Auld Lang Signs
Wish List, Part II
Last week, we offered a selection of holiday wishes sent to us by people from across Vermont's vast musical landscape. The responses were as varied and eclectic as the folks who sent them. Hip-hop magnate Fattie B. wanted never to hear Cyndi Lauper or The B52s at an '80s night ever again. Living folk-music encyclopedia Robert Resnik yearned to exile self-indulgent singer-songwriters to a far-away land — and I heartily agree. The kids at Big Heavy World asked for a grease-powered Hummer and the "lost" master tapes of The Fags' unreleased album. We really hope Santa, Hannukah Harry and Annual Gift Man were reading last week, guys.In addition to the holiday wish list, we also received a number of hopes — and rants — focused more on the impending calendar change to 2008. So here they are, brought to you by the people who make the music we love.
My New Year's wish list? More experimental and free improv shows to watch and be a part of. More music-making in general. That my bands The Le Duo and Solah play more shows — maybe a show outside of Chittenden County, even! That everybody finds something creative they like to do and they do it a lot. That I get my lazy ass to my rehearsal space more often and practice! That I post more blogs people want to read. And, finally, I hope everyone has fun.
The Le Duo, Solah, ex-Nest Material
I'd really like to record two new albums. One with my rock band in the rock style and one solo, using the 8-bit music chip from the old Gameboy system. This is a pretty big wish, though, because I've got a brand-new baby, my guitarist Creston Lea has a brand-new baby, and my bassist Eric Olsen is expecting a brand-new baby in May. We're not exactly rolling in free time. Maybe at least we can record another live podcast.
James Kochalka Superstar
Musician, author, cartoonist
I want Mattel to market a line of Dan Bolles action figures so I can pretend I'm a super-scribe and role-play reviewing endless indie CDs in a single bound.
I've been offered a guitar endorsement from a major guitar company based in Canada to go with my string (Mangan) and strap (Italia) endorsements. I will likely accept the endorsement before I go on the USO tour and kick off "The Gothic Love Parade" tour later this summer. Honey Pie will be released to FM commercial broadcast and it has already been promised airplay — can you handle eight guitar tracks at once? I want you to add me on MySpace, just so I can thank you for the add. Join me, and fulfill your destiny, for I am your CrowfeatheR.
My insane desire is for every commercial radio station in the state to do the following: Four times a day, without any particular fanfare, play a song by a Vermont band. Not in some ghettoized "local music hour" way, carefully selected for minimum listenership. Just mixed in with the other tunes, without any self-congratulatory preening. Just play the songs. If people call and say they like one, play it again. If they call and say they don't, play a different one instead. This is referred to as "responding to your audience."
There is plenty of Vermont music in every genre and format that is as well written, well played and well recorded as anything on the radio. From the beginning of broadcasting up until the late '80s, most bands had their first break by having a local or regional radio hit, not by being nationally stuffed into our collective ears. I hate to think that the radio programmers around here are such fearful corporate serfs that they couldn't eliminate even one replaying of "Layla" or "In Da Club" and squeeze in some tasty local product. But that is what I think. Go ahead, prove me wrong, all of you. Even one of you.
And one more thing: Phish doesn't count. I mean, please.
Francis Llewellyn Andreas III wants to get started on the Brave the Vertigo LP.
Franky Vitriol wants to meet a bird that looks as good in chaps as he does.
Frank Andreas/Franky Vitriol
242 Main, Amadis
I would like to see the Burlington (and greater) music scene continue to become more supportive and open-minded and do away with divisiveness and judgment over what's cool/un-cool, weird/not weird, etc.
Regime change. Another season of "Deadwood" — even though that's a sucker's wish. A water-powered, edible car. Or maybe a Mini-Hummer hybrid that runs on spent plastic Hannaford bags and construction debris. My job description changing from "local honky-tonk troubadour" to "Global Entertainer and International Bon Vivant" . . .
Mostly I'd just like to make three or four records and put 'em all out on the same day. Then write some more songs and play them with my boy, Hank. Happy New Year, y'all.
Global Entertainer and International Bon Vivant
I'd like to build a guitar for Richard Thompson and have him pay me in guitar lessons. Last time he was in town, I stalked him to Williams-Sonoma.
I wish to marry Ryan Seacrest. Then, once we're married, I'll sleep with him a lot, but only because I'm secretly importing celebrity STDs via strategically placed beakers tucked into my lingerie.
I'm ready for a new record from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings!