Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis
I had a nice time seeing music at Radio Bean last night. I worked until 7 then zipped over to the Bean and Silver Bridget were on stage. They played as a trio with an electric guitar, a guy playing acoustic guitar, who used his feet on a bass drum and hi-hat, and the sound was rounded out by Johnnie Day Durand on the musical saw. They played instrumental versions of classic covers. As I settled in the sounds of Nowhere Man were really sweet. They played a Ringo song and She’s Leaving Home. They did endearing versions of Old Man and Harvest Moon. The guitar had a very clean sound for most of the show but he fuzzed it up here and there, most notably on the take off section of Space Oddity. The did an old Mancini song, they played Over The Rainbow and even did a fun version of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. The band sounded super fine and the saw painted beautiful melodies in the air. I think I missed a couple of songs at the beginning of the show, but got to see most of it. I’m really glad I went. Everyone in the room really enjoyed it and demanded an encore. Work is about to go crazy and I will miss a lot of shows in the coming three weeks, so I’m really glad I put in the effort last night.
ArtsRiot photo by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music last night. I got out of work at 7, got home quickly and grabbed a bit of leftover Thanksgiving food, then took the long walk to ArtsRiot on Pine st. I thought the show started at 8 but it was closer to 8:30, so I had 20 minutes to settle in and chat with Brad Searles (after having to be reminded who he was, it’s been ages) and Ben Maddox.
Astrocat photo by Tim Lewis
Astrocat hit the stage as a guitar bass drums trio and rocked pretty hard. The sound ranged from mid paced indie rock to slow and sludgy almost Sabbath metal. A couple of songs had some double time speed just to mix things up a little. The drummer was steady and strong. Buck’s bass had lots of fun runs, but the real star of the show was the fuzzed out guitar. I didn’t catch too much of the lyrics as the vocal mic could have been a little higher, but everything sounded nice. The show started a little slow but soon they locked in and had a nice rock energy. When they started Cookie Jar, a really fast fun rocker, it rang a bell, so I must have seen or heard them do that at one point. It was fun to see live, as was their whole set.
The Mountain Says No photo by Tim Lewis
I went to get another drink and ran into Sean Toohey and Ann Mindell and chatted a bit, but soon it was time for The Mountain Says No. Their heavy rock sound was blissful to my ears and soul. They opened heavy with Long Term Sermon, then eased up a bit with Who Could Say? They let loose the sludgy beginning of Iron And Metal then let it slip into full rock mode as the song progressed. They kept things at top gear with Restaurant before easing off into the weirdly mellow and sort of spooky 3,000. They followed with a new one that had a great rock sound and an eerie vibe and might have been my favorite song of the night. A majestic version of King Grifter followed, then they tossed in another killer new song. Things got a little funky with Ricky The Rider then went back to the heavy rock for Come And Decide. They closed the show with a truly stunning version of The Bomb. I was elated note for note and am still committed to the idea that if you miss a Mountain show, you really are missing something.
Eef photo by Tim Lewis
At this point I had certainly gotten my $5 worth, and the main band had yet to play. I don’t think I was a huge Eef back in the day, though likely caught them at some point. I didn’t really know what to expect and could not judge them on past performances or nostalgic notions. The only thing I had to go on was the band in front of me. They took the stage as a trio with Brad on drums, Michael Barrett on bass, and Jedd Kettler (doing double duty for the night) on guitar. Some of the songs had that classic early ’90’s indie “Burlington Sound”, and some were just fun punkish rock songs. They mixed new songs with classics and I really liked them all. Maleman was pretty cool. The song about making mixtapes (opened with Don’t Let’s Start and ended with Love Will Tear Us Apart) was pretty great. Around half way into the set they brought up Trevor (the rock god) from Astrocat on guitar and rocked extra hard for the rest of the night. Sugar High was fast and heavy and fun. An new one about my cat turning black suggests a mix I need to do on my next radio show. Late in the set they thanked the small but mighty audience for showing up, played one more and that was that. Nostalgia aside, it was a solid rock show from a great rock band and I loved every moment. I’m so glad I put in the effort, it was so rewarding.
ArtsRiot sign photo by Tim Lewis
Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music on Wednesday at Radio Bean. I had the day off and got lots of stuff done early followed by the most relaxing of afternoons. I caught a nap and woke up in the early evening. My copy of RUSH 40 had arrived so I popped in the DVD to check out some of it. Time slipped and soon I was scrambling to get out the door on time.
I walked into the Bean about 9:45 and there was a podium with a white sheet on the stage. Behind it, and other hair cutting accessories, was Dom the Barber. He had a psychedelic swirl projected on the sheet and a slow groove electronic beat going on. When the song came around he started singing “History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of me” and I knew I should have arrived earlier. He had us sing a couple rounds of Godzilla and moved on through the set. His between song banter was a mix of endearing and genuinely funny. His next song was played on a singing drum, which had a gorgeous sound, that was made by a guy named Tim on Pine st. The next song was was a compulsive piece about checking the door 13 times (You are all wondering if you left the stove on before you left, aren’t you?”). A spacey electronic jam followed where he played his 3 string bass like thing and a Theremin. He wrapped the show with a song played on ukulele, though he played it like a bass and had the heaviest sound I’ve ever heard from one of those. The song was a fun ditty about alien abduction. I loved every moment of the show and wish I had gotten out the door sooner.
After a longish tear down and set up, The Nancy Druids hit the stage with their beautiful songs and solid playing. John Franklin and Ann Mindell had the rhythm section moving as one and Sean Toohey let the songs drive through endearing melodies and towering solos. The first two songs put me in a beautiful place and I loved every moment. The third, Ordinary Breakdown Day (??) was almost exactly in the middle of the harmony driven Beatles and the heavy crunch of Led Zeppelin. This was the third time I had seen them so I’m getting familiar with their songs, but don’t quite know them yet. I really enjoyed all of them before and like them more each time I hear them. The band were really good before, but tonight found them extra locked in. They tossed in a couple of brand new ones that were pretty good too. As the set progressed Sean pulled out more of his trademark out of this world guitar solos in which he brought the guitar close to different amps to change the almost feedback tone. It’s so great to be in the presence of a master. Songs like Space Between A Secret And A Lie (all song titles approximate) and Falling are quickly becoming favorites. They wrapped the night with another killer original then said they would play a very complicated cover. They did a great job on I Am The Walrus and Sean kicked the song with another towering solo.
I said a quick goodbye then headed out the door, walking home in an effortlessly blissful way.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. While there have been a couple of low spots this year, on this day I want to look back at some of the many wonderful things that have happened and be thankful for them. I want to thank all of my FB friends for making me laugh and sharing important news stories. I want to thank U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for having the audacity to think he could win the Presidency and to mount an full throttled campaign that has avoided the usual personal attacks. I want to thank all of my friends who have hung out with me and made life so enjoyable.
As you would expect, I am very thankful for all of you musicians who go out and play, and for WBKM.org for giving me a way to give some air time to your hard work. I really like the fact that I have a platform to showcase the wonderful music in our town. It’s so hard to do the show then walk home and do the write-up about it on Facebook and tag everyone that I can to let them know their music has been played. It’s so rewarding to wake up the next day and see the large number of likes and lovely comments. The thing that I have always most wanted to do in life is let musicians know that I appreciate what they go through and care about their music. The show gives me a rock solid way to do that, though showing up at their shows is vital too. I’ve been to great shows where I was the only one there, at least for part of it, and wonder what it must be like to put so much energy into creating songs and going through all it takes to get out, get set up and play it, especially if there is little or no appreciation. I feel it’s important to recognize the heart and soul of the musicians who do this. I feel it’s important to say that the songs they have dreamed up and let loose in our world matter. Going to shows is the best way to do that. Doing the radio show gives me another platform to express my love for what they do and for what they have created.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who have found your art and are letting it loose in our world. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who have yet to find your art. I encourage you to find your passion and let it make a better world for all of us. It will be hard but incredibly rewarding. And, if you even need someone to get your back and say I Believe In You, just give me a shout. That’s what I’m here for.
WBKM window by Tim Lewis
I just got back from my local music radio show on internet only WBKM.org. I played a lot of classic Burlington music, but mixed in a few newer songs too.
lined up before the show:
Moonlight In Vermont – Willie Nelson
Gift Shop – The Tragically Hip
Song before: Essence – The Church Band
From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. It’s a drizzly rainy night in Burlington and oddly warm for this late in November. Tonight I want to start with the second band I ever saw live. They opened for the Ramones at the Flynn Theater. My friend Christopher Larrow just got a turntable that can rip mp3’s so now I have a copy of this album to play. This is one of those songs that just randomly pops into my head now and then. I hope you enjoy!
1.) Hold Me Tight – The Decentz
2.) You Don’t Like Me, Do Ya? – Pinhead
3.) Wally Rides The Ferry – Zoot Wilson
4.) Every Time I Hear That Mellow Saxophone – Big Joe Burrell & The Unknown Blues Band
Big Joe passed away a few years back, and has a wonderful statue on Church st, but the band are around and playing tonight at Nectar’s to help celebrate the clubs 40th birthday. A lot of great music has been played in that room. OK, it’s time to play the last song on No Need To Beg. I hope you have enjoyed listening to all of those songs as much as I have.
5.) Insomnia – Phil Yates & The Affiliates
6.) I Feel So Dumb – The Decentz
7.) Medula Momblongata – Strung Out
8.) Say It – Anachronist
Great song from the Central Vermont band. Everyone loved to go see Emily play whenever Strung Out performed. Another classic from Decentz. Another great song from Phil Yates. I will be off next week, since it’s Thanksgiving, but the week after I will have to find a new album to play all the way through. This next set should be fun. It’s about girls clubs and boys clubs and motorcycles.
9.) Bad Girls Club – Colin Nicholas Clary
10.) Boys Club – Peg Tassey MUSIC
11.) She’s A Motorcycle – Colin Clary
12.) Faineant – Swale
I love that song about wishing he was a motorcycle and could go where he wants. Well sung Eric Olsen. Motorcycle and Girls Club are from Twee Blues, the album Colin just sent me. Thanks! There are some fun songs on that album. Boys Club is a classic from Peg about the anger that comes from being excluded because of race or sex or whatever. When you think about it the best way to fight terrorism is not with guns and bombs but to make everyone included and feel valued and have a hope of a decent life. It’s really not that hard to figure out. This next song is something that I have had for months on vinyl but have not been able to play for you, since we play all music files at the station. Thanks for ripping the MP3 for this one Chris!!!
13.) Bling Pigs – ROUGH FRANCIS
14.) Heavy Psych – The Cush
15.) Cowgirl In The Sand – The Seth Yacovone Band
Seth and the band played a killer show last week at Nectar’s to help WBKM celebrate its birthday. Joe Moore started the night on solo sax and tossed in a nice cover of Heart Of Gold. Seth played a solo set of Neil Young songs. He began with After The Gold Rush and closed with My My Hey Hey. The full band came on after and opened with Hey Hey My My and played tons of classics, including a killer version of Cowgirl. I was just thinking of the show The Cush played last year at Arts Riot, where they sold me their killer new album. That is the lead off song. Great song from Francis!!! OK, let’s keep rocking.
16.) The Day I Met You – Dirtminers
17.) So They Say – The New Siberians
18.) Who’s Fault Was That – The Snaz
19.) Compared To You – The Decentz
I love mixing something so old like Compared with something so new like Fault. I thought they sounded quite nice together. I’m still impatiently waiting for the next Siberians album. Great song that likely will be on that album. Killer song from Dirtminers. It’s been drizzly and rainy all night and feels a little bit like this.
20.) In The Rain – Plan B
21.) Left One In The Rain – Alice Austin
22.) We Shall Overcome – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and 30 VT Musicians
I’m so glad there is one candidate for President talking about the need to create a world where people don’t want to be terrorists, rather than dealing with the repercussions afterwards. Bernie has been doing it for decades. Plan and Alice Austin sure sum up the mood of the evening. Since I have a bit of an international commentary going, I thought this would be fun to play.
23.) Attempt No Landing Aria – Mailbox
24.) Micronesia – Mailbox
25.) TFAY – Elephants of Scotland
I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s not do it next week but rather spend Thanksgiving with our families and not shopping. Let’s do it the week after that, and the week after that…
Song after dedicated to all the racist sentiment and fear about Syrian refugees: The Perception Of Johnny Punter – Fish
Lined up after:
Map Of The World Part 1 – jane siberry
Usual Plays In Heaven/Be Kind And Talk To Me – Active Heed
Down By The River/Like A Hurricane – Real Old & Insane Donkey
I Talk To The Wind – King Crimson
4 Minutes->The Tide Is Turning – Roger Waters
Empire Of The Clouds – Iron Maiden
Siberian Khatru – Yes (official)
La Villa Strangiato – RUSH
Where The Streets Have No Name – U2
Afraid Of Sunlight – Marillion
Orange Like Water – The Cush
Hello Earth->The Morning Fog – Kate Bush
The Awful Ache – The Church
Ball Of Confusion – Love And Rockets
Letter From The 21st – Jeremy Gilchrist
You’ll Be The Sky – Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band
New York My Lovely – Joshua Glass Music
I just got back from one of those melancholy/happy times with Mom and my brother Ken. When Mom and Dad had their 50th anniversary party in 2010 instead of gifts they asked for donations to go to Heifer International and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. Dad had made it known that when he did pass away he did not want people to send flowers but to instead donate some money to the VYCC. We put that in the obituary and several people (including the lovely Vicki Tucker) donated some money. A while ago my mom got a call from them asking where all these donations were coming from. Mom talked with them for a bit and they invited the three of us to stop in at their facility in Richmond for a tour. Today was the day we went to do that.
We arrived and were greeted by a lovely woman named Naomi. As she walked from her desk to greet us, I saw something unusual and specific behind her work space and had to ask. “Is that a Phil Yates & The Affiliates LP?” She said yes and said she sings in a band with their drummer Jacob Blodgett. I let her know I loved the band and do a local music radio show on WBKM.org. I think she is going to send me an album. Yea, more local music to play.
We toured the barn and she told us about the program which is for kids in their late teens to early 20’s and they get sent out all over the state to work on projects and learn about sustainable living off the land, learning to work with groups of people, learning leadership skills and things like that. It really sounds like they are doing some great work. If you know a kid in that age range who needs some direction, check out the organization.
At the end of the tour I mentioned that I work at Gardener’s Supply Company and she said Jim Feinson (GSC’s CEO) is a member of their board. It’s such a small, and wonderful, world sometimes.
So, I’m thinking about Dad today. I’m feeling a little sad, but happy to know that something that meant a lot to him, kids getting a chance to learn and better themselves, is thriving and available. I know he would be pleased.
On the way out, Mom mentioned that we were going to stop and get something to eat. Naomi recommended the Parkside Kitchen. We took her up on that, and the food was just great. Great call!!
That’s my day so far.