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Rydin' High

Soundbites: Rydin' High, Sweet Jesus, Perfect 10, Bite Torrent


Published October 22, 2008 at 5:29 a.m.

You know who is really good? The Tampa Bay Rays . . . sigh. You know who else? Burlington’s heroes of hyphenated hi-fi high jinks, Japhy Ryder. Late last week, the instrumental prog-jazz-rock-whatever quartet — just don’t call them “jam,” thank you very much — announced that their excellent sophomore effort, No Consequence, has been picked up by online tune-slingers Ropeadope Digital, an interweb offshoot of Ropeadope Records. The label is home to a veritable smorgasbord of progressive music types, including DJ Logic, Charlie Hunter and Marco Benevento — of “The Duo,” bro. So, yeah, that’s kind of a big deal.

Ropeadope plans to rerelease the album on November 18. Or, exactly two weeks to the day after Sarah Palin sheds her human skin and reveals herself as the hell-spawn, puppy-eating succubus she surely is, following John McCain’s concession speech. (Quick note to God: I’ll accept my beloved Red Sox losing to the Rays, obnoxious little cowbells and all. But give me this one, Big Guy. OK?)

Conveniently enough, the release follows Japhy Ryder’s four-week-long, Thursday-night recording residency at Nectar’s, which begins this week. For those with short-term-memory issues, I mentioned this newly minted series a few weeks ago. But here’s the gist: Each month, Nectar’s hosts a different local band for four weeks, records the shows, and releases the choicest cuts as a live album shortly thereafter. Nif-ty, eh? Jam-rock outfit Greyspoke was the first guinea pig, and just wrapped up its stint. No word yet on when the resulting album will hit the streets, but I’ll keep you posted.

So catch Japhy Ryder while you can. And please, keep your puppies away from Sarah Palin.


Jésus Vanacho has been kind of quiet lately. I finally caught the band at Speaking Volumes during this year’s Art Hop. Or an incarnation of the group, at least; they were without keyboardist Adam King of Turkey Bouillon Mafia and Dead Sessions renown.

Anyway, it was a pretty raucous set. Fans of dearly departed denim-fueled truck-stop rockers Chuch — from whom JV draws three-fifths of its membership — will likely dig ’em. Unfortunately, the group doesn’t have any shows lined up until later in November. The good news is that they’re holing up in the studio to record an EP, which will reportedly be ready by the end of the year. Rock and roll.

In the meantime, bassist Noah Crowther will be spending some time with a crew of old pals from California. Called Giant Acapulco, the group had been apart for seven years before reuniting earlier this summer to record some new tunes. This Saturday, they take the stage at Burlington’s Radio Bean.


Burlington is often viewed — especially by outsiders — as a jam-band haven. And rightly so, in many respects. It’s hard not to think of Burlington music and think of Phish — Hey, did you hear they’re getting . . . oh, forget it. But as notoriously prominent as wiggle-rock is and likely always will be in the Queen City, it is arguably our hardcore and heavy-music scene that is the town’s musical lifeblood. (Total aside: Is “Lifeblood” a hardcore band name yet? If not, you can have that one free of charge.)

From the hallowed halls of 242 Main to teen centers and studio spaces across the state, hardcore reigns. And as long as we have teenagers and a modicum of angst, that will probably always be true. (How about “Modicum of Angst”?)

Vermont’s hardcore and punk scenes are almost always thriving, and have given birth to countless local musicians who’ve gone on to play a wide variety of music. Seriously, raise your hand if you weren’t in a high school punk band. Anyone? Thought so.

Anyway, this Sunday, the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington celebrates the tenth installment of its Hardcore and Metal Showcase series at Higher Ground’s Showcase Lounge. The semi-regular event has been wildly popular amongst the Doc Martens set and does an admirable job of pairing local acts with some excellent regional and national talent.

This time around should be no different as locals Blinded By Rage and Forever They Said join Portland, ME’s, Absence of the Sun, Upstate NY’s Heal These Wounds, Bay Staters Beautiful Gorgeous and Albany’s Surrounded By Teeth — Best. Band. Name. Ever.


Jazz heads should swing by Richmond’s On the Rise Bakery this Friday as noted local trombonist (tromboner? . . . sorry) Dan Silverman hosts the second installment of his monthly open jazz jam. The session is a bit different than other jazz nights around the state. In addition to welcoming established hepcats, less-experienced players are strongly encouraged to show up and hone their chops in a supportive and open-minded setting. For more info, you can contact Silverman directly at silverslide@comcast.net.

If you happen to be checking out the Vermont Film Festival at Burlington’s Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center this Saturday, be sure to stick around between films and catch sets from local alt-whatever collective Cannon Fodder. I like them. I’m betting you will, too.

If you like peace and you like songs and you also like the spirit of healthy competition, march on over to Montpelier’s Langdon Street Café this Thursday for the Third Annual Peace Song Writing Competition, sponsored by ORCA Media. The evening will pit peacenik tunesmiths against each other in a no-holds-barred musical mêlée to decide, once and for all, who is the peace-lovingest musician around. Contestants will be judged by a panel of former winners and local celebs in categories such as originality, contemporary relevance, something called “sing-along-ability” and, of course, the amount of peace each song inspires throughout the world as measured by LSC’s famed “peace-o-meter.” OK, I made up that last part. Still, it should be a fun time in the capital city.

Finally, I wanted to pass along something that has helped me feel a lot better about an awful situation. As many of you are aware, local drummer Bryan Kapschull (The Leaners) drowned off Grand Isle this past August. Two weeks ago, a memorial celebration and dedication were held at the Magic Hat Brewery, where he and I worked together for four years. During the alternately cheery and teary proceedings, it was announced that a scholarship to the Vermont Rock Music Camp has been established in his honor and will provide the opportunity for one student to attend next year’s camp, tuition-free.

As a voracious music fan and an immensely talented drummer, it is as fitting a tribute to his memory as there could be. For information on the camp and The Bryan Kapschull Memorial Scholarship, visit www.rockmusiccamp.com.