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

Tweeting from Osheaga

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Saturday July 31, 2010

I will do my best to post some photos tonight, but I’m going to be enjoying myself too much to be posting anything substantive during the festival.  Instead, I’ll be trying to send some quick updates here via twitter.  You can also follow me @onpermarotation.

[late update: I've taken the twitter widget out of the post, and replaced it with a transcript of tweets from Osheaga.]

Hot n dusty at #osheaga but the black keys rocked it. 5:49 PM Aug 1st via txt

Blitzen trapper putting on an impressive show 3:23 PM Aug 1st via txt

Still life still is tearing it up 2:32 PM Aug 1st via txt

Argh! Metric.got moved and now overlaps with ra ra riot 1:22 PM Aug 1st via txt

2 songs from arcade fire never played before… thank you! 10:50 PM Jul 31st via txt

Arcade fire blowing my mind #osheaga 10:00 PM Jul 31st via txt

Pavement set started better than Stars, but is too long #osheaga 7:52 PM Jul 31st via txt

Pavement is rockin it 7:30 PM Jul 31st via txt

Hanging with old people…waiting for pavement 7:03 PM Jul 31st via txt

Ok they’ve redeemed the set…but Amy is taller than torquil 6:16 PM Jul 31st via txt

Stars set not going so well with audio… bummer 5:57 PM Jul 31st via txt

Also…very bald 5:45 PM Jul 31st via txt

Torquil not happy bout Stars sound…but singing anyhow 5:43 PM Jul 31st via txt

K’naan meh. Stars on nxt 5:30 PM Jul 31st via txt

Jade’s voice is on fire @edwardsharpe #osheaga 3:48 PM Jul 31st via txt

Edward Sharpe & magnetic zeros are killing it #osheaga 3:40 PM Jul 31st via txt

Earlove plugs in for Edward Sharpe 2:58 PM Jul 31st via txt

Ingrid michaelson covering ice ice baby… awesome 2:19 PM Jul 31st via txt

No cage the elephant :-( 2:17 PM Jul 31st via txt

Getting the crew together for the short road trip 8:31 AM Jul 31st via txt

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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.

Less than 7 questions for Still Life Still

Filed Under: 7 Questions
Written by Brendan
Thursday July 29, 2010
Still Life Still plays Osheaga on August 1, 2010

Photo: Norman Wong

What can I say…7 is a hard number to write sometimes. This has become a pretty expensive hobby in terms of time spent…anyhow.

Drummer Aaron Romaniuk of Still Life Still was kind enough to answer a few questions for me in advance of the band’s upcoming set at Osheaga. Their set is from 2:00-2:40pm on the Scene Verte.

BB: It’s not often that one comes across of band of mid-twenty-year-olds who have been playing together for over 10 years. As 13-year-olds, did you ever imagine you’d be playing festivals like Osheaga and playing residencies at venues like Mercury Lounge?

AR: as 13 year olds we had no clue where this band would take us . as we got older and became closer friends we started to have the same visions . the picture got clearer in our minds

BB: You’ve said that your goal is to make enough money as a band to buy a farm off the grid, grow your own food, etc. You sound like you’d fit in very well in Vermont – have you spent any time here? If not, where do you envision your farm?

AR: we haven’t spent much time in Vermont , only driving threw while on tour , but that would be a great spot .i like to picture the farm somewhere tropical close to mountains and rivers .

BB: The lyrics of your song “T-Shirts” surprised me the first time I heard it. Care to elaborate on the meaning of that song?

AR: t-shirts is just real talk . about being really in love with someone . in love enough to do anything for them .go threw anything with them . its also about using logos on shirts to clean up blood .

BB: Girls Come Too is an impressive debut album. Is there a followup in the works?

AR: we are working on our next record right now actually . we have about 15 new songs written . were recording it at a home studio we have set up with our friend and sometimes band member Markus

BB: With a presumably large collection of unreleased material, do you find that you are more likely to write new songs, or revisit and rework material that you’ve already written?

AR: most of the songs for our next record have all been written in the last year . new songs happen so spontaneously ..we try to just go with the flow .

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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.

What you’re missing if you won’t be at Osheaga

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Wednesday July 28, 2010

I’ve only seen The Black Keys once before — at Lollapalooza in 2007 — and I was as far away from the stage as you could have been and still heard the music, trying to squeeze in a meal. So I’m psyched at another chance to see them, and this time to be a bit closer to the action. The Black Keys — a drummer and a guitarist — make more sound than many 4- or 5-piece bands. Check them out live in Chicago below (there’s some muffled show talking in the middle, but I think this gives a great perspective of what they are like live):

The Black Keys released a new album called Brothers this year, another in a long series of impressive studio work. They manage to sound just like themselves without ever sounding stale or repetitive, with each album having it’s own distinct sound. If you’re a fan of rock ‘n roll, I highly suggest you give Brothers a listen.

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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: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros @ Higher Ground 7/26/2010

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Tuesday July 27, 2010

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros played a sold out show last night at Higher Ground — the first sold out show I’ve been to in a long while, and despite the small inconveniences (shoving fights, etc) of such a crowd, it was definitely nice to see Burlington turn out to support a band who isn’t a washed up rapper and isn’t known for their jamming.

Security was incredibly intense – I’m not sure if it was in response to an incident or incidents, but I’ve never seen things like this before. There were cops in the parking lot with breathalyzers, cops in uniform patrolling inside and out, and burly plainclothes cops with incredibly conspicuous firearms at the door. A youngish looking kid in front of us who definitely looked like he’d had too much of something got a field sobriety test before they’d take his ticket. Not normally what I’d expect at a ES&MZ show, but like I said, maybe it was in response to something else.

We got a good spot stage-left where there are generally less people (farthest spot from the bars). I came to this show ready to dance, so it was nice to have a little bit more room. I was definitely expecting some craziness based on what I’ve read about their shows and seen on YouTube. But I have to say, this show lacked the crazy.

Edward Sharpe @ HigherGround July 26, 2010

Besides the lead singer, Alex Ebert, forgetting the words to a couple of songs (which he played off well enough), the music was really good. I particularly liked Jade Castrinos’ vocals and loved the sporadic trumpet playing. And Alex certainly put on a performance — bouncing, dancing, jumping and interacting with the people right up front. But his energy didn’t seem to spread, and I was left feeling that the band seemed a little fractured, or at the very least just a bit tired.

In a bit of a revolt against the standard practice of pretending to leave only to come back out for an encore after some applause, most of the band just stayed on stage after their “final” song, which I thought was a nice touch. That whole routine definitely gets tiresome. And for their final number, they invited people up on the stage until it was completely full, then went down to the floor and asked everyone to sit with them for the campfire-style “Brother.”

Edward Sharpe @ HigherGround July 26, 2010

Most of the tunes were off of their 2009 release Up From Below, though they definitely played a few that I hadn’t heard and enjoyed. For their bigger “singles” like “Janglin” (popular from being featured on a Ford Fiesta commercial) and “Home” which has apparently been on heavy radio rotation, it was very apparent that the band was sick of playing them. They seemed much more animated and energetic on some of their more low-key or lesser known songs like “Up From Below” and “Desert Song.”

All in all, this was a very good show. But I was (maybe wrongly) expecting something a bit more. Unfortunately, the band doesn’t have a day off between now and their set at Osheaga. I think they could really use it based on what I perceived to be a lack of energy. Here’s to hoping that the atmosphere at Osheaga provides them with a little extra spark.

Edward Sharpe @ HigherGround July 26, 2010


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.

Osheaga Preview: Ra Ra Riot

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Monday July 26, 2010
Ra Ra Riot

Photo: Doron Gild

Ra Ra Riot is due out with a new album, The Orchard, on August 24. If their 3-song EP Boy is any indication, then I am certain that Ra Ra Riot has most definitely NOT fallen into the sophomore slump. I caught Ra Ra Riot at the Higher Ground in December of 2008, and was incredibly impressed with their live sound. Though I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how terrible one of their opening acts that night sounded (So Many Dynamos). I have friends who still remember the Ra Ra Riot show as being one of the worst they’ve ever been to, until I remind them that Ra Ra Riot was actually amazing…

It’s quite hard to grasp how powerful the cello and violin are in Ra Ra Riot’s music until you’ve seen the lovely ladies of the band play the strings live. Not to mention I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen instruments as cool looking as some of theirs (electric violin in particular). And vocalist Wesley Miles’ voice, which I feared might be too meek to stand out at a live show, was powerful, robust and crisp.

Anyhow, Ra Ra Riot is one of my most anticipated shows at Osheaga, and as a preview I wanted you to hear “Boy” – the first single from their upcoming album. You can download it at their site here. Though I love this song, I love “Keep It Quiet” even more. It’s not much of a festival song though, so I’m not sure I’ll get to hear it this weekend.

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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.

Osheaga Preview: Still Life Still

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Sunday July 25, 2010

One of the few email lists that I really enjoy being on is Arts & Crafts. I’ve learned about several bands from their newsletters, and always get the latest tour info from their impressive list of artists. One of the bands I first learned about in an email from them is Still Life Still, who signed to Arts & Crafts in March 2009. Their 2009 debut release Girls Come Too was partially produced by Kevin Drew (of Broken Social Scene), whose influence is very apparent on the album.

Their song “Danse Cave” made it to the short list for my 2009 favorite music compilation, but didn’t quite make the cut. Anyhow, I’m really looking forward to seeing Still Life Still at Osheaga next weekend, and wanted to give a little taste of their music. Without further ado, here’s Still Life Still performing “Danse Cave”:

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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.

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Friday July 23, 2010

That’s the summation of my experience so far with this site.  I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started doing this.  I didn’t really know if I’d like it or be able to keep up with it – I was just trying to find a way to use my addiction to music in a creative way.

Then came the first email from a label rep, asking me if I wanted to interview a band.  So I figured I’d start writing to other bands coming to Burlington, and see if they’d answer some questions too.  Much to my surprise, it worked, and I’ve been able to “interview” some really interesting folks.

I was on a roll so about two months ago, I figured what the hell, why don’t I try and get press credentials to Osheaga.  So I filled out their form and sent in my letter.  Much to my surprise, that also worked.  Today, I received notification that I’ve been granted a photog pass, meaning I’ll be able to bring my SLR camera (and brand new telephoto lens) instead of just my small LX-3 (which is a wonderful camera, particularly in low light, but a festival setting can be a bit more difficult to get to where you need to get to in order to get a good shot).

I can’t wait for Osheaga, and I can’t wait to share my photos and experiences from the festival on here.

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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.



New music acquisitions

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Thursday July 22, 2010

But first, a quick update: life is good.  Thanks to the generosity of a near-stranger, I will now be in attendance at the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros show on Monday.

I can only hope it’s 1/10th as cool as this:

Anyhow, I’ve bought a bunch of new music in the past couple of weeks. On a friend’s recommendation I picked up Starfucker’s 2008 self-titled release. It’s pretty lightweight electro-pop with catchy hooks and danceable beats interspersed with grinding, grungy synths. I also picked up Eminem’s Recovery, Obadiah from Frazey Ford (of Be Good Tanya’s fame), Made The Harbor by VT’s own Mountain Man, More Grey Hairs from Reks (who I learned about from following Akrobatik on twitter…), Disconnect From Desire by School of Seven Bells, and downloaded SUUNS’ Zeroes EP for free, a promotion to celebrate their signing to Secretly Canadian.

While his ability to rhyme is impressive as ever, Eminem’s tired song subjects are, well, tired.  Also, since he admits multiple times that his last two albums were shit, I’d love my money back for purchasing those two.

Though I have a tough time during the work day listening to music as melancholy and at times depressing as Frazey Ford’s, her voice is so captivating that it’s worth an exception.  I highly recommend Obadiah.

I’m intrigued by Mountain Man, an all-female trio who met at Bennington College in southern VT. It’s way stripped down (at times a capella) folk, driven by vocal harmonies. I need to listen some more before offering anything more.

Eminem - Recovery Frazey Ford - Obadiah Mountain Man - Made The Harbor Reks - More Grey Hairs School Of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire Starfucker - Starfucker SUUNS - Zeroes EP


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.

Argh! (or, how I blew it and didn’t buy tickets)

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Sunday July 18, 2010

Well it finally happened. Normally, when a show that I want to go to gets announced, I buy tickets right away. My philosophy has always been: why wait? So I’m not sure that I can explain why I didn’t jump on tickets to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at Higher Ground when they went on sale a couple months ago. Sure, I’ll see them at Osheaga just a couple days later, but anyone who’s been to a festival can attest to the fact that a set there just isn’t the same.

Maybe it was that the past few indie shows I’ve been to have been completely empty. Maybe it was that I thought Rachel would get them. But whatever it was, the end result is the same. The show has sold out and I will not be seeing this incredible band when they come through Burlington.

Not that I needed the lesson, but it has definitely been learned. Never again.

If there are any good samaritans out there who would like to sell me their tickets (2), I’d be more than willing to pay above face value, as much as it would pain me to do so. Email me at opr@brendanbush.com


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.

Standout Tracks: “Right On” by The Roots

Filed Under: Guest Post, Standout Tracks, Track Reviews
Written by Eric
Friday July 9, 2010

Ed. Note: I’ll be filling in for Brendan for a few days.  Our musical taste arc has followed the same hip-hop to indie music (with some hip-hop interspersed) progression, so I hope to do this blog’s theme justice.

“Right On” by The Roots is the 9th track off of their latest release, “How I Got Over.”  While I highly recommend the entire album, I want to focus on this particular track.

A rework of “The Book of Right-On” by Joanna Newsom, this track immediately hit me with its haunting and mesmerizing hooks and break beats.  Newsom’s harp and voice combined with Questlove’s drums create a backdrop for this song that leaves the listener yearning for more.  An aside: you can read more about Joanna Newsom’s unique journey through indie music at NYTimes.com.

Black Thought deftly maneuvers through his verse. Like the rest of the album, his level-headed but strong flow drives the track with a sense of purpose.  On this occasion though, the lyrical gem of the track belongs to the other guest.  STS aka Sugar Tongue Slim, the Philly by way of Atlanta rapper, comes out of nowhere to steal the track with his verse. He quickly burns through his 45 seconds, dropping several scientific references and finishing with a sports analogy.  That combination is a key to my rap-loving heart. It’s the type of performance that makes you do a double-take and rewind to the beginning of it.

Sure, the track’s message is a bit shallow; it’s equal parts ego boasting and city repping.  But it certainly left an impression on me for days.  Give it a listen and let me know what you think:


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.