I love Halloween. Like, it’s my absolute favorite holiday. And, yeah, I know I probably say the same thing about a handful of other fun dates throughout the year. But for me, there is Halloween, and then everything else.
The great thing about All Hallows Eve is that it doesn’t come with any of the baggage accompanying almost all the other big holidays. There are no religious overtones as with Christmas or Easter, no family obligations as with Thanksgiving, no overhyped expectations as with New Year’s Eve, and no overblown patriotic nonsense as with Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. Halloween is all about dressing up like an idiot and attending fantastically absurd parties. And eating candy. That’s it. And this year, since Halloween falls on a Sunday, we get three full nights of ghoulish revelry before we even get to the actual day/candy. Responding in kind, area clubs are seriously ramping up the spooky fun this week. Here’s a blow-by-blow.
It all starts Thursday with disco-rock sensations Heloise and the Savoir Faire at Club Metronome. I’m really curious to see how this band will outdo their already glamorous attire for Halloween. Hell, their regular outfits would likely win most area costume contests. Speaking of which, this is a costume party. Dress up, dammit.
Things really get cooking on Friday, as Nectar’s hosts local Dead acolytes Blues for Breakfast. This one’s a costume party, too, and it has a theme: Dress as your favorite Grateful Dead band member. Now that’s fucking scary.
Meanwhile, at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge, get your freak on at Dragula, the evening’s marquee costume party featuring, sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll, more sex, and, um, did I mention sex? The show also features the ass-shaking exploits of Victoria Demeanor, Celeste LaRue, Fonda LaCox and DJ Precious, who’ll be spinning house hits all night long.
Back in Burlington proper, the cool kids with Bonjour-Hi! welcome rising hip-hop electro-punk impresarios Ninjasonik to Parima. These cats have been pulling some serious love around the blogosphere — and at CMJ last week, actually — and for good reason: They’re fun, funny, socially conscious and, best of all, they straight up rock. Hard.
Not to be left out of the fun, Montpeculiar has its share of cool happenings Friday as well, including the Vacant Lots, just back from Brooklyn, at Langdon Street Café. There’s nothing specifically Halloween-y about this one. But the Vacant Lots rock, and well, I guess they’re kinda scary in a druggy psych-rock kinda way, right? Moving on …
Saturday is, of course, the main event. LSC hosts its annual Halloween Masquerade Ball with local electro-rock outfit Durians and They Will Hate Us — more on the latter below. Meanwhile, the good folks from Halogen Records give the capital city a taste of Burlington Rock City with Rough Francis, Villanelles and Casio Bastard at Positive Pie 2.
Heading north again on I-89, the belle of the Burlington ball is undoubtedly Carnivale Nocturna, a party in both rooms at Parima. The lineup features local funk-rockers Funkwagon, hip-hop up-and-comers Lynguistic Civilians, DJ Frank Grymes, Mushpost’s DJs Sycofont and the Orator as well as Thelonius X. Oh, yeah, and the provocative body-painting stylings of the Human Canvas.
One quick note about Saturday: Don’t sleep on the always-entertaining Halloween bash at 242 Main. If you’ve never been, local bands dress up as their favorite nonlocal bands and cover their songs. Unfortunately, no word on the lineup just yet.
Last but not least, the Halloween weekend concludes at Club Metronome Sunday night, where prodigal Afro-rockers Rubblebucket kick off a two-night stand at the reinvigorated rock haunt. Sunday the band will be joined by Roxbury, Mass. Full Tang. And on Monday, locals Bearquarium and BTV art-rock royalty Swale handle opening duties.
- Hard to believe, but Joe Adler’s successful weekly songwriter’s showcase, Burgundy Thursdays, at the Parima Acoustic Lounge turns 1 year old this week. To celebrate, Adler has brought a slew of heavy hitters and favorites from the year that was, including Scott Mangan, Aaron Burroughs, the Amida Bourbon Project, Brett Hughes, Antara, Aaron Flinn, Collin Cope & Mike Sullivan, Samara Lark, Eric Segalstad, the Nebraska Sessions Band and Josh Glass. Congrats, Joe!
- You know who’s super-pissed about the city’s recent decision to limit the number of 18-plus shows at Burlington nightclubs? Well, most reasonable, thinking people, actually. And 18-year-olds. And Y69’s Greg Dusablon. The punk drummer sent in a scathing missive after reading about the news last week in the Freeps — just an FYI, Greg, 7D covered that story, like, a month ago. Just saying. Anyway, few local music communities will be as affected by the BPD’s asinine move as much as the city’s punk and hardcore scenes, which are composed mostly of underage kids — though, in fairness, the bulk of those shows do happen in teen centers. Well, Dusablon is mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore. He’s put out a call to arms — arms with “X” marked on their hands — for his band’s all-ages show at Manhattan Pizza this Friday with BTV punk legends the Wards, who threaten it will be their last of 2010. “It stops now, and we are not going to let them win,” writes Dusablon — referring to the 18-plus thing, not the Wards, presumably. He adds, “Punk rock.” Indeed.
- Band Name of the Week: They Will Hate Us. The irony about this “Gothicana” duo is that “they” probably won’t hate them. They, of course being anyone who attends the Masquerade Ball at Langdon Street Café this Saturday to catch the “Gothpel” outfit’s spooky take on folk and Americana. But I guess They Will Love Us might send the wrong message — not to mention be a really douche-y thing to name your band.
- How do you know when a band is good? When you can take your girlfriend’s very conservative, first-generation Ukranian American dad to see them and the dude dances. No kidding, this actually happened the last time the NYC-based Ukrainian brass band Slavic Soul Party! was in town earlier this year. They’ll be back at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge this Thursday with, in one of the odder/cooler pairings in recent memory, local opener Maryse Smith.
- So, contrary to musings in last week’s issue, I did make it home from CMJ in time to catch Blue Button, the Sheeps and Jeff the Brotherhood at the Monkey House last Saturday. Good thing, too, since I clearly hadn’t spent enough time in loud, crowded rock clubs last week … Anyway, JTB were every bit as good as advertised. The Sheeps, a newish local band, were interesting, if a little rough around the edges. But Blue Button. Oh, Blue Button! Holy rock and roll. Regular readers know I love me some artsy indie rock. But Burlington hasn’t had a straight-up rock band like this in a long, long time. This is gonna be a fun ride.
- I was pretty psyched to see that Portland, Ore.-based songwriter Nick Jaina will be in town this week and seems to have made Burlington a regular stop on his tour itinerary. Unfortunately, the show is at an underground venue and I can’t tell you which one. If you do some sleuthing, you’ll figure it out. But you didn’t hear that from me…
- And finally, as mentioned in a recent column, local songwriter Anna Pardenik will soon be a BTV expat, as she leaves the Queen City to pursue her music career in Berlin — the one in Germany, not VT. Your last chance to catch her will be Wednesday, November 3, at the Parima Acoustic Lounge. Best of luck, Anna. It’s been a pleasure.
And once again, this week’s totally self-indulgent column segment, in which I share a random sampling of what was on my iPod, turntable, CD player, 8-track player, etc., this week.