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

Good New Music

Filed Under: New Releases
Written by Brendan
Monday February 28, 2011

I used to write a lot about new music, and haven’t so much in a while, so I figured I’d try and bring it back a little bit to share with you some of the stuff I’ve been listening to lately. Here are some songs from albums I’ve recently purchased that I really enjoy. If you like them too, click on the album name to hear more and/or buy the album.

Iron & Wine
“Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me”
From Kiss Each Other Clean

Apex Manor
“Under The Gun”
From The Year of Magical Drinking

The Mynabirds
“Let The Record Go”
From What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood

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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.

Not all purchases are equal

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Tuesday February 22, 2011

I came across an interesting article from NPR’s All Things Considered, talking about where your money goes when you buy an album. The conclusion is this:

“While the many layers of complex contracts, discounts and placement programs can make it tough to know exactly how much of your dollar a band gets from a retail outlet, there’s one reassuring certainty. When you buy your album directly from the band, it actually sees significantly more money.”

I definitely prefer to have heard any new music a band might be playing on tour before going to see them play it, so I don’t think I’m likely to change my purchasing habits that much in terms of buying albums at shows. But I will continue buying t-shirts from bands to make up for the couple of bucks they’re losing when I buy their album on Amazon.


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 it: Darwin Deez

Filed Under: Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Friday February 18, 2011

Thanks to Susie for sending this my way. Here’s something you need to listen to. Yes, it’s also an exceedingly strange video, and features one of the meanest ‘staches I’ve seen in a while.

You can buy Darwin Deez’s self-titled album in mp3 form here.

I always dig a recommendation for music… feel free to post them in the comments or on the On Permanent Rotation facebook page.

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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 Head and the Heart @ Higher Ground 2/15/2011

Filed Under: Concert Reviews, Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Wednesday February 16, 2011

Last night, I caught The Head and the Heart (who opened for Dr. Dog) at the Higher Ground.  It’s the strangest thing, but their performance was so impressive that it really makes their album seem a little lackluster.  Not that I’ve stopped listening to it today (currently on the third time through), but the band has definitely come a long way since they recorded it (they originally self-released the album in July 2010), and their live act adds so much character to their music.

The Head and the Heart @ Higher Ground, Burlington VT

They clearly have such a good time playing that it was hard not to get swept up in it, but what impressed me wasn’t  just the energy they played with.  They also consistently belted out flawless 3-part vocal harmonies, thumped and shook impeccably timed percussion and threw in a jangly piano and some violin to boot.

Jon Russell and Josiah Johnson share the lead vocal duties, and both went all out.  Russell’s voice is normally deep and raspy, but he hits falsetto notes too.  Johnson was so crisp and clear that at times it was hard to believe there were other instruments playing.  Percussionist Tyler Williams went from four-limbed madman, nearly jumping out of his seat for entire songs, to egg-shaking time keeper, precisely placing shifts and tics.

My only hope is that as they continue to write music, The Head and the Heart finds a way to use vocalist/violinist Charity Rose Thielen’s voice more often.  She’s the perfect complement to the two male voices in harmonies, but it was her several solo lines that garnered the most attention from the audience (In “Rivers and Roads” and “Winter Song”), and I was seriously impressed at her vocal range.

All in all, I highly recommend seeing The Head and the Heart.  It’d be pretty hard not to have a good time.  Oh, and if they are opening for Dr. Dog and you plan on staying for that, make sure to bring your earplugs.  I brought the wrong ones, and only made it through the first 5 Dr. Dog songs before I couldn’t take the loudness anymore.

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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.

Recommended February shows in the Burlington area

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Tuesday February 8, 2011

With the arrival of the new year and the recent or upcoming launches of several music-related websites based in the Burlington area, I’ve been spending some time thinking about why I began writing here, and why I continue doing it.

One of the main reasons I began was to encourage more people in Burlington to go to shows.  I’m still baffled sometimes at certain shows selling out, while others play to a crowd of 30 — or less.  And I know from bringing friends to shows that a lot of the music I like is just categorically good, and generally folks are really happy when they come to a show with me.  The only barrier seems to be their exposure to the music, which I’m trying to solve by writing here.

To make a long story short, here are some upcoming shows in Burlington and Montreal that I’m either planning on going to, or really wish I could make it to but can’t.  If you like other music you’ve listened to or read about because of this site, I highly recommend going to any of them.  Try one out.  If you’re reading this from somewhere else, then check the venues around you for some of the bands listed below.  Based on past experience, I’m almost certain you’ll be happy you did.

Friday, February 11
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings @ Higher Ground
Tickets: $20

Tuesday, February 15
Dr. Dog w/The Head and the Heart @ Higher Ground
Tickets: $18

Wednesday, February 16
Interpol w/School of Seven Bells @ Metropolis (Montreal)
Tickets: $34

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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.

Efterklang presents “An Island”

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday February 2, 2011

An IslandLast night, I hosted a public/private screening of An Island, a film by Vincent Moon featuring Efterklang (an amazing Danish band featured on my Favorite Music of 2010).

In brief, the movie was filmed on a small island in Denmark (where, presumably, some of the members of Efterklang grew up) over a period of four days last summer. It’s about 50 minutes of part music video, part documentary and part artistic statement. But before I tell you more about the film, I wanted to applaud the entire concept of its release.

Via facebook (and potentially other avenues?), Efterklang promoted their video by inviting anyone who had room enough for 5 people to host a screening. You could publicize it and let folks RSVP through their site, or you could mark it as “full” and invite folks offline (which is the option I chose, with very limited seating space). They were hoping for 100 screenings, and as of this post they are up to over 400. Anyhow, the film was due out yesterday, with one special premiere screening the day before. They delivered the high quality Quicktime file to me over the weekend via one of those file-sending websites, along with a bonus mp3 and a few instructions.

Both as a concept and as an actual experience, the idea of a band releasing a film about them via their fans is amazingly cool. I’d love to be a part of more of these events in the future, and if the response from the guests last night is any indication, I won’t have any trouble filling seats. In fact, if I did it again I think I’d try to upgrade to a larger space that could be open to the public as well.

Vincent Moon is fairly well known in the indie music world, largely in part to his Take-Away Shows series on La Blogotheque. He created in An Island a precise yet unpolished work of art. It’s dark without being dreary, and conceptual without being campy. He mixes sounds (both in the music of Efterklang and in other “found” noises) in such a manner that they are both a result of and the impetus behind the visuals.

I had a couple of favorite parts, where incredibly precise (and mostly very unique) sounds melded so well with the rhythm and point of view of the film that I literally felt like I was in the movie (it helped that I was projecting it onto a 60+ inch screen and playing it through my Bose Companion 5 speakers).

Specifically, there is a scene where the lead singer of Efterklang and another band member are walking through a soggy marsh in the rain with microphones, capturing the sloshing sound made by their shoes and the tapping and splattering sound made by the rain, and finding a way to make it sound wonderfully musical. And a later scene, where the whole band and a small crowd of others perform the song “Alike” using such instruments as the broom-on-floor, the popping balloon and a variety of other random percussion instruments, in addition to more traditional ones like guitars, drums and horns.

I don’t know how they plan on releasing it in the future, but they are still accepting new screenings and I highly recommend you think about hosting one if you’re interested in seeing this film.

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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.