- Courtesy Photo
- Daniel Bernard Roumain
Singing in the Rain?
Who's feeling protest-y? Anyone? Because you have the chance to make your voice heard in a special collaboration with multidisciplinary artist, composer and musician Daniel Bernard Roumain. Also known as DBR, the violinist will become something of a fixture in Burlington over the next several months. In association with the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Vermont's Lane Series and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, DBR plans to conduct five weeklong residencies between now and May, one of which includes a spectacular feat of endurance.
Much of DBR's work examines politically charged moments from history, such as the 1985 bombing of West Philadelphia black liberation group MOVE's headquarters and the ongoing incarceration of young black boys. In protest of what he sees as unfair immigration practices on behalf of the United States government, DBR will stage a 24-hour musical protest from noon on Thursday, October 24, to noon on Friday, October 25. He'll set up shop on Church Street, directly in front of city hall. And he's looking for local artists to help.
Here's what you need to know, according to a press release issued by the Flynn: DBR is seeking collaborators to join him in 30-minute slots throughout his marathon performance. All acts must be low-tech, so this probably isn't a good time to bring your expansive pedal board and multitier synthesizer collection. Keep it simple with an acoustic guitar or other such unamplified instruments.
Entrants practicing any and all art forms, regardless of age and ability, are welcome to apply. The entry form, available at flynntix.org/calendar, denotes two-hour blocks of availability. Potential collaborators can select a time when they're available. Time slots will be announced by Monday, October 21, so make sure to fill out that form ASAP.
Let's hope the weather cooperates!
Singing in Vain
Karaoke at the St. John's Club is legendary. Historically, the private lakeside social club in Burlington's South End has opened its doors to the public on Fridays for sing-along shenanigans. But if you stopped by on any of the last several Fridays, you may have noticed a DJ, not karaoke, providing entertainment for the club's customers.
"A lot of our members wanted a dance party," says bar manager Ken Ploof. "We tried it for a couple of weeks, and it wasn't a big show. Now they can't say we didn't try it."
Indeed, it wasn't a big show on a recent Friday. Rather than dancing to redundant Lady Gaga remixes — because Gaga's music is dance-y enough as it is, thank you very much — attendees seemed pretty miffed that karaoke wasn't happening.
But have no fear! Back by popular demand, karaoke returns to the St. John's Club on Friday, October 4. What are you going to sing? Dibs on Three Dog Night's "Never Been to Spain."
Singing of Pain
- Courtesy Photo
- Matt the Gnat and the Gators
October is basically like the Christmas season for horror enthusiasts such as Matt Hagen. One of the Burlington scene's biggest junkies of the macabre, he recently announced a weekly, monthlong residency at the Light Club Lamp Shop called A Matt Hagen Shocktober Series. It begins on Thursday, October 3, and concludes on October 31, aka Halloween.
Each Thursday, the singer-songwriter (and member of Seven Days' circulation team) presents a different horrifying show. He kicks things off with Matt Hagen's Murder Ballads, a collection of grisly tales of "murder, revenge or [the] paranormal," he writes in an email.
On October 10, he and his Local Dork co-DJ Bob Wagner (Kat Wright, Mosaic) team up for BRaiNSCaPes, an improvisational excursion to the outer limits of space and time. The theme of his October 17 date is perhaps the most out there. It's dubbed Angel Bones and the Filthy Fist, and he partners with Touchpants' Chris Friday, as well as cellist Lauren Costello, or ouzkxqlzn, as she's known professionally.
"Angel Bones is a two-dimensional, masked, horror-inspired alter ego on guitar and drill," Hagen continues. Whatever that means. It sounds more experiential and not easily summarized. During the set, Friday will read selections from David Lynch's 1980 masterpiece, The Elephant Man.
On October 24, Hagen unveils yet another identity: Matt the Gnat and the Gators. Not entirely dissimilar to his murder ballads set, Matt the Gnat and the Gators is a narrative-noir act featuring songs about all sorts of blackhearted folks. The night also features Miss Saxy — aka saxophonist Caroline O'Connor.
Finally, he wraps up the frightening affair with Surf Sabbath on Halloween, a surf-rock tribute to Black Sabbath.
We'll have more horrific happenings to tell you about throughout October.
Singing in Twain
Two new music series arrive in central Vermont on Thursday. The first is a partnership of Waterbury's Zenbarn and the Berklee College of Music's American Roots Music Program, which examines rural music from the first half of the 1900s.
The weekly showcase features established artists such as mandolinist and luthier Matt Flinner, who performs on Thursday, as well as up-and-coming local bluegrass and folk artists.
"It's a unique partnership that will enable us to leverage the incredible talent and network at Berklee to bring a rotating cast of some of the best musicians in the country to our little town," Zenbarn co-owner Noah Fishman writes in a press release.
Meanwhile, in Montpelier, laughs and grooves collide at Rabble-Rouser for a new monthly event called Comedy & Jazz: A Rat-Packish Rabblin' Good Time. Vermont's Funniest Comedian 2016, Kathleen Kanz, hosts the swingin' affair. A rotating cast of comics will take the mic between short sets from Vermont's hottest hepcats. The inaugural event features music from Z-Jaz.
If I were a superhero, my superpower would be the ability to get songs stuck in other people's heads. Here are five songs that have been stuck in my head this week. May they also get stuck in yours. Follow sevendaysvt on Spotify for weekly playlists with tunes by artists featured in the music section.
Austra, "Beat and the Pulse"
Electric Guest, "Play With Me"
Kimbra, "Settle Down"
Morcheeba, "Daylight Robbery"