Soundbites: Stalker, Four on the Floor
Electronic music probably doesn’t get as much ink in these here pages as it should. Why? Well, for starters, the scene isn’t as prevalent in the heady hills of Vermont as it is in more metropolitan areas such as Montréal and New York City. But that doesn’t mean we lack options in the Red Bull-fueled ass-shakin’ department. Case in point: “Thunderstruck” at Club Metronome this Thursday.
Presented by local EDM (that’s Electronic Dance Music, for the uninitiated) harem Basscamp , the evening features some legitimate genre heavyweights from our funny-talking neighbors to the north. Montréal’s Subtone  and Stalker  are two of the most sought-after EDM producers in the business, and have — independently and collaboratively — manufactured drum-n-bass cuts for world-renowned outfits such as Renegade Hardware , 13 Music, Vandal and DSC14. In short, they’re kind of a big deal. And it’s their first U.S. performance to boot.
The show will also feature a healthy contingent of local talent with a warm-up set from the Basscamp Crew, including Sekhmet , Rekkon, Sharkat, Phatrix, DJ Haitian , Nick@Nite and the grand poobah of local dance debauchery, Tricky Pat . Dust off the ol’ glow sticks, folks. It’s gonna be a wild night.
Speaking of Club Metronome, the oft-overlooked crazy upstairs uncle of “The House That Phish Built” has been taking serious strides towards regaining its somewhat waning importance in the Burlington music scene. A few weeks ago, I reported on the long overdue physical renovations on tap for the dimly lit rock club. Well, it appears the improvements extend beyond the joint’s peeling walls to the music calendar. Can I get a woo-hoo?
For months I’ve been pimping GTD Entertainment ’s semi-regular hip-hop open-mike night, “The Spot,” at Nectar’s. Existing largely on the blood, sweat and tears of noted local MC Burnt MD, the evening has been a vibrant outlet for up-and-coming local hip-hop artists to rub shoulders with area vets such as GTD, The Aztext  and VT Union . I’m happy to report that, based on its early success, the evening has finally earned a weekly slot, Tuesdays at Metronome. If you haven’t checked it out — or if Honky-Tonk Tuesday at the Bean just ain’t your thing — I once again highly recommend it.
Along similar lines, I’m told Sunday nights have been hoppin’ at Metronome as well with “Family Night” open sessions taking up residency, courtesy of One Love Booking maven Alex Budney, the talent buyer for both Nectar’s and Metronome. Budney is also the bassist for local prog-funk outfit Bad Suit and has enlisted a few of his funky friends to serve as the backing band for folks who want to strut their musical stuff. The core group typically consists of members of local acts such as The Grift  and dearly departed groove-pop act Lucy Vincent , but often features appearances from members of Turkey Bouillon Mafia , Hollywood Farm , Greyspoke , The Mo’ Funk Orchestra and The Gordon Stone Band .
Apparently, the jam session also recently hosted an impromptu performance by the legendary Parliament Funkadelic. I’ve yet to check it out myself, but I expect that to change soon, as even jam-phobic folks like myself love the P-Funk.
Nights like these are likely to reinvigorate Metronome and tap into its considerable potential as a key player in the Burlington music community. But that can only happen if people get out and go. So, what the hell are you waiting for?
KEEPS ON TICKING
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the kooky kids at Tick Tick . After putting on more than 50 shows in 2007, I’m guessing they’ve been hibernating for the winter. But this Friday, they’re back in the saddle with the next in a series of dance parties presented as only the Burlington T-shirt impresarios know how.
“Stereo Warm-up” takes place at The Monkey House  in Winooski on the last weekend of each month. It intends to get cabin-fever-infected folks out of the house and onto the dance floor. Featuring the vinyl-spinning talents of Classic Hits, Baby Bantam, David Goliath and Tick Tick’s official DJ, Mike DeVice, the party is guaranteed to shame your inner wallflower into busting a move. Plus, it’s free!
Tick Tick claims to have big plans afoot for the spring, which can only mean good things for our eager ears. As if we needed another reason to look forward to the end of winter.
Let’s see . . . so far we’ve covered dance music, jam, funk and hip-hop. What’s missing? Why, ass-whoopin’ rock, of course! Fortunately, Radio Bean has a particularly delightful lineup this Friday, sure to slake your thirst for some seriously crazy shit.
Billed as the “B(Leap) Hear Show” — 2008 is a leap year, get it? — the evening features the eclectic stylings of Flowers in Winter, post-punk darlings Drive the Hour , hard-rockin’ Four on the Floor  and harmonicore b-b-bandits Cccome? , who are also slated for an opening slot with Ku Fui  and Made in Iron , the greatest (only?) Iron Maiden tribute act in the history of Vermont, this Thursday at Higher Ground’s Showcase Lounge. But let’s get back to the Bean.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Friday’s lineup is the welcome return of hermetic experimental-rock auteurs Charles, Dead or Alive? Much like Forrest Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get with these guys. But, like a Whitman’s Sampler, it’s always tasty.
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
If radio-friendly alternative rock is your bag, local rockers Silent Mind  have got you covered next month with a “March Madness” residency every Monday night at Nectar’s. Though relatively new, the band has garnered a solid following in Burlington and beyond. Their debut disc 2012, though not without its predictable alt-rock conventions, hints at a nascent creativity and a substantial degree of pop sensibility. Residencies are a great way for young bands to iron out kinks and test-drive new material. Given the chance to flesh out their sound, SM should be taking some significant steps forward. Note to the folks at 99.9 FM The Buzz: You might want to keep an ear out.