Soundbites: Nominations, Compilations and Titillation | Music News + Views | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Soundbites: Nominations, Compilations and Titillation


Published January 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated January 16, 2019 at 10:22 a.m.

  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Rick Norcross

Given that it's awards season in the film industry, I thought I'd start this week by tipping my cap to a couple of local artists who've been recognized by national organizations.

Congratulations are in order to Rick & the All-Star Ramblers for sweeping the Will Rogers Awards nominations! Given annually by the Academy of Western Artists, the awards feature five categories: Western Swing Duo/Group of the Year, Western Swing Album of the Year, Western Swing Song of the Year, and Western Swing Vocalist of the Year (male and female). Rick Norcross and co. — including guest vocalist Taryn Noelle — snagged noms in each category for their 2018 album Taryn Noelle Swings. (Revisit Seven Days contributor Chris Farnsworth's review.)

The Ramblers are no strangers to the awards, which will be announced on March 15 at a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas. They've been nominated several times in the past few years, taking home the prize for Song of the Year in 2015 for the tune "You Can't Make It Up," from their album Riding My Guitar.

  • Courtesy Photo
  • Dave Keller

Meanwhile, in other awards-related news, bluesman Dave Keller recently nabbed a nom for Best Soul Blues Album of the Year in the Blues Foundation's annual Blues Music Awards. The honor refers to his 2018 effort, Every Soul's a Star. (You know what? Farnsworth reviewed that one, too.) The winners will be announced at a shindig down in Memphis, Tenn., on May 9.

It's always nice to see Vermont musicians making waves at the national level. Keep it up, folks!

Noisy Neighbors

Feast your ears on a recent compilation album of Vermont-based artists, It Sounds Like Vermont. Courtesy of Nick Dentico, mastermind behind East Montpelier cassette label Histamine Tapes and wonky noise project Subversive Intentions, the experimental mixtape features a number of the state's most far-out sonic creators. Gahlord Dewald, Wren Kitz and Rob Voland, Lauren Costello (as ouzkxqlzn), and JB Ledoux (as Jo Bled) are but a few of the artists included.

Leaning heavily on drone, sound baths, field recordings, distortion and found-sound samples, the comp is certainly a challenging listen — especially tracks like Peasant Farm's overdriven, jagged assault, "Faithless." But it does speak to the boundless inventiveness of area musicians and will likely inspire you to give in to your weirdest creative impulses.

Snuggle Up

  • Courtesy Of Luke Awtry Photography
  • Ivamae

Are you familiar with the concept of hygge? The Scandinavian word (pronounced "hoo-gah") refers to a somewhat untranslatable feeling of coziness and contentment. It's kind of the cornerstone of provincial Danish culture. (However, on a 2015 trip to Copenhagen, I was told by a local not to believe hyperbolic statements frequently found in the media claiming Danes are the "happiest people on Earth." I mean, they hardly ever see the sun, so it wasn't that surprising to hear.)

When using hygge in a sentence, one might say, "Damn, I was gettin' all kinds of hygge up in my apartment this past weekend because it was too cold to go outside." Or, I guess, that's how I would use it in a sentence. A Danish speaker could probably do a better job.

  • Courtesy Of David Smoler
  • Tom Pearo

On Friday, January 18, two Burlingtonians, Ivamae and Tom Pearo, team up at ArtsRiot for a night of music dedicated to the ineffable feeling of snug security in question. Fun fact: Not only is the show free of charge, the artists plan to illuminate the room only with candlelight. Given the musicians' proclivities for smooth, soulful, hypnotic music, I can't imagine a better local pairing to serve up some wintry snuggles. Get into it — if you aren't too damn cozy on your couch with your cats!

Sex Sells

Rarely do I review live shows, but I just have to give a shout-out to New York City-based funkster Smoota. He put on one of the most memorable sets I've witnessed on a local stage recently. Last Thursday, January 10, at Nectar's in Burlington, the TV on the Radio trombonist dropped some seriously sexy and sex-positive tunes.

Largely pulling from his new album, Pheromones, the longhaired honey-dripper played choice cuts such as "40 Days 40 Nights," an ode to self-love; "Pheromones," a paean to chemical attraction; and "(I Don't Care If You're) Faking It," a curious tune about an oft-neglected topic: fake orgasms, and whether or not they're a bad thing. Spoiler alert: Fake orgasms have their own kind of worth, too, at least according to Smoota. It makes sense when you hear him explain it. Speaking of which...

What made the evening so special was the way he interacted with the small crowd. Before each song, he prepped his onlookers with brief, artful explanations of where he was coming from with regard to the next banger. Normally, I find it somewhat unnecessary to spoon-feed your intentions to your audience. But the way Smoota approached it was mesmerizing. It was like being at a musical sex seminar or, as Nectar's Carson Ehlert put it as we chatted in the back of the club, a sexy TED Talk.

Ryder Die

This Saturday, January 19, members of Burlington jazzy funk-hop group Japhy Ryder present the Willverine DJ Trio at Foam Brewers. Japhy Ryder's Zack DuPont and Barika's Craig Myers support trumpeter and electro-pop wizard Will Andrews, aka Willverine. The mix of live instrumentation and electronic production is the first in a forthcoming series of special performances hosted by the Japhy crew. Future dates to be announced soon.

Listening In

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.

99 Neighbors, "Work"

Ana Tijoux, "1977"

Björk, "Alarm Call"

Orange Julians, "Manic Calm, Turn Green"

Mark Ronson and Quincy Jones, "Keep Reachin' (Featuring Chaka Khan)"