I know you're probably all expecting me to lead with another self-aggrandizing bit about this Thursday's guaranteed-to-be-epic "Bands of Burlington" showcase at Club Metronome and Nectar's. To which I say, "Pshaw!" That would just be irresponsible journalism (columnism?). And when have you ever known me to grandstand? Ahem.
Instead, I'd like to tell you about a songwriter who has grown near and dear to the hearts of many a Vermont music fan over the last year or so, Asheville-by-way-of-Portland, Maine's Moses Atwood. The wandering minstrel briefly claimed residency in the Queen City last summer, before lighting out for more southerly climes. He's since returned on a number of occasions. And word has quickly spread that the dude is simply a captivating performer.
Well, guess what, folks? He's coming back. And he's bringing his friends.
His hat trick of performances begins this Tuesday at Montpeculiar's Langdon Street Café. The talented Mr. Atwood appears with fellow indie-folk Asheville-ites Johnson's Crossing, who are worth the price of admission alone - or, in this case, donations.
The following evening, Wednesday, September 24, they head west - as traveling troubadours are often wont to do - to Winooski's Monkey House. This time around they'll be joined by the Monkey's de facto house band, Cannon Fodder. Paddy Reagan and Kelly Ravin's all-star ensemble will also serve as Atwood's backing band for a set - assuming they've come down after the high of rocking "The Bands of Burlington" showcase the previous Thursday at Club Metronome and Nectar's, of course . . .
Atwood and Co. wrap up their three-night stand the following night, Thursday, September 25, at Charlotte's Old Lantern in support of Burlington clawhammer banjoist Hunter Robertson.
LET THERE BE ROCK
Believe it or not, there is actually another pretty rocktastic localvore show happening the same night as the "Bands of Burlington" showcase at Club Metronome and Nectar's - have I mentioned that show is also a benefit for Big Heavy World and The Radiator? In fact, if the showcase weren't our own damn party, I'd probably be at Higher Ground's Showcase Lounge to check out local metal mavens Amadis, harmonicore hedonists Cccome?, mando-punk three-piece Space Tiger - led by 9-year old mandolin player Aiden Patterson-Deutch - and rockers Sons of Dawn.
Any excuse to catch leather-clad chaps Amadis is a good one. But this show is particularly noteworthy because it will be Cccome?'s last local performance with drummer John Stella.
Speaking of final performances, the Burlington hip-hop scene will say goodbye - for now, anyway - to one of its finest, the incomparable DJ A-Dog, a.k.a. Andy Williams. Beginning this Saturday, Williams is touring the country with the Bacardi Live Tour, which showcases some of the world's finest turntablists. Also on the bill are DJ Troublemaker, DJ Z-Trip, DJ JS-1 and - here's the kicker - The Beastie Boys' Mix Master Mike.
To celebrate the occasion - and also local radio DJ Jack Spade's birthday - Burlington's granddaddy of hip-hop Fattie B is throwing a party he's dubbed "Krispy Klean" at The Green Room. The "klean" part refers to the fact that the shindig is a "white party," which basically means attendees need to be clad in virginal white from head to toe - though you don't have to specifically be virginal, one would assume. Moving on . . .
There are a couple of additional caveats. One, if you don't dress in white, you pay five bucks to get in. Two, to paraphrase the show flyer, save the drama for yo' mamma - i.e., have fun and check your issues at the door. And three, because space is at a premium, the organizers reserve the "right to be selective." How deliciously Studio 54!
Winter must be coming, as it seems the annual exodus of Burlington musicians to supposedly greener pastures is beginning anew. This week, it's Brenden Shinoski of Nightbirds renown. You may remember that the 'birds attempted their great escape earlier this year with an ill-fated journey to Los Angeles. They got as far as Colorado before the gas money gave out - and, perhaps, the realization set in that they were headed to L.A. - and they were forced to return to B-town. This time, Shinoski has his sights set on hipsterdom's version of Eden - Portland, Oregon - to focus on his solo career. Total aside: Did you know that Portland has the highest number of strip clubs, per capita, in the entire country? No kidding.
Anyway, Shinoski bids us all adieu - for real this time, cuz he has his plane ticket - this Saturday with a show at Parima's Acoustic Lounge. Another aside: Have you ever heard Ben Folds Five's "Steven's Last Night in Town?" That's a great song.
Do you realize I've gotten through two consecutive column items without mentioning this Thursday's "Bands of Burlington" showcase at Club Metronome and Nectar's? Such restraint. Anyhoo . . . onto the bites!
Experimental or "other" music fans will want to swing by Radio Bean this Saturday as a trio of local sonic soothsayers takes the stage for an evening of mind-bending noise and a whole lot of Jay Blanchard. The evening begins with the debut of A Snake in the Garden's Matt Mayer side-project Grovel - not to be confused with local heavy-jazz group Gravel. Next up is Blanchard's doom ambient outfit Solah. Blanchard then switches gears - perhaps literally - with his space drone project, Von Cosel, which will unleash the final live performance of its Songs For Elena EP - complete with power tools!
World music has seen a resurgence in the Green Mountains of late, thanks largely to the efforts of Charlotte's Cumbancha World Music and its ongoing concert series at Higher Ground. This Friday, the global renaissance continues as a crew of local notables - including ex-viperHouse members Brian Boyes and saxophonist Zach Tonnison - takes to the stage at Montpelier's Positive Pie 2 with a 14-piece Fela Kuti tribute ensemble, Movement of the People.
Fans of immaculate electro-indie pop should mark on their calendars Wednesday, September 17, at Langdon Street Café and Thursday, September 18, at the Skinny Pancake, and plan to catch Miami's Xela Zaid. Dude claims "the ocean, the wind and the rain" as primary influences. Neat. I also hear a touch of the moon and maybe a mountain or two. But what do I know?
Those wascally Tick Tick kids are at it again. And this Monday they're teaming up with UVM's WRUV 90.1 FM (who, coincidentally, will be simulcasting live from Club Metronome at this Thursday's "Bands of Burlington" showcase) to bring two Baltimore acts to The Monkey House: melodic video-game synth auteur Adventure and post-wave dance phenoms Future Islands.
And finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this Thursday's "Bands of Burlington" showcase at Nectar's and Club Metronome featuring The Aztext, The Vanderpolls, Swale, Japhy Ryder, Lowell Thompson, Cannon Fodder, In Memory of Pluto and Husbands AKA. It's going to be awesome! It's for a great cause! You can win free stuff! We've just added another act, Greyspoke, so that's nine bands for five bucks! At that price, you really can't afford not to go! I've reached my exclamation point quota!
OK, I'm done now . . . go to the show. Done.