I had a great night of seeing music last Wednesday at Nectar’s. The evening began when I met up with my dear friend Polly Pratt. She was in town to see the Milk Carton Kids show that Higher Ground presented at the First Unitarian Church and I was going for a louder show, but we had about an hour to chat and catch up. As she headed to the church, I wandered down to King St to hang out with James Lockridge and the Big Heavy World crew. At 8pm they did the Rocket Shop radio show live in the back yard, so I got some bonus music. The first act was four members of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. With two violins, a viola and a cello, they played some 1920’s era eastern European music. The musicianship was fantastic and they played a variation on a waltz, a variation on a tango and a tarantella that was meant to replicate the feeling after being bitten by a spider. I was pretty blown away.
Up next, they had a 17 year old singer songwriter named Bethany Conner Music chat and play a few songs. She plays well, has a strong voice and lyrics that show a wisdom beyond her age. She played songs from her album I’ll Tell You such as Josie, Can You Love Me Too?, Sweet Dreams, and I missed the title of the last one. She said something about writing sad songs that reminded me of The Cush, which only made me appreciate her more. I was lucky enough to get a copy of some of her music and played Can You on my radio show last night. I think she may become a force to be reckoned with.
It was about 9pm so I headed over to Nectar’s. I hung out and chatted with a couple of people and just after 10 The Mountain Says No hit the stage hard. They played a nine song set and it was all from their forthcoming album. They met up with Ryan Cohen last week and recorded the skeleton of the album but will fill it out for release later this year. They opened with a heavy loud song and stayed nicely in that vein for most of the show. I’ve seen them a few times lately so I know some of the new songs a little bit. The second song was You Say You’re Alive and that has a nice riff and an easy to sing title. The third song made it seem like they came from ancient times to observe us and the fourth song was an epic about Ryan (possibly Brian), David and Sarah. The new classic Glazerbeam lit up the firth spot with a mystical swirl. Another heavy rocker followed then they eased back with the gorgeous and poppy Game Of Thrones. The eased back a little bit more for Blanket’s Fine then returned to full power for another new classic called I Know Right. I missed hearing some of the old songs, but if they are writing new ones like this, I’m OK with it.
Polly wandered in, since her show was done, so we chatted for a couple of minutes until Villanelles hit the stage. As with the shows for the last two weeks, I loved their songs and their energy and had a great time. Most of the set was from Blue Heart Attack which is a tremendous album. Songs like Farside, Grey Goo and Shy Spiders were just great. They skipped the usual Dig A Pony cover and tossed in a Supergrass that I did not know but really liked. Heartbreak Baby rocked especially hard and I think they closed the 11 song set with Jenny. They are such a great rock band.
After the set I chatted with Polly for a bit and with Luke Awtry who took some great photos of the bands. Polly had a long drive home so she headed out but I was set to stay until the last note of Dino Bravo VT. They began with an instrumental jam that featured some nice solo work from Chris Farnsworth and fell into Sugar Coated Candy Stix. Pop Music followed and I just love the easy to sing to lyrics. I missed the title of the next song, but I’m pretty sure Matthew Stephen Perry referred to it once as Wet Sheddy at a show quite some time ago. It’s the one about Don’t Jump In The Water and rocks hard. The nine song set continued with songs like Empires and Two Car Garage. They closed the night with one of the great songs in Burlington, A Song About The Ocean. Once the last note faded out, I headed out the door and took the long happy walk home. There is always so much great music happening in Burlington, even on a Wednesday night.