Oh, that wacky Burlington rumor mill. Over the last few months, our ever-productive factory of half-truths, misinformation and outright falsehoods has been working overtime — although, given the economy, it’s nice that someone is getting some OT. Maybe it’s a result of cabin fever, but lately loose lips have been responsible for a slew of doozies almost too numerous to mention: Nectar’s is discontinuing live music (dumb); Dan Bolles is leaving Seven Days (dumber); Phish is getting back together ... oh, wait.
Anyway, last weekend yet another rumor was on the minds and lips of those (sort of) in-the-know, regarding the imminent future of Burlington’s most iconic music venue, Nectar’s. Depending on who you asked, co-owner Damon Brink either disappeared Hoffa-style, fled the country in a hail of screeching tires and bullets, or simply evaporated into the ether. Shocking news in any case, right?
Orrrrr ... maybe the dude just went on a much-needed vacation.
Thanks to some quick reporting by our award-winning food editor Suzanne Podhaizer, Seven Days has learned that the story is this: There is no story ... sort of.
According to co-owner Chris Walsh, “Damon is contemplating some other things, he’s pursuing some other things, and there are some new people who are positioned to buy his shares out. He went down to Jamaica on vacation to kind of clear his head.” Stop the effing presses! Jamaica?!
Walsh went on to say that while nothing is set in stone, Brink’s shares in the club could be bought out by a pair of new investors, possibly by the end of April. Although, as Walsh sagely cautions, “It could drag out to three to six months because of those damned lawyers.”
In the meantime, he’s reassumed management duties and has brought some folks on board to augment the work of talent buyer Alex Budney. Budney, who was rumored to be leaving the club himself, says the new blood has “brought energy into the music side of things; having a budget, going and getting national acts again. It’s really good. We’re excited.”
So are we, Alex.
In other news, The Monkey House is rumored to have begun hiring actual monkeys.
Not all the news coming out of Nectar’s and Club Metronome is of the (mildly) controversial variety. Some if it even pertains to music! I’m as shocked as you are.
This week, the Queen City welcomes back one of its most beloved outfits, The Aztext. Last seen stealing the show at the 7D-sponsored, two-floor What’s Good launch party last September, Pro, Learic and DJ Big Kat have been uncharacteristically quiet of late. Word is they’ve been hard at work on their third album, due out this September. And, no, that’s not a rumor.
According to Pro, the album is shaping up to be their “best work yet,” and finds the talented trio pushing themselves to take bigger risks. Given that each of their two previous outings landed on virtually every local music critic’s best-of lists in their respective release years, that’s saying something.
This Thursday at Club Metronome, The Aztext kick off a regional mini-tour with noted underground MC One Be Lo that will take them to Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Brooklyn.
Speaking of rumors, did you hear that bassist Bryan Dondero left Grace Potter and the Nocturnals? It’s true. In fact, you can read about his take on the whole mess in this very issue. Honestly, it’s a little sticky, so in the meantime let’s focus on the positives. Specifically, his recent collaborations with St. Albans Americana-noir outfit Farm.
Holed up in their infamous “Cave of Legends” the trio-cum-quartet has been feverishly writing and recording a slew of new material, all of which will be unveiled on the April 1 installment of 90.1 FM WRUV’s “Exposure,” an increasingly excellent local live-music show. In fact, as I write this, the band is hunkered down at Egan Media recording the session live.
If you’re just joining us, “Exposure” is no longer recorded and broadcast live at the station’s Davis Center studio at UVM. Instead, bands record (live) at Egan Media prior to broadcast. The result is a vastly improved sound quality, making Wednesday at 8 p.m. “must listen” radio for local music connoisseurs.
A BRIEF PAWS
A couple of weeks ago I reported that local rocker Steph Pappas had set up a donation jar rotating among a number of area businesses to help raise money for the Chittenden County Humane Society. In case you’ve forgotten, the gist is this: Pappas and a few other local artists donate CDs, you donate whatever amount of coin you’re comfortable with and take home some new music. Anyway, I’m happy to report that the project has been a modest success, raising more than $150 thus far.
Admittedly, that’s not a massive windfall, but every little bit helps. And the project seems to have inspired indirect charity, as well. Pappas reports that an anonymous local man recently stumbled across a $100 bill and, remembering the donation jar, donated it to the Humane Society. The jar — and music — will be at the Vermont Sandwich Company on North Winooski Ave., April 1-4, and at Sugar Snap on Riverside Ave., April 5-10.
If that last bit left you feeling uncomfortably warm and fuzzy, I would suggest heading over to the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge this Friday for the Spectacle of Sin: Gothic Fashion Show and S&M Ball. While I won’t delve too deeply into the nefarious nitty-gritties, I will tell you that local metal “chaps” Amadis are worth the price of admission on their own. Although given the theme of the evening, the band’s typically outrageous attire may seem downright prudish by comparison. DJ Tricky Pat closes out the evening.
Burlington is about to get another record store. Remember those? In the iTunes age, it’s a rare treat to read about a record shop that isn’t closing, or at least not struggling, let alone one actually opening. And that’s not even taking into account our current not-so-great depression. But on Wednesday, April 1, the unperturbed, brass-balled folks who brought you Riverwalk Records in Montpelier present Burlington Records on the corner of Church and Bank streets. Welcome to the neighborhood. And good luck. And finally...
1993 JUST CALLED
...and apparently wants Digable Planets back. The smooth-as-silk, reformed hip-hop trio had to cancel their upcoming Higher Ground Ballroom show, originally scheduled for this Sunday. Maybe that’s why they wouldn’t return my interview requests? No makeup date has been announced.