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

Wrapup: farm @ Monkey House 9/25/2010

Filed Under: Concert Reviews, Local Bands
Written by Brendan
Monday September 27, 2010

farm - Sat., Cloudy, Calm, 36 F, 10:44 p.m.farm put on an impressive performance Saturday night to mark the launch of their latest album, Sat., Cloudy, Calm, 36º F, 10:44 p.m.

The show was well attended, with about 50-60 people there when farm took the stage. As a quick aside, it was great to see a show at the Monkey House that well attended. The last couple shows I saw there (Givers, Drink Up Buttercup) were all but empty, so it was a nice change in energy, and brought a much more intimate feel to the bar. It was also nice to see Maryse Smith — who recently opened for The New Pornographers — in attendance, supporting fellow VT musicians.

The band — who records as a 3-piece — was joined by their friends Sam Boutin and Brennan Mangan for this show. Even with 5 people on stage, they managed to make the constant trading of instruments look almost effortless. At least three of them took a turn on lead vocals, and duties were shared on the drums, keys, guitars and a variety of other instruments. While it would be pretty easy for this to become a distraction to the audience, they were quick and seemingly practiced enough to make it interesting.

Most of their set was from their new album, though they also played 3 or 4 songs I hadn’t heard before. My favorites were “anticipating snow” and “hotel manners” though really there were many highlights. The only thing that felt out of place to me was opening with “is it wrong?”, a sleepy, spacy, stripped-down song that, while beautiful, didn’t really pull me into the show right away.

I found myself drawing comparisons between Port O’Brien (particularly the vocals on “getting cold” which sound remarkably similar to Van Pierszalowski’s voice) and Wild Sweet Orange, though farm definitely has a sound all their own. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing farm again, and recommend that Burlington indie music fans check these guys out soon.

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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.

Music in Burlington tonight

Filed Under: Live Shows, Local Bands
Written by Brendan
Saturday September 25, 2010

If you’re in the Burlington area tonight, I highly recommend checking out the CD release party for farm at the Monkey House. If you can’t make it, make sure you pick up the new album, Sat., Cloudy, Calm, 36 degrees F, 10:44 p.m., sometime soon. It’s definitely the most impressive release I’ve been sent since I started writing here, and I’m really looking forward to hearing more from these guys.

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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: Broken Social Scene @ Higher Ground Ballroom 9/22/2010

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Thursday September 23, 2010

If you missed last night’s Broken Social Scene show, you really blew it — and don’t say I didn’t warn you. BSS treated us to over 2 hours of audio enjoyment, putting on one of the best shows — if not the best show — I’ve seen all year.

Openers The Sea and Cake started things off with an impressive performance, but I was so jazzed with anticipation that I could hardly pay attention. It’d been quite a while since I last saw BSS — a little over 4 years actually. The last time I saw them definitely stands out as one of my favorite shows of all time, at Merriweather Post Pavilion (MD) in the summer of 2006, along with Belle & Sebastian and Ted Leo/Pharmacists.

I was also at the BSS Presents… show in 2007 at the Ira Allen Chapel, but that was definitely Kevin Drew’s solo effort, no matter what it was called. Not to mention the sound quality was awful and Kevin Drew was sick. Needless to say, I’ve been waiting to see Broken Social Scene again for a long time.

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene @ Higher Ground 9/22/10

They played a nice mix of tunes from all 4 of their albums, as well as a cover of “Soul Unwind” by Apostle of Hustle (BSS guitarist Andrew Whiteman’s side project). I was only allowed to take photos during the first three songs, so they may make the show look pretty mellow — don’t believe it. There was plenty of sweaty rock energy on stage and off.

Justin Peroff of Broken Social Scene

Justin Peroff of Broken Social Scene @ Higher Ground 9/22/10

Though I really wanted to hear “It’s All Gonna Break,” my disappointment was pretty easily overcome by some of my other favorites like “7/4 (Shoreline),” “Superconnected” and “Meet Me in the Basement.”

The band clearly had a strong connection with the audience, and their stage presence and banter really cemented that feeling. A few of them made a guest appearance at the Live Yo Gabba Gabba (children’s entertainment, for those without kid neighbors) performance earlier in the day, and Kevin showed off his newly acquired dancing skills by leading us in the “Peanut Butter Stomp.”

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene

Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene @ Higher Ground 9/22/10

There was a fairly new female addition to the band (sorry I can’t remember her name and can’t find it online), and she fit in wonderfully, singing “Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl” live for the first time, and absolutely killing it.

I think there were 8 people in the band last night, though a couple members of The Sea and Cake also joined them on stage for several songs. There were tons of different instruments played — well beyond what I’m used to seeing at a show. The trumpet and saxophone definitely stood out, and there was some solid harmonica work in there as well. There was also plenty of instrument-swapping going on as usual, a true testament to the talent of this band.

Broken Social Scene @ Higher Ground 9/22/10

Broken Social Scene @ Higher Ground 9/22/10

Broken Social Scene really brought their best last night, and I couldn’t be more excited to see them again in December at Metropolis in Montreal.


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.

Show preview: Broken Social Scene @ Higher Ground 9/22/2010

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Friday September 17, 2010

If you live in the Burlington area and there’s one show you see all year, I’d recommend it be Broken Social Scene next Wednesday, September 22 at Higher Ground in South Burlington.

I had a whole long post written out about why, but I decided to just leave it at that. They don’t need me to explain why – I’m sure the music will speak for itself, and I hope you are there to hear it. Here’s “Meet Me In The Basement,” an instrumental song from their 2010 release “Forgiveness Rock Record“:

I’ll post a review of the show and hopefully have some good photos to share, but please do yourself a favor and join me at the show.

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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.

Art Hop is tomorrow!

Filed Under: Live Shows, Local Bands
Written by Brendan
Thursday September 9, 2010

I love living in the South End of Burlington. It’s the perfect mix of quiet & convenient, and it definitely has a very particular character. The annual South End Art Hop, a two-day festival of local art in all its forms, really lets that character shine, and makes me love living here all the more.

If you’re in town this weekend, Art Hop is the only place to be. There’s a ton of good music playing, and I for one am definitely planning on catching some. Not sure I’ll make it to Maga at Speaking Volumes, but I’ll definitely be checking out Villanelles and The Vacant Lots at the Green Door Studio on Friday. Hope to see you there.

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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.

Live stream of the new Of Montreal album

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Wednesday September 8, 2010

Thanks to NPR, you can listen to Of Montreal’s new album False Priest in its entirety, until the official release next Tuesday. Also thanks to NPR, I am able to embed the stream right into this post. Thanks, NPR!

I just finished listening to the album, and I have to say, whoa. The album ends with these lyrics, spoken over a haunting hip-hop style beat:

“everybody’s searching for a cause, a reason to blow themselves up
it could be anything.
when will certain people realize that afterlife is nothing to live for,
nothing to die for, nothing to fight for.
if those in this life are not sacred then nothing that’s a part of it
is sacred either.
if you think god is more important than your neighbor
you’re capable of terrible evil.
if you think some prophets words are more important
than your brother
and your sister,
you’re ill and you’re wrong. you’re wrong.”

[translated by me, so apologies if I'm off on a word or two...]


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.

The demise of Amie Street

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday September 8, 2010

Well that just sucks. I got an email a few minutes ago from Amie Street, where I buy a good portion of my weekly music intake, saying as of September 22, the site will be shuttered, redirecting all links to Amazon. Amie Street was an incredible concept for many reasons, and the loss of the service definitely means I’ll be buying less music.

The first cool thing about Amie Street was that albums started off really cheap (like under $2.00 cheap), and as they got more popular, the price went up. So not only could you get really good music at a really reasonable price if you acted quickly enough, but you could also then recommend that music. If music that you recommended went up in price, you were given credit back into your account to spend on more music. Add on top of that the 2-for-1 specials that I always took advantage of, where you could put $50 into your account and receive an extra $50.

I’d love to go ahead and spend my remaining $49 before the site closes down, but unfortunately it appears that I am not the only one with that idea, as I’m currently unable to actually get to any page but the homepage. This really sucks. Goodbye, Amie Street.

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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.

Want help finding new music?

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Tuesday September 7, 2010

I find that among my music-loving friends, there exist many types of consumer. Some are overly obsessed music junkies like me; we read music blogs, go to big shows, little shows and everything in between, and buy up albums like they were cups of coffee. Others are more passive listeners, picking up on good music from friends and pop culture, buying occasional albums, and seeing a live show every now and again. And then there are those who love every show I recommend they go to, listen obsessively to the artists I recommend, but don’t otherwise seek music out.

I find the diaspora fascinating, and I’m inspired to write by all variety of music-loving friends. A large part of the impetus for beginning this blog was to find a more regular way to share what I’m listening to, instead of just my year-end favorite music compilations.

I’m not entirely sure I’ve been doing a very good job on that front though, too often indulging in music-fanatic geekouts and fanboy rants. Not that I’m going to cut back on that, because it’s been too much fun, but I do want to try harder to be a filter for those in search of good music.

To wit, I want to point out the charts section of my last.fm profile. These charts make it easy to not only see what albums I’ve been listening to most over the past 7 days, 3 months, 6 months and year, but also to hear samples of the music. You can see what songs I listen to most, who my favorite artists are, and what albums I just can’t stop playing.

I highly recommend clicking around, finding something you haven’t heard, and giving it a listen. I guarantee you’ll come away with at least one new favorite.

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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.

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A little something for your ears

Filed Under: podcast
Written by Brendan
Thursday September 2, 2010

As this is a blog about music, I thought I’d put some together for you to listen to. If you happen to enjoy it, I highly recommend you pick up an album or two. The Villanelles album is currently available as a free (legal) download here (just click on the image at the top of the page). And the Local Natives album (one of my favorites of the year) is available for $5.99 right now from Amazon.

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A little something for your ears
Artist Song Album
Villanelles Wait It Out Villanelles
Young Galaxy Long Live The Fallen World Invisible Republic
Decibully Somewhere in the World World Travels Fast
Drink Up Buttercup Young Ladies Born And Thrown On A Hook
Efterklang Modern Drift Magic Chairs
Emanuel and the Fear Dear Friend Listen
Maps & Atlases Pigeon Perch Patchwork
School of Seven Bells Babelonia Disconnect From Desire
Magic Kids Hey Boy Memphis
Local Natives World News Gorilla Manor
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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.

On watching more local bands, and local bands to watch

Filed Under: Live Shows, Local Bands
Written by Brendan
Wednesday September 1, 2010

I have to admit that I am not nearly as immersed in Burlington’s local music scene as I’d like to be. I still have yet to see a show at Radio Bean. The Monkey House shows generally start pretty late, and I don’t like driving out there unless I’m really motivated by a band I love. Metronome shows also start pretty late, and the one time I’ve tried to go to a show there in the past six months, they were 30 min late to even open the doors, let alone begin. It’s sad, but I seriously have a very hard time staying awake until 11:30 or 12 on a weeknight.

So the few times I’ve caught Burlington-area bands have been as opening acts at shows I was going to anyhow. I’d like to change that, and I’ve been hearing from more Vermont artists recently about new releases and live shows (keep it coming). So with this post, I’d like to kick off an attempt to see more local bands and write about them here.

To get it started, I might as well talk a little about the area bands I have seen, as I’ve been nothing but impressed with every one of them.

Maga

I saw Maga (soft g) open for Givers in May at The Monkey House.  I loved a few of their songs, and didn’t love others.  Overall, I left thinking I’d like to see this duo of Bryan Parmelee and Brett Fiorentino again.  It was Maga I bailed on seeing at Metronome recently because of my old-ness.  To make up for it, I wore my Maga tshirt in both Rome and Tel Aviv as a bit of free international exposure ;-)

Vacant Lots

Vacant Lots opened for, and put on a much better show than, Fiery Furnaces at The Higher Ground in June. They play heavy, droning psych rock a la Black Angels, and they play it well.  You can download Hypnotized, a 9-song release from Vacant Lots, for free here.

Also check out the video for “Let Me Out” by the Vacant Lots, written & directed by my neighbor Graham Raubvogel:

Maryse Smith (or Maryse & The Rosesmiths)

I had the pleasure of seeing Maryse Smith last week at Higher Ground, and to be honest, I’m ashamed I hadn’t heard of her before.  She plays tomorrow at The Monkey House, and I’m strongly considering going after my softball game, even though I’ll likely be at least slightly injured again.

Listen to Maryse Smith’s album Is Becomes Was (a bit more of a stripped down sound than the live show):

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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.