Following last week’s epic Monkey House love fest in this column — and the ensuing blowback of WTF? emails from folks who were pissed that I didn’t write about them — we’re going to switch things up a bit this week. Ready?
First, beyond that opening sentence, you will not read another word about The Monkey House, no matter how much I think you should go and check out Backyard Tire Fire with local speedwestern revivalists Waylon Speed this Thursday. I mean, last week was pretty over the top with Monkey love, even for me. So from here on out, I won’t so much as hint that you go to the Monkey to catch Japhy Ryder on Friday night just because they’re a killer live band. And, heaven forbid, I certainly won’t make you read any column blurbs about Finn Riggins playing with Arms and Legs and How to Stay Alive in the Woods on Saturday.
The second thing: Because this is such a jam-packed week, I’m writing the entire column in fast-paced, rapid-fire “Bite- Torrent” style.
So, to summarize: The whole column will be one big BiteTorrent. And I will not mention The Monkey House — or the fact that Sunday’s show with Hell or High Water and Dutch folk-punk songwriter Tim Vantol will be as much fun as the phrase “Dutch folk-punk songwriter” would make it seem, which is to say, quite a lot. Moving on…
Katie Trautz appears to be a woman after my own heart. This Friday, the Montpelier-based multi-instrumentalist swings by the Parima Acoustic Lounge — aka the best listening room in Burlington — for a show celebrating her stunning new(ish) album Remembering, which was quite favorably reviewed by 7D’s Robert Resnik back in January. The talented folk songstress will have a veritable all-star band in tow, featuring guitarist Michael Roberts (Wooden Dinosaur), pedal-steel whiz Asa Brosius (Sara Grace & the Suits), bassist Noah Hahn (Mr. Casual) and banjoist Nate Gusakov of Knotty Pine renown. And the name of said supergroup? The Tall Boys. Awesome.
Fans of “open-source electro-folk-tronic songwriting projects” — and who isn’t one? — take note: Jets and Snakes, the side project of Brooklyn songwriter Roger paul Mason (Ten Minute Turns), will be in town this weekend. Word on the street is that dude’s been collaborating with Dirty Projectors’ Brian McOmber recently, which is pretty great. In the meantime, those who prefer their glo-fi pop with some balls will want to stop by Radio Bean this Saturday.
Speaking of balls, allow me to introduce the world’s foremost purveyor of “Pirate Rock,” Brooklyn’s Captain Ronzo. The self-described “aging punk rocker” will be at Burlington’s Manhattan Pizza this Saturday, unleashing signature shanty-punk songs such as “Scurvy,” “Walk the Plank” and “Your Mom Is Totally Hot.” Also, he’ll be dressed like a pirate.
Also on the Manhattan bill is swingin’ Washington, D.C.-based Americana-gothic outfit The Galt Line, who, in addition to having a reputation for rollicking live shows, may have the best press pic ever.
It’s nice to see Japhy Ryder gigging regularly again. Since the release of their nifty new live album Over the Fall earlier this month, they’ve had a solid run of dates at venues all over Burlington. This Saturday, the band ventures to Montpeculiar for a night of porntastic prog fun at Positive Pie 2. The show kicks off a strong run of upcoming shows at the capital pizza parlor, including Sara Grace & the Suits, Made in Iron and Halogen Media Works pal Philadelphia Slick. On a related note, Halogen and Japhy are now working together and are reportedly developing plans for global domination. Or at least distribution for the band’s upcoming new release, If the Haves Are Willing.
Speaking of Philadelphia, what the hell is in the water in the City of Brotherly Love? When last we left our old, briefly local friends The Powder Kegs, they were living in New York, having alienated their original newgrass fan base with a debut record stacked with sparkling indie folk. They’ve since moved to Philly, and living in the same city as Dr. Dog has seemingly treated them well. The band’s newly released EP Empty Side is 20 minutes of pop bliss very much in line with the unabashed Beatles revivalism found on Dr. Dog’s Fate and We All Belong. Suffice it to say, I dig it. I think you might, too. Find out when the band stops by Burlington’s North End Studio this Thursday.
Happy birthday to Craig Mitchell, who will celebrate in typical style with a bash at the Green Room this Saturday. Why not throw the party at Lift, the nightclub he opened last summer? In a recent email, the local dance music guru confirms that he has left Lift and returned to his roots as a regular fixture at the newly refabbed Club Metronome. He didn’t divulge further details about the split.
Congratulations to The Vacant Lots. The psych-rock duo will hit the road in May for a string of East Coast dates in support of UK experimental-psych mavens Spectrum, the brainchild of Spacemen 3 founder Sonic Boom. Translation: kind of a big deal. It is especially impressive considering Sonic (Mr. Boom?) handpicked the opening bands for the entire U.S. tour. Some other groups he tabbed that you may be familiar with: Brooklyn’s Dean & Britta and San Francisco’s Wooden Shjips.
Reason #4327 why you should be reading this column every Wednesday: Legendary photojournalist Peter Simon — whose credits include the Grateful Dead, the New York Mets and some guy named Bob Marley, among many, many others — will give a free lecture at Brennan’s Pub & Bistro at UVM’s Davis Center on Wednesday, April 21, at 2 p.m.
While we’re on campus, UVM’s annual Springfest is this Saturday on the CBW green and features headliners MSTRKRFT, Ingrid Michaelson, Theophilus London, Ila Mawana, The Fancy Drifters and four as-yet-unannounced side stage acts. College kids get in on the cheap, of course. But other people can go, too, for $25.
Local hot-house hooligans Swing Noire will turn Middlebury’s 51 Main into a den of Django-fueled manouche mania this Saturday. According to a blurb I wrote a couple of years ago, the band evokes “images of smoky basement speakeasies and slinky cabarets.” Ah, if only I still smoked!
And last but not least, this bit from the Department of Corrections: Last week’s review of The Michele Fay Band’s latest, Travelin’ That Road, incorrectly stated that the band’s 2008 debut was self-titled. It wasn’t. That record was called Live and Local. And, much like the new album, it was a really nice example of down-home VT folk music.