Happy Thursday, music fans! And for baseball fans, happy Opening Day. (And for Red Sox fans, please look straight ahead. Nothing happened last year. Everything's fine. Dandy, even. Thumbs up! Oh, God …)
Since this week's Soundbites column was put to bed, a few interesting tidbits have come in over the wire that merit some attention, in addition to some news and notes that didn't quite fit in the print the edition.
First up, congratulations to your bracket-loving deejays at WRUV 90.1 FM. UVM's beacon of awesomeness is the winner of Soundtap Madness, a NCAA March Madness style tournament that pitted 64 of the top college radio stations in the US and Canada against one another to determine which one will leave school after their freshman year for the NBA. Or maybe who has the strongest online listenership. The press release was little unclear.
The tourney has been running since March 15, with UVM advancing through each three-day round with relative ease, save for an Elite 8 scare against Texas' Rice University in which they won with the radio equivalent of a desperation half-court shot at the buzzer — playing nothing but Phish bootlegs from MSG in 1997, which subconsciously caused every groovy UV alum from 1994 to 2006 to tune in. Hey, Texas. Don't mess with Vermont.
The championship round against WRCT was even closer, with UVM topping the Carnegie Mellon University station by a mere 23 listening hours.
So way to go, WRUV. You'll always be my real alternative.
Tonight, Mildred Moody's Full Moon Masquerade moves into its new digs at Club Metronome. Since its original home, Parima, closed its doors last fall, the lunar rock-analia has been like that one friend you have who's a really fun dude, but who just can't seem to hold down a job or an apartment and has been pretty much couch surfing for 10 months. The Masquerade has bounced around town from Radio Bean to the new Three Needs to the Half Lounge. But now the best monthly party in town seems to have finally found a place to stay for a while.
Tonight's inagural edition of the Masquerade features Amherst, Ma.-based folk punk band Rusty Belle, local all-star ensemble the Wee Folkestra, the provocative live body-painting stylings of the Human Canvas and as always, a whole lotta debauchery.
Sticking with Metronome for the moment, a couple years ago, I was at the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC and was duped into thinking that legendary indie gods Neutral Milk Hotel were playing a showcase gig that week. So excited was I that I took to Facebook and Twitter — and texting, and smoke signals and carrier pigeons — to announce to the world that I was going to see one of the greatest and most elusive indie bands of all time. But there was one small problem.
The band was Neutral Uke Hotel. They're an all-ukuele NMH cover band. Really. Boy, was my face red.
Anyway, it turns out NUH is playing at Metronome this Tuesday, April 10. And just to show there are no hard feelings, and despite the fact that I'm generally loathe to suggest seeing professional tribute bands — and because we got to see the real deal last year — I'll say that you could find worse ways ways of spending a Tuesday night. They're actually not terrible.
If your mellow was harshed because you missed last week's Strangefolk reunion gigs, you're in luck. The Champlain Maritime Festival just announced the band will be appearing at this year's fest at Waterfront Park in Burlington on Saturday, August 11. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, April 6 at 11 a.m. at highergroundmusic.com or in person at the Higher Ground box office.
Last but not least, RIP, Jim Marshall. The "Lord of Loud" and guitar amp pioneer passed away this morning in Milton Keyes, England. He was 88 years old. Heaven's rock band just got a hell of a lot louder.