Soundbites: Warning: Obligatory Phish News Ahead, Yes We Can, Bite Torrent
Hey, did you hear that Phish  are getting back together? Oh, you did. And you entered the ticket lottery for their three Hampton, Virginia, shows roughly 342 times using various names — including that of your dearly departed Pomeranian/pit bull mix, Fee. And you still didn’t get tickets and have seriously considered selling drugs, various bodily fluids, your car and maybe even your new Rottweiler/shepherd mix, Nectar, so you can shell out — I’m not making this up — hundreds, and, in some cases, thousands of dollars for a single ticket on StubHub.com . Damn. That sucks, dude.
But chillax, my groovy friend. Help is on the way.
Last week the Phab Four announced they are embarking on a 10-date tour in June, blessedly putting an end to rampant speculation that had reached Brett Favre retirement-esque proportions.
In other news, it’s cold outside.
Seriously, that Phish’s reunion will extend beyond the three Hampton dates shouldn’t surprise anyone — except maybe Trey Anastasio’s parole officer . . . OK, that was just low. Sorry.
Actually, I’m pretty sure I called this back in October. Still, predictable or not, it is welcome news for legions of fans the world over. And who knows? Maybe the bazillions of dollars infused into the music-biz revenue stream will be the real economic stimulus we’ve been looking for. Is it possible that our current fiscal crunch was actually the result of the dormant Trustafarian dollar? Well, no. Not at all. But it’s a fun thought, anyway.
Moving on, Phish has also announced the impending release of a mammoth, seven-disc DVD box set chronicling their epic 1996 Plattsburgh festival, “The Clifford Ball.” Get in line for that on March 3. Or, preorder now at drygoods.phish.com .
Speaking of getting in line, the ticket-request clusterfuck for the June dates is already underway at www.phish.tickets.musictoday.com . Tickets become available to the general public on Friday, January 30. Good luck with that.
YES WE CAN
There’s really only one other event this week that could upstage Phish reunion news ’round these parts — though even then, it’s a close call. And that is, of course, the impending inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama.
(Note to Facebook users: Unless your middle name is actually “Hussein,” it’s probably safe to change it back now. It’s all over. We won. Just sayin’.)
By the time we reconvene next week, America will have its first multiracial president. And there will be much rejoicing, even — or perhaps, especially — in sleepy ol’ Vermont.
A number of venues around the area have shindigs planned, so even if you couldn’t score an invite to one of the record number of inaugural balls in D.C. — I presume mine was lost in the mail — you can still ring in the new era in style, and much closer to home. Unless maybe you don’t love freedom or (gasp!) America, now that bleeding-heart liberals are running the show. In which case, in the sage words of a bumper sticker, feel free to leave it. Turnabout is a bitch, isn’t it? But I digress.
Appropriately, the place to be this Tuesday is Montpelier, as the state’s capital will host a couple of events to welcome Jesus, er, Obama as our new commander in chief.
First up is Langdon Street Café’s The People’s Inaugural Ball with The Last Bash Cabaret. The performance, hosted by alt-theater savant Ben T. Matchstick, is meant as a not-so-fond farewell to Dubya and will reportedly include “Queerleaders,” Billionaires for Bush  spinning the “Wheel of Misfortune,” The Raging Grannies, and music and puppetry from members of Bread and Puppet Theater . The show does have a parental advisory, though, so leave the kiddies at home.
A couple of blocks away, Black Door Bar & Bistro is hosting a special Inauguration Dance Party tentatively scheduled at Montpelier’s City Hall. Unfortunately, specifics are unavailable as of this filing. But Black Door is catering the shindig, so that’s certainly a plus.
Back in Burlington, Parima is hosting a No More Bush Bash. Again, details are hazy as of press time — though in fairness, we’ve only known about this thing since November 4 . . . ahem. But owner Daryl Campney is promising DJs and live music to help celebrate the impending golden age of Hope.
(Note: Personally, my hope is that Obama ushers in an impending golden age of meeting press deadlines. Oh, and world peace. And maybe student-loan forgiveness.)
This next item almost certainly deserves higher billing. But when you’re up against Obama and Trey (by the way, has anyone ever seen those two together? Hmm), you are usually fighting a losing battle, press-wise. Anyway, longtime Vermont DJ Tricky Pat  has joined forces with noted indie-electro upstart Brandon Miles  to release a song called “Sinkhole” on UK-based dnb label Temper D Productions . In case you’re not in the know, that’s a very big deal. Between the heavyweight label and Miles’ name recognition — not to mention that it’s a seriously tight track — the song is garnering recognition throughout the worldwide dnb circuit. In celebration, Tricky Pat and Miles are throwing a release party for the Sinkhole EP this Saturday at 1/2 Lounge. Also on the bill are Sleezy D  of local DJ collective 2K Deep  and Vermont dubstep maven Briandeye.
Folks attending the next installment of Middlebury’s After Dark Music Series  at the United Methodist Church this Friday might be a little, um, shocked to see a few familiar faces onstage with Michelle Shocked . The Grammy-nominated songwriter will be backed by none other than Vermont’s own Gabe Jarrett Trio. No word yet on whether Chris Smither  needs a hand the following night.
We haven’t heard from local klezhobos Inner Fire District  in quite a while. In fact, the last time they played a local gig I accidentally listed their genre as “’80s Dance Party.” Um . . . would you believe 1880s? OK, I goofed. But you can help me make it up to them (since my little bro is in the band, you’d think all would be forgiven, right?) by checking them out this Friday as they open for excellent Brooklyn-based indie-folk act La Strada  (see spotlight, page 10B).
Burlington’s The Vacant Lots  have been stirring up plenty of word-of-mouth buzz lately. Sadly, I’ve still yet to catch them live. I expect that to change this Friday as the band opens for the Bill Mullins -led two-fer of Barbacoa and The Persian Claws at The Monkey House. The show kicks off what should be a remarkable couple of months of music in the Onion City. More on that next week.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this: It’s been said that before he became the leader of the free world, all George W. Bush ever wanted in life was to become the commissioner of major-league baseball. Perhaps we should have listened to him, eh?