Soundbites: Magafaun, Trouble vs. Glue
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from experimental music guru Greg Davis . It seems he’s been quite the busy, buzzing bee lately, recording, producing and touring with or for an array of artists and labels as varied as the man’s music itself.
Most notably, Sun Circle  — Davis’ minimalist drone duo project with fellow sonic whiz Zach Wallace — has just released a split LP with La Monte Young acolytes Eleh  on Important Records . The LP had a limited pressing of only 500 copies and is technically sold out. But rumor has it that Davis still has a few on hand and is willing to give up the goods for the right price — $15.
For those who prefer their music a little less deep-drone and a little more melodic tone, NYC imprint Tompkins Square  released the third installment of their series Imaginational Anthem  earlier this month, which features Davis on a gorgeous acoustic guitar instrumental track entitled “Sleep Architecture.” The compilation is dedicated to “mining the genre known as ‘American Primitive Guitar.’” Without knowing exactly what that is, I’d say they nailed it. You can stream the album at www.imaginationalanthem.com .
Davis will also be appearing on record, courtesy of a number of international outlets in the coming months and is working on not one but two solo projects slated for 2009 releases. Dude gets around.
In the meantime, you can catch Davis this Friday at The Monkey House in Winooski as part of the home stretch of a brief East Coast tour with Durham-based indie-folk trio Megafaun . The tour is a reunion of sorts as Davis and Megafaun last appeared together locally at Club Metronome as part of an epic 2007 tour with eclectic indie-ecclesiatics Akron/Family. By all accounts, the show was one of the best of the year. This time around, they’ll be joined by local psychedelic nu new agers (Davis’ term, not mine . . . but I like it!) Oak .
BEHOLD . . . SOME CRAZY SHIT
Speaking of mind-bending sonic shenanigans, allow me to introduce Behold . . . The Arctopus . The Brooklyn-based trio — and label mate of local Black Market Activities  signees Romans — represents the next generation of tech-metal virtuosity, following in the footsteps of genre progenitors such as Death and Watchtower and more recent acts such as Dillinger Escape Plan. The group is regarded as one of the most technically evolved metal bands working today, bolstering that reputation by scoring their classically influenced compositions to sheet music before playing a single note. Plus, they wield the ultimate weapon of techie-geek musicality: a Warr guitar.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Burlington has its fair share of out-of-town acts swinging through any given week. Nestled between Boston and Montréal, our lakeside hamlet is often a stopping-off point for bands fleshing out a tour schedule or scoring some dank headies. I kid, of course, though we do have a reputation to uphold, bro.
Despite the frequent thru-traffic of bands from “exotic” locales such as Philadelphia and New York, it is something of a rarity for our pleasant little burg to host real live foreigners. And aren’t we a “sanctuary city?”
Well, that all changes this Friday when Italian indie-pop duo Trouble vs. Glue  makes an appearance at Radio Bean. According to their MySpace page, the band is composed of “two funny persons with a lot of problems.” Judging by the sampling of their music available online, I’d have to agree. Picture The Go! Team as produced by Nose Bleed Island ’s Joey Pizza Slice and I think you’ll get the idea. And much like our hometown lo-fi savant Mr. Pizza Slice, they even make occasional quirky Nazi references! Bella!
THEY MIGHT BE BROTHERS
While we’re on the subject of the Bean, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the impending return of prodigal tunesmith Arthur Adams , who set out for the West Coast a few years back and has seldom been heard from since in these parts.
Contrary to his Burlington-era pseudonym, The Lazy Songwriter, Adams has been hard at work with his San Fran band Blammos! , which is comprised of fellow Burlington ex-pats Tim Marcus  of Concentric and Dave Stockhausen  — formerly of my old band, actually, The Middle 8 .
This Saturday, Adams returns to his home turf for a show with his younger brother, Jordan Adams, entitled “The Adams Brothers Perform the Flansburgh/Linnell Songbook” at Radio Bean. I’m picturing an Everly Brothers-style take on the They Might Be Giants canon. But I’ve been wrong before.
The show starts at midnight, but be sure to get there early. It’s the first Saturday in May, which means it’s time again for another installment of “FoofaRawk” with garage rockers The Fatal Flaws and The Shandys. This episode of the ongoing series will feature the final performance of the Flaws in their current three-piece configuration. However, the band plans to continue as a two-piece for now and is recording a new batch of tunes for a forthcoming release, or, as the band put it in a recent email, “a new coaster for your coffee mug.” Nice.
FUN FACT ALERT!
Did you know that of the 37 members of the Vermont Youth Orchestra  Class of 2008, at least 15 will pursue music as a major or minor when they move on to the halls of higher learning this fall? That number will likely be even more impressive once all of the VSO’s graduating seniors make final college choices. Are you listening, pinchpenny school boards?
The point is that music education serves an invaluable role to a significant portion of our state’s youth. I’m guessing that 99 percent of the people I write about in this very column benefited from primary and secondary school music programs somewhere along the line. I know I did.
This Sunday, the VYO and Vermont Symphony Orchestra  join forces for “Shostakovich Side-By-Side,” conducted by VSO Music Director Jaime Laredo. To illustrate the earlier point, a good chunk of the VSO are VYO alums. See what I’m getting at? Maybe you will when you hear Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony performed by some of the state’s best and brightest.
After all, how many of Vermont’s graduating high school seniors are majoring in football next year? Just sayin’ . . .
This just in from the Department of Shit I Couldn’t Possibly Make Up: Elton John  is playing at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds on July 21.
Elton John. In Essex.
Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. and are available through www.flynntix.org .