- Staff Illustration
- Tom Hanks
Once or twice, Seven Days readers have informed me that my unapologetic disdain for major holidays is, well, off-putting. I try to get into the spirit — be it Christmas or New Year's Eve or Mardi Gras — but most of the time, the hype surrounding a holiday annoys me and makes me want to retreat to a country that doesn't celebrate it. I'm looking at you, Arbor Day.
So, if you've ever thought my cold, dead heart couldn't get down with celebratory commemoration, keep reading — because there's a super special holiday this week that's got me feeling like a third-act Grinch.
The holy day to which I refer is none other than the birth of one of the greatest American actors of all time: Tom Hanks. The Bay Area native turns 62 on Monday, July 9, and I'm pretty tickled that a group of local musicians are teaming up at Nectar's in Burlington to pay tribute to the character-actor-cum-leading-man.
Hayley Jane, of Hayley Jane and the Primates and Yes Darling, leads a new supergroup of players: Turkuaz drummer Michelangelo Carubba, Kung Fu keyboardist Beau Sasser, Primates guitarist Justin Hancock and recent Vermont transplant Rob Compa of Dopapod.
"I'm a huge Tom Hanks fan," Hayley Jane tells Seven Days by phone. "Everybody loves Tom Hanks. If you don't love Tom Hanks, I don't trust you."
You're probably wondering what the heck the celebration actually is. Essentially, the group plans to reinvent popular songs that appeared in Hanks' films. Hayley Jane, who conceived and produced the event, wants to keep the actual set list a secret. So allow me to speculate about what songs we might hear.
First of all, I don't know how they'll get through a Tom Hanks tribute without playing Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend in Me." The track first appeared in Pixar Animation Studio's debut film, Toy Story, in which Hanks voiced toy cowboy Woody.
The Forrest Gump soundtrack is chock-full of awesome tunes from the '50s, '60s and '70s. I'm thinking Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" and Jackie DeShannon's "What the World Needs Now Is Love" are two solid contenders from that collection. Another crowd pleaser: You've Got Mail prominently places the Cranberries' "Dreams" early on in the film.
And how could the night end before an audience-participation round of Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser's "Heart and Soul" — you know, the one song everyone knows how to play on the piano? I suggest attendees pretend that they're stomping out the melody with their feet on a giant toy piano like in that scene in Big. Don't forget to end with "Chopsticks!"
Another fun element: Dress up as your favorite version of Hanks! You could get all postapocalyptic and be Cloud Atlas Hanks, or you could carry a face-painted volleyball for a Castaway Hanks look. And don't the dudes from local band Fever Dolls have baseball uniforms at the ready? Hello, A League of Their Own Hanks.
Should Hanks Day become an annual tradition, maybe we'll be lucky enough to coax the man himself to attend in a few years when the day falls on a weekend. Just sayin': July 9, 2021, is a Friday. Save the date, Mr. Hanks!
Tōth or Dare
- Courtesy Of Michael Aaron Leviton
- Alex Toth
You probably noticed that — despite its Wednesday, July 4, issue date — this week's paper actually came out Thursday, July 5. Should the paper have come out on its regular day, I would've had a wee bit more time to remind you about Thursday's free Rubblebucket concert in Burlington's Battery Park. The funky Brooklyn-based Queen City expats are gearing up for a huge tour as well as an album release later this year.
Rubblebucket's leaders, Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth, shifted focus away from the group in the last couple of years to pursue independent projects, such as Traver's dazzling avant-pop electronic band Kalbells. And on Friday, July 6, Toth debuts his latest side project, Tōth, at the Light Club Lamp Shop in Burlington. (Note the macron over the O in Tōth. Presumably it's there to clear up any confusion about the pronunciation of Toth's last name: It rhymes with "oath," not "goth.")
"In the wake of the most crushing grief and sadness — even though it was a graceful, conscious thing — I was just lying around, crying and playing guitar," Toth tells Seven Days by phone. "And these songs kept coming."
Toth, known for his trumpet skills, has never played guitar as his primary live instrument. Additionally, he says that this project allows him to incorporate the kind of jazz music he played while studying at the University of Vermont in the early aughts.
"I feel like it's a project I can do for many years [and] keep developing," he says of his new arsenal of "sad, pretty songs."
Brattleboro musician Ruth Garbus opens.
- Courtesy Of Kevin Bloom
- Kevin Bloom
If you happened to pop into any Burlington-area record store in the last week or so — such as Speaking Volumes, Pure Pop Records or Winooski's Autumn Records — you may have noticed a new eye-catching, canary-yellow audio cassette on the shelves. Called Sound Friends: Vol. I, the compilation mixtape is a special release from Sticky Shed Tapes, the tape duplication and remastering passion project of the Dead Shaker's Kevin Bloom.
Featuring cuts from Burlington-based groups such as Swale, Eastern Mountain Time, Ivamae, Bleach Day and nearly two dozen more, the comp is a partial snapshot of BTV's current indie music scene and could serve as a primer for any newcomers looking for an easy way to dive in.
Not only does it include previously released tracks — such as Dwight & Nicole's "Electric Lights" and Clever Girls' "Dumb Smile" — but also some brand-spankin'-new tunes, including Wren Kitz's "Safety Tube." Bloom expertly mastered all of the material for the analog medium.
The limited run, available only in physical format, will likely go quickly. Will we see Vol. II at some point in the future? Perhaps — though Bloom tells Seven Days he wants Sticky Shed Tapes to remain a duplication and remastering service and not morph into a record label.
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.
Janelle Monae, "Pynk (Featuring Grimes)"
Le VICE, "Soon"
Goldfrapp, "Head First"
Anita Dobson, "Anyone Can Fall in Love"
Jungle, "Son of a Gun"