Perhaps you noticed there was no new issue of Seven Days this morning. Sorry 'bout that. But our last edition, which sneakily hit newsstands on 12/29 — a Tuesday!?! — was a double issue, covering last week and this one. Even crazier, that entire paper was written in mid-December, a good week-and-a-half before it was released.
As we do every year, we did our best to cram as much info as possible into that paper, in hopes of lessening the undoubtedly crippling statewide impact of a week with no new 7D. But despite our best efforts, certain things simply did not become aware to us until well after we had gone to press. For instance, there were a number of club listings that came in past deadline and were not printed. Though in fairness, it's awfully ambitious to hope every venue will have their schedules set in stone roughly a month in advance merely to suit our needs. Also, given that the 12/29 SoundBites column was devoted almost exclusively to New Year's Eve happenings, a smattering of shows occurring this weekend were left uncovered.
So with that in mind, here is a quick hit, BiteTorrent-styled version of the column that coulda, shoulda, woulda appeared today.
We begin our journey in the heart of Little Williamsburgh with a Friday night show at The Monkey House featuring two Burlington Rock City stalwarts, The Smittens and Swale, and the dynamic — and impossibly cute — DJing duo of Ted and Tay. I'll go out on a limb and guess that I don't need to tell most of you why you should check out The Smittens or Swale. And if you really don't know why … well, I hope you've awoken from your decade-long coma with second sight like Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone. Welcome back to the world!
Instead, I'd like to pose the question of whether we should be referring to Winooski as "Little Williamsburgh" or "New Williamsburgh," as I've heard the Shelbyvillian enclave referred to by both nickname permutations recently. And yes, we are entirely disregarding the notion that we just stick with "The Onion City." That's so 2009.
Given that more and more young(ish) and artsy(ish) folks continue fleeing to the 'Noosk as they are priced out of Burlington, and that the city boasts arguably the area's hippest local music night spot (that would be the Monkey) as well as a bevy of good, cheap(ish) eats (Tiny Thai, Sneakers, Pho Dang) and nifty dive bars (O'Brien's, McKee's, 138 Main), the comparison is relatively appropriate. What's more, if you've spent any time in Billyburgh lately and wandered along the riverfront, you may have noticed the startling number of largely vacant and uniformly hideous condos that sprang up and were then virtually abandoned mid-construction when the economy crashed. Place feels like a postmodern ghost town. I'm not sure why I mentioned that … ahem.
Anyway, if you need another reason to catch this show, allow me to offer this: The Smittens will be selling brand spanking new handbags! No, really. To borrow a phrase … Yow!
Moving on, there is nothing happening at Higher Ground this week. Like, really nothing.
Langdon Street Café has a solid weekend lined up with Americana up-and-comers Dixie Red Delights on Friday, Vorcza on Saturday and two nifty afternoon shows on Sunday: Philly songstress Suzie Brown, followed by North Countrypolitan duo Highway Bar Music.
Kids like the rock music. And the ska. And Saturday's throwdown at 242 Main features a couple of bands representing the best and brightest of Vermont's next generation in both genres: Vergennes-based rude boys (and girls) Busted Brix and Bristol's Gang of Thieves (who really impressed winning the recent Summit School Battle of the Bands), as well as two bands with whom I am as yet unfamiliar, Sixty Seconds and Number One Dad.
The fine folks over at The Skinny Pancake (Burlington location) seem really excited about Thursday's show with Boston songwriter Abbie Barrett. I'm not terribly familiar, but you can check her out here.
And last, but not least, late Montpeculiar electro-reggae outfit Maddub is back. Sorta. They'll play the greatest bar in the world, Charlie O's, this Friday under a new name, Mad Attack.
Before we go, and entirely unrelated to music of any kind, I'd like to bid a fond farewell to Randy Johnson, who announced his retirement yesterday after 22 seasons in the major leagues. Regular readers know I'm something of a baseball nut — I'm a Sox fan, yes. But more than that, I just love the game. — And for the last two decades Johnson has been arguably the greatest pitcher of his generation. He'll undoubtedly be a first ballot hall of famer and may well go down as one of the five or ten most dominating hurlers of all time. But more than that, Randy Johnson stands alone in the pantheon of people whose given name is actually a funnier euphemism than his nickname, The Big Unit. Oh, and he threw the single craziest pitch ever: