Soundbites: The Fatal Flaws, Lendway, Eugene Hutz, My First Days on Junk
Last week, I alluded to the fact that I’ve never made it down to the Radio Bean for the monthly Foofarawk! series hosted by garage rockers The Fatal Flaws. Unfortunately, that streak will continue this week, as I’ll once again be unable to attend — my little bro is getting married, sue me. But if you’re around on Saturday evening, I’d encourage you to check it out on my behalf.
Regular readers might recognize the Flaws’ husband-and-wife duo, Chris Beneke (guitar, vocals) and Sasha Rodriguez (drums), as the authors of various letters to the editor calling for my termination, as well as that of my predecessor, Casey Rae-Hunter — the latter even after he’d already left the paper . . . ouch. However, I bear them no ill will. In fact, I really dig the Flaws’ latest album, Scragged, recorded earlier this month.
Despite fear of spoiling the eventual “official” review, the 23-song, 46-minute disc is a blistering no-fi garage-rawk gem. Alternately prickly (“Eat the Rock,” “Grandma’s Gotta Popeye”) and oddly charming (“5 Minutes,” “I Will Be Your Ghost”), the Flaws trade in a curious brand of rock almost unique to themselves ’round these parts. If you’re looking for something utterly lacking in pretense this Art Hop weekend, you could do worse. By the way, for a run-down of Art Hop-related music stuff, see the blurb in Section A (page 28A).
Also on the bill are a personal favorite of mine, The Breaking In. This local garage duo’s live shows are becoming legendary for their mild-mannered good taste and utter lack of temerity . . . totally kidding about that last part. These guys rawk, plain and simple.
LENDING A HAND
Nectar’s has been loading up local residencies of late. In the past, I’ve been a tad critical of the downtown Burlington rock landmark for a perceived — on my part, anyway — lack of consistent local fare. But they’ve certainly shut me up recently, starting with Rock Tuesday, which has featured a variety of up-and-coming local acts on a weekly basis. It must be working, because this month the club is opening up Mondays to localvore talent as well.
First up is Lendway, a sugary-sweet indie outfit that until recently had been struggling to find its niche. The band has been around for a while, but early returns about town were less than favorable. The group then re-dedicated itself, writing and practicing non-stop over the last six months or so, all the while working on a new album set for release in early October.
I caught a late-afternoon set by the band at Red Square earlier this summer. And despite my initial reservations, I left impressed. Maybe it was the PBR. Maybe it was the close confines of the bar on a rainy day. But my need for hook-laden pop with saccharine harmonies was thoroughly sated.
Following Lendway is a relatively new entry to Burlington’s ever-popular jam scene, Amozen. The band released its debut, A Moment of Zen, earlier this summer with a Ballroom show at Higher Ground. Lately they’ve been doing the grassroots self-promo thing, playing festivals all over the Northeast and handing out freebies to anyone who will take them.
Lendway and Amozen appear at Nectar’s every Monday in September.
Vermonters sure do love their Gypsy-punk. That’s not especially surprising, given that the genre’s reigning clown prince is none other than Burlington ex-pat Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello. But the former Fag — his B-town punk band was called The Fags, OK? — isn’t the only maestro fusing Balkan beats with punk-rock sneer. Brooklyn’s Luminescent Orchestrii has developed a rabid Vermont following with a slew of area performances over the last year. This weekend they’re back for a trio of performances: Friday at Burke Mountain’s Tamarack Grill, Saturday at Langdon Street Café in Montpelier, and Sunday at Rut-Vegas’ Paramount Theater. Oy!
If you happen to pick up this edition the day it comes out, (Wednesday, September 3), clear your calendar this evening and make your way to Club Metronome, as Vermont’s damsels in destruction, the Green Mountain Derby Dames, host the Fall Burlesque Carnivale 2008 with The Vanderpolls, DJ Craig Mitchell and Los Angeles belly-dance vixen Lily La Morte. If you picked up the paper on Thursday . . . sucks to be you.
In local hip-hop news: VT Union emcee Dakota is taking up residency at Rasputin’s on Thursday nights. DJ Fattie B launched a new and improved version of his bi-weekly ’90s dance party called “No Diggity” last Friday at Club Metronome. The next one is Friday, September 12. And lastly, GTD’s Burnt MD has been up to his usual tricks of late, appearing on the latest Projectivity mixtape, Projectivity Vol. 3. Word.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Once again, alert Seven Days readers were quick to respond to an unfortunate bit of misinformation published in last week’s issue. You guys are good.
This particular foible inspired some prickly missives from numerous members of the Burlington music community, though none from either of the primary artists involved — Steve Hazen Williams and Colin Clary, who, while a little miffed about the mix-up, were mostly just happy to receive such positive feedback.
Anyway, it’s all a bit of a jumble, so bear with me.
Last week’s CD review of No Order from My First Days on Junk, written by Seven Days freelancer John Pritchard, credited Clary as the band’s main mover and shaker. While the multitasking Smitten is all over the record — dude sings on roughly half the tracks — credit lies primarily with Williams. He not only wrote all the tunes, save for a Lucksmiths cover, but played the bulk of the instruments as well. And he did one hell of a job on all counts.
At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Just how the hell did that happen, Dan? Don’t you guys double-check your facts?” Of course. The problem was the info we were provided — liner notes and an album one-sheet from State Capital Records — was, quite frankly, remarkably vague. Unless you are already intimately familiar with group, there is little to indicate that Williams is anything more than a multi-instrumentalist — a notable fact, to be sure. However, we’re not the first outlet to make the mistake. A similarly glowing MFDOJ review published in early August by Joseph Kyle from the blog PressPlayRecord made the same exact goof, crediting Clary over Williams.
Still, that’s no excuse. Our sincere apologies go out to all offended parties on this one. But let this be a lesson to aspiring rockers in our midst: Never assume. If you deserve credit for something, make sure the people who should know — like, say, music reviewers — know it.