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

And life gets in the way…

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Thursday September 29, 2011

It has been a pathetically long time since I’ve written anything here, and I feel pretty shitty about it. I was so motivated for so long, and always found time to go to random shows and sit down and write. Unfortunately, life has been a whirlwind for the past couple of months and I sort’ve lost the plot.

I don’t plan on abandoning this site for much longer though… I’ve been listening to a lot of classic vinyl, and I’ve got a lot to talk about, when I have time. Not long, I hope. If only my iPad cold transcribe my thoughts I’d have much more luck. Alas, the wait goes on…

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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: Jeff Mangum @ First Unitarian Church, Burlington 8/8/11

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Tuesday August 9, 2011

Though I admittedly waste way too much time paying attention to live music listings in Burlington, Montreal, Boston, D.C., New York and Chicago, sometimes all that wasted time pays off.  For every 50 shows I see that are in a city that I can’t make it to, I come across one gem like last night’s show that makes every freaking second worth it.

As a brief introduction for those unfamiliar, Jeff Mangum was most notably the the driving force behind Neutral Milk Hotel, indie rock idols who last released an album in 1998.  Yup, the same year I was heading off to college with posters of 2Pac and Wu-Tang Clan to hang on my walls, Jeff Mangum released what could be considered one of the best albums of my generation.

Last night, after taking a decade or so off of performing live music, Mangum proved to an adoring crowd of several hundred overheated fans that the wait was worth it.  And the audience responded in kind, pumping the packed, nearly 200-year old church with a palpable electricity.

A few songs in, as he was putting down one guitar and picking up another underneath a glowing red altar, the PA system popped and went silent.  Taking it completely in stride, Mangum picked up his folding chair and a guitar and sat on the floor facing the first pew to sing a tune while the issue was fixed.  With at least half of the audience singing along (at his request), he belted out an acoustic rendition of Two Headed Boy Pt. 2 as people streamed from the pews to the floor to sit beside him.

Playing a good mix of tunes from Neutral Milk Hotel’s two releases (Avery Island & In the Aeroplane Over the Sea), as well as a Daniel Johnston cover and an unreleased song requested by someone up front, Mangum gave us no hint as to his future as a performer, only a reminder of his talented past.

Kudos to everyone there last night (at least as far as I’ve heard) for respecting the artist’s request for no photos or recording of any sort.  It definitely spoke volumes about the quality of Burlington’s live music scene, and made me excited rather than envious for the first time in a while.

Extra special thanks go to Angioplasty Media and MSR for bringing this show to Burlington. Your efforts are more appreciated than I’m able to express on the internet.  Please keep doing what you’re doing.


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.

Too many bands are dying

Filed Under: Random Thought, Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Friday August 5, 2011

Figuratively speaking of course.  But seriously, this is getting worrisome.  I’m still upset about the loss of Drink Up Buttercup (RIP May 2011), Wolf Parade (RIP 2010) and Port O’Brien (RIP 2010), and now I’m mourning another.   The Middle East announced via Facebook earlier this week that they were ceasing to be:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

writing to inform you that we’re ceasing. i’m not sure if we’ll make more music later on or not.

we don’t feel like playing anymore for a whole lot of reasons that i won’t list here and i’m afraid if we continued any longer it would just be a moneygrab. i’d rather go hungry. thank you to all those who came to shows.

we had fun.

t.s elliot wrote ‘you are the music while the music lasts’, but he also wrote that confusing little book about cats so don’t put too much stock in his quotes.

i’m very tired. until next time.

sincerely yours,

the middle east.

Yeah, that’s the same Middle East that recently released I Want That You Are Always Happy, my favorite album of the year to date.  While I do have to give them credit for going out on their own terms, I’m also selfishly pissed that I’m not going to see them perform live.  They were definitely on the top of my must-see list, and it really sucks to be adding them to the list of lost bands so soon.

To celebrate their work while mourning their loss, here’s The Middle East’s “Jesus Came To My Birthday Party:”

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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.

Daytrotter comes to Vermont

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Wednesday July 27, 2011

Exciting news from Daytrotter today — they are bringing their Barnstorming 5 tour through Charlotte, VT on August 28. The tour features White Rabbits, Deer Tick, We Are Augustines, Blood Orange and Doug Paisley. I saw White Rabbits a couple years back and definitely recommend their show.

But I recommend this more than anything for the venue and the experience itself — the show is being held at The Old Lantern Barn in Charlotte. The folks at Daytrotter are true pioneers of the music industry, and if the success of their Daytrotter Sessions are any indication, this is bound to be a special evening.

Tickets can be purchased here (it’s a little bit convoluted of a system, but they explain it well enough).

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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.

Trying out Spotify

Filed Under: Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Friday July 22, 2011

For those of you not in the know, Spotify is a service that essentially lets you listen to almost any music you want to for free, in any order that you want, and share it all with your friends. While I’m still playing around with it and feel pretty ambivalent right now (I’ve never really been into the internet music listening services like Pandora or Grooveshark), one cool feature is putting full playlists out there for anyone’s listening. Well, anyone with Spotify that is.

Unlike other services, like 8tracks, which randomize the order of songs in your playlists to get around some sort of licensing issues, Spotify plays them in the order you choose. What better way for me to share my Favorite Music compilations…

Without further ado, for those of you with Spotify, here are links to those playlists. For those of you who haven’t checked it out, you can request an invitation here.

Favorite Music 2006
Favorite Music 2007
Favorite Music 2008
Favorite Music 2009
Favorite Music 2010
Favorite Music 2010 B-Side

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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.

Wow

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday July 20, 2011

Just came across this video of the Muppets performing “Sure Shot” by the Beastie Boys. Absolutely incredible:

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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.

Ticket giveaway: U2 w/Arcade Fire in New Brunswick, Canada

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Monday July 11, 2011

I have to admit, I’m doing this more out of laziness and disdain for craigslist than out of sheer goodwill & generosity (also, shameless promotion).  Regardless, the end result is the same.  I bought two tickets as well as camping & parking passes to see U2 & Arcade Fire, but things fell through, and I’m not going to be able to use them.  Can you?

I’m giving away two General Admission tickets, two camping passes for the campground right beside the venue, and a parking pass for the U2 360 Tour (with opener Arcade Fire) July 30 in Moncton, NB, Canada.  The campground opens 2 days before the show, if concert tailgating is your thing.

On Monday, July 18, I’ll pick one random winner from a hat.  Here’s how to get your name into that hat (up to 4 entries per person):

  1. Enter a comment to this post using your real name and an actual email address that you can be reached at (your email address will not be published, and will be used only to contact you if you win).  (1 entry)
  2. “Like” the On Permanent Rotation facebook page, then come back and reply to your initial comment (To reply to your initial comment, click the ‘Reply to this comment’ link directly underneath your inital comment), letting me know you’ve “Liked” this blog. (1 entry)
  3. Invite your facebook friends to “Like” On Permanent Rotation as well, by posting a link to your facebook wall.  Once at least 1 of your friends has “Liked” On Permanent Rotation in response to your invitation, post another reply to your initial comment with the name of that friend. (1 entry)

If you do all 3 of the above, you’ll also receive 1 bonus entry, for a total of 4.  Please note: you MUST follow the order above, and for #2 and #3, you MUST reply to your initial comment from #1 (using the “Reply to this comment” link directly under your initial comment).  This is the only way I’m going to be able to keep track of people.

UPDATE (7/19/11): Thanks to everyone who entered.  The winner of the ticket/camping package is Rose Mary Garrett of Prince Edward Island.  Congrats, Rose Mary, and have fun at the show!


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 Manifestivus 2011: Vermont’s “Local Festival with a Global Vibe”

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Thursday June 30, 2011

Coming up in just a few weeks out in Cabot, Vermont is the Manifestivus music & art festival on July 22 & 23. It’s a Vermont festival in the truest sense, “an uplifting international world music festival that promotes personal evolution through music, art and culture. The festival reminds us that we are one with each other, the land and all things.”

Featured artists this year include Brett Dennen, Toubab Krewe (whose bassist formed the festival in 2002), Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and Burlington’s own Events are Objects. More artists can be found here.

Tickets are available at http://manifestivus2011.eventbrite.com/ (enter promo code IVY to save $10)

The Manifestivus will donate a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to Toubab Krewe’s School House Krewe Project, which is raising funds for the construction of a music school in Bamako, Mali.

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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.

Wet your whistle: The Middle East – I Want That You Are Always Happy

Filed Under: Album Reviews, Wicked Good Music
Written by Brendan
Saturday June 11, 2011

The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always HappyIf you hadn’t already gathered, I listen to a lot of music. I listen all day long – generally 6-8 hours a day. I buy 2-3 new albums every week. I’m a glutton for music. So it’s with no lack of consideration when I call an album the best thing I’ve heard all year. With their upcoming release I Want That You Are Always Happy, Australian band The Middle East has earned that honor and then some.

While the overall vibe of the album is bleak, haunting and sparse, it would be a grievous mistake to try and put this album into a single genre of music or even try to boil down the overall vibe into a series of adjectives. Its breadth is nearly as breathtaking as its depth, each carefully placed note just as important as the spaces in between. The absence of sound in many of the songs creates as much presence as the guitar, piano, saxophone, banjo, harmonica or any other instrument or vocal.

The abstract background noises on several of the songs remind me of CocoRosie’s 2004 album La Maison de Mon Reve. In fact, the comparison definitely doesn’t stop there – the ethereal nature of both albums leaves me wandering, mesmerized, searching for an unattainable reality. There is also a Paul Simon influence that appears on a couple of songs, but in truth, the sound that The Middle East creates is all their own, almost incomparable.

It’s only slightly ironic that I mostly feel like crying when I hear this album — one thing is for sure, The Middle East wasn’t talking to their audience when they named this record.

There are also a couple of downright rocking, gut-punching tunes on the album. “Jesus Came To My Birthday Party,” a guitar drenched, tambourine smashing bliss-out is probably the best song I’ve heard all year, and the raucous, saxophone laced “Mount Morgan End” proves The Middle East to be unpigeonholeable. I might have just trademarked a word…

So with that in mind, knowing that no one song could possibly represent what this album has to offer, I do want to share one single with you, “Hunger Song.” It’s by no means my favorite, but because I know I can share it with you legally, I’ve included it here to wet your whistle, as it were.

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If you’ve made it this far into my gushing review, the only thing I have left to tell you is that you must buy this album. It comes out on July 12.

Extra special thanks goes to Patrick at Missing Piece Group for bringing this album to my attention, and for looking beyond the BS-laden “exclusive release” nature of so many modern buzz bands. I can’t possibly do this album justice, but I appreciate your willingness to let me try.

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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.

Yeasayer @ Club Soda, 6/8/2011 – Wrapup & Photos

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Thursday June 9, 2011

I made the drive up to Montreal last night to see Yeasayer at Club Soda and left impressed by both the band and the venue. It was my first show at Club Soda, and I hope to see another there soon. The two-tiered balcony and narrow, long shape provide for great viewing areas and great sound.

The show was opened by Hush Hush. I’d rather you find out for yourself what that set was like, but let’s just say it was one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in a while. If you get the chance, catch Hush Hush live. Bring your sense of humor, and leave your political correctness at home. Smith Westerns were up next, and while I had heard really good things, their set was pretty forgettable to me.

Yeasayer @ Club Soda, Montreal

The general atmosphere of the Yeasayer set felt slightly subdued. It was tough to say if it was the energy of the crowd, the energy of the band or the combination of both, but I definitely expected a much more raucous, face melting show. Not that I’m complaining – the music was fantastic, and I’m way more into Yeasayer as a band than I was before seeing them. It just wasn’t as out of control crazy as I’d expected.

Yeasayer @ Club Soda, June 8, 2011

Their music is remarkably more instrumental than I’d previously thought – ODD BLOOD (their most recent album) sounds more electronic-driven. While there were several keyboards and a drum machine or two on stage, it was definitely the drummer who creates much of their sound, accompanied by some impressive (though not quite loud enough) electric guitar work and thick, thumping, rapid basslines.

What’s more, their two (and sometimes three) part vocal harmonies were literally perfect. Having more than one voice adds such depth to the sound, especially when they all sound so good on their own and together.

Yeasayer in Montreal at Club Soda

I’d absolutely see Yeasayer again. The songs they played off of their two albums were all mesmerizing, as were the couple of new tunes. I’m already looking forward to their next release, and hope they consider Burlington as a stop on a future tour. The trips up to Montreal definitely take a toll, and I’d be hard pressed to do it twice for the same band.

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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.