Archive for the ‘Ryan Miller’ Tag

A Very Hairy Swaleness at Light Club Lamp Shop then Samara Lark And Friends and Savage Hen at Radio Bean December 22, 2018   Leave a comment


Physics Club pic by Tim Lewis

I had a great time seeing music Saturday night at Light Club Lamp Shop and Radio Bean. I worked a short day and had a little time to relax at home. Just before 7, I headed out the door and swung by Taco Gordo for a quick tasty taco, then walked the rest of the way downtown. I got into the Lamp and settled as the room steadily filled. A little after 8 Physics club took the stage and filled the room with cautious glee. They chatted with the audience a lot and chatted about chatting a lot. They sang about how Christmas is the time to give gifts to the baby Jesus, and delicious honey ham. Irene, Rex and Abraham, if those are their real names, had a relaxed vibe that came across as deeply hilarious. They sang about how too many candy canes made their breath minty, but their stomachs stinky and about making all of their Christmas presents because they didn’t have any money. Since it was Christmas, they decided they could wear what they wanted, then capped the seven song set by going out to find the biggest bushiest tree. It’s hard to capture how funny they were, but if you ever see them on a bill somewhere, go.


Swale pic by Tim Lewis

They began the transformation into Swale with a song about how everything smells like Christmas. Irene morphed into Amanda Gustafson as Abraham moved away from the keys to the backing vocal position. Rex stayed on the drums and moved into Jeremy Frederick mode and Eric Olsen started playing guitar at the end. It was still pretty funny, but you could begin to hear the huge rock sound coming out. Tyler Bolles joined them and they locked into SWALE mode for Mele Kalikimaka which was fun to hear on a chilly evening. Matt Larocca joined them on violin next and stayed for most of the night. It’s Christmas is a poignant song from their Kiss Mess EP and they played a beautiful version of it. Craig Mitchell came up next and took the mic. Marie Claire Johnson added some backing vocals as they sang This Christmas. The fireside blazing bright line was especially catchy. The band switched into high gear as Lily Sickles took the stage and belted out Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) and the audience rocked along. James Kochalka followed with a song about coveting his neighbors Christmas lights. It was hilarious and everyone was smiling. He stayed on stage and sang a song about a sleigh ride to heck and the audience sang along with gusto. There was something magical about the way it happened. Amanda followed with the most esoteric song of the night and played a haunting Snow Angel with Tyler on banjo. Tyler played the next one solo on banjo but took the time to explain that some band redid a version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah that was just terrible, so he redid it in a fun way. The tune was familiar and the audience laughed in the verses about Rudolph and the Grinch but sang along on the choruses, even with Tyler’s altered words. I could feel chills running through me. Marie Claire came back and sang Fairy Tale Of New York with Tyler. It was really fun. Marie moved to the keys and Amanda moved to the front of the stage. Matt joined in on sax as they let loose a huge Baby Please Come Home. It was great. Jason Cooley came to the stage and played a song for Josh Bridgman that almost made me cry. The Velvet Underground’s Jesus was a perfect tribute to Josh. The next song was just Swale and they sang a cool song about getting to know the people in your house. They followed with an instrumental Jingle Bells that featured Amanda’s keys in the beginning and some ripping Eric guitar work at the end. Lily returned to the stage for Feliz Navidad. The song had a huge sound in the chorus and had people dancing hard. For the next song, Ryan Ober and Cooley stood in front of the stage and lit into Christmas in Hollis. It was brilliant and fun. Eric said they had a treat for us and Marie Clairecame back and sang Christmas Wrapping. Her voice was so close to The Waitresses that it was superb. Craig returned to the stage for a funky blues rock song about Backdoor Santa that got a little naughty in a nice way. Amanda sang the next song and wished us well for whatever lies ahead. Francesca Blanchard followed with All I Want For Christmas Is You and I swear that everyone in the room was in awe. Swale began the evening by handing out cards and asked us to pull out the lyric sheet. I’m not sure what happened but it sounds like someone slipped and fell outside of the Lamp Shop and an ambulance showed up. Per Eric, the person was fine, but the hoped for singalong didn’t quite work with so many distracted people. That said, Amanda sang a great version of The Christmas Song, and many people sang along. The band returned to full rock mode and Ryan Miller hit the stage for a blistering Hazy Shade Of Winter. Where does joy end and fun begin? Their version was right in that sweet spot. Cooley came back and played a fun gritty rocker that I couldn’t spot. Per my notes, I think it was Riverbottom Nightmare Band from the Muppets Emmet Otter’s Jug Band. It was really fun to listen to at the show, but doing this write-up brought me to YouTube to watch it. I’m sure it’s the song and both versions are great. Up next Tyler got everyone bouncing to the Christmas Polka. Swale capped the night with a sweet singalong with Christmastime is Here that filled my soul. It was a beautiful show.


With Matt Larocca


Craig Mitchell


Lily Sickles


James Kochalka


Marie Claire


Amanda Gustafson


Ryan Ober and Jason Cooley


Marie Claire


Francesca Blanchard


Ryan Miller


I settled up and took the long walk over to Radio Bean as Samara Lark and friends belted out Baby Please Come Home. It turned out to be the only repeat of the night which is not bad when you see three bands in one night play traditional (ish) songs. Samara was joined by Jackie Buttolph and Aya Inoue on vocals, Eric and Eric on guitar, Johnnie Day Durand on musical saw and glockenspiel, Jake Styles on bass and Andrew Bedard on drums. Johnnie began Oh Holy Night and you could hear the words coming out of her saw. The rest of the band joined in and played a gorgeous version of the song. They took us into minor chord territory for Hark To The Bells and I was in a happy place. They kicked up the pace for Cheap Trick’s I Wish It Was Christmas Today and I bopped with glee. They kept up the pace for a rousing Holiday Road and we all just had to sing along. How can you not? i love that Samara thinks that is an essential Christmas song. They slowed things down and brought the energy up for Happy Xmas (War Is Over). That’s one of those songs that fills my soul and I’m so glad they closed the set with it.


Samara Lark and Friends

I hung out for a bit and thought I’d check out the next band. It was a little late, but they usually don’t play super long sets and I was still ready to rock. Savage Hen took the stage and let loose their super heavy bass, drums, vocals dirgy sound. They opened with a horrific Here Comes Santa Claus that made me smile and the mighty audience dance hard. A heavy version of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer followed and off we went. They advised us to not get on the wrong list then played a heavy traditional Hanukkah song that was very cool. They advised us to take a Christmas Bath then dropped a super heavy Jingle Bell Rock. They shouted loudly that the Seat’s Taken then played a song about how Santa is a monster. All evening long the dialog was wry. They sang of a Clever Girl then one about Santa is here, release your fear. Local Lore was a song about encountering the supernatural. The final lyric says If there really is a god, he ain’t watching me, but it’s not uncommon for Jaq Tothephuture to put a little spin on it. I think that night it was if there really is a Santa, he better be effing good. They rocked on with a song about running for your life across the north pole and the next one may have had something to do with reindeer romance. They kept rocking and I didn’t catch much of the lyric but had a good time. Next, they took us to the Edge then released a little Voodoo Revenge. The next song was 46 seconds long, so it might have been Curtain Call, but I’m not sure. Either way, it was good. We followed them down to the Alabama swamp and battled monsters for a while then went back up north for another Santa song. At that point I looked at clock. It was 12:45 and I had to be at work at 9 so I zipped out the door and took the quick walk home. I settled a bit and slept a bit and hit the ground running in the morning.

It was another lovely night of music in our lovely town. Wow, did I really hear 57 songs that night?



Savage Hen pic by Tim Lewis

Local musicians playing the songs of Leonard Cohen at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14, 2016   Leave a comment

The Super Full Moon before the show at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

The Super Full Moon before the show at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



I had a great time seeing music last night at Light Club Lamp Shop. The death of Leonard Cohen has saddened many people, so we did the only thing we could do, we got together and celebrated the music that he left to us. Some of us just stood and listened but most of the people in the room sang some of his songs.

The show was set to start at 10 and I arrived right on time. It took a couple of minutes to get going then Marcie Hernandez took the stage. She was joined by a poet who’s name I missed, but looking at the list of artists I think it was Mary Angelina. She read one of Leonard’s songs as a poem. Even without music Democracy was very powerful. Marcie took over and played lovely renditions of Going Home, Closing Time and If It Be Your Will.

Aaron Flinn took the stage next and played powerful versions of Dance Me To The End Of Love and Everybody Knows. His guitar playing was great as always, though a little less flashy than sometimes, and his deep warm voice brought the words and melodies straight into our hearts.

Kirk Flanagan took the stage next. I did not catch the name of the first song that he played, but it was short and beautiful. (per Kirk “First song was Leon Russell’s A Song For You”) Lady Midnight followed and was equally heartfelt. He closed the three song set with a gorgeous version of the overly appropriate Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.

Charlie Messing took the stage next and borrowed Joe Adler’s card deck guitar. Charlie sung in E minor and sounded frighteningly close to Leonard. His versions of Waiting For The Miracle and The Darkness were spot on.

Before the next performer, from the side of the stage, Lee Anderson read some of Leonard’s words.

Joe Adler and Johnnie Day Durand took the stage next and were joined by Samara Lark Brown. With acoustic guitar musical saw and Sam’s lovely voice, Hallelujah was mournful and majestic. The audience sang along and the emotion in the room was almost visible. Sam left the stage and Joe took the mic and Amen was quietly stunning. They wrapped up the set with Johnnie’s request for Treaty, and it sounded great.

Before the next performer, from the side of the stage, Lee Anderson read some of Leonard’s words.

Everyone had been playing acoustic up to that point and the Lamp Shop space was such a perfect setting. It was like seeing a ton of great performances in your living room. Ryan Miller took the stage next and shook things up a little. He plugged in an electric guitar and used a mini keyboard to trigger a beat and rocked out Chelsea Hotel #2. It added a little extra zip to the show and was lots of fun. He played Bird On The Wire on the keys and sounded great.

Lee Anderson took the stage next and read an extended piece about Edith that was heavily censored many years ago when Leonard released it. His reading brought us listeners along word for word and was enchanting.

The Leatherbound Books took the stage next. They are a duo with a singer/electric guitar player, maybe Eric Daniels, and Jackie Buttolph singing as well. They sounded lovely on Nancy and Tonight will be fine.

If Charlie’s performance sounded the closest to Leonard, Phil Yates set sounded the most like his own songs with Leonard’s words and structure. Don’t Go Home With Your Hard On and Is This What You Wanted were fun songs and sounded just a little different from everything else that evening.

Willoughby Morse was up next and played his electric guitar a little softer than most of the acoustic guitars. Suzanne was very powerful and quiet. Last Year’s Man sounded great as well.

Jeremy Gilchrist – Singer-Songwriter followed with a quiet intensity. Anthem was lovely and Famous Blue Raincoats was just stunning.

Matt Nunan played a lovely version of The Story Of Issac in and E minor sort of way.

Michael Jermyn played a great version of Tower Of Song and closed the night with one I did not know. It was something about I used to be Aristotle I used to be Brian Jones.

Lee Anderson gave a short benediction then it was time for the quiet walk home. Leonard may be gone, but his words and songs will live forever, or as long as lovely people, like the ones above, keep playing them. We can rejoice in the treasures that he left us any time that we want.



Mary Angelina and Marcie Hernandez at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Mary Angelina and Marcie Hernandez at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Marcie Hernandez at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Marcie Hernandez at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Aaron Flinn at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Aaron Flinn at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Kirk Flanagan at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Kirk Flanagan at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Charlie Messing at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Charlie Messing at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Samara Lark Brown, Joe Adler and Johnnie Day Durand  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Samara Lark Brown, Joe Adler and Johnnie Day Durand at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Joe Adler and Johnnie Day Durand  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Joe Adler and Johnnie Day Durand at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis




Lee Anderson  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Lee Anderson at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis


Ryan Miller  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Ryan Miller at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Lee Anderson  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Lee Anderson at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



The Leatherbound Books  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

The Leatherbound Books at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis


Phil Yates  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Phil Yates at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Willoughby Morse  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Willoughby Morse at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Jeremy Gilchrist  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Jeremy Gilchrist at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis



Michael Jermyn (I think)  at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Michael Jermyn (I think) at Light Club Lamp Shop November 14 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

High Water Mark – The music of The Pants featuring Swale and tons of other musicians at Higher Ground March 26, 2016   Leave a comment

High Water Mark with the Pants and Swale and everyone else picture by Mark Randall Byland March 26, 2016

High Water Mark with the Pants and Swale and everyone else picture by Mark Randall Byland March 26, 2016


I ended up having a really good time seeing music Saturday night at Higher Ground. I lived and thrived through the Burlington music scene in the ’90’s. There was always music about, much like there is today, and some of the bands music just filled my heart. I would often go to shows where there were three of five bands on the bill and like some of it, love some of it, and not be amazed by some of it. The Pants were one of the bands who I saw a few times that I never liked. I was writing for the Permanent Records Review at the time and published something about their music making me run screaming to the bar. While a lot of bands music clicked with me, the Pants just never did.

Recently, a movie was made about the Pants and the local scene from the 1990’s in Burlington. On Saturday night they showed the movie then had a musical showcase of the music. I was sure I was not going to go, especially since it started at 7 and I had to work until 8:30. I knew the music was going to start at 9. They promised songs from the Pants, of course, but also some songs from Construction Joe and Wide Wail, and since Swale were the house band, I thought there would be a little bit of musical magic there. On Friday morning I broke down and bought a ticket and set the plan in motion.

I got out of work right on time and drove to Higher Ground. I got into the ballroom, settled, and ran into a ton of people that I knew and that looked familiar. Soon enough, the lights went down and Swale took the stage. As they lit into the first song I realized both why I did and did not want to be there. The Pants have a lot of chunky indie rock songs that have a lot of intricacy, but they usually stay in the discordant zone, so they are a bit jarring. Conversely, it was Swale playing them so the musicianship was outstanding and a complete joy to be in the presence of. That was how I felt for most of the first part of the three hour show. Swale played the first song on their own then brought Pants member Tom Lawson to the stage. They played a great version of High Water Mark, the only Pants song that I know, and that was really fun. Tom sang it well and his voice was quite nice. He stayed with them as they rocked out the third song of the night. After that, Tom left the stage and they brought out Ryan Ober to sing the next one. His voice was great and he had some nice dance moves. Up next, Casey Merlin Rae took the stage with a vocal tour de force. It’s been ages since I have heard him sing live and I really enjoyed it. The next song featured just Swale with Amanda Gustafson doing a great job on vocals. The next song featured Ryan Miller who came out covered in turned off Christmas lights. The song started slow, but when it hit the fast section he flipped on the lights and danced frantically. Jason Cooley came out for the next one and rocked it hard. James Kochalka added his quirkiness to the following song. The one that followed featured a powerful vocal performance by Craig Mitchell. Heloise Williams sang the next one and let her voice range from a deep growl to a high pitched scream. Amanda lead Swale through the next song, then things started to change. Swale left the stage and Tom returned with Chris Ziter & Jeff Baron. They played with one acoustic guitar and two singers and pulled out a Chainsaws of Babylon song. Tom then moved back to the drums but still kept the vocal mike. He was joined by a couple of people and they called themselves Factory Edge. The first song was a rocker called Backhoe. The second was a bit more mellow and was called That’s The Sound Of The Sun Going Down. Their final song was even mellower and quite pretty and was called We Never Had A Chance. After that, they left and the original members of Construction Joe took the stage. The first few notes lit me up like a ray of sun finally breaking through a cloudy day. The three songs they played, including the fun version of Funky Cigarette in the middle, were great. For me, music is never about taking me back to what I felt when I first heard it, it’s all about how it makes me feel now. Construction Joe’s set made me feel great for every moment. With a non Tyler Bolles bass player, David Cam?, Swale returned to the stage for a couple of Wide Wail songs. The first song was achingly beautiful, though I missed which one it was. The second was a hard rocking run through All My Life, a song that is one of my all time favorites from that era. My heart was full of joy for that one! Up next James Kochalka Superstar took the stage. James sang, Eric Olsen played bass, Creston Lea and Jason Cooley played electric guitar, Jeremy Frederick was on drums and the band rocked. They played Magic Finger, a little bit of Good Morning Glorkian Warrior, then something that may have been called Pony or something like that. They wrapped the set with Monkey VS Robot and the end section sounded like the classic song Gloria. Imagine M O N K E Y Rooooooooobot and you are in the right neighborhood. Swale returned to the stage and instead of playing keys, Amanda took the microphone. She told a touching story about working with Syrian refugees and the band played a song about someone who’s only desire is to be able to sleep with Both Eyes Closed. It was one of the most powerful performances I have experienced. Amanda returned to the keys and Tom came back to the stage. He sang a song about yes you can make me a freak and it was pretty fun. For the last song, 2,000, everyone took the stage for a giant singalong. The chorus about spirals had a 5 Years vibe to it and was a fitting way to close the night.

I headed out pretty quickly and contemplated the night on the short drive home. There were a lot of songs that didn’t grab me, but I enjoyed the full spectrum of the performances, and some of the songs just filled my heart. I’m so glad I put the effort in.

Radio Bean Birthday Party Part 4 with The Lynguistic Civilians, Joe Adler And The Rangers Of Danger, Ryan Miller wtih Swale, Lee Anderson And Appalled Eagles, Kat Wright And The Indomitible Soul Band, Brass Balagan, Mal Malz, The Cush, and The Eames Brothers Band on November 8, 2014   Leave a comment

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis


When last I wrote about the amazing Radio Bean birthday show, Swale had just finished up a killer set. After such an amazing run of music I needed a little break, so I left the crowd and headed to the back of the bar to get a drink. The Lynguistic Civilians were onstage and had the crowd dancing in a hip hop frenzy. I wasn’t too focused on the music, but a ton of people were having a great time. I chatted with Bobby Hackney Jr. and was excited to hear about a couple of upcoming ROUGH FRANCIS shows with lots of great special guests. It sounds like a couple of really rocking nights in early December are coming. The one thing that struck me as odd while the Civilians played was that Amanda Gustafson stayed at her keyboard on the other stage. Hmmmm. Anyway, I was about to buy a drink when Bobby bought it for me. Thanks! That was very kind!!

When the Civilians finished up,Joe Adler & The Rangers Of Danger took the stage and I headed back to the crowd. The band is a bit mutable and in this version Joe was joined by Eric Segalstad on guitar, Bob Wagner on guitar, Padraic Reagan on bass, Amanda on keys, and Jeremy Frederick on drums. They did not play any of the songs on Joe’s album, and I did not know the first one but the band was very solid and a rocking good time. They invited Aya Inoue to the stage for the second song, and played a sweet Atlantic City. Ryan Miller sang backup on the next one and they had a trombone player add a bit of brass to finish off their set with a rousing Let It Bleed.

When the set was done, a couple of people left the stage, and Eric Olsen and Tyler Bolles returned. Ryan Miller’s backup band was Swale and they launched into a set about friends. They started with I’ve Got Friends In Low Places. They kicked up the energy and volume for a ferocious rocker, something about All My Friends Are Dead, then wrapped the set with a rocker driven by Amanda’s steady keyboard riff. I’m not sure the song, but I’m sure it was about friends.

Everyone’s attention moved to the other stage as Lee Anderson and Appalled Eagles took the stage. You never know what you are going to get with Appalled but it will be oddly fun. This version had Eric Segalstad on guitar, Tyler on bass, and Brett Hughes on drums. Lee asked the audience for a few different musical genres and the band played the suggestions. The first suggestion was bubblegum pop, and the band obliged. The second was polka. Lee asked if anyone knew how to polka and a woman in the back did. She came forward and both she and Alyssa Solomon polkad like crazy as the band jammed. Up next was some disco, then they slipped into some dubstep. During this part, Joe brought a cake to the stage and they lit the candles. We did a spoken word Happy Birthday to Radio Bean and Lee took the cake to the bar and used the ceiling to smother the candles. I wonder if there is still frosting up there.

Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band followed with a killer 5 song set. They just ooze style and class and had the whole room dancing. I’m not as much of a dance music fan, but Bob Wagner had a few sweet guitar lines that kept me going. Kat is a great singer and instead of belting songs out, just sort of lets them emanate from her soul. Listening to her sing is like hearing a casual utterance of beauty. The band were super tight and occasionally fierce, and the audience had a great time. They ended with The Light and as the song fell into it’s closing section members of Brass Balagan, who had been infiltrating the room for a few songs, joined in then took over. They kept the dance party going for a few songs, but it was a bit too crowded for me, so I headed to the back for a bit.

At this point it was after 1am and I was very tired. It had been a long day, but there was one more band I just had to wait for.

Mal Maiz took the stage next with some polka music. The first perked me up a little. I’m not sure what the lyrics were, but the music was Black Sabbath‘s Iron Man. They played a couple more, and then it was time.

Billed as the Fourteens, The Cush took the stage with a roar. With Jake on guitar and Steve Hadeka on drums, they lit into a new heavy rocker. The exhaustion melted and I was in rock heaven. They followed with another killer new song and the still full house was going crazy. They closed the set with a blistering I Shout Love At The Heart Of The Atom. I danced almost every last bit of energy out of my body and sang along with delight.

The moment they finished, The Eames Brothers Band started up on the other stage. They sounded pretty cool, but I was exhausted. I grabbed my coat and said a quick goodbye to Caroline Marie and Savanna and headed out the door. The walk home was quick and pleasant and had a nice extra good night exchange a little ways in.

I always think of the Radio Bean birthday party as the best day of music in town, and this years version lived up to that title nicely. Thanks everyone!!!!!!



Swale, Ryan Miller, And The Kids at Radio Bean September 26, 2014   2 comments

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis


I had a great time seeing music Friday night. The show was set from 9-midnight, so just after 8:30 I took the short walk to Radio Bean. I got in and settled around 9, and soon after, the stage began to fill with instruments. Around 9:30 the lights dimmed and Swale’s tuning coalesced into a powerfully gentle version of Soft Fireworks. The quiet power of the song held the full crowd in silent awe. When the magic of the song faded to smoke, they let it slip into a sweet version of Dimedrop. Who else but Swale would celebrate the release of their new album by starting with two songs from their first EP? The first set stayed pretty mellow, with killer sweet versions of Overcoat and Soul Piggy Bank. They said something about Tyler Bolles saying the next one was pretty depressing, and played a sweet version of Beaten Down. Old School kept things pretty mellow, then they let loose a killer version of If You Get Lost to wrap up the first set.
After a five minute break Ryan Miller took the stage solo, with a mic and an electric guitar. He played a sincere version of Moon River then rocked out with a fun indie rock song I did not know. He then moved to the Keys for a new Guster song. It was pretty sweet. He then picked up an acoustic guitar and brought up Joe Adler (‘I don’t play drums”) to play drums and trolled the audience to find a keyboard player. No one jumped up, so he had Amanda Gustafson sit in and taught her the song. They played a pretty good version of Guster’s Satellite. It was a bit rough but fun to watch professionals learn the song on the spot. For the next song he kept them on stage and asked for a bass player. Tyler stepped up and they rocked out a fun version of Rhiannon.
Next it was time for Swale’s second set. Ryan and Joe left the stage, then Jeremy Frederick headed back to the drum kit and Eric Olsen grabbed his guitar. They kicked things off with You Are Not The Photograph and got the audience rocking. Joyless started slow and ended heavy. Jack Sharp rocked hard and fast. Edible suffered from some guitar technical difficulties, but they held it together pretty well and it was neat to hear the clarity of the other instruments on the song, at least until the guitar came back and rocked us hard. Amanda took lead vocals on the next one and stood on her keyboard seat to belt it out. I’m not sure what song it was, I think Rebel Girl was the overall theme, but it was stunning. She has such a powerful voice and really let loose on that one. Golden Crutch slowed things down a tiny amount then they finished off with the heavy rocking one two punch of Popular Crowd into Everyone Likes To. Wow, that was a wonderfully large amount of Swale.
The evening was not done as some people headed out, and some of the younger people that had been hanging outside, headed in. After a 20 minute changeover And The Kids hit the stage with a beautiful version of The Victory. They are great musicians, it’s fun to be in the audience when they play, and I love the lyric saying ‘maybe we’re not crazy we just have lots of ideas’. Several members of the audience had similar face glitter to the band and on the second song, Cats Were Born, when it hit the Ah-eeeee, Ah-eeeee, ha, ha, ha part, the audience drowned out the band. It felt like a movement was in progress, and that the band really have something going on. They kept us dancing through the 40 minute set with great versions of No Countries, Wiser and a few others. They wrapped the night at 12:30 with Secret Makeup Factory and that was that.
I headed out soon after and took the blissful walk home with a heart full of the joy that was expressed all night long.


Radio Bean Birthday Party part 2, November 2, 2013   1 comment

I had a great time at Radio Bean last night (and morning and afternoon…). Work was just slow enough, that I was able to get out early. I talked Christopher Larrow into heading down, and we arrived just before 5pm. I did not have any grasp on what band was scheduled to play when, so I just went with it, and let the schedule play out.

When we arrived a middle-eastern group were playing. They sounded nice, but I did not catch their name.

Tango Sessions followed. They were a man on accordion and a woman on violin collectively called Lotango. For the first song there were a few people who got up and danced the tango, but they just let the band play for the other two. It wasn’t exciting to me, but it’s fun to get out of your usual head-space and listen to different music now and then.

Maryse Smith followed, playing a gentle guitar and singing stirringly poignant lyrics. Unfortunately, the room was very loud, with people talking and noisy coffee drinks being made. She struggled through it like a trooper, but the audience missed out on a lot by not listening. Things quieted for her fourth song, and Baby rang true and clear. The timekeeper said she could play a fifth song, and that one was really good too. She had to struggle for the first three, hopefully she caught a few people, if they listened to the last two.

Next up was a woman with a 78 turntable, and a regular turntable, called The Spinstress. She mixed something that sounded like songs from the ’30’s with some effects. At times it had the effect of disembodied voices talking over enchanted music. It was cool for a while, but with the band setting up behind her, I was itching to rock.

The Cave Bees followed with a blisteringly loud and fast set. The glorious punk rock filled my soul with joy. They opened with Sweet Pussy, then played a new one. I think the next one was 22R, then there were two more new ones, the first of which was Juliet. I’ve only heard the new ones a few times, over long periods of time, but they sound great and hopefully they will be recorded sooner than later. The Bees were a blast, as always, and they had me dancing hard for every moment.

Ryan Miller followed, solo, with a song on electric guitar. It started with the character being born in 1935 and recording milestones over their life. For his second song, he sat at the electric piano and played a beautiful song. He switched back to the electric for his third song and had Joe Adler sit in on drums. It had an indie rock joy to it, and made me with Rebekah Whitehurst was still there and sitting in on bass. Joe left the stage and Ryan finished the set on guitar with an ultra-cool Femme Fatale.

Next up, the stage was filled with beautiful and super-talented women. Steady Betty played some very tight rock steady music. It was very easy to groove to and all four singers created a wonderful effect. They sang Butterflies, Forget About Tomorrow Love Me Today, Neighborhood, the song with the la la la la part, and then wrapped up with Ghetto.

Ryan Ober followed with his voice and acoustic guitar. The first song was very passionate indie rock pop song. It was very engaging and had me captivated from the first note. The second was equally good and he got the audience singing a tiny amount on Valerie. He’s so talented and his songs are very well crafted.

Greg Nixon And His Hobo Friend came on next. Dressed as hobos, they burst through the front doors and fell on the floor. The got up and set up a “campfire” (lights and paper that made a nice fire effect), handed out sticks to those of us in front, and placed marshmallows on them. As we “toasted” the marshmallows, they told stories of the 13 years of the Bean’s history. It was a good time, and brought into focus, what the day was all about.

Up next was a guy on acoustic guitar named Sean (Hood?). He played very gently and delicately. His two songs were very touching. I don’t know how it translated to the rest of the room, but I was close enough to catch every moment, and it was really good.

Kat Wright and Brett Hughes followed with a couple of songs. Their voices sound so nice together, and he played some solid country guitar. Windy Pines was sweet as always and God Gave Us A Heart To Forgive had the good advice that Kat promised.

She left the stage and Brett was joined by Tyler Bolles, Marie Claire Johnson, and the rest of the Honky Tonk Tuesday group. The set began with a killer note shared between the pedal steel and Marie’s keys that opened a path into the song. The uptempo honky tonk was fun and boisterous. Marie sang her heart out for the second song and returned to the keys for the third. There was a great interplay between keys and the pedal steel all through the set. A guy named Eugene came up and sang the fourth song and Brett took the vocals for the fifth. While not my cup of tea, they were really fun to listen to for a few songs.

Well, that’s about half of what happened yesterday afternoon and early evening. It’s time to head to work, so I will write up the rest later.