A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Don’t miss: Sharon Van Etten @ Higher Ground 11/10/12

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Thursday November 1, 2012

This blog is dying a slow death, but before it finally kicks the can, I wanted to drop by to highly recommend Sharon Van Etten and Damien Jurado on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge.

Van Etten’s Tramp, released in February, quickly made it to the top of my favorite albums of the year, and has remained there.  The Showcase Lounge couldn’t be a better place to experience her haunting, intimate vocals.

You don’t need to take my word for it though – see for yourself:

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.



Listen to this: Patrick Watson

Filed Under: Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Monday June 4, 2012

I just finished listening to Patrick Watson’s new release Adventures In Your Own Backyard and liked it enough to inspire me to write something here for the first time in months. Having just returned from a whirlwind 10 days overseas, this simple, sweet and sentimental album is the perfect way to soothe out and transition back home.

Here’s a Tiny Desk Concert recorded last week:

Here’s Adventures In Your Own Backyard on Spotify, iTunes or Amazon (where it’s currently just $4.99).

Patrick Watson will be opening for Andrew Bird in the Higher Ground Ballroom on Friday, July 20.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Re: I Still can’t get enough of this song

Filed Under: Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Monday April 16, 2012

Is it just me, or is the song in the previous post paying obvious homage to Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings” from Nevermind?

I find myself singing/muttering both of them to myself interchangeably and often muddled together.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

I still can’t get enough of this song

Filed Under: Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Tuesday April 10, 2012

Watch Cloud Nothings perform my favorite track so far in 2012, the 9-plus minute “Wasted Days” from their recent release Attack on Memory via fuse.tv:

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Where have I been?

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday March 28, 2012

I’m not actually going to answer that – it’s actually a question to you. Where have I been that I’ve not, until just about 15 minutes ago, heard of, nor listened to, The Cat Empire? And why, more importantly, was I too oblivious to see until just now that they’re playing this weekend for 2 nights in Montreal, when I’ll also coincidentally be there?!?

While listening to my favorite radio station – WRUV (90.1 in the Burlington area, and http://soundtap.com/wruv for anyone else) – I was just introduced to their album So Many Nights.

Stop reading this, as it’s much more important to listen to this, if you’ve got Spotify:

The Cat Empire – So Many Nights

When you’re done, riddle me this – do I see Youth Lagoon on Friday and Band of Skulls on Saturday, or do I skip one or the other for The Cat Empire at Metropolis?

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.



2011 Favorite Music Word Cloud

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Friday February 10, 2012

When putting together the post on my favorite music from 2011, it struck me that it might be interesting to see if there are any reoccurring words or themes in the lyrics. With the exception of 2 songs that I could neither fully understand nor find lyrics for on the internet, here’s what my favorite songs of 2011 were talking about:

Thanks to Ross Flournoy of Apex Manor for taking the time to write down and send me the lyrics for Teenage Blood, which features a couple of my favorite lines from last year’s crop:

I’m a cat de-clawed but I’m eager for a little wrestle time
You’re a green-eyed minx with a tender spot for the risky kind


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Favorite Music of 2011

Filed Under: Standout Tracks, Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Monday February 6, 2012

Obviously this is a little late as we’re now well into 2012. Just ignore that, and check out the wonderful music below.

2011 was a strange year for me in terms of music consumption. Due to work overload and a rapidly evolving landscape of music sources, I didn’t buy nearly as much music as I did the previous year (nor did I see nearly as many shows, nor really did I keep up with this blog as much as I’d like to). That being said, while I was slacking on the listening, there were many bands out there really getting at it. This is a compilation of my favorite tunes among the really fantastic releases of 2011.

If you “like” this site on Facebook, and want a copy of this year’s CD, just send me an email using the link in the upper right of this site, and include your mailing address. If you dig any of the music featured, please support the artists making it by going to their shows, buying their albums, and letting your friends know they should give a listen as well.

Listen to this playlist on Spotify (partial playlist).

2010
Artist Song Album
Wye Oak Civilian Civilian
The Antlers Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out Burst Apart
Milagres Here To Stay Glowing Mouth
Akron/Family Light Emerges S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT
Fleet Foxes Blue Spotted Tail Helplessness Blues
The Generationals You Say It Too Actor-Caster
Fort Lean Beach Holiday Fort Lean EP
The Rural Alberta Advantage Tornado ’87 Departing
The Cave Singers No Prosecution If We Bail No Witch
East River Pipe Tommy Made A Movie We Live In Rented Rooms
Apex Manor Teenage Blood The Year Of Magical Drinking
Ty Segall Where Your Head Goes Goodbye Bread
Girls Honey Bunny Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Iron & Wine Big Burned Hand Kiss Each Other Clean
The Thoughts Orange Sky I Won’t Keep You Here
Thao & Mirah Eleven Thao & Mirah
WATERS For The One Out In The Light
Youth Lagoon 17 The Year Of Hibernation
The Head and the Heart Rivers and Roads The Head And The Heart
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons I Killed Myself But I Didn’t Die Mysterious Power
Darwin Deez Radar Detector Darwin Deez
The Middle East Jesus Came To My Birthday Party I Want That You Are Always Happy
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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.



Favorite new (to me) albums of 2011

Filed Under: Album Reviews, Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Tuesday January 10, 2012

My (mostly-inherited) vinyl collection got a lot of play this year – I’ve been trying to expand my musical knowledge & interest outside of the material that’s come out in the past 10 or so years.  I really never listened to much classic rock, jazz, folk, etc – I spent most of my childhood listening to hip-hop and (I’m not afraid to admit it) stuff like Dave Matthews Band.  So I missed out on many of the bands who influenced a lot of the music being created today.

I’ve worked my way steadily through 100 or so albums, and while some have been real duds (looking at you, Seals and Crofts), I’ve really taken to more than a few of them.  I’m not accustomed to writing about music from previous generations, but in the interest of sharing what I’ve been doing during the pretty sustained silence on this blog in the past 6 months, here’s a look back at some new (to me) favorites:

Steely DanCountdown to Ecstasy

I’m now ashamed to admit how little I knew about and how little I’d heard of Steely Dan.  I’ve listened to Countdown to Ecstasy, Katy Lied, Can’t Buy A Thrill and Aja a few times each, and while the others have highlights, I really think Countdown to Ecstasy is the most impressive, cover to cover.  Speaking of, the photo on the back cover of this album has inspired more than one “who would you be in you were in Steely Dan” conversation, and is likely to inspire more as it’s definitely one of the most played LPs I have.

Countdown To Ecstasy on Amazon mp3

Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection

Packaged in a glossy, heavy duty cover and accompanied by a full-sized lyric booklet, this 1970 release, Elton John’s third, has also become a favorite.  With vague echoes of some of his better known tunes, this album has a really different sound than anything I’d heard of Elton John’s (which was admittedly mostly pop hits from later in his career).  A “concept album” about the American West, this album didn’t have any released singles, though I have a few favorites (“Son of Your Father” among them).  If you can get past some of the clunkier thematic elements and accept this as a concept album, it’s a great listen.

Tumbleweed Connection on Amazon mp3

Roberta FlackFirst Take 

Part soul, part jazz, Roberta Flack’s 1969 debut album was recorded when she was still playing intimate shows in tiny venues like D.C.’s Bohemian Caverns, a spot I frequented for a spell when I lived down there.  It is absolutely magical to put this album on, crank up the volume and close your eyes.  First Take has started me on yet another exploration, delving into the Jazz bins at Burlington Records.  If you’re in the mood for something a little different, you should definitely give this a spin.

First Take on Amazon mp3

If you’re unfamiliar with these albums, I highly recommend giving them all a listen.  If this post is old news to you, maybe it’ll at least serve as a reminder of how awesome these albums are, and encourage you to listen to them again.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Wrapup: Waters & Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ La Tulipe 12/10/2011

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Monday December 12, 2011

I made it up to Montreal on Saturday night for the first time in too long. I’ve been fairly obsessed with the new Waters album, Out In The Light, since it came out in September, and as a bonus, they opened for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, whose latest effort Hysterical I’ve also enjoyed.

It was a wicked early show (started at 7:30p), so I can’t say that I was surprised to walk into a fairly empty venue just as Waters started playing. But it did feel really strange that only a handful of folks were on the dance floor while Waters cranked through a fairly energetic and engaging set.

Of course, that meant that I was able to stand directly in front of the stage, and even leave my beer on the floor as I walked around for a couple different camera angles.

Van Pierszalowski of Waters

I’ve finally got the aperture setting down for show photos, but I’m still having a hard time with manual focus (as auto-focus uses a beam of light to find the subject, which I assume would be incredibly annoying to the band). So while he gave me plenty of opportunities to get a great shot, this is the best I could do to capture Waters frontman (and former Port O’Brien lead singer) Van Pierszalowski’s impressive headbanging:

Van Pierszalowski of Waters

Eventually Pierszalowski was able to coax some of the more timid from the back, culminating in an acoustic rendition of “Mickey Mantle” played from the floor, with the audience leading the song’s chorus. Pretty damn cool way to end a show, and an excellent way to energize a fairly docile and uninvolved crowd for the main act.

Van Pierszalowski of Waters

Unfortunately, CYHSY did very little to continue that energy. Their music sounded great, a good mix of tunes from their debut self-titled album and their latest, with at least one tune off of their sophomore album. But they had absolutely no stage presence, putting on a performance best characterized by the look on lead singer Alec Ounsworth’s face in this shot:

It’s too bad – I really dig their new album, and hoped I’d catch a performance as energized as the first time I saw them (at Bonnaroo in 2006). But it definitely felt like they’d all taken a handful of sedatives right before taking the stage.

The best part of the night was yet to come, however. Since the show let out so early, I was also lucky enough to stumble upon a k-os performance at Club Soda. I had sadly left my camera behind, but suffice it to say k-os made up for whatever lack of energy I’d been left with from the previous show, accompanied by a break dancer and a kickass band and turntablist. k-os gave me exactly what I asked for in May of 2010 when I wrote “I hope to catch k-os again at some point, preferably playing to a much larger audience with a lot more energy.” Thanks Kevin!

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Wrapup: The Thoughts @ Monkey House 11/7/2011

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Monday November 7, 2011

What can I say, I’m a sucker for falsetto. I wasn’t sure what was going to get me back to writing, but now I know the answer.  Though he didn’t need to play Radiohead and Neutral Milk Hotel covers to draw the comparison, The Thoughts vocalist Ian Williams made it easy for an overworked web developer-cum-music blogger to make a lazy comparison for reference.  Williams did a perfect Thom Yorke and a really good Jeff Mangum, but their original work was all The Thoughts needed to make me a quick fan.

Ian Williams of The Thoughts

Though I was one of maybe 3 people at the Monkey House to see The Thoughts tonight (the other 8 folks there were REALLY LOUD people playing pool in the back), they still put on a show that would have worked as well in either my living room or to a crowd of a couple hundred.  While the show was billed as a trio, Williams and violinist/harpist Katie Mosehauer were without percussion.  It may have livened up the show, but I was just as happy sitting in a chair at the front and resting my legs so my ears could do all the work.

Katie Mosehauer of The Thoughts

I only wish I’d paid more attention so I could have invited more folks to the show tonight.  I can’t think of a single person who I share musical interest with who wouldn’t have loved the performance.  The Thoughts are on the East coast for a few more shows, and are based out of Seattle.  If you have the chance to see them, I highly recommend it.  I’m already looking forward to their next trip east, and will be listening to I Won’t Keep You Here from now until then.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.