Soundbites: Love Bites, TWIB (This Week in Benefits), BiteTorrent
Holy writer’s block, Batman.
I have been sitting in front of a blank computer screen for the last hour trying to come up with a clever lead for this column. Really, an entire hour. And guess what? I got nothing.
The problem, I think, is Valentine’s Day. I don’t know if you were aware — I wasn’t until just about an hour ago, funny enough — but the big day is this week. Sunday, to be precise. Yikes.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, is happy on Valentine’s Day. If you are in a relationship, the pressure to perform can be crippling. Dinner, flowers, presents. It isn’t enough simply to be in love? We really have to make a huge show of it every February?
Which brings us to the bold, dateless wonders who spend Valentine’s Day alone. For single folks, February 14 is possibly the worst day of the year. It’s like being stuck in a restaurant where everyone else is eating filet mignon, but the waiter will only serve you tofu — reverse that half-assed metaphor if you’re a vegetarian.
Valentine’s Day sucks, plain and simple. So what are we to do?
Might I suggest roller derby?
This Saturday at The Monkey House, the Green Mountain Derby Dames  fight back against everyone’s least favorite Hallmark holiday with an evening they’ve dubbed “Shot Through the Heart: the Anti-Valentine’s, Valentine’s Event.” And let me tell you, when the Dames fight, it’s a good idea to be on their side. Trust me.
The evening doubles as a Haiti relief fundraiser, with proceeds going to benefit the Red Cross. DJ Tony Bonez provides the tunes and there will be loads of giveaways for lift tickets, romantic getaways and such. But the real draw is the “Ex-corcism wall.” You read that correctly.
Revelers are encouraged to bring mementos of past relationships — mix tapes, old photos, love letters, underwear, whatever — to be plastered to the wall, which will presumably liberate you from the shackles of failed love and theoretically free your soul to hit on anything that moves. They’ll even knock two bucks off the cover. Although, since it’s a benny, maybe you should be a sport and donate the full door charge anyway. Just a thought.
TWIB (This Week in Benefits)
Another week, another full slate of Haiti benefits. Let’s dig in.
In the weeks since the quake, we have seen literally dozens of Haiti benefit concerts, most of which have employed the “We Are the World” strategy: Corral as many big-name local acts as possible under one roof. It’s been a successful tack, for sure. But this weekend, Jeffersonville après-ski joint The Brewski  takes the concept a step further with what could be the grandest Haiti helper of ’em all: Hope for Haiti.
The show features 24 bands — yup, 24 — including Starline Rhythm Boys , Red Hot Juba , Seth Yacovone , the Oleo Romeos and the Gordon Stone Band . And that’s just Friday. Saturday will see performances by Greyspoke , the Taryn Noelle Trio , Conscious Roots  and Pulse Prophets , among many, many others. In addition to the tunes, you can sip Haitian rum while noshing on authentic Haitian food. All proceeds go to benefit UNICEF and its ongoing Haiti relief efforts.
Traveling south on Route 100, the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield has a weekend-long celebration of Black History Month called Blue Jam, culminating in Monday’s show, Grace for Haiti, which features the Eames Brothers Band  and — drum roll, please — Grace Potter . Get it? Grace for Haiti? Ms. Potter will be performing solo, though one imagines Nocturnals drummer Matt Burr might lend her a hand, since he’ll be manning the kit for the Eames boys. Tickets are only available at the theater. Call 496-8994 for more details.