For once, the rampant rumors are true. Suspect speculation is dead on. Frustrating falsehoods are, in fact, fact.
Radio Bean is blowin’ up.
In what is possibly the worst-kept secret since The Bakery was a “secret” venue, Bean owner Lee Anderson has confirmed that he has actually signed a lease to take over the adjacent space vacated by New World Tortilla and will begin the process of expanding his cozy java joint as early as April 1. And no, this isn’t an April Fool’s Day prank.
When all is said and done — target date is June 1 — the Bean will have more than doubled its square footage and, potentially, its capacity, which I believe is currently somewhere around six patrons. I could be wrong about that, though.
The new space will boast a slightly different feel from the original coffee shop, as well as an expanded food menu — see Suzanne Podhaizer’s “Side Dishes” column for more info. And — drum roll, please — it will have a different name: ¡Duino! (Duende). In other news, I just learned how to type an inverted exclamation point. Neat¡
Rumors of the Bean’s imminent expansion have been floating around virtually since the shop opened — remember when it was supposed to take over Lovely Nails? So the news that it’s finally happening is certainly cause for celebration. Like, perhaps this Saturday, when The Fatal Flaws welcome Rutland’s Los Microbios for the April installment of their monthly Foofarawk series. Or maybe shortly after that, when local rockers The Shandies, Sons of Dawn and The Toes take the stage. Just a thought.
JAPHY RYDES AGAIN!
Fans were bummed when Japhy Ryder guitarist and founding member Jeremy Kizina left the band earlier this year. His departure was viewed as a potentially fatal blow, alarming the local-music scene at large that it might be losing one of its more promising acts. The word “hiatus” tends to do that.
According to an email from bassist Pat Ormiston, the remaining members went through a particularly rough stretch, during which they were forced to reevaluate their direction and figure out what the next step would be. That’s a tough spot to be in, particularly given the band’s success on the heels of their excellent 2008 album, No Consequence.
I’m pleased to report that Stacked front man Zack Dupont has stepped up to the plate and signed on as the group’s new axe man. Japhy also added percussionist Joshua Pfeil of Pulse Prophets and Casual Fiasco renown, rounding out what promises to be a wholly revitalized outfit. This Saturday the band takes the stage at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge with Boston’s Otis Grove and Philly-based free-funk quintet Bodega. However, fans will have to wait just a little bit longer to catch Japhy 2.0 — with apologies to Phish 3.0 — in its full glory, as Pfeil is previously booked with Pulse Prophets that night. Gravel’s Matt Deluca will pinch on percussion in his stead. So, Japhy 1.5, perhaps?
In all seriousness, it’s good to have you back, boys.
This just in from Blood Island, which I believe is somewhere near Grand Isle: Experimental-art-noise-karaoke-indie-other-robot-pop darlings Nose Bleed Island have just released the follow-up to their incredible 2007 effort, More Tales From the Blood Island. Entitled Opposite Hitler Mustache, the new disc has — count ’em — 27 songs. Epic.
The obvious question is, of course, is it any good? The answer: I have no idea. The band is choosing not to submit the CD for review (can you do that?), so I haven’t heard it. But based on the strength of their last album, I’m guessing it is. Plus, word on the street is that the band actually learned how to play instruments for this record. How novel!
This Friday the band celebrates the release of the new album with a show at The Bakery on North Winooski Ave. in Burlington. Ryan Power, Missy Bly, tooth ache., and Lawrence Welks & Our Bear to Cross round out the bill.
Few things bring a smile to my face more quickly than seeing a local band tabbed to open for an established national act. For my money, it can’t happen often enough; there just isn’t a better way for local favorites to get exposure to larger audiences than sharing a bill with a guaranteed draw. So I’m excited to note that, this Monday, local indie-rock up-and-comers Villanelles will rock out with carnival-punk orchestra World/Inferno Friendship Society at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge.
I first caught Villanelles a little over a year ago opening for the Queen City’s reigning indie-pop heroes In Memory of Pluto at Radio Bean. In a review of the show, I noted that the band, though still a little rough around the edges, fairly teemed with potential. According to numerous whispers around town — and backed up by the free recorded material on the band’s website and a recent appearance on Rebecca Kopycinksi’s (a.k.a. Nuda Veritas) local-music show, “Burly Song,” on VCAM — it appears I was right. Hey, it happens occasionally.
In the last year, Villanelles have truly refined their sound and become legitimate rising stars on the local scene. Man, I love to say, “I told you so.”
As much fun as Villanelles’ HG show promises to be, they’ll have some stiff competition, especially for a Monday night. In case you hadn’t heard, Wu Tang Clan’s GZA will be appearing the same evening at Club Metronome. If you’re unfamiliar with GZA … well, you really need to get out more. Dude is hip-hop royalty. On a related note, the following evening, local hip-hop mogul BURNTmd — note the moniker adjustment — will join GZA onstage in Portland, Maine.
Speaking of hip-hop, this Thursday Lotus Entertainment presents super-producer Mark Ronson’s latest hip-hop protégé, Wale, at UVM’s Ira Allen Chapel with legendary go-go band UCB. For the hopelessly un-hip, here’s what Rolling Stone had to say regarding Wale: “more crossover appeal than weed.” That should play well at groovy uvee, no?
In non-weed related news — presumably, anyway — spring has sprung, which can only mean it is time for the seventh annual “Spring Fever Reliever” Cancer Patient Support Program benefit show with Bill Kirchen and Starline Rhythm Boys. You know it. You love it. It’s for a great cause. So be there this Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel in Burlington. Northampton honky-tonk trio Girl Howdy (who also play Montpelier’s Langdon Street Café this Friday) and Vermont’s own Elisabeth von Trapp open the show.