of you sends every day — civilians, military — to people in every corner of the world, that America is a friend, and that we care not just about our own country, not just about our own interests, but about theirs; that even as voices of suspicion and mistrust seek to divide countries and cultures from one another, the United States of America will never retreat from the world.  We will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every person deserves, whatever their creed, whatever their faith.

That’s the essence of American leadership.  That’s the spirit that sets us apart from other nations.  This was their work in Benghazi, and this is the work we will carry on. “

Posted September 15, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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MATT TAIBBI, “ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE”: Private equity firms in general — this is something people generally don`t understand. When they take over companies, they borrow massive amounts of money that the company has to pay back. So you`re essentially borrowing against the assets of a company that you don`t own yet.

So when Mitt Romney talks about debt and he talks about the national debt and borrowing money that you don`t have, that`s exactly what he did for years. His model is very similar actually to those no money down mortgages, where you put down five percent, three percent and you get the house that you actually can`t pay for……

When they take over a restaurant, they can just run up massive bills on its credit, and they`ll monetize it that way. And that`s exactly what private equity firms can do. They can pay themselves massive dividends against the company`s credit when they take over companies. And
Bain has done this in a number of instances, including with K.B Toys…..

So you borrow 300 million dollars that a company like K.B. Toys has to pay back. Now they have all this debt. Now they have to fire a bunch of people to pay for that debt. And Bain Capital tells you who to fire. For the privilege of getting that advice, you have to pay them fees of up to 10 million dollars or 15 million dollars a year.

So now you have two huge burdens that you didn`t have before. You have the debt service and you have these annual fees, which can turn into massive amounts of money. “

O`DONNELL: And from all this, what has Mitt Romney learned that will be useful in the Oval Office.

TAIBBI: I guess having access to unlimited sums of money from the Fed will be a nice change Before, he just had to go to Goldman Sachs or
Citigroup to get the money. Now he`ll just have easy access to unlimited sums.”

The Brew at Halverson’s September 8, 2012   Leave a comment

Still happily glazed from Vedora’s show Friday, I worked a 9-5:30 shift on Saturday. At one point late in the afternoon a pretty intense storm blew through. The heavy wind and rain did not last long and the weather cleared right before it was time to walk home. Cool.

I walked in the door at 5:45 and Mike said that Chris and Rich stopped by and were going to see the Brew. I had heard of them, but did not know a lot about them, and did not know they were in town that Saturday. The show was supposed to be on the top block of Church st, but the storm had moved it inside.

Instead of rushing out the door, like I did Friday, I ate a bit, then checked the weather. There was some light rain, but the heavy stuff had passed. I donned the black and headed downtown On Elmwood at the edge of the cemetery, a large tree had partly come down. It looked like it was split in four pieces, with a serious chunk hanging over the sidewalk. I thought maybe lightning had hit it, but there was so charring. It must have been the wind that took it down.

I quickly finished the walk and ducked into Halverson’s. I went out to the back and found that they have a nice enclosure there. There were a couple of steps up to a smaller “room” where the band were set up and playing. I hung back behind the railing, and my friends, so I could stand without blocking anyone’s view. I listened.

The Brew are a four-piece, guitar, bass, drums, and keys. They sounded pretty nice, but it took me a couple of songs to shake off the work day and get into the music. Their mellow rock sound had elements of funk and pop, and the playing was pretty sweet. At times the guitar showed a bit of muscle, but for the most part, it was four guys playing some well crafted songs. I only caught a half a dozen, and seemed to like them more with each passing song. They did not have the sonic firepower that Vedora unleashed the night before, but their elegance charmed me. I’d like to catch them again and see a full show. I don’t think they converted me to the cause, but they did catch my interest. We will see where it goes in the future.

After the show we hung out a bit and chatted with the keyboard player. He seemed like a nice guy. But, after they packed up, we headed out. There is something so wonderful about randomly catching new music. Burlington is great for that sort of thing, and that’s what I love most about living here. Yea, Burlington music scene!

Posted September 11, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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