Archive for August 2013

Doll Fight! and Poxy at Radio Bean, August 21, 2013   Leave a comment

I just got back from seeing Doll Fight! and Poxy at Radio Bean. Poxy are a trio with a woman bass player, woman singer/guitar and a guy on drums. The songs are punk and fast and full of fury. Every song was short, loud, aggressive, but had a sense of melody. I really liked them and will have to check them out again soon.

Doll Fight! followed. The Vermont riot girrrls released their new album, and played their final show. I thought it would be bittersweet, but once they started playing, it just rocked. They did blistering renditions of Morning Again and Insomnia. Everything else was tremendous too, but I did not know most of the songs. I think most were from the new album. The first few were longer and ground their way out, but as the set progressed, the songs became shorter and faster, if that’s possible. Their new drummer, Amanda, who played her first and last show with the band, pounded the drums to perfection. Kelly screamed out her lyrics and ripped it up on bass. Christine’s vocals were a bit low, but her voice was great and her guitar playing kept the songs flowing, and the room rocking. They ended the set with an ear-ringing Plastic Revolution, but got to play one more to rock out the night.

I’m excited to see what Kelly and Amanda do in the future, and will really miss Doll Fight!, but am thrilled that I got to see them as many times as I did.

Posted August 22, 2013 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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Swale at Burlington’s Lake Champlain Maritime Festival 11am to Noon   Leave a comment

I just got back from seeing Swale at the waterfront. They played from 11am to noon. There was a small seated crowd at their stage, and the rest of the Maritime festival was slowly coming to life. Lots of food and craft vendors have set up shop and people are wandering around, checking things out.

The sun was warm, but the breeze was nice. Swale kept things nice and mellow, for the most part. Gorgeous versions of Sour Piggy Bank, Middlesex, and If you get Lost, filled my heart with joy. Waterlanding was a mellow version that almost unleashed some rock and roll fury in the late middle section, then they brought it back down. The energy soared for Popular Crowd and I’ve Got A Feeling, then eased back. They ended on a high note with Everyone Likes to Fight, and that was that.

Ok, 4 hours of work, then back to the waterfront for the Black Crowes tonight. Thanks Mike Luoma!

Hana Zara, VT Joy Parade, Super Bonheur, Parmaga, Le Monde Dans Le Feu, and Shark Victim at Radio Bean, Friday August 16, 2013   Leave a comment

I just got home from seeing and hearing a ton of music. Hana Zara had a great guitar sound, playing Joe Adler’s card deck guitar. I loved every moment of her set and still have Dropout Generation in my head, though, I think many of the other songs she played were better. Hmmm, Symmetry.

VT Joy Parade followed, and were fun and cheerful. Their songs are too easy to find the groove, but they have such harmony and enthusiasm! There were a couple with some prog edges, and a couple where Anna let her voice roar. At times, they were magnificent, and maybe they were wonderful at the times I could not see. If nothing else, the juggler, and sense of showmanship, were endearingly entertaining.

The duo fest started with Super Bonheur who played a punk set with drums and electric ukulele/vox. The high end was a bit much, but there was fun to be had.

Parmaga followed with some dance grooves played with a real drummer and guitar/keys mixed with pre-recorded passages. Their playing was pretty solid, impressive at times, but something held them back a bit. Maybe it was the structure of the songs. Don’t get me wrong, at times they really rocked. But, still, maybe they are fine, and creating a beautiful structure, and it’s just that I want to rock it away.

A Montreal duo called Le Monde Dans Le Feu followed. It was mostly heavy dance grooves with a bass player and singer. For the most part, it did not grab me, yet, the enthusiasm was intriguing. One or two songs had a metal hint and when the singer turned around and banged on a drum, a couple of times, I caught a bit of an “On vocals, and percussion” sort of vibe

Through sheer force and stamina, I held it together to be sure I heard “Shark! Victim!”  They finally hit the stage and opened with the theme song. They followed with a surf rockish, not quite High Breaks, new song. Next up White Lizard and Hear It Still rocked hard with Michael Clifford’s thundering bass, and J Boom Mateik even more thunderous drumming. Since it was after 2am, they jammed out a bit more Shark! Victim! and called it a morning.

Thanks to everyone for rocking so hard tonight. I’m only a little bit bummed that Linda Bassick didn’t tell Joe to set up another guitar and amp, and join Shark. It would have ruined the duo theme, but only at the end…..

On the walk home, at one point, I was singing or humming Dropout Generation, and clapping along. I looked down and there was a very tense skunk. Tail up, in a way I’ve never seen before, and everything. I figured, in the moment, that if i had not been sprayed, I should keep walking along. I did, I was fine. Presumably the skunk was relieved too, and went on its way.

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

On Thursday night’s edition of “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert took on the permanent gag order placed on an entire Pennsylvania family whose health and family farm were wrecked by a nearby natural gas drilling operation. Range Resources, Inc., the company that owns the fracking well, gave the family $750,000 to relocate on the condition that no one in the family, not even the children, can ever speak about the health effects and other issues they suffered because of the well.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that “air and water contaminants caused them to experience burning eyes, sore throats, headaches and earaches.” However, in order to receive their settlement money, the family had to sign an affidavit saying that they never suffered any ill effects from living so close to a fracking operation.

“Because,” Colbert said, “if a tree falls in the forest and you pay the family who heard it not to talk, then it didn’t make a sound.”

It turns out that energy companies are paying families to stay silent about the environmental effects of fracking in at least six states.

Paying for silence, said Colbert, is catching on like tap water that bursts into flames.

The gag order even extends to the family’s children, ages 7 and 10. When asked if this didn’t interfere with the children’s First Amendment rights, the judge who approved the settlement said, “That’s a law school question, I guess.”

The whole thing makes Colbert pensive. “I wish there was a way,” he said, “my car could run by burning the innocence of children.”

Posted August 16, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Radio Show 25 Thursday August 15, 2013 9-10pm Eastern US Time WBKM.ORG   Leave a comment



I just got back from radio show 25 on WBKM.ORG. There were a couple of acoustic songs, but for the most part, the show rocked!

Song Before: Fire – Jimi Hendrix



From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds of Burlington. I saw Hana Zara a couple of weeks ago at the Precipice and was blown away. She’s playing at 9pm, Friday at Radio Bean. This is a song called Dropout Generation on WBKM and this is Burlington’s kind of music.

1.) Dropout Generation – Hana Zara
2.) Queen Anne’s Lace – Satori Bob
3.) These Summer Nights – Sarah Emily Blacker

I love Summer Nights, and this is a well produced, full sounding version of the song. I love the strong guitars in Queen Anne’s, and really like how catchy the Hana song is. Next up we go to song 4 on Swale’s A Small Arrival. This one rocks!

4.) Edible – Swale
5.) Castles – Spirit Animal
6.) Projector – Vetica
7.) Plastic Revolution – Doll Fight!

Doll Fight just released this great new EP, and are breaking up. Sadness. I’m going to go rock with them one more time at Radio Bean next Wednesday. I really enjoyed Vetica at the Precipice and am enjoying their EP. What a great rock song. I’ve caught Spirit Animal a few times and they always rock. Hmmm Swale. It will be great to see them on Saturday at Hotel VT. Next up is one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands from the ’90’s.

8.) Still Life Scene – Envy
9.) 1965 – The New Siberians
10.) 16 Tons – Thompson Gunner
11.) The Mime – Joe Adler and the Rangers of Danger

That was fun to play two songs in a row recorded live at Nectar’s. Joe and the Rangers are opening for the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the waterfront tomorrow from 6-7:30, so that should be fun. Thompson do a great version of the classic. I love the Siberians song and Envy rock. Up next is a bind with huge sweeping songs.

12.) You vs Them – The Hero Cycle
13.) Purpose and Object – The Contrarian

Purpose has such a great guitar sound. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s do it again next week, shall we?



Song After: Feast of Consequences – Fish

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the Global Public Square. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I’m Fareed Zakaria.

But, first, here’s my take. The Obama administration’s warning about a possible al-Qaeda plot against American interests in the Middle East has triggered a volley of attacks back home.

For those who always suspected President Obama was somehow soft in fighting the war on terror, this was vindication. The Weekly Standard, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal editorialists all piled on, saying the President had claimed that al-Qaeda had been decimated and that the tide of war was receding, but this terror warning proved him wrong.

Now, in part, the Administration has only itself to blame. The State Department issued a global travel alert for the entire month of August and explained that an attack could come anywhere.

Congressmen who were briefed by Administration officials explained that while al-Qaeda targets were cities in the Arab world and in Africa, there could also be attacks in Europe or North America.

Now, if it is a global travel alert, then it isn’t really a travel alert but rather an existence alert.

The public announcement had all the hallmarks of the old color- coded alerts of the Bush era, threatening enough to make people anxious yet vague enough to give them little to do about it. But what about al-Qaeda? Well, al-Qaeda Central, the organization centered n Afghanistan and Pakistan, is, in fact, battered and broke.

But the idea of al-Qaeda remains vibrant in some other places, not, as it turns out, in the great hotbeds of Islamic radicalism, such as Saudi Arabia, but rather in places where the government is so weak, it simply cannot control its own territory, Yemen, Somalia, Mali and northern Nigeria.

So what kind of strategy should the U.S. pursue against these very small groups in very weak states? There are three possible paths.

The first would be a more full-bore counterinsurgency strategy, the kind that General David Petraeus executed in Iraq and, to a lesser degree, in Afghanistan to bring stability to those areas.

But does anyone think that sending tens of thousands of American troops into these countries is a smart idea? And does anyone think keeping more troops in Afghanistan would make terrorists in Mali tremble?

As Michael Hayden, CIA director under George W. Bush, pointed out, many of these groups are really gangs of local thugs using the al-Qaeda name to build their brand.

For Washington to announce a grand campaign against them might exaggerate their importance, Americanize local grievances and create a global threat that didn’t really exist. The terror alerts have probably delighted these small groups for just that reason.

The second strategy would be counterterrorism, using drones, missiles, Special Forces and other kinetic tools to disrupt al-Qaeda- affiliated groups. By anyone’s measure, the Obama Administration has been aggressive on this front.

President Obama has used more drones in each year of his presidency than Bush did in his entire presidency. Ditto on data- gathering, as Mr. Snowden has reminded us.

The third possible approach to the new threat of terrorism is to try to get local governments to fight the terrorists. But the places that these al-Qaeda affiliates have sprung up, like Somalia and Yemen, are, almost by definition, ungovernable.

At the moment, only the U.S. has the technology, missiles and troops to disrupt terrorist plots being hatched in those countries.

So, you throw the posturing and the politics aside and you can see that the U.S. is following a reasonable path among the options. If anything, the best policy, in the long-run, would be to shift the struggle over to locals, who can most effectively win a long war against militants on territory they know better than any outsiders.

It would also shift the ideological struggle over to Muslims, who can most effectively battle al-Qaeda in the realm of ideas.

The U.S. can help by building up the legitimacy and capacity of these governments in various ways by encouraging reform, providing aid and technical know-how.

Of course, this would be the softest of the three strategies and would probably draw the most fire from Obama’s critics were he to actually pursue it more fully.

Posted August 12, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) poured cold water Friday on conservatives’ effort to shut down the government if legislation to keep it open after Sept. 30 includes funding to implement Obamacare.

He said there aren’t enough votes to make it happen in the Senate.

“In order to avoid a government shutdown, we need 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House to pass a continuing resolution,” Cantor told National Review’s Robert Costa. “To get 60 votes in the Senate, you need at least 14 Democrats to join Republicans and pass a CR that defunds Obamacare. Right now, I am not aware of a single Democrat in the Senate who would join us. If and when defunding has 60 votes in the Senate, we will absolutely deliver more than 218 votes in the House.”

The remarks appear to be the first from a House Republican leader on the push, which is being advanced by conservatives during the August recess.