Last week, I revealed that I had made a truly embarrassing error in the previous week’s column in regard to the date of this year’s Montpelier Downtown Music Festival. What can I say? Unlike the Pope, Glenn Beck and Tom Brady, I am not infallible. Yet.
(Pop quiz: Of the three famous people I just mentioned, I actually do believe one of them to be infallible. Which one? Hint: It’s Brady.)
Well, Montpelier being the bustling little burgh that it is, it appears I have been given a shot at redemption. Calling my shot right here: I am not screwing this blurb up. Yet.
This Friday and Saturday, the self-proclaimed “Arts & Culture Engine of Montpelier,” the Langdon Street Café, hosts the Langdon Street Festival, a two-day extravaganza of music, art, community and beer. Sweet, sweet beer.
The fun begins Friday evening with the countrified, happy-hour shenanigans of Mark LeGrand and the Lovesick Band , followed by “Old Reliable Amusements” with puppet company the Dolly Wagglers  and an acoustic “preconcert” concert from the Underscore Orkestra  — more on them in a sec.
This all sets the stage for the belle of the ball, Anaïs Mitchell , and her incomparable Hadestown Orchestra under the tent outside. Back inside, and closing out the evening, is maybe my favorite local band I’ve never seen, J.P. Harris and the Tough Choices,  who, as they aptly put it, play “country-goddamned-music.” Goddamned right.
Following what will likely be a well-needed night of slumber — there is a beer garden, after all — the festival kicks into high gear with an honest-to-goodness street party Saturday. Daytime highlights include more puppet fun with the Wagglers, a bevy of food, a “clown spectacle” with the Real McCoy, one-man band Matt Lorenz’s suitcase junket (Rusty Belle ) and Swiss dual-neck-guitar virtuoso Attila Vural .
But once the beer tent opens again — 5 p.m., in case you’re wondering — the fun really begins. And not just because of the beer.
Music, of course, is the main event. And the night’s lineup is killer, including column favorites Anna Pardenik and the Holy Smoke-Off , reunited local tradge-hop legends Manifest Nextome, and the aforementioned Underscore Orkestra. Oh, and did I mention the beer tent?
Rock and a Hard (Jazz) Place
Lisa Giordano is one busy chick. She is a vital and youthful piece of the puzzle at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival — if you enjoyed Ledisi in 2008, or any number of BDJF’s hipper performers in the last two years, you can likely thank her. And that’s in addition to working annually with the CMJ Music Marathon, which kicks off in NYC next month, as well as managing special events for Burlington City Arts.
Her résumé is about to get even more impressive. This Sunday at the FlynnSpace, Giordano is soft-launching a new venture: her own music label, New Vogue Records . Her inaugural show features improv “power trio” the Inbetweens , who have been tearing up the NYC jazz scene of late and inspired possibly my favorite press quote this week. Says Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, the Inbetweens are “dangerous in the best way.”
Agreed. They are also the perfect band to introduce New Vogue, whose stated goal, according to Giordano, is advancing “contemporary avant-garde, improv jazz and jazz offshoots — like live hip-hop — and aims to promote as much of this music as possible, give it some sexy, wearable branding and market it to the CMJ/Pitchfork/DownBeat/Stereogum/new music crowd.” Giddyup.
Though the Inbetweens’ latest record, Quantum Cowboy, isn’t a New Vogue release, the band is part of the New Vogue collective. It also includes Montréal’s Groundfood  and a slew of Vermont acts: yoUSAY Placate , Souls’ Calling , Anna Pardenik and the Holy Smoke-Off and the Vermont Joy Parade . New Vogue’s “official” launch will actually happen at CMJ next month, but locals would do well to get a sneak peek at Giordano’s next move this Sunday.
And finally, this week’s totally self-indulgent column segment, in which I share a random sampling of what was on my iPod, turntable, CD player, 8-track player, etc., this week.