Soundbites: Daryl Rabidoux, Anders Parker, The Cush
You know who is probably pretty psyched about the recent passage of the health care bill? The 31,999,999 people currently without access to health insurance who are about to get it. And Daryl Rabidoux.
In June 2008, Rabidoux, a Burlington ex-pat, was seriously injured in a car accident in his adopted home state of Rhode Island. Among the laundry list of maladies: two punctured lungs, several broken ribs, a torn liver, a fractured sternum, head trauma, a busted … well, you get the idea. Dude was in a bad way. [Total aside: a torn liver? Raise your hand if you knew that injury was even possible.]
Like just about every young working musician I know — and I know a few — Rabidoux did not have health insurance. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but apparently health care isn’t exactly cheap in this country. And it didn’t get any less expensive four months later when he suffered a stroke … while recovering from open-heart surgery … necessitated by complications from his original recovery. And you thought you were having a bad day?
Flash to the present. Rabidoux is, all things considered, doing well. He’s back to work at his Providence-based recording studio Strangeways Recording. The onetime fixture of the Burlington scene is even playing music again, with a relatively new band called Deleted Arrows.
In a recent email exchange, Rabidoux says that DA, while an instrumental group, is not really comparable to his last band, locally legendary post-prog outfit The Cancer Conspiracy. “This band is much more streamlined than Cancer Conspiracy,” he writes, adding that DA, which include original CC bassist Brent Frattini, is less proggy than his old band. “I personally want to sound like early Rye Coalition, without the vocals. Or Jesus Lizard.”
Rabidoux adds that, since the stroke, he has lost sensation in his left hand. That’s presented challenges at his other job, waiting tables at a Providence brewpub, especially where hot plates are concerned. He refers to the appendage as his “superhero” hand — he recently slammed it in a car door and didn’t realize he had broken a finger.
If the numbness has affected his playing, you’d be hard pressed to notice. The band’s debut EP, which is streaming on their MySpace page, sounds terrific — imagine Explosions in the Sky on an amphetamine-and-whiskey bender and you’re in the ballpark. And, who knows? With a revamped health care system, maybe he can get that pesky hand looked at…
Through it all, Rabidoux seems to have maintained a level head and good spirits. Or, as he puts it, “I have the worst luck ever, but not bad enough to kill me. So I’ll take it!”
Catch Deleted Arrows at The Monkey House in Winooski this Saturday with punk-legends-in-waiting Rough Francis and Husbands AKA/In Memory of Pluto offshoot Folk Heroes.
Count yours truly among those who were really, really happy about songwriter Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) settling in Burlington last summer. His 2009 double album Skyscraper Crow was among my personal favorites of that year. But more than that, the mere idea that a songwriter of Parker’s caliber would be so accessible was/is thrilling. Of course, I have yet to actually see Parker play since he’s been here. But that’s entirely beside the point — he’s had just a handful of local shows since he arrived, and the one I had planned to catch was canceled last minute. So there.
Anyway, at the end of the two-part interview we ran with Parker just prior to the double album’s release last fall, Parker hinted that once he had settled in he would “probably” start a local band.
Well, guess what?
This Friday at (surprise!) The Monkey House, Parker will unveil his brand-spanking-new outfit, Cloud Badge. The trio will also feature the incomparable talents of skins man about town — and 7D staffer — Steve Hadeka and the Cave Bees’ Creston Lea on bass. In a word: woo-hoo!
And just what does the new band sound like? Parker was coy with details, but offered that Cloud Badge would be playing a few songs from his catalog, as well as some new material that falls under what he dubbed, at my behest, “Chrome-plated folk-rock garage blues songs and jams.” Well, OK, then.
Find out just what the hell he means this Friday. And please report back, because I, um, will actually be out of town this weekend.
Fellow Queen City acts The Sad Bastards and Maryse Smith open.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but Burlington/Texas-based psych-rock outfit The Cush are soon to be just Texas based. According to a source close to the band, they’ll be staying in the Lone Star State permanently after spending yet another winter there this year. It’s a small consolation, but the band does have a two-night farewell stint planned at (surprise!) The Monkey House on April 9 and 10. As more details become available, I’ll pass ’em along.