Archive for the ‘Dan Bolles’ Tag

The Precipice Day 2 Saturday August 2, 2014 in the field behind Burlington College   Leave a comment

I had a great time seeing music at The Precipice: A Vermont Music Festival last night. If Friday showcased dance bands, last night was more rock and roll.


Around 4 I hopped into the car, drove to Shleburne and picked up my brother Ken. We headed back to the festival and arrived just before the first band went on.


We settled in and The DuPont brothers took the stage. They played as a four-piece with Zack on electric guitar, Sam on acoustic, Rob Morse on stand up bass and Dan Davin (?) on drums. They have a smooth easy style about them, but rocked out at times. Sam sang most of the songs and when he and his brother sang together, they blended wonderfully. They sang songs about waiting (Seven Days), astral travel when sleeping (1,000 Years Old), and stuff like that. They did a nice job blending mellow tunes with some songs that really rocked. The last song of the set was the fastest and it was quite fun.


I turned 180 degrees, and Osange Orange started right up. A synth growl began then the band kicked in with some down tempo indie rock jangle pop. The four-piece, guitar/vocals, keys, bass, drums, played politically charged songs that had a bit of rock to them. There was one song that compared ice melting directly to air with not being there in a relationship anymore. I thought that was a great metaphor, and a really good song. Their set was strong and mellow at the same time. I had a great time for every moment.


When they wrapped up, Barbacoa hit the other stage and kicked things into high gear. Their dark surf rock instrumentals are fun to dance to. Bill Mullins guitar work was killer, as always. Kirk Flanagan’s bass was locked in with Jeremy Frederick‘s drumming, and every song was a fun work out. They played a killer version of Trans Am, tossed in covers like Goldfinger, and Paint It Black, and tempted the weather gods with Gorilla Monsoon. The weather was grey with dark clouds, and just a mist of rain at one point, but generally perfect. That said, you don’t really have to tempt fate do you? Either way, the set was fun as always. They are such pros, it’s always great to be in their presence.


After their set, Duke Aeroplane and The Wrong Numbers took the stage. Well dressed in suits, the six-piece had a full cabaret rock sound. With guitar, bass, drums, keys/vocals, sax and trumpet player, the piano seemed to lead the way and the band filled in the rest of the sound. It was cool to see Matthew Kloss play electric bass, since I usually see him play stand up. I liked their set, but was hungry, and since the music was not going to stop, we took some time to get food and mingle a little. While wandering the grounds, I could hear the band fairly well, and I really liked them, even if I was distracted.


Up next Zack DuPont returned to the stage with his old band Japhy Ryder. They have played around town for a long time, but last night was the first time I saw them play. The six-piece with two drummers, guitar, bass, keys/trumpet, and trumpet player, jammed out some funky beats with occasional builds. Zack’s guitar playing was sweet, articulate, and smooth. They had the audience dancing and people seemed to have a great time. A couple of the songs rocked a bit and were fun. They wrapped up the set at twilight, then it was time to turn to the next stage, again.
Maryse Smith sang and played acoustic guitar, and was joined by Michael Chorney,,also on acoustic. I think her set was the same that she played at Radio Bean on Tuesday, except for dropping Good Thing and following 15 Steps with Liar. She has a great voice and a nice flow to her songs. She will just play some nice music, then drop it into a gorgeous chorus driven by her commanding voice, and that seems to happen on almost every song. Her guitar playing is nimble, but having Michael weave in and around her playing was pretty fantastic. After finishing with Liar she was told she had time for one more. She played a sweet version of Good Thing, and called it a night. One of her new songs, Orlando, is quickly becoming a favorite.


Another 180 turn brought me to an even happier place. Swale hit the stage with Joyless. It started slow and poignant then built and built until it was ripping at the end. Jeremy Fredrick sang backing vocals and pounded out the drums. Tyler Bolles held down the low end allowing Amanda Gustafson a bit more freedom on the keys. Eric Olsen ripped it up with killer guitar work and we were off and running. By the end of Joyless, it was rock and roll glory. The followed with Jack Sharp and Popular Crowd and played them at blistering speed and volume. I loved every rocking moment. They slowed it down a little for Soul Piggy Bank, then did a long slow build into Waterlanding. Again, late in the song, they built it into a monster and rocked it hard. They brought the tempo back down a little with the song about the gymnast, then played a stunning version of If You Get Lost. They followed with Old School, which is really slow, but even that one was a bit more uptempo than usual. They slammed it back into full gear for Everyone Likes To, and called it a night.

Lee Anderson directed everyone’s attention outside of the tent, to the right of the stage, for the Appalled Eagles puppet show. With all the music that was to come, Ken and I took some time to get another beer and say hi to Peg Tassey.


After a few minutes, four familiar people dressed like gondoliers, took the stage. The Italians (Swale in “disguise”) got set and invited the first guest to the stage. Joe Adler joined them for a rousing version of Pump It Up, and the audience bounced and danced. Nichole followed and sang a rousing I Love Rock And Roll. The next song was an indie rock song, maybe called Seasons. I think it was Brian someone who sang it. Despite not knowing much about either, it was a pretty good song, and well sang. Bill Mullins came up next for a deep voiced cover of Tom Jones’ She’s A Lady. I missed the name of the guy who sang We-Tang’s C.R.E.A.M., but it was done well and the audience was happily dancing. Kat Wright kept the party going with Party In The USA. Up next, James Kochalka played a rousing version of Justin Timberlake. I was very psyched, as I had not seen James play for a long time. Dan Bolles followed with a deeply sung version of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up. The audience ate it up, but I was really wanting the music to start rocking again. I got my wish when the brought up Urian Hackney to sing the next song. Bobby Hackney Jr. took the drums. Julian Hackney and Paul Comegno joined Eric Olsen on guitar. I don’t think Steven Hazen Williams joined in on bass, I think it was just Tyler Bolles, but I was back a bit so it was hard to see. The Swale/ROUGH FRANCIS combo put the music into maximum overdrive on Iggy Pop’s Now I Wanna Be Your Dog. When the song ended, Tyler, Eric, and Amanda Gustafson left the stage, Williams took the stage, Urian and Bobby switched places. Rough Francis lit into their set. I did not recognize the first two, put they were powerful and fun. I-90 East was especially intense, and the audience was rocking hard, though not moshing yet. Staring Out The Window slowed things down a tiny bit, but Black And Red picked it right back up. The opening notes of Not A Nice Guy saw the front of the audience jump into most pit mode. The slam dancing was intense and people started surfing the crowd. Comm To Space followed, which Bobby dedicated to a couple of people who passed away recently. The song was filled with light dancing in the slow parts and the full on mosh when the song erupted. It was a wonderful show, and I could not have been happier.


My brother had to work in the morning and needed to leave a bit after midnight. We stuck it out through argonaut&wasp’s set. They are a four-piece with two electric guitars, bass and drums. The music was mostly beat driven dance music, but at times, the guitars roared and they rocked hard. It was a fun set.


When they wrapped up my brother Ken lobbied to leave, but I told him we had to stay for a couple of songs from the next band. And The Kids ferociously hit the stage with a killer Cats Were Born. The guitar, keys drums trio mixed dance sounds with indie rock and were brilliant as always. We stuck it out for three songs, then had to leave. We could hear them quite clearly for the slow steady walk out of the festival grounds, up the first hill, up the second hill, and all the way to the parking lot. It was hard to let the end of their set go, but it was a trade-off to get my brother to see how much great music we have in this town. I would have liked to check out Gnomedad, who finished the night and festival, but it’s hard to catch everything.


I am so delighted with all of the great musical talent we have in this town. I’m so grateful for people like Lee Anderson and Joe Adler and the ton of other people who put this all together. It was obvious that a lot of work went into it, and the whole thing ran very smoothly. I feel lucky to be able to be in the presence of all the talent that made this happen. Thanks everyone, you rock!

Dan Bolles writes about the reaction to last weeks article and the new radio show on WBKM   1 comment

 

http://www.7dvt.com/2013thanks-reading

Thanks for Reading?

Soundbites

By Dan Bolles [02.20.13]

Last week’s feature story about local music superfan Tim Lewis generated a surprising amount of reader feedback in the ol’ inbox. The majority were positive, running the gamut from, “Oh, I always wondered who that dude was!” to, “It’s about time somebody paid attention to that guy.” Most didn’t refer to Lewis by name, oddly enough.

But because the internet is the internet, I also received some, shall we say, less charitable reactions to the story, from, “Slow news week, huh?” to, “You suck, Dan Bolles!”

I can’t figure you people out. I can write a scathing review of some lousy local band and not hear so much as a peep. But then I’ll write a relatively fluffy human-interest piece and the jackals come out of the woodwork. Maybe it’s the grips of Seasonal Affective Disorder finally taking hold?

Anyway, I bring it up to let you know that you nasty types can go fornicate yourselves.

Kidding! Mostly. (It’s just the SAD talking, I swear.)

Actually, I bring it up to let you know that Lewis has signed on with the folks at local online radio station WBKM — tagline: “Burlington’s kinda music.” He’ll be debuting his new show, “The Sounds of Burlington,” this Thursday, February 21, at 9 p.m., on wbkm.org.

If you read the aforementioned piece, you know there are few, if any, fans of local music as knowledgeable or as passionate as Lewis. I expect his show will reflect those aspects of his impressive fandom and will be a worthy listen for anyone else who feels similarly about homegrown tunes.

Rock on, Tim.

 

 

Article about me in 7 Days   3 comments

7 Days photo of Tim and Vedora

 

http://www.7dvt.com/2013burlington-music-superfan-tim-lewis-makes-scene

Dan Bolles:

Scan the room at most local rock shows, and you’ll observe various types of concertgoers. There are the average fans, generally attentive people who form the majority of most crowds and tend to clump together in a semicircle in front of the stage. There are the cool kids, typically identified by hipsterer-than-thou detachment as they hang near the back of the room or by the bar, the occasional head nod or absentminded clap the only clues that they’re paying attention to the music onstage. There are the talkers, people whose constant babble suggests they’re oblivious to the performance at hand — or are just total assholes. There are social butterflies and wallflowers, hardcore fans and obvious noobs, players and prudes, drunks and teetotalers, cheerleaders and critics.

And then there is Tim Lewis.

Lewis is something of a Burlington institution, a fixture at local shows for close to 30 years. The general consensus is that he’s attended more rock concerts than anyone else around — though no one really knows.

Without hesitation, Lewis can recall the names and lineups of long-departed Queen City bands that most have never heard of, or have long forgotten. Save for the occasional political remark, his Facebook page is like the Yelp of local music, composed of reviews of shows he’s recently seen. And, of course, Lewis has a blog, Tim’s Triangle Tribune, on which he faithfully documents his live-music adventures. Like, all of them. Rare is the concert, whether at a club, café or basement party, that Lewis attends without posting at least some acknowledgment, along with what he thought of it.

“I think he deserves an award,” says Vedora’s Caroline O’Connor. “I swear he’s been to more shows than anyone in this town.”

(Cut to the town’s professional music writers slinking away in embarrassment.)

Lewis is not a paid music journalist. He’s not an A&R rep scouting for the next big thing — the guy works in the call center at Gardener’s Supply. He is, quite simply, a fan. And, in the realm of local-music fandom, Lewis stands alone. Sometimes literally.

At concerts, he can usually be found planted in front of the front row, notepad in hand, taking in the show with his signature fidgety enthusiasm.

It starts with a quick nod, imperceptible if not for the shimmy of the straight hair cascading past his shoulders. From there, the tremor progresses down his body, maybe punctuated by a jerky elbow burst from otherwise straight arms, a subtle, air-guitar-y flick of the wrist, or rapid foot taps. When a band is really rocking, Lewis’ entire body becomes a twitchy, rhythmic bustle, culminating in a sort of head-banging seizure.

“I’m kind of awkward,” Lewis confesses recently over coffee. “But music has always had a very powerful effect on me.” Indeed.

When those movements are coupled with his long, classic-rock mane — OK, it’s kind of a mullet — Lewis cuts a curious figure. To the untutored onlooker, his manic energy may seem strange, bordering on comical. But that’s not the perception from the stage. To at least one local band, Tim Lewis may be something of a muse.

“Lendway told me once that they can tell if a new song is any good by how much I react to it,” Lewis says, grinning.

“Tim epitomizes the guy that you want to be playing for,” says Lendway’s Matt Hagen. He doesn’t specifically recall telling Lewis he’s a human rock-and-roll barometer, but concedes he “probably did” at some point.

The average fan can lose track of the subtleties of a great performance amid catchy hooks or flashy solos. It takes a particular kind of listener to pick up on those nuances, or to care. Hagen thinks Lewis appreciates music on a genuine, profound level, so it resonates in him.

“When he’s in the audience, it’s an affirmation,” Hagen continues. “He’s that one guy who is absolutely going to appreciate the kinds of things that you, as a musician, are having conversations with yourself about.”

Lewis, 48, was born and raised in Shelburne. He shared a first musical love with legions of other teenagers in the late 1970s and early ’80s: Kiss.

“Ace Frehley’s guitar … those notes just always seemed to be in the right place,” he recalls wistfully.

Lewis is soft-spoken with a shy, genuinely sweet demeanor. He clams up a bit when pressed about his personal life. But he grows increasingly animated when the subject turns to music.

His first show was the Ramones at the Flynn Theatre in 1981 — with Burlington New-Wave band the Decentz opening. Lewis says Def Leppard are the “the most pyro” band he’s ever seen live, Iron Maiden the loudest. But it was Ninja Custodian in the early ’90s that turned him on to local music.

“I was never quite a Phish fan,” Lewis says. “They were kind of OK, I guess. But Ninja was just this furious energy … a funky, metal sort of thing that didn’t sound like anything else.”

Lewis says he was hooked immediately and has made local music a priority ever since.

How many shows does he see per year? Lewis isn’t sure. “Maybe one a week,” he ventures. “Sometimes two?”

That’s a lowball estimate.

In a blog post from December 2008, Lewis tallied the number of bands he’d seen that year. The number was 172, spread over a total of 72 shows at 23 venues. According to O’Connor and others, he hasn’t stopped being ubiquitous in the years since. Dude is simply always at a show.

“He honestly feels like a band member to me,” says O’Connor. “It’s a comforting feeling to have him [at a show], like, ‘OK, Tim’s here. We can start now.’”

O’Connor says she’s known Lewis since her days in then-local psych-rock band the Cush — an all-time Lewis favorite. As he has done with a number of local acts — including Lendway — Lewis has followed O’Connor’s career closely, from her early work as a solo artist to her stint in the duo Tapis Bleu through her current project, Vedora.

“He knows our songs and our development almost as well as us,” O’Connor says. “It’s a really amazing feeling to have someone who listens so intently. I don’t think anyone listens better than he does.”

Hagen agrees. He likens Lewis to an overeager student at the head of the class, absorbing everything, hand raised, anxiously poised to answer a teacher’s next question.

“And that’s what makes him so genuine and so receptive to what we as musicians do,” Hagen says. “To have someone recognize what we’re trying to do and be passionate about it is huge. And Tim is that guy.”

Darkness on the Edge of Winooski Friday January 25, 2013 at the Monkey House   Leave a comment

Whoo hoo, I’m not a big Bruce Springsteen fan, but with Swale, Blue Button and Vedora playing his songs, I was very psyched to go. I got out of work at 6:30 and Rich was hanging out when I got home. He was heading somewhere else, but just after 9 he gave me a ride to Winooski.

I walked in and a woman was playing acoustic guitar and singing a song I did not know. I think it was Sarah Stickle. By the time I settled in, she had wrapped up her set. I found a place close to the stage in the crowded Monkey House and soon Joe Adler and Eric Segalstad took the stage. Joe played acoustic guitar and sang and Eric played some pretty aggressive lead guitarish mandolin. They jammed out Adam Raised a Cain and had the enthusiastic audience shout out each time they sang that line. Joe’s deep voice and rocking guitar made it pretty fun. Next up was a song I did not know from Nebraska, then they brought up Aya Inoue for Atlantic City. Her voice is beautiful and blended wonderfully with Joe’s. They did a great job and I was having lots of fun.

I did not catch the name of the next artist who played. It was a guy with acoustic guitar and harmonica. I did not know either of the two songs, but his playing was subtle and beautiful.

Lowell Thompson took the stage next and opened with Atlantic City. I was a bit put off at first, having just heard the song, but his version was different and his playing very intimate. He’s such a solid musician, that I really liked his version. He followed with two more that I did not know, but were fun to listen to.

Nest, Tooth Ache set up her keyboard and array of effects. She was joined by a guy on xylophone with tubes on the bottom of the rig, and a keyboard that he also hit with the mallets. They used an electronic beat and played ’80’s pop versions of I’m on Fire and Dancing in the Dark. They did not amaze me, but they sounded pretty nice, and I was happy to listen.

At some point I heard that Swale or Blue Button were not able to make the show. Later I heard it was both. Rats! At least I had seen Vedora, and knew that they were there. I heard later that one of the other bands had to cancel. I think it was Parmaga. At one point, I ran into Dan Bolles and chatted for a moment or two.

Following Tooth Ache, Paddy Reagan took the stage. He sang to pre-recorded music, a la Ryan Power, and did a sweet electronic version of Philadelphia. He followed with yet another version of Atlantic City. It was good, but not as good as the two previous ones.

Vedora took the stage next and opened with I’m on Fire. Despite it’s redundancy, it was the first time in a long time that I was lucky enough to hear Caroline play sax. She blew the room away. Matt’s deep voice sounded great singing Bruce’s song, and Jeff kept things propelled on drums. They followed with Caroline singing Dancing in the Dark. It sounded good, but the number of repeats was starting to get to me. In the second half of the song, she picked the sax back up, and drove the tune home.

With no Swale or Blue Button to follow, I settled up and headed out, for the long and quiet walk home. I had a long workday Saturday and more music to see that night. I really wish there had been a bit more coordination in the songs. It might have been cool to see Vedora jam out Rosalita or Jungleland, but it is what it was. Despite some disappointment, I’m really glad I went out. That’s the thing about live music. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes not, but you will never know unless you go. And, if the show as a whole was a bit of a letdown, there were parts of pure beauty.