I say it every year, but the South End Art Hop, specifically the opening Friday, is on my short list of favorite annual local happenings. Although, given the recent success of newer events such as the Precipice and Waking Windows, said list isn’t quite as short as it once was. And that’s not even considering another newish entrant, Grand Point North, which we’ll delve into in full detail next week.
But Art Hop holds a special place in my heart. While I can appreciate visual arts, I don’t consider myself to be particularly savvy about them. But there’s something about the collision of mediums and the atmosphere that artistic commingling creates that makes going to see music in galleries, shops and parking lots along Pine Street something close to magical. And I suspect this year will be no different.
Frankly, there’s too much going on in Burlington’s South End this Friday, September 6, to fit in one li’l column. Pretty much anywhere you are, you’ll be within spitting distance of some cool band or DJ. And, really, half of the fun of Art Hop is, well, hopping around and discovering things as you go. But I feel compelled to draw your attention to a few performances that night.
Starting at the south end of the South End, we begin at Angioplasty Studio, the physical home of Angioplasty Media, located behind the Switchback brewery off Flynn Avenue. Nick Mavadones and crew have been hosting occasional under-the-radar shows at the cozy space for exactly one year — their debut party was last year’s Art Hop. So they’re celebrating that anniversary in style by hosting the release party for tooth ache.’s re-recorded full-length debut Flash & Yearn, released on vinyl last Tuesday, September 3, via Feeding Tube Records. Interestingly, the local synthstress originally self-released that album in 2011. But tooth ache. — aka Alexandria Hall — re-recorded the record with Ryan Power for its re-release on FTR. Why? The guess here is that she wasn’t happy with the lo-fi sound quality. That, or because it’s now illegal for any indie artist in Burlington to make a record without Ryan Power. (I’m joking … I think.)
Anyway, we’re really looking forward to re-hearing the record. And, in addition to Hall, the Angioplasty party will also feature sets by Parmaga, DJ Disco Phantom, Devil in the Woods, LOLO and Lykemusik Mit Andre, among others.
Speaking of new records, the boys from Dino Bravo were kind enough to send along a rough cut of a track called “Chuck Berry” from their forthcoming debut EP. And it rawks. It’s been a quiet summer for DB for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was parting ways with drummer Mike Cattie — they recorded the EP with Blue Button’s Frankie Zee on skins. So it’s nice to see some signs of life from the band. As they’re still searching for a full-time drummer, DB are not back on a regular gig schedule yet. But you can catch them playing an early set at Alley Cats — formerly the Green Door Studio, at the back of the Howard Space — with Mike Labita filling in on drums.
(As an aside, does anyone else remember the bar Alley Cats? It was a truly remarkable dive on the corner of King and South Champlain streets in Burlington, and the just the sort of place you’d find a band like Dino Bravo, whether they were playing it or not. Ah, memories … or lack thereof.)
Moving on, the annual Art Hop bash at Speaking Volumes is always a marquee event. This year it was supposed to double as a going-away party for shop owner Norbert Ender, who had announced the sale of his business earlier this summer. But the sale fell through, and Ender is still holding down the fort at SV for the time being. However, the uncertainty surrounding the future of the shop means that Ender is scrambling to assemble his lineup. In a recent phone call, he assures 7D that the show will go on. He’s just not sure with whom. But given SV’s reputation for throwing great parties, I’m not worried.
A few doors down at Black Horse Fine Art Supply, EDM promoter Nexus Artist Management is throwing a benefit for DJ A-Dog, who is still fighting the good fight in his battle against leukemia. There will be a silent auction (see State of the Arts about that), as well as a slew of music from the DJs/crews Bonjour-Hi!, Dakota, Mashtodon, 2K Deep and NA’s Justin REM and Chris Pattison, as well as MC T-Noonz and rockers Vedora.
Right next door, DJ Craig Mitchell will be spinning for Seven Days’ own party under a tent in the Curtis Lumber parking lot.
Finally, the most buzzed-about event will likely be the grand opening of the new ArtsRiot studio and café in the old Fresh Market space. The lineup begins with “cosmic Americana” stalwarts Red Hot Juba, continues with a pair of DJ sets sandwiching a set by ambient rock duo Errands before local sons of Death, Rough Francis — who, full disclosure, feature 7D designer Bobby Hackney on lead vocals — christen the painstakingly remodeled space by blowing its friggin’ doors off.
For more on this year’s Art Hop, visit seaba.com. Or just show up and poke around.
Once your Art Hop hangover subsides — especially if you didn’t get tickets for Strut, the fashion show — I recommend heading over to the Porter Farm in Cambridge on Saturday, September 7, for the third annual Cambridge Music Festival. This year’s lineup features a nifty blend of local and regional talent, including Josh Panda and the Hot Damned, Funkwagon, Wolfman Conspiracy, and Haley Jane and the Primates, among many others. For the full lineup and more details, check out cambridgemusicfestival.com.
Local music fans know that Anaïs Mitchell is a gifted storyteller. It’s safe to say she comes by it honestly, as her father, Don Mitchell, is a writing prof at Middlebury College and has a new book out via Chelsea Green Publishing called Flying Blind: One Man’s Adventures Battling Buckthorn, Making Peace With Authority, and Creating a Home for Endangered Bats. In a recent email to 7D, Anaïs writes that the book is partially about her father’s experiences creating a habitat for bats on the Mitchell family farm, but is also a memoir of sorts. She adds that dear ol’ dad quotes from some of her songs in the book that touch on similar themes. Care to guess where this is going?
Don Mitchell is reading from those passages at a launch party for Flying Blind at the Intervale Center in Burlington this Sunday, September 8. He’ll be joined by his daughter, who will be performing those songs in tandem with each passage. The event is free, but space is limited, so if you’d like to attend, register at flyingblind.eventbrite.com.
Local metal chaps Amadis will be on hiatus soon, as guitarist Chaim Rochester is set to move to California. The band plays its last show with the original lineup for the foreseeable future this Sunday, September 8, at Radio Bean — it will also be their first in street clothes, as opposed to the afore-hinted leather chaps. In a recent email, guitarist Franky Andreas writes that Amadis are not breaking up, but “doing the long-distance thing for a while.” He adds that the band will be focusing on recording in the short term and hopes to get back to playing more all-ages shows, as opposed to the “NC-17” version of the band, since, “Honestly, playing heavy metal is all about reaching out to kids and young adults.” And also assless chaps.
Last but not least, the Lynguistic Civilians are set to release their new album this Thursday, September 5, at Nectar’s. I haven’t heard it yet, so I can’t offer any insight. But given that the LCs have been one of the most dependably excellent local acts around for the last few years, I’m betting it’s a good one. The album will be available at the show on keychain flash drives, and online thereafter.
A peek at what was on my iPod, turntable, eight-track player, etc., this week.
John Grant, Pale Green Ghosts
Washed Out, Paracosm
Zola Jesus, Versions
Heathered Pearls, Loyal
Dean Martin, The Nashville Sessions
The original print version of this article was headlined "Hopped Up."