Rocket Shop 12/7/2011: The Haps; Lynguistic Civilians
Words by Nick Kramer. Photos by Brianna Chrisenson.
To kick off Rocket Shop this Wednesday, Sam sat down with The Haps — a band of high school seniors from Williston who play a jammy mix of psychedelic rock with reggae touches. Born out of a Halloween jam session in 2008 the collective formed by Griffin Brady, Braden Lalancette, Nick Ledak, Greg Meyer, and Wil Yandell began to play and write music together, resulting in their first gig almost a year later in September of 2009. Since then, the boys have recorded an album, a more recent EP, 'Hanon Drive Heroes,' and played gigs all over the Burlington area including shows at Memorial Auditorium and Higher Ground.
When asked about their influences, it should come as no surprise that this group of teens, born and raised in the greater Queen City area, answer in perfect unison: "Phiiiish!" After some further questioning, however, Braden and Greg pointed to State Radio and Tea Leaf Green as other sources of inspiration. Since the majority of the band are multi-instrumentalists, however, their sound certainly has the ability to transcend its foundations. In fact, The Haps recently tried their hand at writing a film score when friend Max Erickson pegged them for some original tunes to use in his film competition submission. The resulting ‘Keys Beat' is a meandering keyboard driven number that sounds more chillwave than jam band.
With Nick and Griffin in the middle of their hockey season, The Haps have found it hard to schedule gigs. They are hoping to get back into the studio soon, but, unfortunately, the software Braden had setup to run his basement recording lab, "all got fried." Despite these setbacks, The Haps are upbeat and committed to making music. Braden, Greg, and Nick all agreed that they are getting better everyday both as songwriters and as a live outfit.
Emcees Monty Burns and T-Noonz of BTV-area hip hop party-starter crew The Lynguistic Civilians dropped in on the Radiator to preview some tracks off their EP, get the word out about some upcoming gigs, and to kick a quick acapell. The Civilians formed in the Fall of 2009, but had all met each other around Burlington in different ways, free-styling and blowing up local parties. Since then, the collective has rocked more than 65 shows, including an opening slot for Lil' Kim at Higher Ground last year.
On the air, Monty and T-Noonz played some cuts off their recently released EP ‘A Hard Act to Follows. They've shot videos for both of the tunes "Welcome Everybody" and "Paint it Red" and both songs exude the Civilians funky, party vibe. "Welcome Everybody", the lead single off the EP, sees the emcees trading off boasts of hip hop fandom, name-dropping everyone from Biggie to the pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas over a lilting, soul-sampling, funked-up groove. "Paint it Red" is a straightforward party anthem about drowning your sorrows in good times, good friends, and good tequila. Along with the recorded tracks, Monty and T-Noonz threw down a few verses from "Who's Your Favorite Civilian?", a sort of inter-crew battle rap in which each emcee spits a verse vying for the listener's favor.
There's a lot going for the crew right now. On the 14th the Lynguistic Civilians are competing in the I Make Music talent battle for a shot at some much-needed studio time and a spread in Thread Magazine. The crew is also prepping a new single called "Good Enough", which Monty informs us was inspired by the Civilians' feeling that, "popular music nowadays isn't good enough for us." They'll also be playing the Big Heavy World fundraiser on the 21st, also at Metronome, alongside Funkwagon, a band that the emcees call "our family".
Lynguistic Civilians are big supporters of the local Burlington music scene, no matter the genre. While they love the way the hip hop scene has grown here, and shout out other local acts such as the Aztexts, Monty promises that the Civilians will support, "Any band that's doing their thing." As a diverse crew of emcees, they have diverse tastes and diverse musical backgrounds, all of which comes together in their music.
In addition to the upcoming Burlington gigs, the Civilians are itching to get back into the studio, whether it be a bedroom setup at Monty Burns' spot or a professional place courtesy of I Make Music. They're also hoping to take the Big Heavy bus back down to Boston to compete for a spot opening for funk-maestros Lettuce. The Lynguistic Civilians are emcees Monty Burns (who also produces), T-Noonz, Walshie Steeze, LC, Mike "Philly" Fulton, DJ BP, and drummer Indievigil. You can find them online at http://www.thelynguisticcivilians.com/#!