Soundbites: Now Entering the Green Zone | Music News + Views | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Soundbites: Now Entering the Green Zone

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Evan Allis (left) and Renn Mulloy of Fever Dolls - COURTESY OF KAYHL COOPER
  • Courtesy Of Kayhl Cooper
  • Evan Allis (left) and Renn Mulloy of Fever Dolls

Green Zone

St. Patrick's Day is a-coming, and that means Irish music is popping up all over this week — particularly on the day in question, Sunday, March 17. I think I've made my feelings about the holiday clear in the past. For me, St. Paddy's is like being trapped in a kelly-green drunk tank full of people who really, really need to tell you something super-duper important but can't remember what it is, so instead they ask you to hold their beer, shot of Jameson and top hat while they go smoke a cigarette in the bathroom because it's too cold outside. Over and over and over.

Assuming you can stomach the Queen City's drunken hordes in pursuit of seasonally appropriate tunes, here are a few key events you might want to check out. First of all, a no-brainer: Burlington's Rí Rá Irish Pub & Whiskey Room hosts Paddy Fest 2019, a five-day marathon of Irish music and culture. From Wednesday, March 13, to the emerald holy day itself, several bands set up shop: local Irish-Americana-reggae outfit the County Down on Wednesday; Vermont-based traditional Irish folk ensemble Green Corduroy on Sunday; and Irish import the Dirty Nellies, whose mini-residency runs Thursday, March 14, through Sunday. The scene at Rí Rá can turn from pleasant and family-friendly to wild and frat-tastic rather quickly, so be prepared.

Samara Lark Brown hosts two Irish-y events at Radio Bean and Light Club Lamp Shop this weekend. The first is another incarnation of her tribute to the late Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of Irish rock group the Cranberries. She pays her respects to the departed legend on Friday and mounts a special event focused on classic Irish shanties on Sunday, as well.

And then there's the Everyone's Favorite Irish Drinking Songs Band, which, full disclosure, features Seven Days art director Reverend Diane Sullivan. But I must mention it because there's really nothing else quite like it in the area. This saucy posse distributes songbooks and encourages audiences to wail along to drinking songs both traditional and modern, all while hurling out hot, buttery baked potatoes and various green sundries. (I scored a pretty dope nailbrush last year.) On Sunday, follow them from their mid-afternoon performance at Red Square over to Radio Bean for an early-evening encore.

As always, please exercise caution and restraint on the big day. If not for yourself, do it as a personal favor to me.

Doll Parts

About a year and a half ago, Middlebury College folk outfit Iron Eyes Cody announced that they were officially ending. But the band coupled the proclamation with news that a new group, Fever Dolls, was to rise from its ashes. Co-front-person Renn Mulloy told Seven Days, "Fever Dolls feels boundless in a way that is really exciting. [We] aim to bring the ordinary to a level of fantasy and theater previously reserved for the extraordinary."

That was back in September 2017. In the weeks and months that followed, Fever Dolls didn't disappear, exactly. They played some shows here and there. But it was a rather sleepy 15 months or so before we saw exactly what Mulloy meant. And you can see for yourself on Saturday, March 16, when the band performs at Club Metronome in Burlington.

In late 2018, Fever Dolls released the Kayhl Cooper-directed video for their debut single, "Gennifer Flowers." The video's retro-infomercial style, along with co-front-person Evan Allis' wildly unhinged performance, was a step toward fulfilling the theatrical vibe to which Mulloy hinted. In February, the group released its second single and accompanying video, "Adeline." Bigger and bolder than "Gennifer Flowers," the new Cooper-directed clip featured choreography, coordinated outfits and a dreamlike sense of whimsy. It also included a rather crowded bathtub party. It seems Fever Dolls are finally living up to that extraordinary 2017 proclamation.

"Suffice it to say, we've grown more in the last year than I ever could have imagined," Allis writes in an email to Seven Days, noting that the group was "nowhere near ready to pull this concept off the way we wanted" in 2017.

He explains that, since the initial unveiling of the group at the Otis Mountain Get Down, the band has continued to grow, change and solidify. The members even scrapped an album, which is why it took more than a year for any new music to surface. Scaling down to a hearty five-piece, the group is now fully locked in with members Allis, Mulloy, Dan Fullam and Ellen Degenerates' Mitchell Parish and Erik Benepe.

Based on the strength of the dance-rock "Gennifer Flowers" and pop-Americana "Adeline," I'd wager that Fever Dolls have an arsenal of catchy-as-hell tunes awaiting release. Hopefully we won't have to wait another 15 months to hear more.

Be Happy, Lady Marmalade

Bobby McFerrin - COURTESY OF INGRID HERTFELDER
  • Courtesy Of Ingrid Hertfelder
  • Bobby McFerrin

Music festival updates: New artists have been added to both the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival and the Waking Windows festival in Winooski. A cappella maverick Bobby McFerrin and "Lady Marmalade" singer Patti LaBelle will both descend on the Flynn MainStage during the festival's opening weekend. McFerrin performs on Friday, May 31, while LaBelle drops in on Sunday, June 2.

Patti LaBelle - COURTESY PHOTOS
  • Courtesy Photos
  • Patti LaBelle

Meanwhile, seven new acts have been announced as part of the ever-growing indie music fest in Winooski: rock and rollers Post Animal, indie-pop singer-songwriter Mirah, art-rock ensemble Guerilla Toss, sad-folk singer-songwriter Lomelda, post-punk outfit Acid Dad, psych-rock quartet Here Lies Man, and R&B-funk powerhouse duo the APX. That last act, if you recall, had the honor of closing out last year's Waking Windows. Check out our May 2018 interview with the Atlanta-based couple.

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.

  • POLYDRIVE, "By Design"
  • The Normal, "Warm Leatherette"
  • The Faint, "Desperate Guys"
  • Ladyhawke, "Magic"
  • The Pipettes, "Pull Shapes"

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