Archive for the ‘Live Music’ Tag

Happy Abandon and Invisible Homes at Foam Brewers August 19, 2016   Leave a comment

Happy Abandon at Foam Brewers August 19 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Happy Abandon at Foam Brewers August 19 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing music last night at Foam Brewers. It was a lovely evening to walk down to Burlington’s waterfront and I had not been to the brewery bar yet. The sun was almost ready to set as I made my way past the outdoor seating and walked in the door. The stage was directly to the left and I immediately ran into Sean Witters and Shawn Connolly and chatted a little about their performance on my radio show on WBKM the night before. I got a beer from the bar, said a quick hello to Justin Ellis and soon enough it was time for his band to play.

Happy Abandon are a four-piece from Chapel Hill North Carolina and are about a third of the way into their current tour. With a singer/whistler/electric guitar player, a keyboard player/backup singer, Justin playing bass and singing backup and a drummer, they played an hour full of beautiful hard rocking songs. As they were tuning up something about the sound reminded me of Nous Sommes Du Soleil. The sound turned a little shoegaze as the song began then it added in some jangle guitar then it just rocked hard. I was in heaven from the first note. The second song started a little jazzy but rocked hard in the middle. This set the pace for the night. Each song used a various style of music then was placed into a pop context and rocked hard. The bar was mostly full of beer aficionados but the band caught the attention of several people. The third song had a little jazz feel, and with very little guitar leads, the electric piano sounding keys lead the song. After a bit it turned into an epic rock jam too. I couldn’t tell if the fourth song was really long or it was just played into the fifth, but it started by sounding like a lullaby, went into a nice hard rocking section, then went back to the lullaby. It drifted for a moment then ascended into a huge over the top epic. I think that was the point where I wished I had pushed all of my friends to see the show. So many of them would have loved it. They played a few more songs, all of them good and ended the night with Heavy Lines, the title song of their EP. I am so thrilled that I was able to hear them play.

It took a little time for Invisible Homes to get set up on the small stage but soon enough they began with the gorgeous Little Song. Sean sang and played electric guitar and keys, Shawn played electric guitar and sang, Patrick Ormiston played bass and some keys and effects, Simon Plumpton masterfully played the drums and Deva Racusin filled out the sound with bongos, various other percussion instruments, sax, and his strong voice. The sound is art rock and pop and whatever else they can weave into the mix. Early in the set they played a song I’m beginning to love called Pale Rage and followed it by the soaring Above The Frequency. They jammed out the title song from their first album, Song For My Double then turned a little Crimson for All Your Basis. Shawn’s guitar work had a lot of discipline. The next song was a Floydy prog song and they followed it with a Caroline Rose song. The newly recorded Company She Keeps followed and had a smooth rock sound and ended with a wicked Sean guitar solo. The next song was a new one about turning into animals and serving our robot overlords who have come to destroy. It ended with an instrumental breakdown that flowed into a rocking version of This Machine. They closed the night with Sean singing a great Tom Waits impression on Tango Till They’re Sore.

After they wrapped up I said a couple of quick goodbyes then took the long walk home, blissfully happy with all that I got to hear.

 

Invisible Homes at Foam Brewers August 19 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Invisible Homes at Foam Brewers August 19 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

Invisible Homes at Foam Brewers August 19 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Invisible Homes at Foam Brewers August 19 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Posted August 20, 2016 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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Francesca Blanchard at Summervale August 18, 2016   Leave a comment

Francesca Blanchard at Summervale August 18, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Francesca Blanchard at Summervale August 18, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing music yesterday afternoon at Summervale. I ran a little late and arrived at 6:05 and Francesca Blanchard was on stage singing and playing electric guitar. She was joined Matthew Kloss on bass and Charles Smyrk on drums. She sang many of the songs in French and a couple in English and they all sounded great. I did not know most of the songs so I just sat and listened as Mark Haworth Harlan snapped lots of photos. She played a couple of covers such as You Belong to Me and a Carla Bruni song with lyrics that flowed so fast I was amazed at how she kept up. Throughout the show the music had a lovely sound but it was her voice that shaped all of the songs. Her guitar playing has a cool sound like she’s plucking a banjo but her voice brings the songs their melodies. She played a few songs on her own then was rejoined by the band. I had to leave early to do my radio show later, but got to hear a large number of songs in the 70 minutes I was there. It was tough to leave and I will have to make it a point to see her play whenever I can.

 

 

Francesca Blanchard at Summervale August 18, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

Francesca Blanchard at Summervale August 18, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

Posted August 19, 2016 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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Silver Bridget at The Daily Planet August 17, 2016   Leave a comment

Silver Bridget at The Daily Planet August 17 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Silver Bridget at The Daily Planet August 17 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing music last night at The Daily Planet. The show was set to go from 8-10 so I arrived just before 8 and got a seat at the bar. Mike McGonegal was the perfect bartender and got me all set up before Silver Bridget took the stage. The band are a trio with Matt Saraca on electric guitar, John Townsend on acoustic guitar and Johnnie Day Durand on musical saw. They play instrumental versions of classic rock and pop songs and the saw gives the songs an other worldly quality. John usually adds in a bit of kick drum work but the stage was so small they skipped it for the night. They opened with Old Man and played songs such as Surfer Girl, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Crazy. Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon was very cool as was Falling In Love With You. They broke out some Bowie with Space Oddity and Starman then took a Beatles turn with She’s Leaving Home. They ended the first set where they began with a great version of Hey Hey, My My.

The set break was short and they returned with Somewhere Over The Rainbow and followed it with Creep. Set two featured songs like Follow The Sun, Blue Bayou, Nothing Compares To You and Only Love Can Break Your Heart. They played a few more songs, including Love Me Tender and ended with You Got It. An encore was requested and they ended the night with Nights In White Satin. They sounded great all night long and I’m so happy I went to see them.

 

Posted August 19, 2016 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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Envy and Barbacoa at The Monkey House and Andriana Chobot at Oak 45 July 28, 2016   Leave a comment

Envy at the Monkey House July 28 2016  pic by Tim Lewis

Envy at the Monkey House July 28 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing music last Thursday at The Monkey House. I know, I should have been at WBKM doing my local music radio show, but thanks to the power of technology, for once, I was able to be in two places at once. I put the show together on Wednesday morning and recorded it in the afternoon. I hope I got the references to which shows were happening on which day correct. It’s always worth double checking me.

On May 18 of last year (2015) I felt like i received the greatest of late birthday gifts when I saw The Nancy Druids for the first time. I loved Envy’s songs in the ’90’s and The Red Telephone took that sound to a lovely place. I hoped the Druids would have that feel and was elated on the first few notes. I have caught several of their shows lately and chatted with the band often. I remember the idea of an Envy reunion being discussed and remember the day when Sean said it was going to happen. I had a couple of months to wait, but fortunately there was a lot of great music to catch.

After a long night of great music Wednesday I had a nice slow start on Thursday. Just before noon went to North Beach for the Gardener’s Supply summer picnic. It was fun to hang out with everyone until the rain came around 3. I headed out a bit after that and got home and was able to catch a short nap.

I woke up, put on the black, and headed out the door. I was running a bit late, but cruised through the long walk to Winooski. The first show of the night was set to start at 7 and I had left about 10 minutes late. I walked into oak45 at 7:09 to find the room filled with people apparently attending a class on cocktails. The band were set up in the corner of the room but all attention was on the bartenders stories and explanations about classic drinks. I got a drink, hung out, listened, and they wrapped up around 20 after. At 7:30 Andriana Chobot began to play. She sings and plays keys and was joined by Patrick J. Markley on bass and Cody Sargent on drums. I first heard Andriana sing a few weeks ago at the Eat More Kale festival and had to buy her album. I’ve been listening to it and playing it on my radio show ever since. The bass and drums added extra drama and a full sound to her songs. Her keyboard playing is powerful and her voice is lovely. The music is ethereal and enchanting. They played songs like Stumble and Cascade and Not I, and tossed in a mellow cool version of Come Together. They caught the attention of a few of the people hanging out after the class, and seemed to get a little bit more applause after each song. As the show was set to go until 9, and another band around the circle was set to go on at 8:30, I knew I was not going to make the full show. I kept not leaving and finally, about 8:37, they finished a song and I finished my drink and off I went. I really need to see them again when I can just hang out until the last note.

 

 

Andriana Chobot at Oak 45 July 28 2016  pic by Tim Lewis

Andriana Chobot at Oak 45 July 28 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

 

I dodged a bit of traffic and made my way over to the Monkey House. The first band was not on yet so I chatted with Molly King and Lauren and David Jarvis. There were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. I thought it was odd that Bobby Hackney Jr. kept walking on and off the stage, but soon enough Barbacoa began to play and Bobby joined Bill Mullins and Kirk Flanagan on drums. His playing was fast and powerful and precise and sounded great as the band ripped through a great set of surf noir songs. Kirk’s bass playing drives the songs hard and Bill’s guitar work is always spectacular. They played a bunch of their own songs, everything is instrumental, and a few fun covers. They played a bit of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Paint It Black, and the Secret Agent Man/Spiderman theme mix. Of course, the cover of the night was an astounding version of Envy’s Bloodboy, which they did on the Burlington Does Burlington compilation from many years ago. The crowd was pretty fired up for the whole 14 song hour long set.

 

 

Barbacoa at the Monkey House July 28 2016  pic by Tim Lewis

Barbacoa at the Monkey House July 28 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

 

The set break was not long then Envy hit the stage for the first time in 21 years. They opened with Bloodboy which has those heavy riffs that melt into the lyrics. There is something about they way they put songs together that is like nothing else. It’s like they set a tone and unfold the sound and it just falls into the rest of the song. Their songs rock hard, even the slower ones, and seem to set themselves on a course for chords that just build and build until they explode. Several times I found myself raising my arm part of the way as a song climbs until it hits that part where the full fist pump is demanded. That brought back a few memories of how excited I used to get when seeing them, but the real treat was seeing four great musicians playing stunning songs here in 2016. The classic lineup of Sean Toohey on guitar and vocals, Matt Hutton on guitar and vocals, Ann Mindell on drums was joined by Julia Austin who played bass with them for a while back in the day. They played most of Distorted Greetings with songs like Still Life Scene, and Falling In And Out Of Sleep. There was one I was not certain of but I think it was Finger Prison. I was quite certain of Imaginary, Sunday, and Horse. They went to an older song they used to play, one that Sean recorded solo, called 1,000 Lies. They dropped a heavy and powerful Bomb then played one from an old cassette. I don’t remember it off hand, but it was great. They closed the night with a powerful cover of Purple Rain. All night Sean and Matt had been trading solos and Matt sounded great playing lead on the Prince song.

It was so wonderful to hear those songs again, and to see local luminaries like Daniel Bolles, Brendan Devitt, John Franklin, and Mike Luoma and lots of others that looked familiar. Despite the desire to look back at the time when those songs were created and first played I really couldn’t. All I could see was some great musicians playing some great songs in a timeless magical way.

I hung out for a little bit, then took the long walk home to Burlington with my head filled with musical magic.

 

Envy  at the Monkey House July 28 2016  pic by Tim Lewis  2

Envy at the Monkey House July 28 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

Villanelles, The Mountain Says No, and Dino Bravo at Nectar’s and Bethany Conner and Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival musicians on King St July 20, 2016   Leave a comment

The Mountain Says No at Nectar's July 20, 2016  pic by Tim Lewis

The Mountain Says No at Nectar’s July 20, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

 

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.

 

 

members of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival on King st July 20 2019 pic by Tim Lewis

members of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival on King st July 20 2019 pic by Tim Lewis

 

 

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.

 

 

Bethany Conner on King st July 20 2019 pic by Tim Lewis

Bethany Conner on King st July 20 2019 pic by Tim Lewis

 

 

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.

 

 

The Mountain Says No at Nectar's July 20, 2016  pic by Tim Lewis  2

The Mountain Says No at Nectar’s July 20, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Villanelles  at Nectar's July 20, 2016  pic by Tim Lewis

Villanelles at Nectar’s July 20, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

 

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.

 

 

Dino Bravo  at Nectar's July 20, 2016  pic by Tim Lewis

Dino Bravo at Nectar’s July 20, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

#BTV

 

Swale and Villanelles at Nectar’s July 13, 2016   Leave a comment

Swale at Nectar's July 13 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Swale at Nectar’s July 13 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing music last night at Nectar’s. It was the second night of the Villanelles July residency and they had another great opening band.

I took the lovely walk downtown a little after 9 and arrived just after 9:30. I hung out for a bit, chatted with a coworker and his wife, said a quick hello to James Lockridge, and just after 10pm SWALE hit the stage. They set the tone for the night by opening with a new song, the one about cause and effect and it being a matter of time. It’s a really nice and catchy song. Next they went back to the first EP for a mellow version of Cancer then unleashed the slow burn of You Are Not The Photograph. Amanda Gustafson sang a gorgeous version of Soul Piggy Bank then they slowed the pace down even further with Old School. They kept things mellow for a bit with songs like Beaten Down and Release Your Records but then the rock started to build. Joyless started out rocking hard and went over the top when Eric Olsen let loose a towering guitar solo. Another new one with some intense lyrics followed. After that some gentle notes and very intense Jeremy Frederick drumming signaled the brilliant We Could All Be That Way. I love the way that begins so slow then climbs into a huge monster of a song and eases off at the end as the band repeat the title as if it were a mantra. Of course, that might not actually be the title of the song since it’s not recorded yet, but you get the idea. They wrapped the night with the blistering rocker Drug Laws and Tyler Bolles bass helped drive the song hard. Swale always put on a great show and last night, they were at the top of their game.

The set break was quick then Villanelles hit the stage and kept the place rocking. They opened with Jenny which is the closing song from their album Blue Heart Attack. They played most of the album and all the songs rocked hard. They played an older song called Parking Lot and tossed a cover of Dig A Pony without the My Sharona intro they used last week. They played a rocking 16 song set that went until 1am and closed the night with Kiss My Grits. Their set was so much fun, I may have to do it again next week.

 

 

Villanelles at Nectar's July 13 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Villanelles at Nectar’s July 13 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Posted July 14, 2016 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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Lake Milk and The Mountain Says No at Manhattan Pizza July 8, 2016   Leave a comment

The Mountain Says No at Manhattan Pizza July 8, 2016

The Mountain Says No at Manhattan Pizza July 8, 2016

 

 

I had a great time seeing music last Friday at Manhattan Pizza and Pub. The show was set to begin at 10 and I arrived almost exactly on time. I got a beer and hung out and it was not long until Lake Milk hit the stage. They are a guitar/vocals, bass, drums trio and play indie rock with hints of classic rock and punk. The songs were tightly structured but did have some space for some fun guitar solos. The band had a lot of heart and a lot of spunk and I liked them more and more with each passing song. One went something to the effect of We Don’t Pick The Road and another may have had a line about crawling into a test tube. They played 10 songs over 40 minutes or so and I enjoyed them all. They are definitely a band to keep an eye on.

 

 

Lake Milk  at Manhattan Pizza July 8, 2016  pic by Tim Lewis

Lake Milk at Manhattan Pizza July 8, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

 

After a break that was just long enough for me to get another drink and eat a slice, The Mountain Says No hit the stage and rocked it hard. They opened with a ripping version of The Bomb and we were off. Most of the set was made of new songs like the lovely Game Of Thrones, the eerie and rocking Glazerbeam and Machu Picchu. They tossed in rocking classics like Ricky The Rider, rocked hard with the new You Say You’re Alive, then eased up with the melancholy 3,000. They brought the band back to full power with Restaurant then eased back with Blanket’s Fine. They capped the night with a blistering I Know Right and finished around 1am. I hung out for a bit and chatted with the band and Ryan Cohen about an upcoming recording session, then took the lovely walk home. What a fantastic night.

 

 

The Mountain Says No at Manhattan Pizza July 8, 2016   2   pic by Tim Lewis

The Mountain Says No at Manhattan Pizza July 8, 2016 2 pic by Tim Lewis