Archive for the ‘Winooski VT’ Tag

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

Phil Yates and the Affiliates with Yurt and 1881 at the Monkey House July 16, 2016   Leave a comment

Yurt at The Monkey House July 16 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Yurt at The Monkey House July 16 2016 pic by Tim Lewis


I had a great time seeing music Saturday night at The Monkey House. It was one of those classic shows where there was one band I knew and loved, one that I was eager to check out and one that I knew nothing about.

It had been a long work day but around 8:30 I took the long walk to Winooski. I arrived just about 9pm and got in and settled. At 9:15 YURT took the stage. They are a quartet from Bozeman Montana and feature Marlo Kapsa on vocals, keys and guitar, Shane Lavers on vocals, guitar, keys, samples and electronic percussion, Crista on bass and Olivia Kesterson on drums. The show began with Marlo singing sweetly and playing keys as the band played low-fi indie rock. She switched to guitar for the second song and that set the tone for the night as she and Shane traded vocals and guitars and keys. All of the songs would fall into a pleasant groove then move to a different rhythm and they were all a beautiful challenge to keep up with. The songs had a simple sound despite the moving complexity and it kept me transfixed. The bass playing had a raw dirty feel and the drumming began the set sounding unassuming but became a powerhouse by the end. The songs began with a low-fi sound but seemed to be more full sounding as the set progressed. Their 10 song 45 minute set was a pure joy and they ended the night with a rhythmic keyboard piece where Shane gave up banging on the keys and banged on one of Olivia’s drums, until the middle of the song where they switched places while continuing to play. I feel richer for being able to hear their music.



1881 at The Monkey House July 16 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

1881 at The Monkey House July 16 2016 pic by Tim Lewis


I have been playing some of 1881s songs on my radio show on WBKM and was really excited to catch them live. They did not disappoint. They hit the stage playing some Beatlesesque pop rock songs and sounded great. I’m not sure who all of the band members are but I think Rob Slater sang and played acoustic guitar, Winfield Holt played electric guitar, they had a bass player, a keyboard player and Seth Gundersen filled in on drums. They played a bunch of hit songs including the delightful Sometime Next Week. I get a Beatles vibe from them but there is a lot more going on too. When they pulled out a cover of All Day And All Of The Night I realized another of their influences. The couple of songs after that departed a bit from their usual sound, and had a more dark and moody feel and I really liked them. They closed the 9 song 45 minute set with a more classic hit pop song and I just loved their set. It will be fun to see where they go as a band.



Phil Yates and the Affiliates  at The Monkey House July 16 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Phil Yates and the Affiliates at The Monkey House July 16 2016 pic by Tim Lewis


There was a super quick changeover then Phil Yates & The Affiliates hit the stage. They were wrapping up a short tour and the band was super tight. Phil Yates sings and plays guitar and has a really nice voice and lovely quirky lyrics. Raph Worrick rocks the bass through all of the fun changes. Jacob Blodgett has a nice touch on the drums and sounds great whether the band is playing a slow song or rocking hard. Kevin Stevens lead guitar playing is sweet and precise and takes the songs in interestingly delightful places. They began the set with a fast and rocking version of Burn Burn Burn. They eased back a bit for Masterpiece then played the fun new song My Favorite Bag. It’s very catchy, but that can be said for so many of Phil’s songs. The pace kicked back into overdrive for a blistering Little French Earthquakes. They eased back a bit for another new song that Phil said had allusions to Elliot Smith. The rock picked up with Might As Well Settle and then they eased back a little with She Has Your Name. Teeth Or Pedal followed and has a fun riff. Co-Pilot sounded great as did I Am A Hatchet. They kicked back into high gear for a ripping Burn It Down Bernadette and kept rocking hard with Ninja’s VS Zombies. They closed the 13 song hour long set with a cover of The Replacements song I Will dare and fun was had by all.

I hung out and chatted for a bit, but soon took the long walk home. I was pretty drained but elated to realize how much great music is out there.



Phil Yates and the Affiliates  at The Monkey House July 16 2016 pic by Tim Lewis  2

Phil Yates and the Affiliates at The Monkey House July 16 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

Black Rabbit at Four Quarters Brewing in Winooski VT June 11, 2016   1 comment

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis  1

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 1

I had a great time seeing music last night at Four Quarters Brewing. It had been ages since I’ve caught up with Black Rabbit and had not seen them with their new drummer Trevor Jewett. It’s always a bit scary when a favorite band looses an amazing drummer like Jane Boxall Percussion, but I had faith and happily headed to the show.

I arrived around 6:30 and hung out and chatted with the band for a bit and tried the brewery’s ginger Saison that had been aged in gin barrels. It was pretty good but came in a small glass. I was about to get another beer as the band got ready to start, but the line was long so I opted for the music instead. That turned out well.

The brewery is a ways down West Canal St in Winooski. The small stage sits right outside the front door of the tasting room and the courtyard has a few tables. Fortunately, they had umbrellas, since it was a rainy day. Luckily, there was only a couple of minutes where it really came down and that was before the band started. A light mist was falling for much of the show, but that was easy enough to deal with.

I stood in front of Black Rabbit as they began with a rocking version of Mark My Words. They played a pretty good version and Marc Scarano had a really cool JFK whisper. They followed with a great older song, Neighborhood, and the band started to lock in. The band are a trio with guitar/vocals, bass and drums. They play loud fast garage rock with their own unique pace and styling. The songs are fast and joyous and good and loud. A couple of the younger kids at the show through it was too loud at the beginning, but were won over by the end. There were a couple of dozen people coming and going and many of them hung out for the music. Rabbit really locked in as they moved into Nikki Says. Darlene Scarano‘s bass has some great lines and Trevor’s drumming kept the pace perfectly and he threw in plenty of fills to keep the listener interested. I was happily impressed as the band moved into a rocking version of the Invisibles. It’s Cold doesn’t usually come out in summer but seemed mildly appropriate yesterday. Rejected was fun and rocked hard, then they went back to the first EP for 89. I love that song. Up next they rocked the Black Cat and Marc had some nice guitar runs in the end section. Sayonara followed and Trevor did a nice job on the fiddly bits in the breakdown section. I was happy. Up next, Marc put down the regular Gibson and picked up the Flying V. Songs like Tarpaulin and Neutrino were great and the latter was a nod to the great Papa Neutrino. Up next was a new unnamed song. I loved it and it rocked hard and I think Marc has at least two more new ones on their way. They capped set one with a fun version of Rotten Egg.

I wandered inside and got a Sundog IPA . It was tasty but definitely one to slow sip. I made it a third of the way into the beer when the band began set 2. It was surprisingly stressful to hold a delicate glass while standing on pavement with lots of kids running around fast and close. I put some effort into drinking it quick. The second set featured more Rabbit songs like The Original Original and Tibbar Tibbar but also featured some fun covers. I could barely believe my ears when they pulled out So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star and played it as a glorious punk song. It was just magnificent, both in conception and execution. They followed with an optimistic Blue Sky which was kind of cool to hear outside on a gray day. Up next was a great cover of Chinese Rock. They dug deeper into the Red Flannel Hash album with BS Passes, Double Line and Too Good. They went back to Lipstick And Dynamite for a smoking version of Carnage, then ended the night with a trio of covers. Husker Du’s What’s Going On was really cool. New Rose rocked hard and the closed the night with a rousing Teenagers From Mars.

After they wrapped up I said a couple of quick goodbyes and took the long walk home. It had been a while since I had seen a good punk band to get me going and I was elated to catch so many Rabbit songs. I think they played 30 songs over the course of two hours. It was everything I could have hoped for.

The walk home was easy but was made a little brighter when I saw my first fireflies of the year. Even if it’s a little cold and gray, summer is here and bands like Black Rabbit are filling it with rocking music.


Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis  2

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis  3

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 3

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis  4

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 4

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis  5

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 5

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis  6

Black Rabbit at Four Quartrs Brewing in Winooski June 11, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 6

The Path, Better Things, Slingshot Dakota, and Tyler Daniel Bean at The Monkey House May 10, 2016   Leave a comment

The Path at The Monkey House May 10, 2016

The Path at The Monkey House May 10, 2016

I had a great time seeing music last week The Monkey House. I got out of work at 6, stopped home for a quick bite to eat then took the lovely walk to Winooski. There were quite a few people hanging out as I settled in. It was not a long wait until The Path hit the stage. With two guitar players, a bass player, drummer and a singer, they played some very intense hardcore punk. They opened with an instrumental and laid down a heavy groove. At the first chance they had to either keep it going or kick it another direction, they let it move in a new way. I could tell right away that this was going to be an exceptional band. The singer joined on the next song and he screamed the vocals with punk fury. The show was short but every song was powerful and fun. The singer described them in between songs and someone in the audience mentioned that there was no way to tell what the words were. Someone from the stage said they were in the band and didn’t know what the lyrics were. Someone from the audience asked them to turn up the lyrics. The band just soldiered on with blistering classic song after song, until they called it a night. It was a truly great half hour, or so, of music.

Better Things at The Monkey House May 10 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Better Things at The Monkey House May 10 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

After a bit of a break Better Things hit the stage. Their well crafted indie rock songs rock hard and were lots of fun. They play as a four-piece with two guitar/singers, bass and drums. The vocals have a nice melodic blend and the songs move nicely at a brisk pace. I did not know any of the songs that they played, but have since purchased the new song “Stick That In Your Juicebox and Sip It” and have enjoyed the video. I really enjoyed their set and must see them more often.

Slingshot Dakota at the Monkey House May 10 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Slingshot Dakota at the Monkey House May 10 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Up next Slingshot Dakota took the stage. They are just a drums and keys/vocals duo but put our a tremendous sound and a ton of energy in a short time. They opened with the great new song Paycheck from their wonderful new album Break. The song is sweet and passionate and has nice changes and has had me humming it for weeks. They stayed with the new album for most of the show with great versions of Monocacy, Doreen and You. They tossed in a couple from the previous album Dark Hearts. I loved every twist and turn in the music and every ear-splitting note. Tom Patterson is a bombastic drummer and Carly Comando belts out the songs with her voice and fills the room with delightful and earth-shattering keys. The sound is huge and loud and has a beautiful melodic flow. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Slingshot. Again, their set was really short, but was so incredibly sweet.

Tyler Daniel Bean at The Monkey House May 10 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Tyler Daniel Bean at The Monkey House May 10 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

At that point I was getting tired but had enough left to hang out for the last band, Tyler Daniel Bean. The last time I saw him he played solo acoustic, but this time he had a full band. He played guitar and sang and was joined by another guitarist, bassist and drummer. They played cool indie rock songs that I really enjoyed. The band were really good but the drummer was outstanding. I really enjoyed his performance for the short and fun show.

After they wrapped up I said a quick goodbye to Carly and bought a shirt since supporting bands who travel is an important thing. The long walk home was filled with joy and lovely memories of great music.


Joey Pizza Slice, PC Worship, Guerrilla Toss, and And The Kids at The Monkey House September 22, 2014   Leave a comment

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis


I had a good time seeing music Monday night at The Monkey House. I was on the fence about going, but love the music of And The Kids, so around 8:30 I took the long walk to Winooski. The show was set to start at 8:30, but it was 9:10 when the musicians began to arrive, and turn the empty stage into a rock zone. It was 9:42 when Joey Pizza Slice took the stage and began to croon Moon River. He followed with a set of low-fi indie oddness that has been his trademark for years. A heavily distorted guitar and mic loosed his songs on the appreciative audience. He returned to the crooning for a bit with You Only Live Twice, but most of the show was his own stuff. He wrapped it up at 10:05 and DJ L’Enfant Sauvage played some obscure songs on LP’s and 45’s.

At 10:25 PC Worship hit the stage with a steady barrage of of sludgy metal. The two electric guitars, bass, drum band started with a swirl of chaos but settled into a groove. They stayed locked in on each song, and the only change in melody was brought out in the vocal lines. The music was heavy, rhythmic, and primal. The was almost no cymbal playing or lead guitar playing, just a river of heavy rock. The woman on drums pounded them with an elated fury. One of the guitar players picked up the sax for the last song, and they wrapped up about 11:00. I had a good time rocking in the groove they made.

The DJ came back for a few more songs, and I though And The Kids would follow, but Guerrilla Toss set up next. They hit the stage at 11:25 and played an intense 25 minute set. The singer shouted the lyrics and both she and the bass player spent the show in front of the stage. The guitar, drum, and keyboard players held fort on the stage as glowsticks were thrown to the audience. Their sound was kind of like a heavy fast Beastie Boys. They rocked us hard and we had a great time.

After they wrapped up, DJ Disco Phantom laid down some songs as the final band set their stage. And The Kids went on at 12:20 and the majority of the audience had stayed and were happily rocking out. They played great versions of Wiser and Cats Were Born and their songs were like a shimmering light after all of the heaviness. The singer, Hannah, dropped a great line about being honored to open for Guerilla Toss who just played before us. Their 33 minute set was pure bliss and made every effort that I put in to get there, completely worth it. As the last note faded, so did I. The walk home was quick and filled with joy.


Black Rabbit, Cave Bees, and Shepard’s Pie at the Monkey House September 12, 2014   Leave a comment

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis


I had a great time seeing music last Friday at The Monkey House. I took a bus to Shelburne in the early evening and picked up my brother and a car. Ken and I arrived at the club a bit early and just hung out and chatted with Marc Scarano and Darlene Scarano. After a bit Eric and Nathan Curtis, from work, showed up. It was just after 9:30 when Black Rabbit hit the stage. They came out swinging with a heavy fast version of Mark My Words. I thought Jane Boxall would add a lot to the sound, but her drumming just blew me away. It was like she gave every note it’s own weight and used that to add an extra dimension to the songs. It was almost like seeing them for the first time. They ran through most of Lipstick And Dynamite, and played a few songs from the first EP. They played a couple that are not recorded yet, but are usually in the set. They played a couple that I dd not know, and think were new. They tossed in a Buzzcocks cover just for fun. Darlene’s bass was locked in with Jane for the whole night, and Marc played wicked riffs and solos. They were in top form and I was in heaven. They wrapped the night with Tibbar Tibbar, then a rousing version of Carnage. What can you say when one of your favorite bands just keeps getting better and better?
After a moderate set break, Cave Bees hit the stage with a growl. They were heavy, fast, and loud, and played some classic punk rock. The sound was not great, with vocals and lead guitar mixed down a bit, but there was enough to go along for the ride. They tossed in a couple of new songs, but stuck mostly to their album. It sounds like they will be sticking around for the winter, so I hope to get to see them again in the near future, hopefully with a better sound mix.
After another moderate set break, Shepard’s Pie hit the stage with classic sounding punk rock. The set was all original songs, a couple of which had some fun sing along parts. Lily Sickles attacked her guitar and the band were nimble, fast, and fun. Their set was fairly short, maybe 30 minutes or so, but was nothing but a good time.
After they wrapped up, we said our goodbyes and I drove Ken back to Shelburne. I’m so glad he wanted to come out and see some of the great music we have in our clubs. I will have to put in an effort to get him out to more in the near future.


Phil Yates and the Affiliates, Persian Claws, and Holly Golightly at the Monkey House April 18, 2014   Leave a comment

I had a great time seeing music last Friday at The Monkey House. I got out of work at 7 and the show was set to start at 8:30. I walked in about 8:25 and Phil Yates and the Affiliates were on stage getting set. They started almost exactly on time and played a great mix of the Oh So Sour album and new songs. Their quirky pop was a bit challenging at times but some parts just let loose and rocked. I had ecstatically kept up with the twists and turns and intricate rhythms. The bar was packed and everyone seemed to be having a great time. Late in the set they played an extra rocking version of Might As Well Settle that really lit up the room.

After they finished up there was a long changeover wait until Persian Claws hit the stage. Their super cool sixties spy music mixed with 2014 indie rock went over very well. La Dee danced and sang her heart out and drew the audience in. The bass, drums and keys kept a gorgeous and powerful flow of music going. Bill Mullins jr’s guitar playing was icy cold and stinging at the same time. Their songs are short and sweet and they kept us rocking hard for a half hour or so. They wrapped the set with Flypaper then I Hate Being In Love, and that was that.

I did not know much about headliner Holly Golightly but hung out to listen to their sound. She played acoustic and sang and a guy played guitar and used his feet on a drum. Their songs were stark and acoustic. The lyrics were dark and kind of subversive, so that was fun. Unfortunately, after two killer rock bands, to bring the music intensity so far down, left me a bit anxious. I wanted to keep rocking, and it was not to be. I finished my drink and slipped out the door, for the long walk home. I’m glad I checked out the headliner, but in the end, the two wonderful openers made the night for me.


Ryan Ober & The Loose Ends and Swale at The Monkey House March 29, 2014   Leave a comment

I had a great time seeing music on Saturday. Friday was a long workday followed by a late night show with Vedora. Towards the end of the long workday of Saturday, all of my energy seeped out. I held it together and made it through the end of my shift, which went an extra half hour due to a long last call. I had nothing left, but there was a great show happening, and my focus was still there. I walked out of work and got to a crossroads. I could turn right, take the short walk home, and get some much needed rest, or turn left and head to The Monkey House. I stood there for a minute in complete indecision then took the left. I made good time on the walk and entered with Ryan Ober and the Loose Ends on stage. I settled in and moved up front. The first two songs were well played country songs. The mandolin was nice on the first one, then the player switched to banjo for the second. Jeremy Frederick was super solid on drums, as always, and Creston Lea kept the bass locked in. The keys were mixed down a bit, but added a nice texture. Ryan switched between electric and acoustic guitar and sang nicely. The other guitar player was subtle but stinging. After those two, they played two off kilter pop songs that had a nice range and movement. I perked up and knew I had made the right decision.

Since I arrived so late, the second rock song ended their set. It would have been nice to listen to them a bit longer, but I caught as much as I could. During the break I chatted with Ted Pappadopoulos for a bit, but soon Swale were set up and ready to go. They played a short and rocking set, and I was dancing blissfully. Popular Crowd and Everyone Likes To Fight (I can’t wait to get their new album and find out the real song titles) rocked especially hard, but the whole set was very upbeat. After a few songs something sounded wrong. Amanda’s keyboard had a problem, so for the rest of the set she had to avoid playing an A. It was a challenge but they got through it. Their set was pretty short, but I had fun for every note.

The moment they finished, I checked out and headed home. Padraic Reagan and Paper Castles were set to come on next. I really like their music and seeing them live, but the fumes I had been running on were totally exhausted. I got home around midnight and was well rested for the work day on Sunday. It would have been so easy to skip this show, but I’m really glad I put in the effort. The little bit of music that I caught really meant a lot to me.

Kelly Ravin & Friends, Swale and Vedora at The Monkey House February 22, 204   Leave a comment

I had a great time seeing music last Saturday at The Monkey House. I met up with Christopher Larrow and we arrived at the show with Kelly Ravin and band onstage. He was singing and playing electric and was accompanied by a stand-up bass player and a twangless pedal steel player. I listened to the country song they were playing as I settled in, but the next song had a nice pop sound and some great lyrics, and it just blew me away. They followed with another country song and closed with a rocker that had a slight Floyd vibe. The band were smooth and elegant, and I need to find out what those two songs were!
Nathan Curtis showed up after that and soon Swale took the stage. They started slow and song by song got more rocking. They were going at a good clip, but just dd not take it over the top. They slowed things down for another song or two, then built the rock again. They climbed a little higher, but still not to the heights they can hit. They brought things down almost too much with Old School, then used If You Get Lost to ramp things up. By the end of the set they were in full glorious all out rock mode and I was blissfully happy.
Vedora followed with a solid set of mostly new songs. They tossed in a couple of classics but the new songs took center stage. I’m still getting to know them, and like them a lot. I really liked the set, but it was not quite as dynamic as some of the shows in the past. The new material seems a bit more tightly constructed, and I’m sure I will get used to it soon. They closed with a Matthew Hastings guitar workout on Sober, and that was that.
A band called Great Western Plains, from Maine were set to follow, but I was just drained. I took the easy ride home from Nate and called it a night. I’m bummed I missed the last band, and should have showed up earlier, but I loved what I caught.

Nautica, Black Rabbit, Wolvings, Blue Button and Laureate at The Monkey House February 14, 2014   1 comment

I had a great time seeing music last night at The Monkey House. The theme was anti-Valentine’s Day and the 5 bands rocked loud, fast and hard. I knew from walking home from work that the walking to Winooski would be a bit rough, so I allowed an extra 5 minutes. I walked in just as Nautica were starting to play. I spent the first song settling in and listening from the back. They played high energy rock and roll with some nice melodies. I moved up front for the second song and started to find the groove for their set. The three piece, guitar/vox, bass, drum, played Song 6 second, and it put me in a happy place. Most of the songs in the set will be recorded on the upcoming Winter EP. All of the songs were good, and they and a crazy fun energy. The black X’s on their hands were a testament to their youth, but they had nice poise and have great potential for the future. Their set was short, but lively and the last song rocked just a bit harder than all of the others.
After the set I chatted with Jeff LaBossiere and Phil Yates, but soon it was time for Black Rabbit. They hit the stage with a blistering Mark My Words and played a super tight, very intense set. Marc Scarano‘s guitar playing was stunningly fast, and the band had me rocking hard from first note to last. Tibbar Tibbar and Neutrino sounded great. In the middle of the set they played a song about lust. They followed with Carnage, and commented after that those two were a metaphor for marriage. Darlene Scarano seemed to rock even harder towards the end, and Mark Tomase’s drumming held the careening mass of music together masterfully. At this point, they are completely at the top of their game. They wrapped the set with New Rose and got cheers from the small but mighty crowd.
Wolvings followed with a fun set of heavy indie rock. It wasn’t quite Sabbath, but was heading there, while being quick, nimble and fast. They were as good as all the other times I’ve seen them, and I’ve been trying to get a handle on them for a while. Last night I was toying with the notion that they play anti-pop songs. None of their songs have ever stuck in my head, but every time I hear one of their songs, I really like it. Labels aside, they played their hearts out and rocked the place hard. The only song I caught the title for was Teeth, but I enjoyed every moment of all of the songs that I don’t know. I should go see them more to see if I can fix this.
Up next, a four piece Blue Button hit the stage with a wicked fast new instrumental. Frank was steady and determined on the drums, James Belizia and Eric Olsen swapped bass and guitar, and Jason Cooley played guitar and sang. Their fast heavy punk rock songs had me rocking from start to finish. Jake Styles and Samara Lark Brown were dancing hard for the whole set, but Luke Richer seemed to hang back a bit. My Bitter end rocked hard and highlighted the anti-Valentines Day theme. Hit was fun as always. I think the next one was new and it was really good. Destroying Everything They See was gloriously heavy. How it goes slowed things up a little, but We’re Closed might have been the fastest song played all night. Wow did they tear it up! Another really good new song ended the set, and I was in a complete state of bliss.
Laureate came down from Montreal to close the set. They played as a guitar, bass drums trio, with bassist and guitar player alternating vocals. Again, the music was fast rocking indie but they had a lot going on in the music. They sounded really good but seemed to have a little something missing. Perhaps it was the other guitar player who was not let into the US. Anyway, they rocked hard with what they had, played a nice version of Epic and I had a great time.
All in all, it was a really good night with really good people, playing and enjoying really good, really fast rock and roll. What more can you ask for?